Monthly Archives: June 2012

Wordless Wednesday : Sunset

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More Accusations In Texas Air Force Sex Scandal

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Two more instructors at a Texas Air Force training base have been charged with sexual misconduct as a sex scandal at the base grows.

Charges against Master Sgt. Jamey Crawford and Technical Sgt. Christopher Smith brought to 12 the number of sexual misconduct cases involving instructors at at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

An Air Force statement Tuesday says Crawford is accused of an improper sexual relationship with a basic trainee, improperly providing alcohol to and consuming alcohol with the trainee, and committing adultery with the trainee. The statement says Smith improperly sought a personal and intimate relationship with a trainee, making sexual advances toward a trainee, conducting an improper personal relationship with another trainee, and obstructing justice.

The charges have been referred to special military court.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten…

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Military Wives Strip Down to Raise Awareness of PTSD

courtesy battlingbare.org

Via Yahoo >>>

Ashley Wise’s husband Rob is about as tough as they come. The career soldier spent 8 years in the Marines before joining the Army after 9/11 and serving on two tours of duty in Iraq, but in April this year, he hit a wall. He locked himself in a hotel room with guns and alcohol and told his wife “he might do something stupid.”

Thankfully, he came back home alive. Ashley reached out to the Family Advocacy Service at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they are currently stationed, and discovered that, like many other soldiers who are suffering from mental anguish or who might have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), finding the help he needed without putting his career in jeopardy would be a struggle. When Wise, believing her conversation to be confidential, divulged to a counselor that Rob had once become physical with her, an MP was immediately brought in. Husband and wife were not allowed contact for 72-hours and Rob now faces domestic assault charges (which Wise is trying to have dropped).

Related: Participation Encouraged in Study of Military Families

“The last thing a soldier needs is to be separated from his wife,” Wise tells Yahoo! Shine. “Guys kill themselves because they think they are such a burden to their families.” Wise says soldiers avoid telling anyone they are feeling depressed, angry, or even suicidal for fear of being dishonorably discharged. “Take the number of men who actually report having PTSD and multiply that by 50.”

That evening, Wise told a girlfriend, “I want to streak across the 101st command building, because then maybe the general or someone would listen to what I’m saying.” Instead she grabbed an eyeliner pencil and had her friend write these words on her back:

,

“Broken by battle,

Wounded by war,

I love you forever,

To you this I swore:

I will quiet your silent screams,

Help heal your shattered soul

Until once again, my love, you are whole.”

Wise posted a picture of her naked back onFacebook, invited other military wives to share images of themselves, and the organization Battling Bare was born. “Our initial intent was to take Facebook by storm,” says Wise. She says, at heart, she simply wanted families to be able to enjoy normal things together like “eating at Chuck E. Cheese’s or going to the fireworks.” When she spoke to other women and “realized how big the problem is, we knew we had to do something.”

Now, just two months later, Wise is working with seven other military wives to launch a non-profit organization to raise awareness about PTSD and the impact it has on spouses and children. In three years, they aim to have a chapter in every state in place to support military families and hold workshops based on a model developed by Operation Restored Warrior.

While some people are critical of their bold approach–she says she’s had some ugly feedback and got a call from a stranger who called her “an attention grabbing whore”–the military isn’t asking them to take their website or Facebook page down. Wise tells Shine that Battling Bare is “on the Pentagon’s radar,” and when she spoke to Colonel William Gayler, Fort Campbell’s Chief of Staff, he assured her, “I want to fix this.”

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That’s what I love about Sunday

Ahhh. This weekend has been by far, the best weekend I have had since C. left three weeks ago. There is nothing I love more than relaxing and simply spending time with the people that mean the most to me.

This weekend I got to spend quality time with my mother, which is extremely rare. I wish it lasted longer, but I am so very thankful we had a few hours of uninterrupted bonding time at the mall. Actually, I presume “uninterrupted” was not exactly the best word to select. I had the best interruption! As we were walking into the mall, my phone rang. I quickly looked down at the screen to see the name I love the most

Airman Smith

Naturally my heart jumped up to my throat, my stomach dropped to my toes and my grin widened from ear to ear. Again, C. said he is doing very well and he is adjusting fine to his new life away from home. He informed me that this week had been much better than the previous week, it was obvious that the tension had leveled in their FLT since our last call. C. was much more at ease throughout our conversation. When he told me about all of the things that he had learned and that he passed his first inspection, I could almost hear the smile in his voice. Personally, I believe that for the first time in his life, C. is pushing himself to the limit, he is attempting to make something of himself and he is doing so on his own. His modest self pride is evident and I don’t think I could be much more proud of him than I am today (however, he has quite a way of keeping me on my toes.) I knew he did not have much longer on the phone, so I allowed my mom to speak with him for a minute. I believe that decision could have possibly made her entire year. I noticed that she was wearing a goofy smile that closely resembled the one that stretched across my face. It was the first time she had been able to speak with him since he left and it was obvious how proud of him that she is.
After we left the mall, my best friend decided to surprise me by coming into town for the night. It felt great to reminisce and get my mind off of everything.

