• Blue Star Families Web Page

  • Blue Star Photos

  • Advertisements

Spouse Speak: Recently Deployed

This post originally appeared in the August 19, 2009 edition of The Flagship.

By Vivian Greentree

My husband recently deployed (I say recently because my donut of misery still has too much green on it to say anything else … still it feels like forever!) and I have been doing all the typical stuff for trying to keep my kids connected with their dad through our normal routines.

For instance, we are on a care package schedule now, wherein my oldest, MJ, practices his writing skills in telling dad what he’s done and the youngest, Walker, displays his ability to draw circles and color them in. There is always a golf magazine that my oldest saves from the mail with a reverence that is almost comical – “I get to be the one who puts it in the box,” he says. And, I think the only sacred box of cookies in the house, the only box that isn’t in danger of being raided by grubby little hands on the sly, is the one that has been earmarked for dad. Always Chips-Ahoy (not enough chocolate to melt but enough to make a good cookie). Oh, and his special hair gel. My military man knows how to look good even in the desert thank you very much!

So, thinking about what to put in our care packages has become a running point of interest with me and the boys – “NO! Daddy does not want you to send him that frog. NO! Not even if you put it in water on the way over!” We also read We Serve Too! (www.weservetoo.com) before bedtime a lot. I found that particular book when an organization I’m a part of, Blue Star Families, held a Books on Bases, Smiles on Faces program here in Virginia Beach for our local military families. The National Guard representative who came had a slew of books aimed at helping military children cope with the challenges of having a deployed parent. I have found it to be invaluable in starting conversations with MJ, who’s 5, about his feelings of missing his dad. And, it shows him that he and his brother are serving in their own way – as children in a military family – which allows him to replace some of that anger he has towards missing his dad with the pride of being a military child who is working hard in his own special way.

And now, I have just added another tactic for getting through this deployment (while retaining my sanity!) which has proven to be quite the hit in our house. A few weeks ago, I was introduced to an idea by a military spouse friend in Florida who told me she has a friend who has been carrying her deployed boyfriend’s picture around on a stick. I know, sounds odd. Like a warped version of a blow up doll date. However, she has been taking pictures of herself with her “flat Stanley” at all the fun places she goes and then puts them up on her blog for her friends and family, and most importantly, Stanley, to see. Flat Stanley has been to baseball games, a friend’s baby shower (probably glad he actually wasn’t there in person for that particular one!), out to dinner, and to the pool. I decided to try it out for myself. So, MJ and I picked a picture of my husband and enlarged it. Given my lack of craftiness (though surely I must be given points for ingenuity) we used what would otherwise be known as a barbecue skewer to tape his picture to. Oh yeah, and given our tendencies towards water play, we laminated it.

MJ calls it ‘dad on a stick.’ And, since his creation, DOAS has been biking with us, on a picnic, and to the pool. He’s peered over MJ’s shoulder while MJ was working on his letters, gone to Habachi with us, and he’s even tagged along to “George Washington DC” on our trip to the Smithsonian (he was the only one in the car who didn’t complain during the six hour trip home, when we got stuck in traffic).

// = 1221627600) && (nAdsysTime

The pictures we take I send to Mike. It gives him a pictorial of what we are doing and allows him a window into our world. He says it is bittersweet – obviously it makes him wish it was he who was actually here helping MJ with his school work or even here being trapped in the car with us during horrible traffic instead of a paper version of himself. Still, he says he enjoys the whole process and seeing what we are doing, even telling me new places he wants DOAS to go (to a Pearl Jam concert is one that has been mentioned). And, MJ and Walker are all about finding outrageous new scenarios for DOAS to be involved with, especially as they try to show dad what they want to do with him when he gets home. Last week, when I had class, MJ asked our babysitter if DOAS could help make Mac and Cheese with them. Accordingly, in this most recent care package, there is a picture of MJ holding DOAS while he helps stir the macaroni with the carefully printed message of, “We’ll eat Mac and Cheese when you get home! You can use my Spiderman bowl!”

So, if you have a deployed spouse and are looking for a fun summer project to do with your kids, why not make a DOAS (or a MOAS)? While he doesn’t compare with his living, breathing counterpart, at least he’ll be able to invoke some of the comical, yet poignant moments that help get us through these long separations. Plus, unlike his real-life counterpart, my DOAS agrees with everything I say!

