Thursday, January 28, 2010

Impact of Multiple Deployments on Children

Reprinted by permission from http://armylive.dodlive.mil:

With the recent announcement of President Obama’s fund increase to Military Family Programs, the importance of assisting our military Soldiers and families is ever prevalent. Today’s guest blog entry comes from a study completed at the Army War College by Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Steven Gerras discussing the the impact of multiple deployments on families, especially the children.

The new reality of repetitive deployments has led to innovative programs and policies designed to assist military children in dealing with the difficulties of deployments. Initiatives — ranging from “flat daddies” replacing deployed soldiers at the dinner table, to senior leaders ceremoniously signing the Army Family Covenant at installations across the world, to the First Lady proposing nearly $9 billion to support military families — point to the growing concern that multiple deployments may be as stressful to Army children as they are to soldiers.

Despite the increased attention and seemingly endless resources directed at children in deployed families, however, there has been very little research examining the effects of multiple deployments on children.

In March of 2009, Leonard Wong and Stephen Gerras from the U.S. Army War College began a two-phase study to examine the effects of multiple deployments on Army adolescents.

The first phase, collected through an online survey, evaluated the perspectives of over 2,000 soldiers, 700 spouses, and 500 Army children between 11 and 17.

The second phase collected the views of over 100 Army adolescents through individual interviews at 8 Army installations throughout the U.S.

As expected, they found that strong families — to include a non-deployed spouse who coped well with deployments — as well as ample activities such as sports to keep Army youngsters busy serve to reduce stress levels of Army adolescents during a deployment.

Surprisingly, they also found that the attitudes of Army children play a role in dealing with deployment stress and coping with a life of deployments. Children who believed that soldiers are making a difference in the world and that the American public supported the war were significantly more likely to report that they were coping better with deployments.

The study highlights the often overlooked impact of attitudinal factors such as the influence of public opinion concerning the war and the importance — in a life marked by multiple deployments — of an adolescent’s confidence that their parent’s call to duty is worth the sacrifice.

For a free download of the full study, please visit the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute website: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=962
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Free HeroBracelet for Gold Star Families


Here is an email received today that is reprinted with permission:

HeroBracelets.org would like to send a small token of our appreciation to every Gold Star Family in America. We’re not sure if we can actually do this, but we’re going to try.

Initially, we’ll give a free HeroBracelet to the first 150 Gold Star Families that write us. If we’re able, financially, to continue to give a bracelet to every Gold Star Family in America, we will.

HeroBracelets.org has no financial backing and no full-time employees and we operate by word of mouth. We started HeroBracelets.org to raise money for the families of those lost to war and our mission has expanded greatly since we started in 2004.

But for now, we want to give a gift of remembrance to as many Gold Star Families as we can.

HOW IT WILL WORK:

- PLEASE, only ONE free HeroBracelet to Gold Star Family.

- To order your free Memorial HeroBracelet, email a memorial to your lost loved one to info@herobracelets.org. Your memorial can be anything you choose. Write whatever you like and feel free to include photos. Your memorial will have a special place on the HeroBracelets.org Web site.

- When you send us your memorial, we’ll email you a coupon code good for the free bracelet.

- Order as you would [without this special offer]. You may order other HeroBracelets offerings, silver, copper, leather, tags etc. The cost of the Memorial HeroBracelets ($13.00) will automatically be deducted from your order when you use your coupon code.

- Shipping is not included.

Your HeroBracelets will get to you in about a week with our great appreciation.

Go to http://www.herobracelets.org/?page_id=1082 for the link.

Please feel free to forward this email on!

Chris Greta
Supporting the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Guardian Angels for Soldiers' Pet Matches Military Pets with Foster Homes

Below is a guest post from my friend Rina Carmel in Los Angeles, CA:

Guardian Angels for Soldiers' Pet is a wonderful organization that helps our soldiers, veterans and their pets to ensure that owners and pets are reunited following a deployment or other emergency hardship.

