Links

General Military Sites

I’m a proud AWC Addict. Although it’s “Army Wife Chat”, they welcome girlfriends, fiancees, parents, and friends. It’s been a great haven for me, and I’m so glad that I found it. These ladies (predominantly; I think there’s one Army Husband on there) are so very supportive of one another, and incredibly welcoming. I’m learning more about this new world I’ve ended up in.

And a new world it is. Every time that I talk to Clyde, something comes up that I’ve never heard of. Then again, he probably feels the same way when I’m talking about my life, with the antideps and mood stabilizers and CBT and pdocs and therps all the rest of the bipolar lingo. LOL Too bad for him that he can’t just go to Milterms.com and look it up, like I can.

When looking for something to either cheer me up, or bring on the tears that I know, once they’ve been cried, will let me feel better, I end up over at Sgt. Mom’s, in the poetry section. Yes, I’m a sap. Deal with it.

Most advice on dealing with deployment contains a line or two (or forty) against watching the news or reading newspapers. It’s just fodder for the imagination, and, since there’s a lot of things that can’t be printed by the media, the gaps in information can drive you nuts. However, Army Times and Stars and Stripes are my two favorites, offering reports on military matters.

Milblogs

I started reading Milblogs long before Clyde and I even started seeing one another, back when my brother, a US Marine, deployed to Afghanistan. I’ve stopped reading some, and started reading others, but here’s a list of my favorites:

All Expenses Paid Afghan Vacation — Written by an ANG Infantryman attached to a PRT in Afghanistan, this account of his deployment an interesting journey. Shawn doesn’t post too often, but, when he does, it’s always worth the reading. He’s very blunt — None of the literary circumlocution many bloggers (including me!) tend to use — and his viewpoint as a member of the NG is invaluable to me. Shawn is now home in the States, so I am waiting to see if he continues to update.

Desert Consciousness — I started reading this blog back in September, and I’m highly addicted to it. It’s a very down-to-earth site, and you can tell that the posts are written by someone who isn’t trying to impress. It’s daily life accounts of an Airman who is stationed in Afghanistan. Like Shawn, “Desert Dude” is home, but has said that he may continue to post. I certainly hope so, because I’m not sure where to find arehab for milblog readers.

Loving a Soldier. Living The Life — I really enjoy this blog. There’s a bunch of Army wives blogging here, and it alternates between serious and silly at a whim. There’s a great variety of perspective on here, and it’s always an enjoyable read.

Andrew Olmsted – Most people who read milblogs already know about this one — Major Andrew Olmsted’s blog made headlines when his final post was made on January 4th, after he was KIA. As a Soldier, he had accepted the possibility that he may die in combat, and, to that end, had provided a friend with a farewell to be posted in such an event. Despite the topic, the entry has none of the morbidity or grandstanding that one might expect. Instead, it appears that Major Olmsted accepted the possibility of his death with dignity, and I am sure that he met it the same way. Most notable is his request that his death not be used to further political agendas, a request that has been honored (for the most part; Some people, sadly, have no respect). However, the blog is even more interesting outside of that. Major Olmsted was a talented writer, with an interesting, clean-cut style, and he had a very level, reasonable way of expressing his opinions. He did not focus solely on his personal experiences during deployment, but also brought an active soldier’s viewpoint to a great many topics. A friend of his was kind enough to direct me to an account of Major Olmsted’s funeral, as well as a list of additional links. You can view comments left in memoriam here.

Milblogging.com – The most complete list of milblogs on the net, searchable by a myriad of parameters.

Blank Top Taxi — Has absolutely NOTHING to do with the military. It’s the blog of a dispatcher for a taxi company out of Arlington, VA, and it’s hysterical. I don’t think I’m the only dispatcher who reads his posts and gets the feeling that there’s actually just a few freaks out there, all doing the same things to annoy dispatchers all over the country.

Other Blogs

A Day in the Life of An Army Wife in the Making

She Who Waits

Neurotic Iraqi Wife

Fifteen Months

False Motivation

Army/Army National Guard Basics

Military 101 at about.com

Army BCT

Army 101 at MarriedToTheArmy.com

List of Army MOS Descriptions

Deployments

Deployments at MTTA

Family Resources for Deployments at Military.com

Info on Deployments, Wars, and Conflicts

Care Packages & Care Package Ideas

Care Package Ideas

Romantic Care Package Ideas

Themed Care Package Ideas

Care Package Ideas and Info

Care Package Ideas

Personally, I have only these ideas to add — Everyone else pretty much covered it all!

While Clyde was at train-up, I sent him one of those little voice-recorder keychains with a little message on it. When he called to thank me for the package, that was the one thing that really stood out. I got 3 for $10.00 at CVS. However, be sure to include some kind of hard case to keep it in so that your Soldier doesn’t go and set his gear on top of it, accidentally hitting the “record” button and erasing your message! (*ahem*)

My brother suggested sending a small, travel-size bottle of my body wash and shampoo. He got the idea from one of the guys he was deployed with — The Marine’s wife would send the bottles, and he would wash his pillowcase in them, so that he could have her scent with him as he slept.

I don’t wear perfume very often, so, instead of spraying my letters and boxes with scent, I slip a small snippet of my fabric softener sheets in.

I’ll add more links here as I find more interesting and/or useful sites. 🙂


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