By Lisa Kluetz, Family Program Director
During the month of November, across the Nation, Service member and their families will celebrate expressions of gratitude for a successful harvest, perhaps a fruitful deer hunt, veterans who fought for our freedom, and being thankful for our many blessings. Those that currently serve as well as those who have never served will also recognize the sacrifices and dedication of military families. Throughout Military Family Appreciation Month (November), the Service Member Support Division will be highlighting the flexibility, strength, and silent service of the men, women, and children that the support the force behind the force.
As we near the end of 2020, I think that many of us will agree that it has been a year like no other. Our Soldiers and Airmen have supported operations globally, across the country fighting wildfires, locally during the pandemic and periods of civil unrest, as well as remaining flexible and changing how we do things in the home, in the office, or even in day to day business. I am not sure about you and your family, but this year has been challenging for me and mine. I know that I may not be able to get together with my family and celebrate gathering to join in a meal and break bread, watch the big NFL game, or even catch a break on the hottest Christmas Gift on Black Friday. Instead of dwelling on negativity of this prospect, I hope that I can put a positive spin on things with a request. I would like to challenge everyone to start a gratitude jar. When our lives are somewhat back to normal, just thing how much fun and heartwarming it will be to gather and share our expressions of blessings and gratitude. We can capture the moments that we cherish for many years to come when we reflect back on 2020.
Within your family, individually, or as a group, I challenge you to write on a piece of a paper why military families are unique and special. Your gratitude jar can plain and bedazzled as you wish. Even your blessings and gratitude statements can be crafted to reflect the personality of you or your family. At the end of the month, I hope you will share your gratitude jars and thoughts on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/WIFamilyPrograms.
During the month, the Service Member Support Division will also be recognizing the dedication and resilience of military families. The Family Program Office is kicking off a four-part series for military families and the Child and Youth Team is sponsoring a Virtual Leadership Academy each Monday during November. The last youth segment will be our military youth addressing issues, concerns, and gaps in support to military youth in a “Shark Tank” format. To register for upcoming events, see the events page of this website.