Last night, I received a large package in the mail from the U.S. Army. Very unusual. Normally, such a package would be addressed to my husband, so I was left wondering if there was a mistake on the address label.
No mistake. I opened the package to find a Certificate of Appreciation with my name on it.
For outstanding support to [insert husband's name and rank], a Soldier of the United States Army. The Army greatly appreciates your support of Soldiers fighting the Global War on Terrorism and is proud to recognize your contributions and personal sacrifices in preserving freedom and the security of our Nation.
Signed by The Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of the Army.
I also received a couple of U.S. Army goodies, including one of the "spouse" pins below.
I was curious about how I came to receive this package, and did a little research. Turns out, the Army has a program whereby the soldier can nominate a spouse, parent or employer who has supported them.
In these demanding times, we are all Soldiers for freedom. We cannot do our jobs without the support of our families and employers. By nominating a member of your support team, you will recognize them for their valiant effort in supporting a great cause - you! And that's why you should become a part of the U.S. Army's Freedom Team Salute.
The Freedom Team Salute gives Active, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers an opportunity to recognize parents, spouses and employers for the support and strength they provide, while you serve to protect our freedom and the American way of life. The Freedom Team Salute is a recognition program and provided at no cost to the recipient or nominator.
Freedom Team Salute (FTS) is an official program sponsored and funded through the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M&RA). It is not a fund-raising project but is intended to honor those who support our U.S. Army active-duty Soldiers, Reservists, and Guardsmen, as well as honor U.S. Army veterans who have served this nation, including those who served in the Reserves or Guard. All material is provided at no cost to either the nominator or the recipient.
As a special thanks to our Nation's veterans, the Army would like to send a Freedom Team Salute to veterans for their dedicated service and continued support of today's Soldiers.
Civilians can also make recommendations for Veterans.
The general public and civilians as well as all service members, can nominate an unlimited number of U.S. Army Veterans. A Veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable. A veteran's service may include time spent in the Reserves or as a member of the National Guard.
Free for all involved, take advantage of this program. Click here to find information about the U.S. Army Freedom Team Salutes and make sure your soldier is aware of it. I think this is a great way to thank someone for supporting their soldier, especially parents who are often left out, but who worry, pray and lose sleep during deployments, just like the spouse. Including employers in this program is also a great idea. Not all employers are supportive, so those who are deserve to be recognized for understanding the hardships of their employees who are affected, in whatever way, by deployment.
Do the other branches have similar programs? If so, share the information with us in the comment section.