Memorial Day Parade 2010 a Middleville Moment


I could not be prouder! I love my country! I love my little town! I LOVE my family. Memorial Day brought the best of the best together and our celebration taught this patriot lady a new lesson on smiling. It's a good thing to do. It is even better to look around and see others smiling and bursting with pride.
I love that we commemorate and recognize the dedication, camaraderie and sacrifice of our God protected military. Many were not allowed to see the end of conflicts, many were not brought home, that does not mean they were and are not protected. In God We Trust hangs on our hearts. The outcome of conflict is in His hands, therefore it is protected, cherished and worthy of honor.
I have such respect for photojournalists who can see a moment, and capture it on film. As a float seated with veterans of the Korean war motored past us, Dale and I stood up. These soldiers and sailors were strong, proud gentleman and they stood up too and returned the salute that Dale gave to them. What an honor to capture that moment in my mind. My camera however was by my side as I clapped and was washed in awe. (I totally missed the photo op!)

I hope you will enjoy the photos of our small, country town as they dedicated time and value to today: Memorial Day 2010. Each town represents the best that the United States has to offer our future generations! Keep them safe. Keep them proud! Amen.

Is this the End? or Perhaps Just the Beginning!

May is coming to a close and although Memorial Day brings us to the end of Military Appreciation Month I think I speak for all military-families when I say it shouldn't be limited to one month. I appreciate the military every day, every month, all year. Actually, come to think of it, that is a major premise behind MilitaryAvenue.com. It is an avenue for the business-community to show appreciation not just on the major holidays, like Memorial Day and Veterans Day ... and even Military Spouse Appreciation Day... but all year.

But I don't think that because May is ending that it is the end of appreciation. I think it opens doors and gets us talking. How can we appreciate the military member? the spouse? the child? the mom and dad of the service member and family? What do they need? What do they want? How can we do more then appreciate but SUPPORT them.

I got a very important note from LTC Sophia Tillman-Ortiz (U.S. Army PDHRA Program Director) which I feel compelled to pass on:

Today I’m writing to you, not as the Program Director of the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA), but as a fellow military spouse. Like many of you, I’ve said good-bye to my husband and worked through the reintegration process when he returned from his assignment. It’s a strain on everyone. The strain can be greater when our Soldiers come home with physical or mental issues. These could show themselves in common things like irritability, lack of sleep, or aches. And, many times we are prone to shrug it off, saying it’s the adjustment or age. Really the only way to know if this change is normal or due to time in a combat area is by your Soldier taking the confidential on-line self-assessment and talking with a health care provider. This is a key component of the PDHRA and is the gateway to benefits and care. Please talk to your loved one about taking the PDHRA when they get home. The Chain of Command and Unit S-1 have more details on program and can help guide them through the process. However, you are a vital force in getting them to be proactive in taking care of their health. It’s important to your Soldier, your family and your future together. Thank you for all your sacrifices.
You can find out more about this program at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/HR/pdhra/.

As we close out this May, Military Appreciation Month, I would encourage you to ENCOURAGE those (friends or family) to /seek/ help, before they NEED help. Deployments, PCSs, living far from home, etc etc take a MAJOR toll on our mental well being! I found a GREAT door opener from Military Pathways: http://www.i-salute.org/ Send a quick e-card to your loved ones thanking them for their service and then take a quick mental assessment for your self (anonymously). Caring about the military-families' whole-being, mental and physical shows more then just appreciation ... this shows your TRUE support!

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

Related Articles:

You Are Not Alone! Help for Mental Health Issues such as PTSD and TBI - DoD Roundtable
Better Mental Fitness Will Help Prevent Suicide, Sutton Says
Coaches Ease Mental Health Care Transitions
inTransition Now Available for Service Members Receiving Mental Health Treatment
Military Leads Mental Health Care Transformation
Mullen Voices Concern with Military Suicide Rate
Suicide Prevention Hotline Saves Veterans’ Lives
VA Strives to Prevent Veteran Suicides
Veteran Gives Insight on Suicide Prevention
Signs of Depression
Spouse Describes Impact of Post-traumatic Stress
Online or Over Video, TRICARE Reaches Out With Expanded Behavioral Health Care Services
TRICARE Publishes New Behavioral Health Resource Guide
Study Considers Effect of Deployment on Children
You Are Not Alone
Real Warriors: Behavioral Health Programs
Army: Chaplain-led program reinforces relationships
Military OneSource Expands Counseling Sessions

"Thank You" to generations of Veterans, past and present

A commercial ever get to you? What is it about a 30 second clip that can stir the emotions and start the tears flowing? This week I did see a TV commercial from Cedar Point advertising that Active Duty can get in free for Memorial Day weekend. That is something I can whole heartedly appreciate, but it didn't stir my emotions. (Although I'm thinking this would NOT be a good weekend to visit an Amusement Park. It's going to be busy and lines will be long... but I digress. I can still appreciate the gift.)

But then there is this commercial from American Airlines ... It is subliminal and I thought of my husband flying to and from Iraq, with those younger then him, older then him, men and ladies in uniform, some out of uniform. Sitting in the gate area with him before he headed back after R & R ... the tears welled up as I watched this commercial.


This Memorial Day, remember the Veterans, past and present. They didn't join; put their lives on the line; move away from family (perhaps many times); so that you would say 'Thank You'. They did it as a sense of duty, a sense of honor, for something bigger then they are. But regardless, take the time to say 'Thank You'. Let them know their sacrafice is appreciated. Thank their wives, husbands, moms, dads, kids. Remember the deceased, the widows, the children that grew up to be fine young men and women without Dad or Mom.

To the generations past and present; my grandfathers, uncles, my dad, my husband.

"Thank You!"

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

Your Health - Your Gardens

We enjoy being outside in our gardens! Vegetable and flower gardens become our “hobby” in the spring and it lasts all summer and into the fall as we prepare, plant, weed, harvest and then can or freeze veggies and berries! I am sure many enjoy a similar hobby but it is relaxing for us and it is great exercise as well! Since retirement from the Air Force I have had a few physical challenges as has Deb (to say the least, as she is a breast cancer survivor). Today marks the first anniversary of my 4th knee surgery and I struggle to control blood sugar as well. We have a new way of enjoying our food and the garden is key for us! Healthy food, exercise, family and worship are all ingredients to an enjoyable lifestyle!

