Monday, October 15, 2018

85% First Responders dealing with mental health issues from job


'A Little Broken' - First Responders Grapple With Unseen Scars of the 2017 Fire Siege

Sukey Lewis
October 12, 2018

Shortly after Lucas Boek joined his local fire department, he saw a veteran firefighter walk into firehouse and drop all his gear. “’That’s it, I’m done,’” Boek remembers the man saying. “’I can’t do this anymore.’ And he left.”

A Cal Fire firefighter watches for spot fires from a controlled burn at the edge of the Ranch Fire in 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

Over the years, the incident stuck with him.

Now, Boek is sitting and talking with two other men in a Ukiah high school classroom. Between the three — medic Corey Bender, 44, and firefighters Lucas Boek, 40, and Brendan Turner, 46 — they have nearly 60 years of experience in emergency response. Sixty years of running toward car accidents, gunshots and flames.

But it’s not the physical danger of the work that these guys are talking about today.

It’s something else, something that until recently has been pretty difficult to discuss openly: their mental health. A 2017 study found that police officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.
Another survey done last year by the University of Phoenix found that 85 percent of first responders have symptoms related to mental health issues.

Seabee shot and killed at Keesler Air Force Base.

Navy: Seabee shot and killed in southern Mississippi

Associated Press
October 15, 2018

BILOXI, Miss. — The Navy says a sailor has been shot and killed in southern Mississippi. News outlets reported the shooting happened early Saturday morning at military housing belonging to Keesler Air Force Base. 

The shooting did not take place at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport but the Seabee served there. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class George M. Bell/Navy)

Spokesman Brian Lamar said the dead sailor was assigned to the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport.
read more here

Iraq veteran's duffel bag stolen along with mementos

Veteran’s military mementos stolen, wants them back

October 15, 2018

MOBILE, Ala. — A Mobile veteran served our country overseas more than a decade ago, but the mementos he brought home were stolen.

Carl Sanders Jr. served for four years and had one tour in Iraq.

Most of his memories were packed up in a duffel bag, but it ended up being stolen.
“I don’t regret one second of anything I’ve done serving my country and the people I served with,” he said.

To remember that time in his life he packed up a bag filled with most of his memories. Things like an Iraqi flag and helmet he found on a mission, but most importantly his uniform.

“It’s the boots I lived in, I fought in,” Sanders said. “A soldiers boots and soldiers uniform that’s more important than anything.”

Losing those keepsakes is difficult for Sanders to swallow as he tries to never forget his military service.

“Those things actually reminded me of who I served with, where I’ve been, some of the things we’ve had to do and I don’t ever want to forget that,” Sanders said. “I don’t ever want to let that go.”
read more here

Fort Campbell soldier shot and killed, wife in custody

Fort Campbell soldier shot dead, spouse in custody

Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle
Jason Alt
Oct. 15, 2018

A Fort Campbell soldier was shot and killed Sunday night at the army base, and the soldier's spouse is in custody.
Shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday, all gates on Fort Campbell were closed for about 55 minutes while military police investigated the shooting in on-post housing, according to a news release.

The names of those involved were being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the families involved. Any loss of a soldier has a profound impact on the entire Army family," said Brig. Gen. K. Todd Royar, acting senior commander, 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, in the release.
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Do not forget military families caught by Hurricane Michael

Lawmakers vow to rebuild damaged Air Force base

FOX 13 News
Jim Turner
October 15, 2018
Base command at Tyndall last week called the hit from Michael “widespread catastrophic damage,” with every structure damaged, including hangars where planes that could not be flown out --- due to maintenance or safety reasons --- had been sheltered.

TALLAHASSEE (NSF) - Northwest Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, where pilots train to fly the F-22 stealth fighter, won’t be abandoned because of major damage it sustained in Hurricane Michael, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson vowed Monday.

Speaking to reporters at Tallahassee International Airport, Nelson sought to dismiss growing concerns that the storm-battered base outside Panama City will follow the path of what had been Homestead Air Force Base, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and subsequently became an Air Force Reserve base.

“I think that fear is unfounded,” Nelson said. “As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I can say that Tyndall will be rebuilt, and it will be an example of a modern U.S. Air Force base. That is because it is critically located right next to one of our greatest national assets, the Air Force Eastern Gulf Test and Training Range, which is the largest testing and training range for the United States military in the world.”

