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Veterans Crisis Line

If you can imagine believing that your own strength is what keeps others alive, even at the expense of your own well-being, you might be close to imagining what it's like to live inside the mind of a veteran.

But who gives strength to the heroes who support us should they need it? This catch-22 is exactly the conundrum so many veterans face.

What should happen first is this: Someone dials the number 800-273-8255, and presses 1.


GIFs via Veterans Crisis Line.

It's the number for the Veterans Crisis Line. It's so important that places like this exist — so very important that in 2012, President Obama doubled its staff.

The VCL is exactly what it sounds like. Some of its call responders are veterans, and many more are friends or family members of veterans who can understand what they're going through.

These folks stay on the phone. They follow up. They try to ensure that the person calling is able to get help from local services.

People at the Department of Veterans Affairs are committed to preventing veteran suicide. Even one death by suicide is too many.

While the suicide rate nationwide has been climbing, the suicide rate among veterans receiving health care from the VA has dropped.

The VA is committed to preventing veteran suicide at large, in particular through programs like the Veterans Crisis Line.

Some veterans need even more help. That's where the Veterans Crisis Line comes in.

It's hard to reach these heroes. And it's hard to give them the power to realize that there's so much strength in putting yourself first and taking care of yourself.

"You know when you hit a baseball and you ... get that crack? It's like that when you're able to hear a person smile. And make a difference."

Each of us has the power to reach out to a veteran. If a veteran gets help, things can get better.

I'm sharing because I want every veteran to know about this. It might save that person's life.

:)

If you or anyone you know needs support, pick up the phone, dial 800-273-8255, and press 1 — or visit the Veterans Crisis Line website to reach a caring, trained responder for a confidential online chat and to connect with other resources.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

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