Freedom issue Priceless!
The price of freedom iseternal
Red White and Blue celebration of our great nation
The Celebration of Freedom! Dear readers . . .
e are excited to share the Freedom issue of Ma Belle Vie with you. My first encounter with “Freedom” was when my parents brought me to the Liberty Island when I was 12. Being a former Lyonnais, I am proud of the strong bond between the French and the American people for over 126 years. In recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, a young French sculptor was commissioned to design the Lady Liberty with her seven spikes crown symbolizing liberty spreading across the seven seas. In her left hand was a tablet of the Declaration of Independence and in her right hand a torch symbolizing enlightenment. On October 28, 1986, the Statue of Liberty National Monument officially celebrated her 100th birthday as a symbolism of freedom, democracy and international friendship. We feature the 200th commemoration of the War of 1812 and the penning of the “Star Spangled Banner”. The Memorial Museum in Tuscon, AZ kept the legacy alive of the 390th Bombardment Group. Issues of veterans’ mental health and homelessness are vital concerns in our country and as citizens, we can, in our small way, help those in need. Our emagazine is made possible with the support of our advertisers. Please help us by clicking the ads that interest you and check out their services and products. Throughout the pages, you will see “eye-con” buttons linking you to related websites. If you are a selective reader, the arrow buttons will conveniently navigate to the page you are interested in reading. Ma Belle Vie is an interactive, engaging emagazine, with you in mind. We strive to provide convenience, information and inspirations. We welcome your suggestions, questions, inspiring stories, photos, editorial contents, and comments. Happy reading!
sylvi O ra E
Editor, Ma Belle Vie
Ma Belle Vie’s Freedom issue cover: Photo illustration/design by Tek Chai ................................................................................................
Publisher NamasTek e-Publishing Editor Sylvie Orabelle Blogger/Writer Adelynn Kindenski Advertising Coordinator Alojz Kalikova Intern/Assistant Shannie Chai Photographer/Designer Tek Chai © 2012 Ma Belle Vie is e-published by NamasTek e-Publishing. Questions? Contribution, email us
The Freedom of Red,White and Blue
A night under Old Glory! A journal of a U.S. Mobilecotopian
200th Anniversary of the War of 1812
12 Tools to help military families prepare for reunions
390th Memorial Museum keeps war legacy alive Declaring Energy Independence
Get fit. Have fun. Get
Military families and mental health resources
by Adelynn Kindenski | Photos by Tek Chai
hh, the patriotic colors of Red White and Blue. Although these colors are also colors of other national flags but here in the good ol’ USA, we consider them as our great nation’s symbolic colors. In the spirit of Flag Day - June 14th, Independence Day - July 4th, Veterans’ Day - November 11th and other national holidays, we fly our nations’ flag with pride and joy.
I love summer for the Seafairs, festivities, patriotic celebrations and most of all, our nation’s Independence Day, the celebrations of our freedom with its climax, the fireworks show. I have the opportunities to watch the fireworks over Mercer Island, WA and also watch the roaring U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels performing low flying stunts over Lake Washington during the Seafair event in Seattle, WA. Being a naturalized U.S. citizen, I stand proud to belong to this great nation.
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RED WHITE and BLUE
200th (NAPS) –– As the nation commemorates the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the penning of “The StarSpangled Banner,” one city will take center stage. That city is Baltimore.
anniversary of the
During the war, the British launched an all-out bombardment of the city that lasted 24 hours. Only a small, star-shaped fort blocked their advancement but the fort’s soldiers and Baltimore’s citizens stood their ground, defending the fort and turning the battle-hardened British army back. At dawn the next day, surprised to see the flag still flying, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that would become “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Today, visitors to Baltimore can stand on the ramparts at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and gaze out at the waters where Key first saw
the nation’s flag during the Battle of Baltimore. Visitors can also see Key’s original manuscript at the Maryland Historical Society and visit the home of Mary Pickersgill, where the 15-star, 15-stripe flag that flew over the fort was sewn. Visiting these sites is easier than ever before thanks to combo tickets that make it less expensive to visit several of the city’s top attractions. These include the Star-Spangled Baltimore Pass and National Anthem by Land and Sea tours.
