Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Firefighters Won't Ask For Help for PTSD?

Firefighters Battle Blaze Within
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 18, 2017

Note to firefighters: If people did not want your help, you'd be out of a job. Think about that for a second. They do not just have to need help, but want it enough to call for you to come and help them.
New York Firefighter Memorial

When I was at the Point Man Conference at the Adam's Mark hotel in Buffalo over the weekend, there was a Firefighters Ball at the same hotel.

During a break a firefighter noticed the patch I was wearing and we talked. I told the firefighter who we were, how long we've been working on PTSD and that help is out there. All they have to do is ask for it.

He said it isn't that they don't need it, they don't want to ask for it. That shows how little they understand about what PTSD is. If they knew, then they'd never waste another second without getting help to be the best they can be for their families, other firefighters and the community they serve.

I had to get back to the conference and he had to go to the ball. Had we had more time, I would have explained that they won't ask for help because they blame themselves for having PTSD. Somehow, somewhere along the line, they, like veterans, got it into their heads there was a weakness within them.

Ya, I know but that is what they think. I guess no one ever told them that it wasn't weakness that was causing them pain. It was the strength of their emotional core that made them feel it so much stronger than others.

The very thing that allows them to rush into burning buildings while everyone else is running away, trying to do whatever they can to save someone else, prevents them from being able to save themselves.

If they understood it properly, they'd know that PTSD only comes from trauma. They'd didn't cause it but they were hit by it. 

They'd know that the word "trauma" is actually Greek for "wound" and thus, be able to accept the reality it happened to them.

They'd know that if they looked at it properly, they'd understand that the people they risk their lives for, not only need their help, they want it. They are unashamed to admit they cannot save themselves.

They'd acknowledge that they do not look down on the strangers they help, but find their lives so valuable, they will do anything to save them. 

So, then why don't they see, that their own life is valuable too and trust those they serve with enough to talk about what they need from them?

Here's a video I did several years ago. I did it for National Guardsmen to help them heal PTSD and understand it better. I found out at another conference Chaplains were using it with police officers and firefighters and it worked.

Here's another one you should watch.

Wedding Party Time Meant Serving Others

Wedding party gives back to community by volunteering at food bank
Meredith Mitchell
October 13, 2017
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A lot of wedding weekends begin with a bridal luncheon, maybe a trip to the spa, but one Little Rock couple wanted to do something a little different.

The beautiful path to marriage is getting more and more elaborate these days, but before Patricia Minor walks down the aisle, she and her groom-to-be wanted to spend time with their wedding party.

But the group went for something a little unconventional. The group decided to give back to their community by volunteering their time at the Arkansas Food Bank.

"I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to have some bonding time and some fun times," Minor said.
The groom, Will Ewings, and all of his groomsmen are either retired or active duty military. The man were wearing their favorite team's jersey as they stacked cans of food and helped in any way they could. Minor said service is nothing new to them.
read more here

Kings Bay Sailors Died Days Apart From Overdose

2 US sailors die of apparent drug overdoses in same week at Submarine Base Kings Bay

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Missing Veteran Julia Jacobson's Ex-Husband Arrested

Missing Army Veteran Julia Jacobson Now Believed Dead, Ex-Husband Arrested
NBC News
October 17, 2017

A San Diego Army veteran who disappeared last month is now believed to be dead, according to local officials.
Julia Jacobson, 37, has been missing since September 2, 2017. She was last seen on security video at a store in Ontario, California with her Wheaten Terrier, Boogie. According to a press release from the Ontario Police Department on October 16, “detectives now have reason to believe” Julia and Boogie are both deceased.

While Julia and Boogie’s remains have not yet been located, on Friday October 13, police arrested Julia’s ex-husband on suspicion of her murder.

According to the press release, through a coordinated effort with the Phoenix Police Department and the FBI’s Arizona Violent Crimes Task Force unit, Dalen Larry Ware was arrested at his home in Laveen, Arizona. He was then transferred to the San Bernardino County West Valley Detention Center and is awaiting booking.
read more here

Air Force AWOL Found in Florida After 40 Years

Missing veteran found 40 years later leading double life

New York Post
By Jackie Salo
October 17, 2017

A U.S. Air Force veteran who vanished while on active duty was discovered 40 years later living a double life in Florida.

