Friday, January 19, 2018

Trump Appointee Thinks PTSD Vets are Faking!

Trump appointee, former Navy SEAL, resigns after deriding military veterans with PTSD

The Washington Post
Published: January 18, 2018

An appointee of President Donald Trump has resigned from the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other service programs after remarks he made disparaging blacks, Muslims, gays, women, veterans with PTSD and undocumented immigrants surfaced in the news media.
Carl Higbie lasted less than six months as the chief of external affairs in the Corporation for National and Community Service.
In other audio unearthed by CNN, Higbie, a former Navy SEAL, derided military veterans with PTSD as having "a weak mind," and said he thought a large majority of people with PTSD were being dishonest. 
"I'd say 75 percent of people with PTSD don't actually have it, and they're either milking something for a little extra money in disability or they're just, they honestly are just lying," he said on another talk radio show in 2014.
Nonetheless, he was appointed to the position at the CNCS, which runs AmeriCorps and other volunteering initiatives, and has programs dedicated to rebuilding after natural disasters and supporting veterans and their families, including helping them transition once they return home. read more here and check back later on this

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Iowa Veterans Given Unproved PTSD Treatment?

It is stunning what comes out of some articles that you think may have absolutely nothing to do with veterans and then discover something like this!
"At the time, some mental health professionals were questioning the ministry's efforts to recruit hundreds of Iowa military veterans to participate in an unproven treatment program for post-traumatic stress disorder. “Operation Zhero” used unlicensed, volunteer counselors to provide free-of-charge counseling to soldiers who returned home from the war with PTSD."
You can read the rest of the article here 

State agency head fired; audit shows $380,000 of misspending

 The San Diego Union Tribune took a look at that group in 2016. The headline question was "Can faith help cure PTSD?

The answer to that question is, it can help them heal but not cure them. If I did not believe that, I would't have been invested in it for over 35 years. Point Man International Ministries would not have been invested in it for almost as long. It does work but only if it is done right.

The question in my mind right now is why would so many groups pop up around the country, claiming to be doing what has been done, and honestly, done right, for all these years? Especially when Point Man has been doing it with all generations of veterans and not like this...
"What he (Chad Robichaux) credits with saving him is faith. Now, his Temecula-based nonprofit group is part of a nationwide circle of Christianity-based programs focused on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as a generation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer the aftermath of combat." 
Maybe if they knew the majority of the veterans the VA knows about, were not OEF or OIF veterans, but over the age of 50, they would have done things differently. 

Congress wants to know why 4 top VA jobs still open

Senators call out Shulkin on VA’s unfilled top jobs
Published: January 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — Why four top jobs within the Department of Veterans Affairs remain unfilled nearly one year after President Donald Trump took office drew the attention of members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Wednesday as they questioned VA Secretary David Shulkin about the state of the agency.
VA Secretary David Shulkin raises his hand to take an oath before the start of a Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The VA, the second-largest federal department, is operating without permanent leaders for its benefits administration and large health care system. Also missing are its IT leader and the assistant secretary for the agency’s new accountability and whistleblower protection office. The leadership void came up at the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing, where Shulkin gave testimony on the “State of the VA.”

“One thing that concerns me deeply is the four positions that remain unfilled in the department,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the committee chairman. “I know you’re trying, but this is one of those things where an ‘A’ for effort isn’t enough.”

The job of undersecretary for benefits has been vacant since October 2015, when then-undersecretary Allison Hickey resigned after being implicated in a government watchdog report for helping two VA employees manipulate the department hiring system.

The VA created a commission last spring to choose a new undersecretary. Shulkin told senators Wednesday that the commission sent three names to the White House. Their first choice for the job withdrew, Shulkin said, and Trump’s administration is now vetting the second choice.
read more here

Senior Chief Brad stress reliever...retriever

Naval Base Uses Unique Strategy to Combat Suicides, Stress: A Dog
Fox News
By Terace Garnier
18 Jan 2018
There are only 29 dogs across the country with this ability, according to Kim Hyde, a manager with Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Sr. Chief Brad posing for the camera on Joint Base Andrews. (Fox News)
Every day, Senior Chief Brad greets sailors and Marines as they enter a military clinic for their regular doctor's appointments. Throughout the day, he makes his rounds and visits patients sitting in the waiting area, cuddling with them briefly. If he senses they are down, he takes action.

But he's no medical professional. He's a golden retriever yellow lab mix initially trained as a seeing-eye dog, a post-traumatic stress disorder therapy dog and, now, a stress dog.

As suicides across the military have steadily increased since 2013, according to the Department of Defense (DOD), a naval clinic on Joint Base Andrews in Maryland has found a secret weapon to sniff out military members dealing with extreme stress -- a dog.

When Senior Chief Brad senses someone is down, he instantly alerts his handler, Chief Bobby Long. Long, a medical technician, counsels the patient to figure out if they need professional help.

"People that need a little extra attention or are maybe showing signs of irritability, stress, depression, whatever it could be; he will really focus in on that person and then he wants my attention," Long said. "Some of the science behind that shows that dogs can pick up on pheromones that people emit when they are highly stressed and some science points to body language, cues that people leave."
read more here

How can you help a veteran with PTSD?

