You Bet Your Boots by Sandra Beck, Military Mom Talk Radio

As the host of a popular radio show I am often asked about issues pertaining to the military family and for the purposes of this blog series I would like educate the public and honor the military family so they can be seen in the exceptional light that I see which is missed by most of the civilian population.

When you take a closer look at the military family, you see that in many ways resiliency is a way of life. Resiliency as defined as the ability to bounce back from change, adversity and disappointment is the epitome of the career military family.  Not enough attention is paid to this amazing characteristic that is honed by PCS moves, working through government red tape and following as a family the orders set down by military protocol.

When you stop to think about a married soldier on deployment, it’s hard not to think of the family he or she left behind to do their duty. Our unsung heroes, the spouse and children are left to carry on, to do the job of both parents, to manage disappointment, fear, loss, loneliness and change. They do that day in and day out.

Children learn to live without one parent for months and months. They move from place to place making new friends, creating new lives all during the business of growing up. Our military spouses take on a new role as single parent – except there is no seeking out a new mate to pair up and ease the burden.  There are lonely frightening nights and long task filled days.

And here is the quiet resiliency. Day after day the military family shows up. They respond, they regroup, they rework the family system and they keep going. This to me is resiliency. So yes, when people as me about the military family I cite them as the classic case of resiliency.  They are a beautiful shining example of resilient living. I am always amazed at the clever solutions, the brilliant brainstorms and the superior attitude of our military moms and dads braving the home front and keeping the home fires burning until their loved one returns home.

So when asked is a military family is resilient, I have only one answer.  You bet your boots.

Sandra Beck is the host of Military Mom Talk Radio a show dedicated to bringing issues, solutions and up to date information to our Military Families.  Mondays 2pm PST on Toginet.com. Also available for free on Itunes.  Sandra Beck is a writer for MilitaryConnection and a member of VAMBOA and Military Writer’s Society of America This Article appeared on http://www.militaryconnection.com.

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Battle Parents by Sandra Beck, Military Mom Talk Radio

It takes a lot to impress me with new ideas. I’ll be honest with over 300 radio shows under my belt pertaining to military and motherhood, I think I have heard everything. Then an idea pops out from an unlikely place from an unlikely person.  No, it’s not a shrink or a counselor or a decorated veteran. It came from a mom. From a mom who started a small Facebook group called PODS – Parents of Deployed Service Members.

This group is private and has about 1500 members. I had the pleasure of meeting Marcella Stretch the founder and she came up with a great idea recently. You see in Battle – we have Battle Buddies. Those promised to be at our side and watch our back and take care of us when we need them.

Marcella Stretch came up with the concept of Battle Parents.  This is a unique and powerful concept because it allows our parents of military service members to bond and support each other in ways that no one else can. If you are a service member, encourage your mom or dad to get a Battle Parent.

See a Battle Parent promises to be at their side and watch their back and take care of them when needed. Parents of our service men and women take on a unique role.  The love their children and knowingly support them as they put themselves in harm’s way for our country.  Are they proud? Damn Proud! Are they scared? Every day.

As a parent you worry about your kids their whole live. No matter how old you are, if your parents are still alive they worry about you. You can’t support them sure, but you have a job to do. You have a mission. That’s why Battle Parents need to band together, form alliances and share information.

This is especially important when a Battle Parent’s adult child goes on their first deployment, goes to basic or transfers to a new area.  The parents worry and one of the best ways to help your parents is to provide them with real information from real parents who have gone or are going through the same thing.

I watch Battle Parents in action. One child is injured or lost – Battle Parents rush in to support the grieving parent. One child is coming home – Battle Parents rush in to celebrate.  Parents get tired. Parents get scared. Parents get confused.  Together we are stronger and our Military Parents – the PODS – Parents of Deployed Service members can band together and life all of us up.

So Parents – get a Battle Parent. You can find them online.  Service men and women encourage your Mom or Dad to get their Battle Buddy – their own Battle Parent.  And Marcella Stretch of PODS – thank you for giving a name to this outstanding concept of parents supporting parents while their adult children are on deployment – as well as before and after.

