Ah, the fake service dog. Like out-of-sync traffic lights and above-ground power lines, they’re one of those things that make my normally mild British temperament fall by the wayside.
Allow me to rephrase that - it’s not the dogs that make my blood boil, but rather their owners. Who are these people? You’ve probably seen them. For me, the most recent was a lady in the grocery store with a teacup poodle in a Coach purse. Before that, there was the guy in the health food store pushing a Yorkshire terrier in a stroller. A few years ago it was a rather surly gentleman on a bus in Philadelphia. His “service dog” kept trying to attack an elderly passenger’s footed cane. And remember my friend Sue from last week’s column? Yeah, her actual service dog was recently attacked in public by a Corgi wearing a homemade service dog vest.
For the past five or so years, there has been a marked increase in incidents of pet owners who attempt to pass off their unsocialized pets as emotional support animals. Add to that the growing number of handlers who attempt to pass off their emotional support animals as service dogs, and you have the makings of a perfect storm that makes life more difficult for a demographic that already faces considerable challenges: the disabled. If you think I’m exaggerating for effect, think again.
Airline complaints against ESA’s and their handlers have risen steeply, causing many to demand a crackdown. As a response to this very issue, a recent law was passed banning so called service dogs from riding in shopping carts. Another new law makes misrepresenting a pet as a service dog a second-degree misdemeanor.
In all of the events I have personally witnessed, the humans handling these canine culprits shamelessly bullied service providers who were unaware of their rights. They blindsided these hard-working individuals by brandishing letters, threatening lawsuits, and throwing the kinds of public temper tantrums that would put a toddler to shame.
If you are one of these people, I am calling you out. If you would like to leave nasty comments, send me indignant emails, or blow up my social media accounts, be my guest. The traction is awesome and brings lots of hits to my website. I probably won’t bother to respond to you because I don’t have time to be bothered with entitled jerks - and that, my dear imposter, is exactly what you are. If on the other hand, you’re one the many beleaguered employees that has had to deal with said jerks, then listen up.
An emotional support animal is NOT, repeat NOT a service animal. They are not the same thing. ESA’s are NOT working animals. They are pets. For a refresher course on the differences click here.
A service dog has the right to accompany a handler wherever the general public is allowed. ESA’s are pets. If pets are not allowed, then neither are ESA’s. Period! Exceptions are made in matters of housing and air travel, but that’s it.
Emotional support animals are not required to go through any special training - and oftentimes, to be perfectly honest, it shows. If a so-called service dog is barking, sniffing, exploring, socializing, growling, lunging, freaking out at the sight of an old lady’s cane,or doing anything other than focusing exclusively on its handler, it is probably not a service dog.
If the animal is not a service animal, it is not entitled to be there. You can ask them to leave, and you should. This is not just a matter of principle. It’s a matter of complying with the rules and laws that may govern your place of business. Do you really want to be saddled with health code violations and the fines that accompany them because a hyper-attached pet owner just had to bring Fluffy to brunch? No pets allowed means just that. Even legitimate emotional support animals are still pets. You have every right to ask their handlers to leave, even if they get nasty.
If you’re reading this article and wondering what kind of person would risk jail time and fines for the privilege of schlepping their pets around, you’re not alone. As long as they’re promised anonymity, fakers are very frank about their motivations. They often cite reasons such as not wanting to leave their pets home alone, not wanting to hire dog walkers, not wanting to crate-train, separation anxiety (presumably the pet’s!), convenience, not wanting to pay a fee to fly with their pet, or my personal favorite, “This country is so backwards. In Europe, you can bring a dog anywher.!” I’m European and guess what? When my wife and I go out to brunch, we leave our dogs at home. Here’s why:
It’s. The. Law.
Perhaps the all-time prize-winner was the pet blogger who bragged that her fake service dog was the best trained dog she knew. I will not publish her name or the link to the article because I refuse to reward her behavior with money and/or attention, but the long and the short of it was that she felt the privilege of taking her dog in public was her reward for having put so much time and effort into training said dog. The piece reeked of entitlement and sent my blood straight to the boiling point. Thankfully, the author’s self-righteous attitude was ripped to shreds in the comment section, so perhaps the world has not gone completely mad just yet.
