Meet Linda and family. Daddy wasn’t able to be there for the birth, but did get to Skype. And, best news? He got to be home 4 days later! (And can we talk about that shirt big brother is wearing? Best hug ever.)
Tell us a little bit about your self. Is this your first pregnancy? Where do you live, what do you do?
This is my third pregnancy, second child. My first child was born while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. We currently live in Oxnard, CA. I work for the DoD as a civilian.
How did you hear about Operation Shower?
I heard about Operation Shower from my Command Ombudsmen. They let me know that there was a great program for military spouses and they recommended I sign up since my husband is currently deployed to Cambodia.
How has being a part of Operation Shower impacted your pregnancy?
Being a part of Operation Shower boosted my morale tremendously. After giving birth to my first son, my husband and I wanted to make sure he would be home for the next. But the military is constantly changing and that wasn’t possible this time either. To be a part of Operation Shower and see 1.) that I’m not alone in being alone and 2.) others who are not military came together to shower us with gratitude, support and love while our service members are away was overwhelmingly remarkable. I’d say that being part of Operation Shower has made me hold my head higher and remind me that while my situation is not ideal there is still a great deal to be proud of; not just what my service member sacrifices for others but what the family is able to endure to support that member. It was so amazing to see others appreciate, understand, and support us in our efforts.
What are your words of wisdom or advice for other military moms-to-be?
My advice would be to stay focused and stay busy. Keep a routine. It helps pass the time and will make things easier when your husband comes home.
What are some of the most impactful ways that others can give back to the nations’ service families?
I was the President of my husband’s command’s Family Readiness Group. It’s a non-profit that try’s to incorporate morale building, informational and care-taking events to support the families while our service members are deployed. They hold monthly meetings for information and togetherness, we deliver homemade meals and handmade blankets to those in the command who have had a baby while their service member is away and Socials such as Sunday Sundae Parties. We tried to focus on the kids as an individual group, the adults as an individual group and the families as a whole. Each month we would put together a kids event, like a craft that would be sent to the service member; an adult only event such as Candy Making or just a bring your favorite dessert night; and a family event such as Trunk or Treating, where we had a family movie, games, crafts, a trunk decorating contest, a costume parade and of course, trunk or treating.
These Family Readiness Groups are constantly hurting for funding or support by way of donations of goods or services to support the families with these types of events while their service member is gone. They are run by military spouses and usually those that put the events together, don’t really get to enjoy them because they are making sure others are enjoying themselves.
Anything that can aid in building the morale of the families can seriously impact our nations’ service families. Just like Operation Shower!
Anything else you want to share with us about your experience being a military spouse or with Operation Shower?
A great BIG THANK YOU!!