Friday, October 19, 2018

Consider this the Veterans in Other News for today.

Florida and Texas tied for first a very bad way
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 19, 2018

Consider this the Veterans in Other News for today.

Last week I got into a conversation about one of the "22" a day charities that I constantly complain about. I had to apologize about one group called Mission 22. The person I was talking to is heavily involved with them. He informed me that they are doing more than using the number. They are taking a personal interest in the veterans all by themselves.

One veteran was suicidal and they formed a chain to get someone to him. His life was saved. So yes, I was wrong and I am happy to admit that. I thought they were all the same, but they are not. Just goes to show how important it is to actually believe something is important enough to invest the time to discover what you need to know.

That got me thinking about how all of us need to do a better job when it comes to assuming anything. While trying to digest the crow I had to eat, I looked up Mission 22. I did not notice anything about this being only for post-9 11 veterans. That was a huge plus, as you will discover further down.

For the most part, too many hacks just saw the number, did no research other than how to set up their 501 c 3, and they ran with that. And that was the biggest reason of all contributing to the results you will now read.
The worst thing is, that for all the groups here in Florida, doing the "awareness" stunts, we have the highest total of known suicides, right along side of Texas. 

Actually both states have more known suicides than California. Florida and Texas had 530 while California had 490. Click the link and then see how your state did.

Florida has 1.5 million veterans, with about 76,000 OEF and OIF. Meaning the largest group of veterans are over the age of 50, which happen to be the majority of the known veterans dying by suicide.

And as for Florida and Texas, when the VA said they used the CDC numbers for veterans, the CDC said they have incomplete data for both states in the civilian population. Meaning they do not have a complete idea of how many veterans committed suicide.

7.1 million veterans used some services from the VA, so we know they are in their system. We do not know how many have not been included in any research. 

We also know that as of 2016, the year the data stops, there were 300,000 with other than honorable discharges, as reported by The New York Times and later by several other sources.

Since 2001, more than 300,000 people, about 13 percent of all troops, have been forced out of the military with less-than-honorable discharges. Congress has recognized in recent years that some of these discharges were the fault of dysfunctional screening for PTSD and other combat injuries, and it has put safeguards in place to prevent more — including requirements for mental health professionals to review all discharges
From Military Times

VVA officials estimate as many as 300,000 veterans nationwide may have been improperly dismissed from the service, leaving them more vulnerable to depression and suicide because of a lack of veterans health services.
Yet again, that is from OEF and OIF veterans, but not Vietnam veterans. This is what Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam Veteran, was trying to correct back in 2014, as reported on Army Times.
The suit estimated that about one-third of the 250,000 other-than-honorable discharges issued to Vietnam era veterans may have been PTSD-related. 
So, there you have the facts and the results with the virtual elimination of over half a million veterans from all the "facts" that the press has avoided mentioning within the big story of "22" or "20" veterans taking their own lives.

Still with all of that, this is the most telling thing of all. When you look at the data from the VA, it clearly shows the most alarming thing of all. The daily "reported" total of suicides in the veterans population has remained unchanged, yet the number of living veterans has dropped by over 4 million.
Known veteran suicides from 2005 to 2016

And as for current military members, it is as bad as it was back in 2012 with an average of 500 per year. This is as of the second quarter of 2018 from the Department of Defense.

No longer homeless veteran painted powerful mural

Former homeless veteran's mural highlights the journey of a soldier

WEAU 13 News
By Jessica Bringe
Oct 18, 2018
Zimmerman explained, “Here what we see is really celebrating the individual, the uniqueness of the individual, and then helping that individual overcome whatever challenges they may have faced in life.
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- A once homeless veteran is revealing some of the struggles faced by soldiers returning to civilian life through his work as an artist.
A mural unveiling was held Thursday at Klein Hall in Chippewa Falls.

Klein hall provides housing and programming for homeless veterans and Veterans and Housing Recovery Program member James Heber said he wanted to give back to the facility by using talents he's been perfecting since he was 8-years-old.

