June 22, 2019

{Guest Post} Consumer Safety Guide

Thank you Anna McClain who represents the Community Outreach team at Consumer Safety Guide. She has shared many VERY useful resources which will also be on A Military Story Info page. Ms. McClain shares, "Consumer Safety Guide was created to keep the public informed about consumer dangers and safety issues associated with numerous products that can cause the public harm. Our website is constantly being updated with the most recent information on the most popular prescription medications and FDA-approved medical devices that could be endangering your health or putting your loved ones at risk. Our mission is to keep you informed and help you make the most educated decisions about your health care!
We have been getting THOUSANDS of inquiries from Veterans who have suffered hearing loss from 3M Earplugs and we believe that it is extremely important to spread this information to as many Veteran organizations as we can - in hopes to help save or get restitution for as many Veterans who have been affected!"

Thousands of veterans who used 3M Combat Arms Earplugs and have suffered hearing loss and tinnitus may be eligible to file lawsuits.

A U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) whistleblower lawsuit filed against 3M was settled in June 2018 with an agreement for the company to pay $9.1 million.

Click here to read more about: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Veterans

June 7, 2019

Brides Across America

Nationwide (May 20, 2019) –Brides Across America is celebrating its 11th year of giving back by supporting our heroes, honoring veterans, active military and first responders with Operation Wedding Gown. This year BAA will be rolling out a new campaign called “United in Love” to honor our servicemen and women’s sacrifices. BAA along with our partner salons will be hosting a nationwide celebration of gifting during the month of July. Events kick-off July 1st at participating salons in select cities across the country. Salons will offer a selection of designer wedding gowns with values up to $6,000 and sizes ranging from 0-24. Rolling out the red carpet for our brides is our way of saying thank you. It is our honor to give back to those who sacrifice their own love for the love of our country.
Allowing love to play the starring role and minimize wedding-related financial stress for our heroes is what Brides Across America is all about. Founded in 2008 by Heidi Janson, BAA originated the movement Operation Wedding Gown and over the past 11 years we have made it possible to give back in a mighty way by gifting over 22,000 wedding gowns and hosting 22 amazing gifted weddings across the country to military and first responders. With wedding dresses and accessories costing an average of
$2,000, the lifted expense for our heroes is evident. “United in Love” will continue to make wedding dreams come true with the incredible assistance of our nationwide partner salons.
“This program means so much to us. With all the medical expenses, gifting me this gown can make our dreams come true on our wedding day! This will be a wonderful day that we can forget about our struggles and share in our love for each other," says Roseann.
How to qualify and register for an Operation Wedding Gown Event:
It’s easy to register, visit us at www.bridesacrossamerica.com and select the event you would like to attend, fill out the registration form and call your selected salon to make an appointment. Military and first responders who have served our country over the past five years qualify for a free wedding gown. Brides are required to bring supporting documentation the day of the event such as a valid work ID or proof of service.
Making dreams come true is the life work of Heidi Janson, founder of Brides Across America. She says, “Every bride deserves to have that fairytale wedding, especially our military and first responders that serve us on a daily basis. I felt compelled to give back and make a difference for our heroes sacrificing their lives. Spreading love and happiness is my life's mission.”
About Brides Across America
A national nonprofit organization, Brides Across America continues to honor our heroes by gifting wedding gowns and weddings to our deserving heroes and making wedding dreams come true. Brides Across America, in collaboration with bridal salons, designers, and private donations has been able to donate more than 22,000 wedding gowns and 22 weddings. Providing financial assistance to thousands of military and first responder couples since its inception in 2008. All donations received go directly to provide support to our couples. Operation Wedding Gown has been featured in PEOPLE, Oprah, Good Housekeeping, Steve Harvey and The Doctors.
Brides Across America recently opened their first outlet and online shop to support our continued efforts to provide years of giving to our heroes. You can shop our new outlet at www.baaoutlet.com.
Contact: Valerie Carpenter Marketing & PR Phone: 978-470-4817 Email: bridesacrossamerica1@gmail.com

