Author : kelli-mckinney

Summer Fun for Small Humans: Camps and opportunities for military kids

Posted by Kelli McKinney
Somewhere around the third week of summer vacation, the chorus begins. “I’m bored.” “There’s nothing to do.” “Can we go someplace?” By now, you’ve probably heard this song a few times – or at least enough to start scouring the Internet for activity ideas. Is it too late for summer camp? Can anyone afford summer camp? Search for local summer camps on the web may net you some interesting finds.  Although many camps fill up quickly, there are usually some last-minute cancellations and a persistent parent may be able to waitlist their way to a coveted spot. And if you’re interested in summer experiences geared toward the needs of military kids, Operation We Are Here also provides a (long) list of summer camps that are one-of-a-kind opportunities. Plus, military families are often eligible for scholarships – or even free registration. They’re so cool they make us wish we could go to camp! Here’s just a few that we found on the awesome site Operation We Are Here:  A Backpack Journalist summer workshops and camps Helping youth ages 12-18 find their voice through Narrative Writing, Reporting and Broadcast, Songwriting, Film making, Cowboy Poetry and Digital Storytelling. For military youth and service members, especially diagnosed with PTSD or TBI, our writing and journaling and digital storytelling are focused on helping each service member work through the issues each face. Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard Teen Leadership Summits A week-long camp for 14-18 year old dependent teens of current Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard military members focusing on leadership development and self-confidence, learning about programs and services available to AF dependents, and building an appreciation for and sense of belonging to the AF community. Air Force Space Camp – Huntsville, AL This camp focuses on showing12-18 year olds what it takes to be an astronaut Imagine experiencing simulated Space Shuttle missions, training simulators, rocket building and launches, scientific experiments, and lectures on the past, present, and future of space exploration. Army Reserve Family Programs Camps for Youth Youth have the opportunity to participate in unique experiences at little or no cost. Winter Camping Opportunities are provided by Military Teen Adventure Camp grants, Operation Military Kids, and YMCA locations. These camps are open to Military-connected youth regardless of Branch of Service who have a parent/loved one in any phase of the deployment cycle; priority is given to children/youth from geographically dispersed families. Camps for youth with special needs (cognitive and physical) are also listed. Camp C.O.P.E. Camp C.O.P.E. provides military families with an unforgettable weekend at camp. Camp C.O.P.E. gives these children hope and patience and courage. Camp C.O.P.E  lets them be just kids- again! Through therapeutic interventions, certified therapists teach children and their families how to cope with their changed world due to deployment, injury or loss of a family member as a result of their service in our country’s military. Camp C.O.P.E. provides weekend camps across the country free of charge to children and families of military personnel. Camp Corral Camp Corral is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Since its founding, in 2011 as a one camp pilot program, Camp Corral has grown over 700%. Over 6,500 children have been served and the program has expanded to 23 camps in 19 states. Although any child from a military family is eligible, registration priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Camp Yellow Ribbon (East Troy, WI) Camp Yellow Ribbon 2015 will take place August 16-20, 2015 at Camp Edwards YMCA Camp & Retreat Center, East Troy, WI. Camp Yellow Ribbon offers a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed. Camp Yellow Ribbon provides a fun and educational outlet for children in military families, from all service branches. The goal of this specialized camp is to help them to learn how to cope with the challenges of having a family member who is deployed or has returned from overseas. Our goal is to create a memorable camp experience and an exciting week of outdoor fun and adventure while allowing campers the opportunity to gather and learn in a safe place, vent their fears and frustrations and to meet other children who are experiencing similar challenges. Camp Yellow Ribbon also gives campers opportunities to learn, grow, and celebrate the military experience. Defending the Blue Line Our mission at Defending The Blue Line (DTBL) is ensuring that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey. We accomplish this by providing free equipment for military kids, hockey camps, special events, and financial assistance for registration fees and other costs associated with hockey. Minnesota National Guard Youth/Teen Camp (Camp Ripley, MN) The Minnesota National Guard Youth/Teen Camp is for children of active and retired Minnesota National Guard service members. Activities include archery, hiking, biking, canoeing and camping – all while connecting with other military kids. Exploring a training site at Camp Ripley, seeing various military vehicles and marching in formation help youth better understand the military their parents serve in. Week 1: July 26 to Aug. 1, 2015 Week 2: Aug. 2 to Aug. 8, 2015 Operation Free Ride (Horses for Heroes) An opportunity to ride a horse for free! Operation Free Ride is a program that offers weekly, hosted or sponsored horseback riding sessions that are free for every member of their family! This program serves military families with a deployed family member, as well as families who have a family member with a disability or serious