Monthly Archives: September 2015

Honor Veterans of All Wars at the 12th Annual Celebration of Honor at Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City, Oregon!

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12th Annual Celebration of Honor, September 23-27, Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City, Oregon

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Celebration of Honor, Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City, Oregon!

Presented by Chinook Winds Casino Resort

An event to honor Active Duty Personnel and Military Veterans September 23-27, 2015

  • Field of Honor (1,000 Flags)
  • Cost of Freedom Tribute
  • Oregon Travelling Memorial Wall
  • American Infantry Soldier Camp
  • Vets Helping Vets HQ Wall

Veterans and Active Duty Personnel Receive a Free Buffet on Thursday, September 24, 2015

For more information, contact Bill John at 1-888-244-6665 ext. 5815 or Heather Hatton at ext. 5766

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Veterans of Oregon Honorable Service Medal

I was honored to receive the Veterans of Oregon Honorable Service Medal at the 10th Annual Celebration of Honor in 2013.  Having served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War era back in the mid 1960’s, it was not easy for me to honor my own military service until later in life.  When we came home from serving during and after the Vietnam War, it was a time when veterans were not honored and respected like we are today.  Like millions of other veterans of that time long ago, we took off our uniforms and moved on with our lives, avoiding any discussion or acknowledgement of military service.  The sad fact for many warriors of that time, is we never had the opportunity to heal and to honor the sacrifice of so many who protected the freedoms we all enjoy in America.  Vietnam veterans are most honored and proud of serving America and spend much time in retirement these days serving America again by honoring and supporting veterans of all wars.  The Oregon Coast Veterans Association is one such non-profit organization that goes the extra mile to support all veterans throughout the year, including during the Celebration of Honor.  Please join your fellow veterans and all Americans who will honor and give thanks to veterans of all wars this week at the 12th Annual Celebration of Honor, at Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City, Oregon…

SteveSunriver

Steve Sparks, US Navy Veteran, Author, Blogger, and Child Advocate

Click the highlighted text below for my author page…

Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma Part 1 & 2

Honoring Military Spouses and Mothers of Modern Wars…Happy 97th to my Mom, WWII & Korean War…

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Marcella C. Sparks, Age 97, US Navy Spouse & Mother WWII & Korean War.  With son, Steve Sparks…

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Vernon H. Sparks, BMC, US Navy c1943, USS Belle Grove LSD2

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Military Spouses Now & Then… By Dana Bretz Click on this link for more…  Quote…from Military Spouses Advocacy Network…

“Twenty three years later (following WWI), we were preparing for yet another world war and we answered that all too familiar call. The call that your country needs you, and without hesitation spouses gave what their country demanded of them, even on the heels of The Great Depression when times were still tough. Spouses went to work in defense plants and volunteered for many war related organizations such as The Red Cross. Life on the home front was a crucial part of the war effort and had a significant influence on the outcome of this particular war. Spouses, in part, helped supply the fruits of victory. That is where we come from, remember that!”

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The photo above of my mother was taken recently while visiting her in Reno, Nevada.  With each visit for so many years now, I couldn’t help asking myself if this was the last time I would see her.  Well, Mom, is turning age 97 this month of September and she is still up and around living her life in the comfortable and caring home of Regent Care Center in Reno, Nevada.

We owe so much to the military spouses and moms of all wars!  “Together we served!”  Without the courageous military spouses of “then and now,” we military kids, including my own boomer generation, would not be here at all.  War weary soldiers and sailors had the hopes and dreams of going home to resume their lives, which gave them the spiritual power and bravery to get through each day, no matter how horrific the circumstances of battle.  We remember and honor the ultimate sacrifice of countless numbers of warriors who didn’t make it home.  Many had children they never met.  It was then and now that the military spouse as a single mom, had to carry on and raise the children who would not have a father.  For those warriors who did come home, the war often came home with them.  It was then and now a double duty to care for a broken warrior as well as raise the children who came before and after the war was over…