I'm fostering Katie, a beautiful gray tabby cat, as her mom is going to be deployed to Afghanistan as a medic next week. Katie's mom and I were matched up through Guardian Angels for Soldiers' Pets.

The program takes detailed information about the pet to ensure it is fixed and has its vaccinations as well as about the foster home to ensure it will be a safe, humane and loving home.

When the organization finds a possible match, the owner and caregiver are contacted. These two then have an introductory meeting along with the pet. If it's a good match, the owner and caregiver discuss how long the foster pet is expected to stay, who pays for food, grooming and vet expenses, and other details of the arrangement.

For those who are unable to foster a pet, there are other ways to be involved, and donations are appreciated.

Please visit the organization's website for more information www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Your Vote Can Help DOG TAGS FOR KIDS -- Please Read This Now
























Some of you may recall that I write a blog post over a year ago about the military support program Dog Tags for Kids.
If you missed the post you can read it now.

Today I got an email from Steve Thompson asking me to vote to help get funds for this volunteer program. I voted, and afterwards I got Steve's permission to post his email here.

Two things: You must give your birth date to vote but it does NOT appear anywhere. And this is the additional info Steve sent:

The deadline is February 26th. That would be great if you can get the word out on your blog. Since this will definitely benefit the military men and women, it would be awesome to get them and their loved ones to vote as well! Winning would mean being able to send over 10,000 tags out to ones in harms' way.

Here's the original email (the boldface is mine):

As many of you know, I have been involved with this wonderful project that supports our military families by supplying them with dog tags to send home to their children.

I'm pleased to say that with everyone's help and support, we have now sent over 500,000 tags to our men and women fighting in harm's way. That makes for over 1 million smiles, and is a great way to thank our troops for the job they are sent to do overseas.

Many of you have graciously stepped up to the plate and donated to make this program the success that it has been, and now I have another favor to ask. We have the opportunity to win $2,500 if we can gather the most votes for the person that has unselfishly dedicated herself to making this project a huge success, [DOG TAGS FOR KIDS founder] Rose Sliepka.

She has been entered in a contest for heroes, and we could use your help. Simply go to http://www.care2.com/hero-next-door/top_heroes and scroll down to find Rose Sliepka from Lancaster,CA in the list and vote. They only require a name, email and date of birth but you can remain anonymous and opt out of any mailings.

For those who are not familiar with our program, you can visit our web site at www.dogtagsforkids.com.

For those in a position to do so, donations are gratefully accepted, but more importantly help us spread the word and get Rose the votes she truly deserves. I thank everyone for their time and trouble and in helping us support our military!

Kind regards,
Steve

VOTE NOW -- IT TAKES LESS THAN A MINUTE.

___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Al Tompkins Interviews a Military Mother on Her Son's Suicide and Getting Journalists to More Aggressively Cover Military-Related Suicides

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I frequently write about PTSD. So when I saw the link to this article in my Twitter stream (from @armysupporter) I immediately posted the beginning of the article by Al Tompkins here:

Last week, a woman named Linda Bean called me to ask if there was anything I could do to get journalists to more aggressively cover military-related suicides and how to prevent them. She wanted me to urge you to take some simple steps to help families of soldiers know where to turn for help.

I could hear the pain in Bean's voice when I talked to her. Her son, Coleman, finished two tours in Iraq. In September 2008, at the age of 25, he took his own life. Coleman, who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, reached out to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and to non-military mental health providers for help but didn't follow through on plans to get counseling.

His story is one of many. On average, 18 veterans per day take their own lives.

I interviewed Coleman to hear her thoughts on the role journalists can play in helping people gain a better understanding of PTSD and its effects on veterans and their families.
Read the interview now.

