Cammo Style Love: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

See the Circus in the DMV - Military Discount!

It seems as though every day I'm discovering something new about the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia).  There is so much to see here that I just can't keep up.  I've got two posts after this one of great places to see while here; and if you check the tab up top you can see all the posts so far about our adventures here.

I'm particularly excited about this one because, honestly, who doesn't love a circus.  Telling you about this one is also fun because I get to pass on a great discount for all my military peeps out there (There is also a similar student discount!). 

Big Apple Circus, founded in America in 1977 creates a unique shared experience in their tent, and provides  dedicated outreach programs offered in partnership with healthcare facilities and youth organizations. Big Apple Circus insists upon sensitivity to quality of life both in and out of the ring. This respect and care is shown equally for all of our performers, human and animal alike. Renowned for its award-winning family entertainment, the mission of Big Apple Circus is to invigorate the communities they serve with the joy and wonder of the classical circus. Learn more at

I've been to the circus once, and the kids went to the circus while the hubby and I were on our Babymoon.  I can't wait to attend with the kids, and experience the fun of the circus together.  Check out some of these cool acts, and the Ringmaster.

 Here's the 411 on the discount:

New York, NY – Sept,  2012 – Big Apple Circus is proud to announce that beginning this month a 50% discount will be available on tickets to their spectacular LEGENDARIUM show for all veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families as a thank you for their service. We invite veterans, service men and women, and their families to join us in the thrill of watching our fantastic performers in an intimate tent setting where all seats are less than 50 feet from the center ring.
When: September 20- October 8, 2012
Where: Dulles Town Center, 45630 Dulles Center Blvd.

Tickets are on sale now for select shows at a discounted rate of $30, $24.50, $18.50, or $12.50 for active duty military and veterans with the promotional code: Military.
Purchase tickets online now at
Anyone who has purchased a discounted ticket online will be required to show a current ID and documentation of military service to qualify to receive this special rate at will call. Without qualifying proof, they won’t be admitted to the show and no refund will be issued. Tickets purchased at regular price cannot later be converted to the discounted price. Discounts are also available for college students with a valid student ID. Discounted tickets are available for all weekday shows, Monday-Friday from September 20th- October 8th.
Evening shows begin at 7pm every weekday. On select weekdays, there are also 11am showings. Doors open 1 hour before show time. The performance is 2 hours long, including a 15 minute intermission. Children under the age of 3 are free when they sit on an adult’s lap. One child per lap.
The Big Top is completely wheelchair accessible.

Hurry and grab your tickets, and stay tuned for my post about our Circus adventure later on.

Sunday Social Week 17

Whoop Whoop!  It's Sunday Social time over at Ashley's Carnival Ride and A Complete Waste of Make-up.  Most definitely my favorite link-up.  It gets my week going and I've discovered some amazing and wonderful blogs through this link.  This week's questions do not disappoint and I can hardly wait to check out everyone's posts.  So sit back and enjoy...and if so inclined pop on over and link yourself up.

Sunday Social

1. What do you miss most about being a kid?
I think the thing I probably miss the most is just the carefree-ness of it.  Sure, being a kid, or a teen, had its hard parts.  You weren't totally in charge of yourself, school and lots of other annoying things like not being able to eat cookies before dinner.  But, I don't know if I actually miss it, so much as I just swoon over it.  You know, the memories, the romanticism of it all.  You just remember with fondness, at least I do.  Lots of fun stuff.

2. Did you have a nickname growing up? What was it?
As a matter of fact I had several - Rheanna Banana, (Miss)Rhe and Anna Anna.  The Anna Anna one is probably the sentimental favorite.  It was given to be by one of the many surrogate grandparents I had growing up at the church we did.  My grandparents had been there since practically the beginning, my dad grew up there...roots are deep.  So the story goes that the reason he called me Anna Anna is that the beginning of my name is in repeat.  I know, its so corny.  But that's what memories are made up.  My aunt that passed away always called me Rheanna Banana. All good memories too.

3. What was your favorite thing to do at recess?
Anyone else remember flipping around on the bars with your knee?  Being able to do it forward and backward on one knee.  That was soooooo cool, and for the life of me I'm not sure why? LOL

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
 I remember at one point wanting to be a ballerina....I think I wanted to be that for a long time...even as I grew up.  A mom, was also something that I was known to have said.

