National Military Family Month, started by the Armed Services YMCA in 1993, has gained momentum through the years. National Military Family Month has also gained congressional recognition as an annual event.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

A Tradition of Honor: Beyond Military Family Month

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Every November we celebrate National Military Family Month, honoring those who serve.

But how can the public maintain a consistent connection to military servicemembers after November? How can the public maintain a high level of awareness, support and service for the needs of active duty servicemembers and military families who serve our country 12 months a year?

NATIONAL MILITARY FAMILY MONTH IS JUST A START

National Military Family Month, started by the Armed Services YMCA in 1993, has gained momentum through the years. National Military Family Month has also gained congressional recognition as an annual event.

But one month a year may not be enough to show appreciation and support for those in the military who serve our country 12 months a year. In 2011, President Barack Obama called upon citizens and organizations to honor military families through public service and acts of kindness.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT URGES MORE

Federal and state governments alike urged people to recognize and reward the sacrifices made by military families, and to help alleviate the current struggles of the military lifestyle.

Support is never more needed than when hundreds of thousands of military service members are deployed overseas. Military families separated by long term deployments need everything from moral support to financial advice to help with daily chores.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

In short, the military needs you to do whatever it takes to support military families in need. Especially in need are the many military families congregated in remote areas, making support programs and individual outreach vital to their well-being.

For example, Albany County, Wyoming is home to 240 Army National Guard and Air National Guard troops. Often, military families feel they should bear the burden of military life alone. Asking for help can be mistaken for weakness, despite the fact that the challenges on military families increase dramatically when a family member is deployed.

SUPPORT MILITARY FAMILIES PERSONALLY

Support for our military families comes to light most during National Military Family Month; then it must continue throughout the year. There are countless ways to express appreciation to military families. Volunteers who help military neighbors with housekeeping, childcare, shoveling snow, or cooking meals are always in demand.

Even a simple phone call, letter, or holiday gift showing gratitude can make a world of difference to easing the emotional stress on a military family.

JOIN ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT MILITARY FAMILIES

Volunteering with organizations that serve military families is another great way to participate in National Military Family Month and beyond. In the Wyoming Military Department, the National Guard Family Program provides many resources for military families, such as the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, free financial planning from the National Guard Family Program, Family Readiness Groups from the Army and Air National Guards, Military OneSource health and legal services, and many more. Every state has a range of programs that always need volunteers.

Encourage your friends and neighbors to contribute their talents and skills to support military service members and their families, while our military supports all of us here in the United States.



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