We ARE the UNITED States of America

We ARE UnitedWith Memorial Day approaching, my mind is flooded with a jumble of thoughts and emotions….. I’m thankful for our troops, my heart goes out to their families, I want to cry when I think of those Veterans, in desperate need of help, who’ve made it back from combat, but have fallen through the cracks and are still trapped in a personal hell/war. Then I think of anti-American attitude (rage against military, law enforcement, etc) that seems to be spreading throughout the country like a nasty plague.

I will never, ever understand what is going on inside the heads of some so called Americans. Whenever I see or hear a report of an American flag being burned in protest, or a “church” organization protesting a funeral of a fallen solider, I am disgusted, saddened, and infuriated! How can an American citizen or someone proclaiming to be a Christian do such things? Don’t get me wrong I’m not setting myself up as anyone’s judge or jury, but I will denounce such actions and never under any circumstance say it is acceptable for people to behave that way. Is it ok to be upset with the government? Absolutely! Is it okay to peacefully protest and raise awareness of problems and plights and work to make changes where needed? Definitely! Is it okay to desecrate the very symbol of our freedom that men and women have and continue to lay down their life for? NO! Is it acceptable to shout hate and disrespectful speech at those gathered at a FUNERAL to show your protest of the war? NO!! It seems that respect, honor, common sense, courtesy and compassion are in short supply nowadays.

America is the greatest country in the world to live. We have freedoms, blessings and advantages that many people only dream of. The story of this country’s founding is more exciting, captivating, inspiring and heroic than any movie script Hollywood could ever think up. All those people who talk about how terrible America is, I wonder how many of them have ever lived in another country? How many of them have had to spend time in Iraq or Afghanistan or the countless other countries that its citizens (especially women) have little to no rights and there is no proper medical care or clean water available? Would their view of America change if they were forced to experience life as a citizen of another, disadvantaged country?

The irony of it is those who are defaming the nation, its patriots and its military personnel are able to enjoy the freedoms they stomp all over because of the very people they so desperately despise and oppose. I wanna shout, “Wake up people!! We the people ARE the UNITED States of America!!!!”

I want those military personnel (and their families) who have or are currently serving, to know that you, what you do and your sacrifice are not in vain and is appreciated beyond any words I could manage to muster. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when I see an American flag being flown in someone’s yard, on their home, or in front of a business. There are so many Americans who love this country. It’s time that we stand up and let our love and support for country and the troops who defend it eclipse the ignorant nay-sayers.

Originally published at comfycouchcommand

Created to be YOU-nique

YOU-niqueCreated Uniquely You to do What Only You Can.

You are uniquely, specifically designed and strategically placed for your life and world around you. Sound crazy? Well maybe it does sound crazy, but doesn’t make it any less true. Unique is defined by Merriam Webster as “Used to say something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else; very special or unusual; belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place or person; being the only one.” No matter how you perceive your life and your role in this world, the truth of the matter is no one else can do what you do, like you do. Your personality, traits, drive, outlook, everything about you makes you uniquely who you are…. right down to your specific DNA make-up and fingerprints. What you’ve been called to accomplish, the lives you are supposed to touch, the divine appointments, as I like to call them, that you have can only be fulfilled by YOU!

I think about the warriors, soldiers, law enforcement, & emergency services personnel all over the country who day in and day out risk their lives to help, protect and defend. Not everyone can do what they do. On a daily basis they see the absolute worst of what humanity and the world has to offer. One must be called and specifically created to fulfill such an assignment, and they are. I couldn’t do their job, but that’s okay, because that’s not what I’ve been called/created to do.

