Tag Archive for Volunteering

Congratulations, Captain Dad!

Today DH, aka Super Dad, was promoted to Captain Dad! Then we had the Hail and Farewell and the Battalion commander made a nice speech about Captain Dad and then made a nice speech about me and gave me a coin–which is a huge honor. He is very restrained with the awards.

It was at a casual family place and Baby Diva had a lot of fun being passed around and eating guacamole.

I’ll try to post pics this weekend.

It is really hitting me today that we have very little time left here and soon I will be a National Guard spouse instead of an active duty Army wife! There is so much to do!!! So, blogging will no doubt be very light, but I am sure I will have an amusing story or two to relate once we move.

So Captain Dad just walked in from his going away/promotion party out with the men and his soldiers made him a huge framed penant with his platoon, his name, his unit, an Iraqi flag, OIF medal, rank during deployment, a plaque thanking him for leading them all home safely, and they all wrote notes and signed it. It is so incredibly touching. Here are these tough, macho soldiers and they really respect and care about my husband. Captain Dad doesn’t cry, but I just might!

Molly Pitcher is…Molly Pitcher!

Added: July 1, 2010

I want to clarify a few things…when I wrote this post, I had about 70 readers, which I naively thought was pretty neat. Now I have thousands, which is still small in comparison with a lot of blogs out there, including another blog I own that gets tens of thousands of visitors.  I say this as a point of reference so that you understand that something I wrote in 2007 was designed for a very different audience.  I kept it mainly as a dairy and as a way of sharing my story with humor.

One point of factual clarification: my old blog was An Army Wife’s Life at mollypitcher.blogspot.com.  Sometimes I also commented as “Army Artillery Wife”.  This whole blogging thing was fairly new when I started it in 2004 and pseudonyms were more common.  So when I say I began “calling myself Molly Pitcher”, I mean that I took it as the blog’s address…not that I was walking around town asking people to call me Molly.

People who followed my blog understood that I logged hundreds of volunteer hours every year, without any thought of reward.  I volunteered then for the same reasons I do now–because I care deeply about people, especially children, soldiers, and military families.  Often I volunteered because no one else was willing.  I have never asked for or applied for any of the awards I received as a military spouse volunteer.  I have not only given of my time, talents, and heart for free, I have also attended training sessions and seminars to be of better service.

When I wrote this post I thought it was funny that: (A) I was double awarded an award no one had ever told me I had received; and (B) That within a week I was told I had to go to event, then told I could not go to the event, then told I had to attend it.  Most commenters agreed this was amusing.  Two did not and chose to attack my character despite knowing nothing about me.

This blog is about sharing stories and supporting other military spouses, not tearing each other down because we thought the tone of an old post is “off”.

Frankly, I don’t need it.

—Begin Original Post–

When I found out DH was Field Artillery, I began calling myself, “Molly Pitcher,” after the Revolutionary War heroine:

That day at Monmouth was as hot as Valley Forge was cold. Someone had to cool the hot guns and bathe parched throats with water.

Across that bullet-swept ground, a striped skirt fluttered. Mary Hays McCauly was earning her nickname “Molly Pitcher” by bringing pitcher after pitcher of cool spring water to the exhausted and thirsty men.

While she watched, [her husband] fell wounded. The piece, its crew too depleted to serve it, was about to be withdrawn. Without hesitation, Molly stepped forward and took the rammer staff from her fallen husband’s hands.

At the time, I did not realize there was an actual Molly Pitcher medal given out to spouses who support the King of Battle.
When we arrived at Ft. Hood, we attended our first St. Barbara’s Ball and I watched on, I must confess, with envy as several spouses received the Molly Pitcher award. It seemed so very romantic…in the 19th century sense. Having declared myself “Molly Pitcher” in the blogosphere, I felt a hunger to become “Molly Pitcher” in the eyes of the Field Artillery Association.
During my years in da Hood, I received a few awards from the Battalion, Brigade, and even one from the Division, but Molly Pitcher remained elusive. St. Barbara’s was not scheduled right before deployment. During deployment, we were told the officers held some sort of St. Barbara’s, but details were sketchy. We would have another one when they returned.
Then, one day, my husband called. The Battalion was apparently recommending spouses for civilian medals and for the Molly Pitcher award. He said that he hoped that I would prefer the Molly Pitcher, because I could only be nominated for one of the two and that my name was already submitted for Molly Pitcher. That’s when I revealed that I had hoped to be officially named a “Molly Pitcher” awardee since I became aware of that honor at our first (and only) St. Barbara’s. Although a civilian medal sounds cool, the unit has already recognized my efforts and my hero (DH) has as well. So, if I had the choice, I wanted to be Molly Pitcher.
Although it is too late to make a long story short, the nomination was kicked back…
…because I had already been “presented” with the Molly Pitcher award over a year ago while they were in Iraq, unbeknownst to me or to DH.
So, all this time, I already had the privilege of being Molly Pitcher and I did not even know it.
The fact that they awarded it to me while they were deployed makes it even more valuable in my eyes–I just wish I had known!
Of course, I may never get to wear my Molly Pitcher medal to St. Barbara’s Ball. Although DH already was required to purchase tickets to the Ball weeks ago, we were just told that most likely only the Fires Brigade and company-level commanders and higher will be able to attend. Maybe we’ll be invited to use those tickets we were already required to buy and maybe we won’t.
By the way, the ball is in three days.
That’s just so Army.

