Monday, December 11, 2017

If Suicide Prevention or Awareness Worked, This Wouldn't Have Happen

Want to do something that matters?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 11, 2017 

If you are a veteran, or member of the military, your awareness is requested to change the outcome. Ready to put up a fight for life instead of pushing how many you think took their own lives today?

The trend is repulsive because of all the wasted years and lost lives. 

What we have seen proves that for all the "work" being done to prevent service members and veterans from committing suicide, it does not work.

Military Suicide Prevention
Does this work? 
Since 2009, the Penn Resilience Program has been widely used by the United States Army as part of their Master Resilience Training program for Soldiers, family members of Soldiers, and Department of the Army civilians. In this train-the-trainer program, we have helped train more than 40,000 U.S. Army Soldiers how to teach the resilience skills to hundreds of thousands of Soldiers. This program is run by the Army's Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program under the Army Resilience Directorate

The results 
2012 Military Suicides
Active 319 Reserves 73 National Guard 130

2013 Military Suicides (same report)
Active 259 Reserves 87 National Guard 133

2014 Military Suicides
Active 268 Reserves 79 National Guard 87

2015 Military Suicides
Active 266 Reserves 88 National Guard 121

2016 Military Suicides
Active 275 Reserves 80 National Guard 123

2017 Military Suicides (First Six Months)
Active 130 Reserves 48 National Guard 68

Veteran Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Does this work?

President Bush Signs H.R. 327 and H.R. 1284 into Law2007White House NewsOn Monday, November 5, 2007, the President signed into law:

H.R. 327, the "Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act," which requires VA to develop and implement a comprehensive program to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans; and

H.R. 1284, the "Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2007," which provides a cost-of-living increase for the beneficiaries of veterans' disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation.
The Clay Hunt Act: What the President Just Signed
FEBRUARY 12, 2015

Today, President Obama signed the Clay Hunt Act into law in the East Room of the White House.

The new suicide prevention law is named in honor of Clay Hunt, an extraordinary young Texan and decorated Marine who served with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like too many of our veterans, Clay struggled with depression and post-traumatic stress after he came home. Sadly, Clay’s life ended much too soon when he tragically committed suicide in 2011 at the age of only 28.

The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act is a testament to the type of man that Clay Hunt was — even after his death, his legacy of helping veterans lives on.

In America, our veterans and troops are still struggling. As a country, we must do more to help our veterans deal with injuries like post-traumatic stress and depression.

The results
Hell NO!

Stop raising awareness without learning first!

Exactly when do reporters do the research to stop feeding the frenzy of awareness?

Fight back and hit the hacks with facts!

Missouri Veterans Project For PTSD Veterans in Prison

Missouri prison program recognized for veteran rehab

Associated Press
Monday, December 11, 2017

The heart of the program is pair programming, in which veterans can teach other veterans, said Rusty Ratliff, a correctional case manager who oversees the ward.
MOBERLY, Mo. -- A new veterans ward in a Missouri prison is earning recognition for veteran rehabilitation.
The Columbia Missourian reported the Missouri Veterans Project began at the Moberly Correctional Center six months ago. Its success has led to similar programs at prisons in Jefferson City, Potosi and Boonville.
The pilot program began with a post-traumatic stress disorder program. The ward now offers staff-led training and classes for mental-health assistance. Fifty one of 66 available beds in the program now are filled.
read more here

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Veterans Court Got PTSD Veteran Help He Needed

Aurora man says new vet court connected him ‘with the right people’

Chicago Sun Times
Jon Seidel
December 10, 2017

One of the many times Juan Morales fought in Afghanistan, he carried a wounded soldier to safety amid an enemy ambush.

