2011 MSOY LUNCHEON my adventure

So as you all know I didn’t win, but Bianca won (Marine Corps Spouse)! Super excited, she is awesome. I am still your ARMY SPOUSE OF THE YEAR 2011, and I have super things planned for this year to help Army Spouses! I am lucky to know a lot of Army Spouses all over the world!

My husband and I still had a good time. This is what we needed to reconnect and just have fun, this was the first time in 11 years than we were out of state from the kids on a vacation together!

TUESDAY:
We left Tuesday and Rochel (hey girl) took us to the airport! It was a mini vacation. So we boarded this puddle jumper, I have never flown on a small aircraft. I was already super nervous, and it was CLEAR and sunny here. However we had a connection in OH, and it was RAINY OMG it was the most bumpy descent to the ground. So OH is really big compared to Raleigh. So I said ” please can we get to the next gate” we have only 45 min. He was like but I have to smoke, I was like well you get me to the gate and then you can go smoke. So he was like I’ll be right back, that was 40 minutes ago. So as I sat and watch the flight attendant open the gate, make the announcement I started to panic. So I called him and he was like I am running now. So let me tell you a funny little story to help you understand where I am coming from. So while we were in Raleigh, I asked my husband, what gate are we? He said Delta 1, I said No we aren’t flying Delta we are on Continental. He was like not the gate is Delta 1, I said don’t say that to people that will confuse them like it did me. So he was like yeah right woman! So back to the story, so as I talk to the flight attendant she was like I am going to scare him, I was like well can I get on he has my ticket, and she was like sure show me your ID. So I get on the plane and he is running and I call him, where are you? He was like it’s a long story. So 3 minutes goes by and  the flight attendant on the plane is PISSED, she was like ma’am, we have to leave so I called my mom, I was PISSED b/c my husband was going to either (1) miss the plane (2) make me miss getting to DC or (3) just be left in OH. So I call him and was really upset, like ok she is going to close the door, and so just as she said that he was like I am at the gate. So he was like I got a funny story. So he finally makes it and the people around me are dying laughing b/c I was like well, that’s what he gets for smoking! So now I can rest but believe me I was SERIOUSLY STRESSING OUT! We get to the airport and catch a taxi to the hotel! We stayed at the Phoenix Park, and later that night when all the Finalist got in we went to dinner! It was super nice I really enjoyed it, meeting the other spouses. They were ALL REALLY COOL!

WEDNESDAY:
Today was our tour of the Capitol. So we walked there, now I was prepared for HOT HUMID heat. Why did DC pull a woopdedoo on me, and all I had was a sundress for that day. So my husband went back to the room and got a jacket for me. SO it decided it wanted to rain, and the hotel provided us with a umbrella. So the night before the guys were decided what to wear, their military uniforms or casual. So they all decided to wear the military uniform. They all looked great. We were the best looking group ever. So we met Sen. Burr on the steps of the Capital and had our picture taken with him. Then we went on the tour of the capitol. So after that we left and went back to the hotel, we had to get ready b/c that night we had a dinner with the Sponsors of the Award. So before that we had a meeting with Sen. Hagan’s office! It was NICE, we got to ride on the Senate Subway, and we were sitting beside Sen(s) McCain and Graham! OMG, they were talking intently so we didn’t bother them. Then we went to Sen. Hagan’s office and down to the room where she was coming out at. She talked to us about 15 min about what needs to be done, what needs to be improved, things of that nature! It was really awesome, she really cares. Just amazing to me. So we finish with her and her Military Liaison walks with us to the Monocle Restaurant! WOW We got to meet staff from Military Spouse Magazine/Victory Media they were totally AWESOME so nice and so down to earth. I have never met a more bunch of nice people! Then we got to meet the Chairman of Armed Forces Insurance and his wife Candy. They were the sweetest couple. Candy cracks me up, she was very instrumental in the “Beef Brothers” Story. I LOVED that story! So we dinner and then left to go back to the hotel!