5. What was your favorite toy?
I really was about barbies, and my little pony.  There's a stuff giraffe that plays music that I still have, whose neck is broken from all the love (it uses to move around).
6. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about?
I was kinda of clumbsy...which is funny because I danced...but spilling stuff, tripping....stuff like that.  I don't know why but nothing is jumping to my head right now.  LOL

Make sure to link up and/or check out all the wonderful blog linked up for this great hop! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

#FitnessFriday Fembody Science!

           Hi everyone. Yes, I realize its Saturday, but lets not split hairs.  I'm really trying to focus of keeping the momentum going.  This seems to harder than I thought it would be.  Keeping a momentum of working out, and eating healthy is becoming harder and harder for me to stick to.  Having multiple children, I realize, isn't an excuse but for me it seems to be the root of my problem.  Although I will say that having my oldest in school has been helpful on many levels.  I'm walking roughly four miles every day, taking Brian to school.  Then I'm usually able to squeeze in another workout - either one of the workouts on my iphone workout app or P90X.  I feel like I'm finding my new rhythm.  It's a new and different one of course.  Adaptation is key; and I think we women are really good at it.  I find myself getting frustrated and I tend to fall into a sort of trap if you will.  One in which I find myself getting ridiculously frustrated with commercials that talk about how easy it is to lose weight.  Track your food, get your "coach", order your six weeks of food and get two weeks free. *insert eye roll*  Here's the thing, you and I both know anyone can initially loose weight if they have the money to order months of food, perfectly portioned out, pay for a person a personal trainer, or pay for someone to watch their kids so they can go to a gym (because their husband is literally almost never home) or go grocery shopping so you can actually pay attention to what you are doing.  I am so super proud of myself though, because I've gotten really good at my meal planning, which helps with budgeting and eating better.

         So, what have I been doing...what am I doing to combat this?  I've been doing P90X.  I decided to put the calendar up on my bedroom door, in a prominent place so that it will help me to remember.  I'm tracking everything on My Fitness Pal.  I know, I know, everyone does it.  But writing down what I'm eating really helps me stay on track.  I also discovered an amazing app called Workout Trainer.  It's a free iPhone app.  There's an upraded version that costs like $2.99 I think.  Whenever I need something short, or something to concentrate on a particular area because I want to mix it up, I go to this app.  So many kinds of workouts of varying difficulty, length, in home or at a gym.  There are even user reviews, which is also really helpful.  It's an amazing app and I've really enjoyed using it.  I can do it while I'm watching tv or listening to Pandora or whatever else.  Along with that I've been walking my son to and from school, pushing the double stroller, with my middle and youngest in it.  Sometimes Ami walks, but mostly she takes advantage of the free ride, wouldn't you?

         I also decided to partner with Fembody Nutrition.  You can see my review for the appetite suppressing gum here.   Paula Abdul (I know, I know, yuck it up!) is one of the celebrity endorsements of FemBody.  You can't argue with the fact that she actually looks pretty darn good.

Most women don’t always get the nutrients their bodies need. Naturally, our bodies constantly change as we grow older. Listen to your body and pay attention to your needs. Taking care of you is one of the most loving and caring things you can do for yourself and for your loved ones.
Eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking the right supplements for your body are keys to maintaining health, looking and feeling great, no matter what your age is. Paula, who is 50 and fabulous, has found her health supplement support solution in Fembody. It looks great on Paula and it will look great on you, too. Healthy is the new sexy, and Fembody is the new healthy support for women like you.

         I'm using the Slim Select GT300 -  Breakthrough formula with EGCG Green Tea Extract and Raspberry Ketones, which helps accelerate fat burning and support healthy metabolism; and the Appetite Control 100 - Breakthrough Satiereal® Saffron Extract demonstrated a substantial reduction in the desire to snack among study participants.  I've been taking them for about a month.  Results should be seen in about 8 weeks.  I plan to keep everyone updated.  I'm excited!  If you know of any awesome Fitness Friday link-ups, let me know.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Montpilier Farms, Maryland


my most recent posts that I'm particularly fond of!!

When do you know?
Meesh&Mia - Collegiate Wear
Be Still My Soul - book review

Meesh and Mia - Fashionable Collegiate Clothing

           It's not every day that I get to reminisce about my college days. It seems so darn long ago doesn't? I started taking classes at my local community college when I was still in high school. The campus I went to was a satellite location so we didn't really have sport teams, and when I moved to the four year campus they sucked! It's so terrible, but I don't think I actually went to a game ever, but I didn't attend a school awesomely known for its football or basketball, or really anything else for that matter. I went to a gymnastics meet...I seriously did. Total fail in the school spirit program. It's one of those things you don't think of until after the fact.

