color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Bacardi USA’s “60 Second Cocktail Program,” is an initiative launched by Bacardi, USA in association with the USO. This summer, Bacardi, USA encourages Americans to toast to the troops with its “60 Second Cocktails Program”. Bacardi has committed to donate $75,000 to the USO at the onset of summer, with consumers (21+) able to increase the total donation; each time a fan joins Bacardi’s “60 Second Cocktails” Facebook page at!/60SecondCocktails and clicks DONATE, the company will send $1 to the USO. With just one click, anyone can give!

Civilian and military people alike understand the USO’s important mission to raise morale for soldiers overseas. From Operation Enduring Care to the Celebrity Entertainment Tour, the USO has been providing a home away from home for American servicemen and women since World War II.
On the 60 Second Cocktails” Facebook page, you will find easy grilling and cocktail recipes using Bacardi products from celebrity chef John Besh and seasoned mixologist Bryan Stowe, both of whom have served in the U.S. Marine Corps.  The “60 Second Cocktail Program” is fun for summer and an easy way to give to the USO.

So go over -- click the DONATE tab and give the USO some of Bacardi's money!! And spread the word!!!

Disclosure: I have received no compensation in any form for this promotion.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010




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Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Grind & the Grindstone

I know I only occasionally blog around here any more... life moves on... the Army veteran attends school, works and is raising his son... the Navy son can't say much about his line of work and what he can say doesn't need to be posted. "My guys" have been deployed twice since Noah was with them and there isn't much to write home about these days (a pretty much "been there done that" from the guys). I'm not really a "diarist" that feels the need to document my daily life -- don't get me wrong -- I LOVE to read some of the diaries around the blogsphere (mostly because it reminds me how grateful I am that I don't have young ones to raise any more! WHEW! It is HARD WORK!)

I suppose I could post every time I discovered evidence on what moms, dads and spouses have all known for forever and is now being verified through clinical studies:

The list could go on and on...

Which is what leads me to this post.

First, let's get clear that FAR MORE soldiers/marines come home from combat WITHOUT POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) than who suffer symptoms.  Even accepting the highest estimates of 15% with symptoms of post-traumatic stress there are even fewer with the more chronic form -- called PTSD. Which translates to more than 90% of returning combat veterans DO NOT have PTSD. (and I resent the efforts of organizations, the anti-war crowd and many in the mainstream media who are so eager to broad brush ALL combat veterans as somehow being abnormal or to be feared upon their return and ascribing all bad conduct by anyone who ever wore a uniform to this condition! more pointedly, I am entirely DISGUSTED by those who only CLAIM to be afflicted in order to game the system and be unjustly rewarded. To those I advise: What goes around, comes around.)

That being said, for those who suffer from PTSD  or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or both, the daily "getting on with it" can be a grind. The grindstone can be smaller some days and way larger the next. That grindstone of depression (sometimes), anxiety (sometimes), nightmares (sometimes), insomnia (sometimes), anger (sometimes)... it wears on these warriors. The need to take daily medications to control some symptoms -- or the resistance to being medicated -- wear on them, too. Their worry and efforts to define what is "normal" (hint: this IS "normal") adds to the grind.

Reintegrating into a world that doesn't quite get it -- however appreciative they are or say they are -- is grit on that wheel. Getting into school, getting a job, raising a family, dealing with family (basically living your life) -- all the situations, problems and stresses the unaffected world does -- but so much harder for those with the vagaries of memory problems, physical ailments, concentration issues, etc. This all speeds the grindstone's spin for those dealing with the effects of PTSD and mTBI.

The families of these people -- parents, spouses, siblings and children -- do not escape the grind or the grindstone. That temper, those nightmares, that depression and anxiety, memory issues and problems with concentration... and their WORRY for those they love can grind on them, too.

It has been five-and-one-half years since my son, Noah, deployed to Iraq. Just about five years since he was wounded. Four years since he was diagnosed with PTSD. Three years since he was medically discharged for all of the above. He has had to juggle many things in these five years -- marriage, a new child, divorce, school, job -- but he has done it. It has taken work on his part and a lot of tongue biting and sometimes gentle coaxing on family's part. It is a journey that has many twisted roads... it is not a journey that will be over any time soon. It will be a challenge for all of his lifetime.