I’ll close this article with a missive from a client whom I’ll call Bob. Bob is combat veteran who survived a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and a second in Iraq. He came home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and his service dog has been vital in helping him along the long road to recovery. He explained his frustration with the fake service dog phenomenon as follows:
“When people get burned by a fake service dog team, they develop anti-bodies. Then I come along with my legit service dog, and there’s an issue. They get defensive, or they ask questions they’re not supposed to ask, they give me attitude, they tail me like I’m some kind of criminal. Dude, the ‘S’ in PTSD stands for ‘stress’. I don’t need that “expletive”. And on a bad day, I can’t handle it. I knew when I enlisted that my choice involved risk, so I’m not looking for anybody’s sympathy. I’m looking to get my life back. All I want is for people to respect a set of laws that allows people like me to keep going. I don’t think that’s so terribly much to ask.”
Neither do I.
But if you’re surfing Etsy to find a convincing-looking service dog vest for Snowflake, well, apparently you do. Way to go thanking our wounded warriors for their service. I told you I was going to call you out, and while I realize the animal section is generally a place for feel-good pieces, I hope I made you feel bad about yourself. If I did, don’t despair. The fix is an easy one. Instead of the faker-vest, buy Snowflake a nice fluffy bed and an interesting toy. She’ll have great fun with both when you go out for brunch and leave her - and your “letter”- at home.
For more information about service dogs, please visit the Americans With Disabilities Act’s website.
Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Send him an email by clicking here.
I will not pretend to have answers for your questions about why flags at government/federal building were not placed at half mast. Nor, do I blame anyone for this not being completed in a timely fashion. What I will tell you and explain is that I know as an American I have the right to freedom of speech, the right to stand up for what I believe and start a national movement in a positive light. Now imagine this, for the last 24 hours thousands of people worldwide from different backgrounds, religions, races and beliefs united to help honor the fallen marines from Chattanooga. The main focus of these supporters to help lower the flags to honor the sacrifice of service members they may or may not of known, because in their hearts they knew it was the right thing to do. To me, I smiled each time someone joined the movement knowing that we were finally living the American dream in my mind "United we stand, Divided we fall." To me, that is what America is all about, Uniting as one, together to support, value and respect someone's freedom of speech, the right to their beliefs and the right to stand up for what they love. Way to go, World!
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I have to acknowledge that I have a certain personality and can only accept so much. So, I'll just take small doses of people for a period of time and be thankful for the time I am given.
As a personality type A, I acknowledge I am the following;
Ambitious. High strung. Perfectionist.
Type A individuals are known for rather uptight behavior, but just like any other personality trait, there's more to us than what you see on the surface. To know a Type A person is to love them -- flaws and all. Below are just a few things Type A people want you to know about the personality.
We're not impatient, just efficient.Long lines? Traffic? Type A individuals loathe them all. This is because we feel as though they're slowing our progress of a certain goal, according to John Schaubroeck, a professor of psychology and management at Michigan State University -- even if that goal is just to deposit a check at the ban
2. Arriving late to anything is agonizing.If you tell us to be somewhere at 6:30, more likely than not, we're rolling up to the parking lot at 6:25. Type A folks tend to have an oversensitivity to time, because we don't want to feel like we're wasting it.
3. We live by to-do lists.How else are we supposed to track what we're supposed to get done?!
4. Each task we're assigned is urgent.Because of this, we value team members who work with the same brevity and speed that we do. Once again, wasting time is our ultimate enemy. Type A workers "appreciate individuals that can communicate in a clear, concise and succinct manner," psychologist and project management executive Bernado Tirado wrote in a Psychology Today blog post.
5. We're extremely goal-oriented.Once we commit to something, we see it through until the very end, whether it's a work project or Friday night plans. "[Type A's] are certainly more occupied with achieving outcomes," Schaubroeck previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. "And given that they're so occupied with achieving their goals, it makes sense that they would be more likely to do so."
