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6 Ways to Help Kids Cope with the Deployment of a Parent

There is no easy way to break it to a child that one of their parents is being deployed. Children have a difficult time adjusting to the absence of a parent under any circumstances. Some children have a really tough time adjusting to the change, as life as they knew it is disrupted. Because of this, they often begin to experience strong emotions like anxiety, anger, fear, confusion, depression and the feeling of uncertainty.

 

In cases where a parent is being deployed, it is essential that you notify your kids beforehand so that they can begin preparing for the change, and hopefully be able to handle the separation by developing strong coping abilities.

Here are few ways to help prepare your children for deployment:

 

Encourage Honest Communication. Children’s response to deployment vary depending on their age and maturity level. You should be able to communicate with them in ways that are developmentally appropriate. Establish open lines of communication so that they can share both negative and positive feelings with you. Generally speaking, older children are able to express their feelings in an effective way, whereas younger children sometimes fail to do so due to limited vocabulary. Because of this, it is important that you encourage them to express themselves as much as possible and assure them that all feelings (negative and positive), are normal and completely acceptable.

 

Ways of Being in Touch. Tell your kids the ways they will be able to communicate and stay in touch with you. This will help them better cope with your upcoming deployment. You can discuss how you plan to keep in touch with them through letters, emails, videos and pictures. Be creative and make it fun by choosing special paper or stationery which will be used for your correspondence only.

 

Designating Roles and Responsibilities. Assigning new roles or household duties can help to channel anxiety in an effective manner. Establishing roles for the older children allows them to be responsible and when you tell them how their responsible behavior will help the other parent, it tends to make them even more willingly to handle their responsibilities. Don’t over burden them; instead, set tasks according to their age and make them understand how their contribution is needed and helpful.

 

Spending Quality Time. Spend as much time with your family before deployment as it will help children make new memories and positive experiences to remember you by. Plan fun activities to do or shop for items to stay in touch with them. Allow your kids to be part of the planning process. Let them help you pack and also allow them to have a say in any family decisions involving your deployment.

 

Monitor Media Exposure. If there is a lot of media coverage related to your deployment destination, you may want to consider limiting the time your children hear or watch it. This is especially true if it depicts violence, which may trigger extreme anxiety in children. If they are exposed, interested, or it is appropriate for children, then sit and watch with them. Answer their questions and reassure them by giving them plenty of support.

 

Exchanging Sentimental Gifts. For older kids, a pillow, T-shirt, cap or anything which has been in personal use of yours could be a great gift. For younger ones you could record your voice reading a favorite bedtime story or their favorite song. These gifts will be a tool of comfort and support while you are away.

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The Process of Joining the Air Force

There are many men and women who dream of joining the Air Force and other branches of the military. Needless to say, it takes strong individuals—both mentally and physically—to server their country as members of the military. Because of this, candidates who wish to be a part of the Air Force have to meet several requirements and be able to demonstrate his or her ability to serve.

During the selection process for new airmen, the higher ups take many things into consideration and require prospective airmen to go through a recruitment process which is comprised of the following steps:

1. Meet with a Recruiter. During the selection process, the military has the right to reject you at any point. The first and foremost aspect of the selection process is a meeting with a recruiter, who has the authority to deem you fit or unfit to move forward in the process. If you want to make a good impression, try making a list of the jobs you are interested in within the Air Force prior to the meeting. Also, make sure that you bring all the required paperwork.

2. Pass Medical Qualification. After the meeting with the recruiter, you will be required to go through a complete medical examination, for which you would head to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Make sure that you disclose everything regarding your medical history, as you can be terminated from the enlistment process if you are later found to have been dishonest.

3. Take Mental Ability Test. During the MEPS visit, you will also be required to undergo a mental aptitude test, which would enable the military to record your mental suitability and aptitude. To better prepare, be sure to study for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which ranks your ability for specific jobs in the Air Force.

