This Veterans’ Day, I am launching a fund-raiser for the National Military Family Association. Please join me in supporting our veterans and their families.
The basic premise of this blog is that balancing work and family can be hard for dads, and we all could use some help in facing this challenge. If a cushy-job-tenured-professor like me often struggles, I can barely imagine the challenges men in the US military face (see here for a guest post by a military dad discussing handling work stress).
In his book, Mark Owen, Navy Seal and the author of “No Easy Day” (a book I highly recommend), discusses the work-family conflict challenges facing military families:
Like all of my teammates, I was driven to be a SEAL. And once I finished BUD/S [final stage of SEAL training], I was driven to be the best SEAL I could be. I wasn’t unique. There was a whole command of guys just like me. But like me, they all struggled with balance. We called it “the speeding train”; it was hard to get on, and it was hard to get off, but once you’re there you’d better hang on for a ride.
We really had two families: the guys at work and then family and loved ones left at home…. For a lot of guys, keeping the balance between work and family life was fleeting. Many of the teammates suffered through bitter divorces. We missed weddings, funerals and holidays. We couldn’t tell the Navy no, but we could tell our families no. And we did, often. It was difficult to get time away. Work was always the number one priority. It took everything out of you and gave back very little.
Indeed, divorce rates foir military families are at an all-time high. Our heroes and their families deserve better, especially considering their sacrifices on our behalf.
I’d like to start doing something about it, and I’d like your help.
The National Military Family Association assists military families with scholarships for spouses, summer camps for children, and other support services (see information below).
In honor of our military’s sacrifices and the special challenges their families face, FWF will be donating $2 to the National Military Family Association for every new email/facebook follower of Fathers, Work and Family (up to 100) between now and the end of the year. If we reach 100 new email/facebook followers by then, I will double the donation to $400. (Last year, we ran a similar successful campaign that raised $400 for the National Fatherhood Initiative)
If you are reading this post and haven’t already, please sign up to follow this blog via facebook or email (see the links to the right-hand side of the screen; I love twitter foillowers, too, but only email or facebook followers count towards the fundraising goal).
If you already follow the blog, please help out by spreading the word- and if you know just one other working dad who could benefit from this blog, please refer the blog to him. Thank you.
More about NMFA:
The National Military Family Association has been the leading 501(c)3 charity helping military families of all ranks and Service branches. Our network of more than 1 million military family members is among the largest in the U.S.
We began in 1969 with a handful of wives who convinced Congress that military widows should be supported financially by the Nation. The military has changed dramatically in those 40 years, and with it, the lives of its families. Unlike previous wars, when most service members were single draftees, half of today’s volunteer military is married with more than 1,600,000 children. We work hard to fix the unique challenges these families face – especially in wartime.
Until the last service members return home, their wounds are healed, and their families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope Americans will keep them in their thoughts and continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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