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Category Archives: News

Stop Pointing Fingers and Accept Responsibility

I recently watched “The Facebook Obsession” on CNBC.  In it they tried to cover the good, bad and ugly of Facebook.  Facebook is used to connect friends, family, co-workers, everyone.  I do not want to talk about all the technical and privacy issues with Facebook.  My beef is with the people who want to blame Facebook for ruining their lives.  On “The Facebook Obsession” they interviewed a woman who was fired from a high school she was employed at because of a post she put on her page.  This woman got on her Facebook page to complain about work and even went so far as to call the students and parents names and how glad she would be to move on.  She thought that her status update was only going to be seen by her friends and family.  She claims she had no idea that Facebook had changed the privacy settings and that now everyone could see what she posted.  REALLY LADY!  It is not Facebook’s fault that you ignorantly decided to rant about your job on an internet site!  You don’t know how to pick up a phone to discuss private matters like that.  You have a Doctorate, you are smart enough to know that regardless of what you “think” your settings are, when you conduct business on the internet “assume” everyone can see it.  Stop blaming Facebook and accept responsibility for your own actions.  I don’t know how you didn’t know the settings changed because I had a banner at the top of my screen when they changed and I changed mine.

I have seen news reports of couples talking about Facebook ruined my marriage or is the reason I got divorced.  NO, you are the reason your marriage was almost ruined or ended.  No one told you to get on Facebook and look up old flings or behave inappropriately.  YOU did that.  No one told you to click the “add friend” button on that guy or gal you had a crush on, YOU DID THAT.  What you not gonna do is sit there and act like you took no part in it and like Facebook “tempted” you.  You went looking for trouble and it found your behind.  Period point-blank.  You didn’t think you were gonna get caught.

Facebook is a tool.  Just like any tool it depends on whose hands it’s in.  You decide what you are going to do with it.  It has no ability to control how you interact with other people.  I am so sick of adults refusing to take responsibility for their actions.  I am SICK AND TIRED of people looking for everything else to blame except themselves.  While I’m talking about people wanting to blame outside forces for their stupidity, the same goes for these knuckleheads that want to blame Four Loko for them acting irrationally and doing stupid stuff under the influence.  It is not Four Loko’s fault that you want to consume an alcoholic beverage and think that you’re not going to do anything stupid.  PLEASE!  No one forced you to drink it.  You drink at your own risk.  Anytime you use any substance it is at your own risk.  You can’t come back later and blame the alcohol company cause you went streaking, felt sick, or blacked out.  COME ON PEOPLE! Get with the program.  Know your limits or better yet stop drinking.  It is time to start looking at yourselves and your own actions and just admit that you messed up, learn from it and move on.  I guess it takes stupid people to lead by example! (Now we know) lol<–stole that from my sister-in-law.  I’M JUST SAYING, DANG!!!


Childs Best Interest

Halle Berry has been in the news lately because she is in a custody battle with her daughter’s father.  I do not know all the details in this very personal issue but I personally know about custody issues. 

I got pregnant with my oldest son, now 13, at 16 years old.  As you can imagine I was very afraid.  I juggled between keeping him or giving him up for adoption.  When I finally decided to keep my baby I told his father that no matter what happens between us that I would never keep him away from his son.  After I graduated from high school we married and I joined the military.  My son stayed with his father and my parents throughout my training and part of my first duty station.  During my time away from my husband I reflected on our relationship.  I went through a lot of mistreatment through the years with him and was afraid to experience that with him for the rest of my life.  About a year after being married I decided that I didn’t want to be married to him.  We divorced and I brought my son overseas with me.  About a year after my divorce I married my current husband.  I later got out of the military and my husband was stationed in El Paso, where my family resides.

Through the years my son would visit back and forth with his father.  In the beginning our communications with one another were filled with yelling and sometimes name calling.  We gradually learned how to better communicate to be able to parent our son together.  Our son even stayed the school year with his father during his 2nd and 4th grade school years.  During this time our communication became a lot better.  We would talk about any and everything.  One could even go so far as to say we were friends.  Whenever my ex-husband wanted to see his son all he had to do was call.  No matter if he paid child support or not, no matter if it was his scheduled visitation, anytime, all he had to do was call.  Things were good, or so I thought.