“This to me is something to give back to help people understand that there's more than one type of person who is a veteran,” said Heber.

Heber said painting the 36-foot long and 6-foot high work of art took more than 800-hours but said each brush stoke was therapeutic.

“Spending time at night just peacefulness of painting it to help me understand where I've been and where others have been,” said Heber. “I've heard stories of people who have been here of what they've went through so it's just been an very amazing journey.”

The mural aims to really paint a story from a soldier’s enlistment to basic training to battles with homelessness and addiction to finally recovery and even home ownership.
read more here

#MissingVeteranAlert Ashley Meiss body has been found

Riley County police say body of Ashley Meiss, missing since May, found in Ogden

Topeka Capital Journal
By Tim Hrenchir
October 18, 2018

Human remains found Saturday in the 300 block of North Park Road in Ogden in Riley County have been identified as those of Ashley Elizabeth Meiss, a resident of that community who went missing in May, the Riley County Police Department said Thursday.
The woman’s cause and manner of death remained undetermined, though Riley County Police Sgt. Daniel Bortnick said an autopsy found no indication of foul play.

“A copy of the investigation will be forwarded to the county attorney for review, which is standard procedure in such cases,” Bortnick said. “No further information regarding this case is expected to be released to the public.”

Meiss, a military veteran, was 30 when she went missing from Ogden. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had two children.
read more here

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Veterans in other news October 18, 2018

Actors and athletes have agents to help them find work. Now vets with PTSD can too.

Staff Sgt. Robert Simonovich takes cover during a combined mission with the Iraqi army in Lutafiyah, Iraq, on April 16, 2007. Simonovich was wounded days after this photo was taken, and later spent years in therapy dealing with post-traumatic stress from the injury. (Staff Sgt. Martin Newton/Army)
WASHINGTON — After Bob Simonovich’s post-traumatic stress disorder left him anxious around large groups, loud noises and unpredictable environments, he was unsure what type of career he’d be able to handle in his post-military life.So his therapists lined up a job for him with a baseball team.“I loved baseball my whole life,” said Simonovich, a former Army staff sergeant injured in a bomb blast in Iraq 11 years ago. “But when I got back, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to go to a game again. The crowds, the fireworks, it’s just something I didn’t think I’d be able to do. read more here

Navy veteran, father of 3 killed in Norfolk shooting

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — The Norfolk Police Department said Ernesto Crespo, a father of three children and a Navy veteran, was killed in a shooting Friday on West Ocean Avenue.Crespo's coworker and friend Ernie Santini said Crespo was with his children when he was shot. Norfolk Police tracked a suspect's car to a house 5 minutes away from the shooting. After a prolonged standoff, police officers found another man, Robert Dabney, dead inside that home. read more here

Many Families Will Never Return to Tyndall After Hurricane, Officials Say

The same cannot be said for base housing. Thomas said all 867 homes sustained damage, most of them with roofs torn off...Beginning Wednesday, and continuing through Oct. 21, Tyndall families who evacuated before Hurricane Michael came ashore as a Category 4 storm will be allowed back onto the base to survey the damage to their homes and take away valuables, the officials said. read more here

Pair of Navy Helicopters Collide on Runway in Japan

The mishap was labeled Class A, which means it resulted in at least $2 million or more in damages.
"There is an investigation ongoing, which will reveal the extent of the damage and what the crews were doing on the ramp," said Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces. read more here

Three Troops Wounded in Suicide Bombing at Bagram Airfield

The bomber attacked a patrol, a U.S. military spokesman with Resolute Support in Kabul said. The nationality of the three wounded service members was not provided. The Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack. read more here

Vets group calls on DOD, VA to help stop fake news targeting veterans, troops

WASHINGTON – One year ago, Vietnam Veterans of America discovered a Facebook page was using its name to spread disinformation to nearly 200,000 followers. Facebook disabled the site at VVA’s request, citing violations to intellectual property.The incident sparked an effort at VVA, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization, to find more social media pages that target veterans and servicemembers with sensationalized news and hyper-partisan political content. read more here

