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Military Parenting
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Since 2015, Elaine Brye's book "Be Safe, Love Mom" has been the go-to for common sense advice for military moms. Grand Junction Barnes and Noble usually has this book in stock.

Her Facebook page and website are also a wealth of information. Be sure to download her free Military Parenting 101 e-book!

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Be smart about news.

Use legitimate and official military news for information. These include official branch news sites, your service member's official unit Facebook page, and legitimate military news sources such as the Military Times and it's associated branch sources. 

Be cautious of news you receive through social media and online military parenting groups. If you can't verify it through legitimate military news sources, do not repost it.

Army News   Marine News   Navy News   Air Force News

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OPSEC.

Do you know this term? If you don't, as a military parent or family member you should stop what you are doing and learn about it right now. OPSEC is a shortened military term for "Operational Security" and impacts every family member and friend of a United States service member. Not knowing or understanding your OPSEC responsibilities puts your service member at risk.

OPSEC is a warfighting capability used to identify and protect military “bits and pieces” of sensitive information from people who wish to do harm. This sensitive information, if collected by an adversary, can provide them with indicators pointing to future activities and give them an advantage. It's not being dramatic to state that lapses of OPSEC can (and have in the past) led to mission failure and even the death of military members. OPSEC protects this information.

  • Don’t share specific information about the mission of assigned units

  • Don’t share specific dates and locations of deployments

  • Don’t list your service member’s specific job on the internet

  • Don’t share your service member’s exact location overseas

  • Don’t share anything about unit morale or equipment

  • Don’t share anything about deployment schedules or itineraries

  • Don’t share exact dates your service member is scheduled to return from deployment

Why shouldn’t you talk about these things? Adversaries are experts at collecting and connecting “bits and pieces” of data. The small, seemingly harmless piece of information a family member provides may be the final puzzle piece. It can mean the difference between our military keeping the element of surprise and mission success… or failure. So, what can you talk about? Keep it simple. As a rule of thumb, the vaguer you are - the better. Generic answers are better than providing exact details. Avoiding certain topics isn’t being rude, its about keeping our troops safe.

SOURCE: OPSEC AWARENESS FOR FAMILIES (Mesa County Veterans Service Officer)

Emergencies and Mental Health

Military service is challenging for both the service member and their families. It is critical that you seek help and encourage your service member to seek help when needed. Asking for help is not weakness, it is strength.

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Emergency Communications. For serious family emergencies or a death in the family (whether in boot camp or in regular service) Parents and Families must use Red Cross Emergency Communication Services. Red Cross will work with your service member's chain of command to ensure that s/he is prepared to receive the news and that it happens at an appropriate time.

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Western Region One Source is Western Colorado's one-stop service center that connects veterans, military service members, and their families with service providers and resources in order to enhance their opportunities and quality of life.

The center currently offers assistance with veterans benefits, DEERS/ID cards, family support services and programs, housing and shelter services, notary public services, and a robust recreation program.

The center also houses the state and county Veterans Services Officers.

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Intimate Partner Violence Assistance

In the general population, 1 in3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lives. Veterans may be disproportionally impacted by IPV because they are more likely to have had traumatic and stress experiences that increase their risk of using and/or experiencing aggression in their close relationships.

 

The VA's Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program is committed to helping Veterans and their partners who are impacted by IPV. If you, or someone you know could be experiencing and/or using IPV - help is available!

Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program Website

Mesa County IPVAP Coordinator

Sara Friedman, LCSW

1-970-244-1312

Women Veterans Call Center

1-855-829-6636

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Suicide
Prevention

Suicide. It's a terrifying word, but we must talk about it. Veterans are at elevated risk for suicide and the suicide rate among active-duty service members rose in 2023.  Suicide prevention awareness could be the most important information you receive as the family member or friend of a service member.

Connect to Protect
Your Words Matter
Suicide Prevention Pledge
Lethal Means Safety
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