Spouses Are a Critical part of the Military life

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Military news…

The U.S. military is looking for ways to make night vision goggles even more badass, like by making them as lightweight and compact as a pair of regular eyeglasses.

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There’s an abandoned Air Force base with underground tunnels for sale on Facebook right now.

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Two Marines died and 17 were injured in a vehicle rollover accident on a highway near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on Wednesday.

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“It is still hard to say goodbye to a unit that has so completely defined the experience of being a Marine.” That’s from Marine Lt. Gen. James Bierman, who wrote a memo about the pending deactivation of the legendary 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines.

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A soldier was beheaded at Fort Bragg over a year ago. The Army still doesn’t know why.

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Russian troops move into Belarus, DOD officials weigh options should Ukraine be invaded
A State Department official said Tuesday that an invasion of Ukraine could now come from its northern border with Belarus after Russian troops were moved into that country for military drills.

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Military services enlisted fewer but better qualified recruits at outset of coronavirus pandemic in 2020, study finds

The Pentagon took in fewer recruits in 2020 than in prior years as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, but those accepted into the military were generally of higher quality than in recent years.

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British C-17s carrying arms to Ukraine fly around German airspace

British C-17 cargo planes carrying anti-tank missile systems have been dispatched to Ukraine, bypassing German airspace in the process in an apparent effort to expedite the delivery of the hardware.

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Here is a very vital chapter from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

Military Spouses Have a Huge Task

“Military counts on spouses more than any other job.”

Chief of Staff of the Army, General Ray Odierno (Retired)

One of the toughest situations in the military has to be for a spouse who is left behind during a time of deployment.

I was single when I was deployed to Korea. I was married for only a couple of months before I got out of the military, so I don’t have firsthand experience about this. But I have read many different spouses’ thoughts regarding how it was for them to be at home alone to take on all the tasks by themselves. This chapter will discuss their thoughts and hopefully give you some insight into the world of being a spouse at home during a deployment.

I guess the most important place to start is noting that there are both male and female spouses who are left behind to “hold down the fort,” while their loved one is gone. There are many wives/mothers who are deployed as well as husbands/fathers.

I have found that it may be a little harder for the man who is left behind for a couple of reasons. The most glaring one is the friend circle, or the lack of it. Men often don’t have a very big circle of other male spouses of deployed wives to share their struggles and frustrations with.

They also have to face the few (who, in my opinion, are uneducated) who look down on a man who stays behind and isn’t on the front lines himself. They are ignorant of the fact that in the real world many mothers go off to work and the dad is “Mr. Mom.”

There is no shame in this anymore than in a wife staying home and caring for the children and household.

In general what follows is what either male or female parents go through to survive in the home environment.

It seems they are always at their limit. They need to get kids off to school. Need to clean the house. Take time to do the bills. They are off to the grocery store. Pick up the kids at school. Take them to soccer practice. Pick them up afterwards. Prepare all the meals. Take out the trash. Do the laundry, and put the kids to bed.

I could list many other things the at-home spouse must do, but what I have written so far leads to a very stressful day. As a matter of fact it can be downright overwhelming.

As if all of these concerns weren’t enough, they also worry about their spouse who may be in harm’s way. They worry about enough money coming in to support the family. They may have to get jobs to help out, which leads to daycare issues or older children being home alone at times.

Speaking of the children, they seem strong. They seem to be coping better than the spouses in most cases. However, there are the times they realize their other parent isn’t around and they miss them. They begin to cry and need hugs and love.

It is extremely important that there is a circle of friends for support, male or female. Those friends shouldn’t just say, “How’s your day?” and not really mean it. They need to actually want to know how your day is. They need to sit and listen when you need them.

The distance (both emotional and geographic) between them and their spouse can be very hard. There are missed moments. There are lonely nights. There are times they are angry because they have to make so many of the decisions.

Then when the spouse returns after a long deployment, the dynamics and rhythms of home life have often changed as the at-home spouse carries the load. That can make the re-introduction of the military person into the home a bit awkward.

How about when the spouse is home? Sounds like a perfect situation, except everything depends on what the military wants. It’s hard trying to plan leaves and vacations and special occasions. They often have to be postponed at a moment’s notice.

