4 ways to show appreciation of Veterans Day

Today’s blog is a very special blog for several reasons.  First, it’s Veteran’s Day and we want to be sure we honor our Vets.  Second, I am honored to have guest blogger Lekiesha from the Incredible Life of the Military Wife blog (found HERE) with us today to talk about how we can show support to Veterans.  She’s a Veteran, military wife, mom, and military lifestyle blogger.  In my eyes, there was no one else more suitable to share this moment with.  Everyone please welcome Lekiesha to Itoja!  Be sure to follow her blog and social media sites; she offers great support for military spouses, families, as well as civilians.  Finally, a special THANK YOU to Lekiesha, her hubby, and all of the other veterans today and everyday.

Now, without further ado…….Lekiesha!

“On this Veteran’s Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” -Dan Lipinski

Veterans Day is a way for us to show appreciation to those men and women who have served or are currently serving in the military.  It is also a day that often gets confused with Memorial Day, but it is important for us to understand the difference.  Veterans Day was once celebrated as Armistice Day and was renamed to Veterans Day in 1954.  Memorial Day is a day that is set aside to commemorate those men and women who lost their lives while serving their country.  Serving your country during war or in a time of peace is far from an easy task.  As a Veteran myself I can personally attest to that statement.  Being in the military was one of the greatest honors.  Many Veterans sacrifice a lot and place the needs of the country before their own.  I wanted to put together some ways that you can show your own appreciation to a Veteran who has served.

Visit a Veteran

“This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it is home of the brave.”  -Elmer Davis

There are many great ways that you can get out and pay respects to those Veterans who have served their country.  One great way to show appreciation is to get out the house and go spend a little time with a Veteran.  When my husband was in Equal Opportunity school (EO), part of their assignment was to go out and visit a Veteran based nursing home.  It was such a humbling experience for him to sit with WWII vets, and listen to their stories, play board games, etc.  This was something that my husband really enjoyed, and he even shared a couple of laughs with the Veterans.  He learned that many of them were far away from their families, so they held on to any visits that came their way.  Visiting the Veteran based nursing homes is something we wanted to pass on to our children, not only during Veterans Day but other holidays as well.  This does not only have to apply to those Veterans in nursing homes, spend time with any Veteran who may lack those day-to-day interactions with others.  Veterans Day is a day that is fully dedicated to those men and women who served their country, giving them a few moments of your time can go a long way to a Veteran.

Send a Care Package

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”   -Joseph Campbell

Those who are serving love to receive care packages from back home.  A care package is a way for soldiers to still have that connection to home and make the time away less stressful.  There are many different types of care packages that you can send overseas.  Practical care packages are some of the most popular I have seen as a spouse and a soldier.  Practical care packages contain basic need items such as; toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, soap, a few food items, etc.  A nice hand-written letter added to the box is an awesome finishing touch to add to the care package.  It is a great way to thank them for what they are doing, and to feel the love and appreciation from back home.

Support a Veteran Owned Company

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our Heroes and She-roes!” -Maya Angelou

There are many Veteran owned companies that are available for you to support.  Often, they are on more of a smaller scale and not easily identified like the big box stores.  Since I have started my blogging journey I have ran across some of the most amazing veteran owned businesses.  It is a whole community out here of Veterans supporting Veterans.  You can also go out and support some amazing military spouse owned companies, it is also a great way to show appreciation for their service.  Google Veteran owned companies or contact your local chamber of commerce to see if they can guide you in the appropriate direction.

Say Thanks!

A simple thank you for your service, can and will go a long way with a Veteran.  This is something that should be not only on Veterans Day, but anytime you encounter a Veteran.  Veterans have given so much of themselves to serve their country.  I could have sat down a wrote a blog about myself and my time as a Veteran.  To my husband and battles, I want to thank each one of you for your service and sacrifice for this country.  You are truly appreciated not only on Veterans Day, but every day!! You guys are true example of American heroes in my book.

I would love to hear how you show appreciation on Veterans Day?  Leave me a comment below and let’s chat!

As always remember to Live free, Laugh often, & Be Incredible!

Blog: Incredible Life of the Military Wife

IG: IncredibleMilWife

FB: Incredible Life of the Military Wife

lakeisha photo

Hello everyone!  My name is Lekiesha I am a 30 something year old mother of 4, wife, and Veteran.  Currently I live in the Greater Washington D.C area, and enjoying every moment.  I was born a Army brat, which led me to join the military where I also met and married my incredible husband.  My husband has served 20 years and counting; I’ve lived in Italy, Hawaii, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and the list keeps going.  We’ve had our share of ups and downs with this military life, and my blog gives you an insight into my journey navigating this lifestyle.