The National Anthem by Land tour is a 75-minute narrated trolley tour on a San Francisco–style trolley. The National Anthem by Sea tour includes a 60-minute narrated cruise. The Preservation Society has also added 1812: Schooners and Privateers, a guided 60-minute
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Visitors are invited to discover the importance of the war through special events, exhibitions, living history and more over the next three years. walking tour focusing on the less-well-known Baltimoreans whose role as shipbuilders, sea captains, carpenters, innkeepers, laborers, seamstresses and militia companies helped end the “second war of independence” and start anew with a flag and national anthem. The tour visits Fell’s Point, home to more than 70 houses dating from the 1812 period—more than anywhere else in Baltimore.
New ticketing options make it easier than ever to experience the city’s commemorative sites. For more information, please visit www.StarSpangledBaltimore.com or call (877) BALTIMORE.
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Memorial Museum keeps Legacy (NAPS) - A museum has taken on the urgent task of preserving the history of World War II airmen. Many of the “greatest generation” signed up to fight and fly when they were only in their teens or 20s.
John Keema was a 21-year-old airman aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress of the 390th Bombardment Group on August 24, 1943. On a raid over E´vreuxFauville, France, his aircraft was hit by German anti-aircraft fire. A friend and crewmember of Keema’s was killed and four others wounded. His crippled B-17 ditched in the English Channel, where the survivors were rescued at sea. It was his second mission.
John Keema—B-17 crewman with 390th Bombardment Group in World War II.
“Youthful excitement about finally being in combat A Time When Young Men Came of Age was quickly shattered by the bitter truth of war: The average age of an officer aboard a B-17 was 24. Many Men die,” said Keema, now 90. “My friend died.” en listed crewmembers were still in their teens. Today, these special veterans are rapidly passing into history. The The 390th Bombardment Group was a part of 390th Memorial Museum located in Tucson, Arizona, is the 8th Air Force, based in England during preserving their legacy. Stories like Keema’s are vital to WW II. Of the 350,000 men and women of that mission. the 8th Air Force, 54,000 were killed or taken prisoner, among the highest casualty rates of “We want the memories of the veterans to live on through any unit during the war. the museum,” said Emile Therrien, executive director of
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of World War II Airmen alive the museum. “We encourage anyone associated with the 390th, or their descendants, to tell us their story.”
More than 3,000 men and women served with the 390th during WW II. From 1943–1945, the group flew 301 missions over Europe with a loss of 181 aircraft, and 714 crewmen paid the ultimate sacrifice. Honoring Their Courage and Sacrifice In addition to its mission of recording the oral history of the 390th and others from the “greatest generation,” the museum is home to the Joseph
A. Moller Library, a research center for the Air Campaign of Central Europe. The museum houses over 90,000 pages and more than 10,000 photographs documenting the combat history of the 390th, along with memorabilia and historical artifacts from the air war over Europe. The centerpiece of the museum is a beautifully restored B-17 airplane. Known as the Flying Fortress, it became the most recognizable symbol of the European air war. For more information on the museum, to make a donation or tell your story, visit www.390th.org.
