You Are Invited . . .

If you are within a reasonable driving distance from Omaha, Nebraska, you are invited to join us for free, no admission, no charge for lunch, to learn about something that plagues the world in which we live.

No one is really safe from PTSD. When we’re bullied as kids, triggers stay in our minds. Not thinking about it doesn’t make it go away. In 1978, when my oldest son drowned (yes, he needed reviving more than three times), I was pregnant with my daughter, and had another son who was nearly three years old. I’m the kind of person, I’m strong through the crisis, then need to vent/talk/reflect about it later. I talked about it with the doctor at my next visit. The only advice he had was, “Just don’t think about it.”

I didn’t know it then, but I suffered from PTSD. Certain smells triggered the panic and my pounding heart. My mouth got dry and I felt like I could vomit. Close my eyes, and I can see my little five year old, convulsing on the gurney. I didn’t actively entertain those thoughts. They appeared out of nowhere.

I vividly remember opening the bag of his clothes from that day. I was in our ancient basement, my little Nicholas was with me, and I took the clothes from the bag. Instantly, the smell of wet sand, lake water, and suntan lotion invaded my senses. I saw my little boy. My stomach lurched, and my tears flowed. All I could do was pray. Thank God he was alive and normal. God listened. God provided for me.

Eventually, I could put it in perspective. I can talk about it now without breaking down. Luckily, my son who drowned doesn’t remember it. He’s now looking at his 51st birthday in a couple months. His life is one of calmness, clarity, and common sense. I believe he “saw the light.” I believe he was sent back to me to be a friend to the many friends he has. I believe he has had purpose I can’t comprehend. He’s always been a good son. I thank God every day.

What I’m saying is, it’s not pleasant to talk about PTSD. It’s even worse to suffer with it. It’s nothing you “get over” or are cured from. You learn to live with it. And it’s hard. We will have representatives from Guitars for Vets, Moving Veterans Forward, 50 Mile March, and others to help find the way.

This is why we’re offering free training on Talk Saves Lives, along with a speaker about PTSD. Lots of folks are coming from far away to participate. Fellow Nebraskans, some Iowans, and many others are gathering at our VFW Post 2503 to learn and offer assistance to those who need it. Here is the information. It’s for the public, you don’t have to be a veteran, all are welcome. Join us if you can. Be brave, and help others, not just Veterans, move forward.

Message me with your Facebook Messenger your questions, or FB Message VFW Post 2503’s page. We’ll answer your questions. Help us help others.

and SHARE with others.

Please register with Eventbrite, click below, or message me and I’ll get your name down. Thank you.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ptsd-speaker-siloun-greentalk-saves-lives-military-version-training-tickets-416106996227

The Smartest Word We Can Say

Are “Help Me!”

It definitely doesn’t mean we’re needy. I was raised in a “Do it yourself, you can’t rely on anyone!” kind of environment. When I was a single Mom, I did a lot on my own. At that point in my life, I was angry and didn’t trust anyone to stick around. I was looking for love in the wrong places as the song goes. Nothing was permanent. My kids and I were a great family, we were close, and had a lot of wonderful times. We also had hard times. When the car broke down or we needed a plumber, it was tight. Back then, the local plumber my folks used billed you 30 days later. A Godsend!

The kids and I learned a lot about dry walling, privacy fence installation, and a lot of other things. I was lucky the boys did the lawn without being shamed into doing it; they actually enjoyed it. One time, they tried to make a mowing pattern like they saw at Wrigley Field during the televised Cubs games. Great memories.

If I were to be honest with myself, I was devastated the person I thought would love me forever didn’t understand anything about me, the kids, or the life I thought we were building. It just didn’t matter to him. A lot of relationships end when one person refuses to grow and the other is held down. Sometimes you need to end something in order to become who you were meant to be.

It was the discomfort I felt during that time that urged me to change my life. I had to. I asked for help from professionals who knew what they were doing. It was the biggest risk I’d taken. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about creating opportunities and being honest with myself. I do know enough to lead my life, make my decisions, and enjoy the consequences or learn from my failures.

Honesty is what you learn when you ask for help. I had to be honest, Ken and Barbie were not happy as everyone thought. I’d also grown up in a house where we don’t tell people our business, and we especially don’t tell our father. As I’ve watched a close friend of mine bare her soul of her struggle with PTSDc, I’ve felt challenged to tell the truths I have, the ones that are close to my heart. I’m amazed at how people relate, and say, “I felt that way, too.” Or “I never realized how miserable you were.”

Many times we’re the guy or gal at the end of the rope being pulled to safety in the Coast Guard helicopter. Sometimes, we’re the pilot, helping someone else. I believe this is what we’re here for.

The Babe and I saw this action yesterday, at the end of the 50 Mile March. It got us in the feels for sure. Our friends from 50 Mile March, (Jay Miralles), Moving Veterans Forward, (Ron Hernandez), and Guitars for Vets (Taylor Frye Ullom), were feeling the effects of walking 50 miles in 22 hours. They are battered, beyond tired, blistered, and beginning to plan next year already.

