I attended the first Military Families Speak Out Conference on October 2 in Long Beach, California.
I was unaware what this organization had to offer military families. Their focus is on peaceful measures and supporting their military loved ones.
The conference presenters shared what military families can do with reconnecting military person back into society, having been discharged from the military. Many of those returning into our society are not prepared for civilian life, and especially with our economy challenges.
From what I understand when you are military discharged you are so excited that you don’t think much of what the military can offer in education, medical, and preparation back into society. And for those facing physical or mental challenges, there are total confidential organizations that have no connection to our military. One of those organizations is Soldiers Project. I had a chance to speak to the founder- Judith Broder M.D. psychiatrist about those hidden wounds of war. She has over 400 therapist helping our servicemen, service woman and their families heal. Most military personal experience have a problem connecting with their new living conditions. And who wouldn’t from being in a severe life threatening environment and now facing our society issues, which can seem pretty silly.
I learned that their are so many challenges families face with returning combat vets. We dealt with our daughter returning and we did have some challenges, but we were thankful our issues were minor. But I was so glad to hear how private organizations have formed to help these Vets.
This is were we have learned to acknowledge that deployments can have many issues for so many.
The Military Family Speak Out (MFSO)Conference is Oct 1-3 in Long Beach, CA.
I will be attending and offering my book-
Deployed Grandparents being Parents. I have been asked by the MFSO to present a speech of my story of what happened when our daughter deployed and we became the guardians to our granddaughters.
The MFSO feels grandparents are a crucial part of the family coping with deployment , keeping the family balanced, and helping the family reconnect after deployment.
This is a relatively new organization, voicing their concern about war, supporting our military, supporting the family members with all the issues of deployment.
They offer the resources of professionals to help those families to better understand the military mind set when that family member returns from their Tour of Duty. This is one of the most challenging parts of deployment. And if there are physical challenges when returning, MFSO has support groups and medical professionals to help those families to adjust.
I am honored to be able to present on Saturday to other military families and learn about resources that I can share with others.
We were all exhausted from driving from Arizona to California. We unpacked the truck with all the clothes and toys my granddaughters wanted to bring with them. They were excited to have their own rooms, unlike sharing the bedroom at home.
After dinner I gave them a bath and the six year old said to me “Grandma should I call you mommy?” My heart sunk. Was she thinking her mother would not return? Or was she confused since I will be raising her? And that made be think I hope not, I still want to be the grandmother.
My response was “ No, you can still call me grandma even though your mommy is away.” She smiled at me.
This will always stick in my mind.