Sunday, March 18, 2018

The most famous women you never knew

The most famous women you never knew
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 18, 2018

The title is a running joke in Point Man, since that is the way I usually get introduced.  Lots of people have heard of my work, my site but most cannot remember my name or even why they know me.

Putting this video together made me very proud to be a woman but ashamed I never knew about some of these women.

Sure, you heard about Paul Revere getting on his horse to warm about the British coming.
Paul Revere did not gain immediate fame for his April 1775"Midnight Ride." In fact, it wasn't until Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1861 poem, which greatly embellished Revere's role, that he became the folk hero we think of today.
But did you know Sybil Ludington also made a ride at the age of 16? Wonder how much fame she would have gotten if Longfellow paid her attention too?

On the night of April 26, 1777, Colonel Henry Ludington, father of 12, veteran of the French-Indian War, and commander of the militia in Duchess County, New York, (just across the state line from Danbury, Connecticut) received a messenger to his house. The British had entered Danbury and found some American military stores, stolen some, destroyed others and drank the whiskey. Drunk, they began ransacking the town, burning and looting.
His daughter got on her horse and rode for 40 miles.

You heard a lot about the men fighting for our freedom but did you know about these women?
Deborah Sampson, Nancy Morgan Hart or Margaret Corbin?

You heard a lot about heroic men with the Medal of Honor but did you know Dr. Mary Edwards Walker received one too? Actually, technically it was twice because Congress officially took it away from her, but she refused to return it. In 1977, she officially received it back, but she died in 1919. 

Those are just some of the women in this video. I hope you learn something watching it, because I learned a lot doing it.

Neighbor gave Vietnam veteran heat for home and warmth for heart

Neighbor helps Vietnam vet, wife who went 6 years with no heat 
Connecticut News 12 
March 16, 2018 

STRATFORD - A Vietnam veteran and his wife who have been without heat for years are finally getting the help they need.
Stratford's Tom Pendagast says his furnace stopped working six years ago, and the lines were plugged to his underground oil tank. He says he had some heat, but his electric bills were very high. 

His neighbor, Barbara Esposito, heard about the situation and wanted to help. She called the VFW, which then contacted Honorbound in Darien - a national organization that has helped over 20,000 veterans over the last 40 years. read more here

Deceased Vietnam Veterans Surviving Spouses Recognized

Honoring the wives of Vietnam veterans
FOX Dakota
By John Salling
Mar 16, 2018

MANDAN, N.D. - The spouse of a Vietnam veteran received a special honor as part of the Vietnam War Commemoration. The 50th anniversary of the war began in 2012 and will continue through 2025.
One of the honors available during the commemoration is the Deceased Vietnam Veteran's Surviving Spouse pin.

Friday was the funeral of Dr. Gary Wall, a dentist that served during the Vietnam war. His spouse Loretta is the first to receive this new pin at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

"Think of the family also. The soldiers of course, a lot of them gave their life, but I think it's important also for the wives and mothers back home, and fathers. They grieved every day," Loretta Wall said.

James Nelson, a Vietnam veteran, says that they never got a welcome home, but honors and recognition of service help make up for that.

"The family member sacrifices just as much as the veteran does, and especially in the Vietnam era veteran there is a lot of issues, unresolved issues that we're still working on, and it's just to recognize these people," Nelson said.
read more here

Fighting Compassion Fatigue

The price we pay for compassion
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 18, 2018

I just got done reading a great article on Tallahassee Democrat, Compassion Fatigue. It is yet one more subject we just don't focus on enough.

Right now I am dealing with my second bald spot on the back of my head. Yes, my hair falls out from stress, along with wrinkles on my face spreading out like a roadmap. There is a price to pay for doing this kind of work that keeps getting forgotten.

We all know the rewards of doing this work do not come with paychecks, but from changing the lives of those who trust us.

Oh, don't feel sorry for me because this is not my job. I have a regular job, with regular people. Without it, I don't think I'd be able to stay mostly positive. I just volunteer, leaving me whatever time off I want to take. Yes, I know I don't take enough time for myself, but I can when I need it. 

