color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: May 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bang the Drum Slowly

For our fallen...

I meant to ask you how to fix that car
I always meant to ask you about the war
And what you saw across a bridge too far
Did it leave a scar

Or how you navigated wings of fire and steel
Up where heaven had no more secrets to conceal
And still you found the ground beneath your wheels
How did it feel

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

I meant to ask you how when everything seemed lost
And your fate was in a game of dice they tossed
There was still that line that you would never cross
At any cost

I meant to ask you how you lived what you believed
With nothing but your heart up your sleeve
And if you ever really were deceived
By the likes of me

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

Gone now is the day and gone the sun
There is peace tonight all over Arlington
But the songs of my life will still be sung
By the light of the moon you hung

I meant to ask you how to plow that field
I meant to bring you water from the well
And be the one beside you when you fell
Could you tell

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

- Bang the Drum Slowly, Guy Clark/Emmylou Harris

This is one of my favorite Emmylou Harris songs... she wrote it after the death of her career military father. You can
listen here free (you need Rhapsody but it's a free, easy and very quick download) or if you already have Rhapsody the direct link is here. The lyrics (and the voice and phrasing) are worth the listen.

And it's a good time to remind you that not all combat wounds are visible... and that not all combat deaths are those on the battlefield...

Copyright 2007 Some Soldier's Mom. All rights reserved.

PS Hugs & kisses to Robert & Vinny and the rest of Our Guys... thinking of you with Love.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Consider Yourself Slapped

Longer than usual post. Please forgive... but warm up the coffee and dig in.

The other day the House Committee on Veterans Affairs held a "Symposium" on PTSD. The speakers (besides all the members of the committee) included people from the Thought Field Therapy Center (ummm, tapping various pressure points on your body in a specific sequence and applied to a psychological problem the person is focusing on, "will eliminate the perturbations in the thought field, the fundamental cause of all negative emotions..." [ed. comment: including war??] and you apparently don't have to understand or believe for it to work! Yah.), National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (represents the interests of community behavioral healthcare organizations nationwide... conducts federal advocacy activities, representing the industry on Capitol Hill and before Federal agencies), American Psychiatric Association, Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University (improving the health of rural communities in Idaho and the Intermountain Region, as well as throughout the nation and the world [ed. comment: nothing like a little over achievement to scream mentally healthy, huh?]), Wounded Warriors Project (assisting men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world) and the American Enterprise Institute [for Public Policy Research] (a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare. [ed. comment: don't "government, politics & economics" actually preclude "social welfare"?]

I watched the last 60-90 minutes of this "symposium" and to say that I was less than impressed would be an understatement; to say that I was infuriated at times might be an overstatement. Aggravated, agitated (principally at the attitude) might be most accurate.

But what I know for sure is that many of those people DO.NOT.HAVE.A.CLUE about COMBAT-INDUCED PTSD's effect on those with the condition. And a few need to be slapped up side the head for their generally self-serving attitude. In the time I watched, I didn't hear one person actually talk about PTSD and it's effects on the Veteran. I didn't see one Veteran talk about it. Maybe that was earlier. Maybe.

So for the members of the Committee, their guests and the general public who might wander past this blog and actually make it to the bottom, and plagiarizing Dr. Satel (see below): Post-traumatic stress disorder is a real and painful condition. [I]t will afflict some men and women returning from Iraq. A humane and grateful country must treat them.

Those soldiers and Marines that suffer from PTSD truly suffer. Some of them live burdened with depression -- not just "the blues" -- but crippling thoughts of death and doom and hopelessness.

Some of them live with anxiety... sometimes debilitating and overwhelming anxiety that reduces them to fetal positions or sitting huddled in dark closets with hearts pounding and shortness of breath -- their minds and bodies convinced that their or a loved one's death is imminent and unable to convince themselves that such fears are unfounded. Even if it is not an extreme anxiety attack, the constant level of anxiety that hovers on them is exhausting mentally and physically.

Their sleep can be fitful and come only sporadically... and when it does come it is often interrupted by dreams and nightmares... adding to their exhaustion.

