I'm not even sure how I came across your website, but I found it a few weeks ago and it's been so helpful to my husband and I!
My husband is a Wounded Warrior who was medically retired last year from the Marine Corps. We've spent the last year fighting the VA. I've been watching him go downhill month by month. When I came across your site, I found tons of resources! I've contacted almost every single one of them to see what activities they might have in our area that my husband could participate in. Unfortunately, there weren't any in our area. I've contacted a few about help with fighting the VA to get my husband the proper medical care that he needs, and fighting them about the VA Caregiver Support Program (I was denied without reason). A few of the resources on your site have actually been able to help us out in that department! Although I'm still being denied for the Caregiver Support Program, my husband is finally starting to get some medical treatment.
We have made the decision to move back to Camp Lejeune. It wasn't an easy decision, but since my husband retired, he's been going downhill physically and emotionally. This was the best option for us. There he will receive the proper medical treatment, he will be able to get involved in some of the programs offered by the resources you listed on your site, and we have a great support network there from our friends. I am very excited!
Anyway, I really just wanted to give you a huge THANK YOU for taking the time to post so many resources for Wounded Warriors and Veterans! I truly appreciate it!
Wife of a Wounded Warrior
Thank you Operation We Are Here for your continued services provided to everyone as the single best one stop resource of all things military!
This site is THE place for our military community and military supporters to link together multitudes of resources for the benefit of everyone!
"I recently discovered your website, Operation We Are Here, and was astounded by the extent and depth of your content. It's an outstanding contribution to support our deployed servicemen and women. Obviously a "labor of love," the site is a tremendous resource for anyone who would like to help military members (both two- and four-footed) and their families, as well as veterans of all services. Bravo Benita!."
COL Dick Baumer USA (Ret.)
"Benita Koeman, founder of the website Operation We Are Here (OWAH), is very much like Moina in her determination to help. As a military spouse and mother to three young children, Benita recognizes the need for military family support. On her website she offers a go-to list of resources and information for the military community. She also offers ideas and suggestions to anyone who wants to support the community but doesn’t know what to do or where to begin."
"I had hoped my book, SPANKY: A Soldier's Son would help military kids and show my gratitude to military families. In the process of forwarding this effort, I found many military support organizations. Then I found Benita Koeman's site, OPERATION WE ARE HERE. Ms. Koeman doesn't just list resources. She investigates them. She organizes them. And she presents them brilliantly. She also creates a bridge between military and non-military families. I feel honored to be included in her resources."
"We have been sharing your site with our clients...
I am just amazed how you have accumulated all those resources!"
"I've no words to express my gratitude for what you all are doing for Soldiers that are deployed around the world. You guys make our life during deployment so much more pleasant by giving us a little bit of your love and selfless service. Thank you."
"I just want to say I really enjoy this (Facebook) page. All of the military pages I have liked on Facebook have been full of gossiping and fighting. This page has great resources posted to it and is so inspirational. Thank you!"
"Just wanted to thank you again for your website. I refer people to it more than I realized. You did all the hard research work and sacrificed so much to get it done so that people can get help fast and not feel hopeless. It's like the military white and yellow pages. I love it."
"I am the mom of a soon to be soldier, who is shipping October (...) to basic training in (...). I have struggled with my son's desire for a lifelong career in the military, but have made a commitment to put that aside and support his decision in every way possible. In my search for support myself, I came upon your website and am so very grateful to be able to find such a thorough library of resources in one place. What you have pulled together in these resources gives great hope and blessing to those who rely on them. I thought it important to let you know how much I appreciate the love evident in what you are doing here and thank you personally."
Soon-to-be Blue Star Mom
"Benita, being a military spouse and mother, knows all too well how hard it can be to navigate our lives during deployments and reintegration. It can be overwhelming and exhausting. Trying to find true help during such an unbalanced time in life can be tedious and often leads to many of us throwing up our hands in despair. Because Benita has been there, because she is one of us, she speaks to exactly what we need through her efforts with Operation We Are Here. She has created the most extensive list of resources for tried-and-true and "I've been there and know this works" avenues of support. There are many resource sites out there, but when a spouse comes to me and says, "I can't find...." Or "Do you know a resource...." I send them to Benita. She is dependable. Available. And continues to do this because she knows what it feels like to be alone. And she won't let another spouse feel that way. That passion, understanding, and drive is what brings me back to her site--over and over again, when I need help. Operation We Are Here is the go-to resource site. For us. By us."