You don't get to do that enough. No matter how lousy your last appointment was, you have someone else coming in, with their own problems to deal with. Whatever attitude you were left with has to get pushed aside so you can focus on the one in your office at that moment. 

Remember, you are still human after all, dealing with your own life. Even though you're able to forget about "you" as a person too, that is exactly what you are. Just another human trying to make a difference.

Every night, my computer is shut off at a certain time and I go watch TV. I take naps after work to get more energy to to this, among other things I do with veterans and families. After all, I still have to take care of the veteran I married and our family too.

For the others doing this work as a career, I adore all of you! For as many times as I get burnt out, it happens to you more because you don't have the luxury of taking time out to relax.

Here is some advice. 
No matter how hard it is, find time to do something for yourself every day. 

Spend time with people who do not need you to be there, but want you to be there sharing something good.

Do something stupid simply because it is fun. (My tablet is just for games I play)

Take naps when you can or go watch a movie that will make you laugh.

Take the advice you give to everyone else and be good to yourself.

Make peace with the fact that once in a while you do have to give up on someone because they are showing no signs of being willing to do the work they need to do to heal. Defeat happens no matter how good we are or how much we know. 
Some need help but want everyone else to do it for them.

Lean on others and have someone you get to turn to when it gets to be too much for you to carry alone. Sharing the load on your shoulders is not a sign of weakness, but an opportunity to carry more.

The best advice in this is to LAUGH.

I am getting shots into my spine and they are painful going in. I am also sarcastic. The last time I had shots, I said something funny and it set off a series of jokes with the whole operating room cracking up. When the shots were done, I told my doctor it didn't hurt as much as usual. He said it was because we were all laughing.

Ok, confession, then I told him "you need to be insulted more often" and at the point he responded with "get the dull needles" which had us all laughing again.

Everything hurts less when you add some joy to it!

Veteran lost legs serving UK, then lost wheelchair

Ben lost his legs for his country, how could they take away his wheelchair?
Daily Mail
By Mark Nicol Defence Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday
17 March 2018

‘We cannot suffer in silence any longer. We need a long-term care plan in place for Ben now.’

The most seriously injured British soldier sues MoD after pay cut and lack of care
Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, 33, lost both of his legs while in Afghanistan
Former paratrooper wasn't expected to survive explosion in Helmand Province
Now he is suing the MoD for not provided care for him and for cutting his wages
The most seriously wounded British soldier from the war in Afghanistan is to sue the Army after claiming that defence chiefs cut his pay, put vital medical treatment in jeopardy – and failed to provide him with wheelchairs.

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, 33, who suffered devastating injuries when he was blown up by the Taliban, is to bring the legal action after what his family last night described as years of broken promises and ‘deception’ by top brass over his care.

The former paratrooper was not expected to survive after losing both legs and suffering brain damage when his Land Rover hit an anti-tank mine in Helmand Province in 2006. His recovery, which has included learning to walk and talk again, has astounded doctors.
Mr Parkinson (pictured before the explosion) lost both his legs and sustained grievous damage to his spine, skull, pelvis, hands, spleen and ribcage, leaving him in a coma for months
He was allowed to stay in uniform and has been held up as an example of the Army’s commitment to wounded troops.

But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal the shocking story of Ben’s struggle for basic equipment and specialist care. Now, his furious family is suing the Ministry of Defence for Breach of Statutory Care.

As a serving soldier, Ben is not allowed to talk to the media. Speaking on his behalf, his mother Diane Dernie, 60, said: ‘Under an agreement reached with us and the NHS in 2016, the MoD is supposed to provide Ben’s wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and specialist medical services not available to us locally on the NHS.

‘We have learned, contrary to what the Army has told us, that charities have provided two of Ben’s wheelchairs from funds donated by the public. This was a deception on their part.
read more here

Two Florida Airmen killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Two Patrick AFB airmen among those killed in Iraq helicopter crash
Florida Today
Eric Rogers
March 17, 2018
“No words can heal the pain from the loss of these true American heroes,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, commander of the 920th Rescue Wing, in a statement. “You can be proud knowing that MSgt. Posch and SSgt. Enis gave their last full measure performing their mission and serving our most noble Pararescue creed: ‘These things we do, that others may live.'"