Shortly after I gave birth to my baby boy and was released from the hospital, in February 2007, I was served custody papers.  My son was already staying with his dad for his 4th grade year.  My ex-husband gave me no sign that this was coming.  He changed his numbers and ceased contact with me.  I thought I was going to die, that I would never see my son again.  All these years I thought I was doing what was best for not just my son but also his father who loved him very much, I was being sued for custody.  Unbeknownst to me, when you have primary custody and you allow your child to live with the other parent for 6 months or longer you automatically lose your custody to the other parent.  During this time he even claimed that our home was unstable because of the military and having to move.  Needless to say I was hurt and wanted my son back.  During this time I grew very angry and bitter with his father for being so underhanded to me after all that I had done for him to maintain his relationship with his son and he pulled this.  The judge granted custody back to me and my son returned home in the summer of 2007. 

In the beginning after the case my ex stopped calling our son and asking to visit with him.  My son grew angry and I couldn’t stand to see him like that.  I called his dad and left a message telling him that no matter what we go through he needs to continue to be there for his son. (Something like that, I was still angry with him myself)  His dad gradually started coming back around.  We eventually worked through our differences and he apologized for what he did to me.  Things were looking up.  My son would visit his father when it was scheduled. 

In 2008 my husband deployed to Afghanistan.  It was a difficult time for our family.  My oldest son was having problems in school and was fighting a lot.  In early 2009 we received orders to PCS to South Carolina.  I told our children.  None of them were happy about moving to South Carolina and they all wanted to stay in Texas.  My oldest son was especially upset about this possible move. He didn’t want to leave his friends.  He asked me if he could stay with his dad during this move and I told him no.  I wasn’t going to be sued again, I thought to myself.  He was angry with my decision and really started acting out.  He kept acting out and wouldn’t listen to anything I asked of him.  It got so bad that I had to consider that staying with his father was probably best.  

I finally gave in because I didn’t know what else to do.  I had to remove myself from the situation and put myself in my son’s shoes.  He kept asking me why couldn’t he stay with his dad.  I had to really sit there and ponder that question.  This is his father, his other parent, not a stranger.  Could he really not parent his son just because we weren’t together?  Is living with mom always best?  I called his dad and asked him if it was he would alright with him if our son stayed with him and of course he said it was fine with him. 

 As the summer approached and time grew near for my husband to return, my son grew anxious and acting out even more.  He was staying out passed his curfew and defying everything I said.  I called his father and told him that if our son didn’t straighten up he wasn’t going to stay with him.  My son heard what was said and became furious.  He lunged and attacked me.  At this time he was taller and bigger than me.  I never thought I would see that day that I would have to fight my son.  He finally calmed down and the MPs confined him to his room until his dad arrived to pick him up from Dallas, which was three hours away from where we resided. 

My son is now living with his father and doing well.  He’s not getting into so much trouble and he’s making good grades.  My heart aches for him everyday but I know that he is where he needs to be.  I recently visited with  him and went to his football games, which he is great at.  He is so tall and becoming an amazing young man.  He is a bit on the selfish side but it’s the teen years so I’m sure this is a phase and he will grow out of it. 

I had to learn that what is best for your child is not always what you want.  What’s best for a child is to have both of their parents, even if they’re not together.  It is really hard on them when their parents aren’t together.  I watched and listened to my son so desperately want his parents together like his siblings.  No matter how great our homes were and filled with love, he always felt and still feels out-of-place.  I don’t know how to help him with those feelings but I know as he gets older and gains a better understanding he will be fine.  His father and I keep reassuring him that he is loved by so many people.  As parents we have to put our feelings aside and do what is best for our children so they can be as happy as possible.  I’m just saying.