We love the early May salads while thinning lettuce and spinach (with strawberries of course). We eat smaller, more frequent portions and fresh from our garden is the best! We also pick wild blackberries and raspberries in our woods to add to our oatmeal, yogurt, etc. In addition to our salad “fixins” we planted a bunch of different peppers, carrots, herbs, broccoli, green beans, snap peas, beets, cabbage, cucumbers, acorn squash, pumpkins and brussel sprouts (must be some I am forgetting). Deb finds and develops some great recipes for us (see her Tasty Tuesday recipe blogs) that incorporate the food we grow as well!

Next best for us is our farmers market every Friday from May till October in our little town. They have the best sweet corn, peaches, blueberries, asparagus and other fruits/vegetables not in our garden. Is there a farmer’s market near you? I highly recommend visiting the market to see what they have as well as to see what you could grow in a small garden (I know how hard it is to keep a garden going while on active duty).

The flower beds we have are great for walking around the yard and enjoying a stress reduction moment or two! Plus, they need to be taken care of and all that bending, rotor tilling, hoeing, stretching, etc. are great for the waist line! We have so many trees and we have had to take some down due to disease, how close they are to the house and occasionally for cosmetic reasons. I discussed chain sawing with a nurse who did not realize how much work it was (I added it to my list of aerobic activities for her to track during a health assessment) and we laughed because she had never heard that. We love the trees around us and have some beautiful ones that add to our country living! We also bring our beautiful flowers into the house to add to our relaxation and feelings of good health! We are truly blessed!















Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com
US and Air Force Flags

Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com "Bruno" guarding our hilltop with our relaxing b
ench nearby (used for rest after weed pulling)

Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com Early spring plants in the vegetable garden

Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com A swing is highly recommended for stress reduction or maybe its for hearing the laughter of grandkids!

Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com Putting those boulders into place took a family effort! The irises are wonderful this year!

Would you like a bouquet?


Recently we traveled to Fort Riley and participated in the Army Wife Network (AWN) "Priceless Package". When this event comes to your post, be FIRST in line to sign up for a seat. It is an unbelievable time of relaxing, laughing, learning and sharing. All attendees walk out of that room with a greater understanding of military pride. They are armed with battle buddies, recognize that normal is WONDERFUL and gripping a piece of normalcy and holding on to that with flexed fingers is all important. Like my Aunt used to say... "whatever doesn't make you stronger kills ya." She had a way with words!

This time is a must for a spouse. The companies that participate appreciate that. So when I got an email from creativeballoonsmfg.com telling me they were sending a package with a helium canister and ready to use balloons... strings already attached :) I knew that a colorful balloon bouquet would bring a smile to anyone, and it did. Some folks recognized the box, others just loved the idea!

A network of spouses tied together by friendship, even the hardship of deployment was represented in that bouquet of balloons - different sizes, colors and shapes all holding themselves above the person with a hand outstretched. Feeling like you need to connect? Do not hesitate to find some support. It is out there, and there are others who just might need you to be in their bouquet of friends!
Life is good. Live it.

“Shoulder to Shoulder” with the Afghan Legal System – DoD Roundtable

Are you ready to give your life for your country? For the privilege of voting? To defend your people from those who intimidate and would establish an autocratic legal system depriving many of basic human rights? When I started the DoD Blogger’s Roundtable this morning it was an add on to a very busy schedule and I was not sure how to talk about the Afghan legal system and its relevance to our readers! Then Colonel Rick Rousseau, with the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA), NATO Training Mission Afghanistan & Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A) told me about First Lieutenant (1LT) Lutfallah Abrihimi, an Afghan soldier, legal officer and patriot!

The Alabama National Guard Responds to Deepwater Horizon Tragedy in the Gulf - DoD Roundtable

The damaging oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon rig is making national news and beginning to impact our military community. In addition to the US Coast Guard and active duty forces, the National Guard and Reserve forces are now involved as we seek to protect and clean up the Gulf Coast. I met with Major General A.C. Blalock to discuss one state’s National Guard response this afternoon during a DoD Blogger’s Roundtable.

According to General Blalock, the state’s Adjutant General, the Alabama National Guard is responding to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico while preparing to protect the economy, resources and way of life of its citizens. With 11,100 soldiers and 2,400 airmen in his organization the general said they were prepared to handle what the Governor may asked them to do in the future. Currently, they have 360 soldiers and 3 airmen on duty helping with the state response by placing oil barriers, manning security checkpoints and providing safety for citizen volunteers. They have also used their helicopters to do reconnaissance and deliver imagery for the leadership involved in the response. With 15% of his force normally in a deployed status under federal jurisdiction in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations he said the Deepwater Horizon Response is not impacting their ability to support the theatre commanders overseas or other missions at this time. One Air Guard deployment just returned from their Air Expeditionary Force commitment and training continues for other units ahead of their tours as well.

The REAL "Priceless Packages" at Ft Riley

It is a tough time to be a military family! Period! No ifs; ands or buts! The military members’ multiple deployments to combat zones and the inherent dangers are too frequent with not enough time in between! The Guard and Reserve forces are being over tasked beyond their traditional roles and the active duty forces are seeing multiple deployments while continuing to PCS; do continuation and upgrade training; and respond to contingencies such as Haiti humanitarian relief! So seeing smiles and hearing young Army spouses laughing and giggling during last weeks Army Wife Network's Field Exercise and their “Priceless Packages” was great! Star Henderson and Tara Crooks led a “seminar” on Army life with great information, contacts and follow up opportunities at Ft Riley with their normal sense of humor about their lifestyle (both are soldier spouses) and gave tips to help with “battle buddies”.

Tasty Tuesday From Seeds to the Table

We did it! Threw fertilizer here and there, rotor tilled in fresh compost dirt, planted seeds after threat of frost. Frost came: turned on the sprinklers at some early ungodly hour and let it run, as the water is warmer than the air not allowing ice to form, and the sun did not have a crystal prism through which it could burn our babies!

