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NPS Recognizes National Military Family Appreciation Month

Article By: MC2 Danica M. Sirmans

November is National Military Family Appreciation Month (NMFAM).  For one month out of the year, the Department of Defense recognizes the families of the men and women who have stepped forward to serve our country.  But for the Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program, the appreciation is year-round.

NMFAM, first established in 1993, honors the five million Americans that are part of today’s military family. Two million of those family members are children, and on average move six to nine times between kindergarten and high school.

Spouses and partners adjust with long periods without their significant others, whether that be through new routines and schedules in order to effectively parent, or managing the household alone. Children deal with a lot of uncertainty and may not understand why their parent is leaving or why they need to take on new responsibilities or roles during their parent’s deployment. These challenges create a great deal of stress and require increased strength and resiliency on behalf of the entire family.

President Barack Obama offers his remarks during a 2013 address.

"Our nation owes each day of security and freedom that we enjoy to the members of our Armed Forces and their families,” said Obama. “Behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support."

Naval Support Activity Monterey MWR Community Activities Coordinator Lindsay Carver has worked for Monterey’s local MWR for a little over two years.  She helps support annual family-oriented events like the Daddy-Daughter Dance and Halloween Fright Night.

The Teddy Bear Tea, Dec. 7, welcomed military and DOD civilian families in celebration of the holidays. With assorted beverages, cookies and entertainment, children were invited to have their picture taken with Santa for their holiday greeting cards.

 A family attends Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Teddy Bear Tea in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom, Dec. 7.

Carver enjoys hosting events that foster and celebrate family values.

“Whether it’s Fleet and Family, the Child Development Center, or Information Tickets and Tours, our number one priority is the well being of the service members and their families and we do everything we can to make their time here as enjoyable as possible,” Carver said.

In additional to seasonal, holiday events, MWR honors military and their families year-round with opportunities like “Movies on the Lawn” in La Mesa Housing with bounce houses, face painters and balloon twisters.

For more information on local events and military family services, visit NSA Monterey Community Support Programs online at http://navylifesw.com/monterey/.

Posted December 18, 2014

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