Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lightning strike injures12 Fort Carson Soldiers

UPDATE August 4, 2012
Soldiers released from hospital after lightning strike

UPDATE
Lightning at Base Leaves 12 Soldiers Hurt
FORT CARSON, Colo.
August 1, 2013 (AP)

One soldier was in serious condition Thursday and another was in stable condition, but 10 others were released from the hospital after lightning struck near them during a training exercise, officials at Fort Carson said.

The 12 soldiers had been in training but were heading toward shelter when the lightning struck Wednesday afternoon, Army officials said. Medics who were present for the training treated them until emergency responders arrived.

Ten of the soldiers were released from the hospital Wednesday evening.
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12 soldiers hurt in Colorado lightning strike
From Carma Hassan
CNN
August 1, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
One soldier is in critical condition, Fort Carson says
12 soldiers are injured after a lightning strike from a fast-moving storm
Spokeswoman: "The lightning struck before they were able to get sheltered"


(CNN) -- A lightning strike from a fast-moving storm in Colorado injured 12 soldiers on Wednesday.

One is in critical condition, and the other 11 are in stable condition, Fort Carson said in a statement.

The soldiers had been training Wednesday afternoon when they were notified of lightning in the area.
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Iraq War veteran preserves his stories for Library of Congress

Bomb disposal vet from Iraq War preserves his stories for Library of Congress
Florida Times Union
By Matt Soergel
Posted: July 29, 2013

ST. AUGUSTINE - Tim Fredericksen — tall, muscular, looking every bit the elite ex-military man he once was — leaned forward in an armchair to tell some of his war stories.

He got through the details fine: where he grew up, when he served, the tough training. How it was all he ever wanted to do, how he went to an Army recruiting office the minute he got out of his California high school, how that was the easiest day that recruiter ever had.

Then he told of coming to Iraq for the first time: the U.S. air base under fire as his plane landed, the blazing heat, the unfamiliar sounds of a country at war.

His memories ambushed him. His voice faltered. Tears came.

George McLatchey handed over a box of tissues and turned off the recorder that was capturing those war stories. Fredericksen wiped his eyes. “Sorry about that.”

McLatchey spoke gently in reply. “Tim, you don’t need to apologize.”

Moments later, he turned the recorder back on, and Fredericksen, with a tissue in his hand, started talking again. For 56 minutes, he told his stories — funny ones, sad ones, horrific ones — which will now be preserved for future generations, future historians.
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Jesse McCartney talks about portraying PTSD soldier on Army Wives

Jesse McCartney talks touring with BSB, 'Army Wives': 5 highlights
by OnTheRedCarpet.com Staff
07/30/2013

With a role on "Army Wives," new music and a tour, Jesse McCartney is having a busy year.

The actor and singer recently spoke to OTRC.com correspondent Tony Cabrera about joining The Backstreet Boys for their "In A World Like This Tour," starting on August 2 in Chicago. McCartney also chatted about his new music, how preparing for his role on "Army Wives" was life-changing and his charitable work with City of Hope.
Preparing for his 'Army Wives' role was life-changing.

"The top of this year I was in South Carolina for about five months. I was working on a show called 'Army Wives.' It was in its seventh season, they brought me in. I played a young Army recruit straight out of high school who gets shipped over to Afghanistan to fight and, really sweet kid," McCartney said of his character on the show. "Just happy to be there. Trying to make friends with everyone. Doesn't really know quite what he's doing, but he just knows he wants to fight for his country."