Not just a face in a crowd
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
January 16, 2018

How can you help a veteran with PTSD? The same way they were wounded in the first place. Whenever you see pictures of a wounded service member, you do not see massive crowds surrounding them. You see a few of the members of their own unit coming to help help. And that is how it needs to be done when the wound is cut deeply into their soul.

That is what Point Man International Ministries figured out over 3 decades ago. Treat them like a member of your family unit, know them like a brother or sister and then help them by standing by their side. Then they'll know they really matter.

It isn't good enough to say you understand what they are going through if you do not have a story to tell of your own. You need to be able to share your own struggles with the veteran you are trying to help. In a large group, it seems that everyone is competing to tell their tales as if it is a contest to win as the most miserable.

In small groups, it is more about sharing and caring on a personal level. You can share what caused your heartache and then share with them how you ended up feeling better about your life.

You can be an example of not giving up on yourself as much as you prove you will not give up on them as long as they do everything possible to heal themselves.

You can make sure you stay in contact with them, encourage them to take the steps they need to get where they need to be. 
read more here

Sailor saved from attempted suicide by crewmates

If the sailor was wondering how much his life was worth, the crew just let him know how much he does matter!

Sailor’s suicide attempt prompts heroic response by sub crew
NAVY Times
By: Geoff Ziezulewicz
January 17, 2018
“From gunshot to ambulance took about 7 hours,” Robinson said in the post. “We drove up the river in dense fog, in the dark of night, with intense rain and wind. It was the worst weather I’ve ever seen for something like this.”
The crew of the submarine North Dakota leapt into action after a petty officer attempted suicide by shooting himself in the chest. (Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Navy)

The crew of the submarine North Dakota raced through bad weather to save a shipmate’s life after an unidentified petty officer shot himself in the chest with his military-issued rifle while the vessel was underway, according to Navy officials and a post on the boat’s Facebook page.

Cmdr. Mark Robinson, the boat’s captain, praised his crew in the post for their feverish efforts on Friday to get the sailor back to land.

Corpsmen leapt into action to treat and stabilize the man’s injuries, while radiomen kept communications open in bad weather, allowing trauma doctors to remotely lend assistance, according to the post.
read more here

'Valhalla' PTSD relief in pro wrestling

'Valhalla' documentary shows vets finding PTSD relief in pro wrestling
WACo Tribune Herald
Carl Hoover
January 17, 2019

Professional wrestling means more than an evening’s entertainment for three Texas wrestlers, who say the sport and the physical training it demands keep them functioning despite post-traumatic stress disorder from their time in combat.
Three professional wrestlers and Army veterans share their story of how wrestling helps them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder in the film “Valhalla Club.” “Valhalla Club” photo

The three — Army veterans and wrestlers Jan Ohrstrom, John Brazier and Eddie Wittern — tell their story in the film “Valhalla Club” that makes its debut at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Waco Hippodrome.

The documentary, written and directed by Waco filmmaker R. Bradley Morris, evolved from a discussion between Ohrstrom and Wittern a few years ago, when both men shared their struggles with PTSD and how wrestling helped them cope with the stresses of dealing with their combat experiences in Iraq.

“It hit me: This is a story that needs to be told,” said Ohrstrom, 36.
read more here

PTSD facility in Aurora VA not happening now?

Veterans react to news of no PTSD facility when new Aurora VA opens
KDVR News FOX 31
Kristin Haubrich
January 17, 2018

"The hardest wound to overcome that I battle every day is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."  Ian Newland

DENVER -- Department of Veterans Affairs officials announced on Wednesday their new Aurora hospital will no longer have a post-traumatic stress disorder facility when they first open their doors.

FOX31 talked to veterans who are directly affected by the lack of a PTSD facility at the new campus and the delayed opening of the new VA.

“I was in the trail Humvee and an enemy insurgent threw a hand grenade through the top,” combat Army Veteran, Ian Newland said.

Newland’s body is full of shrapnel. He was nearly killed in Iraq in a grenade attack. Over the past decade, he’s overcome several physical wounds, but there’s one not so easy to heal.

“The hardest wound to overcome that I battle every day is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."

At his lowest point, Newland attempted to take his own life. He said his treatment for PTSD at the Denver VA, only worsened his situation.

“It reminds me of a grade school program. This is what PTSD is, this is how you suffer with it and this is what our text books say how you can overcome it. It did nothing for me. It actually exacerbated my PTSD and made it worse,” Newland said.

Newland traveled more than 300 miles to South Dakota where he received six months of cognitive therapy. He was told that same program would be offered at the new Aurora VA, but it turns out that program won’t be available when they first open.
read more here

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Reporter did something good and out popped a miracle

Generous donation allows former service member to bury his wife in accordance to his faith

“One of our members saw the original news clip concerning Mr. Gordon and was very moved,” Goldman said.
Goldman started making some calls. Next thing you know the Dorsey Earl Smith Memory Gardens Funeral Home and Cemetery in Lake Worth made a generous donation.
and now go here for the rest of the article you really have to read for yourself. Great example of what happens when the press does something for the sake of helping...and out pops a miracle!

Death of Fort Riley Soldier Under Investigation

Fort Riley soldier found dead off post
Military Times
Charlsy Panzino
January 17, 2018

A Fort Riley soldier was found dead in an off-post residence on Monday, according to the Army.

Spc. Hunter Schmidtke, an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, was found unresponsive in the home in Junction City, Kansas.
read more here