illness. While our program is not able to serve the needs of the developmentally disabled or those with serious or terminal illnesses, we invite the other family members to enjoy the distractions and benefits to body and soul that only a day with horses can provide. Operation Free Ride is just one of the programs that help Horses4Heroes fulfill its mission to make horseback riding affordable for, and accessible to, the families of the heroes in our community including, but not limited to: active duty military personnel, veterans, law enforcement officers, fire fighters/EMTs, critical care and hospice nurses and others. Our Military Kids (grant for children of National Guard and Reserves) Along with the sacrifice of having a parent away in service for months at a time, many Guard and Reserve families are financially stretched and cannot afford the fees for sports, fine arts, or tutoring programs so crucial to a child’s sense of well-being. Additionally, because these families are Guard and Reserve, they are geographically dispersed throughout the country and often live too far from military bases and installations to access the available support services. Our Military Kids, founded in 2004, fills these gaps with a simple grant program that pays for children’s activities. Eligible families apply for a grant, and within days of receiving the application in the Our Military Kids office, a packet is sent to the child thanking them for their service to our country and notifying them of the award. The check to pay for the activity is sent directly to the service provider. Our Military Kids helps families who often fall outside the parameters of established support programs – the families of National Guard and Reserve service men and women who have been and are continuing to sacrifice so much for our country. Operation Military Kids Summer Camps Operation: Military Kids is proud to host camping experiences for the children, youth and families of all military services experiencing deployment. Visit the link for information on camps for 2015. Also visit the link “State Information” on their website (and their state Facebook page) to learn of camp opportunities for military children in your state. Operation Purple Camp (National Military Family Association) Operation Purple camps offer a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed. The goal of the Operation Purple camp program is to give military children tools to help deal with the stresses that result from a parent’s deployment, through a memorable camp experience in a “purple” environment. Operation Purple camps are open to military children of all ranks and services: active and reserve components—and give priority to children whose parents are in a deployment phase. Plantation Military Camp Program (Broward County, FL) The Frank Veltri Tennis Center, the Plantation Community Tennis Corporation and the Broward County Veteran’s Council have been working together since Summer 2010 to provide free tennis camp scholarships to children with a parent or parents on ACTIVE Duty or who are currently DEPLOYED and reside in Broward County, Florida (priority to City of Plantation Residents). Purple Heart Ranch (Sterling City, TX) (Military Warriors Hero Support Foundation) Purple Heart Ranch is open exclusively to combat wounded heroes and to Gold Star families. The ranch is also open to children of combat wounded heroes and those who have a parent currently deployed to a combat zone. Both the families of the wounded heroes and the parents of the children are encouraged to come and enjoy the experience with the hunters. There is fishing available at both properties and many other activities for the families. Both ranches are rich in history and are littered with Native American artifacts, especially arrow heads. Sisters under Sail – Daughters of US Military Sailing Scholarship Sisters Under Sail is a non-profit dedicated to teaching teenage girls leadership skills and life lessons through sail training. Daughters of U.S. Military and Canadian Forces, age 13 – 18, have been invited to sail aboard Tall Ship Unicorn with Sisters Under Sail as we sail the Great Lakes in 2015. Sailing as the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world, Sisters Under Sail is dedicated to teaching teen girls leadership skills and life lessons through sail training. To honor their service and sacrifice, Sisters will award several scholarships to teens whose parent(s) is a Fallen Warrior or Active Duty, Active Status in the Military, including the National Guard, Reservists and Coast Guard. VFW Camp Trotter (Newaygo, MI) Camp Trotter is a children’s camp located 7 miles East of Newaygo on M-82. The camp sits on the shores of one of west Michigan’s beautiful and picturesque lakes.  It is owned and operated by the Department of Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.  The management and oversight is carried out by a committee of elected members of the Michigan VFW, who take pride in keeping the camp in pristine condition to ensure the comfort and Safety of our guests.  The camp is fully licensed and insured with the State of Michigan. Camp Trotter exists primarily for children of veterans, but is not limited thereto; we offer five weeks of camping to children seven to twelve years old from all over the United States. The camp includes summer activities on site including swimming, boating, hiking, biking, arts and crafts, archery, softball, volleyball, as well as campfire activities. The children are given a general knowledge of science, art, and nature, and taught patriotism, courage, self reliance and kindred virtues. We try to further instill upon our campers morals and values by combining educational activities with fun, our goal is to guide and assist our youth to build a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

