Joining Forces and Operation Shower Support Military Moms in Florida
Amanda Maysonet is a Navy spouse. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, she and her husband, Christian, have been married for more than a year. They both take great pride in Christian’s service as a Navy Petty Officer and jet engine mechanic assigned to the Guided Missile Cruiser USS GETTYSBURG (CG 64), based in Mayport, Florida.
It’s an exciting time for the Maysonets…they are expecting their first child in January!
But unlike many expecting mothers, Amanda won’t have her husband by her side when their new addition joins the family. Christian and his 375 shipmates left on a nine month deployment back in July and they don’t return home until April of next year.
Like thousands of military spouses every year, Amanda is prepared to welcome their little one to the family without her husband by her side. That’s not easy. Although military spouses are among the most resilient and independent people I know, they can also use a helping hand every once and a while.
Recently in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, at the Web.com TOUR Championship, that helping hand got extended to Amanda – and 40 other expecting moms whose husbands are presently deployed overseas with the Navy – courtesy of Operation Shower and a whole host of supporting organizations. Operation Shower is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide joyful baby showers for military families to ease the stress of deployment. The shower in Ponte Vedra Beach honoring military families was sponsored by the Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation.
Jim and Tabitha were on-site to host the event which included a brunch and generous set of gifts for all the expectant mothers. “We are thrilled to be involved with Operation Shower. Our military forces keep our country safe every day, and Operation Shower is a great opportunity to give back to their families in a meaningful way,” commented Tabitha Furyk.
Operation Shower is also a proud participant in Joining Forces, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s nation-wide initiative to recognize, honor and support our nation’s veterans and military families – and not just through words, but through meaningful action. In April 2011, the First Lady and Dr. Biden launched Joining Forces. Among their first stops was an Operation Shower event for expecting mothers and spouses of deployed Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
More than two years and nearly twenty-five showers later, “Chief Shower Officer” LeAnn Morrissey says, “Operation Shower is honored to recognize the needs of military families. Operation Shower was founded because we know that moms in a military family hold it all together at home – these moms deserve our support, our thanks, our love, and of course, they deserve a party! We’re grateful to work with such great partners as the PGA TOUR and the Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation and volunteers nationwide to be able to bring baby showers to military moms whose husbands are deployed overseas.”
Amanda Maysonet and 40 other military moms in Florida benefitted from the generosity of a grateful nation today. Through Joining Forces, let’s continue to serve Amanda and all our military families as well as they have served this country.
Colonel Rich Morales is Executive Director of Joining Forces.