God Bless America … and All the Little Stuff We Missed While Stationed Overseas


Happy 4th of July! Today America celebrates its independence from the British Empire, as the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. Today is also the day we eat embarrassingly large amounts of grilled meats; we spend time with family and friends; we jump off diving boards 1,000 times; we watch fireworks; and at some point during the day, we reflect on the sacrifices made over the last 250 years or so in order for the United States to exist.

As military moms, we particularly understand and appreciate that last part. We also understand what it feels like to miss America.

Many of us on the Military Moms Blog Contributing Team have been stationed outside of the U.S. for extended periods of time, and while we genuinely have loved the experiences, there are certain things that we couldn’t wait to get back to.

Yes, yes, family, friends, blah blah, blah … but we’re talking the little things here … the things that we forgot we even liked or cared about until we didn’t have them.

God Bless America for our liberties and freedoms, but also …

Drive-thrus: Starbucks, pharmacies … anything where we don’t have to get out of the car with our kids!

Peanut butter

The variety of flavors for products at the grocery stores: Cereal, salad dressing, sparkling water, coffee creamer, ice cream… where else can you find 1000 different things that taste like pumpkin in the fall?!

Girl Scout Cookies

American football and the Super Bowl: We know how to eat and party and watch commercials! And if you can find it playing overseas, you have to stay up all night to watch it.


Wide roads

Ice in drinks

Non-carbonated water

Craft beer

Air conditioning

Large parking spaces

Free parking

Stores being open past 6 p.m. and on the weekends

Restaurants being open before 7:30 p.m.

Anything open on a Sunday

Cold liquid milk

Healthy fast food options


Cheddar Cheese

Good tortillas

Spicy peppers and spicy food

Prepped food (such as ready to eat lettuce/spinach or riced cauliflower)

Maple syrup

Diaper packages with more than 8 diapers in them

More than one restaurant with vegan options

Good Mexican food

Toilets that aren’t holes in the ground

What can you add to our list?


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Julie Cohen
Julie is a co-founder and contributor of Military Moms Blog. She also is a freelance writer and editor living in northern Italy where her husband is stationed in the Air Force. They have a little girl who spends most of her time (successfully) convincing her parents to buy more gelato, and a baby boy who they suspect already speaks better Italian than they do. Julie is the former food and wine editor of the San Antonio Express-News and former managing editor of Sauce Magazine in St. Louis, Missouri. which is where she calls home — but her dad was in the Army, so nowhere is technically home! She also has taught high school composition and British Literature, adult creative writing and college writing. Julie completed an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. In her free time, Julie enjoys running, reading and “studying” the varietals of Italy.