I know someone reading this is thinking, anyone can do what I do or how is what I’m doing making a difference. Like it or not, everything each of us does has a ripple effect in the world and lives of people around us. If you haven’t figured it out yet, no one is truly an island to themselves and what you do really does affect other people. Whether you realize or acknowledge it or not, what you do does have an effect on someone and will make a positive or negative impact on someone or something. Let me share some examples of what I mean. In an extreme case, look at the person who’s had a few drinks while out for dinner with friends and then decides to drive home. They think they’re fine and their choice to drive home won’t have an effect on anyone else, but if they have an accident and crash their car into someone else, their one choice does affect others. Not only does it affect the person in the other vehicle they hit, but it affects those folks’ family members. How about the postal delivery employee who spends his lunch break each day visiting with a Vietnam veteran whose health issues limit his ability to leave his home or have much personal interaction with others. That friendship could provide the hope which fuels that veteran to get up and keep going everyday. Now you may think that what you do or your choices are not having that big of any impact or ripple effect, but I assure you you’re WRONG!! What you do positively or negatively affects someone. Your attitude, words and actions can build up or tear down those around you and will affect circumstances and situations.

The great world changers throughout history made a lasting impact on generations to come by stepping out and doing, at first glance, something that was sometimes seemingly small or even insignificant. Do you think Rosa Parks ever thought her choice to not give up her seat on the bus that day would be remembered by anyone today, much less be written in history books? NO! She was simply doing what she could do, where she was to make a difference. Do you think the Chesty Pullers or General Pattons ever consciously thought or attempted to change or impact military branches or war fighting protocol the way they have? Do you think they ever imagined things they said or did would be quoted or remembered by countless Marines or soldiers throughout generations, even thru today? NO! They were simply using their uniquely given abilities and skill sets to make a difference where they were.

The smallest deeds that are seemingly nothing can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. So whether you’re being a “Mom-Taxi” shuffling kids from school, to football/cheer leading practice or you’re working a donation drive for Military Missions or you’re filing paperwork on your job, you are uniquely qualified to make a difference in a way that only you can. No one else on this planet is YOU!! One thing I’ve learned in my almost 39 years is that if you make a positive difference in or help improve the life of one person, even in the smallest way, then you have something to be proud of. You can’t help everyone, but you can help make a difference to someone. It’s not about doing some huge, earth shattering feat/accomplishment, it’s about those daily moments/interactions that can make all the difference in someone’s life.

When my husband watches the news and sees all that’s going on with ISIS, he struggles with the feeling that all he did, his buddies that died, it was all in vain. To see what he fought for and liberate be taken back over is gut wrenching. But I constantly remind him that I have no doubt what he and his buddies did made all the difference in the world to the people that were living there at that time. We only have control over what we do. We cannot control other people. So, we make a difference where we can, how we can and leave the rest to God.

Have a great week, world changers!!!!

s/Faith

Originally posted at comfycouchcommand

Take Time To…

Take Time To Smell the FlowersYesterday I read a quote from a devotional that said, “Here’s the key: Learn to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” Wow!! That’s a powerful goal and challenge packed into one short sentence!!

Unfortunately it seems some days rushing, hurriedness and business is just a normal way of life. If you’re like me, you always have a list of things to do and responsibilities to fulfill and you live by your day planner/calendar. In the business of life, with so many things, people and responsibilities pulling you in various directions, it is VITAL that you take a moment DAILY to slow down, even if just for a moment, and enjoy where you are. Even in the midst of the most busy, stress filled day, you can find something to smile about or be thankful for. I know what you’re thinking, “You don’t know my life,” “What do I have to be thankful for?” I’m not saying there are not challenges and not so great (aka crappy) situations we find ourselves in, but even in the midst of challenges there is always a blessing to be seen, something to be thankful for and a moment to be enjoyed. I guess in a nutshell what I’m trying to remind you of today is to enjoy the small things, don’t let life pass you by, enjoy the journey instead of being solely focused on the destination and take time to stop and smell the roses (or whatever your favorite flower may be).

