Nellis mothers showered by donors

  • Published
  • By Benjamin Newell
  • Nellis Public Affairs
Twenty-two expecting military moms gathered Jan. 7, 2012, at the Family Housing community center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to share stories and receive baby shower presents, courtesy of the non-profit organization Operation Showers of Appreciation.

Twenty-two expecting military mothers together in one room is a rare occurrence. Observers may overhear conversations about how the father will be deployed right before birth. Some mothers comment that they feel disconnected from traditional support, like hometown friends and immediate family members. But nearly all expecting military mothers need help getting started. For these, Operation Showers of Appreciation is in place to provide some of the essentials all infants need.

"This is great for us," said Rachel Oreskovich, wife of Senior Airman Joshua Oreskovich, a 57th Wing maintenance crew chief. Oreskovich is due in mid-February. "These are the basics, they really help. Things like diapers and some clothes are always really handy."

Operation Showers of Appreciation targets enlisted military mothers and married pregnant dependents. The national organization holds showers of any size, frequently placing together mothers in many stages of pregnancy. During the shower, each mother is assigned a volunteer for the day, who helps keep track of presents. This volunteer also keeps in contact with the mother for the rest of the pregnancy, should further needs arise.

"When I was in the military and pregnant, we didn't have anything like this," said Margie Manning, a Red Cross volunteer who has participated in organizing three showers. She has raised seven children. "When you're on your own, and the husband is deployed, it gets tough. Some sort of contact and moral support is just great to provide."

In addition to gifts and connecting with other women in similar situations, the moms are given an afternoon away from the pressures of nesting. They are waited on and entertained with games and contests.

"Everyone looks for a way to give back to our service members," said Jody Shervanick, Operation Showers of Appreciation public relations coordinator, who travels across the country setting up showers for military moms. "Think about how stressful this can be. I think donations at this point in a service member's life are really effective."

Information for this article was gathered at and the twitter handle @osoamil.