“SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”

MAMF Special Projects Writer Caroline LeBlanc is seeking stories for:

SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”

This anthology seeks first-hand experiences—good, bad, and in between—as an LGBT veteran or family member, during and/or after military service. Our goal is to create a book that will allow you to tell parts of your story that will also be helpful for others to read—others who live or want to understand the LGBT veteran experience. The last chapter of the book will list resources available to LGBT veterans.

Do not submit any materials previously published in print or online. Identifying information should be included in the body of the email only.

What Genres to Submit:

Fiction: up to 1200 words.

Non-Fiction (memoir, essays, and other non-fiction): up to 1200 words

Poetry: up to 40 lines.

Reviews: up to 1200 words about a movie, book, music, etc. that you think are important for others to know about.

Resources: submit information on resources you have found particularly helpful. (Name, webpage, telephone number, and services)

 You may submit up to 2 pieces in each genre. Each piece must be attached in a separate file. All pieces in a given category must be submitted in the same email. Pieces in separate categories must be submitted in separate emails.

Submissions are accepted between March 20 and June 20, 2016. For more information or for guidelines on how to submit, please visit:

 our projects website

 

 

 

 

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The Museum of the American Military Family is compiling stories for a book reflecting on war…

 

Attention New Mexicans, who are serving in the military, are military veterans, are members of a military family, and would like to write about your experience in that capacity…

 Paul Zolbrod, Writer-in-Residence for the Albuquerque-based Museum of the American Military Family is seeking stories for its anthology “From the Front Line to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War.”

This anthology will include first-hand stories from all perspectives—service members, family members and friends who share their perspectives and experiences. Submissions can be about the recent Middle East campaigns, Vietnam, the Korean War era or World War II—and everything in between. All branches and ranks of the military should be represented.

How you can contribute:

Your story can be as long or as short as you choose. Just make it heartfelt, honest and interesting. We are looking for stories of trial and triumph and loss, stories that demonstrate the warmth and humor of military family life along with its inevitable tensions, offbeat stories that illustrate the variety that accompanies military life in war times–in other words– anything you want to tell of.

You don’t have to consider yourself an accomplished writer to participate. We will provide editorial services to sharpen your contribution.

The book will be arranged by stories of:

  • Pre-deployment,
  • Deployment
  • Post-deployment
  • Legacy & Aftermath

For more information or to submit a story, please e-mail Writer-in-Residence Paul Zolbrod at mamfwriter@gmail.com.

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2016. Tentative publication date is scheduled for the fall. All stories become part of the Museum of the American Military Family Special Collection Library.

 

 


Raising Awareness about PTSD

Nursing’s Role in PTSD Treatment

Today it is critical for all nurses to understand the signs and symptoms of PTSD. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), only about half of PTSD patients are receiving minimally adequate treatment. Active and retired military servicemembers make up the majority of PTSD cases and these patients lack access to the medical care they’ve been promised by the U.S. government.

For this reason, in an effort to raise awareness of PTSD and the fresh challenges it poses to all care providers, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has partnered with six major national nursing organizations to promote a new campaign called Joining Forces. The national initiative, led by the White House and First Lady Michelle Obama, invites all nurses to make a pledge to educate themselves on PTSD and to provide the highest-quality care to military servicemembers, veterans and their families.

Please remember that post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone; this guide, along with the support of your healthcare provider, is intended to help you begin to understand, recognize, and cope with PTSD.

RNtoBSN.org has recently launched a resource to help raise public awareness about PTSD; it discusses the nurse’s role in the treatment of PTSD, its different clinical classifications, identification of symptoms, myths, facts and the different treatments and best practices. The full article can be found here.

 

 


Braving the Storm: Northhampton VA Hospital

Until the blizzard hits on the Mass Pike,

the four hour drive north to visit you goes well

Packed in the VW, the kids and I play games,

vote to continue to brave the storm

Remove your watch. Place your house keys,wallet and comb on the desk. Sit. Unwind.