McCartney's character,Tim Truman, goes through a traumatic experience during the war and begins to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"I got to sit down with a lot of ex-military who have actually struggled with PTSD and I heard some unbelievable stories that were kind of life-changing," he said about preparing for his role. "It was great to really shed some light on an issue like this, 'cause I feel like most of America doesn't realize what these soldiers go through and that most of the time the war really starts when they come home."
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Iraq veteran goes from combat to cheerleading

Arizona Cardinals cheerleader an Iraq veteran
Welter’s amazing journey to the NFL
USA Today
By NICK SCHWARTZ
July 30, 2013

Arizona Cardinals cheerleader Megan Welter didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming an NFL cheerleader, and her professional experience before joining the Cardinals wasn’t exactly ordinary — Welter came to the sidelines after spending 16 months in Iraq.
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Former Navy SEALs set to swim to raise awareness of combat PTSD

Former Navy SEALs to swim across Lake Norman to raise awareness
WCNC News
by KATIE KILLEN
NBC Charlotte Staff
Posted on July 31, 2013

"If it takes me doing something crazy like swimming 12 miles in Lake Norman to raise awareness for these guys, then I feel obligated to do so."
LAKE NORMAN, N.C. -- Two former Navy SEALs are set to swim more than 12 miles across Lake Norman Friday.

The swim is raising awareness for Operation Restored Warrior, a program in Colorado that works with veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Mooresville resident and former US Navy SEAL Shannon Rusch and friend and fellow SEAL Rich Graham will take off from Queen's Landing at 10 a.m.

They'll then swim the 12. 2 miles to the Rusty Rudder, a lakeside restaurant. Rusch estimates it will take the two men six to eight hours.

"It's going to be difficult, no matter how you cut it. So, it's just going to be one of those things, you commit to it and then go out and do it," he said.

Rusch and Iredell County resident Randy Millwood came up with the idea for the swim. Millwood is a former Air Force pilot and said both men were looking for a way to lend a hand to Operation Restored Warrior and the veterans that the program helps.
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Soldiers Say Army Ignores, Punishes Mental Anguish

Soldiers Say Army Ignores, Punishes Mental Anguish
NPR
July 30, 2013

Army studies show that at least 20 percent to 25 percent of the soldiers who have served in Iraq display symptoms of serious mental-health problems, including depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Administration officials say there are extensive programs to heal soldiers both at home and in Iraq.

But an NPR investigation at Colorado’s Ft. Carson has found that even those who feel desperate can have trouble getting the help they need. In fact, evidence suggests that officers at Ft. Carson punish soldiers who need help, and even kick them out of the Army.

Soldier Tyler Jennings says that when he came home from Iraq last year, he felt so depressed and desperate that he decided to kill himself. Late one night in the middle of May, his wife was out of town, and he felt more scared than he’d felt in gunfights in Iraq. Jennings says he opened the window, tied a noose around his neck and started drinking vodka, “trying to get drunk enough to either slip or just make that decision.”

Five months before, Jennings had gone to the medical center at Ft. Carson, where a staff member typed up his symptoms: “Crying spells… hopelessness… helplessness… worthlessness.” Jennings says that when the sergeants who ran his platoon found out he was having a breakdown and taking drugs, they started to haze him. He decided to attempt suicide when they said that they would eject him from the Army.
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Fort Wainwright soldier died in boating accident

Soldier dies after boat flips on Klutina River
Associated Press
July 30, 2013

Officials say a 23-year-old soldier based at Alaska’s Fort Wainwright has died in a boating accident in the Copper Center area.

The Army says Pfc. Christopher Covington of Temple Hills, Md., died after the mishap Saturday on the Klutina River. An autopsy will be conducted by the state medical examiner’s office.

Alaska State Troopers say Covington and fellow Fort Wainwright soldiers – 23-year-old George Brady and 39-year-old Columbus Jones Jr. – and Jones’ 11-year-old son, Columbus Jones III, were fishing on a jet boat operated by the elder Jones.
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Pfc. Bradley Manning faces up to 136 years in prison

Manning Faces Upward of 136 Years in Jail
Military.com
by Michael Hoffman
Jul 31, 2013

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning will return to a military courtroom Wednesday facing up to 136 years in jail after he was convicted of espionage charges Tuesday. However, he will not face life in jail without parole after the judge acquitted him of aiding the enemy -- the most serious of the 21 charges.

Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs told supporters at Fort Meade, Md., after the verdict was read that “we won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” referring to the sentencing phase of the trial.