Vivian Greentree lives in Chesapeake, VA and is the Membership Director of Blue Star Families. She is also on the Governor’s Commission for Nation and Community Service. If you’d like to get involved with BSF, contact Vivian at vgreentree@bluestarfam.org.


Reintegration – Phase 11 (excerpt from 400 Days)

400 DaysDanette Hayes is the BSF Co-Director for National Guard and Reserve Outreach and the author of 400 Days, a book about her National Guard family’s deployment journey.

Rich and I have immersed ourselves into civilian lives once again. I wish I could say it’s been easy, but the reality is, it has not.  We renewed our wedding vows on August 30, 2008.  Our best man eighteen years ago was Rich’s brother, John, so we found it quite fitting that he officiate our renewal.  It was a casual affair on the deck, surrounded by our family, who each did a reading.  Unlike the church wedding we had before, this was all our doing, words that we chose, readings and music that didn’t have to be approved by the church. It was a true representation of our life together.

Our best friends, Greg and Shari Merritt, assisted John as officiates of the ceremony, and we loved having them stand with us. We’ve all been through this separation, and this almost felt like we all renewed a vow to continue being there for each other.  We bought each of the children an Irish wedding band and exchanged them during the ceremony.  David and Susan read from Lord of the Rings about change. Makayla read from the Velveteen Rabbit about how growing old and being real doesn’t hurt, it just happens. Kelly sang “What a Wonderful World.” She practiced for weeks with our friend Jimmy who played guitar for us and sang Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You,” something that never would’ve been approved in our Catholic ceremony eighteen years ago. This was the most memorable wedding I’ve ever been a part of, and I wish I had videotaped it. Shari and Meredith, being the crazy ladies they are, made us a heart-shaped cake with a Barbie and Ken dressed in Parrothead attire. They even cut Barbie’s hair to resemble my haircut and shaved Ken’s head to reflect Rich’s crew cut. True to form, my crazy ladies brought my favorite tequila, Patrón, and the evening ended on a happy note.

I’ve spoken about ceremony before, the military need to preserve these worthwhile celebrations. Renewing our vows brought closure to the separation the last year brought us and allowed us to renew our commitment to each other and our children for a bright future, no matter what may come. My, how I’ve grown!

I’m still searching for employment, but feel lucky that I can be home during this time of transition. After the welcome home celebrations end and we try to pick up the pieces, it’s then that I see and understand how hard it is to feel good about what he’s done as a soldier. Rich returned to work in August, but there was no one there to welcome him back. He had no office, no phone, no computer to return to—it was as if he had never been there. He had to track down facilities for assistance. He had notified his boss he’d be returning thirty days before his arrival back at the office, yet he wasn’t there to welcome him back.  To the contrary, when he did see Rich, he seemed surprised he had returned to work at all.

I’m dumbfounded that his boss would think he wouldn’t return to his civilian job. Just what do employers think the Guardsmen or Reservists do that enable them to walk away from their futures when they return from war? From the stories I’ve heard at the reintegration meetings, this is common for the Guardsmen.  He’s still struggling to get his employer to honor USERRA. To some, it’s just enough to sign up to be an employer who supports the Guard and Reserve soldiers. It’s an entirely different matter to actually follow through with that commitment.

Let’s face it—life moved on without them. I don’t think Rich ever received an e-mail from anyone at his office, except maybe at the holiday time. It’s not that people don’t mean well. They’re just caught up in their own lives. No one knows what to expect or how to act around someone who’s sacrificing a year of their own life so that others back home can get on with theirs. It shouldn’t be a thankless job.

Rich is one of the lucky ones.  He came home to a family.  I’ve met so many who didn’t have a family to come home to. At the meeting this past weekend, during one point in the schedule, they asked married couples to stay in one room for “dialogue,” and those whose spouses or significant others had left because of the deployment to adjourn into another room.  Almost one-third of the room left.  It left me sad and angry.  The cost to military families is taking its toll, and I search for answers to end this cycle.   Seventy-five percent of the suicides in the military are due to relationship troubles.   It’s so hard to put my fingers around such numbers, but seeing the room split as I did, it’s hard not to recognize how it happens.

