Operation Shower Provides Shower Gifts to Twenty Military Spouses
GROTON, Conn. – Twenty expectant military wives of submariners assigned to Commander, Submarine Group Two boats received a once-an-a-lifetime experience when they participated in a group baby shower and were given a "Shower In A Box", Aug. 25.
The event was sponsored by the non-profit organization Operation Shower and Birdies for the Brave, and marks the first time it was held in Connecticut and for wives of submariners.
The women, whose spouses are deployed Sailors, assigned to Commander, Submarine Group Two boats located at the Naval Submarine Base New London, were honored during the group baby shower at the Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum in Groton.
“Attending this event means so very much to me,” said Kimberly Wagner, one of the 20 wives receiving the group baby shower.
Wagner is expecting her first child, a boy later this year and welcomes the opportunity to meet the other woman, most who are first-time moms.
Karen McLaughlin, wife of Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin, spoke with the women about the challenges they face but acknowledged their sacrifices as military wives.
"This event is not only a way to honor these brave women here today, but also pamper them and give them an opportunity to network with other mothers-to-be in an effort to provide a strong support group for these women who rarely have their own families nearby," said Karen.
Many of the wives are stationed far from family and friends – making the Operation Shower event a dream come true.
“Family means everything to me, especially with our third baby on the way,” said Amy Fay Wreede, who also participated in the group baby shower. Wreede, like Wagner is also expecting a boy in less than two weeks was pleased to be included in the shower.
The military wives participating in the group shower are expecting a new baby while their spouses are deployed.
“Operation Shower was created specifically because typically military moms are the ones who hold it all together at home. Without their spouses by their side, deployed to a another part of the world or seriously injured, these moms deserve our support, our thanks, our love and an opportunity to celebrate together,” said Operation Shower Founder LeAnn Morrissey.
Operation Shower's signature "Shower In A Box" gift of high-quality products for mothers and babies was donated by local and national vendors. Beyond these tangible items, the most meaningful gift may be the unique opportunity for the moms to find comfort and support from other women in the same situation as they celebrate this milestone.
Special guests at the event included representatives from the PGA Tour, including Allison Keller, senior vice president of human resources and Morissey. Tami Scace, director for the Marine Corps Relief Society and Nancy Sypolt, Licensed Professional Counselor, Fleet and Family Support Center, runs the New Parent support program also attended the Operation Shower event to highlight the ongoing programs they have available for mothers.
"We have a variety of classes for expectant mothers, such as Budget for Baby classes," said Scace. She also added that they offer a visiting nurse program who will make house calls free of charge.
Sypolt also commented on the similar programs they offer to include "Understanding Birth and Parenting: A Class for Expectant Parents.
Operation Shower (www.operationshower.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and honoring military families by providing joyful baby showers for military wives to ease the burden of deployment, or in cases where spouses are seriously injured. Since the organization’s inception in 2007, Operation Shower has showered more than 400 women on military bases and other locations for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard.
GROTON, Conn. - Karen McLaughlin, wife to former Commander, Submarine Group 2 Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin and hostess, welcomes the 20 expectant mothers of CSG 2 Sailors and contributors of Operation Shower. Operation Shower in conjunction with Birdies for the Brave threw a "Shower in a Box" for the wives of deployed Sailors. (U.S. Navy Photograph by Lt. Jennifer Cragg/Released)
GROTON, Conn. - Expectant wives of Commander, Submarine Group 2's deployed Sailors and Operation Shower contributors pose for a group photo. The non-profit organization Operation Shower in conjuction with Birdies for the Brave threw a "Shower in a Box." (U.S. Navy Photograph by Lt. Jennifer Cragg/Released)
GROTON, Conn. - Amy Faye Wreede and mother Susan Hoy (l) go through the "Shower in a Box" provided during a group baby shower sponsored by Operation Shower and Birdies for the Brave. Twenty expectantant wives of deployed Commander, Submarine Group Two participated in Operation Shower. (U.S. Navy Photography by Lt. Jennifer Cragg/Released)
GROTON, Conn. - Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin, former Commander, Submarine Group Two, addresses the expectant wives of deployed Submarine Group Two Sailors during Operation Shower. The non-profit organization Operation Shower in conjuction with Birdies for the Brave sponsored a group baby shower for these women with a "Shower in a Box." (U.S. Navy Photograph by Lt. Jennifer Cragg/Released)