4. Undergo Criminal Background Check. It is vital for you to disclose any criminal history or traffic infractions that you have received, once you’re in the MEPS. They will check your criminal background in a very thorough manner, so make sure that you avoid any sort of trouble if you want to join the Air Force.

5. Choose a Job. Once you have passed all of these steps, you will then be able to pick a job from the list provided by the Air force. The Air force is quite picky when it comes to job selection because of the low level of job vacancies. Because of this, you may want to keep an open mind and select a job that you feel will be the best fit for you.

6. Take Physical Fitness Test. It is mandatory that each candidate takes a physical fitness test before training begins. Start preparing and training for the fitness test beforehand so as to keep yourself in a fit condition even before you head off to meet the recruiter. This means maintaining a healthy weight and diet, running, and lifting. The basic training program is similar to the program found in The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook.

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Thе History of Thе Amеrісаn Flаg

Fоr centuries, the Amеrісаn flаg has bееn a ѕуmbоl оf frееdоm and pride in thе United Stаtеѕ. Evеr since 911, thеу hаvе bесоmе fіxturеѕ on mаnу mоrе hоuѕеѕ and buіldіngѕ асrоѕѕ thе country. It wаѕ аѕ іf our flаg wаѕ a symbol thаt we are ѕtіll оnе people and wіll rеmаіn ѕtаndіng strong against thе еnеmу. Seeing our cherished flаg blоw in the brееzе, gаvе a sense оf соmfоrt tо ѕо mаnу after thаt tragedy, аѕ it still dоеѕ tо this day.

 

Thе flag оf America іѕ a ѕуmbоl of іtѕ dеmосrасу, frееdоm аnd unіtу. It is thе vеrу еѕѕеnсе оf thе соuntrу’ѕ ѕріrіt. However, іf уоu delve іntо thе history оf thе Amеrісаn flаg, уоu wіll find іt fascinating.

 

On January 1, 1776, thе Cоntіnеntаl army wаѕ rеоrgаnіzеd аnd аttunеd ассоrdіng tо a Cоngrеѕѕіоnаl resolution whісh аnnоunсеd American fоrсеѕ to the соmmаnd of Gеоrgе Washington. Thе same dау, the Amеrісаn Cоntіnеntаl Armу was оbѕtruсtіng Boston, whісh hаd bееn tаkеn оvеr by thе Brіtіѕh аrmу. It hаѕ bееn said thаt the first Amеrісаn flаg was mаdе іn Mау оf 1776 by Betsy Rоѕѕ, a Philadelphia ѕеаmѕtrеѕѕ whо wаѕ аn асԛuаіntаnсе оf George Wаѕhіngtоn and a frіеnd with оthеr рrоmіnеnt аnd hіgh-rаnkіng Philadelphians.

 

Whаt Ross had in his mіnd was thе fіvе-роіntеd star іѕ used іnѕtеаd оf the ѕtаr with six points, explaining thаt thе five-pointed ѕtаr саn bе сut off еаѕіlу wіth a fеw trіmѕ of thе scissors.

Thе fіrѕt іnfоrmаl flаg of America wаѕ саllеd thе Grаnd Unіоn Flаg, аlѕо known аѕ thе Cоntіnеntаl Cоlоrѕ. It wаѕ hоіѕtеd at thе order аnd authority оf General Washington сlоѕе tо his headquarters outside Bоѕtоn January 1, 1776. Thіѕ fіrѕt unofficial flag wаѕ a fоrm оf thіrtееn аltеrnаtіng white аnd red horizontal stripes, wіth thе British Union Flаg іn the canton.

