Life Leadership: Innocence Lost and Found

Life Leadership:  Innocence Lost and Found Sandra Beck Shining Service WorldwideBy Sandra Beck 

One of the things I know about life is that over time we lose our innocence – especially after traumatic events or situations such as deployment or loss.  It’s like you come back and you are in a plastic box where the whole world continues around you but you just observe it from inside that little bubble. You can feel completely detached and separate from the emotions, but little by little you start coming back.

This is where and when you have to really take stock of your experience and make a decision. Do you want that experience to make you hard, impenetrable, and unreachable? Do you want to take that experience and process it with a friend or professional and let it become the fabric of your life but not your whole life? 

I vote for the latter. When I came out of my own darkness I made a choice not to be bitter, angry, and a fortress that kept everyone away. It was a choice and something that would have been very easy to do. But I didn’t and as a result found a very rich and fulfilling life.  It could have easily gone the other way if I let it. I’m not saying that I don’t have bitter, angry feelings from time to time – but I have made a conscious effort to let them go and return to my original state of innocence where the world is a bright shiny place to explore. 

Sandra Beck is the host of Military Mom Talk Radio and the single mother of two boys ages 5 and 8. She is an author, internet brand strategist. She has worked with the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army for over 20 years and is passionate about helping women lead their families successfully the specific challenges of military life.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.

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Life Leadership: Women’s Emotional Cycles

By Sandra Beck 

Life Leadership:  Our Emotional Cycles  Sandra Beck Shining Service WorldwideI am sure I am going to take a lot of flak for saying this but in my experience as a woman, and having women friends, working with women clients and being raised by a passionate loving mother and sister here is what I learned. I checked it out with my psychologist friend and she agreed so I can’t be that far off the mark. 

I think we as women cycle through a set of high emotions in about 45 minutes and through a full emotional cycle in about 3 hours. I noticed this one day when I was really upset about the Commander I have been seeing and my friend reminded me of the 45 minute high emotion cycle. I went for a walk and true to form in about 45 minutes I started seeing things differently.  In three hours from my initial freak out I saw the situation very differently. By the time I did communicate with him I was able to do so in a manner that treated us both with respect and allowed our friendship to flourish not be damaged. 

I’m not a shrink or a doctor but I have spent so much time with women where I see this happening and find it to be true to myself. I hope the next time you are in high emotion think about the 45 minutes and the 3 hour rule. It made a difference for the better in my life. I hope it does in yours. 

Sandra Beck is the host of Military Mom Talk Radio and the single mother of two boys ages 5 and 8. She is an author, internet brand strategist. She has worked with the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army for over 20 years and is passionate about helping women lead their families successfully the specific challenges of military life.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.

Hooah! Pass the Ammo! Graduation Day is here at last!!

By Doris Rivas-Brekke

Hooah! Pass the Ammo! Graduation Day is here at last!! Shining Service

Worldwide

Graduation Day can be the most beautiful two words a person can hear.  For me they were magical and meant the end of my basic training.

But, along with the happiness came sadness.  I was going to experience this moment with no family to share this day with.

I had done the unbelievable; I had taken the first step towards becoming a real soldier.  Me, the original California girl; me, whose father feared that I would humiliate his great “Marine name”; me, whose idea of work, was cleaning my bedroom.  Here I was taking the first step to prove to my family that I could be someone.  I could be a real U.S. Army soldier! But no one would be there to hug me, hold me, say to me “well done, Doris!”

All of the women who graduated with me knew we had accomplished something special, something big, something life changing. I knew tough roads were ahead.  I still had to get through advance training and my advance school was one of the toughest – the medical training school. But today was my day.  So I would enjoy this day, and yes I would cry, but I would be joyful and I would be proud; proud to be a U.S. Army basic training graduate! And no one was going to take that away from me!!

Many life lessons were learned that summer. But more than anything, I learned that I had great potential.  The  Army was helping me gain confidence in myself. My hope is that all of you who are reading my blogs will look at your service careers with the same enthusiasm and hope. 