 

I’ll say the coaches asked for you at the awards

banquet , won’t mention that the boys punching upset the trophy table before dinner was served.

You’ll see them play next winter.

Place your clothes in the sack. Put on paper slippers. Hand over your car keys. Keep the coins.

 

Don’t have money to buy our daughter a prom corsage,

to dryclean your sister’s borrowed gown

and lacy shawl. Sandals won’t show

in the photos your mother will send you.

Lock your belt and laces with your meds and shoes. Pee now.

 

West of Worcester the storm worsens,

the frightened the kids and I guess

the meaning of good tours, war-games, outward bound, locked wards.

 Remove your dog tag flashbacks. Tuck them with your nightmares under your pillow. About face.

Jacqueline Murray Loring

 

This poem was featured in the Museum’s 2014 exhibit: Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family

Read more about the author here.

 

 

 


The Warrior Canine Connection

by Meg Daley Olmert, Director of Research                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Warrior Canine Connection, Inc. 

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.39.19 AMThe Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) employs the positive, nurturing social interactions of training service dogs to reduce the symptoms of PTS(D) in active-duty Service Members (SMs) in treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Fort Belvoir, and SMs and Veterans with PTS(D) at the Palo Alto VA.  Our dogs are trained by these Warrior-trainers to be skilled mobility service dogs that will be placed–at no cost–with Veterans in need.

This safe, natural, and highly effective complementary intervention was developed by social worker Rick Yount and clinically based on his decades of experience working with traumatized children the West Virginia foster care program.  I am attaching an article we published about the program in the Army Medical Journal (AMEDD).  You will see that our emphasis is to treat not just SMs & Veterans, but their whole families that suffer secondary PTS.

The beauty of the program design is that the Warrior Ethos inspires even those who have resisted treatment to engage in this vital mission of creating a service dog for a fellow wounded Warrior.

The actual shaping of the behavior of young dogs requires the same commitment, focus, and positive leadership skills that are the basis of good parenting.This provides a non-threatening experiential learning opportunity to:

–improve parenting and family communication that can save at-risk marriages

–stop the intergenerational transfer of PTSD to children of wounded Warriors

— keep military families together and provide the social support essential to recovery of our wounded Warriors. Read the rest of this entry »


Suicide on the homefront in military families

25Code of Support Executive Director, Kristy Kaufmann, has been a leading voice in the fight not only to track suicides among military family members, but to increase the mental health support they so desperately need.

 While many military families are thriving, there are far too many others who are struggling in silence – who feel like they don’t matter. We must have the strength to have this conversation out loud. Only then can we find solutions.

 We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read Kristy’s op-ed, and reach out to us at info@codeofsupport.org to learn how you can help.

 Suicide on the homefront in military families

By Kristina Kaufmann
 updated 5:55 PM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014 CNN.com

Editor’s note: Kristina Kaufmann is executive director of the Code of Support Foundation, which tries to bridge the gap between military and civilian communities.

(CNN) — When I married a soldier in June 2001, I knew my life was going to change. I moved from Berkeley, California, to Fort Sill, Oklahoma — talk about a culture shock. But I was in love, and enthusiastically dove head first into a military life I knew nothing about.

And then 9/11 happened, and my husband went to war. And then he went again, and again … and again.

After more than 12 years of sustained war and multiple deployments borne by less than 1% of the population, we now have an entire generation of military families that know nothing but war. And war comes home. I’ve known three Army wives who’ve taken their own lives.

Although we’re certainly not the first generation of military families to deal with the aftermath of war — there’s simply no precedent for how repeated deployments have affected the mental health of military spouses, children, parents and siblings. It’s like living in a continuous state of emergency for more than a decade and never being able to fully exhale in relief. As soon as your soldier comes home, you’re just counting down the days until he or she leaves and returns to the battlefield.

What is wars’ true toll on the spouses and children? Read the rest of this entry »


First Press Release About our Upcoming Exhibit in May 2014

Sacrifice & Service