Since April 10, 2011 not only my life changed but my body took a toll.... I can still remember the moment I received the phone call the day Jamie was shot, then the first time I would see him in the hospital. paralyzed from the chest down... I can still feel the shock that surged my body the first time he opened his eyes and screamed in agony.. I can remember every single moment of the eleven months I spent in the hospital with him, the moments we laughed, the moments we cried and the moments I just sat in a chair next to his bed giving thanks to God for letting him make it home to American soil.
For eleven long months my senses were heightened, not only did I have to care for myself, I had to care for my husband, my daughters and those around me... because it just came natural. My body constantly changed with out me even noticing and beyond my control.
The day Jamie died, my body once again changed.. this time my mind let it go numb and not feel pain. My body allowed my head to be held high knowing that my husband was willing to die for his country with honor. My body allowed me to smile when the sun shined, the wind blew and the rain fell from the heavens, knowing I was able to live a life denied to many. While my body enjoyed the sheer moments of heaven when the sun shined, my mind stayed in the last moments of Jamie's life lingering, hoping that if I worked hard enough, helped more and gave my life selflessly just like Jamie served his country, maybe he could come home from this deployment and I could wake up from this dream. Maybe I could right all the wrongs in our lives by stopping my life and giving hope to others who lost it.
Maybe, each day after Jamie took his last breath, my body died a little bit at a time and before I even knew it I was dead inside. Answering each call of distress from a wounded warrior, veteran or family members in a moments notice, watching as a little boy held his Iraqi Veteran father's hand while his dad laid in severe pain from depleted uranium, hearing the screams of a young wife begging her soldier not to take his life, looking into the eyes of a marine struggling with survivors guilt knowing he can't see me, consoling a wounded warrior's mother within hours of her receiving the heart wrenching phone call of her daughter being injured. Yea, you can say my body took a toll, but I made that decision to let it. At any time I could have walked away, I had the choice to make and I chose to stay.
I chose to accept the hardships, the struggles and help carry the burden.
I would make the same choice a thousands times over to serve, to help and to live my life the same way knowing that I can do something, no one ever did for Jamie and I .. I can choose to give hope. My body will heal, I am able to walk, talk, breathe and eat on my own.. there are many who can not do any of those let alone one of those. .
Tonight, I am in the comforts of my own home resting with family and friends healing after a day of successful surgery and I feel blessed.
There are no words to express the gratitude I have to each and everyone of you for your well wishes, love and ongoing support. It is because of you each day I am able to wake up knowing a difference can be made and a life can be changed. Isn't life a beautiful thing?
Via Michael Kaplan
Our country is suffering from an enormous deficit that’s growing exponentially every year. I’m not speaking of our mind-boggling foreign debt, nor am I speaking of our dwindling supply of intellectual capital. I am referring to the deficit in Corporate America of the brave and pioneering leadership that made the United States the premier global economy.
The most unfortunate piece of this reality is that we don’t suffer from a lack of qualified leadership to lead us back into economic prosperity. Rather, an insulated business community doesn’t truly understand that this resource is readily available.
Recruiters and Human Resource personnel can debate indefinitely regarding which Ivy League institutions have the best business schools in the country, and which produce the most highly qualified graduates. That said, I believe very few people will disagree that the top leadership training program in the United States is, and will continue to be, the U.S. Military.
Given the fact that we have no shortage of MBA graduates – yet we still show signs of a deficit in true business leadership – I have a suggestion for our business and corporate communities.
Start hiring proven leaders and teach them your business instead of hiring business graduates and praying they become leaders.
There are 6 lessons in particular that I leaned in the military which I’ve found to be critical in my 25-years of business experience. Irrespective of the position or career level, these lessons apply to every business model.
1. Taking the first step is always the most difficult decision.
Ideation without execution has no value, and they’re many more “dreamers” than “doers.” Those who don’t hesitate in taking the first step – taking the difficult assignment and accepting additional responsibility – are a valuable commodity. The military teaches this to its personnel every day. It’s called “LEADERSHIP.”
2. Accepting RISK is a requirement, tolerating RECKLESSNESS is not.
In the business world, the ability to be able to make a distinction between mitigated risk and recklessness is critical: mistakes in judgment can cause entire business units to lose millions of dollars and fail. The military teaches this to its personnel every day. It’s called “LEADERSHIP.”
3. Faith in your team, training and equipment significantly reduces fear.
It doesn’t matter if your business employs business consultants, hair stylists or vehicle mechanics. Those employees who have developed this mindset manage their fear response and stress levels much more effectively than those who haven’t. The military teaches this to its personnel every day. It’s called “LEADERSHIP.”
4. Never forget the reason you decided to pursue your mission.
Intolerable conditions exist in all business environments: abusive managers, terrible clients and co-workers who would sell out their soul (and you along with it) at the first chance possible. Many times, the first reaction is to quit … unless you have the mindset to persevere. The military teaches this to its personnel every day. It’s called “LEADERSHIP.”
5. Despite the best planning, unforeseen things happen.
Things regularly go wrong in the world of business. Pipes break, contracts fall through and expected promotions don’t happen as planned. It can be confusing, stressful and even demoralizing. The employees who survive these situations psychologically are the ones who have been trained to do so. The military teaches this to its personnel every day. It’s called “LEADERSHIP.”
6. Successful accomplishments make the journey worth the effort.
While this lesson may seem the most obvious, it is also the most difficult to follow. One can never truly know this until one has survived the adverse circumstance and persevered until successful. After numerous adversities and numerous successes, this belief becomes intrinsic and non-negotiable. A textbook on business leadership may convey this concept, but it can’t convey the experience that makes it real. The military teaches this to its personnel every day. It’s called “LEADERSHIP.”