Use It or Lose It

Posted by Kelli McKinney
Grade school students – from kindergarten to high school – are often sent home at the end of the school year with invitations to all sorts of summer programs. You name the subject, and there’s probably a supercharged, extra awesome summer camp designed to sharpen the student’s skills and prepare them to impress teachers in the fall. But what about college students, you may ask…where’s their supercharged summer camp? After all, if you’re not actively practicing a skill, that skill is going to atrophy a little.  In other words – you’ve got to use your brain to keep it sharp, whether you’re continuing/starting school in the fall or entering the job market. Unless college students enroll in summer coursework or sign up for an internship (both of which we recommend, by the way) – there’s only one camp program they can really count on, and that program’s name is Life. Once you flipped your graduation tassel and tossed your cap, you probably began building your own extra awesome network of resources. After all, if you’ve enrolled in an online degree program, enlisted in the military, started a job or started a family, you’ve already entered the lifelong process of building experiences. Another word for that is learning. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to engage the ol’ cranium. Here’s just a few ideas to start you off:
  1. Offer to start a business blog for your boss (friend, spouse, brother…).  (Or, start a blog on a topic that interests you.) As you research, take photos, and write about the business, remember to stay focused on the positive. You want your blog to contribute to your work instead of creating controversy or losing customers. Blogging is a great way to learn and express yourself at the same time.
  2. Volunteer.   Investigate local organizations whose work you appreciate or respect, and find out how you can get involved.  Participating in volunteer work can be an eye-opening experience on many levels – and it helps your community support worthwhile causes.
  3. Read.  So, this one is pretty much a given.  But for some busy people, reading is a luxury activity that frequently falls by the wayside. Don’t let that happen to you. Whether you read newspapers, e-books, or traditional tomes, the key to preventing cobweb brain is to read, read, and read some more.
  4. Set goals.  Small, achievable targets add up to big, impressive wins.  Want to improve your vocabulary?  Get a word-of-the-day app and read it when you wake up each morning. By the end of the summer, you will have learned (or at least read) about a hundred new words.
  5. Get out of your comfort zone.  This doesn’t mean moving from the couch to the loveseat. This means try something new.  It doesn’t have to be dramatic, expensive or newsworthy. It just has to be different for you.  Mixing things up a little keeps you and your brain engaged, spurs creativity and can improve your problem-solving skills.
What are some ways that you’re boosting your brain this summer? Shout it out in the comments below.

