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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Co,me 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.

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Fear is Something Many Soldiers Have to Face Every Day.

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Stolen valor, the term for when civilians pretend that they served in the military, isn’t always bad, at least when it takes down racist dirt bags. Specifically, one Army veteran-turned-FBI-informant named Joseph Moore won the trust of a Ku Klux Klan cell in Florida by coming up with fake war stories and pinning false medals to his hat.

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All U.S. service members, even if they are fully vaccinated, now have to wear masks indoors if they are in an area where COVID-19 is raging. Many troops thought the pandemic was over, but now it’s back to the mask, and just in time for the hottest month of the year.

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The Afghan Air Force is already falling apart, despite President Joe Biden’s claims that the U.S. would make sure the Afghans could maintain it. You need spare parts and bombs to keep an air force running, and Afghanistan is zero on both.

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The Navy has charged a sailor with starting a fire in July 2020 that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship that became engulfed by an inferno for days as the ship was docked in San Diego, California. The ship cost $1.2 billion to build, but it only took a few days for it to burn beyond repair.

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“We have to be honest with the American people, who pay for this – not only in money but also in blood and treasure.” That’s from John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, who took reporters through all the mistakes the U.S. made in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. The result: a resurgent Taliban and little to show for the thousands of Coalition and Afghan troops and citizens who died there.

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‘You’re gonna keep your A-10 Warthogs and you’re gonna like it,’ is essentially what Senators said to the Air Force after it tried to cut 42 A-10 attack planes from its fleet in its fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, reports yours truly in this piece. The A-10 is a legendary attack plane that has saved the bacon of countless ground troops over the past 45 years, but it is getting older and Air Force officials worry it’s not up to face China in a big war.
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Here may be the last excerpt for a while. Time to send the book off to the publisher.

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F.E.A.R

(1) Forget Everything and Run, or

(2) Face Everything and Rise.

The choice is yours

Fear is one of the inevitable things a soldiers must face. I faced it a few times. The worst time was when I was on a plane ready to fly to the Bay of Pigs. I was ready to serve my country, but not knowing what was going to happen caused the fear.

In the dictionary fear is described as:

  1. A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil or pain.
  2. Concern or anxiety.
  3. To be worried or afraid.
  4. Reverential awe, especially towards God.

All of us on that plane tried to hide our fear. We were supposed to be men/women. We were not supposed to think about what might happen to us. In reality we all thought about not returning home. We thought about loved ones. We thought about the unknown we were facing.

It is hard to face fear. John Wayne said, ” Courage is being scared and saddling up anyway.” This is the man who played the parts of heroes all his life. Many of his films were military films.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

Fear isn’t something that is a cowardly act. It is an honest reaction to what is happening around you.

I have faced my own fears. I was within hours of death when I was rushed to the hospital in and ambulance and had quadruple by-pass surgery on my heart.

When you see a car coming at you, head on, while driving on a highway, You don’t act in a cowardly manner, you react. You take action to save your own life.

If you feel you were fearful too often while you served, don’t let that give you a feeling of failure on your part. It is just an honest feeling that often brings out the best in people.

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How is your day? Did you face fear while enlisted? Did things seem to go belly up for you?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 12,525 fellow veterans subscribed to this site who have your back.

This may not be enough for you. If so, 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 the know you are OK.

Never face fear alone!

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.

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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+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.