#MilitaryMonday – Bent, Not Broken

Music has always spoken to me.  It reaches inside my soul and grabs hold.  Getting emotional listening to a song is a common occurrence.  Many important times and events in my life can be closely tied to a song.  Right now the song that want to hear all the time, that I turn up and sing along with as loud as I can, is “Give Me a Reason,” by Pink.  Its the part about being bent, but not broken, that is really getting to me I think.  I’m really in a rough season in life.  There has been frequent short-term travel (at least a month), continuous long hours that are really nothing new.  Being here is wonderful.  It’s what we’ve wanted for a very long time…but its not home.  We aren’t near family and our friend and support base is growing, but still really small.  Not having my medication issue worked out yet is, I’m sure, playing a role.  But I’m bent.  This life has been hard and I think I’ve hit the eleven-year wall.  I’m tired of it,  I’m over it and I feel like I’m drifting.   Its like a constant state of reintegration, pre-deployment, deployment and back to reintegration.  I’m not sure of another way to describe it.  The days he has off I feel are just days of scrambling to catch up, get things done that I couldn’t do alone, or needed his help with.  Its a panic-stricken time of trying to get the most squeezed out of every second.   It just ends up being a mess.  
 Just give me a reason, just a little bit’s enough.  Just a second we’re not broken just bent and we can learn to love again.  It’s in the stars, it’s been written in the scars on our hearts, that we’re not broken, just bent and we can learn to love again.

Our relationship isn’t in jeopardy, in a literal sense.  But our relationship is just so different than it has been before that sometimes I don’t recognize us.  I do feel like my heart is scarred, at least surrounded by heavy guard sometimes.  Its exhausting.  When will it end?  Will it ever end?  Is this how are relationship is, is it just developing into some sort of mature state and I’ve just been watching too many chick flicks?  Who knows.  I really feel like these scars are real and need to be healed.  We need a healing (how silly does that sound), but its true.  But where does one start when they need a healing?  I know my husband loves me, I know he wants to be with me.  Why can’t I shake the feeling of separation between us.  

I’m sorry I don’t understand where all of this is coming from.  I thought that we were fine.  Your head is running wild again my dear, we still have everything, and its all in your mind

Oh tear ducts and rust, I’ll fix it for us.  We’re collecting dust, but our love’s enough.  

I know that our love is enough to get through anything, scars and all.   My head does run wild, when I’m alone and thinking of him…..but I know I’m not alone in that.
Continue Reading

Military Support Series – The Yellow Ribbon Fund

Im so happy to be bringing you the fourth installment of my Military Support Series. I had the pleasure of learning about the Yellow Ribbon Fund at a hiring fair I went to, and then at a Caregivers Fair I attended at Walter Reed. It is amazing organizations and the ladies that I met are even more amazing, caregivers themselves, I was pleased beyond belief to shake their hands. I felt like I had heard of Yellow Ribbon Fund before but there are several organizations and programs that included something about the Yellow Ribbons in their name or in their description. That being the case I felt like it was important to talk specifically about the Yellow Ribbon Fund in the hopes that it would help someone that is looking for help.

What does Yellow Ribbon Fund do?

In simple terms, Yellow Ribbon Fund fills the gap between the support and services the Military can provide for injured service members, and the support that the members and their families need.  YRF works in the DC area providing assistance to those at Walter Reed and Belvoir Community Hospital. In many cases, even when the Service Member returns home, YRF continues to provide support.

Specifically, there are so many things that YRF does for these families it absolutely astounds me.  How they have been able to pull together so many resources is absolutely incredible.  When you receive the call that your service member is injured having the contact information for The Yellow Ribbon fund needs to be at the top of your list.  They provide  hotel rooms, rental cars and taxis to family members.   As the healing process continues, free furnished apartments are provided to families that want to remain close to their recovering service member.  For the spouses, parents and significant others it can be an overwhelming situation. Many times these people become the caregiver for their servicemember, leaving their jobs, and lives to focus on their injured service member.  The first girl that I spoke to shared part of her story with me (and having met and known personally other caregivers) I can attest to the fact that it can be a difficult time.  Sometimes thats the understatement of the world.  YRF has pioneered a Caregiving Support program and from what I’ve leared aboutt the personal affect its had on people, I know that I would want it in my life if I needed it.  As recovery continues on Mentors for service members are provided, Volunteer Ambassadors that are all over the country are connected with service members that relocate back home, and volunteer lawyers provide pro bono assistance to those that may need it.

All of this is serious work that is provide in extreme times, to meet the basic needs of all those involved.  Yellow Ribbon Fund is more than that.   Hundreds of activities occur every year to provide fun and relaxation, which is such a huge part of the healing process.  Retreats for  caregivers, activies like golfing and hunting for the service members.  This time of assistance can be a crucial part of the healing process for all those involved.

If you need help and what to know more about the Yellow Ribbon Fund please don’t hesitate to contact them.  Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find their address, email and phone number.

If you are looking for ways to get involved and help injured service members, here’s some ways to help:

How to help

First, make a donation.  I’m extremely happy to say that since the beginning 81 cents of every dollar spent has gone directly to help an injured service member and their family.  Visit the above link to donate through PayPal.  You can also donate your time and volunteer, simply by filling out the volunteer sheet through the website.  There are also plenty of fundraising opportunities, so please contact them to set something up.