Juan Morales, left, a graduate from the Veterans Treatment Court, receives a certificate from Joe Butler of the John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic. | Provided photo
“It was a pretty big attack,” the 33-year-old Aurora man said. But it was just one of many. He said he found himself in battle nearly every day for four months while a member of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
Morales became a team leader before returning home with the “knee of a 70-year-old” and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Then his troubles were nearly compounded when, while receiving treatment at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital, he said he was caught on the grounds of the federal facility last spring with a knife he forgot to leave at home.
That oversight helped land him in front of a federal judge — a daunting moment for anyone. But months later, Morales became one of the first six graduates of the Northern District of Illinois’ Veterans Treatment Court, which aims to help veterans charged with federal misdemeanors get the help they need.
“They got me in touch with the right people,” Morales said.

Nevada Honors 13 Veterans With Proper Burial

Military funeral honors men who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam

Nevada Appeal
Steve Ranson
December 8, 2017

FERNLEY — Each veteran could have been someone's brother, son or husband, yet for some reason beyond their control, they became forgotten after they died.

The Patriot Guard marches toward the ceremonial area with U.S. flags Steve Ranson
With their custom-made urns lined up like soldiers in formation, a folded flag leaned against the middle urns, symbolic of their service to their country during one of three wars: World War II, Korea or Vietnam.
The Nevada Veterans Coalition conducted its sixth Missing in Nevada funeral at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery with military honors Friday to remember 13 men who never received the proper burial after they died. Some of remains sat on a shelf — covered with thick dust — for decades until testing determined the identity of each veteran. Of the 13 men, 11 served during World War II and one each from Korea and Vietnam, while the oldest veteran was 87 years old when he died.

WWII — Thomas Anderson (1920-1977), U.S. Army 1940–1945.
WWII —James Betancourt (1926-1993), U.S. Navy 1944–1944.
WWII— John Bohm (1925-1979), U.S. Navy 1942– 1946.
WWII —James Brady (1915-1972), U.S. Army 1942–1946.
WWII— Joe Brown (1905-1987), U.S. Army 1942–1944.
Vietnam — Dale Carrigan (1950-1986), U.S. Army 1968 – 1970.
WWII — George Carson (1917-2004), U.S. Army 1944 –1946.
Korean —Paul Cole (1937-1997), U.S. Air Force 1954–1962.
WWII —Willie Crumpler (1902-1977) served in the U.S. Army 1942–1943.
WWII — Howard Davis (1909-1990), U.S. Army 1944–1946.
WWII —Edgar Erickson (1920-1992), U.S. Army 1940–1945.
WWII — Sherwood Jerome (1926-1992), U.S. Army 1944–1954.
WWII — Clyde Matthews (1906-1990), U.S. Navy/US ARNG 1926-1936/1940-1943.

BS on Military Sexual Assaults When Congress Made Payouts for Their Own

Members of Congress need to be removed if they approved of coverup!
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 10, 2017

The Department of Defense reported there were 3,000 women sexually assaulted in 2006. By 2008, Senator Bob Casey said that harassment and assault of military women, especially in combat ones, is a "scourge" that needs to be eliminated. No one said when they actually planned on treating this as a crime.

Given the fact recent reports of payouts happening when members of Congress have regarded assaulting women as something ok with them, no need to wonder why nothing has been done to protect women from other service members.

(CNN)Two things have become painfully clear on Capitol Hill this week: Lawmakers and staffers say sexual harassment is "rampant" -- but even members of Congress have no idea just how widespread the problem is.
On Thursday, the Office of Compliance released additional information indicating that it has paid victims more than $17 million since its creation in the 1990s. That includes all settlements, not just related to sexual harassment, but also discrimination and other cases. 
By 2008, the GAO reported that 52% of service members who had been assaulted, had not reported it. They did the research from just 14 installations.

Women at War: When the enemy is one of your own was a followup to the video I did back in 2006.  
There are more, but you get the idea.

Now, take a look at what was just reported about Fort Bragg.

