You can’t receive grace with a clenched fist

You can’t receive grace with a clenched fist

You can’t receive grace with a clenched fist. Your hands must first be open. Just think about it for a second.  You can’t expect someone to forgive you if you are full of anger.  Would you feel like forgiving someone who was screaming at you with some sort of sarcastic or hostile apology that was [...]

I can’t do it, but Christ can do it through me

I can’t do it, but Christ can do it through me

Are you facing something so overwhelming that it seems impossible to overcome? It’s likely that it will, in fact, be impossible if you rely only on yourself. After surviving several huge challenges which resulted in what I like to call “parting of the Red Sea moments” in my life, I’m here to tell you that [...]

Preventing Suicide Starts with YOU!

Preventing Suicide Starts with YOU!

Suicide prevention is everybody’s business!  Many of us have been touched by suicide, and with suicide rates rising in the military and veteran communities, we all need to pay attention to those around us. Did you know that the person who is most likely to prevent someone from taking their own life is someone that [...]

Know Any Cyber Bullies on Facebook?

Know Any Cyber Bullies on Facebook?

Cyber Bullies…… you know who you are!  You are the ones who like to jump on my Facebook wall and say something just to tick me off! Every time I post my own opinion on my own Facebook page you show your ugly face. Here’s a newsflash! I’m not looking for an argument. I’m just [...]

Truth or Fiction: What will the Wounded Warrior Battalion Study Reveal?

Truth or Fiction: What will the Wounded Warrior Battalion Study Reveal?

Imagine my surprise when a friend told me I was mentioned in a Jacksonville, North Carolina newspaper yesterday. It has been almost 2 years to the day since I was first contacted by the DOD IG about the problems going on at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Camp Lejeune.   As much as I can’t wait to [...]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to Home

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to Home

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and apparently this is causing a great deal of controversy.  Many of the reviews out there are negative and I am absolutely shocked that this is the case. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is being labeled as a movie about 9/11, [...]

Don’t fit in. Stand out!

Don’t fit in. Stand out!

I’m not sure who gets the credit for this expression, but it’s simple and it’s smart.  What have any of us ever accomplished by fitting in?  I spent a good part of my life trying to fit in. It was exhausting and disappointing.  I could never keep up with the Jones’s and if I came [...]

Obstacles to Life After Combat: Part 1 – The Attitude of VA Employees

Obstacles to Life After Combat: Part 1 – The Attitude of VA Employees

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Or in this case, was it the troubled veteran with the bad attitude, or was it the lack of concern and attention given the veteran when he arrived at the VA Medical Center for medical care?  Are the members of the health care community providing care for [...]

A Mother’s Heart on Veterans Day

A Mother’s Heart on Veterans Day

I wonder how different our lives would be if someone wasn’t always willing to serve.  Since the birth of our nation, there have always been brave men and women standing in the gap to protect our nation and ensure our freedoms. I spent the first 40 some years of my life enjoying all the sacrifices [...]

It’s Still Standing

It’s Still Standing

Our flag still stands today because of all who have served to ensure that it flies overhead. It is with a grateful heart that I express my thanks to all who have been willing to wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice your life so I [...]

Why vote?

Why vote?

It’s election day and you need to take a few minutes and cast your vote. You may not be thrilled with your choices, but at least you have a choice. If you don’t cast your vote, then you really don’t have the right to complain later on about who is serving in office. We can’t [...]

Just do it!

Just do it!

Forgive the people who have hurt your the most and deserve it the least. Just do it! I promise it will radically change your life. I heard these words of wisdom while at church one Sunday morning. I’m not sure where they originated, but I would imagine they came from the lips of one who is [...]

Stop Negative Campaign Ads

Stop Negative Campaign Ads

Dear Candidates, Just tell me why I should vote for YOU!  That is all I need to hear from you. Let me do my own research on the other candidates. If I want to get to know them up close and personal, I can dig for their dirt all by myself. I’m really tired of [...]

Supporting our troops can sometimes mean taking a stand

Supporting our troops can sometimes mean taking a stand

October 18, 2011 ~ Please don’t mistake my disinterest in allowing another child to enter the Corps as a lack of support for our military. Our family will continue to serve and support our military, their families, and our veterans by giving our time and our talents to meet the needs here on the homefront.  [...]

Reflections of my Post 9.11 World

Reflections of my Post 9.11 World

September 9, 2011 ~ We all live in a Post 9/11 world where life will never be the same for any of us.  We all remember what we were doing ten years ago on that fateful day, at the very moment when we first heard the news of the planes hitting the Twin Towers and [...]

Memorial Day – It’s not just another mattress close-out sale

Memorial Day – It’s not just another mattress close-out sale

May 27, 2011 ~ It’s Friday and the kickoff for Memorial Day Weekend 2011 is in full force.  While I was drinking my coffee and clearing the fog from my brain early this morning, I turned on the television and checked in on the news.  Within the first twenty minutes I heard all about how [...]