Embracing your blended family & Happy Fathers Day!

We’re going to refer to this blog post as a twofer!  A two for one type of post! 🙂

Blended families are nothing out of the ordinary these days.  In fact, blended families are becoming more and more popular.

The key to making any blended family work and the key to life in general is forgiveness.  Especially if you’re the other parent and you’re trying to decide if you want your child in the midst of their siblings that may come from another parent.

If you’re on the blended side you must be inclusive to all parties.  It is nice when everyone can come together to celebrate birthdays and graduations or any special occasion.  It is important for adults to get out of their feelings while also being willing to stretch and grow.  When these steps are taken, blended families strive more.

I remember years ago when my daughter was visiting her father, step mother, and other siblings and she told me she had called her step-mother, momma.  It didn’t bother me one bit.  1) She was about 3 or 4 and was copying her other siblings.  2) I was confident and secure within myself, plus I know the role that I play in my daughter’s life.  After telling a friend about the situation and trying to get him to understand that it’s ok; he tried to make me feel bad.  I wasn’t accepting his opinion because if my daughter felt comfortable enough and safe around her to call her momma at the time, then I was ok with that.  Men often feel slighted or “some kinda way” when their kids are around other men but you’ll only feel that way if you aren’t doing what you’re suppose to do as a parent.  I already knew, no one would ever be able to take my place from my daughter so that wasn’t my fight.  Besides, I trusted her dad and the love that he has for our daughter to make the right decisions.  As long as your child is not at harm then you shouldn’t have a problem with whom your ex has decided to be with.

With all of that being said; I would like to wish all of the amazing fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day.  Whether you are in a blended family or not, Fathers are never honored and appreciated enough on days like this.  Fathers are extremely special to their children.  For little girls, they are the first man who will ever love them and they’ll typically pick their mate based off of their fathers love.  For little boys, fathers are their role models and heroes.  Fathers are needed and are necessary.

I remember my dad trying to comb my sister and my hair growing up.  It wasn’t often but when he did we both loved  it.  He would let us wear our hair down instead of the everyday pigtails that our mom made us wear.  We would think that we were so cute.  I also remember my dad taking me to school on his bike as a little girl.  In High School, my dad brought my sister and I diamond rings; a promise ring to keep ourselves and to let us know that if a man couldn’t do more for us than he could, that we didn’t need him.  Do you know how important and loved that made me feel especially when I started dating?  My dad had already laid the foundation for me and it gave me room to have high standards and to not be ashamed about it.

I’ve always felt extra safe around my dad.  Whenever we are on vacation and out and about in a foreign place that we aren’t use to my dad still escorts us to the bathroom and waits on us.  He takes pride in protecting his girls.  Sometimes we will go shopping and he’ll sit patiently waiting while he carries all of the bags.  Today, at 37 I’ll call my dad and ask if he could come help us hang our TV on the wall.  Before we can blink, he’s right there.  When I’m worried, I’ll ask my daddy for a prayer and immediately I’ll feel better.

Embrace your blended family (if you have one) and make sure your dad know the amount of love you have for him!!  Treat all children the same and remember to always show respect to the other parents that may be involved.

(Now, to try to figure out a gift for Father’s Day!)


Dear Momma

In a world of dismay and uncertainty, our mothers are our backbone and strength.  They are able to bring us laughter and joy and direction when needed.

From the day we are born they’ve nurtured and protected us.  Their daily prayers as we’ve traveled to school, with friends, and even as adults have placed permanent halos around us.

Sure, there are times when you may clash or disagree, because in all honesty, a momma is never afraid to give it to you straight, with no chaser.  At the end of the day, this is why we love our mothers no matter what.  Tough love is often necessary. Besides, they only want the best for their child.

Today, I’d like to wish all the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.  No matter how young or old your children may be, your work as a mother is never done and can never be undone.

Our mothers have taught us how to be mothers to our very own children.  That in itself is a blessing!

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Be sure to show love today to your mother, no matter how near or far.  Pick up the phone and give her a call.

Video provided courtesy of YouTube

Be blessed,


Did you learn ANYTHING this year?

It’s the last day of the year and I don’t particularly care for resolutions.  They never last and to me it’s always geared towards the negative aspects of your life that you would like to make better.

To do something a little different, answer this question:

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in 2017 was__________________________________?

Lets use what we have learned this year as a driving force to carry us into 2018 and beyond!

Finally, I pray you all have a blessed and prosperous New Year!   (Pops Champagne)

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