Wounded Times


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Plagiarists At It Again

It is really pitiful to see all the hard work I put into this site simply stolen just because someone felt like it.

Much to my shock, there is a site that has most of my content going back to November of 2015. MyPTSD.com is connected to a site PTSD Blog and they have been using my work going back to November of 2015.

What I do on Wounded Times comes from countless hours of tracking news reports plus over 30 years experience researching and living with PTSD in my own home. I take all of this very seriously. 

It doesn't matter I don't get a paycheck to do it. I get one from my regular job. 

It doesn't matter that I lost a couple thousand dollars every year and no one has thought about any of this. It hasn't stopped me because this, this is my life as it has been for far too long.

It is reprehensible for all these "awareness groups" popping up all over the country expecting money from folks to do what they should be doing for free! Ask any of them what the money is for or why they deserve it and they won't be able to come up with a reasonable answer. Ask them what their background is or what qualifies them to do this work and they won't really have anything to say. Caring isn't enough! That's how we ended up with all of this getting worse instead of better.

Every news report on this site has links to the original source. Every government has links to where it came from. I do not take someone else's work and won't put up an entire article for that reason. I want my readers to go to the link to read the rest of the work the reporter put into the story. I value their work.

If you see any of my work online contact me so that we can stop these plagiarist!

Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center HOVER For Veterans

FOX28 Special Report: HOVER Vets
Katherine Duchame
February 10, 2016
The first visit to a veteran took place on January 5 last year. The total of visits to vets so far, over 1,300.
A local Vietnam veterans dream to continue serving after duty, is now a reality. One that touches the hearts of dozens of veterans every week in Michiana.

It started as what was thought to be a "simple" idea, a program to help veterans hospitalized get back on their feet. Now, a realization that the program does so much more as we learned in a special report from FOX 28's Katherine Ducharme.

The program is called HOVER, it stands for Honoring Our Veterans and Encouraging Recovery. HOVER ensures that every veteran hospitalized at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, is thanked for their service. A gesture many of us view as "normal" in today's world, but for some veterans who never received that recognition, it means so much more.

Bern McGrane, a Vietnam veteran and coordinator of HOVER, has a routine day of delivering an American flag and some company to hospitalized veterans. It became McGrane's mission in life just over a year ago."I was in the army in 1967, and as funny as it may seem that was me in 1967, I was 19 I believe," said McGrane.He served as a combat infantry soldier in Vietnam for 14 months.

"During the time that I was there, there was a uniqueness to being in a squad or a platoon, because it's not like you're going to do an eight to five job, you live with your fellow soldiers 24/7 under every imaginable kind of circumstance," said McGrane.
read more here
Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Another Veterans Charity With Selective Service?

If they got this part wrong, what did they get right that they ended up on Forbes?
"Every day, an average of 22 veterans take their own lives. This tragic reality motivated Josh and Lisa Lannon and Tom Spooner to do something."
Warriors Heart Founders Offer Help To Struggling Veterans
Devin Thorpe
February 10, 2016

They founded Warriors Heart, an addiction treatment center that provides peer-to-peer solutions to help veterans, law enforcement and first responders who struggle with addiction and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Josh Lannon took the time to explain the challenges that veterans face, what Warriors Heart is doing and what he hopes will come of their efforts.

Lannon says the VA isn’t the answer. “While the VA (Veterans Administration) has good people, they can’t keep up with the needs of veterans after 14 years of war.”
read more here

Veteran Moved From Sleeping Under Bridges to Building Them

A veteran used to sleep under bridges but after he got help, he ended up building bridges to help other veterans.
Homeless vet went from sleeping under bridges to helping others
Written By Monica Garcia
February 10, 2016

TUCSON (KVOA)-- A Tucson Navy veteran went from living on the streets, to helping other homeless vets.

For years Andrew Young struggled with alcohol addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Throughout his twenties, Young was homeless, traveling from city to city sleeping under bridges.

It wasn’t until Young reached out to the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs, did he receive the help he so needed.

