Single mothers in the military service the silent battle for their children

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How do you think a soldier feels that has served his or her nation for many years and suddenly loses custody of the child while she is on another continent?  The number of suicides in the military has more than doubled since 9/11.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta associated this with the fact that the Sevicemembers now have to be deployed multiple times continuously to meet the Military’s mission. Once the war in Iraq began and the soldiers started being deployed, the legal cases in the courts related to child custody began to flourish.  The war in Iraq was one of the wars that required some Servicemembers to be deployed for long periods of 12 to 15 months.  This took most by surprise and there were many Servicemembers who did not have an organized plan for their family members.  The Department of Defense makes it mandatory that every Servicemember had to prepare a “Family Care Plan” (this was a breakdown of who will take care of the children while the Servicemember is deployed and how they take care of the children, which began in 1992).  In the same year the Department of Defense stopped the recruitment of single parents in the military.  If a Servicemember becomes a single parent while in military service, she can continue serving.

What the Servicemembers did not know is that the Family Care Plan Power of Attorney document is more of a recommendation then a legally binding contract; it has no validity in court.  There are many single mothers who learned this through legal litigation, and therefore were in the midst of two wars at once; the physical war in the Middle East and the legal war for their children back home.  Many of them inevitably lost custody of their children.  While the Servicemember is in a combat zone, it is at the discretion of their chain of command if they are sent home to participate in the court hearings, and many were denied this opportunity. 

Many of these mothers were single mothers, custodians of their children from birth, and they had many years of military service.  Others had become single mothers while in the military service.  The fact that the Service Member Civil Relief Act does not protect Servicemembers against child custody cases led to the courts to take decisions without having the other part present at the time of the hearings.  When these Servicemembers came back from war, they found young children who did not remember who their mothers were (Especially those with children under 5 years of age).  Parents with court orders allowing the mother to visit her children only a couple of hours per week, limiting exposure.  Some children between the ages of 6 and 11 became emotionally affected and were diagnosed with symptoms of depression and anxiety.  Military children exhibited increased levels of fear and anxiety, decreased academic performance, and problem behaviors at home and at school during the most recent parental deployment.

Today we have been fighting the War on Terror for more than 10 years and the Department of Defense has not prioritized the study and analysis of the children of single parents in the Military. They have specific needs that need to be addressed and have not yet been set as a priority. It is estimated that there are approximately 156,000 Soldiers who are single parents.  There is still no federal law that protects Servicemembers from being sued for custody of children while they are in a combat zone.   A federal law would standardize every state to have the same rules in regards to this matter.  The “Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act” was drafted by a group of lawyers and judges, but it is not a sustainable legal document in court.  It’s just a legal recommendation.  So far, the only thing helping out is the commitment of some senators who have created individual legislation that have become laws in different states.  There are still states that do not have any laws at all.  Not all states have a similar law, which has made the job of the Servicemembers who are single mothers uncertain.  Given that the law that applies to where you live depends on the person who will care for their child the next time they will be deployed to a combat zone.

For those Servicemembers who lost their children in the past, the battle to get their children back is in their own hands.  The Department of Defense is doing little or nothing to help them out.  They are not involved in civil legal cases regarding this matter.  They do not provide legal assistance regarding child custody cases, even in cases when the military system did not allow soldiers to participate in the court hearings.  They do not keep a record of how many Servicemembers are suffering from this situation.  To be an agency that does not discriminate against single parents and have all intentions to support their troops; these are the small things that people are asking for.  They have been asking for it for too many years and no action is being done about it.

When are single mothers going to be important enough for the Department of Defense to take action on these issues?  A child is the most important thing a human being has.  We should not criminalize the work that the Servicemember does, especially the work of a single mother who works as a soldier with dignity.  Only 1% of the American population accepts the challenge of defending their nation.  This work is difficult enough, to do it while you are the mother and father of a child makes you a special person.  It is sad to see how the government itself does not give them the respect and support they deserve, these heroines of our day.

http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-department-of-justice-protect-soldiers-from-being-legally-sued-for-child-custody-while-deployed

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Every child is an artist…. step by step tutorial on how I did a motivational wall for a kid.

Every child is an Artist… Step by step how to do a motivational wall

 
 
 

 Every child is an artist (words of Pablo Picasso) they are all over the internet this is how i did my wall for my son. Is very important to promote and let them know that their expression through art is important. this will be an awesome way to do it. I use to put them in the fridge but after a while you just have one fridge and many kids. Now problem solve. Each one have their own wall to expose their art and renew their work when ever they have a better masterpiece.

 
I use different styles to write my quote. The one i pic is from Pablo Picasso. I love it. Because it is for my little one I try to do it fun and vibrant. 
 
 
The beginning I use a stencil. Wish i tape to a specific area that i previously color with brown. After i tape the stencil i proceed to color the inside of the stencil with a very small piece of sponge. 
 