Declaring energy independence for a brighter future (ARA) - It is time to make history by changing history. For more than 40 years - and through eight presidents - the United States has been dependent on foreign oil to power the nation. Today, energy independence is a realistic goal, one founded on American innovation, technology and hard work. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries - OPEC - has a stranglehold on the United States’ fuel supply. In fact, the United States spends more than $1 million per minute on foreign oil - adding up to more than $450 billion per year, making this the largest wealth transfer in history. This situation is not only unsustainable; it leaves the U.S. indebted to the 12 OPEC member nations, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. For the first time in decades, the United States has the resources for energy independence. The discovery of abundant reserves of shale-based oil and natural gas, combined with new drilling technology needed to produce those resources, has given the United States a long-term source of homegrown energy. The U.S. has enough oil and natural gas to power 65 million cars for 60 years and heat 60 million households for 160 years, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). By 2030, 100 percent of U.S. liquid fuel needs could be met by resources found in North America. Energy independence is within reach, and its benefits extend beyond enhanced national security. Increasing domestic oil and natural gas production does the following:
• Creates jobs: Oil and natural gas companies currently support 9.2 million U.S. jobs and are among the nation’s largest employers, according to API. Increasing domestic oil and natural gas development could create more than 1.4 million additional jobs. These jobs are both direct - energy company employees - and indirect - vendors and others who support the energy industry. The increase in domestic oil and natural gas development boosts other industries as well, including steel and manufacturing. • Revitalizes communities: In 2010, the industry contributed $476 billion
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Energy independence is no longer campaign rhetoric; it is reality. If you support fueling our country from within, declare your energy independence at www.chk.com/independence . in direct support to a struggling economy. Domestic oil and natural gas are produced across the country, and wherever drilling takes place, local residents benefit from royalty payments and good-paying jobs. In fact, in 2010 oil and natural gas companies paid more than $176 billion in wages and benefits and payments to oil and natural gas leaseholders. The oil and natural gas industry
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also provides an influx of tax dollars, paying $86 million per day to the federal government. County and state taxes paid by energy companies contribute to schools, roads and infrastructures. â€˘ Promotes a healthier environment: Domestic energy - particularly natural gas - offers a cleaner energy future by helping reduce air pollution in communities around the country. As an electricity source and a viable transportation fuel, natural gas emits fewer pollutants and no mercury, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Military families and mental health:
Understanding the issues
(ARA) - Today’s service men and women are facing particularly challenging circumstances. Many soldiers have been deployed several times to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, often serving in prolonged combat operations. Army Secretary John McHugh recently told Congress that, for perhaps the first time in history, there are more than 50,000 soldiers in uniform who have had at least four deployments, and some have even served 10 or more. The full impact of multiple deployments is still unknown. A recent study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals growing trends in a range of mental health issues, as well as prescription drug and alcohol abuse, among soldiers and veterans. A 2012 report from the U.S. Army Public Health Command found that, since the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the rate of suicide among U.S. Army soldiers has increased. This coincides with a rise in other conditions including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Our men and women in uniform are making the world a better place and their contributions are invaluable,” says Dr. Joseph Hullett, a Vietnam-era Marine Corp veteran and senior medical director of Clinical Strategy for OptumHealth’s behavioral health business. “But many soldiers, veterans and their families may have trouble recognizing
the signs of a mental health condition or may even be afraid or embarrassed to reach out.
“A mental health condition is not a weakness and it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” says Hullett. “The good news is there is help available to support soldiers and veterans so they can enjoy a full, healthy life.”
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and available resources
Fullett suggests a few resources for soldiers, veterans and their families: H The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration “Military Families” webpage (www.samhsa.gov/militaryfamilies).
H The National Alliance on Mental Illness Veterans’ Resource Center (www.nami.org/veterans); and the National Center for PTSD of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (www.ptsd.va.gov).
H The Defense Center of Excellence (DCOE) for Psychological Health’s website on military behavioral health (www.dcoe.health.mil).
H Visit www.liveandworkwell.com website to access useful resources to help military families get connected with the right support services.
Having a genuine, loving and supportive family is the most important role in a military family.
Hullett offers military families tips for recognizing a mental health condition and knowing when it may be time to seek help: H Signs of depression: Depression often manifests itself in feelings of hopelessness, lack of interest in the things you once loved, and having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much. H Signs of anxiety: Anxiety is marked by needless worrying, indecisiveness, difficulty concentrating, irritability and physical symptoms such as sweating, heart pounding and dizziness. H Signs of PTSD: PTSD is not limited to combat experiences. In fact, women veterans suffer disproportionately high rates. Moreover, people suffering from PTSD often don’t talk about the traumatic events. Look for: • Intrusive memories and nightmares • Anxiety, guilt and disproportionate fear
• Emotional extremes • Substance abuse
“If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms for more than a few days and they are interfering with work or relationships, help is available,” says Hullett. “And if the problems are severe, talk to your doctor right away.”