Two airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing out of Patrick Air Force Base were among the seven crew members killed in a helicopter crash in western Iraq on Thursday.

Master Sgt. William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic,
Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, chief of Air Force Reserve, presented Master Sgt. William Posch, 308th Rescue Squadron, with her commander's coin for her appreciation of his diligence and dedication over the last month in response to the back-to-back hurricanes. Posch and his teammates rescued 235 people, 21 dogs and five cats during Hurricane Harvey in Texas before returning home to Florida a few days later to evacuate their families and wing assets in preparation for Hurricane Irma. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice

and Staff Sgt. Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee
Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, was among the seven Airmen killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq, March 15, 2018. He was assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Enis was a Tallahassee, Florida, resident who joined the unit in 2010 and served for 8 years. Courtesy/Air Force
Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, based out of Patrick.
read more here

PTSD Patrol: Win the battle side by side

"What is behind you, is not as strong as who is beside you."
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 18, 2018

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day.

"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and was reunited with his family. (from
Many do not understand that the day they say everyone becomes Irish, is a celebration of a victory. Patrick defeated doubt. He escaped his captors and went on to greatness.

You can escape PTSD holding you as a prisoner by defeating doubt too. Stop telling yourself that this life you are living is all you get. Stop telling yourself that getting numb is coping with PTSD. 

You defeated the thing that sent PTSD into you. Why let it win now?

I love this memorial because it shows two soldier side-by-side, walking forward, ready to face the enemy.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Veterans charities ripped off famous name

When I am driving to work and hear the commercial for this group, talk about PTSD but forget about the majority of our veterans, I have to change to another pre-set station. This group is blocked from putting up ads on my site. I've posted plenty about how much they offend me. Now, I find myself feeling sorry they had to go through having their name ripped off.

Ya, I know how that feels. Wounded Times often gets confused with this group, but since it was started back in 2007, before anyone heard of this group of "wounded" I have no plans of changing it, or going after anyone using it.  Considering the Native Americans used it first, no one really owns those two words.

In the case of what y0u're going to read, the famous group pays for their advertising, and their name more well known than what they actually do. So when people decide it is OK to use that fame for their own benefit, that is disgusting. What makes it reprehensible is they are accused of using it for their own personal lives!
4 charged with using 'Wounded Warrior' name to collect donations
Published: March 16, 2018
“Everything they did was for personal use,” Richard Ferretti, special agent in charge of the Louisville field office of the Secret Service, told Stars and Stripes. “No veteran’s family that we found as of yet has benefited from the money solicited.”

WASHINGTON – Using a variation on the name of one of the most well-known veterans charities, four suspects in Indiana have been charged with bilking people out of $125,000, according to federal and local law enforcement in Indiana.

The scheme involved collecting donations for two fraudulent organizations, the “Wounded Warrior Fund” and the “Wounded Warrior Foundation” – both plays on the legitimate Florida-based Wounded Warrior Project, according to the indictment, unsealed Friday.

The case was investigated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service field office in Louisville, Ky. The suspects were indicted by a grand jury Feb. 28.

According to the indictment, the scheme was led by James Linville, 44, of Clark County, Ind., who incorporated the Wounded Warrior Fund in 2011 and Wounded Warrior Foundation in 2014. He and three accomplices – Thomas Johnson, 42, and Joanie Watson, 38, along with Linville’s girlfriend Amy Lou Bennett, 40 – are under arrest, officials said. Three have pleaded guilty. The fourth was expected in court later Friday.
read more here

Navy researching surfing for PTSD, million dollar dud

When will they ever learn? Here goes another boatload of money on research for something they should already know helps veterans with PTSD.

What is even worse is, they should know that anything that helps calm down their bodies helps. That's right, anything!

Their suffering bodies are also part of what PTSD hits and they have to teach their bodies how to relax again. For some, it is music, art, meditation, martial arts, or even something as simple as taking a walk. In this story, it is getting on a surfboard.

