10th Anniversary Spotlight: Volunteer Anne Stoeckle

Operation Shower Volunteer

A little background about yourself.

My father served in WWII and was in the CIC (Central Intelligence Corps) stationed in Newport News, VA.  I also had an uncle who was a fighter pilot, like President George H W Bush, and was a prisoner of war for awhile. He survived to return to Normandy many years later.

AnneWhen did you first start volunteering with Operation Shower?

  • I first started my volunteering with Operation Shower by raising money for the first shower a group of friends who call ourselves the 41’s First Mates held for the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77.) I had a little shower at my home for friends and asked for donations.  That was around 2010.  The first actual shower I experienced was, I believe, around 2012 at The Travelers Championship in Connecticut.  We not only had a chance to tour a submarine, but had a great dinner at the Admiral’s home and the shower itself was very fulfilling. It was amazing to see the tent on set up day and then again on Shower day!!  The transformation never ceases to amaze me.

Why did you choose Operation Shower as a way of giving back?

To be honest, I wasn’t actively looking for a way to give back, but when I heard about Operation Shower through a good friend, it hit a chord with me because of being a mother of three.  My husband worked long hours, but he was home at night.  I can’t imagine being pregnant, giving birth or being at home with small children without him there and being worried about him at the same time.

What does giving back to military families through Operation Shower mean to you?

I feel fortunate to be able to give back to military families through Operation Shower, even if only through my time and support and thoughts, because those military families give so much of themselves for our country and therefore, me and my family.

What has been one of your favorite memories of volunteering with Operation Shower?

There are so many memories!  The Operation Shower staff and all the volunteers I’ve met have been so genuine and hard working and just nice to be around.  But if I had to pick one from a shower, I guess it would be holding a little baby so a mom could enjoy the lunch at the shower.  She was so thankful and shared that she hadn’t had many real meals since the little one had been born, as he was her second and she was so busy.  It was so eye opening and made me want to help more.  

If you could say one thing to military moms and families, what would it be? 

If I could say one thing to military moms and families it’s that we appreciate all that you do and you are heroes in our eyes.  What you do at home, to make your significant other feel he can go do his job of defending our country, is amazing.

How many showers have you attended?

I believe I have attended 10 showers so far!

Anything additional you would like to add?

I think most volunteers will say the same thing about what we like best, but I’m not sure I can narrow it down to just 1!!!  I’ll have to say, even above holding the babies, I’d say seeing the looks on the mom’s faces when they see the room decorated and then again when they receive their shower in a box and going through all the things. I find when I tell people about what I’m doing and Operation Shower, they think it’s a wonderful thing and the families are so deserving.  Not many have heard about it though, even some reservists I’ve told. So I tell everyone I can think of!!

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