Welcome back to Blush & Camo! Today I am so excited to partner with maurices to celebrate Veteran’s Day and share with you my experience in the Army.
I have officially been out of the Army just over two months and I am so thankful and honored I had the ability to serve my country! I know I made the right decision to transition out military, but I find myself missing certain aspects of the Army. Every day I pull lessons from my nine years of military life and apply them today!
In this blog post I want to share with you what I appreciated most about the time in the Army, how I experienced military appreciation while I was in the military and how I experience it now that I am a veteran, and how you can show veteran appreciation throughout the entire year!
Let’s dive into it!
WHAT I APPRECIATED MOST ABOUT THE MILITARY
The number one thing I truly miss the about the military, and appreciate the most, is the camaraderie and the friendships formed; there is nothing like it in the civilian sector.
The relationships you form while you’re deployed overseas, or the training exercises you attend throughout the year, and the overall concept that you have your buddy’s back and they have yours is very unique to the military.
When you are deployed, or are going through a rigorous training cycle, your unit goes through stressful situations. These situations bond a unit and your battle buddies together in a way that is totally unique to the military.
The people I deployed with to Afghanistan four years ago are still my best friends to this day. That experience bonds you for life.
This past year my unit went down to Fort Polk, LA in order to go through a month-long training exercise. During this time, you are sleep deprived, working around the clock, and your buddies see you at your most vulnerable. You have on all your Army gear (it’s heavy), you have face paint on, you’re hungry because the food they feed you isn’t the tastiest (so most people don’t eat it), and you’re living in a field for a few weeks without a shower.
While these are simulated exercise and meant to cause stress on a unit to see how they perform, the situations you go through create bonds with people in your unit you carry with you no matter where life takes you.
While I don’t necessarily miss all those training exercises, I appreciate the friendships and bonds they formed throughout my five years in the Army.
HOW I EXPERIENCE MILITARY APPRECIATION
Now that you know what I appreciated most about the military, I want to share with you how I experienced military appreciation while wearing the uniform and how I experience it now that I am out of the Army.
Acts of kindness were the best way I experienced military appreciation while I was in the Army. The best example of this was when I was deployed. I received so many care packages from people in the United States it was overwhelming!
I got packages from companies who supported our troops and wanted to ensure we had goodies to snack on throughout our time overseas. I also received notes from elementary school kids thanking us for our service. I still have most of those notes to this day because they were so sweet.
There was also a woman who I used to go to the same church, Jilly Bennett, who sent me these elaborate care packages. In these packages she would send holiday decorations, so we could decorate the space we were living in for the holidays, and she would also send over coffee (I’m totally addicted!).
At one point she even sent me a Keurig, so I could make coffee where I lived. To this day I still use that Keurig every morning when I wake up and every time I use it I think of the kindness that went into thinking of our men and women overseas and how generous a gift that was. I will never get rid of it.
Now that I am out of the military the best way I experience military appreciation is when I talk to someone who has a family member, spouse, son/daughter, or previously served themselves and I get to listen to their stories or experiences. This may be a one-minute conversation or a ten-minute conversation, but I love connecting with these people.
HOW CAN YOU SHOW VETERAN APPRECIATION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR?
There are so many different ways you can show veteran appreciation throughout the year! Everyone’s “love” language is different so showing appreciation comes in many different forms. For some people their love language is “Acts of Kindness” so sending over notes or care packages overseas is the best way for them to show veterans appreciation.
Maybe, your love language is “Words of Affirmation” so talking with a veteran or taking time to learn about a veteran’s experience is the best way to show veteran appreciation.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to showing veteran appreciation so long as it comes from the heart.
Thank you to all the men, women, and families who have served or continue to serve today!
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