Huffington Post Idiot

 Well, David Wood has officially been put on my doo-doo list.  He has called the military lifestyle and benefits “lavish”.  Really?!?  What in the hell is this guy smoking?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/defense-budget-cuts_n_2584099.html

He says that military bases, housing, support services, family counseling, and others are considered lavish.  I guess he forgot all about the hardships that the military and their families endure.  What about the deployments?  What about never knowing if your spouse will come home?  There are no soldiers getting pampered during long ass deployments.  Maybe he forgot to look at the pay charts…they are listed online for all to see.  I guess he doesn’t know about all the training and school either.  Yea, that’s more time away from family.

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Housing on post ain’t that extravagant.  Where did he get that shit from?  Support services and family counseling…those are part of a lavish lifestyle???  Has this idiot ever endured a deployment?  Has he had to leave his family for 12 months?  Has he had to see the horrible sights of war that no soldier can ever forget?  This guy is a real piece of work.  I understand he has covered certain conflicts since 1970 and I am not saying that is easy…but trust me…this idiot makes a lot more money than an active duty soldier.  So, who is living a more lavish lifestyle?

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Way to go Wood!!!  Cramming your own foot so far down your throat has been amusing.  I can only hope…with your “lavish life”, all your money, your cute awards, your little important inner circle of people, and all the other life riches…you gain a more accurate description of the military lifestyle and benefits.

Work from Home

Working from home is searched online countless times everyday.  There are so many people looking to gain and/or maintain a comfortable lifestyle from home instead of having to deal with traffic, gas prices, childcare, etc.  As an Army wife, I have seen so many spouses looking to do the same thing.  Working from home during deployments makes life a little easier as well.

Everyone wants to make money.  Everyone wants to live comfortably instead of paycheck to paycheck.  However, there are SO MANY that do work through Avon, Scentsy, MaryKay, etc.  I’m not downing these companies, but the success rates suck!  Think about it.  You have so many spouses at one post and a ton of them selling Avon…each consultant is gonna have a pretty hard time finding a demand for those products.  It’s the same with the others I named.  Why settle for selling makeup or smelly stuff for just a little bit of money when you could make a decent income actually working?  Why stuff envelopes or make hundreds of cold calls everyday?

There are several companies out there that allow employees to work from home making a suitable income.  I have checked out several of them and talked to women who work from home.  There are credit card companies like Capital One that hire customer service reps to work from home.  There are also mystery shopper jobs from home.  You place calls to businesses like Pizza Hut to check their customer service and such.  Here is a list of links you can check out.

Please keep in mind that those get rich quick schemes you see on t.v. aren’t always what they are cracked up to be.  You don’t get rich over night and you don’t sit back while the money rolls in.  These are JOBS that require work, real work.  Some have set hours like any other job and some let you make your own hours.  There are also freelance jobs available for writing and opinions.  Check WAHM.com to find more work at home jobs too.

Women in Combat (part 2)

Well, this ban being lifted has ruffled quite a few feathers!  I have been trying to keep up with the opinions being voiced, especially from active duty military and vets.  I don’t care too much about what the politicians think!  The majority of the men’s opinions are against women in combat.  Now, that is the majority of what I have read…I’m not trying to step on toes here, just being honest.

The opposite is the opinion of most women, of course!  Most, not all, of the women are screaming for equality and saying that they have already endured the complications and hardships of combat.  Let me tell ya something…I don’t truly believe that for a second.  Not to say it hasn’t happened, but I haven’t heard of a woman soldier being outside the wire for 72 hours or more on a mission.

th[2](Sorry, but this was funny to me!)

I came across an article called “Five Myths about Women in Combat”.  This article had me shaking my head and rolling my eyes.  I know some won’t agree with me and that’s fine.  But I’m gonna break ’em down and give my opinion…of course!  Haha!

