Archive for the 'Health & Living' Category

Real Warriors: Coping With Holiday Stress

Dec 18 2014

Published by under Health & Living

MOAA friends, The Real Warriors Campaign, have some tips on how to cope with stress around the holidays:

From the MOAA archive: Pick up a few more ways to beat stress during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, especially for servicemembers and their families – Homefront – Surviving the Holidays!

Group exercises provide fun, motivation

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Equine Therapy for Vets Near Kansas City, KS

Dec 16 2014

Published by under Health & Living

warhorsesforveteransAnother equine therapy group, War Horses for Veterans, is offering free transportation, hotel and meals to qualified veterans. If you’re near the Stilwell, Kansas area, consider applying to this three-day, equine and networking experience.

Veterans will have the opportunity to bond with horses, as well as each other, in a safe and comfortable environment. Prior experience with horses is not required.

Application for War Horses for Veterans.

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StoryCorps Shares One Veterans Story, in Cartoon Form

Dec 09 2014

Published by under Health & Living

If you’re familiar with StoryCorps, then you know how poignant and moving some of the interviews truly can be. This one is no exception – and StoryCorps has crafted it into cartoon form.

Back in 2005, Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Williams was the sole survivor when his squad was ordered to go on a rescue mission in Iraq and became the victims of a roadside bomb.

In this animated video, Williams recalls the events of the day and how he’s managed to move on.

Read More: Iraq War Vet Tells His Tragic Story in Cartoon Form

A must-watch:


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Veteran’s Treatment Courts

Nov 25 2014

Published by under Health & Living


The Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency (CSOSA) recently produced a recent radio program on Veteran’s Treatment Courts, a component of the highly successful drug court concept. Veteran Treatment Courts are growing rapidly throughout the United States with early indications of success. You can listen to the program online here.

Panelists on this discussion include:

  • Greg Crawford is a Correctional Program Specialist, on the Community Services Division, at the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Greg’s work at NIC includes Veterans, Children of Incarcerated Parents, and he also manages the Community Corrections Collaborative Network, a network that represents the leading national and international associations for pretrial, probation, parole and diversion programs.
  • Actor and activist Melissa Fitzgerald is the Senior Director for Justice for Vets. Melissa may be best known for her 7-year role as Carol on the NBC smash hit The West Wing. Off-screen she is widely recognized as a courageous advocate for people in need; which includes her work as co-founder of Voices in Harmony, a mentoring outreach program that uses theater to work with at-risk teens.
  • Bernard Edelman is Deputy Director for Policy and Government Affairs for Vietnam Veterans of America. He edited the ENDURING Dear America:  Letters Home from Vietnam. He was associate producer of the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning documentary feature based on his book; he was co-producer of the documentary short, “Memorial:  Letters from American Soldiers,” which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Check back for additional information, including a Veterans Treatment Court White Paper expected out in December 2014. See

If you’re looking for resources or assistance, visit the MOAA Caregiver Guide for legal advice on the Veterans Justice Outreach Initiative.

For further discussion, watch the panel “Life at Home – Tackling Education, Employment and Justice” from the 2014 Warrior-Family Symposium:


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Friday Fun: A Veterans Best Friend

Nov 21 2014

dogWhen Best Friends Animal Society staff members pulled a pretty, golden-colored pit bull terrier mix from a busy Los Angeles city shelter, no one knew she’d soon find her true calling – twice.

Chata the dog’s incredibly sweet, loving and calm demeanor made her stand out to an adopter in search of a therapy dog to bring to school, where she worked with special- needs children.

Chata went home with the adopter, got certified as a therapy dog and it looked as though she’d found her forever home. But then her adopter was transferred to a different school, one that did not allow pit bull terriers. Despite her gentle nature and special training, Chata wasn’t welcome there.

Her adopter faced a conundrum. Chata thrived in her therapeutic role. Not allowed at the school, she would have to stay home alone all day, instead of being with someone and doing the service work she loved. Her adopter felt the best thing would be for Chata to go back to the Best Friends adoption center, where she could be matched up with someone who needed her.

One week after Chata returned, military veteran Joseph Stanberry came in looking for an emotional support dog. Best Friends adoption specialists immediately told him about Chata, but there was a problem. Joseph had his heart set on a Labrador retriever, having grown up with a Lab who’d been his best friend for years, but he couldn’t find that one who really tugged at his heartstrings. So, he agreed to meet Chata.

When Chata entered the room where Joseph was waiting, she immediately walked up to him, sat down and let him pet her. Upon meeting her, Joseph said, “I just felt like I couldn’t leave there without her,” and with his girlfriend soon decided Chata was the one.

Joseph took his new dog home, complete with her service vest from her former adopter. He renamed her Summer and enrolled her in a training program for dogs and veterans. Summer fulfills her line of duty just by being herself; as Joseph put it, “She helps me with anxiety and depression. I’m also going to have her trained to help me hear (better), because I have a significant amount of hearing loss due to explosions and gunfire in the military.”

dog2Summer now rocks her service uniform and accompanies Joseph nearly everywhere, bringing a sense of calm and duty wherever they go. When Joseph stops, she halts and awaits her marching orders from her captain.

And so Summer and Joseph found a home in each other.

Learn more about how Best Friends helps pets.

Photos courtesy of Joseph Stanberry

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