Being part of the ones who battle the 22 a Day statistic humbles us. All we can do is gain information about suicide and learn it is not shameful. People are often at the point of no return and they’re afraid for whatever reason to ask for help. In September, the VFW Post 2503 in Omaha is hosting an afternoon of discussion and training on “Talk Saves Lives.” I’ll share the information soon. If you will be in Omaha on Sunday, September 25 from Noon – 4 p.m., you may be interested.

Today is a warmer day, and in the sun it’s hot. It’s supposed to do that all week, then cool again. Such is early fall in Nebraska. Take care today. Offer to help someone without them asking. Simply holding the door is fine. It all helps. See you tomorrow!

Summer Saturday

This is adding up to be a great summer Saturday. The weather gods have cooperated with some outdoor events we’re part of for the weekend.

Today, friends from Moving Veterans Forward are having a Poker Run with Defiance Harley Davidson. There will be friends there from Guitars for Vets, singing from 2 – 5. Check the FB pages for these folks or the VFW Post 2503 and check hours, locations, etc. The header photo is the poster for today’s event.

Tonight, the Babe and I are going to Glenwood, Iowa for an outdoor concert with Billy McGuigan and his band. Even though the event is outdoors, the Amphitheater is beautiful, shady, and much cooler temperature wise than you would think. The music is always top-shelf, and we’ll have a great time. Every time we see them, we cannot believe how much better they continue to be. How can you improve on perfection? Dang, if they don’t do it every time!

The thing I always think of is they didn’t just wake up one day and achieve this level of awesomeness. It has taken years and years of practice. And it shows. They are still humble people, and grateful to their audiences. It does my heart good. Music saves my sould, over and over.

Tomorrow morning, the VFW Post 2503 has a breakfast from 8 – 11 a.m., then at Noon, they are having a Car Show. They are always great fun, and free. Bring the kids and check out the cool cars, motorcycles, and trucks. The awards will be at 3 p.m. Great family fun all day. Proceeds go to our friends at 50 Mile March. They’ll be present to visit with you about their mission, training, and goals.

Recently, on a local news broadcast, there was a story about VFW’s in Nebraska closing down. The story sounded as if all VFW Posts were closing down. It has caused a lot of concern with a lot of people. I even had a call from a cousin from Western Nebraska who read the story. Lots of upset all over the place.

I feel strongly about accuracy in stories, blogs, and especially the news. I commented on the FB posting of the story that the reporter should come to our post and see how vital and busy it is. I suppose it won’t be done, the story will not be amended, and lots of people will not know the truth. I find that sad.

Even fiction authors need to do research. Sometimes, that takes longer than writing the manuscript. You cannot put incomplete information out there, it leads to all sorts of problems.

Write it right, for heaven’s sake! (Kathy Raabe)

I’ve got some things to take care of before the Babe gets home from the two funerals he and the Honor Guard conducted honors for this morning. Another thing, our VFW Post 2503 has the busiest Honor Guard detail in the state. It’s not unusual for them to have two or three funerals a day. There is a lot more to our story!

Have a beautiful day today, friends. Help me get to 1,000 followers by following me at this blog site. We are holding at 929. Let’s shoot for 1,000! Need your help on this one! Can’t do it without you! Thank you, and we’ll see you tomorrow.

Sunday Morning

Today, we are hosting Air Force Veteran Jay Miralles, as he podcasts from our VFW Post 2503. The topic is military service. We have eleven people scheduled today. Our mission began about zero dark thirty. Pretty early for a Sunday, but between the coffee and Jay’s enthusiasm, I’m ready to take on the world!

In these times, we are seeing some of our national and local history changed to be friendlier, kinder, and vanilla. War and it’s effects on our soldiers cannot be sanitized. We aren’t asking the Veterans about things like body count, that is not the intent. There are other forums where you can view that.

We are interested in the people and their lives. Asking about Patriotism. They can talk about anything they want. We are avoiding topics that may be upsetting. Honor, Integrity, and Service are topics, as are what is one of your best memories of being taught a lesson? All our sons and daughters can reflect on their love of America, their belief in our military, and the mission they promote as veterans. I feel honored to see this interaction and these beliefs being lived every day.

Why volunteer here? Our friends Lenny and Kris invited us on a Hamburger Night, and the Babe became a member. He joined the Honor Guard and was asked to run for Quartermaster. He has done great things in the role, his business knowledge has been helpful. His suggestion to refresh the building’s rental rooms made a tremendous difference. The Canteen has yet to be refreshed as we look forward to the 90th Anniversary of existence.

Being an Auxiliary member is something I felt was necessary to show support to my husband. I didn’t realize as time went on the scope changed dramatically. Being the Webmaster is a challenge some days. This year, we will expand our social media presence, with more on Twitter and Instagram. I will also find a backup for that role, and rely on that person for more day to day work. There is always room for participation.