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Regent Care Center, Reno, Nv

It is with love, privilege and honor to celebrate my mother’s birthday; and her service to America.  Military families serve(d) too!  It was a hard road for my parents and countless couples who came out of the Depression Era to fight for freedom during World War II.  The home front was critical to fighting and winning wars then and now…

Happy Birthday, Mom!  I am counting on our next visit.  The memories of all our visits in recent years are very special…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1 & 2… Click the highlighted text for my author page…

SteveSunriver

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, and Child Advocate

For Immediate Release…Museum of the American Military Family locates at Bataan Military Academy…

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 9, 2015 | Author: americanmilitaryfamilymuseum | Filed under: Brats, Events, Museum News, Museum of the American Military Family, News, The Board of Directors | Leave a comment logo copyFor Additional Information Dr. Allen Dale Olson militaryfamilymuseum@comcast.net (505) 400-3849

Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center  Click on this link for more…

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY & LEARNING CENTER (MAMF) LOCATES AT BATAAN MILITARY ACADEMY (BMA)

 

Groups Call Move a “Good Fit”

Albuquerque, NM – An Albuquerque charter school has just joined forces with the only museum in the country dedicated to the collection and preservation of the stories, documents, and artifacts of America’s military families. Both the Bataan Military Academy Charter School (BMA) and the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) have moved into 5555 McLeod Boulevard NE, Albuquerque.

BMA serves grades nine through twelve, meets U.S. Navy standards in curriculum and in Naval sciences, including standards in physical fitness and in honoring traditional Naval standards. The school is in partnership with parents, teachers, military organizations, and with the military services. Principal, “Captain” Jan Zink, works closely with the Academy’s Board of Governors, chaired by Dr. Alan Holmquist.

BMA students are cadets grouped as in a military organization and follow the rank structure of the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Corps (NJROTC). In addition to traditional high school activities and sports, BMA cadets also form color guards, drill teams, and rifle teams. The school is named for the 70,000 soldiers and sailors forced to surrender on Luzon in 1942, some 70,000 of whom died during the infamous “Bataan Death March.” Many of those who died were from New Mexico. Annually BMA cadets simulate that march in a 26-mile hike at White Sands Proving Grounds.

MAMF, founded four years ago by Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, a DoD “Brat,” an Army wife and an Army mother, has been active throughout Albuquerque– even without a facility– by presenting documentary film programs, stage performances, military ceremonies and major exhibits in various venues, including the National Nuclear Museum, the South Broadway Cultural Center, the International Balloon Museum, and the Wheels Museum.

MAMF’s volunteer Board of Directors includes an Artist-in-Residence, a Writer-in Residence, and liaison chairs to military spouses, military organizations, “Brats” and Veterans’ organizations. Its programs reach throughout the country through its Operation Footlocker, mobile exhibits which go to public schools, nursing homes, USO events, and to reunions of former students of Defense Department schools. MAMF is a 501 c 3 not for profit.

MAMF has a partnership with the American Overseas Schools Historical Society which represents thousands of former teachers and administrators in the Defense Department world-wide school system and with “Overseas Brats,” representing thousands of adult military “Brats.”

Till this semester, BMA had been on Mountain Road in Albuquerque, and MAMF existed as an on-line presence. In the McLeod facility, MAMF occupies the second floor; BMA the ground floor. Both Captain Zink and Executive Director Woessner believe the shared home makes a “good fit” for the school and the museum. They agree that the MAMF library, archives, exhibits, and historical folios of military family life are valuable resources for the cadets, who in turn, provide ceremonial support for MAMF programs.

The Museum is open by appointment only.

Tel: 505-504-3860

E-mail: militaryfamilymuseum@comcast.net

For additional information, visit:

http://bataanmilitaryacademy.org and/or http://www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org.

