25 Things Every U.S. Citizen Should Know About Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The Act brought together approximately 22 separate federal agencies to establish the DHS and establishes the primary missions of the department. Since 2002, DHS has grown to involve communities and citizens in various interests such as emergency preparedness and rulemaking. If you’re interested in a homeland security degree or if you want to volunteer, this list can help you learn more about the DHS and its various components, including travel and civil rights.

Groups, Volunteerism, and News

Secret Service
  1. Citizen Corps: The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.
  2. Community Engagement: Public engagement with diverse American communities whose civil rights may be affected by Department activities is a priority for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). CRCL leads or plays a significant role in regular roundtable meetings among community leaders and federal, state, and local government officials.
  3. Get Involved in Rulemaking: This fact sheet tells citizens how to get involved and stay informed in laws and regulations that DHS develops to regulate homeland security at all levels. This list includes news sources, regulations under review, and contact information.
  4. Homeland Security News Wire: This online publication covers all the topics that Homeland Security touches, including cybersecurity, disasters, public health, and immigration.
  5. National Preparedness Coalition: Part of the Ready site, created by FEMA, this effort is geared toward teaching residents how to prepare for disasters. As a Coalition Member, you will have access to resources and be able to collaborate with thousands of fellow members across the country on ways to participate and get your community involved.
  6. Operation Community Shield/Transnational Gangs (OCS): Since the launch of OCS, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and its partners have arrested more than 23,900 gang members and associates, representing more than 2,200 different gangs and cliques. Through this initiative, ICE has also seized more than 2,400 firearms.
  7. OSTP Student Volunteer Program: Student Volunteers are accepted for one of three annual terms (Spring, Summer, or Fall), each lasting no more than 90 days. One area where students can volunteer is in National Security & International Affairs (NSIA). NSIA seeks Student Volunteers with practical experience and an interest in applying the intersection of science and policy to meet critical national security needs.

Preparedness

Janet Napolitano
  1. Citizen Guidance on the Homeland Security Advisory System [PDF]: If you ever wondered how and why those colors matter, this is your guide to their meanings. Also contains a brief checklist of items you might consider during a crisis.
  2. Communicating in a Crisis: If you ever wondered how the government might contact the public during biological, chemical, IED (improvised explosive device), nuclear, or radiological attacks, this list of fact sheets can inform you. The information is targeted to journalists, first responders, public information officers and science and medical experts.
  3. Disability Preparedness: The government created an entire site filled with practical information on how people with and without disabilities can prepare for an emergency. It also provides information for family members of, and service providers to, people with disabilities. In addition, this site includes information for emergency planners and first responders to help them to better prepare to serve persons with disabilities.
  4. National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG): This bipartisan group reassesses progress on the initial 9/22 Commission recommendations. The NSPG intends to follow a process that mirrors the original commission approach to provide useful public discourse on the issues as well as suggest policy options as solutions.
  5. FEMA Regional Contacts: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides links for residents to learn more about their regional contacts in times of emergency. Information on these regions includes general contacts, including phone numbers, mailing addresses, and media inquiries.
  6. Immediately After a Disaster: Learn from FEMA how to find your family, get food and water, find a place to stay, and cope with disaster. They also provide information on helping children cope with disaster.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Workshop
  1. Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI): The CNCI consists of a number of mutually reinforcing initiatives with the following major goals designed to help secure the United States in cyberspace, including defending against security threats and strengthening the cybersecurity environment against threats.
  2. National Vulnerability Database (NVD): NVD includes databases of security checklists, security related software flaws, misconfigurations, product names, and impact metrics using the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP). NVD provides five mailing lists to the public. For information and subscription instructions please visit NVD Mailing Lists.
  3. Research and Development (R&D): The Cyber Security R&D Center was established by the Department of Homeland Security in 2004 to develop security technology for protection of the U.S. cyber infrastructure. The public often is invited to comment on various findings and reports.
  4. Secret Service: The United States Secret Service is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems. As a part of this mission, the Secret Service constantly implements and evaluates prevention and response measures to guard against electronic crimes as well as other computer related fraud.
  5. SAFTEY Act: The “Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002″ provides legal liability protections for providers of Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies – whether they are products or services. The goal of the SAFETY Act is to encourage the development and deployment of new and innovative anti-terrorism products and services by providing liability protections.
  6. Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies: This subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection, securing government infrastructure assets, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection programs, including Securing the Cities. They also manage the Science and Technology Directorate, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the SAFTEY Act (see above), and the Federal Protective Service.

