Write from the heart
Hello Military Community,
I would like to thank Stars and Stripes community newspapers for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas. I have to admit, I have been nervous and turning over ideas in my head on what I should write? I thought of providing statistics and other numbers, with the idea of showing that I can be informative on a variety of subjects. But what do those numbers really mean anything to us? When you pick up a paper and see a chart or a scale, does it really change anything in our lives?
I decided the best thing for me to do is write from the heart. The reason I wrote “Operation: Military Resources” and created www.MilitaryResourceBooks.com was to provide information and resources for military families so you know what tools are there for you to use. As military families, we run into so many hardships and obstacles, from emotional and physical to spiritual and financial. My hope is to encourage, enlighten or help you to embrace any situation thrown at you and your family.
My goal is to not only assist military families, but also to inform civilian families of the hardships of military families and the great teamwork, growth and generous acts of our service members. I feel our society is better as a whole with these wonderful organizations that support military families and it can only get better with knowledge and support of them. Unfortunately, most of these organizations do not get the media attention they deserve, leaving many families unaware of their desire to assist. I get frustrated when I pick up a newspaper and only read about a service member or unit doing something wrong. I’d rather read about the awesome things our service members accomplish while overseas and the sacrifices they make.
I remember when my husband, Steve, deployed to Bosnia in 2005. He made a request when he first called: Send over as many school supplies as I could find, purchase or get donated. While walking through villages, Steve and other service members were upset to discover what bad shape the schools were in. After the many years of war and suffering this country could not/would not be able to afford items like school supplies. These children only had a hand full of chalkboards to write on. While spouses back home gathered supplies, the service members worked together and saved up enough money to purchase new wood burning stoves for several schools.
After I explained the situation to the manager at a Lansing, Mich., Walgreens, the store donated everything they had on the shelves. The Grand Ledge Armory paid and shipped the massive boxes overseas to our boys, who distributed the supplies to schools. It was very gratifying and emotional, especially when my husband told me how excited the teachers and children were to not only have pencils and paper with which to write, but also stoves and freshly cut wood (courtesy of service members) to keep them warm throughout the winter.
I called a local newspaper and told them about this wonderful act of generosity and team work. It never made the paper, as don’t most acts of kindness the military community undertakes.
But the military community doesn’t do good deeds for the ink. Speaking for my husband and myself, we are humble and grateful for living in United States, a country with hope and possibility. We will never complain about our daughter’s education, what they serve for lunch at the schools, what it costs for her to be in sports or other things that are trivial. She has possibilities and hope. I know she will eat a lunch, have school supplies and be safe from the cold and mold and other environmental conditions. She has teachers that care and help guide her. Our daughter also has educational benefits, grants, scholarships and other possibilities that kids from countries like Bosnia and Iraq (to name a few) have never heard of. For instance, Our Military Kids, www.ourmilitarykids.orgoffers free tutoring, assistance with sports and more. There are many other organizations offering the same.
By sharing our trials as military families, we find that we are not alone. Most situations and life challenges you face are ones other spouses and service member are facing or have already been through. Remember: What does not break you will make you stronger. And asking for help IS NOT a show of weakness. It is a sign of STRENGTH.
I promise if you write me and ask a question, ask for help or share a story, and want to remain anonymous, I will respect your wishes. The Stars and Stripes community newspapers team and I only have one goal in mind: to help you, our Military Families. I look forward to entering your home weekly and providing you useful information, stories and inspiration.
If you have a question, comment, concern or would like to share a story, you can email me at Kim@MilitaryResourceBooks.com. Make sure you view my website weekly for information and resources that are not listed in my book.
Blessings from my family to you and yours.