I fully understand that graduates of our country’s top “leadership school” must still acquire the education and skills necessary that will allow them the opportunity to be successful in the civilian business world. With all due respect to Corporate America and the Ivy League business schools, however, the coveted skills piece is the easy part.
The mindset, character and experience that create true leaders of industry are what are missing. And that’s the piece our country most desperately needs.
The next time your company is required to choose between a 24-year old MBA with no life experience, and a leader willing and able to acquire the skills you need, choose wisely.
Cultivating the next generation of business leaders who can lead our country onto a path of economic prosperity is the primary line-item of your job description that matters most.
Michael Kaplan is the author of “The Prior-Service Entrepreneur” and the creator of “The Fundamentals of Veteran Entrepreneurship” training program. You’re invited to connect with Michael on LinkedIn and review some of his previous articles listed below.
5 Lessons the Special Forces taught me about Business
Mother of two daughters here and trying to juggle a busy, healthy and happy lifestyle! I saw this recipe, so I had to try it! I got out my cupcake pan, poured a little bit of virgin olive oil, sprinkled black pepper, placed pieces of kale and cut small pieces of turkey then after the oven was preheated to 350 degrees and watch the yumminess bake for 15 minutes!
Make A Week’s Worth Of Healthy Egg Breakfast Sandwiches in 15 Minutes
I stumbled across this brilliant little idea on Amy’s Kitchen Creations where you can easily make these awesome egg breakfast sandwiches for an entire week in 15 minutes. Sort of like McDonald’s Egg Muffins. The eggs will be ready to go each morning. Just grab your english muffin or bread of choice and you’re good to go. So easy and quick. Perfect for large families too!1
1. Spray your muffin pan with some non-stick cooking spray.
2. Throw in Spinach if desired (The spinach sticks right to the cooking spray… No floating!)
2. Crack one egg into each well.
3. Sprinkle the eggs with a little salt & pepper or whatever seasonings that you’d like.
4. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.
5. You could cook them for a bit less if you wanted a runny yolk.
Store your cooked eggs in a tupperware container in the refrigerator for about a week. Use your judgement though. If they look/smell bad, I wouldn’t eat them. If you can’t get to them in a week then freeze them. I haven’t tried this myself, but I heard it works just fine.
1. Toast your English Muffin or bread of choice
2. Microwave your eggs for about 30-45 seconds (microwave times vary)
3. Enjoy a tasty breakfast in less than a minute (maybe longer depending on how long it takes for the muffin to toast )
More Ideas And Options
Let me know if any of you guys try this and what you think!
The question plaques me at times and at other times never bothers me. Knowing that it's been nearly three years since I last felt Jamie's touch, his love and looked into his eyes.
How do widows date? Better yet, how do you trust or let someone into your life when you have devoted your life to honoring your husbands sacrifice?
Let me guess, you're going to tell me to try, take a chance and when it's meant to be.. It will be.
For those of you who have read my book, you know Jamie's three last wishes and I know he was right.
Here's the link to my book, if you want to read it..
Women, we brace ourselves for the worst, proceeding with extreme caution during the first few months, for fear of falling victim to the aforementioned debauchery in which so many men partake.
It’s a welcome relief, then, when we stumble upon those few true gentlemen. They exude chivalry with even their smallest actions, and remind us that there are still good ones out there.
It doesn’t take a grand gesture or costly display of affection to win a girl over. Often, it just takes a little sincerity and display of genuine romantic interest.
Despite popular opinion, chivalry is not dead — here are 9 everyday gestures of men that prove it:
1. Opening doors
A guy who takes the time to come around and open the car door for you is a keeper, not to mention a commodity this winter.
With certain states getting up to five inches of snow an hour, do you want to be left standing outside in a blizzard while your date gets nice and toasty in the driver’s seat?
Recognize and appreciate a guy who puts your comfort and well-being first, even if it’s just for a few extra seconds.
2. Saving the last bite of food
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So, when he saves the last bite for you, it’s basically him saying he likes you more than whatever meal is in front of him. Which, for the record, is a lot.
3. Spending time with your family
A guy who shows an interest in your baby photos, coaches your little brother on how to throw a football and compliments your mother’s cooking is a guy who’s in it for the long haul. These are small gestures, but they speak volumes about his intentions.
4. Suffering through a girly movie
When a man volunteers to endure a girly show or movie because he knows you’ll enjoy it, he earns major bonus points. (Even more if he does so without complaining or expecting something in return.)
5. Sending flowers
I’m not talking about the $100 bouquet you get on Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about the grocery store assortment he picked up on a random Tuesday while thinking of you. There’s just something about unexpected flowers that makes a girl smile.
6. Walking on the outside of the sidewalk
The first time someone does this, you will probably be confused. But then you’ll start to question how come other men in your life have never been concerned about positioning themselves in such a way that you’d be protected should curbside tragedy strike.
It’s not a must, but it’s certainly nice to have.
7. Kissing your forehead
Sure, if you’re hoping to date someone and he does this, it can be a dreaded sign of sibling-like affection.
But, if you’re in a long-term relationship and your guy does this, it’s a small gesture that can make you feel adored.
8. Filling up your gas tank
Much like walking on the outside of a sidewalk, this gesture will probably surprise you the first time it’s performed.
It’s indicative of a man who was raised right and is generally courteous, which is always a welcome surprise.
9. Putting your jacket on
Women are fully capable of putting their own jackets on, but it’s not a question of ability. It’s gentlemanly and kind for someone to hold out your jacket for you or offer you theirs when it’s cold.
These are little ways men show they care, the same way women have instincts to nurture and protect loved ones.
Chivalry is not dead; men can be everyday knights in shining armor. You just have to learn to spot the subtle, more meaningful gestures.
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.