Military Musters Blog

Military Musters is a catalyst helping to integrate holistic healthcare services and professional life coaching into main stream military and veteran communities.

Our blog is meant to support community discussions around personal, professional development and health & wellness opportunities for U.S. military, veterans and their families.

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One of the greatest privileges in life is being able to help someone acknowledge and pursue their passion. We at Military Musters strive to assist people with this goal, particularly through our life coaching programs. One story we would love to share is that of Susan Reynolds.

susan reynoldsWhile browsing through her Facebook Newsfeed, Susan noticed that the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network had posted a link to the Military Musters site. She decided to explore the different services that Military Musters offers. From the very start, Susan says she has enjoyed being involved with the Military Musters team. She noted, “This has been one of the most positive and enlightening experiences ever.  I have enjoyed the process from the first email, first phone call from Tara, emails from Don, to my coach Carol.  I have shared my experiences with others because it's been that great.” Through her various sessions with her life coach, Carol, Susan was able to refocus her goals, and remind herself what really mattered in her life, both personally and professionally. Susan stated, “In one of my last sessions with Carol I said to her that in my early adult years I was always focused on working with children.  Helping children, caring for our children, through healthcare, advocacy, education, special needs care has always been the issue that gets me going.  My passion for children is who I am.” Once she had this ‘a-hah’ moment, she was able to recognize the fact that she wanted to take her life in a new direction. She knew that her passion and her gifts could be shared with people who would truly benefit from them, and that fact gave her immense joy. “To have the realization and knowledge on who you are and what you are meant to do is fantastic.  I am now on the path to starting my own business,” Susan says.

Susan acknowledges that military life can be difficult, and encourages others to explore all of the resources that are available through various organizations. Though there are different options, Susan believes that coaching is one of the most beneficial. She says, “While I believe that counseling is a wonderful thing, coaching provides something else.  The collaboration from coaching is vital to the self-actualization process.  That collaboration is what sets Military Musters apart.”

We are so glad that Susan decided to allow us to help her on her journey, and we wish her all the best as she continues to enjoy this new life path.

written by:

Julie Barrowclough
Military Musters Communications Team Member


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Introducing Carol Courcy, A Master Certified Coach and Military Musters Volunteer.

To be able to provide services to veterans, Military Musters must work with experienced professionals who volunteer their time to help the veterans we serve. When these amazing people give us the chance, we love to interview them and share their story.

Carol Courcy is a Career and Life Coach with over 20 years of experience in corporate coaching. She is the Author of Save Your Inner Tortoise - Learn How to Cross the Finish Line Joyful and Satisfied. b2ap3_thumbnail_save-your-inner-tortoise-lowres_20140903-030025_1.jpg

Carol was introduced to Military Musters by Deb Humphries, also a Military Musters coach whose son is a Marine veteran. She was eager to lend her coaching skills and to be of service to those who protect our country. She and Deb had created a program to provide coaching to local veterans but they wanted to have an impact on the larger veteran community. The solution…Military Musters who is one of the only nonprofit organizations with programs focused solely on delivering Life Coaching and Holistic Healthcare to our military and veteran communities. Their program provides life coaches the opportunity to give back and support our troops and their families.

Since joining together Carol has worked with five clients and says that working with Military Musters has been a very positive and heartfelt experience - for her and her clients. She appreciates the careful screening of Military Musters’ In-Take Process. Each veteran or military spouse that applies is assessed to find out which services will be the most effective for them, so by the time they meet Carol, they are ready for coaching. That “good fit” makes everyone’s time together much more productive. Given her favorable Military Muster’s experience, Carol now likes to refer veterans to Military Musters before she works with them. A win-win situation!

Here are some of our main questions covered in our interview with Carol about coaching in the veteran and military communities:

Q: How is coaching different than counseling or therapy?

A: Although all three of these supportive professions have the benefit of the client in mind, they come from completely different perspectives. The beauty of counseling or therapy is healing past experiences that stall moving on. The professionals lead the recovery process. Sometimes letting go is necessary (therapy) before moving forward (coaching). Coaching’s focus is moving forward by setting goals and accountability measures to secure a new future. In coaching the client/veteran-- NOT the coach-- leads with goals and desires. It is not usual for a coaching client /veteran to also be in counseling or therapy with the professionals working in concert for the benefit of the client/veteran.

