Monday, February 18, 2019

Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award for Gold Star Mom

Duty Calls: Minister earns Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award

Times Union
Terry Brown
February 17, 2019
She is also a Gold Star mother of Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Robbins, who died in action in Iraq on Feb. 9, 2004, attempting to save the lives of his soldiers during a mortar explosion while serving with Troop A, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) near Mosul, Iraq.
The Rev. Charlene Robbins of Delmar, a Gold Star mother active in veterans circles, has been selected to receive the 54th annual Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award from the Albany Post 105 of Jewish War Veterans.

Robbins will receive the award during a Four Chaplains Award and Remembrance ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the First Reformed Church, 8 N. Church St., Schenectady.

The Rev. Charlene Robbins of Delmar, a Gold Star mother active in veterans circles, has been selected to receive the 54th annual Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award from the Albany Post 105 of Jewish War Veterans.

Robbins will receive the award during a Four Chaplains Award and Remembrance ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the First Reformed Church, 8 N. Church St., Schenectady.

The honor commemorates the sacrifice four military chaplains made after a German submarine torpedoed the USS Dorchester, a troop ship, on Feb. 3, 1943, off the coast of Greenland.

One of the four was Army Chaplain 1st Lt. Clark Poling, who ministered at the First Reformed Church just before he enlisted.

The other chaplains were 1st Lt. Alexander Goode, a Jewish rabbi; 1st Lt. George Fox, a Methodist minister; and 1st Lt. John Washington, a Catholic priest.
"Charlene inspires us in her devotion to others, and in particular her focus on serving veteran organizations," said Fred Altman, Post 105 commander. "As a Gold Star mother, Charlene stands among our veterans as a cherished and honored family member. Her sympathy and enthusiasm to give back to the many veteran groups and causes is a shining example of the commitment to others that the Four Chaplains gave their lives for."
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Woodworker working to join Vets with pets

Man's love of woodworking aids vets group, animal shelter

Nahan Cobb
Northwest Florida Daily News
February 18, 2019

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - An any given day, you might find Dennis Wise crafting wood in his garage. Wise then sells his creations - from bat houses to refrigerator magnets - through his nonprofit, Pets and the Vets, with proceeds split between Paws for Purple Hearts and a DeFuniak Springs animal shelter.

"I take care of who I can, when we can," he said, and added 100 percent of profits are donated. "The more sales we get, the more people we can help."

Wise sees bringing together veterans with shelter animals as a win-win proposition. He said there is strong evidence that shows owning a pet reduces post-traumatic stress disorder.

The shelter animals benefit too.

"If the dog (or cat) goes home with the vet, he's now in a home (and) everybody loves him," he said.

His wooden creations include bat houses, bee traps, bookends, superhero and military plaques, and flip-flop magnets.

Prices for Wise's wooden artwork range from $1.75 to $12. He also accepts requests and will personalize items.

Wise is retired from the Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol and also worked as a public information officer for the Walton County Sheriff's Office.

He said his patriotism runs deep, along with his love for animals.
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Marine thanks God he was caught

McCrabb: Why a Marine says being arrested was ‘one of the biggest blessings’ in guiding him to Middletown success

Dayton Daily News
Rick McCrabb
February 17, 2019
He called being arrested “one of the biggest blessings of my life. I’m glad God cut me down that day. God was fed up and he gave me over to the authorities.”
MIDDLETOWN — When Jake Ferguson heard a strange voice yell, “Mr. Ferguson,” he knew he was busted.

“There was a wave of fear,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is how it’s all going to end.’”Ferguson, a Marine recruiter in Bowling Green in 2012, had forged a prescription for painkillers at a Meijer pharmacy, and 15 minutes later, local police charged him with deception to obtain a dangerous drug, a felony.

If convicted, the Middletown native faced a court-martial from the Marines with a possible penalty of up to 18 months in prison, the loss of his military rank and pension and probably his marriage to Nicki.

“I need treatment,” he told the judge. “I need help.”

The judge listened. The charge was suspended, and Ferguson was placed on one-year probation and told to seek therapy through Veterans Affairs.“Very blessed,” he said of his reaction to the judge’s leniency.Since then, Ferguson has received 2½ years of intense therapy — one year in Bowling Green and 18 months with the Wounded Warriors East Battalion in Jacksonville, N.C. — medically retired from the Marines in 2015, “surrendered his life” to Christ, worked as a counselor for more than three years with his wife at a church in North Carolina and recently was named Life Care Pastor at Berachah Church in Middletown.
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If you want to know how to prevent military suicides....send this Marine to talk to them and you'll see change happen!

