November is a month many of us celebrate our families and have traditions we enjoy annually. November is also designated as the National Military Family Appreciation Month. For our military families it is a time when the country recognizes the nearly 5.2 million service members and their families. UF/IFAS Extension and 4-H are proud to be a part of the military family working with youth centers across the nation to have some consistency for military kids. 4-H works will military programs worldwide to support our military youth at bases and in local communities. We recognize that our military youth must cope with many circumstances while their parent or sibling is working often away from home. Causing a hole created by the absences during many life events. Military life imposes unique demands on the family, from a change in family structure to the stress of someone missing from events, to the worries of a family member being hurt while working.
Since many of us have a little extra time during the holidays there are several things you can do to show your support of our military members and their families. We as non military families celebrate with each other at family/friend gatherings etc. and sometimes forget that our military friends are away from home and missing these traditions. We can help celebrate, recognize, acknowledge, and show gratitude for those sacrifices our military family’s make so each of us can enjoy freedom by sharing our love.
You can do simple things to demonstrate your appreciation and gratitude for their sacrifice, resiliency, and courage.
Show your support by:
- Expressing Gratitude and appreciation: You can take a moment to thank military families for their sacrifices and service to the nation. You can send cards, write letters, if you do not know anyone here is a local organization that can help get them to the troops. December 1 is the deadline for Holiday themed cards to go out. You can give shout outs on social media using the hashtag #MilitaryFamilyAppreciation
- Sending care packages to veterans and military families overseas or donate to to Military Support Organizations.
- Giving the gift of time by: visiting a local veteran, spending time with a military family, or volunteering at a veterans organization (contact your local VFW, American Legion, VA hospital or veteran’s shelter).
- If you know a military family, open your doors to share the holidays with you by offering help with tasks like childcare, home maintenance, or meal preparation.
- You can also show your support by participating in community events and initiatives that celebrate and support military families in your area.
I hope you will join Florida 4-H #Florida4H and our Nation #MilitaryFamilyAppreciation to celebrate Military Family Month, by doing simple things to demonstrate your appreciation and gratitude to our military members and their families! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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