Thursday, March 17, 2011

Growing kids

I'm well past the point where my kids are needing clothes...thank goodness. That said though, there are many families, military families as well, who are still facing that uphill grow and clothes don't!

We got a resource today that will help with that dilemma and it's a great one to share. The site is and families can swap boxes of clothes at a minimal cost and therefore receive and recycle kids clothes as the children grow.

To say this is a great resource is an understatement when money get's tight in today's struggling economy. Pass it on...there are bargain hunters out there just waiting to find these treasures.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Out of the Shadows

It's almost spring...I can't wait for warmer weather when I can take my granddaughter outside without saying "come on's too cold". I look forward to the weekends when I can take my dog Kasey for a walk in the park or just paddle around the inlets in a kayak down near VA Beach. Even a quiet evening on the beach watching the sunset without having to be wrapped in a blanket would be a wonder treat right now.

What I long for is only weeks away where our military members long for the same thing and their hopes and dreams are months if not close to a year away. It was put into perspective when I attended a conference recently that it's not just the military members who "deploy" but it can also be the family. I hadn't initially thought of the family where the spouse and children relocate somewhere else for the duration of a deployment so they have resources and support available while their service member is gone. For that family, they are experiencing two overseas to fight and one here at home to survive the rigors of a deployment.

Out of the shadows come family, friends and individuals with the truest desire to help our military families and this is where I get the biggest's the support we give to our military and their's the thank you's I hear when someone sees a military member in uniform. It's the thoughtful "payment of the dinner check" by a retired vet when he sees an active duty service member in the booth next to him. It's just that smile when a soldier or sailor that walks by in uniform that means the most.

Why not come "out of the shadows" and say thanks next time you see a member of our armed forces in will make all the difference in the world and I guarantee that service member will "pay it forward" in his life and his service to us.

Take care and remember to say Thank You...

Monday, October 18, 2010

When Life Gets in the Way

I maneuvered through all my email addresses and social media sites today and chuckled at the number of friends who are "thrown off their square" when their team doesn't win or their favorite NASCAR driver is "behind on the turn". It's not that I don't enjoy a great game or other type of event but, the fervor and height of anger I see with all the %#@'s in these posts I have to step back and pause for thought. Life just 'gets in the way' sometimes doesn't it? We postpone an evening out because the baby gets a fever...we don't get home until late because the interstate was a parking lot...couldn't make the kids soccer game because of a deadline at work. All just part of life but all a part of our lives that can change a smile to a frown in a New York minute.

Sat. nite I attended a benefit for a soldier who lost his life when an IED exploded near his vehicle in Afghanistan in July 2010. Watching the calm reserve of the wife, the young son and the parents of this US Army 1st Sgt. it brought my day and my petty annoyances of when "life gets in the way" to a more life altering perspective. I'd forgotten how I felt when I returned home in 199o to a note on the kitchen table that said "If you are reading this I'm already gone. I don't know when I'll be back...give the girls a hug...I love you...Bryan. PS Get my car from the Corps parking lot." 9 mos later my husband returned from Desert Storm. He returned safe and our lives just pickup up and we carried on. Not so for the family I met Sat. night. Their world may carry on but things will never be the same because for their service member "life got in the way".

As we watch our football games and attend our NASCAR races sure, it's more than alright to be upset if our team or driver doesn't win but, let's talk more about the things that truly make a difference for our friends and family when "life TRULY gets in the way". When you see a service member or know of a family who has someone serving in the military, please say thanks. When service members deploy and crisis strikes at home whether it's financial, physical or emotional, the impact on the family can be devastating. Not only has 'life gotten in the way" but the families at home are enduring the crisis "one member down" and that's when Operation Homefront steps in.

Life got in the way for a Navy family who's pay decreased $572 this mid-month pay between a COLA change and the deployed member expenses kicked in after sea duty. Their bills didn't decrease along with their pay and food on the table was going to be a problem. Life also got in the way for a wounded warrior whose VA disability hadn't been determined or awarded yet and the family is living on less than $1200 a month while on the Temporary Disablity Retired List.