Unlike most civilian courts, sentencing hearings typically start immediately following a verdict in a court-martial. Military lawyers who have watched this case told Military.com that plenty is yet to be determined in terms of Manning’s fate and the precedent that will be set by this case.

Army Col. Denise Lind, the judge in the case, convicted Manning on 19 of 21 charges, including espionage and theft three years after Manning handed over classified information to WikiLeaks, a website founded by Julian Assange. WikiLeaks then posted the information on the Internet.

Manning collected and distributed to the website more than 700,000 battlefield reports and diplomatic cables, as well as a video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed civilians in Iraq. The pilots in the film referred to the targets as “dead bastards.”
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Marine and wife team up to save lives

Sgt. Richard Skates saves 4 lives after car accident
KDSK News
Brandle Piper
July 30, 2013

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (KSDK) - A soldier form O'Fallon, Mo., stationed in California, saved the lives of four people involved in a car accident earlier this month.

Sgt. Richard Skates, 25, is an amphibious assault vehicle crewman. He and his wife, Jacqueline, and child were driving on an exit ramp from state Route 78 to Interstate Highway 5 July 9 when they noticed an overturned vehicle in a ditch. It was standing son its end.

Skates said he could hear the crash victims yelling for help, so he reached into the back of the vehicle and pulled two children out, and then a teenager from the passenger seat.
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also

Soldier Saves Teens from Burning Vehicle
Army.mil/News
by Maj. Penny Zamora
Jul 25, 2013

NINEVEH, Ind. -- It was a scene from a parent's worst nightmare: a car full of teens had hit a tree head on, and the car was now on fire. Thanks to Staff Sgt. Michael Peters and his wife, Debra, all the teens survived and are on the road to recovery.

Peters and Debra were driving home from work at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, or CAJMTC, Ind., on July 19, 2013, when they came upon a car accident moments after it occurred. A 15-year old passenger had gotten out of the vehicle, but the three other teens, aged 14, 16, and 18, were still inside.
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Florida National Guard Medical Evacuation Training

Florida National Guard Medical Evacuation Training
Jul 26, 2013

Guardsmen from the Florida National Guard's 256th Area Medical Support Company along with members of the 1-111th Aviation Regiment, train on medical evacuations at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. Story by Army Staff Sgt. Derrol Fulghum.

Vietnam Veteran's Daughter Struggles to Make Sense of PTSD

A Daughter Struggles to Make Sense of PTSD
The California Report
State of Health

He tried committing suicide when I was 11 years old. And we saw it as a huge cry for help because he did it in the parking lot of the VA hospital in Loma Linda.
Twenty-one-year old Caitlin Bryant lost her father, Richard Lewis Bryant, to a heart attack in 2008. But she and her brother Mitchell had grown up watching him battle a war within himself after returning from serving in Vietnam. As part of our first-person series What’s Your Story, Caitlin Bryant describes what her family’s life was like, living with her father’s illness.

My dad suffered really badly from PTSD -– post-traumatic stress disorder. And that was due to the traumatic things that he had seen in the war and he never really sought proper treatment.

“He tried committing suicide when I was 11 years old. And we saw it as a huge cry for help because he did it in the parking lot of the VA hospital.”He just never seemed comfortable. He never seemed at peace. He always seemed like he was trying to relax and he could never fully relax.
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Patriot Guard Riders escorting MOH Colonel George Everette “Bud” Day last ride

Colonel George Everette “Bud” Day, 88
USMC, USAR, USAF
WW II, Korea, Vietnam
Fort Walton Beach, FL
1 August 2013

The Patriot Guard Riders have been asked to stand in honor of, and escort Colonel George Everette “Bud” Day, a true American hero. We will stand a flag line for visitation at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy., Ft. Walton Beach, FL (Okaloosa Island). Visitation is scheduled from 0900 – 1100 hours on 1 August 2013. Escort (LEO led) to Barrancas National Cemetery will commence at or around 1230 hours. Travis Watkins Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Day was born in Sioux City Iowa, on February 24, 1925. In 1942, he dropped out of Central High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served 30 months in the North Pacific during World War II as a member of a 5 in (130 mm) gun battery with the 3rd Defense Battalion on Johnston Island but he never saw combat. Following his service in World War II, Day joined the Army Reserve and received a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Iowa Air National Guard in 1950, and was called to active duty in 1951 for Undergraduate Pilot Training in the U.S. Air Force. He served two tours as a fighter-bomber pilot during the Korean War flying the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. Promoted to captain, he decided to make the Air Force a career and was augmented into the Regular Air Force. He then transitioned to the F-100 Super Sabre in 1957 while stationed at RAF Wethersfield in the United Kingdom.

