Saturday, February 16, 2019

#BreakTheSilentService and stop being speechless

Suicides tied to service...speechless

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 16, 2019

Maybe it is the margarita I had with dinner tonight, but I've been sitting here for a while, reading about more suicides, and shaking my head...totally speechless.

None of these suicides make sense. Can someone please give me a reason that would explain how someone values lives so much, they are willing to die to save someone else...then take their own life?

How does that work? How do they reach that as the solution to their problems when there are so many other options for them? 

How do they have no problem asking for help, or backup, when the odds are stacked against them being able to prevent deaths, but cannot open their mouths to do the same when it is their life on the line? Any ideas?

Within all the reports I read, there are others that tell how they will go to great lengths to prevent the suicide of a stranger.

It happened here in Orlando when an amputee veteran had a knife to his throat and then asked Officer Wesley Cook to put a bullet in him. 

Officer Cook, a veteran as well, talked to the veteran about what can happen for him, instead of the only thing he was thinking about.
Officer Cook showed patience and compassion for the veteran in crisis and it changed the outcome because he understood what was going on.

So again, tell me how it is that this officer, knew what was going on within the mind of this veteran, but so many police officers are taking their own lives all over the country? 159 did last year.


It happens to Firefighters too. Even volunteer firefighters like "Tim Ebert died by suicide last week" in Wisconsin.

"He was a student at UW-Platteville. So, between being a student working part time and being a volunteer on the Fire Department, he was a pretty busy guy," Simmons said. 
We know suicides in the military are up as well in the veterans community. What we do not know is how to get the nonsense out of their conversations and start real ones that can help them make sense out of their lives. 

They still do not understand what PTSD is!!!!

If we get them to see how none of this makes sense...then maybe they'll have a chance to make sense out of their lives.

Two Golden Knights still in critical condition

Two Golden Knights still hospitalized after Army parachuting accident


Army Times
Meghann Myers
February 15, 2019

Two members of the U.S. Army Parachute Team remain in critical condition after a training accident early Tuesday morning that sent three to a Miami hospital.
A member of the Golden Knights lands during a demonstration jump at the African Aerospace and Defence Exposition at Waterkloof Air Force Base, Pretoria, South Africa on Sept. 18, 2014. (Staff Sgt. Patricia Austin/Army)
One of the three has since been released from Jackson Memorial hospital, Army Recruiting Command spokeswoman Kelli Bland told Army Times on Friday.

That soldier was upgraded to fair condition on Thursday before being released, she said.
read more here

Veteran works full time for Post Office...at 76 and fears becoming homeless?

‘I’m scared’: He is 76, a veteran and struggling to find an affordable apartment


The Washington Post
Theresa Vargas
February 16, 2019

Jeffrey Snure doesn’t want to end up homeless.

He told me this on a recent morning as we sat down to eat breakfast at a Latin American restaurant next to a 7-Eleven.
Jeffrey Snure, a 76-year-old veteran, works full time for the U.S. Postal Service. He fears he will soon become homeless. (The Washington Post)

“Am I scared?” he said. “Better believe I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how to keep it from happening.”

Lately, he has paid more attention to a man who walks through his Northern Virginia neighborhood who appears as if he’s barely avoiding life on the street.

“Every time I see him, I get very nervous,” Snure said. “I don’t want that to happen to me.”

Snure is a 76-year-old veteran. He also works full time for the U.S. Postal Service. He shouldn’t be worried about sleeping on a sidewalk. And yet, in recent weeks, as he faces eviction from the apartment where he has lived for more than two decades, Snure has found himself feeling increasingly frustrated, lost and, yes, even scared, as he searches for a rarity in the region: an affordable place to live.

He said he has worked for the Postal Service for more than two decades, and he spends six days a week fixing mail-sorting machines as an electronic technician. For that, he said he earns about $66,000 a year.
read more here

100 Fort Carson soldiers came home on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Homecoming at Fort Carson


FOX 2 News
Brandon Thompson
February 15, 2019

FORT CARSON, Colo. - Thursday, 100 Fort Carson soldiers returned home to their families after a nine-month deployment in Europe.