Travel

Naturalization Ceremony
  1. Activities & Programs for Travelers: The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for securing the nation’s transportation systems, checking travelers’ documents, securing travelers and their luggage, ensuring an efficient screening process, and managing the Trusted Traveler programs that provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. If things get screwed up, this is the place you need to visit to learn about how to address certain situations.
  2. Transportation Security Administration: If you want to travel without hassle, this is the site you need. You can learn about what you can travel with, how to travel with children, medical conditions and disabilities, and the identification you’ll need along the way.
  3. Travel Advisories: Unlike other travel advisories that talk about dangerous travel, this list explains what you can take, leave behind, or bring into the country with this list. The advisory also covers various passport and visa limitations.
  4. Travel Alerts: This is the site you want for airport security checkpoint wait times, alerts from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, international travel warnings, and health alerts.
  5. TSA PreCheck: This screening concept enhances aviation security by enabling TSA to focus on passengers the agency knows less about and those who are considered high-risk, while providing expedited screening for travelers who volunteer information about themselves prior to flying. It is only implemented in LAX (Los Angeles International Airport and five other locations.
  6. US-VISIT: This program supports DHS by providing biometric identification services that identifies people they encounter and determines whether those people pose a risk to the United States. US-VISIT’s most visible service is the collection of biometrics—digital fingerprints and a photograph—from international travelers at U.S. visa-issuing posts and ports of entry.

22 Homeland Security Jobs You May Not Know About

If interested in a career in homeland security, getting a degree is just the first part of the battle. With many organizations and departments that fall under the DHS, it is difficult to know who is hiring who, when, for how long, and how much. With the technology for hiring being just as new as the DHS itself, it can be easy to think all their jobs are the same.

However, this is not the case as the size and scope of the department of homeland security encompasses more than the guy who screens bags at the airport. To prove it, we have researched 22 homeland security jobs you may not know about and even in departments you may have never heard of.

Continue reading →

20 Stunning Homeland Security Infographics

When it comes to defining Homeland Security through graphics, some serious illustrations may prove silly, and some silly illustrations may prove valid. While the 20 information graphics listed below all are stunning in their own way, not every piece is an award winner. But, the work may capture viewers’ attentions on topics that range from sabotage to immigration and from identity theft to the Libyan military. Continue reading →

Top 20 Fascinating Homeland Security Careers

When someone thinks of homeland security careers, they often think of the guy that used to move the threat level to various degrees of the color wheel. However, the reality is much different and diverse than that. With so many divisions in the Department of Homeland Security, there are many career paths available to applicants from high school students to those who have completed graduate school.

With literally thousands of choices available, it can be surprising to see just who and what the DHS and related agencies are looking for. To prove it, we have included the top 20 fascinating homeland security careers listed mostly by current average salary. They range from everything from the subject of films to canine handlers with a serious task to perform. Continue reading →

Gone But Not Forgotten: 15 Ways to Observe Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a holiday that Americans observe in remembrance of those who have died while serving in the military. Its first official celebration was in 1868, and it is now observed on the last Monday of May every year. It has an extensive history dating back to the Civil War, and there are conflicting stories as to its actual birthplace.

Regardless of its origin, this is an important day for Americans to take the time to appreciate the men and women who have died serving their country. From a simple “thank you” to a more grand gesture, there are many ways to observe this patriotic day. Below is a list of 15 ways that you and your family can spend this special holiday and recognize the soldiers who are gone but never forgotten.

1. Visit a cemetery: Whether you have the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery or one that is local, take the time to walk around and just take in the history. Read the gravestones and the plaques to appreciate the story behind each one. Placing flags is a nice way to honor the fallen soldiers.

2. Visit a National Memorial: Across the country, you can find a large number of memorials honoring fallen soldiers. Check out this site for a great list of memorials across the U.S. to find one near you.

3. Display the Flag: This is an easy and patriotic way to observe this honorable day. Fly the American flag at half-staff in front of your house to show your patriotism and support.

4. Attend a Parade:Neighborhoods in most cities across the U.S. hold parades to observe Memorial Day and to honor fallen soldiers. There is also a National Memorial Day Parade held in Washington D.C. every year. For more information visit here.

