Memorial Day can be Very Special, but it Can also cause Bad Memories

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Today is Memorial Day. I want to honor all of our fallen brothers and sisters.

I watched the annual tribute to the fallen military on public Broadcasting last night.

One of the hosts was Gary Sinise. He is one of the huge heroes to all military. He spends hours and hours doing things to help them.

The program had me crying a lot. I usually don’t shed tears, but this was special. They covered all the wars. Many heroes, who spoke. Actors portrayed some of those who had passed on, but had a story to share.

There was one segment that honored nurses in the military. That really broke me up. My brother-in-law’s mother was a nurse in WWII. She was like a second mom to me.

She told me stories on how she held hands of those who were dying. A soldier asked her not to leave, because he didn’t want to die alone. She stayed with him until his last breath. She broke down crying when he passed.

During the Public Broadcast they played taps. That tore me up the most. I get emotional every time I hear it.

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There is a wonderful tribute for the military on YouTube. You search for “Tribute to Veterans.”

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Some articles for Memorial Day

Celebrating Memorial Day over a grill or a pool is one thing, but what about when you’re in the middle of a war? That’s what retired Army Col. Steve Miska experienced when he commanded Task Force Justice in Baghdad in 2007, at the height of sectarian violence during the Iraq War. Not only were Miska and his colleagues mourning the recent loss of their fellow American soldiers, but also the Iraqi interpreters and supporters who helped keep them all alive in a dangerous city. When you’re in the middle of it, remembering those who passed strengthens your resolve to keep fighting, Miska writes.

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“The day will have a few rough spots … we will all get emotional at some point,” an Army veteran told Haley Britzky in this excellent story about what Memorial Day really means to those who’ve served. Believe it or not, the holiday often involves plenty of laughter as well as tears. It will start with a fellow vet leaning over from their lawn chair and telling an old story that starts with ‘Remember that time in Ramadi/COP Najil/Anaconda/Dirty Tampa/Long Bihn…’ and we will laugh our asses off,” the former soldier said.

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How are you feeling on this Memorial Day? Have your memories been good, or do they haunt you?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 12,050 fellow veterans who have subscribed to this site, and they all have your back.

If the memories are getting the best of you. GET HELP!

There is a tool free number to call 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

Never live with bad memories!

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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There Can be Some Very Embarrassing Times While in the Military

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Military news…

“You’re ridiculous,” one elected official told a former Cabinet secretary on live television yesterday. Lawmakers of both parties used the hearing, where they grilled former Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and other witnesses over the Capitol Hill insurrection of Jan. 6, to grandstand for their constituents. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) called Miller ridiculous for going back on his previous position that former President Donald Trump instigated the riot.

“I stopped feeling like I mattered. Like what I was doing was insignificant,” is one of many reasons why troops choose to get out of the military. Haley Britzky writes that other big factors were the lack of family care plans and sheer exhaustion from the never-ending push for readiness and deployments. Haley’s story comes as the military struggles to meet its end-strength goals.

5 tips for how to successfully transition out of the military

1. Build a strong set of resumes

Translating your knowledge, skills, and abilities into multiple resume formats for the public and private sectors is the first step towards success when applying for post-military jobs.  

Chronological resume. This format is most likely what comes to mind first when you think of resumes. It lists your work experience in order, from most recent to oldest. Chronological resumes are standard in most careers fields and are the best option if you’ve been working in your desired area of interest for a while because it highlights your applicable experiences. 

Functional resume. This type of resume highlights your skills and abilities, rather than relying on work experience to make you a good candidate for a job. If you’re breaking into a new career field or are lacking experience for your desired job, you’ll want to create a functional resume to feature your potential to be the best candidate. If your education matches your career interest, make sure to highlight it here.

Federal resume. The federal job website USAjobs.gov relies heavily, though not exclusively, on automated filtering systems for portions of the hiring process and has specific requirements for your resume. A lot of your success in getting through the first round of screening is matching keywords in the job description to your resume. Set yourself up for success by using the websites FedsHireVets and FASClass – they’re key to helping you navigate the complex federal hiring system.

2. Take advantage of your benefits.

There are a multitude of benefits available to veterans through the VA – home loans, G.I. Bill for education, financial compensation for disability, and medical care, to name a few. Some former service members are hesitant to take advantage of what the VA has to offer, either from feeling like they didn’t do enough to earn disability compensation or fear of the process of applying for benefits being frustrating and time-consuming. VA benefits are not a handout, and applying for them doesn’t take anything away from anyone else who you think “had it worse.” There are a multitude of accredited Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) who can help you navigate the claims process.   

