Supporting Families of the Troops

by Katie, proud daughter of Ann & Robert
(Virginia )

I grew up about 5 miles away from a major Marine Corps base, and so the U.S. military was part of my life and consciousness for as long as I can remember. My parents weren't military - my mom was a nurse and my dad a civil servant - but just about every other kid that I played with had a dad in the military. So when the First Gulf War happened while I was in grade school, the realities of the sacrifices of the military really struck home. In school we tied yellow ribbons on trees and wrote letters to "Any Soldier" to cheer them up. Additionally, and in my opinion just as importantly, my parents took special notice of the families in our neighborhood that had a dad (or more rarely, a son or mother or daughter) deployed. I learned that the sacrifices are made not only by the service members that are actually deployed, but also by their families waiting at home. My mom would try to support those families in every way that she could -- running little errands, helping assemble care packages, taking care of their kids for a few hours, and just being a friendly set of ears.

By being a friend to both the servicemen and women and their families, my mom set a good example of how to be supportive of those who risk everything when called to the defense of our country.

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