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Army Teaches Troops How to Pick a Spouse
http://www.comcast.net/news/index.jsp?cat=GENERAL&fn=/2006/02/04/319128.html&cvqh=itn&ts=2006.02.04_ ^ | 2 4 06 | PAULINE JELINEK

Posted on 02/04/2006 5:41:48 AM PST by freepatriot32

WASHINGTON - They are the Pentagon's new "rules of engagement" _ the diamond ring kind. U.S. Army chaplains are trying to teach troops how to pick the right spouse, through a program called "How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk."

The matchmaking advice comes as military family life is being stressed by two tough wars. Defense Department records show more than 56,000 in the Army _ active, National Guard and Reserve _ have divorced since the campaign in Afghanistan started in 2001.

Officials partly blame long and repeated deployments which started after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and stretched the service thin.

Troops also are coming home with life-altering injuries.

Many come back better people, others worse-off _ but either way, very changed from who they were when they wed.

"Being in the military certainly raises the stakes when you choose a mate," said Lt. Col. Peter Frederich, head of family issues in the Pentagon's chaplain office.

The "no jerks" program is also called "P.I.C.K. a Partner," for Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge.

It advises the marriage-bound to study a partner's F.A.C.E.S. _ family background, attitudes, compatibility, experiences in previous relationships and skills they'd bring to the union.

It teaches the lovestruck to pace themselves with a R.A.M. chart _ the Relationship Attachment Model _ which basically says don't let your sexual involvement exceed your level of commitment or level of knowledge about the other person.

Maj. John Kegley, a chaplain who teaches the program in Monterey, Calif., throws in the "no jerk salute" for fun. One hand at the heart, two-fingers at the brow mean use your heart and brain when choosing.

Though the acronyms and salute make it sound like something the Pentagon would come up with, the program was created by former minister John Van Epp of Ohio, who has a doctorate in psychology and a private counseling practice. He teaches it to Army chaplains, who in turn teach it to troops.

It also is used by social service agencies, prisons, churches and other civilian groups.

Commanders once discouraged troops from starting a family while serving. Thus the old saying: "If the Army wanted you to have a wife, it would have issued you one."

Today, the military supports families more than any other employer, Frederich said.

The Bush administration proposes to spend $5.6 billion in the next budget year for quality-of-life services for troops and their families.

That includes help with child care, education, spouse job hunting, legal assistance, commissaries, relocation counseling _ programs on every family issue imaginable _ to promote stability, and thus troop readiness.

Such support notwithstanding, "not everybody is cut out" to marry into the military, said Army spokeswoman Martha Rudd.

Some 740,000 people _ or a little more than half of all troops in the active-duty armed forces _ are married. Of those, some 96,000 had spouses also in uniform in the 2004 budget year, according to Pentagon figures.

The Army hopes the "no jerks" program will help couples decide if they are ready for a long-term commitment and can cope with the unique stresses of military life.

"Settings like military bases are incubators," said Van Epp, of Medina, Ohio. "They try to hatch ... relationships extremely fast," leading to higher divorce rates and more domestic violence.

The program teaches troops not to cave in to the pressure of a ticking clock _ like rushing to marry before shipping out for a deployment, or too soon after homecoming.

Last month, Van Epp sent 200 program workbooks to troops in Iraq.

___

On the Net:

Family support programs: http://www.militaryonesource.com

P.I.C.K a Partner http://www.nojerks.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: a; anamericansoldier; army; fubar; how; notissuedwithseabag; pentagon; pick; spouse; teaches; to; troops; waronerror; washington
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1 posted on 02/04/2006 5:41:53 AM PST by freepatriot32
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To: freepatriot32

"If we wanted you maggots to have a wife we would issue you one." - Unknown Drill Sargent.


2 posted on 02/04/2006 5:44:12 AM PST by TXBSAFH (Proud Dad of Twins, What Does Not Kill You Makes You Stronger!!!!!!)
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To: freepatriot32

My first pick was not all that great.

Second time around was/is much better.


3 posted on 02/04/2006 5:44:32 AM PST by PeteB570 (NRA life member and I vote)
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To: freepatriot32

i just wonder if the army is going to train the spouses on how to handle the shock and awe on the honeymoon :-)


4 posted on 02/04/2006 5:45:04 AM PST by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: freepatriot32

The Onion?


5 posted on 02/04/2006 5:45:33 AM PST by dakine
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To: freepatriot32

The ACLU will soon sue since this program discriminated against sluts and gays.


6 posted on 02/04/2006 5:48:29 AM PST by Always Right
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To: freepatriot32
How do you tell when your husband has married a soldier?

When he makes the bed and folds his clothes better than you do.