Knowing that I have such an excellent support group by my side makes this entire process ten times easier. I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Unfortunately the weekend is winding down – back to 9-5 grind bright and early. I am beyond excited to begin my bucket list this week. There are so many great things to look forward to I the near future!

39 days!

Until next time,

SM

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Basic Training Bucket List

It recently dawned on me that I am going to have an immense amount of spare time on my hands over the next 5 1/2 weeks. I have always considered myself to be a very independent person, but now that C. is gone I have become increasingly aware that I spend eighty to ninety percent of my free time with him. Even the smallest tasks, such as going to put air in my tires now seems like a lonesome chore rather than a quick pitstop on the way home from Orlando.

Anyway, there is no reason to sulk over my newfound freedom. I have decided that I am going to make the best of these next few weeks. For all I know, this could be my last summer as a Floridian. After C. returns my life will return to normal, and I will quickly become a married woman. Honestly, there is nothing I look forward to more than being an excellent wife but I want to make sure that I thoroughly enjoy my last few moments as an unmarried, twenty year old college student.

Obviously, there is no better idea than to create a BMT/Summer 2012 Bucket-list to keep me busy while C. is away.

__ Go Hiking
__Memorize scripture
__ Trail Ride
__ Go Rock Climbing
__ Attend a sporting event
__Go to the springs
__Book a cruise for my bachelorette party
__Train to run a half marathon
__Shoot a bow
__Play pool
__Go ice skating
__Get in touch with myself
__Get a manicure
__Preform a good deed for five strangers without expecting anything in return
__Watch the sun rise
__Stargaze
__Fly first class
__Take a road trip
__Call the customer service line to a product I like simply to inform them that I appreciate their service
__Shoot 3 photo sessions and share my pictures online
__Develop some sort of surprise for C. when he gets home
__Try something new with my hair
__Watch fireworks on the beach
__Play soccer
__Go to Fairivilla
__Play frisbee
__Swim laps
__Get organized
__Go to a club on Church Street
__Read the 50 Shades Trilogy, again
__Have a blast during the process!

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06.22.

Oh boy. It has sure been quite a week – quite a long week at that. Thankfully the weekend is finally here and I have the next two days to myself to do whatever I please.
Today seemed even longer than usual. This has been the first birthday in five years that I have not been able to spend the day with C.. Today he turned 24. C’s birthday is always a memorable day for me, not only because it is his birthday, but also because I met C. on his birthday. Five years ago today I had the pleasure of meeting the love of my life, my best friend. So much has changed in the past five years and thankfully, I would not change a thing. I am so proud of the man he has grown to be. Happy Birthday, Airman. Only 41 days until we can celebrate it together! 🙂

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(C. & I five years ago!)

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Backyard Rebel

By Tom Carter

18 June, 2012
WSWS.org

A recent Department of Defense report to Congress as well as a number of media investigations have exposed government plans to deploy tens of thousands of drones over the US mainland in the coming years.

Predator drone firing hellfire missile

An investigative report published over the weekend by the Christian Science Monitor cited the government’s own estimates that “as many as 30,000 drones could be part of intelligence gathering and law enforcement here in the United States within the next ten years.”

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as “drones,” are extremely sophisticated remotely-operated aircraft, developed and manufactured by the military-industrial complex in recent years at a cost of billions of dollars.

Drones vary in size from the four-pound RQ-11B Raven surveillance drone, which can be launched by hand, to the giant MQ-9 Reaper combat drone, manufactured by…

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On a roll

It seems that it is time for yet another optimistic update! I am loving all of these good vibes lately. As of today, there are only 45 days left until I see C. again. He has officially completed the first quarter of Basis Military Training!

I also wrote my first letter to C. It is honestly quite sad to see how terribly my handwriting has diminished since graduating a few years ago. I should have probably enclosed some sort of key to my sloppy cursive-print chicken scratch that way C may actually be able to read it whenever he receives it.

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Over the weekend I ordered C’s birthday present. His Rolex was stolen last New Years and he has been practically begging for a new watch ever since. With everything that has happened over the past few months, there was just no way I could afford to buy him a new watch. So yesterday I finally found a watch I knew he would love. It is no Rolex by any means, but I think he will love it. I cannot believe he will be 24 in four short days. I wish I could be in Texas to spend the day with him.

