A system military families could use!

April 15, 2009

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Disney Parks Celebrate U.S. Military With Free, Multi-day Admission to Theme Parks in 2009

January 11, 2009

As Disney Parks ask “What Will You Celebrate?” and invite guests to turn
their personal milestones into magical family vacations in 2009, America’s
military personnel will have one more reason to celebrate: Free multi-day
admission to Disney’s U.S. theme parks.
With the “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” offer, active and retired U.S.
military personnel, including active and retired members of the United States
Coast Guard and activated members of the National Guard or Reservists, can
enjoy complimentary, multi-day admission into Disney’s U.S. theme parks,
great rates at select Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort hotels,
and additional special ticket offers for family members and friends.

“For so many of the men and women who serve in our U.S. military, time
together with their families is cause enough for celebration,” said Jay
Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We are grateful for their
service and hope ‘Disney’s Armed Forces Salute’ will allow our troops to
create wonderful, magical memories with their family and friends.”

At the Disneyland Resort in Southern California:

Through June 12, 2009, each active or retired member of the U.S. military can
receive one complimentary three-day “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” Park
Hopper ticket valid for admission to both Disneyland and Disney’s California
Adventure parks. During the offer period, active or retired U.S. military
personnel also may make a one-time purchase of an adult or child three-day
“Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion” Park Hopper ticket for up to five
family members (including spouse) or friends for the price of an adult 1-Day
Park Hopper ticket.

Disneyland Resort hotels are also offering special room rates for active or
retired military personnel. For example, at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel,
active or retired members of the military and their families may find hotel
rooms starting at $119 per night during value season, with great savings
during other times of the offer period. This offer is available through June
12, 2009, and the number of rooms available at these special rates is
limited.

For information regarding “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” at the Disneyland
Resort, or to make reservations, military personnel may call 714/956-6424.

At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida:

Through Dec. 23, 2009, each active or retired member of the U.S. military may
obtain one complimentary 5-day “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” ticket with
Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options. This ticket is valid for five
days of admission into the four Walt Disney World theme parks, plus a total
of five visits to a choice of a Disney water park, DisneyQuest Indoor
Interactive Theme Park or certain other attractions. During this offer
period, active or retired U.S. military personnel may also make a one-time
purchase of up to a maximum of five 5-Day “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute
Companion” tickets (one theme park per day) for $99 per ticket, plus tax, for
family members (including spouse) or friends. Although this ticket for family
members and friends does not include either the Park Hopper or Water Park Fun
& More options, this ticket can be upgraded to add either such option, or
both, for an additional $25, plus tax, per option. All tickets and options
are non-transferable and must be used by Dec. 23, 2009.

Ask about the great rates that may be available at select Walt Disney World
Resort hotels for active or retired U.S. military personnel during this offer
period.

For information on the “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” offer at Walt Disney
World Resort or the Disneyland Resort, or to make reservations, active and
retired U.S. Military personnel may call the ITT office on their base.
Information about “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” offer at Walt Disney World
Resort is also available at http://www.disneyworld.com/military.

Through the years, The Walt Disney Company has demonstrated its support of
United States’ servicemen and women through a variety of initiatives.
Disney’s support for the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots program started 58 years
ago – when Walt Disney became one of the original sponsors. Since 1995,
Disney’s Operation Uplift program has sent over 90,000 postcards to troops
worldwide, thanking them for their service. The company also supports U.S.
service members and their families as a sponsor of the USO and its centers.
Each year, Operation Disney Care packages, containing Disney DVDs, books,
magazines and games, are sent to centers around the world to help entertain
the servicemen/women and their families, Disney Minnie Grants are used to
host family appreciation events, while Disney VoluntEARS donate many hours
participating in local USO projects.

Other Offer Details:

Complimentary “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” tickets may be obtained only by
active or retired U.S. military personnel, including activated members of the
National Guard or Reservists (with orders showing active status after Jan. 1,
2008) and active or retired members of the United States Coast Guard. Spouses
are not eligible.

Complimentary “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” tickets for admission to the
Walt Disney World Resort can be obtained only at participating U.S. military
base ticket offices (including at the Shades of Green Resort at the Walt
Disney World Resort), or at Main Entrance theme park ticket windows. Military
personnel will need to activate those tickets at Main Entrance theme park
ticket windows in order to use those tickets (no more than 1 such
complimentary ticket per service member will be activated).