Q: How are corporate coaching and veteran coaching similar?

A: Both kinds of coaching require the client to do a lot of work outside of the coaching meetings. The coaching meetings are for learning, progress reports and planning next steps. The real work happens between meetings when the client employs their learning in real life. As the client checks in, both client and coach partner to make sure the goals are right and the speed of activity is right allowing the goals to change or evolve. Coaching usually lasts between three and six months with “booster shot” meetings as needed afterwards. Both corporate and veteran’s coaching include measurable goals.

Q: What is the difference between corporate and veteran coaching?

A: Corporate coaching can include three parties: the corporation, the employee/client and the coach. When a corporation encourages an employee to participate in coaching, they and the coaching client are directly affected by the results. In its early days, coaching used to be a way to get under performing employees to perform at a higher level. More recently, coaching is used to reward high achieving employees to increase their contributions and job satisfaction. Company core competencies and goals are often a part of the goal setting, results and accountability features of corporate coaching.

Veteran coaching (similar to outplacement coaching when shifting jobs) only involves two parties: the veteran and the coach. The veteran is participating in coaching for their own gain to realize goals using their strengths along the way. We [Carol and Deb] have observed that even though veterans no longer have a role in the military, they remain “mission driven”. As active-duty military their whole life was impacted by this mission. When they become veterans, they can benefit from working with someone to find their own “mission”. Career and life coaching can help veterans plan what they want to do by realizing the strengths they wish to take with them after the military, let go of those no longer needed and set new objectives to fulfill their own mission. Simply said, the focus is on achieving personal goals while having insights and fun along the way!

WE are honored to have Carol on our team of life coaches who volunteer their time to create a positive impact in the lives of our active duty service members, military spouses and veterans. You can learn more about Carol, her book and her other contributions at

Thank you, Carol!

~ The Military Musters Team

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self-care-postIt cannot be overstated how important it is for military spouses, active duty service members, and our veteran community to take care of themselves. Often times in our desire to serve others--whether it’s our families, our brothers and sisters in arms, our community, our friends, or anyone else--we put ourselves last.

While working in the non-profit world you tend to be around many people that are of the giving nature. However, oftentimes these givers are so focused on taking care of others that they forget to take care of themselves. While working as a therapist, I would sometimes take "mental health days" to recharge my batteries and avoid burnout. The other day I had someone encourage me to take a mental health day and do something fun just for me. 

I realized in that moment that, similar to those in giving positionsdf, the military community oftentimes puts ourselves last in the self-care department. Every service member I've met, including my own husband, has been so focused on the mission or operation that they will work themselves into the ground, on little sleep or food. As our service members transition into the veteran community, oftentimes they continue to have this same mentality. While their dedication is admirable, it is important that they balance their work ethic with self care.

Military spouses are sometimes the worst no self care offenders. We are often standing behind our service member, taking care of the home, life, work, children and other challenges solo while our service members are deployed or at work for days at a time. Often it can be difficult to find the time to take care of yourself, or even tell yourself that it is okay to put yourself first.

Whether you are a non-profit worker serving veterans, a member of our wonderful military community, a caregiver, a spouse, a veteran, or currently still serving, it’s important that you take a moment to take care of yourself. One of our primary missions here at Military Musters is to take a look at the overall wellness in your life. That means your diet, exercise, getting the services you need to address your needs physically and emotionally, taking time outs, and taking "mental health days" or, if you can't manage a whole day, a "mental health hour". To be at our best, we need to take care of ourselves, before we take care of others. Stay tuned for a series of blogs on how to take care of yourself through exercise, wellness, services and more! 

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In my professional career, my current role as Program Director of Military Musters has been by far the most exciting and rewarding. As a former family therapist and current military spouse, there is something so special about working with the military community.