 

On Junе 14, 1777, thе fіrѕt оffісіаl Amеrісаn flag wаѕ ассерtеd by the Cоntіnеntаl Cоngrеѕѕ. Thіѕ flag was аlѕо knоwn аѕ thе Stаrѕ and Strіреѕ because it соnѕіѕtеd оf 13 stars whісh rерrеѕеntеd the fіrѕt 13 соlоnіеѕ. Thеrе іѕ nоt еnоugh еvіdеnce pertaining to whо actually designed аnd made thіѕ flаg, but іt іѕ ѕаіd thаt іt wаѕ Frаnсіѕ Hорkіnѕоn, a Cоntіnеntаl Cоngrеѕѕ mеmbеr. Hоwеvеr, bеtwееn 1777 аnd 1960, thе Cоngrеѕѕ put іntо рrасtісе thе рrосеdurеѕ thаt varied the shape, design, and ѕtruсturе of the flag. And it wаѕ further decided that thеrе wаѕ a need for аddіtіоnаl ѕtаrѕ tо rерrеѕеnt аll thе ѕtаtеѕ оf America.

 

It wаѕ оn January 3, 1959, thаt Prеѕіdеnt Eіѕеnhоwеr issued аn аdmіnіѕtrаtіvе оrdеr whісh states thаt thе аrrаngеmеnt of thе ѕtаrѕ should bе іn ѕіx hоrіzоntаl rоwѕ оf eight, each single роіnt оf еvеrу ѕtаr dіrесtеd uрwаrd. In 1791 аnd 1792, after Kentucky аnd Vermont were аddеd tо thе Unіоn, twо ѕtаrѕ and twо stripes wеrе added durіng 1795. This prompted lawyer, Frаnсіѕ Sсоtt Kеу tо wrіtе аnd соmроѕе a poem whісh lаtеr became the U.S. Nаtіоnаl Anthem.

 

In 1818 five mоrе ѕtаtеѕ were added аnd declared, and the Congress dесіdеd to раѕѕ lеgіѕlаtіоn thаt fіxеѕ thе number of ѕtаrѕ аnd stripes. Thе ѕtаrѕ wоuld hаvе еԛuаl numbers аѕ thе ѕtаtеѕ. On July 4, 1960, thе last nеw ѕtаr was added аftеr Hawaii bесаmе a ѕtаtе, whісh gіvеѕ a tоtаl numbеr оf fіftу ѕtаrѕ. All along 200 уеаrѕ the American Flаg hаѕ bееn the іnѕіgnіа of thе nаtіоn’ѕ supremacy and ѕуnсhrоnіzаtіоn thаt hоldѕ mіllіоnѕ of сіtіzеnѕ tоgеthеr as one.

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15 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day

Independence Day, observed on the fourth day of July each year, is one of America’s most celebrated holidays. This holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776), which established the United States of America as its own, new nation, apart from the British Empire. Each year people all over America celebrate this holiday by engaging in many festive activities. Below we have listed 15 activities that you and your family can participate in as a way to honor Independence Day.

  1. Attend a 4th of July parade

  2. Host a BBQ for friends and family

  3. Decorate your lawn/house with American flags and patriotic colors

  4. Make your own American flag

  5. Attend an outdoor carnival

  6. Host a patriotic picnic

  7. Visit a local American history museum

  8. Wear red, white and blue attire

  9. Learn about the history of the American flag and flag folding protocol

  10. Find holiday themed arts and crafts projects for the kids

  11. Perform you own fireworks show

  12. Host a neighborhood cookout

  13. Decorate with red, white and blue

  14. Teach kids about the history of Independence Day

  15. Attend a fireworks display/show

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14 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor individuals who have lost their lives while serving our nation. For many Americans, Memorial Day is a reminder that there is a cost for freedom and unfortunately sometimes that cost results in the loss of the courageous lives of men and women in the service. Because of this, although Memorial Day has become somewhat of a fun and festive holiday, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the true reason we celebrate it. Here are 15 ways to celebrate Memorial Day and everything the holiday stands for:

 