Helping Military Families
Tools to Help Parents and Children with Resilience, Recovery and Reconnecting (Family Features)
With the ongoing drawdown of service members from Afghanistan, military families are preparing for the return of loved ones. The homecoming of a service member can be very exciting, but it is also a significant transition that affects the entire family — especially children. Fortunately, military families don’t have to face this transition alone. The Real Warriors Campaign (www.realwarriors.net) offers support for families throughout the deployment cycle. The campaign, an initiative of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), promotes the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration for returning service members, veterans and their families. With tips from the Real Warriors Campaign, families can prepare for the excitement and potential challenges of a parent’s return home.
Communicate: Prior to a homecoming, it is important for parents or caregivers to communicate with their children and remind them that, just as they have grown and changed during the course of a deployment, it is likely that their parent has also had new experiences. By talking about some of these changes before the reunion, families can reduce the anxieties of a homecoming. Real Warriors Campaign volunteer Sheri Hall experienced the challenges of reintegration firsthand when her husband, Army Maj. Jeff Hall, returned from his second deployment. She advises military families to communicate as openly as possible. “Encourage children to be vocal — to tell their families what’s bothering them,” Hall said. As children open up, be prepared
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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Walter
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Resilience Recovery Reconnecting
Prepare for Reunions
for a range of emotions. It is important for parents to remain calm and understanding while listening to their children’s concerns. Be Patient: Military families experience a natural adjustment period after deployment, during which children may experience excitement, as well as nervousness and anxiety. Families can ease concerns by taking time to get to know each other and routines again. Maj. Hall advises returning service members to be open to change during this transition. “Returning from deployment can be challenging. It’s important to be patient and remember some things may have changed while you were gone. Take time to get to know your family again,” Maj. Hall says. Anticipate Change: During the course of a deployment, new family schedules and routines may have developed. For returning parents, it is important to remain open and flexible and learn the family’s new dynamic. It is also important for the entire family to help the returning service member adjust to changes that have occurred.
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Homecomings are an important time for all military families, and communication, patience and flexibility help pave the way for a positive transition to reconnect with loved ones. For more tools, tips and resources for military families, visit the Real Warriors Campaign online at www.realwarriors.net or contact the DCoE Outreach Center to talk with trained health resource consultants for assistance 24/7 by calling 866-9661020. More information and resources are also available at the DCoE website at www.dcoe.health.mil .
A sojourner’s diary
From the journal of a ...
Sylvie has requested me to write a column for Ma Belle Vie and I am honored to put a finishing touch in this Freedom issue in regards to homeless veterans. I am proud to be a U.S. citizen and to serve my country during the Vietnam war. I coined the term “U.S. Mobilecotopian” two years ago when I decided to go mobile. It is a combination of three words, “Mobile-Eco-Utopia”. Living in the open isn’t really utopia with constant battle with post-traumatic “demons” and being triggered-happy, I couldn’t carry a handgun, so I settle with a Mace for any unwelcomed guest. I love the freedom to sleep anywhere I want. It was an honor to wake up one breezy Sunday morning at a parking lot in Everett, WA to see “Old Glory” flying high, so I took photo from my moonroof ~ a true inspiration to my existence.
CLICK > www.va.gov CLICK > www.nchv.org CLICK > www.veteransinc.org
According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless at some time during the year and on any given night, more than 300,000 veterans are living on the streets or in shelters in the U.S. It is a sad statistic but true; however, you can help and reach out by checking out the websites at 9 o’clock. ~ With honor and respect, U.S. Mobilecotopian
sylviE O ra EllE b
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