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Fort Leonard Wood, MO
Life. Wow what a ride! Some days it’s a lazy trip through my routine. Some days it’s a hectic, chaotic race to get everything done, with me, as the saying goes, “sliding sideways, thoroughly used up” into bed that night. It’s never knowing when I wake up what the day will hold. But you, of all people, know what I am talking about. You hang on as tight as you can, just to make it to the next sunrise, but you never give up. Friends, Family and wellmeaning strangers give you all kinds of good advice on how to ‘make it better’. At the end of the day, though, your feelings and thoughts are still there, as they were when you started out that morning. All the coping strategies begin with eating right and exercising. “I can’t eat right now.” “I can’t work out today.” You know that some days even the simplest things like eating or taking a walk are beyond what you can do. What are you supposed to do with these days? There are only two things you can do, either ‘give in’ or fight. Reality check: some days are ‘give in’ days and some days are fight days. When you are feeling like you don’t want to ‘give in’ today, but you don’t have what it takes to fight it, what then? You want to be resilient, but it is just not happening. Here is one resiliency tip that everyone can do without even thinking. I am not the expert, but I do have something that works for me. Breathe. That is it, just breathe. When you have mastered this, pat yourself on the back- say ‘great job’ and enjoy this victory! Ok, stop rolling your eyes. Some days we need a victory, no matter how small, take it and be proud of it. This you can control. Use it as the jumping off point for the next step toward healing. Then, when things kick you back a couple steps, just breathe and do it all again. In a book I found, Acceptance Therapy by Lisa Engelhardt, there are a couple of sayings that I take to heart. The first relates to what I just talked about: “Relax and breathe. Breathe in the love instilled into this speck of time and creation. Breathe out fear.” The worst thing that could happen has already visited your door. Breathe out that fear, it is just dragging you down. Get rid of it. The other is, “Be open to growth. The hard seeds of misfortune blossom into the flowers of courage and compassion.” Courage can be as simple as being there for someone. You may not feel courageous, but you are that someone’s hero. A heart needs to feel good. Open yours up again, even if just a little, and let your compassion for others have a chance to breathe and grow. You may be that one gentle, knowing smile or kind, understanding touch that gets someone else through their day. One step at a time, one day at a time. You can do this, I have complete confidence in you!
Missouri S.O.S. Team Support Coordinator Jefferson City (573) 638-9500 ext. 7784
Support Coordinator Springfield (417) 496-7940 email@example.com Support Coordinator East St. Louis (618) 558-4196 firstname.lastname@example.org Support Coordinator Ft. Leavenworth (913) 684-2821 email@example.com Financial Counselor Ft. Leavenworth (913) 684-2820 firstname.lastname@example.org Financial Counselor Ft. Leonard Wood (573) 596-0212 email@example.com Support Coordinator Ft. Leonard Wood (573) 596-0212 firstname.lastname@example.org
New Support Groups
Survivor Outreach Services at Ft. Leonard Wood will offer Military Survivor Support Groups beginning in January 2014. Each group runs 10 sessions over a five month period. Each group will meet twice a month from 11:30am-1:00pm. There will be four different groups: KIA Spouses-14 Jan thru 27 May; KIA Parents-7 Jan thru 20 May; Sudden/Violent Death Spouses– 15 Jan thru 28 May; and Sudden/Violent Death Parents– 8 Jan thru 21 May. These are over the lunch period, so feel free to bring your meal and eat while we work. All groups will be held at the Army Community Service building, 486 Replacement Avenue on Ft. Leonard Wood. For more information or to register for a group, please contact Jody Carmack.
We become what we think about. A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it. Earl Nightingale
For the Kiddos . . .
Big Brothers Big Sisters Military Mentoring Program Overview (As of June 18, 2013) The Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Military Mentoring Program (MMP) supports children (ages 9-17) of active-duty military personnel of all branches and components, including National Guard and Reserve, on or off base. BBBS mentoring can provide an added layer of support to children of military families who may face extraordinary challenges and stresses because of multiple relocations, parent deployment, or other realities of military life. We also serve children who have lost a parent or have had a parent return from combat wounded. Our MMP matches adult mentors (volunteers from fields such as education, business and government, as well as active or retired military personnel, cadets, or reservists) with children of military families, then professionally supports and engages the volunteer, child, and the child’s family. Our service model focuses on quality matches and this process takes time. Our staff carefully matches adult volunteer mentors with youth mentees in long-term, one-toone friendships and provide professional support for the volunteers, children and families throughout the life of the match. Additionally, our MMP: *Reinforces the child’s connection with the parent and community. *Respects and acknowledges the value of military values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Excellence, etc.) as a platform for the child’s personal development (emotional, mental and physical). *Facilitates K12 and post-K12 achievement (education and skills). Point of contact is Col. (Ret.) Rodney Davis, Director of Military Mentoring at Rodney.email@example.com or (757) 477-7763.