          There are tons of things I wish I would have done while I was in college, but didn't. Maybe that just means I've gotta go back (ahhhh!!!). I did, however, peruse the student shop on many an occasion and I just might have gotten a little bit more into the School Spirit thing if I had had the opportunity to see clothes like this hanging there. I mean, seriously, these clothes are absolutely the cutest and coolest clothes. Meesh and Mia is the company. Here's a little bit about them.

It all started at a football game. Looking around a tailgate filled with colorful tee shirts and sweatshirts, baseball caps, foam fingers and face paint. A tradition loved, some would say worshiped, by so many. But something was missing. There were women all around…but no women’s clothing?! Once it was noticed it could not be ignored…and the Meesh & Mia movement began.  
Meesh & Mia has started a female fanwear revolution by taking today’s latest fashion trends and combining them with your favorite school colors and logos. We provide a unique, fashion forward approach to University apparel whether you’re looking for something to wear to the game, to work…anywhere! Providing looks for the diehard fanatic or the closet enthusiast our styles are available with or without school logos, so you can choose whether you want to show your school pride loud and proud, or a little more subtle with just some game day colors! 
Gone are the days of dreading getting out that old tee shirt that everyone else has…now you get to stand out in the crowd! It’s time to make it YOUR game. 

         Being a military family I jumped at the chance to get my hands on some cute moto wear, representing our branch, while giving a little shout out to the Air Force Academy as well.  For you other military ladies out there, you can represent the Army and the Navy as well!

Cute stuff right?  I chose the Asymmetrical Ruffle Top, in black.  It was really hard to decide which one to choose.  The sequin tank, shown above is pretty darn cute as well.

        The fit on this is great.  Right in line with what I would purchase at a store I normally shop at.  That is always nice when you purchase online.  Sure they have sizing charts, but sometimes I feel like those don't really accurately describe a fit of woman, if you get my drift.  I have small shoulders and a large chest area....that changes the sizing of a shirt that I wear totally.  I loved that this was right on, and fit nicely.  The fabric is great and the sequin design looks wonderful in person and like its done well.  I have no doubt this shirt will be in my collection for a long time.  I really love that it can be dressy or casual.  More importantly, I can share my moto wife love without being too crazy.  Its simple and class, fun and cute!  Totally love it!

Now, as I'm sure you are now wanting to run and grab some product!!!  So, here's some housekeeping if you do!  Check out my referral link and order something from it and there's a surprise for you, $15 off!  I can't wait to order more frankly!  Also, if you order from one of the armed forces branches you get free shipping!  If you are currently serving or a past veteran, but would like to order from a different school, email Meesh and Mia at CustomerService at meeshandmia dot com and they will be happy to help you.  I was truly impressed with the communication, customer service and the all around general respect I received.  If you are looking for something different to support your college this would be the first and last place I would recommend to you!  Please check out Meesh and Mia and buy awesome stuff!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rhe's Bookshelf - Be Still My Soul

Hi everyone.  It is time for another review from the bookshelf here at Cammo Style Love.  This time I am reading another Christian novel.  I've not read too many Christian novels, not since my days of reading Mandie (which btw if you're looking for a great kids series these are amazing!), but I decided to give them a shot.  As I'm writing this review I'm still a little bit torn about how I feel about this book.  It's written well and there is a very deep and emotional story.  However I ended up being slightly conflicted when all was said and done.  Before I get into that, let me give you a run down of the book.

"Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.

Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate. 

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing  Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?

I received this book as a before sale, unedited, preview copy, which was a first for me.  Kinda cool and very exciting!  It is slated for release October 2012.

