The wonderful help of 'Our Military Kids'
Last weekend I went with my son's Boy Scout troop on a canoe trip. Along with hanging out with my son, it was nice to enjoy the company of some adults outside of work. We ended up getting cold & soaked, enough so that I ended up sick as a dog most of this week. Not a good thing when you've got to be there to keep things going.
The military is always sending me and the other home side spouses all this information about the different programs and benefits available to us both through the government and also through the private sector. The rule seems to be that if there's a program through the government it's either a huge hassle, has little or no value, or you don't qualify.
There's a private non-profit organization called Our Military Kids that offers grants to the children of the deployed to pay for tutoring, summer camps, karate or dance lessons, or whatever activities a kid might be interested in. It's about as hassle free as you could imagine. I just submitted some basic paperwork and they cut a check to the Girl Scouts for my daughter's camp this summer. They also send out certificates of appreciation to the kids for their sacrifice - a nice touch so thanks to them!
Communication with Judy is still spotty. In fact, I just read her blog to find out what she was up to. She really excels in the challenges of her mission and finds it to be quite rewarding. You won't find a more committed or harder working gal anywhere. She always has loved the adventure of traveling and exploring foreign cultures, helping people any way she can. As for me, it's off to the store to buy underwear & shorts for the kids.
-- Phil Basinski, on the home front