Thank you to Rheanna Bernard from Cammo Style Love for reviewing some of our resources!
With the height of the war feeling as though it were only yesterday it seems there are a plethora of support organizations out there. Even if you aren’t sure of what they are exactly, you know they are there. Some of them only help a certain group, or a certain experience you might be going through; whether it is deployment, a new baby or wounding in action, there’s probably an organization out there for you. Which one will help you when you need it, and where do you start looking?
The first place I usually start is with my friends and other MilSpouses that I may interact with, whether that is online or on base. Getting first-hand recommendations from people who have been where you have been is probably the first place to start looking. The next place would be reputable organizations, like MilitaryOneClick, who typically work tirelessly to research organizations and who frequently work closely with some of these organizations. Having been a military s/o for eleven years I’ve come across so many people who have a true heart to help those of us married to a man or woman in uniform. In the last couple of years, living in DC, it has brought me even closer to some of these organizations. In doing all my research, as well as through experience, I am happy to showcase just a sampling of some of the amazing people out there doing great work for our Military service members and their families.
1. Daddy Dolls, Flat Daddies, Daddy’s Deployed, Sweet Dreams Pillow Project – These groups provide ways for children to keep connected to their deployed parent. We have pillows from Sweet Dreams and we absolutely love them!
2. Project EverGreen – sometimes needs are very basic for families going through a deployment. Project EverGreen is one of the groups that provide a seemingly ordinary service, like landscaping and snow removal, to make that time a little easier.
4. Operation: Love Reunited and Hearts Apart are two organizations that provide photo shoots before you leave for your deployment. I am so thankful for the OpLove photographs that we have. Hearts Apart also provides specially printed photographs to endure the rigors of deployment by printing photos of your spouse and children on waterproof and bi-folded cards.
5. M.O.P.S – Mothers of Preschoolers is an amazing organization that brings moms together. While not always military focused (some do take place at base Chapels), this is usually one of the first things I look up when we move to a new location. Most locations are faith based, and founded on Christian principles, but vary on how deeply that is woven into the curriculum. For those looking for a non-faith based organization the Mom’s Club is an option.
6. Sittercity – Finding help at home, whether your spouse is deployed or not, can be difficult. Most military families are nowhere near family. Sittercity has been a truly wonderful resource for me. Most of the sitters that I have dealt with have been happy to meet before, talk with me and provide recommendations. I especially like the cool feature that allows you to specifically request someone with base access. Many times I will click that feature and have discovered wonderful, older milkids that are happy to babysit and understand the life.
7. Military One Source – Both of these organizations have been a great help to me and my family. Military One Source has provided resources like their ‘Talk, Listen, Connect’ series for free to me. Our family has also utilized the confidential counseling, which I can attest to the fact that it has remained confidential.
8. JSS – Joint Services Support – JSS is an invaluable resource for National Guard families. As a National Guard family member, who has spent a good many years remotely stationed, connecting to people that can help us can be difficult. Whether they are sharing information with us, or we are letting them know a need exists, JSS is there for National Guard families serving anywhere.
This is just a drop in the bucket of the myriad of resources available to military members and their families; it doesn’t even encompass my most favorite. Take the time to research the resources that sites like Military One Click have listed. My number one recommendation to military-connected individuals that I meet is to prepare yourself for anything and everything. Even if a resource isn’t something you are eligible for, or even need, at the moment. Being one step ahead of the game can help you maintain your sanity in an any number of high-stress situations we find ourselves in.
Rheanna is an Air Force wife and Mommy, True Crime and history nerd, lover of all things vintage, a Christian, and never lacking an opinion. Rheanna can be found at Cammo Style Love.
For more family support resources, please see MilitaryOneClick’s Troop and Family Support Page.