Some of these Veterans feel guilt -- survivor's guilt -- that they have lived and others -- sometimes many others - have not... unable to convince themselves that "coulda, shoulda, woulda" would only have meant one more death.

Most importantly, regardless of the number, complexity or severity of the symptoms those with PTSD experience, these individuals have lost their coping mechanisms: even with close, caring and supportive families, every nerve is raw and every stress -- even in daily living -- is a stress that cannot be accommodated. Like a sponge that has taken all the water it can hold, they can take no more stress and thoughts of putting themselves out of their misery obsess and consume them.

For the lucky, they have a command structure -- especially NCOs -- who encourage and insist that a Joe get help and the words, "Suck it up," never pass the Sgt.'s lips when one of his soldiers back from combat suggests that they might be f**d up.

For the even luckier, they recognize their peril and call a friend who comes over and takes the gun from his friend's hands, drives him to the hospital and tells his friend, "It's OK to get help."

No parent or spouse of a valued member of the military should ever have to receive a call telling them that their spouse or their child has attempted to take his or her own life. And no one should ever have to have the visit telling them that their loved one succeeded. People tell me that the culture is changing... not fast enough for this Mom. People tell me the stigma is changing -- I intend to help that change as much as I can.

The complexities of the brain and its attempts (both its successes and failures) to deal with trauma -- and, in the case of combat Vets, the daily pounding and unrelenting trauma that is war -- are as myriad as the Veterans who experience those traumas. If PTSD -- its affects, its diagnosis and its treatment -- were an exact science, we would be able to know why this event effects one but not another, or why this Marine has this symptom/response but not that one or why this combination of symptoms and not those. Conversely, we would know why this treatment worked for John but not for Charles. All we know for sure is what we do not know.

The Committee's after-action press release on the Symposium states, "Ideas for improved mental health service delivery to veterans included immediate screenings for all veterans upon their return from deployment, a “de-boot” camp to decompress from the stress of deployment, and more effective electronic medical records transfer between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs."

Well, except that soldiers are already screened and, to use an old adage, "if you know the system -- you can beat the system". 'nuff said... and military (regular, Reserve, Guard) have been away from home for 12, 15, 18 months and you want them to stay a little longer to decompress? How long do you think it will take to "decompress" from the physical, sensory and psychological stresses of WAR? A week? A month? Y'all will have to work on that one...

The whole records thing should just get DONE. Give them friggin' thumb drives or iPods or whatever with their records... hell, give me my son's records and I can scan them all in an afternoon, upload them to any one of a number of storage devices, encrypt and protect the info... and somebody just MAKE the services and the VA use the same software or storage medium. Whatever it takes, whatever it costs -- it's a one time investment and then it's done. I figure using one year's House and Senate retirement plan contributions ought to cover it. This has been a problem since the services and the VA computerized... Git it dun.

From comments made late in the discussions, I assume that representatives of the Veterans' Administration were actually present at some point, but not only is the VA not mentioned in the after-action press release from the Committee, neither is the content of the VA's testimony, and late in the Symposium when the Committee Chair asked for ideas -- no holds or cost barred -- the VA reps were already gone, so I have no clue what (if anything) the VA contributed to the discussion.

During this late exchange, I listened to Dr. Satel, a "resident scholar" for AEI [ok, what exactly is that?] and a psychiatrist who apparently works in a public [drug rehab?] clinic; her biography doesn't list any work with veterans in or out of a clinical setting although she references work at a VA in some of her testimony before Congressional Committees. She spent much of her time at this Symposium reiterating her thoughts contained in her 2006 paper in which she posits that there is little reliable evidence supporting claims that the current war is responsible for a surge in disability compensation among veterans' ranks and that there are more plausible explanations (read here) and her 2004 testimony before this same House Committee -- strongly suggesting (concluding?) that the percentage of Vietnam Vets with PTSD from the 1990 National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (The Research Triangle Institute) and considered the benchmark for estimating the PTSD levels of OIF/OEF Vets are highly inflated and unreliable and should not be used to estimate the number of Iraq Vets who will have PTSD. She suggests, in fact, that there will be far fewer soldiers with PTSD than people are touting:
But the most informative glimpse at what is happening now come from a report released just two days ago. The VHA Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards, Report #4, (March 9, 2004) states that 436 soldiers out of 107,540 separated from active duty in Iraq have thus far been diagnosed with PTSD. This is about .4% of veterans who returned. According to adherents of the NVVRS, we can expect to see a seventy-fold increase in PTSD over the next decade? This is an astounding (and unrealistic) amplification.