1.  “Women are too emotionally fragile for combat.” –  Women ARE more emotional than men!   I don’t care what the cause, but I really believe women are more emotional.  Hell, blame estrogen!  We all know estrogen makes us a little kooky!  Testosterone at least has the advantage of producing aggression and more muscle mass.  Aggression and strength are needed on the front line.  Being emotional only causes issues.  Putting your emotions to the side is essential.

2.  “Women are too physically weak for the battlefield.” –  This is true as well.  I have yet to meet a woman soldier that has the upper body strength to carry a 180-200lb man or the overall strength to drag a man of that size to safety in the event of injury.

3.  “The presence of women causes sexual tension in training and battle.” –  I don’t even know where to begin with this one.  Look, humans are sexual beings.  Stressful situations heighten sexual tension.  Those are scientific facts.  Now, am I saying that all men cheat?  No.  Am I saying that all women are homewreckers?  No.  I am saying that the stress and hardships of war do cause sexual tension.  Lots of women want to complain and file actions dealing with sexual harassment, yet many of them make sexual comments and actions toward men.  It seems to be ok for them to act that way towards the men but not ok for the men to make comments and such.  That’s bullshit.  You wanna act like one of the guys but can’t handle being treated like one (even though you are screaming EQUALITY!)???  Women, during a deployment, proposition men too.  Don’t be fooled and think the women are all innocent.  Men and women both make those decisions and both have to exercise will power.

4.  “Male troops will become distracted from their missions in order to protect female comrades.” –  I agree with this “myth” too.  Most of the male soldiers have expressed their opinions on this statement.  The majority agree that they would be more focused on protection of female soldiers…kinda like the whole damsel in distress thing.  The mission sort of becomes second on the list due to the fact that they are trying to keep an extra eye on the women and their safety.  If this is how the majority of male soldiers feel…then isn’t it selfish to put them in that position while in a combat zone?  It is risking their lives and the mission at hand… all for that female’s ego.  I know that sounds harsh, but I don’t want my husband’s life to be in even more jeopardy than already present in a combat zone.

5.  “Women can’t lead men in combat effectively.” –  Here again, I agree.  The main reason goes back to emotion.  I also think we should all consider the fear women should realize pertaining to the possibility of being captured during war.  The torture women would endure would be so heinous.  The emotion, stress, and fear of that torture if caught would greatly affect the woman’s ability to lead the men.

th[10](this pic was sent to me a while back…not sure where it came from.  It did make me giggle though!)

Here are a few opinions from a woman veteran that I’ve seen…these were sent to me with no name attached to them.

I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and often while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a humvee wearing full body armor. And she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her combat unit twenty inches away. Volunteers to do that job? Do the men really want to see it? Should they be forced to?

 The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?

When you’re going over a wall in Baghdad that’s ten feet high, you have to be able  to reach the top of it in full gear and haul yourself over. That’s not strength per se, that’s just height and the muscular explosive power to jump and reach the top. Having to get a boost from one of the men so you can get up and over could get that man killed.

I would have loved to be in the infantry. But I would never do that to the men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone died because of me.

This ban being lifted is going to cause major problems…mark my word!  I know we all have different opinions and I respect that.  Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion.

Operation Dog Tag

 Operation Dog Tag is an organization of wonderful people who love dogs and wish to protect them from poor living conditions, over crowded shelters, and being euthanized.

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This organization began in October 2011 and works diligently alongside local animal shelters and foster families to save dogs and give them a better chance at life.  They work mainly with military families.  Military families band together and help with transporting and fostering these furry little friends until they can be adopted.  Each family usually has the puppies for 10-14 days before they go to their new families.

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My family just began volunteering with this organization.  We are so excited to get our first dog tomorrow!  We will have her for about two weeks.  She looks absolutely adorable!  Our daughter can’t wait!  She is so happy that she gets to help rescue puppies so that they get good homes.  I know there are people out there that may not agree, but organizations like this bring so much happiness.  We get to help save these animals, place them with owners that will love them, and teach our kids the importance of giving and volunteering.  Our daughter loves all animals!  She is really getting the chance to learn that helping others is important in life.

