This post was sponsored by the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program
as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central.

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November is Military Family Appreciation Month! Each year the President signs a proclamation declaring November Military Family Month. This annual proclamation marks the beginning of a month-long celebration of the Military Family in which the Department of Defense and the nation will honor the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of the nation’s service members.

“Our nation owes each day of security and freedom that we enjoy to the members of our Armed Forces and their families. Behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support.”

– President Obama

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ach year on Veteran’s Day my message is the same, “Thanks to all who have served and their families.” Because, while our men and women in the military are serving, their families are making sacrifices every day, and sadly, they are sometimes sacrificing their loved ones for ever. I’m a proud army veteran’s wife, and I’m grateful every single day that he is home with me and safe, even if he has a service-related disability that sometimes makes life a bit well, complicated. I’m proud of him and of his service. I admire the comittment he made to this great country. In fact, I envy him. As someone that has been overweight my entire life, who now has found my way to a normal BMI with a significantly improved level of fitness I recently contacted a National Guard Recruiter but was quickly turned away because I am 36 years old. I followed up by contacting an Air National Guard recruiter but through the process, I discovered that my heart defect is a no-go to enlisting. 

Why, at the age of 36 would I want to enlist and serve my country? To serve my country of course! But, also there are a number of benefits for myself and what would have become my military family that I felt they would be able to take advantage of while making the incredible sacrifice of giving me up for at least 12 weeks of training followed by one weekend a month, two weeks every summer and potentially months to years should I be called into active duty. 

While the government of course offers a ton of benefits to military families, there are a number of other organizations that do so also, like the Metcare TRICARE Dental Program (TDP). The TDP recognizes dedicate military service and encourages military sponsors to protect their family’s smiles and enroll their children, spouses, and/or themselves if they are a member of the National Guard or Reserves.  If you or someone you know might be interested in enrolling visit the Beneficiary Enrollment website at www.tricare.mil/bwe or for additional information, visit www.metlife.com/tricare to take advantage of the following dental benefits available to military spouses and children:

  • Two free cleanings per year (in network dentist)
  • Sealants for kids up to age 18 with a 20% cost share, 
  • Orthodontic coverage with a 50% cost share for kids up to 21 or students up to age 23

You can also connect with the TRICARE Dental Program on Facebook and Twitter

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Show Your Military Family Appreciation

How can you show your support and appreciation for Military Families? The following are some excellent tips and suggestions from MilitaryBenefits.info

  • Donate a Thanksgiving gift to junior-enlisted members and their families through the USO-Metro’s Turkeys for Troops!
  • Create a Spouse or Service Member Care Package with items that would help either ease stress during a deployment.
  • Adopt-a-Soldier for the Holidays
  • Create a spouse care package for them to enjoy and help reduce stress with
    trainings, deployments and relocations.
  • Thank an Active-Duty Member, Veteran, Military Spouse, or Military Child for their service.
  • Visit war memorials with your family to teach your children the value of service
  • Fly the U.S. Flag.
  • Adopt a military family for the holidays by sponsoring a Food Basket or Toys for junior enlisted military families through the ASYMCA’s Operation Holiday Joy.
  • Offer a military neighbor a bit a respite with volunteer childcare to get errands accomplished or to even enjoy a few hours to recharge.
  • See someone in uniform? Thank them for their service or surprise them with a free coffee, dessert or drink if they are in line behind you.
  • Make a donation or volunteer with a military assistance organization like the Armed Services YMCA (www.asymca.org).

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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