The mission for the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division was to work with American allies in the Balkan and Baltic states on training, readiness and information sharing.

"This just is a special moment for us all getting back," Billy Austin said. "Just looking out and doing what's best for our country, I really enjoy it. It means a lot."

Austin has been in the Army for around 20 years. This was his first deployment away from his two younger children, and over the course of his time away from home, his third was born, a son named Ryker.

"It just makes you appreciate the smaller things in life," Austin said. "Spending time with these four, I've been looking forward to it for nine months."

For another family, the Montanos, this was their first homecoming and deployment.

"This is my first homecoming, but I've been in the crowd to support my cousin's," said Nathan Montano.

Montano left for his mission just weeks after his daughter, Alice, was born.
read more here

Ret. Marine Captain sues 3M for faulty ear plugs

Retired US Marine captain sues 3M; says deafness caused by faulty combat ear plugs


The Inquirer
Sam Wood
February 15, 2019

A retired U.S. Marine from South Jersey filed a federal suit in Philadelphia on Thursday, claiming that defective earplugs manufactured by 3M were the direct cause of his deafness.
Capt. Matthew Morrison (retired), 35, served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia between 2007 and 2013. During his deployments, Morrison was exposed to to extensive live-fire training of heavy machine guns, rockets, small arms, explosives and other munitions.

As directed by protocols, Morrison — like hundreds of thousands of other Marines — wore standard issue 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs, according to court papers.

The suit alleges fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence. It claims 3M knew the earplugs were faulty.


3M declined to comment on “specific litigation matters at this time.”

read more here

Group takes care of pets when veterans have to go into the hospital

When veterans have to go to the hospital, this group steps in to foster their pets


The State
By JEFF WILKINSON
Published: February 14, 2019
”It was an unknown need in South Carolina,” Pawmetto Lifeline CEO Denise Wilkinson said. “The vets have no family and their pets are the only love they have in their lives. (With the new program), they take care of themselves and have no worries. When they get out of the hospital, we give them their pet back.”

The program is funded by the Michael J. Mungo Foundation, which will pay for the services on an as-needed basis. The foundation honors the late founder of Mungo Homes of Columbia.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — Pawmetto Lifeline, an organization that advocates foster care for stray animals as an alternative to shelters, on Wednesday unveiled a new program to help military veterans and their pets.

The “Boots for Service” program provides foster care and medical care for pets of veterans who have to enter the hospital and have nowhere to put their furry (or feathery, perhaps) friends.

By partnering with the U.S. Veterans Administration, the privately funded Pawmetto Lifeline organization will support identified veterans who might put their pet’s needs above their own and not seek treatment.

”If they are in trouble . . . and they have a dog or a cat, and they have to go to the hospital, what are they going to do?” McMaster said. “That causes more trouble. So this is a great, great program. I don’t know how many other states are doing this. But we are.”
read more here

Disabled Gulf War Veteran has VA benefits restored because reporter cared!

Disabled Campbell County veteran's VA benefits restored


WATE 6 ABC News
By: Don Dare
Posted: Feb 14, 2019

LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. (WATE) - A disabled Campbell County veteran has had his VA benefits fully restored following a WATE 6 On Your Side investigation.

Mike Sanders is a Gulf War-era veteran. The former Army sergeant badly injured his back during his service and is now unable to work. From 1987-1994, he served as a research lab assistant with the Chemical Corps, and later as a field medic.

Two weeks ago, WATE reported that Mike Sanders was losing his benefits after earning 18 cents in salary in 2017. The VA took quick action to correct a mistake.
read more here

Friday, February 15, 2019

Suicide Prevention Texts for Soldiers...working or not?

