COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The holidays may look very different for families who might be choosing to stay home and not visit relative this year due to the pandemic.
Military families often spend holidays apart from loved ones who are deployed overseas, so the National Veterans Memorial and Museum hopes their stories will inspire others with its new “Home for the Holidays” program.
“I think the thing that endures is a strong need and desire to stay connected, said Lt. General Michael Ferriter, President & CEO of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.
As a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, Lt. General Ferriter understands the need for military members to connect with loved ones over the holidays’
“In my early days of service, you would wait in line for either a pay phone or you’d wait in line for a mars radio shot with three people behind you saying your time’s up,” said Ferriter.
However, he always tried to find a way to connect.
“And then what changes is kind of the technology of the day,” Ferriter added.
Through technology, the NVMM can still connect with veterans, military members, and civilians virtually.
“Online activities we find that we can remain open,” said Ferriter.
The museum remains closed to public visitors, but its staff has come up with a unique opportunity for people to feel together, though apart this holiday.
“They thought, you know this COVID must be very similar to a veteran being away, and not being able to get home, so they’ve come up with a whole bunch of ideas to help connect,” said Ferriter.
The “Home for the Holidays” campaign is calling on veterans and active-duty military members to record videos of their stories of staying in touch while being deployed.
“Or a time when you were here and how you stayed connected to a loved one who was deployed somewhere else,” Ferriter added.
Museum organizers also encourage sharing the video messages on social media using the hashtag #NVMMHolidays. The creative team hopes people across the country might learn a fun way to still feel together this season.
“The connection, the human dimension, the being in touch with someone is so valuable for our health and our wellness and our attitude, and this pandemic is hard on all of us, but we can get though it together,” said Ferriter.
For a complete list of activities in the “Home for the Holidays” program, visit https://nationalvmm.org/home-for-the-holidays/