Thursday, October 27, 2016

Facebook would not allow me to post this paper my daughter wrote so Ill try to post it here.

Mollie O
ENG 102-W02
Ms. M
October 21st, 2016
Honor & Empowerment: The Wounded Warrior Project
Imagine reliving the worst, and scariest day of your life over and over again inside your mind.  Not only is the scene playing out before your eyes, but you can hear the sounds and smell the same smells as when the trauma first occurred. This is a constant battle that soldiers returning home from war have to face.  That is where the Wounded Warrior Project (W.W.P) comes in.  The Wounded Warrior Projects goal is to help veterans returning home from war heal, and become better adjusted to normal life again. Created in Roanoke Virginia, in 2003, the Wounded Warrior Project was founded by several veterans that wanted to help other vets by making their return home as easy as possible. These veterans understood how hard the average soldiers return home is, and the many struggles that they face on a daily basis.  They wanted to create a safe place where soldiers could go for help, and so began what is now the amazing organization known as the Wounded Warrior Project.  Not only do they help the physical wounds heal, but they also help with the emotional side of it.  Oftentimes the physical wounds heal, while the emotional scars may last years or even decades. Wounded Warriors Project aims to heal both sets of wounds entirely.
The first major goal of the Wounded Warriors Project is to offer help to soldiers returning back to their normal, civilian life.  Imagine how hard it would be coming home.  These soldiers have spent the last several months having to watch their back everywhere they went.  They have also had to hear terrible sounds all throughout the day and night. The scenes they witnessed, and participated in, haunt not just their dreams, but also their every thought. Now think about packing up and coming home.  That would be a hard transition for any soldier to have to face alone. Luckily, W.W.P is there to offer help and support.
They also assist with another important, and often times over looked aspect of soldiers returning home, their families waiting for them.  When soldiers come back from war with physical, or emotional wounds that can put a lot of new and unfamiliar stress on their families. Wounded Warrior Project offers counseling services and events for families to become a unit again. Many of the families have also had to deal with being a single parent.  When soldiers with kids and families get deployed they leave behind their significant other to play both roles in child rearing.  Often times, spouses are struggling on the inside with their significant other being gone, but on the outside they have to be strong for their children and others.  All of these different factors lead to the families of soldiers and veterans needing support too.  The Wounded Warrior Project does just that.
A key way to help soldiers return to a normal life is to help every soldier find a job after getting out of the military. Not only do they help returning soldiers fill out resumes, but they also offer job training, and interview prep help ( W.W.P partners with local organizations to connect soldiers with employers who are hiring, and help place them in fields they will enjoy. Connecting soldiers to job prospects is so important. A job provides not only financial support, but also stability in life, and opportunities to connect to other people and form lasting friendships. A job can provide a sense of worth and value in what may be a struggling vets life.
Returning home for many soldiers is often harder than the war itself.  They struggle with being able to function in the normal world again.  This may be partly because they feel like they are all alone when they return home.  That is why it is so important for veterans to have support systems when they return.  W.W.P works to connect veterans with either other returning soldiers, or retired vets to create a network of support for each other. A lot of people don’t realize that it is the duty, and responsibility of every American to help soldiers returning home. They have sacrificed in countless ways to protect our freedoms; it is only right we return the favor. Edward Tick, author of Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War wrote, “This is a major problem in society today, non-veterans are not taught what their responsibility’s is toward veterans who go off to fight their society’s battles” (Tick 121).
The second major goal of Wounded Warriors Project is to help returning soldiers deal with their emotional scars as a result of war.  According to the, as of August 1st of this year about 400,000 soldiers who have come home are currently struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  This is a problem that a lot of soldiers face, probably more than one realizes due to the fact that many vets do not seek treatment, or help of any kind which frequently creates several other issues in doing so.
PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. To be diagnosed with PTSD someone must first be in an “emotionally overwhelming traumatic event” (McDermott 10).  There are several different symptoms of this disorder.  The most common are night terrors, flashbacks, and becoming over-whelmed in a public setting.  Not every person that has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder suffers from severe night terrors or panic attacks in public. Most soldiers tend to see being diagnosed with PTSD, as being weak.  They may be afraid to get help for fear of how other people will see or judge them.  An alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project stated in his testimonial on their website that “I lied about my emotions, experiences, and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder when I separated from the military so I could get out without mental health issues on my records.  Trying to function as those symptoms only worsened was a nightmare” (  Another explanation for the lack of returning soldiers who seek treatment for PTSD, or any mental illness, may have to do with the stigma that society has placed on people that struggle with PTSD and mental illness. A stigma also surrounds the treatment therapy PTSD would require to help, or see any improvement.  In many cases, people think that soldiers who struggle with PTSD may become violent, or are easily irritable.  However, the reality of the situation is that no matter how violent, or big of a struggle soldiers have when they return home, they all need our help.
