Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors.

A local 501(c)3 non profit organization
Combined Federal Campaign # 23189

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Friday, May 6, 2011

My Mother, My Hero

A photo of my mother and son she sent me during deployment.
**This inspirational Grandmother was chosen from nominations all over the country to visit the White House and have Mother's Day Tea with Michelle Obama.**

 Submitted by a South Florida Army Sgt.
My mother, Helen, has gone above and beyond supporting the Army and myself as a Soldier. She has been a Soldier more than I could say for the past 10 years of my service. Most recently, in June 2009, my unit was preparing for mobilization to Iraq. My mom drove down to help me pack up my apartment (for my second deployment) and all my son's things with it. I had to say goodbye to him in July, and she was there day in and day out to comfort and explain to my 3 year old where I was. She enrolled him in his first daycare, signed him up for gymnastics, and found a new pediatrician for his shots... she even took him to his first dentist appointment. My mom made sure my son stayed busy and never missed out on anything. Because of my schedule in Iraq the best chance to use the phone just so happened to be when she was at work (and my son was at school). My mom would leave work, drive to his school, just so I could hear his voice.   

My son at "Bring your child to work" Day
As my deployment was nearing the end, my mom's house in Ft Payne, AL was hit by a horrendous tornado. By the time she got the warning it was too late to leave her house. She grabbed my son, sister and cousins and tried their best to take cover in the hallway. The tornado took every wall and the entire roof out. My mom had to jump on top of the kids to protect them and in the end was hit by the roof and a washing machine. My mother was rushed to the emergency room to find her C2 and C3 vertebrae in her back were fractured, she had numerous bruises and cuts on her face, and bruised ribs...  the house was completely gone, everything but the floor. My son had nothing but a small scratch on his arm. I wasn't able to get there fast enough from Iraq to protect him but his grandmother certainly rose to the occasion. She has been the best grandmother and mother any Soldier could ask for.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Support to Make It All Possible

Submitted by a Florida Army National Guard Officer

I am a single parent with sole custody of my 14 year old daughter and joint custody of my 9 year old son.  Due to the loving care and dynamic support that my mother has provided over these challenging years, my children remain straight-A students, active in extra-curricular activities and positive in their attitudes and life views.  While those of us in uniform tend to receive a lot of recognition for what we do, our families also serve and make significant sacrifices to enable us to defend our freedom.  We could not do what we do without their patriotism and support.

In early 2003, I received short notice for an imminent mobilization in support of what would become Operation Iraqi Freedom.  My mother quit her job, packed up her belongings and moved from her home in  to my house in to care for my daughter (5 years old).  Though this disrupted my mother's life, she made this sacrifice to minimize disruptions of Ashley's life.  This enabled us to keep Ashley in the same school, same extracurricular activities and to remain close to Ashley's friends.  She took care of Ashley from January 2003 until March 2004.

During my mobilization and deployment to Afghanistan in 2005-2006, she again packed up her belongings and moved into my house and provided primary care from March 2005 to June 2005 to enable Ashley to finish out the school year.  Then she provided back up care to assist my sister who cared for Ashley from June 2005 to May 2006, when my mother again assumed primary care until my return in July 2006.

In 2009, we commenced our pre-mobilization training for another deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom/ Operation New Dawn.  My mother again packed up her belongings, moved out of her house and moved into my house to care for my daughter (12 years old).  She provided care from October 2009 to December 2009 and from January 2010 to December 2010.

Additionally, she consistently provides care for my daughter as well as my son when he is visiting, during my regularly scheduled Active Duty Training weekends, annual training and out of town conferences and meetings.

While I am proud to serve our country, i could not have continued my service all these years as a single parent without the loving support of my family and most especially the support that my mother has gladly provided.  She is a true patriot and a loving grandmother who has sacrificed much over these past years.

A Champion Mother

Read another beautiful nomination of a military mom!

Finally, I have someone to share my story with about my Mother and how she selflessly fell into the role of full time Grandmother during my husband’s deployment and my Basic Combat and Advanced Individual Training for six months.  While my husband had my mother’s full support during the first month of his deployment with endless packages from Ohio, my Mother would later learn her life would change to support not only her Son-In-Law who was deployed in Iraq, but also her Daughter who’d just sworn into the United States Army and on her way to Training.

My mother Odetta, is a Supervisor  at a Blood Center in Ohio.  At 47 years of age with over 20 years on her job and a single mother to my teenage sister at the time, I remembered my mother’s initial shock at my enlisting into the military, and her strong, protective “Bring my grandbabies to me” as her response to my two, five and seven year old moving into her home to spend the next six months with her.

During this period, my mother continued to perform to the highest standard in her career, while supporting my 17 year old sister, and raising her grandchildren. In addition to nurturing and keeping the spirits of my children in the happiest place during the absence of both their parents, she made sure they were enrolled in the best school and daycare never asking for more than she needed. My mother’s unfailing and unwavering commitment to myself and my husband were also apparent with letters from my children, packages, report cards, and even pictures with Santa sent to both Iraq and Fort Jackson, keeping our family’s morale and connection tightly knit during one of the most divided times in our family’s lives. My heart and a silent thank you goes out to the countless number of dedicated grandparents who offered their love and full-time support while their children deployed to serve, protect and defend one of the greatest nations in the world; but what set my mother apart from the rest was her ability to transition quickly from an already stressful and demanding lifestyle to increasing her load with three small children, a deployed son-in-law and daughter in training, all while raising her teenage daughter, supervising at her job and keeping her high blood pressure and diabetes from getting the best of her. My mother is my true champion and for her strength and continued support, I Love her with my whole heart. I owe my overall morale, my children’s happiness and my Military Career to her.
~Florida US Army Specialist

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Saluting the Military Mom

Operation Homefront-Florida is proud to celebrate the military mom.  Through their love, strength and support, military moms provide the foundation for our military force.    This week we want to share a few stories about how military moms have made a difference.  Feel free to share your own story.  Whether you are a mom of a military service member, a mom in a military family or an active duty military mom, we salute you!  Share your story like this one from a Jacksonville Army Officer.

My mother consistently steps up to the plate to take care of my children whenever I am activated. May it be while I was on active duty stationed in Hawaii and had to go out to the field for 30 days or now that I am in the Army National Guard and am set to deploy. She has graciously agreed to relocate from Michigan to Florida to stay with my 6 year old daughter so that her life is a little less disrupted by the absence of her mother and her older brother who will also be leaving for his first year of college this year.