According to Young, the VA Outreach Program helped him not only stay sober, but finally get off Social Security Disability benefits he’d grown dependent on.
read more here

KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Florida Vietnam Veteran Still Looking For Answers

This is a confusing report to read. While it addresses some of the issues veterans should never, even have to face, like paying out of pocket for what should be done by the VA, it has the years leaving more questions. It says this Vietnam veteran received bad news from a VA doctor about cancer and advised to not wait to get treated for it. That was in 2008. Then it talks about canceled appointments in 2015 along with a drop in his disability.
Vietnam veteran: I want answers!
WFTV 9 News
by: Staff writer, Charlotte Sun
Feb 9, 2016

Bob Conetta loves America.

He would give anything to his country.

When he received his draft notice, he went into the U.S. Army and was sent to Vietnam, serving with the 1st Air Cavalry Division.

On July 20, 1968, outside Hue City, he gave his left leg, his right eye and most of his hearing when a mine was detonated near him.

This did not stop Conetta. He served as the financial secretary for the Utility Workers Union of America, Locals 1-2, in New York City. He was instrumental in creating Operation Family Reunion, a program that brings family members to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to be with their loved one who has sustained serious wounds.

Despite his injuries, he moved forward with his life.

'Get the procedure done on my own’

After he retired and relocated to Punta Gorda, Conetta was diagnosed with prostate cancer -- one of the 15 presumptive conditions from Agent Orange.

On July 2, 2008, he had bloodwork.

On July 14, 2008, he had a biopsy.

On Aug. 26, 2008, he was scheduled for a bone scan -- six weeks after his biopsy that proved he had prostate cancer.

Conetta said the Department of Veterans Affairs doctor said he put him in for the bone scan but his cancer was aggressive, saying, "I implore you not to wait."
read more here

Headline Put Rescued Dog Above Vietnam Veteran Being Murdered?

I read a lot of strange stories. This just made it to the top of my list of head exploding reporting! A Vietnam veteran served 3 tours and was dealing with PTSD. He adopted a rescue dog. Great story so far. Then I went to the link on Robert Howard to see what was reported by Sun Times Homicide section. The story on the dog was longer than the story on Howard.

Should we care a rescue dog was left homeless again? Sure, but have things gotten so bad in Chicago a story on a dog seems to mean more than a murdered veteran?

Apollo needs new home after his rescuer, Vietnam veteran Robert Howard, was shot to death in University Village Chicago Sun Times
by Brittany Reyes
Posted Feb. 9, 2016
Robert Howard Jr. was a graduate of VALOR (Veterans Advancing Lives of Rescues). He was killed on Jan. 26 and is missed by loved ones, Safe Humane Chicago members, and his emotional support dog, Apollo.
The death of Robert Howard Jr. left the dog he’d once rescued without a home and his best friend.

Howard, a 62-year-old Vietnam War veteran killed in a shooting in University Village on Jan. 26, was the proud owner of Apollo, a big, joyful puppy who was matched with Howard through Veterans Advancing the Lives of Rescues (VALOR).

VALOR is an 8-week Safe Humane Chicago program that pairs military veterans struggling with post traumatic stress disorder with animals that had been abused, neglected or used for fighting.

After struggling with PTSD since his three-year tour in Vietnam from 1970-73, Howard began participating in VALOR in early 2015. His experience with the program was so positive that he decided to adopt a dog for himself, according to Cynthia Bathurst, the organization’s executive director.

In April 2015, Howard acquired Rugby, an 8-month old puppy who’d been rescued through Chicago Animal Care and Control. Howard renamed his new companion Apollo, and documented their experience together in a feature for The Unexpected Pit Bull’s 2016 annual calendar.
read more here

MOH Edward Byers Added to Navy SEAL Museum

Navy SEAL Museum to honor Medal of Honor recipient
TC Palm
February 9, 2016

Five Naval Special Warfare Operators are honored by the installation. The names of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Robert Joseph "Bob" Kerrey, Lieutenant Thomas R. Norris, Petty Officer Second Class Michael E. Thornton, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy (posthumously) and Petty Officer Second Class Michael A. Monsoor (posthumously) are engraved at the base of the memorial.
FORT PIERCE — The Navy SEAL Museum has announced the addition of a sixth name to its Medal of Honor statue. Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator, Edward Byers, U.S. Navy, will be added to the installation as a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his courageous conduct while serving as part of the team that rescued an American hostage from Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan Dec. 8-9, 2012.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor in the United States. It is awarded by the President in the name of the U.S. Congress for personal acts of valor determined to be above and beyond the call of duty. Three distinctions of the honor are made, one for each the Army, Navy and Air Force; the Marine Corps and Coast Guard are recipients of the Navy's medal.

