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Though she’s 8,000 miles from her New York City birthplace, Beatriz Trujillo feels right at home. “What’s great is I get to work with the troops, the command team and the Afghan nationals as well, on foregin claims processing and intakes,” the US Army paralegal, currently stationed in Kandahar, tells Talking with Heroes host Bob Calvert on the occasion of Women’s History Month. “We try to compensate them for any loss of personal property, which improves their morale and way of life. And I see that we help change negative perceptions they may have of soldiers in their country.”
For Jennifer Pilcher, the road to profitability is paved with people—namely hard-working military wives. Four years ago, she founded MilitaryOneClick.com to provide military families with resources ranging from employment to education to wellness. Now employing 10 staffers, her company has since been ranked among Inc. Magazine’s Top 7 Military Start-Ups. “I say this all the time when people ask me about growing a small business,” she tells Navy Wife Radio host Wendy Poling. “We started out with one person working for the website. And then we got a client. And then we got a second person. And then we got another client—and a third person. So I truly, truly believe in the team.”
Susan Wagers—whose own post-50 life was fraught with divorce, job loss, illness and unemployment—explains how implementing standard operating proceedures can bring military families back from the brink of most any hardship. “Keep in mind that the SOP is a set of written instructions that document a routine that’s followed by an individual or an organization. And you have to customize each SOP to fit you, your family and your household,” the life coach tells Army Wife Radio host Tara Crooks. “When I created an SOP for one military couple to cover their move to new location, they were able to find safety-deposit keys, insurance policies, tax records, and their kids’ medical records. The medical records were particularly important in getting them enrolled in their new school.”
Pam Busenius takes her role as a caregiver to her wounded veteran husband very seriously. But even the best intentions sometimes come crashing down in the face of economic hardship—leaving families like Pam’s homeless and fearing for their well-being. So when The Elizabeth Dole Foundation stepped in to provide support, Pam didn’t forget. “It’s made us a stronger family,” she tells Family of a Vet host Debbie Sprague. “Having struggled, the kids now understand when I tell them that certain things are not in the budget right now. And when I do treat them to something they want, they don’t take it for granted. They’re ever so grateful for everything we have.”
While deployed in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, Brad Christian spent months battling terrorists from a helicopter. And though he’s now back home in Virginia running his own consulting group, he continues to use the lessons learned as a Green Beret. “Throughout my military career, knowing that people around me were willing to sacrifice for me made me want to be the best that I could. And over the years I’ve seen how that bond is universal among members of the Special Forces,” he tells Navy SEAL Radio host David Rutherford. “Today I try to encourage people to have a deeper commitment to whatever organization they’re a part of, whether it’s a church group or corporaton. I try to share what I learned in the special ops, which is to keep all missions focused; know what you're trying to accomplish, do it to the best of your ability, and be willing to sacrifice to accomplish the mission.”
Shasta Nelson is worried about the itinerant nature of life among those who serve. Ditto their spouses. “Military families are being asked to move often and have to make friends at a faster rate than civilian families,” the author of Friendships Don't Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends, tells Army Wife Radio host Paula Swanson. “They move about every three years. But three years is how long it typically takes in a new place to form meaningful friendships.” Paula concurs—but also sees a bright spot. “Though that can be heartbreaking, it’s testament to our resilience as a community,” she says. “It makes us more trusting of people faster. And we differentiate between those friends who help us get through a deployment, those who help us after a deployment, and those who are friends for life.”
In light of the fact that her lastest single is titled Colors of the USA, it’s little wonder that Doreen Taylor is fast becoming a favorite of enlisted personnel coast to coast. “We just finished our national tour in January and sold out every show. We played a lot of key markets—Los Angeles, New York—and we finished in Philadelpia, right where we started the tour,” the country music diva tells Notes for Our Troops USA host Jamie Christian. “So by the time we got full circle, people in the audience were singing the words. They knew all the lyrics—which was great in case I forgot them.”
Joe Byron knows what it means to serve—and for his dad’s generation to do so too. Five years ago, the Vietnam veteran and retired law-enforcement officer in Manchester, N.H., founded Honor Flight New England, a non-profit organization that transports World War II vets to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., at no cost. HFNE made its first trip in June 2009—an experience that brought tears of joy to Joe’s eyes. “We had 19 World War II veterans; 15 POWs and one vet who lost his sight while serving,” he tells American Heroes Radio host Lt. Raymond E. Foster. “It was incredible to see the excitement in their faces about being able to travel down to our nation’s capital. A lot of them had never been there. And those who had, haven’t been back since 2004, when the memorial was inveiled. But all of them were thrilled that younger folks remember their service.”
Raising kids in a military household is no easy task, particularly when they take their cues from non-military children. During an interview with David Bredehoft, co-author of Raising Likeable, Responsible, Respectful Children—from Toddlers to Teens—in an Age of Overindulgence, Army Wife Radio host Tara Crooks recalls her own woes arising from just such a scenario when instructing daughter Chloe, 6, to pack her lunch for school. Chloe’s protest? “Izzy’s mom packs her lunch.” Tara’s response? “Well, good for Izzy’s mom. That's how her family works and this is how our family works. Do you want to eat the school lunch? If not, then you pack your own lunch." And David, a Concordia University Professor of Psychology—who warns that over-indulging little ones can be detrimental—couldn’t agree more. “Good for you for saying that! You're on the right track there,” he tells our host.
Voice of Warriors host Mollie Grywalsky recalls how co-host Patti Katter, whose husband is also an OIF disabled vet, inspired her to duty. “Mike was injured in 2003. He’s a typical hard-headed marine who thinks it’s taboo to get help. But after eight years, he had to do something. So I got in touch with our OIF social worker at the VA, who put me in touch with Patti, because Patti was a strong advocate for her own husband,” she says. “I knew there’d be lots of red tape at the VA, which would overwhelm any person. But for someone like Mike, with PTSD and short-term memory loss, I knew he’d get to the point where he’d just give up. So I thought, I need to be there for him, be his wife and his caregiver and do whatever it takes to get through this.”
Is the United States Worth Saving? That is the question we will attempt to answer every Wednesday at 4 PM Pacific, 7PM EST. So join host of "The Ignorance Equation", Nick Katsouros, and author Charles W. Thompson, as we discuss what each of us must do to fix our broken country.
This Week- We delve deeper into the book "Is The United States Worth Saving?" and Charles shares his "Thought of the Day", on how we can all work towards a more Democratic America.
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The murder of an unarmed black teen set Ferguson, MO on fire a few weeks ago. And it reignited talk of race in America.
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