May 4, 2019

{Guest Post} Managing Stress as a Military Spouse

Managing Stress as a Military Spouse
Life as a military spouse is not easy. Being married to someone who serves in the military often means moving far away from your family, leaving behind friends and loved ones, building your own family far from your hometown and, often, doing it on your own while your spouse is deployed. The stress of being a military wife or husband is overwhelming for many and can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks or even agoraphobia.
In one study of more than 200 military spouses, it was revealed that 27 percent report significantly high-stress levels at any given time. Of them, 20 percent experience even higher, clinically significant stress levels. To put it simply, roughly one in four military spouses carries a heavy burden of stress every single day.
While many military spouses perceive these elevated stress levels as “normal,” they are unaware of how close they may be to developing serious emotional, physical or social distress. Many experience clinically significant levels of stress without even realizing it.
As a military spouse, making time for yourself can be difficult–especially when your partner is deployed. You may feel like you are running your entire home on your own and barely have time to breathe, let alone enjoy “me time.” Taking time for yourself, though, is crucial when it comes to managing stress as a military spouse. Keep reading to learn a bit more about how to manage military spouse stress.
Be Mindful of When You Are Feeling Stressed
Stress is such a common part of being a military spouse that many people live with it without even realizing it. Be mindful of your feelings and emotions, and pay attention when you are feeling stressed. Learn to be especially aware of when you are nearing your breaking point.
Acknowledge that your role as a military wife or husband puts you under a tremendous amount of stress. Accept that you face challenges that people with spouses in other careers will never face. Understand that stress comes in many, many forms and that everyone experiences it differently. Be kind to yourself and don’t compare your feelings and emotions to anyone else’s. Recognize your own struggles and pay close attention to when you are feeling overly stressed out and make time to take care of yourself.
Make “Me Time” a Priority
As a military spouse, you may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It’s easy to get so caught up in caring for your home and your family that you forget to take care of yourself. Not taking time for yourself frequently leaves you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, though. No matter how hectic your schedule may be, you need to find or make time to take care of yourself. Self-care is important for everyone, but it’s especially crucial when you are dealing with the stress of being a military spouse.
If you enjoy crafting, it can serve as an excellent way to decompress and unwind. For example, working with beads and stones for handmade jewelry as well as home d├ęcor allows you to escape from day-to-day stress for a while and enjoy making something with your own two hands. Knitting, painting and sculpting with clay are also great projects for military spouses. They don’t necessarily require a lot of space or supplies, so they work well for people who live in small homes and/or relocate frequently.
Using your me time to exercise is a healthy way to deal with stress, too. Going for a walk or run, lifting weights, doing yoga or even following along with your favorite exercise video gets your blood pumping and triggers your body to release feel-good endorphins that combat anxiety and depression, improve sleep and, of course, lower stress levels. Find a few types of exercises that you enjoy and make them a regular part of your routine. Trust us, you’ll start reaping the benefits right away!
Find a Support Group
Moving away from your family and friends may make you feel like you are alone, but you aren’t. Whether you are living on base or in a nearby community, there are likely several other military spouses who are struggling with many of the same emotions you are. You are far from alone and there are a lot of people out there who would love to provide a proverbial shoulder for you to lean on. Look into support groups in your area. Your installation’s Military and Family Support Center is a good place to find out about its resources for military spouses.
There are also support groups for military spouses online. They are great for people who are shy or struggle with social anxiety. They’re also a wonderful place to build relationships that you won’t have to leave behind the next time your spouse gets orders to relocate. Even if you never meet the members of the support group in person, they can provide you with the support you need to deal with life as a military spouse.
Know When to Ask for Help
If you wake up each day facing overwhelming stress, there is absolutely no shame in seeking professional help. Your job as a military spouse is an extremely difficult one. For many, the burden of carrying so much stress is simply too much to handle on their own. If you are feeling this way despite taking steps to stay active, enjoy hobbies and lean on others in your situation for support, consider speaking with a mental health professional.

Whether you find comfort in making beaded jewelry, exercising or meeting up with friends or you decide to meet with a counselor, there are several things you can do to manage your stress as a military spouse. Remember that your feelings are valid and your needs are important. Make time to take care of yourself. Being a military spouse is a hard job, but there are resources out there to help ensure your mental and emotional well-being. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Thank you to Brenda Kimble for writing this guest post. Brenda Kimble is the wife of a former Army Officer and current National Guard soldier and the mother of two daughters, a son, and a beagle named Duke! She loves writing, crafting, and spending time with her family in their hometown of Austin, TX. If you missed her other post click here: 3 flexible jobs for military