So, seeds in... popped out the ground, had an initial weeding, thinning and OH YEAH.. .We have spinach, lettuce and strawberries for our first salad of the season. A side salad, but oh so good. I will remember to rinse those leaves 6 times as opposed to 4 or 5. Dirt is not good on the teeth.

We had the most delicious salad for lunch, simply lettuce, spinach and a strawberry! Now on that little plate I put 14 whole plants each that I thinned from the garden. Not throwing any away anymore! This is sweet!
Hope your gardening is starting to produce for you too! Sweet seeds to salad sensation!

Week in Review: Week of May 16 - 22 (Military News) #MilitaryMon

Popular Articles for the week of May 16 through 22 on

MilitaryAvenue.com:


MilitaryAvenue.com Special: PCS Central: We all know how hard it is to pick up the family and move them to a new duty station! We have a wide variety of resources for you here on MilitaryAvenue.com. Here is a directory of articles & MilitaryAvenue.com categories offering military discounts related to PCSing. This is just a small selection of what MilitaryAvenue.com has to offer you. ...

The Reason for Memorial Day: Simple but very powerful video. ...

Christmas in May: My boys, *C* and *E*, got a 'Butterfly Feeder' for Christmas from my brother and sister-in-law. Kind of one of those presents the boys opened up and thought, well this is nice but it is not plastic, bulky and breakable with lots of small pieces... ok maybe not their exact thought ... but is the general thoughts of me as they open gifts upon gifts at that time of year.   I put the feeder away with my 'Spring home-decor' in the basement and last month pulled it out and put it in on a shelf to wait for a warmer day. We set it out today. ...

Cyclists Refuse to Leave Teammate Behind: The Warrior Games cycling competition, held at the U.S. Air Force Academy here in a May snow shower yesterday, would have daunted the toughest of professional cyclists, but not wounded, ill and injured servicemembers. They battled their way through freezing temperatures and slippery roads, persevering in the midst of extreme pain, and even stopped to help each other along the way. ...

What are You doing Memorial Day weekend?: We just celebrated Military Spouse Day last week and the whole month is military appreciation month and it appropriately ends with the Memorial Day weekend. We should be so thankful as a Nation for those who serve and protect and those who died doing so!  ...

Second-tier Entitlement and VA Loans:  Veterans and active duty military with a VA Home Loan might be surprised to know that they can qualify to purchase a home with a second VA Loan based on what’s called their Second-Tier Entitlement.  While there’s plenty to know about the VA Loan for those just looking to use it the first time, there’s a dearth of information about using two VA Loans simultaneously. ...

From the Better Business Bureau: Sham Non-Profit Uses Military Name: The Wisconsin BBB has issued an alert about Help4Troops.com, a self-proclaimed non-profit organization that claims to ship packages to deployed troops. In reality it is a work-at-home scam that may involve financial fraud and shipping stolen goods overseas. ...

Memorial Day Image: Sometimes a picture says it all! Have a great Memorial Day weekend and remember those who have served us all so well! ...

Officials Provide More Details on Bagram Attack: Military officials provided more details today on the May 19 attack here that killed a U.S. contractor and wounded several servicemembers.  Sixteen insurgents were killed and five were detained after an estimated 30 to 40 militants launched an attack on the airfield’s outer perimeter during the early morning hours. During the attack, coalition forces and Afghan police responded immediately, maintaining security on the airfield and blocking the insurgents’ ability to completely breach the base’s perimeter, officials said. ...

Faces Behind the Hero: Bonnie, Army Wife, Veteran and Mom: Today I have the pleasure of introducing, Bonnie: An Army wife, veteran and mom! If you want to learn more about Bonnie stop by her blog at http://thesometimessinglemom.blogspot.com/. I LOVE her blog title, "Sometimes Single Mom". I actually used it this weekend when talking with a friend; as I was running around ragged getting kids to sporting events and birthday parties, etc etc., while my Hubs was in uniform a few hours away from us from Friday night through Sunday night. Army strong! It applies to the whole family. ...




More Great MilitaryAvenue.com content:

Find Military Discounts in your community

You have Questions? We have MilitaryAvenue Answers!

Subscribe to MilitaryAvenue Alerts, monthly military-discounts and incentives right to your email box: Manage Subscriptions

The Reading Room, full of relevant news related to the military family

Moving Tools, Our Moving and Relocation Tools for Military Families

600 Museums offering free admission for our military!

"600 Museums offering Free Admission for Active Duty and their families" ... That's a lot of museums!

I love museums... children's museums, art museums, science museums, even a stroll through The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Free Admission?! I have been spoiled by the Washington DC Smithsonian Museums in the past which are all free... but some museums are $10 to $15 per person! Free is nice!

This summer, more than 600 museums in all 50 states are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, through Labor Day, September 6, 2010 to show their appreciation for those who are serving this nation. - 600 museums offer military families free admission

What a journey!

Today is *C*'s last day of preschool! Wow. For five years now I have been bringing a young 'en to "HT Preschool" in the morning and picking him up a few hours later. For five years I have heard about what the class learned, did, made them laugh, songs they sang, computer games they played, what they did on the playground. I learned all this as we drove home, his little mouth chattering away in my rear-view mirror.

*E*, 7 years old now, was the school's inaugural preschool class. He was almost three when the doors to the preschool opened. *C*, now 5, was still a baby in a baby seat when *E* entered the three-year old classroom.  *E* had three great years in the preschool, because of a September birthday and an August 1st birthday requirement to enter kindergarten. As soon as *E* graduated it was time for *C* to start. The school was a little more popular, classes more full, each of the teachers had an aid. Since *C* had an April birthday he only had two-years in the school before being "kindergarten-eligible". But he is now certainly kindergarten-ready ... I'm just not sure I'm ready.

I feel like this journey started just yesterday:



*C*, my 3 year old, had his first day of preschool yesterday afternoon. He shed not ONE tear when I left his classroom. He gave me a big "wave" and a huge "I LOVE YOU, MOMMY." Oh what a sweet breath of fresh-air for my soul. It can be hard being a temporary single-mom. We all miss Dad more then ANYONE can imagine. But my boys have, indirectly, helped me realize that I am doing a good job despite the circumstances. - Sitting Back and Taking a Deep Breath
Oh and while we are reminiscing... who said *E* was allowed to be a soon to be 2nd grader? I guess I took this same journey down memory lane two years ago as he had HIS last day of preschool.