On Nov. 9, 2013, a Medal of Honor statue was dedicated to the Navy SEAL Museum through a generous gift from former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot. The statue depicts the actions of Medal of Honor recipient, Michael Thornton, carrying wounded Medal of Honor recipient, Tom Norris, off the battlefield.
read more here
YouTube Video Navy SEAL Museum

Veterans Healing PTSD Old Warrior Way

Vets turn to sweat lodges to treat PTSD 
KOAA News 5
February 10, 2016
"You pray for your enemies and people that don't like you," explains Cheek. "And that's difficult, and as a veteran, you're praying for those people that actually shot at you. That helps you come to terms with a lot of the stuff."
FORT CARSON - A centuries-old tradition has become a new form of treatment for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and the Native American sweat lodge on Fort Carson is leading the way for military installations around the country.

What once was a ritual held in secrecy is now a growing trend among both active duty and veteran warriors seeking its legendary cleansing powers. In a remote section of Turkey Creek, the air is filled with songs and smoke at the Lakota Sioux inipi, a traditional sweat lodge made of willow branches and donated quilts. It has been there since 1995. "They didn't have a clue as to what we were doing, and we weren't telling them at the time," says faith group leader Michael Hackwith.

Hackwith, a Marine veteran of the Gulf War, started the inipi with a couple friends who wanted to follow their own cultural religious practice. They got permission from the manager of the Turkey Creek manager at the time. The participants pray, sing, play drums and sweat in the tent around dozens of hot stones, in complete darkness. It is a purity ritual designed to help sweat out negativity, a common problem for struggling soldiers.

Special Agent Kevin Cheek of the Air Force, now the military liaison for the sweat lodge, says, "I've deployed five times. I've been there and back, and all that negative baggage that you collect and the things that you see and stuff like that, this helps you cope. This helps you deal with all that."
read more here

Vietnam Veteran, Retired General Charles "Hondo" Campbell Passed Away

'Hondo' Campbell, former FORSCOM boss, Vietnam vet, dies 
Army Times
By Michelle Tan
February 9, 2016
Commander of a Special Operations A-Detachment in Vietnam, then-2nd Lt. Charles "Hondo" Campbell sets out on a mission in Vietnam in 1971.
(Photo: Army)

Retired Gen. Charles "Hondo" Campbell, former commanding
general of Forces Command, died Feb. 8, 2016.
(Photo: Army photo)
Retired Gen. Charles “Hondo” Campbell, former commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, has died.

Campbell served in the Army for 40 years, retiring in June 2010. He was the last continuously serving general officer who saw action in Vietnam to leave active duty, according to information from the Army.

He died late in Shreveport on Monday after a lengthy illness, according to The Shreveport Times in Louisiana, Campbell’s hometown. He was 68.

Tributes and condolences were pouring in on social media Tuesday, with many calling the man who went by the nickname “Hondo” a great soldier and leader. While the origin of that famous moniker is somewhat obscure, it reportedly is related to the character in the Louis L’Amour western novel by the same name, a role played by John Wayne in the movie version of the classic tale, according to information from the Army.
read more here

Marine Sustained by Faith After Helicopter Crash

35 years after mid-air collision, Marine finally speaks
Daily Bulletin 
Imani Tate 
February 9, 2016
Six Marines died in what Rivera described as a “horrific” crash between a CH-53 Sea Stallion and a CH-46 Sea Knight within 20 minutes of the Sea Stallion’s takeoff.
Joe Rivera, 56 of La Verne, stands next to a picture of himself next to a Marine CH-53 helicopter from the early 1980's. Rivera was the lone survivor of a midair helicopter crash between a CH-53 and CH-46 on February 10, 1981 in Tustin. Six marines were killed in the crash while Rivera suffered a broken back, third degree burns and a multiple of other broken bones and injuries. (Will Lester/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

When Joe Rivera saw the white light, he thought he was dead.