6. It's hard for us to relax.This is where time sensitivity comes into play again. We hate the idea of letting time pass if there's something we need to be doing, so relaxing in the middle of our workday is a bit of a challenge (but necessary, as research shows). Downtime tends to feel unproductive to Type A folks -- unless, of course, it's on our to-do list.
7. We get stressed out easily.According to Friedman, certain personalities -- like Type A -- are more sensitive to stress (which, as we know, is terribly bad for our health). We also tend to default on the worst possible outcome when working through a situation. Sorry in advance for the slight negativity.
8. We have nervous habits.For me, it's hair twirling. For others, it's nail biting or teeth grinding. This behavior is common for Type A personalities, according to cardiologist and personality researcher Meyer Friedman.
9. We're emotional.The reason we behave the way that we do is because we care (some could even argue that we care just a little too much). Researchers suggest that Type A people are highly conscientious -- so while it may seem like we're uptight when we're organizing our friend's birthday party, it's really just because we want it to be spectacular. They deserve it.
10. We're constantly ruminating over something.You know when you just replay a mistake over and over in your head? This is a common occurrence for Type A individuals. We are notorious for dwelling on our worries, sometimes to the point where it keeps us up at night.
11. We have a competitive side.This is perhaps one of our most glaring flaws. Type A's put a lot of pressure on themselves to be the best possible version of themselves, which sometimes is taken to mean "the best person in the room." It doesn't matter if it's a work assignment or a board game, they're all the same to a Type A personality.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and Type A people are no exception. We mean well though, we promise.
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Via- Topeka Capital Journal
About 150 people heard the message of civic engagement at an event sponsored by Morris Communications and The Topeka Capital-Journal on Wednesday night at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.
The Renaissance of American Responsibility — or ROAR — was spearheaded by former Capital-Journal reporter and editorial page editor Michael Ryan.
Ryan, who worked for The Capital-Journal for 19 years, is now the editorial page editor of The Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga. He helped slate speakers for the event.
Gregg Ireland, publisher of The Capital-Journal, said Ryan was a “big influence” in finding speakers who came from diverse backgrounds and have done “a lot of good things for the community.”
One of those speakers, Melissa Jarboe, founded the Military Veteran Project after the death of her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Jamie Jarboe, in March 2012, 11 months after he was wounded while serving in Afghanistan.
“I think engagement for any type of community is beneficial,” she said before the event.
Jarboe said she hoped her speech would empower people to know they have the power to give back to their community.
“My main focus tonight is going to be freedom,” she said. “How we’re given freedoms as Americans and we should use them freely, because the cost of freedom is very high.”
Jarboe said she felt honored to be a part of the ROAR event and wants to help grow civic engagement in Topeka.
Ireland echoed Jarboe, saying he hoped ROAR would empower citizens to improve the community.
“I hope they get out of it that they can make a difference in their community, they just have to get active and become involved,” he said.
“Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe
In this story book of life, things rarely go as planned. However, the hiccups along the way serve as valuable lessons in our evolution as spiritual beings. Also, the challenges we meet help us appreciate the victories even more, and give us perspective on the beauty within those difficult times. With the complexities of modern life, it’s virtually impossible to avoid some sort of problem.
The key to solving the problems lies in how you deal with them, and the following advice could help you keep things in perspective the next time you feel your like your life is spiraling out of control.
11 Things to Remember When Everything Falls Apart
Other people’s problems are not yours. If you have a strong sense of empathy and intuition, you probably feel obligated to help solve everyone else’s problems. However, this can leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the day, and others might start viewing you as their free personal therapist that they can call at all hours of the night. While showing compassion and support for others is important, you need to find balance between helping others and helping yourself.
Keep going; everything happens for a reason. Even if you feel that life is merely one catastrophe after another, all of these difficulties only serve to test us and make us stronger. They enable us to handle future situations in a better way, and teach us valuable lessons about life. Without struggles, we would not experience growth as human beings.
Pain is temporary. Any situation never lasts forever, whether that be a bad breakup, financial struggles, family arguments, or other issues. No matter what you might be going through, console yourself by remembering that you are the master of your emotions. You can choose to see the silver lining in any situation, and transmute the pain into an opportunity for growth.