I'm not ready to give up my preschooler! Who gave him permission to grow older? Who gave the preschool teachers permission to help him make this right of passage? How can a mother be so thrilled to see him thrive, yet at the same time lament the fact that he is growing up? - A Preschool Milestone
This momma has a hard time letting go, yet LOVES to see them flutter their wings and get ready for the world in front of them. Talk about a conflict of emotion!

Oh my little boys, I love watching them grow, I just feel a little sad that it happens so quickly. I pray that their futures are directly impacted for the best by the things they learn today, the love they are shown, the care they are given. Before we know it they will be 20... UGH!



Oh, yes, and BabyBoy will be here in August... so there will be another journey down "preschool-road" ... but we have a few years till we get there :) Phew...

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

You Are Not Alone! Help for Mental Health Issues such as PTSD and TBI - DoD Roundtable


You Are Not Alone!” “Every warrior is exposed to combat stress of some sort!” “Reaching out is a strength, not a weakness!” The DoD Bloggers Roundtable met with three great panel members to talk about the signs, symptoms and treatment of psychological health concerns, such as PTSD, and traumatic brain injury. Staff Sgt. Meg Krause, retired Commander René A Campos and Lt Col Christopher Robinson all brought a different prospective to the table and shared their story/information with me and the other members of the Roundtable.

Staff Sgt. Krause (US Army Reserve) suffered with PTSD after a tour in Iraq and during a challenging time of her life began showing class symptoms with withdrawal, heavy alcohol use and missing classes, drill, etc. Her story was heart breaking but it also showed what can happen when folks seek help for this affliction. Lt Col Robinson (US Air Force) just returned from Afghanistan where he served as the Combat Stress Detachment Commander for RC-East. Commander Campos (US Navy retired) is the director, Health Care Issues, Government Relations, Military Officers Association of America .

I asked the panel members what the biggest challenge that the families faced when their soldier, marine, sailor, airman or coastie returned from combat situations and had PTSD. All three agreed that the mental health stigma was the worst! Fearful of impacting their loved ones career they do not self identify problems or seek help often enough! Family members according to Krause do not know how to approach the member to tell them they need help. The warrior culture does not allow them to open up due to their training and we (the military community) must be willing to support them by talking about mental health/fitness just as we do physical fitness! Another challenge is peer support! Buddies need to recognize that their friend might need professional help and encourage them to get it! It is the right thing to do!

When I asked about preventive measures Robinson said that in Afghanistan his organization and other mental health organizations were attempting to become real persons by becoming involved in missions, conducting “walk abouts” and offering classes on relaxation such as breathing. I think getting out of the hospital/clinic and seeing the troops is critical! What a breakthrough for this profession!

When questioned about the post deployment mental questionnaire and why it seemed to under report the number of PTSD cases, Robinson said it was under review to make it more helpful. He said that family members, peers and leadership are critical to helping the members who may unintentionally or intentionally under report their symptoms. Another challenge is getting the word out on some great programs that are available to help PTSD sufferers and their families. He said that sometimes we forget to advertise the programs and left us with several great resources.

Two websites, Real Warriors and Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury have resources such as chat functions, call in hot lines and articles to help you! The Defense Center toll free line is 866 966 1020 and they want to help! Do not forget to use the chaplains on your post/base/station! They are more than religious leaders but also community health specialists! They know the resources available to you and are trained counselors as well! I have great respect for the chaplains that served with me and their caring and helpful attitudes! Your leaders are also being taught to listen and provide assistance! If your chain of command is helpful you can use them to reach out and find resources to treat your PTSD.

Are you in transition? Do you know someone in transition? The Department of Defense has “in transit coaches” that can be reached at 800 424 7877 and a website, inTransition that can be of further assistance. They have webinars and individual coaches to assist!

For Lt Col Robinson, Cmdr Campos and Staff Sgt Krause, thank you for taking the time to meet with us! The willingness of Staff Sgt Krause’ to talk about her PTSD symptoms and how she was able to find help was a great success story and a great example for others to get involved too. If you like to listen to this Roundtable or read a transcript please go to DoDLive. For further articles and information please go to the MilitaryAvenue Reading Room!







Photo Credit: Lt. Col. Christopher Robinson, senior executive, Psychological HealthDefense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. Courtesy DoD photo.

Patriotism and My Community

I live in a great community! I have been here for about 9 years... (WOW! That's a lot for this Air Force Brat.) I brought a newborn baby home to this same house that I am in now, 7 1/2 years ago. Over the past few years there have been rumors; hubs has seriously considered going Active Duty, or there have been job opportunities in other areas of the state (multiple times). With each rumble of moving I have been excited (You can take me out of the military-community, but you can't take the 'Brat' out of me) but then a bit forlorn as I just /love/ our little slice of 'Hometown America'.  We don't live near a major military installation which has its own challenges, especially when Hubs was deployed. We are one of the only National Guard families in the entire school-district. I've gotten to speak to the community and to the classroom about the military way of life. Somehow I am the poster-child of the military-spouse around here... and I know I am anything but!

Last night we had the pleasure of watching my 7 year-old's 'Spring Concert'. 30 minutes. Short and sweet. We sat in the high-school auditorium waiting for the concert to begin longer then the actual concert was. But here is the really cool thing to me! The kids opened the concert with the 'Star-Spangled Banner', our National Anthem, and the whole auditorium stood. My husband stood at very straight attention, my youngest complained that he couldn't really see, and I just took it all in. Your quintessential American-community, here to enjoy a 1st grade concert. But that was only the beginning.



They sang four 'sets' of songs. Their first set?

"Patriotic Salute": America the Beautiful, My Country 'tis of Thee, and God Bless America

Do you know how many schools would not even think of singing these songs in the fear of 'offending someone'? Yet, there they are singing their hearts out! I was so proud of them all. Thank you, Mr. MacMaster, for doing such a wonderful job with the kids last night and all the practice that went into it. You made this Army wife, Air Force Brat and mother of a future generation of Americans very proud!



- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com


PS: Try not to be critical... some of the kids that can't seem to stand still in the video have some serious special-needs. They did a great job for standing there as long as they did.

Tasty Tuesday: Pesto Cheesecake

After working in the garden on a perfectly 'perfect weather' day, the deck chairs seems to summon us, and the idea of a simple dinner with the neighbors is about as good as it gets. IN preparation for this event... this pesto cheesecake can be made from ordinary items in the back of the refrigerator. I tend to do a commissary shopping trip and load up on essentials...so having 4 packages of cream cheese on hand is not unusual. Understand we do not live close to a commissary, so when I go... I go for carts!

I hope you have the occasion to sit outside, enjoy your work and enjoy your friends!


Pesto Cheesecake


Crust

3 c crushed Ritz or Townhouse crackers

1/4 c unsalted butter, melted


Filling

1 T olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1 T minced fresh garlic

1 t fresh cracked pepper

4 ( 8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 c sour cream, room temperature

1 c pesto, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 T lemon juice

2 T flour

1/4 t salt

1 c Parmesan cheese, grated

Fresh basil leaves
Sliced tomatoes for garnish

In a small skillet, heat oil, add the onion, garlic and pepper. Saute until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Put crackers in a food processor. With the machine running add the butter and process until well combined. Line the inside of a 9" spring form pan with parchment paper. Coat with nonstick cooking spray. Press the cracker mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan. Next, wrap the bottom and sides with heavy duty aluminum foil. Prepare a water bath by placing boiling water about 1" deep in a large baking dish. Preheat oven to 325 and position a rack in the center of the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, basil pesto, eggs, lemon juice, flour, and salt. Whip on low speed until well blended. Do not over beat, the batter should be light and airy. Gently fold in the grated Parmesan and the onion mixture until well blended. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and place springform pan in water bath. Bake until set: 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the water and transfer the pan to a rack to completely cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 8 to 10 hours. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake before removing sides of the pan. Before serving, garnish with fresh basil leaves and sliced tomatoes. Serve cold or at room temperature, cut into wedges, with a sliced toasted baguette or crackers. Makes 24 servings.
This recipe can be made with shredded Fontina cheese instead of the grated Parmesan. Fun to switch up sometimes. And you can make your own pesto.

Deepwater Horizon Response - An Interview - Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry, Federal On-Scene Coordinator for Unified Area Command - DoD Roundtable



I was able to attend a very interesting and timely DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable today with U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, Federal On-Scene Coordinator for Unified Area Command, Deepwater Horizon Response. Admiral Landry gave a quick update on the organization of our national response and the current status of this tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico!

The admiral described the national response as “quite remarkable” which is to “secure the well, fight the spill offshore, protect the coast and minimize impacts on the environment and local economy”. The oil rig Deepwater Horizon owned by British Petroleum exploded April 20, killing 11 people and sinking two days later. The over than 20,000 responders fighting the battle are from the Coast Guard, Department of Defense, National Guard personnel under State status, Department of Interior, Department of Labor and many others. The admiral is responsible for coordinating their efforts to bring the most bang for the buck and to avoid duplication during the cleanup. As of this evening the admiral said that $500,000,000 had been spent to do clean up which she described as a “good clean up” and that the weather has been very cooperative. She described the critical factor as closing off the well so the clean up can mitigate the impact of the spill. According to her, the effectiveness of the off shore clean up has reduced the need for on shore clean up.

They are using Air Force and Coast Guard resources to control air and maritime resources in the Gulf of Mexico near the incident. She specifically commented that the Air Force resources at Tyndall AFB had responded with the means to provide a safety net around flights in the gulf with lessons learned from the earthquake in Haiti! The Coast Guard is managing maritime conflicts with their Maritime Transportation Systems Recovery to support the businesses operating in the gulf. This includes oil removal from the hulls of ships returning to port. She said there 35,000 workers off shore daily and they were attempting to not disrupt their work and businesses.

Admiral Landry closed with comments on how hard the responders were working to be a buffer for the gulf coast communities who have seen a lot of disasters in the near past. They are attempting to reduce the impact and she felt that some “national good” was coming from this effort. I was impressed with her statement on transparency and integrity. She wants to ensure transparency in their reporting to the American people and that she “values her integrity” concerning how the response is reported. Clearly, a well trained officer she responded well and openly to questions which showed she walked the walk and talked the talk! Thank you Admiral Landry and for the efforts of the men and women in your command and coordination effort!

To read more on the military response please go to MilitaryAvenue Articles! If you would like to listen to this lively and interesting discussion please go to DoDLive!





Photo Credit 100509-O-0000X-001 NOAA Trajectory Forecast
ROBERT, La. - Unified Area Command releases an image showing predicted oil trajectory for May 9, 2010. Graphic prepared by NOAA.

Photo Credit 100507-N-1531D-020 - GULF OF MEXICO - (May 7, 2010) Coast Guard Seaman Michael Bermea, from San Antonio, Texas, search of oil while standing lookout watch aboard CGC Harry Claiborne (WLM 561). Harry Claiborne is currently equipped with a Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS), which assists in the removal oil from the ocean surface. The U.S. Coast Guard is working in partnership with BP PLC, local residents, and other federal agencies to aid in preventing the spread of oil following the April 20 explosion on mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/SW) Jonathen E. Davis)

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

Week in Review: Week of May 9 - 15 (Military News) #MilitaryMon

Popular Articles for the week of May 9 through 15 on

MilitaryAvenue.com:


Women to Serve in the Silent Service (Navy Submarines Preparing for Female Sailors) - DoD Roundtable: What a great Roundtable discussion! Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, Commander Submarine Group Ten and lead for the Task Force for Women in Submarines gave the Roundtable details on the current plan to place female officers aboard the Navy’s submarines! Training will start this summer! The Admiral answered questions and explained the Navy’s needs to expand the nuclear career pool by inviting women to pursue submarine careers. ...

MilitaryAvenue.com Resources - So You Are Getting Married: Here are some resources from MilitaryAvenue.com as you prepare to spend your life with your loved one:  Planning a Military Wedding Doesn't Have to be a Saber-Rattling Experience; When it Comes to Engagements; Manners Matter; Marriage - Before or After Deployment; Create a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget; Marriage: More Than Wedding Cake; Tricare - Life Events: Marriage ...