Oregon Firefighters targeted by armed arsonist

Oregon arsonist sets own home on fire to ambush

NBC News 
David R. Li 
October 18, 2018
Jacobs shot at firefighters as they approached, but first responders had no idea they were being targeted because crackling noises are common in house fires, McKee said.
An arsonist ambushed Oregon firefighters by torching his own house then shooting a rifle at the first responders, authorities said Thursday.
A man is dead after a structure fire turned into an active shooter situation early on Oct. 17, 2018 in Springfield, Oregon.NBC16
Lance Taylor Jacobs, 60, eventually turned the gun on himself and ended the brief standoff early Wednesday morning in Springfield, Oregon, police said.

After Jacobs sent firefighters fleeing for their lives, flames spread to three other homes in the 500 block of Oakdale Avenue, which is about four miles northeast of the University of Oregon in neighboring Eugene.

All four houses burned down but no neighbors, firefighters or police were injured, officials said. One round tore through a firefighter's pants cuff.
read more here

Other-Than-Honorable-Discharge Vets needing help can go to the VA

VA Struggles To Reach Other-Than-Honorable-Discharge Vets In Need Of Help

Steve Walsh
October 18, 2018
Onan is taking advantage of the program. After years of being rejected by the VA, Onan now is getting his PTSD treatment paid for by the agency, and he hopes it helps him get back to being the person he was before the injury.
Former Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Onan was in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.
"I remember laying down in the truck," Onan said. "Waking up, there's dust, there's debris all over me, and there's an Iraqi colonel who's sitting in the truck with us, and he's just screaming, screaming. I don't understand what he's saying."

Onan suffered a head injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. During the next year, he was in and out of trouble with military officials, mainly for small infractions, which he chalks up to the medications he was taking.

Then, while on leave, he was caught with a small amount of cocaine and kicked out of the Marines.

Onan is one of the thousands of veterans who have other-than-honorable (OTH) discharges. They don't typically qualify for VA benefits, even though many have service-related trauma. And as a group they have a high suicide rate.
read more here

Ex-POW, Decorated Vietnam Veteran Bought a Gun...Went to Jail?

Decorated Vietnam Veteran, POW Sentenced To 7+ Years For ‘Mistake’ Made Decades Ago

CBS 21 News
JD Miles
October 17, 2018

Friends of the vet showed up to support him after he pleaded guilty in a Plano federal courtroom and was sentenced to 87 months in prison by a judge.
PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A decorated Vietnam War hero from Plano is going to prison for a crime he committed decades ago.

Alfred Pick was sentenced by federal judge District Judge Marcia A. Crone to seven years in prison for a mistake he made nearly 40 years ago — buying a fully automatic gun that’s illegal for citizens to own. The rifle was similar to the one Pick had in the Army where he served as a lieutenant.
“This gun was very rare at that time it was rare to see one so he instantly had a connection to it,” said Pick’s attorney Ryne Sandel. “Over the course of his life he and his wife and collected about 14 weapons, many of them were collectors items.”

Pick lived in Plano’s Air Park neighborhood along with other pilots who enjoy a runway right outside their homes. The 70-year-old Vietnam veteran even served as the president of his homeowners association. Thus, when the ATF raided his home last year it came as a shock to friends like Mark Shackelford.
read more here

Service groups team up for homeless veterans in Colorado

Local veteran services organizations come together to help homeless vets

FOX 21 News
Taylor Bishop
October 16, 2018
"I came close to losing my home a few times. This program was very near and dear to me because of what it has done for the community as well as me giving back to those that had given to me my whole life," said Littler.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Defending those who have defended our freedom, the 20th Annual El Paso County Homeless Veterans Stand Down took place Tuesday, at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium.

Close to 200 homeless veterans in the community got the chance to connect with employment, housing, and health services, all in one place.