If you would like to help out you can join their page on Facebook… www.facebook.com/groups/OperationDogTag/   We would love to have your help!  This also may be a great idea for some you ladies during a deployment!

 

Women in Combat

 Lifting the ban on women in combat

HUGE ISSUE!

This issue has been causing an uproar online!  People are battling over whether this is a good decision or not.  Some say it is a great idea and that women should be allowed to do the job they want.  Some say women can’t do the job as well as the men do.  You got a lot of men and women saying that women are not physically strong enough to do the requirements demanded in combat.  I have seen several people state that a woman‘s emotions would cause issues in combat as well.

Well….I’m pretty sure I’m about to make some people really upset!  My opinion is that it is a bad idea.  I don’t agree with lifting this ban.  Yes, I know there are and have been women in infantry units and such…I still don’t agree with it.

I know several woman are proposing the “equal opportunity” side for this argument, but that gets blown out of proportion.  They set standards and tests that have to be passed in order to be able to serve in combat, but just as soon as one misses the mark and is turned down it becomes a huge battle!  It has happened in the past and it will happen again.  “They were too strict, they weren’t fair, they were too judgemental, they intentionally failed me due to my gender.”  Not all, but a lot of women would “milk” those excuses when in fact, they just weren’t physically fit enough or whatever to pass the tests or the standards put in place.  Bottom line…A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE TO PASS THE SAME PT TESTS AND SUCH AS THE MEN IN ORDER TO FIGHT IN COMBAT.  If a man has to do 70 push ups within a two-minute period…so does the woman!

The physically fit part bothers me too.  I have to admit, I agree with the women that have stated most women just aren’t strong enough to be dependable in combat.  You got a 200lb man needing to be pulled to safety…a 120lb (for example) woman probably wouldn’t be able to handle that situation.  I would think the men would feel better knowing their guys have their back and would have no problems physically pulling them out of harm’s way.  Just my opinion…so don’t take offense please.

Next on the list…emotion.  Yea, I know some are probably rolling their eyes right now.  But the truth is, women are more emotional.  I’m not saying men are all stone cold or anything, but men tend to be more “act now, think later”.  I think that is a good quality in combat.  I would think most women would be more likely to freeze up or hesitate.  Those two reactions are definitely not good in combat zones.  Stress levels run high during a deployment and being in combat raising that stress way above the bar.  Here again, I think men handle high levels of stress a little better.  I know several people are probably thinking about PTSD right now.  And yes, PTSD is a huge problem resulting from deployments, but I still side with men handling their stress and emotions better.

I’m gonna catch hell for this next one!  But here goes!  CNN just published an article called “Unplanned pregnancy on rise in military.”  This is a problem folks.  A unit trains together and prepares for deployment together.  It’s damaging to a unit when women have to stay behind, after training and preparing together, due to unplanned pregnancy.  It is irresponsible.  Yes, I know it takes “two to tango”, but being responsible for your part within the unit is necessary.  Also, this is an issue during deployments.  Here again, completely irresponsible.  It costs the military, as stated in the CNN article, around $10,000 to send a servicewoman home from overseas due to pregnancy.  You get sent home, your unit is down a soldier due to this issue.

So, there you have it!  I know lots of people will disagree with me and that’s ok.  I stand firm on my opinion.  I am more old-fashioned and I was raised that way.  I’m proud of that.  Women can do lots of things that men can…combat just isn’t one of them.

P.S.  I just have to add in this little funny tid bit!  I just ran a spell check and “servicewoman” was underlined in red.  When I clicked on it, the word that popped up (since red means misspelled) was serviceman!  LOL  Damn!!!

