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07/17/2023 04:30 PM EDT

One of my favorite books about stress was written by Robert Sapolsky and is called “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.” Sapolsky makes the point that when a zebra’s stressor has passed—for example, once the lion that was chasing it has been left behind—it stops thinking about that stressor. People, on the other hand, worry about upcoming bills, relationship struggles, aches and pains, and maybe there really are lions out there! We can always find something potentially dangerous to worry about and our body responds as though we are being threatened even when we’re perfectly safe. [From VA News]

07/15/2023 09:30 AM EDT

This month’s author is Army National Guard Veteran Claudia Bartow. Early in her teaching career, Bartow befriended two World War II Veterans and was fascinated by their stories. She saw that others were, too. That’s when she realized there was no comprehensive guide to help Veterans and their families record their military service memories, so she wrote a book called “I Served: A military service reflection guide.” Her book helps Veterans reminisce about all parts of their military service—from enlistment to discharge and beyond. Veterans’ answers to the questions in the guide can become a great keepsake for their loved ones. [From VA News]

07/13/2023 04:30 PM EDT

In 2020, VA established 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411), a national number that Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors can contact when in need of assistance. MyVA411 serves as a “front door” contact to VA and provides access to the broad spectrum of VA benefits and services. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the customer service representatives direct callers to the appropriate subject matter expert for benefits, health care services and so much more. [From VA News]

07/12/2023 12:00 PM EDT

Michelle Ann Hovland was born on November 6, 1960, in Ventura, CA. She grew up around Cassville, MO, attending Cassville High before going to Missouri State University. She was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army through ROTC in 1982 and initially worked with Nike Missiles in Germany. [From VA News]

We honor her service.

07/11/2023 07:42 AM EDT

Air Guard nurse, Capt. Katie Lunning, walked alongside the Taliban to rescue patients from Kabul. A man who began hemorrhaging blood in midair after surgery, an infant whose veins wouldn’t hold an adult-sized IV, A woman with a precarious spinal cord injury – Capt. Katie Lunning saved them all. [From Air Force Times]

07/10/2023 04:30 PM EDT

Close your eyes. Picture yourself lying on the grass and looking up at soft, puffy clouds. Choose a cloud and reach up to hold it in your hands while you inhale deeply. Now imagine that you could gently and slowly move the cloud from side to side between your hands. How does it feel to slow down your movement and breathe? [From VA News]