This year, as I prepare to observe the anniversary of September 11, I have decided to take my solemn and respectful observation a step further from passive remembrance to actively honoring those who lost their lives and those who gave so much on that day.
In the past six years of my life, I have been shipping care packages overseas — a lot of them. Between two deployments, being stationed overseas, a few adopted soldiers and a school supply project in Iraq, I have shipped well over 400 boxes. I have never had a box lost or horribly damaged. That’s a blessing.
When I ship boxes, I pack them myself and I use a system I’ve developed over the years. It’s not rocket science. You also learn with time to choose items you can easily fit into flat rate boxes. I’ve never even used a mail store, such as a UPS Store, until recently.
I suppose I know a lot about sleep.
Sleep habits were the topic of a research project I did in my final semester of graduate school. My test subject for the project was someone who was struggling with chronic insomnia, and my job as a social worker was to find answers that would help her out with minimal amount of intervention. The real goal of the study was to address bad habits and see if medication could be avoided all together.
First, we went over her medical history. She was in good health, and her doctor had ruled out anything medical that would cause the insomnia. Basically, she was struggling with environmental factors that were causing her to have a hard time falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep when she finally passed out from exhaustion.
Being a “military brat” is often a badge of pride for both children and adults. I know because, not only am I a military veteran, I am also a “military brat”. My father served in the Army for 22 years. We traveled to Europe and around the US, met all sorts of people and encountered a variety of cultures. Sometimes military kids can become a bit smug when they relate their life experiences to their “normal” friends.
The nation has watched carefully as dedicated athletes powered through the first week of competition at the 2012 Olympics.
A prime example of this transition to Olympic glory is Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old gymnast who edged out tough competition to win gold in the all-around competition after helping bring home a gold for Team USA just a few nights before.
Although by now you’re familiar with her name and brilliant work, you may not have known that Gabby is a proud military kid. Gabby’s father, a Staff Sargent with the Air National Guard, has faced three deployments since 2003.
You’ve heard the old saying “What can go wrong will go wrong.” That’s the philosophy on which Murphy’s Law is built. I am not one to harp on the negative, but sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. Murphy’s Law is something that we can almost always count on happening in military life.
These unfortunate events are all tongue-in-cheek and are meant to make you laugh. Hopefully they will also drum up for you some comfort. It’s always nice to know you are not alone in the absurdity that life seems to hand us (and military life gets a double dose of the absurd).
Marvel has just released the latest issue of their special Avengers comics honoring the military. This series, started by Marvel in 2005, is distributed freely to service members and their families at Army Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) locations.
Being a good friend is a lot of work, but it comes naturally for most of us. In the military we are often forced into friendships, and we have to do it quickly as we adjust to new surroundings, new people and sometimes even a new culture! This may be the spice of life for those who are social butterflies and are naturally in command in a full room. However, being a friend may be a little more of a challenge for those who feel awkward with strangers and would rather be with a book instead of a group of people.
Universally, there are a few things that make good friendships. Some friendships just form because you have a natural connection with another person, and some friendships have to be made out of necessity. Both types of friendships can be special and long-lasting.
As military families, we are used to having to tackle the harder subjects in life, and we hit them head-on. We know we need to be honest with our kids about war, and about what our deployed service members are facing. However, there is always a balance between the truth about tragedy and information that could be too overwhelming for younger ears.
I was thinking about the horrific shooting early Friday morning at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater. How can we explain this tragedy and others like it to our children while maintaining a sense of trust? How can we assure they can be safe and still meet good people in this world?
Summer is in full swing, and managing everything that comes with it can be difficult. Although family vacations and outings are certainly highlights of the season, it’s safe to say planning the perfect getaway or even afternoon is stressful in the lives of already busy families. On top of that, you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal on your next summer purchase. How do you find great military bargains without using up some of your precious family time? We’re here to help you save time and money. We’d like to introduce our Summer Military Deals and Discounts Guide that contains more deals than one could dream of using in a summer.