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5 organizations making life after transition better
We know you won't miss the 0500 muster, the PT tests or the last-minute canceling of your leave plans after you've been voluntold to be at work to help with mandatory fun. One thing you will miss after you leave the service?
The community and your physical well-being.
The camaraderie in the military and the emphasis on your physical fitness is second to none. We'll admit that leaving creates an inexplicable hole in your military-hardened heart and can add a few lbs to your waistline.
Turns out all those awkward hugs, fist bumps, pranks and inside jokes created a sweet spot in your life that is hard to leave and even harder to replicate. And, all that mandatory PT actually did your body good.
Here are five organizations that are thinking outside the box to provide veterans with the well-being and community they need to thrive:
1. War Horses for Veterans
According to their website, War Horses for Veterans is a Kansas City based nonprofit that brings combat veterans from across the country together in a safe and peaceful environment.
Their 3-4 day programs are designed to teach the basics of horsemanship and create a network that will provide outlets for other opportunities and friendships. They use a combination of learning to work a horse, creating new networks and Equus/Life coaching to help each veteran with their own personal growth.
There is no cost to the veteran. Veterans may return as often as they like, as long as they bring another combat veteran.
The healing power of yoga is real. But beyond healing, yoga is an excellent way to forge community and then to give back by becoming an instructor.
VETOGA's mission is to provide yoga, meditation, and healing arts to military, veterans, their families, and communities. They accomplish this by holding free monthly yoga classes, events and veteran specific 200-Hour Teacher Trainings throughout the year.
3. Warrior Surf Foundation
There's nothing like being on the water and the Warrior Surf Foundation is combining that serenity with community.
The primary emphasis of the surf therapy program is on the provision of adaptive surf instruction through both small (2-5 person) and large (15 person) group surf clinics. After each surf session, there is a group processing component which emphasizes the use of mindfulness and related positive psychology strategies. When the weather is not conducive to surfing, stand up paddle boarding sessions are offered in its place.
4. Heroes on the Water
We know downrange you thought about coming home, grabbing some buddies and going fishing. Now, you can with Heroes on the Water, who offer free kayak fishing for veterans and their families.
Volunteer-led chapters around the United States hold events which are free for our nation's heroes. Recurring activities give these heroes and their families a lifelong social network with like-minded people. No experience or equipment is needed, and kayak fishing is adaptive to those with disabilities.
According to the VA, "CBD is ideal for those who get anxious from experiences, situations, or in random moments. Therefore, veterans currently suffering from PTSD who get random episodes of significant anxiety could get relief using CBD oils after each traumatic incident.
"This is extremely important because if this is, in fact, the case, CBD oil products can be revolutionary for the military and VA in terms of managing such issues. This is not a 'solution' or a 'remedy' because CBD won't make the symptoms go away. However, with regular CBD use, managing the issues of PTSD and post-war anxiety will be more comfortable."
Medterra understands this advantage. This company's mission is to offer these products at an affordable price and offers an even deeper discount for veterans.
Leaving the military is hard. Take good care of yourself by finding the community and well-being that you need and deserve.
This post sponsored by Medterra.
Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)
Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.
Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.
75 years ago, Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor with nothing but a burning tank destroyer's .50 cal and insane bravery
Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018
On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.
Florida senators are pushing for Purple Hearts for service members wounded in the NAS Pensacola shooting
Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.
"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.
The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.
When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.
Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.
"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."
That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.