[ed.note: not only is that data for less than 12 months in Iraq, but I don't buy that number: 1,500,000 guys through Iraq and Afghanistan... 0.4% (remember to move the decimal when you pull out your calculator)... and just 6,000 will have PTSD? Or is that the number the military or VA was "forced"(in 2003?) to compensate because they couldn't get away with denying service-connected conditions?] Also keeping in mind that combat conditions in 2003 were far different than those chronic conditions that set in in 2004 to the present. (Please don't think I mean that conditions were not terrible in 2003; war really is always Hell.)

I also listened to a number of these "experts" say that we do nothing to help our Vets by "paying them to have PTSD" and that somehow paying them disability stipends is a disincentive to "getting well"... and in their experience getting these people [I think the reference was actually to recovering addicts] back to work gives them validation, improves their self-worth and serves to heal them... if not direct quotes, to that effect. In fact, Dr. Satel reiterated this from her 2004 testimony:
Once a patient gets permanent disability payment, motivation to ever hold a job declines, the patient assumes--often incorrectly--that he can no longer work, and the longer he is unemployed, the more his confidence in his ability for future work erodes and his skills atrophy. He is trapped into remaining “disabled” by the fact that he was once very ill but by no means eternally dysfunctional. (If disability benefits are unequivocally indicated, lump sum payments with or without a financial guardian might make better sense than monthly installments.)
If work is often the best therapy (it structures one’s life, gives a sense of purpose and productivity, provides important social opportunities and a healthy way to get one’s mind to stop ruminating about problems), then ongoing disability payments can be the route to further disability and isolation.
Someone else suggested that maybe we need to give these Veterans just "temporary" disability -- like SSA does -- and then they have to get jobs and go to work. [pause... breathe in... breathe out... clench teeth... calm... calm...]

To his credit, John Melia from the Wounded Warriors Project reminded those present that Veterans who receive disability payments are not being paid "not to work" but were, in fact, being compensated for their loss -- whether it was a limb or appendage or the invisible but real wounds of PTSD -- and that while a Veteran with PTSD might very well be able to function (and work) in society, he was being compensated for the part of him that prevented that Veteran from being WHOLE... that PTSD is a permanent diagnosis and condition (treatable but not curable). He also rightfully noted that it was unlikely that Veterans diagnosed with PTSD -- who rarely are given a 100% rating for PTSD absent other debilitating conditions -- could live on the resulting small stipend. These statements only brought a smattering of unenthusiastic nods and "uh-huhs" from the others assembled.

I listened to committee members use the "symposium" as their personal opportunity to pontificate on the terrible state of CIVILIAN health care and the lack of national insurance... and that perhaps the lack of PRE-service mental health care could be why some of our soldiers are developing PTSD while in combat... [pause... breathe in... breathe out... clench teeth... calm... calm...]

and another member go on about how therapeutic one Iraqi Vet found it to write a few plays (he thought the plays were excellent) and how this Vet is now encouraging other Vets to perform in these plays and why couldn't this Vet be using [some college's?] [a VA Center's?] two theatres and maybe expanding this program could be useful in treatment... [pause... breathe in... breathe out... clench teeth... calm... calm...]

In all fairness -- given my generally trusting nature (hope no one got coffee out their nose) -- I'm assuming that all of these individuals actually want to help our Vets... that their motives really aren't political or grandstanding and the non-committee members appearing have no professional or personal motives... and that the committee members' statements about how much the ill-advised war is costing per day and the anti-CURRENT administration statements really didn't mean to leave out their party's administrations for the lack of Tricare and VA funding, the attempted dismantling of the military, the stripping of funds, the neglect of facilities... [pause... breathe in... breathe out... clench teeth... calm... calm...]