Thursday:
The day of the luncheon! OMG so excited, thrilled nervous. I didn’t sleep well, I had a nightmare my eyes were bloodshot, then I had another nightmare that I overslept and missed the event, so at 6am I just got up. I left the hotel at 10:45am to get to the Reserve Officers Association Building. I got there, and was escorted to the VIP room. I met Deanie Dempsey, Jeannie Chandler and Sheila Casey from my branch! I WAS SO BLOWN AWAY! They were waiting for me too. This very sweet lady, was like Are you the Army Branch winner? I have someone waiting to meet you! I was really excited! I was like wow someone is waiting for me! So I got to meet them and take pictures with them. Then Congressman Kissell came over and wanted to take a picture with me and shake my hands. So we did! Then we went had to go up and take photos for the magazine. Then the luncheon started, we ate got our awards, and they picked Bianca as the winner! At 2:30 we had to leave to get back to the hotel to get to the airport. I’ll blog about that airport trip home later!

I have been asked what can America do for military families…

Well my honest answer is pray, be Patriotic, and be Proud to be an American or living in the US. We owe each day of safety and liberty that we enjoy to the members of our Armed Forces and their families. Behind our heroic service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide never-ending support.
During April, May and November we celebrate the outstanding contributions of our military families, and we reaffirm our commitments to these selfless individuals who exemplify the highest principles of our nation. Just as we hold a revered trust to the astonishing Americans willing to lay down their lives to protect us all, there is also a need of commitment to support and engage our military families.
In years past, you could wrap up a care package and mail it to “Any Service Member” for the holidays, but with increased mail restrictions, the Pentagon and USPS is asking people to help through financial contributions, letter-writing and e-mail, purchasing authorized pre-made care packages, or volunteering time through non-profits.  You can go to http://www.ourmilitary.mil and see what you can do.
The holidays in November and December, many military families have children and they need help obtaining toys for their child’s Christmas. Others have need for food and other clothes. With their spouses overseas and lowered income many are in desperate straights. They need sponsors to help these families on a one on one basis and some families are even to proud to ask for help from anyone.
Military families sometimes find that local people may be hesitant to build friendships with them because the locals know the military families will not be living there very long. If military families come through your community, make an effort to get to know them. Your friendship will be greatly appreciated!
Pray for them—and let them know you are praying. Military life adds a lot of extra stress on marriage and family. The fact that you are praying for a family makes a difference, especially when a loved one is sent into harm’s way. They are comforted to know that you are there to support them in any way possible. Let them know you appreciate the sacrifices they make.
If you live in a community near a military installation, your local group can become an important resource for military families. But do they know you exist? Try to make your group as visible as you can. If you have a local newspaper (especially if the military base has one), consider running periodic ads inviting military families to participate in your events.

When any family moves, it is often a blind relocation to a new area. Moving as often as some military families do, it becomes a seemingly endless process of finding resources in their new communities to meet their growing needs. When local families share these inside tips with new military families, it helps them settle into their new homes much quicker.
I think by offering job opportunities to military spouses and really good ones not just working at the local Wal-Mart, or Mall will do it. There are a lot of spouses out here with a good solid education and experience, and still we have no way to showcase our talent.
Write a letter of support to the families, a written personal letter goes along way to say Thank You. Not just verbal that is OK but a written letter of support means so much more in these days where mail is almost non existence. So you can go visit www.bluestarfam.org and click on Operation Appreciation. That is a wonderful program that helps write those letters. Also awards, not just Certifications of Appreciation unless they actually mean something, and there is a ceremony, but actually Department of Defense Awards or Congressional Awards.
Just being Patriotic, fly those American Flags that we fight so hard to defend. Be Proud to be an American. The US Constitution was written for a reason to protect the people and get away from oppressors. I think that it will upset some people, some people take the liberties of living here in the US for granted. There are countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who don’t have a constitution, violate people’s basic human rights, and really don’t care. It seems that some people in the US aren’t proud to be American. Be glad the 1st Amendment is there, because in other places you can get killed for saying some of the things they say.
We take things for granted especially freedom, and when it’s gone it’s gone. I understand war isn’t always the answer but I couldn’t imagine living in a country where I could get killed for not liking the government.

Those are a few things that I think Americans can do to help support.