If you are reading this and you have a family member in the military, then you know the above statement is true. It not only has an effect on their spouse and kids, but also their parents, siblings, grandparents… and other family and friends.
Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing…
For example, your family will develop a strong sense of American pride. I have to admit, pretty much everything in my house is red, white, and blue or flag motif. I was a proud American before but more so now.
Your family will also develop a new kind of respect for the troops that protect our country. They give up so much, go through so much, and put their life on the line for us… Let me say that again… THEY PUT THEIR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR US. They deserve our respect and our support. Even if we don’t always support the reason behind it, we need to support the people that are doing it.
So I guess what I’m basically saying is that once you have a loved one in the military, your life will forever be changed. Some changes will be good and some not so good, but hopefully the good will outweigh the bad in the end.
As you can see from the picture I used for this article, even the family pet wants to get involved. I found her trying to stow away in a care package. No one family member knows exactly how the other family members are affected… each person has their own way of coping (this blog article is one of mine) … and their own set of things they worry about…
But I assure you “it’s a family thing”.
~This article was originally posted by author here~
Mark your calendars and join us as we assemble boxes for our upcoming care package mailing on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. We will be meeting from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at our office in Millpond Center, 3650 Boston Road, Suite 146, Lexington, KY 40514. If you plan to participate please send an email to Ginny at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Barbara at 859-221-9477.
We have had an incredible increase in the number of care package requests. Our list of soldiers is growing every day. With the sluggish economy and high gas prices, we are in great need of donations to meet the need. We hope you will download a copy of our care package suggestion list and plan to donate some items to be included in our packages. We are also in need of monetary donations to cover the costs of shipping. You can donate directly from our website.
Even if you can’t participate in this event you can still support our troops by spreading the word and reposting this event on your Facebook page.
Military Missions and Voice of Warriors join together each Tuesday night at 7:00 pm to bring you VOW Talk Radio.
When men and women return from combat, family members step up to care for them. With ten years of war, thousands are returning home with Post Traumatic Stress. When PTSD is brought into the home, the family is going to be directly affected. Many family members find themselves experiencing their own symptoms of what is known as Secondary PTSD.
Dr. Rolando Diaz joins VOW Talk Radio on Tuesday, April 10, at 7:00 pm (EDT) to answer your questions about Secondary PTSD. Dr. Diaz, a Give an Hour provider, and clinical psychologist with an independent practice in Arlington, Virginia, joins our show on the second Tuesday of each month to answer your questions about surviving life after combat.
Dr. Diaz will be clarifying the distinction between true PTSD, secondary experiences that are tied to the trauma that the service member experienced (e.g., a wife having nightmares of her husband’s accident), and the experiences that result from living with someone with PTSD. All of these get labeled the same way but represent very different circumstances and need different treatment approaches.
Listen live by clicking here or calling the show at 424-258-9240. Don’t forget to join our live chat during the show.
Signs and symptoms that may indicate Secondary PTSD
- The survivor may lose interest in family or intimate activities and may become emotionally isolated or detached. Family members may feel hurt, alienated, frustrated and discouraged.
- The survivor may exhibit behaviors that indicate he is irritable, tense, anxious, worried, distractible, startled, enraged, controlling, overprotective, and demanding. Family members may feel like they live in a war zone, often reacting in anger, or purposely distancing themselves from the trauma survivor.
- Even if the trauma occurred decades ago, the survivor may act feel as if the trauma is still happening. Family members may also feel as if their secondary trauma is still happening. As time passes, the family may begin to avoid activities with others, and become isolated from friends outside the family. They may feel that no one outside the family could possibly understand their situation.
- The trauma survivor often feels there is no future for which to look forward. Family members may find it very difficult to have a cooperative discussion with the survivor about important plans and decisions for the future.
- The survivor may have difficulty listening and concentrating. He may become easily distracted, tense, or anxious. He may become hyper vigilant, displaying angry and overly suspicious behavior toward family members. The trauma survivor may become fearful about problems becoming terrible catastrophes. As well, the family may find it difficult to discuss personal or family problems because the survivor may become controlling, demanding, overprotective, and anxious.
- Family members may become over involved with the lives of healthy family members due to need for positive emotional feedback, or they may ignore the healthy members of the family giving all of their attention to the trauma survivor.
- Family members may find their sleep disrupted by the survivor’s sleep problems (reluctance to sleep at night, restlessness, severe nightmares or episodes of violent sleepwalking). Family members also often find themselves having terrifying nightmares, leading to a fear of going to sleep, or difficulty getting a restful night’s sleep.
- Ordinary activities, such as shopping, driving or attending a movie may trigger traumatic memories and flashbacks throwing one into “survival mode” suddenly and without explanation. The survivor may shut down emotionally, or leave abruptly leaving family members feeling stranded, helpless, and worried.
- Trauma survivors with PTSD often struggle with intense anger or rage and often have difficulty coping with the impulse to lash out verbally or physically. Family members can easily feel frightened and betrayed by the survivor, despite feeling love and concern for their loved one.