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I am humbled to work with those that do so much to serve this country. So many of the veterans and active duty service members that I have met have only one thing on their mind—a calling to serve. To serve their county. To serve their fellow brother and sister service members. To serve their unit, their base, and their community. While there may be many misconceptions about the military lifestyle and culture, there is one fact that’s true. Active duty service members and their immediate families make up only 1.2% of the American population. As a smaller and smaller percentage of Americans are joining the armed forces, there is a growing gap between our military community and our civilian population. Of those who do choose to serve their country, greater responsibilities and sacrifices are expected of them. Regardless of why these service members choose to join the military, it cannot be denied that they want to serve their country and their people.

Despite the growing gap between the military and the general population, the service of civilians towards the military community is absolutely astounding. Our entire non-profit is based upon the premise of connecting our military community with complementary alternative treatment options as well as life coaching services. This is only made possible through the generosity of our providers who choose to serve our military and veteran communities by donating their time and services. I have been completely overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response of the civilian community who are giving back by becoming a part of our organization. I want to take this chance to also say THANK YOU to our team of service providers who do so much for the clients we serve.

As veterans get out of the military at rapidly increasing rates due to cutbacks, medical challenges, injuries, and other reasons, we all need to take care of each other more than ever. Let’s follow the example of our military service members, the amazing civilian service providers, and the (hopefully) many more individuals who give back to the military community by contributing our time and services. Every little bit counts.

Most people would like the opportunity to give back to the military community, but just aren’t sure how. If you are a service provider that wants to donate their time with us, please feel free to reach out! For everyone else, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations that do so much for our military community that could use your help, whether that’s monetarily, through volunteering, or simply spreading the word. I would encourage you all to answer this call to service!


Tara Yarte

Tara Yarte

Program Director, Mental Health Counselor and Military Spouse

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It has been an exciting start to the organization and thanks to your help we have successfully established TWO unique programs that now serve our military and veteran communities!

971432 605897612766228 179708567 nNot only do we find ourselves at the tail end of the longest period of sustained conflict in our nation's history but tens of thousands of military are being reduced from our existing active duty armed forces while there remain more than 500,000 servicemen and women who have been physically injured or who live with invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, depression, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or post-traumatic stress (PTS). Unfortunately we are also witnessing record setting numbers of military/veteran suicides while our Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital system remains inadequate and plagued by negative reports as reflected in this recent CNN article reporting that hospital delays are killing America’s war veterans.

Our programs could not have come at a better time. Professional life coaching is optimizing personal development and easing the transition from military service while our holistic healthcare services are successfully helping to manage pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, PTSD along with other symptoms and injuries associated with experiences from military service. These services are not prevalent or do not exist in current military/veteran medical facilities.

Looking forward, 2014 brings opportunities for the Military Musters team to expand into clinical studies that can contribute information to the scientific community and explore new and alternative treatments for TBI and PTSD. “The War Within”, a recently released two year study by The American Legion, agrees with us as they reveal that while the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) use a number of traditional medical treatments for TBI and PTSD cases, “they have not done a lot of research on alternative methods" and that “while the number of veterans diagnosed with TBI and PTSD has increased significantly, the types of treatment offered and available to help them are limited and inadequate.” These reports and articles confirm the gap in services our founding team saw over a year ago but there is more to be done and a lot of work ahead of us.

Thanks to your support Military Musters remains focused on doing our part to help our military and veterans get the care they need as we continue on our journey to create a healthier, more connected and supported military and veteran population. I want to take the time to address each and every one of our supporters.

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To my fellow founders, our board members, advisors, donors, directors, staff, community supporters and the many volunteers that have made time to get involved, in recognition of your involvement – thank you! Our work would not be possible without the support of people like you.

In your own way, each of you has helped Military Musters to revolutionize and bring innovative services into mainstream military and veteran health care. Taking the time to be involved has and continues to make a difference in the lives of others and your commitment is not only meaningful to me but to those that we serve.

We are so thankful for your enthusiasm for our work and look forward to maintaining our long-lasting relationship with you as we work together to achieve our goals.


Don Fried

Founder, Executive Director


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