D-Day 75 years on still evokes great emotion

Is there anything we can add to the great sea of sentiment and ocean of information that surrounds D-Day? It seems that some Canadians, their national radio-CBC, and our American site co-founders do have something to add, or to process with you, dear reader.

General Eisenhower visiting paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division the night before D-Day

Eisenhower at 101st Airborne Div. June 5, 1944. Photo: — National Archives and Records,College Park, Md.

June 6, marks the day described by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his address to the nation, as the moment in which the eyes of the world was upon the allies. The Canadian, American and British forces, whose brothers in arms trained and joined to stage the largest amphibious assault in  history.

Under General Eisenhower’s command and that of British General Bernard Montgomery, Allied troops landed on five beaches, code named Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword, and Utah. [Read more…]


5 Simple Ways to Make Every Day Valentine’s Day

Even on this international day of love, where we are encouraged to focus on another – a love interest, a significant other – a spouse, loving ourselves might just be our greatest gift, to others.

Military service members display admirable care for those they served with and the home team, however it looks, that support them.

Transitioning to hometown expectations of the big V Day and letting the love seep into your everyday isn’t a complex task according to the expert on happiness featured today.  We don’t need to radically transform the way we live and love.  What we need to do is to pay attention to the details and the moments that are the building blocks of life and love.

“It has great benefits for ourselves,” says international happiness expert and renowned Harvard positive psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar. By making your real-life relationships better, you’ll automatically boost your own happiness by default.

Here are Tal’s tips:        5 Simple Ways to Make Every Day Valentine’s Day

By Tal Ben-Shahar

We all have our image of the ideal relationship. For most of us, it’s about constantly supporting each other and being tender, adoring, and happy together. After all, this is the promise inherent in “living happily ever after,” isn’t it?

It turns out though, as anyone who’s been in a relationship for longer than a few months knows, that happily ever after takes work. The truth is: your partner isn’t perfect. But there’s another problem that’s equally true: your partner’s partner isn’t perfect either.

So given the curse—or blessing—of imperfection, how do we make our relationships thrive? Or what do we do when the initial spark that ignited our relationship is no longer there, when the passion that carried us over the horizon goes down like the sun?

Many people believe that the answer lies in generating extraordinary relationship experiences, something as grand and powerful as a wedding or honeymoon. Perhaps the secret to a happy long-term relationship lies in buying our partner a multi-carat diamond ring, or taking a trip together around the world, or raising Pavarotti from the dead to serenade us in our bedroom? While the above are undoubtedly wonderful gestures, a more important ingredient of a happy relationship is the consistent sprinkling of “love moments.”

The famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, “God is in the details.” Similarly, I would argue that “love is in the details.” Love lies in the warm embrace and silly face, the kind word and approving smile; we nurture our relationships when we go out for a romantic meal or take time to make love, when we write a lust letter or remind our partner how much he or she means to us.

Love moments are the building blocks of every relationship. These ordinary moments, tended to with love and care, are what make a relationship extraordinary. But how do you begin to incorporate them into your life?

Look for inspiration. Make a list of past experiences you and your partner have shared. Which ones, no matter how small, stand out as being special? Was it the time you went to a concert together? Or when you surprised your partner with a massage and movie night?

Commit to future love moments. Make general commitments—and particular commitments—for future love moments. For instance, as a general commitment, you might set a calendar alert to seek and initiate more love moments in your relationship. Memorialize particular commitments by making a list, such as going to a play with your partner, embracing him or her when you get home in the evening, or finding a nice word to say before you leave for work.

Accentuate the positive. In 1945, Johnny Mercer’s song “Accentuate the Positive” was number one on the Billboard charts—and Johnny’s advice is essential. Make a list of things you can do with (or for) your partner that will increase the positivity-to-negativity ratio in your relationship. This could be sending a brief text message, or going out for a meal together, or just spending some time talking and offering support. Keep adding to the list and keep it with you so that you can consistently boost your ratio.

Don’t eliminate the negative. The second part of Johnny Mercer’s advice is to “eliminate the negative.” Here Mercer is not entirely correct. You’ll want to reduce the negative, but not eliminate it. If there is a recurring conflict in your relationship, think of ways to deal with it. Commit to being present in the conflict without hostility and contempt. Recognize that differences are inevitable and can actually deepen your relationship.