And if you want information on how to recognize the symptoms of PTSD, see www.insupportofourtroops.com/ptsd-info/
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book Author Looking for Women Who Have Served During Wartime

Here's a request from Kerry Pardue, who contributed to the new book HEART OF A MILITARY WOMAN by Sheryl L. Roush and Eldonna Lewis Fernandez:

My name is Kerry Pardue and I am writing another book.

This one’s focus is on women who have served during war; those considered the forgotten ones, misunderstood because perhaps the perception was that they hadn’t endured any hardships. Many may be closet vets but they, too, have stories to be told--something important to share now while there’s still time.

I’m including women who served from the Revolutionary War to the current Afghani/Iraq conflicts, from Rosie the Riveter, to the nurse, air traffic controller, pilot, and the Donut Dolly. Each paid their dues coping with loss, blood, sweat and tears. I want to include secondary victims as well—those who lost a husband, parent or sibling.

I am looking for your story, your photos from then to now, your writings, your reasons for becoming [insert occupation here], your experiences and how that time was for you. You might find it helpful to answer questions about your homecoming, your memories now of how you were treated by your peers, subordinates and superiors, your regrets, losses, and whether or not you’d do it over again.

What happened to you after you returned home…did you return home? What do you want other women to know about you and your service?

I know that I am asking a lot but it will be an important work. Mmost of the proceeds will be donated for education to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Please consider being a part of this work and please send this on to your network of women that you know who have been a part of serving our country during war…and peace.

If you or any of your contacts have any questions please get in touch with me: kerrypardue247@yahoo.com

My goal is to collect everything by March 1st so I can begin to put together your stories with the book’s release date by Veterans Day 2010.

Kerry "Doc" Pardue
National Chaplain, Medics & Corpsmen 2008-2010
http://www.medics-corpsmen.org/
http://www.kerrypardue247.com/Index.html
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Monday, January 11, 2010

THE MARRIAGE MANUAL Can Help the Wives of Deployed Military Personnel



I asked Laurie Woodward, co-author with her husband BJ Woodward of the nonfiction book THE MARRIAGE MANUAL, to write a guest post about how this book could help couples separated due to deployment. (Laurie and BJ "have been happily married almost 11 years!")

And, yes, the above is an affiliate link. I read THE MARRIAGE MANUAL and believe it offers very valuable information for both husband and wife. You can read my review on the book's Amazon page.

Here's what Laurie wrote, addressed to the wives of deployed men:


First off I want to thank Phyllis Zimbler Miller for inviting me as a guest blogger. If you have not read her book “Mrs. Lieutenant” it is a very enjoyable read.

It was about four different women from different backgrounds forced to live together to keep their sanity while their husbands were preparing for war. The women were young, inexperienced at life, not to mention new to being wives. I couldn’t put it down.

I’m sorry your husbands are away, I can’t say that I know what that feels like, but I believe that you are all very brave and very lucky at the same time.

Wondering why I say lucky...right?

Many women go from their parents' home to college or work, and their small window of alone time gets intercepted by the need to find a husband and then to have kids. Once married "I" becomes "we" and then shortly "we" becomes "us"! No more just you.

You have a window of opportunity right now, starting today, to find out who you are, what you’re good at and what makes you happy. This is your time! I highly recommend you grab it!

If you have children, help them find their passion -- they all like to do something that we say “no” to. What would happen if you said yes? How would your child feel? I’m not talking about touching something hot or running into the street! Forget what you want for them or even what Debbie is doing down the street. Find your passions together and grow.

If you can find your own excitement at this time, when your husband needs you -- you will be much better equipped to be the wife he will appreciate. Otherwise you may always feel like you’re missing out on something. You are more than a wife and a mother!

What keeps a husband happy is a happy wife!

Many marriages start falling apart after the birth of the first child. Women become overwhelmed and unconsciously leave out their husbands because the wives feel like they have lost themselves.

In THE MARRIAGE MANUAL I completely know where you’re going and have given you an easy recipe to cook up for your husband. You will know exactly what to do to make sure he feels loved and appreciated by you.