Sandra Beck is the host of Military Mom Talk Radio a show dedicated to bringing issues, solutions and up to date information to our Military Families.  Mondays 2pm PST on Toginet.com. Also available for free on Itunes.  Sandra Beck is a writer for MilitaryConnection and a member of VAMBOA and Military Writer’s Society of America This Article appeared on http://www.militaryconnection.com.

Never, Never Quit – PTSD by Sandra Beck, Military Mom Talk Radio

I am not a psychologist or a therapist. I have no medical training whatsoever. What I have done is talk to experts and read their books and reports regarding Post Traumatic Stress – whether you add the D as in Disorder or not – it sucks.  And PTDS sucks for the whole family – including friends and coworkers.

To the best of my understanding, what I see from the cheap seats is everyone I have talked to and their family members who have shared with me their experiences with deployment is that everyone who serves comes back different.  Is this because of a label like PTSD? Is this just a normal human reaction to the abnormal experience of War? Probably a little bit of both with some additional trauma thrown in.

I don’t know how we ever expected people to be the same coming back after a combat experience. We change after we go to college. We change after we find religion. We change every time we experience something new.  Some changes are for the better. Some changes are for the worse.

All I know is that what I hear on the air and off the air that when people come back they are different. Some differences are extreme and some are traumatic for everyone involved.  Some differences suffer in silence. I have also understood from many service members that they are different after every deployment. I guess I can sum it up in a few words- after every deployment everyone including the service member and their family and friends must adjust to a new normal.

PTSD/PTS is real and it’s here to stay.  The more we accept it as an expected I believe the faster we can get services to the people who really need it. I believe the faster we remove the stigma from this, the faster we can raise awareness, help those affected and move forward with what we all need.

I also learned from my experiences that PTSD/PTS is much like the word cancer. It covers just a huge spectrum of situations.  I have also heard about treatments that span the same spectrum. They are as wide and varied as the diagnosis itself. My advice from a completely un-medical perspective:

Do what works. Use your head but be open to new things – remember no one ever died from an open mind. Stop what doesn’t or makes it worse. You served our country. You are oue hero. You are valuable and we need you here. Keep trying until you figure out what you need to do to take care of yourself and never, never quit.

Sandra Beck is the host of Military Mom Talk Radio a show dedicated to bringing issues, solutions and up to date information to our Military Families.  Mondays 2pm PST on Toginet.com. Also available for free on Itunes.  Sandra Beck is a writer for MilitaryConnection and a member of VAMBOA and Military Writer’s Society of America This Article appeared on http://www.militaryconnection.com.

Motherhood Talk Radio Celebrates Shining Service Worldwide

Shining Service Worldwide™ is an organization that supports women in the military community. Too often our females in service fall through the cracks and don’t get the attention they deserve, or more importantly, they need.  We want to help provide the resources they need.

Our program at Shining Service Worldwide™ is three fold:

* The Shining Beacon House™: A transitional home for veteran women and their children in New York City.  This home will  help deserving women veterans keep their families together safely as they work toward successful re-integration to the community.

* The Power of Ten Life Skills Program: A three-month mentoring program designed to help women veterans with jobs, health and financial management.

* Shining Service Makeovers: The beauty makeovers, provided at salons all over the country, help to reconnect a woman to her feminine power.

Shining Service Worldwide™ is proud to be a special project under the umbrella of our Fiscal Sponsor United Veterans Beacon House, Inc. – a not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to provided transitional housing to our nations veterans.

For more information, visit www.shiningserviceworldwide.com.

Motherhood Talk Radio is co-hosted by Sandra Beck, Christy Holly and Rick Swanson, hosted by Toginet Radio and powered by Motherhood Incorporated.  Motherhood Talk Radio would like to thank our guest who have spoken with respect to motherhood on the following topics: women’s issues, parenting, relationship advice, personal growth, divorce, marriage, dating, weddings, relationships, health care, pet health, crafting, beading, relationship advice, cooking, family matters, care packages for soldiers, nutrition, child adoption, children with brain injuries, children’s advocacy, autism, cancer, eldercare issues, child care issues, personal growth and parenting issues.

