Thanksgiving feeds one family’s stress

A call out from Ft. Leonard Wood for some support on the upcoming holidays via the Guidon, and a response from advice columnists, Shaun and Pamela Collins

box with question marksSeason’s holidays are upon us and the stress levels are simply up. For their take on some of what is complex when families, and our expectations come together, here is what He Said and She Said when this question was sent in:

We recently invited my wife’s Family to come to our house this year for Thanksgiving. It is something we have done before and we often rotate it between going to her Family in Iowa, inviting Family to our home, or going to my Family in Illinois. It’s sort of a tradition.

This year, however, we were thrown a curve ball. [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…]


Home fire friends when buddies deploy – advice

He Said and She Said their advice on – an ethical choice a man makes on how to ‘be’ with the family of a buddy who deploys:

Questions you might have

Questions you might have

I’m a single guy stationed here with a long-distance girlfriend. That’s not the problem and that relationship works very well for both of us. My problem is that my sponsor here has become a great friend. He and his Family have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable.

When I was here at Thanksgiving a year ago and couldn’t go home because of work, they took me in and fed me. They invite me to Family night activities; their kids’ soccer games and just about anytime when I am not traveling back to Iowa to see my girlfriend. It’s been a standing invite and I know that I can always bow out. However, my buddy is getting ready to deploy. He’ll be gone for a year and I know that his Family will probably still invite me to events, meals and movie night, but I really would feel weird hanging out with his wife without him around. [Read more…]


A little planning, a lot of satisfaction post military

MilSuccessNet invites you to follow the passage of CW4 (RET.) Shaun M. Collins from military career to civilian roles and new missions. We continue from part 1 and  so today we discover:

  • Alphabet soup  that spells out a 23 year career path 
  • Retirement applied for, delayed, manifested 
  • Education moves from pupil to teacher  
  • Planning well for an unfettered future

…and now in his own words…..we continue from part 1  

Shaun Collins

Shaun M. Collins


I spent the remaining 23 years of my career as a CID Special Agent and had the opportunity to attend FBI, DEA and other Federal Law Enforcement training courses. [Read more…]


Preparation is foundation of CW4 (Ret.) Collins’ transition from Active Duty

This week, we slide over a little on the blogger bench of  our valued military guest writers and make room for Shaun M. Collins.

Shaun M. Collins

Shaun M. Collins

  A native of Yreka, CA, Collins enlisted in the United States Army in October 1986, not long after his high school graduation. 

Today, he is a retired CID Special Agent/Forensic Science Officer, family man and educator. And, he’s agreed to share with MilSuccessNet readers some of his experiences, and the conscious and the “lucky” decisions that went into preparing for a satisfying and successful transition. 

Shaun Collins is co-author, with his real life partner, Pam Collins of “He Said / She Said.” The weekly advice column appears each Thursday in the “Guidon,” which is the post newspaper for Fort Leonard Wood, MO. 

Soon, military members’ questions in the popular column, known for it’s balanced and practical approach, will also be featured on Military Success Network.

But first, let’s share in the insights that resulted from Shaun Collins’  process. [Read more…]


Resilient transition for woman writer part 1

Who is this mysterious military woman?


  • Doctrine Command  Instructor of the Year (2004)
  • Felony Investigator
  • Warrant Officer, graduated with honors, ranking 4th in a class of 82 candidates based on academics and fitness


Pamela M. Collins honorably served in the U. S. Army for nearly 25 years.  She joined the army for opportunity when little existed for her in the civilian world of 1982 between the Cold War and a looming recession.

 Her tale of transition takes us along with her from clerk to agent, enlisted to officer, field agent through leadership, education and supervisory special agent status. [Read more…]