Military Families Month: Creating a culture of support

“I encourage all communities, all sectors of society, and all Americans to acknowledge and honor the service, sacrifices, and contributions of veterans and military families for what they have done and for what they do every day to support our great Nation.” – President Donald J. Trump

Written by Lisa Johnson, Coast Guard Family Support Services Program Manager

Each year, the president proclaims November as Military Families Month. Our Coast Guard families are made up of many military families. In my division alone, we have active duty members, civilians who have had prior military service, military spouses, “military brats,” who are children of those who have served,  and even military members whose children have also taken the oath to serve.

As we close this month of thanks, here are some simple ways to show gratitude to the many individuals sitting beside us or living within our communities:

• Say “Thank You” – In person and on social media sites.

• Send a Hand-Written Card – Forgo the email or text and go the way of snail mail. It will show you are truly appreciative.

• Perform An Anonymous Random Act of Kindness – Drop off a small care package.

• A Little Manual Labor – Mow the yard or shovel snow from a driveway for a military family, especially if the member is deployed.

• Support your Local Service Organization – It can be as simple as volunteering, joining, or grabbing a family meal to support. The stories and history can be very rewarding to both you and the veteran families.

Another way to convey gratitude is to create a culture of support, by ensuring families are made aware of and are encouraged to take advantage of the many individual and family support programs available to them, including chaplains, Morale, Well-being, and Recreation (MWR) programs, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA), CG SUPRT, and Health, Safety and Work-Life programs (HSWL).

For tech-savvy folks, there is a mobile app featuring information on the many quality of life resources available for Coast Guard military and civilian personnel, family members, and retirees. The app also provides general information on the Coast Guard, enables access to Coast Guard videos through YouTube (Wi-Fi recommended), and enables access to the Coast Guard Facebook and blog feeds. You can also find a unit ombudsman using the “Ombudsman Locator” feature.

The Office of Work-Life Programs: HSWL Mobile App is available in the Apple App Store; just search for USCG HSWL. The Android version is available through Google Play.

For additional information or resources, call 800-872-4957 to locate the Work-Life staff at your Health, Safety and Work-Life Regional Practice.


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