 

Motherhood Talk Radio hosted by Sandra Beck, Christy Holly, and Doris Rivas-Brekke welcome Janine Wilburn of Touch.Nology, August 23

Motherhood Talk Radio, Motherhood Incorporated, Sandra Beck, Doris Rivas-Brekke, Christy Holly, Mom Talk Radio, Mommy Talk Radio, Talk Radio for Moms, Embracing Motherhood, Motherhood Radio, Parenting Talk Radio, Parent Talk Radio, Talk Radio for Parents, Embracing Parenthood, Parent Radio, Mom Radio, Mommy Radio, Woman Talk Radio, Women Talk Radio, Women’s Issues Talk Radio, Women’s Health Talk Radio, Work At Home Mom Talk Radio, Women Power Talk Radio, Smart Women Talk Radio, , Los Angeles Talk Radio, California Talk Radio, Dating Advice Talk Radio, Marriage Advice Talk Radio, Divorce Advice Talk Radio, Wedding Advice Talk Radio, Relationship Advice Talk Radio, Free advice on dating, free advice on marriage, free advice on divorce, free advice on weddings, free advice on relationships, free relationship advice, women’s issues shows, women’s issue show, talk radio los angeles, free cooking advice, cooking talk radio, family matters, advice for families, free advice for families, free adoption advice, advocate for women, crafting for moms, mommy crafts, beading, care packages for soldiers, child adoption services, empowerment thinking, optimal thinking, culture building, diversity training, eldercare talk radio, nutrition talk radio, friend ship talk radio, girlfriend talk radio, girlfriend advice on dating, girlfriend advice on marriage, girlfriend advice on wedding, girlfriend advice on relationships, Janine Wilburn, Touch-Nology, Touch.nologyIn 2005, Janine Wilburn co-founded and became the Chief Creative Officer of Touch.Nology Holdings LLC – a socially responsible, Communications Company committed to making a difference.

Touch-Nology manufactures patent-pending, Connection Kits and Products designed to bring resiliency, connection, communication and healing to families in challenging situations.

Touch.Nology developed Kits to help Service Members and Military Families build Resiliency before, during and after deployment. The kits contain a number of different types of products—all designed to work together over time. To date, upwards of 170,000 Service Members and Military Families have received Kits and responded with very positive reviews. Hundreds and hundreds of heartfelt emails have poured in from Service Members in Iraq and Afghanistan and their Families here at home.

Janine’s first hand experience with the importance of resiliency inspired these products. She began creating them as she worked to recover from severe spinal injury, during which portions of her upper body, including her hands and arms were paralyzed.  Janine used these tools on her personal path to recovery and still uses them everyday.

From early on in her career, Janine has been passionate about making a difference with people through caring, creativity and insight. Whether it was television and radio reporting for ABC in Madison, WI…hosting a radio show in Italy… authoring a book on sports families… starting the Family Achievement Center…marketing consulting in Bulgaria (for the U.S. Government) to help new businesses compete in the global marketplace… or lecturing, Janine has been connecting with people in special ways for years.
 
In the corporate world, she was recognized with a number of awards including: Gold & Bronze Lions from the Cannes Film Festival, a Clio, an EFFIE, an Addy and a HUGO. She also received acclaim as one of ten artists selected nationally to participate in the victim advocacy show at the Carrie Secrist Gallery.  Her piece “Broken Lady” was published in the Chicago Reader.  Janine is a working mixed media artist selling her work privately and at galleries across the country. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Darryl and son, Christian and is a regular volunteer at her son’s school.  In her private time, she is an avid Iyengar yoga practitioner. Janine is enthusiastic about her newest products, which are designed to help teach children and teens to write.  She looks forward to working with school systems across the country.

Motherhood Talk Radio is co-hosted by Sandra Beck, Christy Holly and Doris Rivas-Brekke hosted by Toginet Radio and powered by Motherhood Incorporated.  Motherhood Talk Radio would like to thank our guest who have spoken with respect to motherhood on the following topics: women’s issues, parenting, relationship advice, personal growth, divorce, marriage, dating, weddings, relationships, health care, pet health, crafting, beading, relationship advice, cooking, family matters, care packages for soldiers, nutrition, child adoption, children with brain injuries, children’s advocacy, autism, cancer, eldercare issues, child care issues, personal growth and parenting issues.