The on-duty military spouse also may have long hours, even up to 12- to 14-hour days. The family may feel as if the parent is still deployed even though he or she is home.

One of the hardest parts for a military family is the constant moving from one location to another. Every two to three years, they have to pack up everything and move. Each family member loses a circle of friends at the old duty post and then has to make new ones at the next location. This occurs many times during an active military person’s time of service.

There is also the problem of the spouse finding a job at the new duty post. With each move, the spouse has to start at the bottom at their place of employment—if they can find a job and/or are actually over-qualified for an entry-level position. Often employers don’t want to hire someone who will probably be leaving in a couple of years. Sometimes the spouse has to settle for a less-than-ideal job in order to contribute to the family’s finances. 

And when the military says it’s time to go to a new duty post, the non-military spouse is often the one to shoulder the details of the move. I can speak from personal knowledge on this since my daughter-in-law is married to my son who was an Army officer. They moved more than 15 times during his time in the military. They often had to pack up their belongings in a U-Haul and travel sometimes thousands of miles and unload at the other end. My daughter-in-law often had to find the new home before they moved and make all the arrangements. She spent endless hours cleaning, packing, and planning the trip.

One of the toughest times for the military family is the holidays. It’s hard if the family is unable to see the extended family at this time of year. And it’s doubly hard on the family if a parent is deployed. At Christmas, the kids really feel sad because Mom or Dad isn’t there to open presents with them. This is when the at-home spouse really has to be brave and do whatever they can to smooth this time over.

Trying to find happiness in a military family during deployment is tough at best, but I received a note from a woman who told me, “Other people are not responsible for your happiness.” That tough-love statement is very true. We can’t expect other people to make us happy. We need to find our own happiness, and hope that our spouses will also help us in finding that happiness.

In concluding this chapter, I want you to know that many spouses don’t cry because they are weak. They cry because they miss their spouse. Part of that is because they wake up every day wondering if their spouse is still alive.

So to all of you, who are friends and family of those in the military, be sure to tell the military person thank you, but also tell the spouse thank you. They are heroes too.

As in every walk of life, God is the constant force to turn to during stressful times. He is close and hears your cries for help. He will give you comfort, and help you through the daily trials you face.

IWILL

This chapter was one of the hardest for me to write. My heart goes out to those who are left behind. I mentioned my daughter-in-law earlier, and I must say she was an angel in disguise for my son during his military career. She never faltered. She was always by his side. She supported him 100 percent 24/7. I can speak for my son in saying that it would have been a tough road to travel if he hadn’t had her by his side, encouraging him and loving him.

Think about this Isn’t it interesting how some people go unnoticed who are really the wind beneath your wings?

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Come back often to see other excerpts. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do lal future posts will go directly to your inbox.

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Checking in on you…How are you doing? Are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 13,650 fellow veterans here who have your back.

If you are battling mentally, because of your love for others, but it isn’t working, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will no hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

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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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+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.

+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.

Alcohol Abuse is very Common in the Military

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Military news…

A memorial for the Global War on Terrorism may still be a long way off, but it has taken an important step towards its eventual completion.

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Facing It. “The Harder I Held on, the Further I Felt From Home.”

Drew Pham grieves for the family of the man he killed at war. His peers and commanders told him it was a good kill, but how can a kill be “good”?
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Air Force Discharges 27 For Refusal to Get COVID Vaccine

The Air Force has discharged 27 people for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, making them what officials believe are the first service members to be removed for disobeying the vaccination mandate.

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Guardsman in Jan. 6 Mob Gets Probation, Still Serving in the Guard

A Wisconsin National Guard soldier was sentenced in federal court Dec. 10 to two years of probation and $1,500 in fines and restitution on one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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Kentucky National Guard Soldier Returns to Hometown For ‘Deeply Personal’ Mission Following Tornadoes

Kentucky National Guardsmen uncovered the state and U.S. flags while clearing debris last week at the County Courthouse destroyed by a tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky.

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103 Marines Already Separated For Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine

At least 103 Marines have been separated from the Marine Corps for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the service said Thursday.

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Army veteran, hit man in killing of Navy officer, awaits new sentencing hearing on death row

Army veteran David A. Runyon, convicted of being the hit man in a murder-for-hire slaying of a Navy officer, was sentenced to death in 2009, but in December 2020 a panel for the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that the case be sent back to Norfolk for a hearing.

