Our Patriotic Duty: Laugh - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 08:11 AM
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Our Patriotic Duty: Laugh

Pentagon to families: Go ahead, laugh
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
When the stress of the war in Iraq becomes too severe, the Pentagon has a suggestion for military families: Learn how to laugh.

With help from the Pentagon's chief laughter instructor, families of National Guard members are learning to walk like a penguin, laugh like a lion and blurt "ha, ha, hee, hee and ho, ho."

No joke.

"I laugh every chance I get," says the instructor, retired Army colonel James "Scotty" Scott. "That's why I'm blessed to be at the Pentagon, where we definitely need a lot of laughter in our lives."

Scott, 57, is certified as a laughter training specialist by the Ohio-based World Laughter Tour, a group that promotes mirth as medicine. It touts scientific research that suggests chuckling can boost the body's immune system and decrease stress hormones.

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, says the Pentagon is committed to the program and values Scott's skills. "We sent him to the training," she says.

The laughter program was Scott's idea. It costs the military virtually nothing, because Scott already travels to states as a director of military family support policy.
He has taught National Guard family group leaders in Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Idaho, and will do so in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida, he says. Another laughter trainer is working with folks in North Carolina.

"We believe our program prevents hardening of the attitudes," says Scott, in one of his wordplay aphorisms that beg for a rimshot. The founder and chief executive of the World Laughter Tour is psychologist Steve Wilson, who calls himself "Cheerman of the Bored."

"The guiding principle is to laugh for no reason. And that's one of the reasons it works so well for military families," Scott says. "There's a lot they have to be stressed over, a lot of worries, a lot of concerns."

As foolish as students might feel, Scott says he's lost only one participant: a Marine sergeant major who, Scott says, fled the room with a bad case of the giggles.

Mary Frances Booth, the wife of a retired soldier, took the class last year and is an ardent devotee.

She and her two daughters — Meaghan, 10 and Sarah, 8 — were sobbing after Booth dropped her husband at the Boise airport Sunday; he was headed for Afghanistan for work as a civilian contractor, she says. Then Booth called for one of the laughing drills.

"They rolled their eyes at me and thought, 'Mom's on her laughing thing again,' " Booth says. "(But) it made it a little bit better."

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 08:18 AM
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RE: Our Patriotic Duty: Laugh

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 08:27 AM
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RE: Our Patriotic Duty: Laugh

kvining - 1/14/2006 11:18 AM

I am offended and I am going to sue you and call the authorities on you. Here is what the law says:
"Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both." You must thank Senator Arlen Specter (R) for this. Now go play some golf near your house because "we are watching your every move" you friggin comunist.
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