5. Thank Veterans:Whether it’s someone in your family, a friend, a neighbor or just someone you meet in passing, a simple way to honor our military is to thank them for their service and for all that they have done. It’s an easy way to show them your appreciation.

6. Donate to a Veteran’s Group:There are many veterans struggling just to get by, and many groups are set up to provide assistance and care for them. Making donations to these programs will help provide them with supplies and necessities. For a list of veterans groups, please visit here or here.

7. National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol:Every year there is a concert held at the U.S. Capitol. The show is put on to remember those who lost their lives, offer healing and support to families and to share stories about America’s conflicts. Check out Pbs.org for information regarding this year’s show and guest lineup.

8. Visit a Military Base:There are military bases across the country. Visiting and taking children to see these bases are great ways to honor our military personnel. You can learn about the history, talk to soldiers and gain a better appreciation for the men and women who do this for a living.

9. Visit a Veteran’s Hospital: Take the time to visit a veteran’s hospital and listen to stories from those who lived to tell about those times. Spending the afternoon visiting wounded soldiers and war veterans shows them your appreciation and allows you to learn about first-hand experiences.

10. Visit a Battlefield: If you’re lucky enough to live near a historic battlefield, this is a great place to visit to observe this special day. Placing flags (if permitted), watching reenactments and learning the history of the battle site is a great learning experience.

11. Participate in the National Moment of Silence: This requires almost no effort on your part. Pause and observe a moment of silence, and give yourself time to reflect on the importance of this day. Think about our country’s history and those who fought to protect our freedoms and our lives.

12. Bake Cookies or Bring Flowers to Veterans:Maybe you have family or friends in the military. If you don’t, you can take them to a veteran’s hospital. Just simple tokens of appreciation to say thank you for their service.

13. Host a BBQ or Family Reunion:Invite friends and family over to enjoy the day and to remember the true meaning of the holiday. Share stories, spend time with loved ones and enjoy great food.

14. Visit a Museum:Use this day to take in a museum. There are so many great history museums filled with pictures and war memorabilia. The more you know about our history, the more you can appreciate it.

15. Wear a Red Poppy: This tradition was started in 1915 by Moina Michael. She was the first to wear a red poppy and did so in remembrance of those who died in battle. She also sold red poppies to raise money for servicemen in need.

It doesn’t take much to honor our soldiers and the men and women who have fought and died for our country. And regardless of where you live, hopefully this list has provided you with a few ideas for ways you and your families can observe this patriotic day.

Top Issues that Affect Baby Boomers

At this year’s World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress, keynote speaker Dr. Jeanette Takamura, Dean of the School of Social Work at Columbia University identified the following as the top issues that affect baby boomers:

  • Chronic disease
  • Prevention
  • Education
  • Mental health
  • Physical activity

If we look closer at the above factors, we see that different demographics are affected in different ways by each of them.

  • Chronic disease is determined not just by lifestyle choices but also by genes. So some sections of the population are prone to diseases like cancer, asthma, osteoporosis and diabetes because of their genetic makeup while others become victims because of unhealthy and irresponsible habits accrued over a lifetime.
  • Prevention of disease is more common in sections of the population that are more aware of the dangers of unhealthy habits and anticipate the problems that aging and physical and mental degradation can cause.
  • Education plays a large role in determining the amount of awareness baby boomers have about disease, aging and preventive measures. While it’s not always the rule, in general, the more educated the person, the higher their level of awareness.
  • Mental health is prone to degeneration as the years go by; however, research has shown that the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia can be slowed and delayed by being aware that they exist and working on ways to keep brain cells active and healthy. Mental health is also determined by genetic factors and lifestyle choices.
  • Physical activity plays a key role in good health; baby boomers who are aware of this tend to be in better physical and mental condition than those who eschew any kind of activity because of laziness or ignorance.

A combined look at all the issues that affect baby boomers tells us that those who are blessed with good genes and those who are aware of the preventive measures that need to be adopted to keep mental and physical disease at bay are the ones who are relatively in good health for their age. Some are just plain lucky, others get this way due to hard work and a healthy lifestyle. While it’s too late for baby boomers who are already plagued by ill health, it’s time for the rest of us to realize that we are on the way to becoming senior citizens, and that if we don’t wise up and accept responsibility for our health today, we’re going to be facing poor health, exorbitant insurance and medical costs, and a very poor quality of life as we take the curve and turn onto the road called old age.