Use Your Summer Wisely

Posted by Kelli McKinney
summer-prep-for-fall-educationIt’s May. You’ve just enrolled in an online degree program starting in August. Now what? Before you grab the sunscreen and hit the pool, you may want to make sure you’re ready to hit the books this fall.  Your college or department will probably have some specific instructions on getting up to speed. In the meantime, here are some tips you can use this summer to make sure your adjustment to online education is as smooth as soft serve. Take time with the system When it’s available, spend some prep time navigating through your class environment. You don’t have to do this all at once. You’ll want to make sure that you know how to do these things before your first class:
  • Access course materials: syllabus, videos, study guides, reading materials
  • Download and print any reference material
  • View, download, and turn in any assignment
  • Take a test
  • Get feedback from a classmate/give feedback to a classmate
  • Ask a question of the class or the instructor
  • Find an advisor
  • Create or join a study group
  • Get system support/technical help
  • Contact your instructor
  • View your grades
Check on financial aid If you’re receiving military education benefits, grants, scholarships or loans, contact your school’s financial aid office regularly to make sure everything is in order.  Find out:
  • How and when tuition is paid
  • When/if loans are due (when to start paying back)
  • If other fees or books are covered
  • Who to talk to if there’s a problem
  • How to check your account balance
  Make time for the work You’re ready for the first day of class, but are you ready for the next four months of classwork?  Go ahead and block off some time daily or weekly for completing homework and preparing for tests.  A good rule of thumb is to plan three hours of homework each week for every one hour of credit. So for a three-credit course, you’ll want to set aside nine hours of study time. If you have a job or family, start talking with them now about the kind of time commitment you’ll need to make in the fall to be successful in the class.  And make sure you’re designating plenty of time for them too. Watch the syllabus When your syllabus is posted, read it. All of it. Mark test dates and homework dates on your calendar. If there are books to download or purchase, the key to saving money is buying them early online. There are bargain booksellers online that may be less expensive than the virtual school bookstore – but again, the key to savings is buying early. Protect your computer You’re going to send and receive a lot of files, so you need to make sure you have a security program in place. If you’ve already got one, keep it updated and running.  Not only could a virus knock you out of commission and make you miss an important due date, identity theft is just plain horrible. Don’t risk it – use a good security program. Your school may even have a few that they recommend. Make a back-up plan Even the most reliable internet connections can experience outages. But when entire degree programs are conducted via the internet, instructors expect you to have connectivity and they don’t usually take “I couldn’t log in” as an excuse for missing assignment due dates.  Have a back-up study location – a local library, coffee shop, deli, or school, for example – just in case your provider fails. With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to make a big splash not just at the pool this summer, but also in your classroom this fall.   #militaryeducationbenefits #militarystudents #onlineeducation

Top Resolutions for 2015

Posted by Kelli McKinney
Photo by Carol VanHook, CC / SA

Photo by Carol VanHook, CC / SA

It’s New Year’s Eve! Can you see the “fresh new year, fresh new me’s” flying past, brimming with good intention and hope? A recent study by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology says nearly half of us make these annual declarations known as New Year’s Resolutions. Forty-five percent of Americans set goals to improve themselves in the coming twelve months. The most popular of these goals are:
  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Get Fit, Stay Healthy
  6. Learn Something Exciting
According to Louise Firth Campbell and Amram Shapiro, authors of The Book of Odds, 1 in 2.6 U.S. adults believe they are overweight, and Americans spend 9 million hours looking for things. When about a third of all American adults have no savings at all, a resolution to spend less and save more makes perfect sense. Odds authors say the chances that an American doesn’t plan to take their vacation are 1 in 4 – and if they do take a vacation, the odds are 1:2 that they’re thinking about work. While the top five aren’t really any surprise, it’s Resolution #6: Learn Something Exciting that holds the most promise. No matter your age, the prospect of learning something new is what keeps people feeling connected with others and engaged with the world around them. Plus, in today’s economy, keeping your skills sharp can help you stay competitive in the job market. Whether you choose to take personal enrichment coursework or career-focused professional education, learning something new and interesting is a fantastic way to invest in yourself and your family. A new year is a prime time to set goals and improve yourself. Where are you setting your sights this year? Will you work toward physical fitness, financial security, professional education or all of the above? Tell us about your plans in the comments below, and on behalf of Military Authority, best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy 2015!   Photo by Carol VanHook, CC / SA