Anticipating retirement in 1968 and now a major, Day volunteered for a tour in Vietnam and was assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tuy Hoa Air Base in April 1967. At that time, he had more than 5,000 flying hours, with 4,500 of them in fighters. On June 25, 1967, with extensive previous service flying two tours in F-100s, Major Day was made the first commander of Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Phu Cat Air Base.Under the project name "Commando Sabre", twin-seat USAF F-100Fs were evaluated as a Fast Forward Air Control ("Fast FAC") aircraft in high threat areas, given that F-4 Phantom II aircraft were in high demand for strike and Combat Air Patrol (CAP) roles. Using the call sign Misty, the name of Day's favorite song, his detachment of four two-seat F-100Fs and 16 pilots became pioneer "Fast FACs" (Forward Air Controllers) over Laos and North Vietnam. All Misty FAC crews were volunteers with at least 100 combat missions in Vietnam and 1,000 minimum flight hours. Tours in Commando Sabre were temporary and normally limited to four months or about 50-60 missions.

On August 26, 1967, Major Day was flying F-100F-15-NA, AF Serial No. 56-3954, call sign "Misty 01", on his 26th Fast FAC sortie, directing a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs in an air strike against a surface-to-air missile (SAM) site north of Thon Cam Son and west of Dong Hoi, 20 mi (32 km) north of the DMZ in North Vietnam. Day was on his 65th mission into North Vietnam and acting as check pilot for Captain Corwin M. "Kipp" Kippenhan, who was upgrading to aircraft commander. 37 mm antiaircraft fire crippled the aircraft, forcing the crew to eject. In the ejection, Day's right arm was broken in three places when he struck the side of the cockpit, and he also experienced eye and back injuries.

Kippenhan was rescued by a USAF HH-3E, but Day was unable to contact the rescue helicopter by survival radio and was quickly captured by North Vietnamese local militia. On his fifth night, when he was still within 20 mi (32 km) of the DMZ, Day escaped from his initial captors despite his serious injuries. Although stripped of both his boots and flight suit, Day crossed the Demilitarized Zone back into South Vietnam, becoming the only U.S. prisoner of war to escape from North Vietnam. Within 2 mi (3 km) of the U.S. Marine firebase at Con Thien and after 12–15 days of evading, he was captured again, this time by a Viet Cong patrol that wounded him in the leg and hand with gunfire.

Taken back to his original camp, Day was tortured for escaping, breaking his right arm again. He then was moved to several prison camps near Hanoi, where he was periodically beaten, starved, and tortured. In December 1967, Day shared a cell with Navy Lieutenant Commander and future Senator and presidential candidate John McCain. Air Force Major Norris Overly nursed both back to health, and McCain later devised a makeshift splint of bamboo and rags that helped heal Day's seriously atrophied arm.

On March 14, 1973, Day was released after five years and seven months as a North Vietnamese prisoner. Within three days Day was reunited with his wife, Doris Sorensen Day, and four children at March Air Force Base, California. On March 4, 1976, President Gerald Ford awarded Day the Medal of Honor for his personal bravery while a captive in North Vietnam.

