“Late love” found at a distance in mail order bride

Can love leap over all barriers? Age? Culture? Language? The stuff of life columnists Pam and Shaun Collins tackle                                     “The case of the  concerned buddy on the topic of his friend’s mail-order bride-to-be.” 

Is it a blunder or a bonus? You decide and tell us what you think!

OK then. With a week to go before Memorial Day in the US and into the Victoria Day long weekend now in Canada we’ve got crossing international borders on our minds…so on to the QUESTIONS:  

Q: No joke, my buddy has gotten himself a mail-ordered bride. We’re both retired and both single (I am a widower, he was divorced.) We both joked about finding a woman this way, but I’ll be, he up and got himself a young gal from the Philippines.

Custom dress on China Made Gowns, online.

Custom dress on China Made Gowns, online.

She’s sweet, seems to like him, but I just don’t know what to say. Apparently they wrote back and forth for a couple months and then he up and flew her here. Now he wants me to be his best man, but I just don’t see this working out.

He’s 60 and if she’s 30, you could knock me down with a feather. Do these things work out? Should I get involved at all? Seems like it might be too late at this point. Should I just keep my mouth shut and enjoy the lumpias?…………………..and now the answers…. [Read more…]


By the book biz & other survival lessons on WoW

WoW-features two sets of Words on Wednesdays today:

Book influenced skills to survive student & civilian life.

Jesse Hughes recovers from part 1 with Lessons of Sunk Costs and then he recommends a book of value as he learned to navigate his newly civilian and student role:  

Sunk Costs, pt 1

The time Ms Tardy put into her proposed plan was truly a sunk cost.  She attempted to base a decision on expenditures that could not be recovered.  It’s tough to recognize when it’s your own idea, plan, opportunity but you have to learn to separate your work product from your sense of self and associate it with an outcome.  [Read more…]


Jonathan Raab reports from Denver ACP event

Military veterans in the Denver area met with mentors from American Corporate Partners (ACP) in a unique social setting at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in downtown Denver. Sullivan’s provided  drinks and finger foods for the group while they mingled just beyond the restaurant’s front dining room in their own networking space.

Veterans network at Sullivan's (Jonathan Raab)

Veterans network at Sullivan’s (Jonathan Raab)

Over the sounds of mid-week diners’ conversations and a two-piece blues band, veterans from the different services shared their experiences with one another and several ACP mentors who were present. The event’s aim was for veterans to learn more about the mentorship program offered by ACP. [Read more…]


Single file…Dude with a blind date disaster

Well, can’t say this editor has been in either situation, at least not publicly manifested, anyhooo. What about you?  Gives me shivers as I consider accepting a blind date on a Saturday night!

Gina Bonnie-Jill Laflin Sailor

Pin-ups for Vets (fun photo of Bonnie-Jill Lafflin via their calendar)

Q:  I was set up on a blind date that could not have been worse for me. Unfortunately, my date thinks she has found Mr. Perfect … me. I tried to tell her politely that this relationship had zero chance and she thought I was joking. She asked why and I told her that I just didn’t feel the connection. She is now determined to make that connection. She calls me constantly…and I just turned my phone off, but then she called my work. She shows up at my barrack room (I live in single Soldier housing with a roommate that thinks this whole thing is hilarious.) She actually waited across the field from our physical training one morning and brought me coffee. The guys (and gals) in my unit tell me she’s a “keeper,” but I think she’s more of a creeper. Short of screaming “go away” how do I make this person realize that I am just not for her. [Read more…]


3rd Resilient transition options advised by retired duo

Hey there, our ‘on demand, reader-cued columnists’, Pam and Shaun Collins have a new question to share.  Today’s writer is ready to retire from civil service. This, AFTER a previous full military retirement and he’s still itching to contribute, or is it something else??

School or bust?

School or bust?

He’s clearly got lots of life let in him because not only is he retired, once and twice, but he’s now thinking of going back to SCHOOL to become the next best thing in his life.

Here’s the really-crazy-risky-fun part: he doesn’t know what he wants to study yet and is looking for a constructive opinion, other than his wife’s!

Well, let’s see what He Said about it and the opinion She Said on it. It’s all been stretched over from their column at the Guidon, the paper edited by Bob Johnson over at Ft. Leonard Wood. Now, the question and the responses not even He and She have read till they are publishedin their own words…… [Read more…]


Shift to civilian workplace supported by ACP mentors

Isn’t it good to have a little help in our transitions and in the shifts we are called on to make, in life, health, wealth and military service status? 

