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Posts Tagged ‘Military life’

Every Mother’s Day, I take a moment to look at my life and reflect on how great it is. It’s been over 15 years since I lost my leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq and I can honestly say my life is better now than it has ever been. I am a proud mother, wife, Veteran, elite athlete and motivational speaker. F46181FD-8D91-491A-B0F6-C34D4B1791CF

Being a mom is my favorite. It’s both the best and the hardest job and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s hard not to tear up a little when I think about the love I have for my kids.

My happiest moments and best days are when I’m with my family; playing, walking, dancing or doing anything as long as we are together. I often think about the sacrifice that military families make due to service to our country. Deployments, relocations, training exercise.  All of these mean missed time with family members.

I would not be where I am today, without the support system I had to get me through the transitions I had in life. From a military spouse, to losing my leg, being medically retired from the Army and a new mom. I was so grateful to have organizations out there to help me when I needed them along with my support team of my family and friends. I’ve learned from experience, that us moms need all the help we can get!

I believe that moms are the heart and soul of the family, (dads are pretty important too!)  from the day we know that little one is in our belly! There is a special bond between moms, as if we can give each other a ‘we’ve got this’ head nod as we walk by with our strollers and sometimes screaming kids. We are, after all, all in this together. We have the strength, resilience, to push through whatever comes our way.

My children give me the motivation to dream big and I hope that one day they will have big dreams of their own. I will always be their biggest cheerleader.    45774282-7C31-45CE-8AA0-F79B6AB5D1E2

Coming up on May 19th, I have the opportunity to meet some expecting military moms (and new moms as well) at the Operation Homefront Star Spangled Baby Shower event in Colorado Springs. I cannot wait to meet you all.

So, to all the moms and the soon-to-be moms out there – cherish this day and love on those little, or not so little ones, in your life. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day! #Mission2Honor  #MilitaryMoms.
Melissa Stockwell
1LT, Ret.
Proud mom of 2

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The Start Strong, Stay Strong campaign offers military moms a network of support – online and in commissaries and exchanges around the world – so they may connect with their communities, explore local events and discover motivational stories. Whether they are welcoming a new child into the home, managing day-to-day household needs through relocations, adjusting to family life with a wounded veteran, or settling into new schools and communities, P&G and Operation Homefront are here to help military moms start strong and stay strong throughout their service to our country.
Through the online community, StartStrongPG.com, military moms can access the information they need wherever they live, all year long. They will discover things to do, find local resources in their community, unlock savings, explore an online marketplace, and much more.

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Bret Michaels pops in to meet and greet the kids before the gala.

Bret Michaels pops in to meet and greet the kids before the gala.

On a night fit for a rock star, the 2014 Military Child of the Year (MCOY) gala lived up to its billing last week as the “preeminent recognition event for military kids,” in the words of president and CEO Jim Knotts. More than 300 loyal fans gathered to celebrate and honor five truly outstanding young Americans who understand what it means “to serve,” at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

 

With more than 2 million military kids today – who all serve their country as an extension of their parents – it’s incredibly difficult to select just five honorees. However, when you consider the level of achievement, selfless service to others, as well as future goals and aspirations, there’s no doubt that these kids stack up to any group of young people across America!

 

 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey joined us for the third year in a row.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey joined us for the third year in a row.

MCOY wouldn’t be what it is today without the literally “uniform” support of our nation’s senior most military leadership. Back for the third straight year, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey set a tone and an example modeled by the other service chiefs and senior leaders in attendance. “We can’t settle for mediocrity…the kids here tonight will not accept mediocrity and will make a difference in the world,” General Dempsey told the audience when acknowledging a common question he faces about whether the country is advancing or declining.

 

Legendary musician Bret Michaels and General Dempsey surprised and delighted the audience with an impromptu duet.

Legendary musician Bret Michaels and General Dempsey surprised and delighted the audience with an impromptu duet.

General Dempsey proved once again this year that he can set tone through more than stature and presence alone – and treated everyone to a rendition of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” – but with a twist. Recognizing the star power available to him in the audience, General Dempsey sought out the keynote speaker for the evening, legendary rocker and philanthropist Bret Michaels, to join him on stage. While there aren’t any plans in place for them to go on tour – yet – there’s no doubt that together they injected an unprecedented level of energy into an already high power evening.

 

For Michaels, his opportunity to deliver remarks as the keynote was an expression of his thanks for the sacrifices made by those in the military and their families. As a military kid himself, he stood in awe of the achievements of the honorees. “I get to play music the way I want to do it, I get to look the way I want to look and it’s all because of the sacrifice you made,” Michaels said to the honorees, their parents, and those veterans and service members in the audience. “I want to congratulate [them] on their fight in overcoming adversity [and] taking a chance to make some great opportunities.”

 

Fox News correspondent Mike Emanuel brought polish and authenticity to an already memorable evening .

Fox News correspondent Mike Emanuel brought polish and authenticity to an already memorable evening .

FOX News Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel did a masterful job as emcee for the evening, adeptly moving between each senior military award presenter and guest, with the perfect balance of humor and genuine expression of gratitude for military service writ large.

 

Congratulations again to all the recipients. Read more about the award winners here. Click here to view a full display of photographs from the event.

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