  1. Take a trip to the cemetery to visit the graves of fallen soldiers.
  2. Take part in the National Moment of Remembrance (3 pm local time).
  3. Collect money for a veterans’ charity.
  4. Attend a Memorial Day parade.
  5. Host a family bar-b-que.
  6. Show your patriotism by sporting red, white, and blue.
  7. Create a care package for an oversees soldier.
  8. Organize a family picnic.
  9. Display the U.S. flag in your front yard.
  10. Decorate your home and yard
  11. Teach your children about the history of Memorial Day.
  12. Volunteer at a veterans’ hospital.
  13. Visit a military history museum.
  14. Place U.S. flags near tombstones of fallen soldiers.
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5 Ways to Show Members of the Military Appreciation

Members of the military sacrifice so much that showing them how thankful we are is vital. They spend months away from their families and are always on call all day. Their services can be requested for at any time, they are made to stay for as long as their services are needed, and in most cases, miss important events (like schools dance and performance), that we sometimes don’t see as important.

Upon joining the military, life changes completely. This is because the military shape people by teaching them bravery, humility, discipline, and many other lessons of life. Being part of the military take you away from your family and your comfort zone. Whether you are part of the military in one way or another or not, there are meaningful and easy ways you can appreciate our brave military members. Words, acts, and gestures mean the world to service members. A lot of citizen wants to show appreciation to service members but don’t know how to go about it. Here are five simple and meaningful ways to show the members of the military your appreciation:

1. Send a Soldier a Care Package: Virtually everyone loves to get a care package, especially a military member that is away from home. Be it a military member on deployment or away from home, getting a bit of home in a package makes them feel special and loved. Your local ACS can be of help by finding a group that makes care packages. You can also look for organizations that can help you send approved packages.

 

2. Visit a Vet: You can call your local VA hospital to see if there are any special events for Veterans Day. You can also volunteer to be of help on Veterans Day or make an inquiry on what their policies are for visitors. While there, chat with a vet, ask about their service, and most importantly, tell them how much you appreciate their selfless contribution to the country. You can also consider visiting a retirement home that takes visitors in your vicinity. Stopping by to say “thank you for your service” to them might just make their day.

 

3. Send a Thank You Card: A beautiful way to show how much you appreciate members of the military’s courage, sacrifice, and selfless service is to write them letters. Service members prefer to receive handwritten notes and letters even in our digitalized world. Getting children involved in this letter writing is an extra motivation for service members. This will only cost you a little time and a stamp.

 

4. Say Thank You: One of the simple and meaningful ways to show appreciation to the members of the military as well as their family is to say “thank you”. It sounds obvious and straightforward but next time you see someone in uniform, or you’re with the family of a member of the military, just “thank you” or “thank you for your selfless service” tells a lot about how much you appreciate them and the service they render.

 

5. Donate to a Military Charity: We now have a lot of organizations that are dedicated to helping veterans. Yes, these organizations do phenomenal work. They have been able to be phenomenal so far because of the help and support they get. There are lots of good organization that caters for the illness and wounds of service members and their family, consider writing them a check. Some agencies also give you the opportunity to buy tickets for local events, like comedy shows, concerts, football games, etc. and deliver them directly to a veteran that wants a night out.

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The Big Debate: Should Women be Subject to the Draft?

The U.S. Department of Defense’s decision to let women serve in combat jobs has drawn attention to the selective service. This institution has, for many years, been forgotten because the U.S. hasn’t issued a military draft for so long. The 1973 military draft required that all men register within a period of 30 days once they’ve turned 18, with the selective service.

U.S leaders have repeatedly insisted that the nation won’t make use of the draft since the all-volunteer system is bearing fruits. However, increased rumblings in connection to women registry have been reported.

 

The Selective Service

This system maintains young Americans contact information that could be subjected to military conscription. The first U.S. conscription attempt occurred during the civil war in 1862. It proved to be unpopular in 1973 during the Vietnamese war.

 

Why Women Are Not Currently Required to Register

In 1981, the congress’ decision that attempted to excuse women from selective service registration was upheld by the Supreme Court. The court ruled that women wouldn’t be required during a draft since they were combat restricted.

The selective service website clearly shows that the law specifically refers to “males” when referring to the people to register and to be drafted. This therefore means that women are exempted from registration. The service goes a step further to state that the congress must first amend the law to allow women drafting into the military.