            The Wounded Warrior Project also aims to help with the physical side of the wounds soldiers receive.  According to the, over 50,000 soldiers returning home have some type of physical wound.  If the injuries are severe enough, it may require them to stay in hospitals or receive physical therapy.  The Wounded Warrior Project helps with all of that process including financial support and counseling. They support the soldiers, and their families, in their journey towards physical recovery.
Wounded Warrior project is an organization that has helped thousands of soldiers and vets since they were established.  According to, they have given out over nineteen thousand backpacks, and almost forty-five thousand transitional care packs to soldiers.  They have also helped hundreds of military families.  The W.W.P is constantly sponsoring activities and events to help aid vets in their recovery and adjustment to normal life. A great example of this is when they sponsored the 2007 disabled warrior’s sports project.  It was a yearlong event that included many different sports activities for the soldiers to participate in.  Kirk Bauer, Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA, said “Participating in sport is one very effective way to show them they can still lead an active and productive life” (pg.11).  This is a great way that soldiers can come together, and help each other begin to lead a normal life. It also introduces them to vets who are in the same situations they are in. It is helpful to connect with people who can relate to each other and have had similar experiences.
The Wounded Warrior Project does some amazing things for soldiers and their families, but they cannot do it alone.  That is where raising money through events and corporate sponsors comes in.  W.W.P has many corporate sponsors, but one of the biggest is Under Armor.  They sell clothing and other things with the organizations logo on it, and a portion of the proceeds go back to the Wounded Warrior Project. A few other well-known supporters of W.W.P are Amazon Smile, Survival Straps, Flag Outpost, Nissan, and Harley Davidson. They help in numerous ways including promotion, and charitable giving (
Various people have very strong opinions about this organization.  If one were to go out into public, and ask several people about this organization, I am sure one would hear many different opinions. Some people will be big supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project and think what they are doing with the soldiers is great.  On the other hand, some people will disagree and say that this organization is a fraud, and does not use the money they raise to help soldiers.
Before I started doing research on this organization I did not realize the amount of people, and websites claiming that the Wounded Warrior Project was a fraud.  As I began to do more research I typed in the organizations name, and many websites popped up bashing the Wounded Warrior Project.  I read through a few of the articles, and I was saddened that people would actually think this organization was not using their money correctly. The thing about people writing articles bashing the Wounded Warrior Project is one does not know whether to believe what they are writing or not. They may have some kind of personal past with the organization, or a person working there, and just want to do harm to the W.W. P’s reputation. The only real way to find out the truth is go to the founder or CEO of the organization and ask, even then though you might not get an honest answer.  After that it is up to each individual person to decide whether they will continue to support or decide not to. However, whether what they claim is true or not, I do not know, but I still think the Wounded Warrior Project is an amazing organization and should be supported. There will always be people of both opinions. One cannot please everyone, even where helping soldiers returning from war is concerned. In the end, I think it does not matter what organization it is there will always be people that do not support the group. 
After reading all of the heartfelt stories of soldiers on the Wounded Warrior Project’s website, it truly inspired me.  To see how hard many veterans struggled after returning home was very eye opening.  That is one of the many reasons I support the Wounded Warrior Project.  I am not in the military, but I have a very close friend that I grew up with whose husband is in the Air Force. I have personally witnessed the trauma and hardships that military families go through when loved ones are away, and when they return home, not always the same way they left. I one hundred percent agree that it is our responsibility as Americans to fully support anyone that is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  Supporting this organization does not mean that you just have to send them money.  You can support them in many other ways such as buying clothing with their logo on it, or even just by getting the word out about all the wonderful things the Wounded Warrior Project does to help returning soldiers and their families. Out of every organization I could have chosen, I felt the most drawn to W.W.P and their cause. Helping wounded and troubled soldiers is a huge passion in my life, and the Wounded Warrior Project is a great organization that does just that.   
Works Cited
Chalmers, Greg. “2007 Wounded Warriors Disabled Sports Project” Palaestra 23.2 (2007): 11-12. Ebsco. Web.
McDermott, Walter F. Understanding Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland &Company, 2012. Book.
Philpott, Tom. “Military Update:  Wounded Warrior Project.” Military 12 March 2015. Web. 22 October 2016.
Tick, Edward. Warrior's Return: Restoring The Soul After War. Sounds True, 2014. Book.
Wounded Warrior Project. Wounded Warrior Project, October 2014. Web. 22 October 2016.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Its okay to throw out apple peels