Fort Bragg leaders say recent Pentagon data ranking the installation among the highest for reports of sexual assaults reflect in part their efforts to combat the crimes for which they have zero tolerance. 
Still, advocates for veterans and sexual assault victims believe the military needs to do more to address the problem, including how cases are handled at installations and the reluctance of some victims to report assaults. 
Fort Bragg, as the nation’s largest military installation, has been at the forefront of the Department of Defense’s efforts to prevent sexual assault for years, officials said. Now, comprehensive sexual assault data from all installations, released for the first time, is bringing the issue into focus. 
Even as many local troops have been deployed around the world to help fight the nation’s enemies, the data shows the on-going fight against sexual assault in the military that is taking place on the home front. 
And for the first time, it reveals installation-specific data. In past years, the Pentagon had instead released aggregated numbers for each branch of service. 
The latest data shows four years worth of reports across more than 200 installations, both large and small, from 2013 to 2016.At Fort Bragg and Pope Field, the Pentagon says 156 sexual assault reports were made in last year. The number of reports for the installation has risen each of the past four years.
The title of the news report is 

"Fort Bragg leaders respond to sexual assault data"

What should the headline be when members of Congress are forced to explain why this was all ok to them while they were telling the public a totally different story? 


Current and former cadets speak out on sexual assault at Air Force Academy


Fifty-six female Democratic lawmakers ask House to investigate Trump sexual misconduct claims

Steelers Army Veteran Alejandro Villanueva Talks About PTSD

Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva revealed why he served three tours in Afghanistan

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Stephen Knox
December 9, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva has one of the most interesting stories in the NFL.

Villanueva graduated from West Point, and while there he walked onto the Army football team. Before beginning his career with the Eagles in 2014, he served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. He is a decorated Army Ranger, winning a National Service Medal and a bronze star.
However, he revealed that a big reason why he served the final two tours in Afghanistan was due to the struggles he had once he returned home.
“Now I started developing a fear of flying. I started developing even a fear of bacon because it can give you cancer,” Villanueva said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. “So you start developing all these things because you’re like ‘Holy smokes, I’m a healthy 20-year-old now back in normal society, I have a life expectancy. I don’t have to die tomorrow.’ It’s a very tough thing to reconcile in your mind. It causes a lot of stress. I think that’s one of the main reason for PTSD is that I was ready to die and now I don’t have to die.
read more here

Australia: PTSD Navy Veteran Has Dog as Co-pilot...on motorcycle?

Bundy, the biker dog who has clocked up 1 million kilometres to raise funds for charity
Sydney Morning Herald
Julie Power
December 10, 2017

How do you teach an Australian stumpy-tailed cattle dog to ride a million kilometres behind the wheel of a motorcycle?
Tex O'Grady and Bundy, who have ridden 1 million kilometres by motorbike for charity. Photo: Helen Nezdropa
Start by pushing the dog sitting on the motorbike up and down the driveway, said Tex O'Grady who owns the dog, Bundy. Then a lap of the block. Turn the engine on next time. "Eventually that block becomes a lap of Australia," Mr O'Grady said.
Bundy is a registered assistance animal, who received training from non-profit Young Diggers, which trains therapy dogs and veterans suffering from PTSD. 
Bundy is the only dog in Australia who has permission - except in the Northern Territory and South Australia - to ride between the handlebar and the driver of a vehicle.
read more here

Wife of PTSD Veteran Seeking Help for Christmas

There are plenty of stories out there on veterans with PTSD. Stories about suicides, police standoffs and veterans courts. There are stories about homeless veterans doing heroic and inspiring things. There are not many about any of their families.

There is an appeal on the Honolulu Star Advertiser from a Mom looking for help to make Christmas a bit brighter for her children. 

Her husband is an Army veteran with PTSD and is living in a shelter right now. The impulse may be to judge her but having been through the worst times in my own marriage, all too often, this does happen. We've been married for over 3 decades, so nothing is impossible but it takes more than love to do it.

It requires knowledge and support.

Veterans fall when help is not there for the families. They are left with trying to do the best they can with what they know.

Before it gets better for any of us, we have to learn all we can about PTSD and then figure out how we can make it better, or end up making it worse for those we love.