Please see a participating U.S. military base ticket office for an exchange
certificate for the complimentary “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” ticket for
the Disneyland Resort. The exchange certificate will need to be redeemed for
such ticket by the active or retired military personnel at a Main Entrance
theme park ticket window (maximum of 1 such complimentary ticket per service
member).

“Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion” tickets for family members and
friends may be purchased only by active or retired U.S. military personnel,
including activated members of the National Guard or Reservists (with orders
showing active status after Jan. 1, 2008) and active or retired members of
the United States Coast Guard (or, in each case, their spouses, but not
both).

“Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion” tickets for admission to the Walt
Disney World Resort can be purchased only at participating U.S. military base
ticket offices (including at the Shades of Green Resort at the Walt Disney
World Resort), or at Main Entrance theme park ticket windows. “Disney’s Armed
Forces Salute Companion” tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort can
be purchased only at participating U.S. military base ticket offices.

Military personnel (or their spouses) who purchase “Disney’s Armed Forces
Salute Companion” tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort for
family members and friends will need to activate those tickets at Main
Entrance theme park ticket windows in order for those tickets to be used
(regardless of where those tickets are purchased). Actual prices for such
tickets may be less than prices shown above.

Military personnel (or their spouses) who purchase “Disney’s Armed Forces
Salute Companion” tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort for family
members and friends will receive exchange certificates to be redeemed by such
military personnel (or their spouses) for tickets at Main Entrance theme park
ticket windows (one ticket per exchange certificate).

The military personnel (or spouse) will be required to present valid military
identification (which, for activated members of the National Guard or
Reservists, also includes orders showing active status after Jan. 1, 2008)
for all ticket transactions (including to activate tickets, and/or redeem
exchange certificates for tickets, at Main Entrance theme park ticket
windows). A valid ID may also be required for admission.

“Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion” tickets are limited to five per
service member (regardless of place of purchase and whether purchased by
service member or spouse) and all five must be purchased at the same time.
Accordingly, no service member (or spouse) will be permitted to activate,
and/or to redeem exchange certificates for, more than a total of five
“Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion” tickets for the Walt Disney World or
Disneyland Resort (regardless of whether activated or exchanged by the
service member or spouse).

First day of use of “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” complimentary tickets and
“Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion” tickets at the Disneyland Resort
must be no later than June 12, 2009, and tickets expire 13 days after the
first day of use or June 25, 2009, whichever occurs first. Last day of use on
“Disney’s Armed Forces Salute” complimentary tickets and “Disney’s Armed
Forces Salute Companion” tickets at the Walt Disney World Resort is Dec. 23,
2009.

Tickets must be used by the same person on any and all days. “Disney’s Armed
Forces Salute” complimentary tickets may be used only by the service members
to whom they are issued. “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion” tickets may
be used only by the friends and family members for whom they are purchased.

This offer may not be combined with any other offer.
“What Will You Celebrate?”

Military personnel taking advantage of this offer will find even more to
celebrate during their stay. Beginning now, Disney Parks is embracing a newly
identified nationwide travel trend called “celebration vacations,” in which
Americans mark special occasions in their lives with a family vacation.

In 2009, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resorts ask guests “What
Will You Celebrate?” and lead this growing trend with new entertainment and
services that allow guests to turn their personal milestones -a birthday, an
anniversary, Quinceañera or any special occasion – into magical Disney
experiences.


14 things not to say to a military wife

December 5, 2008

A friend sent this to me. I don’t know the original author, but it is great!

1. ‘Aren’t you afraid that he’ll be killed?’
(This one ranks in at number one on the ‘duh’ list. Of course we’re afraid. We’re terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds —but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they’re scared of dying.)

2. ‘I don’t know how you manage. I don’t think I could do it.’
(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here’s why: it’s not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we’d get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We’re not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)

3. ‘At least he’s not in Iraq.’
(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there.)

4. ‘Do you think he’ll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?’
(Don’t you watch the news? No! They don’t get to come home for any of these things. Please don’t ask again.)

5. ‘What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he’s gone?’
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there’s a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don’t get bored, and drinking massive amounts of wine always helps keep me busy.)