Yes, you may be at home up to your ears in laundry and being what I call a domesticated goddess for the day. Instead of hating that you have so much cleaning to do, what if you realized that there are lots of people in the world that don’t have a home to clean or clothes to wash much less a washer and dryer to wash them in. You may be upset when your husband leaves the toilet seat up again or didn’t throw his socks in the laundry hamper, but remember there is a woman somewhere whose husband died in Iraq and she’d give anything to have him to pick up after. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying it’s okay to shoulder all the household responsibilities or be some type of doormat, what I’m talking about is your perception to your situation makes all the difference in the world. Believe me, it takes practice to “look on the bright-side.” Sometimes you truly have to retrain how you think in order to find blessings and something to be thankful for in everyday life.

So today when you have to be up early driving to work, running an errand, doing PT, or whatever it may be, I challenge you to stop and take in the beauty of the sunrise, listen to the birds singing, soak up the warmth of the sun shining on your face. My husband told me that when he and his company arrived back in Cherry Point, NC from their tour in Iraq that as soon as they got off plane they were supposed to get their gear and get on the bus, but instead of doing that many of them made a bee line for the grassy areas around them. Tough warriors were taking off their boots and socks and walking in the grass, laying on the grass, simply touching the grass. They had been in a sandbox for so long that just the sight of grass was a blessing. Prior to Iraq do you think a single one them had ever given a second thought to grass or appreciated it? Heck no!! If anything, they’d probably complained about the grass (having to cut it, water it, etc). Am I saying that you have to walk around like a hippy love child oblivious to reality and solely focused on all things warm and fuzzy? NO! My goal today is to remind you that perception is everything. How you perceive your life, circumstances and situations become your reality and if you’re always focused on what’s going wrong, you’ll never notice all that’s going right. I also want to challenge you to take time for you. I tell my husband all the time, “Take care of you!” I learned a long time ago that if I don’t take time for myself and take care of myself, I’m no good to anyone else.

Carpe Diem my friends!!!!

By Faith Wells

 

Original post on comfycouchcommand

True Strength

StrengthSTRENGTH – as defined by Merriam Webster: “the quality or state of being physically strong; the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force; the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined or effective way.”

Strength is the foundational word that comes to mind whenever I think about our armed forces personnel and their families/loved ones. It takes not only physical strength to be a part of America’s military fighting force, but it takes mental toughness as well. Those same attributes are displayed by the families and loved ones of our military. Every battle/situation a person faces is first determined (won or lost) in their mind. Where your mind goes, the rest of you follows is a true statement. If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, you’re right! So to complete bootcamp, fight in a war, adjust to life after leaving active military service, all take a mental toughness and fortitude to successfully accomplish.

I see amazing strength in the faces of those elderly veterans at the VA Hospital who are battling not only sickness, but their own time worn and weakened bodies. Yet they still manage to return a smile and even provide a word of encouragement as they leave from their Chemotherapy treatment. Equally as strong are those veteran’s spouses and family members who are always faithfully by their side. Whether pushing them in their wheel chair around to their various appointments, asking questions, navigating the workings of the VA or sitting quietly by their bedside as they sleep, those spouses and family members exude a quiet, unassuming strength.

Spouses, whether of an active or retired military member, are some of the strongest people you will ever meet. Spouses hold down the home front when their solider/warrior is away, making sure life back home goes on and all is taken care of. Spouses provide support and encouragement for their solider and are the anchor back home that gives them hope and security while doing his/her job of defending our country and the liberties and way of life we enjoy. Spouses fight back tears during those phone calls and Skype times to make sure their solider doesn’t worry about them, but instead is reassured and encouraged and made to feel loved. Then cries when no one is around.

Strength is seen in the parent who sends their son or daughter off to bootcamp and/or war. Though worried out of their mind for the safety of their child, that they love more than anything on this planet, they tell them how proud they are, encourage them, pray for them and send them care packages. They do whatever needs to be done to support them.

