Memorial Day and a walk that explains a Holiday…

May 25, 2012

 

The solemn nature of this holiday runs head to head with soft early summer sunshine , backyard cook outs and kids running through the sprinkler. Who wants to spend the day to contemplate the loss of young men and women and the struggles of the families left behind? We collectively as Americans need to because they belong to every one of us.

I recently was standing beside a young woman with a baby in a stroller at an event at Ft. Carson. I talked with her and learned that her husband and best friend had died in Iraq ,only days after she had shared with him that they were about to become parents. My heart ached for her and  for the baby that will never know her Daddy personally. The event sponsored by American Military Family that we were attending was  to support parents Michelle and Dan Benevidez, who were preparing to walk from Colorado to Illinois, to the Middle East Conflicts Wall where the name of their fallen soldier is etched. Their son,  Ssgt. Kennith Mayne  died in Iraq in 2008. They want to bring attention to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and to those who serve now.  I want to share a video with you, no words can express what the video will…it is what Memorial Day is all about.

 

American Military Family is there for those who serve and their Families. For more information about this group and about the walk of Michelle and Dan Benevidez,  go to :http://www.americanmilitaryfamily.org/

 

A Salute to our Armed Forces, Armed Forces Day May 19th

May 18, 2012

 

Don’t forget that tomorrow is our chance to thank those who serve in our Armed Forces!

This is a day to thank you, those who defend our nation;

You have a job that is often difficult, times far from family and friends, and one of the most honorable things a person can ever do.

Thank you for the hard work, the overcoming, the times when we are sure that you wonder why you signed up for this. Thank you for the times when you know full well why you did,  some of you would do it  again.

Thank you for defending those of us who live our lives every day without a thought about why we are free, or how we stay that way.

Thank you and a big salute to those who have gone into combat, or supported those there, in all the worlds conflicts over the years. To those who are there now in Afghanistan, we are here praying and your nation is behind you.

http://articles.springsmilitarylife.com/articles/military-176-free-http.html here is a link to tomorrow’s activities around Colorado.

To all our friends in every branch of the Armed Forces, we salute you!

July 4th, A Simple Celebration

June 30, 2011

 

Here is a link for a simple but meaningful July 4th celebration. It takes very little preparation , and gives kids a base of understanding . Here is the link to the site http://www.prageruniversity.com/4th-of-july-declaration.html

I am going to try this with our little ones, come Monday.

Hoping your celebration is wonderful! Our country is unique and we need to pass along to our children the beauty of what we have here.

Happy Independence Day!!

Honor and Courage for Military Kids

May 15, 2011

 

The other day I was pursuing two  blogs written by Military mothers raising little ones as a spouse is deployed. This is something I do occasionally, to keep in touch with what people are experiencing and especially what the littlest members of the family are going through.

In these two blogs, each family had more than one child. In both families the children were very connected to the father, who was the deployed parent. Both mothers stated that the children had a very hard time with the separation, and the anticiaption of it before it happened. They also shared the children’s behaviors, of crying, searching for daddy, and angry oubursts.

Then came the differences. Parent A,  summarized with saying that her children would be forever wounded by this absence and that she was having a hard time accepting her role as single parent while her husband was away.

Parent B,  looked for creative ways to make the deployment a focused time of keeping the father in the children’s’ lives. She did things like placing pictures at child eye level and making a jar with daddy’s picture on it and giving them  a kiss goodnight from daddy before bed (a sweet Hershey kiss). This family was able to settle in, and though deployment was hard, it became manageable. The children were able to go on and be happy most of the time.

It was not those little things she did that grabbed my attention though. This parent stated something profound …the children in family B were proud that Daddy was a soldier. Mother B was too, and let them know  in no uncertain terms, what an honor it was to be a Military Family. Now I am not saying the parent A was not proud of her husband, just that it was not the focus, as it was in family B.

No one will argue that the military life is ever changing, but we do not believe it is unstable just because there is an absence for a time (sometimes a long time) . The attitude of the parent directly effects the children.