As the parent of a Soldier with chronic PTSD, here are my humble suggestions:

(1) Treatment for a member of the military with a competent diagnosis of PTSD should not be optional - it should be mandatory and immediate. The only question allowed would be, "Where do I go?" Let's take this out of the hands of those least able to determine whether they need help. There would no longer be any stigma attached in "asking" for assistance nor would the unenlightened be able to persecute those that need treatment for it could no longer be considered a weakness nor "permitted" at the whim of an NCO -- treatment would be an ORDER. And immediate treatment would prevent the problems long-term neglect of an illness begets and return a member of the military to productive, active status sooner (when possible) -- one who would otherwise be discharged because treatment came too late to help.

(2) Congress and the American taxpayer need to put their money where their mouths (and outrage and concern) are. The American public, Congress and the military need to invest in infrastructure and support at military and veterans' facilities NOW to treat mental health issues. Thirteen in-patient beds in the psychiatric ward at a Fort with 40,000 soldiers and 100,000 dependents and contractors that has sent its infantry division on its 4th deployment to the Middle East is SHAMEFUL. Having veterans wait months for appointments is SHAMEFUL. Knowing that if 20% of the 1.5 million members of the military that have/are serving in OIF and OEF may need treatment at some point for the mental ravages of war -- even if they don't meet Dr. Satel's criteria of a diagnosis of "PTSD", there will be approximately 300,000 Veterans -- who volunteered when 99% of the American public would not -- that will seek counseling at a Veterans' facility somewhere at some time -- and we need to plan and fund for those needs NOW. America is the greatest country on Earth with the best military on Earth and we should be the Gold Standard for their treatment. Rather than the whipping boy for failures to take care of our Veterans, wouldn't it be nice to be held in esteem for their treatment -- just this once? The military and Veterans are serving and have served us, now it's our turn to serve them.

So I'll repeat myself: What I learned watching the Symposium is that some people DO.NOT.HAVE.A.CLUE about COMBAT-INDUCED PTSD's effect on those with the condition and have no idea how to help. And to those that need to be slapped up side the head for their generally self-serving attitude: consider yourself slapped.

Copyright 2007 Some Soldier's Mom. All rights reserved.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More Tears... Updated Updated

Update May 17, 2007:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 14 in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their unit came in contact with enemy forces using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Killed were:
Sgt. Allen J. Dunckley, 25, of Yardley, Pa.
Sgt. Christopher N. Gonzalez, 25, of Winslow, Ariz.

Prayers for our fallen and for their families.
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 09:29:54 -0400

Subject: Velvet Hammer

On the 14th of May I was notified by LTC Q (3rd Brigade Rear-Detachment Commander) that our Brigade has suffered the loss of two of our Soldiers from A/1-15 Infantry. The Soldiers lost their lives while conducting combat operations in Iraq.

The next of kin of our fallen soldiers have been notified. I ask you for your prayers for these Sledgehammer Soldiers and their families.

Respectfully, 1Lt JW

Our thoughts and prayers are also with the 10th Mountain Division and 31st Infantry Regiment family on the loss of their Heroes SFC Connell, SPC Courneya and PFC Murphy and on the continued search for their missing brothers.

DoD Announces Army Soldiers as Whereabouts Unknown

The Department of Defense announced today the identities of four soldiers listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have been unaccounted for since May 12 in Al Taqa, Iraq, when their patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives. They are assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Reported as DUSTWUN are:

Sgt. Anthony J. Schober, 23, of Reno, Nev.
Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass.
Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif.
Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich.

Search and recovery efforts are ongoing, and the incident is under investigation.

Copyright 2007 Some Soldier's Mom. All rights reserved.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

(Still) Hard to Be A Soldier's Mom

Almost two years ago when my son was deployed I wrote that it was Hard to Be a Soldier's Mom. It's still hard.

news of the soldiers killed and missing this weekend had me running to the reference sources looking at Our Guys' FOB and outpost info and the location of the attack as reported by the media. They're geographically close and our worry is intensified. Last night my soldier called to wish me Happy Mother's Day (it was Mother's Day where he was...) and we talked about the incident. We talked again of the code soldiers have in such cases. It made me shudder... as a mom... that we ask our young men (and women) to even consider their mortality in such terms, and knowing the love and guts it takes to promise each other those things.