Upcoming events are occurig in the DC area as well.  One of the coolest things that I just iscovered today was Branch shirts designed by an injured service member, that you can purchase.  This month is The Air Force  Yay!!  There are 28 Days left to reach their 500 shirt goal.  I’m purchasing mine, so make sure you get over there and grab one for your favorite Air Froce member or yourself.

Thanks for stopping by the blog and I hope that this post has helped you in some way.  If you have any other quetions please don’t hesitate to email me!

Continue Reading

#MilitaryMonday and Rhe’s Bookshelf : War: 8000 Miles from Home

This week’s Military Monday is also a book review post for my bookshelf. I had the pleasure of reviewing a book by a military author, still serving. He writes under a pen name, and is a married father of three.


First Lieutenant Taylor and Sergeant First Class Stewart lead 2nd Platoon of the 147th Military Police Company from White Bluff, Tennessee during combat patrols in Baghdad, Iraq during the surge.

Join them as they strengthen their bonds with each other through teamwork, adversity, and catastrophe.

They will never forget each other as they struggle through challenges that will affect them for their entire lives.

What I thought:

I have to say, that upon diving into the book, as I often do, without checking out all the details I wasn’t quite aware that it was a novel. Truth be told you wouldn’t know if it was held in a plain brown cover. The book is really quite remarkable to read. As I’m sure most military spouses can attest to, not a lot of details are shared. I remember watching some sort of documentary and it was concerning an area of “that place with lots of sand” quite near where my husband had been previously. I learned more from that hour show then I had learned from him. He didn’t want to worry me. I get it and I love him for it. The truth of the matter is that it wouldn’t matter if we watched every show, film or documentary ever made, we couldn’t possible understand 100%. If you would like some insight into the life, the life of war, with a little bit of the real ness of it, I suggest this book. It creates a story about real (even though it is fiction) people, that are human and not just faceless soldiers fighting a war. They have emotions and feelings that drive them, like we all do. I was also a little bit partial to this book because it portrayed the lives of National Guard Soldiers, which is not often done.

I whole-heartedly give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

It is available in Paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com – click my affiliate link to the right to check it out!

Continue Reading

#MilitaryMonday – Jeep and the USO #JoinOSR

Like many others, I’m sure, yesterday presented a difficult decision.  When to get up for bathroom and food breaks!  Thankfully, with the technological wonders of the DVR I didn’t have to make that decision.  Also, like many others, we sat with our eyes glued to the tv to watch the commercials.  There were three that were my very favorite – The Jeep/USO commercial, the Dodge/Farmer commercial, and the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial.   To my surprise I awoke this morning to see quite the chatter about the Jeep commercial.  There appeared to be quite the tizzy over the misuse of the troops for the gain of Jeep.  *insert ridiculously loud sigh*  You should know that my husband says I like to be mad, I like to fight and take on a fight.  I’m slightly passionate, and very frequently emotional.  So, I watched the commercial again, to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.  Nope.  I didn’t feel an overwhelming pressure to purchase a Jeep, there wasn’t any mention of APR financing, or the new 2013 models or anything.  It was a sweet and simple commercial, saying all the things I feel and think.  The specific intent of it was to announce the partnership between the USO and Jeep, as well as the Operation S.A.F.E Return program. 

Operation S.A.F.E. Return is a four-point program.  Jeep will provide the safe transfer of troops and supplies from USO centers as needed.  They have also begun a Veterans Employment Initiative to aid in reintegration.  Jeep will help sponsor homecoming celebrations, offering “a much need hiatus for our troops”, which they are calling “Freedom Adventures”.  Lastly, they will be supporting the USO in its continuous care of wounded and ill troops, as well as their families and caregivers.

I asked Mr. Air Force, he wasn’t offended or annoyed, didn’t feel used or sacrificed to the all-mighty dollar.  Maybe I am just an optimist (which usually isn’t the case for me), maybe the commercial accomplished it’s evil motive by emotionally overwhelming to the point where I didn’t realize it, and now all of the sudden I’m compelled to buy a Jeep (which I do love anyway).  I don’t really think so.  The commercial was great and I’ve very excited to see another partner of the USO, a large and profitable company assisting the troops.  If Jeep is shamelessly using the troops, then I’m assuming Brawney (and their WWP commercials) is, as well as Under Armour.  Is Tide taking advantage of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Sandy to sell their product?  They go out and wash clothes for people.  What about AllState, and their commercials showing agents giving out Teddy Bears to children who have lost their homes?  Shameless?  Whatever anyone else thinks, I appreciate the fact that large companies give back.  While it might set some at ease, its PR.  Maybe its taking advantage….but would we be sitting here complaining about how these big companies don’t do anything if they didn’t make a commercial or PSA about the fact that they were?

I say, Thank You JEEP and Thank you USO, for Operation S.A.F.E. Return.

You can decide for yourself.  Here’s the Jeep Commercial and the Dodge commercial just because I love it.

Continue Reading