And 35 years later, recounting the midair collision of two military helicopters over the Marine Air Station in Tustin at 7:20 p.m. Feb. 10, 1981, he remembered being aflame, his back broken and helicopter parts pinning him down as he hung upside down.

Christian, his 19-year-old son, sat quietly across from Rivera on Monday. Richard Villescas, Joe’s brother-in-law and best friend, slipped onto the sofa beside Rivera and gently rubbed his back as the 56-year-old former Marine hesitated over painful memories.

“It’s time,” Villescas said, looking around at loved ones who’d gathered at the Rivera family home to emotionally fortify the man they called “humble, heroic, generous and kind.”

It was the first time in 35 years that Rivera talked about the 1981 crash that killed six colleagues and almost claimed his life, the grueling and painful treatment and rehabilitative therapy he endured for years afterward and the spiritual faith and people he said repeatedly saved and sustained him.
read more here

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

DOD 1,000 Suicide Attempts for 2014

Not sure why they revised this report ahead of the 4th quarter and total for 2015, but this shows they still haven't figured it out yet. Will they ever?
Then again, considering what they added into the part about attempted suicides, it is unlikely they ever will.
"The 2014 Pentagon report also examined more than 1,000 suicide attempts among DoD personnel, finding that the majority showed similar trends in deployment, legal or administrative problems or relationship issues as those who died by suicide."
Which means they do not get what kinds of problems PTSD can cause. After 4 decades how many more will it take?
Active-duty suicides up, Guard and Reserve down in 2014
Military Times
By Patricia Kime
February 8, 2016

The latest report from the Pentagon on military suicides shows a slight uptick in the suicide rate among active-duty personnel in 2014 compared with the previous year, but significant drops in rates for Reserve and National Guard members when compared to 2013.
"In 2014, 269 active-duty service members and 169 reserve and National Guard troops took their own lives, according to the 2014 Defense Department Suicide Event Report, released in January."
"As seen in previous years, most service members who died by suicide in 2014 were men under age 30, mostly enlisted, white and married. The majority ended their lives by shooting or hanging themselves. And just over half had deployed at least once — down from nearly two-thirds reported in 2013 as having deployed."
Commonalities among the 2014 deaths were:
50 percent had a mental health diagnosis, with the most common being mood or adjustment disorders or substance abuse.
In the enlisted ranks, infantry personnel, gun crews or seamanship specialties had the highest rates of suicide, 21 per 100,000, followed by electrical or mechanical equipment repairers, 18.9 per 100,000.
The occupational specialties with the highest suicide rates for officers were tactical operations, at 4.3 suicides per 100,000.
65 percent of suicides took place either at home or in the barracks.
read more here

Texas Veterans With Service Dogs Still Not Welcomed?

Woman says company refused to allow service dog
Killeen Daily Herald
Clay Thorp | Herald staff writer
February 8, 2016

When Kimberly Pearson retired from the Army in 2012 after serving in Iraq as a combat medic, she said she made the decision to enlist the help of a large breed of service dog to help her with balance and pain in her legs after suffering injuries in a 2004 ambush.
Eric J. Shelton | Herald
Kimberly Pearson gives her service dog Zakhar, a Caucasian Ovcharka, a kiss Monday at Mickey's Dog Park on W.S. Young Drive in Killeen. Pearson was denied entry into Palm Harbor because of her service dog.
“Basically, there was an ambush and lots of explosions,” Pearson said. “My feet and legs received injuries that needed six surgeries so far. And they’re not quite done with the surgeries, so I still have a lot of issues with pain and imbalance. It was just a mess. I was the medic. Instead of running away, I ran in and I kind of paid for it.”

Soon after, Pearson special ordered her new Russian Bear dog from Romania, as she said breeders there are known for raising mild-mannered giants.

But on Monday, Pearson said she and her service dog, Zakhar — who weighs 150 pounds — were denied access to Palm Harbor Homes, a local home store where Pearson wanted to look at model homes.

“It’s a very large dog because I use him for balance,” Pearson said of her 1-year-old dog.

“So, he’s large and he scares people, even though he’s a teddy bear. People just look at him and he scares them.”

Pearson said the employees at Palm Harbor simply wouldn’t allow them inside any model homes.

A similar incident in July occurred at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Harker Heights.