6. ‘How much longer does he have until he can get out?’
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren’t counting down the days until they ‘can’ get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)

7. ‘This deployment shouldn’t be so bad, now that you’re used to it.’
(Sure, we do learn coping skills and its true the more deployments you’ve gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets ‘easy’ and the bullets and bombs don’t skip over our guys just because they’ve been there before. The worry never goes away.)

8. ‘My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you’re going through.’
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband’s three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. With a 12-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a shitty ford Taurus with Mercedes convertible.)

9. ‘Wow you must miss him?’
(This one also gets another big ‘duh’. Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they’re now divorced.)

10. ‘Where is he exactly? Where is that?’
(I don’t expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Province on a map, but they should know by now that it’s in Iraq. Likewise, know that Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Mutada al Sadr is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for seven years and at war in Iraq for five years. These basic facts are not secrets, they’re on the news every night and in the papers every day —and on maps everywhere.)

11. ‘Well, he signed up for it, so it’s his own fault whatever happens over there.
(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn’t sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that ‘You’re welcome.’ He’s still fighting for your freedom.)

12. ‘Don’t you miss sex! I couldn’t do it!’
(hmmm, no i don’t miss sex. i’m a robot. seriously…military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn’t withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

13. ‘Well in my opinion…..’
(Stop right there. Yo, I didn’t ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a bar when I’m out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our asses off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President, esp. while we’re trying to heat up our lean cuisines in the crappy office microwaves.)

last but not least….

14. ‘OH, that’s horrible…I’m so sorry!’
(He’s doing his job and he’s a badass. Don’t be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our soldiers fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)

If you want to say anything, say thank you.


Giving Back to Veterans

July 9, 2008

Giving Back – Great Article in Times Mag


Coping with PTSD

June 30, 2008

Check out a new blog about a families struggle with PTSD from a deployment.

Home Front Battles


Military Handbooks

April 17, 2008

Here’s a link with great info!

http://www.militaryhandbooks.com


Study says 300,000 U.S. troops suffer mental problems

April 17, 2008

Study says 300,000 U.S. Troops Suffer Mental Problems

By David MorganThu Apr 17, 2:15 PM ET

About 300,000 U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, but about half receive no care, an independent study said on Thursday.

The study by the RAND Corp. also estimated that another 320,000 troops have sustained a possible traumatic brain injury during deployment. But researchers could not say how many of those cases were serious or required treatment.

Billed as the first large-scale nongovernmental survey of its kind, the study found that stress disorder and depression afflict 18.5 percent of the more than 1.5 million U.S. forces who have deployed to the two war zones.

The numbers are roughly in line with previous studies. A February assessment by the U.S. Army that showed 17.9 percent of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from acute stress, depression or anxiety in 2007, down from 19.1 percent in 2006.

But the 500-page RAND study, based in part on interviews with more than 1,900 soldiers, sailors and Marines, also said that only half of troops suffering debilities receive care. And in half of those cases, the care is only minimally adequate.

“There is a major health crisis facing those men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Terri Tanielian, a RAND researcher who helped head the study.

“Unless they receive appropriate and effective care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences for them and for the nation.”

FEAR OF STIGMA

The study said many service members do not seek treatment because they fear the stigma associated with psychological problems could harm their careers.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can result from wartime trauma such as suffering wounds or witnessing others being hurt. Symptoms include irritability or outbursts of anger, sleep difficulties, trouble concentrating, extreme vigilance and an exaggerated startle response.

RAND recommended that the Pentagon create a way for service members to receive mental health service confidentially and monitor the quality of care.

Army Col. Loree Sutton, director of the U.S. Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, welcomed the study.

She was concerned at the finding that only about half of those who sought help received “minimally adequate” treatment and said it would spur the military to try harder to recruit more mental health specialists.

The Army wants to hire 275 civilian mental health professionals but a tight labor market and difficulties getting civilians into war zones has slowed the effort, officials say.

RAND, a private research organization, estimated that stress and depression among returning soldiers cost $6.2 billion in the two years following deployment, mainly due to lost productivity, medical costs and a higher risk of suicide. (Additional reporting by Andrew Gray; Editing by Alan Elsner and Will Dunham)