USAA and Zag Team up with Mercedes-Benz USA: Zag.com Inc. offers additional savings of up to $5,000 off the price of new Mercedes-Benz car purchases to USAA Members –beyond current special member pricing, rebates and dealer incentives – through USAA’s popular online Car Buying Service. This exclusive offer began July 1st [2009] and is effective for a minimum of a year. USAAmembers can locate and build a new Mercedes-Benz through the service, powered by Zag’s innovative technology platform and network of certified dealers. ...

Officials Warn of ‘Phishing’ Scams Targeting Troops: U.S. Strategic Command officials are urging renewed vigilance against Internet-based identity theft after detecting a widespread “phishing” expedition against servicemembers.  Phishing is a term used to describe deceiving people into divulging personal information such as passwords or account numbers over the Internet.  Beginning as early as May 2009 and lasting as late as March 2010, numerous fraudulent e-mails were sent to financial customers of USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union, Stratcom officials said in a recent news release. ...

Contests and Giveaways: Army Wife Network & Hero on My Arm: I recieved a personal note for two contests going on that I thought you may be interested in. The first is from Army Wife Network, a great-group of gals, here to enlighten and empower. I highly recommend them to any Army Wife out there!  The second contest is from Hero On My Arm with Free Shipping and a Giveaway. How fun!  Read on to learn more: ...

"not-really Wordless" Wednesday: 27 Weeks in the Womb Amazing the view from a 3-D ultrasound. ...

Air Force: Wingman Stand Down 2010 in May Focuses on Airmen Safety, Well-Being: For a half day in May, Airmen will learn strategies to prevent suicides and private motor vehicle accidents as part of Wingman Stand Down 2010. The exact date for the stand down will be left to individual units to determine.  In a jointly signed letter, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy noted the reasons for the stand down. ...

Wordless Wednesday - A Tribute to Our Service Members in Haiti: A visual reminder of the hard work our service-members have done with diligence and care for the people of Haiti ...

Senators Propose TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act: A bill introduced to the U.S. Senate April 14 would, if passed into law, enable the dependent children of active duty service members and military retirees to remain covered by their parents’ TRICARE benefit until age 26. The bill is required to bring the TRICARE benefit in line with the health insurance reform law passed in March, which will allow civilian dependents to remain under their parents’ health coverage to the age of 26. ...

Down and Dreary ... What is your message?: It is a rainy, cold, dark day here in northeast Ohio. I was just scanning my friends' feed on Facebook and couldn't help but chuckle a little bit about how irritated most people were this morning. People are just feeling a little down... lacking motivation... ready to throw in the towel... at 10am! Isn't it a little humorous what the weather does to our mood?! (I know it sure affects mine.) The other thought I had was, most of these friends doing all this grumbling are usually pretty positive. Do you surround yourself with positive people?! ...




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Faces Behind the Hero: Bonnie, Army Wife, Veteran and Mom

Today I have the pleasure of introducing, Bonnie: An Army wife, veteran and mom!  If you want to learn more about Bonnie stop by her blog at http://thesometimessinglemom.blogspot.com/. I LOVE her blog title, "Sometimes Single Mom". I actually used it this weekend when talking with a friend; as I was running around ragged getting kids to sporting events and birthday parties, etc etc., while my Hubs was in uniform a few hours away from us from Friday night through Sunday night. Army strong! It applies to the whole family.

What branch is your husband in?  My husband is Army.

How long has he been in?  He will hit his 10 years in June.

How long have you been married?  We have been married for a little over 3 years now.

What is your favorite wedding-day memory?  Actually, we were really poor when we got married. We got married at the court house in Phenix City, AL . I had just gotten out of the Army about a month before we got married, so we took a really big financial hit when I got out. All we had was our two witnesses, us and the Justice of the Peace when we got married.

Do you have children?  We have a 3 year old little boy and an 8 month old little girl. Our daughter was actually born here in Germany .

How do you help them cope with military-life?  The military life is really all they know.

How many deployments have you been through?  I have been through one deployment and we're gearing up for another deployment. It's right around the corner and I'm just ready to get it started so we can get it over and done with. And this is my second 12 month deployment since we've been stationed in Germany .

What do you do to stay busy during deployment?  I do a little traveling and exploring around Germany . I clean a lot. Play with my son (and now my daughter). I was in school during the last deployment, and I'm having a difficult time deciding on whether or not I want to go back after my husband leaves.

How many PCSs?  Just one so far. My husband and I met at Ft. Benning and we PCSed here in the fall of 2007

What has been your proudest moment as a military spouse?  Oh wow. Do I really only get to pick one? Hmmm, well there's two that immediately come to mind. The first one is June 2007 when my husband reinlisted on the Army's birthday and when his unit came back from Iraq in the fall of 2008. When I saw all those soldiers in formation marching into the gym.... my heart was in my throat.

Where has your favorite base/post been? Why?  So far - Germany . Hands down.

Where do you find the support you need when you need it?  Usually my friends and family.

What do you love most about “military life”?  Seeing the world. Never in my life did I actually think that this is where I would be at this point in my life. I love having the world at my fingertips... and living at an overseas location just makes it that much more awesome.

What are you passionate about?  I'm passionate about a lot of things. I'm a firm believer that everyone needs a college education. I am passionate about my kids and what is best for them.

What is your favorite color and why?  I don't know if I have a favorite, but I do like bright colors

Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?  "Never hold anyone to a standard that you can't live up to."

When you move to a new base what is one of the first things you do?  Well, when we moved here we went straight to temp. lodging and slept. The time change and the 11 hour flight was horrific.

Has anyone in the community (business, church, neighbor off base, etc etc) ever gone out of their way to help you, as the spouse of a military-member? Who? What did they do?  Not really.

Do you use on base facilities? Commissary? MCSS? MWR? Child Care? Services of that nature. Why would you recommend one of these services in specific?  Yep, we do use the Commissary for most of our grocery shopping. I do like to shop on the German economy as much as possible too though. My husband does use MCCS. We use MWR for the day trips and tours around Germany and other outdoor stuff.

