How to Create a Family Care Plan for Caregivers

Whether it’s a deployment or training, sometimes our military careers take us away from loved ones and we leave them in the care of others. A family care plan is designed to guide caregivers, providing the important details about child care, school, medical care and family activities. An official family care plan is required for military members and it must be kept up to date. Find your service’s family care plan guidance below: Army Family […]

Make a Home Accessible With Department of Veterans Affairs Programs

If you’re disabled, it is important to feel comfortable at home. Depending on your unique needs, modifications such as a wheelchair ramp, wider doorways or even a special doorbell can make a big difference in your accessibility at home. The Department of Veterans Affairs promotes independent living for disabled veterans through several programs. Based on your disability, you may be eligible for a grant to make modifications to your home. Here are a few possibilities […]

Exceptional Family Member Program – Special Needs – Resources

If your military family has a family member or child with special needs, there are numerous resources, services and programs available to help you. But where do you start? Here are some top resources. The Exceptional Family Member Program Sometimes half the battle of managing your family member’s care is knowing what resources and services are available and how to access them. The Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, is a great place to begin. […]

Knowing What He’ll Miss

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN The dream I had the other night was not for me. I think the dream was what I felt inside for Broden. He will miss it. He will miss the feeling of excitement of asking a girl to the dance and hearing her say yes. I had a strange dream the other night. I walked into an empty locker room to change my clothes. I grew frustrated because I […]

Giving Your Child A Happy, Healthy Start

Every mother and father wants to raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child. Service members are no exception. Since most healthy behaviors are developed in childhood, you can help your child get off to a good start with good habits, actions and choices to promote health and happiness. Here are some ways to help your kids get healthy and happy. START WITH NUTRITION Health and happiness begins with good nutrition. Healthy foods provide the building blocks […]

Helping Parents In Military Families To Decrease Stress And Anxiety

It’s all about putting the pieces together to build strong systems of support. BY ANGELA SHAW AND REANNA SHAW The implicit theme of the military family is one that tackles challenges head-on, thrives upon flexible thinking, and builds resiliency and independence, but the military life is packed with more than perseverance and adventure-filled moments. Though the military life is a fulfilling and exciting one, it is also a life that is in a constant state […]

Never Forgotten

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN Gram passed away Christmas morning. She was 101 years old. She was born in 1916, when people with disabilities were probably never discussed in public forums and the concept of inclusiveness wasn’t possible. I remember it like it was yesterday. Mark and I visited his Gram, Dorothy, in Montana because we didn’t know how much longer she would be with us. She was almost 100 years old, living alone […]

Resources For Military Families: A Path To Advocacy For Your Child

“Organizations are people, so as you move, conditions change, service options change, and the people that you are working with will change. Always remember this so as you are planning your transition, realize that you are building a new network of resources each time you move.” BY SHELLY L. HUHTANEN Military families are in a continuous mode of transition. Either a parent is training for a deployment, on a deployment, or coming back from a […]

Better Late Than Never

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN As I take myself back to the store the other day, dragging my dress behind me with my sunken eyes and my weathered face due to years of crying, laughing and smiling, I can honestly say I have tried. I have tried to speak up about what families with special needs children need. The other day, I did something I don’t do very often. I went shopping for myself […]

The Whole Story

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN This is the story of autism that we need to hear, not just the young adult with autism that is a surgeon… We need to hear the whole story, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I had seen the new show on television entitled The Good Doctor. I told them I hadn’t since I don’t watch too […]