This is the core of the matter. We all need purpose in life. To know our purpose is a gift that allows us to endure sacrifice with honor and courage.  Spouses who are proud of the service thier loved one provides this country, are more likely to stay married and to find the adventure in being a  Military family. Those who are fearful, unsure of  the relationship and unhappy, generally do not survive.

Divorce in the Military has high numbers because we live in a “me first” time ,and are encouraged to find ourselves outside the marriage relationship. Sadly this is transfered to our children who are told they are “being cheated’ while a deployment is under way, rather than honored by a larger purpose outside themselves.

If the family can feel and embrace this larger purpose, they will weather the deployments, the changes, the reunions, and find a stronger and more bonded life within the Miltiary.

Paula and I have a mission statement :We Serve Too ! Honor and Courage for Military Kids! We hope that our resources help children and their parents embrace that badge of courage and honor they most bravely earn.

September 11, What should Kids know?

September 8, 2010

Though September 11th is burned into the consciousness of nearly every adult American, our young children were not here then. Unless they were about 5 or 6 in 2001, they will have no recollection of the national grief and fear that you and I know all too well.

What should they know? What do we tell tender little ones that will not frighten them, but give them a sense of the weight of the day, but more, the questions of honor, protection, and what is worth fighting for?

Remembering is something that we need to do as a nation. In Biblical times, the nation of Israel would build piles of stones to remember things that were important so they could tell their children. The reason they did that is because human beings have fairly short memories, and life moves forward quickly. Without teaching our children that memorials are important, they will lose their history and some meaningful pondering of life. Memorials are important to bring together people who have shared an experience and then the question, what can be learned from it, what does it mean to us?

Children can be told more with age. For our little ones I suggest that you stay on the positives, and not detail too much of the fear. Answer the questions children ask honestly, but simply. You do not need to go into the politics, or the graphics with kids. Do not ignore the bad part, but don’t accentuate it. A simple answer to what happened on 9/11 might simply be that some bad people made some big towers fall in New York City, then tell them that there were many people who were there to help.

Here are some things that you may want to share with your little ones:

*Talk to them about the heroes of 9/11. Here is a website to help you with that: www.9-11heroes.us

*Talk about resiliency and that we bounce back after bad things happen. Here are plans for the site of the towers http://www.national911memorial.org

*On September 11th, we remember the people who work to keep us safe. They are soldiers and airmen, they are marines and sailors, coast guard and policemen, they are fireman and doctors. Our country is made up of many kinds of people, they are all Americans and they are the ones who are there when you need help, or when we all need protection.

*Today we remember that sometimes when bad things happen, we learn to come together and fight for what is right. We learn that we are America, and we have a long history of being there for others in the world. We protect others as well as our own people.

*Do something to help your children with expressions of gratitude. Make some cookies and bring them to your local firehouse, draw pictures of police, firefighters, and others who are protectors and give them your pictures. Send a letter to a soldier overseas and express your thankfulness for the sacrificial work they do. Here is a website where you and thank a soldier right now! http://action.uso.org/action/sem-thank-you?sc=OM-google-p_Support-search_ThankyouLetter

Children can understand honor, courage. Help kids to appreciate what it means to be an American. The gifts that we have as a people, and the wonderful country God has given us. Teach them that there are people that want to reach out, that being brave does not mean we are not scared, but that we push through it and help anyway.

Memorial Day for children: Thank You Soldiers song

April 25, 2010

kids sing thank youMemorial Day for children: Thank You Soldiers song.

Check this out, click on the title above and listen to a beautiful song of thanks to our Military, sung by children. I know you will love it. Mommylife.net offers the music free to teachers and parents who want to teach this to your little ones for the celebration!

Patriotic Kids cope better with Deployment

February 6, 2010

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A new 2009 study about how Military Kids cope with deployment, shows that several things make for good coping. Paula and I could have saved them a lot of research money, but that aside, Here are the things that lower the stress and help make kids strong!

*Keeping kids active, sports in particular were helpful
* A Strong Military Family
*(and this is the one they said they were most surprised about,but that Paula and I could have told them for free)…Patriotic kids, who understand that the deployed parent is doing a job that has purpose and makes a difference in the world, cope best.