3. Transition your healthcare plan.

Moving from military health coverage to a private plan within 90 days of your separation is important to avoid gaps in medical care. Tricare offers 90 days of continued coverage after separation to give you time to find a new healthcare plan. But even if you’re retaining Tricare benefits as a retiree, you’ll still have to apply to continue your benefits. Most insurance plans have waiting periods before your coverage starts, so make sure to sign up with an insurance provider with ample time to spare before you lose coverage. If you are moving into the workforce post service, many employers offer insurance options in their benefits packages, so explore your options before committing.

4. Get life insurance coverage. 

Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) won’t provide you ongoing coverage after you leave the military, so it’s important to start shopping for life insurance coverage that suits your needs and the needs of your family. A lot of insurance providers offer a buffet of options to fit your stage of life and budget. There are some key things to consider, like if you want term coverage versus whole life coverage, and how much you’ll be paying in premiums. Who you buy your insurance from is just as important as the policy itself, so make sure to shop around and find what you need. There are a lot of veteran-friendly insurance providers who cater specifically to the needs of service members.

5. Take advantage of available resources. 

If you don’t know where to start or need a little help on your journey from service member to civilian, there are a lot of places to find help. Whether you need help making a resume, career counseling, financial planning, or mental health care, there are plenty of places to turn. Organizations like the USO, Hire Heroes, and Transition Assistance Program are just a few that offer support and assistance to transitioning service members. Becoming a fully integrated civilian doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that requires time, patience, and a lot of adjustment. Not only is it OK to ask for help, but it is wise to do so. Entering the civilian workforce after military service can feel a bit bewildering, not unlike your first days of basic training. Seemingly simple things like searching for a job, choosing what to wear, or interviewing for a position can feel foreign and overwhelming at first. Getting help from a transition expert can help greatly reduce the stress and anxiety associated with leaving the military.

Transitioning out of the military is a monumental life change, whether you feel prepared for it or not. There are a lot of unknowns to navigate and an entirely new way of life to get used to. Planning ahead, using available resources, and finding the right partners are the best path forward.

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When I enlisted in the Army, I was only 18 years old. I was a very naive. I hadn’t even been away from my hometown.

Before you could officially be a service member you had to pass a physical. Two buddies and I went to Portland, Oregon to take the physical.

We came into a big room that looked like a gymnasium. There were about thirty enlistees there. They had us all stand in a line facing the far wall. Then two doctors came out of a side door and started going down the line to each man.

We weren’t military yet so we could watch what they were doing. I was horrified.

We all had to pull down our pants and take off our undies!

One of the doctors was in the front and the other was behind you.

The front doctor put his hand on your testicles and told you to couch. The other doctor put his finger up your rear and felt around.

That was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, up to that point.

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This is one of the many stories that are in my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life.

Keep coming back to see other excerpts, and updates on how the book is coming along.

Better yet, Subscribe right now to this site by going to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do that all future post will go directly to your inbox.

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How is your day going? Did you have some embarrassing times while in the military, and do you have nightmares about them?

Fear Not!

There are over 11,800 fellow veterans on this site who have your back.

However, if it is just to much for you, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

Never live through nightmares anymore!

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

___________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know about it.

Losing a Buddy in the Service is Very Hard to Face

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This old soldier is having surgery in his mouth tomorrow. Got to take two teeth out that infected. The infection is going down into my body. Not good.

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Military News…

Black airmen 74% more likely than whites to get Article 15, report finds.
Dozens of West Point cadets caught in worst cheating scandal in decades.

Overweight troops are costing the Pentagon more than $1 billion a year.

Airman awarded for braving rocket fire to treat wounded troops during Camp Taji attack.

‘I don’t think I’m special’ says Marine who rescued a baby from a burning car.

Soldier and 16-year-old boy charged with murder of Fort Drum soldier.

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One of the things I really enjoyed while serving, was to get to know some great Afro Americans. (They would rather be called black people.)

There were some during Basic Training, but we were too exhausted to get to know each other. We trained and slept.

During my training at FT Gordon, GA. I met a black man who was an instant friend. He had a mustache, and smoked a pipe during off time. We had some great discussions in the barracks, about racism, etc.

While in Korea I met specialist Jackson. He was black and looked like a linebacker.

One day he and a buddy of his come strolling in to my Quesant hut (Barricks) I was just unloading my gear. It was my first day at Camp Red Cloud.

I thought this may be pick on the new guy time so I was very nervous.

I was very wrong. They both shook my hand and welcomed me to Camp Red Cloud. I became instant friends with both of them. (They were big and strong. Can’t hurt having them on your side.)

Those same guys took me to the base bar. Bad things happened. there.

You will have to read my book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life, to find out what happen.

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Did you meet some good buddies while in the service? Did some of them not come home? I lost two buddies. I know the feeling.

Not to worry!

There are 11.950 fellow veterans here that have your back.

If the losses for buddies is just too much GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number to cal 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are ok.

Never let the bad memories overcome you!

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

___________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know about it.