Treating this has to happen by mind-body and spirit. Leave out the spirit and you have healing that is incomplete. Add in the spirit and you can watch them soar!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

After veteran committed suicide, Prince Harry and Meghan made promise to Mom

Prince Harry and Meghan promise tragic special forces veteran's mother that they will help servicemen and women win the battle against PTSD

Daily Mail UK
February 17, 2019

Viv Johnston's, 62, special forces son, Danny, 35, killed himself last year
Danny had been struggling with PTSD ever since he was discharged
Harry, 34, had previously written to Viv after Danny was found hanged in May
An estimated 42 servicemen and women committed suicide last year
Viv Johnston, 62, was invited to speak to Prince Harry and Meghan before the Endeavour Awards last week after Harry wrote to her when her son, Danny, killed himself last year
Roughly 42 ex-servicemen and women suffering with PTSD committed suicide last year but the true scale of the crisis isn't known because the Ministry of Defence doesn't keep a record.

Prince Harry and Meghan have made a vow to a grieving mother to help servicemen and women who are struggling with PTSD.

Viv Johnston, 62, saw the destructive effects PTSD can have first hand when her son, Danny Johnston, 35, killed himself last year.

The royal couple invited Viv, from Bognor Regis, West Sussex, to meet them before the military Endeavour Awards in London last week.
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Community comes together to help amputee move on to healing

Veterans community comes together to help double amputee move to Arkansas

AZ Central
Nathan J. Fish, Arizona Republic
Feb. 16, 2019

With a wide smile on his face, Matt Zajac, a double-amputee Army veteran, wheeled himself outside, stopping to light up a cigarette. Boxes lined his driveway.

"Keep the beer, throw out everything else," Zajac told one of a volunteers with a laugh.

Almost a dozen volunteers from multiple veterans organizations joined forces Saturday to help Zajac move out of his home in San Tan Valley.

Volunteers wearing black Changed By Nature Outdoors shirts bustled around, carrying boxes and furniture in and out of Zajac's home. The volunteers loaded up the moving truck parked in front of the home near Bella Vista Road and Hunt Highway.

Zajac is moving to participate in an Arkansas-based wounded-veteran program with We Are The 22, a nonprofit organization committed to preventing veteran suicide. The Purple Heart awardee said he reached out to the organization for help with his post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Stunning UPS Driver kept calm after carjacking and police chase

San Jose police shooting: Abducted UPS driver hailed for thwarting carjackers during chase

The Mercury News
PUBLISHED: February 15, 2019
Matthew O’Connor, a spokesman for UPS, declined to identify the driver or comment on his actions, but said the company was providing support for him and for other employees who work with him. “We’re giving our driver some privacy after yesterday’s incident, and we’re offering grief counseling to the driver and our other employees in the area,” he said.
SAN JOSE — A UPS driver abducted during a carjacking on Thursday is being lauded for having nerves of steel.

The armed carjackers seized his delivery truck and forced him to drive it, with law enforcement officers in pursuit. But he drove slowly so that the police could keep up and then, in an attempt to derail his captors’ escape, purposely hit the metal spikes officers had placed on the road.

“When you are accosted, taken at gunpoint, and made to drive, like something that comes out in the movies, you can’t train for the calmness that man had,” San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said.
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Navy Veteran arrested after threats at VA Outpatient Center

Bethlehem man charged after threats, standoff

The Morning Call
Andrew Scott
February 14, 2019

A 30-year-old man is awaiting a court hearing on charges of threatening to shoot police during a standoff at his Bethlehem apartment, prompting the evacuation of his apartment building, three days after reportedly threatening to “shoot up” the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Center in South Whitehall.
Jonathan Simmons, 30, of Bethlehem, is awaiting a court hearing on charges of threatening to shoot police during a Feb. 5 standoff, prompting the evacuation of his apartment building. (FILE PHOTO / THE MORNING CALL)

U.S. Navy veteran Jonathan Simmons was arraigned this week on charges of terroristic threats in connection with the Feb. 5 incident at his Allwood Drive apartment building.
On Feb. 2, Simmons caused a disturbance at the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Center on Hamilton Street, South Whitehall, during which he used his fingers to mime firing a gun and threatened to “shoot up” the building.