When Military Suicide Becomes Personal

When Military Suicide Becomes Personal

September 13, 2011 ~ You may think that military suicide has not affected you personally, but if the truth be told, we are all going to be affected by this epidemic if we don’t do something about it. Thousands of returning combat veterans are living in our hometowns.  They work in our businesses.  They attend [...]

Get to know the new guy

Get to know the new guy

August 11, 2011 ~ I’m a casualty of war, but I’ve been far too focused on that fact for the past two and half years.  I’ve allowed Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress to steal my oldest son, and steal my joy. For the longest time we have been trudging through the stages of [...]

Luke Jensen: Another Face of PTSD

Luke Jensen: Another Face of PTSD

July 17, 2011 ~ The article, Serving in Afghanistan turned a tough guy into a nervous wreck, is just one of the many stories out there sharing the reality of PTSD.  Luke Jensen was described as a bull of a man, a former undercover cop, a lover of motorcycles and weightlifting, the person you’d pick to handle [...]

Save a life by sharing your story

Save a life by sharing your story

July 15, 2011 ~ When it comes to the world of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), the invisible wounds of war, most of us have a tendency not to share our stories.  There is an automatic respect given to those who come home from war with physical wounds, but for those who [...]

Literally dying to get some sleep: The accidental death of a US Marine

Literally dying to get some sleep: The accidental death of a US Marine

July 8, 2011 ~ Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of LCPL Adam Thomas Puckett.  At the time of his death, just 25 years old, Adam had just returned from his second combat deployment with the United States Marine Corps.  He was home on leave. For the past year, the lives of [...]

Are you ready for the big boom? PTSD and Fireworks

Are you ready for the big boom? PTSD and Fireworks

July 1, 2011 ~ With July 4th coming up and the passage of a new Kentucky fireworks law, we are going to be hearing a lot more noise this year.  Rather than drive to Tennessee or Indiana, we can now legally buy bottle rockets, Roman candles and other explosives that shoot up in the air.  [...]

Confessions of a Marine Mom: I’m Enrolled in Retail Therapy

Confessions of a Marine Mom: I’m Enrolled in Retail Therapy

June 2, 2011 ~ The first time I walked into a Marine Corps Exchange, I thought I had died and gone to heaven…..Marine Corps Mom’s heaven, that is.  I had not laid eyes on my son for months and back in my hometown, there was not a single place of business that sold anything related [...]

When he’s deployed on his birthday

When he’s deployed on his birthday

May 20, 2011 ~ I’m pretty sure most mothers feel the same way as I do about their children’s birthdays.  The date on which they are born will always be ranked right up there with any national holiday if we are asked about its importance. Most children find themselves surrounded by a room full of [...]

Diffusing the IED ~ When the caregiver lives with PTSD

Diffusing the IED ~ When the caregiver lives with PTSD

May 16, 2011 ~ I’ve heard it described.  The moment the soldier looks down and sees the trip wire that is going to set off the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) he freezes.  His blood runs cold.  His gut has an instant reaction. He breaks out in a cold sweat. Thoughts run through his mind faster [...]

Beauty Will Rise

Beauty Will Rise

May 16, 2011 ~ As the mother of one struggling with PTSD and TBI, the past couple of years has been one of my most difficult to survive.  Though my wounded warrior still draws breath, he is no longer the person who left home seven years ago to join the Marine Corps. As I adjust to [...]

Music and Faith from Ft. Living Room

Music and Faith from Ft. Living Room

May 15, 2011 ~ Music is a language that we all understand.  There are certain songs that make us clap our hands and stomp our feet.  Some songs bring us to tears.  Songs bring back memories from the past.  Music is used in advertisements, and very effectively I might add.  The music in a film [...]

Blessing in the Pain

Blessing in the Pain

May 15, 2011 ~ After searching and researching and asking questions of everyone and every entity I could find, in an effort to figure out how to live through the daily struggles I faced watching my son, a disabled combat veteran, learn to live with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), [...]

Military Deaths and Questions We Should All Be Asking

Military Deaths and Questions We Should All Be Asking

May 10, 2010 ~ USA Today has released a tool to help us better understand the cause for military deaths during OIF and OEF.  (Behind the Numbers – American casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond). This presentation allows us to take a closer look at the American servicemembers who have died in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in other related [...]

A Few Lessons from Boot Camp for Mom

A Few Lessons from Boot Camp for Mom

May 9, 2011 ~ He’s really doing this! When my son walked out the door to head for Boot Camp, the first thing that hit me was the fact that he wasn’t simply talking about it anymore. He was doing it. He wanted to say good bye from the house.  His recruiter came to the door [...]