Dave Alvarado, 39, went to the retail store to buy a few items July 10, right after he finished a counseling session for his PTSD, which he said he developed during two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
read more here

Fort Hood Soldier Survived Lightning Strike Needs Help

Wounded warrior needs community's help 
FOX San Antonio 
"At Fort Hood, they were doing a live round training mission for combat. A storm came out of nowhere and he was struck by lightning right in the forehead," Laura says. "He took a direct hit to the head and it went all the way through his body, grounding out as he was running."
SAN ANTONIO - A veteran who served our country hopes you'll open your heart to him. First Lieutenant Garrett Spears was seriously injured in a lightning strike at Fort Hood. His family showed us his journey, and what you can do to help. "Ready? Let's see what you got," mother Laura Spears says as she shows Garrett a deck of cards. 

Life is a lot like poker: you play the hand you're dealt. It's a lesson the Spears family learned all too well. "My Harry Potter over here," Laura jokes as they play. Humor has helped the family persevere through a struggle that began a little more than two years ago when Garrett was a chemical corps officer in the U.S. Army. read more here

VA Still Denies Navy Veterans Agent Orange Claims

Veterans Affairs again denies Agent Orange benefits to Navy vets
Virginia Pilot
By By Charles Ornstein and Terry Parris Jr.
22 hrs ago
“Rather than siding with veterans, VA is doubling down on an irrational and inconsistent policy,” Senator Richard Blumenthal
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has once again turned down an effort by Navy veterans to get compensation for possible exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

In a document released Friday, the VA said it would continue to limit benefits related to Agent Orange exposure to only those veterans who set foot in Vietnam, where the herbicide was sprayed, and to those who were on boats in inland rivers.

The VA compensates these veterans for a litany of associated illnesses, including diabetes, various cancers, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy and a type of heart disease.

Advocates for some 90,000 so-called Blue Water Navy veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam have been asking the VA for more than a decade to broaden the policy to include them. They say they were exposed to Agent Orange because their ships sucked in potentially contaminated water and distilled it for showering, drinking, laundry and cooking. Experts have said the distillation process could have actually concentrated the Agent Orange, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin and was used to kill vegetation and deny enemy cover.
read more here
Share your story

ProPublica and the Virginian-Pilot are interested in hearing from veterans and family members for our ongoing investigation into the effects of Agent Orange on veterans and their children.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Camp Lejeune Marine Missing Since Saturday

UPDATE: Alec Seager's wife Kayleigh shared on Facebook last night that her husband has been found safe, albeit hypothermic and severely dehydrated.

She also took the time to thank those who helped her story go viral, and everyone else who aided in the effort to bring her husband home to their family.

Wife of missing Marine pleads for help finding husband
PIX 11 News
FEBRUARY 8, 2016

The wife of a Marine took to Facebook to plead with her followers to help find her husband.
According to the missing veteran's website, 26-year-old Alec Seager is a U.S. Marine who went missing from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 6.

His wife posted his photo saying he "suffers from ptsd,depression, and ;anxiety. He also has mentioned suicidal idealizations."
read more here

Veterans Charities At War Leave Veterans Out

Veterans Charities At War Leave Veterans Out
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 8, 2016

We've all read the reports and seen the news broadcasts about Wounded Warrior Project but there is a lot left out of the discussion as more and more charities come out to publicize the fact they are not part of that group. Seems it was a different story when they used the name to gain publicity for themselves when Wounded Warrior Project was spending huge sums of money for advertising.

There is Augusta Wounded Warrior Project saying they are not them.

Montana Wounded Warriors wants folks to know they are not them.
Montana Wounded Warriors was started six years ago by Rotarian Neil Baumann and Army Maj. Jesse Mann. Both men are from Columbia Falls. Mann served as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq. They started Montana Wounded Warriors six years ago.
Seems it was a different story when the publicity was good and working for them. It happened in 2011,
Appeals Court Upholds Judgment For Wounded Warrior Project
Non Profit Times
By Mark Hrywna
January 12, 2011

In a 19-page decision filed today (Jan. 12), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Nebraska knocked down six alleged key errors in the original case raised in the appeal by Wounded Warrior Family Support (WWFS). A jury in September 2009 awarded $1.7 million to Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) of Jacksonville, Fla., and entered a permanent injunction against WWFS. The $1.7 million included $1.295 million for deceptive trade practices and $400,000 for unjust enrichment as a result of confusion. Wounded Warrior Project originally filed suit in 2007 against Wounded Warriors, Inc., of Omaha, Neb., which changed its name to Wounded Warrior Family Support.