As women we think we know what men need, but I’m here to tell you that there is another piece! It is everything he wants you to know about him but will never tell you himself.

You can please him and continue to find out what you need at the same time.

If you are worried about what’s in it for me, no problem, he has his very own section in THE MARRIAGE MANUAL! Leave the book out!

When I was alone these were the steps I learned to fall in love with me!

Hope it helps!

Visit the website at www.themarriagemanual.com

___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Planned Film Project to Tell Story of One Sailor's Fight for His Veteran's Rights

This is a proposed feature film project based on the true story of Harvey Ray Lucas, a radiation-stricken veteran who fought against his untimely death from radiation exposure from the ship on which he served.

Lucas (and after his death his family) fought the Department of Veterans Affairs in a 38-year court case. The family’s passion, tenacity and steadfast desire to fight for the rights of the American veteran defied the odds.

This is a true story reminiscent of the true story documented by the feature film K-9: THE WIDOW MAKER (directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who just directed THE HURT LOCKER).

Read more at www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com

__

'Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Debora George Figured Out How to Ship a Cake 7-12 Days in Transit to Deployed Troops

Misty Hofstetter, proud wife of Ssgt. Jason Hofstetter of the U.S. Air Force (www.mistyhof.com), wrote the following guest post about Debora George and her business Wire a Cake.

(P.S. This guest post especially resonates with me because, when my to-be husband was at ROTC summer camp in 1968 at Ft. Riley, Kansas, the chocolate chip cookies my mother baked and shipped him would melt in his locker due to the Kansas heat. – P.Z.M.)

WireACake.com is the brainchild of Debora George of Huntington Beach, CA. A mother of three and a wife of 29 years, Debora did not always have the dream of working in the baking industry. In fact, she got her BA from UCLA in history.

However, through a simple event that took place in 1986 while she was living in Colorado, Debora’s life changed.

Debora tried to send a simple cake to her father in California for his birthday and was disappointed when she couldn’t arrange this. Seeing an opportunity for a possible business, Debora decided that, if she could get bakers in the top 40 cities to buy into her idea of a telecake network, she would be open for business.

In 1987, this idea became a reality, and for over 20 years her business flourished, expanding her network to 8,000 bakeries in both the US and Canada. However, with the slowing of the economy, Debora found it necessary to reinvent her business.

She thought about the many requests she had received since the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan started to send cakes for different occasions overseas to the men and women serving our country.

At the time, there was no cake or packaging in the industry that was suited for the 5-12 day trip that it would take. Not to mention the extreme conditions, both in the handling and the temperatures that the package would have to face.

This presented a unique opportunity for Debora’s business and also an opportunity to fill a need for our country, so Debora decided to take on this challenge.

Debora approached the Cake Box, a baker in her town of Huntington Beach, CA, to see if the baker could come up with a solution to this challenge. After many ideas and trial runs with test cakes sent to very willing Marines with both disasters and successes, a winner was finally found.

Since the USPS is the only way to send packages to APO/FPO addresses, the cakes can make it within about 7-12 days of shipping. Due to the innovative way the cakes are packaged, most of the cakes are in great shape when they arrive.

As a military wife myself, I know that these cakes can really make the day of any soldier, as shown below by the many thanks that Debora and her company receives:

"Just wanted to thank you again for what you do, this deployment is four months from being over and you guys have made the holidays we have missed a little easier to handle! Thanks so much.” -- Sierra

“My husband got his cake yesterday, and I believe it put a smile on his face that has been missing for months. Thank you so much! I'm sure he will send pictures of the party!” -- Melissa

“Debora, I want to thank you again for providing this service to our men and women in uniform. It means a lot to me as an Army wife to know that there are people out there that go above and beyond. Thanks again!” Respectfully, Lourdes

Debora’s company fills the need that gives families the ability to send cakes to their loved ones overseas as well as the company is involved with the Angel Team of Bakers in the Soldier’s Angels organization.