Army Colonel’s Wife Kills 2 Children

I just read this on yahoo news that Julie Powers Schenecker, wife of an Army Colonel, killed her 2 children for being “mouthy”.  I was in complete disbelief upon reading this.  Apparently she shot her son, 13, in the head twice in her SUV taking him to soccer practice because he was talking back.  She then went home and parked the SUV in the garage, with the boy still in it, and shot her daughter,16, in the back of head and in the face.  The police found Schenecker in her backyard.  She admitted to killing her children because she was tired of them disrespecting her and being mouthy

TALK ABOUT SNAPPED! Her mother was concerned and called the police from Texas because Mrs Schenecker was complaining about the kids and was depressed.  This is sad.  I know that my children often get on my nerves but not to the point of killing them.  If ever I’m too angry I separate myself from the situation and go to my room and lock myself in until I calm down. Even when my husband deployed it never got that bad.  When they got on my nerves I would send them outside to play.  My boys still talk back but a quick pop to the lips remedies that.  (yes I said a pop to the lips.)  She could have dropped the son off at practice which I presume would have lasted at least an hour and went to Starbucks or walked around Wal-Mart to find her Zen.  The teenage years are troublesome but they pass as with all phases our children go through.  I believe that this was a totally premeditated act and selfish I might add.  This woman purchased the gun 5 days before the act.  She separated them, giving her a greater advantage, by taking her son to “soccer practice”.  The act of shooting her daughter in the face shows resentment and disgust.  I recently found out that the daughter had called the police on her mother for slapping her several times in the face.  She planned to shoot herself but didn’t go through with it.  I wonder what stopped her.  I reiterate that as military spouses we are afforded so many resources in dealing with deployments, money management, family issues and the like.  If she felt overwhelmed with these children she could have asked for help.  This was just flat-out selfish.  This is just tragic.  These children died at the hands of someone who was supposed to have loved them unconditionally.

I am in no way a reporter I just wanted to express my feelings about such a vile act against these children. 

Airman Receives 8 Years In HIV Exposure Case-My Rant

I read about this case last week on  David Gutierrez, a 43-year old Tech Sgt,  was sentenced to 8 years and dishonorably discharged for exposing multiple sex partners to HIV at swinger parties.  In the article they stated that Gutierrez was sobbing and said he was willing to spend more time in jail if he was allowed to keep his medical benefits.  When Gutierrez found out he had HIV he was ordered by his commander to tell partners that he was infected with HIV and to wear condoms.  He continued to deny he was HIV positive and his wife encouraged him to continue to take part in swinger events.

Now, I go on my rant.  What on earth was this fool thinking!  I know that this is not the first time that a this situation has occurred. I also know that there are people who engage in “swinging” and or “partner swapping“.  My personal thoughts on this are neither here nor there.  If you are going to take part in activities that are risky you have to take the proper precautions.  Who are these swingers or whatever, having sex with multiple people in a given time without protection.  That’s just stupid.  You have to assume that everyone has HIV in that type of setting.  HIV is not the only thing you would be exposing yourself to either.  Now-a-days you must have that mentality anyway with the undercover brothers and people having sex with anything that moves.  I also think that his doggone wife should go to jail also for encouraging this knucklehead to continue to take part in these events with her knowing he was infected.  That’s like if I knew someone was going to commit a crime and not say anything and help them plan and plot I would go to jail as an accomplice.  That’s why I say her tail should be locked up with her dangone husband.  He wasn’t sobbing because he played with other people’s lives with a very serious disease, no.  He was crying because he did not want to lose his medical benefits.  Just plain selfish.  He should have thought about that before he went around exposing people.  He knew he was wrong.  He was directed to tell the people AND wear condoms.  He disobeyed both.  I digress.  If you’re going to have sex, and you’re not in a monogamous relationship, please protect yourself.  Assume everyone has something.  I’m just saying!

Facing ADHD

Me and my son at a football game

Eleven years ago my second son was born, four weeks early, he was a perfect 6lbs 13oz.   As he started to get older I started noticing that there was something “different” with him.  He hated the sunlight.  At the time we lived in El Paso, TX, the Sun City.  Every time we would go out we had to keep his face covered because he could not stand the sun.  He was also very sensitive to noise.  Loud clapping, cheering or talking would startle him and he would scream in fear.  There were days where my little infant baby would just scream all day.  As a young mother of two young boys I did not know what to do other than call my mom.  There were several days I would sit and cry with him because I could not figure out what was wrong.  People suggested that if I had done all I could, to leave him in his crib and let him cry it out.  I reluctantly tried their suggestions to no avail.  He would scream at the top of his lungs incessantly until he was red in the face.  He never grew tired.  I could not stand to leave him in the crib crying.  He would have these fits often.  I dreaded going anywhere in public with him because the noise would aggravate him and he would scream throughout the outing.  I took him to his pediatrician, telling him that something was not right with my baby, only to be met with blank stares and treated as if I were overreacting.  So until he was about nine months I would just sit home and cry with him.  Looking back it’s kind of funny now.  😀 He gradually started to get better and as time went on everything seemed fine.