How I felt after reading the book changed once I started to actually think about what I was going to write down.  When taken apart, some of the details take new form.  I don't particularly want to ruin the book that might want to read it later, but I have issue with this description.  Reading this you see the phrase, "steals a kiss".  In the book it actually plays out more like he's trying to take advantage of her, and later on in the book appears to be "accidentally" abusive.  Although I'm not really sure how accidental it really is.  You could argue that the physical part might have been but the way he treated her was horrid.   The story line moved very quickly, and while I get that for movies..but in books you have the ability to pass implied time.  This wasn't really the case and I would have appreciated that a little bit.  The author did a marvelous job discussing the realities of abusive households, and the ability of God to change people, and in showing that Faith is an amazing thing.  I realize that the time in which this book takes place is different then present day.  Things were done differently and the honor of family wasn't something to be trifled with.  Arranged marriages happened all the time and women had nothing to say in the matter.  People had to learn to be in love.  I understand all of that.  Even still I wish it had been arranged a bit better in order to make the reader more comfortable with it.  It did end happy and well, and there was some romance to it.  God can conquer all.  Love is a powerful thing. 

It's not a terrible book, but its not the best book.  There is much to be learned about this time in history and how life was back then.  Its a strong testament to faith and how it can change anyone.  Although I feel that for many people it may be too hard to separate some of the things that occur in the book from the world we live in now, compared to then.  A portion of the author's audience may be lost as a result.

I give it 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

 I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for a positive review.  My opinions are my own, take 'em or leave 'em

When do you know...a hard post

        So, I've thought a lot about writing about this. It's a tough subject for me and I think its a tough subject for a lot of people.  I haven't really been sure exactly how to talk about it.  I have three beautiful children.  I know that I am lucky and blessed.  Its not that I'm not grateful but there's a looming question...when do you know you are done?  I know that I can't be alone in this.  I know there are other people out there that have thought about this.  I mean, isn't that one of the first several conversations you have with your soon-to-be-husband?  I knew that I wanted more than two, probably three or four.  He said two or...whatever..I never really nailed him down on an exact number; but heck, I wasn't nailed down to an exact number either.
But when you're 21 and getting married, living life and having fun who even thinks about such things.

We have three beautiful children, we're lucky.  I know that.  I wrestle all the time with these feelings.  Why do I even let myself have these feelings?  I'm just being ungrateful and selfish.  Many times I often wonder if how crazy our life has been for the last 11 months (wow has it already been 11 months) has contributed to the feeling.  Having a very busy Mr. Air Force might be another reason.  But telling myself any of those things doesn't make me feel better.  Keeping them in isn't doing me any favors either.  I've recently been faced with having to decide what to do with all the baby stuff that we aren't using anymore.  There's a consignment sale coming up and after the move organization is the key to functioning well.  Every time I go through the clothes I lose it.  I'm putting off finishing the job too.  The items have to be entered in and tagged for drop off in a week.  A huge pile of clothing is building up in the playroom.  There are car seats, a bouncy chair, a swing and various other items in the kids' closet.  Every time I look at them a lump wells up in my throat.  Tears rim in my eyes.  When my son started kindergarten, I didn't cry; but when I picked up my youngest from his nap and absolutely lost it at the thought of this being my last one.  Is it just typical, "this is my last baby" thoughts?  I don't know.  I don't really know how other people feel about this topic because I don't really think people talk about it.  One of my friends told me that they weren't sure and one time they had a scare and that's when they knew.   That doesn't apply to me.

         Perhaps its a feeling that will never go away, but we will make a decision based on our financial responsibilities, our situation in life and our age to stop.  I'll just learn how to cope with the feelings.  I mean I don't know if having another child will make this feeling go away no matter how much I try to rationalize in my head that it would.  It would have been fun to have another girl - you know bows and dresses and all that stuff.  How do I know if I had had a girl, or were to have a girl - two of each - if that would make the feeling go away.  I've talked about it with the Mr., but I don't really know if he is capable of really understanding.  He's a man, I'm a woman - the whole Mars and Venus thing.  I'm not really even sure what I want him to do or say.  If you were to ask someone who really knew me they would probably tell you that I'm a sensitive person, rather emotional and I cry.  I cry when I'm happy, sad, something is funny, worried, when a song comes on a radio.  Basically I'm an emotional person....I run on high.  I like a cause.  Sometimes I feel like I have to defend myself and get...well, defensive.  I'm definitely a strong individual but sometimes I can be a bit of a people-pleaser, I worry.  Do all of those things have anything to do with how I'm feeling now?  This ache in my stomach, this feeling that at any moment I just might start crying in the middle of the store or totally lose it in front of my kids?  Maybe.  I also feel completely ridiculous.  Why can't I "handle" this? I know I just need to get on my knees and pray.  Pray like I've never prayed before.  Maybe there's a part of me that is scared at what the answer will be.

