Military life takes toll on children, families

Approximately 1.2 million children live in U.S. military families. Although most children experience moving at least once during childhood, the typical military family moves every two to three years. There are currently 222 bases in the United States alone, along with 737 U.S. military bases located overseas in 63 different countries. There is no telling where a soldiers family may be stationed next. A “military brat” is the term used for a person whose parent or parents have served full-time in the armed forces during the person’s childhood. These so called “brats” have to grow up learning to cope with the stress of being offspring of an American soldier. Studies on military families have shown that in general, children who move frequently experience greater difficulty making friends, more school-related difficulties and have more emotional and behavioral problems than children who move less frequently. Children are just expected by their military parents to uproot their lives for the supposedly greater good of the family. The military probably couldn’t do its job without the strongly held beliefs of soldiers and officers regarding the importance of honor. Military service is a respectful job responsible for defending this great country. To what extent though, do the children of these heroes have to suffer for their country? For many, geographic mobility is the most stressful aspect to growing up in a military family. It’s not fair for these children to be put into high anxiety situations at their most vulnerable stages of life. Childhood should be spent focusing on developing positive friendships with peers and increasing academic status. How are the children supposed to do so when they have to relocate and leave all their familiar settings behind? It is a vicious cycle that will never end until the parent retires or is discharged from his or her position. The only hope that the children will have is the fact that at the legal age of 18, they can then decide where and when they want to move. A study by Dr. Jeffrey D Leitzel found that adolescents in military families who had to adjust to a move reported significantly more difficulty leaving their old friends and making new friends than did youths from civilian families. Furthermore, delays in making new friends were associated with feelings of loneliness, depression and social alienation, while a longer length of time in their current residence was associated with fewer symptoms of depression. In the end, it is the parents’ decision alone. They are the only ones who decide to choose the military as their career of choice. It is a free country, and it’s also our free...

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Citizens anticipate completion of Temple construction
Nov18

Citizens anticipate completion of Temple construction

The Texas Department of Transportation’s project to reconstruct Loop 363 in Temple began Sept. 21, 2005. The development extends from South 57th Street to South 5th Street. The project consists of a two-mile widening of the existing four-lane divided roadway travel lanes, including shoulders and  increasing frontage roads to a minimum of three lanes. The department will also add continuous turn lanes to the 31st Street bridge, as well as improve the north-south approaches to the bridge from 31st Street. The project was predicted to be completed by spring of 2008. Today, months after the expected date, the citizens of Temple are still waiting for the day when the project will be finished. Professor of social work, Dr. Jose Martinez, thinks   the   protection   of citizens should have been the main priority of the city. “Safety should be the uppermost, and I doubt that the greater safety was number one in planning this,” he said. “I feel (it) could have been done even better.” Martinez described the danger of the arrangement. “I-35 is now what is called a ‘dog run.’ It is so narrow that it makes the drivers nervous and can give them anxiety,” he said. “The 363 Loop construction is similar to the little narrow kennels that dogs are kept in, and they only run in or out. The same for the driver—if a person is a little off, they will either hit the wall or another car.” Senior business administration and graphic design major Taryn Peither has experienced the danger of the roadways. “In April of 2008, when the construction was supposed to be done, I experienced my first wreck due to it,” she said. “I was on the loop … and a person rear-ended me. There was so much congestion.” Peither believes the city is not attending to the needs of drivers. She said, “The light at the Chili’s intersection is better suited for the construction workers, not the people.” TxDOT said the multi-phase project began with the construction of detours to change the one-way east bound lanes of Loop 363 to a single lane east-west two-way traffic movement. The west-bound lanes will then be closed as work begins to upgrade those lanes. As the project progresses, traffic will be moved to the west side as the east-bound lanes are upgraded. James Construction Group, LLC., of Baton Rouge, La, is the contractor for the $27.5 million project. Company officials anticipated the project would be completed by now, but due to weather, it is not. Besides construction, the  city brought in new restaurants and stores including B.J’s, Taco Cabana, Olive Garden and Super Target. The idea of...