When Modular Homes are Not Really Desirable

They’re gaining popularity today, because of all the advantages they offer. Modular homes are most people’s choice of residence today when they want to build their home instead of buying it because:
  • They’re built faster.
  • The units are assembled indoors which means the building materials are not exposed to the weather.
  • They adhere to local building codes.
  • They’re flexible in that you can choose from various designs.
  • They’re energy efficient.
  • They cost less than conventional homes.
But even with all these advantages, there are some situations where a modular home is just not as beneficial as you think it is, like:
  • When you’re looking to build value in your home: Modular homes don’t build equity like regular homes. So the resale value is much lower than your original cost, and this makes modular homes a depreciating asset like cars. Also, you may encounter some difficulty in securing a loan to purchase a modular home because of the perception that they don’t appreciate in value and build equity over the years. If you’re not able to make your mortgage payments on time, your lender may not be able to get their money’s worth out of a foreclosure.
  • When you want to customize your home: While you do have a fair amount of flexibility and choice in designing your modular home, it’s not the same as designing the home of your dreams and building it from scratch. Besides, most modular homes don’t allow you to choose fixtures that you prefer, like faucets, sinks, door knobs, etc.
  • When you live in locales where the climate is prone to vagaries: If you live in areas where there are frequent floods, earthquakes, heavy rain, tornados, and other natural disasters, you may have to rethink your choice of a modular home. While these homes are built to withstand the fury of natural elements, you don’t want to take significant risks when it comes to the safety of your family.
So before you invest in a modular home, be sure that it’s the right choice for you by taking into consideration the reason for your purchase, your budget, and the location of your home. In general, it’s the choice of dealer/builder that makes all the difference – the ones who value quality and are not out to make a fast buck generally tend to give you a good deal, and you’re the proud owner of a sturdy and secure home that’s also cost-effective and convenient.

Bravery from the Home Front: Top 50 Blogs for Army Wives (or Spouses)

With a war still going on, more and more are answering the call to fight for their country. There are literally thousands of troops stationed all over overseas, and being a military spouse can be very difficult. However, with the invention of the internet, it is now easier than ever to not only send letters, pictures and videos, it is easier than ever to meet those who have been where you are going.

If you have a husband or wife who is in the army, there is no need to feel all alone. Below, we have gathered the top 50 blogs for army wives and/or spouses. They are authored by wives, spouses, those serving overseas and even those who made it back home and have loads of help for how to adjust back to civilian life.

Top News Blogs for Army Wives (or Spouses)

Get the latest news on the army and U.S. military by checking out these blogs.

  1. Stars and Stripes This site is often a leading choice for military families. There are tons of blogs to choose from including Stripes Central and Rumor Doctor. There are also entries on military life and other specialty items for army members. They even have an option to send photos and messages online.
  2. Army Newsroom Visit here for headlines for army members from the U.S. Army. Choose from stories from many cities including London, Berlin, Baghdad, and many others. There are also videos of army life and many other resources.
  3. Military Get a special section on news concerning just the military at Fox News. They include the latest headlines, videos, and news in other areas. You can also watch many shows and clips online.
  4. Danger Room This site has the latest in national security headlines from the experts at Wired in this blog. New developments, technologies, and related areas are all covered. A recent entry was on the Air Force’s “All Seeing Eye.”
  5. USPACOM Click here for the newest stories from the United States Pacific Command. With several a day, they cover everything from government developments to individual stories. Items in the region are the topic of most posts.
  6. Military.com Get a look at today in the military with the help of this site. Topics include early brief, technology, opinions, and much more. Most popular posts include Iran shooting down spy planes, and an Obama rant.
  7. Michael Yon He is a former Green Beret and native of Florida who has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004. Bringing first-hand accounts from the front lines, Michael’s blog is often the choice of many army wives and spouses. Stop by to read, watch videos, or just view the amazing images he has captures himself.
  8. The Long War Journal This blog is dedicated to providing original and accurate reporting and analysis of the Long War (also known as the Global War on Terror). It is accomplished through its programs of embedded reporters, news, maps, podcasts, and other multimedia formats. You can also check out the Threat Matrix and other subsections in the blog.