There is purpose in your pain.Spiritual teachers in the past commonly advised that we attract what we feel and what we are, so any bad situation we face is often the product of our own thoughts and feelings. This may not always hold true, but oftentimes any negative situation can be looked at as a valuable learning tool and an experience to test our highest selves.
Take a minute to pray or to channel positive energy. No matter what you might face, try to look at the bright side of the situation and call on your angels or spirit guides for higher wisdom. They will help ease your frustration or anxiety about the experience, and calm your energy so you can better handle the situation. Prayer will put things into perspective and remind you that everything on Earth works in mysterious cosmic ways which we can’t always understand.
Worrying creates more problems; faith transforms. No amount of worry will change the situation. It will only leave room for more negative energy and more obstacles to enter your life. Keep a positive mindset and trust that the universe only sends you the experiences that you need to help you transform into the best version of yourself.
“The problem isn’t the problem. It’s your attitude about the problem.” – Captain Jack Sparrow
Maybe you should do exactly what you’re afraid of doing. The only way to experience growth is to leave the comfort zone behind. Sometimes you need to test your limits and throw caution to the wind in order to know your true capabilities. You might unearth newfound passions and totally new sides of yourself that you never knew before by conquering your greatest fears.
The bad days allow you to appreciate the good ones even more. Without bad days, you wouldn’t even recognize the good ones as “good,” because you would only have a limited perspective to go by! The funny thing about life is that we can’t know pleasure without pain, happiness without sadness, victories without struggles, and so on. We live in a dualistic reality, meaning we experience opposite ends of the same spectrum in most aspects of life. Appreciate the full experience that this human realm can offer, because often the worst occurrences unveil the best lessons.
Remember that you have a LOT of influence and power over your life. You don’t have to become a victim of circumstance or succumb to defeat; you have total control over your life and can easily turn a bad situation into a good one. Keep in mind that rainbows only show up after a storm, so you must weather the storm in order to recognize the lessons it holds.
“The most important decision you can make is to be in a good mood.” – Voltaire
If you let yourself get into a negative mindset, you will fall into a victim mentality once again. Resolve to keep your mood up despite your current situation, and the negativity will not have any power over you anymore.
Don’t worry, we all have ups and downs. Just look up and keep going. The next time you feel swamped by the pressures of modern life, just remember that you and millions of others are in the same boat. The best thing to do is to actively create a life you love, and the pressures won’t seem so enormous anymore.
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is simply the keen ability to perceive, control, and evaluate the emotions of yourself and those around you. Some experts believe that a person’s EQ outweighs their IQ in terms of their success and how they fare in social relationships.
While it’s still debatable whether emotional intelligence can be learned or if it’s an inborn characteristic, people with high emotional awareness generally avoid the following actions and behaviors:
1. They don’t let their feelings go unchecked.
According to psychologist and author Daniel Goleman, one of the pioneers of emotional intelligence, self-awareness is one of the five main attributes of those with a high EQ. Essentially, emotionally intelligent people have a high level of mindfulness about their emotions and feelings, and possess a deep understanding of how these feelings affect them and the people around them.
They don’t allow their emotions to get out of hand, and they don’t ever ignore how they feel. They might think more with their heart rather than their head, but this makes them more sensitive to the feelings of themselves and others.
2. They don’t dismiss other people’s feelings.
Empathy, another major characteristic of highly emotionally intelligent people, means that you deeply understand how someone else feels, and try to put yourself in their shoes. People with a high EQ don’t disregard how others feel; on the contrary, they actually want to decode the feelings of others because they have such compassion for them. They can even read people’s emotions on their face and gather information about their emotions based on body language. They can anticipate other people’s needs and are highly perceptive.
3. They don’t allow others to control their emotions.
People with a high EQ, while very sensitive, aim to maintain control of their feelings at all times, no matter what other people may say to them. They don’t let other people rain on their parade; they celebrate life and keep a positive attitude, even if they’re celebrating alone. Emotionally strong individuals have a resiliency about them, and bounce back quickly from rejection, betrayal, and other forms of negativity.
