The Wall: A Distance Runner’s Perspective on Mental Toughness

By Kristen Schafer If you’ve ever trained for a running event then you have probably heard of it before. At the Boston Marathon it is known as “heartbreak hill”, at the 25k national road racing championships it’s called “the green monster”, at the biggest road race in the U.S., Bloomsday, it’s called “Doomsday hill”, but ...

Happy Valentines Day

I’ll never forget the first time my platoon received mail during our 2009-10 deployment to Helmand Afghanistan.  Late one winter night, we were awakened to provide security for a mail convoy coming in. After not receiving any sort of communication from the outside world for the first month and some change, we gladly suited up. ...

Dear Natasha; Your First Valentine’s Day Apart

February 11, 2017: “I’m sorry I got your hopes up for being home on Valentine’s Day” – the text from my husband that morning in the midst of some chaos surrounding a school he’s attending for a month. “It’s okay honey, we’ve gone through worse. There will be plenty of time for us when you ...

How to Have a Great Valentine’s Day Without Your Military Spouse

Long distance relationships are hard, they’re even harder on holidays that are all about love. Grocery stores across the country quickly remind everyone that Valentine’s Day is coming and you must buy; candy, flowers, cookies, cupcakes, a card that sings, a giant teddy bear, and maybe some balloons to show your love for someone. If ...

wife-wwii-letter

Tips on Writing a Modern Love Letter to Your Recruit on Valentine’s Day

“The sight of that shining moon up there—the moon that shines on you, too—fills me with romance—; and even though it’s just a dream now, it’s a promise of a glorious future with one I love more than life. The darned old moon keeps shining for us, darling—and even as it now increases that inescapable ...

Tips for Surviving the Love Holiday Solo

It’s Valentine’s Day...and your significant other is with his other love, the military. Sometimes she can be pretty stingy with their time, but it’s up to us to make the most of every moment. What do you do? Well, you could eat chocolate, drink wine, and watch sappy movies guaranteed to turn you into a ...

How to Thrive in Basic Training (the first step toward Army OCS)

Unlike the Marine Corps, which sends officer candidates directly to Officer Candidate School, the Army requires all officer candidates (who are not prior service enlisted) to attend Basic Combat Training ("boot camp") prior to moving on to OCS. At present, BCT is a 10-week program that focuses on basic fitness, elementary soldiering skills, and military ...

air force dad with wife and three daughters

Wife and kids: the quickest way to earn more pay?

Getting married or having kids could earn you more pay as a military service member. Just don't be hasty.

Proposing at Your Basic Training Graduation: Mistake or the Perfect Time?

It's flashy, it's exciting, it's the combination of two of the most momentous days of your life. But is it also a decision you will regret? Ryan and Jenny Ryan and Jenny first met in biology class in their suburban Georgia high school. Their personal chemistry was evident nearly immediately. Jenny started coming to Ryan's ...

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