Every year when I put up apples I try to find something to do with the peels besides compost or at least before composting them.  Last year I made several gallons of apple cider vinegar.  This year I decided to make apple scrap jelly, which is super good by the way.  I'll give the recipe later.

Anyway, I have been making jelly using all the scraps and am getting tired of making jelly but I don't need any more vinegar either.  Suddenly the thought came to me.  ITS OKAY TO THROW SOME OUT.  Wait, what?  Huh.  So I decided to count to see just how many jars of apple jelly I have made in the last two weeks and oh my.  I've made 65 jars and have enough juice in the fridge for 3 or 4 more batches.  I will be giving jelly to everyone, my friends, my family. my hairdresser, lol.

I made the realization that I can just bury the apple peels and cores in the garden without making something out of them first, I really can.  I think.  I'm going to try to do that anyway.  It goes against my frugal nature. But I'm going to try.

Here is how I make my spiced apple jelly.
As I use my apple peeler, corer, slicer I toss the peels and cores into my crockpot that I already have put a dozen or so whole cloves and a quart or so of water.  When the crockpot is full I arrange my apple slices on my dehydrator trays and hold the tray over the crockpot as I sprinkle cinnamon on.  I move the tray around as I sprinkle each part of it to try to get as much of the extra cinnamon as possible into the crockpot.  Then I add more water until its almost full, turn it on high put the lid on and let it cook for several hours.  When the cores are soft I drain the resulting juice into a large pitcher.  This juice is what I use to make my jelly.  I don't add any spices because it cooked with clove and cinnamon.

Jelly recipe
5 cups juice
1 to 1-1/2 packages of pectin ( I buy in bulk and use 1/2 c.)
7 cups sugar

Pour the juice into a large pan and set the stove to high.  Then take a large bowl and measure the sugar into it and add the pectin to the sugar.  I take a spoon and mix the pectin into the sugar.

Make sure you have your water bath canner or steam canner ready to go as well as clean jars and lids.  I put the lids (flats) into a little bit of water and warm them on the stove.

Once the juice starts to boil, stir in the sugar/pectin mixture and continue to stir.  Add a pat of butter at this time to help reduce the foam that builds up naturally.  It wont eliminate it but it sure cuts down on it.

Continue to stir occasionally and heat on high until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. This mean that when you stir it continues to boil really hard.  I stir and wait a little bit to make sure it really is boiling good.

Then I set my timer for 2 minutes.  I continue to cook and stir until the two minutes are up.  Then I turn off the stove and skim off the foam.  Its important to do this step because it helps your jelly look nice.  I save the foam in a bowl and eat it.  Its a sort of quality control, it also lets me know that this batch is going to set up good.

