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Military Spouse Appreciation Month

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Hey! It's Military Spouse Appreciation Month this month. (Did you know that?) Check out this story about military members and military spouses getting a night of pampering.

The Tampa Tribune
By LENORA LAKE
Published: May 6, 2013

WESTCHASE - Jennifer Sheppard's husband, a master sergeant in the Air Force, was on his way back from a six-month deployment to Qatar.

So the off of a new hairstyle couldn't have been better, said Sheppard who was among about a dozen military spouses and active duty personnel treated to a night of pampering.

For two hours, hair stylist Simone Williams washed, cut, dried and styled Sheppard's long dark hair at the Hair Cuttery at Westchase Shopping Center. The special evening with food, wine and gift bags was sponsored by the salon with assistance of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle chapter of Tampa Bay.

"It was just great; I haven't had time to get a haircut but I made time today," said Sheppard who has been married to Chris Sheppard for 13 years and has two daughters, 12 and 7. Chris Sheppard has been in the military for 17 years and was expected back May 1, just two days after the free hair styling.

Bubbles, a companion company of the Hair Cuttery, offered a similar evening in Washington, D.C., and the local salon and the Tiffany Circle chapter heard about it and planned it here.

"It a good thing to give back and these people (military members and families) are helping us out," said Sarah Zielinski, manager of the shop.

The event also served as a kickoff for Military Spouse Appreciation Month, said Jill Valenti, who started the Tiffany Circle chapter where members give at least $10,000 to the American Red Cross each year.

Read more: The Tampa Tribune

Keywords: military spouse, Military Spouse Appreciation Month

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Be Careful What You Post

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Last month's headlines proved that servicemembers are expected to behave on duty, off duty, in uniform and out, and even on social media.

First, there was the Facebook photo of an airman tongue-kissing a Prisoner of War-Missing in Action symbol, reported by the Army Times Feb. 14.

Then, there was the photo of Soldiers acting silly next to a casket, posted by a Wisconsin National Guardsman on an honors detail and the Intagram “selfie” of a Fort Carson, Colo., Soldier hiding in her car to avoid saluting the flag during retreat (reported by the Army Times Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, respectively).

Those servicemembers are facing investigations because their posts violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

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Sesame Street and USO Tour - Japan and Korea

SesameUSO.jpgYEAH SESAME STREET!  This tour is still going on for those in Japan and Korea.  Could be a great way to spend an afternoon with your family!

 

The tour which begins at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on May 29 and will visit 42 bases in 8 European and Pacific countries over the next six months.  The organizations hope others will be inspired to learn more and suggest these five simple actions everyone can do to support military families:
 
1.        Volunteer at one of the more than 160 USO locations around the world and discover ways you can take action locally.
2.        Offer to help a military family on the home front who live on or off base.  Whether you see that their lawn needs to be mowed or garbage cans taken in, helping with simple household chores and errands can really relieve some of the stress a family may be feeling.
3.        Teach your child how they can help support military kids in their school by visiting uso.org/get-involved.aspx and or Facebook.com/SesameStreetforMilitaryFamilies.
4.        Lend an ear to listen to a military spouse as sometimes just having someone there to vent to or talk to when you may feel all alone can be the greatest support of all.
5.        Say thank you to a military member and their family for their service, sacrifice and strength.  Our troops and their families make sacrifices so we don't have to and those two simple words say so much.
 
“There is nothing that comes close to the feeling you get when you see the smile on a child's face at our Sesame Street shows.  I knew we had something very special the first time I saw the smiles of our military families, and here we are five years later, celebrating a tour that that has traveled the globe three times over and is about to do it again,” said Sloan Gibson, USO President and CEO.  “The USO is proud to be on Capitol Hill celebrating the tour's fifth birthday and assembling care packages for troops overseas.  There is no better way to commemorate such a momentous occasion than IN our nation's capital and WITH our friends at Sesame Street.” 
 
The longest running tour in USO history, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has taken its message to more than 368,000 troops and military families, and performed 631 shows on 145 military installations in 33 states and 11 countries.  In 2011,Sesame Street and the USO introduced a brand new character named Katie – a military child experiencing the stresses of moving as her parents are transferred to a new duty station.  Last year, Katie and her Sesame Street pals visited 67 military bases and performed 204 shows stateside.
 
 “Sesame Street has so much admiration and respect for our military families, we feel privileged to partner with our friends at the USO and be a part of this special USO Care Package event,” said H. Mel Ming, Sesame Workshop President and CEO.  “This is a great way to show our continued support to our service men and women and to celebrate five years of bringing our resources and the Sesame Street/USO Experience to Military Families to installations around the world.”

Operation USO Care Packages contain vital items troops use every day, from prepaid international phone cards and snacks to travel-size toiletries and comfort items.  Designed as a way for America to say 'thank you' to our troops and their families overseas as well as to unite communities, today's Care Packages included a special gratitude card from Cookie Monster as well as a personal note to troops signed by USO Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., Tim Walz, DFL-Minn., Howard (Buck) McKeon, R-Cali., and Adam Smith, D-Wash.
 
Since 2003, the USO has delivered 2.3 million care packages to bring a touch of home and necessities to active duty military serving all over the world.  USO Care Packages are distributed to troops traveling through the USO's more than 160 locations worldwide as well as to troops serving overseas. 
 
Whether on the frontlines, with their loved ones, in recovery or in remembrance, the USO and Sesame Street are adapting to meet the needs of those who need us most.  Operation USO Care Package and The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families are just two of the ways we can help them navigate life's challenges. To learn more Operation USO Care Package visitwww.uso.org/operation-uso-care-package.aspx.  To learn more about the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families or check for the latest tour info visit www.USO.org/Sesame


 

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