MilSuccessNet team members seek to support each other and to share the resources we uncover on this site. Our guest writers are a valued and critical asset in this exchange. They present sources of support and often solutions to the many questions that face all of us in the process.

Blue and red logo of American Corporate Partners Writer Jonathan Raab recently interviewed ACP founder, Sid Goodfriend. No matter where YOU are personally in your own transition you can benefit. And, you’ll see that resilience, the main ingredient we look to add on MilSuccessNet is part of the plan at American Corporate Partners. Now, on to Raab’s and Goodfriend’s own words…….. [Read more…]


PAMVET Breakfast Club at 181 and still recruiting

Coverage of the stories of veterans of all ages and coming from various conflict zones continues on Military Success Network. Today, we spotlight PAMVET through the reprint, with permission, of an excellent story by  Shelley Widhalm, features reporter, The Reporter-Herald, Loveland, CO.

Veterans gathering for breakfast under PAMVET banner

PAMVET breakfast attended by team member of MilSuccessNet (his photo supplied)

PAMVET or Proud American Military Veterans gather weekly on Saturdays at a unique breakfast in Colorado. Their meeting place offers fellowship, a place to be heard, seen and acknowledged not only for service and survival but also for those experiences most readily understood by other brothers and sisters in arms. 

Honor Flight the Movie was featured in a recent post in the context of a special screening at Colorado State University. PAMVET participants made their way to that ‘opening night’ at CSU alongside history students, ROTC and others, despite heavy snow storm weather warnings. 

The next day we had Diana Rodriguez’s account of her day in the company of one veteran who stepped off his Honor Flight in her hometown of Washington D.C. and into her life. 

Now, on to Shelley Widhalm, features reporter, The Reporter-Herald, Loveland, CO and her visit to PAMVET… in her own words and her photos[Read more…]


Honor Flight: A day in the life of one veteran and one volunteer

Diana MemorialService as a volunteer often leads to unexpected experiences and rewards. Such was one woman’s experience as she was ‘buddy’d up’ with a veteran flown in to Washington D.C. in a group invited to visit ‘their’ memorials.  

Welcome, first time MilSuccessNet guest blogger as she shares the opportunity she had to get to know her country’s veterans one name, one story and one day at a time in a story entitled: Honor Flight: Spending a day with the Greatest Generation changed my life.  

Her post follows coverage of the screening of documentary, Honor Flight the Movie.  Photos in this post are those of Ms Rodriguez.


Diana M. Rodriguez, blogger, editor, valued volunteer, photo supplied

Diana M. Rodriguez, blogger, editor, valued volunteer, photo supplied

Diana M. Rodriguez is a writer and editor who blogs on topics of social interest. She has deep roots in the Veterans’ community as public affairs practitioner with a focus on their issues and also as  friend and family member.

Our peek into her memorable, diary type entry, is excerpted from a February 2013 post on her popular blog:  I Mean What I Say but I Don’t Say It Meanly. (MilSuccessNet has added captions and sub-heads here only)

2010 had been a challenging year, for our writer. It held tough times for her on the personal front, in her health and in the uncertainty of her job.  The call to serve beckoned her at just the right time….And now, in her own words…..

[Read more…]


What to expect at a military ball

Our daring duo of etiquette and best advice on how to deal with a myriad of private life and public service situations talk protocols.  

In time for the formal military ball, Pam and Shaun Collins respond to this question originally posed by a Guidon reader. 

Questions you might have

Questions you might have

My first military ball is coming up quickly. I recently had a friend give me tips on what will happen. I’ve never been to one, so I have no idea what to expect. I was told about the receiving line and how not to greet the first person in line, etc. Seriously, what should I expect from this? My husband is not worried about it, but I am! I have a full back tattoo and ankle tattoos — can they be exposed? Can you guys give me a run through?

Military Ball Neophyte          ……and now….to the answers…
[Read more…]


Pin-Up star raises spirits and funds for Veterans’ care

Pin-Ups for Vets logo WoW has gone wordless, almost. This Wednesday a different kind of book is featured. And, it’s going to go into two parts, not just because the photos include a fold but because there is that much to say about Pin Ups for Vets and the work it does for transition in the military community. 

Yes, Pin Ups. You know, photos of lovely women smiling out at us. In this case, in the alluring outfits and clearly contrasting red lips and classic make up of the glam style circa the era of the 1940s. 

For Pin Up for Vets founder, Gina Elise, her current 50 state hospital tour has brought in person visits to 39 VA & Military hospitals in 24 states, so far. All in service to the calendar and what it’s meant to do: raise funds and spirits, in person, through purchases and sent as  gifts.
[Read more…]