Happy Thursday and Happy National Veterans and Military Families Month! Every November we honor and recognize military families and the sacrifices they make to support their service members. Interested in learning more? Click here
In last week’s Thursday Three, we shared details about a special partnership between MFAN and Kendra Scott (and how that means you can shop for gorgeous jewelry and help MFAN fight food insecurity at the same time). Those dates have changed, but this fantastic opportunity (and what it means for the work MFAN does) have not. Here’s what you need to know:
- November 16th and 17th (mark those calendars)
- Shop online or in-store and 20% of your purchase will help MFAN combat military family food insecurity in Texas!
- Enter the code “GIVEBACK-001A” in your cart or at checkout online or mention it at participating Kendra Scott locations in Texas.
Next week, on November 11th, we’ll celebrate Veterans Day. And while we highlight some benefits available in recognition of veterans below, you should also know that effective Veterans’ Day, veterans and Gold Star families will be able to access national parks, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands for free! (If you’re active-duty or Guard/Reserve, you already have access to this benefit.) Interested in enjoying some of our nation’s most beautiful places? Click here
Finally, we’d like to give a shout out to our National Guard. We’ve asked a lot of them this year between responding to COVID-19, providing their usual response to state emergencies like natural disasters, and election support
. They’ve been tasked with providing physical security, ensuring cybersecurity is intact, and even processing votes, this week. Did you know the National Guard has been protecting the vote since the 1830s? Learn more here
Here’s what we’re hearing about this week:
Photo by Sydney Sims, Unsplash.com
COVID-19 and military domestic violence
According to the head of the Pentagon’s Office of Military Family Readiness Policy, Carolyn S. Stevens, domestic violence reports
have not increased within the military services during the pandemic. She reports that the numbers are consistent with those of a year ago.
But a New England Journal of Medicine article suggests that the issue may be more a matter of victims, under COVID restrictions, being unable to report problems.
While we don’t currently know for sure what effect COVID-19 has really had on the frequency of domestic violence among military families, the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy is working to reduce domestic violence among military families and to better prepare first responders to handle it. For example, many services are now available for families to connect virtually. And new training has been developed that helps first responders be more sensitive to and aware of the potential factors at play.
Intimate partner violence is an issue that MFAN has explored in its biennial Military Family Support Programming Survey. To learn more about our findings, click here
Photo by Anh Nguyen, Unsplash.com
High stress and self care
This has been a particularly high-stress time for folks across the country. Regardless of your political beliefs, election season – coupled with a sustained global health emergency – has most of us feeling the strain.
Psychology Today offers some helpful tips
for small choices that can bring calm to stressful times.
And Fisher House CEO, Ken Fisher, reminds us all of the importance of mental health
, particularly during a global pandemic, and that we need to have “challenging conversation[s] around mental health and suicide prevention for all Americans – but especially our veterans who may be nursing invisible wounds of war.”
He asserts that it takes a community to fight this fight and MFAN agrees. We’re honored to be part of that community and remain committed to working to make sure our service members, veterans, and their families, have the support and resources they need to not only survive, but thrive.
Photo by Chad Montano, Unsplash.com
Veterans Day is next Wednesday and with it, ample opportunities for veterans to take advantage of a myriad of discounts and deals. And while we know that’s not what this day is really about – we’ve never said no to a free taco.
You can find lists of freebies and discounts here
. But we recommend you keep a couple of things in mind:
- With restrictions on dine-in in some parts of the country due to COVID-19, make sure you read any fine print about whether benefits are for eat-in or take-out before planning to take advantage of a deal.
- There are lots of places keeping a running tally of available Veterans Day discounts – so Google to your heart’s content if you’ve got a certain restaurant or place of business you’re interested in frequenting.
- If you don’t see a discount offered, it never hurts to ask. The answer is “no” 100% of the time that you don’t ask, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Most importantly, from our MFAN family to yours, we extend our profound gratitude to all who have served in our nation’s armed forces. We don’t have tacos to share, but you have our sustained commitment to working on your behalf.