THE MILITARY MUSEUM’S CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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The Holiday season can be particularly difficult for military personnel and their families who are separated by deployment or simply struggling financially. The stress and hardship of deployment can create an incredibly lonesome holiday setting for both personnel abroad and their families holding the fort at home. In addition, many families who are blessed and able to spend the holiday together can experience hardships with the added financial burden that Christmas brings to many each year.
Christmas has deep roots in our nation’s sense of tradition and celebration. When combined with military efforts, there is a strong presence of strength, unity, and cheer that permeates all American families, unifying both military and non-military families with an awareness of the spirit of giving and hope.
U.S. Troops Serving Overseas This Christmas
Service members serve on all seven continents — there is one service member in Antarctica — and on all the seas. Military personnel serve in more than 170 countries.
Service members deployed around the world during Christmas:
- 5,200 in Iraq
- 2,000 in Syria
- 28,000 in South Korea
- 60,000 U.S. Central Command area of operations and aboard ships.
- 710 in Kosovo.
- 3,100 in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa
- 505 in Niger.
- 34,300 in Germany
- 8,300 in the United Kingdom
- 44,500 in Japan.
20,000 National Guardsmen are operating far from their homes in some of the most dangerous areas on Earth.
5,000 National Guardsmen are battling wildfires in California or delivering supplies in Puerto Rico.
Sailors will man their ships from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico. Navy officials maintain that roughly a third of the Navy is deployed at any one time.
Air Force missileers and airmen are in the silos, by the planes and in the command centers ensuring the nuclear system is ready if needed.
How to Get Involved this Holiday Season?
Charitable organizations are especially prominent during the holiday season, providing valuable support and resources for military families in need. The following are a few fantastic resources for charitable organizations that provide help to military personnel and their families:
Operation Holiday Joy
Established to raise awareness and funds for military and their families during the holiday season, providing food and toys to families in need.
Trees for Troops
Trees for Troops is making the holidays a little bit better for thousands of military families with free Christmas trees delivered to bases throughout the U.S. and abroad. This organization has provided more than 120,000 trees since 2005, donated from contributing tree farms in North America and also from the public.
Just Our Soldiers’ Helpers (J.O.S.H.)
The J.O.S.H. program is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is volunteer led and operated. Its mission is to increase the morale of deployed U.S. service members from all branches of the military. We do this by providing to them care packages containing name brand items that are not readily available during deployment. The J.O.S.H. program shows its support of our troops by preparing and shipping care packages consisting of high-quality snacks/food and hygiene products. Our tagline is: “Bringing Smiles to Our Deployed Heroes One Care Package at a Time”.
Provides many facets of assistance, from relief of financial hardships to wounded warrior recovery and appreciation celebrations for military personnel and spouses.
Toys for Tots
New and unwrapped toys are collected in the fall of every year to be distributed to various children in need at Christmastime.
For additional resources, you can contact your base or post Family Support Center, local VFW chapters, and even non-military organizations.