The holidays are upon us … and there are US military members and families spread throughout the US and the world. My family of five will be separated this year as my husband serves our US Army in the Iraqi Theatre. This Christmas will not be the same as those in the past. But I realize it isn’t just my family.
The nature of the military requires countless moves across the country and separation from loved ones. From the adults who miss their moms, dads, siblings, nieces & nephews to the children who over the holidays.
It isn’t always feasible for cash-strapped newlyweds stationed in California to get home to Virginia in December. An 18 year-old soldier might not get leave approved to travel from Texas to Idaho and won’t be home for the first time this Christmas. A spouse stationed in Maryland, with a husband in Iraq wouldn’t think of travelling with her three-children back to her old stomping grounds in New Mexico, even though it means she won’t be with her own family as everyone gathers for a New Years celebration.
You get the picture? There are all kinds of situations; all kinds of loved ones missing their family in December. Reach out to the community this December. Adopt a service-member, and their family if they have one. Host a celebration. Let the military-community know that you care for them.
Active Duty Military Family Status*
Some Ideas to Support your Military Community this holiday season
- 40% of our service-members are single. It is possible they will be spending Christmas in their dorm. Can you invite a group over for dinner with a small token-present to give?
- 42% of our service-members have a family and may be financially burdened to provide for them. Do you know of a local Santa Clause that can help them out?
- 16% are married but with no children. This Christmas they might really be missing the hustle and bustle of their childhood home. Consider hosting a relaxed couples-night out for your military community; or present gift cards for a night out for two to dinner.
* Source: 2005 Demographics Report
– Leanne and the MilitaryAvenue.com Team