People always leave…

Finding friends in the Army can be very difficult for spouses.  There is so much gossip, drama, and other crap among Army wives these days.  I have figured out, over the last several years, that many people you meet will become acquaintances and a select few will become actual friends.  Those friends will become so special and the bond will be unbreakable.  Between the deployments, struggles, and stress, you learn to lean on each other in hard times.  You each share the good times and precious memories.

But…you soon learn the bitter part of Army life and friends.  We all have to move away.

A very dear friend of mine is moving at the beginning of the year.  We both knew it was coming, but being prepared for it is another thing.  It happens to all of us, but it never gets easier I guess.  We keep in touch with the friends we’ve made and dread having to start over making new ones.  I know I dread it.

I have a few tips on keeping in touch and making the distance fun though.

1. Phone calls.  Keep in touch on a regular basis and continue to share each other’s struggles and good times.

2. Set aside a coffee date.  For example, Tuesday mornings at 0800 you pick up the phone, fill your coffee cup, and settle in for your weekly date/catch up phone call.

3. Face time/Video calls.  You get to see each other and the kids can also “visit” with each other.

4. Depending on distance, plan a get-together once a year or so.  Renting a cabin or something is a great weekend getaway to relax and catch up.

5. Penpal journal.  One journal shared between the two of you that you mail back and forth.

6. Crazy competitions.  Include your husbands and kids in little competitions throughout the year with Halloween contests and such.  It’s a good way to swap photos and the kids will have fun dressing up.  Each month could be a different theme too.

Anyway, those are just a few little ways to keep in touch and keep it fun.  Friends don’t let a little distance get in their way.  Be creative and take the time for one another.  It’s really worth it in the end!

Ahh Army Life…

Well, my little family is complete once again!  My hubby was out-of-town for two weeks for a class and just got back in last night.  It’s nice to have things back to normal again.  Although I’m sure it will just be a matter of a few months or so before something else comes up and he has to leave again.  Ahh, Army life…

I know there are a lot of new Army wives out there that feel lost and worried.  You feel overwhelmed and wonder if your life will ever feel normal.  You look at other couples and wonder how they do it or you watch them fall apart.  You hear the gossip and the horror stories.  Perhaps you are facing your first deployment and the idea of him leaving is tearing you apart.  Maybe you are a few months into the deployment and each day feels longer than the last.  Whatever the case, I am here to help with any questions or concerns you have.  Remember you have tons of support on post and within your FRG (hopefully).

I won’t pretend to have all the answers and I won’t preach that my advice is the best.  What I can tell you is…don’t sweat the small stuff.  Don’t get bogged down with the things you can’t change.  If he is deploying, come to terms with the fact that he is going to deploy.  If he has already deployed, take it one day at a time.  I know that sounds impossible to do sometimes.  You can’t change those orders, so just accept ’em.  Take the time to talk with friends and family.  Keep your friends around ya.  Have a girl’s night or a girl’s spa day.  Get the kids together for playdates.

Don’t listen to the gossip and drama!  It’s pointless and just weighs you down.  It doesn’t matter what wife did what or which husband said this and that.  People are gonna talk and they are gonna talk to anyone who will listen.  I have met countless chicks who gossip like crazy and will make stuff up just because they are bored as hell.  Simply don’t talk to them….or about them.

Oh!  I forgot to talk about the holidays!  Look, your soldier is gonna miss holidays…the trick is in how you adjust to it.  I’ll give ya a few examples…

Halloween~~If he will be home anytime in the month of October, dress up!  If ya’ll have children, talk to a few friends and/or family about having a little trick or treating!  If that’s not an option, talk to people in your neighborhood.  We have done that before!  We trick or treated a couple of weeks before the actual holiday.

Christmas~~You can send his gifts to him and maybe get in a video chat.  You can have Christmas whenever he gets home.  This year we Christmas again in April!  He got home that first week of April and we did Christmas all over again.

