With the holidays approaching, and my Dad (literally) on his way home for two weeks I can’t help but feel a pit in my stomach for all the other people who don’t get their loved one home over the holiday (my Dad is using an R&R to visit home for the holidays). Through this blog I have been exposed to an entire community that I knew existed but never saw myself being a part of. I am not a military spouse, just a daughter dealing with a year long civilian deployment of my Father. However, between the blog and the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve shared, I know that I am more patriotic than ever and somehow feel connected within a community.
My Military Infographic post was probably one of my favorites, so I’ve decided to recreate it to salute Military spouses. I’ve also interviewed a great girl, Alecia who is struggling to deal with her boyfriend’s absence, and included some of my favorite pieces of advice from the wonderful ladies I follow and share with you on my blogroll.
Here’s a run down of my favorite Military spouse facts:
80% of Military Wives are under the age of 35. The average female age of marriage in the U.S. is 27, in 2011.
5% of Military spouses are men. I love this stat so much. So many times Military spouses are assumed to be women, I just love that there’s a percentage of strong men who are supportive and proud of their wives and the career path they chose for themselves.
3,000+ Military spouses have been widowed since the beginning of the War on Terror in 2001.
85% of Military spouses want/need to work, 26% of them are unemployed. This seems to be the biggest issue in Military spouses. Due to frequent moving, too many obligations with children, and the employer having a larger interest in the soon to be home serviceman or woman, it is very difficult for Military spouses to find work.
Military families move over state lines 2.4 more times than the average American family, that’s two to three times a year.
56% of active duty members are currently married.
900,000 children across America have experienced the deployment of either one, or both parents, multiple times.
In 2011, the divorce rate of all Services’ peaked at only a little over 3.5%, which means Military divorces make up 0.0175% out of the 50% divorce rate in America.
My first recommended blog, and post for that matter is Deployment Divas, Jessica Aycock reviews here her best possible way to coach fellow Military spouses through deployment.
The next blog is Daily Dwelling. Monica’s entire blog is resourceful, helpful, and great advice.
The last blog I’m going to share is Real Warriors. This blog will remind you that no matter the pain your feeling about missing someone you love, what they’re doing is much bigger than how you’re feeling. It’s truly a great blog to learn about great stories and ways to help active duty members and vets.
There are numbers we hear everyday about our troops. How many are coming home, how many have to stay, how many kids will spend Christmas without a parent. In this infographic I’ve created, I narrowed down what I found to be some of the most vital, shocking, and overlooked statistics about the U.S. Military. We hear these numbers all the time, but sometimes we need to see them to really understand them.
Thank Your Veterans: There are currently 22.3 million veterans living in the United States. California takes the number one spot with over 2 million. (Department of Veteran Affairs)
Deployment Overseas: At the height of deployment in the middle east, over 300,000 soldiers were overseas. Deployments have ranged from a high of over 1 million, to a low of only 200,000 in 1999. (The Heritage Foundation)
Where they’ve been: There are roughly 200 countries in the world. 50 of them have been a home at one point to over 1,000 of our brave men and women. (World Atlas)
Who are they: As if enlisting and shipping out isn’t brave enough, servicewomen take it a step further facing a 7:1 ratio. Girl power. (United States Census)
At Your Service: Currently deployed, the U.S. Army takes the lead at 39%. Air Force 24%, Navy 23%, Marine Corps 14%
Fall is among us and the holidays are just around the corner. I’m lucky enough to have December to look forward to since I will have my Dad home for almost two weeks. Most people with loved ones deployed are not as fortunate as I am this Christmas. A great way to help make your loved one feel as if they’re getting to spend a little bit of the upcoming seasons with you is to make fun, creative and personal care packages. I’ve compiled some of my favorite seasonal how-to care packages for some inspirational ideas to bring you closer to the one you miss.
Next up is Thanksgiving! Married to the Army has compiled a list for all kinds of care package occasions. I especially love her thanksgiving ideas including canned turkey, instant mashed potato cups, and hostess apple pies. As military families, we’re thankful everyday, do a little bit more by making your loved one feel appreciated on thanksgiving by sending them a list of what makes you so thankful for them.
Christmas is where you can get the most creative. Sharing old family photos, or your favorite Christmas together is a great idea for bringing your loved one back to that memory, and letting them know that they’ll be home making new ones soon. Deployment Diva has tons of ideas for not only Christmas care packages but almost every kind you can think of. Deployment Diva included a mini stocking filled with small candies, santa slingshots, and even tree scented sticks to give the deployed the feeling of Christmas morning while being away.
I hope some of these ideas work for you and help you cope a little bit better as the holidays approach us. I know I will be sending my Dad one before he gets home, I just have to come up with my own idea because chances are he already read this before it arrives! Check back soon to see what I come up with for my original care package.