This past week has been full of military-related happenings! It all started last Monday evening with the premiere of what is now my new favorite show: “Stars Earn Stripes.” It airs at 8pm (Central) on NBC and is one hour long (although the first one was a 2-hour special). I usually am not devoted to a TV series, but this one is FABULOUS because it’s all about supporting our troops! It started off with eight 2-person teams, comprised of the trainer (military or law enforcement personnel, most of them being Special Operators) and a celebrity. The latter include Terry Crews, Picabo Street, and Todd Palin. (Personally, I am rooting for Todd. He performed amazingly well the first show and is the contestant I am most familiar with.) Each show one team will be eliminated, and each time a celebrity passes a mission/show, they earn a “stripe,” which equals a $10,000 donation to the military charity of their choice. Those charities include the Wounded Warrior Project, the USO, and Military Child Education Coalition. Check out the website at: http://www.nbc.com/stars-earn-stripes/ EDIT: Tonight’s show was AWESOME! It made me want to repel out of a helicopter.
Last week I also started volunteering with the USO! I had requested to be a volunteer back in November 2010, when I was partially unemployed. However, there was a waiting list to be accepted, and after landing my current job and becoming really busy, I pretty much forgot about it. Last month, I received an e-mail from the volunteer manager at the DFW Airport USO who said they finally had a slot for me! I was psyched and now have my assigned day and time. The ladies on my evening shift are fabulous – they are all 30+ years older than me, but they have youthful, enthusiastic attitudes about supporting the military. The USO at DFW is so wonderful and feels like a home away from home for our troops. The Warrior said it’s the nicest USO he’s ever been to. Why did I want to volunteer? First of all, I wanted to do something concrete where I felt like I was making a positive difference in the lives of our troops and their families. Living away from The Warrior’s post, I don’t have many opportunities to do things like that, and this is a way to feel more connected to the military world. Secondly, you never know what kinds of professional connections you will make when interacting with lots of people and making new friends. Over the next couple decades (if The Warrior ends up being career military) I will be moving all over the country/world with him, and finding a job every 2-3 years can be very tough for an Army wife. But by associating myself with the USO and others who are enthusiastic about the military, I just might open up doors that will lead to bigger opportunities down the road. Some people might say, “Well that’s selfish!” But not really: I’m contributing to a worthy cause while simultaneously opening up a door to possible benefits. There is no guarantee about the latter…the only personal benefit guaranteed is that I will feel good about helping others, and there’s no way to put a price tag on that. Whatever happens, I am happy and proud to be a USO volunteer! :)
Besides keeping this blog, I began writing last month with Loving a Soldier, the blog of the Army Wife Network. On the 17th of each month, my monthly article will be posted. Check out mine for August! http://lovingasoldier.com/the-way-things-turn-out/
Through a military spouse Facebook group, I discovered a free Army wife resource guide in e-book format. It is addressed to spouses of NCO’s but it would be useful to any wife/significant other, regardless of your soldier’s rank. If you are interested in reading this book, please leave a comment and I will e-mail the PDF document to you!
Finally, I got be with The Warrior yet again this weekend! We have seen each other for the past five weekends, which is a record for us! I guess it is to make up for the five months he was gone. He just started with a new unit after finishing up post-deployment processing with the guys he deployed with, and I’m very thankful to be able to see him more often. However, as great as that is, I am SO ready to stop doing the weekend thing and get married! We do have a tentative timetable in place, and as the next few months progress we will be able to judge more accurately when the wedding will take place. :) Life is good.
Have a blessed week, everyone!