I could hear his voice tighten and his words came hard and fast. If it was possible, I could hear his stress level increase. I imagined his worry... his thoughts pingponging between the past and the present. I hope he doesn't have to attend more memorial services... hope there are no more condolence calls to young wives and holding young sons and daughters on his lap. I know that he is reliving many of the events of his unit's last deployment in the recesses of his brain... and I know he wishes in other parts of his head that he was there... and me thanking the Lord that he is not... but I still have men I love there... in the fray.

I remember vividly the details of the horrific, mind-numbing murders of Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca and how horrified I was... I still am. I know Noah remembers even if he has never spoken to me about them... I know every soldier is thinking about that today. And determind to find their missing brothers.

And as each of our children called today, I had such a tightness in my chest and tears in my eyes knowing that there are five moms -- one an Iraqi mom -- hearing the news of their sons' deaths... on Mother's Day. And there are three other moms who have heard that their sons are missing... and they're remembering the stories of Thomas and Kristian. There are eight mothers who will not sleep tonight...

And tens of thousands more mothers... and wives... will not sleep because of the news blackout... they know their sons/spouses are out there looking... in harms way... that their men are up against a determined foe who knows no mercy... no decency... it is every parent's nightmare. I have said many times before that every parent (and every spouse) has that nightmare that something will happen to their child/spouse and that they can't get there. My sleeping and waking nightmare is that one of the children need us and we can't get there... to where they are. We lived that once, but I cannot begin to imagine the suffering that these parents -- American and Iraqi -- are experiencing tonight.

Recently I met a mom whose son has joined the Marines and leaves tomorrow morning for boot camp. She's a nervous wreck. I tried to offer encouragement, but I never pull punches with military moms: I try to help them be stronger and tell them that there are many out there who are proud of their children -- how I am proud of their children -- as they should be -- and that I'm proud of them (the parents) for raising such fine people. They are a wonderful, startling, incredible minority... worthy of our respect... and our worry. I tell them it is hard to be a soldier's mom... or a Marine's mom. Today, it is really hard.

All of us are praying that these men are found... alive... unharmed. I am praying with all my might. I am praying for their families -- their moms, their dads, their wives, children. I want them to know we are praying with them and worrying with them... and hoping with them. Hoping and praying. There is no more that we can do.

And we are praying also for the families of those we have lost... whom they have lost... I hope they know we are mourning with them... and that we are so very sorry for their loss... so very sorry ... and grateful... as individuals and as a Nation.

Yes, it is hard to be a soldier's mom.... or dad... or spouse. For some today, it is the most difficult thing they have ever done...

Copyright 2007 Some Soldier's Mom. All rights reserved.

When the hour is upon us
And our beauty surely gone
No you will not be forgotten
No you will not be alone

And when the day has all but ended
And our echo starts to fade
No you will not be alone then
And you will not be afraid
No you will not be afraid

When the fog has finally lifted
From my cold and tired brow
No I will not leave you crying
And I will not let you down
No I will not let you down
I will not let you down

Now comes the night
Feel it fading away
And the soul underneath
Is it all that remains
So just slide over here
Leave your fear in the fray
Let us hold to each other
'Til the end of our days

- Rob Thomas, "Now Comes the Night"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Well, damnit again. This just can't be... Updated

On the 8th of May I was notified by LTC Q (3rd Brigade Rear-Detachment Commander) that our Brigade has suffered the loss of two of our soldiers from HHT 3d BDE.

The soldiers lost their lives while conducting combat operations in Iraq. The next of kin of our fallen soldiers have been notified. I ask you for your prayers for these Sledgehammer soldiers and their families.

Lord, throw open the gates of Your Kingdom and welcome these Heroes to their rightful home.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 8 in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.

Killed were:

Sgt. Blake C. Stephens, 25, of Pocatello, Idaho.
Spc. Kyle A. Little, 20, of West Boylston, Mass.