“Mix a little foolishness into your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.” Horace
On Ft. Leonard Wood:
FAMILY BOWLING XTREME NIGHT Bring the family to Daugherty Bowling Center Thursdays from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Enjoy 2 hours of Xtreme bowling, lights and music for $25 per lane (6 people per lane, shoes included). For more information call 5961498.
November 16, 2013
FLW Community Spouses Club Annual Craft & Antique Fair Featuring Antiques & Original Handmade crafts, Hot Food at Santa’s Kitchen , Baked Goods at Mrs. Claus Pantry, Santa Claus at 1230, Saturday, at 9am-4pm Nutter Field House, FLW. To help Fort Wood Community Spouses’ Club raise funds for our local Community Scholarship and Community Outreach programs.
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. Booker T. Washington
Camp Erin, created and funded by The Moyer Foundation, is the largest nationwide network of free bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. It is a weekend-long experience filled with traditional, fun camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support and facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. Children have an opportunity to address their feelings and memorialize their loved ones. They are provided with the tools and resources needed during and after camp, including memories and friendships that last long after camp is complete. St. Louis Camp at (314) 965-5015 or Kansas City Camp (816) 363-2600 https://www.moyerfoundation.org/programs/CampErin_About.aspx Snowball Express provides an expense-paid trip to Dallas, TX each year to allow kids (and a guardian) to spend time with other kids who also have a military parent who died while on active duty. 12-16 Dec 2013. Call (214) 665-9567 for info. Register NOW! http://www.snowballexpress.org/home
October 19, 2013 Rolla Arts and Crafts Festival, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. 600 Pine Street, Rolla, MO As autumn splendor arrives in Rolla, so do the talents of area craft vendors. For this day-long event, the downtown streets are lined with more than 75 food and craft booths. Join us for a day of food, fun and shopping.
Financial Information for Survivors . . .
Things You Can Do To Avoid Fraud Scam artists use clever schemes to defraud millions of people across the globe each year, threatening financial security and generating substantial profits for criminal organizations and common crooks. They use phone, email, postal mail, and the Internet to cross geographic boundaries and trick victims into sending money or giving out personal information. While con artists can be clever, many can be foiled by knowledgeable — and equally canny — consumers. Here are 10 things you can do to stop a scam. Don’t respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial information, whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message, or an ad. Don’t click on links in the message, or call phone numbers that are left on your answering machine, either. The crooks behind these messages are trying to trick you into giving up your personal information. If you get a message and are concerned about your account status, call the number on your credit or debit card — or your statement — and check it out. Read your bills and monthly statements regularly — on paper and online. Scammers steal account information and then run up charges or commit crimes in your name. Dishonest merchants sometimes bill you for monthly “membership fees” and other goods or services you didn’t authorize. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t okay, contact your bank, card issuer, or other creditor immediately. In the wake of a natural disaster or another crisis, give to established charities rather than one that seems to have sprung up overnight. Pop-up charities probably don’t have the infrastructure to get help to the affected areas or people, and they could be collecting the money to finance illegal activity. Check http:// www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0011-charity-scams to learn more. Talk to your doctor before buying health products or signing up for medical treatments. Ask about research that supports a product’s claims — and possible risks or side effects. Buy prescription drugs only from licensed U.S. pharmacies. Otherwise, you could end up with products that are fake, expired or mislabeled — in short, products that could be dangerous. Visit ftc.gov/health for more information. One bonus tip: http://www.onguardonline.gov/ to learn how to avoid internet fraud, secure your computer and protect your personal information. To File a Complaint: Law enforcement agencies work together to stop scammers and provide consumers with the information they need to avoid fraud. If you believe you have been scammed, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4621.
