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Game on Nation Gives USO Caregivers Conference Attendees Laughs, Resiliency

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

By Christian Pelusi 

The client list is an impressive who’s who of the sporting world: Sidney Crosby, Eli Manning, Pete Sampras, Carmelo Anthony, Paula Creamer. That list is just a sampling of the standout athletes that game on Nation has helped in its mission of improving communication and self-awareness while plying their trades in the public eye.

But game on Nation’s sphere of influence extends past athletic fields and arenas and into the professional and private sectors and some very private sectors, like working with the Navy SEALs.

The USO Caregivers Conference that will be taking place on May 30 in San Antonio will be the second time game on Nation will participate and associate director and communication coach Blair Bloomston (pictured) has a pretty clear idea of the direction she’d like to take her audience of servicemen and women and their families.

“My hope is that: 1. I would like to break down some of the stress and weight that they carry, by giving them a chance to laugh, let go and recharge their batteries,” Bloomston said. “And we’re really excited to start the day [on May 30] and keep them fueled for the rest of the conference. And the second thing is showing people how to be resourceful and creative and how many skills they already have. To be resilient.”

So whether it’s a Super Bowl champion quarterback or Navy SEAL commando or military spouse and parent of three children, there are certain qualities that all people share and can incorporate into the fabric of their lives.

Bloomston said: “We have three things that are common to all people: honesty. By honesty, that’s not ‘Tell the truth.’ But what I really mean is being true to who you are. The self-awareness of how [you] approach this challenge. And then owning the strength of who you are. Playing within your game.

“Second is humility. We really think of putting someone or something -- could be faith or an actual person or a code -- above yourself. And acting or behaving with that code or that person or that thing that is above you that you are trying to lift up, keeping that in mind.

“Third is humor and how everybody loves to laugh. And use the creativity to pull out that wit and lightheartedness and playfulness that we might lose when we’re 11 years old. It’s quite powerful.”

Those three virtues and aforementioned resiliency are fine tools for all people to possess no matter their profession, but especially so for military families who may be saddled with additional challenges resulting from their loved one’s time spent deployed. While issues may range from adjusting to life away from the battlefield to coping with more serious circumstances like traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post traumatic stress (PTS), all are addressed with the attention to basic tenets that game on Nation espouses.

“I think that we have within us, as humans, we have triggers, gut instincts,” Bloomston said. “And one that is very powerful is that we all respond to love. And I don’t mean romantic films or simple things like hugging your child. It’s being cared for. It’s about that chicken soup or that blanket to warm you.

“A lot of our training goes back to that care feeling, that good feeling, that warmth that you feel after laughing and taking a risk and hearing applause and validation. So I want people to actively show and demonstrate that care, not just to those close to them, but to every single person in that room with them. And I want them to experience that feeling of being cared for and the confidence that that can give them.

“That’s what the Caregivers Conference should be all about.”

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There’s still time to register for the USO Caregivers Conference. Click over and sign up today. 

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