The fact that kids understand why a parent does what they do, and that it is important and valuable to America, makes them better able to cope with multiple deployments.

This study is important to us at Wee The People Publishing. It is the core of what we do with our books and resources for children.
We seek to bring comfort and honor to the children of our Military.

It is nice to know that what we felt in the beginning is correct, that children need to know that America stands behind what their parents do, and that we know and appreciate that the sacrifice is not easy. Thank you to all the children,who can stand proudly and shout “WE SERVE TOO!”

Thank you to The authors of the study, Leonard Wong and Stephen Gerras of the U.S. Army War College.

click here to see the study http://military-online.blogspot.com/2010/02/patriotic-active-kids-suffer-less.html or http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/summary.cfm?q=962

Military Chaplains not able to pray in the name of Jesus? Why is this even a question?

January 8, 2010

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I am wondering if I am the only one who cannot figure this one out.

America, the land of the free, is still having a debate about whether or not, Military Chaplains can end a prayer in Jesus name?

Military Chaplains, those who have been called of the Lord, to provide comfort, spiritual direction and hope to our brave Military, are being persecuted for thier faith. HR268 is a bill introduced by Congressman Walter Jones from North Carolina. Why should a Chaplain that is praying over an injured comrade or the body of a fallen soldier, censor the Name of the One who brings comfort and healing? If this is a Christian chaplain, then certainly even non-Christians can all can agree that he should pray in the name of his God! Check into what is being said, click here:
JAY SEKULOW
You can listen to the broadcast , then ask yourself if this should even be an issue? Apparently this has been going on for quite awhile. President Bush did nothing to help, so now President Obama is being asked to make a difference. I pray he will. This is an issue of freedom of religious expression and of the Truth. Jesus cannot be separated from Christianity! Thank you to those bringing HR 268 to the attention of the nation. The rights of our Military Chaplains, the soldiers, marines ,airmen and sailors are being held hostage. No Chaplain should ever have to ask forgiveness to God for what men say he cannot do. That is NOT American!

We Are the Free and Unconquerable People of the United States of America! Teach kids about Pearl Harbor.

December 8, 2009

old radio
Please take a moment to listen to this radio address by Eleanor Roosevelt.
You will hear the words she spoke (click on her name)as the world began to hear about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Children need to hear about the history of our nation. It is our job, to keep the history alive ,to teach children that many have made the utimate sacrifice to secure their freedoms. Listen to the language used, Eleanor Roosevelt acknowledges the emotion of the moment, fear, and tells the nation, that “we the people, are ready for action” and that “we are the free and unconquerable people of the United States of America!” We still are, though there are those who do not know it. They try to convince us that this is no longer true. Teach the children, that honor, bravery and good are displayed in our great military. We need to begin to look at the way we saw our nation then, and the dangerous changes we have made. Bring back that sureness, that we are a nation of people, united, who will not bow to evil.

May our nation continue to be blessed.

September 11th…

September 11, 2009

Every year, it rolls around. We take the horror that we felt that day , look at our hearts again , and remember. I have a flag I fly in my yard. It has a name on it of one of the victims of that horrible act, and a note from a child that says: “you died from terrorists.” We have a war on terror, but terror is a darkness that we cannot fully comprehend. We try and imagine how we can war against it when it is elusive,  and so far reaching, like a grey mist rising in places we do not expect. Terror is a tool used by evil, to control the minds and when possible, the hearts of those who cannot or will not fight. Those who are weak are overcome first, and those who stand strong suffer, sometimes at the hand of the very ones they try to protect. I wonder about this as our son begins another journey across the ocean in this war on terror. I think of the people who so wonderfully show their appreciation to our Military, and those who do not get what it is they do for them. Our brave sons and daughters protect them all. Today on September 11 th, think hard about the sacrifices being made on your behalf. There are sons and daughters who take the worry of parents with them as they go, fathers and mothers leaving little ones to grow, seeing the milestones from far away. Many are impacted by the lives of those we send to protect our homeland. Thank you to each and every one, to soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines, guardsmen, police and firefighters. To wives and parents and children back home. God Bless you all!