Thanks for sharing your story and for serving our country! I'm a 42 y.o. female and believe it or not, there's a bigger birthmark out there than yours. I have a PWS from my finger tips all the way up my arm, to a quarter of my chest, neck and 1/4 portion of my back. It's not raised, but it is a bright red. I grew up in a small town and graduated w/most of the same kids I started school with, so I really didn't have issues in highschool b/c well, they were used to me after 12 years, right? The self-consciousness developed after high school when I hit the real world and I was no longer in my perfect little guarded world and that's when I noticed the stares. Well, the stares didn't hold me back from dating b/c I was still being asked out, it was my own fears that kept me from getting into relationships that eventually I'd have to show my mark and how would that person handle it? So my solution was not to allow anyone to get too close for fear that once they saw it, they would run in the opposite direction. I'm happy to say that I've been with my husband for the last seven years. We have a 4 year old son that is perfectly healthy. He has a nickel size birthmark, tan color on his hand and a small one on his little butt that looks like a bruise, other than that, he's perfectly fine. Question for you....have you had any treatment? I have not. Also, does your PWS change colors when you are cold and do you ever feel pain or numbing? Thanks for taking time to read my posting. Thanks for all that you do for our country. Good luck and Blessings to your and your family.