4. They avoid the victim mentality.
Because they have such a high awareness of their emotions, they realize that only they can control how they feel. They don’t blame others if they have a bad day, and they constantly regulate their emotions in order to cope best with what’s going on around them. They redirect negative emotions into a more productive activity or thought, and take full responsibility for how they feel.
They avoid complaining to their friends constantly about situations in their life. They don’t like to spend too much time in self-pity, and they motivate themselves to get out of unfavorable situations.
5. They don’t become complacent.
Emotionally intelligent people work hard to achieve their goals, and don’t allow themselves to stay in a slump. They believe in themselves, work through any fears they may have, and stay motivated to reach the finish line, whatever that looks like to them. They don’t avoid change; they seek ways out of their comfort zone because they know it will facilitate their growth and lead to a better future.
6. They don’t ruminate on their feelings.
Even though emotionally intelligent people stay in tune with their emotions, they don’t keep their focus entirely on their inward world. They know when to shift their attention outward and acknowledge the world around them – they know that living inside their head too much can create problems that were never there to begin with. They remain aware of their feelings, but they don’t let them overtake their entire life.
7. They can quickly identify the cause of their emotions.
They are not only adept at recognizing their emotions, but they can also deduce why they feel a certain way. They always dig a little deeper to uncover the source of their emotions so that they can fully understand why the feelings have come up, and form the best plan of action to take care of them.
8. They don’t engage in unnecessary conflict.
Emotionally intelligent people know that emotions are energy, and realize that they must pick and choose their battles. They only get into heated discussions when they feel that the other person deserves an explanation, or when they have no other choice but to confront the person. They avoid most conflicts, though, because they like to conserve their energy for more positive interactions.
9. Emotionally strong people don’t gossip.
They understand how harmful gossip can be, and know that nothing good can come out of it. They seek out more uplifting, deeper conversations with people, and avoid those that only seem to discuss destructive or petty matters. They simply don’t have the energy for mindless conversation and superficial connections with people.
10. They don’t feel ashamed to say no when they have to.
They realize that people have limits, including them, and they can’t possibly say yes to everyone all the time. They know their boundaries, and honor themselves by sticking to them and only agreeing to activities and tasks that they can reasonably accomplish.
11. They don’t give in to peer pressure.
Just because everyone else does something, they don’t feel compelled to follow suit if they don’t want to. They think independently, and never conform just to please other people. They have a headstrong attitude, and often go against the grain. They rarely agree with what the majority of society does, so they tend to go off on their own and carve their own path.
12. They don’t seek approval from others.
If they want something, they go after it without feeling the need to consult others. They validate themselves, so they don’t require others to do it for them. While they respectfully listen to other people’s opinions, they don’t let other’s views form the basis for their decisions in life. They know that as long as they approve of themselves, they can achieve whatever they desire
These boots are decorated with pictures and personal messages to fallen soldiers from Fort Bragg. Volunteers will be decorating over 7000 pairs of boots for a memorial to be displayed during a 5K race in May.
By Amanda Dolasinski Staff writer | UpdatedYesterday
Big blue and red letters scrawled across the toe of a tan Army boot capture the sentiment of a proud - and heartbroken - family.
"Our Hero!," it reads. "Till we meet again!"
Hanging from the boot laces is a tag with a picture of Sgt. 1st Class Keith Callahan, smiling as he stands in his green Army uniform.
The Callahan family said their goodbyes to the soldier in 2007, but will continue to remember him through a temporary special display at Fort Bragg next month.
About 7,500 boots will honor service members from all branches who have died since 9/11. They will be part of a display organized by Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services and Fisher House during the garrison's May 5k family run.
"I think it's going to be a great tribute," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's survivor outreach group.
The idea for the display came from similar ones at Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Watson said. The SOS pushed for a display at Fort Bragg to coincide with Memorial Day and began collecting boots in March.
Volunteers tie the laces of each boot and stuff an empty water bottle inside to hold the shape.
During an event last month, members of the Gold Star Wives organization decorated boots for their veterans. Family members have been invited to decorate boots to mail or drop off at the office, otherwise the boot will hold just a tag of the fallen service member.
The boots have been packed in storage tubs, which will be taken to Hedrick Stadium field by trucks and unloaded.