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Another excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life.

Not too many left before I stop sharing, so come back often to chek this site out. Better yet… Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts go directly into your inbox.

JUST DO IT! 🙂

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Just One More Drink!

I knew some men who were lost in the drinking world. They couldn’t put that glass down. When they drink they would drink to the last drop, not wanting to waste any of it, like a soldier on the desert getting the last drop out of their canteen. 

Alcohol abuse is common in the military. I was a naïve and unknowing boy when I went into the military. I hadn’t done any drinking of any kind. I was right out of high school. 

But once I got to Korea I met some veterans of another kind. They were veteran drinkers.

They wanted me to go with them to the base tavern. I resisted for a while and they kept after me. I finally went with them one night. It was the end of the month, and they were having drinks for ten cents each. I think they said they try to clear out all the booze at the end of the month, because a new shipment was coming from the main land.

Ten cents? Wow! I thought. This is too good of a deal to pass up. I was nearly broke, but I had a couple of dollars. That could buy me twenty drinks. (What a deal!)

I was with two soldiers that I befriended when I got there. One was an athletic looking guy, and the other was a “tall drink of water,” from Texas.

They showed me that they loved to drink. I decided to have my first drink. I asked them what drinks were good. They told me the Zombie drink was especially sweet, and tasty. I had no idea what kind of drink it was. (I should have known just from the title of the drink!) They each also ordered one. They brought the drinks to our table.

The Zombies were huge. They were in a tall glass and had a murky green and brown look to them.

My friends (?) said “Let’s have a drinking contest. Let’s see who can finish their drink first.” I fell for the trap. We all held the glasses to our lips and one of them yelled “GO!” 

I had two gulps down before the burning sensation in my throat started. I thought I had swallowed a nest of yellow jackets! I coughed, and tried to standup.

They guys pulled me back down and said, “You aren’t finished yet. Keep at it.” I wanted this experience to end so I kept drinking. I remember about four gulps, and then everything went black. I was having a black-out.

I didn’t remember the whole rest of the evening, and woke up the next morning lying next to a big truck and having dry heaves. There had to have been people walking by the spot where I was, but no one helped me. They probably just said, “Oh, there is another recruit who just got in.” 

It took me several days to get my life back to a livable state. I had to go to the infirmary to get some medicine to help, and the doctor just laughed and said, “You must be a new guy.” 

So what did I learn from that?

  • Things aren’t what they seem.
  • Friends you are supposed to trust aren’t always good friends.
  • If something looks like it may be wrong, it probably is.
  • You don’t have to do things to empress anyone to make them like you.

Now days, I have a beer once and a while, but I never overindulge. It just doesn’t make sense to me to be drinking just to get drunk. I used to think that non-alcoholic beer was a joke. I also thought, if I am going to drink beer I am doing it for the buzz, not the taste. Now I enjoy the taste, and feel that once I have quenched my thirst that is all I need.    

How about you? Do you struggle with drinking too much? I know it is possible in the military to have down times, lonely times, depressing times, drinking with buddies, where you seem to be attracted to alcohol, because it is needed to drown your sorrows in it.

I suggest to you that the opposite should be true. We shouldn’t be going to the one thing that could give us more depression. We shouldn’t be going to the one thing that could cause us to stop thinking clearly, which is dangerous when you are depressed and lonely.  

During your moment of depression you should be thinking as many positive thoughts as you can. Push out all that garbage out of your brain. Talk to friend. Let them know you are feeling down. Don’t go to alcohol to try to hide your pain. It may cause you more.

IWILL

If we can keep our minds clear of all the negativity around us, we have a much better chance of fighting off the dark side that is trying to cause us pain. We should never, ever think we need alcohol to free us of the mental pain.

Think about this

Isn’t it interesting how we think we are sad, and yet we have so many people around us who want to help?

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Checking on on you. Have things gone wrong from you drinking too much?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,590 fellow veterans subscribed to this site who have your back.

If the dreams just too much for you right now, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until the know you are OK.

1-800-272-8255..texting 838255.

__________________________________________

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.

