Saturday, December 16, 2017

PTSD on Trial: Oceanside Iraq Veteran

PTSD on Trial:

Iraq war vet with PTSD gets 16 to life for killing his friend
San Diego Union Tribune
Teri Figueroa 
December 15, 2017

A former Marine who served two tours in Iraq was sentenced Thursday to 16 years to life in prison for stabbing a friend to death in the friend’s Oceanside home as the victim’s two toddlers slept.
An Iraq war veteran with PTSD was sentenced Thursday to 16 years to life in prison in the 2015 stabbing death of a friend in garage of the victim's Oceanside home. Inside, the victim’s two toddlers were asleep on a couch. (Teri Figueroa)
Last month, a North County jury convicted David Anthony Strouth, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, of second-degree murder for killing Brad Garner, 49, while the two were hanging out in Garner’s garage.
Strouth, who had started cutting himself, asked the neighbors and responding police to kill him, according to the prosecution’s filing.
Police found Strouth’s bloody K-bar knife — with the inscription Operation Iraqi Freedom — in the garage. 
At trial, Strouth testified that it had been self-defense, telling the jury that Garner had come at him with the knife, and they struggled, but Strouth won control of it.
Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza said Friday he was pleased with the outcome of the case. He said in October that “the verdict demonstrated that PTSD may explain but does not excuse an unprovoked killing.”
read more here 

Canada Wants to Expand PTSD Coverage to Nurses

Ontario wants to extend PTSD coverage to frontline nurses
Ottowa Citizen
Joanne Laucius
December 15, 2017
The Ontario Ministry of Labour wants to extend “presumptive” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) legislation to include up to 140,000 frontline nurses.
If the proposal becomes law, it will cover the nurses for “stress and impairment to functioning,” including painful flashbacks, nightmares, outbursts and thoughts of suicide and guilt or sadness following a traumatic event.
There are up to 140,000 frontline nurses in Ontario. SUNMEDIA
“With the new proposed presumption, once a frontline nurse is diagnosed with PTSD by either a psychiatrist or a psychologist, the claims process for WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) benefits will be expedited, and nurses will not be required to prove a causal link between PTSD and a workplace event,” said the ministry in a statement.
In April 2016, Ontario passed the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act, creating the “presumption” that PTSD diagnosed in first responders was work-related — so covered workers do not have to prove the link between their work and PTSD. 
The act covered about 73,000 first responders in the province, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, corrections workers and dispatchers. But nurses were not included, sparking an outcry from the group.

PTSD Service Dog Stolen From Iraq Veteran

Iraq War vet pleas for return of stolen service dog in Concord, N.H.

Alex DiPrato
December 15, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. (WHDH) — An Iraq War veteran in Concord, New Hampshire said she was attacked by a man who then stole her service dog.

Ashley McCall said she had just put her 3-year-old pit bull, Jax, in her car after taking him for a walk. She was about to go run some errands when she said a man approached her and started asking her questions about Jax.
“He starts asking me questions about what kind of dog he was, what his name was and then wanted to see the dog. And I told him, I really need to get going,” said McCall.
McCall said the man then reached for her car’s door handle and opened it. McCall said she shut the door and he shoved her onto the ground. The suspect then grabbed Jax and got into an awaiting silver Ford Focus. McCall said the man then threw Jax’s service vest and leash out of the car before taking off.
“I’m screaming at him, this is my dog, what are you doing, you can’t do this! He just takes off,” said McCall.
read more here

Dan Johnson's claim of PTSD Challenged

It appears that Rep. Dan Johnson's claim of PTSD was based on an event he was not part of. Did he use it as a symbol of honor or of suffering?

When fake veterans claim to have PTSD when they were not involved in any service, we call that "Stolen Valor and it is illegal when they use it for financial gain." 

When people claim PTSD, and tie it to something that did not happen to them, shouldn't there be a label for that one too?

In this case, Johnson claimed to be in New York and working as a Chaplain. He also collected Worker's Comp. Strange considering that we have so many police officers down here in Florida unable to collect, as well as firefighters, even though, there is plenty of evidence there were in fact there an on their jobs when the had to respond to the worst a human could do. 

This story is offensive on so many levels, it hits a huge population. Anyone with PTSD, for real, is offended. Anyone actually working in New York on 9-11 is offended. Any female is offended with the rest of the story.

As a Chaplain, the entire thing is offensive, but it does raise the question of what the legal remedy should be when someone uses the system falsely, while those with real injuries caused on the job, receive nothing.