This project (learn more at http://soldiersangels.org/index.php?page=angel-bakers) provides a free cake to a deserving soldier who may have been through an especially difficult experience during his or her deployment or is in need of a morale boost for a job well done.

For more info about Wire a Cake, go to www.wireacake.com
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In HOMEFRONT Novelist Kristen Tsetsi Writes About When the Person You Love Most Deploys
























Kristen Tsetsi (www.kristentsetsi.com) is an award-winning fiction writer and a former reporter. Her novel "Homefront" - available for Kindle and in paperback - was inspired by her husband's 2003 deployment to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division.

When my husband left for Iraq in 2003, it was my first experience with a deployment, and it was not a good one. I imagined him being shot down. I imagined his funeral. Looking at his pictures could, on a bad day, send me into a gasping, sobbing fit because it was too easy to imagine never seeing his face again.

When he left at the start of the war in Iraq, embedded reporters were bringing immediate updates 24 hours a day. Unless I had to, I didn’t leave the TV, and I rarely watched anything but the news. When I slept, it was with the TV on. I would wake up – without trying – every hour, look at the screen and the ticker-tape to check for his name or his division, and then go back to sleep when it appeared all was well.

One night, after waking up to check the news, I wondered how hard it could be, really, to pack my things and catch a commercial flight to Kuwait, and then (somehow) find someone to take me to him, wherever he was. What if he died in the next month and I hadn’t done everything in my power to see him just one more time? Shouldn’t we take control of our own destinies?

Needless to say, I didn’t fly to Kuwait. I didn’t even pack my bags. The anxiety settled and I watched the news until I fell asleep.

None of the above touches the surface of what it’s like to worry every day that the person you love most will never come home, to fear the last time you saw the person – days, weeks, months ago – will have been just that: the last time.

It doesn’t communicate the powerful and complex mingling of every possible emotion in any number of ways, all of it sitting on top of a constant feeling of anxious dread. The anxiety never leaves; rather, it drags along, affecting every thought, every smile, every attempt to make everyday conversation with people whose last cry was prompted by a television show about home d├ęcor.

It was because the experience is so complex, and so grossly under-explored, that I wrote "Homefront." What I saw missing from the books about war was a true-to life, honest, and intimate account of the horrifying experience of waiting. It’s a very big part of any war, but one we don’t hear much about.

"Homefront" is not, however, a nonfiction account of my personal experience. Rather, it is semi-autobiographical fiction, or “true fiction,” and is told from the unsentimental and no-holds-barred point of view of a young woman whose boyfriend deploys to Iraq.

Because it is fiction, readers will enjoy the characters and their individual conflicts while, at the same time, vicariously experiencing a deployment through the eyes of the protagonist.

As Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien writes in his war novel "The Things They Carried": "Story-truth is sometimes truer than happening-truth." It is about the accuracy and truth of the emotional experience more than it is who said what on a certain day.

And "Homefront" forces readers to feel, to live, that truth.

Visit the novel's page on Amazon to read reviews of the book.
(This is an affiliate link.)
___


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Taking My Show on the Road: Films That Support Our Troops


Even though I have plenty to do 24/7 with the Internet marketing business I run with co-founder Yael K. Miller, I can't wait any longer sitting at my computer and trying to connect with a corporate sponsor for my site www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com in order to get wider distribution for the compelling documentaries and feature films on this site.

My 2010 New Year's resolution is to take my cause on the road, hoping to attract nationwide attention for this project. Read my "pitch" in the sidebars here at MrsLieutenant.blogpsot.com and at FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com and OperationSupportJewsintheMilitary.com. If you can help, contact me at pzmiller@millermosaicllc.com
___

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest project is www.FilmsThatSupportOurTroops.com.

Phyllis' company MillerMosaicLLC.com does power marketing that combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.