I Found Out That White Lightning Can Make You Blind, in the Military

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_____________________________________________

Military news…

The Army is developing a COVID-19 vaccine to fight all variants of the virus, including those that may not yet exist.

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Russian forces could soon push deeper into Ukraine, and this time it may look more like an invasion than the covert campaign Russia has waged since 2014.


“When I opened the door, it didn’t even register at first who I was looking at, and when it finally clicked … words cannot describe the feeling.” That’s from Army veteran Adam Strick, who got a surprise visit on Saturday night from his old battle buddy Mike Fligg. The two spent every day of their 15-month deployment to Iraq together, but they had not seen each other in 14 years.

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A private housing contractor that subjected military families across the country to mold, insect infestations, burst pipes and other problems agreed to pay more than $65 million in fines and restitution.

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A Florida state Senator wants to bring back the old cliche ‘join the military or go to jail’ for criminals.

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Everyone knows reindeer help Santa deliver presents, but did you know they also helped defeat the Nazis? That’s right, about 6,000 reindeer played a crucial role helping the Soviet Army beat the Wermacht back into Germany during World War II.

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Holidays are cherished times spent with family and loved ones. Sometimes, due to deployment, or situations outside of our control, we can’t spend holidays with the people we love.

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Another excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the MIlitary: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

This chapter was about my exposure to White Lightening

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White Lightning in West Virginia

While I was stationed at Ft Bragg, North Carolina, we went on maneuvers in West Virginia. We were out in the country hills right in the middle of farm land.

We had time off on one of the days there so a couple of others guys and me went on a walk through the farm land. As we came around a bend, we saw some men sitting up on a hill in lawn chairs laughing and carrying on. We thought we might as well get to know some of the locals.

As we got closer we saw that the men had rifles leaning up against their chairs. I started thinking about the movie, Deliverance. They were all in overalls, and were smoking pipes with who knows what in them. Beards were the style for all of them. They would fit right in with the people of, Duck Dynasty.

We said hi, and they invited us to sit with them for a while. I noticed one of them was drinking out of a Mason jar. It looked like water, but I knew better. One of my friends asked what it was. “We call it White Lightning, here,” said one of the men who looked like he may be the elder of the group.

I was such a naïve young man, that I had no idea what they meant by the term White Lightning. They laughed when I asked them.

They said I should take a taste of it to see for myself. They handed me a jar, and I took a sip. I thought my insides were going to explode. I made some kind of noise, because all the Virginia guys laughed when it looked like I was going to heave.

However, the guys with me were “veteran,” drinkers and they tried a taste. They really liked it and drank the whole jar full. It wasn’t long before they started acting “silly.”

One of them liked it so much he asked for a refill. The “farmers,” had no trouble doing that. My friend sat there and drank another full jar of the concoction. He was getting very dizzy and incoherent about that time.

Then he started screaming, “I am going blind!” He said he couldn’t see. The hosts didn’t seem to get too worried. They said it is common to go temporarily blind for those who are new at drinking it.

It wasn’t funny for my group, and we helped our blind friend back to the camp area. He eventually got his sight back. It must have been interesting for him to explain how he was blinded in the first place.

In life we can start slowly doing things we maybe shouldn’t be, and think that it is OK. We keep doing the things we know we shouldn’t be doing, and then we see we are in too deep and fall.

It is no different than drinking White Lightning. It seems harmless at first, but then we are blinded by the force that has overcome us.

Be careful to always check out what is happening around you, wherever you may be. There things that look innocent, and yet can lead you down the wrong path.

IWILL

All too often there are people in the private sector who try to take advantage of the soldiers when they come home. It could be a scheme to supposedly help you get rich quickly, or it may be people wanting to pilfer money out of you in other ways.  Never jump into any project or new venture without researching everything about it. Let others see what you may be doing and ask for their opinion. You will have many eyes to help you seek the truth for you.

Think About this

Isn’t it interesting that we always believe someone who says they are trying to help us be successful?

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I will be sharing excerpts from time to time, so keep coming back to check this site out. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will go directly to your inbox.

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Bed check. How are you doing? Do you have dreams about your service time? Are they nightmares?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,530 fellow veterans subscribed to this site who have your back.

If the dreams just too much for you right now, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until the know you are OK.

1-800-272-8255..texting 838255.

___________________________________________

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.