Witnessing Support During Military Appreciation Month

A moving example of how one community reached out to help a military family in a crucial time.

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Posted in , Nov 11, 2016

How to help military families during Military Appreciation Month

November has several military holidays, but one of my favorites is Military Appreciation Month. It reminds me of a moving show of support I once witnessed in our community. 

The war in Iraq was going strong, and every few days we’d get news about U.S. military casualties. Then I got word through our local Blue Star Mother’s chapter that the son of a local family had been killed in action.

As the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, one of our duties was to assist the Department of Defense as they served this family. (It’s a privilege to be able to reach out, but it’s also a difficult thing to experience.)

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In this instance, the community made all the difference. They rallied around this family in so many ways. They lined the highways and local streets when their son was brought in from the airport. The day of the service, they packed the church and overflowed to the area outside.

Then, in the ultimate display of support, hundreds followed the horse-drawn caisson the half-mile down the main road to the cemetery.

I was in that crowd, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. We kept pace with the hearse, following the bagpipe corps and encountered even more of our community lining the path to the gravesite. 

Read More: 5 Things You Can Do for a Military Family

I can also recount hundreds of ways our community supported my family and our son while he was in the military. I think the list of ways to show support vary as much as the people offering it. But the ways that always mean the most happen in person.

The best way to support a military family is to show up. Be there when they ask and before they realize they need help. We offer a debt of gratitude to our military, and one of the best ways to repay that debt is to support their families.

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