2017 DoD Warrior Games: Recognizing Hidden Heroes

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By Vice Adm. Mary Jackson
Commander, Navy Installations Command

While the Warrior Games are primarily focused on the athletes and their challenging experiences and inspiring accomplishments, we also acknowledge and recognize the tremendous dedication and support of the “hidden heroes” – spouses, family and caregivers who have made their own sacrifices to help our warrior athletes with their recovery and athletic successes.

Ida Malone, left, helps her husband, Navy Chief Petty Officer Averill Malone, stretch before bicycling during the Navy’s training camp for the 2015 DoD Warrior Games at Ventura County Naval Station Port Hueneme in Oxnard, Calif., May 31, 2015. Ida is also a caregiver for her husband, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. (Dept. of Defense photo by EJ Hersom/Released)
Ida Malone, left, helps her husband, Navy Chief Petty Officer Averill Malone, stretch before bicycling during the Navy’s training camp for the 2015 DoD Warrior Games at Ventura County Naval Station Port Hueneme in Oxnard, Calif., May 31, 2015. Ida is also a caregiver for her husband, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. (Dept. of Defense photo by EJ Hersom/Released)

On this Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we honor our Wounded Warriors’ loved ones who partner and make their own sacrifices on the path of recovery.

For our warrior athletes, our hidden heroes put forth a tremendous amount of effort behind the scenes, day-in and day-out, to support the growth and progress of their loved one’s spiritual and physical healing. Transition is not easy, but these individuals are the co-pilots who make the voyage possible and so much smoother.

Families and caregivers are an essential element in an athlete’s recovery and rehabilitation, and they are an important part of the DoD’s adaptive sports program, which provides reconditioning activities and competitive athletic opportunities to all wounded, ill and injured service members to improve their physical and mental quality of life throughout the continuum of recovery and transition. Our hidden heroes provide support, encouragement and motivation on a regular basis. In turn, athletes motivate their families, caregivers and teammates, and inspire their communities.

We are thankful to Fisher House Foundation, one of the 2017 Warrior Games presenting sponsors, for supporting our hidden heroes. Fisher House is our family program sponsor and is directly supporting the logistics for athletes’ families to attend the Warrior Games.

Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson’s son helps his father out of a tight spot while on a bike ride for the Navy’s wounded warrior training camp for the 2015 DoD Warrior Games along the Pacific Coast Highway in California, May 30, 2015. (Dept. of Defense photo by EJ Hersom/Released)
Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson’s son helps his father out of a tight spot while on a bike ride for the Navy’s wounded warrior training camp for the 2015 DoD Warrior Games along the Pacific Coast Highway in California, May 30, 2015. (Dept. of Defense photo by EJ Hersom/Released)

To spouses and loved ones of our military members and of our wounded, ill or injured warriors, we say, “Thank you” for all you do. We are humbled by your commitment and dedication to serving your nation in this important role.

For more information about the DoD’s adaptive sports program visit, http://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/carecoordination/masp.

For more information about the Warrior Games, please visit http://dodwarriorgames.com and be sure to “like” us and follow the games
on Facebook.


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2017 DoD Warrior Games: Recognizing Hidden Heroes

Future USS Indiana (SSN 789) Christening Ceremony

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Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of the christening of our newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789).

The ceremony is scheduled for April 29 at 11 a.m. EDT at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Virginia.

Vice President Mike Pence, who previously served as the 50th governor of Indiana, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Diane Donald, wife of retired Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion from 2004 to 2012, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. 

Webcast courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries

“The christening of the future USS Indiana brings this technological marvel one step closer to joining the world’s preeminent submarine force.”
– Sean Stackley, Acting Secretary of the Navy.

The official crest of the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789). (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

SSN-789 is the 16th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the sixth Virginia-class Block III submarine.

The submarine, which began construction in 2012, will be the third U.S. Navy ship to be christened with the name Indiana. The first Indiana (BB 1), the lead ship of her class of battleship, served in the North Atlantic and later participated in the blockade of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War. The second Indiana (BB 58) was a South Dakota-class battleship that earned nine battle stars for her service in the Pacific Theater in World War II. BB-58 fought in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and participated in the invasions of Tarawa, Kwajalein and Okinawa, and bombarded Saipan, the Palau Islands, the Philippines and Iwo Jima.

This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

For more information, visit Navy.mil.

Join the #USNavy conversation on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr.


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Future USS Indiana (SSN 789) Christening Ceremony

Keyboard Courage (Part One)

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This is the first in an Armed with Science two-part series about cyber bullying

(graphic illustration by Jessica L. Tozer)

(graphic illustration by Jessica L. Tozer)

Cyber bullies are everywhere.

They’re antagonistic and insulting.  Intentionally confrontational.  In many cases even racist, homophobic, sexist, or just plain prejudice.  And, just like any other social parasite, trolling cyber bullies grow with every negative response they get.  They’re not always easily dismissed, either.  You can’t just walk away from the stream of insulting comments they started on your Facebook wall, now can you?

I call this effect “keyboard courage”.