Her War Her Voice
"Just wanted to thank you all for the WONDERFUL website! The information I have found through your page is even better than Military OneSource. My husband is currently deployed, and I am not near ANY military installation, so it is great to be able to find support and information online in one place."
"Reading the site brought tears to my eyes. You have created a link that is both encouraging to military families and a great tool for our churches, friends and extended family to gain insight into "our world". Thank you for acknowledging me and my family and for creating Operation We Are Here!"
Military chaplain's spouse
"We are a military family and can appreciate what you have done by providing resources in one location that is easily navigated."
Kids Rank: Celebrating the Military Child
"I found this site while trying to find books to explain to my daughter why daddy was going to fight overseas. Thanks for helping us through deployment number 2."
"I am a 1SG in the US Army and getting ready to deploy for the 2nd time in 3 years, and trying to get care packages or game systems for my soldiers while we are deployed to keep their morale high. Thanks."
"Thank you for all the valuable resources you offer on your web site."
Gold Star Mom
"I am so thankful to find a Christian resource for support online. My son graduated from Basic 5 Feb. 2011 and flew to Alaska to his duty station that night. He expects to deploy in April possibly May. Naturally I have my concerns as a momma. I know he is in the palm of God's hands but there are times tht it becomes very hard to feel that peace that passes all understanding. Thank you for your dedication to this ministry."
"I am implementing a military ministry in my church. I am looking for ideas on the best way to get started. I loved the ideal of having a get together for the families of the deployed. I also loved the ideal of having a flag for each member that is deployed. Lots of great things happening. Thank you for this website and blessing. Serving the Lord together."
"I love all the sites and links that you provide for our families! I will most definitely be forwarding a ton of them to our FRG and my friends/family. These are amazing!"
"A deployed Soldier saying thank you for all you do for Soldiers."
"I think this is a wonderful resource. I am a chaplain's wife here at Fort Irwin and I am encouraged to see how you are able to help other militry families. I love to help encourage and uplift others and one area that I have no clue on is how to help deployed families. I plan to come back to this website often as I seek to serve Christ and as my husband continues to serve the men and women in uniform as their pastor/chaplain/friend. Thanks for all that you do."
Military chaplain's spouse
"It is wonderful to see a site like this that helps vets find resources. I am a therapist who works with PTSD and vets and many of our wounded do not know where to go for help. Thank you."
"Thank you so much for putting together this comprehensive sight! My husband is leaving in December, and I had know idea so much support was available! Our first deployment experience was awful; I wish I had found your site sooner! Thanks supporting our troops, supporting our families, especially the children."
"I have lost track of how many times I've referred people to www.operationwearehere.com. It is my go-to Web site when I need to look for resources related to any aspect of military life. Thank you, Benita, for all your hard work! Lives are changed when people connect with the right resources. You are the link between!"
"As a National Guard Spouse looking at an upcoming second deployment, I just wanted to say thank you! Your website has SO MANY great ideas on how to help kids deal with deployments and I am very grateful!"
"I’ve told several people about your website and I can only imagine how many people this will help."
Operation We Are Here is listed as a resource in From Reveille to Retreat: A Handbook for the Army Chaplain's Spouse published in 2015.
Operation We Are Here is featured in the Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah) Veterans Day 2014 article, Coming Home.
Operation We Are Here had over 1,000,000 clicks to the website as of August 25, 2013. With no budget and no advertising, we think that's quite an accomplishment!
Operation We Are Here is featured in the TOP 10 RESOURCE PAGES FOR MILITARY SPOUSES by calldibs! (July 2013)
Operation We Are Here is featured in the Spouse Calls column of Stars and Stripes:
Operation We Are Here is referenced in Maryann Makekau's articles for the Time magazine blog, Battleland:
In the May 25, 2012 All You magazine, Benita Koeman is featured in the Holding Down the Homefront series. Benita Koeman joined Mike Schindler, president of Operation Military Family, on the set of King 5 Seattle's New Day Northwest for the May 5, 2010 episode of Military Spouses Serve on the Home Front in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
Operation We Are Here is a featured resource in these books: