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Welcome Home...
For those that just arrived, Welcome home! For those that have been here before welcome back. We are your hosts, BJ 'n Cindy. We own and operate this site as well as the sister sites.

As a retired Marine couple, we know just how new and puzzling, and sometimes how lonely or difficult it can be to find what you need. That is why we created this network and filled it with all kinds of resources to help you find whatever you may need... and to find one another.

So once again Welcome Home...

 


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cory Asato, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Northwest

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (MCSFBn) graduated its newest batch of junior noncommissioned officers (NCO) at the command Corporals Course, March 17.

The mission of the course is to provide the Marine corporal with the education and leadership skills necessary to lead Marines. The local battalion chooses to send Sailors integrated into their platoons through the course, as well, promoting unit cohesion and leadership abilities.

 

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy junior officers interested in serving as a White House social aide can now apply through April 30. 

The White House social aides have supported presidents and first ladies since the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, and are represented by all branches of the military. They help manage guests who attend social functions at the White House, and also facilitate interactions with the president and first lady. 

By Jessica Myers DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 — The selection of the 2017 Women’s History Month theme, “Honoring Trailblazing Women,” falls in perfect harmony with the centennial anniversary of the first enlisted woman to enter into military service. The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and the Veteran Affairs Center for Women Veterans co-hosted an event at the Women in Military Service for American Memorial yesterday, celebrating the historic enlistment of Loretta P. Walsh, March 21, 1917, exactly 100 years ago to the day.

In the spring of 1917, the United States began preparing for the inevitability of war. However, men were not enlisting in sufficient numbers. On March 19, 1917, Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels determined that women could be enrolled in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and issued an order authorizing their enlistment.

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2017 — Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Michael R. Pence, honored military women today as part of events for Women's History Month.

"We just wanted to say 'Thank you,'" she told three dozen service members at an afternoon reception at One Observatory Circle, the vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory here.

By Luke Murren March 22, 2017

The jobless rate for all veterans edged down to 4.3 percent in 2016 from 4.6 percent in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recently released annual Employment Situation for Veterans. This continues a downward trend from the peak of the recession in 2011, and brings the veteran unemployment rate near pre-recession levels.

Some highlights from the 2016 report include:

By Suzanna Brugler,
Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support, Deputy

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support (NAVSUP GLS) Household Goods (HHG) added 15 more webinars to its series of live, interactive webinars that assist Sailors and their families in facilitating military moves, March 10.

The total number of webinars offered since Jan. 10 is 65, up from the original 50 scheduled early this year.

VA’s rule establishes presumption of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in water supply at Camp Lejeune VA to provide disability benefits for related diseases

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, are effective as of today.

By Jeremy Beale/Staff Writer, Marine Corps Base Quantico

Forty-seven year old, retired Marine Maj. Shalisa Davis, returned to Quantico Marine Corps Information Operations Center, where she works, after becoming the first African American woman to finish seven marathons in seven days across seven continents.

Pushing through sleep-depravation, physical exhaustion and illness, Davis ran over 183 miles, thus completing a seven part marathon series.

By C. Todd Lopez March 6, 2017

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- The standard issue combat boot most Soldiers wear today, the one most commonly worn in Iraq and Afghanistan, is great for sandy dunes, hot dry weather, and asphalt. But it's proven not so good in hot and wet environments. So the Army has developed a new jungle boot that some Soldiers will see this year.

In September, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley directed the Army to come up with a plan to outfit two full brigade combat teams in Hawaii, part of the 25th Infantry Division there, with a jungle boot. The Army had already been testing commercial jungle boots at the time -- with mixed results -- but didn't have a specialized jungle boot, so Program Executive Officer Soldier, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, had to get a plan together to make it happen.

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Liah Kitchen 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., March 2, 2017 — Transitioning out of the military can be a difficult and stressful time for service members. Many go back to their hometowns to be with their families, while others find work in the area of their last duty station.

Planning for life after the military is one of the key elements in a smooth transition. For retired Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Junior Hamilton, this means exchanging his uniform for business attire.

WASHINGTON - Military Outreach USA, a partner of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), recently launched a program to encourage communities to connect with local VA facilities and help VA provide support to homeless or recently homeless Veterans and their families.

The Adopt-a-VA program, which began in February, connects individuals and community organizations, such as schools, faith-based groups and businesses, with a local VA Homeless Program case manager at the VA Medical Center or community-based outpatient clinic in their area to help meet Veterans' non-medical needs.

By Donna Cipolloni, Naval Air Station Patuxent River

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., March 3, 2017 - Following the last of the female yeomen leaving active duty at the end of World War I, only a small number of Navy nurses represented their gender in naval service. But World War II would change all of that. In the early 1940s, the Navy prepared to accept not only a large number of enlisted women, but also the first female commissioned officers who would supervise them.

On July 30, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Navy Women’s Reserve Act into law, creating what was commonly known as the WAVES — Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service — a division of the U.S. Navy created during World War II to free up male personnel for sea duty. Little did anyone know that the resulting influx of women in the U.S. Navy would last far beyond the World War II “emergency” for which they had been recruited.

By Mika Cross on March 2, 2017

Imagine if you drove trucks for the military in some of the world's most dangerous and challenging terrain, in every kind of weather, day and night. After years of serving your country, you decide you want to go home, be closer to family and get back to work.

As you begin to transition from service, you make a surprising discovery: Suddenly, it doesn't matter that you were promoted three times, won service medals and logged hundreds of thousands of miles driving. Employers require you to re-certify and re-train for the very same work you performed in the military. Even though you've got the skills, it's hard to get a foot in the door. For too many veterans, this is a real problem.   

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Lockwood, Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- "How can history inform our maritime strategy today?" Your answer to that question may be the basis for an entry in the Chief of Naval Operations 2017 Naval History Essay Contest, recently announced in NAVADMIN 024/17.

According to the message, CNO Adm. John Richardson directed the contest to further understanding of how lessons from history inform the Navy's way ahead.

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Beginning Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, military exchange online shopping privileges will be extended to all honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. military.

The Department of Defense announced this policy change as a way to recognize the contributions of service members who served in the military and to thank them for that service.

Congratulations! You just found out your next duty station is in a land far, far away. Your excitement for new adventures may be tempered by questions about what life will be like in a new location and how you’ll get your family there. The good news is that there are resources available to assist families just like yours. Start with a Military OneSource spouse relocation and transition consultation. The consultant can:

from the MilitaryOneSource newsletter

Many service members and their families benefit from the multitude of state laws passed each year. Who is responsible for working at the state level to address the specific needs of military families?

The answer to that question is the Defense State Liaison Office. The DSLO, located in Washington, D.C., was established in 2004 by the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. At that time, the department did not have processes to resolve state issues for service members and their families. DSLO was established to “level the playing field” and remove barriers for service members and their families. As the department continues to transform service member and family support programs, DSLO also provides an opportunity to forge new ways of addressing requirements and aligning support with the programs implemented by states and communities.

from the MilitaryOneSource newsletter

Would you like to spend time whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing, winter camping, backpacking, exploring the environment, running ropes courses, or practicing wilderness skills? What if you could do these activities with other military youth just like you?

Military teens (14-18 years old of Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, and Retired personnel) will have an opportunity to participate in adventure camps scheduled May 2016 through February 2017 at little to no cost. These high energy, high adventure, and high experience camps are planned across the United States from Washington to New York and the states in between. This is the perfect chance for you to experience the outdoors as you never have before!

from the MilitaryOneSource newsletter

When school's out for summer, it's helpful to have some activities planned to keep your kids busy, engaged and having fun. Department of Defense summer camps may be a great addition to your child's summer lineup. Make it a summer to remember by checking out these potential camping experiences:

Teen adventure camps

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2017  Even after 100 years, the world still feels the effects of what was known at the time as The Great War. 

The current situation in the Middle East owes much to the divisions imposed on the region as a result of World War I. The U.S. civil rights effort grew out of the segregation and discrimination African-Americans were subjected to as they strove to serve their country in combat.

WASHINGTON — Researchers know of aspirin’s benefits in preventing certain ailments — from cardiovascular disease to most recently colorectal cancer. But while the link to those two conditions was made, researchers also questioned how and if this “wonder drug” could work to ward off other types of cancers. 

Thanks to a team led by Dr. Vinod Vijayan at the DeBakey Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Houston and Dr. Lenard Lichtenberger of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, new studies verify their theory of cancer-prevention benefits based on aspirin’s effects on platelets—blood cells that form clots to stop bleeding. The findings appear in the February 2017 issue of Cancer Prevention Research journal.

By Mark DeWolf  March 1, 2017

This Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look at women’s contributions to the U.S. labor force.  Here are some noteworthy statistics we’ve rounded up!

Women are Integral to Today’s Workforce

By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Career-minded officers interested in developing language skills and regional cultural knowledge are encouraged to apply for the fiscal year 2019 (FY-19) Olmsted Scholar Program, announced Feb. 17 in NAVADMIN 038/17.

Currently available to unrestricted line, Information Dominance Corps and Supply Corps officer designators, the Olmsted program is a unique scholarship opportunity offering two years of graduate study using a foreign language, while providing overseas cultural and travel opportunities and often leading to a graduate degree at a foreign university.

by Senior Airman R. Alex Durbin
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/27/2015 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS. Va. -- Following recent changes to Department of Defense Basic Housing Allowance policies, U.S. Service members living in privatized base housing will no longer automatically receive renter's insurance through property management companies.

Since privatization, Service members who live in military housing communities were automatically provided renter's insurance through the terms of their lease agreement with property management companies who were compensated through monthly BAH allotments for rent, utilities and renters insurance.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 - Defense Secretary Ash Carter recognized several U.S. service members today for their service in Afghanistan and their families for their sacrifices as he hosted the Afghan president and chief executive here.

During a Pentagon center courtyard ceremony, Carter, alongside Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, paid tribute to U.S. troops, their families, civilians, and thousands of contractors who have served in Afghanistan.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2015 - Operation Freedom's Sentinel is now a qualifying operation for award of the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, according to a Defense Department news release.

In a memorandum signed yesterday, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright approved award of Global War on Terrorism Medals for Operation Freedom's Sentinel, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015, the release said.

By Lisa Ferdinando
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2015 - They greeted troops in places including Afghanistan, Bahrain and Diego Garcia, performed on an aircraft carrier as jets took off for missions in Iraq and Syria, and saw the Korean demilitarized zone where American troops serve.

The Vice Squad USO World Tour took participants literally to the front lines where members of the U.S. military serve to protect America, said Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

DALLAS - The Army & Air Force Exchange Service knows that for Soldiers and Airmen, there truly is no place like home. With this in the mind, the Exchange is offering one lucky winner a home makeover valued at $18,000.

The $18,000 Home Makeover Giveaway is part of the Exchange's Because of You program, a yearlong effort to recognize and reward service members for their sacrifice and dedication to our country. One grand-prize winner will receive:

From a National Center for Telehealth and Technology News Release

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., March 27, 2014 - Children in military families move six to nine times between kindergarten and high school, and a mobile app launched in December can help them cope with leaving a familiar place for the unknown.

The Big Moving Adventure app lets children create a Muppet friend to help them through the moving process.

Searching for: Families who are currently insured by USAA for a new television commercial. Especially seeking multi-generational families with USAA

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following information:

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Mar. 24, 2014 - As the United States continues to support the search for the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the Navy is sending a towed pinger locator, as well as a Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle, to Perth, Australia, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today.

The pinger could be used to locate the missing airliner's black box, while the autonomous underwater vehicle has sophisticated sonars that could be used to locate wreckage. Malaysian officials said evidence points to the plane crashing in the Indian Ocean west of Australia.

From a TRICARE News Release

FALLS CHURCH, Va., Mar. 24, 2014 - Walk-in service at TRICARE service centers in the United States is ending April 1.

TRICARE officials said the change reflects "the always growing number of TRICARE beneficiaries who most often now turn to a laptop or cell phone when they have questions about their health care."

By J.D. Leipold
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, Mar. 19, 2014 - Twenty-four U.S. Army veterans from three wars -- World War II, Korea and Vietnam -- received upgrades to the highest military decoration for uncommon bravery and gallantry at a White House ceremony yesterday.

President Barack Obama presented posthumous Medals of Honor to family members and representatives of 21 of those soldiers, and draped the sky-blue ribbon and five-pointed star-bearing medals around the necks of the three living veterans from the Vietnam War.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. NR-133-14

March 18, 2014

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, were recently accounted for and will be buried in a group burial ceremony.

Army Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods of Clarksville, Tenn., will be buried as part of group on March 21, at Arlington National Cemetery, in a ceremony honoring the servicemen who were lost in an aircraft crash on Oct. 24, 1964.

From a Social Security Administration News Release

WASHINGTON, Mar. 18, 2014 - Social Security claims from veterans with a Veterans Affairs Department disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total have a new process that will treat their applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions.

Carolyn W. Colvin, acting Social Security commissioner, said the new process is similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from wounded warriors.

FOOD NETWORK and the producers behind GUY'S GROCERY GAMES are gearing up for the much anticipated 5th Season of THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE! Have you been dreaming of owning and operating your very own food truck? Well, you are in luck! Acclaimed chef and host of The Great Food Truck Race, TYLER FLORENCE, is once again giving you the opportunity to START YOUR OWN FOOD TRUCK!

YOUR DREAM. YOUR CUISINE. And YOUR cooking skills transformed into your very own mobile restaurant!

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Mar. 13, 2014 - First Lady Michelle Obama hosted military children and their families at the White House yesterday for a special screening of the Disney motion picture "Muppets Most Wanted," with an opening address by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey.

The event was part of the Joining Forces initiative, established in April 2011 by the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, to mobilize support for military families and veterans by all sectors of society.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Mar. 12, 2014 - It was called The Great War even as it was going on. It engulfed the world, and the world is still feeling its effects.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and U.S. officials are gearing up to mark the centennial.

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Mar. 12, 2014 - In a small office on the second floor of the Pentagon's "D" ring, the world's largest provider of assistive technologies helps thousands of wounded service members and disabled federal employees stay and advance in the workplace.

The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, or CAP, was established in 1990 to provide assistive technology and accommodations at no cost to make sure people with disabilities have equal access and opportunities at the Defense Department. The program has since expanded to include 68 federal partner organizations.

By J.D. Leipold
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2013 - Twenty-one Medal of Honor recipients who put their lives on the line in extraordinary ways and circumstances paid tribute yesterday to four citizen-heroes who also went above and beyond for their fellow man. The first Medal of Honor was presented March 25, 1863, to Union Army Pvt. Jacob Parrott. On the 150th anniversary of that event, more recent Medal of Honor recipients gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen war heroes with a somber wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Following the wreath-laying, the Medal of Honor recipients and civilian honorees they had selected from among 23 finalists moved to the nearby Women in Military Service for America Memorial for another ceremony.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2013 - As service members start to receive their orders for summer moves, it's time for working spouses to update resumes, start networking for job opportunities and contact career counselors at their new locations, a Pentagon official recommends.

In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Meg O'Grady, program manager for the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program, said Defense Department officials are "absolutely dedicated" to helping military spouses overcome challenges they face in looking for education and career opportunities.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 - Defense Department officials recognize that an unemployed spouse can affect a service member's retention, so efforts continue to allow spouses' professional licenses to transfer from state to state as military families move from one duty station to another, a Pentagon official told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.

Marcus Beauregard, chief of DOD's states liaison office, noted that certain occupations such as nursing and other medical positions require licensing.

from an email

We operate an online business called The DocSafe, which is a virtual safe deposit box. We started this business as an offshoot of my estate planning law practice in Tampa, Florida near MacDill AFB.

Since we represent many military families in Florida, we have learned that they are oftentimes quickly displaced and need to keep themselves organized. As such, The DocSafe allows them to become organized online with the storage of certain documents, such as their Will, Power of Attorney, deeds, mortgages and insurance policies, which can be accessed anywhere they have an internet connection.

from an AFEES press Release

DALLAS - In an effort to support and assist severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is offering free alterations and modifications for this select group at all 79 Army Military Clothing stores around the world.

This Army-led initiative ensures all wounded Soldiers receive free alterations and modifications on all issued uniforms in accordance with the Wounded Warrior Clothing Support Program to include the Army Service, Combat and Improved Physical Fitness uniforms as well as undergarments. Eligible Soldiers must present an approved Army Form 3078 along with the prescribed modifications by the physical or occupational therapist to receive free services.

By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 - The Defense Department possesses more real estate than it needs and is looking to close additional bases and installations in the United States and abroad, a senior DOD official told a House panel yesterday.

Another round of base realignments and closings should be an essential part of any overall strategy for reshaping the military, John Conger, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told the House Armed Services Committee in prepared testimony.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013 - Veterans and military spouses make good employees because they know how to develop and execute complex plans, and they're at their best when faced with high-pressure situations, First Lady Michelle Obama told attendees at the Business Roundtable Conference Center here today.

In her remarks, Obama continued her call on the private sector to hire veterans and military spouses as part of the Joining Forces initiative she co-sponsors with Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 - A free iPhone app for the Thrift Savings Plan available at the Apple App Store could pose a security risk, program officials warned.

A notice on the Thrift Savings Plan website says the "TSP Funds" app, which asks participants for their account login information, is not sanctioned.

 by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

*"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas"* – More than 700 captains, majors and lieutenant colonels have been selected for promotion, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced today.

Promotion-selects were considered during the November CY12B Colonel Line of the Air Force and Nurse Corps, CY12C Lieutenant Colonel Nurse Corps, and CY12B Major NC/LAF-Judge Advocate central selection boards held in November 2012.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2013 - Budget problems have forced the Army and Marine Corps to cancel the tuition assistance program, service officials said today.

Navy and Air Force officials said they are studying the way forward with the program and expect decisions next week.

FOOD NETWORK and the producers behind THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE are gearing up for the much anticipated 4th Season! Have you been dreaming of owning and operating your very own food truck? Bummed you missed out on the chance last season? Well, you are in luck! Acclaimed chef and host of The Great Food Truck Race, TYLER FLORENCE, is once again giving you the opportunity to START YOUR OWN FOOD TRUCK!

YOUR DREAM. YOUR CUISINE. And your cooking skills transformed into your very own mobile restaurant!

By Navy Lt. Theresa Donnelly
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (10/29/12) - Moving in the military is tough. With loose ends to tie up, such as obtaining spouse employment, moving household goods, transferring schools, shipping vehicles and setting up child care, it can seem overwhelming.

Many families have questions on and are sometimes unprepared for what resources exist to help them move their pets.

By David Vergun
Army News Service

ARLINGTON, Va. (1/8/13) - Army Emergency Relief scholarships for the academic year 2013-2014 became available Jan. 2, 2013, for spouses and children of soldiers, retired soldiers and reserve-component soldiers on Title 10 orders. The application deadline is May 1, 2013.

The Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarships are for unmarried children under the age of 23 and the Spouse Education Assistance Program Scholarships are available to the spouses of active duty, retired or deceased soldiers.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2013 - A living legacy to women who served in all branches of the U.S. military honors their service and sacrifice inside the Women's Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

The museum in the memorial depicts the "duty, honor and pride" of the 2 million women who served to defend the United States, from the beginning of the Revolutionary War through today's war in Afghanistan.

 

By Elaine SanchezAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2012 - Children of U.S. service members around the world will be honored throughout April for their contributions to their families' well-being and sacrifices on behalf of the nation, a Defense Department official said.

Each April, Americans pause to recognize the nation's 1.8 million military children during the Month of the Military Child.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2012 - The military needs to "eviscerate" societal problems plaguing the force with an unmatched and unyielding effort, the Marine Corps' top enlisted leader said today.

Problems such as drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, criminal mischief and suicide are the "insurgents inside our wire," Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett said. "We need to attack those damn things the same way you'd attack it if it was happening to one of your own children. That's the level of commitment we have."

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2012 - Defense Department officials today launched a challenge to industry to develop innovative mobile applications that provide science, technology, engineering and math learning tools.

The contest, which will run from April 2 to June 4, is headed by the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, a DOD research and development office.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2012 - With the temperature rising and the school year drawing to a close, parents across the nation are starting to think about summertime plans. With three young children and a stretch of lazy summer days ahead, it's definitely a hot topic in my household.

Military families can get a head start on their planning today by applying for the National Military Family Association's Operation Purple Summer Camp program. The nonprofit organization launched this free program nine years ago to support military children, ages 7 to 17, dealing with the stress of war.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2012 - On the ninth anniversary of U.S. forces moving into Iraq, President Barack Obama has proclaimed today to be "A National Day of Honor."

Here's is the text of the president's proclamation:

Nine years ago, members of the United States Armed Forces crossed the sands of the Iraq-Kuwait border and began one of the most challenging missions our military has ever known. They left the comforts of home and family, volunteering in service to a cause greater than themselves. They braved insurgency and sectarian strife, knowing too well the danger of combat and the cost of conflict. Yet, through the dust and din and the fog of war, they never lost their resolve. Demonstrating unshakable fortitude and unwavering commitment to duty, our men and women in uniform served tour after tour, fighting block by block to help the Iraqi people seize the chance for a better future. And on December 18, 2011, their mission came to an end.

from a SaveOurBenefit.org press release

Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2012) - Military personnel and families have a new advocate in their corner to preserve and strengthen a 150-year-old cherished benefit that provides thousands of dollars in annual savings on household necessities, billions of dollars in added employment income for military families and underwrites other billions of dollars in vital on-base community programs and facilities.

A coalition of military families, advocacy groups and American industry called Save Our Benefit has formed to preserve the heavily valued shopping privileges on military bases along with the network of outlets at veterans' hospitals.

from CBS news release

You would never go on TV to find love. But maybe this time you should consider it.

We are looking for single men and women for a different kind of TV show. it's about finding love; it's about meeting amazing people who could be a good fit for you; it's about having a blast; it's about making a connection. it's not about fancy dates and ro ses. It is not about "TV." it's about a journey and sometimes the journey to find love can be as fun as whether or not you find it. If any of the following is true for you, you should contact us:

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2012 - Military families across the nation soon will be invited to take a stroll down Sesame Street.

Elmo and Katie, a new character from a military family, bend down to greet children from military families. During a traveling show called "Sesame Street and USO Experience for Military Families," Elmo and friends help Katie open up about her fears and excitement about moving to a new location. USO photo by Fred Greaves"  The Sesame Street and USO Experience for Military Families, a free traveling tour exclusively for military families, will kick off April 7 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and will visit more than 70 installations over the next eight months.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2012 - At just 9 years old, James Nathaniel Richards already considers himself a seasoned military "brat."

The fifth of six children in his family, Richards took on a host of deployment-related challenges when his Navy father and three of his brothers deployed at the same time. But rather than focus on the separation, he started a blog to help other military kids deal with deployments and separations.

Release No: 050 March 8, 2012
by Eric M. Grill
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH" - Military members wishing to root on their favorite college basketball team as they compete in the upcoming NCAA basketball championship tournament now have free online access to do so.

Using their .mil e-mail address, military members can register with the NCAA.com website to receive free online access to watch all 67 live games using their personal computer, tablet, Smartphone or other select electronic devices with internet access.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2012 - The National Hockey League's Washington Capitals highlighted the club's ninth annual military appreciation night yesterday with a six-figure donation to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors program.

The TAPS program, founded in 1994, provides support for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of their relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death.

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 - Thousands of service members and veterans whose mortgages were wrongfully foreclosed on, or who were improperly denied lower mortgage interest rates in the national housing crisis, can receive "significant relief," President Barack Obama announced today.

"It is unconscionable that members of our armed forces and their families are among those who were most susceptible to losing their homes due to the unscrupulous acts of banks and mortgage lenders," Obama said during a White House news briefing.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2012 - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a "solemn tribute" to Iraq war veterans -- including those who made the ultimate sacrifice -- with a dinner last week at the White House. Among the star-studded generals and troops in formal uniforms was Kim Felts, the only Gold Star wife at the event.

Seated at a table next to the first lady and surrounded by Iraq war veterans and their wives, Kim said she felt humbled and grateful. "I felt like [our nation's leaders] were saying, 'We want to honor your husband in this way,'" she said in an interview Friday.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., March 5, 2012 - Military spouses have amazing stories that all Americans need to hear, the wife of the nation's top military officer said here March 3.

"I want all of America to see what I see -- this is a group that can be an incredible source of good," Deanie Dempsey, wife of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, told a group of military spouses attending Military.com's 2012 Military Spouse Summit.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2012 - A new NBC show that rewards selfless people for their good deeds is seeking redeploying service members to spotlight in some upcoming episodes.

Casting producers are looking for service members returning home in early to mid-April who would like to surprise their families with a homecoming or reunion. They're also hoping to connect service members with a loved one they haven't seen in years because of deployments, finances or other issues. If selected, they'll experience a "one-of-a-kind reunion on national TV," producers said.

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2012 - A proposed new governance structure will make the military health system more effective and produce savings, and the system's 9.8 million beneficiaries worldwide will never miss an appointment, the Pentagon's top health affairs official said.

In a Feb. 24 interview with the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press service, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and director of the TRICARE Management Activity, discussed three governance reforms under way for the military health system.

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs Press Release

DALLAS - As Spring blooms, Easter is just around the corner and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is ushering in the new season with its latest Patriot Family contest.

The "Patriot Family Peeps Diorama" contest gives military shoppers the opportunity to show their creative side and craft a patriotic scene using Peeps candy. Entrants must use a shoebox or comparable item of reasonable size to create a patriotic play, scene or event that inspires emotion. The winner will receive a $1,000 Exchange gift card.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2012 - A Gold Star wife will be among the guests attending a dinner to honor Iraq war veterans and their families at the White House tonight.

The event, hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, is intended to honor the more than 1 million U.S. service members who served in Iraq from 2003 to the end of operations in December.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2012 - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a White House tribute to Iraq War veterans and their families last night to honor them for their service, sacrifice and commitment to nation.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with senior officials from all branches of service joined the president and the first lady at an event dubbed "A Nation's Gratitude: Honoring Those Who Served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn."

 By Donna Miles 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2011 - They served their country in uniform -? many on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now that they've returned home and rejoined civilian life, an alarming number of veterans have found themselves on the streets and living under bridges.

The Veterans Affairs Department is making progress on its commitment to end homelessness among veterans, Deputy VA Secretary W. Scott Gould told American Forces Press Service, striving to achieve that goal ahead of its original 2015 timetable.

 By Elaine Sanchez American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2011 - From robotics engineering to gaming technology, Defense Department school officials are hoping their new, cutting-edge courses will spark a lifelong passion for science and technology in their students.

Under a new science, technology, engineering and math initiative, Department of Defense Education Activity officials will roll out four innovative classes in a limited number of DOD high schools in the fall, with plans for a wider-scale launch to follow if the program proves successful.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 249-11 
March 29, 2011

DOD Launches Online Career Transition Training for Service Members

The Department of Defense today announced the launch of an online Career Decision Toolkit that will allow service members to self assess transition needs and thoroughly explore an array of transition related subjects such as: career exploration, financial planning for transition, job search success, effective resumes and cover letters, interviewing excellence, and negotiating your ideal compensation.

"The toolkit is customized to a service member's own transition needs and assists them in cataloguing their military skills and experience in a way that helps them effectively communicate their skills to prospective employers," said John R. Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy.

By Erin Tindell
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

SAN ANTONIO - Air Force Services Agency officials recently announced the call for three Air Force teen camps for 2011.

The annual camps are designed to help Air Force youth build leadership skills and/or aspire to careers in space or aviation.

By Elaine Sanchez 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 - Military children need the support not just of the Defense Department, but the "whole of nation" to ensure they're ready for the future, a DOD official said here today.

"Military children are resilient, but they need a lot of help," said Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy. "We're doing much more in the within the Department of Defense and federal government, but it will not be enough, because this is an American problem -- it's not just a problem of the Department of Defense."

by Maj. Tabitha Stump
Air and Space Expeditionary Force Casualty Matters

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - Having insurance is always good and not spending a lot on the coverage is even better. So, getting $100,000 in traumatic injury life insurance coverage for $1 is great.

The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection program rider provides for payment to service members who are severely injured, on or off duty, as the result of a traumatic event and suffer a loss.

From a U.S. Northern Command News Release

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., March 23, 2011 - U.S. Northern Command is leading "Pacific Passage," an operation for the voluntary return of military family members from Japan in the aftermath of the deadly March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Northcom is the joint combatant command formed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to provide homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 - Defense Department officials have launched an online preregistration application that's intended to help parents get an early start on enrolling their children in DOD schools.

Through the site, parents can preregister their children in a DOD school from anywhere in the world, and even while on the move from one installation to another, explained Mike Lynch, chief of policy and legislation for the Department of Defense Education Activity.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2011 - The Department of Defense Education Activity  [ http://www.dodea.edu/home ]has established crisis centers to assist parents of its students and employees who are affected by the voluntary relocations from Japan and Bahrain. The centers are accessible by phone or email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2011 - Service members and their families have a few tax advantages at their disposal, as well as a few extra days in which to complete their taxes this year, a Defense Department tax expert said.

Due to Emancipation Day, a holiday recognized by the District of Columbia, government officials have pushed the nation's tax filing deadline from April 15 to April 18, Army Lt. Col. Evan Stone, director of the Armed Forces Tax Council, told American Forces Press Service.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2011 - The deadline for eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries to apply for special retroactive pay as compensation for involuntary extensions of their military service contracts has been extended to April 8, Defense Department officials announced today.

The deadline extension is included in the continuing resolution President Barack Obama signed March 18 that provided funding for government operations through April 8.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2011 - The State Department has authorized family members and dependents of U.S. government officials -- including those of service members -- to relocate from northeastern Japan, officials announced last night.

The U.S. government also is working to facilitate the departure of private American citizens from areas within a 50-mile radius of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan said.

Release No: 055
March 16, 2011

by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - Permanent change of station moves to Yokota and Misawa air bases are currently delayed in the aftermath of an 9.0 Richter scale earthquake and ensuing tsunami that caused catastrophic damage to multiple locations throughout the country.

Wing commanders at both bases have issued stop movement directives that affect military PCS moves, although the orders do not prevent currently assigned Airmen from returning to their home stations following leave, temporary duties or deployments.

By Jim Garamone 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2011 - Officials told personnel in and around Fleet Activities Yokosuka and Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan today to limit outdoor activities and to turn off air conditioning due to the detection of low levels of radioactivity.

U.S. 7th Fleet officials said sensitive instruments aboard the USS George Washington, docked at Yokosuka, detected low levels of radioactivity released from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

Release No. 054
March 15, 2011

By Erin Tindell 
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs


SAN ANTONIO - Airman and Family Services officials are launching a healthy recipe contest during March in recognition of National Nutrition Month.

The "Cook it Up" healthy recipe contest is open to total force Airmen, civilians, families and retiree dependents, and is designed to encourage healthier food choices into their daily lives. The contest runs March 15 through the end of June.Participants may submit revamped or original "from scratch" healthy recipes in a variety of categories and meal times through the Air Force's "FitFamily" website at www.usafFitFamily.com.  Photos and videos may also be submitted. There's no limit for entries, and officials encourage participants to enter often to increase their chance of winning prizes.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2011 - In the wake of Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami, Red Cross officials are encouraging U.S. service members and families posted there to register with an online resource intended to keep family and friends back home informed of their welfare.

Military members and their families overseas can relay their status and pass on messages to loved ones through the American Red Cross-sponsored "Safe and Well" website at http://redcross.org.

Release No. 053
March 14, 2011

By Erin Tindell Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs


SAN ANTONIO - The roles and responsibilities that Airman and Family Readiness professionals perform on a daily basis are critical to the Air Force's ability to help defend the country, the Air Force chief of staff said here March 10.

Gen. Norton Schwartz and his wife Suzie addressed more than 200 Air Force Exceptional Family Member Program coordinators and school liaison officers gathered for a joint training course held March 7-10 to integrate existing services and standardize programming across the service.

By Cheryl Pellerin 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2011 - Though the Japanese government has not yet requested help in dealing with the magnitude 8.9 earthquake that hit early this morning near the coast of Honshu, U.S. forces are being readied in case such a request comes, a Defense Department spokeswoman said here today.

"We are assessing the situation and positioning forces so that they are ready to respond and provide disaster relief if directed," Navy Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde said.

Release No: 043
March 8, 2011

Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - The Air Force selected 276 first lieutenants for promotion during the 2010D Line of the Air Force, Chaplain Corps, Judge Advocate General Corps, Nurse Corps, Medical Services Corps and Biomedical Sciences Corps quarterly captain selection process.

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Walter D. Marino II 
2nd Marine Division

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., March 4, 2011 - A Navy corpsman didn't expect hundreds of Marines clad in camouflage utilities to fill an entire field house just for him ?- but they did.

Navy Seaman Matthew A. Dishmon, a corpsman with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, received the Bronze Star medal with combat distinguishing device during a Feb. 25 ceremony here. Dishmon was honored for saving the life of a Marine last year during combat in Marjah, Afghanistan.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 171-11 
March 03, 2011

The Department of Defense announced today the alert of two units to deploy as part of upcoming rotations of forces operating in Afghanistan and Kuwait.  The scheduled rotation for these replacement forces will begin in early 2012.

The announcement involves two Army National Guard brigade combat teams totaling approximately 7,520 personnel.

Army News Service

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2011 - Service members, veterans and legally designated beneficiaries held on active duty under the Stop-Loss program between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, must apply by March 4 to receive $500 in special retroactive pay for each month their service was extended.

Although more than 100,000 unique claims have been initiated, many people eligible for the pay have yet to apply, officials said.

Online education leader honors contributions of military spouses

NORCROSS, Georgia  - March 1, 2011 - Ashworth College (http://www.ashworthcollege.edu), announced that it will be a sponsor of Military Spouse magazine's 2011 Military Spouse of the Year Award. Ashworth also sponsored the award in 2010.

The Military Spouse of the Year program annually honors the millions of past and present military spouses who dedicate their lives to serving their country and by giving back to their local community. Candidates are current branch winners and voting is conducted online. The winner will be announced at a Military Spouse Appreciation Day celebratory banquet in May.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2010 - The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families, a free traveling USO show based on Sesame Workshop's award winning "Talk, Listen, Connect" initiative and produced in partnership with Vee, is back in the United States after an around-the-world tour.

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2010 - Defense and USO officials joined military families at the U.S. Navy Memorial here yesterday to celebrate the launch of a new DVD created to help military children cope with a parent's deployment.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Beverly A. Moglich's memoirs start with her ducking the machine gun fire from a Japanese Zero at Pearl Harbor when she was twelve years old, but they follow through her life and give her readers insight into the effects of being without a military father for long periods of time.

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2010 - Some military installations are consolidating and getting new names as joint basing becomes a reality.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 222-10
March 22, 2010

The Defense Department announced today that Iraq and Afghanistan have been designated as non-chargeable rest and recuperation (NCR&R) locations, authorizing service members deployed there (for 270 days or more) 15 days of administrative absence, to be used in conjunction with benefits provided under the R&R leave program.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2010 - The Tricare military health plan meets the standards set by the health care reform bill the House of Representatives passed last night, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a statement issued yesterday.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 208-10
March 16, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2010 - The Defense Department's family care plan policy will be expanded in the coming months to encompass a wider population of military parents, a defense legal expert said.

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2010 - The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program, commonly known as MyCAA, will resume March 13 for the more than 136,000 spouses who already have established an account, the defense official who heads up the program announced today.

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2010 - Children with a strong nondeployed parent or caregiver and a solid support system have a better ability to cope with deployments, two recent studies have shown.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2010 - Defense Department officials expect to launch a new policy in the coming months that will make head-injury evaluations mandatory for all troops who suffer possible concussions, a senior official with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury said.

American Forces Press Service

FALLS CHURCH, Va., March 8, 2010 - The Military Health System has launched a new Health.mil Web site that provides a single point of entry to military health news, information and resources.

By Air Force Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2010 - Recommendations from a congressionally directed Defense Department disability review board have resulted in 61 percent of applicants having their status changed from a medical separation to retirement on the permanent disability list, the board president said.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2009 - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus recently presented a $12,636 check to American Recreational Military Services to help the troop-support group ship care packages overseas to deployed servicemembers.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2009 - The National Military Family Association will host more than 9,000 military children at "Operation Purple" youth camps across America this year.

By Tim Hipps
FMWRC Public Affairs

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Imagine attending a luau on Waikiki Beach; golfing in the shadows of the Magic Kingdom; sightseeing a seventh-century city in The Land of the Morning Calm; sunbathing beneath a famous lighthouse on the Atlantic; or skiing or hiking in the Bavarian Alps.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2009 - A recent increase in mail addressed to "Any Servicemember" has prompted the Military Postal Service Agency to remind the general public not to send mail or care packages addressed in such a manner.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2009 - During Women's History Month, many Americans take time to salute the contributions of women.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2009 - In April 2004, at the height of the insurgency in Iraq, five female soldiers unwittingly found themselves fighting alongside Marines in the battle for Ramadi and Fallujah.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ashworth College partners with GoArmyEd.com to offer online education to enlisted service members.

NORCROSS, Georgia - March 29, 2009 - Ashworth College, today announced that it has partnered with the United States Army to provide online college degree programs to military service members via GoArmyEd.com.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2009 - About 614,000 servicemembers are saving for retirement in the federal Thrift Savings Program, which was opened to military members in 2002, a senior Pentagon official said here today.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2009 - Military veterans and spouses in the New Jersey area are getting help finding jobs from a troop support group.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2009 - The wishes of the families will be the overriding principle guiding any media coverage of fallen warriors' remains arriving at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2009 - Sesame Workshop continues to find unique and creative ways to reach out to the very youngest in military families, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here today during a sneak preview of a new primetime Sesame program.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 179-09
March 18, 2009

The Department of Defense announced today a comprehensive plan to eliminate the current use of Stop Loss, while retaining the authority for future use under extraordinary circumstances. This is an important step along the path in adapting the Army into an expeditionary force.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 170-09
March 16, 2009

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2009 - The Defense Department's stateside military child care system took first place in the categories of quality oversight and standards for a second time as part of a national child care advocacy group's report, a senior official said here today.

By Eve Meinhardt
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT BRAGG, N.C., March 16, 2009 - Spouses of soldiers in the 18th Airborne Corps have a better idea of how to reconnect with their other halves upon redeployment, thanks to the Army's Battlemind reunion training.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2009 - First lady Michelle Obama, having just returned from a meeting yesterday with military families at Fort Bragg, N.C., reiterated today on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" her commitment to ensuring they get the support they deserve.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2009 - Deployed servicemembers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Kuwait will not miss out on Girl Scout cookies this year, thanks to the troop-support group "Hugs for Our Soldiers."

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md., March 13, 2009 - Air National Guard civil engineer squadrons comprising hundreds of construction and repair experts will involuntary deploy overseas in historic numbers and scope over the next two years, senior Air Guard officials said.

By Reginald Rogers
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT BRAGG, N.C., March 13, 2009 - First lady Michelle Obama said she was committed to improving support for military families yesterday during her first visit here as first lady.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., March 11, 2009 - Beneath the rows of simple white headstones evenly spaced beneath a dull and cloudy mid-March sky, the stories of those who rest at Arlington National Cemetery here today are anything but ordinary.

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Monty Burton
Special to American Forces Press Service

FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan, March 10, 2009 - Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment -- the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Afghanistan -- now have a special group of people to help them complete their mission in Afghanistan.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 156-09
March 10, 2009

Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter determined today that the status of Capt. Michael Scott Speicher is changed from "Missing/Captured" to "Missing-In-Action" (MIA).            

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2009 - Through its investor education foundation, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, is helping military spouses become accredited as financial counselors.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., March 3, 2009 - First lady Michelle Obama received a tip from a retired female Army general today: Keep modeling herself after her World War II-era predecessor, Eleanor Roosevelt.

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole Harmon
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2009 - Camaraderie and caring are among the reasons why Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 was honored by the Defense Department for superb support of its servicemembers' families, the reserve unit's senior noncommissioned officer said recently.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2009 - Troops serving overseas will get a little bit of "Christmas in May," thanks to a troop-support group that is collecting gifts and snacks to be mailed to them on Armed Forces Day, May 16.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2009 - Defense Department officials today announced replacement units scheduled for 12-month deployments later this year to Iraq and Afghanistan.

By Spc. William E. Henry, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

INDIANAPOLIS, March 31, 2008 - The Greater Indianapolis YMCA is offering family members of state National Guardsmen an affordable way to stay active and healthy while their loved ones are deployed.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 254-08
March 31, 2008
 
The Department of Defense today announced the change in status of a soldier supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom from missing-captured to deceased. 

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo., March 31, 2008 - Sixty-seven veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are among 400 disabled veterans who converged here yesterday to kick off the world's largest disabled ski clinic.

By Jamie Findlater
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2008 - A rock star is putting a successful music career on hold as he prepares to deploy overseas as a member of the Army Reserve.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2008 - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is proud of its bond with the military, its chairman and chief executive officer said before last night's opening show here.

By Phil Reidinger
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 27, 2008 - Gavin Cox could have traveled to any exotic locale or tried any profession in the world, but this 5-year-old with leukemia had just one wish: to be a soldier.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2008 - A group of volunteer mental health professionals that offers its services to troops and their extended families will host a conference May 16-18 in Los Angeles for military members who have served in the global war on terror and those who interact with them.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., March 26, 2008 - The stars were out here last night -- in insignia form on officers' shoulder boards, and also embodied by celebrity guests such as comedian Jon Stewart -- to salute outstanding servicemembers and other special honorees.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 240-08
March 26, 2008

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

By Sgt. Sara Moore, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2008 - The Army is doubling its investment in family support programs in the 2009 budget and will use that money to hire support personnel for family readiness groups, improve child care, and expand educational opportunities for spouses and children of troops, the Army secretary said today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2008 - A grant of just $163 dollars from a group that supports military families turned out to be a really big deal -- not only for the recipients, but for the granting organization, as well.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2008 - U.S. 5th Fleet officials today expressed regret for the death of an Egyptian citizen who died the night of March 24, an apparent result of warning shots fired at a small boat approaching a ship chartered by the U.S. Navy.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2008 - In 1967, Robert Hutchinson was a young soldier serving in the jungles of Vietnam. He was concerned that the men in his unit weren't getting enough mail from home.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2008 - The U.S. military has regained control of four non-nuclear nose cone assemblies for a Minuteman missile mistakenly sent to Taiwan in 2006, Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne said during a news conference here today.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 229-08
March 24, 2008
 
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2008 - What began in 1919 as simple lodging for servicemembers returning from World War I has since become a "jewel in the heart of Manhattan," with an expanding mission that includes supporting deployed troops.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2008 - In 2006, a Five for Fighting hit single asked fans what kind of world they wanted, and now they have a forum to answer the question and help five charities at the same time.

By Jamie Findlater
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2008 - Military personnel serving in combat zones are eligible for an economic stimulus payment, an Internal Revenue Service spokesman said today during an "America Supports You Live" interview on BlogTalkRadio.com.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2008 - Wounded warriors in need in San Antonio now have a place to call home as they transition from military to civilian life.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2008 - To recognize his continuous support and recognition of sailors, Marines and their families throughout his 17 years on television, the Navy presented its Superior Public Service Award to Montel Williams yesterday in New York during the taping of his long-running program's final show.

By Kristen Noel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2008 - More than 6,300 families need to be located to collect DNA samples for the purpose of identifying missing soldiers from World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam, a U.S. Army official said yesterday.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2008 - Help for servicemembers coping with the effects of wartime service is just a phone call or a mouse click away, thanks to a nationwide network of mental health professionals.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 212-08
March 17, 2008

Undersecretary of Defense David S. C. Chu today announced the formation of the Deployment Support and Reintegration Office within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2008 - A shade more than 40 years ago, the city of San Mateo, Calif., took an unprecedented step : it "adopted" Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2008 - A new award administered by troop support groups and sponsored by a major corporation aims to recognize the sacrifices made by military moms

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2008 - A new "virtual installation" concept that helps families who live far from a military base get information and tap into services available for them during their loved ones' deployment is expected to begin rolling out next month.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 204-08
March 14, 2008
          
The Department of Defense announced today that the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas, is scheduled to deploy as part of the next rotation operating in Afghanistan. This announcement involves approximately 3,500 service members, and their deployment is scheduled to begin in late summer 2008. 
Salt Lake City, Utah - (March 11, 2008)  Western Governors University (www.wgu.edu<http://www.wgu.edu>), the non-profit online university created by 19 U.S. governors, is making further strides in serving military members and their families. WGU's commitment to the Troops to Teachers and Spouses to Teachers programs <http://www.wgu.edu/tuition_financial_aid/veterans.asp> continues with its offering of supplemental scholarships of $1,500 for both programs. In addition, WGU is now offering Spouses to Graduates scholarships of $1,500 to help spouses of active duty military personnel earn a degree online in business, education, healthcare, or information technology.

By Staff Sgt. W. Michael Houk, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

AIRAI, Palau, March 12, 2008 - A drama unfolded in the skies above the western Pacific island nation of Palau on Sept. 1, 1944, as intense fighting between American and Japanese forces was getting under way. During a raid, comrades of the U.S. Army Air Forces looked on helplessly as the crew of a B-24 Liberator bomber, the Babes in Arms, was brought down by anti-aircraft fire. Three of the crew reportedly bailed out, one without a parachute, before the bomber dove headlong into the ocean never to be found -- or so it was thought back then.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2008 - The top U.S. general in Korea told Congress today he supports three-year, family-accompanied tours in Korea in light of planned operational and quality-of-life changes under way there.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait, March 11, 2008 - For more than four hours last night, Camp Buehring, in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert, became a hard-rocking outdoor amphitheater.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 0188-08
March 10, 2008

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. Army Air Forces airman, missing since 1942, have been identified and will soon be returned to his family for burial.            

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2008 - A Defense Department program is providing some of the department's military and civilian personnel with cultural and linguistic training before they deploy abroad.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2008 - A new Defense Department policy prohibits all commercial photography or other image collection on U.S. military bases and installations.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2008 - An integrated command center scheduled to become operational in May will improve the global situational awareness critical to U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Command in protecting the homeland, the commands' top officer said yesterday.

By Jamie Findlater
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2008 - Troops with sound personal finances are better able to focus on mission accomplishment, a Defense Department official said yesterday.

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2008 - Defense Department officials honored one of the world's last living World War I veterans in a ceremony at the Pentagon today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2008 - Troops in Kuwait preparing to deploy into Iraq will get a crash course in rock-and-roll MySpace style when the online social network hosts its "Operation MySpace" concert March 10.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2008 - The company that made inspiration standard has done the same with its support of the nation's troops since before World War II.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2008 - A revised Defense Department directive provides sharper definition of what servicemembers may and may not do within the political realm, particularly running for political office, a senior U.S. military officer said here yesterday.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2008 - Troops serving overseas are about to get a tasty blast of appreciation through a unique partnership.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2008 - President Bush today presented the Medal of Honor to the family of the late Army Master Sgt. Woodrow Keeble, the first full-blooded Sioux Indian to receive the nation's highest military award, for heroism during the Korean War.

By Sgt. Jim Wilt, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, March 3, 2008 - Despite advances in body armor and medicine, many soldiers would hesitate to expose themselves to a hail of bullets and rocket-propelled grenades. And not every soldier would risk his life to help a soldier from a different army.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2008 - A memorial in Oklahoma City will honor servicemembers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom while serving Afghanistan and Iraq.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2008 - Afghan National Police officers are getting help rebuilding from U.S and other countries' troops, but they're also getting a boost from friends they may never meet.

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
March 30, 2007
Imminent Danger, Hardship Pay Changes Announced

Periodically, the Department of Defense conducts world-wide reviews to determine whether a continued imminent danger area designation is appropriate.Imminent danger pay is compensation paid at the rate of $225 a month to recognize duty in a foreign area in which the member was subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger on the basis of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism, or wartime conditions.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2007 - Running a nonprofit organization can be strain on an individual's time, space and resources. One home-front group's leader says she relies on a specific form of aid through the tough times: divine intervention.

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 356-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2007
DoD Announces Installation Realignment In The United Kingdom

 The Department of Defense announced today that the United States will cease operations at two military facilities in the United Kingdom.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2007 - Before a U.S. aircraft broke the sound barrier, the Tuskegee Airmen overcame a daunting social hurdle: breaking the Air Force's color barrier.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2007 - Understanding the critical role spouses play in the recovery of wounded warriors, Operation Homefront has created the Wounded Warrior Wives Project to help them navigate the challenges they may face.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2007 - A northern-Virginia-based nonprofit organization has provided worldwide assistance to families of deployed U.S. servicemembers for the past six years.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2007 - First lady Laura Bush joined military leaders and other luminaries here last night in praising the United Service Organizations for its support for the military as she accepted the 2007 USO of Metropolitan Washington Service Award.

By Elaine Wilson
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas , March 28, 2007 - The topic of women came up in my office the other day. We were trying to figure out the best way to highlight Women's History Month in the post newspaper, and we decided to ask a few outstanding women, "If you could be any other woman, who would you be and why?"

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2007 - A letter from a soldier added bittersweet importance to Packages From Home's participation in Tucson Navy Week's weekend activities at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and an Arizona Diamondbacks preseason baseball game.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2007 - A home-front group that alters clothing for wounded servicemembers received accolades for its efforts on an evening news show last week.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2007 - Over the next week, 1,800 Individual Ready Reserve Marines will receive notice from the Marine Corps that they are needed in Iraq, an official announced today.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2007 - The soldier's eyelids fluttered as he heard his mother's voice over the phone.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2007 - Since it began in 1969 as the Military Wives Association, the National Military Family Association, with headquarters here, has been a voice for military families.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2007 - About than 60 wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center here and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., spent last night clowning around at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus's Military Appreciation Night.

By Gunnery Sgt. Donald E. Preston, USMC
Special to American Forces Press Service

LONDON, March 23, 2007 - A U.S. Marine appeared before Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace March 21 to receive the United Kingdom's Distinguished Flying Cross for saving lives and in recognition for his bravery during combat operations in Iraq.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2007 - The British government is demanding the immediate and safe release of 15 sailors whose boats were surrounded by Iranian navy vessels and escorted into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf this morning.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2007 - Defense Department officials have launched an investigation into recent computer hackings of servicemembers' home computers that compromised personal information and led to the redirection of funds from their military pay accounts.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2007 - About 1,200 Marines who deployed to Okinawa in January to serve as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit will remain on the Japanese island about five months longer than originally planned, Marine Corps officials said today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2007 - A mile's worth of yellow ribbon bearing the signatures of 10,000 young Americans is finally bound for Baghdad.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2007 - The Defense Department observed Women's History Month and honored the women filling its ranks in a ceremony today at Arlington National Cemetery.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2007 - When soldiers are wounded in combat, they are evacuated from the battlefield to medical centers with literally only the clothes on their backs -- and often those are cut during emergency treatment.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2007 - Parents of even young children often wonder how they'll pay for college tuition, but military service organizations are taking some uncertainty out of the equation.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2007 - After receiving $250,000 in donations last week through a partnership with the Duquesne Home and Garden Show in Pittsburgh, "Homes for Our Troops" founder John Gonsalves didn't think things could get much better.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2007 - May 1 will be "Silver Star Day" in Alabama, as Gov. Bob Riley signed a proclamation officially declaring the observance in a brief ceremony yesterday.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2007 - Since 1914, members of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars have supported U.S. servicemembers and their families and worked to ensure that America's military veterans are never forgotten, auxiliary officials said.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2007 - During the new Baghdad security plan's first month, civilian casualties were reduced by about 50 percent from the previous 30 days, a senior military official told reporters in the Iraqi capital today.

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2007 - They were once known as "weekend warriors," ordinary citizens who gave up just a little bit of their time for minimal military training and a paycheck.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2007 - Covering the rent just got a little bit easier for military personnel in Ohio thanks to Empirian Property Management's "Service Appreciation Program."

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2007 - Army officials this morning launched a new hotline to help wounded warriors and their family members to get information or assistance with medical or other issues.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2007 - Utah will observe "Thank a Soldier Day" tomorrow and March 19 to express gratitude to the servicemembers who protect America's freedoms.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2007 - The total number of U.S. servicemembers who will be part of the surge in Iraq will be about 28,000 overall, a Defense Department official said today.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2007 - A four-year-old servicemember support group has proved to be "Always Faithful" as it continues to assist Marines, sailors and other military members who have been injured during their service in the global war against terrorism.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 - Coalition and Afghan forces arrested four people this morning during an operation targeting a known terrorist safe house, military officials reported.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 - The United States is keeping a watchful eye on developments in North Africa to ensure terrorists don't gain a foothold there, a senior U.S. military officer said in remarks provided to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee at a hearing here today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 - The Defense Department recognized a troop-support group and a corporation here today for their teamwork in supporting the nation's servicemembers.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 - An Army mom in Malone, N.Y., is asking Americans to show their compassion and make life a little more pleasant for troops serving overseas through her Have a Heart/Adopt a Soldier program.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2007 - Suspected al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Muhammad has admitted masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as well as the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2007 - Coalition military officials in Iraq are hoping to reach out to younger, broader audiences by posting clips of servicemembers in action on a popular video-sharing Web site.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2007 - The Iraqi people have a "renewed sense of hope," a senior U.S. diplomat said in Baghdad today.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., March 14, 2007 - As the Defense Department hurries to get the latest weapons systems and protective equipment to deployed troops, the Aberdeen Test Center here is operating at what its commander calls a "fast and furious rate" to ensure effectiveness and safety remain top priorities.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2007 - Army Spc. Timothy Lott gripped his walking cane as he prepared to meet some of his lifelong heroes.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2007 - The Military Officers Association of America announced it will present its highest award to an actor and a corporation for their strong support of military servicemembers.

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 277-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2007

"Yesterday, during a wide ranging interview with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, I was asked if I think the current policy as codified in U.S. Code, generally referred to as "Don't Ask Don't Tell," should still hold.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2007 - Better job and educational opportunities or family reasons may have led them from the lands of their birth to the United States, but serving in the armed forces made it possible for four servicemembers to become citizens yesterday.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2007 - Although recent operations to secure Baghdad are off to a good start, Americans must be patient in expecting progress, a senior coalition spokesman said in Baghdad today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

VAIL, Colo., March 11, 2007 - Vail firefighters opened their house here yesterday evening for the fourth year in a row to thank the 25 participants of the Vail Veterans Program for their service to the nation. The firefighters treated the veterans and their guests to a homemade lasagna dinner.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

VAIL, Colo., March 10, 2007 - After two days of skiing and snowboarding, last night was all about fun for the 25 injured veterans participating in the Vail Veterans Program here and their guests.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2007 - Two home-front groups are helping American citizens support servicemembers and their families worldwide through the donation of gift certificates.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2007 - The Independent Review Group recently established by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates wants to hear from patients and family members about their experiences with military medical care, the review group announced today.

Hi -

I work for an organization that assists injured OEF/OIF veterans to repair and modify thier homes when returning home after a life altering injury.  I would like to submit information to be shared with others as a resource for potential assistance to someone facing these challenges.  I have included more information below and please contact me with questions. 

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2007 - One of the Defense Department's top officials said today he is not surprised that servicemembers get different disability ratings from each of the services, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2007 - The Armed Services YMCA paid tribute to military medics and corpsmen here last night during its first Angels of the Battlefield awards dinner.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

VAIL, Colo., March 8, 2007 - For the fourth consecutive year, 25 veterans wounded in the global war on terrorism will test their mettle on the slopes thanks to the Vail Veterans Program's winter sports clinic that kicked off here yesterday.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2007 - Military veterans of the American Legion today recognized a television show and the founder of an organization that supports wounded troops for their special efforts to honor the men and women of the armed forces.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2007 - The group called "Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission" works publicly to ensure the troops know that the American people support them.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2007 - The top U.S. commander in Korea today said he wants to end one-year tours there and replace them with standard three-year tours, enabling more family members to move to the region.

By Lt. Nathan Christensen, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service

ABOARD USS JOHN C. STENNIS, March 6, 2007 - Navy, Marine Corps and Army personnel are working side by side aboard the USS John C. Stennis Strike Group supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2007 - With income tax deadlines quickly approaching, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding troops and their families that free assistance is available to them at military tax centers worldwide.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2007 - Improvised explosive devices are to the war in Iraq what artillery and mortars were to World War II, Korea and Vietnam -- the main troop killers, a retired general working to defeat the deadly devices said here yesterday.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2007 - Hundreds of volunteer buglers and trumpeters are being sought to participate in Armed Forces Day observances held at veterans' cemeteries nationwide and overseas, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official said here yesterday.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2007 - Servicemembers can take advantage of the generosity of professional wrestlers by getting free admittance into World Wrestling Entertainment events worldwide.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2007 - Military family members in Michigan don't have to squeak by anymore when it comes to routine auto maintenance thanks to eight auto garages throughout the state.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 - Army leaders are committed to improving the service's health care systems for wounded servicemembers and their families, top officers told the national security subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 - The Internet is the most important venue for the radicalization of Islamic youth, the head of intelligence at U.S. Central Command, said in an interview aired yesterday.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 - Traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of a conflict punctuated by daily bomb attacks on coalition forces and Iraqi civilians, is receiving increased emphasis from Defense Department leaders and the military medical community.

By Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, March 5, 2007 - In 2006, Army Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig, a medic with the 159th Medical Company, 10th Mountain Division, was holding a patient desperately as they were both being hoisted from a ridgeline by a Black Hawk helicopter. Halfway to the chopper, the line snapped, and Craig and his patient fell to their deaths.

By Margie Gibson
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 - The traditional concept of defense has given way to a new model of security, bringing concepts such as partnership and cooperation to the fore, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe said here.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 - The "Eagle's Watch Foundation" maintains a low-flying profile as it employs a bird's-eye view in finding ways to support U.S. servicemembers and their families.

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2007 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced this afternoon that he has accepted the resignation of Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey in light of allegations of shortfalls in care of outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

By Elaine Wilson
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 2, 2007 - A handful of wounded warriors recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center here are getting a taste of home -- minus the neck-wrenching skyscrapers and taxi-filled city streets.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2007 - As a senior in high school, Tania Foster could easily focus all her energy in preparing for her collegiate pursuits in biochemistry this autumn.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2007 - Leaders of 10 America Supports You homefront support groups from around the country, and a National Guard family program, accepted President Bush's invitation to meet with him at the White House yesterday.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2007 - Army Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman was relieved of command today as a result of failures in care for outpatient soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Army officials announced.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2007 - Child care is a critical issue for many families around the country, and the Defense Department stands alone as a model for quality child care in the nation, an independent study released today finds.

By Elaine Wilson
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 1, 2007 - A San Antonio-based joint trauma institute is taking on a national role, a change that is expected to have a positive impact on trauma research.

No. 232-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 01, 2007

The Department of Defense announced today that charges were referred to a military commission in the case of David Matthew Hicks by the Convening Authority, Office of Military Commissions, Susan J. Crawford.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2007 - Servicemembers with ties to central Oregon can rely on "Caring for Troops" for a touch of home when they're deployed, the organization's president said.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 28, 2007 - The United States should approach the global war on terrorism as it would an insurgency, a senior military official said today at the 18th annual Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Symposium here.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2007 - President Bush today thanked a group of people who have dedicated their time and energy to supporting U.S. troops.

By Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT PICKETT, Va., Feb. 28, 2007 - The gray clouds seemed to turn darker with each passing minute. The sun was blotted out from the darkened sky as a dark shadow loomed overhead, a whirlwind of air blowing leaves, grass and nearly everything not tied down across the field.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2006  - There was a time when women veterans didn't feel welcome at Veteran Affairs Department medical facilities, but the causes of such feelings have changed dramatically over the last few years, VA's top advocate for women's health said.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2006  - U.S. soldiers deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq are prohibited from wearing non-standard-issue body armor, a senior Army officer told reporters here today.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2006  - A new Defense Department Web site that debuts April 3 will feature government-funded scientific studies of medical issues experienced by military members during deployments, a contractor involved with the project said here today.

By Jamie Cameron
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., March 30, 2006  - Army wrestlers overcame the Marine Corps' home field advantage to win both the Greco-Roman and freestyle disciplines in the 2006 Armed Forces Wrestling Championship here March 23 and 24.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2006  - U.S. 5th Fleet assets and personnel responded immediately at approximately 10:15 p.m.  today after learning that a vessel capsized in a Bahraini harbor, approximately one mile east of the command's headquarters in Bahrain.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2006  - The Defense Department's Military Health System must transform to continue its commitment to protecting the health of its servicemembers and other beneficiaries, a top DoD official told Congressmen yesterday.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2006  - Corporate support for the nation's troops means a lot, especially to their families, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here last night as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus began its annual series of performances in the nation's capital.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

SYRACUSE, N.Y., March 29, 2006  - The global war against terrorism is as much a struggle of ideas as it is a military conflict, the Pentagon's No. 2 military officer said here today.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2006  - The United States will leave Iraq, "but we will not retreat from Iraq," President Bush said today during a speech at Freedom House here.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2006  - A once-unidentified sailor killed in the Pearl Harbor attack almost 65 years ago was laid to rest today with full honors and a grave marker bearing his name, thanks to sleuth work by a Pearl Harbor survivor and U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command's expertise.

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2006  - The teenage co-founder of an "America Supports You" organization in Massachusetts that distributes prepaid phone cards to deployed troops has earned a $5,000 grant and is competing for another.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

CHICAGO, March 28, 2006  - Grassroots supporters of America's troops agree their efforts are acts of gratitude, not charity.

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2006  - The Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in a case that could make or break the government's military commissions process for terror war detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2006  - The Department of Veterans Affairs remains "vibrant, dynamic, flexible, and ... forward-looking" as it pursues "the best care for America's defenders," the department's secretary said.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2006  - Asked how the United States is faring in the war of ideology against violent extremism, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld puts it squarely in the "needs to improve" box.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2006  - Caspar W. Weinberger, the nation's 15th secretary of defense, died today. He was 88.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2006  - The Ad Council has teamed with the Defense Department's "America Supports You" program to help drum up support for American servicemembers.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2006  - Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the military and in society as a whole, a top defense personnel and readiness official said.

By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Moor, USMC
Special to American Forces Press Service

KRTSANISI, Georgia, March 27, 2006  - A U.S. Marine-led task force marked the completion of training for two Georgian logistics battalions in a ceremony here March 24.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2006  - A national company's program offering free amusement park tickets to the nation's troops and their families has become so popular it will be extended another year.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2006  - The international community agrees that Iran cannot have nuclear capabilities that could lead to the development of a nuclear weapon, and the U.S. is working with other countries to make sure that doesn't happen, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday morning talk shows today.

American Forces Press Service

NORTH ARABIAN GULF, March 26, 2006  - A foreign merchant vessel and a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer collided at 11:09 p.m. yesterday about 30 miles southeast of the Iraqi coastline in the North Arabian Gulf.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2006  - Defense Department officials are hoping to attract applicants to the department's new SMART scholarship program for students in science and math disciplines.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2006  - Raymond Harris hopes to do something no other performer is doing. The country music singer plans to spend five years on a tour to every possible military installation to support America's troops.

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 24, 2006  - When Kasha Zilka went through Army basic training, she never touched a weapon, trained in the field, or dropped facedown to pound out push-ups.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2006  - Operation Swarmer, a combined operation involving Iraqi soldiers and police commandos and coalition forces wrapped up yesterday without any casualties and all of the tactical objectives met, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced today.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2006  - The United Service Organizations of Metropolitan Washington honored several individuals and the Miss America Organization here last night during its 23rd annual awards dinner.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2006  - Americans need to recognize the sacrifices made by men and women in the military, whose service has liberated millions of people in the Middle East and made this country more secure, President Bush said yesterday in Wheeling, W.Va.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2006  - As more time passes since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans must not forget the lessons of that fateful day - lessons that are being applied today in the global war on terror, President Bush said today in Wheeling, W.Va.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2006  - A motorcycle group that travels the country attending military funerals is experiencing near-explosive growth, the group's national spokesman reported today.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2006  - Women have come a long way in the military services and federal government, and many of them have left legacies for future generations to follow, a top Defense Department official said here yesterday.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., March 21, 2006  - Annual observances provide a chance to reflect on history that defines "how women were treated and how they struggled, organized and contributed significantly to the positive change in this country," a history-making woman general said here today.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2006  - The best way for the American people to promote freedom and liberty around the world is to stand behind the U.S. armed forces, President Bush told a group yesterday at the City Club of Cleveland.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON HALL STATION, Va., March 20, 2006  - Soldiers, families and the people who support them gathered at the Army National Guard Readiness Center here March 17 for the installation's first Open House focusing on the military family.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2006  - Participants, as well as some non-participants, in the Thrift Savings Plan are targets of a "phishing" scam, an official with the board administering the program said today.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2006  - The best way for Americans to commemorate the third anniversary of U.S. operations in Iraq is to thank the servicemembers carrying them out and the families that support them, President Bush said today.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2006  - Extremists cannot hope to match the United States and its coalition allies in battle, but that might not matter at all. Al Qaeda and like terrorist groups understand that they only have to win the battle for American resolve to be successful, a top military strategy official said.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006  - The U.S. government has announced plans to remove its forces from Naval Air Station Keflavik, in Iceland, this fall, but reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to the island nation's security.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006  - Wounded troops can eat a lot of steaks on $75,000, which is the amount the Italian company, Finmeccanica, Inc., gave Washington's Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steakhouse today during a Pentagon ceremony hosted by the deputy secretary of defense.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006  - New, modular brigade combat team units accompanied the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division on its third tour to Afghanistan, the division's commander told Pentagon reporters today.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006  - The White House today released President Bush's second-term National Security Strategy, a 49-page document that details how the administration intends to protect the United States, its interests and its people.

By Capt. Steve Alvarez, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006  - Three years after a multinational force liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein's regime, steady progress continues to be made in the nation, U.S. military and embassy officials said.

Mind-Body Stress-Relief (+Healing Power of Animals) ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"
[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]



Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

"There is a crack in everything. That"s how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

Winter Stress --Chase the "Winter Doldrums"

- Drink Plenty of Water We're not as naturally thirsty in cold weather, and tend to choose hot beverages, which are harder to drink in quantity. Get in those vital, 8 glasses of water to flush toxins, hydrate skin and aid digestion. Too much coffee makes us irritable, distractible... which can produce scowls, frowns and knitted brows that push people away. (Not to mention creating wrinkles!)

- Seasonal Affective Disorder ("S.A.D.") Many experience clinical winter blues. If you suspect you're one of them, talk with a trusted healthcare professional. It's real...and there are natural lights, herbal remedies such as St. John's Wort and Kava available to help you through a slump, but get professional advice on dosage, risks, contraindications, etc.

- Limit sugar and alcohol consumption. "Sugar Blues" are often confused with clinical depression, illness or a common ailment known as "crabbiness." Tense? Irritable? Depressed? Reducing caffeine, sugar and alcohol just may do the trick!

- Remind yourself to smile! Rushing along cold, windy streets, bundled up, head down, we often forget to look others in the eye and connect. Smiling actually releases endorphins-Yours AND theirs. Go ahead and smile...THEN move on and "accomplish." The day you save could be your own!

Sidestepping Winter Doldrums Try This:

1. For one week, give up one self-sabotaging habit.
2. Journal daily how that feels.

More On Chasing Winter Blues:
About Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) related to seasonal variations of light.

More About That Mind-Body Thing. . .

Newsweek: Scientists are mapping the pathways that link emotion to health.

,
High Tech Hope for Trauma Phobia & Burn Care: Virtual Reality Burn Patients glide through virtual snow canyons, shoot snowballs. VR is not just changing the way patients interpret pain; but actually reducing pain-related brain activity.

Placebo Power: "We knew some patients had transient relief. What we didn't know was that we could actually alter the way the brain worked."

Researchers found learning languages altered the area of the brain that processes information, just as exercise builds muscles.

Laughter
n. The spontaneous explosive sound of expressing delight, amusement, or pleasure.

We don't know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know stress can cause inflammatory reactions that compromise coronary arteries.
Laughter: ". . .a half-day spa visit for your upper body."

You Gotta Laugh!

"Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks." -Henri Bergson, Nobel Laureate

The Year's Best Headlines:

1. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
2. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
3. Couple Slain -- Homicide Suspected
4. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
5. Hospital Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

A Surprising Chuckle:

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. " -Mother Teresa

Bow. . .Wow! Extraordinary Healing Powers of Animals

"Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth. " -Anne Tyler

Animals provide astonishing therapeutic benefits. I spend a lot of time in a skilled nursing facility with profoundly impaired, aged adults. Along with music, crafts and laugher, there are visits from local schools, and pets. One 104 y.o. woman spends happy hours before an aviary. There is fascinating research supporting these profoundly powerful soothers, and I see it first-hand each week so I've been collecting the following remarkable stories for you to enjoy too.

- Gift of Gab

The Journal Sciencereports a border collie that can fetch at least 200 objects by name, re-igniting a debate over what language is.
A parrotwith unparalleled power to communicate has brought scientists up short. Dr Jane Goodall calls it "an outstanding example of interspecies communication."

-
To the Rescue Animal/Handler Teams Assist Following Disasters

PAAWS:
"People And Animals Who Serve"

Two people with disabilities , and two puppy-raising teams composed of mothers and daughters.

-
Monkey Business Procrastinating monkeys were turned into workaholics using a gene to block a key brain compound.

A young macaque monkey started walking on its hind legs only, aping humans -- following a near death experience.

-
Dogs Sniffing Cancer Research: Dogs can be trained to sniff out bladder cancer in urine.
Following more detailed tests, doctors found a tumor in the right kidney.

- Maybe Why Cats Nap Studies suggest stress could trigger
Feline urinary tract disease.

Book: " Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home " Rupert Sheldrake, biologist, renowned for work in perception, expands on this extraordinary connection.

Book: "If Only You Knew How Much I Smell You" by Valerie Shaff / Roy Blount Jr. All I can tell you is that you have to see this clever photo essay, written from dogs' perspectives.

"All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it. " -Samuel Butler Want to Know More? Try Animal Planet on cable T.V.

For Those Coping with the Stress of Cancer. . .

Spirit (human) n. The vital principle or animating force within; the soul. A life-threatening diagnosis will paralyze some, mobilize others. . .

Cancer Gift Baskets

When Xochi Hughes Madera was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer, she decided to, "re-learn how to live. " She left a stressful job and astonishingly, between surgeries and exhausting treatments, Xochi started: CancerGifts.com. Researching types of cancer, and customizing, "It was my therapy," Xochi says, who ships cancer-related gift baskets, including books, soothing lotions and lip balm for irritated skin, hats that say "Cancer Sucks," and my own relaxation C D, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace," (used in Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center .) "You do not really know what you can do until you're pushed to do it," says Xochi. Her resilient spirit and ability to ease the journey for others, make Xochi an inspiration.

At different stages of any life, what we hope for, changes. . . Goals, wishes, priorities shift with the light, but hope has great power. It is what makes unbearable events bearable, and somehow sees us through the most challenging .
moments of our lives

:
Tips for Pain Management for Cancer Patients & Others

Book: " The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness" by Harvard oncologist, Jerome Groopman, MD. A realistic, gently inspiring book for anyone who cares for someone living with cancer Drawing on 30-years in hematology and oncology, Groopman also shares and his own journey back from debilitating long-term pain.

[Pssst--Pass it on. Forward this newsletter to 5 people you care about.]

A Simply Soothing Gift for You: A friend sent this wonderful page to me..enjoy sweet nostalgia:


Closing Thought...

This season, and in all seasons, Believe . . .in whatever is good and true, in the miracles of the natural world, in music and laughter and hope. Believe in yourself and humankind, in people you cherish, and values by which you wish to live. Believe in children, in a brighter tomorrow beyond even your bravest dreams, and this moment, right now. It is a gift.

Until next time, I wish you just the holiday surprise you are wishing for yourself. . .

. . .and as always, above all, Peace,
Susie



10 More Ways to Get (...or Stay) Happy! ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"

[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

"What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." (Colette)

Hooked on a Feeling

Some people really are happy. They may work two jobs, or be physically challenged, or never have left their hometowns. Yet every day they wake and wonder what they can do to make this a great day and...It is! Others won't ever know the satisfaction of contentment. They are hooked on stress. It fuels them--makes them feel alive. If there is no crisis, they will "what-if" until that old familiar adrenaline kicks in. I often think about how little it takes to be Happy...or Miserable. Maybe there is a Gratitude gene. The pursuit of Pleasure, and avoidance of Pain, are widely-accepted as primary motivators among us animals. But happiness is personally defined. It is a matter of what we value most. Life is made of moments. Even on very tense days, there will be nice moments too--if we remember to look.


"Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks."
(Samuel Johnson)


I especially love days when I don't need my watch and time doesn't matter. An afternoon can unfold so deliciously slowly there seems to be twice as much of it. These, and periods of creativity, or intense purpose, are some of our most pleasurable, and happiest. When Joan Frank, author of, "Instant Guts," returned from working with women in the slums of Bombay, she said, " Even though one wouldn't call my work there pleasurable, it made me terrifically happy because it had such meaning for me. Happiness comes from a different internal place. Doing what comes slowly and with difficulty may not bring immediate pleasure, but it can bring happiness, knowing that you are on a path toward something."


"This is my Depressed stance. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you'll start to feel better. If you"re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you've got to stand like this."
(Charlie Brown)

"Don't Worry. Be Happy,"
(Bobby McFerrin)


1. Make a list of people you think are happy, and why. (Not blissed-out or ecstatic which are delightful, if fleeting. . .just content.)
2. Ask 10 friends, strangers, or co-workers, what Inner Peace is for them. We can learn a lot by understanding how others find peace.

10 Ways to Get (...or Stay) Happy

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. "
(Abraham Lincoln)


1. List 100 things that make you happy. (Yup.100.) Focusing on what makes us happy has a way of, well, making us happy!
2. Starving for Stress-Relief? Help yourself to pleasurable exercise, mindful breathing and meditation, gentle touch, healthy nutrition, journaling and laughter. Enjoy creative expression, personally meaningful spiritual practice, healthy relationships and play.
3. Under Pressure? Blow Off Steam. Call a friend you trust. Ask if you may please whine for 3 minutes. (Set timer.) Switch. Listen. Your release, plus refocusing on someone else, create precious breathing space in a tense day.
4. Whenever possible, create meaning in your predicament. Child home with a cold? Play a game with him. Organize 1 closet and donate to a shelter.
5. Cranky? Smiling sends an internal message that all is well. ("I MUST be okay--I'm smiling.") Close your eyes, picturing you, smiling. Just a little non-committal half-smile is fine.
6. Practice Mindfulness. Release injuries of the past, worries for the future. Be In This Moment.
7. Release Anger, Envy & Resentment. Each is a white-hot coal wehold, intending to throw at someone. But they do not really leave our hand.
8. Forgive. Forgiveness is something we do as much for our own healing as for others. It is not acceptance of abuse, but release of an action"s affect on you, knowing it came out of someone else"s pain, fear, emotional illness or poor judgment.
9. Create! Cook, paint, build, write, garden, knit. . .
10. Need More Ways to Feel Good? See, "70 Ways to Feel Really Good...FAST!" http://www.relaxintuit.com/displaytips.asp?ID=74

The dot.calm Corner: Places to Go if You'd Like to Know. . .

"Sometimes, even music cannot substitute for tears."
(Paul Simon)


Coping with the Stress of Global Events

Men & Depression: Symptoms of depression. Real men share their experiences in the National Institute of Mental Health Online Brochure.

Men are more likely to suffer in silence.

Soldiers Home from Deployment --Basic Training in Resuming Life: For soldiers and their families, the burdens and sacrifices of deployment go far beyond fighting overseas, or waiting at home.

More Hope for Depression

You Gotta Laugh: Wonders of the World

1. When I say: A penny for your thoughts. . .and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?
2. What hair color do they put on the driver"s licenses of bald men?
3. Why didn't Noah just swat those two mosquitoes?
4. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It"s just stale bread to begin with.
5. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
6. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call the resulting company FedUP?
7. Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?
8. How come no one ever says, "It"s only a game" when their team is winning?

Closing Thought. . . The Fence (anonymous)

A little boy had a terrible temper. His dad gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back fence. The first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into that fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily diminished. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails. Finally, a day came when the boy didn't lash out even once. His father suggested the boy begin to pull out one nail for each day that he was able to contain his temper. Weeks passed and at last, all the nails were gone. The father led his son by the hand to the fence. "You have done well, my son and I am proud of you. But look at the holes that remain. When we say things in anger, they may leave a scar just like this one. No matter how many times we say we are sorry, the wounds remain. Knowing this, you need not ever risk injuring another with an unkind word.

[ Psst..Pass it on! Forward this newsletter to 5 people you care about. ]

Until next time, I wish you both pleasure and happiness, good news, good friends,
. . .and as always, above all, peace,
Susie


Finding Comfort in Uncomfortable Times ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"
[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

Anybody who seems to have a stress-free life. . . . . .is someone you don¹t know quite as well as you thought you did.

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" (Albert Camus)

I am convinced that congruence, the agreement between our beliefs about who we would like to be, and how we actually move through the world, is a common denominator among many who manage stress well.

My grandmother lived happily and healthily to 93, surviving breast cancer, all her siblings, and every friend. At 90, she broke a hip, yet walked again. She used charcoal or ginger for tummy aches, Epsom salts for other aches, did not smoke or drink, ate what she liked, and slept with the windows open, even in winter. In the 1890"s my grandmother rode a mule sidesaddle down the Grand Canyon. . .and in the 1960"s, flew to Boston. She graduated college--rare in her time, laughed easily, cried easily, gave joyfully, spoke to her three children daily, and adored talk-radio. She hemmed our dresses and washed our "little pawdies" in her soft, plump, warm hands each Sunday before dinner. As adults, every one of us went out of our way to visit her often, perhaps partly because she never insisted. We liked her. She quietly endured arthritic pain, and lost her sight‹but never her vision. Long-gone, in my mind"s eye she is laughing, blue eyes twinkling as her shoulders shook, and after all these years, we miss her every day. I would call that a life well-lived.

As you know from these newsletters, I¹m a fan of quotations that help us find meaning, comfort. Some are simply entertaining, others--literally words to live by. Much of what we embrace or reject, how we cope with adversity or let it consume us, comes from home. In my grandmother"s bedroom hung, in calligraphy, the first Life Lesson I recall: "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, I can do, any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect. I shall not pass this way again." (Stephen Grellet, 1773-1855) These words hang in my home today.

So, where do we find such comfort when stress pushes the envelope. . . and our limits? Some wisdom is consciously sought. Some comes from friends or pop culture, when someone expresses a thought, feeling or experience in a way that makes us think, "I need to remember that." Some originate with us, when our inner wisdom synthesizes emotions into a phrase that just resonates.

What are some of the words you live by, and where did they come from? To get you started, here are a few of my own: 1. "The only way to have a friend is to be one. " -Emerson [c/o my mother] 2. With good fortune, comes responsibility to share it. [c/o my grandfather, unspoken but by lifelong example] 3. "It only takes one." [c/o my father, re: college acceptances, finding a house, etc.] 4. "When your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme." [c/o Jiminy Cricket] 5. "Keep breathing, don¹t pull your skirt over your head, and you¹ll do fine! " [c/o my friend Mary, re: a job interview, etc.]

A great source of internal guidance is day-to-day synchronicities. e.g. You are at the mall. You have exactly 15 minutes and $150.00 to find a suit for a high-stakes presentation. Anxious, nervous, the future looks so uncertain you cannot focus, and park on the wrong level. Entering this "wrong" store, directly before you, bold red letters announce: " 1-Day Sale: Designer Business Attire 50% Off " Coincidence? You decide..

"Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit." (ee cummings)

Try This: Stress-Reducing Life Lessons 1. List 3 positive Life Lessons you¹ve learned, and from whom. 2. This month, notice three unexpected, comforting events.

Did you happen to see Fantasia Barrino "s final performance of "I Believe" in last month"s American Idol competition? (Whether a fan or not, try to catch it on tape---she"s in a green dress with gospel choir.) That . . .is Congruence. Every syllable of that performance came from every cell of her being, we cried right with her for the Truth of it, as she soared beyond all limits. A stressful challenge to be sure. But there was no ceiling that night. Only wide open sky. . .and her joyful spirit pouring forth to fill it.

"The most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid." (J.D. Salinger)

What Have Your Friends Taught You About Coping with Stress? (responses to a survey in this newsletter)

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." (Marcel Proust)

- You can reinvent yourself whenever you want to. - Perspective is everything. - Success is getting up one more time. - Risk in order to fly, even if your wings wobble. - You don¹t need a paycheck to feel really good about who you are. - Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. - Fight only the battles worth fighting. - Remember who you are, and who you want to be. - Correct one fault at a time. - Listen, listen, listen.

It¹s Never Too Late I recently witnessed the truth of the Chinese proverb, "One joy scatters a hundred griefs" Two elderly, life-long friends became estranged after one harshly rejected the other without cause. After three sad years of distress wondering why, the injured party learned that her friend suffers from dementia---suddenly explaining the irrational behavior. Upon learning this, the friend said, " Pain can last for years, but it can vanish in an instant." The two women, ages 87 and 90, enjoyed a heart-warming reunion, ending with sweet, happy tears. #1"Shall I come again?" #2 "Oh,yes--and I hope soon!" True story.

Pop Quiz: Contact 3 people with whom you¹ve lost touch. Let them know you care.

Read More About Life Lessons: Book: The Five People You Meet in Heaven: A novel by Mitch Albom, (author of Tuesdays with Morrie,) explores unexpected connections in our lives. A life story--not theology.

Book: After he won the National Book Award for his exquisite, How We Die, Yale surgeon Sherwin Nuland"s sequel, How We Live, was released as The Wisdom of the Body. (The latter contains a few medical descriptions not for the faint of heart, but his work is scientifically fascinating, graceful, wise, and deeply touching.)

A Peek Around the Curve. . .

New! Stress-Relief Consultations with Susie Now Available via Telephone These are complex times. In response to reader requests, award-winning stress-relief facilitator/author Susie Mantell provides a limited number of individual 1 hr. telephone consultations each month for help with: - Day-to-Day Stress, Sleeplessness, Depression - Stress-Related Illness & Illness-Related Stress - Work-Related, Chronic & Traumatic Stress - Transition & Loss (Grief, Divorce, Relocation, New Baby, Retirement)
Learn more

PTSD: Erasing Trauma? When stress hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine are elevated, new memories consolidate more firmly. If traumatic, the result can be debilitating. Administering propranolol soon after trauma may keep memories from taking hold. Naturally, some have concerns. . .

Doctors at the Kennedy Krieger Institute are studying the
effects of energy healing on injured kids.

A medical device company
plans to implant a tiny chip in the brains of five paralyzed people in an effort to enable them to operate a computer and communicate by thought alone.

Healing Hands? A new, disposable glove emits chlorine dioxide, used in water purification, harmless to humans but deadly to bacteria and viruses.

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. " (Victor Borge)

You Gotta Laugh: Juvenile Job Application (anonymous)

To Whom It May Concern: Enclosed, please find my application for the position of, "8 Year-Old Child." Well-qualified, I find the prospect intriguing. I am willing to relocate to a time when life was simple. My career plans include catching fireflies, lemonade stands, digging to China and making a sidewalk with rocks. I believe M&Ms are better than gold coins because you can eat them, anything is possible, and life should be fair. I bring to the position extensive experience with computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, bills, office gossip, and back pain. I am prepared to embrace the power of hope, of kissing boo-boos, kind words, the truth, dreams, imagination, mankind, and Superman. In anticipation, I have placed my checkbook, car keys, both mortgages, and my 401K statements in the safety deposit box I hide in my backyard. [ Only my best friend knows where.] If you wish to discuss this further, enclosed is my direct line: a paper cup with waxed string running through my bedroom window to a cup just like it. Evenings, I can be reached by tossing pebbles at that window before 9 PM, my bedtime.

[ Psst..Pass it on! Forward this newsletter to 5 people you care about. ]

Until next time, I wish you comfort and wisdom whenever you need some, in wonderful, surprising places. . . . . .
and as always, above all, peace,
Susie



The Lighter Side. . . ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"

[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

*Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. * -Kurt Vonnegut

Golfers in Montana:
The Montana State Department of Fish & Wildlife is advising golfers to be on the alert for bears while in the Helena, and Lewis & Clark National Forest golf courses. They advise golfers to wear noise-producing devices such as little bells on their clothing to alert, but not startle, the bears. They also advise you carry pepper spray, in case of an encounter with a bear. It is a good idea to watch for signs of bear activity. Golfers should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings on the golf course. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have small bells in them and smell like pepper spray. (anonymous)

You Gotta Laugh!

Wacky Warning Labels
1. A 5-inch fishing lure with three razor-like steel hooks advises, *Harmful if swallowed.* If only carp could read. (Label took 4th place in the annual Wacky Warning Label Contest.)

2. 2nd place went to a Virginia man for a label on a sled: *Beware: Sled may accelerate to high speed under certain snow conditions.*

3. 1st place: Warning found on a bottle of drain cleaner. *If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product.* (anonymous)

Dot.calm Corner: Where to Go if You*d Like to Know. . . One great way to reduce stress amid tense day-to-day life, is to learn about how the human stress response actually works, and create as many ways as you can to relieve, reduce, release or even better‹prevent stress wherever we can!

Stress & Immunity

Physicians as early as the 2nd century A.D. observed a link between melancholy and illness. Stress neurotransmitter Norepinephrine could be the link.

Meds Clock

The body*s chemicals ebb and flow in 24-hour cycles. Ulcers and asthma tend to flare at night, arthritis during the day, skin allergies late evening. Time-based dosing, (chronotherapy) synchronizes with circadian rhythms.

Book: *Learning to Speak Alzheimer's : A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease* by Joanne Koenig Coste. I seldom recommend a book this highly-but if you care for someone with dementia, or other loss-of-independence disorders, get, read, and keep this book as a well-indexed resource. Fabulous book on compassionate, realistic, care-giving. (Author prefers, *care-partnering*--nice.) Insightful, simple, practical and compassionate guide.

A Peek Around the Curve: Man or Machine

Heart transplants and knee replacement used to sound far-fetched. Now artificial intelligence flies airplanes, aids in diagnoses. Futurist Ray Kurzweil says the key is pattern recognition. The Foresight Institute in Palo Alto tells Ivanhoe, *We*ll be able to heal and cure conditions that today would be considered completely hopeless.*

Readers* Response to Last Month¹s Question: What¹s Your Favorite Feel-Good Music as Medicine. . .

Sweet, Stress-Less Nostalgia

* Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.* -Doug Larson

Ever wish you could slip back in time to savor a slower pace, and share it with children of today?

- When all girls had equally-hideous gym suits
- It took five minutes for the TV warm up
- A quarter was a decent allowance
- Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces
- Laundry detergent had dishes or towels inside the box
- It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant by your parents
- Kids played baseball with no adults -- just worked it out
- Groceries came without hermetic seals because nobody had ever tried to poison a perfect stranger
- If we took risks, our parents were the real threat--and their love was greater than that threat.
- Candy Cigarettes, Blackjack & Teaberry Gum
- Jukeboxes, 45 RPM Records & Hi-Fi*s
- Home Milk Delivery in Glass Bottles with Cardboard Stoppers
- *Race issues* were about who ran fastest
- Metal Ice Cubes Trays with Levers
- Roller-Skate Keys & Pop Guns
- Drive-Ins & 15 Cent McDonalds
- The Fuller Brush Man
- Howdy Dowdy, The Lone Ranger
- 5 Cent Packs of Baseball Cards w/ Stale Pink Bubble Gum
- Catching fireflies blissfully filled entire evenings
- The worst thing you could catch from boys/girls was Cooties
- Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot
- War was a card game
- Baseball cards in spokes, transformed any bike into a motorcycle
- Fights were settled by *eenie-meenie-minie-moe*
- Disappointments erased with, *Do Over!*
- *Oly-oly-oxen-free* made perfect sense?
- . . .and so did spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down.

Pass this on to anyone who needs a break from their *grown-up* life. [I double-dog dare you!]

If you enjoyed those, see
*Why Aren*t All People Over 25 Dead.?

Closing thought:
Life is very complicated.
Military life, even more so.
So for those of you who, "keep the home fires burning," providing strength and comfort and support and for those of you who wait, and pray, and love from the deepest parts of you. . .

Until next time, I wish you cards and letters and emails and only good news

And as always, above all. . .peace,
Susie


Sleep. . .Easy ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"

[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

*I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I*m awake, you know?* - Ernest Hemingway

*Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.* -Victor Hugo

I know. You crawl into bed longing for the sweet respite of deep, replenishing sleep, close your eyes, snuggle in. . .and the movie in your head begins. The average person needs a lot more sleep than (s)he gets, and we*re paying for it. CEO*s and submariners, surgeons, inner-city homeless parents and suburban soccer moms, all report difficulty falling and/or staying asleep and restless nights, waking up feeling like they*ve been run over by a truck. Grandma was right, but sleep deprivation is pervasive, in a culture demanding more and more of us all.

*...sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care.* -William Shakespeare ( sleave: Archaic, a skein.)

Mother Nature has hard-wired us with a very clever stress-hormone response system providing reserves of energy for emergencies. When habitually sleep-deprived, the system is literally *stressed* beyond efficiency. Overtaxed, depleted, we become susceptible to illness, depression, forgetfulness, irritability, pain. Self-esteem and positive outlook may be compromised. In studies of fatigue-at-the-wheel, delayed reflexes were found to equal or exceed those of driving while intoxicated. This over-draft of the sleep account is resulting in a society working longer hours, often exhausted, achy, ill, and in some cases, more than a little *cranky.*

Sleepless in. . .Wherever? 20+ Tips for Catching zzzzz*s

Worry and mental chatter drain energy and focus. At bedtime we expect to suddenly screech to a halt a day that*s taken us in twelve directions, sometimes at 90 miles an hour, and fall asleep---- just like that. It is always good to rule out, or address, any medical cause, but following are some common, everyday impediments to restful sleep, and simple, drug-free suggestions to make The Sandman*s job easier, and help you to enjoy more peaceful , restorative sleep.

Woe is You?

Make a *worry list.* Leave it on your night table. Often when my mind is racing at bedtime, it*s full of things I*m trying to remember and frankly, I only need to remember to call the plumber once -- not 17 times. By committing worries to paper we can release them. They require attention, just not right now.

Muffle Mental Chatter

1. Inhaling deeply, image shimmering light cascading over your head, shoulders, dissolving words, images, any aches or worries along the way.
2. Visualize bits of chatter floating on a raft, downstream and out of sight.
3. Sail worries out a window in your mind on long, silk scarves.

*I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.* - Henry David Thoreau

Work-Related Stress

Spend time before bed doing something relaxing, non-work-related (and not on the computer, which can stimulate brain activity.) Try a warm bath, journaling, a *brain candy* novel, foot-massage, or gentle time talking with someone you care for. (Maybe they*ll rub your feet!)

World Events

What*s the last thing you do before bed? Without question I support being informed, but I strongly recommend that The News not be the last thing you see before retiring for a peaceful sleep.
Tips: Coping with world events

Where Does It Hurt?

Sometimes a mattress or a pillow is too hard, soft, high or low. When*s the last time your mattresses was turned and rotated? (Careful please, and with help.)

*I reached for sleep and drew it round me like a blanket muffling pain and thought together in the merciful dark.* - Mary Stewart

Too Cold? Hot? Near the Wall?. . .Not?

Most people sleep best in a room that is a bit cool, and in soft fabrics. Perhaps you like a fluffy down comforter, or snug-as-a-bug tightly-tucked sheets. Which side do you prefer? Whites or bright colors, soft florals? Cotton? Flannel? Silk? Experiment.

Full Stomach

In addition to discomfort, the digestive process initiates a metabolic boost that can stimulate, hindering sleep. Ask your doctor if a light snack of a food containing calcium or tryptophan, with a mild calming effect, might be ok for you: e.g. banana, turkey, milk.

Full Bladder

Think of dreamland as, *a road trip.* Plan ahead. If you wake to use the bathroom, open your eyes only enough to see your way safely, drift gently back to sleep.

Sick & Tired

When ill, the body calls the shots. Rest provides immune function more energy.

Fibromyalgia

FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) is a painful connective tissue disorder ,generally episodic, disturbing sleep, sometimes accompanied by cognitive cloudiness, (*fibro-fog* ) depression, digestive distress, restless leg syndrome, TMJ, CFIDS, among others. FMS is not yet fully understood. FMS is thought by some to be associated with low serotonin, environmental sensitivities, Leaky Gut Syndrome or the Alpha/Delta EEG Anomaly, where brain activity interrupts sleep, tissue repair,etc. Many diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome exhibit FMS sympomatology. I have seen much written on this complicated, little-understood constellation of symptoms. Try, *Reversing Fibromyalgia* by Joe Elrod. Dr. Elrod *gets* FMS...with all it*s vague, sometimes subtle, often miserable, symptoms. He shares practical, realistic suggestions especially for nutrition, movement and stress-relief. Of course, all this must be discussed with one's personal physician. Living with FMS can be very stressful, but there*s much one can do.

FMS tips
FMS tips

Sleep Apnea

Characterized by breath-holding, gasping, snorts, sometimes extremely deep sleep. It should be addressed, often treatable, best diagnosed in a sleep disorders clinic. Ask your physician or large, teaching hospitals

*Stuffy Doze*?

Try steam, hot chamomile or ginger tea, (Not caffeinated, and not near bedtime.) Make sure the room is cool. Reduce common allergens like dust mites, mold, feathers. Ask an ENT for suggestions, but remember, some nasal sprays create rebound swelling reactions, and many decongestants include sympathomemetics ( CNS stimulants.) So you might breathe. . .but be doing it wide-awake!

Snoring

A variety of causes, and incredibly frustrating. Some use a sinus strip to open airways, monitors that vibrate to *nudge* the snorer, re-positioning the head or turning the snorer on his/her side.

Noisy Neighbors?

Try a *white noise* machine, small, available in catalogs, creates an unobtrusive background that *absorbs* sound. You may need to cordially and respectfully open a dialogue to strike a compromise. (e.g. Drum practice pre-10 PM )

Medication Side-Effects

It is amazing how little we are told of potential effects. (Drowsiness, agitation, dry-mouth, diuresis, to be taken with/without food, etc.) Read labels and consult your pharmacist. *PM* preparations often contain anti-histamine to cause sleepiness. Rarely, short-term sleep medication may be appropriate, but don*t be misled. While I am not a physician, my understanding is that some sleep preparations can actually block the critical, restorative Delta (4th) Level sleep phase. Psychological, or physical dependency can be serious problems too, so seek professional medical advice, and ask questions.

*Is it Hot . . .Or is it Me?*

Hormonal activity may be in the mix. For women in their 40*s and 50*s, all kinds of fun changes are going on. Ask your Gyn. Medicinal and herbal preparations, and stress-reduction can help diminish menopausal symptoms.

Too Much Light

We need darkness for sleep, daylight for activity, and routine to reinforce the mind/body*s circadian rhythm (day/night cycle.) Try dimming lights an hour before bed. Note: Bright computer screens at night may also send a *daytime* signal.

Wound Up?

Reduce caffeine, including cola, chocolate. Use your intuition and observe what feels right. [ A few more drug-free suggestions: A warm tub, chamomile tea, aromatherapy, meditation, massage, using your bed only for sleep, exercising early in the day, counting sheep, magazines, relaxation tape, soothing music.](c) 2001,'04 Susie Mantell, Relax. . .Intuit (tm)LLC All rights reserved.

Pop Quiz: Sleep Soothers

Q: When*s the last time you went to bed, slept 8-9 hours and awoke feeling great?
Q: What are 3 things you could change slightly, to support better sleep?
This Week:
1. Make the hour or two before bed relaxed, gentle, non-working ones.
2. For one week, put yourself to bed early enough to allow for 8-9 hours of sleep. Reassess your energy, outlook, even complexion after 4-5 days.

Want to Read More About Sleep?

Good Night*s Sleep May Rescue Memories

Findings in the esteemed journal Nature explore sleep*s affect on memory-recording, safeguarding.

Sleep Eating
They get up in the middle of the night, wake amid crumbs, frustrated, depressed.

Acetylcholine, Sleep . . .& Alzheimers?

The neurotransmitter Acetylcholine suppresses feedback within the brain, but reduction during slow-wave sleep allows it.

Sleep & Metabolism?

Sleep-deprivation may alter metabolism.

Sleep & Creativity
Throughout history, artists and scientists have awakened to their most notable insights after dry spells. Scientists caution schools, employers and government agencies that sleep makes a huge difference in performance.

*We need to make the world safe for creativity and intuition, for it*s creativity and intuition that will make the world safe for us.* -Edgar Mitchell, Apollo Astronaut, founder: Institute of Noetic Sciences

Study: AM Exercise / Better Sleep?
Older women may find a morning workout better for rest at night.

Quirky zzz*s:
At age 116, Mrs. Hongo has an unusual sleeping pattern on Japan*s island of Kyushu. Snoozing two days, awakening for two.

New Addition! Telephone Consultations by Appointment These are complex times. . . In response to dozens of requests, award-winning stress-relief facilitator/author Susie Mantell is
scheduling a limited number of individual 1 hr. telephone consultations each month. Learn more:

*Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.* - Mohandas Gandhi

Closing Thought:
A clear conscience is worth it*s weight in. . .well, it doesn*t weigh a thing, does it? Peace of mind is compromised when we are responsible for the unhappiness of another. Healthy, restful sleep is infinitely easier to achieve by those who go to bed liking themselves. Do a quick internal scan and see if a gentle apology to a family member or colleague might make you (and them!) feel better, perhaps enhancing the deep comforting sleep you deserve.

Counting blessings, saying prayers, wishing on stars. . .are all ways in which we connect with what is meaningful for us. Until next time I wish you many blessings to count, *sweet dreams* to dream, and as always, above all. . .peace,
Susie


Soothing Stress...In the Military ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"

[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

Even before the global events and extended deployments of the 21st century, I'd always thought every family affiliated with the DoD should somehow be given a little "standard issue goody bag" on Day One, overflowing with realistic, quick and easy, stress-relief and relaxation aids. Of course, some degree of worry and sleeplessness, profound sense of responsibility and those inevitable lonely moments were always inherent in being a military family. Now, the uncertainty, cumbersome responsibilities and worry at home, can be consuming. So let's see what we can do about that right here...right now in case you, like many, find there are moments when your find your shoulders somewhere up around your ears, that suddenly the star of "Sleepless in...Wherever" . . .or your fuse is, well. . .a little short

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS "STRESS"?

Simply put, stress is a signal that something needs to change. It's the body-mind's innate response to internal and external factors that disrupt normal functioning or disturb emotional, cognitive or physical well-being. Perhaps you've heard stories of say, a 5' 2" mother suddenly lifting a car to save her baby? That's the "Fight or Flight" response of the central nervous system that engages whenever stress, fear, anger or pain are present...in this case working FOR her. In this automatic reaction, pulse quickens, blood-flow to the large muscle groups increases (as if literally preparing do battle ...or run for our lives!) Respiration quickens and becomes more shallow, and stress hormones release to meet what is perceived as a crisis. But when these resources are summoned unnecessarily and habitually due to excessive stress levels, it sends an "emergency" signal that sets in motion a mechanism that while "helping," can tax our intricate systems.

Mindful relaxation, for example meditation in various forms, is a kind of physiological self-regulator to counter the "Fight or Flight" response and when we enter a meditative state, muscles begin to relax, respiration and blood-flow slow, as adrenaline and cortisol levels shift. This re-balancing process allows the inner wisdom of the mind-body to surface, providing an open space for psychological and physiological healing. While meditation, moderate exercise and other relaxation techniques may not necessarily cure, they are a powerful, drug-free complement to professional health care. Symptoms can often be substantially diminished, thereby greatly enhancing quality of life. Some stressors are obvious, but there are others of which we may not be aware, such as ambient noise, poor air quality, food sensitivities, smells, visual over-stimulation, fatigue. Multiple stressors have a cumulative effect, compounding and increasing impact.

COULD YOU BE INCREASING YOUR OWN STRESS LEVEL?

Yup. And stress happens to us all...every day. It is how we cope that will determine its impact. How we experience an event determines its "stress value" for us.

Here are 4 women's responses to the exact same event: A FLAT TIRE
1."Oh, no! My life is ruined...."Hello, 'Suicide Prevention'?"
2."What a pain! Oh well, I'll call AAA, and then get on with my day..."
3."Hey! Glad I took that Auto Shop class. This'll be a piece-a-cake."
4."Whoa--That AAA guy was a babe! This must be my lucky day!"

INTERNAL STRESS TRIGGERS are determined by individual bio-chemistry, (e.g. number of endorphin receptor sites) genetics, predisposition toward addictive disease, sensitivities and allergies, etc.

EXTERNAL STRESS TRIGGERS may be determined by conditioning (e.g. How your mom handled stress), witnessing addictive behaviors acted out, environmental factors, relationships, quality of life, the media, job satisfaction, etc.

WHY YOU, "JUST NEED TO RELAX... "

Remember: Stress is cumulative, therefore its effects on health, inner peace, relationships, and even our appearance, are also cumulative. But so is Stress-Reduction. Ongoing daily practices are like money in the bank for a rainy day. Unaddressed stress can compromise health, suppress immunity, depress mood, drain confidence, deplete self-esteem, tax relationships, systems and organizations.

Modifying our response to both internal and external stressors may provide:
Inner calm & serenity
More efficient use of nutrients
Better oxygenation of skin, hair and nails
Release of endorphins which diminish pain and elevate mood
Strengthened immunity

SIMPLE SOOTHERS

FIVE MINUTE BRAIN-VACATION

1. Turn off the ringer on the phone. Hang "Do Not Disturb" on your door. (Mean it!) Set timer: 5 min.
2. Closing your eyes, settle them on a far-off horizon. Notice muscles around the eyes beginning to let go.
3. Inhaling slowly into the belly...exhale through the shoulders as your scalp, face, neck begin softening. Imagine melting the body...releasing...
4. Visualize yourself exactly where you'd like to be today. Bermuda? A mountain cabin? Your grandmother's kitchen? Picture it in great detail. (e.g. If it's the beach, is it warm and sunny? Breezy and cool? Waves crashing wildly, or gently lapping the shore? Smell the salt air.) Experience your dream vacation, complete with sensations, sounds, smells.
5. When the timer rings, see yourself moving through the rest of your day in this relaxed state, and travel back gently, slowly, to resume your day.

TRY SUSIE'S "1-MINUTE-SPEED-WHINE"!

I know "whining is for sissies"? but this kind might just improve your health and relationships! This is a fun stress-buster when you just don't have time or energy for anything more complicated. (Especially effective on those evenings when you walk into the house after a miserable day, longing to talk about it...only to find that someone ELSE has been waiting all day to do the same! It's also fun if you have a neighbor or work-buddy to whine with, to break up a crazy-busy day.

- Find a friend or family member and decide who goes first.
- Set a timer for one minute. - Person #1 now gets to WHINE--- about as
- MANY issues as you can fit in a minute! Whine fast! Use your hands, shoulders, exaggerated facial expressions.. complain.. nag..moan..
- Okay, now whine a little louder...faster... Really let it rip! - Switch.
- Chances are, if you whine fast enough.... you'll probably both end up laughing----the best stress-buster of all!
[Coming Next Month: Sleep Tips for Sweeter Dreams!]

JUGGLING...for MOMS

Q: Dear Susie, My husband has been away for 12 months with a likely extension looming. 3 kids, a job and my home take up most of my time, yet I still want to go school, join a health club, become active in my community and in church. I have so little time. How do I manage all this without burning out?

A: You've described a very full plate, and unfortunately, not an uncommon state of affairs for military spouses. For many people, juggling responsibilities of work, family, home, health -- and remember recreation? -- is a daunting task and often our personal needs fall at the bottom of our "to do" list. One of the first things I tell people is to take a look at Nutrition, Sleep and Exercise in their lives with particular attention to sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. (Nothing drastic. Just observe and modify. It's the simplest change we can make to reduce stress quickly.) Perhaps finding very brief breaks in small portions throughout your day is going to be the only way, for the moment, that you can get the respite you need.

Read just one article in a magazine, set a timer for 5 minutes and call a friend. (You'll be surprised how much you can share. If you were having your teeth drilled for 5 minutes, it would be a l-o-n-g time!) Walk around the house if the block takes too long, straighten one drawer--not the whole bureau.

Realistic expectations are very important so that relaxation techniques and stress-management can fit within personal lifestyles and belief systems. Is there a way for you to get out to dinner with a friend once in a while? Or better yet, close the door to your room (obviously, knowing your children are well-supervised) and take mini-meditation breaks. Inhaling, cool white light... exhaling through the shoulders... Even curling up for a 10 minute nap may give you a little break and restore your weary spirit.