Valentine’s Day~~This can be done the same as Christmas.  Send stuff if you can and then celebrate it when he gets back.

Anyway, you get the idea.  Make due with what you can.  Take lots of pictures and make scrap books!  You will be so glad you did!  You will never forget these experiences and will love to look back on the memories of doing Christmas in July!

Hope some of this helps!

 

Deployment…what to say to and/or do for your soldier

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about deployments lately.  What to say or do for the soldier before he leaves seems to be two most asked questions.  So here goes…

What to do for your soldier before he deploys?….Look, the best way to approach this is to try to put yourself in his shoes.  Look at where he is headed, how his life will change, the “normal” things he won’t have access to anymore, the environment, not seeing you or any other family members for a long time…..the list goes on and on.  He won’t be able to come home and take his boots off.  He doesn’t get a cold beer in the evenings.  He may have a can of coca cola but no ice.  He probably has to walk a little ways to get to the bathroom, not to mention in complete uniform no matter what time of day it is.  No comforts that we take for granted…no heating and air control, no comfy bed, lousy food, no long hot showers, etc.  So, what do you do for him before he deploys???  Make him as comfortable as possible.  If he wants to spend the weekend kicked back watching movies and taking naps, tell him to go for it!  Eat out at his favorite places.  Go on little weekend trips.  Take tons of pictures!  Have cookouts on the weekends too so him and his buddies can sit back and relax.  Keep in mind that this is no time to be selfish.  He won’t have all these freedoms for a year.  You will.

What to say to him?…My best advice to is to reassure him that you love him.  Tell him that you will be thinking of him each and everyday.  Make plans to send him care packages full of goodies.  Let him know you will be right here when he gets back.  Don’t talk about the dangers he will face.  Don’t dwell on the time apart.  He probably won’t want to talk about those things.  If he wants to talk about that stuff he will, but don’t force it.  Write a letter and sneak it in his bag too.  And make sure to write letters during the deployment too.  A handwritten letter holds a lot more than a phone call.  Reassure him that you and the family will be ok.  It’s important that he not worry about his home and family while he’s gone.  He’s gonna have so much on his mind and will need to stay focused.

All in all, just live in the moment.  Have fun.  Don’t stress too much (I know that’s hard as hell to do).  This is his job.  Deployments are rough but they do end.  Tell him how you feel and let him know how important he is.  Take the time to send him things that remind him of home.  Don’t bog him down with drama from home.  He calls or gets online to escape the deployment.  Those few minutes of a phone call or online chat are his little vacations.  Make him laugh and reassure him that things are alright.

Adjusting to new routine after deployment

The adjustment can be smooth and easy or difficult and stressful.  Try to keep in mind, even though you have been dealing with the ups and downs back home, that your soldier has been deployed for a year or more.  Understand that the things we tend to take for granted are the very “luxuries” he has been completely without.  You have been able to get up and walk ten feet to the bathroom…he has had to make sure he was in full uniform and I can’t imagine how far some had to walk to get to a porta potty.  You could fix something to drink, anything you want, with ice!  He hasn’t been able to have a glass of coca-cola with ice in a really long time!  Those simple things make a big difference.  And on top of not having those things, he has been in a war zone…aka HELL!  Please, please try not to expect so much!

Here are a few tid bits of advice for the soldiers via Military.com

Make time for your family. Hold off on visits to relatives and limit time with friends until you’ve settled into a comfortable routine at home.  Take time to talk with your spouse or partner. After a long absence, you need to get to know each other again. You’ve both had new experiences that may have changed your priorities and your ideas about roles in the marriage and the family. Talking now can help you lay the foundation for a newly strengthened relationship.  Take time to understand how the family has changed while you’ve been gone. Don’t charge in with your own way of getting things done. Notice how your spouse is dealing with your children’s discipline, for example, and restrain yourself from taking over with a tougher or looser approach.  Spend time alone with each member of your family. Think of things to do with your children that you each enjoy and that will give you time to talk and have fun together in a relaxed way.

