Every day in commissaries around the world mothers are shopping for their families. They often pay attention to everyone but themselves.

The Defense Commissary Agency would like to lavish some well-deserved attention on the military mom for a change.

“Moms are the heartbeat of our military families, whether they are holding down the home front or in uniform themselves deployed down range,” said Philip E. Sakowitz Jr., DeCA director and chief executive officer. “From January through Mother’s Day in May, we want to focus special attention on our military moms and show them how much they mean to us.”

During this promotion, commissaries stateside and overseas will roll out their “red carpets” for mothers who populate all segments of the military community. Each store will highlight a special shopping area for military moms, a place where mothers can purchase discounted products to treat themselves or where their husbands, children and grandchildren also can do the honors.

It’s the commissary’s way of saying “Thank you” to a customer demographic that represents about 80 percent of daily commissary shoppers.

Commissary customers can expect to see banners and posters that point the way toward product displays designed especially for mom. They also will see product giveaways and demonstrations as well as an emphasis on women’s health articles posted on the DeCA Web site, www.commissaries.com in the Ask the Dietitian forum.

In other commissary news, applications for the Scholarships for Military Children Program must be in the store – either by hand or mail – by close of business Feb. 18.

Applications are available in commissaries worldwide or online through a link at www.commissaries.com and directly at militaryscholar.org, where they can be filled out on the computer and printed, or printed and filled out by hand. Be sure to check all materials carefully; fill out the 2009 application and remember to sign it.

If the application is not being hand-delivered, use a delivery method that supplies a return receipt. Only dependent, unmarried children (under the age 23) of Active-Duty, Reserve, Guard and retired military members; survivors of service members who died while on active duty; or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military may apply for a scholarship.

Applicants must be planning to attend, or already be attending, an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2009, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Eligibility is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current ID card. Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization best known for building comfort homes near military medical facilities, administers the Scholarships for Military Children program through Scholarship Managers, a professional firm that screens applicants and awards scholarships. Neither Fisher House nor DeCA are involved in the decision process. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.