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Trump gets bird’s-eye view of Tyndall, devastated Florida communities

Associated Press
Deb Reichmann and Darlene Superville
October 15, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, looks on as President Donald Trump talks with reporters after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael, Monday. (Evan Vucci/AP)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump got a bird’s-eye view Monday of Florida communities left in ruins by Hurricane Michael, including houses without roofs, a toppled water tower and 18-wheel trucks scattered in a parking lot during a nearly hour-long helicopter tour of portions of the Panhandle.

Trump initially saw uprooted trees and houses with blue tarps covering damaged roofs after his helicopter lifted from Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso. But the severity of the damage worsened significantly as Trump approached Mexico Beach, a town of about 1,000 people that was nearly wiped off the map in a direct hit from the hurricane and its 155 mph winds last week.

Many of the houses in Mexico Beach had no roofs. In some cases, only the foundations were left standing. The water tower lay on its side and 18-wheelers were scattered in a parking lot like a child's toys.

Trump also saw Tyndall Air Force Base, which was heavily damaged by the storm.
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 JOINT BASE McGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST — More than a thousand military families were without power in the last week — many for nine days and counting — after a power surge destroyed an electrical substation. The Oct. 4 surge, which caused the substation equipment to erupt in flames, knocked out electricity to 1,087 homes on the McGuire Air Force Base. The length of the outage rivals the blackouts that parts of New Jersey experienced after Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy and the nor'easter storms last winter. read more here

Husband wants answers after Navy LT. wife died after childbirth

Widower takes on ban on military injury claims to Supreme Court

Kaiser Health News (Tribune News Service)
Published: October 14, 2018

Walter Daniel, a former Coast Guard officer, holds a photograph of his wife, Navy Lt. Rebekah Daniel, known as "Moani"; She died hours after giving birth to their daughter, Victoria, at the Naval Hospital Bremerton. HEIDI DE MARCO/KAISER HEALTH NEWS VIA TNS
More than four years after Navy Lt. Rebekah Daniel bled to death within hours of childbirth at a Washington state military hospital, her husband still doesn’t know exactly how — or why — it happened.

Walter Daniel, a former Coast Guard officer, demanded explanations from officials at the Naval Hospital Bremerton, where his wife, known as “Moani,” died on March 9, 2014.

He says he got none. No results from a formal review of the incident, no details about how the low-risk pregnancy of a healthy 33-year-old woman — a labor and delivery nurse herself — ended in tragedy, leaving their newborn daughter, Victoria, now 4, without a mom.

“There was no timeline, no records of what steps were taken,” recalled Daniel, 39, sitting in his Seattle lawyer’s high-rise office last month. “I’ve had no answers.”
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Sailor in birthday suit arrested romping in Busch Gardens?

Naked, drunk sailor assaults police officer in Busch Gardens parking lot, cops say

The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (TNS)
Published: October 15, 2018

Videos posted to social media on Friday captured something you wouldn’t expect to find outside a family-friendly theme park.
In a Facebook post, Brandon Ragans said a naked man was running around a parking lot at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., “attempting to get in a vehicle with strangers.”

“A citizen put him on the curb then once the officer showed up he became combative and had to be tased,” Ragans wrote.

A naked man can be seen in one of the videos laying on the pavement and resisting a police officer’s attempt to restrain him. Bystanders then jump in to help hold the man down, the video shows.

It turns out the 21-year-old sailor was intoxicated on alcohol and illegal drugs, Richmond television station WWBT first reported.
read more here

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Veterans in other news for October 14, 2018

Colorado man charged in slaying of Army captain from Santa Fe

Santa Fe New Mexican
Cynthia Miller
October 13, 2018
Police have charged a Colorado Springs, Colo., man in the September slaying of a 28-year-old U.S. Army captain from Santa Fe who was found fatally shot near an intersection east of the city’s downtown area.

Gilberto Chavez Jr., 27, who was already jailed on unrelated charges, faces a count of first-degree murder in Army Capt. Daniel Chamberlain Lehman’s slaying, the Colorado Springs Police Department announced Friday in a Facebook post. Chavez is being held without bond in the El Paso County, Colo., jail.Police found Lehman’s body at the end of a trail of blood around 7 a.m. Sept. 15. But they believe he was shot about five hours earlier and two blocks away. read more here

Crooked scientist who worked on 

combat PTSD research dodges prison 

by playing piano for poor people

In June, Neumeister pleaded guilty to theft of government funds. He admitted stealing $87,000 from New York University and various grant programs from 2012 to 2014.
NEW YORK — A former prominent neurological researcher at Yale and New York universities avoided prison time Wednesday for stealing research funds, but a judge said he must play piano for indigent elderly people in Connecticut to make amends.