Mixed Results With Suicide Prevention Texts for Soldiers


Primary endpoints missed, but intervention showed benefit in secondary outcomes
MedPage Today
by Elizabeth Hlavinka, Staff Writer
February 13, 2019
The intervention was based on a caring letters study in the 1970s co-designed by Jerome Motto, who hypothesized that increasing connection would decrease the rates of suicide in a civilian population, and that this could be accomplished by sending a series of letters expressing care and concern, Kerbrat told MedPage Today.
Supportive text messages did not decrease suicidal ideation or "risk incidents" among military personnel at risk for suicide in a randomized trial, but there appeared to be significant benefit for some important secondary outcomes including suicide attempts.

No significant reductions were observed in terms of suicide risk incidents -- inpatient admission or evacuation associated with suicidality -- or current suicide ideation at 12 months among military personnel who were assigned to the text-based intervention compared with standard care alone, reported Amanda Kerbrat, MSW, of the University of Washington, and colleagues.
Stein noted this intervention's failure to meet its primary endpoints could be due to military personnel being "embedded in a rich social milieu that, if nothing else, is hardly isolating," and that, in fact, the social disconnectedness theory behind Caring Contact might not apply to this population.
read more here

"Social isolating" is not their biggest problem. Hiding what is going on with them is! Not knowing what PTSD is feeds the stigma and prevents them from opening their mouths or tapping their fingers on a keypad.

And yes, you read the year right...but the DoD does not tell you that part.

Want to save them? Then explain to the what PTSD is, what it does, and HOW TO DEFEAT IT!
Tell them they can #TakeBackYourLife before they think of taking their lives. Yep, they do not know that one either!

1,400 workers at Kennedy Space Center won't be paid?

Back pay for contractors left out of shutdown deal, affecting hundreds of NASA workers


Orlando Sentinel
Chabeli Herrera
February 14, 2019
“The rejection of federal contract worker back pay by the GOP leadership in this funding deal is outrageous and unfair,” said Robert Martinez Jr., president of the Machinists Union International. “We urge Republican and Democratic leadership to quickly pass legislation to secure back pay for the federal contract workers.”

Buddy Boylan, a propellant mechanic with AECOM, attends a union meeting for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2061 in Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Chabeli Herrera / Orlando Sentinel)
A provision that would have restored back pay following the government shutdown for federal contractors, including hundreds who work for NASA on the Space Coast, was left out of a funding deal that Congress reached this week.

The 35-day government shutdown, from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, left an estimated 1,400 workers at Kennedy Space Center without work. Most of those employees were federal contractors, who work in tandem with civil servants as electricians, engineers, safety specialists and in other positions that involve spacecraft and rockets at the Cape.

After the end of the shutdown, President Donald Trump passed an agreement ensuring civil servants — whether they worked during the shutdown or not — would get back pay for the five weeks of lost paychecks. Government contractors, whose back pay is dependent on their individual contracts with government agencies, were not included in that agreement.

Across the nation, it’s estimated that about 800,000 civil servants and 1.2 million government contractors were impacted by the shutdown. During the government closure, many were forced to cut expenses, dip into their savings, use vacation time and visit food pantries to scrape by.
read more here

453 Orlando area veterans wait too long for appointments?

Whistleblower says veterans are waiting 30+ days to see doctor at Orlando VA

WFTV 9 News 
By: Christopher Heath 
Feb 14, 2019 

ORLANDO, Fla. - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, sent a letter Thursday to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie demanding answers after a whistleblower revealed lengthy wait times for more than 450 vets.
“I write to express concern with substantiated whistleblower allegations regarding lengthy wait times at the Orlando VA Medical Center,” wrote Rubio. “Your Department found that approximately 453 Veteran patients seeking care at this facility experienced wait times for endoscopy procedures longer than 30 days."
 Since 2014, veterans have been eligible for what’s known as the Veterans Choice Program, which allows vets to seek private care if the VA can’t schedule an appointment within 30 days. 

According to the Office of Special Counsel, the acting chief of medicine of the Orlando VA “instructed staff to not refer some of these patients to community care.” Rubio in his letter wrote that the “delays raised the risk for medical conditions to worsen.” Rubio is asking the VA to outline what changes it has made to ensure these wait times are addressed at the Orlando VA. read more here