- Family members are also frequently exposed to emotional, financial, and domestic problems. Survivors experiencing PTSD may seek relief and escape with alcohol or other drugs. Addictive behaviors such as gambling and eating disorders are common. Addictions offer false hope to the survivor by seeming to help for a short time. Soon these addictions increase the fear, anxiety, tension, anger and emotional numbness which go hand in hand with PTSD.
- When suicide is a danger, family members face the unavoidable strains of worry, guilt, grief, fear, and anger.
Military families serve too! If you are in a military family this won’t be news to you, but if you are a civilian, I hope you will consider all those whom you may know who are serving right here on the homefront. Each one deployed has family and friends supporting them, and believe me, it’s not easy living on this side of deployment.
Take a moment to think about life from the perspective of a small child who misses her mommy, or a middle school boy who really needs his dad. If you are a parent, try to picture the world with one of your children deployed to a war zone. It matters not that the child is an adult. He is still your child. What is it like knowing your sibling is in harm’s way? How long is a year when you are the only parent in the home and you are living with the fear that your spouse might never return?
Everybody who has a relationship with someone serving in our nation’s military is making a sacrifice for me and for you. You can serve by supporting the military families in your little corner of the world. Find a local organization which supports our military families and get involved today. If you are in the Central Kentucky area, you can get started today with us at Military Missions Inc. We support and encourage our troops, our veterans, and their families 365 days a year.
“First let me thank you for all your hard work. It is such a beautiful thing what you are doing for our troops. The love of my life is currently deployed in Afghanistan and I requested a package be sent to him. They are all so deserving of these great opportunities. Trevor is my hero among the many other men and women deployed and away from their families. It is the hardest thing to have to go through for them, and their loved ones left behind.
Trevor’s positivity and humor are contagious. He is truly inspiring. He brings out the best in people and somehow manages to make the best out of every situation. He is so loved and missed. He has been stationed in Afghanistan since September 2011 and we are hoping for a safe return in the spring of 2012.
Currently he is an ammo troop but with his goal and determination to become a special operator in no time I’m positive his career field will change. He has such a passion to fight for this country. I am so very proud of him.
Words cannot express the debt of gratitude we owe to those who have worn our country’s uniform in the past and those who wear it today. Volunteering to make the ultimate sacrifice…putting yourself in danger, being apart from your loved ones, defending our nations freedom!!! You are my hero Trevor!!! I appreciate you everyday!!”
All of us at Military Missions are so thankful for Trevor’s service and for his wife’s service here on the homefront. It is obvious that Nicole is an incredible support for her husband which likely makes it easier for Trevor to do his job well.
I wonder how different our lives would be if someone wasn’t always willing to serve. Since the birth of our nation, there have always been brave men and women standing in the gap to protect our nation and ensure our freedoms.
I spent the first 40 some years of my life enjoying all the sacrifices given on my behalf without ever feeling as if I was affected personally. It wasn’t until my oldest son chose to serve in the United States Marine Corps, during a time of war, that my eyes were opened to the reality of what people were really willing to do so I could continue to live in a free nation.
My life has changed quite drastically in the past eight years since my son stepped out of our house and onto the yellow footprints on the soil of Parris Island, South Carolina. I have now lived through three combat deployments, from the homefront, of course, and I have watched my son struggle after being injured and disabled. I have watched him slowly, but surely, begin to put his life back together, and I have been overwhelmed and amazed at the number of challenges he always seems to face. More amazing is that he manages to overcome them, one at a time.
If most of us really gave it some thought, we could all try to imagine how challenging a combat deployment must be for our troops, but I don’t think we ever try to foresee how difficult and challenging life is for our veterans once they return home from combat. For those of us who are civilians, we think that once our Veterans are home, and out of the service, they can just go back to life as it once was before their days served in the military.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Life will never be the same for anyone who serves in our Armed Forces. As the saying goes, you can never go back. For better and for worse, our Veterans are forever changed.
I have watched my own son go through more obstacles and challenges than anyone should ever have to endure in a lifetime, let alone three short years, and he is just one Veteran walking down one path of this life. There are many who face much bigger obstacles and many more challenges. Frankly, I don’t know how they all do it.
I would have never believed anyone if they had told me that being the mother of a veteran would be far more difficult than being the mother of a kid deployed to a combat zone. I’m here to tell you, those days during my son’s deployments were easy compared to way things have been since he has returned.
One thing is for sure, our Veterans are not just strong and courageous on the front lines. They are brave and resilient right here at home. Our civilian way of life does not make things easy for them when they return home. It’s not easy on their family members either.
These brave men and women have served on our behalf. The least we can do is get to know them and get to know what they need. We need to make the transition to life after combat easier for them, rather than more difficult.
If you are fortunate enough to know someone who has served, do yourself a favor and do more than just say thank you. Ask them to share their story. They have done something that most of us will never do. They have been willing to sacrifice their lives so that we could live ours. There’s a great chance that you will be blessed by getting to know the Veterans in your life. Don’t ever miss that opportunity.
I think Veterans Day is one of the most important days of our calendar year, but as we set today aside to honor and thank our veterans, let us be mindful that we should do this every day of the year and not just one.
