NMFA Operation Purple Camps

So last year I had the opportunity to attend two Operation Purple Summer camps in NC, one in Hendersonville (way past Charlotte, in the Mountains) and one in Halifax NC (close to the VA border). Both camps were totally different experiences but we all had a WONDERFUL TIME! On the days I attended both were a salute to the military. It was so amazing to see these children having a great time getting their minds off their parents deployments just being kids. They also had the military one source counselors there and helped the children if they need to talk. They were from all different branches too, not just one. Some kids had attended the previous year so they were excited to see their friends.

In Hendersonville Camp Tekoa, it was hidden away in the mountains, it was a traditional camp with cabins, full of nature, green trees, a zip line, a river. Almost pristine I loved it there the kids were from all over the eastern seaboard as far away as VA, TN, and FL. The camp director had the schedule packed full of exciting trips, white water rafting, making a living circle, cooking, horse back riding anything you think of they did it!

In Halifax it was a 4H camp site it was a little different but it was still fun.  The camp was in a old historic school building, they had day trips planned every day of the week. The day I was there was Military Day, they had static displays of military vehicles, a helicopter landing, big trucks the Army Corp of Engineers, and the children were still from all over NC, SC and VA. They all got along so well together. Still I had lunch with them, a lunch the older teen kids made (sloppy joes) it was great!

When you hear “Operation Purple camp” you should think: Kids Serve Too! The National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple camps are a time for having fun, making friends, and reminding military kids that they are the Nation’s youngest heroes.

The Operation Purple program was created in 2004 to fill a need identified by military parents to “help us help our kids.” The mission of the Operation Purple program is to empower military children and their families to develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships, in spite of the current military environment. We do this through a variety of means, including the healing and holistic aspect of the natural world. The program is joint or “purple”—encompassing all Service branches, including the National Guard and Reserve.
In the 2004 Operation Purple pilot season, the National Military Family Association was able to implement 12 different Operation Purple camps serving close to 1,000 children. Since then the Operation Purple program has grown and expanded and by summer’s end close to 40,000 military children and teens will have been served. The Operation Purple program also includes camps for teens, family retreats at the national parks, and camps geared to address the needs of children and families of our nations wounded service members.

Donations for Operation Purple camps are now supporting our 2011 camps. Please direct donation questions to donations@militaryfamily.org.

So I know I have talked about Careers before but…

Ok so you all know for about a month now there has been a hiring freeze in the Federal Government. Or maybe you didn’t know, there is a HIRING FREEZE in the Federal Government. I am working in the federal government as an intern, and looking for a job when I graduate.

Which is terrible for me because I am looking for a job not necessary a job but a career. When I was in my early 20s I decided to take the family route, instead of pursuing my career. It wasn’t a hard decision, I met my husband, I fell head over heels in love with him and was like we can make anything work, just as long as we have each other! HA HA so not saying I regret that decision, I should have not waited so long to go back to graduate school.

Here I am in my early 30s and I am at this road again in my life, where I am about to graduate with no job perspectives what so ever! NONE, for one the hiring freeze is severely affecting my ability to get a job. (2) Not having a competitive criteria in the federal hiring is another, I can be qualified out the wazoo but if I don’t have a special appointing authority (already in the system, a milspouse with EX orders 13473 or 12721, it won’t help me a spouse who has been stationed at Bragg since 2006, a veteran, or disabled veteran) I can’t get a job.

There are no jobs even in Fayetteville, and I am back to where I started 10 years ago, at square one, which makes me think I am the smartest un-employed person ever. Now I can get volunteer positions, but a paying position uhhh…no one wants to pay me a salary! Go figure I don’t even ask for insurance or benefits I ask for just a salary..

How a simple thank you can turn your day around

So today I think I was having a bad day it didn’t get that way all of a sudden but it just kind of happened. There are a lot of activities I am invovled with in Cumberland County and Fayetteville. However it has come to my attention, if you don’t know the right people or rub elbows with the right people your work rarely gets noticed. There are people who do things and are press hounds and only want to do things if they are going to get something out of it. Then there are people who just do things to make that area of life better.

I wanted to blog about a few letters that I received a few days ago. The word Thank You goes along way. I have received numerous thank yous and handshakes from several people around NC congradulating me on being named 2011 Army Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse Magazine.

However I was checking my post office box and I received a letter from NC State Senator, Dr. Eric Mansfield from Senate 21 District. I was really blown away by the personal and touching letter, Dr. Mansfield wrote to me acknowledging how much I have accomplished for military families as well as Cumberland County NC. He acknowledged my time and commitment to my family as well as others in the military and civilian communities, that letter really brightened up my day because I was having a terrible day.

The other letter was from the editor of DefensePolicy.org, that letter just blew me away. I never knew how much my voice meant to people, and yes I have put my personal struggles on the line and talked about them and how they affect me. I am a passionate advocate for military family policy. This is my passion, I am not employed by any organization that deals with military family issues.

So I want to say THANK YOU to all the military advocates, and military spouses out there who are helping make life better.