Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Career Planning Tool to Help Military Spouses

On a Department of Defense's Bloggers Roundtable on January 28, 2014, a new feature of the SECO (Spouse Education and Career Opportunities) site was demonstrated by program manager Meg O'Grady.

MyICP (My Individual Career Plan) is a new self-service career planing tool available for military spouses and also available for 180 days after the military spouse's active duty member has separated from the military.

(The logon for this site is a military spouse's DS logon or a DS logon can be created on the site itself.)

With this new career planning tool, a military spouse can create as many individual career plans as he or she wants. In this way the military spouse is able to consider the recommended steps of different career paths.

Here is the purpose of the MySECO site:

The MySECO website ensures military spouses have 24-7 access to online education and career information, resources, tools and assessments. Using the tools and assessments, spouses can begin to explore their interests, skills, passions and personality type to determine the best fit for education and career choices.

If you are a military spouse, click here to visit the site now at myseco.militaryonesource.mil and try out the new career planning tool.


And if you know military spouses, please share with them the link to this site.

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Sunday, January 19, 2014

TV Drama BLUE BLOODS Deals With Combat-Induced PTSD

Fans of the CBS drama “Blue Bloods” know that New York police detective Danny Reagan (actor Donnie Wahlberg) has previously served two tours as a Marine in Iraq. Now these fans know that Danny has not escaped being mentally scarred by his two tours.


The episode “Unfinished Business” — written by Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green — that first aired January 17, 2014, deals with an Army corporal who has served three tours in Afghanistan. The corporal has beaten up his wife and kidnapped his eight-year-old son because of PTSD problems four months after returning from the corporal's most recent tour.

(There is a very brief mention that the corporal is seeing a private therapist. The implication for those who know about the military is that the corporal is afraid to see a military therapist because this would go on his service record.)

While the episode has many compelling scenes, one such scene is when Danny talks to the major about how soldiers sign off that they are fine after a tour. Danny says he signed off on such a form also, but he implies that this does not mean it is the truth.

While I will not give away the ending of the episode, I will share here the public service message narrated by actor Tom Selleck that followed the episode:
The characters and incidents in tonight's episode are fictional and do not represent the vast majority of [v]eterans.


However, PTSD and other challenges faced by some of our returning [v]eterans are all too real.


If you're a [v]eteran experiencing PTSD, please visit the National Center for PTSD.


ptsd.va.gov


And if you'd like to support our veterans, please visit the Wounded Warrior Project or the Bob Woodruff Foundation.


woundedwarriorproject.org


bobwoodrufffoundation.org


CBS Cares
This is not the first time “Blue Bloods” has dealt with PTSD symptoms although it is the most extensive episode.

One episode dealt with younger brother and police officer Jamie Reagan seeing a therapist to hopefully head off PTSD symptoms after Jamie shot and killed someone. Click here to read my blog post about this episode.

And another “Blue Bloods” episode dealt with non-combat-induced PTSD. Click here to read my blog post about that episode.

P.S. Although there are innovative strategies being developed and used to treat PTSD, there is a long way to go. For more information, see www.SolomonsJustice.com

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Compelling TV Show WEST WING Tribute to Homeless Veterans: Must Watch Video



Thanks to award-winning book author Bonnie Bartel Latino for sharing this compelling video on Facebook. 
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Support Documentary GOLD STAR CHILDREN: TWO GENERATIONS SHARING LOSS AND HEALING


Here is a guest post by Mitty Griffis Mirrer:


The death of a parent impacts the life of a child forever. A new hour-long documentary film -- GOLD STAR CHILDREN: TWO GENERATIONS SHARING LOSS AND HEALING -- takes an intimate look at American children who have lost a parent to war across two generations.


The film follows the parallel journeys of two generations of grieving children – recent war orphans who have lost parents serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and here at home with the now adult children who lost parents serving in Vietnam.


This touching and hopeful film brings together the voices of today with historical context, giving meaning and shape to how America understands those who pay the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country through the voices of the children and families they leave behind.

The term “gold star” children is based on the pin presented by the military at military funerals to the families of fallen troops. Documentary viewers will watch as children cry, laugh and share their experiences across two generations and find hope and healing.

The isolation carried by now adult children who lost a parent in Vietnam, and their struggle to understand the deaths of their fathers in a war that most Americans did not want to fight, is explored.