Getting Involved Again

Now that Lilah is healthy again and DH is around to help out, I have been able to do some volunteering again with the Junior League.

At our last meeting, I conducted a “mini-training” about soliciting for a non-profit, I wrote a press release for our main non-profit partner, and I brought food over to the Ronald McDonald house for the montly dinner we host there.

I am feeling much better now!

Shakespeare, Mosquitos, and Service

Today began with tutoring (it is my last week!). I got to work with two young ladies on Julius Caesar. I was a theater major, so that was tons of fun. It made me sad that I didn’t have a whole semester (or at least a couple of weeks) to get them into Shakespeare.

Then I went searching for a battery-powered mosquito zapper for DH–he says the bugs are eating him alive. No luck, so I am looking online now. I’ve found a few but I am open to other suggestions…any recommendations?

After that, I sent off a care package to DH and went grocery shopping.

Tonight I had the end of the year dinner for a women’s service organization…and I got the Active of the Year award (basically we have three categories of membership: provisional, like a pledge year; active, when you are most involved; and sustainer, like going alumna).

This award goes to “an active member who exemplifies the league’s mission through her words and actions and clearly went above and beyond the call of duty on many occasions during the year.”

This year I was the Community Outreach person–planning monthly hands-on volunteer opportunities (Habitat, Ronald McDonald House, Angel Trees, Healthy Snacking Booth, etc.) for the membership.

I was surprised and honored, but mostly pleased that this reflects a growing emphasis on hands-on service for our organization!

FRG Leadership Change Up

Last night I was about to post about how happy I was that although there would be a couple of changes of command this summer, my husband’s commander would not be one of them.

Well, this afternoon I got a little surprise–the commander’s talents have been requested (read ordered) elsewhere. A whole other unit, in fact!

When the FRG Leader made the announcement at the FRG meeting tonight, one of the ladies turned to me and said, “Does that mean you are taking over?”

Heh.

Well, the new commander is married, but his wife has not shown any prior interest in FRG activities. So, one of the following will happen:

1. She will suddenly decide to be active now that it is her husband’s responsibility.

2. Our current FRG leader will stay on. If her husband were just moving to staff within the same unit, that would be more likely. With her husband in a different unit (though still in the division), I am not sure she’ll want to do it.

3. No one else will want to do it…which always for some reason means I do it.

How on earth I will manage if #3 is the case, I do not know. I’m really not sure I can with the baby coming shortly on the heels of the command change, plus having a rather intense placement for the League next year.

On the one hand, I am already doing a lot, and at half capacity I would still be better than no one at all. I suppose anything is better than nothing. Besides, it would not be for very long before the men returned…and then the job would be easier.

On the other hand, I can never force myself to do anything half-way.

I am getting ahead of myself, though. There are two other possibilities ahead of this option.

I will cross this bridge when, and if, I come to it.

Celebrating the Military Child

Did you know that April is the Month of the Military Child?

Military children do not voluntarily enlist for this MOS, but nonetheless sacrifice and serve.

What are they doing on your post to celebrate these brave young people and educate the community?

On our post, we kick off a month of seminars and educational outreach with a huge FREE festival. I have been on the planning committee, though post employees do most of the work.

I also made this a Junior League volunteer event and we are contributing some volunteers (eight right now–I am hoping for a few more!).

One of our members is a US Army Officer AND Mrs. Texas. Not only is she volunteering at the event and getting some of her soldiers involved, but she told them they could use her to promote the event if it would help. What a class act!

FRG-filled Week

We’ve had the first marriage meltdown of the deployment.

A soldier came home on midtour leave to discover that his wife had spent all of their money on her live-in lover and was neglecting their child.

She quickly agreed to a divorce and to give him custody. He made arrangements for his mother to take the toddler, but at the last minute, mom’s boyfriend nixed the idea. The father-in-law is a registered sex offender, so that eliminated the in-laws.

The Platoon Sergeant, who is a top-notch soldier, asked him mother if she could take the child for the rest of the deployment; the amazingly kind and generous lady agreed.

I had once helped this wife get groceries when we were anticipating a storm. We knew that she was a little on the irresponsible side, but had no warning that the situation had gotten this bad. She had moved out of state during the deployment, though, so she was somewhat off of our radar.

The soldier spent his leave getting divorce and custody paperwork done and transporting his child back to our area.

Last night we had our Officers’ Wives Coffee–normally this is a social gathering for all of the Officers’ and First Sergeants’ wives…but very few officers in our Battalion are married and of those who are, their spouses just don’t seem interested. So, we usually have about four to sixe people show up. Still, it is nice to get together.

Then, this morning was the Battalion steering committee meeting, or as our new fearless leader likes to call it, the Battalion “Huddle.” These are always fun…two of the FRG leaders are not married to the commanders and do not get much support from the commanders. Also, we discovered that at least one soldier is not on the Rear D commander’s list. I do not understand how the military can have such a poor record keeping system.

Then we discussed the Video Teleconference Call that FRG and Battalion leadership was supposed to have. We are hoping to turn this into a call for families…we’ll see how that goes.

Well, that was my FRG-filled week.