Dine & Dial Financial Information Teleconferences will be held at 7:00 pm on: 22 Jan 2014—Tax Preparation for Survivors 23 April 2014—Avoiding Fraud To participate: 1-218-936-4141 code 7681905 For more information call Mark Dunlop
We all have topics we would like to know more about. If money is one area you are interested in, visit: www.mymoney.gov. MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you maximize your financial decisions.
With the tornado in Joplin, the flood in Waynesville and other life changing events, we all could use a helping hand from time to time. Charities are available to either donate to or provide assistance to you. http://ago.mo.gov/checkacharity/ This website will help you to check on a charity in Missouri to which you may want to donate, or you can find out what their mission is.
Page 4 by Pamela Hengen, Proud Mom of PFC Matthew England
Walking a mile… or a lifetime
They were the biggest, ugliest, most terrifying shoes I had ever seen. Up until almost two years ago I had not been really close to them, but had seen them from a distance. They looked as if they could swallow a person entirely. There was also the look of discomfort, as if the person who wore them would always be weary. The shoes were made for a long journey, a never ending journey of grief. Each pair of shoes had their own uniqueness to them, their own set of trials, and their own pain. I looked down and saw that I was wearing a pair of those shoes. No one ever wants to wear the shoes but we are often thrust in them without any warning. There are also times where they are slowly put on us but again without our consent. The shoes feel as if they grow at times and suck you down within them, as if falling in a pit. At other times they are so tight that each movement stabs the wearer with pain. Sometimes the pain comes from certain parts of the shoes and at other times it is all encompassing. Try as you might, you can’t remove the shoes. They are yours for the rest of your life. All you can do is try to learn ways of dealing with some of the pain, develop coping mechanisms, and keep walking. There are also times that the shoes seem to grow weights, wearing the person down so much that it is almost impossible to move. People always talk about how strong a person is wearing the shoes and, believe me, they have no idea how much strength it takes to wear them every day for the rest of your life. The strength is not so much in wearing them but in keeping the memory of our child alive. It takes so much inner strength to keep up the fight, to continue walking down this rough road, and to keep their memory alive. All we can do is keep walking.
Installation Access Cards
The Army has approved the creation and implementation of the Gold Star Installation Access Card. This portable form of identification for Survivors with no military ID, will expedite access onto Army installations worldwide and provide a way for the military community to recognize and honor you for your and your Service member’s sacrifice. This does not, however, give any privileges for the PX, Commissary or access to post if the Threat Condition is elevated. We still have the vehicle decals available if you would like one of these, also.
Veterans Administration Summary of Benefits This table provides a broad overview of the eligibility requirements for Dependents’ and Survivors’ benefits. Use this table to determine the benefits that you might qualify for and seek out more information about eligibility criteria, as well as how to apply. S=Spouse, C=Child, P=Parent.
SOS Vehicle Decals
These are for recognition purposes and are available to our Survivors. They are displayed on your vehicle in the bottom left-hand corner or upper center of your vehicle windshield. Contact Jody Carmack or Sharon Adams for information on obtaining either of these symbols.
Memories & Memorials . . .
Memorial Grove on Ft. Leonard Wood– The Military Police Corps, Chemical Corps and Engineer Corps have separate areas dedicated to their Fallen Soldiers. Veterans’ Memorial brings the three existing memorials together with a central alley effect sidewalk -- the Veterans' Memorial being the central hub. Linda and Larry Barnett, proud parents of SSG Jonnie Stiles, helped dedicate the addition of the flags and the all campaign stones by raising the “Families” flag that stands with the other Service and MIA/POW Flags.
Designed, built and written by Proud Mom, Pamela
On September 4, 2012, I began the project. At that time there was so much anger within me, I did not know what to do. With all of the emotions that are experienced with grief, I can’t handle the anger. I have never been an angry person so this one is hard for me to deal with. One day I grabbed the pick and went outside and just started pounding on the ground. Of course, anyone who saw me would have thought I was totally crazy for doing that but it did help expend some of that angry energy and gave me something to direct it at. After a bit, I was asked what I was doing. I replied that I was digging a pond. From that I had to decide exactly how I wanted the pond/reflection area to look. It came to me instantly. I wanted two intertwining elements: a teardrop and heart and another element consisting of things related to Matthew.
Wreaths Across America is coming back to Ft. Leonard Wood on December 14, but also may be at a cemetery near you.
