Archive for the 'Health & Living' Category

Dogs of War: Nat Geo’s June Cover Story

May 28 2014

NGM June 2014 print coverIf you haven’t grabbed a copy of the June issue of National Geographic magazine, we suggest you check it out. The cover story this month is about the dogs who go to war with our nation’s human heroes .

If the servicemember is lucky, like Marine Corporal Jose Armenta, the dogs can sometimes even go home to be adopted by their human handler after they’re “retired.”

Read the amazing stories of servicemembers and their military working dogs in National Geographic this month in “The Dogs of War.”

 

For more articles on how service animals can help support the military, check out these past stories in Military Officer magazine:

  • Loyal Support – Trained dogs help veterans overcome PTSD and other issues. May 2013
  • Conditioning Canines – Military working dogs protect American lives – and a dedicated hospital in Texas returns the favor. June 2011
  • Companions in Combat – On land, at sea, and in the air, these constant companions – and sometime war heroes – have been found in all services, beloved by privates and generals alike. April 2009

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Caring For Caregivers

Apr 15 2014

Published by under Health & Living

handsCaregivers are providing a thankless and often difficult task – caring for loved ones (whether their own or someone else’s) and making life for them as near to normal as possible. That’s the story of a woman named Ramona, who cared for Janet Steen’s mother as if she was her own beloved mother or grandmother, told in a touching New York Times opinion piece, “My Mother’s Keepers.”

Not everyone has the magical touch Ramona seemed to have with Janet’s mother, and often the sacrifices and sleepless nights caregivers suffer go unnoticed as they provide for others, often foregoing needs of their own.

LifelongCaregivingFor people caring for our veterans and wounded warriors, these sacrifices are the same, and the resources provided to them aren’t always clear.

MOAA, working with the American Bar Association (ABA) and Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement in partnership with The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, has formed a collaboration to address unmet legal and financial education needs of military caregivers.

The new Caregiver Guide is an online resource center for military caregivers and veterans, covering five main areas:

  1. Department of Defense
  2. Department of Veterans Affairs
  3. Social Security
  4. Finance
  5. Legal

Visit MOAA.org/Caregiver for more information and resources, including pro-bono financial and legal assistance for veterans and their caregivers!

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Washington Post: After the Wars

Apr 10 2014

Published by under Health & Living

Washington_Post_buildingAre you a veteran of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan? If so, the Washington Post wants you to join their closed Facebook group.

They want it to be a place where veterans can share stories, experiences and resources about life after war. They won’t publish anything that you share without your permission.

Join the group by sending a request from this page on Facebook: http://wapo.st/afterthewars


Image by Flickr user Daniel X. O’Neil via Wikimedia Commons.

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Flat Stanley Goes to War and Back With a Soldier

Apr 08 2014

flatstanley2For civilians who have never experienced a life in the military, and the many things that come with that life, it can be hard to explain or comprehend. But when Brian Owens received a “Flat Stanley” from an eight year old boy named Alan Orduna while stationed in Baghdad, he tucked Flat Stanley into his wallet and left him there…for the next ten years.

Over those ten years, Flat Stanley built up an impressive resume:

He helped carry out dozens of combat patrols through Baghdad. He held steady through firefights and mortar attacks.

He saw car bombs, the banks of the Tigris River and the palace of Uday Hussein, the eldest son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

He was there on the day of Iraq’s first democratic elections.

He was there when Owens, standing guard on a tower, dodged a sniper’s bullet by about 6 inches, and when his patrol hit an improvised explosive device. He saw the fate of some colleagues who weren’t so lucky.

After Brian Owens returned home he struggled to reintegrate into his civilian life and to find a job. That’s where Flat Stanley’s story picks up again – as Owens worked to rebuild his life with his family, hold a steady job and eventually excel at it! He put his life back together piece by piece after hitting bottom and seeing a counselor at the VA.

He wrote a letter to the teacher of Alan Orduna, now 18, and organized the triumphant return of Flat Stanley to the boy who sent him abroad in search of adventures. With the full letter recounting the adventures of Flat Stanley in the military, Owens included some final words of advice:

“Pick up your adventures with Stanley where ours ended. Put him in your wallet,” he wrote. “You will undoubtedly face hard times. You will experience lows and uncertainty. But, whenever you feel despair or emptiness setting in, remember a saying I learned in the Army — ‘If you ever get to the point where it’s hopeless and nothing more can be done, you’ve overlooked something.’

Grab your tissues and read the full story of Flat Stanley and his 10 years in the military on USAToday.com.

 

 

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Wisconsin MOAA Chapter Supports Homeless Vets, Local Fisher House

Apr 08 2014

FisherHouse_WISService to one’s country doesn’t always stop after you leave the military. In fact, with MOAA chapter members, it continues for a lifetime!

Members of the Southeast Wisconsin Chapter of MOAA recently collected donations from chapter members to help support Fisher House Wisconsin. Their donation, combined with many others, helped to raise the last of the funds needed to break ground on the new building which is scheduled for June 3, 2014!

The Southeast Wisconsin Chapter also support the Veterans StandDown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which happens twice every year. Members of the chapter staffed the registration and processing tables at the event this past February, as homeless veterans from around the area came in for dental and vision services, and to get clothing and hot meals.

The StandDown event also offers federal and state veterans resources, dug and alcohol treatment information, and employment information.

For MOAA members, helping their fellow veterans get their lives back on track, or get through a rough period, is just another part of their promise to serve.

Find and join a local MOAA chapter near you, and start making a difference in your community!

StandDown

Staff members from Naval Medical Center, San Diego provide medical care to homeless veterans during the 22nd annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Berenguer/Released. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.)

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