Wendy Stewart is a native of Baltimore and an adult convert to the Catholic Church. As a life coach and personal trainer, she works with families, children, and singles to bring together all aspects of their lives to be happy and healthy in body, mind and spirit. You can contact her for individual or group coaching at nutritioncoachwendy@yahoo.com.

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That's a weak argument. If anyone want to limit access to his private life, then make a limited use of internet resources for personal issues. I'd like to point out that the IPhone is made in China and it is unlikely that the Chinese government has access to this, and any other, communication device manufactured in China. By making the IPhone in factories under the Chinese regime and denying the FBI access to the device, Apple empowers a government that endangers our future and hampers a government, with elected officials, willing to protect us.

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Wendy, I am also of the Roman Catholic religion, all 67 years of my life. I cry for my neighbors also. I do not live in the city, but after all, we are all neighbors. I truly cry for those living in the neighborhoods like yours who live and work and abide by the law, who, as reported many times are afraid in their neighborhoods because of the drug dealers and gangs that rule those neighborhood streets making all around them afraid and unsafe in their own neighborhoods. I remember the Baltimore family that reported what was happening in their neighborhood and in the act of trying to protect their family and others, their house was set on fire and all members of their family perished. I believe in helping those who are truly needy, but I also believe there are the same opportunites for all in those areas of the city as all citizens of the city. There are those who choose to take advantage of those opportunities e.g. attending school and getting an education or finding an honest way to support themselves. I see many help wanted signs, so there are jobs available. I blame the city leadership from the top down for city schools' downfall. There are those e.g. previous mayor Sheila Dixon who choose to spend taxpayer money on what is good for them and their political agenda. Yes, I cry along with you. You make me proud for what I have just read about you and your service to our country. Why is your example not followed? I think that you have a family who teach their values and respect for all to their children. That is what I feel is necessary to help neighborhoods to rise above what we are experiencing now. My prayers go out to everyone affected and I pray that God has a plan for His good to come from this. Thank you for allowing me to air my feelings. Praying for you and the good work you do.

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After Orlando: To make myself safe




Women hold candles during a June 13 vigil in Los Angeles for the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. A lone gunman, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, killed 49 people early June 12 at the nightclub. (CNS photo/Lucy Nicholson, Reuters)


There is no doubt the Orlando shooting has stirred up emotions and questions. Some of us want to know why, while others are more concerned with what we can do now. I spent most of the week just being angry.

As Catholics we know to pray and help in any way we can. Maybe you attended a prayer vigil. Maybe you were in the Orlando area and gave blood. Maybe you donated to an emergency organization. Sometimes none those feels like enough. But what could I do up here in Baltimore other than pray (which, by the way, is a completely valid response). Some people are really good prayer warriors and that is their gift. I’m a different kind of warrior.

As a veteran, I’ve been trained to think a little differently than most. Which doesn’t mean I want to sit here and pick apart the tactical details of the Orlando tragedy; there are enough “analysts” who do that on TV and radio. My response had to be super practical but helpful for others as well. What could I do to help myself be safer and help those around me? I didn’t have an answer until I checked my email.

What popped up in my email was a notice about a seminar at Krav Maga of Maryland where I train already. Not just any seminar, but one designed to respond to Active Shooter scenarios. Krav Maga is not a martial art so much as it is a system designed to get you home safely. I’ve always appreciated the training as super practical and teaching me mentally and physically how to be safer.

While we did practice fighting as the last option, it was always prefaced by the context of getting home and saving lives in the process. Just because I took the training doesn’t mean I will walk around being suspicious of everyone while itching for a fight. Rather, I have more confidence in my ability to get home safely and help those around me. Staying safe doesn’t always mean fighting. Sometimes it’s running. Sometimes it’s hiding. Both are perfectly fine. But sometimes it may mean fighting.

I want to help people and I would never want to be in a position where I don’t know what to do in order to save lives. I’m not a doctor, nurse, EMT, police officer or SWAT. I’m a veteran who cares about the people around me. I’m a lay person whose protection sensor is set to high. I’m a warrior.


6/21/2016 2:16:55 PM
By Wendy Stewart