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Many gather for popular game shows
Oct21

Many gather for popular game shows

Every year students gather from all over campus. Oct. 17 is the official day for the 8th annual RA Events. Senior psychology major Ryan Hutsell is program’s co-chairman. “The program is for students to get involved on campus and to relax and have fun,”  she said. The day included six events. Hutsell said she and the chairman, senior public relations major Katelyn Dean, spent countless hours planning, making phone calls, sending e-mails and attending meetings. “It was stressful, but the RAs have built a strong group,” she said. “It also creates a bonding tradition between the freshmen and RAs. We’re not just here to constantly check in students and give fines. We’re here to have fun with them, too.” Hutsell said anyone who is an RA with freshmen on their floor can participate in the games, which were inspired by television shows. Freshman sports management major Doug Peak was having a good time with the guessing game of Will it Float? “We had to guess if chalk would float,” he said. “I thought that it would, but it sank. It was a tough defeat, but the important thing is that we all had fun.” Freshman biology major Andrew Christian also participated in the event. “I guessed that a 10-year-old computer would sink, and I guessed right,” he said. “I picked my prize, Jujifruit candy.” Faculty were also invited to participate. In the Are you smarter than a freshman? category, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Steve Theodore challenged freshmen in the battle of the brains. “I’m looking forward to having some fun,” he said with a laugh. “It‘s been a long time since I was a Freshman.” Dr. Steve Oldham, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, was also a contestant in the knowledge challenge. “I enjoy getting involved with the students and having a good time with them,” he said. “It’s important to involve faculty because we’re part of the student environment. (It) was a good opportunity to bond with the students.” After 11 years of being a resident director, Cathy Durham has been a part of many campus events. She believed the evening was a success. “We have some exciting freshmen this year,” she said. “Ryan is very organized, and she did an awesome job.” The smell of food did not go unnoticed during the Top Chef College Style, competition. Junior history major Teaven Barnum was a judge in the cook-off. “The point is to have fun as a freshman and for them to know that UMHB appreciates them,” he said. “There are three rounds of competition, pasta, soup and sandwiches.” The freshmen cooked using their college...

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Living waters: Recreational ambitions serve as a ministry tool
Oct21

Living waters: Recreational ambitions serve as a ministry tool

Extreme sports have never been an issue for junior Christian studies major Patrick Muñoz. “If I could use rock climbing, snowboarding or scuba diving in ministry around the world, that would be awesome,” he said. Muñoz grew up in Merida, Mexico, where he began his college career. He graduated from the Universidad Marista with a business degree in 2001. He then hit a crossroad in his life. “I had to decide between work and college,” Muñoz said. “I felt led by God to go into Christian studies.” Muñoz’s father had a job offer in the United States in 2006. “My Dad decided to be in the ministry,” he said. “He is the Spanish pastor at First Baptist Church in Belton.” Muñoz visited his parents a couple of times before deciding what he felt was the right path for his life. “I moved to Belton permanently in 2006 and decided to attend UMHB in 2007.” Muñoz was also interested in athletics as well. “I chose recreation as my minor,” he said. “I have done camping, adventure racing and rock climbing.” His next adventure with extreme sports was scuba diving when he enrolled in a UMHB course this fall. “I have family in Cozumel, Mexico,” Muñoz said. “It’s a wonderful place for diving. I also want to experience cave diving even though it is really dangerous.” Tom Young is the instructor for the scuba diving class offered at the university and has experience with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy. “Scuba diving is a new adventure, something to try … and enjoy,” he said. Muñoz believes scuba diving is a chance to learn how to communicate in a unique way. “I would love to be able to share my experience with others,” he said. “It really is an incredible feeling. How many times do you have the opportunity to enjoy people in silence?  Since you can’t talk underwater, you have to learn to pay attention to people and their body language.” Patrick, Muñoz’s father, believes the sport is a wise choice for his son. “Scuba diving is a good thing for Patrick,” he said. “It is a lesson that he will be able to share with others everywhere.” Patrick Muñoz also created many memorable experiences. “When we were at the bottom of the pool at 10 feet for the first time, it was amazing,” he said. “I was nervous at first. We had to practice drills on how to retrieve our breathing regulator if we lost it. It was a terrible feeling not being able to breathe. But with the training that I had learned, I was prepared.” After...

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