What are your goals for the future?  My goals for the future are to raise my kids to be productive members of society, earn my masters in criminal justice, and to just live a long happy life with my husband.

Thanks, Bonnie, for giving us a glimpse of your world!

Do you want to be featured in a future "Faces Behind the Heroes"? Send me an email and be sure to mention what branch your family is in so that I can tailor the interview for you!

Christmas in May ...

My boys, *C* and *E*, got a 'Butterfly Feeder' for Christmas from my brother and sister-in-law. Kind of one of those presents the boys opened up and thought, well this is nice but it is not plastic, bulky and breakable with lots of small pieces... ok maybe not their exact thought ... but is the general thoughts of me as they open gifts upon gifts at that time of year.

I put the feeder away with my 'Spring home-decor' in the basement and last month pulled it out and put it in on a shelf to wait for a warmer day. We set it out today.  Now the boys are excitedly (putting on my my best Elmer Fudd voice) 'hunting for butterflies'... not to harm of course but to watch. :)

I do love Christmas presents that I can put away and use in the Spring / Summer / Fall time. - Just another time when the Christmas paper has all been thrown away, tree and decorations are in the basement and we have forgotten most of what we even received. It's almost like Christmas in May here today :)

Just something to think about as you hit the 'sales of the season'. As seasons change it can be a great time to pick something up to put in the closet. (Of course the trick is to remember it is there!) Does it matter if it is oogled swim-goggles for Christmas or coveted winter-gloves for an August birthday? You will not only get a 'Thank You' when they open but then an even bigger 'Thank You' when they actually get to use it!

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

PS Looking for other money related resources? Check out: 'MilitaryAvenue.com Resources: Money and The Military'. There are some great articles about saving and spending.

Random Ramblings of A Military WifeOh and PSS:  Another military blog-hop is going on!  These are a lot of fun and a great way to meet new military-spouse bloggers.  Click on the image to hop on over.  If you are coming in from our link, here is my bio from another fun, recent, blog-hop: Military Spouse Blog Hop: Hi, my name is Leanne :)

Contests and Giveaways: Army Wife Network & Hero on My Arm

I recieved a personal note for two contests going on that I thought you may be interested in.  The first is from Army Wife Network, a great-group of gals, here to enlighten and empower.  I highly recommend them to any Army Wife out there! 

The second contest is from Hero On My Arm with Free Shipping and a Giveaway.  How fun!

Read on to learn more:


From Army Wife Network:

Do you HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO CREATE OUR AWN 10 MILER CADENCE?

From now through May 31st (at midnight) ENTER the AWN CADENCE CONTEST!

What we expect: An audio or a video demonstration of the cadence with written words.

How to enter: Email submissions to info@armywifenetwork.com. Send audio as an attachment or a link. Video as a link (where we can view it on your youtube page). All submissions audio or video must be accompanied by the WRITTEN WORDS to the cadence in the text of the email.

How we pick: All submissions will be evaluated by the team and the winner will be chosen by a vote by the AWN staff. The top THREE submissions will be featured on our blog/Facebook/main site for everyone to see!

The prize: Well, bragging rights is the big prize right? The AWN team will be "cadencing" your creation at the starting line of the Army Ten Miler and as we cross the finish line (and probably a few times in between). But, just because we love you - we'll throw in an AWN tshirt, a HH6 pin, some AWN goodies (books, notepads, pens, etc.), a HOOAH handbag courtesy of Jayne Wayne Gear and OH YEAH - how about an Ipod courtesy of usaa.com?


From a Hero on my Arm:  (Contest ends May 23rd)

Hero on my Arm is "helping us celebrate Military Appreciation Month by giving away a "Lucy Purse" and "Lucy Accessories - Key Chain, ID holder, and Checkbook Cover". Check out the Lucy Purse on Hero On My Arm.  To enter the drawing fill out the form at "My Military Mommy"


Thanks for the opportunities ladies.  For the military-spouses: learn more at the respective web-sites, get creative and maybe you can be a winner!


- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

Wordless Wednesday - A Tribute to Our Service Members in Haiti



































If you would like to see more of their story please go to MilitaryAvenue.com's Our Letters to You for a series of blogs on how our military personnel saved lives in Haiti!









Photo Credits: Master Sgt. Douglas Brook and Tech. Sgt Nicholas Wentworth, Air Force Special Operations Command, perform medical care to a Haitian man at the Toussaint L'ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 18, 2010. The man was injured in the earthquake that rocked the country Jan. 12, 2010. The Airmen are certified emergency medical technicians. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Russell E. Cooley IV)




Photo Credit: Spc. Brent Nailor of the 82nd Airborne Division 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, passes out packaged meals to women and children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 16, 2010. The squadron established a forward operating base at an abandoned and damaged country club near the U.S. embassy. Photo Credit: Fred W. Baker III




Photo Credit: An 82nd Airborne Division medic speaks with children living in a tent city in Port-au-Prince, Feb. 18. The medic was working with a civil affairs team from U.S. Army Special Operations Command that was assessing medical, shelter, food and water needs to facilitate humanitarian assistance in the area. Photo Credit: Air Force 2nd Lt. Victoria Brayton




Photo Credit: Supplies from a US Air Force C-17 parachute into a landing zone coordinated by Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics operators. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.)



Photo Credit: 100121-N-8663Y-065 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan. 21, 2010) Doctors and hospital corpsmen aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) place an injured Haitian boy on a table for evaluation. Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations as part of Operation Unified Response after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage near Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shentel M. Yarnell/Released)



Photo Credit: 100121-N-8241M-007 GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (Jan. 21, 2010) A Sailor assigned to Task Force (TF) 48 moves pallets of relief supplies at the airfield at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (GTMO). TF-48 is leading the joint logistics hub at GTMO in the effort to transport humanitarian relief supplies to support Operation Unified Response after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake cause severe damage near Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Bill Mesta/Released)



Photo Credit: 03/07/2010 - U.S. Soldiers deliver clothes and toys donated by troops to the Association Solidarité et Fraternité, an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 7, 2010. The U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development are in Haiti supporting Operation Unified Response, a multinational, joint service operation providing humanitarian assistance to Haitians affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the region Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David A Frech/Released) VIRIN: 100307-N-9116F-061



Photo Credit: An Airman from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., treats an earthquake survivor at an expeditionary medical facility Feb. 3, 2010, located along the harbor of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A 7.0-magnatude earthquake struck Haiti Jan. 12, leaving thousands of Haitians displaced and without access to food, water and vital medical care. (U.S. Navy photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Todd Frantom)

"not-really Wordless" Wednesday: 27 Weeks in the Womb



For you created my inmost being;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from You

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

Your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.