Top Group Blogs for Army Wives (or Spouses)

Two or more bloggers collaborate to write these army blogs.

  1. Army Live Stop here for the official blog of the U.S. Army. There is even a special section for army families. The latest posts are on social media and milestones.

  2. OPFOR Get “fair specimens of citizen soldiers” on this blog. Everyone from the Marines to the Navy is represented here. Bloggers share everything from thoughts on army life to how to support the troops.
  3. Army Strong Stories This is a program provided by U.S. Army Accessions Command. It is dedicated to sharing the meaning of Army Strong through a dedicated blog, videos, and written story submissions from soldiers, family members, friends, and supporters. Visit to read the latest, or share your own army story.
  4. A Soldier’s Perspective Four different bloggers share their story here including a soldier, army daughter and wife, Marine, and Patriot Guard. Check out the popular blog to get stories and thoughts.
  5. Mudville Gazette This is the online voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day, they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
  6. The Sandbox Stop here for a forum for service members currently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also for returning vets, spouses, and caregivers. Get posts on the everyday, the wonderful, the messed up, and everything in between on this blog.
  7. Faces of the Fallen Finally, in a category of their own are the stories of those who were killed in combat. “The Washington Post” regularly updates the blog to include the information on the fallen. Hometown, age, unit, and more are shared.

Top Blogs for Army Wives (or Spouses) by a Wife

If your husband is in the army, you have loads in common with these bloggers.

  1. Army Wives’ Lives They feature personal stories, information about resources, advice and tips, and opportunities for community discussion. Candace is the editor in chief here and began her journey as a military wife on September 11. Sections on the blog include military life, spouses, care packages, and much more.
  2. This Military Mama Her husband was a veteran, and they are currently trying to adjust to civilian life. With both a father and uncle who served in the military, she has loads to say on the matter. She also has information on giveaways and reviews.
  3. Army Blogger Wife From Colorado, she has survived four year long deployments. With one to Bosnia and three to Iraq, she has been married for 15 years and has three children. Get entries on coping, daily life, and more on the blog.
  4. Ask June Not only is this a great blog for army spouses, it can also help your financial future. Jane is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve with 19 years of service and a certified financial planner. In her blog, she takes on tackling debt, saving for retirement, and much more.
  5. Army Wife Toddler Mom Get a little of all four with a visit to this blog. AWTM likes to write about being a working mother, recipes, and the occasional attempt at humor. Daily life is also often written about.
  6. My Army Wife Life Brittany admits she is a rarity in army wives. She is a “lifelong lefty liberal” from Seattle. After marrying her army husband, she became in even more opinionated. Get thoughts on army, life, love, knitting, and wine as well.
  7. Welcome to the Blog of an Army Wife Sara married her grade school sweetheart. Now a sergeant in the U.S. Army, he was deployed last year and she chronicles their adventures. Although “new to this army stuff,” she has loads of tips.
  8. Hellcat Betty She is an army wife who first created this blog to vent about her husband’s last deployment. Now that he is home, she writes on a myriad of other things. Giveaways and savings are also reason to visit.
  9. Julie the Army Wife She is a thirty-something army wife and photographer. After living in Germany for four years, they have moved back to the U.S. with two deployments and five years of army experiences. She is also a standout for bringing savings ideas to her blog.
  10. The Unlikely Wife Adventures The UW is a newlywed of a military spouse. Her blog contains a special section on the basics. She also tells her story from the beginning to the present.
  11. Wounded Times Editor and publisher Chaplain Kathie reminds her readers that they are not alone. Her blog specializes in dealing with wounded veterans. PTSD is also focused on.

Top Blogs for Army Wives (or Spouses) by a Husband

Get more on the male perspective on the army in these blogs.