Strength is seen in the solider/warrior that returns from combat, scarred physical and/or mentally from the horror and trauma they witnessed and endured. They are lions living among lambs…. the training and way of life they learned in combat that kept them alive makes them feel like an outsider and an alien when they come back to civilian life. Day in and day out they try to fit in and conform and readjust to the world they return to. Although many times uncomfortable, fighting hopelessness and feeling like an outcast they still keep trying and fighting to survive.

I want to close out the topic of strength with this…. It is NOT weak to ask for help. True strength is knowing when you need help and then asking for it. No matter where you may see yourself in the examples I’ve written about above, find a support system for yourself. Reach out to a friend, family or someone you trust. Go online and find one of the many resources and organizations setup to provide support. Contact the VA, tell them what you need and take advantage of the programs they offer. Help is available. Don’t suffer needlessly. You’re there for others, when the time comes let someone be there for you.

~Faith

The Military Family

We want to welcome our newest blogger, Faith! Read her bio at the end of article:

marine wifeWhen I was offered the awesome opportunity to be a “blogger” for Military Missions, my first thought was, “Wow! Cool! What an honor!! Can’t wait to get started.” My immediate second thought was, “Oh wow, what am I going to write!?!” I’m not a Marine Mom who’s faced their child heading off to bootcamp or combat. I am however the spouse of a 100% disabled, retired, combat Marine veteran. Although my experiences may be different from a Marine Mom, there are many commonalities we share. We all love someone who has served and/or fought for our great nation, the United States of America, defending the freedoms and life we enjoy.

Military members and their families (whether active duty or retired) are all members of one giant family who forge bonds and connections through experiences unique to their world. Those who’ve never been a part of that life simply can’t truly understand in its fullness what that means and many times do not have a full appreciation for the freedoms we are blessed with. If you’ve ever had a friend, family member or loved one go off to war or serve in the military, you understand that freedom isn’t free. You know what sacrifice for freedom truly means.

Within that broad connection between the armed services branches, I’ve discovered there is an even more fierce, unique, tight-nit, intensely loyal bond, a family known as the United States Marine Corps. I have a father who served in the Army, a friend who served in the Navy so I understood about military life, sacrifice and the bonds formed within that. However, it was nothing in comparison to being a part of the life of a United States Marine. “Semper fidelis” and, “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” are not just catchy phrases… they truly are a literal, lived out embodiment of the Marine Corps.

Finding myself as a member of this family by being the wife of a retired Marine has been a roller coaster ride of honor, pride, heartache, love, appreciation, thankfulness, gut wrenching challenges, it is a life I’m so thankful to have and a family I’m honored to be a part of. So to all you Marine Corps families and members, I’m thankful for each and every one of you. I’ve never met you, but I love you, care about what happens to you and will help you in anyway I can. Thank you for your sacrifice and commitment. Thank you for all you do and all you sacrifice. May God bless, strengthen and refresh each and everyone of you.

MEET FAITH:

Married to retired 100% disabled, Infantry Marine, I work for the Kentucky State Police (have been a employed by that agency for the majority of my adult career-started out as a E911 dispatcher, then moved around to various positions within the agency & now work in the Human Resources Branch at HQ), was a Kentucky foster/adoptive parent of teens, am a ordained Chaplain, love being outdoors & being active (hiking, walking, gardening, etc), am a HUGE animal lover/dog person (have three fur-babies), love my family & church family (who are all AMAZING PEEPS).

(Originally posted on Comfy Couch Command blog)

April is Month of the Military Child

April is designated as the “Month of the Military Child”.

Throughout the month various organizations and schools will plan events that recognize and show appreciation for our military children. Deployments and other military situations can be very stressful on children. They are often forgotten when you think of all the sacrifices that are made by military families.

This year, April 15th is designated as “Purple Up! For Military Kids” Day. Everyone is encouraged to wear purple as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Purple is the chosen color because it represents all branches of the military by combining Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue. 

Remember.. kids serve too!