7 posted on 02/04/2006 5:52:03 AM PST by WestVirginiaRebel (The Democratic Party-Jackass symbol, jackass leaders, jackass supporters.)
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To: freepatriot32

I applaud the efforts.


8 posted on 02/04/2006 5:52:29 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: freepatriot32
"rules of engagement"

lol

So what do they call their contraception initiative?

Missile defense?

9 posted on 02/04/2006 5:52:37 AM PST by Mr. Brightside
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To: freepatriot32

Ladies, best avoid men whose idea of foreplay is yelling "incoming," or "Geronimo."


10 posted on 02/04/2006 5:54:25 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: freepatriot32
The divorce rate in the military is terrible. In the navy, it is 80%. The odds are hard. Of course, many navy marriages are doomed from the start. Young men barely out of high school marry a young woman still in her teens so that he can receive BAH and BAS and move out of the barracks. Then he goes to sea for a six month deployment and the wife is left at home alone with access to his increasingly-growing bank account. And she's young and probably on her own for the first time as well and she hangs out and goes "clubbing' with other young navy wives and, well, you can figure out the rest.

I see it all the time.

On the flip side, I see sailors who vow that they would never cheat on their wives and then find themselves in a notorious port with booze in their system, surrounded by throngs of young, beautiful (and very willing) foreign ladies. The famous cry of "What happens in port stays in port!" is heard and these men go crazy.

I've seen this countless times as well.

11 posted on 02/04/2006 5:58:39 AM PST by Drew68
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To: Drew68

Nice stereotypes...


12 posted on 02/04/2006 5:59:37 AM PST by dakine
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To: freepatriot32

56,000 in the Army _ active, National Guard and Reserve _ have divorced since the campaign in Afghanistan started in 2001.

Some 740,000 people _ or a little more than half of all troops in the active-duty armed forces _ are married.

Of those, some 96,000 had spouses also in uniform in the 2004 budget year, according to Pentagon figures.
88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

What a frivolous, outcome-based article, LOL The above are the only facts I can see in it.

But, if about half of the 740k are ARMy, 56k divorces ain't bad--a ratio of about 1 divorce per 13 marriages endind in divorce over a 5 year period. Civilian stats are worse than that, I think. (In this quick math, I have assumed that about half of all active duty troops are Army)


13 posted on 02/04/2006 6:01:29 AM PST by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: PeteB570

Same here. I could have used this training prior to #1.


14 posted on 02/04/2006 6:04:06 AM PST by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Vn_survivor_67-68

whoops, shound have typed 1 divorce in 6.5 marriages......


15 posted on 02/04/2006 6:05:28 AM PST by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: freepatriot32

I recently saw a rerun of 'In Living Color' where the bum is trying to get into the army. Get an ugly wife and a messed up life, In the Arrrrmy!


16 posted on 02/04/2006 6:08:49 AM PST by wolfcreek
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To: dakine
Nice stereotypes...

Are you saying that what I wrote is not true? Or rarely happens? I know many happily married sailors. Most of them are older and/or on their second or third wives.

For many (and by no means all) young, impetuous navy marriages end disastrously.

17 posted on 02/04/2006 6:09:43 AM PST by Drew68
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To: freepatriot32
I'm proud to say the military supports THIS family. And vice versa.


18 posted on 02/04/2006 6:14:04 AM PST by shezza (4 ... and counting)
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To: freepatriot32
through a program called "How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk."

Could they have picked a worse name for this program? Are our military "Teen Magazine" readers?
19 posted on 02/04/2006 6:17:21 AM PST by Vision ("There are no limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence" Ronald Reagan)
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To: freepatriot32

A lot of the marriages that end as a result of deployment were headed that way anyway. It takes a very special person to be able to live their lives when their spouse is gone and then quickly re-adjust when they return. Military families are some of the strongest people on the planet, and when you've found the right one there is no stronger love.


20 posted on 02/04/2006 6:27:54 AM PST by McGavin999 (If Intelligence Agencies can't find leakers, how can we expect them to find terrorists?)
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To: freepatriot32
family background, attitudes, compatibility, experiences in previous relationships and skills they'd bring to the union.

Good advice for anyone.

21 posted on 02/04/2006 6:42:58 AM PST by Freebird Forever (Extremism in the defense of Liberty is no vice.)
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To: 1rudeboy

Well, since no one else has said it yet, I will: it's better than "Fire in the hole!"

(This moment of poor taste brought to you by my five years of working on a Navy base.)


22 posted on 02/04/2006 6:50:22 AM PST by AirForceBrat23
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To: freepatriot32

My brother, being an officer in the Army, could not have picked a better wife than his wife Mindy. They were engaged the very weekend he received his commission. She is such an asset to him and to the military as she is a strong, fierce and well-organized American woman!