It concerns me whenever people find one thing that works and consider that their only stress-management technique. Whatever exercise or meditative practice, or hobbies and recreational activities we enjoy, we should be continually collecting new ones we can draw upon. We see this often, for example, in runners. There also are behaviors that fall into the category of addictive or compulsive in nature that may for the short term, feel like they are offering relief from stress or numbing emotion, but over time may have deleterious impact on oneself, and others.

There are many, many more situations in life about which we have some degree of choice, than we realize. So in some cases, even when it feels like we're up against the wall, somewhere, if we start getting creative, and looking around, there may be an exit or an alternative path somewhere. Stress happens every day, many times a day, to varying degrees. That is why I strongly encourage you to create and explore many different techniques and strategies for coping with stress. It's a good idea to take a look at your own repertoire of stress-management activities, and continually re-evaluate and look for new ones that may include breathing techniques, creative activities, and best of all. . .pretty much anything makes you laugh! [ see
70 Ways to Feel Really Good...Fast!" ]

Until next time, my warmest wishes that Springtime brings new Hope, restored Faith, warm-weather fun, and as always, above all...
Peace,
Susie

Support for Caregivers ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"
[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Stress & Perspective *It is not what you look at, but what you see.* -Henry David Thoreau


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com.

1. When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see weeds that are going to take over my yard.
Kids see flowers for Mom, and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

2. When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person. I look away.
Kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

3. When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune so I sit self-consciously and listen.
Kids feel the beat, move. They sing out words. If they don't know them, they make some up.

4. When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself, feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back.
Kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

5. When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.
Kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross and worms to play with.

I wish you dandelions and mud puddles. (from an anonymous fwd)

*Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.* -Aldous Huxley


Support for Caregivers

Military life demands enormous sacrifice of all concerned. And for spouses and parents and siblings at home, theirs is compounded by the day to day realities of keeping households running, kids safe, healthy, learning, and in many families, aging parents or grandparents also require care and attention. A surprising number of young military wives find themselves caring for an aging grandparent or parent who has needs that can be overwhelming. If you care for an elderly love done with Alzheimers, Lewy Body or other Dementia and age-related disease, it is my heartfelt hope that you will find some help here. (If not you, but a friend, forward this to them.

While more people are living longer, and better, than ever before, for many families, age-related diseases still present complex, often life-altering problems. Many bright possibilities are in the pipeline, but for now, if you care for someone experiencing cognitive impairment or physical disability associated with age-related diseases, you know the unique challenges, profound stress and extreme fatigue that brings. You learn. You learn to savor simplicity, the twinkle in their eyes, and small, funny moments. You buy them soft, easy on-off clothing, revise goals,. You honor skilled, compassionate geriatric care-givers, find nursing homes, or caregiver respite and dementia daycare programs. And. . . you learn who your friends are. It is excruciating to research where to learn how to advocate for the parent who once soothed your own bad dreams, dried your tears, and. . . pushed your buttons. Now, they cannot button their own. There may be no words for the heart-breaking, bone-wearying stress of caring for a loved one being erased from the inside, one memory at a time. They are synthesized down to the most primal essence of self. If someone you know is retreating into the cave of care-giving, it is a desperately isolating place. Reach inside and take them to a movie.
Two questions every caregiver needs to hear:
1. How can I help?
2. Do you want to talk about it?
Ask. Ask again. Listen.

*She is a friend of mind. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. *-Toni Morrison


Caring for the Elderly (& Your self)
http://www.relaxintuit.com/displaytips.asp?ID=235
http://www.relaxintuit.com/displaytips.asp?ID=171

Amazing Book:

I have just discovered a fabulous book on compassionate, realistic, care-giving. (Author refers to it as "care-partnering"--nice concept!) Of course, in other disabilities or injuries, the cognitive piece is not always impacted the same way as in dementia, but the physical needs and the emotional distress & sense of dis-empowerment are very similar indeed. Many, many of the concepts would be helpful for anyone caring for a loved one. You just have to get past the title, and read for applicable content, which is wonderful. Well-written, well-indexed, warm, clever, concise and gently readable.
Book: Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease (by Joanne Koenig Coste)

Book: *The 36-Hour Day : A Family Guide to Caring for Persons With Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life.* [Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins] 36 Hours refers to caregiver*s days. This best-selling book has remained the *bible* for families living with Dementia. Readable, informative,comforting, well-indexed.

Book/ Video/DVD: *The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's.* Poignant, insightful, based on David Shenk*s best-selling book.

Alzheimers Association: Research, education, support for patients, families, caregivers .

Dementia and Alzheimers Caregiver Resource offering support, resources.

Visiting Nurses Association of America: Provides extensive variety of home-care nationwide .

Meals on Wheels: Nationwide delivery to those in need .

AARP: Extraordinary resource for seniors & families. Excellent publications,insurance, member discounts .

The Lighthouse: Leading resource worldwide on vision impairment and vision rehabilitation, education, research and advocacy.

God's Love We Deliver: (NY,NJ) Supports men, women, children living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses.

Closing Thought. . .
Last night I saw a teenager at the deli, ordering his dinner, to go. After it was all cooked and packed, he suddenly froze in panic. *I am so sorry! forgot my wallet at home. Hold onto that please- -I'll be right back.* The owner scowled, shaking a 70-year-old finger at the boy. "Oh no you won*t! You'll take your dinner now and go straight home. The roads are freezing up, young man. You take your hot meal, get home safe, and come back tomorrow to pay me.* Relieved and appreciative, the boy grinned warmly and shook the owner*s hand in a promise. As other patrons paid, the owner looked each of us in the eye and admonished, *You drive safe and go straight home now. We don*t want anyone getting hurt.* One act of integrity and kindness at a time. . .This is the world in which I want to live.

Until next time I wish you . . .
Comfort, whenever you need some,
Time with loved ones, and time alone to replenish,
Compassion, for people we may never meet, in places we may never see, . . .and as always, Above all, Peace,
Susie

Stress-Busters for One & All ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"
[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com.

As much should be said for the kindred spirits shared by military families, as for the camaraderie of those in uniform. These bonds grow strong, and deep, and forever. They are often the lifeline that carries you through deployments, and extensions. . .and the days, weeks or months between homecomings, or even letters or email. If you are feeling the stress of the complex times, perhaps the following will lift your spirits. If you know someone in a slump--forward this to them!

You Gotta Laugh:10 Things You Can Only Learn Watching Movies

1. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking there and you can travel to any other part of the building without difficulty, being heard, or falling through the ceiling.
2. A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
3. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a foreign agent, it is not necessary to speak the language. A strong accent will do.
4. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
5. All explosive devices are fitted with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off. Call a nerdy, sweaty, annoying tech, or a beautiful woman in spandex. They know the codes. [Failing that, try the most handsome man in the room.]
6. If someone says, *Wait here. I'll be right back,* they won't.
7. Computer monitors always say: Enter Password. 3 tries will get you in.
8. It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations. And none of your friends have to knock when they come for a visit.
9. If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
10. If you suspect an intruder, listen for music coming from nowhere. It will tell you which room not to go into.

The Healing Power of Music

*Without music, life would be a mistake. * -Friedrich Nietzsche

Music has great power to access emotions, or redirect them. One day last month, I was in a really bad mood. [Yup--No one is immune.] Stopping to get the mail, I found a wonderful present from a college friend- -a CD of *feel-good* songs he knew I*d enjoy, from the olden days. So, knowing the I chose the high road, popped in my new CD, and, rallying endorphins, was instantly uplifted! [ I must have played Eric Clapton*s, *If I Could Change the World* 40 times since that day. Very cool song.]

*Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. * -Maya Angelou

Q: Got 1 or 2 favorite feel-good songs? Hit *reply* and send the titles & artists. I*ll compile and share here next time.

*After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.* -Aldous Huxley

Read More About Music as Medicine Music is found in virtually all cultures, most based on the octave. Some people have perfect pitch. Does the brain handle music with special neural circuits, or some developed for other purposes?

A Happy Brain Hums: A stressed-out brain makes static sounds. Hundred of people crowded into a gallery to record brain activity.

Trouble Sleeping? Researchers say our brains produce waves like lullabies.

A good song may not only improve mood. It may help
stroke patients regain the ability to walk.

The dot.calm Corner: Places to Go if You'd Like to Know About. . .

Panic Attacks *A true panic attack is an out-of-the-blue perception of immediate danger . . .* explains C. Alec Pollard, PhD, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at St. Louis Behavioral Med. Institute. For more about panic reactions see:
http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/panic.html

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health, people with panic disorder have significant reductions of serotonin receptor 5-HT1A, in three areas of the brain.

Stress, Far from Home--in the Military

Keep those cards and emails coming.

Being far from loved ones and familiar surroundings takes a toll even under the best of circumstances. *They all live day to day by memory, recall of life back home. If they are lucky, they'll get or send an e-mail, words on a screen. .*

Beyond the Blue Horizon. . . Man, Machines & Stress-Reduction? Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have turned personal computers into polygraph machines they say are capable of monitoring emotions and abilities. Preliminary tests of Mentor/PAL indicated improved teamwork and a calmer, less-stressed workplace since everyone had insight into how team members were feeling. [ Naturally, privacy advocates have a couple of questions.]

Until next time I wish you . . .

Music, and Time to enjoy it,
Laughter and Hope, every day, . . .and as always, Above all, Peace,

Susie

ARE YOU A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH?
By Doris Appelbaum, President

I was thinking about diamonds today – not the kind on which you play baseball – the kind with multiple facets and value. It was at that moment that I realized we are all diamonds of one kind or another – multiply faceted and valuable to ourselves, our families, our communities, and – hopefully – our employers. Many have expressed these sentiments about "being" and "becoming." Below are their words about talent, belief, beginnings, wisdom, achievement, choice, clarity, action, fulfillment, happiness, and life.

About Talent
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me. -- Erma Louise Bombeck

About Belief
The trouble is that not enough people have come together with the firm determination to live the things which they say they believe.--Eleanor Roosevelt

About Beginnings
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.--Ivy Baker Priest

About Wisdom
The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.-- Madeline L'Engle

About Becoming
Life is a process. We are a process. Everything that has happened in our lives has happened for a reason and is an integral part of our becoming. -- Anne Wilson Schaef

About Achievement
I can remember walking as a child. It was not customary to say you were fatigued. It was customary to complete the goal of the expedition. -- Katharine Hepburn

About Choice
Fame or integrity: which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success or failure: which is more destructive?
If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself.
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you!
--Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher

About Clarity
We all start out in our lives as little children, full of light and the clearest vision. -- Brenda Ueland

About Committees
What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary. -- Richard Harkness

About Doers and Whiners
People can be divided into two classes: those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, 'Why wasn't it done the other way?' -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

About Action
"You will never win if you never begin." -- Robert Schuller
"The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch." -- Jim Rohn
"Action is the foundational key to all success." -- Anthony Robbins
"Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take Action to get it." -- Jack Canfield
"You must take Action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life." -- Les Brown

About Enthusiasm
A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one. -- Mary Kay Ash

About Fulfillment and Happiness
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

About Inner Peace
"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be." -- Anne Frank

About Life
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. -- George Bernard Shaw

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all -- Joni Mitchell --Both Sides Now

It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. -- Dolores Ibarruri

Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.


You CAN do it: find a job, relocate, learn a new skill – whatever! Carpe Diem! Seize The Day!


Appelbaum’s Resume Professionals, Inc.
The Fine Art of Independence ( While Getting the Help You Need!) ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"
[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com.

Military families often find themselves on their own. In fact, sometimes a little more "on their own" than they would like. Along with the extraordinary sacrifices made by each member of the armed forces, much is also asked of every military wife, child, parent, and friend. Loving someone who has chosen to serve, means you too serve, in whatever ways required. So perhaps while you are busy being ² brave and independent²Šthe following will remind you that help is available too. We need to learn to ask for help, just the same way one must learn to manage finances, organize households, move, care for children, handle legal and medical matters. Each a fine art.

People live a lifetime striving to become Independent, through determination . . .or by necessity. From the time we crawl, walk, or hold a cup: *Yaaay! [ Applause ] Look how grown up! See how independent?* We ride a bike, drive, work, travel, raise families, balance budgets. [More: *Yaaay!] But somewhere along the way it backfires. Seeking help gradually becomes foreign, excruciating, uncomfortable. Impossible, for some.

At any age, accepting help with grace is an Art. Recently addressing an audience of accomplished, sophisticated, 70-90 year olds, we discussed balance, independence, and occasional help. [ Human Nature Hint: It is infinitely easier to ask for help when we have recently extended a hand to someone else. ] Have you ever seen someone, arms full, struggling with the door? What did you do? You helped. How did it feel? When a neighbor"s child fell off his bike, did you run out with a band-aid and a cookie, brush him off, and help him back onto his bike? Of course you did. Ever visit a friend in the hospital? Few really enjoy hospitals, but did you kind of like yourself a little for doing it?

Getting a Little Help From Your Friends

1) Do all you can for yourself, but within reason.
2) Set realistic goals that will likely yield success.
3) Need help? Remember all the times you help others. Give friends, loved ones and co- workers that pleasure too.
4) Who could help get this done?
5) Ask for help with a confident, open smile.
6) Express your appreciation in words, a warm smile, a note or call.
7) Return the kindness in some other way, some other time.
8) If there is no way to return the kindness directly, put it in your *favors bank,* and spend it on someone else. What goes around, comes around.

15 Simple Tips For Refueling Your Life

Visualize the total energy and capability of the human system as a pie. (This pie has considerable capacity for expansiveness, but ultimately there is a finite amount of physical and emotional energy available for processing in any one of us in any given moment.) Draw yours, with slices pre-designated for energy to work, for day-to-day living activities like walking, eating, reading etc., attention to family and friends, energy for necessary bodily functions: breathing, digestion, circulation, immune function, etc., and a sliver "on reserve" for an unexpected crisis. Take an honest look, and now re-draw your pie including space for relaxation, social life, sleep, creative expression and play. Re-prioritize every day; and again mid-day if necessary. "Playing with my kids" may be the most important thing you do today. inside job‹external internal stress

1) Make a To-Do list with only 3 items--But each delightful! Do all 3 of them this month.
2) Now make a Not-to-Do list of 3 things you may skip!
3) Find something broken--and fix it. Or arrange for repair.
4) Keep a jar of bubbles in your desk drawer. (Use them.)
5) Go to the library or surf the web for new topics you're curious about.
6) Choose a person or charity you really, truly care about, and find a way to help. Lick envelopes for them, visit shut-ins, make a donation.
7) Count your blessings, literally. (A great way to fall asleep.)
8) Start your day with a smile. Open a joke book. Play with a loved one.
9) Do something romantic. . .or impulsive. . .or both.
10) Ask 1 person /day, whom you wouldn't normally ask, how they are. 11) Plan a Playdate with 3-4 same-sex pals: Cards, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Bowling? Shoot Some Hoops. . .Shoot Some Pool. . .
12) Buy something in a color you like but wouldn't normally choose..
13) List 3 *beautification* projects that can each be done in one day. (e.g. paint a room, organize a closet, highlight your hair.)
14) Change your exercise routine: Take a class, change machines, walk a different route----- Shake things up!
15) Tell one good friend a secret long-term goal. Ask them to gently remind you in 3-4 months to think about it a bit more. (Gently.)

So much about military life is requisite. And some days can be lonely. Sometimes there just aren't the choices civilians enjoy, but *attitude* is a choice. Finding ways to balance the frustrations and challenges, creating quality relationships and meaningful pursuits, is indeed always a matter of perspective.

Until next time, my warmest wishes that all your loved ones are safe and well, and for a bright New Year filled with great new possibilities, and as always, above all... Peace,

Susie

12 Simple Soothers for Stress ( +TMJ Help!) ©
by award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell (author: "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace")
NOTE: Enjoy more of Susie's FREE stress tips or "Ask Susie.." your own stress questions at http://www.relaxintuit.com

Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

In today's world, much is uncertain. Pretty much everyone these days longs to reduce day-to-day stress, get restful sleep, enjoy life more, be more fit or healthy..more patient..less forgetful. For families in the armed forces, the world is a very complicated and sometimes frightening place. My hope is that these articles will offer help for the day-to-day stress that is an inherent part of life in the military.

Each month, I share suggestions for coping with, or diminishing a specific stress-related problem, plus some "something for everyone" tips to inform, amuse, or help you to reflect upon and enrich your quality of life. Naturally, some months will touch you more personally, as we address worry, depression, workplace stress, bereavement, health conditions exacerbated by stress, irritability, anger, sleeplessness, divorce, caregiver or parenting stress, long-term illness, etc. This month I've shared an assortment of stress tips and a feature on a frustrating, often painful, stress-related condition that affects people from tots to seniors. I was asked a question regarding teeth-grinding, jaw-clenching and TMJ. I found myself thinking of how many, many people I know who have experienced this potentially troublesome phenomenon. So if you know, (or are,) someone who clenches, grinds, and aches as a result, this one's for you. (If not, the suggestions and tips here apply universally.)

Q: Dear Susie, I grind my teeth in my sleep and have for years. I also clench my jaw many times the day for no apparent reason other than stress. Now I am paying $15,000 to re-crown half of my teeth worn away from grinding. I'm going to order your tape and my dentist thinks the relaxation will help. What else can I do about clenching, grinding and TMJ?

A: Well, it sounds as though you've been through a lot already, so let me offer some help to relieve some of your discomfort and frustration as quickly as we can. The condition you refer to, known as Bruxism, (involuntarily grinding of the teeth and clenching the jaw,) can indeed take place both while asleep and during the day. Some people unconsciously clench while concentrating, sometimes accompanied by hand clenching, tight grip on the steering wheel, or while at the computer, holding shoulders unnecessarily elevated, somewhere around your ears! (POP QUIZ: Freeze! Are your molars touching? Shoulders scrunched up? Breathing shallowly?) Some people also habitually and unconsciously clench muscles in their bottoms, fingers, or grip pens too tightly while writing. Slow, mindful breathing can be helpful to release tension and oxygenate the muscles, once we are aware. Perhaps set a timer for once every hour to stand, stretch, b-r-e-a-t-h-e...and release anything that's been "inadvertently clenched."

Bruxism seems to be caused primarily by stress, however in some cases I understand facial or oral trauma, nervous system malfunction and allergies can be implicated. It can go unnoticed for years, often until headache, neck, shoulder or facial pain, or dental problems arise as in your case. Semingly innocuous, clenching or grinding can become a serious matter and involve TMJ pain (temporomandibular joint in the jaw,) neuralgia, sinusitis, dental erosion, and restless nights that don't allow enough restorative Delta level sleep. (This sleep deprivation can then lead to muscular pain such as Fibromyalgia...a complex, confusing cycle to diagnose.) Various oral appliances can be beneficial when precisely and individually fitted by a TMJ specialist, including upper retainers for opening the jaw to resting position, lower jaw-shifting repositioners, and others. (These should be adjusted periodically as teeth shift over time and the bite changes.)

5 TIPS FOR GRINDERS & CLENCHERS

1) The words, "Lips together, teeth apart." are the mantra of TMJ specialists everywhere! (NOTE: This is good advice for all of us who hold much of our tension in the neck and shoulders.)

2) Massage can be extremely beneficial, though caution is advised. Listen to your body, and talk with licensed massage therapists who practice swedish or shiatsu, reiki, reflexology or any other type of therapeutic bodywork you enjoy. Let them know about any other physical conditions before you begin. (A knowledgeable, experienced massage therapist can be a terrific resource!)

3) Osteopathic or Chiropractic manipulation of the cranial bones, acupuncture, cranio-sacral and myofascial work by licensed, experienced professionals can be a Godsend. Physical Therapists offer stretches and exercises that can give relief and retrain muscles. Dr. David H. Klein, a chiropractor/kinesiologist in NYC/Scarsdale, often creates programs for his TMJ patients in conjunction with a dentist, specializing in the condition. Dr.Klein echoes #1 above, and suggests completely softening every single facial muscle until your entire face sags and droops and looks like a basset hound! Even the tongue should soften and float in the cavity of your mouth, tip gently behind the front teeth..ever so gently, to release the neck and throat. (It looks truly ridiculous but I have to admit, it gives tremendous release in the temples, scalp, jaw, eye sockets, cheeks, sinuses, forehead...) Try it whenever you think of it, (and when nobody's looking,) perhaps while driving, watching TV, or falling asleep.

4) Create soothing relaxation experiences including music, guided imagery, renting a movie...a chaise by the pool. I was glad to read that you are going to begin listening to my relaxation audio, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace." (Not only because it's mine...it really might help! Many physicians, dentists, and physical therapists recommend it for that very purpose.)

5) A) Tune in to your body. It will teach you a lot. B) Become informed. Read, research on the internet, but as always, consider the source. Be sure it is highly credible, unbiased, and then check out your findings with trusted professionals in the field. Some of the sites I mentioned in a previous newsletter at
http://www.relaxintuit.com/displaytips.asp?ID=158 may be helpful.