Don’t leave to visit relatives right away.  You, as a family, need to spend alone time together.  It is good for the soldier to be able to spend time with his kid(s).  This alone time means so much to both.  Your husband will need this time to adjust, to get to know his child(ren)’s new interests, to talk with you, and to sit back and relax.  Visiting relatives and friends should come at a later date.  Taking time to talk with your husband is very important.  My advice…do not ask so many questions.  He will tell you whatever he needs to when he is comfortable.  Overwhelming him with questions may seem more like an interrogation.

Allow time for rest and relaxation.  Plans and vacation time will come!  Making immediate plans is very stressful and doesn’t allow for any “down-time”.  Now I know you may be saying to yourself, “Where the hell is my down-time?”.  But we are the wives and our job is to be the glue that holds it all together.  Your relaxing time will come soon.  Before you and your husband plan to visit relatives, try to take a night or two for yourselves, if you can.

Continue doing your normal routine when it comes to household work.  Don’t expect him to immediately take out the trash, deal with the upkeep of the pets, household projects, etc.  Some husbands want to immediately do these things and some don’t.  Pay attention to him and talk.  Patience and good communication are the key!

His sleep pattern and schedule may be totally off also.  Let him sleep late, go to bed early, or both.

I want to mention PTSD as well.  PTSD can be easy to spot or very well camouflaged.  Pay attention to his temperament.  Watch his moods and see how he handles the new routine.  If you feel there is an issue, discuss it with him.  Like I said earlier, communication is the key.  There are also people you can call for help.  Visiting your soldier support center on post is a good place to start.  They have several informational packets that can help you as well as numbers to call for assistance.

With all that said, try to enjoy your time once he comes home!!!  Relax, have fun, cook together, have a drink or two, dance in the kitchen, etc!!! Decorate the house with lots of ribbon, flags and a banner.  Let the kids make “daddy signs” and hang them on the walls!

Murphy’s Laws of Combat…

I know most of you have heard of these but I had no idea the list was SO LONG!  I found these all over the internet and just chose several of them.

  • Friendly fire – isn’t
  • If it’s stupid and it works, it isn’t stupid
  • If at first you don’t succeed, call in an air strike
  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself
  • Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder
  • If your attack is going well, it’s an ambush
  • The most dangerous thing in a combat zone is an officer with a map
  • The enemy diversion you’re ignoring is their main attack
  • The enemy attacks on two occasions…when they’re ready and when you’re not
  • Five second fuses always burn three seconds
  • The important things are always simple…the simple always hard
  • The easy way is always mined
  • Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you
  • If you are short everything but the enemy, you are in a combat zone
  • When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too
  • Incoming fire always has the right of way
  • No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection
  • If the enemy is within range, so are you
  • The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire
  • Things that must be shipped together as a set, aren’t
  • Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support
  • Make it too rough for the enemy to get in and you will not be able to get out
  • Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs
  • Military intelligence is a contradiction
  • The one item you need is always in short supply
  • Interchangable parts aren’t
  • When in doubt, empty your magazine
  • The worse the weather the more you are required to be out in it
  • To steal information from a person is called plageurism.  To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence
  • 2 beers times 37 men = 49 cases
  • Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last and don’t ever volunteer for anything
  • If your ambush is properly set the enemy won’t walk into it
  • The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out
  • There is always a way and it usually doesn’t work
  • Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the CO is watching
  • As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains
  • Odd objects attract fire…you are odd
  • Mine fields are not neutral
  • The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used to abandon positions
  • When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not your friend
  • When the enemy is closing, the artillery will always be too long
  • Smart bombs have bad days too
  • Uncrating and assemble instructions are always inside the crate
  • If you have a personality conflict with your superior…he has the personality and you have the conflict
  • If you enter the CO’s presence with an idea, you will leave his presence with the CO’s idea