Visit http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org or call (877) 385-9504 to find out. I need your help!!! Most of you have talents that you can share with us. I am looking for photos and drawings you or someone you love has taken or drawn, poems and short stories that you or someone you love wrote and your favorite quotes or sayings. I will use these in future newsletters, Anniversary Cards, Christmas Cards and other outreach materials. Please send these to Jody Carmack.
Stop trying to be perfect. You have everything you need to be who you are supposed to be. Lisa Engelhardt With the Luminary Initiative for Gold Star Mothers’ Day , I wanted to include luminaries in the memorial section of our newsletter to remind you that you don’t need big, expensive memorials to keep the memory of your Service member alive. A pickle jar spray painted or wrapped in paper, a small paper lunch bag, pretty much anything you can fit a small tea light or candle stub into will work. Stencil the name of your loved one or cut out the shape of your choice in the paper you wrap the jar with, tape their photo to the bag, whatever works for you. You get to choose the nights you light these and have them outside your home. We are shooting for Veteran’s Day and New Years Eve as mass luminary nights. Take photos and send them to me!!
If you know of fellow Survivors that have not been contacted by SOS, please let us know. They may be in your neighborhood or in another country. They may be your friend or a Family member. Call or email us and we can help them get connected! We do not want to leave anyone out; everyone needs a little extra support or care from time to time. It does not matter what your branch of service is. Contact any SOS for help finding the SOS program nearest to them.
SOS 2014 Annual Memorial Project Missouri Survivors’ Treasure Chest
Your next memorial project will be a chest full of your most treasured memoires. We are asking for your favorite photo of your Service member and an item or photo of the item that most reminds you of your loved one or that your Service member cherished. An example of the item would be a coffee thermos. Example of the explanation: At my son SPC Nicolas Booker’s funeral, Soldiers from Ft. Riley were there and sent Nick off with a softball size bunch of dog tags linked together, a variety of rank and names from their uniforms, there were also cigarettes, a lighter, a letter, pink duct tape, a rubber ducky and a thermos of coffee. “You don’t understand Mama,” Shane Owens said, “The boy never went anywhere without his coffee.” Shane sat with me holding that thermos through the whole service. Please don’t send the actual item you choose for the treasure chest. Either take a picture of it or find something like it to send me. I can’t guarantee the safety of these treasures. We will print each photo to 5”x7” in black and white, place the name, rank, date of birth, date of death and reason you chose the item on the back of the photo. Each photo will be laminated and the item or picture of the item will be attached with a ribbon, you choose the ribbon color. If you have the picture of your Service member in digital form, great. If not, I can scan the photo and use that. Please don’t send me the original just in case it gets lost in the mail! Your Missouri Survivors’ Treasure Chest will be displayed in my office when not on exhibit at one of our SOS Special Events. If you have any questions, please contact Jody Carmack at (573) 596-0195
Don’t forget the other annual projects! The 2011, 2012 and 2013 are still open to you for memorializing your Service member. All of our Annual Projects are open to ALL Survivors. For further information on any of these, please contact Jody Carmack. A hand pieced red, white and blue quilt that holds the names of 71 of your lost loved ones. It stands 10’ tall and is 20’ wide. It is permanently displayed in the SOS office on Ft. Leonard Wood and makes appearances at special events. This project is not open for further submissions. Your memory book consists of stories, photos, letters, recipes, whatever you want to include as a way to share your loved one with other Survivors and keep their memory alive. A display of some of the stories and photos makes appearances at special events and copies of the book are available upon request. This is a looping video where your loved one has one slide that includes a military photo if you have one, their military information, awards and decorations plus a paragraph of who they were as a person. This is on permanent display in the Army Community Service lobby and makes appearances at special events. The Freedom Flag is a 6’ tall, 8’ wide stained glass flag that holds 390 glass tiles. We have 139 of these filled to date with the name, rank, date of birth, date of death, and branch of service of your loved ones. It is currently on display at the Ft. Leonard Wood Clarke Library and will make appearances at special events. Last year we began our Christmas ornament tradition featuring dog tags with little angel wings and bells hanging from them. This year we are continuing the ornament series featuring little combat boots with angel wings and bells. To include your loved one, please contact Jody Carmack.
Other SOS Annual Memorial Projects
2010 Missouri Survivors’ Memory Quilt
2011 Missouri Survivors’ Memory Book
2012 Missouri Survivors’ Honor Video
2013 Missouri Survivors’ Freedom Flag
2013 Angel Bell Tree
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