While the obvious thought for reducing bedtime Bruxism would be to focus solely on bedtime relaxation techniques, nothing could be further from the truth. Remember that stress is cumulative...but so is stress-relief. Things we do throughout the day, every day, impact, in a cumulative way, how the body-mind will process, hold, or release its stress. Take a look at my tip entitled: "70 Ways to Feel Really Good... Fast," and others on getting healthy, restorative sleep, and breathing mindfully. You'll find all these and lots more at
http://www.relaxintuit.com/tips.asp

6 MORE SIMPLE SOOTHERS....SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

MUSCLE TENSION? ACHING BACK?
Try Do-It-Yourself Reflexology. If you can't get to a licensed Reflexology practitioner, (well-worth the trip!) massage some oil or peppermint lotion into your feet, working thumbs slowly up the arch. In the healing art of Reflexology, this area corresponds to the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine, respectively. Tips of the toes are sinus points, etc. Swap with a friend and revitalize... body & "sole!"

TENSE TUMMY?
Release Your Middle Softly closing your eyes, exhale any old, stale air from your lungs. Now place your hand below your navel, inhale slowly, through your nose, feeling your belly expand. On the out-breath, imagine exhaling through your ribcage all the way around. Now do the same thing, but imagine inhaling and exhaling through the kidneys. (mid-low back.) Deep, purposeful "belly-breathing" oxygenates the blood, helps you focus and sends a "calm" signal inside, diminishing stress so you can breathe...easy.

JUGGLING ...& STRUGGLING?
Stress Is No Laughing Matter...(Or IS It?) A case of the giggles reminds us who we are inside when we've been acting grown up for just a little too long! Slinkys...Silly Putty... Remember those? Pick wildflowers, rent silly movies, color, play! A positive outlook, sense of adventure, physical activity, supportive relationships and spontaneous laughter all boost endorphins, increasing the "feel-good" factor, supporting optimal wellness of body-mind-spirit.

GOT 5 MINUTES and NOT-1-MINUTE-MORE?
R-e-l-a-x (...FAST!) First, clench your whole, entire body: fists, abs, teeth, cheeks (all four), squeeze shoulders to your ears, even curl your toes! Hold for 10 seconds. Slowly release one muscle at a time. Imagine inhaling light, peace, confidence, joy...exhaling worry, stress and tension. Repeat. (Alternate imagery: Exhale things that no longer serve you, inhaling those you'd like to bring into your life.)

TOSSING & TURNING?
Release Head Noise "Write Away"... Longing for the respite of deep, soothing sleep? Before bed, scribble a quick list of all that mental chatter, so you can r-e-l-e-a-s-e worries and enjoy deep, restorative sleep. Re-read just to be sure they're ALL there. Place on your night table to address anything requiring attention tomorrow. ( If worries drift back in, float them by on a raft downstream...and out of sight.) Sweet dreams!

ALL STRESSED-UP...AND NO PLACE TO GO?
Create a "Stress-Tips Toolbox" When it comes to stress-relief, one size does NOT fit all. Develop a realistic personal stress-management program that works within your lifestyle, preferences and belief system. Include lots of laughter and some form of free, creative expression, healthy nutrition, pleasurable exercise, mindfulness and meditation. Gentle touch, honest relationships and personally meaningful spiritual practice can help balance tough days with something just for you.


BONUS QUICKTIP FOR WORRIERS:

Life is short. I met someone who releases non-essential worries by keeping a file of scribbled-down frets and obscure newspaper clippings, entitled: "Things to Worry About When I Can Find the Time." One day, when you find yourself with too much time on your hands, job's terrific, kids are all grown, and everyone you know is healthy and happy, you can open up that file and pull out a fresh, new, genuinely far-fetched worry to keep you occupied. (source:Lisa Port-White, MA)

These are not simple times... But until next month, I wish you small worries, and simple pleasures...
...new friends, old familiar comforts, and above all, peace,

Susie

BONUS! Gentle Stress-Relief from Susie ©
by award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell (author: "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace")
NOTE: Enjoy more of Susie's FREE stress tips or "Ask Susie.." your own stress questions at http://www.relaxintuit.com

Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

If you remember Hula-Hoops and 45's (..and I sure do!), let the following soothe that kid who's still in there somewhere...under those grown-up clothes. On days when the world is spinning a little too fast, let the following remind you of a gentler time, and that it truly is the little things that lift our spirits most.

Sadly, I don't know who created this delightful wander down memory lane, but I am very grateful that (s)he did, and hope it brings a smile to your face too..

With warm wishes...and cool memories, Susie

(author unknown..but deeply appreciated!)

Close your eyes.....And go back........
Before the Internet or the MAC,
Before semiautomatics and crack
Before chronic and immuno
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo

Way back........

I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk.
Sitting on the porch,
Hot bread and butter.

Eatin' a "super dooper sandwich"(Dagwood),
Red light, Green light.
Chocolate milk, Lunch tickets,
Penny candy in a brown paper bag.

Hopscotch, butterscotch, doubledutch
Jacks, kickball, dodgeball, y'all!
Mother, May I?

Hula Hoops and Sunflower Seeds,
Jaw breakers, blowpops, Mary Janes,
Running through the sprinkler (I can't get wet! All right, well don't wet my hair....)
The smell of the sun and lickin' salty lips....
Wait......

Catchin' lightening bugs in a jar,
Playin' sling shot and Red Rover.
When around the corner seemed far away,
And going downtown seemed like going somewhere.

Bedtime, Climbing trees,
A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers,
Cops and Robbers,
Cowboys and Indians,

Sittin' on the curb,
Jumpin' down the steps,
Jumpin' on the bed.
Pillow fights
Being tickled to death

Runnin' till you were out of breath
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt
Being tired from playin'.... Remember that?
I ain't finished just yet...

What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing??
Licking the beaters when your mother made a cake.
Remember when...
When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys
(Keds & PF Flyers),
and the only time you wore them at school, was for "gym."

When nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids got there.
When nobody owned a purebred dog.
When a quarter was a decent allowance, and
another quarter a huge bonus.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.

When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then.
When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
When all of your male teachers wore neckties and
female teachers had their hair done, everyday.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped,
without asking, for free, every time.
And, you didn't pay for air.
And, you got trading stamps to boot!

When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels
hidden inside the box.
When any parent could scold any kid, or feed him or use him to
carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner
at a real restaurant with your parents.

When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed ...
and did!
When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to
the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.
Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of
drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.
Disapproval of our parents and grandparents was a much bigger threat!

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"
"Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly."

Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.
It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
Being old, referred to anyone over 20.
The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn't matter.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb.
It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event.
Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot.

Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big
people" rides at the amusement park.

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."
Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.

No shopping trip was complete, unless a new toy was brought home.
"Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.
Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for
giggles.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
War was a card game.
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.

Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
Ice cream was considered a basic food group.
Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

CLOSING NOTE FOR YOU:

This wonderful "author unknown" piece came to me from my own older sister, with whom I shared many of these moments. (Oh, we tortured one another too, each in her own special ways. . .but we love and understand one another today in ways that only a sibling or a lifelong friend from "then" ever could.)

It isn't easy these days, but I hope you will create memories like small moments of these for the children in your own life...and perhaps forward this along to the people YOU know who may need a little break from their "grown-up" life!

Until next month... have some fun!
Susie


7 SIMPLE SOOTHERS TO LIFT DEPRESSION! ©
by award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell (author: "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace")
NOTE: Enjoy more of Susie's FREE stress tips or "Ask Susie.." your own stress questions at http://www.relaxintuit.com

Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

We've all been there at one time or another, for one reason or another and to greater and shallower depths. The Blues affect us all and at times, that Truth alone is a comfort, for when we are "in the hole" it can be dark and lonely; a confusing and even paralyzing place. It is the healthy human experience to move through a full range of emotions that will include joys and victories, love and tenderness, utter delight and unbridled, exuberant laughter! But the span of a lifetime will also encompass sadness. We will know fear, loss of loved ones, perhaps the end of a career from which we derived self-esteem..or loss of a great love, or one's home or health or independence. The stress of those challenges can seem insurmountable, but 'tincture of time,' some good friends, good counsel, good medical care and the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit against extreme odds, somehow see us through. We will laugh again; we will know joy and peace and hope..

But sadness is not synonymous with Clinical Depression. People can experience biochemical or major depression of a different, deeper nature, where peace is elusive; stress pervasive. The anxiety, isolation and uncertainty of Clinical Depression can create chronic stress both for the person experiencing it and those in their lives who wish they could make it better. Life can be very difficult. I have come to the unwavering conclusion that it is often Hope above all else, that sees us through the most difficult moments in our lives. Just a sparkle will do it. So for those of you who may know someone who suffers from depression, I share the following "Q & A." May the following bring Hope to anyone reading this.. who could use some.

Q: "Dear Susie, What can I do to relieve the stress of what is happening to me? I've been diagnosed with Clinical Depression. I just can't snap out of it. I am anxious and lonely. My life is falling apart.."

A: I'm so sorry...this is a very, very hard time. But your diagnosis means that you know now why you've been feeling so miserable, and perhaps in a way, the worst really is behind you. Those suffering from Clinical Depression can now receive excellent care and support to see them through to the light again. Sometimes we don't simply "snap" out of it...but rather, "gradually surface." I hear how much it feels like it's all falling apart. But during such a slump, sometimes "It" is actually figuring out how to pull itself TOGETHER.. better this time. You are rebuilding your engine. Now you have a place to start.

Clinical Depression is a medical condition, not a bad mood or an attitude problem, and can be addressed in a number of ways. First and without exception, I recommend building a comfortable, ongoing relationship with a mental health professional you trust...and you LIKE! There is real work in exploring and finding one's way back from depression, and a skilled, compassionate therapist can offer support, fresh perspective, a safety net, and help to rediscover who we CAN be. Ask your physician about what you are going through and perhaps have an overall physical to reassure yourself, or address anything that needs attention. Chemical intervention is not appropriate for everyone and is best determined by your health care professional and monitored on a case by case, and day by day basis, but in some cases, a licensed practitioner may advise anti-depressant medication or nutritional supplements that may be useful, even for a short time.

You are asking an important questions about relieving some of the associated stress. There are many new insights about genetic and biochemical factors, even food sensitivities. Some common offenders are sugar and alcohol. When undiagnosed and untreated, some resort to self-medicating for a quick, (but highly counter-productive) fix, with alcohol, drugs, excess food.. or anorexia, etc. Many find dramatic benefits in healthy nutrition and daily exercise,skilled counseling,personally meaningful spiritual practice, breathwork, bodywork and other stress-management techniques.

I recall thinking once, "I know my glass really IS half-full but I feel like I'm drowning in it." When we're sad, it's not easy to remember to take extra-good care of ourselves.Let friends and family help. Journal your feelings and give these SIMPLE SOOTHERS below a try. One day, this time will be just a memory, as you move forward into new, as yet unwritten, chapters and adventures of your life!

LONELINES CAN TAKE MANY FORMS

..from the absence of family or a sense of community, to feeling isolated and alone even among others. People who create meaning in their lives, who experience "connection" within and outside themselves, tend to enjoy deeper peace and satisfaction personally and professionally. Individual belief systems and lifestyles will dictate how one discovers a sense of connection. It is often Faith, whether in a religious context, or Faith in the abiding strength of the human spirit, that sees us through. Look for goodness in others. Find ways to laugh...and give. Get up, bathed, dressed, and outdoors each day. It helps. Take a look at my stress-relief tips (especially
"70 Ways to Feel Really Good ..FAST!" ) A sense of wonder, of nature, curiosity and gratitude all replenish a weary spirit. Meditation, prayer, movement, music and healthy relationships remind us when we are alone...that we need not feel lonely. I believe we each come here with purpose and with gifts to share with others. It's difficult to feel lonesome, with your hand extended to ease another's journey...or to allow another to touch yours..

7 SIMPLE SOOTHERS TO LIFT YOUR SPIRITS!

Stuck in a Rut? Shift Gears! Take a brisk walk, varying your route and find 6 things that make you laugh along the way. Try Tai Chi, Reflexology, Reiki, or prepare an exotic new recipe. Get a free makeover in a department store. Rent a movie you'd NEVER pick. Buy a pet. Plan a trip. Tense day? Shake it up! Pop in some oldies and sing--really loud!

Overwhelmed? Start Small... Make a "To Do" list of no more than 5 tasks. Keep goals small and manageable. House a mess? Piles to file?

1) Ask for help.
2) Organize just ONE drawer.
3) Work 30 minutes on/30 off.
4) Pay 3 bills at a time. (Or pay weekly -- avoid that "monthly mountain.")
5) List your day's successes...enjoy a healthy reward for your efforts!

Overworked? Re-Balance Your Day

-Take a lunch break every single day. Go for a walk. Feed the ducks. (Ducks need lunch too!)
-Organize your desk. (..okay, file just one pile.) External clutter can really increase internal stress.
-Take a mini-break every hour--No excuses.
-Keep water handy. Dehydration stresses the whole system.
-Write in your journal for 10 minutes.(OK. 4.)
-End your day with a steaming shower and one quiet "No-TV" evening.

Looking for the Secret to Happiness? (Hint: It's in the Little Things)

- Pick out 3 cards. Send to 3 people for no particular occasion.
- Tell someone they've done a GREAT job!
- Smile at strangers. (Keep trying. SOMEbody'll smile back.)
- Make up with someone you're angry at. If forgiveness is in order, find some. Life is too short to waste much of it feeling angry...

Spirits Need a Lift? Make a "Thrills" List!

Get yourself a beautiful journal, a special pen and start a "Thrills" List-- from shooting stars to simple pleasures. List every thrill you've EVER had (...or hope to!) The clearer we are about our desires and intentions for this life, the sooner we can take small steps that might just bring them closer. Update weekly and create a couple of new thrills!

Not Having Enough Fun? Take Time for "Recreation" At the end of the day, most find, "Attend to personal well-being" somewhere at the bottom of the list. Set aside times each week to "re-create." Do something utterly engaging that makes you feel real and alive and whole (and NOT "professional.") Take Tai Chi, Yoga or dance classes. Play bridge, listen to music...make some! Stumped? Ask friends what THEY do for fun.

Okay..I Know This One Sounds Goofy..but Try it!

1) Stand.
2) Look up at the ceiling.
3) Extend both arms behind you, inhale, lift and open your chest, arching your back (Gently!) as you keep looking up.
4) Breathe normally now. Did your mood lift? (This is the exact opposite of the typical round-shouldered slouch of sadness. Just a little oddity, but I have seen it work hundreds of times! Now if we could just stay that way...

A CLOSING WORD:

Just outside my own front door, hangs this reminder: "Isn't it a comfort to know... some of the best days of your life haven't even happened yet?"

You are welcome to copy my greeting for your own home if you like. Until next month, I wish you many, many "best" days ...and above all, peace,
Susie


SUSIE'S 3 *TOP* TIPS FOR STARTING A STRESS-REDUCTION PROGRAM ©
by award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell (author: "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace")
NOTE: Enjoy more of Susie's FREE stress tips or "Ask Susie.." your own stress questions at http://www.relaxintuit.com

Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

I was recently asked, "What are your top three suggestions for people who want to reduce the stress in their lives?" Now that's a BIG question, so I gave it a good think from several perspectives, and arrived at the following as a solid "Stress-Busting 101" starting point for just about anyone wishing to release stress, enhance wellness, and improve the overall quality of day-to-day life. As always, see what here works for you. Maybe something new..or a reminder of what you know ...but may not always remember.

1) PRACTICE "MINDFULNESS" in EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES Much of the stress we experience revolves around either past or future concerns. Bringing our awareness and focus into the present moment instantly replaces yesterday's regrets, and wipes away worries for tomorrow. It allows us to release all other thoughts and be fully present to experience THIS conversation, THIS breath, THIS pleasure or...to solve THIS problem. Mindfulness is the fundamental principle of meditation, releasing all else and being Here, Now. Within each of us there is a quiet place where peace lives. In day-to-day life, no matter what the challenges we face, presence of mind allows calm, and gentle release of worry, anger or grief. Mindfulness allows the body-mind to pause, and to rebalance in the open space of that quiet place inside. In addition to traditional Zen practice or Transcendental Meditation (TM), many also find great comfort in guided imagery, movement, writing or walking meditation. The rhythm of the ocean, washing dishes or rocking a baby can all be mindful, meditative experiences in everyday life.

2) STRESS HAPPENS: EAT, BREATHE AND BE MERRY! Make conscious food choices...and then, savor them! There is a special joy in eating food we know is both healthy and delicious. "In all things, moderation." Consider the roles of caffeine, sugar and alcohol in your life. All can exacerbate stress, and "Sugar Blues" can be confused with a common ailment technically referred to as, "Crabbiness." Slow, mindful breathing, drinking plenty of clear water, and moderate, pleasurable exercise all enhance circulation and delivery of nutrients to skin, hair, and support all our vital functions. Deep, purposeful "belly-breathing" oxygenates the body.. deep, blissful belly-LAUGHING nourishes the rest! A sense of adventure and of play, healthy, honest relationships, gentle touch and creative expression in whatever forms feel great for us all help us to balance our lives, and make the stress that is an inevitable part of every single day, somehow pale by comparison to the pleasures we find.

3) ABOVE ALL...HOPE. Hope has great power. It is what carries us through the most difficult and frightening moments of our lives. I have personally witnessed (and experienced!) some wonderful events that had once seemed at best, "highly unlikely." Many of us everyday folks who experience stress in its many forms never really slow down to take inventory of where we have been so far, where we are today, and who we would like to become. First, give yourself permission to imagine the person you would like to be. For some, that will look dramatically different from the life we are living today; for others it will not be such a far-reach. Take some time to create a "wish list." You might prefer journaling your heart's desires... or painting those wishes. Talk them out with trusted friends who will,
a) listen without judgement, and
b) wish them for you too.
The clearer we are about our aspirations and intentions for this life, the sooner we can begin to take small steps to bring them closer. Where there is life, there is always Hope. On the one hand it's fine to be somewhat realistic as we plan but sometimes we have no way of knowing what is actually possible, so it's a good idea not to put too many limitations on what we hope for!


10 QUICKTIPS TO BUST WORKPLACE-STRESS
(which in some cases is working at home!) Some days we absolutely need to dot every "i", cross every "t", with our nose to the grindstone. Those are the days when there is just very little breathing space...and that's the deal. But SOME days it's okay to just crinkle up your "To-Do" list, and "to do" what makes you happy. When you notice life spinning a little faster than you can handle, hang on tight...and pull out your stress-relief toolbox. Amid your busy workday, create quick, simple, realistic stress-busters to help you through. When there's just no time for anything complicated during your workday, create mini-vacations like these, or make up your own:

1-Read just one story in a brain-candy magazine, or one chapter in that sci-fi thriller.

2-Do only the "downs" on your crossword puzzle.(Tomorrow: "across-es")

3-Take a brisk, invigorating nature hike, (even if it's just around the block!) Smile at 6 people along the way...just because.

4-Do a mini-meditation, mindful breath or journal for 10 minutes.(Okay,4 min.)

5-Set a timer and call up a friend who has NOTHING whatsoever to do with job. A friend of mine called me once from her office parking lot. She'd gone down to her car so she could have some privacy, then whined to me on her cell-phone for 5 minutes. We laughed at how bizarre her problem was and she went back to work feeling a lot better. (Gave me an unexpected break too!)

6-Log on, expore
www.relaxintuit.com and discover 2 new stress techniques.

7-When you feel those muscles in your shoulders start tightening, ask yourself, "Is this "an-emergency"... or is this "an-noying?"

8-Take a lunch break every single day to nourish your body, rest your mind and refresh yourself. Take a walk or a ride, exercise, feed the ducks.

9-Clear off your desk and file just ONE of those piles. It's amazing how a cluttered work space can exacerbate internal stress.

10-Many people experience considerable stress associated with the workplace, so create ways to share laughter at work. Laughter is, perhaps, the best stress-reliever of all, sending an "all is well" message to the body-mind. Since the work we do can be a source of that stress, create a "Lighten Up" bulletin board where people can post cartoons, anecdotes, (politically correct) jokes, etc. to bring a smile as folks stop by. It's fun to know there's somewhere to go for quick respite from the stress and strain of the workday. (Alternate Route: If staff are in various locations, perhaps one person can volunteer monthly to coordinate an email collection of chuckles from others, to relay to all. (That avoids flooded e-mailboxes--which are very stressful!) To help you get started collecting material..read on.


AND SINCE LAUGHTER REALLY IS THE BEST MEDICINE...
A friend sent these in one of those rare "fwds" that was actually worth reading. Hope you'll find one that brightens your day. (Author unknown. Sorry, Author.)

1. If a pig loses its voice, does it become disgruntled?
2. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced: "onety-one"?
3. Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.
4. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
5. Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
6. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
8. When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?
9. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.
10. If lawyers get disbarred and clergymen defrocked, does it follow that electricians can be delighted, and dry cleaners depressed?
11. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
12. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
13. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?
14. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
15. If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Until next month, breathe and laugh deeply...and remember: Hope makes all things bearable, and somehow gets us through the most stressful moments of our lives. (And if we are very lucky and hope very hard...we just might see ourselves make some remarkable changes over time....and wouldn't THAT be wonderful!?)

