Tag Archives: military families

Sesame Street is 40 and Helping Military Families Handle Military Life

One of the most beloved television shows from my childhood turned 40 today: Sesame Street.

But my post is not to celebrate the joy they brought to my childhood, but the work done through the show’s success in support of military families.

Sesame Street Family Connections is a networking website for families to talk, and connect with each other through communication. The children can post artwork they’ve created, and the parents can share stories of their families’ experiences.

One important feature of the website is the Talk Listen Connect section where videos featuring Sesame Street characters talk to children about how to handle when a parent is away on a deployment, how to handle family reunions post-deployment, and how to return to normal family life when a family member returns with an injury. There is a section for adults on how to talk to their children about issues in military families, and the website provides additional resources for the parents.

In September 2009, the Sesame Street Family Connections joined the USO on a tour to the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Alaska, and Hawaii giving a free show to military children and families as part of their Talk Listen Connect program. The tour schedule is available on the USO’s website.

On the show itself, Sesame Street has featured two specials, “When Parents Are Deployed,” which aired in 2006, and “Coming Home: Military Families Cope With Change,” which aired in April 2009.

Over their 40 years Sesame Street has helped children with potty training, learning to read and count, and I think it’s fantastic they are using their popularity among children to help them through times they might not fully understand when a family member goes away on deployment.

Has anyone seen one of the Sesame Street Family Connections/USO shows?

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Miller Lite Supports Operation Homefront

Two of my favorite things came together: Miller Lite and supporting the troops.

Banner ad from Operation Homefronts website linking to Miller Lites website

Banner ad from Operation Homefront's website linking to Miller Lite's website

Miller Lite donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront, according to Reuters, in early October as the beginning of a Veterans Day promotion in partnership with Kurt Busch and the #2 Miller Lite NASCAR stock car.

Operation Homefront, according to their website, “provides emergency and morale assistance for our troops, the families they leave behind and for wounded warriors when they return home.” They are a non-profit organization that functions through the efforts of over 4,500 volunteers in 30 chapters nationwide.

Miller Lite is urging people to donate $5 to Operation Homefront through sending a text message to 90999 with the word TROOPS.

It’s an easy way to donate money to a very good cause.

I donated, will you?

What does everyone think of Miller Lite supporting the troops?

Getting to know: Real Life As a Marine Wife Part 2

You’ve been posting a lot recently about the Homeowners’ Assistance Program, have there been other issues you’ve been as passionate about in the past that received a lot of posts?

The Homeowners’ Assistance Program was the one that really set me off, that wasn’t just a personal gripe but affected a huge number of people. Most of the other service-related irritants I’ve learned to deal with, or laugh through, during the last 19 years. Now that I have something of an audience, I think a lot of things I’ve gotten used to will be addressed, for the benefit of those who haven’t been doing this for 19 years and haven’t gotten used to it.

What current issue (other than the Homeowners’ Assistance Program) do you believe needs immediate action from the government?

Purple Heart medals for traumatic brain injuries, fewer deployments and longer stretches at home between deployments.

Do you feel veterans are receiving the respect and treatment they deserve from the country they fought for?

Hell no.  Because the media sanitizes everything, America has very little idea of what military life is  really like, and consequently has little motivation to support and continue to support the troops. America needs to be outraged to action, like it was after 9/11, and instead it’s largely oblivious and indifferent.

Look for Part 2 & 3 to come, but in the mean time read Part 1, and Tracy’s blog , Real Life as a Marine Wife.

Getting to know: Real Life As a Marine Wife Part 1

Tracy Moulton Peterson is the author of Real Life As a Marine Wife, a blog who’s headline describes it as:

Active-duty officer’s spouse tells the truth, without sugar-coating or censoring. What it’s really like in the all-volunteer Marine Corps these days for one family.

I have been reading Tracy’s blog and on October 2, 2009, Tracy promoted It’s a Veteran’s World on her blog. I got the chance to talk with Tracy via e-mail and this post is 1 of 3 to result.

How long have you been involved in military life, and what is your/your family’s background?

I enlisted in the Air Force in 1990. My first (failed) marriage was to an enlisted Marine.  My husband of 10 years is a Marine officer. Apparently I’m a sucker for the uniform.

What advice would you give to new military wives/girlfriends?

1) Don’t have children right away. Wait  a few years, a deployment, and a PCS move, so you know if you can handle the hardships of military life yourself, before you try to handle them with a child or two. A baby complicates your already-complicated life to a degree you can’t imagine.

2) Find a shoulder to cry on when you need to, and then continue to march.

3) Go to school, start and/or finish your college degree, get a job. It’s essential to have your own “thing.” Keep up with current events, read the newspaper. When things go wrong in the world, it can (and often does) end up affecting you.

How do you feel the Marine Corps varies from other branches of the armed forces?

I think Marines have more discipline than soldiers, sailors, and airmen. They certainly have to work a lot harder to attain the title, and they truly are the few and the proud. Marine for Life/Once A Marine, Always A Marine is true.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 to come in the future. In the meantime, read Tracy’s blog at Real Life as a Marine Wife

War fought overseas is still an issue in America, right?

This afternoon in my Mass Media and Society we were split into groups and instructed to think of issues in this country and rank them in order of importance.

I added the War in Afghanistan and Iraq as a major issue in this country. One of my group members held her nose high in the air and responded “how is the War in Afghanistan an issue in America?”

“How is it not?” was my immediate response. The words came out of my mouth before I even had a second to think before I spoke.

But seriously, how can someone be so ignorant to the impact the war is having on this country? The country is digging themselves deeper and deeper in debt funding the war, and I guarantee the families of soldiers will not agree with my classmate’s point-of-view. If anyone does, I’d love hearing your perspective.

To military families (past, present and future)….thoughts on this debate?