My name is Ashley Weinert, I'm a military spouse, mother and school counselor. My husband Dustin and I started a friendship 21 years ago that eventually turned into a romantic relationship. 7 years ago, we joined our families together. We both had two kids each and then together had two more. Our family consists of:
Griffin, 12; Madelyn, 11; Brayden, 10; Emberly, 9, Theo, 5 and Nola, 16 months.
In 2019, we found out that my husband was going to be deployed for the first time since we had been together. He had a previous deployment but it was ten years earlier and he was a single bachelor so we knew that for all of us it would be uncharted territory. Because of my experience as a school counselor I knew that it was going to be a difficult year for my children and I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I spent countless hours researching all of the best books, activities, apps, etc. to have prepared for the separation that they would face from their father. But nothing could prepare me for what deployment would actually look like and as much as we want to have the best laid plans deployment often throws that right out the window. To make matters worse, in the middle of our deployment we were facing a pandemic with stay at home orders and a difficult situation got to the point of being almost unbearable. How could I keep structure and predictability in my children's lives when the world around us was in chaos.
Mother's Day 2020 brought one of the worst meltdowns, as my two year old decided that he wasn't going to take a nap. I was overwhelmed and felt so alone. As a national guard family, I didn't have a tribe, but it dawned on me in that moment that deployment did not have to be difficult for other families in the same situation. I could create the tribe and community that I wished I was a part of. I could use the information and knowledge that I had from my research and our experiences to help others. When I started researching ways to do this, I stumbled upon the subscription box concept. Maybe I could build a business that sends families all the tools that they need to be successful during deployment, spend quality time as a family and strengthen the bond between the child(ren) and their deployed parent. And so a couple days after my mega meltdown, I founded Counting Our Heroes Home, with the mission being to support military families on the home front.
Deployment is tough, but by being there to support and encourage families on the home front, I like to think that I can make it a little bit easier, a lot less isolating and let families know that they are not alone on their journey. I hope to welcome you to our subscriber family, and would sincerely love to join your family on your deployment journey and help you Count Your Heroes Home.
Creator, Counting Our Heroes Home
We Happily Accept