So don't judge this Mom, but maybe we should start judging ourselves. 

If veterans are ending up homeless, there are reasons for it. If they are committing suicide, there are reasons for it. Until we actually stop the stunts and repeating slogans, more and more families will be struggling to just get from one day to the next.

Mom of 2 forges on after split with Army vet

Sasha Pinheiro had to take on the role of a single parent after her separation from her children’s father, an Army veteran who has been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sasha Pinheiro and her children, A’ziah, 1, and Shaizen, 5.
“I am raising both kids on my own because their father is dealing with these medical issues and living in a shelter,” she said. “I want him to be a parent in their lives, but things are not stable right now.”

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Vietnam Veterans Bond Did Not Break After Da Nang

Years later, St. Paul veteran finds friend in soldier who protected him during Vietnam War
Pioneer Press
December 9, 2017
It seems odd that a solid friendship bonds two guys who were in the same place at the same time, but didn’t know each other until more than four decades later.
But St. Paul native Tony Jensen says he probably wouldn’t be here today without Rick Williams and his men.

The two were in Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1970. Jensen was an Air Force officer in an intelligence unit. Williams calls himself a “mud Marine” protecting Jensen’s work and equipment. Williams’ sergeant warned him that if the enemy “gets past you, you’d better be dead.”

About five years ago, the two “collided, if you will,” on a tennis court in the Dayton, Ohio, area, Jensen says. The Vietnam veterans started to talk, which led to their Da Nang connection.
They share their story in a video created by public television in Dayton. It’s part of the “Vietnam Stories” project that followed filmmaker Ken Burns’ 17-hour Vietnam documentary this fall on PBS.
read more here

Better things to do with your life than end it

Suicide Awareness Snatched Victory from Victorious 
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 9, 2017

With PTSD, it is more about what got into you, than what is wrong with you. Bet you didn't know that. 

It is more about what is the strongest part of you, than the weakness you've only been told about.

Think about how much you had to have inside of yourself to be able to do what you did. Then think about the fact you survived "IT" and beat it. You had victory over it and then some moron came along to remind you of how many veterans are killing themselves. 

How about you hear how fabulous it is to have the ability to heal?

"Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth's sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won." Louisa May Alcott
Everyone knows I have no patience for the stunts, slogans and all the other BS that is all over social media. Some people accuse me of lying when I state the facts, and even link to the reports they came from. After all, if all they know is BS, that is what they believe. Much like if all you hear about is BS about how many of you have given up, you think that is all there is.

You have had enough bad messages already. The one message they should have been delivering all along is that TOMORROW CAN BE A LOT BETTER as long as you see the truth that you are a survivor and stop being victimized by anyone trying to keep you down.

Rise up! Yesterday you knew something that was not true. You knew that you were suffering but as you sat in a fog, you told yourself that was a good as it could be. It isn't today and now you don't have any excuse to settle for getting numb. 
"Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out." Edwin Markham Brainy Quotes 
PTSD hits survivors. The harder you get hit depends on the strength of your emotional core. I know what you're thinking and you have it backwards. 

The stronger you feel good stuff, the stronger you feel bad stuff. If it bounces off the other guys, does not penetrate them, their emotional core is being protected by their sense of self and not selflessness. Those guys can walk away and leave it, but you took it all on your shoulders and carried it with you.

Just a reminder of all the Medal of Honor PTSD veterans there are, and think about how tough they were. How much did they care about others? How much courage did they have within them? Then wonder what would have happened if they did not care so much more for the others than they did for themselves.

Making more sense now?

In March, "Roger Donlon, the first Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War" had this to say, "And that's the bottom line behind all the actions on the battlefield – the mortal battlefield of combat and the other battlefields of life – [that] in my mind, in my heart, were driven by love."

Risking your life for someone else is always driven by love. Healing your life needs to start there and then you can stop listening to folks talk about what you no longer have to look forward to. You have better things to do with the rest of your life now!