Don't misinterpret this. The road to "recovery" is NOT a snake pit. It is NOT a losing proposition. On the contrary -- with the permission of the military and society to admit you suffer these things... with the encouragement to recognize the need and seek help from so many sources -- the prognosis is better than it has ever been! 

But it also requires a great deal of acceptance and understanding... and effort, commitment and resources on the part of those afflicted with PTSD and/or mTBI and their families. Is it hard? Can be. Is it a bumpy road? Usually. Will there be bad days? Yes. Will there be good days? Yes. Is it worth the effort? HELL YES!!

And the more we talk about it, the more encouraging we are, the more we applaud those who accept that challenge -- to be better, to get better... fight the grind and the grindstone -- the better we all -- as people and as a society -- will be. 

The important thing to understand is that THERE IS A BETTER. It is NOT a hole from which you cannot climb. It is NOT a permanent state of "sucks" and "sucks more"... "sucks less" and "doesn't suck" CAN be part of the vocabulary. Most importantly: you are NOT alone and you will NOT be left behind.  Our son Noah, our family and his friends can all testify to it.  Remember, grinding rock is what produces the brightest gems! :-D


Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center


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Friday, June 18, 2010

Barney Frank Erotica

Barney Frank's wet dreams come true: he'll have 1.3 million guys in fancy uniforms at his beck and call (lalalala Y-M-C-A... Y-M-C-A....) -- MAYBE. Cut the number of those to do the work. Reduce the number of tools to do the job. Cut their pay. Cut their benefits. Increase their health care costs. Just  Who the hell will want to enlist or stay???

(from the MOAA newsletter my emphasis [my comments] )

Legislators Urge $100 Billion Cut in Military People Programs

On Tuesday, Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Walter Jones (R-NC) as well as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a copy of their letter to the National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform requesting serious consideration of major cuts in defense spending. They expressed "an ongoing commitment to strong national defense," but said the ever-growing national debt requires a reduction in defense spending over the next 10 years. [funny how that time period just happens to coincide with the astronomical debt calculations for gov't forced health care... why not just repeal obamacare if you really want to save some money and reduce the deficit, you moron!]

Specifically, their letter endorses the recommendations of the Sustainable Defense Task Force, a group of analysts and scholars [anyone with military experience??] seeking to reduce military spending in procurement, research and development, personnel, operations [you mean, like WARS??] and maintenance, and infrastructure. The Task Force proposes a series of measures that could possibly save $960 billion between 2011 and 2020. ["could possibly"? you mean coulda shoulda woulda maybe might perhaps???]

That task force proposed reducing personnel costs by more than $100 billion during that period by cutting 200,000 military personnel, yielding a peacetime active duty end strength of approximately 1.3 million, recalculating military compensation to curtail pay raises, and imposing substantial increases in military health care fees.

MOAA finds it appalling that, in the midst of a decade-long, two-front war - when we are demanding far greater sacrifices from military people and families than we have in generations - any panel of so-called "experts" can conclude that the force is too big and that military people don’t deserve their current compensation package. [could not have said it better myself!!]
But I will finish with this message to Bwaney Fwanks: ARE YOU FRIGGIN' NUTZ?? (ok, I may have answered that already!)

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For the Yonbots: A MUST READ

UPDATED: Be sure to read THIS at the Mudville Gazette... just a little taste of reality...

If you think you should believe Mr. Yon -- a photographer/web author who is ONLY an OBSERVER -- over the voices of experienced (real) PARTICIPANTS in winning wars, then you should most definitely read Responding to the Yonbots.

Chuck whipped out his saber and gave a few quick slashes...


and rode off into the light of day!!!

All I can add is HELL YES!!!

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Summer 2010

there is no love better than this... and no laugh sweeter...

the water was ice freezing cold -- but kids don't seem to mind... near 100 for today and tomorrow and Monday, so the water will warm and cold water probably added... hard to get him out of the pool (although he is NOT crazy about the floating on a raft thing -- YET LOL! )

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