Growing up in New York, military service seemed a thing of the past: faded sepia-tinged photos of grandfathers in uniform, History Channel specials on the battles of World War II, and quaint propaganda posters urging apple-cheeked children to recycle tin cans.
Never would I have imagined that I would find myself married to an officer in the U.S. Army.
And yet, there I was. One minute I was living in Manhattan, married to a lawyer at one of the top firms in New York City, and the next I found myself trying to find a decent Italian place near Fort Hood, Texas.
Once I got over the shock, I dove right in. I’d like to say it was altruistic but really it was a way to get my bearings. By volunteering as a Family Readiness Group leader and pitching in as part of various committees on post, I got a crash course on being part of the military family.
And that love returned to us many times over. While my husband was deployed to Iraq, he received hundreds of postcards and care packages. While a letter may seem like a small thing, knowing that people back at home appreciate you keeps many of our servicemembers going. Five years later, my husband still keeps a binder of each and every letter he received.
We are back in New York and my husband has returned to his law career. He still serves in the National Guard and we do what we can to return a small fraction of the support we received while he was active duty. Whether the kids are stuffing backpacks with their friends for the children of enlisted servicemembers or baking cookies and making Valentines or Veteran’s Day cards for our local veterans, we are grateful for the men and women of our military, past and present.
Cheerios has asked me to share how easy they have made it to “sendCheer” to military families as part of a partnership with the USO. All you have to do is cut out and mail postcards from specially marked Cheerios boxes. A military servicemember will get your thoughtful note and Cheerios will donate $1 for each card to the USO.
I want you to know that your recognition of those who serve is appreciated. A box of cookies, a package of toiletries, even a simple note reminds our warriors why they fight.
Disclosure: This post has been compensated as part of a sponsored charitable opportunity for Collective Bias.