Volunteers will place the boots around the stadium, Watson said. Once the boots are laid out, volunteers will attach a personalized tag with the portrait of a fallen soldier, his or her unit and date of death.
The tags will be in sequential order, and markers to separate years of death will be posted, Watson said.
The unloading and display could take volunteers up to four hours, she said.
Leading up to the event, volunteers have been in and out of the SOS building to help tie laces and stuff boots. Watson said she understood there would be 7,500 boots for display, but knowing they represent a service member, has been overwhelmed to see the boots pile up in her office.
"That has been sad for me, knowing we lost so many," she said. "This is an opportunity to pay tribute to the sacrifice."
The boot for Callahan was decorated by his family during the Gold Star Wives event last month. It bears the signatures of his wife and children.
Callahan, 31, a platoon sergeant with 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, was covering his men at a road crossing when he was killed in January 2007. A roadside bomb detonated near Callahan when the unit was south of Baghdad.
It was his fourth deployment to Iraq.
On another boot, a family wrote "Lo Que Sea, Donde Sea, Cuando Sea," which translates to "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" and is the motto for the 7th Special Forces Group.
The boot, which will be displayed in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Pedro A. Munoz, is decorated with patriotic stars and an American flag.
Munoz, 47, of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, died in January 2005 in Shindand, Afghanistan. He was an operations and intelligence sergeant assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group.
Munoz's patrol came under attack while searching a compound near Shindand Airfield in Herat province.
Next to a little hand drawn heart on the heel of the boot are the signatures of Munoz's wife and daughter.
My eyes were opened to world I never knew existed and to hardships I never imagined possible. In the last three years since I created the Military Veteran Project, we have assisted countless wounded warriors, veterans, and active duty service members with reintegration, rehabilitation to help end military suicide. What we learned along the way is merely common sense, but so much common sense we didn't realize it until we had one case come across our desk. A marine veteran reached out to us three weeks before Thanksgiving, he had been living on he streets waiting for an opening at the local VA for treatment for PTSD. Intake volunteers immediately got the location of the veteran and sent a battle buddy to pick up veteran, take him to dinner and find him a transitional place to call home until the VA had openings. While the veteran was receiving services, as a military widow, I wondered "What about his wife?" "Did he have children?" I asked the battle buddy to get more information on the veteran's family, we found out that the veteran had separated from his spouse because of his night terrors and frustration, the wife literally did not know what to do. She did not have the education, support or direction from anyone in the rural area in which they lived in and no one could help. We later found out the veteran had three children, two of which he had never been able to attach to due to multiple deployments and one toddler who has been able to create somewhat of the bond with.
With all the information on the internet and the big push for PTSD treatments and help for the veteran, the Military Veteran Project came to the conclusion, that you can NOT treat the veteran without treating and education the spouse, the children and family. Ten times to one, once you remove the veteran for treatment, take them out of the family environment, the detachment from the family begins. A part of the treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is treating it as a whole, treating everyone involved and slowly rehabilitation and reintegrating everyone into their new normal.
Today, we are happy to report the veteran and his wife are still going to counseling to understand one another, the children are able to spend time with their father and the family is moving forward one day at a time. The Military Veteran Project was able to create change because of the volunteers who dedicate their time giving back to those who have given so much and help a veteran who was ready to accept the help with open arms.
With that, the Hero Football camp was a huge success for the Military Veteran Project, uniting military children and families together for a day of fun, teamwork and outreach.
Military Children make up a very special part of the nations population. Although young, these brave sons and daughters stand in steadfast support of the military parents through moves and deployments. To honor their unique contributions and sacrifices on behalf of our country, April is designated as month of the military child.
The Military Veteran Project hosted a free Hero Football camp with the help of Kevin Lockett to give back to children who have given so much. Children from active duty, deployed, wounded warriors and children who lost a parent in combat were invited to unite for a day of fun and freedom. To learn more how you can help visit http://www.militaryveteranproject.org/#!donate/c1lts
Light up the sky for SSG Jamie Jarboe on Saturday March 21, 2015 I am asking you to take a movement to remember the sacrifice of a man who forever changed my life.
Join the event here >>>>
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.