Has anyone else felt like this?  Is anyone else feeling like this now?  Am I alone.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The last days of summer...the first day of School

Greetings all and happy Tuesday. I don't know if anyone else out there reading this is a list person, but I am. Ask my mom and she'll tell you that I've been a list person for a very long time. I had a planner in jr. high and have one to this day. And yes, it is a paper one that you have to write in. My IPhone is wonderful, and lists are there to be found as well. But, nothing beats a good old fashioned paper and pen list and calendar.

 I even posted about my little planner on instagram

           One of the posts I've had in my brain (and on my list(s)) that I think I've been putting off is my First Day of School post. My oldest started school, kindergarten to be exact. I've been nervous about it for awhile. Probably a little bit more than a year ago I really started worrying about it. I used to be a Liberal Studies major, with the intention of becoming a teacher. The politics of teaching in California, or most other places for that matter, was something that just felt I couldn't deal with. There are many days I regret the decision, but what's done is done. The concerns about putting my child in the public school system are what they are too; and I don't particularly care to argue about that either. But like just about everything in my life God is totally in control. He's watching over us.

         We are very fortunate to have moved to a great state, an even better school district and one of the better elementary schools. My fears about teachers have been eased. My fears about my little guy have been eased. I'm a firm believer in letting kids be kids. Letting them play, get dirty, run around, be silly, build an imagination and just have plain 'ole fun. I just don't think kids get to do this enough these days. Many kids just don't play like when I was growing up or my parents. Too much tv, video games, baseball teams, soccor, dance, cheerleading, and the list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong, my kids are in stuff too. My son does karate and my daughter right now is doing gymnastics. I think interaction and team activities are important for kids, but kids are shuffled around from thing to thing at such a young age now. I was worried about the fact that I'd let my kids be kids and how that would translate into a classroom. I was worried it would be too rigid, to structured and too education focused. And don't worry, we discipline, I did pre-k work with him at home and we have rules, so its not like I let them run amuk.

First Day of school - 6 years old!

          June 2007 - 10 months old

          In the end I've been so happy. I didn't have to do the whole "I told you so" speech to the hubbs (which I might have secretly been bummed about,lol). He's doing so well. No additional emotional outbursts (boys at this age are super emotional people!). He's been a little bit more tired than normal but not a lot. He likes his teacher, is making friends, likes his work. He's doing music and PE and finally got to play with the play kitchen set in the classroom, which he was convinced was there purely to taunt him. He's succeeding and I'm so proud. This mom can now breathe a sigh of relief.

 First day of school!  Apparently he would like to be a Doctor/Driver - it's probably quite complicated 

 How bout you all? Any sighs of relief going around after the first couple weeks of school? Everyone getting into a rhythm with their schedules?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Me, Myself and I! A new link-up

Hello all!!  I have a brand new link-up that I discovered over at one of fav blogs to read daily, The Adventures of D and V.  The link up comes to curtosey of My Beautiful Crazy Life, so make sure to catch up on the third Tuesday of every month.

             I really love link-ups like this, and finding new link-ups in general.  Discovery all the amazing bloggers out there is really most of the fun of blogging, and I frequently get lost in reading emails and blog posts that other people have written and totally forget about my own blog!  I know, I'm totally crazy but I'm not alone I'm sure.  Thanks lovely ladies for a fun link up.

1. When you're feeling down, what do you do to pick yourself up?
I usually make some coffee, or hot chocolate (or some other yummy hot beverage) and grab a good book.  A good book never fails to distract me from whatever I have going on.  If I'm really in need of an intense pick me up, and I can escape the crazy, I will usually go out and do some retail window shopping or actual retail therapy. 

2. If you had to live in a different time period, which would you choose?
For me that's a total easy one - the 40s/50s.  I'm not too picky.  I truly love the simpler time, where men were men and women were women...its so cliche and not very feminist of me - it is totally romanticized and probably 80% unrealistic..but maybe I could live in a movie in that time period of maybe a tv show.  Maybe its just the hats?  LOL.  I actually have a lot of vintage hats and dressed up quite a bit in highschool in college.  I also have a lot of vintage items I use in decoration.

This is me in high school at a fundraising event all dressed up!