On Feb. 4, Lehigh County Crisis staff went to Simmons’ Allwood Drive apartment and tried serving him with a warrant to involuntarily commit him to a mental health facility. Simmons refused to go with the crisis staff, which led to a standoff ending with them staff leaving his apartment without him.
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What is your dash telling you?

It is the middle that matters

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 17, 2019

When you look at your dash, there are a lot of things it can tell you. In the center, you see how far you've traveled and how fast you are going at this very moment.

THE DASH by Linda Ellis is one of those poems that is usually delivered when it is too late for the person being remembered to benefit from. It is not so much for the person being buried, but for those gathered to be able to think about their own lives.

This is part of that poem.

"He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years."
While we have no control over when we arrive into this world, we do have control over what we do between the dates used to acknowledge we were here at all.


Question; What is your line worth? Can you see it all or is it mostly a blur with symbols you cannot really understand?
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Slogan "accepted and understood" by clueless reporter

Reporter carelessly pushed ear worm of 22

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 17, 2019

Janice Kiaski Community editor of Weirton Daily Times wrote a headline of "SAVE22 helping family members impacted by veteran suicide" and turned in what could have been a great story of searching for healing, into a selling job of the ear worm that has penetrated the brains of Americans.
"And accepted and understood, too, not to mention inspired to return and help in its mission to raise awareness about the statistic that, every day, 22 veterans commit suicide."
It is not "accepted" and is not "understood" by anyone paying attention to all of this because facts actually matter to them!

How the hell is it raising awareness when they couldn't even get the number right? That notorious number came from the VA report that stated clearly it was limited data from just 21 states. Apparently not worth reading for any of the folks popping their heads out of the sand, discovering the heartache the rest of us had been living with for decades and then deciding they should "do something" about it without taking any of is seriously enough to research any of it! Damn it! How could they have taken such a callous attitude? 
"While SAVE22 is designed to raise awareness about and help in the prevention of suicide among veterans and active-duty military personnel, it also is an aid for family and friends who’ve been impacted."
Suicides in active duty military personnel have gone up over the last decade in every branch, including Special Forces. The Air Force reported they lost 11 Airmen and civilians to suicide last month! Veteran suicides, the known ones, have also gone up, even as the reported numbers remain the same. Why? Because as the VA reported, the number of veterans committing suicide back in 1999 was 20 a day. Although there were over 5 million more veterans living back then, that would mean that the percentages actually went up!

 Yet with all that, this unacceptable truth escaped the reporting. Apparently, the result of the "efforts" to raise awareness did not matter either.
"1st Sgt. Brent Charles Myers of Anchorage, Alaska, was 45 when he died Jan. 20, 2018. The former area resident served in the Army for 20 years as an Airborne Ranger, retiring in August 2011. He left behind his wife, two sons and his parents and was part of a big family that included 16 cousins, Corder among them."
This group has been doing it for 4 years! What good did all the "efforts" do Myers last year? What good did any of this do for the family? Or for any of the families before it was too late? 

The fault does not belong to the families.  It belongs to the reporters not paying any attention to the story they want to push down our throats as if it is actually supposed to mean anything! 

Missouri veterans discovered more in common than bowling

Marine veterans rediscover friendship at bowling alley 60 years later

FEBRUARY 16, 2019
“I didn’t know who he was,” said Dan. Wally added, “We didn’t recognize each other.”

Steeleville, MO (KMOV4)- Two teenagers left their St. Louis homes in the mid-1950’s to join the Marines. They were strangers, turned Marine brothers and now are forever friends.
The two Missouri men never could have imagined how parallel their lives would become.

“We probably were at football games in our high school years not knowing each other,” said Walter ‘Wally’ Lahm.

More than 60 years after they first became friends as young Marines, fate brought them back together at a Steelville, Missouri, bowling alley.

Wally attended McKinley High School and left after his sophomore year to join the United States Marine Corps. Daniell ‘Dan’ Neill went to Cleveland High School in St. Louis and also left after his sophomore year to become a Marine.
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