I think Rich saw himself in the meetings. They gave a presentation/film on battle fatigue and the symptoms.  I’m grateful he saw himself so that I wouldn’t have to start at ground zero.  Invalidation they call it. “They” meaning psychiatrists and the VA dealing with Post Combat Stress and Battle Fatigue.  It’s a subtle symptom that, left untreated, can lead to alcoholism, drug abuse, withdrawal, seclusion, and ultimately suicide.  The soldiers feel so disconnected from their prior lives as civilians and unappreciated for their commitment that they start to question their own ability to provide a future for themselves or for their families.  We’re learning more and more about post combat stress, but we’re not reacting fast enough as a society. They describe invalidation as mocking, ignoring, judging, or minimizing a soldier’s feelings.  Sounds simple, right?  And it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Wrong.  Invalidation goes beyond mere rejection by implying not only that our feelings are disapproved of, but that we are fundamentally abnormal. This implies that there is something wrong with us because we aren’t like everyone else; we are strange; we are different; we are weird.  Psychological invalidation is one of the most lethal forms of emotional abuse.  It kills confidence, something sorely needed by returning civilian soldiers.  When we tell a soldier who has just returned from deployment, “Oh, don’t worry, it’s okay, you’ll feel better soon,” we’re minimizing their emotions. After days or even weeks of this minimizing behavior, the soldier eventually becomes more depressed and capable of self-harm.  These situations do not go away on their own.  Soldiers learn to isolate themselves because they’re not “normal” and turn to alcohol or drugs.  I find myself guilty of this same invalidation and quickly redress how I phrase the emotions Rich is going through. After all, who am I to say he’ll feel better soon?  I have no real idea what he’s going through.

The Guardsman or Reservist isn’t benefiting from active duty life, and they are different from their civilian counterparts.  The businessman behind the desk can’t relate to putting his life on the line for his cubicle mate while a soldier spends 24/7 ready to sacrifice his life for his fellow soldier.
The law reads they can take up to 90 days off before returning to work. Generous it sounds, but totally unrealistic.  The Army won’t pay them for 90 days, and I don’t know anyone who’s been deployed for over a year who can financially afford not to return to work within 30 days of return. The business partner can’t relate to the transition issues the civilian soldier has to deal with daily.  The recourse is to isolate themselves because no one knows what to do with the soldier who just returned.  Soldiers pick up on this quite fast, and it feeds the feeling that they are not “normal.”

Of course the VA will say services are available to the Guard and Reserve, and they are.  But at what cost?  What officer is going to risk their military career because of depression? And what becomes of their civilian career if labeled “unfit” for duty?  It’s a risk that too many Guardsmen and Reservists are not willing to take.  So the families try to manage on their own, treading carefully, yet all the while realizing that what they thought would be a return to normal life is starting to look like a bad dream that won’t end.

A Peace Sign

IMG_6831Welcome, Allison Buckholtz, author of Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War.  She lives in the Washington, DC suburbs with her two young children; her husband is currently serving a 12-month deployment in the Middle East. (Originally published at Alison’s Deployment Diary on Double X.)

“What are you drawing?” I asked my son Ethan, as he swirled paint on paper one quiet afternoon at our house.

“A welcome home sign,” he answered.

“For who?”

“For Daddy.”

Ethan is 6 years old, and though he has a sly sense of humor, he doesn’t yet appreciate irony. So I couldn’t laugh, even though my husband Scott, an active-duty Navy pilot, left for a year-long assignment in Iraq just two days ago. With training and travel, Scott will be away close to 14 months, so Ethan’s welcome home sign comes about 410 days too early. I didn’t tell him that, of course. If he can find solace through art, or anything constructive, I’m thrilled. It’s better than crying for four hours straight, as he did the night Scott left.

There are, of course, many well-developed, crafty strategies for military kids to count down to a parent’s homecoming from deployment. In my circle of moms, the paper chain is popular: Basically, you and your kid cut out one colorful strip for every day of the servicemember’s absence, tape each into a link, then connect all the links together and string them across the room. You remove one link every morning to mark the approaching homecoming hug.

My husband got home barely a year ago, and his last stint lasted seven months. Before that deployment, the idea of a 216-link paper chain horrified me; the last thing I wanted to do was enumerate the endless number of days. I felt strongly that my kids’ emotional health rested on precisely the fact that they didn’t know exactly how long they’d be apart from Daddy.