The keyboard is to the user what the bottle of alcohol is to the drinker.  Like alcohol, the inhibitions and judgments that would normally be there are absent when the user (bully or victim) takes to the keyboard.  This choice causes people to make damaging, embarrassing, or in some cases dangerous and even illegal mistakes.  They can be uncharacteristically violent, or oppositional, or emotional.

And sometimes when you start letting the vitriol flow you have a hard time stopping.  Or ignoring.  Or turning the other cheek.  It can even become an obsession.  This keyboard courage is giving trolls an avenue to ply their terrible trade, and it’s causing more than just angst and mild irritation.

In many cases, this kind of behavior can result in physical or psychological damage to others.

Dr. Mark Fisher is the Chief of Behavioral Pediatrics at the Military Mental Health Clinic on Fort Meade, MD.  He says there are several factors that come into play when we talk about cyber bullying and why, not the least of which being the fact that a lot of communication that happens these days is, in fact, on a more digital level.

“A lot of times I think kids, in this generation, that’s just the way they talk,” Dr. Fisher explains.  “It’s Facebook.  It’s texting.  It is cyber.”

Which is true; a lot more is said these days online than in generations past.  Kids are growing up being able to communicate to each other in this way, so it’s changing the game when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t say.  Or type, as it were.  Unfortunately, the Internet can also serve as a platform to attack, ridicule, criticize and harass.

The soapbox effect that the Internet has on the loud and the discontented is resonant.

The Internet (for all its awesomeness) is a way to impose on people where the physical threat, at least in the moment, comes off as minimal or nonexistent, Dr. Fisher explains.  It presents the illusion of safety with the freedom of expression.  And that can have some dangerous consequences.    There are stories all over the news outlets about the harm that widespread digital attacks can have on people.

Do not feed the trolls.  (Graphic illustration by Jessica L. Tozer)

Do not feed the trolls. (Graphic illustration by Jessica L. Tozer)

When you confront people online, he says, there is no face.  There is the potential for complete anonymity.   A lot more is said when the potential for immediate physical harm is lowered.  Dr. Fisher also mentions that a lot is lost in translation when it comes to texting and communicating online.

The non-verbal subtleties that we naturally pick up on when speaking in person are absent in that communication avenue.

This presents the opportunity for miscommunication.  Things could be taken out of context, or easily misinterpreted.  Especially for kids.  Kids are often victims of cyber bully attacks.  Adolescents can also take things personally (even if they’re not likely to admit it), and that means they’re more at risk of being attacked or affected by cyber bullying.

Service members and military families are in no way exempt from this rule.  Especially the military children.

“On the one hand it has the same impact,” Dr. Fisher explains.  “Kids are kids, whether you’re military or not, are being bullied.  What is different with the military kids is they may, at times, be more susceptible [to bullying].”

Military children already have a lot of things to contend with in their life.  They often have to deal with frequent moves, with deployed parents, with making new friends in new places, and even with serious things like death and loss.

That’s a lot of stuff for kids to have to deal with, and that’s not even including the normal kid stresses, like tests and school and friends and dating and all that.  Add the threat of internet destructo-commenters and it can often be too much.

This can also happen by bullying proxy.  Sometimes they feel they have to defend their parents in the eyes of their peers.  Sometimes, sadly, they are even mocked and taunted for having lost parents.  Something that happened even to kids I knew growing up.

“It’s another vulnerability,” Dr. Fisher says.  A vulnerability that can be exploited online, where many military kids might spend their time.  Social media and online interaction might be the only way they have to connect to friends and family since they move around so much.  But if all of this is happening on screen, how do you know how and if it’s affecting them IRL?

Good question.

Here are a few of the warning signs that a cyber bully could be a threat in your friend or child’s life:

–          Check for changes of personality and/or behavior.  If your kid spends time online all the time and suddenly they seem less interested, or they lose interest in the things they once liked doing, that’s a sign that things are not shipshape.

–          Avoidance of usual things.  They don’t want to go to school.  They don’t want to go near places where they could run into their peers.  They don’t want to change for PE.

–          Extreme onset apathy.  Their grades drop when once they were a good student.  They become introverted, anxious or disassociated.  They always seem worried or uncomfortable.

–          Regressive behavior.  Younger kids under duress experience this, Dr. Fisher explains.  They might wet the bed, or suck their thumb, or act uncharacteristically childish.

–          Suicide attempts.  This is the most severe and dangerous sign that something is wrong.  If your child attempts suicide, immediately get them help.

Now, many could argue that these are just the growing pains of being a teenager, but there’s more to it.  These are signs of depression and anxiety, and for as much as it might be a gray area between teenage angst and depression, it’s not good to ignore the signs, no matter how common they may be.

Part Two of Keyboard Courage will post on Monday, 17 June 2013

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Thanks to Dr. Mark Fisher for his contributions to these articles

Jessica L. Tozer is a blogger for DoDLive and Armed With Science.  She is an Army veteran and an avid science fiction fan, both of which contribute to her enthusiasm for technology in the military.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

Check out these other posts:

Original article: 

Keyboard Courage (Part One)

Town Hall Held on Social Media

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Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella held a Facebook town hall, answering questions from service members and families in Japan.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

Check out these other posts:

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Town Hall Held on Social Media