3. What  is the most creative Halloween costume you've ever worn?
Gosh, I don't know about creative.  I never really dressed up and went to parties when I was older.  One year I dressed up in one of my old prom dresses as a princess, and the hubby (then boyfriend dressed in some camo gear, which is a little prophetic don't you think, LOL).  Two years ago I threw my first adult halloween party with one of my besties.  I was a fairy and went all out with huge wings, colored eyelashes!

4. five weird things we wouldn't know about you without being told?
1) whenever slow songs or classical music come on the radio my brain starts choreographing something in my head!  Its so ridiculous.
2) I'm totally OCD even though if you asked most people they would tell you I'm a super laid back, relaxed mom.  I waaaaaayyyyy keep that on the down low, LOL

I'm not really sure about weird'm pretty boring I think

3) I'm such a grandma and I love to knit and crochet
4) I'm totally obsessed with books and have book shelves two deep
5) I'm also totally obsessed with romantic movies like Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and While You Were Sleeping - and annoying quote dialogue throughout the whole movie, especially with my mommy!

5. What would you tell your 16 year old self?
- Yes, this is the man of your dreams, and you don't have to worry about him going anywhere!  You are one lucky girl!
- Don't stop dancing, even when you graduate high school and go into college, you'll miss it and will think about how you wished you had continued because finding a job teaching while moving around in the military will be way harder then it seems
-Being homeschooled ends up being so awesome and so many way cool opportunities will be coming your way in your junior and senior year!

With the man of my dreams, September 2011

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to let me know if you are following me and I will most definitely return the favor!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Military Monday - Suicide Prevention Month

Marine Parents
        It is time for another Military Monday, and I really wanted to take some time to acknowledge the fact that September is Suicide Prevention Month.  I always think these "month" things are so stupid...why do I need a month to specifically acknowledge something that should be acknowledge all the time.  But I realize that there are good things that come out of it.  For one, it gets people talking.  Even if I believe people should be aware of these things anyway, there's nothing wrong with getting people to talk about it.  It might cause political and public leaders to really pay attention to something when there is a giant surge in coverage of a certain topic.  That is something I can get behind.

          Well, the subject for September is something that really upsets me.  I don't think people are aware of the staggering numbers of military members ending their lives when they return home AND the even more unbelievable numbers of service members killing themselves while deployed.  People need to step up and realize that this is real, that this is going on.  In response to this many branches and government officials are stepping of their game and talking about it more.  That's a great first step.  The culture of the military is not one that changes easily, and I wonder if it was more acceptable to ask for help if the numbers of suicides while home or deployed would change.  Although,there are several things we must think about before we would really ready to deal with the topic of military related suicides.

          First thing I think we need to accept is the fact that there are many suicides that happen outside of the contexts of war.  War does not mean suicide.  There are many of our men and women that don't commit suicide.  It is also mainly understood that many suicides are unplanned and mostly spontaneous, and sometimes as a result of one event that sends someone over the edge, making predicting them extremely difficult.  Personally I don't want to accept any of these things because I feel like people can use these thoughts as a way to gloss over the issue, forget about it and sweep it under the rug, which is NOT acceptable.

          The Navy recently announced their plan to raise a general awareness of the issue.  Each week new resources will be available to guide discussion on stress management and suicide prevention concepts.  Education and an open dialogue are so important when it comes to issues of depression, stress and suicide.  My personal opinion is that communication and an open dialogue is so key.  I feel like there is a general belief that it isn't okay to talk about when you can't handle things, and this may be more concentrated in the military.  Admitting you are struggling with something is seen as a sign of weakness, and the feeling that you're the only one feeling that way because no one else is talking about it, only makes it worse.

          I think Leon Panetta, in his interview with USA TODAY stated some of my thoughts perfectly as an answer to one of the questions asked of him that day:

Q: According to the Pentagon, U.S. troops are dying by suicide at a rate of more than on a day, what can you tell Americans about why this is happening?

A: It is a complex problem with no quick fixes. Part of it I think is due to a nation that's been at war for over a decade. You have repeated deployments and sustained combat exposure to enormous stresses and strains on our troops and on their families that produced a lot of seen and un-seen wounds that contribute to the suicide risk. At the same time, we're dealing with what is a broader societal problem. I think CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said something like 37,000 are committing suicide nationally. And that means we have to deal with some of the broader societal issues: substance abuse, financial distress, relationship problems, the kind of risk factors that endure even beyond our involvement in war. So it is, I think, very much a problem that not just the military, but society in genera,l has to confront and deal with.