Going forward, I look forward to sharing my advance training stories with you; the journey only gets better — Fort Sam Houston here we come.

My name is Doris Rivas-Brekke. I served in the U.S. Army as a mental health counselor in the medical corps. Using my military benefits I went on to achieve my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I am currently creative director for Military Mom Talk Radio and share my story with you to inspire you and the women following in my military footsteps.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.

USS RelationSHIP: The fastest sinking ship in the Navy

 
USS RelationSHIP - Sinking Ship Taylor Evans  Shining Service WorldwideTaylor Evans is the pen name for a Navy Chief having served both on active duty and in the reserves. She joined the military when she was only 17 and despite having been married twice is still wondering where “HE” is. She is a no-holds-barred blogger who isn’t afraid to call a baby ugly. She has been deployed on the sea and overseas and shares sometimes funny and often heartbreaking stories about her experiences with both. With 16 total years in the Navy and counting, she can almost say that she’s been in the Navy half her life, and she wouldn’t have it any other way
 
After reading Taylor’s article today I wanted to recycle it so more women could see it and comment on it.  Taylor’s goal in writing it was not to get too many hateful comments, but her fear is that she would get too many people who agree.
 
Read it and tell me what  you think.

This blog is going to probably end up all over the place, mostly because I’m passionate and deeply unnerved by the epidemic.


I recently started dating a civilian. I say “civilian” like he was some sort of alien and maybe it’s because it feels like he is. We set ourselves up on a completely blind date initiated by our hair stylist. When I met him he was wearing pineapple Vans on his feet and a Rolling Stones T-shirt. He was a Beatle. Not officially, but you get my visual. I was actually quite surprised the guy had a hair stylist. My point is, he was different from the other men I’ve dated – and by other men I mean military men. Chances are you know a military man when you see one. Either the hair cut gives it away, or there is a sweater tucked into jeans with a belt and that gives you a clue, or there is the combat boots with dress pants that seals the deal. So as you can imagine, this guy in general was quite a different experience for me.

But there was something else very different about this guy. He had lived in one general area his entire life, frequenting all the same bars and restaurants for years and years. His whole family lived within a 10-mile radius and he was still best friends with his high school buddies. He had been married and was devastated when it ended, and had only dated a few women in the seven years that followed his divorce. All together he had probably only slept with nine women in his lifetime. He is 39.

 

This may seem high for some of you reading this right now. Maybe you have only slept with one person your entire life, and for that I applaud you. But judging by the conversations my male military friends have sitting around the bar, this number of conquests can be obtained in a month.

But the number of people other people sleep with is not the point of this blog. It is to point out the biggest reason why relationships in the military seem to sink – Freedom and Opportunity.

When Tiger Woods was out there being a bad boy, many people crucified him for what he had done. But he had two things that people in the military also have, which I feel carved the way to infidelity; Freedom and Opportunity.

I’ve dated several men in the military from all different branches of service. I even got married in a rush when I was a young seaman thinking that was a guaranteed way to stay together. But when I got orders to a state on the total opposite side of the country, I knew it was over.

I have met the man of my dreams at every duty station. The dashing Marine in Washington. The British Royal Marine in Diego Garcia. The handsome Sailor in Italy. Another handsome Sailor in San Diego. Yet Another Handsome Sailor in Maryland. And let’s not forget the in-the-best-shape-of-his-life Canadian in Afghanistan. I loved them all, but you know what came between us? Freedom and Opportunity – on both sides.

Now here I am dating a civilian. His job doesn’t require him to travel. He works solid hours and arrives home at the same time every day. He isn’t in danger of being transferred to Djibouti. He isn’t going to get to reinvent himself in two years when he takes an unaccompanied tour to Bahrain. He is here and he will always be here. I’m not going to say this guarantees that he’ll never cheat on me, but the opportunity and freedom to do so is slim.

In the military you are meeting different people every single day. People are transferring in, you are transferring out, you are moving to Korea, and then Hawaii, and then Germany, and then Virginia (sorry about that.) You are TAD for this school and traveling to that conference. You are staying in hotels and constantly making friends with strangers. It’s a different life.