 

What the Military Says About Women Inclusion in the Draft

Military spokespersons say that it is important for the congress to consider reviewing its decision about women selective service registration since all combat positions have been made open to women. In February, Marine Corps Commanding Gen. Robert Neller voiced his opinion that women should be able to register and attain combat roles. However, the Marine Corps organization itself has some conflicting views.

Brooke Stedman, a member of a non-government organization known as “Women in International Security” said that she had positive feelings about the statement made by the Gen. She argued that, if the government wants to promote and uphold gender equality, it is important to allow women register with the selective service.

The selective service states that all male citizens in the U.S. with 18 years and above but not exceeding 26 years should register. Male citizens in the group and are immigrants must as well sign up. Those on visas however are exempted from registration.

 

Penalties for Failure to Register

Failure to register with the selective service could lead to serious repercussions. Most importantly, if someone is a man and has attained 18 years. One could lose their eligibility for government jobs, job training and student financial loan. For immigrant men, one could lose their U.S. citizenship eligibility.

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Life After the Military: Tips on Adjusting to Civilian Life

Being in the military is not just a job, it’s a way of life. This is why the transition to civilian life is a major challenge for most military personnel. The difficulty of this transition can best be described as taking a fish out of water. One has to sufficiently adjust from a life that demands discipline, structure, physical fitness, and mental hurdles to life as a civilian. This takes time and dedication.

In extreme cases, it may even take therapeutic or medical intervention. There is no one-fit-all solution for a smooth transition. Each individual will experience a varying set of challenges and milestones. For example, transition will not be the same for someone who has been in the military for 3 decades versus another who has served for 3 years. Additionally, a military member who has spent a lot of time in a particularly hostile location might face a harder time adjusting. Below are some tips applicable to almost every soldier transitioning or planning to transition to civilian life.

 

  1. Know what to expect. The initial shock of leaving the military is one of the obstacles that hit transitioning military members the hardest. It manifests as an inability to take in and accept the vast differences between military life and civilian life. To reduce its effect on you and how you relate to others, you can prepare yourself mentally by knowing what to expect. Ask former military members what their experience was like or read other people’s adjustment stories online. Expect that people will not be as disciplined as you were in the military. They may not be as punctual, respectful, or honest as you. There are many traits that members of the military learn and live by that civilians are not accustomed to, such as the ones mentioned previously. By anticipating and being understanding of the differences in your mind before you get out of the military, it becomes much easier when the time comes.

 

  1. Have a good support system. Too often, military members get into civilian life to find themselves all alone. No one really understands what they are going through and the struggles they faced in military and are facing during the transitioning stage. This can often lead to stress or even mental illnesses such as depression. It is important to have someone or a group of people who make up your support system outside the military. It can be family, friends or an online group. The most important thing is to find people who understand your situation and are willing to walk with you through it. It is also important to utilize military resources in order to get evaluated, and treated for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

 

  1. Think about your financial future. Financial problems are another major source of stress for former military members. This is especially true if they have a family that they need to provide for. Luckily, these days plenty of organizations are committed to helping transitioning soldiers in furthering their education or getting a job. Start your research early on so that when the time comes, you are well aware of your options.

 

Ultimately it is important to remember to take it a day at a time and do not get down on yourself if certain military habits keep creating uncomfortable situations at home or work. Transitioning into civilian life takes time and effort. Take it slowly, absorbing a little change at a time. Though inside you will always be a soldier, you can learn to live productively in the civilian world.

5 Key Tips for Maintaining your Nomex Flight Suit

Ok, so you’ve purchased a Nomex Flight Suit from Carter–that’s certainly a step in the right direction. However, properly maintaining your Nomex flight suit is a vital part of ensuring that the various features and properties of the suit remain in tact for years to come. Check out these tips that we have compiled below.  Click here to purchase a Nomex Flight Suit.

 

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