Next I take my canning funnel and fill the jars, one at a time.  I wipe the rims with a paper towel, put a flat and screw band on and place in my canner.  I use a steam canner.  I continue until all of the juice/jelly is in jars.  I leave about 1/4 inch head space.  Once your canner is boiling or in my case the steam is coming out at least 8 inches I begin to time.  The recipe says to process 10 minutes but I always process for 12 minutes for good measure.  When the time is up carefully remove the jars and place on a folded towel.  Do not touch or move them for 24 hours.  After 24 hours take the rings or screw bands off and wash in soapy water.  If the jar didn't seal place it in the fridge and eat soon.  Of the 65 jars I have made so far every one has sealed.  I had dabs left over on a few batches which I poured into jars and put into the fridge so they wouldn't go to waste.  I would just take the jar out of the fridge and add to it at the end of each batch.  Usually there would be a couple of tablespoons of jelly left in the pot.  These added up to 3 pints.  Waste not want not.

Once your jars are clean label them and put them in the pantry or give them to friends.

When I was canning peaches I made peach peel and pit jelly and it was very good too.  Next time I can pineapple I will make pineapple scrap jelly.  There is no sense in buying a new jug of juice and making jelly when you can make jelly with scraps.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Neat clippers
Calming Clipper Haircutting Kit for Sensory Sensitivity, 10 Piece

I first saw clippers like this advertised for dogs who don't like the sound of clippers.  I thought that these should work for people too.  They would be great for little kids who get jumpy at the sound of clippers and also there is no electricity required.  I think they would be an excellent addition to any household that has boys or men.

Todays perserving

Today was busy in the apple preserving department.  I put up two gallon jars of dried cinnamon apple slices and refilled the dehydrators.  Then I put the peels and cores on to cook in the crock pots.  Today I also made 4 batches of spiced apple scrap jelly.  I will have enough juice to make several more batches of jelly before this is all said and done.  I'm almost ready to start my third and last box of apples.

This year I am only making dried cinnamon apples and jelly because I still have plenty of applesauce and apple pie filling in the pantry.  Next year I will see how those are still holding out and adjust my apple buying then.

Jeff asked me to buy another big Excalibur dehydrator and I happily complied.  I currently have a 4 tray and a 9 tray.  When I get the new 9 tray it will certainly speed up my apple drying adventures. 

I am storing the apples in gallon jars and using my pump n seal to seal the air out of them.  I am hoping they store well that way.  The last ones will probably go into gallon zip lock bags because I am getting close to the end of my gallon jars.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Its apple time again.

This is the third year I have bought apples by the box to put up.  I have plenty of apple sauce left and pie filling. Last year we ran out of dried cinnamon slices right away so I am doing a lot of those this year.  Now that I have two dehydrators I can do about three times as many at a time since my new dehydrator is so much larger.

I use my apple peeler, corer, slicer on the apples, then I drop them into a dish pan that has water and lemon juice in it.  I put the peels and cores right into my crock pot with a few whole cloves. When the dish pan is full, I take a few apples at a time out and place them on a tray.  I slice once down through the slices to separate the rings and place them on the drying trays.  I hold the tray over the crockpot and sprinkle cinnamon over them, moving the tray so that the extra cinnamon drops into the crockpot.  Once the dehydrators are full I set them to the correct temperature and add clean water to the peels and turn the crockpot to high. 

Its pretty humid where I live so it takes about 48 hours to dry the slices to my liking.  With the peels and cores in the crockpot set on high it only takes about 6-8 hours for them to become soft.  I turn my crockpot off and let it cool for a while.  Then I put a big strainer or colander over a large bowl and pour or ladle the apple scraps into it.  This sits for thirty minutes or so to drain.  I carefully discard the now used up peels by putting them into a container and placing them into the trash.  I may bury the rest in my garden in unused areas.

Then I use the resulting spiced apple juice to make spices apple jelly.

Last year I made several gallons of apple cider vinegar so I don't need any more right now.

I think I may also make some cinnamon spiced apple rings and can them.  I have been easing up on the quantities of my canning since there are fewer of us at home and I don't like to throw out old and spoiled food.

I hope you are having a productive fall.