Following oral arguments in November, the appeal was dismissed on Jan. 12. “It’s probably the largest verdict of its kind on the issue of using a confusingly similar name,” said Errol Copilevitz of the Kansas City, Mo., firm of Copilevitz and Canter, which represented WWP. Based in Jacksonville, Fla., WWP also has offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City. “We found all kinds of evidence of people who had donated to them thinking that they had seen the Wounded Warrior Project featured on national TV and sent money,” he said.

About $429,000 of the judgment has been collected so far, according to Copilevitz, and foreclosure is moving ahead on condominiums and property acquired by WWFS, which it offered to wounded veterans and their families for vacations.

A key issue in the litigation was the website, woundedwarriors.org, which WWFS launched in 2004. WWP registered two websites, woundedwarrior.org and woundedwarriorproject.org, in January 2003 and March 2004, respectively. In 2005, the organization registered its trademark logo depicting one soldier carrying another soldier on his back.

The Wounded Warriors in Nebraska only had a passive website that generated about $1,400 a month in donations, and did little or no advertising, fundraising or marketing, said Copilevitz, until WWP was featured on Fox television and it started getting upward of $90,000 or more in donations each month. After WWFS was ordered by the court to shut down its website in July 2008 donations immediately decreased 56 percent while WWP’s donations jumped 29 percent, according to court documents.
read more here

I would love to take the easy way out on this and just ignore it but it shows that fame comes with a price.  In this case, I actually agree with the lawsuit.  (I know, shocking for me to say that.) But when you consider the fact that while both groups did start around the same time in different parts of the country, one was not successful until the other one went onto fame and fortune.

Non-Profit Quarterly was a bit more harsh in their assessment of the reports from CBS and New York Times. "Wounded Warrior Project: The Fundraising Factory Issue" Why wouldn't they when the CEO Steve Nardizzi says this?
“I look at companies like Starbucks — that’s the model,” Mr. Nardizzi said.
In the article from New York Times there was this,
Mr. Millette said the charity encouraged him to highlight its role in helping him recover from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. “They wanted me to say W.W.P. saved my life,” he said. “Well, they didn’t. They just took me to a Red Sox game and on a weekend retreat.”

In all the reports the thing that is really missing is how veterans are still being left out of the reporting.  Not just the Afghanistan and Iraq veterans all these new groups seem oh so interested in, but the older veterans none of the new charities are helping.

Why? Anyone care to ask them how they feel to look at their own lives and wonder why they don't matter enough when they waited even longer? Anyone bother to ask them how they feel struggling to keep a roof over their heads when keys are handed to a new disabled veteran to a new home they'll never have to worry about being foreclosed on?

Has anyone asked a Gulf War veteran about their disabilities, missing limbs, burns or whatever the illness ravaging their bodies no one seems to be able to figure out? Anyone bother to ask Vietnam veterans what it is like to be left behind and forgotten about as well? What about Korean War veterans and the remaining WWII veterans? What about the "lesser combat veterans" within this long, long list of combat operations?

When you see a commercial on TV for WWP asking you to donate, you see one thing but I see what is missing. I see the veterans I spend most of my free time with. Older veterans disabled by bombs and bullets, along with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Above all I see veterans over the age of 50 representing the majority of veterans in this nation as well as the majority of the suicides being left out of all the publicity. 

National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics
"The VA study found that the percentage of older veterans with a history of VA healthcare who committed suicide actually was higher than that of veterans not associated with VA care. Veterans over the age of 50 who had entered the VA healthcare system made up about 78 percent of the total number of veterans who committed suicide - 9 percentage points higher than the general pool."
While the press is focusing on the scandal, as they usually do, they are missing the big story behind all of this.  Again it would be very easy for me to just stay out of all this and avoid mentioning the facts but it wouldn't be right for me to do. I've been doing this for far too long to take the easy way out of anything.

As for the charities fighting among themselves, veterans end up losing because no one is talking about all of them.