Jeffrey Michels, 64, went missing from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota in July 1977 — only to be found last week using an alias with a wife and kids in Sanford, Florida.

Authorities said that Michels had gone by the name Jeffrey Lantz, which he used to get a license for construction company in 1998, news station WFTV reported.

read more here

Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner Body Found

Live coverage: Solemn escort for Officer Craig Lehner
Buffalo News
By Aaron Besecker, Lou Michel, Maki Becker
Published 2:16 p.m. October 17, 2017
Updated Less than a minute ago

They vowed to bring their brother home.

And after five long days of searching the relentless Niagara River, the body of missing Buffalo Police diver Craig Lehner has been finally found. The police made the official announcement just after 3 p.m.

A procession is about to begin to bring his body to Erie County Medical Center. Already, police and firefighters have begun lining the route to pay their respects.

Here is the route the procession will take: Niagara Thruway (I-190) North to the Scajaquada Corridor (198) East. Then the Kensington Expressway (33) East to the Grider Street exit and on to ECMC to the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office.
go here

DoD 2017 Second Quarter Suicide Report

For the second quarter of 2017, the military services reported the following: 

• 56 deaths by suicide in the Active Component 

• 27 deaths by suicide in the Reserves 

• 36 deaths by suicide in the National Guard

First half of 2017 Totals

Active 130

Reserves 48

National Guard 68
Total 246

I thought about this all day and kept asking how anyone could find any of this acceptable or dismissible? 

If they do not change what they are doing, then they must find the result acceptable. If the awareness raisers running around using slogan like "22" or "20" a day, dismiss these men and women serving the country, who will stop them?

It is not bad enough that the majority of the veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50 but are ignored. 

Not bad enough that folks keep ignoring the fact that not all states have military service on death certificates and their veterans were not counted. 

Not bad enough that while the number of enlisted service members went down during the last decade of the DoD doing "prevention training" the number of suicides were not reduced accordingly. 

Not bad enough that they noticed that training was not good enough to prevent non-deployed from committing suicide or notice they needed to change to take care of those with multiple deployments.

No, none of that was bad enough for anyone getting all the attention and money to do a damn thing differently. 

So please tell me when the fuck this is going to get bad enough for someone to find none of this acceptable and actually do something to change what this deadly decade has produced!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Last Images of Buffalo Missing Police Officer Craig Lehner

Sean Kirst: A photographer captures lasting image of Officer Craig Lehner

Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner with his dog Shield at the K-9 training area on Louisiana Street. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Davis)
Lehner, 34, a nine-year veteran of the police department, has been missing since he vanished Friday during a training session for Buffalo police divers in the Niagara River. 

For the past four days, multiple local, state, federal and Canadian agencies have joined forces in a furious and difficult search. 

Zoll introduced Davis to Lehner, who joined the K-9 unit about a year ago. Lehner told Davis about his dog Shield, a 4-year-old German shepherd purchased by the Buffalo police from a training center near Rochester. As they spoke, Davis said, the dog – intent and preoccupied – wandered in circles in the training area, nose down, sniffing the ground. "He never stopped working," Davis said of Shield.

Lehner served in both Iraq and Guantanamo Bay with the Army National Guard. Davis photographed him with Shield, then spontaneously asked if she could take one portrait of Lehner, alone. Looking back on it, she is grateful for both images.

read more here

Can't Find Good News? Are You Looking For It?

Editing videos and trying to play catchup, but wanted to share these stories I read earlier today. So many people think that there are no good news stories, but this should prove that if they don't find them, they must not be looking for them.

Florida military monument gives families place to think of relatives

"The monument in the heart of Green Cove Springs will ensure that the memories of people like Coleman will live forever. The $82,000 sculpture was built with money raised from individuals and charitable organizations with no financial assistance from the government."

