Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guest Post: Service Dogs Helping Vets Suffering From PTSD

M33 Service Dogs Are Helping Veterans Suffering From PTSD

If you love dogs you already know the many benefits of owning a dog. They serve as companions, and sometimes protectors; and the bond between a dog and his or her owner can be an incredibly strong one. Service members returning from combat often feel stress and have a hard time transitioning back into civilian life. For some, the transition is made even more difficult because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Therapy dog organizations are getting involved by pairing up service members returning from combat with a therapy dog, and the results are positive.

The range of what the dog will provide for the service member depends largely on the service dog organization and the severity of the service member's PTSD. In some cases, a companion dog is provided simply for emotional support and companionship, in others the dog is officially trained and certified as a service animal. These dogs can be trained to do things like remind the service member to take medications to help with PTSD. 

PTSD sufferers experience issues like memory loss, fear of public places, panic attacks and nightmares. A trained service animal can help a PTSD sufferer get through every day situations by accompanying them in public places, staying between the service member and strangers and also awakening the veteran from a nightmare. Also, these dogs can help with other debilitating terminal medical conditions and can serve as their life line. With a disease like Pericardial Mesothelioma, the dogs can be their loyal friend by their side and reduce their anxiety as long as possible.

One such program is Soldier's Best Friend. This organization aims to help service members returning from combat as well as help dogs. Veterans who enter into this program have the option of training with their own dog if they have a dog who qualifies, or training with a dog that has been rescued from a shelter. Once the dog and the service member are paired up, they will go through training together, where learning and bonding will take place. Service dogs are provided at no cost to the service members. 

Puppies Behind Bars is another service dog program that provides service dogs for veterans. This unique program places puppies in the care of carefully screened inmates. Inmates in this program care for and train the puppies from the age of eight weeks until they are old enough to be tested and begin their lives as service dogs; usually around two years old. Dogs from this program are provided completely free of charge to participating veterans. 

The special bond between dogs and humans, as well as the range of tasks trained service dogs can assist with and are important ones to recognize. Luckily for veterans returning from combat, service dog organizations realize how much help a dog can provide a service member who is suffering from PTSD, and are stepping up to meet this need. 

Kristin Wells is a recent college graduate from The University of Georgia and an aspiring writer. She wants to make a difference in people's lives through her writing. Kristin also likes competitive cycling, running, and traveling as much as possible.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Being in the military, there is a sense of community.

If it's all the guys that work together.  Or the neighborhood.  Or the spouses club (though the verdict is out on those...)

More then likely, you are stationed away from family, so those around you become family.

But not in recruiting duty.

You're not near a base, or your squadron.  The few times you actually get together, are for usually awards or training, and even then, not all the wives go.

Your flight is supposed to become your family.  Which most of the time happens, but then does that make the flight chief the 'father', or 'leader'. To support the flight?  To make sure everyone is taken care of.

I guess that's how it used to be.  But not anymore.  No with our flight chief.

Our son was in the Children's Hospital for several days.  Pave had to work.  He was 'encouraged' to stay at work.  In reality, we just sat and had doctors and nurses in and out of our room.  But still, it would have been nice to have him there too.

No one from the squadron called to check on him (or me).  No one from our 'military family' came to visit us.

Well, our old flight chief did. The one who no longer has any responsibility to us.  The one who retired last year.

But no one else from that part of our world.

That is the one thing I hate about recruiting duty.  The lack of community.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm back

I'm not sure if I'm even going to show up on any ones reader anymore, but here's a quick run through of my last few months.

We got all new squadron leadership, from the flight chief to our commander.  The transition has been less the smooth.

We lost our flight chief, he retired.  Granted he was a special cup of tea, at the end of the day, he really loved the guys.  He served for 24 years, and we were blessed to be a part of his last few years.  They had a great retirement ceremony at a local Bass Pro, which was very fitting for him.  I was touched during the ceremony, when he thanked all the guys for making his job easy.  He truly is a great guy, and his wife is awesome too.

The biggest thing that has taken my time, has been our amazing little guy that has joined our family.  He was born in late July, and came home with us on August 11th.  I'm happy to introduce you to Little Pave!

I'm going to try to be more active on the blogging side of things, a lot in the military part of our life has been changing... we'll see what comes of the changes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pray for Joplin

Please pray for Joplin.  Some of our filighmates live there.  One's house is completely gone.  Thank God he was at ALS and his family was out of town staying with family.  The other's house is not livable now.  The rest of the flight is going down, we are literally about to leave the door with two trucks full of stuff.  All of our flight, and thier family,  is safe and accounted for, but it's bad on the ground.

Last night we went to bed with 24 confirmed dead, by 5:30am 89 confirmed dead, and that was before the sun rose.


And donate to the Red Cross of the Ozarks (general Red Cross I believe). 

Monday, April 25, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week

This week starts National Infertility Awareness week. asking us to help bust a myth. 

Infertility is a disease.  Just like heart disease or lung disease.

It has a group of medical codes all it's own.  I've taken this list from a fellow blogger, A little Blog about Big Infertility!  She had several of the same as me.

634) Spontaneous abortion (i/e miscarriage)
(640.0) Threatened abortion
(646.3) Habitual aborter
(649.5) Spotting complicating pregnancy
773.0- Rh- (Rh factor incompatibility
628.9- Infertility female of unspecified origin
256.6- PCOS
(256) Ovarian dysfunction

I also need to add endometriosis, as well as MTHFR. 

It's a list that defines me, and my inability to have a child.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Some of the extra crap in our house is G-O-N-E. Well, maybe not completely yet, but definitely on the way to being gone.

I have a 'craigslist pile', with most of it actually already on 'the list', with some still waiting to be photographed. (and we've already sold some things, our old motorcycle helmets and a floor lamp- $80.00 in a day!)

I have a 'donate' pile. All of it is clothes, and I know that I could probably sell them, but eh.. somethings are worth the time, and some things aren't, so off to DAV they go!

I have a pile in the trash (thank goodness tomorrow is trash day!). I guess since I was in a purging mood, it was a good thing. I found a ton of makeup under the sink that I've literally had since high school/ college/ our wedding. It all got tossed. I also realized I will never need to buy lotion again. Ever. There were some other random things that I found too, like the 3 bottles of rubbing alcohol I found between the two sinks, and two bags of cotton balls... oh and soap, we won't need to buy hand soap for a while either!

I really need to get some projects done, but I'm almost to the point of being overwhelmed. I guess getting stuff gone is the best first step. I guess!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Looking back, we haven't had a vacation, a just for us-no family-no military- vacation since our honeymoon, which was six years ago.

I'm happy to announce, that is going to change. Soon. Very soon.

We don't know where we are going.

We don't know when we are going. (Well, really there are only two weeks that I can go because we have 'online meetings' of my class).

I'm thinking some place warm (not snowy mid Missouri!), with sand.

And some place that has military bases near by for lodging.

We started looking at airline tickets last night.

Today, we talked about if we should take his daughter with us. On one had, it would be a lot of fun to do a family vacation, and as he said "so she doesn't have to wait until she's 22 to see the ocean like I did", however, we would both really love to go by ourselves, and enjoy each other....

I think in the end we've decided that it will be just us, and we plan to enjoy every second!

Any suggestions on where to go?  Which bases (probably more Eastern and Southern) have good lodging... or bad lodging! :)