Motherhood Talk Radio hosted by Sandra Beck Welcomes Carolyn Blashek of Operation Gratitude, November 23

Carolyn Blashek, Operation Gratitude, Support for troops, care packages for troops, Motherhood Talk Radio, Sandra Beck, Christy HollyCarolyn Blashek is the founder of Operation Gratitude, the California- based 501 (c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization that annually sends 100,000+ care packages of snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and on military ships at sea.  Its mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and to express to all our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people.   Since its inception in March, 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 550,000 packages to American service members deployed overseas.

After 9-11, Blashek felt a passionate desire to help fight the war on terrorism. Although then a 46-year-old mother of two, her first thought was to join the Military. She quickly found out she was too old for duty and started volunteering at the military lounge in the Los Angeles airport. One day in March 2003, a soldier came into the office and broke down at her desk. He was on emergency leave from a war zone to bury his mother, his wife had left him and his only child had died as an infant–he had no one else in his life. “I’m going back over there; I don’t think I’ll make it back this time, but it really doesn’t matter because no one would even care” he told her. Right then Blashek realized that when bullets are flying, it’s critical for troops to know that someone cares about them as an individual. That’s when Operation Gratitude was born.

While most organizations ask people to support the troops by writing a check, Blashek wanted to provide a more personal and hands-on connection with our troops overseas.  She started asking everyone she met if they knew a deployed service member needing extra TLC so she could send them care packages of snacks and entertainment items.  Most importantly, each package would include letters of encouragement from appreciative citizens.  Now, Blashek is contacted by leaders and commanders in the field who see the positive impact the Operation Gratitude care packages have on their troops in combat.  Since November 2003, Operation Gratitude has conducted its Assembly Drives in the California Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California.Carolyn Blashek, Operation Gratitude, Support for troops, care packages for troops, Motherhood Talk Radio, Sandra Beck, Christy Holly

Since starting Operation Gratitude in 2003, Blashek has devoted herself full time, as a volunteer, to the development and direction of the organization.  In January, 2008, at the invitation of the Commanding General, Blashek personally delivered the 300,000th package, containing the keys to a new Jeep Liberty, to a Soldier deployed in Northern Iraq.  First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and 25 members of Congress and the Obama Administration joined Blashek and 12,000 Operation Gratitude volunteers on January 19, 2009, the National Day of Service, to assemble 85,000 care kits for Operation Gratitude packages

Operation Gratitude has been featured widely in the media.  Blashek has been a guest nationally on Fox News, CNN, Good Morning America, NPR’s Morning Edition, as well as the Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Brian Whitman, John Riggins and the Satellite Sisters Radio Shows. Dozens of Internet websites and blogs have mentioned and link to Operation Gratitude.

Blashek is a member of the New York and California Bars, practiced law at the Los Angeles law firm of Loeb & Loeb, was Associate Counsel for Hilton Hotels Corporation, taught as a Visiting Professor at Whittier Law School and has a Certificate in Mediation.   While raising children full-time, Blashek participated in several charitable and school based organizations, and was President of the Board of Trustees of The Women’s Care Cottage, a shelter for homeless women and children in Los Angeles.  California First Lady Maria Shriver awarded the 2010 Minerva Humanitarian Award to Blashek.

Blashek was born and raised in Manhattan.  Following graduation from Barnard College in 1976 and Columbia Law School in 1979, she moved to Los Angeles with her husband and fellow-law school classmate, Robert.  Together they raised two children (Jenna, 25 and Jordan, 23), two dogs and several cats. 

Motherhood Talk Radio is powered by Motherhood Incorporated, bringing you the most powerful voice in women’s issues today and is hosted by Sandra Beck, Christy Holly and Rick Swanson.  Motherhood Talk Radio airs on www.Toginet.com every Tuesday, 3 pm pacific, 4pm mountain, 5 pm central and 6 pm eastern and can be downloaded from www.Itunes.com and www.motherhoodtalkradio.com.