Veterans in need were also given new clothing and flu shots for the coming winter season.

Brian Wess with the El Paso County Homeless Veterans Coalition said, "If you're living in the barracks and you have your meals, three a day, your focus is on training to kill the enemy. Your focus isn't on how to live your life and pay bills every day and it's a completely different skill set that a lot of them, if they go in at 18 or 19 years old, they don't necessarily get if they haven't gotten it from their parents growing up."

Twenty-two year Army veteran Mitchell Littler says it was the fellowship and camaraderie through the VFW that helped pull him out of tough times, which is why he's been using this event to give back to his fellow vets for the past four years.
go here for video

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Vietnam Veteran Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley Received Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor: Trump awards nation's highest military honor to Vietnam veteran

Tom Vanden Brook and David Jackson
Oct. 17, 2018
Retired Marine Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley is honored during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House Oct. 17, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)
WASHINGTON – Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley’s astounding heroism in Vietnam 50 years ago speaks for itself, so loudly that Wednesday he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump at a White House ceremony.

Canley's daughter Patricia Sargent knows how her father took command of the undermanned Company A, First Battalion, First Marines despite shrapnel wounds during the bloody battle of Hue in 1968. How he set up a base while caught in a “deadly crossfire,” drew fire by darting into the open so his Marines could seize a building and carried wounded Marines to safety while exposing himself to the enemy.

"John raced straight into enemy fire over and over again, saving numerous American lives and defeating a large group of communist fighters," Trump said in conferring the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. He lauded the former gunnery sergeant for "unmatched bravery" and fearlessness.

"Despite sustaining serious injuries – very, very serious injuries – he continued to face down the enemy with no thought for his own safety," Trump said.

The audience gave Canley a prolonged ovation, complete with Marine shoutouts of "Oorah!"
read more here

Veterans in other news October 17, 2018

Ex-Marine to serve 18 years after attempt to run over Las Vegas pastor

A former Marine convicted of menacing his neighbors and attacking a Las Vegas pastor was ordered to serve up to 46 years behind bars on Tuesday. Walter Laak was found guilty but mentally ill in August after prosecutors argued that he knew his actions in September 2016 were illegal, while acknowledging that the Iraq War veteran suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder...He was acquitted of one count of assault with a deadly weapon. Laak, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was accused of beating and attempting to run over a Las Vegas pastor with his vehicle, then driving to the victim’s home and firing multiple gunshots into it while the pastor’s wife and children were inside. It was the third serious crime for which Laak faced charges since his return from combat. He was given a general discharge in 2005. read more here

We’re Too Excited About MDMA’s Potential for Treating PTSD is the headline, however, it is far from new. They have been "researching" it since the 70's.

Florida man rescued after clinging to capsized boat for nearly 20 hours says he prayed, 'called on the Father'

“A bigger wave came and it just filled the back of the boat up and it just went down,” Stills told FOX35. The grandfather and Vietnam War veteran grabbed onto the boat while his friend, 73-year-old Earnest Jones, ended up in the water with a lifejacket on. “Then he started drifting off and he told me to stay with the boat,” Stills told FOX35. read more here

An Army Veteran Wages War on Social-Media Disinformation

 The Wall Street Journal

Kris Goldsmith’s campaign to get Facebook Inc. to close fake accounts targeting U.S. veterans started with a simple search. He was seeking last year to gauge the popularity of the Facebook page for his employer, Vietnam Veterans of America. The first listing was an impostor account called “Vietnam Vets of America” that had stolen his group’s logo and had more than twice as many followers. Mr. Goldsmith, a 33-year-old Army veteran, sent Facebook what he thought was a straightforward request to take down the bogus page. 
At first, Facebook told him to try to work it out with the authors of the fake page, whom he was never able to track down. Then, after two months, Facebook deleted it. The experience launched him on a hunt for other suspicious Facebook pages that target military personnel and veterans by using patriotic messages and fomenting political divisions. It has become a full-time job. read more here