There was plenty of mommy-to-be talk among the women who attended a baby shower hosted by Operation Homefront on Thursday at the Shilo Inn.
Angel Pavey, a military spouse, made friends with the other expectant mothers near her in the registration line and they all decided to sit together.
“We’ve been chatting about our kids and pregnancies in the past,” said Pavey, who is 35 weeks pregnant with her third child. “After your first child you don’t get another baby shower, but you still want to celebrate.”
This is the second year Operation Homefront, a San Antonio-based nonprofit, has hosted a baby shower in the area for pregnant women who are either on active duty or married to a soldier ranked as a staff sergeant or below, or any wounded warrior or spouse of one, said Tracy Curran, the organization’s first community liaison based in Killeen.
“It helps them out financially,” Curran said, of the shower, which provides hundreds of dollars worth of gifts to the women. “It’s also time without kids or spouses. It’s mommy-to-be-time.”
About 50 women attended Thursday’s lunchtime event to meet other moms, play shower games and walk away with gifts including a car seat, baby bathtub, diapers, wipes, bibs, clothes and blankets.
“It’s a nice social event,” said Tina Bellamy, a military spouse expecting her second child. “We were not expecting another kid at all. We needed a new car seat, and this will really help out.”
With all her family in other states, this is her only opportunity for a baby shower, Bellamy said.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” she said, pointing to the trees decorated with baby washcloths and other pink and blue decorations.
Pavey said all of her family is on the East Coast and unable to visit.
“This is comforting when you’re away from family,” she said.
Emilia Ramos, of Killeen, came to volunteer at the baby shower, because she said as a military spouse and mother of two, she knows the impact Operation Homefront can have on families.
“It would have meant a lot,” she said of receiving so many gifts. “I had my youngest son in Korea and it would have meant a lot, so that’s why I wanted to give back.”
Pavey said the gifts are greatly appreciated.
“Anything Operation Homefront does is greatly appreciated,” she said. “Anything anybody donates to Operation Homefront is greatly appreciated. It makes the military feel supported.”