I wish you all the hope you ever need...and above all, peace,
Susie

STRESS & YOUR HEALTH 25 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTORS ©
by award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell (author: "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace")
NOTE: Enjoy more of Susie's FREE stress tips or "Ask Susie.." your own stress questions at http://www.relaxintuit.com

Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

Being unwell is one of life's greatest fears and most stressful experiences. Illness and injury can be frightening, puzzling and create secondary anxiety, as can their therapies and costs. So whether a suggestion comes from an internist or acupuncturist... surgeon or shaman, we can greatly reduce health-related stress by becoming active, informed participants in our own health care. Select health-care providers "as if your life depended upon it." In my own case, I sought a skilled, traditionally trained physician, but I also required that (s)he be well-versed in, (and genuinely intrigued by,) healing arts, mind/body practices and integrative approaches to health care. And I will tell you...it was not easy...and it took two years.

"YOU BETTER SHOP AROUND":

I asked every friend and every good doctor I knew, whom THEY go to, trust and respect. Most did not have such a relationship with their physicians. Over time I met with three internists, all fine doctors with excellent credentials and on staff at good hospitals, before I found one who ALSO took time to look into my eyes and listen, answer my questions respectfully and thoughtfully, and communicate genuine care and a sense of who I am, beyond "the sore throat in room 2." Three fine physicians, but I chose one with whom I feel most comfortable. (Incidentally, I also surmised that this was someone with whom my aging parent, who lives nearby, would also feel comfortable. I have always liked the family practitioner model, that allows the doctor to know more about a family, its history and what its needs might be.) The time to explore and develop that relationship is before we need it. Not everyone has the luxury of seeing practitioners out of a managed care network, but the following questions are of value in any health care situation, and partnership in wellness should be a goal of every patient...and every doctor.

It is always wise to consult a health care professional if we have concerns, but bear in mind that a very high percentage of doctor's visits can be traced back to stress-related illness, or illness-related stress, so the more we all know about and practice techniques and strategies for coping with and releasing stress, anger and depression, the fewer office visits become necessary! Often, it is the doctor's job to support and facilitate the body's own remarkable healing capabilities, rather than to do the job from the outside. But whether being seen for headache or heartache...sniffles or cancer, understanding the problem, its treatment, potential benefits and risks, is our personal responsibility. a) Ask questions and make informed choices. b) Then relax, trust the process and observe the effects over time.

10 Q's FOR: INTERVIEWING HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Here are some useful questions to ask, (respectfully, of course,) when considering a new practitioner:
  1. How long have you been in practice?
  2. What is your strength and which areas interest you most?
  3. Why did you become a thoracic surgeon? (allergist... therapist, etc.)
  4. Where did you study? (residencies, fellowships, etc.)
  5. What hours are you in, and what's the after-hours procedure in your practice?
  6. What is your greatest satisfaction/frustration in medicine today?
  7. Which healing arts are you familiar with?
  8. With which hospitals are you affiliated?
  9. Do you accept my insurance? What is your billing procedure?
  10. MENTAL NOTE: Did (s)he:
    1. Firmly shake your hand?
    2. Look into your eyes?
    3. Seem friendly and interested?
    4. Put you at ease?
    5. Feel like someone you could talk to if faced with a crisis?
14 MORE Q's TO ASK REGARDING TREATMENT & PROCEDURES

Bring a pen and paper and take some notes. You may forget some of the answers.
  1. What is the specific, intended action of this treatment? (e.g. Increase white cell production to fight infection? Gargle with salt to make a hostile environment for bacteria? Moist heat to release spasm? Ice to reduce inflammation? See? Big difference! Then USE it in your mind/body imagery to support the protocol.)
  2. How long have you been prescribing and monitoring this treatment?
  3. These are all the medications I am presently taking. Are there are contraindications?
  4. What are the most common side-effects and what causes them to occur?
  5. How can I minimize or prevent those side-effects? (e.g. Taken with/without food, not with dairy, only at bedtime, etc.)
  6. May I please have some literature about this treatment?
  7. How and when will I know if this treatment is working?
  8. How can I speak with 2-3 people who have used this treatment?
  9. What other options do I have for this problem?
  10. Can I get financial assistance with this treatment?
  11. What outcome can I realistically hope for as a result?
  12. Are there any serious risks and if so, what are the danger-indicators?
  13. What would you recommend if I were your sister/brother/spouse/child?
  14. How can I reach you with questions if they arise?
Q: SUSIE? WHY DOES STRESS MAKE US SICK OR WORSEN SOME EXISTING CONDITIONS??

A: Well...you've asked a BIG question, and it would have as many answers as there are people! In fact, even in an individual there will be different dynamics and processes mobilized, depending on their physical and emotional condition, heredity, belief systems, overall health and life circumstances at the time.

So...let me try to offer a general reply: It is now widely accepted that the mind-body (and if you will, spirit) interact in a constant exchange of information. For example, "That's a scary movie!" may generate the Galvanic Skin Response. Maybe sweating, or Goose Bumps. (That's what biofeedback and polygraph tests measure.) Similarly, "I am anxious about my sales presentation," may elicit sweaty palms, shortness of breath or wobbly knees. "Junior took his first step today!" stimulates Dad's tear ducts...but then 16 years later, when Junior is out past his curfew, Pop's cheeks may flush and heart begin to pound. The limbic system is constantly talking...

This complex dialog is ongoing but unconscious for the most part, and the "Fight or Flight" response of the central nervous system whenever we are under stress, (e.g. fear, pain, worry, anger) is mobilized to release stress hormones, increase blood-flow to the large muscle groups, speed respiration, release heat through perspiration, etc., in order to cope with what the body perceives as a "crisis". Now when that crisis is a life-threatening one, this system really works for us! We get what we need in many cases to survive... or to rescue another. However, when the perceived crisis is a slow teller at the bank...or road construction...or a billing error...many of us respond with an over-reaction that initiates this "Emergency" mechanism unnecessarily.

As you might guess, the stress reaction described above drains considerable resources from the rest of the body's work, and often systems like the digestive, endocrine and the immune system are compromised by the over-reaction to stress. The effect is cumulative, as are relaxation practices. Additionally, each of us appears to be equipped with varying numbers of receptors sites for transmitters, as well as a personal history of experiences, world-views, belief systems and the learned behaviors from observing others' coping techniques. They influence our own reactions to stress in its many forms. Overall health self- esteem, quality of relationships, quality of sleep, job satisfaction, all play roles here in the ways in which we handle stress.

Ultimately, we have a very clever system, but do not have endless reserves of energy, and when we appropriate them to "perceived" crises, especially on an ongoing basis, the system becomes depleted and we become more vulnerable to illness, germs, depression, sleeplessness, aches and pains, headache, etc. We have overdrawn the account. That's why creating an assortment of realistic, preventive stress-release techniques and strategies for everyday use is essential. To find some of these tools that might be helpful, see the following pages of my site.
http://www.relaxintuit.com/asksearch.asp
as well as
http://www.relaxintuit.com/tips.asp

Until next month, I wish you great health, and at least one brand new dream-- a bright new idea that will bring you even closer to the life you have imagined, ..and above all...peace,
Susie
by award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell (author: "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace")
NOTE: Enjoy more of Susie's FREE stress tips or "Ask Susie.." your own stress questions at http://www.relaxintuit.com

Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

Do you ever crawl into bed longing for sweet respite in deep, restful sleep,close your eyes and snuggle in...only to find that the movie in your head begins? In my work facilitating the stress-relief in varied contexts, a theme is emerging. a) The average person needs a lot more sleep than (s)he gets, and b) We're paying for it. Whether talking with CEO's or submariners, surgeons, inner-city homeless moms ...or suburban soccer moms, I meet people experiencing difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Your grandmother was right: Everything always looks a little brighter after a good night's sleep. But sleep deprivation is a pervasive problem in a culture demanding more and more of us all. Many view sleep as a luxury rather than the necessity it is, and many complain of restless nights and waking feeling like they've been run over by a truck, rather than refreshed and revitalized.

Because Mother Nature has hard-wired us with a very clever stress-hormone response system providing expandable (though not unlimited) reserves of energy in emergencies, when habitually sleep-deprived, the system is literally "stressed" beyond efficiency. Overtaxed and depleted, we become more susceptible to illness, depression, forgetfulness, irritability, headache, etc. Self-esteem, pain tolerance and positive outlook may also be compromised. Sleep-deprivation can diminish immunity and mental clarity,and in studies of fatigue-at-the-wheel, delayed reflexes were found to equal or exceed those of driving while intoxicated. We are over-drawing the sleep account nationwide and the end result is a society working longer hours, often exhausted, achy, ill, and frankly... some are more than a little "cranky".

"YOU STILL UP?" (20+ TIPS FOR CATCHING Zzzzzz's)

Worries and mental chatter drain energy, focus, and at bedtime we expect somehow to suddenly stop after a day that's taken us in twelve directions, sometimes at 90 miles an hour. In rare cases, health conditions can cause insomnia and it is always good to rule out, or address, any medical cause. But here are some more common impediments to restful sleep, and drug-free suggestions for each to help you to enjoy more peaceful, healthy sleep.

WORRIES?

Make a "worry list". Leave it on your night table. Often when my mind is racing at bedtime, it's full of things I'm trying to remember and frankly, I only need to remember to call the plumber once -- not 17 times. By committing these things to paper we're able to release them. They require attention, but tomorrow...not right now.

"HEAD NOISE"?

1) Muffle mental chatter by inhaling deeply, imagining shimmering light cascading over your head and shoulders, dissolving words and images, any aches it finds along the way.
2) Visualize bits of "chatter" floating on a raft, downstream and out of sight.
3) See and sense yourself writing worries in wet sand, watching the waves gently wash them away, releasing them to the sea.
4) Sail worries out a window in your mind... on long, silk scarves.

WORK-RELATED ANXIETY?

Spend that last hour before bed doing something relaxing, non-work-related and not on the computer, which stimulates brain activity. (Try a warm bath, relaxation audio, meditating, journaling, a "brain candy" novel, foot-rub, gentle time talking with someone you care for.)

WORLD EVENTS?

What's the last thing you do before you go to bed? We need to be informed, however I strongly recommend that watching the news not be the last thing you do before bed.

GOING TO BED TOO LATE?

For 1 week, put yourself to bed early enough to allow for 8-9 hours sleep.(I know--but try it as an experiment.) Watch what happens to your energy, outlook and complexion after a few days.

PAIN?

Some pain is due to a mattress or a pillow that is too hard/soft/high/low, When's the last time your mattresses was turned and rotated? (NOTE: CAREfully...and with help.)

TOO COLD? HOT? WALL?...NOT??

Adjust accordingly. And give some thought to the fabrics you sleep in. Most people sleep best in a room that is a bit cool and in soft fabrics. Perhaps you'd like to try a fluffy comforter. Maybe you like snug-as-a-bug-tightly-tucked sheets. White bed-linens...or bright colors...soft florals...or classic stripes. Which side of the bed do you prefer? (All this stuff counts, folks. Explore and maybe try a change.)

FULL BLADDER?

Think of bedtime as "a road trip", and plan ahead. If you do wake to use the bathroom, open your eyes only enough to see your way safely. Avoid fully awakening, so you can drift gently back to sleep...

FULL STOMACH?

In addition to the discomfort of a full stomach, the digestive process actually initiates a metabolism boost that can stimulate, making it harder to sleep.

'STUFFY DOZE'?

Try steaming before bed, or hot chamomile or ginger tea,(NOT caffeinated tea.) Make sure the room is cool enough. Decrease common bedroom allergens e.g.dust mites, mold and feathers. If necessary, ask your physician about suggestions to relieve stuffiness. But be sure to ask about potential side-effects. Many decongestants include sympathomemetics which are also CNS stimulants. You may be breathing better--but doing it wide awake! And some nasal sprays create "rebound reactions" over time. Be an informed consumer--especially regarding your health.

ILLNESS?

When we are sick the body pretty much calls the shots, but find ways to gently rest,even if you cannot sleep. Healing and immune function require energy, and rest allows them to draw what they need.

FIBROMYALGIA OR OTHER SLEEP-RELATED DISORDER?

FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) is a painful connective tissue disorder thought by some to be associated with low serotonin, and/or the Alpha EEG Anomoly,(AKA: Alpha Delta Sleep Disorder), in which "awake" brain activity interrupts sleep, tissue repair, etc. There are many articles and books on the subject with widely varying approaches, since it is becoming a common diagnosis these days but is not entirely understood. For a few tips for living with FMS see:
http://www.relaxintuit.com/tips.asp and http://www.relaxintuit.com/asksearch.asp

SLEEP APNEA?

Sleep Apnea is a disorder characterized by breath-holding in sleep, gasping, snoring, snorts and sometimes extremely deep sleep. It should be addressed, and in many cases is treatable. Sleep Apnea can best be diagnosed in a sleep disorders clinic. Ask your physican or perhaps call a local university hospital.

SNORING? (YOURS OR SOMEONE ELSE'S)

Snoring is caused by many factors, and can be incredibly frustrating. There are a few gadgets that may help, including a sinus strip to open airways, sound monitors that vibrate to "nudge" the snorer, re-positioning the head or turning the snorer on his/her side. If you know a great snore-solution please email it to me in one or two sentences? I'll pass along helpful suggestions!

NOISY NEIGHBORS?

Try a "white noise" machine. A small item, available in catalogs and stores, it creates a background that 'absords' sound. They're used outside many therapists offices for privacy. If yours is a bigger problem, you may need to courteously and respectfully discuss it with your neighbor and try to arrive at a compromise, e.g."Drum practice before 10 PM only."

MEDICATION SIDE-EFFECTS?

It is amazing how little we are told about potential side-effects of medications prescribed. Some cause drowsiness, others are stimulants, some increase urination ...or dry-mouth, should be taken with/without food, etc. (HINT: Consult your pharmacist. They know a lot.) Over-the-counter "PM" preparations often contain an antihistimine to cause sleepiness. In very rare instances, short-term sleep medication may be appropriate, but don't be misled by the fact that one is not "awake". In some cases, barbiturates ("sleeping pills") or alcohol can actually BLOCK the restorative Delta (4th) level sleep phase, in which growth hormone is secreted, cell-repair takes place,etc. Psychological, if not physical, dependency can become a serious problem too, so seek professional medical advice specific to your situation, and ask questions. (Coming next month: "Safer Use of Over-the-Counter Supplements")

"IS IT HOT IN HERE, OR IS IT ME?"

For women, there definitely can be hormonal activity in the mix including pre-menstrual fluctuations...and for women in their 40's and 50's, all KINDS of fun changes are going on. Check with your GYN if that might be a factor.

TOO MUCH LIGHT IN THE ROOM?


We actually NEED darkness for sleep and daylight for activity, and some rhythm of routine to reinforce the mind/body's circadian rhythm (day/night cycle).

TOO ENERGETIC OR "A SECOND WIND"?

Check your use of caffeine including chocolate and as in all things, use your intuition to see what feels right for you. Here are a few more suggestions to achieve the sleep you long for: Warm bath, chamomile tea, aromatherapy, massage, using the bed only for sleeping and sex, exercising but early in the day -- not evening (metabolism kicks in and stimulates your system), meditation, counting sheep, magazines, relaxation tape or soothing music.

BONUS SLEEP TIP!

A clear conscience is worth it's weight in...well, it doesn't weigh a thing, but peace of mind is unquestionably affected when we are responsible for the unhappiness of another. Deep, healthy, restful sleep is infinitely easier to achieve by those who go to bed liking themselves and feel they've done the best they could that day. Do a quick internal inventory and see if a gentle apology to a family member or colleague might make you (and them!) feel better, perhaps bringing the deep restful sleep you need and deserve.

Counting blessings...saying prayers...wishing on stars...are all ways we connect with what is meaningful for each of us, and soothing away tiresome days. Until February, wishing you many blessings to count,"sweet dreams", and above all,
peace,
Susie

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006  - Iraqi and coalition forces today launched the largest air assault operation since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom in southern Salah Ad Din province to clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra, military officials reported.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2006  - For three years, Anne Galvan has not stopped supporting the troops. Though doctor's orders are now taking her away from her work, she's making sure other groups will pick up where she leaves off.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2006  - The organization that helps veterans become entrepreneurs by hooking them up with national franchises and contracts with industry and the federal government celebrated its fifth anniversary yesterday with an open house at the Department of Veterans Affairs here.

American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, March 15, 2006  - A battalion task force from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division -- part of U.S. Central Command's "call forward force" in Kuwait -- has deployed to the Baghdad area, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced today.

American Forces Press Service

ABOARD USS CARR, March 15, 2006  - For the second time in as many months, sailors aboard guided-missile frigate USS Carr and embarked crew of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 44 visited the island nation of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa, March 8-10.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

BALTIMORE, March 14, 2006  - Questioning policies or maintaining vigilance is good for America, but not allowing a full discussion of issues is unfair to all concerned, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here yesterday.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2006  - U.S. military might is only one piece of the solution to winning the war on terrorism, a defense official said here yesterday.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2006  - The Defense Department and U.S. Northern Command learned valuable lessons from the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, and those lessons are being applied to prepare for future civil support operations, the commander of Northern Command said here today.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2006  - With high operational tempos and multiple deployments increasingly becoming the norm, more servicemembers and their families are seeking counseling services, the Pentagon's family policy chief said.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2006  - Funding and public opinion are two major challenges the United States faces in fighting the global war on terrorism, a top defense official said here yesterday.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2006  - Terrorists in Iraq resort to using improvised explosive devices because they lack the ability to engage in conventional military operations, President Bush said here today.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2006  - The U.S. military has sculpted its strategy to account for the different threats, cultures and circumstances posed by the global war on terror, the Joint Staff's chief of strategic plans and policy said in an interview here.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

SUFFOLK, Va., March 13, 2006  - Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are reaffirming every day the military must improve the way it conducts and trains to work in joint and coalition operations, U.S. Joint Forces Command's training chief told the American Forces Press Service.

 By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
 American Forces Press Service

 TACOMA, Wash., March 12, 2006  - The U.S. Army is the greatest it's ever been, but to remain effective for the future, it must make changes, a top Army commander said here yesterday.

By Tech. Sgt. Elaine Wilson, USAF
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2006  - Crude, homemade bombs hidden in cars or by the side of the road pose the biggest threat to U.S. servicemembers and the future of a free Iraq, President Bush said today in his weekly radio address.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

TACOMA, Wash., March 11, 2006  - The U.S. faces a new enemy and must adopt a new operational approach that focuses on joint operations and irregular warfare, military leaders said here yesterday.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2006  - The leaders of several grassroots organizations associated with the Pentagon's America Supports You program met today at the White House to discuss their efforts to support the men and women of the U.S. armed forces with President Bush and first lady Laura Bush.

By Petty Officer 1st Class Stefanie Holzeisen-Mullen, USN
American Forces Press Service

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., March 10, 2006  - Two strike fighter squadrons arrived at Naval Air Station Oceana here today, ending a six-month deployment and closing the book on the Tomcat as an asset in the Navy's war fighting arsenal.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2006  - The military's recruiting mission in and around New Orleans is slowly recovering in the aftermath hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, local recruiting officials reported.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2006  - President Bush put his signature on documents reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act at a White House ceremony here today.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2006  - The military's persistence in determining the identity of an airman missing in action since World War II sends an important message to families of all missing servicemembers and all men and women serving in uniform today, the commander of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command told American Forces Press Service.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2006  - The Defense Department presented an award to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, an America Supports You member, at the U.S. Navy Memorial here yesterday evening.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2006  - The military continues to be the most admired institution in America, according to the latest Harris Poll.

 By Jim Garamone
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, March 7, 2006  - The will of the American people is the center of gravity for the war on terror, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said during a Pentagon news conference today.

 By Staff Sgt. Marti Ribeiro, USA
 Special to American Forces Press Service

 BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, March 7, 2006  - To an American soldier, stepping into Mollai is like stepping back in time -- mud huts with no indoor plumbing or electricity built into the side of a mountain across from their main water source, a mountain stream.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2006  - A congressionally appointed commission will commence the most comprehensive review of the National Guard and reserves in history.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2006  - The Defense Department has asked the U.S. Army to launch a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, who was killed in the spring of 2004 during a combat operation in Afghanistan.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

VAIL, Colo., March 3, 2006  - Twenty-four servicemembers who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan are here reaping the hospitality of a community first established by returning World War II veterans and to schuss down the slopes of this world-class ski resort.

By Capt. Steve Alvarez, USA
American Forces Press Service

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., March 2, 2006  - The widespread use of Web logs, or "blogs," by online writers has proliferated information on topics as varied as the authors.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2006  - U.S. military reserve forces are better trained and at a higher state of readiness than they've ever been as they continue to take on their new operational role in the war on terror, senior reserve-component leaders said here today.

By Elaine Wilson
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2006  - Defense Department officials are working to create a pandemic influenza plan in time for the Department of Homeland Defense's end-of-March deadline, a DoD medical official said Feb. 27.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2006  - The democratic process taking hold in Afghanistan is an inspiration to the cause of freedom, President Bush said in the country's capital, Kabul, today.

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