If you want to know more about how you can help families like these who need support when Life Gets in the Way, contact

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When it seems like you have no where to turn...

Have you every just had "one of those days"? You know what I mean, one of those days when you wish you could just get your family off to work or school, let the dog out back to do her business and then crawl back into bed and pull the comforter snuggly around your neck for the rest of the day. Believe me, I've been there. I know how it feels to want to pull back and just burrow where it feels comfortable. I know how hard it seems to be when your service member is deployed and when you feel as if everything is caving in around you. What I say to you is "knowledge is power". Knowing where you can go for help whether it's emotional or financial can make all the difference in your perspective. Operation Homefront Hampton Roads meets families every day who feel as if they want to crawl back in bed and pull a Scarlet O'Hara and just "think about it tomorrow". Sometimes we can't let it go...we have to act. Amy and her family knew they had to act when they had to move from government housing with 30 days notice. She knew when she needed to pay rent and utilities plus food for her family of 6 it was going to be a stretch since housing had already taken their rent for the month. Her husband's VA rating had not been established and they were living on $1300 per month. Amy knew where to turn and Operation Homefront was there to help her. Her knowledge of our organization and what we are able to provide for military families gave her gave her the power to take control of her needs before they completely overwhelmed her and her family to the point where she just crawled back into her bed with the comforter pulled tightly over her head. Share the knowledge and throw back that comforter and enjoy your day at a time. For more information on what we do for our military families visit .

Friday, October 1, 2010

Always things to share...

We are a sharing community of people who for the most part go out of their ways to assist when someone is in need. That can be the sharing of a hug, a smile, a dollar or two for a latte' or even going that extra mile to give deeper from the heart or the pocket. N.H. was one of our clients this past week who needed some sharing. Major car repairs have hit the family hard these past few months and they've become behind in their bills. One car is two months behind in payments and ready to be reposessed. The family has been struggling due to medical issues Mom has endured to include surgery and chemo. Life has been difficult but they continue to share a positive attitude. One need we were able to support was in the are of furnishings. With no toddler beds or furnishings for their 3 year old twin boys, when N.H. heard we had beds and other furnishings she was thrilled. Their two vehicles drove away with 2 toddler beds, a dresser, 2 night stands, 2 TV's and a lighted ceiling fan to fill a home which had gone without for their two young boys. Operation Homefront could not have shared with this family had our community not shared with us. It is through the generous donations of cash and furnishings that our chapter can help...can share...and can bring a smile to the face of someone who needs one...To learn more about how you can help please visit our website at or email .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Operation Back to School

Operation Back to School is "underway". Today, military families can visit our website and register to receive a backpack filled with school supplies. As a military family member of 20 years with 2 children in school, I knew how families struggle to purchase the myriad of supplies children need for school in the fall. Operation Homefront understands that need and has partnered with Dollar Tree stores around the nation to collect school supplies for this exact purpose. Donation backpacks are still needed to meet the huge need here in our community. To learn more visit .

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Backing up the Front with Food

Have you ever wondered where your next meal will come from or how you're going to buy groceries when your budget is strained to the max. I think we've all been least I have. For our military families, times are often tough and the toughest it seems when service members are deployed. You can make a difference by attending the Farm Bureau of VA Open House on Friday, May 7th at 1215R George Washington Highway, Yorktown, VA and donating a non-perishable food item for the Food Pantry. These items are used to provide emergency food assistance to military families "caught in that crunch" between pay periods where just a little help is needed. If you're not in our area but would like to help, please visit and make a donation online. A recurring donation of $10 per month supports the cost of one emergency food voucher for a military family in crisis. When you set your next meal on your table at home think about those who may not be able to do the same! It us help them by Backing Up the Front.