Both soldiers were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.
Copyright Some SOldier's Mom 2007. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 07, 2007

2 Days After (the 2007 Milblog Conference)

(Apologies up front for not linking everyone -- I wanted to include pics and my allotted time at the local library (for high speed) is up! Do click the links as many bloggers have their reports, video of the President addressing the Conference and many other pics from the conference up on their blogs!)

I had an absolutely amazing time at the 2007 Milblog Conference… with many thanks to Andi for all her dedication and hard work -- which showed in the excellent turnout, the quality of the panels and the fun and camaraderie enjoyed by all! I mentioned to a number of people that there is nothing like the Milblog Conference -- no pretensions, no airs… meeting people that you feel like you’ve known for years. No one cares what you look like (but ok, Noonan, Hook and Matt (Blackfive) have my votes for the hunks of the gig)… what your background is (we even invited members of the MSM to come visit!)… or if you have a college degree (but the discussions on Masters thesis and doctoral papers were entertaining!) or what you do for a living (I think there were actually some spooks in attendance!) However, in all seriousness, there is such affirmation in the commonality in goals and attention that joins this fine community: support for our troops.

My wonderful friend, Stacy outside Walter Reed

Andrea at Walter Reed talks to ThirdWave Dave (We missed you Dave!!)

I was especially honored to be able to stand with the DC Freepers outside Walter Reed on Friday afternoon; the FReepers normally start their counter-protest around 7PM but started early so that we Milbloggers could come stand in REAL support of our troops as we had last year. Stacy and I had even more fun than last year because we didn’t get wet! Stacy, Andrea Shea-King and I (among a number of others) also were humbled by the opportunity to visit with the Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed’s Malogne House where we distributed Soldiers’ Angels challenge coins and some other gifts to the wounded. These wonderful soldiers are an inspiration to all of us.

ArmyWife ToddlerMom & SSM


A number of us who arrived Thursday evening had the special opportunity of spending the evening with Greyhawk and Mrs. G on his last evening before his second deployment to Iraq… and I’m delighted that Mrs. G advises that G has arrived at his destination safely. I had so much fun seeing so many milbloggers… the always beautiful Rachelle (ArmyWifeToddlerMom), Noonan, Toni, Stacy, Mrs. G, Doc & Heather, Blackfive, Lex, Sgt. Hook, FbL, Soldier’s Dad (no relation!), Dadmanly, John & Beth D., the indomitable ChuckZ and his darling wife… HomeFrontSix, Holly and the incomparable Vivian!, Eagle1, V5 (Paul), Army Girl, Tammi, Chromed Curses, JR and his beautiful wife, American Soldier, Andi’s husband (what a treat!), MaryAnn (safe trip!!), Jean (a truly dedicated Soldier’s Angel!), the remarkable Robert Stokely, Greta, JoyJoy, David M., Bill Roggio, Cat… and Patti the whirlwind… so many truly dedicated and passionate people. And even a (working) Navy PAO!!

Mr. Noonan

Mr. & Mrs. Bell (Taco's Dad & Mom!)
(We missed you Mr. Taco!!)

The panels were informative and lively… and I'm always amzed at the depth of the knowledge of the bloggers -- really some of the smartest guys in the universe! I can hardly remember the questions that were asked or what I said during my panel appearance, but I remember all that Sarah, Rachelle and Becky had to say… and when all is said and done, it makes no difference whether you are a spouse or a parent left behind -- the love is all that matters (and drives the worry). I hope the military members in the audience came away with a new perspective and appreciation for the members of the military family who didn't actually enlist.

We Rock, Ladies!!

I have a number of topics that I hope to blog about soon that I opted not to address at the Milblog Conference (inappropriate forum), but am still traveling and have only intermittent access to blogging…. But check back here now and then!

As everyone else who has done their after action report on the 2007 Milblog Conference, much praise and adoration to the marvelous Andi who not only was putting this conference together but also the second SpouseBuzz Live… a remarkable woman! Already looking forward to next year!!

Copyright 2007 Some Soldier's Mom. All rights reserved.