When Your Holiday Plans Include Studying

Posted by Kelli McKinney
nontraditionalFrom an early age, most of us are taught that the Thanksgiving break is a special time.  It’s a time for gratitude, appreciation, and generosity toward our family, friends, and fellow human beings.  It’s a time for reflection, for being aware that in spite of our daily troubles, we are people who have been greatly blessed.  Also, there’s food. If you’re an online college student, sometimes one of the things you’re most grateful for is the time away from school and work that the holiday brings.  There are some online students, though, who maintain that keeping a rigorous routine of study is what will help them finish the semester on top of their game. In some households, the Thanksgiving holidays include kids home from school, parents juggling work and travel plans, and lots of hungry houseguests.  When you’ve got a house full of bustling, festive friends and family, finding a quiet, peaceful place to focus on coursework can be a challenge. If you’re one of those who – for a multitude of reasons – finds themselves needing to hit the books during the holidays, you’re not alone. Here are a few tried and true ways to squeeze in some quality time with your homework over the holidays:
  1. Plan for it.  Figure out how many hours you’ll need to spend reading, writing, or on a webinar, then work those hours in and around your activities.
  2. Give it the turkey treatment. It’s no secret that cooking the holiday meal takes a few hours.  While the bird is cooking, the cook can usually do other things – prepare other meal items, or set the table, or even sit down and watch the parade.  So maybe this year, one of those “other things” is a half hour of reading or studying for a test?
  3. Enlist help.  Wouldn’t it be great if Grandma and Grandpa could watch the kids, or if Aunt Tess could help with shopping, or Uncle Jim could clean the kitchen so you could wrap up that assignment for Monday?  I bet if you ask them, they’d be happy to help.

Veterans Day: 24/7, 365

Posted by Kelli McKinney
Tanks and cavalry prepare to move member of the Bonus Army away from the White House in 1932.

Tanks and cavalry prepare to move member of the Bonus Army away from the White House in 1932.

In 1932, thousands of veterans dubbed themselves the Bonus Army and protested in Washington D.C., asking the federal government to pay bonuses they felt they’d earned. As protestors picketed the White House, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered tanks to forcibly remove the veterans from the premises. Two veterans were killed by D.C. police. FDR’s response to the protestors’ requests in 1933: “No person because he wore a uniform must thereafter be placed in a special class of beneficiaries over and above other citizens.” What FDR failed to realize then, and what many others fail to realize even these 80 years later, is that veterans were not asking for special treatment. They don’t ask to be worshipped. They just want an equal opportunity, like everyone else, to earn their way after their service has ended. They want to work toward the dream they’ve defended. Ten years after shamefully turning tanks on U.S. veterans, President Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1943, otherwise known as the G.I. Bill. The G.I. Bill made it possible for those men and women who put their lives on hold in service of their country to get an education, start a business, or purchase a home. The impact of this bill is still being felt even today, and it is widely considered one of the most successful pieces of legislation in U.S. history. Holidays like Veterans Day make it easy for us to pay a sincere tribute to our Armed Forces each year. But we need to consider that the freedoms we enjoy each day exist because of those who have served and are serving today. Veterans serve, support and protect us 24/7/365, often without acknowledgement, much less thanks. November is a time of year when many of us pause to reflect on our blessings. There are currently more than 23 million Veterans in the United States today. Nearly 20 percent of them served during the Gulf War (1990 – present) and more than a third of them served during the Vietnam War (1964-75). Their service is something for which we should all be thankful, each and every day.

