Mar 012017


Cindy Yates - Community

Spring has or will be here soon; and for many of us, it is coming none too soon. Winter is nice, for about two weeks the way I see it, but spring is the time when things come back to life.

I love seeing the flowers blossom and the trees bloom, especially the cherry blossom trees along the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C.. Although the crowds are not enjoyable, the trees show off their magnificent blooms for all to enjoy.

If you are not near the D.C. area, I am sure there are trees putting on a show for you in your area too. To find a forest in your area, even in an urban area, go to

WVM March 2016 Cindy COMM ImageWith spring flowers, one’s thoughts often meander over to love too. Spring does have the highest number of weddings ,and maybe it is because ‘Love is in the air’ when all of the flowers and trees are in bloom and the animal kingdom is mating…

But as with anything else, there should be caution about relationships, especially online relationships. Scammers have all but taken over every type of social media to find lonely, gullible people. Often, it’s women who have a heart to care. Now scammers are posing as U.S. military members stationed overseas.

They are looking for love, or more frequently, money. These scammers have taken over some military member’s identity and are scamming women with sob stories of being deployed and needing money. Now, who is going to refuse this request? You should!

If you want to read a very disturbing story about this very thing, click on this link to read Amy’s story. This is sad, but unfortunately, true.

But, after reading some of the comments (I could only read so many!), I found one that had some very valuable advice. One commenter gave information on how to see if anyone has stolen any of photos of you or a loved one to use in a scam. She offered she uses a program called TinEye by Google Chrome. This is a reverse image search that can help you find out where photos came from and who is using them.

So, if someone has stolen photos of you or a family member, this program can find out how it is being used. We need to be on guard for our loved ones, especially ones who are deployed and have no idea what is going on with their identity and ourselves. Find TinEye here.

On a better note, the USO turns 76 in 2017! For most of us, the USO brings to mind USO shows that entertained the troops, such as the much-watched ones from Bob Hope touring in Vietnam. But the USO is so much more. If you are traveling, watch for the USO’s in the major airports across the globe. These USO’s can be a lifesaver to the military traveler.

They provide free food (sometimes sandwiches, packaged snacks, and popcorn), televisions and games, or just a quiet place to read and relax while waiting for a flight. Friendly volunteers will keep you up-to-date on your flights and delays. No need to pay $2.00 for bottled water when it is free at the USO!

What I did not know, and maybe you didn’t either, is the other awesome benefits the USO has to offer our military family. Check out this article to read more about USO baby showers, Sesame Street experience, and homecomings.

Finally, just for our military kiddos, the Red Cross has set up a course that helps with communication, emotional strength and reconnection. As military families, we need all the help we can get to help our kids through the many trials of being a kid in today’s society, but we also have to cope with deployments and homecomings that other families don’t.

Let’s all give better communication a try. Find out more here.

I hope that as the seasons change and the sun shines more, there is joy and a sense of peace in your heart. Joy and peace are not found out in the world; they are formed from within. As military spouses, we face so many unknowns, so I hope wherever you are, you have support from friends who care, and you find love to share.

And, as always, if you or a loved one has suicidal thoughts, please, please, get help and call 911 or the Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255.  Know that people do care!

An Army wife for over twenty-seven years; Cindy Yates is a member of several organizations that seek to help and support the military family. She holds a Master’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska and now owns her own company, Following Orders, producing sterling silver military themed charms. ContactWebsiteFacebookPinterestTwitter

Photo Credit – Stuart Miles