I did briefly consider the jar of chocolate kisses, a new tactic for getting through deployment that’s making the rounds among military wives. You buy several bags of Hershey’s kisses, count out one for each day of the deployment, and place them in a jar. Every morning when you and the children wake up, start your day with a kiss, as if your deployed loved one was there to greet you.

But even that one seemed suspect to me. Ours is the kind of house in which Halloween candy doesn’t last ‘til breakfast the next day. I didn’t doubt my capacity to devour 400 kisses on a lonely night, so I did myself a favor and discarded this feels-a-little-too-good strategy before I ended up like a Cathy cartoon.

Since I’m a writer, I thought that perhaps Ethan might discover an outlet for his feelings by putting them on paper. I tried this during my husband’s last deployment, when Ethan, then 4 and a half, was in the throes of classic dad’s-on-deployment symptoms: depressed, angry and withdrawn, a mockery of his best self. As I wrote in my memoir, Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War, I asked him to draw his feelings, and he tore the pencil through the paper, ripping it to shreds. One morning, I told him that I would write a letter to Daddy from him if he told me what to say. Here’s what he dictated:

Dear Daddy,

I wish you were home right now. I really miss you. I’m crying right this second and I’m holding my shirt over my face. I wish you were home right now. I really really love you. Please tell the driver of the aircraft carrier to stop the boat.

My dream was about you leaving home. You were in bed and other people rang the doorbell and took you away and me and Esther [my daughter] were pulling you back and you had to drive away and we followed you but couldn’t find you and I cried and cried and cried.

That is all done.



Multiple military studies detail the experiences of military children with deployed parents, and the way that parents’ stress levels affect their children. Although one Army-sponsored study concludes that “military children and adolescents exhibit levels of psychopathology on par with children of civilian families,” it acknowledges that military children face “significant life challenges” not shared by their civilian peers. Boys with a war-deployed father may suffer especially frequent “emotional, behavioral, sex-role, and health problems,” according to one particularly influential Army study.

I wasn’t a military kid, and both of my parents were deeply involved and ever-present in nearly every aspect of my childhood, so it’s daunting for me to put myself in my son’s place. I know he misses his father, and I know he’s in pain, but at his age, he doesn’t articulate the details. Instead, I just have to watch him closely for the changes in his behavior. Like amateur sleuths, we military moms constantly scan our kids for clues to their state of mind. Is he acting up? Throwing food? Saying odd things? If we suspect deployment is the source, we start calling therapists, or carving out more one-on-one time, or searching for appropriate books to read. These strategies work for some people, but I haven’t yet found the foolproof one.

This welcome home business is coming entirely too early. So how do I break it to my kid, fresh blue paint splattered on his cheek, that our countdown hasn’t even reached the one-year mark yet?

Turns out I didn’t have to worry.

Ethan was quiet for a moment as he surveyed his swirls, which had morphed into something considerably more abstract than a homecoming banner. I wondered, as I so often do, what he was thinking.

“I changed my mind,” my boy finally said. “It’s not a welcome home sign. It’s a peace sign.”

Photograph of Ethan courtesy of the author.

How to Prepare for Deployment

DeploymentThis article originally appeared at MilSpouse.com.

14 Pointers to ease the tension.

by Vivian Greentree

While there is no real way to emotionally prepare yourself or your family for the long separations of deployments, we can certainly do a lot in the way of logistical and organizational planning to help facilitate the situation.

For me, no matter how much I prepare and arrange, the fact that I’m sleeping alone for the next 6 to 12 months isn’t real until the first night after he’s left.

Here are a few pointers I’ve managed to accumulate through personal trials and tribulations.

The Legal Stuff

  1. Make sure all your legal documents are in order.
  2. Make sure you have access to any joint or single accounts that you’ll need to pay bills.
  3. Make a spreadsheet with accounts, passwords and the bills you are responsible for and when they are due.
  4. Create a document with the contact phone numbers, email addresses and Web sites for base representatives, your spouse club, FRG, or other people who have information that you’ll inevitably want to have sometime during the deployment.

The House/General Maintenance Stuff

  1. Fix Things. Don’t wait until things break to discover they need work. Gutters, roofs, tires, etc.
  2. Know your limits.
  3. Have a running list of services you use and the corresponding contact information. Try to build yourself a good list before you actually need them.

