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The reader responses we've received following a few recent call-outs have been overwhelming and inspiring — and we want more. If one of these topics speaks to you, please chime in: Join the breast cancer conversation on Facebook or write us an essay about your experience as a military family.
Military Times Family Essay Contest
As part of the upcoming magazine tribute "Love and Honor: Service, Commitment and the Military Family," we're conducting our first Military Times Family Essay Contest — and giving away five Kindle Paperwhites as grand prizes in the contest, open to ages 8 and up.
Select essays will be published in the magazine, which will appear in subscriber copies of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times in November — National Military Family Month.
To enter, compose an essay of 500 words or less on this theme:
"How has your military service or the military service by a member of your family altered your outlook on life, inspired your love of country or patriotism, opened up new doors for your life or otherwise inspired you to do something you would not have done in service to others?"
Go to http://www.militarytimes.com/links/familyessays">militarytimes.com/links/familyessaysfor the entry form and complete rules. Don't procrastinate — the contest ends Oct. 14.
Boot Breast Cancer Facebook Page
Twenty-year veteran Diane Stewart wonders if some of the risk factors we outlined in our feature on breast cancer in the Oct. 8 issue are to blame for her breast cancer diagnosis.
"I do not have a family history and do feel that the stress, [birth control pills], shift work and exposure to contaminants in deployed areas and garrison may well be contributing factors," she posted on our Boot Breast Cancer Facebook page.
"When the mammo tech said that I needed a biopsy, my mom laughed, she said it was nothing because our family (which is quite large) ‘doesn't get breast cancer.' She was wrong and now we do have a family history, but I am also the only female family member that has worn the uniform."
Maybe you know someone like Kristin Marie, who was only 26 when she learned she had cancer.
"I was diagnosed in January 2009," she posts — "four days before leading the Coast Guard Honor Guard procession in the Inauguration of President Obama. To say my mind was all over the place would be an understatement."
Do you have a story to share? Or questions you want answered?
Go to http://www.facebook.com/miltimesbootbreastcancer">facebook.com/miltimesbootbreastcancer.