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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Grace and Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Jared Whalen, Fort Jackson S.C. Basic Training Graduation
3rd Battalion, 60 Infantry Regiment " River Raiders"

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) by Toby Keith

Upon completion of the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina after a grueling ten weeks of unrelenting demands, another group of young men and women have earned the respect of  becoming part of the United States Army. Challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally, these soldiers have learned  the true meaning of perseverance, self-control and pride not only in themselves but in their country.

Fort Jackson trains more soldiers than any other Initial Entry Training Center in the U.S. Army.   
Their mission is to transform volunteer civilians into Soldiers in order to enable them to successfully complete Advanced Individual Training and contribute to their first units of assignment.  The Drill Sergeants ensure that every Soldier has the opportunity to not only change their lives, but to succeed at making this change. 

Only about 2% of the American people are serving in the military and about 3% of living Americans have served in the military. To think in this great country full of blessings and opportunity, such a small percentage actually volunteer a portion of their own lives to help guarantee such freedom and safety for the rest of us. What a blessing to be born amidst a land where the majority can feel secure within the safety of their homes. To wake each new day in control of its opportunity, with food on the table, clean water from the tap and warmth from the cold. Let us never take for granted the sacrifices of those responsible for where we as a people are today.

This Holiday Season, let us not only count our blessings, but include in our prayers all of those who cannot be at the dinner table with their loved ones. Take a moment to remember those who believe in the importance of making a contribution, to be a "leaver rather than a taker".

As a new Army Mom, I am proud to support my son's optimistic belief in career possibilities of his own choosing, and paths of opportunity made more realistic by being one of the Army Strong. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

National Caregivers Month

A handshake and/or a hug to all those who can relate to this proclamation. This recognition is wonderful for those wondering where their source of strength will come from with each new day.

November is National Caregivers Month

Presidential Proclamation -- National Family Caregivers Month, 2012

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Our Nation's health care professionals provide essential medical services to millions of Americans, yet they do not shoulder their responsibilities alone. Family members, friends, and neighbors devote countless hours to providing care to their relatives or loved ones. During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize and thank the humble heroes who do so much to keep our families and communities strong.

Across America, daughters and sons balance the work of caring for aging parents with the demands of their careers and raising their own children. Spouses and partners become caregivers to the ones they love even as they navigate their own health challenges. Mothers and fathers resume care for children returning home as wounded warriors. Friends and relatives form networks to support loved ones with disabilities. All of them give selflessly to bring comfort, social engagement, and stability to those they love.

Family caregivers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of those they assist, but their hours are long and their work is hard. Many put their own lives on hold to lift up someone close to them. That is why my Administration continues to support these committed individuals through programs like the National Family Caregiver Support Program and the Lifespan Respite Care Program, and through new initiatives like the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. These efforts help caregivers access services, provide quality support, and reinforce their support through respite care options. Additionally, my Administration has pursued workplace flexibility initiatives that help caregivers balance their responsibilities to their employers with their responsibilities to their loved ones. I was also proud to sign the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, which has helped our most seriously injured post-9/11 veterans and their family caregivers through financial support; access to health insurance, mental health services, and counseling; and comprehensive caregiver training and respite care.

National Family Caregivers Month is a time to reflect on the compassion and dedication that family caregivers embody every day. As we offer our appreciation and admiration for their difficult work, let us also extend our own offers of support to them and their loved ones.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2012 as National Family Caregivers Month. I encourage all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


Below are two collections of shops featuring items to give caregivers needed  support. Click on any box to enter that seller's shop.