The Family Stuff

  1. First, resign yourself to the fact that nothing you do to prepare is going to lessen the loss of not having your soul mate, the father/mother of your kids, and best friend.
  2. Find ways to mark time.
  3. One friend gets a map of the world and uses push pins to show where his wife has traveled with her ship.
  4. Digital picture frames are awesome. You can continually upload new pictures or mail a removable mass storage device, like a flash drive with new pictures on it.
  5. Stay connected.  This can be done both ways, for the deployed spouse or the family waiting at home.
  6. Another idea is to buy/download computer cameras and software (like Skype) that allow you to converse through an internet connection. This, of course, is dependent upon the type of deployment and your spouse’s access to computers.

The Maine Greeters

GreetersIf your service member has deployed, I’ll bet that they told you about a great group of people – The Maine Greeters. When my husband returned after the first deployment to the Sand – he called me from Bangor, and told me about the group of (mostly) elderly men and women who shoved a cell phone into his hand, told him welcome home, shook his hand and said go call home. I have a picture of him from their website, him on the phone sitting in the parking lot (with a cigar) talking to me..

When I asked him about these wonderful people, in preparation for writing about them, he said

Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  Constantly pushing cell phones at the troops, for that last call before leaving CONUS, or the first call back in the states.  I remember talking to them, theirs is a well organized group, always willing to be there regardless of the time of day or night, just to make sure the troops get whatever they might need as they pass through.  Plus they usually have the great big sugar cookies with the half inch of psychedelic frosting on top.

There have been stories about the Greeters, they show up no matter what time it is, no matter what the weather (and in Maine, they get WEATHER!). If they are coming home, every service member gets a hand shake, a “welcome home”,  a hug, a smile.   If they are outbound to deploy, they get a “good luck”, “be safe”,  “we’re proud of you”, a smile, a handshake or a hug.

Now – there is a movie about three of these wonderful people,  The Way We Get By .  For those of you in New York, it opens at the IFC Center on July 17th.   I would LOVE to be there, but life and R&R are getting priority.  For those of you who DO go – please write us up a review!

The Way We Get By – Trailer from The Way We Get By on Vimeo.

On their website (here’s the link again ) there are times and dates of the various showings. I’m hoping we can get the word out everywhere.

Tips for Pre-Deployment

Photo courtesy of Vivian Greentree

Photo courtesy of Vivian Greentree

This originally appeared in the Spouse Speak! column of the June 18, 2009, issue of The Flagship.  The author, Vivian Greentree, is the Blue Star Famililes Director of Membership.

While there is no real way to emotionally prepare yourself or your family for the long separations of deployments, we can certainly do a lot in the way of logistical and organizational planning to help facilitate the situation. And though the phrase, “Men plan, God laughs” comes to mind, there is a lot we, as military families, can do to be proactive and make these separations and their ensuing stressors a little bit easier on ourselves and our loved ones.

For me, no matter how much I prepare and arrange, the fact I’m sleeping alone for the next X months (well, if you don’t count children and pets) isn’t real until the first night after he’s left. But here are some of the nuts and bolts of deployment preparedness I’ve managed to accumulate through personal trials and tribulations – the learning curve is steep isn’t it?


• Make sure all your legal documents are in order. While some insurance agents are usually very accommodating to those of us who say, aren’t on the top of our game with having all our certifying information handy, there are some people, like the guy who processes children’s passports at the post office, who aren’t. The post office guys outnumber the friendly agents.

• Closely related to the first bullet, make sure you have access to any joint or single accounts that you’ll need to pay bills, inquire after, or change things on.

• One way to make sure you have everything covered is to make a spreadsheet with accounts, passwords, and what bills you are responsible for and when they are due. Know what bills come from direct deposit, through automatic bill pay (we are big fans of web bill pay!), and the periodic ones that sneak up on you like pest/termite control and the water bill. If you already have a family budget going, use another tab to keep the information handy and in one, reliable place.



