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Military moms honored during Farmers Insurance Open

Military moms during the Farmers Insurance Open's 2013 Operation Shower.
(photos by: Chris Keeney Photography)

January 23, 2013

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

SAN DIEGO-- Six years ago, LeAnn Morrissey wanted to pay respect to a deployed uncle, and the request was simple. She was asked to send a card of thought to four expecting women with deployed husbands. Four cards, four stamps, four notes. Mission accomplished. What it turned out to be, however, was a budding endeavor which would change, enhance and celebrate the lives of thousands on a regular basis.

Morrissey opted to do more, sending four women a “shower in a box.” The response was overwhelming. In June of 2007, the now-Chief Shower Officer joined forces with Kris Jackson to hold the first unit-wide shower in Ft. Bragg, N.C. 

At the Farmers Insurance Open on Tuesday, the 29th shower was held. It was the 17th since teaming up with Birdies for the Brave and being known as "Operation Shower." More than 1,000 women and families have since benefited from the program.

Donations from individuals, corporations and volunteers made Tuesday’s “Operation Shower” for 40 local women at Torrey Pines a celebration during what can many times be a stressful time. Items for the moms-to-be included everything from toys to diapers, gift cards to bath towels.

In scope, the gifts ranged from practical to pampering, but the greatest element to emerge from these showers lied in the opportunity for these women to find comfort and solace from other women in the same situation. May times, these women give birth to their children without their spouse by their side.

Amy Mickelson

“For women who are experiencing a new baby and whose spouses are deployed or soon to be deployed, the impending arrival of a child can be both exciting and stressful,” said Morrissey. “Operation Shower was created specifically because typically military moms are the ones to hold it all together at home. For everything they do at home while their spouses are deployed to another part of the world, these moms deserve our support, our thanks our love and an opportunity to celebrate together.”

 “It’s an absolute privilege to help celebrate this special milestone with these amazing military moms-to-be, who may not receive the appreciation or recognition they so greatly deserve for everything they do at home while their spouses serve abroad,” said host Amy Mickelson, San Diego resident and wife of World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson. “I am honored to support Operation Shower and Birdies for the rave in their admirable mission to honor military families.”

Tuesday’s Shower was presented by Ashford University with support from the Farmers Insurance Open and Petunia Pickle Bottom. It impacted women whose spouses are members of the U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and California Army National Guard.

“The real heroes today are the women in this room. We’re here to recognize them,” said Mickelson. “They are entirely responsible for holding together the military family. These women are so worthy of our honor and respect. It’s just inspiring to us all.”

One can’t help but imagine there’s a proud uncle out there somewhere.   

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