Kentucky lawmaker who spun history of heroics ends life in suicide 
Denver Post
Adam Beam
December 14, 2017

Timothy D. Easley, The Associated Press
Kentucky State Rep., Republican Dan Johnson addresses the public from his church on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, regarding allegations that he sexually abused a teenager after a New Year’s party in 2013, in Louisville, Ky. Johnson says a woman’s claim that he sexually assaulted her in 2013 has no merit and he will not resign.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky lawmaker’s resume included enough material for an award-winning memoir: He was a peacekeeper at the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, a White House chaplain to three presidents and a 9/11 first responder who gave last rites to hundreds of people at Ground Zero.

But Republican Dan Johnson’s carefully crafted history crumbled this week following an extensively reported story from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. The story tore down his claims and portrayed him as a con man whose deceptions propped up his ministry of a church of outcasts in Louisville and hid a sinister secret: a sexual assault allegation from a 17-year-old girl.
On his financial disclosure forms, Johnson listed his only source of income as workers compensation from the state of New York. He said that money was from injuries he sustained while working as a chaplain immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City. But the reporting center, after a seven-month effort, could find no evidence that Johnson was in New York that day. 
In a Facebook message posted hours before his death, Johnson hinted that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder relating to what he witnessed in New York, details that he shared with friends through the years, including Republican state Sen. Dan Seum.
read more here 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Deputy Proved Saving Veteran's Life Takes More Than Moments

Deputy’s action saves veteran’s life

Grand Lake News
By Darin Hinman
Posted Dec 13, 2017
Delaware County Sheriff's Deputy Cody Thompson receives challenge coin from Mark Morgan, Director of the Muskogee VA 
Darin Hinman Delaware County Journal
In all, Thompson spent a combined 15 hours helping the man, and ultimately encouraging him to seek out treatment. Thompson assisted the veteran to develop a treatment plan and followed up not only with the man, but also with his family.

Law enforcement officers make critical decisions every day, some with life and death consequences. One decision, made with compassion, by Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Thompson Cody Thompson not only made a difference but saved the life of a veteran in need. 

Earlier this year, Thompson was sent to conduct a welfare check for a veteran, living in Delaware County, who called the veteran’s crisis line.

Thompson, who served in the U.S. Army from 2010 to 2016 as a combat engineer and spend time deployed to Afghanistan, took the time to ensure the man was treated properly during their encounter.

“He needed the help,” Thompson said. “He just wanted to sit and talk. It felt like the right thing to do.”
read more here

Tallahassee Fallen Firefighter Died Day After Birthday

Veteran Tallahassee firefighter Jeffery Atkinson dies on duty
Tallahassee Democrat
December 15, 2017

A 17-year veteran of the Tallahassee Fire Department died overnight Thursday while on duty.

The death of Engineer Jeffery Atkinson was not related to any of the fires fought by the department Thursday, a TFD spokeswoman said. Firefighters had responded to blazes at the International Book Mine on Gaines Street and at a home on Fermanagh Circle in Killearn Estates.

"Engineer Atkinson has served the citizens of Tallahassee and Leon County for over 17 years and he will be greatly missed," a statement released by TFD Friday morning said. "Please extend your thoughts and prayers to his wife, daughter and family during this difficult time."

Atkinson death came just a day after his 43rd birthday.
read more here

Airman Found Dead at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Air Force investigating death of airman found in dorm

Associated Press
December 14, 2017
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of an airman found in his dorm at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.
The Air Force announced that Airman Cody Watt was found dead Tuesday just after noon.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Press Continues False Advertising of "22 a day" Veteran Suicides

It is harder to not be angry when you see this number showing up all the time.  
"It's hard not to be angry, it's hard not to be angry because it happens 22 times a day, 22 times a day," said Cochran.
If reporters do not know enough to even correct something that important, it is doubtful they will even consider what else they got wrong...and try to change the outcome.

Here is the headline that should be called false advertising.

News 13 Investigates: Fighting Veteran Suicide

It's a staggering statistic: more veterans are dying from suicide than on the battlefield. (Photo credit: Patty Best)

Here is something else,

Rep. McHenry says just last month, they passed the National Defense Authorization Act which requires mental health exams for active service members once a year. 
"We created a yearly mental health screen for those in active duty. That will give the VA a better baseline to work with for those out of the military now," said Rep. McHenry. 
More BS because they passed bills and more bills going back to 2007 that were supposed to save lives and encourage service members and veterans to seek help.