At the same time, children who have lost parents in today’s conflicts face a public that support the troops but feel like others can’t relate to their experiences as bereaved children.


I was inspired to produce and direct the hour-long documentary film after mentoring a child whose father was killed in Iraq.  My own father, US Marine CAPT William A. Griffis, III, died in the Vietnam War hours after my birth.


This is an untold story of our nation's children of war.  Ultimately, this is a story of hope.


You may view the trailer and then purchase the documentary GOLD STAR CHILDREN by downloading the film at goldstarchildren.org

The downloads are a way of demonstrating to the documentary's distributors that there is a community that cares and wants this film.  Thank you for "casting your vote," if you will, by downloading GOLD STAR CHILDREN!

All profits go to the not-for-profit Gold Star Children organization, which continues the work giving our nation's military bereaved children a voice.

My hope is to be able to offer this film as a military resource for all newly bereaved military children and for our casualty assistance officers who must knock on the door.

Thank you for supporting the mission of creating community and awareness for our bereaved military children by purchasing the film at goldstarchildren.org
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Animal Assisted Therapy Documentary HORSES AND HEROES Needs Your Help


 

Here is a guest post by Theresa Chaze on an important project:
 
Animal Assisted Therapy has been extremely effective for those who are physically and emotionally challenged, and it has become more widely used in cases of PTSD, especially for veterans.
Although almost any animal can be a healer, dogs and horses are the ones that are most commonly partnered with veterans. Dogs have the advantage of being accepted in both cities and rural areas. 

However, horses are known to better reflect the mood of the person handling them. This ability is helpful for PSTD patients to learn how to recognize their own feelings. In this way, they learn how to retrain their mind and body reacts to stressors.

The planned documentary HORSES AND HEROES will be hosted by veteran Barbara (Bobby) Kilgore. Enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1980, she served six years and was honorably discharged.  In 1995 she enlisted in the United States Army, from which she retired in October 2011.


Founded in 2001, Charity Hill Ranch specializes in Traumatic Brain Injury and rehabilitation utilizing all the assets a farm and horse have to offer. 

Christine O'Connell is a PATH International Certified Instructor of 10 years and specializes in Traumatic Brain Injury as well as being a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Sarah Wilson is a Mental Health Specialist with a degree in psychology and education. She offers tutoring and program planning at the ranch.

Mid-Michigan Equestrian Center, Inc, which is located at Charity Hill Ranch, is a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation that believes that riding and caring for horses profoundly affects the lives of people with disabilities and enables them to live a more fulfilling and complete life. The mission is to provide programs and services where “Love in Action” enables individual growth and achievement for people who have special needs, through an extraordinary partnership with horses and staff. 

Carefully trained and certified instructors work with clients to take advantage of every healing minute at the ranch. At-risk children develop healthy trust and relationships. Those with disabilities learn responsibility, develop communication skills and use this therapy as a way to create life-long passions.

Charity Hill Ranch is a proud member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. It is also a member of Horses for Heroes Inc. 

Based in Las Vegas and founded in 2006, the mission of Horses for Heroes is to make horseback riding affordable for, and accessible to, active duty servicemen and women, veterans, first responders, and their families.

A semi-scripted documentary, HORSES AND HEROES will create a greater awareness of Animal Assisted Therapy for civilians, military personnel, veterans, and their families. The goal is to create an understanding of how and why the therapy works, thereby giving those suffering from PTSD another therapeutic option.

Cosmos Productions has created a crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo to help with the development costs for HORSES AND HEROES. All the funds raised for will be used to pay for the development of the documentary.

If you are veteran or a family member of a vet, please contribute to this healing documentary so others may learn that there is a path to come all the way home.

The site address is at www.indiegogo.com/projects/horses-and-heroes/x/94403. There are also product placement sponsorships available and opportunities for those who wish to help more by investing in HORSES AND HEROES.

To learn more visit Cosmos Production's website at http://cproduction5.wix.com/cosmos-productions

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients on digital marketing opportunities. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MilitaryOneSource Can Help Family Members of Military Personnel With PTSD


In recognition of Military Family Month -- Barbara Thompson, Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth  Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense  (Military Community and Family Policy), joined a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable on November 13th to discuss programs the Defense Department is using in order to help our nation's 2.9 million military families.


