Hello, from a proud Army Airborne Mom…
Hi LAW, thank you for such a warm welcome! I am happy to be blogging with you all and hope my posts will provide information, inspiration and some humor.
My eldest is a SFC (mortars) in the 82nd ABN, currently in the OIF Sandbox…4th deployment (3 Iraq, 1 Afghanistan, 1 New Orleans). My younger son, a SPC currently Med Boarding out. What I will tell you is ‘Airborne Holding’ is far worse than med boarding!
I have run a support group for 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne families since the 3rd BCT was formed (Army unit reformations, 2006). Prior I was co-moderator of 82nd Airborne “Family & Friends” Group (2003). Since my son’s enlistment I have provided medical /health information to military health care professionals, family members and soldiers/military members themselves both stateside and deployed. I started “militaryhealthmatters”, an on-line resource that provides information and resources on a variety of health issues affecting our service men and women. (this is not a ‘per click site’, I pay to have the site hosted (no advertisements). The resource site also has an accompanying blog (I call it ‘information lite’) and I write for examiner.com (military health).
The areas I am most concerned with are PTSD, TBI and mild TBI. We are only beginning to see the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of this issue, as time goes on I believe (based upon studies/research on concussion/brain injuries in athletes) the multiple ‘mild’ brain injuries sustained throughout multiple deployments will manifest themselves three-fold as our current military force ‘ages’. I have written several articles already on mTBI, suicide and PTSD and will share this information with you on this blog too. Currently I am writing a set of articles for the Sarah Jane’s Brain Project from both perspectives, as a military ‘mom’ and as a researcher/analyst. For those of you familiar with the SJBP you may be wondering about the relationship between ‘pediatric’ brain injuries and our military. Studies and research have shown the brain does not completely finish development until around 25 years of age. Think about the ‘average’ age (more/less) of our service men/women who are serving in combat?
It is up to each and every one of us …to make sure the attention to this issue and other military health issues does not go ‘away’ for the convenience of a ‘fickle’ public moving on to the next headline. We need to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
I do have to share the ‘humorous’ on-line chat/conversation I had with the AKO (Army Knowledge On-line) help desk person earlier this evening (I have a sponsored account, set to expire April 17th). Prior to the account’s expiration your sponsor is notified via AKO e-mail so they can ‘extend’ their sponsorship. Guess where my sponsor is?
Part A (95%): the help desk person gives me someone else’s password BUT then proceeds to tell me she ‘could not give me my son’s password” (I didn’t ask for it…), and that “he would need to call or go on-line to give them his ‘permission’ to change/extend the expiration date”.
Normally I might have typed in “duh” but thought better of it …wasn’t it obvious if he could ACCESS a CAC computer he would have just responded to the ‘reminder’ e-mail and extended it! In fact, (I told her)… he can’t even change his password because he can’t access a “CAC” computer! I think someone in the battalion was supposed to submit ‘paperwork’ to make them all “CAC Exempt” (deployment). That was probably the same person who ‘mis-placed’ an entire company’s paperwork (the same papers my daughter-in-law needed to submit for base housing), that would probably also be the same person … who didn’t bother sorting the mail two weeks prior to their last deployment (keeping the mailroom locked up as well).
Part B (4%): Finally getting the AKO help-desk person to let me know what my younger son needed to do in order to ‘approve’ my sponsorship.
Part C (1%) (after typing thank you, have a very nice evening… “DU….”
Off to write “Wednesday’s on the Web” – Any ideas? What web site would you like me to highlight?