This is from the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act signed by President Bush in 2007

Family education and outreachThe program shall include programs of outreach to, and education for, veterans and families of veterans (including, in particular, veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and the families of such veterans) in order to assist the family members of veterans in—
eliminating or overcoming stigmas associated with mental illness;
understanding issues that arise in the readjustment of veterans to civilian life;
identifying signs and symptoms of mental health problems; and
encouraging veterans to seek assistance for such problems.

But going back even more years is this,
Postdeployment ScreeningThe Department of Defense (DoD) elected to use postdeployment screening to identify military members who may need mental health services.  Postdeployment screening became mandatory in 1997, with the creation of the Postdeployment Health Assessment (PDHA) occurring soon after. The PDHA is a two part process consisting of mental and physical health screening questions completed proximal to return from a deployment and a face-to-face encounter with a medical provider (e.g., not a mental health provider) who reviews the results and makes referrals

So how about we end the farce that any of this is new or the press cares enough to even look up the facts! 

USS Kirk to evacuate 30,000 refugees and one met veteran

Vietnam veteran, refugee connect 42 years after famed rescue mission

Monroe Journal
John Ward
December 13, 2017
Amory surgeon Dr. Hoat Hoang shakes hands with Vietnam War veteran David Burlison Sr. of Quincy after the two meet for the first time. Burlison was a sailor who served on a mission to rescue 30,000 refugees after the fall of Saigon, and Hoang was one of the ones saved.

AMORY – As small of a world as it is, two Monroe Countians reconnected recently more than 40 years after they ironically had the same memorable life experience half a world away. Vietnam veteran David Burlison, Sr. of Quincy was on a U.S. Navy mission on the USS Kirk to evacuate 30,000 refugees after the fall of Saigon. One of those refugees was a 6-year-old boy who grew up to be a practicing surgeon in Amory – Dr. Hoat Hoang.
“There had been stories of South Vietnam losing ground to its neighboring communist country for years,” Hoang said. “It wasn’t until the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon had fallen into the hands of the North Vietnamese that all hope was lost. Upon hearing the news, my father quickly gathered my mother and three siblings, along with our immediate family members and fled our homeland that very day. My father was in his 30s at the time, and I was the second of four children ranging from 8 years old to a young infant. My father knew that he could not live under the new communist regime, and though fleeing his home country was heart wrenching, there weren’t any other options.”
read more here

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Veterans Charity Raises Millions to Help Who?

Ok! If you want to know how much BS is floating around as "acceptable" in other words, the guy isn't even ashamed to say this;
“There is no group that I know of that does what we do, educate and advocate for 21 million American Veterans,” he wrote. His small staff accomplishes this, he said, through a “massive bipartisan program” of phone, fax, email and snail-mail contact with more than 500 candidates for Congress; an “earned media machine” that generates attention through news releases; and the publication of the Veterans Vision newsletter once every two years."

Safe bet you learned a hell of a lot more reading this site every day...and I do it alone for free! Plus do you think he can top over 28,000 posts almost everyday for the last ten years on this site alone? Hmm, does over 3.5 million hits count?

Gee do you think he should have actually checked to see what was being done before he made such a stupid statement while defending what he thought he deserved?

(WOW, I need a drink and signing off for now.)

Veterans Charity Raises Millions to Help Those Who’ve Served. But Telemarketers Are Pocketing Most of It.



December 13, 2017
Meanwhile, Hampton’s reported compensation quadrupled — to $340,126 between his two nonprofits in 2015 — in less than a decade.
The warning was prophetic. 

Maurice Levite sat in a modest office in Falls Church, Virginia, about a decade ago, and cautioned his longtime friend, Brian Arthur Hampton, against continuing to use telemarketers to fund his small veterans charity. 

With the help of his fundraisers-for-hire, Hampton had increased Circle of Friends for American Veterans’ income by an astounding amount — tenfold within three years. 

But there was a catch — a costly one. The fundraisers were keeping most of the contributions donors were giving to the charity. Almost all of the money left over paid for overhead costs, such as Hampton’s salary. Veterans themselves received scraps. 
Hampton’s veterans operation is hardly alone. Telemarketer Outreach Calling has contracted with at least a dozen other charities — two of which have been shut down by New York regulators — and keeps an average of 90 percent of the money it raises for them, according to state government records. And other veterans groups, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, have recently endured scandals surrounding their spending.

A lot of charities have to use fundraisers or they close their doors. This is an example of what can go wrong when folks have the best intentions and write checks before looking twice.