A salute to Military spouses, featuring Alecia Laudisio

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:

Infographic-Miitary Spouses

Infographic-Miitary Spouses

  •  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.
DeploymentDivas.com

DeploymentDivas.com

  • The next blog is Daily Dwelling.  Monica’s entire blog is resourceful, helpful, and great advice.
DailyDwelling.com

DailyDwelling.com

  • 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.
Real Warriors

RealWarriors.net

 

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U.S. Military Statistics as an Inforgraphic

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%
  • Awaiting Homecoming: 31% of Marines, and almost half of the servicemen and women enlisted in the Army, Navy, and Air Force are parents.  (Military One Source; Department of Defense)

 

Military Infographic

Military Infographic

 

Philadelphia Eagles: Salute to Service

Throughout November, the NFL honors Veterans Day with 32 ‘salute to service’ games across the league.  For every point scored during one of these games the NFL donates $100 to the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO, and the Wounded Warrior Project.  The league donated around $800,000 during it’s first year of the program last year.

On November 17th, I was in attendance for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Salute to Service game agains the Washington Redskins.

Me standing with an actual U.S. Army Jeep on the main level of Lincoln Financial Field

Me standing with an actual U.S. Army Jeep on the main level of Lincoln Financial Field

The game began with five military members leading the team onto the field while holding their branch’s flag.  The national Anthem was sung by Generald Wilson, a retired Navy officer.  The Marines Silent Drill Platoon put on an amazing half time show, along with many recognitions and dedications throughout the game.

The Salute to Service was shown at breaks in every play.

The Salute to Service was shown at breaks in every play.

The Marines Silent Drill Platoon during their halftime show.

The Marines Silent Drill Platoon during their halftime show.

Philadelphia is known for their tough and passionate fans, this event was special to me for obvious reasons; yet it touched me due to the amount of respect that was shown for those being honored on this day.  No matter the circumstance, American’s are always proud and grateful for everything our Service women and men do for us.  It was amazing to see a city come together and appreciate what our country has.

The Eagles beat the Redskins 24-16, putting the donations just above $4,000.

 

Maria Brasco shares her experience as a Marine Girlfriend

This week I sat down with Rowan student, Maria Brasco to speak to her on her experience as a Marine Girlfriend.  Maria is 21 and missing her boyfriend, Taj who is currently serving his final deployment as a Marine in Japan.  Maria shared with me the hardships of being away from the person you love, the obstacles they face as a couple, and what helps them going.

Maria and Taj Facetiming via iPhones to keep in touch

Maria and Taj Facetiming via iPhones to keep in touch

Maria Brasco, Rowan Student.

Maria Brasco, Rowan Student.

Maria sending Taj off in South Carolina

Maria sending Taj off in North Carolina

Taj's gift to Maria while deployed in Japan, a Alex and Ani USMC bracelet

Taj’s gift to Maria while deployed in Japan, a Alex and Ani USMC bracelet