"Everyone can do something," is the new battle cry from Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, who are kicking off a nationwide initiative, "Joining Forces." The hope is that America will step in and help military families by closing the gap of sacrifice and giving in any area of need in appreciation for their service.
There have been more than a few occasions where people have told me as a mother of military men, "Tell your sons we appreciate their service." Tears rolled down my eyes as I walked through the airport on one of my son's first leaves, while I watched people thank him for his service. One parent allowed her daughter to come up and shake his hand, it was so precious.
But Obama and Biden are asking for more. They are asking for help with lawn mowing, snow shoveling, carpooling, and any other need. They are educating so teachers can see the signs in children impacted by all the separations and stress.
The truth is less than one percent of U.S. adults do most of the fighting in our wars and only one percent serve in the nation's military branches. This means that many in the military must serve on multiple deployments which have led to long separations from family, high stress levels, and much higher divorce rates and suicides.
On the heels of the recent tragedy in Washington State where a 5-year old son was murdered, followed by a murder-suicide involving his mom and dad, this initiative is too late. But hopefully it will help families now and in the future so we may never experience these statistics again.
Joining Forces: http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces/
Tacoma News Tribune's "Doing more for military families": http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/04/16