Why is it that the military is so far behind on figuring all this out? After all, it is because of veterans coming home from war the results of traumatic events are understood. Those veterans came home over 40 years ago from Vietnam and they pushed for all the research done.

If any of these people in charge actually bothered to do some research on what has already been understood, we would have saved a lot more lives and a lot more money!

U.S. Navy study aims to see if surfing will help counteract PTSD
First Coast New
Janny Rodriguez
March 14, 2018

McCrossin said he struggled with survivor's guilt and he's still coping with his PTSD every day. Over time he found some relief in music and three years ago, he started surfing.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Navy is spending $1 million on a three-year study that's aimed to find out whether or not surfing can counteract with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Disabled Navy vet and avid surfer, Bill McCrossin, told First Coast News he is excited about the study.

"I love waking up before the sun and loading up the car trying to throw this 9-foot board into the car and then going to the beach," McCrossin said. "I started finding that therapeutic."

McCrossin said he has PTSD from his four years in the Navy. He joined 2001 right out of high school.

"[PTSD is] a living hell," he said. He said he didn't know how to ask or get help.

"You don't know what it is you're trying to reach it for because you can't verbalize it because you don't know what it is," he said.
read more here

PTSD: 81 percent of firefighters fear they will be seen as weak or unfit for duty

Firefighters, including Detroit crews, suffer from PTSD, other mental health issues as result of job
95 percent say they experience critical stress while working
Click On Detriot
By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor, Amber Ainsworth
March 15, 2018

The survey also found that 81 percent of firefighters fear they will be seen as weak or unfit for duty if they talk about the emotional toll of their job, and 87 percent said it keeps them from getting the help they need.

DETROIT - A survey conducted by NBC New York and the International Association of Firefighters found that firefighters are battling more than just fires.

Firefighters struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues.

"We suffer from the same challenges the general public does -- financial issues, marital issues. Now you compound that with the horror that we see every day, day in and day out. It adds up and eventually takes its toll," Jim Brinkely of the International Association of Firefighters said.

Ninety-five percent of the 7,000 surveyed said they experience critical stress on the job, and three quarters of the the firefighters said it leaves them with unresolved issues. Many of them, 71 percent, have trouble sleeping, and 65 percent of them are constantly haunted by bad memories.

"We're no different than someone on the battlefield [with] the death and the destruction that we witness," Derrick Foxhall, a 20-year-veteran of the Detroit Fire Department, said.
read more here

"This company was built by brothers helping brothers"

How This Former Marine Turned His PTSD Into a Multi-Million-Dollar Business in 60 Days
Javier Hasse
March 14, 2018
“I can tell you with certainty that I thought about killing myself more than once. And so did one of my best friends and former unit companion, Caleb Patton. It was the guys around us, who are now part of IPG, that saved us.” Hunter Garth

Hunter Garth, bearded, 27, seems to be as chill as they come. After all, he works with marijuana.

But this was not always the case.

Returning home after serving with the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan for four years was not easy. Readapting to civilian life was not easy. And, as you might imagine, overcoming the trauma of war was not easy--is it ever?

“During my life in deployment, I was hyper-exposed to trauma, but I really negated it all, telling myself that it was not that bad. I really took a tough guy approach while I was in the Marine Corps,” Garth reveals.

However, coming back home was a whole other issue. He could no longer live in denial. “My deployment had pretty extensive consequences. During my transitional period, I was not thinking right, I was not sleeping well, [and] I wasn’t handling things in an appropriate manner,” he continues.

Despite being among the lucky ones, counting on the support of friends and family at the time of his return, Garth marks the moment of getting out of the Marine Corps as the one where things really went South--not only for him but also for almost every one of his comrades. There was not a lot of time to process things in Afghanistan; back home, they were all alone with their thoughts.

“A few of the guys that I served with killed themselves; a few of them got in adrenaline-based accidents… Basically, we were all self-medicating and acting in a way that was incredibly dangerous as a group of people and as individuals.”
“This company was built by brothers helping brothers, and we intend to follow that path,” Patton adds.
read more here

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nine lost in two days

Seven U.S. service members killed in Iraq helicopter crash
NBC News
March 16, 2018

All seven service members aboard an American military helicopter that crashed in western Iraq late Thursday were killed, according to two U.S. military officials.