Remind yourself in writing. Take a minute or two to appreciate your partner, yourself, and your relationship. Remind yourself, preferably in writing, what you fell in love with in the first place. Write down the things you love about your partner now. Relationships are a gift, not because they provide us with constant happiness and joy—they don’t—but because they provide us with cherished moments as well as moments from which we can learn and grow.

Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, taught the largest course at Harvard, Positive Psychology, and the third-largest, The Psychology of Leadership, attracting 1,400 students per semester—approximately 20 percent of all Harvard undergraduates. For the last fifteen years, he has taught leadership, happiness, and mindfulness to audiences around the world. He is the co-founder of the Happiness Studies Academy and author of six books, including his newest release, Short Cuts to Happiness, and the international bestsellers Happier and Being Happy, which have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Learn more at talbenshahar.com.


1st Monday After Resolution Day

Reflection’s role when resolution rubber meets reality’s road

Do military folks even need to participate in the annual ritual of resolutions?

Surely habits formed just by virtue of military training and structure help members and even their families to find focus and determine strategy and steps to achieve goals. Simple, right?

To know how we want to show up to best to serve our families, careers and duties we might just need to schedule time to have some personal conversations with ourselves.  

We see it’s a timeless need in this repost below of Nate Brookshire’s 2017 piece in LinkedIn on the power of reflection. … … … HK, editor.

Active Reflection and Relevance ………...First published on January 15, 2017. Nate is currently serving on active duty and is the co-author of Hidden Wounds: A Soldier’s Burden

We are well into 2017 and most are finding out their initial resolutions are beginning to crack. Is there a better way? We can play semantics and focus on goals and start to measure every aspect of our lives but without a deep understanding of why our behaviors are having negative outcomes the end result will be the same. A common theme with successful coaches is to focus on personal accountability. 

Marshall Goldsmith, one of the world’s most renowned executive coaches has dedicated decades to facilitating growth in leaders at the highest levels of society. He is the inspiration for this discussion of a better way for 2017.

 As we navigate through life, we find there is always a new challenge or task to fill our time. When we become very successful in the short term we lose sight of the big picture and do not allow ourselves to appreciate the “wins” of life across time.  At the other side of the spectrum, if we experience a series of short term failures it begins to define us in a way that can become destructive. We frame our life through many lenses and unfortunately it is common to allow others to brand or label us in a certain way, many times using our short term wins and losses to construct a false narrative. Reflection is a method to take the multiple perspectives of our lives and construct a holistic picture. Once we have a better understanding of where we are in time and space only then can we develop the habits that best fit our vision of our best self.

 Life is messy. One only has to look at social media to realize we are in trouble. Civility is gone and the sheer volume of the rhetoric is masking incompetence on all levels. We fall prey to Fake News, pop psychology, and are bombarded with information that cannot be processed in time to separate agenda from fact. Greek philosopher Epictetus taught us, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” The right attitude is key in setting the conditions for successful outcomes. Reflecting on 2016 will quickly give you a sense that life is fleeting and facing the challenges of today through being present, receptive, and joyful is a must. Not easy is it?

 Imagine we have mastered active reflecting while accepting the challenges that come our way. Is this enough to fulfill that nagging desire to make a difference? Stephen Covey, another coaching legend, offers the habit of “Begin with the end in mind.” His book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a must read for anyone seeking change that sticks.  By envisioning what a life well lived looks like to you coupled with an honest assessment of where you are hopefully will present an opportunity to experience real change. Continue to seek out and share positive habits, hold yourself accountable and build a community that enables your vision.

Marshall Goldsmith offers 6 DAILY questions to keep us accountable:

  • Did I do my best to increase my happiness?
  • Did I do my best to find meaning?
  • Did I do my best to be engaged?
  • Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  • Did I do my best to set clear goals?
  • Did I do my best to make progress toward goal achievement?
HERE’s TO YOU in 2019

What to say to Vets in Crisis at Christmas or Anytime

What DO you say to a Veteran in trouble at times when glad tidings and well wishes for the new year are on everyone’s lips? What CAN you say at any time of the year to our military members who served with strength – yet may now be struggling, silently in our midst in the aftermath of their service an in overwhelm of their life, stateside?

Here are some valuable notes that might save a life in your community.  They are in this full article by Duane K. L. France – a clinical mental health counsellor and 22 year veteran with multiple deployments. It was published in Task & Purpose in February 2017. …………….. [Read more…]


Canada’s Secret #2 Construction Battalion

Canada’s international role and image as a peacekeeper force were just being formed in the 1960’s by our then Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson. That’s when I arrived as the youngest in an immigrant family. It would be a long time coming yet, before exceptional moments in my new country’s history, in particular, military history would cross my mind or that of others Canadians.