When he was around two years of age, I noticed that he would stay up really late wanting to play and get up very early.  Trying to send him to bed early was futile, he had so much energy.  Every morning as he awoke, he would not disturb anyone. He’d go straight to the backyard and shoot basketball for hours.  Shooting basketball seemed to calm him and he loved it, so I would sit and watch him. 

 At three years of age he entered head start.  That’s when the behavior problems began.  His  teacher called us in constantly.  She expressed that he had a hard time sitting still, he would wander around the class during instruction, and have tantrums.  She stated no one could get through to him, that it was as if he didn’t hear them.  My husband and I would talk to him and tell him that he needed to be a good boy and listen to the teacher. 

One day my husband and I were called in to pick him up because he was having an uncontrollable tantrum. When we arrived we saw our little man fighting the teacher off as she tried to contain him.  He was removed from the school because they felt he “wasn’t ready”.  I was so hurt.  I didn’t know why he was acting this way.  People from the outside looking in said he was bad and needed more discipline.  We were told we needed to spank him more or start if we weren’t.  I knew that something wasn’t right and took him back to the doctor.  I was ignored…again.

The time came for him to start Kindergarten.  He was excited and ready for school.  He was a bit older and I thought the behavior problems were behind us.  I was wrong.  I was called to his school so much I should have worked there.  It was affecting my paying  job.  I was losing hours and pay.  Early one morning I was called to the school because my son was having a violent fit on the bus and that he was upset and I needed to come to the school.  I told my boss and he told me that this was a problem, that if I had to leave work again I would be fired.  I was at my wits ends.  On the drive to my son’s school I cried uncontrollably.  I signed him out of school and took him to the emergency room.  I insisted that my son needed to be seen.  That he was a harm to himself and others with is uncontrollable tantrums.  I will never forget the ER doctor that saw us.  She said, “mom I have been in your place.  I begged physicians to help me with my son when he was a child and I was ignored, I am going to help you”.  She told me that her son did not receive help until he tried to harm himself.  Sitting in the chair bouncing around looking sweet and innocent was my baby.  I wanted help for him.  She asked him a few questions and he bounced in he seat, speaking rapidly jumping from subject to subject, swinging his feet and playing with his hands.  I told her that for as long as I could remember he behaved like that and his physician kept telling me nothing was wrong.  We were referred to a psychologist who diagnosed my 5-year-old with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD. 

I finally agreed to medication therapy and in the beginning it worked.  For about three years medications were increased and even changed  a few times.  I will not give the brand names but the first medication was a type that was gradually released in his system through the day with him having to take a second dose at school.  It worked well until his system got used to it and they kept having to increase it.  Finally a psychiatrist prescribed a Methylphenidate as treatment.  It was stronger than the previous treatment he said but he would only need it once a day.  Young and naive, trusting that a doctor would not put my child in harm’s way, I gave it to him.  That is a decision I will live to regret.  I watched my son closely for side effects from this new medication and noticed that he did not have much of an appetite.  I reported that back to his doctor who in turn instructed me to change the time I gave him the medication.   I did as instructed and his appetite picked up.  After three weeks I noticed that my son was constantly rubbing his eyes until they were red and scratching.  One evening he started saying something was crawling on him.  He scratched until he broke the skin.  We kept reassuring him that nothing was crawling on him and gave him a bath.  He seemed better.  During the night we awoke to him screaming and banging his head on his bed.  He kept yelling, “they keep crawling on me”.  We looked and nothing was there.  I rocked him to sleep and first thing the next morning I had him at the hospital.  By this time we had a new physician and he stated that my son experienced a “psychotic break” from the medication he was prescribed.  He advised me to gradually ween him off the medication because if I suddenly stopped he would experience withdrawals symptoms like that of a heroin addict.  I was floored.  In that moment I felt I had failed my son.  I determined within myself that I was not going to fail him EVER again.  I refuse to medicate him so someone can have an easier time doing their job.