• Fix Things! No matter the season, our gutters, our cars (tires and oil changes, air filters, etc.) all get a once over. Knowing the one thing you didn’t check (or maybe did but it wasn’t ready to break quite yet) will break the first week your military member is gone, should not deter you from some pre-emptive maintenance and preservation. Since I’ve managed to get numerous flat tires, broken windows, gas leaks, an automatic cat litter box that developed a penchant for trying to eat the cat, and an alarm system that sent out false alarms after all of them had been working in perfect order days before my husband deployed, this is, among all preparations for deployment, the one that reminds me of, “Men plan, God laughs!” And, looking back upon a few of those “ordeals” from a safe distance where time has softened my perspective, I have to laugh as well.

• Set yourself up for success! And, by that I mean know your limits. I know I’m not going to take care of our yard by myself. With two kidlets, a full course load, and volunteer work, a “treat” to myself these days is my neighbor Josh, the aspiring owner of a full service lawn care company. However, I don’t mind cleaning, recleaning, and yes, recleaning our bathrooms where the little guys, ahem, miss. However, I have talked to other spouses who would rather hire an occasional cleaning service than spend that money on manicures, movies out with the kids, or in one case, two-ply toilet paper. Know thyself (and what you can handle…and what you can’t – or don’t want to!)

• Another way to set yourself up for success is to have a running list of services you use and their contact information – babysitters (and not just one – we are at the mercy of their social schedules!), lawn services, plumbers, repairmen, the number for gas leaks (which is, I’ve found, on your monthly gas bill), electricians, etc. These are the people who will save your sanity. Try to build yourself up a good list before you actually need them. Now, I know a lot of deployments happily coincide with a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) so this can actually be hard to do. In that event, see if you can get the 411 from your command sponsor or others who have been stationed there before.


• First, resign yourself to the fact that nothing you do to prepare is going to lesson the loss of not having your life and soul mate, the father/mother of your kids, and best friend for the next X months. Know this is one more thing that sets us apart as military families and that it is an honor to be able to be a part of serving a greater good. It makes it easier to tell my kids that dad can’t come to a school play or isn’t home to read to them when I can tell them why. He is serving his country and defending our way of life. And, we are doing our part by staying strong while he’s away for a little while.

• Still, there are some great ideas I’ve come across and tried that are wonderful ways to stay connected through the distance. One friend gets a map of the world and uses push pins to show where his wife has traveled with her ship. Another (and, as a candy lover, I strongly support this idea!) passed along the “Countdown Candy” jar where their family goes shopping for a specific jar and candy and then decorates it together before her husband leaves. Skittles and M&Ms are good for this one because they are so small and deployments seem to keep getting longer … that way you don’t feel so bad when you end up catching up on some days your kids might have missed and get to eat a handful. Another thing we did this deployment was to tape my husband reading to our kids before he left. We taped him the last few nights he was home and had grand plans about him sending more home. We didn’t follow through with the last part but the five or so originally recorded stories were enough to keep my little ones happy and feeling connected to their daddy.

• Technological advances have also made some additions to how one can prepare for deployment. Digital picture frames are awesome! And, the added bonus is that you can continually upload new pictures or send them snail mail on a jump drive. This can be done both ways – for the deployed spouse or the family waiting at home. Everyone loves pictures and they are definitely something that makes us all feel connected to our missing family members. Another idea is buying/downloading computer cameras and software that allows you to converse through an internet connection. This one, of course, is dependant upon the type of deployment and the technology set up they have. It is funny to me that my husband can check our bank account (and therefore, my spending habits)in real-time on the ship but can’t get the bandwidth to converse on a computer camera set up.

• Create a document with the contact numbers/e-mail/Web sites for base representatives, your spouse club, FRG, or other people who have information that you’ll inevitably want to have sometime during the deployment. I’m a big advocate for utilizing resources that others have come up with so I like knowing reliable Web sites like MilitaryOneSource I can refer to easily.

To me, there is no “right” way to prepare. Even after doing all of the above, I still feel behind the power curve. Things come up I haven’t planned for, couldn’t plan for, wouldn’t even THINK to plan for. Or something that I am sure I have covered completely falls apart. So, don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like you should have done more. Like our military members, there is a lot of on-the-job training involved in being a military spouse. And, nothing ever goes according to the book.

Vivian Greentree lives in Chesapeake, VA and is the Membership Director of Blue Star Families. She is also on the Governor’s Commission for Nation and Community Service. To contact Vivian, send her an email at vgreen00@gmail.com.