Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Happy Veteran’s Day! November 12, 2009

Filed under: cake,Military,NaBloWriMo — hmills96 @ 2:25 am

Applebee’s for dinner tonight…yum! They were offering free entrees for soldiers, so J. and I met another couple there after work. Unfortunately, our waitress was very ignorant. She asked the guys if they were in the Army, but once the answer was yes from both, she said “but you guys aren’t vets.” A. told her that “Well, yes, actually we both have been to Iraq, so that would make us veterans.” She actually had the gall to tell him again, that NO he was not a vet!

At this point, I was ready to walk out. J. and A’s girlfriend were just kind of sitting there but A. and I are both pretty fiery. We were clearly offended. The longer the conversation went on, the more she put her foot in her mouth. It was just bad all around. Finally, she went to get our drink orders and stopped talking to us. She came back later and apologized if “we took her the wrong way.”
While I understand what she was getting at, this kind of attitude is exactly what I was talking about in my last military post. These guys worked their butts off over there, and if we just shake them off like they don’t matter, they are going to continue to suffer. We have to treat them like they really are veterans who are serving our country. They deserve that respect. It’s a different kind of war, but they still deserve that respect.
Ok, enough ranting. I promise this isn’t going to become a normal thing, it’s just something about this week I think. This is something that I’m passionate about, but I know you guys don’t come to my food blog for a bunch of one way rants about military stuff.
However, I am going to share a great recipe for all you military supporters out there! These are so easy to make and will make a soldier’s week. I bet if you ask your pastor, he can tell you soldiers to send them to, or there are all kinds of organizations online who have units to mail care packages to. Try these soon!
Soldier Jar Cakes
1 Cake recipe (can be box mix or homemade)
1 pint ball jars and lids
Make cake batter as recipe calls for it. Pour batter into jars. Only fill to about 1/2 full, otherwise the jars will overflow and you won’t be able to get the lids on. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake is completely cooked. Remove from oven and immediately screw lids on. BE VERY CAREFUL AS JARS WILL BE SUPER LAVA HOT!!! Leave on counter to cool, jars will seal on their own. Once completely cool, pack carefully in a shipping box with jarred frosting and plastic silverware.
An idea–if your soldier is having a birthday, pack candles and, party hats and noisemakers with the cake. It seems really silly and juvenile to a 20 year old male here at home, but trust me, the bored soldier in Iraq will LOVE it. J. turned 21 in Iraq, so I packed a 6 pack of root beer with his cakes, since he couldn’t have real beer (alcohol is forbidden in Muslim countries).
Also, if you do have a soldier overseas, go to USPS.com, they have special care package kits for free for military families. They will send you packing materials for free. I STILL have rolls of packing tape from those kits. They will also send you flat rate boxes and customs papers. You will have to pay postage, but it cuts way back on shipping materials!
 

God With Us… November 6, 2009

Filed under: Military,NaBloWriMo — hmills96 @ 12:59 am

Disclaimer: I am not going to claim to be an expert on the situation at Fort Hood, all of the following are my own thoughts and feelings. Still, I feel that on a day like today, I need to speak up, so tonight’s post is going to be a little different than the norm.

I am heartbroken for those involved and affected in today’s shooting. My prayers go out to the victims’ families, as well as the rest of the soldiers on base.
We can’t know the reasons true for the shooting. There seem to be two teams of thought right now: one being Islamic descent and the other being PTSD.
PTSD has been affecting me personally quite a bit lately. Because of that, it has made me step up and take a look at how little awareness there is. All the time we hear “Support Our Troops!” But what they mean is “Support Our Troops Who Are Overseas Who Only You Know!” Now, I am a military wife, so when J. was deployed, yes, I was all over sending him care packages and wore red, white and blue and put out a yellow ribbon and all that jazz.
But it CANNOT stop there. Not for us at home, and NOT for the Army. For our unit, PTSD awareness meant a short lecture during the post deployment briefing telling us what the signs were. Maybe a few pamphlets. They tried to give us the resources we needed. However, at that time, we all just shook it off. We were too excited for our soldiers to be home. PTSD was not going to happen to us, we hardly saw any “real” action. However, it never should have been left at that, in my opinion.
Now, I don’t know how things work in active Army units. But in my opinion, I think the military should require periodical mental health checks for at least a year, if not two, post deployment. For reservists, it would be easy–build the checks into the monthly drills, or even every 2-3 months. But do SOMETHING. The Army HAS to ensure that their soldiers are being taken care of. They cannot leave it up to the soldiers–there is too much of a stigma that if you ask for help you are weak. Not only that, but sometimes you don’t always break down all at once. It can be a slow spiral that is full of denial. The soldier doesn’t want to get help, and often the family doesn’t push the subject, if they even see it happening. As I said earlier, you always think it won’t happen to you.
Ok, enough of all that. Where can you go to get help?
1. Call your local VA. They will gladly do a mental screening, set you up with a doctor, and get you the help you need.
2. Here’s a great group who is putting out information for PTSD. They were very active on Twitter tonight during the Fort Hood discussions.
3. If you are in a crisis situation, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Like I said, these are my own thoughts and opinions. Really, I just want to see more soldiers get help. I’ve seen it with my own eyes how much pain PTSD causes. We saw today a huge mass media tragedy and it’s absolutely devestating. My heart goes out to those people. But we can’t let it stop here. When the media coverage dies down, it can’t stop here. Because PTSD won’t stop here.

*steps down off soapbox*