Psalms 139: 13-16

Joint Task Force Haiti to Close - New Horizons to Follow! DoD Roundtable

The Joint Task Force Haiti will close on the 1st of June as the original missions to save lives; provide food and water; reduce suffering and mitigate the effects of rainy season weather on displaced Haitians living in camps have been accomplished! I might say, Accomplished Successfully! I have been meeting with the leaders of this superb humanitarian relief effort since the beginning! From a one on one interview with Lt General Keen, the commander of the Joint Task Force when it was created in January, following the disastrous earthquake, to unit commanders, I have had the opportunity to almost feel like I was on the ground in Haiti! Interviews included medical personnel, transportation specialists, reservists, public affairs personnel and many more! They were from all the service branches including Reserve and Guard components! A big thank you to all of you! Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers and Guardians you have made us proud of our country and how we help others! In this wrap up to the JTF Bloggers Roundtable, Maj General Simeon Trombitas, current Commander of the JTF recapped events and explained what the future held for our military forces in Haiti.

While the JTF closes (actually it leaves an eight person coordination cell from Southern Command) it also acts as a lead in for New Horizons, a National Guard effort from Louisiana, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Guard will arrive with 500 personnel to continue engineering and medical operations to help the Haitian people! The plan includes rebuilding three destroyed schools and adding a fourth, digging wells and other construction projects. The medical teams will conduct ten medical readiness exercises with those in need of care through the end of September.

I asked General Trombitas how we measured success in Haiti after 22,000 military personnel were deployed at the apex of our effort and he said it can not be measured in numbers! He said the success was measured in the incredible flexibility of our service members who rapidly responded to save lives! It was measured by how the Haitians saw us, as our forces delivered water, food, medevaced the injured, re-opened the airport, rebuilt refuge camps, repaired the damaged seaport and so many things that can not be measure! The country is returning to normality with elections in the future, commerce returning, commercial air traffic returning, seaport operations better than before the earthquake and much more! Congratulations to all involved!

The general was amazed at the resiliency of the Haitians and their appreciation of our efforts and those of the UN, USAID and other countries participating in the relief. He offered a big thank you to the service members’ families who gave up time with loved ones. Many of the service members just returned from deployments or are about to deploy and this response was not included in their schedule! So think of missed birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and holidays back home while serving in Haiti and you can see part of the sacrifices made by our military personnel!

Want to enjoy a history of the efforts? Please go to Our Letters to You on MilitaryAvenue! To listen to the Roundtable or read a transcript please go to DoDLive!

Women to Serve in the Silent Service (Navy Submarines Preparing for Female Sailors) - DoD Roundtable

What a great Roundtable discussion! Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, Commander Submarine Group Ten and lead for the Task Force for Women in Submarines gave the Roundtable details on the current plan to place female officers aboard the Navy’s submarines! Training will start this summer! The Admiral answered questions and explained the Navy’s needs to expand the nuclear career pool by inviting women to pursue submarine careers.

Obviously, placing women in submarines is controversial and the questions touched on those issues but the admiral addressed each one fairly and explained the needs of the Navy were driving the requirement. According to the admiral, the number of males receiving technical degrees in the US continues to drop and is now at 25% of college graduates which limits the number of eligible candidates for this career field. In the last five years, the Navy has not met its accession goals for submarine officers twice! He said the leadership of the Navy’s submarine force was driving this effort as they looked to the future. Bottom line: No agenda was driving this effort and it was totally a combat capability need being met.

Bruner said the plan does not include enlisted sailors at this time but studies are being conducted on cost of modifications for possible placement. The plan must be treat everyone equally and do the right thing with tax money for modifications of the submarines. The women officers in training will arrive on board in late 2011 or early 2012. When training is finished, the plan is to place a senior supply officer and two ensign junior officers together on each selected submarine. They are 36 crews on 18 submarines that could be part of the program as it currently is envisioned. The admiral did spend two tours of two weeks each on board mixed gender submarines in the Australian Navy and felt there were no issues. In fact, when he left, the biggest take away from the experience he had was “no big deal”.

In response to military spouse concerns (since all current submarine sailors are men this would be wives) the Admiral held a town hall meeting at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, GA. He said they generally were supportive but that there was some anxiety seen due to change. But he felt that most of the wives were not against the plan. The key is training and the women officers will meet the same criteria and standards. In response to health concerns he felt that this hot button issue was often used by many against the program to integrate women into the crews and that the medical personnel have and will continue to study any possible issues (including the health of possible fetuses in the submarine environment). The admiral apparently has reason to be aware of those opposed to the integration of the female officers as his blog has received many unprintable or unpostable comments from those opposed. As with the integration of women sailors on board surface vessels in 1994 there will be challenges and change but that training for all involved will add a valuable and talented pool of women to the submarines as well!

For additional information please go to Navy to Start Training Female Submarines in July.

If you would like to read a transcript or listen to a tape of the Roundtable please go to DoDLive!

Best wishes to the first class of female submarine dolphin wearers! Be sure to add your comments but remember this is a military family blog and we do want you to express your feelings but keep "trash talk" for the courts, fields, etc.!




Photo Credit: 100309-N-0780F-023 SOUDA BAY, Greece (March 9, 2010) The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) arrives for a routine port visit to the island of Crete. Florida is homeport in Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley/Released)


Photo Credit: 100428-N-1831S-054 KINGS BAY, Ga. (April 28, 2010) The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Alaska (SSBN 732) has set aside living quarters for female officers in preparation to be one of the first submarines to have an integrated crew. The Navy announced April 29 a new policy to station women on submarines. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ash Severe/Released)

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, Commander of Submarine Group Ten DoDLive



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