Recently my civilian and I had a conversation about cheating. He had this horrified look on his face when I joked about him cheating on me.

Civilian: Why are you joking about that?

Me: I’m just kidding around.

Civilian: It’s not funny. I would never do that to you and I would be crushed if you did that to me.

Me: Ok, seriously, I’m just kidding.

Civilian: Also, why do you find it necessary to post so many photos on Facebook and receive so many testosterone-driven comments by guys?

Me: Geez! Those are my military friends…and they are married!

Civilian: No wonder you think Monogamy is a myth.

And there it was. His way of thinking was different. His points of view. I see now why men often times marry a civilian. I saw the advantages right there in that moment. He doesn’t live this fast-pace life. He calls me a hero and brags to his friends about my deployments. It’s hard to be a dual-military couple, when you both know first-hand about all of the freedom and opportunity. I like the way my civilian looks at me, like he isn’t going anywhere, like I’m the only person in the room.

In the military, a lot of things are temporary. Duty stations, living quarters, assignments, even uniforms these days … but also, relationships. The fastest sinking ‘ships’ in the Navy.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.

Military Family Insider Tips

by Linda Franklin

military-family-insider-tips Linda Franklin Shining Service Worldwide.com3 need-to-know lessons about life when it involves a loved one in uniform.

I saw this on the MilSpouse.com website and wanted to pass it along to you.  It’s written by Sarah Smiley, Navy spouse.
 
Just like becoming a parent for the first time, there are some things people won’t tell you about life as a military family. This is partly because they want you to become a military wife (wouldn’t want to scare you off!), but also because often these things are so complicated and unique to military life, they are difficult to put into words. Here are a few:

1. Your children will randomly hug men and women in uniform.
To a child, everyone in a flight suit, camis, khakis, etc., is Daddy or Mommy. This can be very upsetting the first time it happens. You’re walking through the supermarket, assuming your child is trailing behind, when suddenly you hear someone say, “I’m sorry little fellow, did you think that I was your dad?” You look up and find your child clinging to the leg of a stranger in uniform.

My advice: Act calm. Don’t overreact. And whatever you do, don’t try to explain to passersby, “He’s not really her Daddy. I mean, I’m not even married to him. I mean, I don’t even know this person.”

2. Time will suddenly include a lot of zeros, and maybe even a few letter Os.
All your life, you thought 9:00 at night was just that: 9:00 p.m., time for “The Bachelor.” Now suddenly you catch yourself agreeing that it is “21 hundred.” Who knew there was a 21 o’clock? (Don’t say this to your spouse.) You might be thinking, “I never saw that on the clock!” Once you know that military time includes 24 hours, you begin to worry: How will I keep up? Will I have to learn how to tell time all over again? Answer: kind of.

A tip: After noon, add 12 to every hour and you get military time. 9 + 12 = 21.

Another tip: This one is for your spouse. No matter what you call it — zero-whatever — we nonmilitary types will still usually be late.

3. Holidays and special dates happen ahead of schedule.
If this is your first deployment, by the time you realize that it is almost your spouse’s birthday, your anniversary or Valentine’s Day, it is already too late to send a care package. For military mail (which has not, as far as I know, heard of “rain, sleet or snow”), you have to be at least one month ahead of special dates.

Insider’s note: Don’t be alarmed when your package still doesn’t arrive on time or if your spouse gets his birthday card on Easter and his Christmas presents in July. As long as the pictures you took for him don’t accidentally arrive in someone else’s mailbox, consider yourself lucky.

 

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.

 

Lesbian Kiss As Ships’s Return

By Linda Franklin

First Lesbian  Kiss Linda Franklin Shining Service WorldwideNaval officials said it was the first time on record that a same-sex couple was chosen to kiss first upon a ship’s return. Both women are fire controlmen in the Navy. They met at training school and have been dating for two years.

Marissa Gaeta descended from the ship and shared a quick kiss with her partner, Citlalic Snell. The crowd screamed and waved Navy flags around them.

Hope springs eternal.  

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life