The crash of the U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter does not appear to be a result of enemy activity and the incident is under investigation, U.S. Central Command and military officials said.

"All personnel aboard were killed in the crash," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, the director of operations for the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition in Iraq and Syria.
read more here

2 FDNY Firefighters Among 7 Killed in U.S. Helicopter Crash in Iraq, Sources Say
An FDNY lieutenant and an FDNY fire marshal were among the seven service members killed when their U.S. helicopter crashed in Iraq, the FDNY announced Friday evening.
The department identified Lt. Christopher Raguso and Fire Marshal Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis as the 1,148th and 1,149th members of the FDNY to die in the line of duty. read more here

Navy identifies aviators killed in Florida Super Hornet crash
Published: March 16, 2018

The Navy has identified the two pilots killed when their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed into the sea near Key West, Fla., Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. Cmdr. James Brice Johnson and Lt. Caleb Nathaniel King — both assigned to the “Blacklions” of Strike Fighter Squadron 213 at Naval Air Station Oceana — died after the aircraft went down on final approach to Naval Air Station Key West at about 4:30 p.m. The squadron was conducting training in the area at the time.
read more here

Master Sgt. William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Fla

Staff Sgt. Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee

Capt. Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colo

Capt. Andreas B. O’Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, N.Y.

Capt. Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, N.Y.

Master Sgt. Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, N.Y.

Staff Sgt. Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.

Veterans left shaken after trying to save life

Veteran pushes through past experiences in effort to save an injured cyclist’s life
VAntage Point
Department of Veterans Affairs
Doré Mobley is a Communications Specialist with Patient Care Services
March 16, 2018

For VA employee and Veteran Eric Detrick, Feb. 11 began as a brisk Sunday under sunny blue skies – the perfect day for a 100-mile bike ride through California’s Coachella Valley known as the Tour de Palm Springs.

However, around mile 30, events took a turn that would leave Detrick emotionally shaken.

Detrick and two fellow Veterans Tom McMillen and Raul Portal were riding with Project Hero, a national non-profit therapeutic cycling program for Veterans and first responders when they came upon an accident (pictured above) where a driver lost control of his vehicle and collided with two cyclists. The group immediately rendered aid to the more seriously injured cyclist.

An Army medic who served two tours in Afghanistan, Detrick realized one of the cyclists wasn’t getting enough air, so he created an intubation tube from the hose of another cyclist’s hydration pack. Unfortunately, the cyclist’s injuries proved to be too extensive and later died at the scene.
read more here

Fitzgerald Survivors battle PTSD without brothers

Former Fitzgerald XO: Navy crew members battling PTSD after fatal collision
Navy Times
Geoff Ziezulewicz
March 15, 2018

Navy spokesman Cmdr. William Speaks said about 85 percent of the Fitz’s crew was reassigned when the ship went stateside for repairs and upgrades.
Sailors who survived the warship Fitzgerald's June collision with a merchant vessel off Japan are suffering from post-traumatic stress when returning to sea, according to Cmdr. Sean Babbitt, the ship's executive officer at the time, shown here two days after the disaster that killed seven sailors. Babbitt took command and led the crew in its efforts to bring the Fitz back to port under her own power. (MC2 Richard L.J. Gourley/Navy)
Many crew members of the destroyer Fitzgerald who survived the warship’s catastrophic collision with a merchant vessel last summer are experiencing post-traumatic stress after returning to sea, according to the ship’s former second-in-command.

Writing on the U.S. Naval Institute’s blog this week, former executive officer Cmdr. Sean Babbitt spoke of the lingering trauma the Fitz’s crew now face after fighting for survival and losing seven shipmates in June.

“While many of our sailors have returned to normal lives on board other ships, many have experienced relapses and manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) brought back by returning to sea,” Babbitt writes.

“I personally know of a number of sailors who served on board the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) who have held their hands up and said I need more help, and some of those sailors may never see a ship again.”
read more here