When I was notified that I had been selected to attend the White House Community Leaders briefing , my first thought was- “My wish is coming true!”
I have been wishing to share with our government how we can better help our military families experiencing deployments and returning home for sometime . I faced so many challenges at that time when my daughter was deployed and I knew other families must have faced the same issues, also.
White House administration for the first time in history has opened up their doors. They have selected community leaders to share how they are improving their communities and in hopes of bridging government services to better serve our people. I was selected because of my work in educating our military families on deployment and reintegration. And will be attending this briefing with the White House administration on August 12. It is an all day event.
I was informed by the White House Administration prior to my visit, to select one of the four departments to speak to -Small Business, Environment, Health Care /Human Services or Dept. of Education. I selected the Department of Education. I think informing the school administration on how to better understand and help the children of military families. More than half of our military families are living in communities and do not live on military base.
I began to think back about the time when our granddaughters came to live with us during our daughter’s deployment. And the challenges I faced- changing my entire lifestyle, dealing with concerns for our daughter’s safety, the lack of communication, being a parent again,enrolling children in a new school, trying to find after school care( which I was unsuccessful due to limited space and being mid year), I had no support due to our location, and experienced many mixed emotions or being a parent, again.
Military families need help with many issues they face during deployment. So many of our families are on our own, trying to do the best job they can while their loved one is away.
I thought , wouldn’t it have been nice if I would have known where to get help. Have all the resources at my fingertips when my daughter was deployed? I would have loved to have had an after school care, homework helpers, babysitters -I could afford. Having other deployed children for my granddaughters to connect to, knowing what deployment was like. And maybe, a network of other families in the same situation.
So now, here is my chance and I can’t wait to speak!
Want to share your story or do you have an idea on how to help other military families you would like to me share with the White House? I would love to hear from you.
Send me your comments.