23 posted on 02/04/2006 6:55:22 AM PST by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: freepatriot32
Image hosted by Photobucket.com get merried and leave for the service in the same week... biggest recipe for disaster i've ever seen, and i've seen it tooo many times.
24 posted on 02/04/2006 7:01:14 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: WestVirginiaRebel
How do you tell when your husband has married a soldier?

When he makes the bed and folds his clothes better than you do.

Hmmm... don't ask don't tell.

25 posted on 02/04/2006 7:12:35 AM PST by ItsForTheChildren
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To: 1rudeboy

roger that...my practice wife (first wife) never understood why I would yell "lock and load" when I would get home after deployment...my current wife of 23 years "got it" early in our marriage- her response was always "wait out for equipment check..." go figure...


26 posted on 02/04/2006 7:46:02 AM PST by nicko (CW3 (ret.) CPT, you need to just unass the AO; I know what I'm doing- Major, you're on your own.)
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To: TXBSAFH

That's all I ever heard in Basic too. "If the Army wanted you to have a wife, it would issue you one!"

Of course, I didn't listen and married a woman who didn't have a clue about the Military and looked upon it as any other 9 to 5 job.

Funniest part was during the divorce, she actually tried to have it written into the divorce that she would have access to my GI Bill benefits.


27 posted on 02/04/2006 7:51:09 AM PST by DakotaRed
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

It used to be; "If the Army wants you to have a wife they'll issue you one!"

Now it looks like they almost are. Every issue item comes with classes from how to select, to how to maintain, so now.....


28 posted on 02/04/2006 7:53:21 AM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: freepatriot32

"How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk."

I'm glad this program wasn't around when I met my wife or she would have never married me.


29 posted on 02/04/2006 8:06:04 AM PST by Gamecock (..ours is a trivial age, and the church has been deeply affected by this pervasive triviality. JMB)
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To: freepatriot32

The military is worried about the divorce rate so it blames the spouses instead of the year long deployments???


30 posted on 02/04/2006 8:07:46 AM PST by CodeToad
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
**She is such an asset to him and to the military as she is a strong, fierce and well-organized American woman!**


I have one of those. The only time mine forgot who she was occurred when we were flying into Atlanta during an Ice Storm. We were told before we landed that we were going to be stuck there overnight.

As we got into the terminal with our three little kids in tow, she looked at the pandemonium and looked at me and almost lost it. I gently grabbed her shoulders and said "Baby, you are an Army wife, I need you to act like one." She took a half step backwards blinked hard, and said "what needs to be done?" I told her to get some dinner for the family, and meet me back there when she was finished. I went and found what turned out to be a midnight flight home. (even after that she brought me something to eat.)

She laughs about it now and calls it her "thanks, I needed that" moment.
31 posted on 02/04/2006 8:14:45 AM PST by Gamecock (..ours is a trivial age, and the church has been deeply affected by this pervasive triviality. JMB)
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To: CodeToad
The military is worried about the divorce rate so it blames the spouses instead of the year long deployments???

Hey, the long deployments are a fact of life. And back in WW II-- it wasn't year long-- you stayed until the war was won.

So if the nature of military life demands long stretches away from home (and long hours even in garrison), our service members are well advised to pick their spouses carefully. It takes a deep commitment from a soldier's spouse to support that soldier "for better or worse." And yes, not everyone is up to it.

32 posted on 02/04/2006 9:20:52 AM PST by Lysandru
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To: SandRat

BTTT


33 posted on 02/04/2006 9:21:35 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: freepatriot32

Good for them. Glad to see it. I worked in Family Support for many years while I was in the Army. I was no shining example to follow, as I have a divorce from a Sailor behind me...but that gave me much more empathy to do my job and help out military families who were in a (usually self-induced) crisis.


34 posted on 02/04/2006 9:29:06 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: freepatriot32; TankerKC
The night that TankerKC raised his question about the RatherGate memos' formatting appearing hokey, I looked back through my old USAF records to see for myself. One of the memos (whose formatting did not match the "Bush memos") was one from my Commander, 'allowing' me to marry.

I'm happy to report that we "beat the odds". Even without the 'benefit' of a "how to" course -- we will soon celebrate our 45th anniversary...

35 posted on 02/04/2006 10:20:55 AM PST by TXnMA (TROP: Satan's most successful earthly venture...)
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To: Lysandru
Thanks for reminding everyone of the WW II length of deployments. I have a close friend who's Dad was gone for 6 years, and they didn't have email or even prepaid telephone cards. If they didn't get a letter, or a knock at the door, they were just left waiting.

And wait is just what they did.

What has happened to our family members that they don't unerstand the nature of war?

36 posted on 02/04/2006 10:21:52 AM PST by TruthNtegrity (Tony Snow: Fighting for the full release of the Barrett Report.)
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To: CodeToad
The military is worried about the divorce rate so it blames the spouses instead of the year long deployments???

