Sunday, December 7, 2014

Uncle Sam Wants You

On the DoD’s Bloggers Roundtable discussion on December 4, 2014, Major General Allen Batschelet, U.S. Army Recruiting Command commanding general, spoke of the recruitment issues facing all U.S. military branches and especially the all-volunteer U.S. Army.

Only three young men and women in 10 in the targeted age group of 17- to 24-year-olds currently meet the eligibility requirements (morally, cognitively, physically). Soon, due to issues such as obesity, only two in 10 will be eligible.

In addition, U.S. Army recruitment is hampered by unfamiliarity with the career opportunities in military service or a military career. Serving in the U.S. military is becoming somewhat of only a family tradition.

Currently 79% of recruits have family members who served in the military. General Batschelet explained that this could be troubling as it is not as representative of the U.S. as it should be. This is especially true if the Army is to remain a volunteer institution rather than one with a draft.

The general also explained that an adult influencer is the key. Currently 80% of a recruit’s decision to enter the military is influenced by a trusted adult person.

When it was my turn to ask a question of the general, I brought up what I consider a key issue in overall U.S. military recruitment for an all-volunteer Army:

There is a huge American population that has never had any connection to the U.S. military. Most of these Americans do not have the required knowledge to advise potential recruits.

Yes, it was different during World War II when most able-bodied men served and the population was daily aware of what the U.S. military was undertaking.

Today U.S. military humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts worldwide are not top-of-the news. Because of this lack of awareness, many Americans no longer understand the need for a capable all-volunteer Army.

Outreach efforts to expand awareness

The military, including the Army, has a tremendous advertising budget to encourage recruitment. I believe that a small part of that budget needs to be invested in innovative projects that can expose the general population in a variety of positive ways to the U.S. military.

I have sent a proposal to General Batschelet for a project based on this urgent need to spread military awareness throughout the general U.S. population. I do believe that, especially thanks to the Internet, there are many innovative options available for a forward-thinking military recruitment effort based on educating the entire American population.

I look forward to hearing back from the general.

© 2014 Miller Mosaic LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks and her author site is at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com She may be reached at pzmiller@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

For Military Family Month – Check Out Resources at MILITARY ONE SOURCE

For Military Family Month the DoD Bloggers Roundtable featured Rosemary Freitas Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy.

While Ms. Williams shared numerous programs and resources, when I asked what was the best starting point for someone who needed help with PTSD or TBI, she replied Military One Source at www.militaryonesource.mil/

The Military One Source 24/7 phone consultants at 800-342-9647 are extremely well-trained to help, and, if you agree to a follow-up call, will follow up with you within three days of your call.

Click on the CONFIDENTIAL HELP link at the top of the site for this information:

Confidential services, including non-medical counseling and specialty consultations, are available through Military One Source. Eligible individuals may receive confidential services at no cost.

Non-medical Counseling
• Face-to-Face Counseling
• Online Counseling
• Telephonic Counseling

Specialty Consultations
• Adoption
• Adult Disability Care
• Education
• Elder Care
• Health and Wellness Coaching
• Special Needs
• Wounded Warrior

Other Services and Counseling
• Document Translation
• Financial Counseling
• Language Interpretation Services
• SECO Counseling
• Tax Services

Ms. Williams stressed the confidentiality of the non-medical counseling, including not sharing the information with chain of command even if requested. (The exception for confidentiality is where there is concern for the safety of the individual or others.)

I was also impressed with her focus on care tailored for a specific family member within a family-centric care approach.

If you need help for yourself or a family member, do call 800-342-9647 now.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wall Street Journal Article re Coping With PTSD

The September 13-14, 2014, Wall Street Journal front page carried the article “Coping With PTSD: Vets Try New, and Unproven, Ways to Heal the Wounds of War” by Michael M. Phillips and Shirley S. Wang.


The headline of the September 12th online version of the article states: “War Veterans Try Yoga, Hiking, Horseback Riding to Treat PTSD: Pressure Builds on Department of Veterans Affairs to Expand Range of Treatments Beyond Drugs and Talk Therapy”


As many of you know, I often write about PTSD, and I have a proposed reality TV series HEALING OUR HEROES designed to showcase innovative PTSD treatments being done in the greater Los Angeles area. Whenever I meet with people who might be interested in this project, I do “pitch” it.

The Wall Street Journal article includes these two paragraphs:
The therapies may sound far-fetched. But vets and alternative-medicine advocates are pressuring the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand the range of treatments for those who can't find relief in the standard regimen of drugs and talk therapy.


“We are greatly saddened because we know how to help” said Dick Tomlinson, the former head of business development for Brain State Technologies, an Arizona firm seeking congressional help persuading the VA to try its so-called brain-wave optimization technology, which uses sounds to soothe patients. “But accessing the federal government is an enormous challenge, even when our vets' lives, and those of their families, are at stake.”
A main objective of my proposed reality series HEALING OUR HEROES is to help spread information on innovative PTSD treatments to encourage other areas of the country to consider offering these treatments.

I do hope that this Wall Street Journal article will help speed up the process of making innovative PTSD treatments available.

Click here to read for free on Wattpad my PTSD short story SOLOMON'S JUSTICE. (The story is an adaptation of a pilot TV drama script for a show of the same name.)


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Master Sergeant: Research and Do Not Give Up on Getting Help for Invisible Wounds

Master Sergeant Aaron Tippett’s wife, a soldier herself, told her husband he needed help as he ex exhibiting the classic symptoms of PTSD – agitation, sleep issues, anger, outbursts, headaches.