From that moment on I became my son’s advocate.  I stopped giving him medications and refused to let ANYONE tell me he needed them.  They were not there as I cradled him trying to calm him that night.  I worked one on one with his teachers and the schools.  It was tiring with four boys.  Advocating for my son was a full-time job and my other relationships were lacking.  We had many uphill battles for about two years.  In 2008 he was diagnosed with sleep apnea.  His physician said that sleep apnea in children can sometimes cause them to have behavioral issues.  Once he had his tonsils and adenoids removed we noticed a real difference in his behavior.

Today he is medication free.  He is in fifth grade and doing well.  I’m not having to be called to his school often, which is

My big man

 great.  He still has some problems paying attention but he is not as disruptive as he used to be.  NO MORE FITS OF RAGE!  He has lots of friends and his teachers love him.  A long way from years earlier.  He has a loving spirit and deeply cares about the welfare of others.  He is very much into his appearance and loves to look good.  He is very artistic and quite the comedian.  He still loves basketball.  He has a beautiful mind.   He tries hard to control himself because he knows he has a little more energy than most.  We told him that his energy was his super power and that was why he runs so fast.  🙂 His favorite super hero is the Green Lantern.  He recently won 1st place out of the fifth grade classes in his school for his drawing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We’ve come a long way together. He’s doing just fine.

I am in no way saying that medication therapy is wrong.  For some it works great.  For my son it did not.  I try to watch his diet.  We stay away from lots of sweets and soda.  He loves his fresh fruits.  Pineapple and apples are his favorite snack.  I advise parents to try other methods like behavior and homeopathic treatments before placing their children on meds.  I tell them IF they have to use medication to do their research and to watch their child closely.  You MUST BE your childs advocate.  I’m just saying!

An Airman’s Response To Cindy Williams About Military Pay

I received this email from my mother and felt that it was necessary to repost.  Please support our military and their families.  Below is a letter that A1C Michael Bragg,  Hill AFB AFNCC sent to Cindy Williams of the Washington times about Military Pay.  Enjoy:

 This is an Airman’s response to Cindy Williams’ editorial piece in the
Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers
across America .    

  Ms. Cindy William  wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay
raise(s) coming service members’ way this year citing that she stated a 13%
wage increase was more than they deserve.    

  A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get
a bonus for this.   

“Ms  Williams: 

I just had the pleasure of reading your column, “Our GI’s earn enough” and I
am a bit confused. Frankly, I’m wondering where this vaunted overpayment is
going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS
(The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking
my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per
month. After taxes, I take home $874.20.  When I run that through the
calculator, I come up with  an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and
$10,490.40 after.    

  I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team
responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with
infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick
check under jobs for “Network Technicians” in the Washington , D.C. area
reveals a position in my career field, requiring  three years experience in
my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is
being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum………… I’m sure you can
draw the obvious conclusions.    

  Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the
pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.   

Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and
DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military’s lowest
pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of
deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the choice of service
branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month
rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your
family and friends, thus giving you full “deployment experience.”  

  As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and
children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note
that several families are still unsure of how they’ll be able to make ends
meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they’ve been
squandering the “vast” piles of cash the government has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial
favorites. And when you’re actually over there, sitting in a foxhole,
shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you
that there aren’t enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember
this: trade whatever MRE’s (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the
tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything.
This gives some flavor.    

  Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won’t be nearly
long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for
it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the
points you present in your open piece.    

  But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment
right and every other right you cherish…On a daily basis, my brother and
sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your
collective noses at us, all on  a salary that is nothing short of pitiful
and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our
best and brightest into the private sector because we can’t offer the
stability and pay of civilian companies.    

  And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we

A1C Michael Bragg,  Hill AFB AFNCC    

Enough said. I’m just saying!(added by me)