Compared to other wars, a year is not all that long. Still there's not much the military can do, absent a large increase in their numbers, and thus their budgets, about the deployments. They don't make policy, they only execute it.

37 posted on 02/04/2006 11:08:51 AM PST by El Gato (The Second Amendment is the Reset Button of the U.S. Constitution)
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To: Vision
Are our military "Teen Magazine" readers?

Considering that the target audience is not senior NCO's or field grade officers, the answer probably is either "yes", or "not long ago they were".

38 posted on 02/04/2006 11:10:33 AM PST by El Gato (The Second Amendment is the Reset Button of the U.S. Constitution)
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To: freepatriot32

One should pick a spouse in at least as good a light as one uses to pick out a suit. (And one should be at least as sober.)


39 posted on 02/04/2006 11:16:44 AM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: MEG33

given the divorce rate in this country a little help and guidance in choosing more carefully might be a good idea..


40 posted on 02/04/2006 11:19:45 AM PST by television is just wrong (Our sympathies are misguided with illegal aliens...)
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To: television is just wrong

Indeed..


41 posted on 02/04/2006 11:20:21 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: freepatriot32

Hey, as a jerk in good standing, I'm calling 'foul!'


42 posted on 02/04/2006 11:20:50 AM PST by HitmanLV (Listen to my demos for Savage Nation contest: http://www.geocities.com/mr_vinnie_vegas/index.html)
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To: CodeToad
The military is worried about the divorce rate so it blames the spouses instead of the year long deployments???

Believe me, it is very badly needed. The majority of the problems in a lot of these guys' marriages is due to their utter inability to choose a good woman.

Case in point, I have a Soldier who is determined to marry a woman whom he has known for 6 weeks and who has already cheated on him with an ex-boyfriend (she said he forced himself on her, but she still has feelings for him so she won't press charges...gotta remember that one...). This class sounds like a very good idea, I hope it gets implemented here ASAP.

43 posted on 02/04/2006 11:39:11 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.)
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To: El Gato

I don't think guys are reading Teen Magazine


44 posted on 02/04/2006 11:57:33 AM PST by Vision ("There are no limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence" Ronald Reagan)
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To: SandRat
It used to be; "If the Army wants you to have a wife they'll issue you one!"

Now it looks like they almost are. Every issue item comes with classes from how to select, to how to maintain, so now.....

I guess they have to now. Since President Bush signed into law the UCMJ rule that visiting a prostitute, even in countries where it's legal, is now an Article 134 offense, punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine, and a dishonorable discharge. I guess in the military, if you want sex, you had better be married.

Mark

45 posted on 02/04/2006 1:00:08 PM PST by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: Drew68

Maybe a few more Bible based Chaplains might really solve this problem? At times I truly believe you need supernatural strength to navigate out there. Ooops, I forgot. They can't even pray in His name so as not to offend people.


46 posted on 02/04/2006 1:06:54 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people believe in Intelligent Design (God))
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To: freepatriot32

Anyone notice that this article says nothing about The Marines.

Semper Fidelis It's more then just a motto it's a way of life.

25 years and counting


47 posted on 02/04/2006 1:15:04 PM PST by usmcobra (I'm a Marine on currently on inactive status awaiting an eternal change of duty station)
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To: MarkL
I guess they have to now. Since President Bush signed into law the UCMJ rule that visiting a prostitute, even in countries where it's legal, is now an Article 134 offense, punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine, and a dishonorable discharge. I guess in the military, if you want sex, you had better be married.

Article 134 is a pretty wide net and covers everything from using indecent language to not paying your bills to cohabitation to negligent homicide. Technically speaking, any sexual activity other than the missionary position between husband and wife falls under the UCMJ. Sodomy (defined to include oral sex), even within marriage, is in violation of Article 125 and can lead to 5 years imprisonment.

Of course, the military (like real life) enforces some violations more stringently than others. Nobody is going to Leavenworth for receiving a hummer from their wife and it is equally unlikely that sailors and soldiers will cease patronizing prostitutes.

See Punitive Articles of the UCMJ for some interesting information.

48 posted on 02/04/2006 1:35:14 PM PST by Drew68
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To: freepatriot32

bump for later


49 posted on 02/04/2006 1:43:58 PM PST by jamaly (I evacuate early and often!)
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To: CodeToad
The military is worried about the divorce rate so it blames the spouses instead of the year long deployments???



The year long deployments do not help but they are not the root of the real problem in a military marriage. I have seen a lot of young women who think it is romantic to marry a soldier(he looks soooo good in his uniform)but they have no idea what it really means to be married to the military-which is what you are doing when you marry a soldier, airman or marine.
50 posted on 02/04/2006 2:21:19 PM PST by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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