Working in the kitchen on a crew exposes you to some good people. We have some teams who have been together for years. One thing I’ve noticed here is deep friendships are not only possible but very probable. Everyone is welcome. It’s a place where widows feel comfortable to enter and leave at will. We watch out for each other. As we lose people, we make new friends and continue sharing the memories of our fallen comrades. I have a tshirt that reads:

Being a Wife is a Choice

Being the Wife of a Veteran

is a Privilege

As we continue this special day of interviewing and preserving important history, think about if you’d like to reach out into our community and help others. It’s a wonderful thing. And you will feel good making someone else’s life better. Let’s see each other tomorrow!

Sundayish/Monday

Wow. It was a tired evening. I totally spaced off writing yesterday until the Babe asked me if I did a blog or not. I was really tired and in need to having a very productive day today. We lost another friend on Friday, and it appears his funeral will be on Friday. It’s a day I’ve dreaded for awhile, and know it will be difficult. The good thing is how good a friend he was. I got exactly this far, and decided the best thing I could do was go to bed.

And so it goes when your body tells you to stop, right there and then, and rest. I hated not having a blog for yesterday. And I knew it was the best thing to do. We need to collectively do much more of that. This is very different from pushing through to achieve your goal. Resting also helps you meet your goal. It looks like activity has stopped. Lots of action is going on behind the scenes, where a body is resting. The brain becomes more creative. The body recharges and regains stamina.

I thought I would wake ready to hit the keyboard today. I did wake, but I’m not winning any races today. And that’s ok. It will take me more than a night to recover from this worn out. Today, I have a full list of things to achieve. Many of them will be accomplished from the comfort of the couch using the laptop or Chromebook. I will log many hours with the heating pad today, and that should kick this fatigue for now.

Have you ever had an adrenaline rush from being around a hyped up individual? You enjoy the “high” of their energy, and it can lead to a crash of energy afterwards. I have several friends like that, and am pleased to work with them for fundraising events in the area. Jay Miralles is such a dynamo. He is the founder of the 50 Mile March Nonprofit, twice sponsoring a 50 mile walk/march from Lincoln Nebraska to Omaha Nebraska. He is amazing under any hat he wears; fundraising is one of his specialities. We are learning so much from him, and it will be a tremendous partnership.

Sometimes, these “highs” last a few days, then exhaustion sets in. I’m excited about the future and all we can do. We will do great things, with the blessings of God and the support of many good people. Let’s press on, resting when we need, and make the world better for hosting us. Have a beautiful day, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Smothering Our Loved Ones

Have you ever thought you could absolutely help someone manage their life if they would only do certain things in a certain way, and the results would be magnificent? Dream on!

We like to think we would be the difference that brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, sister, or child would need to quit doing all the things we know are causing their troubles in life. Nothing could be further from the truth!

If we have a situation that needs correcting in our personal lives, we need to handle it. If we are unfortunate enough to be the Adult Child of an Alcoholic, we have some distorted views of what is going on, what is wrong with that picture, and how we can repair it. Guess again.

I remember Mom thinking Dad would say something to one of my brothers about their drinking/carousing/etc., and Dad never did. Mom was on the warpath, but it did no good. It wasn’t Dad’s fault. Dad left it to each individual to check themselves. Mom was also an ACOA, so her perception was skewed. It wasn’t her fault.

Dad was right. No amount of someone else getting involved would resolve another’s issues. Period. It was a hard lesson to learn; I was co-dependent up until about 1995. I firmly believed if I could only love someone enough, they would realize they needed to change. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Once I came to my senses, it became clear I knew nothing about many things I thought I understood. I’m not responsible for anyone else’s behavior. Not even my kids, now that they’re adults. Whew! How great! The pressure was way too much.

What I have finally learned is I can offer to walk with people. They can work on themselves, and I have no responsibility whatsoever for their outcomes. I’m so relieved! As a kid, I thought I could make a difference in Mom’s happiness if I just acted super good all the time. Nope, I didn’t realize it had nothing to do with me. And that’s about as basic as it gets. My first husband had his issues, having nothing to do with me. No matter how much I did for him, I couldn’t love him into being more adult than he was at 19 years old. Or 29 years old. It was up to him.

This afternoon, the Babe and I were in a room with a group of great people, gathered for a cause. The 50 Mile Walk is starting it’s third year in the Omaha Area. Jay Miralles is the founder and coordinator. It is an honor to be associated with him, and with the organization he founded. The walk will be held in August, 2022, and will benefit Moving Veterans Forward and Guitars for Vets, among others. The walkers will follow a route from Lincoln to Omaha. Pledges are made and collected. The generous pledges donated $137,000 last year. Our goal this year is $200,000. Stay tuned for more information! It’s an amazing event.

I hope you were able to enjoy this glorious day. The Babe and I are working on a lot of things for the VFW Post and other things. It’s been a busy day, and we’ll be back it tomorrow morning. Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Take care, be safe.