Because of my ongoing interest in helping to spread the word about people getting help for PTSD symptoms, I asked what happens if a family member calls MilitaryOneSource for help with getting military personnel to seek treatment for possible PTSD.


Ms. Thompson replied that licensed clinicians answer the phone and are able to advise family members on encouraging someone to seek help.  She said, “It is really okay to ask for help.”


If you are part of a military family and suspect someone needs help with PTSD, here are the phone numbers that you can use:

Contact a MilitaryOneSource consultant now at 800.342.9647
 
Military Crisis Line 800.273.TALK (8255)
 

DoD Safe Helpline Sexual Assault Support 877.995.5247

Click here to visit  the MilitaryOneSource site now.
 
P.S.  And if you want to read a fictional story that could help encourage people to seek help with possible PTSD, check out SOLOMON'S JUSTICE: A PTSD SHORT STORY available on Kindle at http://amzn.to/17YVSGq or read about PTSD at www.SolomonsJustice.com

And if you don't have a Kindle, you can get a free Kindle app for PC, Mac, etc. at http://budurl.com/freeKindleapp

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Military Discounts: A Guide to Saving When You Serve

Here is a guest post by Anna Kavich.  Republished with permission from Offers.com:



From fast food chains and flower delivery to travel and college tuition, you’d be surprised at how many companies offer discounts for those on active military duty and veterans. Considering their sacrifice to protect our country, it seems like the least we can do to say thanks.

According to ConsumerCredit.com, 93% of military personnel have a mortgage and 91% have at least one credit card. These looming monthly payments can be difficult to make – especially with members deployed all over the world with sparse communication.
In fact, the Center for Responsible Lending determined in 2005 that 20% of active military members had taken out a payday loan. With soldiers, veterans and military families struggling to make ends meet, it’s no surprise that discounts and offers are widely used. Check out our collection of top military discounts, including:
A word of advice, though, from Austin army spouse and Offers.com graphic artist Kristen Burroughs: “Just be sure to check with any company before expecting to receive a good deal.”
Many stores and websites will offer a “military discount” that is actually much higher than the regularly advertised price. Though hard to fathom, military discount scams are actually a frequent occurrence. The Better Business Bureau Military Line warns against some of the most common cases. 

Military Discount Scams:

       Higher priced loans – lenders promise false guarantees,  instant approval or no credit check.
  • Veteran buyout plans – cash payments are made in exchange for veteran benefits or pension payments that are actually lower than what the veteran is entitled to.
  • Fake rental properties – replicated photos advertise a non-existent property, and active members make security payments via wire transfer but never receive anything.
  • Misleading car sales – posted ads offer false discounts and soldiers make payments via wire transfer.
  • Expensive life insurance policies – solicitors make false statements about policy benefits and costs.
How does one avoid these sticky situations? “Discounts change by store and location all the time,” Burroughs said. “You learn how to ask.”
Burroughs has been saving here and there with military discounts for four years while her husband, Dave, has been a sergeant in the army. He is currently assigned to the air defense unit and has been deployed twice – once to Korea and then to Kuwait. They currently live in Killeen, a town about an hour outside of Austin where Fort Hood is located.
“I have a 68.9 mile commute every day to work in Austin,” said Burroughs. “I definitely take advantage of oil change discounts at Jiffy Lube and Firestone.” Burroughs and her husband also use an exclusive military discount on their Verizon phone bill as well as the occasional retail shopping experience. “Old Navy usually has a 10% off military discount in store on Mondays.”

What are the best military discounts?


Although shopping and utilities savings are great, Burroughs confirmed that the best deals she's found have been for travel. As you can imagine, military families spend a majority of their time circumventing the globe. Whether it’s to move to the next post or to visit far-away family, many like Burroughs are often on the go.

She said saving on airfare is huge and companies like Southwest, Delta, and American Airlines always offer military discounts. Burroughs also said that pretty much any hotel will offer a 10-20% discount.

Car rental is another top category for military discounts. Burroughs recalled a time when she and her husband were visiting family in Pennsylvania and needed to rent a car. It was going to cost a whopping $400 for the week, but with her USAA discount the total came to a much more affordable $150.
Although they don’t currently take advantage of too many restaurant or shopping military discounts, Burroughs said that this will definitely change when they have children.

“Especially with the back to school season, I can imagine using discounts to save money that we can put toward school supplies.”
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the digital marketing company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to utilize integrated online marketing. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com