         I think for as much of a responsibility I believe the Military and the leadership within, needs to take, I think its also important for friends and family to be educated as well...not only for themselves, but for their service member.  Friends and family are just as much susceptible to issues of stress, depression and suicide.  We may be lacking in support in our various situations as well.  I know that I have thought to myself, "geez, why can't you handle this, keep it together Rheanna.  Other people have it way worse then you.  Look at what your husband is going through."  These are all dangerous thoughts.  Perhaps versions of these same thoughts are going through the minds of our men and women serving.  It doesn't matter what your situation is, even if you think you should be handling it better..that's not the point.

Below I have highlighted some links that I have looked at that I think are a step in the right direction.  Major change can be hard, but I think we owe it to ourselves, our Veterans, the families and our countries to make that hard change. One of the best programs that I've seen is The Wingman Project of the Air National Guard, so make sure to check that out below.

Navy Suicide Prevention
Navy Stress
Army Suicide Prevention Link
Air Force Suicide Prevention Links
Marine Corp Links
Coast Guard
Military One Source - I had a friend just go through this process of getting a counselor through them.  They are so helpful.  You will need to give standard identification information but it has all remained completely confidential.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) - I had the extreme pleasure of speaking with Tom Tarantino (Chief Policy Officer and Veteran) at the MilBlogging Conference this year.  I urge anyone who is serving or has served tap into this amazing resource of people who are serving or have served.  They have been there.
Air National Guard - Wingman Project
Army Guard

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Social Week 15

            Happy Sunday Ya'll! The Cammo Love house is a little under the weather. I'm convinced it is this sudden change in temperature around here. I've always been a little sensitive to that, and now I think some of my little ones have inherited that. Phillip busy getting teeth so that's fun. But, ever my sweet boy he's still as happy as can be, full of snuggles and smiles.

               So we are laying low today. I'm watching some History Channel, while Phillip is sleeping and the kids (after spending the good majority of the day inside) have ventured outside to get some much needed sunshine. In view of this momentary calm I'm jumping in and tackling this week's Sunday Social (my fav hop of the week). Just a little housekeeping - I've got several giveaways going on, so check that right side bar, as well as some Reviews in the Rhe's Bookshelf tab up top! Enjoy and have a great Sunday everyone. And, if you follow me today make sure to leave a comment and let me know and I will most certainly return the favor.

Sunday Social

1. What are three items you can't live without during the day (water, food, shelter and clothes don't count)?  My iphone, my contacts/glasses (like our amazing host I too, am ridiculously blind) and whatever good book I've got going at the time

2. What is your favorite book of all time, and why? Well, that is probably the hardest question ever?!  How do I pick just one.  There are so many that I love - ones from my childhood like The Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables (all of them).  Pride and Prejudice is really high up on my list.  It is one of the books that I read over and over again.

3. What is something you'd like to accomplish by the end of 2012?  I'm hoping to get close to my number of my 2012 Book Challenge with good reads.  I'm less than halfway through it.  Again, like last year, I totally overshot it.  Last year, I became so sick with Phillip and then things just kept piling on top of other things - having Phillip, surgery, preparing for a cross-country move.  This year, I've done a pretty good job, not as good as I would like but I'm trying.  So if I can get close to that number this year I will be super proud of myself!  I also want to get my sewing machine up and going and get my etsy shop up for my knit/crochet items up and going too.

4. If you could go back and relive any year of your life what would it be?  I think it would be my 21st year.  It was the year I got married, our honeymoon and almost the entire first year of my marriage was at 21.  There was a pretty traumatic event that happened (which I talked about in my September 11th post), but even with that, it was a most wonderful year.

5.  What do you wish people knew about you without you having to tell them?  Gosh, that's a hard one.  Sometimes I wish people knew that even though I'm busy, running around with kids and seemingly have it all together - I'm really just coping as best as I can...I'm alone a lot, maybe not literally alone, but like many military spouses, or spouses with husbands that travel a lot or work more than a regular 8 hour day, I'm doing a lot by myself and that sometimes gets hard.  But, it's also just as hard to admit that you need help, or that you don't have it all together 100% of the time.  Shew, girl that was a heavy one!  LOL!!!

Can't wait to read anyone that is also linked up this week.  If you've never joined in with Ashley's carnival ride go do it!  It's so much fun and I've discovered so many blogs that way!!


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