Meet Your New Best Study Buddy: The Gym

Posted by Kelli McKinney
militaryauthority.com_gym-study-buddyWe all associate physical exercises with their physical health benefits. When you curl weights, you get toned biceps. Squats will yield tightened glutes and abs. Regular cardio exercise like jogging or aerobics improves your heart health. But did you know that regular physical activity can also help that oh-so-important organ that sits atop your neck? It doesn’t matter how old you are or what kind of physical abilities you already possess, the benefits of regular physical activity go beyond just the ability to fit into your favorite pair of jeans. BOOSTS BRAIN POWER When you exercise, you raise the level a certain chemical in your brain called “growth factors.” Growth factors promote the growth of new brain cells and connect pathways between existing brain cells, which helps us learn. When you’re thinking about complicated, coordinated movements like those involved in a sport or a dance class, you’re challenging your brain. This improves our capacity to learn. In a study by German researchers, high school students who spent 10 minutes doing a complicated exercise routine scored better on high-attention tasks than those who spent 10 minutes doing regular activity. Students who hadn’t exercised at all scored the lowest. FIGHTS THE EFFECTS OF STRESS A half hour of exercise releases chemicals in your brain that are proven to soothe – norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Plus, it changes the way blood flows to your brain, disrupting that loop of stressful thoughts. Stress shows up in a number of ways, including the way our body ages. A 2010 study from the University of California San Francisco reports that self-described “stressed out” ladies who averaged 45 minutes of exercise during a three day period showed fewer signs of aging in their cells when compared to those who were also stressed out but remained inactive. DEFENDS AGAINST DEPRESSION Depression is a cruel disease that can – among other things – damage neurons in your brain. Although it’s not suggested as a substitute for medication or treatment, physical activity has been linked to reducing symptoms of depression by stimulating the growth of neurons in those regions affected by the disease. According to researchers, sustained exercise that burns 350 calories three times a week can reduce depression symptoms nearly as effectively as antidepressant medication. Plus, animal studies indicate that physical activity boosts production of molecules that improve connections between nerve cells – which acts as a natural antidepressant. MAINTAINS MENTAL FITNESS You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to gain lifelong benefit from regular exercise. Mild levels of activity – like short walks, cooking, cleaning, gardening – can keep your brain agile as you age. The Archives of Internal Medicine published a 2011 study by Canadian researchers who examined the brain function and energy levels of elderly adults for a period of two-to-five years. Those who were mildly active demonstrated the least decline – about 90 percent of them could remember and think just as well as they did when the study began. In an interview with US News, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, said “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning. Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.” You don’t need to set aside huge chunks of time to increase your daily exercise. If you can’t make it to the gym on a regular basis, here are a few ways you can sneak in extra activity and get those brain-boosting effects.
  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  2. Park a few spaces farther away from the door.
  3. Walk your dog.
  4. While you’re vacuuming, do lunges or squats.
  5. If you have a favorite TV show, do jumping jacks or crunches while you watch.

Swapping Boots for Suits

Posted by Kelli McKinney from boots to suits military transitionDefense contractors and those within the industry itself can usually comprehend military communication quite well. But if the next job you want falls closer to corporate operations than field operations, you’ll need to think through the way your experience and skills are represented on your resume. Otherwise, making that leap from MRE to water cooler might be trickier than it needs to be.

Luckily, there are a few standard words and phrases for which a trail has already been blazed from tank to cubicle. Test your civvyspeak translation abilities by taking the quiz below:

If your resume currently contains the word “mission,” the best civilian employer equivalent is:

  1. Task
  2. Function
  3. Objective
  4. Initiative
  5. All of the above

AI, translated for a civilian resume, means:

  1. Artificial Intellectualism
  2. Additionally skilled in
  3. Alternatively increasing
  4. All about international

If you led a squad or platoon, you want to refer to the squad or platoon as a:

  1. Class
  2. Congregation
  3. Team, section or group
  4. Collection of like-minded individuals

MOS (military occupation specialty) should be referred to as:

  1. MOS
  2. Master of Science
  3. Service organization
  4. Career specialty or specialty

The civilian equivalent of reconnaissance is

  1. Game of Thrones and/or A Medieval fair
  2. A Scouting trip
  3. Data collection and analysis
  4. None of the above

Answers to the quiz are here (answers are at the bottom of this post). So how’d you do? 

In some career fields, like medical patient care, record keeping and accounting, the skills and protocol are fairly universal. If this is your field, you may not need to translate as much as say, a tank crew member. 

And remember – even though you are highly capable of managing your own career transition, you don’t have to go through this alone. Contact your transition assistance office, your service branch career and alumni program, or your installation’s family services and support employment readiness office for guidance or low/no-cost classes.




  1. E  
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. C

Fun Friday: Spooky Specters or Hooey Hokum – You Decide

Posted by Kelli McKinney warren afb hauntedWhen you’re part of an organization with a long history like the United States Armed Forces, you are part of a proud tradition. You have stories to tell. 