Above all else I see the stunning fact that each and every one of the veterans I know live up to the slogan of the Vietnam veterans to never leave another generation of veterans behind.

Older veterans are glad to see the citizens stepping up to help the newer veterans but that does not mean they are not sadden to remember they have been forgotten.

Lady Gaga National Anthem Stunning

Simply amazing grace from Gaga~
Watch Lady Gaga Perform the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50
Nolan Feeney
Feb. 7, 2016

Lady Gaga kicked off Super Bowl 50 with a performance of the national anthem dressed in a custom sparkling red Gucci suit and matching eyeshadow.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Navy Veteran Lives in Storage Unit

Hope and Honor: U.S. Navy veteran calls storage unit his home (VIDEO)
The Daily Courier
Nanci Hutson
February 7, 2016
"I've tried to talk to him about a lot of things, but he's done this for years," declared homeless advocate Jean Lutz, the founder and director of Everybody's Place, an art-related program for the homeless. Findlay relies on Lutz for rides to the VA and other appointments, describing her as one of his "best pals."
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier A U.S. Navy veteran, Richard Findlay lives in a large storage unit in the Prescott area.
PRESCOTT - Richard Findlay's motorized walker crunches on the snow-covered driveway as he slowly glides toward his hillside storage unit, the metal door squawking as he steps inside out of the frigid air.

He maneuvers through a narrow passageway lined with wood-framed photographs and old calendars. He turns left, and heads down a wider aisle between a maze of wood-making tools, a metal-frame bunk bed, and a row of rocking horses he designed and crafted in this very space.

On the rear wall is a dorm-sized refrigerator, a microwave, crock pot and coffee pot. He brews fresh coffee with bottled water. Across from where he stands is a lime green sofa turned on its side, blocking off a less cluttered space where he has mounted copies of his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northern Arizona University and a portrait taken in his U.S. Navy uniform during the Vietnam War.

The drafty space is warmed by a small, propane heater located next to a tray table covered with Findlay's daily medications and wine bottle bird-feeders he hopes to sell at local craft fairs.
read more here

Vietnam Veteran Memorial's In Memory Program

Veteran 'carried the sorrow; he carried the pain' 
Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky. (Tribune News Service)
By Don Wilkins
Published: February 6, 2016
For Vietnam veterans who died later, the criteria are post traumatic stress disorder, exposure to Agent Orange and similar chemicals, diabetes, cancer, heart attack and cholangiocarcinoma. An application can be found at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and inclusion is free.
Sharon Westerfield didn't see her late husband, Larry Westerfied, receive the honor he deserved for serving his country in Vietnam.

But she will see it in June when her husband, who died in 2012 at age 63, becomes part of the Vietnam Veteran Memorial's In Memory program in Washington, D.C.

Westerfield will be going to the nation's capital to participate in the 18th annual ceremony June 18.

"I feel like he carried Vietnam with him emotionally and physically all of those years," Westerfield said about why she applied to be part of the program. "He carried the sorrow; he carried the pain. I feel like he deserves the recognition as much as those on The Wall because they died quickly."

Larry Westerfield served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 as a member of the Army's 14th Engineer Battalion. The Westerfields, of Owensboro, were married in March 1971.

Westerfield said her husband experienced the backlash that came from being a Vietnam soldier.
read more here
Linked from Stars and Stripes

More Central Texas Veterans Seeking Help for PTSD

VA stats show increase in number of Central Texas veterans receiving mental health treatment for PTSD
Killeen Daily Herald
Jacob Brooks
Herald staff writer
February 7, 2016

Statistics from the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System show an increasing number of veterans are seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

In five years, the number grew 38 percent to 5,780 at the system’s three Department of Veterans Affairs medical locations in Temple, Waco and Austin.

A similar increase was seen in the overall number of mental health patients, whose afflictions can range from anxiety to depression to severe PTSD.

In 2015, the three VA locations treated 30,336 patients for mental health, up from 22,411, a 35 percent increase in five years.

The numbers were given to the Herald after a request to the VA.

The Temple VA hospital saw the biggest increases: 3,877 PTSD patients last year, compared to 2,485 in 2010. In 2015, the hospital had 15,827 mental health patients, up from 11,853 in 2010, according to the VA.
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