He tried in 2005 but didn’t get the help he needed.

In 2008, after another deployment with cumulative effects, he did get the help he needed. Now he is taking part in the Real Warriors’ campaign of encouraging service members to get help for “invisible wounds.”

In a DoD’s Bloggers Roundtable discussion, when I asked about advice the master sergeant would give others, he said:

“Research and do not give up. I gave up [the first time]. But why give up when you don’t give up in other things? It is only going to get worse.”

The master sergeant also said, “Getting help is stronger than not getting help. It is a much stronger thing to do to reach out.”

And he added that there are service members and veterans who know him and have heard that he got help who have now gotten help themselves.

Also taking part in the roundtable was Nancy St. Claire, Chief Operating Officer of Real Warriors’ campaign partner Give an Hour, an organization founded by Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.

Thanks to Give an Hour, psych professionals donate their time to service members and their loved ones in total anonymity with no records kept. At this point there are 7,000 clinicians donating their time, and a conservative estimate is of 110,000 hours of free counseling service already provided.

At www.giveanhour.org you can search for providers near you, and if you cannot find one, email info@giveanhour.org for help.

For the stories of other service members who have gotten help for invisible wounds, go to www.realwarriors.net

And if you are exhibiting signs of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, do get help. As Master Sergeant Tippett said, he is telling his story to help break the stigma about getting help.


P.S. For more info about PTSD see my site www.SolomonsJustice.com

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Friday, June 20, 2014

Starting October 1 in Connecticut Patients Will Be Asked Veteran Status

Finally, something that makes so much sense in order to give veterans better medical care that, once heard, it is obvious that all medical facilities need to do this.

The June 19, 2014, article by Peggy McCarthy in The Courant titled "To Improve Patient Care, CT Hospitals Will Ask: Are You a Veteran?" begins:

Connecticut hospitals will be required to ask all patients if they are veterans, under a new state law that takes effect Oct. 1.

The law is part of a nationwide effort conceived by the State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz to make private health providers aware that they are treating veterans, since most veterans don't go to federal Veterans Health Administration facilities. The goal is to improve veterans' diagnoses and health care because military experiences are linked to certain illnesses, she said.

Schwartz said veterans don't always know about health risks connected to their military service and that health providers need to become educated about them.

The article also states:

In addition to the state law, Schwartz convinced the American Academy of Nursing to undertake a national awareness campaign informing health providers of illnesses connected to military service. Called "Have You Ever Served," nurses are distributing pocket cards and posters to doctors and hospitals where they work. They provide detailed information about physical and mental illnesses linked to eras and locations of military service, suggested questions to ask patients, and resources for veterans.

Let's hope this question becomes routine at medical facilities across the U.S. and that, if the answer is yes, the medical staff takes this into consideration.

Read the entire article now.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Friday, June 6, 2014

In Honor of the Anniversary of D-Day: Excerpt From Cold War Memoir

Chapter 27 of my Cold War memoir TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY begins with a visit to the D-Day beaches of Normandy in April 1972:


Mitch and I stood at the site of the Allied D-Day invasion during World War II — the audacious landing in Normandy that began on June 6, 1944, and eventually led to the end of the war.

We were the only ones here on this windswept French landscape, the five landing beaches spread below us as Mitch explained the invasion to me.

When we reached Pointe du Hoc, a 100-foot cliff with Nazi concrete gun batteries still visible at the top, I gasped.

“To get off the landing boats and face this cliff, they had to know they would die,” I said.

Mitch nodded. “Tremendous casualties here.”

Then he added, “By the time my father landed in France, Normandy was already secured.”

The enormity of this military operation was almost too much to imagine, especially as the surrounding landscape was now so barren.

Equally disquieting was the thought that the success of the invasion did not immediately end the war. The Allied forces had to fight the Nazis for 11 more months after D-Day.

And the ultimate victory was not soon enough to save Anne Frank, whose hiding place in a secret annex Mitch and I had just visited in Amsterdam.

Betrayed by an informer, Anne and the others had been arrested two months after the D-Day invasion, on August 4, 1944. Then Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, weeks before the British liberated the camp and two months before the Nazi surrender.

Mitch and I turned away from the desolate landscape.

Click here to read the entire Cold War memoir for free on Wattpad now.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Honoring Our Troops Today and Every Day: Military Films for Memorial Day


Here is my recommended listing of film documentaries, feature films and TV documentaries supportive of our troops. The shows have been vetted by me before being placed on my site InSupportOfOurTroops.com


Click on the name of each film to see a video clip if available along with information about the film:

Film Documentaries

"American Widow Project" Documentary

“Brats: Our Journey Home” Documentary

“Brothers at War” Documentary

“Fighting for Life” Documentary

“Hallowed Grounds” Documentary

"Restrepo" Documentary

"Striking a Chord" Documentary

"The Invisible War" Documentary

"The Way We Get By" Documentary

“War Dogs of the Pacific” Documentary

"Wartorn 1861-2010" Documentary

Feature Films

"Everyman's War" Feature Film

"Lifted" Feature Film

"Taking Chance" Feature Film

"The Dry Land" Feature Film

“The Hurt Locker” Feature Film

"The Messenger" Feature Film

"The Landscaper's Daughter" Short Feature Film

Television Documentaries

"The Real World Presents: Return to Duty" Documentary

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com