To my child’s eyes, life immediately around me seemed pretty uniform. A working class area with what they called post war-time housing. These were quickly built single homes occupied by white people.

Statistics Canada listed the majority population in my province at that time, in descending order percentages, as being of British origins, then German, then Ukrainian.

The French and their descendants since their co-founding of the Dominion of Canada formed an appreciable majority in pockets of the country. Black people, however, and their contribution to Canada, among other cultural identities, were scarcely noted. Their stories like many military footnotes in history, were yet to be recognised, never mind celebrated.

For a long time in contemporary life, white was the colour of achievement. Of aspirations. Of history made. Time and experience have impacted how we see Canada’s social fabric. We are a visibly multicultural landscape and now have landmarks and special days that preserve past contributions of many more of Canada’s early peoples. One of these is the 100th anniversary of a group of black Canadians who had to fight just for the right to participate in military service to their country. Please enjoy this fascinating account of about the #2 Construction Battalion – a secret no more, taken directly from the pages of The Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21:  [Read more…]


Lt. Dan’s 8 life lessons as seen in Forrest Gump

Legendary in both military and entertainment spheres Lt. Dan, played by Gary Sinise,  is a symbol of transition’s phases in the film: Forrest Gump.

The now 62-year-old actor is celebrated for his role as Dan Taylor embodies resilience and personal evolution in the 1994 Academy Award winning film. In real life, he is appreciated for his tremendous support of military men and women and his activity on behalf of veterans.

In this post’s “box of chocolates,” we lift the lid to reveal 8 life lessons writer Alex Licea has artfully selected from the scenes in Forrest Gump. [Read more…]


Rex Murphy on denial of care for last Norwegian Vet

Petter Blindheim, an ailing, 94-year-old veteran’s denial of a bed in Camp Hill Veterans’ Memorial Hospital in Halifax, Canada where he wants to spend his last days, is the focus of Rex Murphy‘s recent CBC TV commentary: Point of View.(3 min)

As the last living Norwegian Vet living in Canada and as a citizen at that for 61 years (since 1945) his plight has gained national and international attention. (see background text on all this) [Read more…]


10 leadership lessons a “janitor” taught a USAF Colonel

Colonel James Moschgat, USAF (Ret.), wrote this post about an unusual discovery that transformed both the janitor and the students who learned of his MOH status and meritorious service.

It appeared first in the Fall 2010 issue of the magazine of the USO. Find it in it’s entirely in that issue of On Patrol.   

At the writing, Col Moschgat was the associate dean of operations at the National Security Space Institute (NSSI) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (His CV )

Leadership and the Janitor

by James Moschgat, USAF (Ret.)

William “Bill” Crawford was an unimpressive figure, one you could easily overlook during a hectic day at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mr. Crawford, as most of us referred to him back in the late 1970s, was our squadron janitor.Army Master Sergeant William J. Crawford (Ret.), poses for a photo for a Denver Post photographer shortly before a Fourth of July parade in Denver, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Beverly Crawford-Kite.

(In this photo, Army Master Sergeant William J. Crawford (Ret.), poses for a snap by a Denver Post photographer shortly before a Fourth of July parade in Denver, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Beverly Crawford-Kite.)

[Read more…]


Plan deliberately and count on successes in 2016

Make a new plan for 2016 Stan! 

Did you get slammed in the season for reflection?

That push to review is strong, especially as everyone around you celebrates endings and beginnings. Our email, the sites we subscribe to, the magazines you pick up and the social media posts to name just a handful of sources – feature lists. A lot of it is designed to sell you on change, to get you to set goals.

It can keep us swinging from one idea branch to the other.

Now GraphicSo much to decide, do, deliver on! It kind of needs its own theme song…  and system. So, Team MilSuccessNet is offering this gentle 5 point plan based on the editorial team’s recent and collective experience. We want to hear what YOURS is in the comments below..   [Read more…]


White Christmas movie classic transition tale

White Christmas theatrical release poster Why is military to civilian transition like a white Christmas? And by that we mean THE White Christmas, the largest grossing American movie musical of its day in 1954.

The consensus of the military members MilSuccessNet asked to reflect on the perennial favorite is summed up as follows: [Read more…]