  1. Blackfive He started this blog after hearing about the valorous sacrifice of a friend. Now a former paratrooper and army officer, he and others write tons of true stories on the blog Visit to read them all, or check out their YouTube channel.
  2. Doc in the Box Sean Dustman is from California and is a Corpsman stationed at NAS Lemoore. He has been to Iraq four times and shares his experiences on the blog. His goal is to fix anything animate, inanimate, or spiritual.
  3. The Captain’s Journal Herschel Smith, who hails from Charlotte, N.C., has a son who is a United States Marine. Herschel has also earned the combat action ribbon in support of Operation Alljah in Fallujah. Check out his blog for a dissemination of views based on a solidly conservative world view discussing both political and military issues.
  4. Keeping an Eye on Afghanistan Bouhammer got his nickname from hunting loads of caribou in Alaska. He married his wife in 1991 after receiving new orders. What started out as a way to write about military issues has now become a way to document his 16 month tour for family and friends.
  5. Life, Love, & Truth Jeff Courter is a sergeant in the Illinois Army National Guard and gives perspectives on what matters most. He is also an author, teacher, and father. Visit his blog to get entries on everything from celebrating life to spirituality.
  6. From my Position… on the Way! Chuck is an army officer deployed to Iraq with 15 years’ experience. He is also married with two children. He often blogs on army items in the news, along with thoughts.
  7. Army Dad Unlike the above, this blogger is the stay at home spouse while his wife is in the army. Tim has four kids and writes all about them in the blog. How he is sticking to his New Year’s resolutions was recently discussed.
  8. The Army Dad He is a soldier and father to two children. Top three posts are on supporting soldiers; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; and being a parent. He has just returned home from Iraq and writes all about it.
  9. Walter Reed Army Medical Center Stop here for the blog of Colonel Norvell V. Coots, who is the Commander of the Walter Reed Health Care System. Updates on the system are featured. Check out the main site with more.

Top Blogs for Army Wives (or Spouses) by a Veteran

As with all things, army life doesn’t last forever so get a glimpse of life after being discharged in these blogs.

  1. The Stupid Shall be Punished Joel Kennedy is a married, 47 year old retired submarine officer with three kids continuing to make the transition to civilian life. He is also an esophageal cancer survivor. The blog title is in reference to his “mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found.”
  2. WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier William Lamin was born in the year 1887 in Awsworth Notts. He served in the British military from 1916 to 1920. Get the true story of a long time veteran in this amazing blog. Letters he has written are shared and the first post is a must read.
  3. Argghhh! The Home of Two of Jonah’s Military Guys Retired military members and travelers author this blog. Loads of vet related topics such as desertion and PTSD are taken on. Political thoughts are also abundant.
  4. IAVA Visit here for the blog of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. They are dedicated to the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their civilian supporters. Read success stories, missions, or even get information on jobs and internships.
  5. You Served This blog is brought to you by the VA Mortgage Center. Along with the podcast, they highlight the stories of soldiers who have served honorably and their families. Soldiers of the Week are not to be missed.
  6. Ask the GI Bill Expert Ron Kness and Jeffery Anderson both served in the military. They now author this blog on why and how to apply for the GI Bill. You can also get resources on military friendly colleges and other education benefits.
  7. Basic Training Blog Sergeant Michael Volkin is a U.S. Army veteran and one of America’s most successful military authors focusing on basic training. He served in Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom as a Chemical Operations Specialist and received an Army Commendation Medal. Learn more about what your spouse is going through by checking out his blog.
  8. This Ain’t Hell These three bloggers all served in the military. They all have Combat Infantry Badges and are now teaming up to fight another kind of evil. Read all about it with a visit.
  9. Transitioning Veteran Get Steve’s thoughts on veteran benefits and life after the military on his blog. A four year veteran himself, he has gone on to earn a degree and reach out to other vets. He recently looked back on his career and shares more.

Top Support Blogs for Army Wives (or Spouses)

Get connected to loads of other military families with a stop at these blogs.

  1. Spouse Buzz Click here for a virtual destination where spouses click, connect, and share their experiences. The blog features a variety of perspectives and contributors from every branch of the Armed Forces, including Guard and Reserves. Choices include everything from tips on what to do in deployment to discharge tips.
  2. Army One Source This is the official support page from the U.S. Army. Options include volunteer tools, services locator, housing, and much more. There are also many tools for army spouses, including an employment partnership.
  3. Military Members and Veterans Blog This blog was designed as a way to support the troops, recognize veterans, and give them and their families information on help. It discusses issues regarding benefits and ways to support our troops and veterans. You can also get links to other helpful sites.
  4. Band of Mothers Because army wives also have children, click here. They are a group of mothers of military members. Stop by to get updates and more.
  5. The AW2 Blog Click here for the official blog of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program. Not only is it authored by many patients, but they also offer the option to write a guest post. Resources for vets are often blogged on.
  6. Army Wives This retired military couple knows just how puzzling the life can be. They pack their site with loads of tips, news, care packages, and a support forum. They also have a regularly updated newsfeed.