 
The next part I cut foam squares and letters using the same stencils. I glue the letters to the squares with the hot gun and then to the wall. The hot glue will make your paint come off once you have to remove what ever you have to take out. So make sure to place the squares in the correct place. Mark in the wall where you want the squares to go before you start working with the hot glue.
 
With nails I write the last word. That way I can mark it with thread. ribbon, hemp or any other material. 
 
 
To finalize I add some stars rocket, airplane, truck with some diamonds to make it more magical. The area to hang his art is made out of a picture hanging kit. it have two small hooks in the corner and the long metal wire I hang his pictures with wood clothe pins that i paint. 
 
 
 
 My son love it! Now he is Mami’s super fan and I am his super fan too. There is nothing more beautiful than trusting in those little steps your little one do today. Who know? Maybe tomorrow he might be a real Picasso. 🙂
 
 
 
 
 
 

There i was fulfilling my addiction to the most awesome website ever known. I think i log my self to Pintrest three, four, five times a day. What is new? Decor, Crafts, Fashion, Photos,etc After having a Bachelor degree in communications (that i never use) because i decide to be a soldier. Now that i am retired Pintrest is that website who fill that passion in me. With creative new ideas. That make my heart skip a beat. 

But the dream didn’t last too long when suddenly i got in contact with this other website. Heap Sugar Network: 

I KNOW EVERYTHING IS IN CHINESE…. I KNOW YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING AND LIKE ME YOU START FEELING LIKE A CHEATED WIFE WHO IS ABOUT TO FIND OUT SOMETHING BIG. (BUT DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE IT SO I LOOK AT THE PICTURES AND SOME OF THEM LOOK FAMILIAR. AND JUST WHEN I WAS ABOUT TO CLOSE THE WEBSITE CAUSE IT WAS IN CHINESE. GOOGLE CHROME ASK ME…. DO YOU WANT TO TRANSLATE TO ENGLISH? AND I HIT YES! ….

http://www.duitang.com/home/

From there my life would never be the same. All those Pins that i share in Pintrest most of them are from the chinese website. Picture by picture, word by word, art by art, wish cause me to have an EGG moment in my life. Who did this first? Who is the author? Who is the artist? All this time following all this ladies because like my grandmother and my mother they were master crafters and ….. here it is….. in the other side of the world there is some one who claim doing the same work. It is impossible Half of the pintrest population is related to the China heap sugar Population….. so what ever it is…. someone break my egg. And i wish to know who came first The Chicken or the Egg? Are the Chinese crafters the original ones or the American ones? You can be the judge….. Like this one That i love and i did a baby shower with it because is beautiful. 

tissue rosette kissing balls
 
 
You can find the instructions for this gorgeous craft int the american blog: http://www.theidearoom.net/2011/01/tissue-rosette-kissing-balls.html
 
 
My opinion, I vote that the chinese people stole this from Ms Amy Huntley and her Idea room. The date on her blog is older than the chinese one. and her post have a complete detailed explanation of how to do this. It is totaly shameful because she is the mother of five kids! with a husband who travels. 
 
the paper flower
this one is easy to spot …. (hint)the instructions are in chinese….
 
 
 
Just to mention an example.If you go to Pintrest and at the same time to the Heap Sugar Network (the chinese website) you will find that there is lots of similar post. I play the drama about the Chicken and the Egg I really don’t care who did it first. Because maybe none of them did. Crafts and art is like history. Is passed generation by generation from elders to young people. Someone teach you the crafts you know today. That is how i learn the millions of crafts that i know. Crafts, art and history tell the story of a person. What they like, where they have been, who they have meet, etc. It is ok to share your crafts that is the purpose of most of this websites. That is the main purpose of this blogs. We live in a society where old crafters are dying with the knowledge in their hands. Because technology do everything so easy. School don’t teach manual labor or crafts anymore.We have kids graduating as doctors but  don’t know how to boil an egg or put back a button in a shirt.
 
What is wrong with this websites is to not give credit to the people who did the effort to pass on a knowledge. If you learn something from someone just say it. mention it. I learn this from …. And that’s it.  Because is very disrespectful for somebody to wake up some day an realize that his work that is a family tradition is somewhere else claimed by somebody else that you don’t even know. That is called STEALING.  Who stole what from who. That would be Gods work to do (or the pertinent authorities) and all the people doing it have a conscience. But is very disappointing to see. This because it takes credibility out of the person. What this two websites prove is that we cant believe all we see but we must try to be as honest as we can and every time we craft. Give credit to who ever deserve the credit.  Hoping tomorrow i don’t appear in China…… unless someone buy me a ticket for a family vacation.   🙂

Cheated on Pintrest…. What a turn off!! what am i going to do with the chicken and the egg?