I also decided that it was time to get rid of the leopard print “fearless” decal on the back of my car. In order to symbolize our new lives together I decided to add a lovely new Air Force decal on the bottom right corner of my back window. The sticker I bought actually said “U.S. Air Force Wife,” but I have no intentions on jumping the gun. I cut off the “wife” section and stuck it in my make-up drawer. Luckily, I will add it without hesitation in only 103 days! However, I have a feeling that adding the decal to my window will not be at the top of my to-do list nearly 100 days from now. But then again, you never know.

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That’s the good stuff

Finally! Nothing makes me happier than being able to write a positive, upbeat update. …Okay, I may be slightly exaggerating – but it is definitely up towards the top of my list of things that make me happy.

Yesterday I was in Cocoa Village with my family. It felt great to get out of the house and relax. It was the first time in quite a while where I was not worrying about anything, just living in the moment.

After dinner we walked back to the car so we could finish shopping for Fathers Day. Once I put on my seatbelt I reached into my purse and pulled out my phone. C. called. That means I missed his call again. It had only been two minutes since he had last called so I hurried to call him back. There was no answer. Thankfully his phone didn’t go straight to voicemail. I assumed he had called his mom and waited patiently in hopes that he would return my call.

It broke my heart knowing that I had missed 2/2 of C’s calls. I was positive that he was upset, scared and lonely in his new environment. I was sure that he was having a terrible time adjusting to his new life. All I wanted was him to be able to have one normal conversation, one pep talk to remind him that the next two months are nothing but a mind game. The MTI’s are paid to break you down. I knew he was aware of all of these things, but the maternal genes in me needed to remind him and make sure he was okay, to make sure he was still sane. I know people graduate BMT every weekend, but it still pains me to know that C. is all alone living a life that is completely new to to him.

My phone rang. My heart dropped to my feet, mirroring the feeling in my stomach of the moment we shoot out of the beginning of The Hulk roller coaster. I nervously glanced at the screen.

Airman Smith

Normally I call him “Dummy,” but I was not sure if he had an MTI over his shoulder. I wondered what to say, I had not spoke to him since he left nearly two weeks ago. I hurried to answer before he hung up again. The first thing that came out of my mouth was “You’re alive!” C. laughed and said, “yeah, dummy – of course I’m alive. It’s going well.” Once he referred to me as “Dummy” I instantly felt at ease. He was still my C. I was so worried that he wouldn’t be able to be himself, or he would be too scared to speak to me. As always, he managed to surprise me. He sounded so happy. He said that his MTI was actually one of the nicer ones available. He loved the fact that he got to work out all the time and he said the food is really good. He said that they spent a lot of time doing tedious chores, mainly cleaning. His personal task is “bed aligner” which is ironic because he is always the one that makes the bed here. My bed has actually been a disaster since he has been gone. It was so great to hear from him. He actually sounds like he is having a really good time. The joy in his voice was heartwarming.

It is so nice to not worry anymore. I have always known that he is in good hands, but I was hesitant about him adapting to such a new environment.

46 days to go!

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Time to move on, Yvonne.

Yes, the title of this post is in fact a She’s the Man reference. Honestly, I do not believe there is a week that passes by that my siblings & I do not make some sort of reference to that wonderful movie. Which reminds me, I saw this on Pinterest the other day and it has been one of my favorite ecards to date.

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And proof of a Facebook conversation with my thirteen year old sister last week.

Any way, the purpose of this post is not to ramble on about a hilarious movie – it is to keep everyone updated.

This week has been much better than last week. My head is still in a cloud, my life is still a whirlwind, but things are looking up. I allowed myself one week to sulk, one week to grieve. Thankfully time is up and it is time to move on with my life. I know C. would not be happy to see me upset or worrying. I know he is in good hands and that this experience is going to add a completely new dynamic to our relationship, take it to a level we have never been before.

As I have said before, you really do not fully understand exactly what you have until you no longer have it. I have always appreciated him, but I believe I love him now more than ever. At the beginning of our relationship C.would always ask me why I loved him and if I thought we would be together forever. My answer was always yes. When he asked why my answer steadily remained the same. I love C. more than life itself. I would literally take a bullet for that man. But most importantly, I know we will be together forever because it seems that with each year that passes by, I love him far more than I did the year before. Each time I assure myself that I could not possibly love anyone more than I love him now, I always prove myself wrong.

I received C’s mailing address this week. I can not wait to write him, but I decided I would wait a few days to ensure that he will not be picked on for getting the first letter. I also began following the Air Forces Basic Training page on Facebook. Hopefully they will post pictures of C’s flight soon. I know he will not be happy about me seeing him bald. I am quite positive that he is missing his ball cap right about now.

Only 49 days to go! I can do this. He can do this. We can do this.

Bring.It.On.

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