The unusual sentence for Dr. Alexander Neumeister was handed out Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.

Neumeister must play piano an hour at least twice weekly for the next three years at group facilities in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford and Waterbury, the Manhattan judge said.
read more here

Car repair shop owners helping veterans get service dogs

Rocket City Now
By: Kelly Kennedy
Posted: Oct 13, 2018
"Most of the veterans that I've dealt with over the years that have had PTSD or non-physical injuries coming back from war, there's something not quite wired right because of the job that they had to go do," said LeClair.

Car repair shop owners in Hazel Green are doing what they know best to help others. The Lowdown in Dubtown event is put on annually to support local causes.

There was a 50/50 engine blow contest where participants bought guesses on how long an old engine would run.

The event is raising money for the Train a Dog, Save a Warrior charity this year. The charity trains dogs to help veterans better adapt to life after war.

Certified dog trainer, Sara Astle, siad, "People who join the program do it because they feel that they need the dog to help them regain their life."

"What we see is more of an emotional support, and the dog can actually read if the veteran is having a bad day, if the PTSD is starting to kick up," said owner of Airkooled Kustoms, Eric LeClair.
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'The greatest honor': 3 names added to California Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Max Resnik
October 13, 2018

Three names were enshrined on the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Saturday.
The names were read aloud during an elaborate ceremony on the California State Capitol grounds.

Joining more than 5,000 other Vietnam veterans on the memorial were MSgt. William A. Gerg, U.S. Air Force, of North Highlands; Spec. 4 James E. Williams, U.S. Army, of Bakersfield; and CTM2 Gregory K. Zeller, U.S. Navy, of Pasadena.

"It is like the greatest honor that I think that anybody could have done for him, for the things that he did for everybody," said William Gerg about his father.

Unlike the overwhelming majority of names at the memorial, Gerg's father made it home from his two tours in Vietnam, where he served as an Air Force flight engineer.

Decades later, the veteran would succumb to the effects of cancer in 2009 as a result of Agent Orange.
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Got PTSD and COPD? It may be the meds.

Benzodiazepines could increase suicide risk in COPD and PTSD patients

European Pharmaceutical Review
October 12, 2018
“More research will be needed to better understand this link with suicide, but in the meantime we would advise that clinicians reconsider prescribing benzodiazepines to patients who already are at high risk for self-harm.” Dr Donovan

Researchers have found that long-term use of benzodiazepine medications in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could lead to an increased risk of suicide.

Dr Lucas M. Donovan and his team studied 44,555 veterans who received medical care between 2010-2012. Of these individuals, 23.6 percent received benzodiazepines long term (90 days or longer).

Benzodiazepines are anxiety-reducing, hypnotic, anticonvulsant and sedative drugs that are usually prescribed for COPD and PTSD. Symptoms including shortness of breath, anxiety, insomnia can be alleviated with the drug. The use of benzodiazepines is controversial because of the adverse side effects associated with the drug, which includes an increased risk of COPD exacerbations and self-injury.
They found that long-term use of benzodiazepines in COPD patients who also had PTSD more than doubled their risk of suicide. These patients also had higher rates of psychiatric admissions.

However, the researchers did not find that long-term use of benzodiazepines in this patient group increased their risk of death from all causes or respiratory events, as previous studies have suggested.
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80 soldiers against 300 insurgents--and won

Veteran Honoring Veterans in Central Pennsylvania

WNEP 16 News
OCTOBER 3, 2018

JERSEY SHORE, Pa. -- Later this month, veterans in central Pennsylvania will be walking to help raise awareness about suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A veteran from Clinton County is hoping his story will help others reach out for help.

It's been nine years to the day since Army veteran Alex Folmar from Lock Haven was in a firefight for his life.

"October 3, 2009, our combat outpost in Afghanistan got attacked," Folmar recalled.

Eighty soldiers, including Folmar, found themselves up against 300 insurgents.

"We ended up winning or so, but we ended up losing eight people."

Folmar came home safely but not without scars. Aside from back problems, he's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

(Editor's Note) While I do not like to share any of these "stunts" to raise awareness, this veteran's story needs to be shared.