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by Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1 & 2… Click highlighted text for my author page…

SteveSunriver

Steve Sparks, Advisory Board Member, Museum of the American Military Family

“Responding to the worst humanitarian crisis of our time.” by Odelya Gertel Kraybill, PhD…The terrible emotional effects of inter-generational post traumatic stress (PTS)…

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“First, Do No Harm!”

“Responding to the worst humanitarian crisis of our time!”  Quote from this link article…

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Odelya Gertel Kraybill, PhD Founder of Expressive Trauma Integration (ETI)

Trauma is trans-generational
“In recent weeks a study about the genetic affect trauma has been released. Untreated trauma creates enduring anxiety, fear, instability, and hopelessness, fertile ground for reactionaries and extremists.  So the most horrifying results of today’s conflicts may be visible only in the future, as hundreds of thousands of children and young people who grew up amidst chronic fear, violence and disruption become adults.

Whatever our politics, there is no ignoring the fact that the number of conflicts in the world (not just in the Middle East) is growing. If we care for the future of our children, all children, we need to give proper care to those who are suffering today.”

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I have been researching and writing about this topic since 2011, including publishing 3 books and on-going work through my blog, Children and Families in Life after Trauma.  We now know enough about the inter-generational effects of post traumatic stress on children and families, that it is possible with enough awareness and education of treatment strategies to break the cycle of pain for future generations.  It is time to focus on taking care of the children and families who are exposed to war, poverty, famine, toxic families and crime affected neighborhoods, especially children before they reach age 6.  Research shows that after age 6 treating symptoms of post traumatic stress is highly difficult and often requires a retrofit healing strategy…  The very best outcome is finding a path of healing that is a work in progress for a very long time.

From my own experience growing up in a highly toxic and sometimes violent childhood, never assume your kids are resilient.  Children inhale the pain of parents, other family members, and friends.  Kids are very often silent and avoid confrontation, but the emotional pain sticks like bad genes.  Even worse are the long term post trauma effects of abused children, who eventually need to find a path of healing and peace of mind.  I waited until age 64 to finally address the roots of my own traumatic childhood and life-long anger, depression and anxiety that lived in my heart, mind, and soul for decades.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1&2… Click the highlighted text for my author page…

SteveSunriver

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, and Child Advocate

Children’s Trust of MA is a Gift for Children & Families…Protect & Preserve the Journey of Childhood…

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The Gift of a Smile from your Child…

about the children’s trust

The Children’s Trust is Massachusetts’ leading family support organization. We strengthen the Commonwealth by funding and managing parenting support programs designed to help families raise physically and emotionally healthy children.

With support from the Children’s Trust, young children across Massachusetts can grow up in nurturing families and communities, healthy and ready to succeed.

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I signed up to receive daily Twitter messages on my smartphone from https://twitter.com/trust4kids in 2011 when my first book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, was published by Signalman Publishing.  It was at this time that my life changed forever.  My own journey of healing in life after trauma kicked in like no other time in my life!

Since then, the daily Tweets, including the above “Childhood is a Journey” graphic, come to me from @trust4kids as an instant reminder of why it is critical for parents, teachers, and mentors to give the gift of childhood to our kids from the very moment of birth, especially in those early years to age 6.  The research and practical experience shows that after age 6, children have a wired framework for moral values.  Once a kid reaches age 6 and beyond, changing behaviors from a toxic world to a healthy disposition is a retrofit challenge for a very long time…  In my case, it took 64 years of my life to labor through depression, anxiety, and anger to achieve a lasting peace of mind.

In addition to robust social media resources, local early childhood and after-school or out-of-school programs like Neighbors for Kids in Depoe Bay, Oregon help children and families build a healthy kick-start for kids.  My work and passion in life is advocacy for the healthy minds and bodies of children.  Give your child the gift of peace of mind in the beginning by nurturing emotional strength, early learning opportunities, and healthy social interactions with peers and adults.  It definitely takes more than one parent and one family to build a healthy foundation for all children…it is in a healthy community where kids thrive…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1 & 2…  Click the highlighted text for my author page…

SteveSunriver

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, and Child Advocate