Here at Military Missions Inc, we are known for our efforts to send out care packages to our deployed troops. Mailing boxes of encouragement is a big part of what we do, but did you know that we also offer support for our military families here on the home front?
Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines will often tell us that they feel it is harder on their families than it is on them. While deployed, they have a job to do. They know where they are at all times and they know what needs to be done, meanwhile, their family members are at home, knowing nothing about where their hero is located or what he or she may be doing.
Not knowing what is going on can be extremely stressful, especially when this will be the norm for several months or even a year. Trying to keep the home running smoothly while taking care of children, and working a job can be difficult for anyone, but for the spouse of one who is deployed it is far more challenging.
Even when the deployment is over, a lot of changes take place when the soldier returns home and our military families need support and encouragement during this time of adjustment.
Spouses and children aren’t the only ones who need support. For each one who serves, there is a parent, a sibling, a cousin, a friend, and a neighbor waiting on the safe return of their hero. Everyone in that soldier’s circle of influence needs a community of people who understand.
Military Missions works to provide support for our military families. We have a community of people who understand what it is like to live on this side of deployment and many of us have learned to live with the new normal that awaits each of us after our hero returns home. Join one of our support groups or get involved in one of the many activities we have going on year round.
Get support when you need it. Give support when others need you.
If you haven’t met Military Martha yet, you won’t want to miss the HUN Huddle on VOW Talk Radio. Most days you can find Military Martha hanging out at Homefront United Network where she is usually giving out no-nonsense, words of wisdom helpful to our military families. We are happy to report that she will be giving us all a piece of her mind on the last Monday evening of each month right here with us on VOW Talk Radio. We need YOU to send us your burning questions for Monday night’s show.
Military Martha says, “Be sure to call in or write your questions for me here! Don’t leave me hangin’ with dead air!”
Military Martha shares her patriotic perspective on all things practical in life. You can check out her her tips via her blog which includes some very interesting video blogs, as well. Check out I have a dream of neatly folded sheets, and you don’t want to miss her video, How to darn a darn sock..
She’s just “doin’ her part, ya’ll to keep Momma’s lessons alive and well!” Listen as Military Martha shares some of the wisdom she learned from her momma.
Religion - “Ya’ll better pray that comes out of the carpet”
Logic - ”Because I said so, that’s why”
Irony - “Keep cryin’ and I’ll give you somethin’ to cry about”
Wisdom - “If ya’ll live to be my age it will make sense.”
Justice - “One day ya’ll have kids, I hope they turn out just like you!!”
If you are looking for a few good recipes, you will want to check out what Military Martha has to say about her50 States 50 Recipes Tour. She takes us across the country sharing recipes native to each state, along with interesting facts about the regions. Did you know that Maine is the largest producer of toothpicks? Have you ever heard of a Whoopie Pie? Which state can boast their birth?
As well as sharing authentic recipes, Military Martha promises to to teach us a few cooking concepts which is quite helpful for those of us who can’t boil water.
She does, however, have a few rules of the road that must be followed during this 50 state tour. She’s not going to wear a parka while cooking a dish from Alaska or a bikini while cooking a dish from Florida, but she wants us to understand that climate changes in cooking are just as influential as they are in travel.
An expert in all things domestic with a military twist, Military Martha will help you find an answer to anything you want to ask her. She has been married to SGM Martha since Jesus was in diapers, and they are planning to stay married until the day on of them dies and the other retires to Florida. She’s got the answers to YOUR questions!
Tune in on the last Monday night of each month at 7:30 pm (Eastern) to ask your questions. Click here to follow our show page and we will send you a reminder so you don’t miss a single episode with Military Martha, the HUN Huddle, and your friends from Military Missions on VOW Talk Radio.
Music is a language that we all understand. There are certain songs that make us clap our hands and stomp our feet. Some songs bring us to tears. Songs bring back memories from the past. Music is used in advertisements, and very effectively I might add. The music in a film or television show will cause you to become nervous, frightened, happy, sad, and quite possibly have you running for a box of tissues. Our world would be a sad place without music.
Listening to contemporary Christian music has been a big part of my survival over the past two or three years. Songs are often prayers written to music. Lyrics often teach us scripture or tell a story of struggle and teach us of God’s love and faithfulness. I am thankful for those that have been gifted with the ability to share their trials and the lessons learned of faith and trust through song. I’ve got a playlist on my iPod called “Survival”. I am constantly adding to the list and it takes me about 5 hours to play through the list in its entirety. I won’t list all the songs here, but I will, from time to time, share a song, the artist, the lyrics, and perhaps why the song speaks to me.
If you aren’t familiar with contemporary Christian artists, I would recommend K-Love or Air 1 Radio. These stations are broadcast nationwide. Both have websites which you can visit to find out where you can listen locally to their stations. These stations are even broadcast overseas, so if you are deployed you can likely find a way to listen, as well. If there is no station in your area, you can listen online or through a smartphone app.
Before you throw your hands up and walk away from this idea, give it a try for a few days. You will likely find that your vigil from Fort Living Room is a little easier to face as you live through the days of deployment or the days of recovery you walk with your wounded warrior.
This article was first published at http://www.fellednot.com