Sometimes, these stories are hard to explain. Not the kind of hard to explain that you might see on grocery-store-checkout-lane magazine covers, but the kind of hard to explain that leaves the listener with a funky expression on their face.

Case in point: F.E Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming started out in the 1800s as an Army post on at the edge of the frontier named Fort David A. Russell. Originally charged with guarding the new railway, the post evolved and played key roles in events throughout our nation’s history – from the Great Sioux Indian Wars and the Spanish American War to the Philippines. By 1930, the era of the Calvary had ended. President Hoover changed the name of the fort to Francis E. Warren and F.E. Warren Air Force Base was ‘officially’ born. 

But it was born on top of an ancient native burial ground… just kidding. Sort of.

Stories of violent atrocities committed by cavalrymen against native women, men and children linger still today, and you might say they’re still around in part because the spirits won’t let Warren AFB forget. 

According to one resource, over the past 50 years, more than 150 reported events have been documented at Warren, many of them sharing spooky similarities.

For example, in one historic home known to soldiers simply as “the ghost house”, people report hearing rhythmic clunking of heavy boot steps and clicking toenails of dog’s feet pacing in the attic. Some people have reported seeing the apparition of a cavalryman and his faithful companion walking the floor together. Residents of the home have even had to adjust their décor to accommodate the dog’s preferences: when a certain picture is removed from the wall, the sound of a dog barking and whining persists until the picture is replaced. 

If you drive by one house on base, you may see a little girl with long, curly hair staring out of the guest room window. She’s been reported many times on base, particularly when the house is supposed to be vacant, but the former owners reported her presence too. Because they don’t have a little girl with long, curly hair. And the same one’s been showing up for years. 

There’s a sordid tale of marital betrayal that ended with one party accidentally hanging himself on a clothesline after jumping out of a second story window to escape his lover’s husband. Alas, to this day, residents of that home will leave a room and return it minutes later to find furniture turned wrongways, drawers opened, tables overturned – actions, they believe, of a young man who is still searching for his pants.

Warren is an impressive, massive installation, home to the 90th Missile Wing, 153rd Command and Control Squadron (Wyoming Air National Guard), 30th Airlift Squadron, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 80, the Wyoming Wing HQ of the Civil Air Patrol and the Area Defense Counsel. These are not the kind of people who are prone to making up stories. But probably, more importantly, they’re not the kind of people who scare easily. With this in mind, revisit the question posed in the headline: Are these hauntings the real deal? Or just campfire stories?  




Air Force Times

Fun Friday: Government Shutdown Edition

Posted by Kelli McKinney fun friday twitter shutdown commentsIn light of the government shutdown, here are some of the best things we’ve found on twitter regarding this glorious example of democracy in action… 

DENISE ™ @denisealondra

“After the sequester, they will cut back on airport security. We will have to pat ourselves down.” @LateShow #shutdownjokes


Adam Armus @AdamArmus

Grand Canyon closed. Visit Congress for alternative gaping hole. #ShutdownSuggestions


The Daily Show @TheDailyShow

Museums are closed. Hit up nursing homes to see old stuff instead. #ShutdownSuggestions


The Canada Party @theCanadaParty

Move to Canada. Open 24 hrs. #ShutdownSuggestions

Danielle @thatdanielle

Note to self: Do not get infectious disease today. Or apparently tomorrow. And possibly the day after.


The Milky Way @milkscone

have you tried turning it off and on again? #ShutdownSuggestions


Cory Confesses @CoryConfesses

@TheDailyShow Will my taxes be prorated during the shutdown? #ShutdownSuggestions


Making light of these circumstances is just one way of coping. But on a serious note, we don’t think that 800,000 people without jobs is funny, nor do we think that the loss of veterans programs, benefits, or military paychecks isn’t a very serious situation. Our thoughts are with all those directly impacted by the furloughs. Which, truly, is all of us.

We the people must look after each other. Those that are able, please consider donating to your local food pantries, shelters, churches, or other support organizations.