Delaware Town Gives Beach Vacations To Wounded Vets

Bethany Beach week for military families
Flickr, Patrick Nouhailler

If you want to see the transformative power of travel, read this Washington Post story about the military families who’ve enjoyed this Labor Day week on the beach. The town of Bethany Beach, Delaware, not far from Washington D.C., coordinated with local homeowners to open their beach houses and small businesses to donate goods and services for 25 wounded military families. Each “VIF” (Very Important Family) has been treated to free meals and groceries, golf games, spa treatments and even family portraits.

For soldiers suffering from war injuries both visible and unseen like Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, a stress- and cost-free vacation can provide a great deal of comfort. This is the first year of Operation Seas the Day, and 70 families applied for the program, with more than 50 homeowners offering their homes to the veterans, but the town agreed to keep it small for the inaugural year of the program.

The military families will head home on Sunday, so if you are in the area this weekend, be sure to offer your thanks for their service. If you’d like to donate or volunteer for next year, sign up for news at OperationSeasTheDay.org

Free museums for soldiers and their families

Being on active duty is tough. Soldiers spend long periods in dangerous parts of the world and only get a few precious days or weeks to see family and friends. Now the Blue Star Museums initiative is helping them spend some quality time by offering free museum admission to more than 750 venues nationwide.

Military personnel and their families can enjoy access to museums in every state for free until Labor Day on September 6. The soldier needs to present a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card. Active duty members of the military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve are all eligible. Even better, they can bring up to five immediate family members.

Blue Star Museums has an interactive map that helps you find participating museums in your area. They also have a blog with news and profiles of some of the museums.

Image of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment on patrol in Iraq courtesy the U.S. Government.