If the above top 50 blogs for army wives and spouses aren’t enough for you, there is so much more. The AAUSS is a site where anyone can visit to adopt a U.S. Soldier. You can also click here for a guide on how to mail a care package to a soldier.

Easy Tips for Lifelong Personal Healthcare

The healthcare reform bill has been passed, yet the nation is still divided over its efficacy, both in the long and short term. We’re still wondering if it’s procuring a personal healthcare policy is going to be easier than before as Obama promises it will, or if it will still be the uphill and often impossible climb that most of us have faced before. We’re not sure if those who really need healthcare insurance are still the ones who are going to be denied it or who have to pay the most for it. But even so, there are some things we can do to saveguard our personal health, because no matter what the national healthcare policy decides, your health is in your hands and prevention was, is, and always will be better than cure.
  • Start focusing on health when young and in your prime: Most of us are in the habit of bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted ‒ we tend to start caring for our health only after we’ve lost it through a hedonistic and sedentary lifestyle that focuses on eating, drinking and making merry. We put junk in our bodies, don’t exercise, smoke drink, and lead stressful lives  ‒ all measures that lead to the deterioration of health. If we really care about our health, we need to start looking after it when we’re young and in our prime. It’s easier to maintain a good thing rather than to have it repaired after it has gone down the drain. So eat right, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and boozing, learn to relax, and get on the road to good health from a very young age.
  • Continue to nurture it: The ages between 30 and 45 are your sort of twilight years; remember how hard it is to drive during twilight hours when the light is neither too dark nor too bright? Well, getting from 30 to 45 is pretty much like navigating roads in your car during these hours ‒ you need to be extra careful because you tend to put on weight more easily, your immune system is not as robust as it used to be, and you find that you must eat less than before since your metabolism slows down considerably. So take adequate action and continue to nurture your health if you want to avoid disease and its associated complications.
  • Take adequate preventive measures: And finally, if you’re at risk for hereditary diseases because of your genetic makeup, ensure that you take adequate precautions to prevent the onset of ailments like diabetes and heart disease. These can be prevented by leading an active lifestyle, getting enough exercise, eating right, and monitoring your health regularly. When you know what your body is at risk for, it’s easier to maintain good health.
So as you can see, your health is in your hands; it’s up to you to take charge and get it on the right track.

How to Identify the Threat of Suicide

The death of a loved one is hard to handle even in the best of circumstances, but when it comes in the form of a suicide, you find yourself with questions that you have no answers to. You rant at God when a loved one is taken from you by an accident or an illness or in any other unnatural way, but who can you rave at when you don’t understand why your loved one wanted to take their life? While we have no control over accidental death, suicide is preventable if you are perceptive and know how to read the signs. If you think a loved one is prone to suicidal tendencies, here’s how you can identify the threat and get them help before it’s too late:
  • Take what they say seriously: People who intend to commit suicide tend to tell others in some way or the other of their decision. At times it could be that they want someone to stop them; at others, it could slip out inadvertently. Whatever the reason and method they use to tell you, be observant and pay attention when you know that a loved one is depressed, moody and/or not behaving as they do normally.
  • Monitor them closely: It may be difficult to monitor them continuously, but you must try your best if you want to save their life. Get other friends and family members to help you out in your endeavor, and at the slightest threat of self-inflicted violence, get them to seek professional help.
  • Talk to them: Some people just need someone to talk to; once they get some support and encouragement, they feel better and the suicidal tendency goes away. The feeling of despondency lasts only as long as they feel alone and lonely. So spend some time getting them to open up and tell you what’s wrong or what they think is wrong with their lives.
  • Get them professional help: Coax, cajole or just plain trick them into seeing a qualified professional. If they suffer from some mental affliction that is more than just mere depression, the right medication could do wonders to improve their mood and disposition. Also, if they’re really suicidal, you would be saving their life by getting them to see a psychiatrist or equally qualified medical professional.
Even if you’re not sure about the intentions of your loved one, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So if you so much as suspect the threat of suicide, get them professional help and don’t leave them alone for any amount of time. There’s no use regretting their death or feeling guilty after it has happened, so be prepared and prevent the suicide from happening.