Soldier's suicide leaves a family with questions 

"The truth is Bauders, 25, killed himself at Al Asad Air Base less than a month after arriving for his first tour in Iraq. Horton believes the way he was memorialized, and the way his death was investigated, reveal that while the military has put an emphasis on combating veteran suicides, it's still struggling to change the cultural stigma around mental health for active soldiers."
95-year-old man skydives in Suffolk, breaks record as oldest diver
"Norwood Thomas set a record Sunday while skydiving. Two days after his 95th birthday, Thomas became the oldest person to jump out of a plane at Skydive Suffolk." #inspirational

Army vet Travis Mills tackles new challenge: reviving another Maine resort

"Now, they’ve set goals for its expansion. They’re acquiring new watercraft for the rental fleet, including pontoon boats, canoes and stand-up paddleboards. They hope to add a playground for children and resources for ice fishing, and eventually open a waterfront restaurant. They’ve also renovated the front office and begun stocking it with concessions such as beer, wine and custom-roasted coffee, as well as a bigger array of fishing tackle." #inspirational

Party in Denham Springs celebrates day Iraq War veteran fought death and won

Ten years ago in combat in Iraq, Vaughn came incredibly close to dying, but didn’t. As remarkable as his survival and recovery were, his Army buddies weren't surprised. "If anybody's going to get shot in the face and live to tell about it, it's going to be Chance ... Vaughn," said Cody Chandler, of Kaufman, Texas, a former comrade in arms who attended the party." #inspirational

Vietnam veteran gets homecoming he's always wanted with Queen City Honor Flight

"There was no race in foxholes, he tells me, only brotherhood. 'When you in combat, it doesn't make any difference if the man beside you is black, white, Hispanic or what. You better have his back and you better have his back. And that's all there is to it.'" #inspirational

For one father, new Global War on Terrorism memorial in Georgia triggers emotions

"John Henderson Sr. paused, then kissed the index finger on his right hand before running the finger across the name, starting with the “Jr.” at the end and working right to left."
"It was like he was going backward — a mental and emotional rewind after more than a dozen years of pain."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Point Man on Mission to Restore Hope

I just got back from the Point Man International Ministries conference in Buffalo New York. I came back restored and, honestly blown away by what the others are doing. 

To think our group has been working on combat PTSD with veterans, as well a families, since 1984, it shows that works outweigh stunts everyday.

Dana Morgan, the President of Point Man, and his wife Susan, put together a meeting I will never forget.

Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park

When you live fearlessly, big stuff doesn't intimidate, but I did have to have one of the guys help me get out of that chair! It was easier getting into it.

Play time at Vitter's

Some of our Point Man Family
Dana Morgan-New York, Marcus King-Oklahoma, 
Paul Sluznis-Washington, Tim Pollock-Ohio and Jay McGee-Colorado

Bunny and Mike Burch, passing on the Wall ministry to Tim Pollock
Image Bunny took at The Wall
The Homefront Circle
Rosemary Williams presents Diana Henderson-Army Veteran, with "Forgiven" dog tag

This is the message most of the veterans say is the most powerful. It isn't just knowing they are forgiven by God, but finding peace when they are able to forgive themselves, for whatever they believe they need to be forgiven for.

Jay McGee talking about homeless veterans and Crawford House

I was thinking about how much we have been doing for veterans because of our beliefs that we are in fact our brother's keepers as well as being sent where we are for a reason. All too often, when I'm questioning how we can get past all the talk online about folks claiming to be doing nothing, but getting noticed, when we're actually working and doing, but not talking talking about it. At least folks are not hearing us when we do. Then something always seems to happen to remind me that no matte what, God always let's me know what really matters.

I was looking at the clouds on the flight home. Do you see what I see?
From a distance, it seems to be standing on the clouds instead of being a part of it.
With a closer look, a form could be seen clearer.
It looks like the cloud is walking and you can see in the shadow, the image that looks like a man.

Videos will be up tomorrow of the next day.