Day had been promoted to Colonel while a prisoner, and decided to remain in the Air Force in hopes of being promoted to Brigadier General. Although initially too weak to resume operational flying, he spent a year in physical rehabilitation and with 13 separate medical waivers, was returned to active flying status. He underwent conversion training to the F-4 Phantom II and was appointed vice commander of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

After being passed over for nomination to brigadier general, Day retired from active duty in 1977 to resume practicing law in Florida. At his retirement he had nearly 8,000 total flying hours, 4,900 in single engine jets, and had flown the F-80 Shooting Star, F-84 Thunderjet, F-100 Super Sabre, F-101 Voodoo, F-104 Starfighter, F-105 Thunderchief, F-106 Delta Dart, F-4 Phantom II, A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair II, CF-5 Tiger and F-15 Eagle jet fighters.ppointed vice commander of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Following his retirement, Day wrote an autobiographical account of his experiences as a prisoner of war, Return with Honor, followed by Duty, Honor, Country, which updated his autobiography to include his post-Air Force years.

Colonel Day’s awards and decorations include the Congressional Medal of Honor, Air Force Cross, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Start with Valor Device and three bronze oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with silver and four bronze oak leaf clusters, Presidential Unit Citation with three bronze oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and three bronze oak leaf clusters, Prisoner of War Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two silver and three bronze service stars, Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver oak leaf cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, National Order of Vietnam Commander Badge, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Award, United Nations Service Medal for Korea and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

PTSD Veteran says Veterans Court gave him a chance to live

'They gave me a chance to live:' Veterans Court produces first graduate
The Star Press
Written by Andrew Walker
Jul. 31, 2013

MUNCIE — Joshua Rogers learned his cellphone was his worst enemy as he began the long road to recovery from his chronic problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Rogers — a veteran of both the Army and Navy — said there were certain go-to contacts in his phone that would encourage drug and alcohol use to help him numb his pain.

So, one by one, Rogers went through his phone and deleted the contacts he’d later call his “bad influences.” When he was done, 72 people were cut out of his life.

Over the next few months, however, Rogers was able to add 42 new contacts to his phone — names of family members, new friends and other veterans who had his best interests at heart.

On Monday, in another huge step forward in his recovery, Rogers graduated from the Delaware County Veterans Court, a system aimed at directing eligible military veterans in trouble with the law to services, including treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Afghanistan veteran Robert Kislow III fired the fatal shots in the home that volunteers built

Robert Kislow III fired the fatal shots in the home that volunteers built. He was wounded in combat by body and mind. He was also loved. According to the following news account, Robert also attempted suicide before this horrible ending. What went wrong? Why did he survive every wound during combat but could not survive being back home with the woman he planned to marry, his children and an entire community that showed up to build his home? His future mother-in-law is dead now and he ended his own pain with a bullet. This is a strong example of how much these men and women are failed when they come home.
Authorities say Afghanistan War vet killed fiancee's mom, self
Robert Kislow III fired the fatal shots in the home that volunteers built for him.
The Morning Call
By Pamela Lehman and Bill Landauer
July 30, 2013

In 2005, Robert Kislow III survived enemy gunfire in Afghanistan. One bullet cut through his helmet, snaking a path on the back of his head. Other shots shattered his wrist and ankle.

A year after that attack, which ultimately cost him part of a leg, the anger, pain and anguish from his injuries plunged him into depression, leading him to abuse prescription drugs and attempt suicide, the Army veteran from East Allen Township said in a 2008 interview.

He believed his life was on an upswing in 2011 when his son was born. That same day, he wept as he thanked more than 100 volunteers from Homes for Our Troops gathered to build his young family a house near the base of Blue Mountain in Moore Township.

But just before midnight Monday at the home tucked in a wooded lot, authorities say, Kislow shot and killed his fiancee's mother and then turned the handgun on himself. His fiancee, Amanda Snyder, their son and baby girl were also inside at the time of the shootings. They were not injured, police say.

He was wounded while on patrol east of Kabul on June 10, 2005. The 19-year-old private first class waved and smiled at a man he thought was a civilian, but quickly discovered "it was a trap," the article says. "The guy's buddy rose up from the bushes and shot me five times."

Kislow suffered gunshot wounds to the back of his head, ankle, elbow, back and side. The bullet in his head was later removed, but he said the damage caused a traumatic brain injury. His right leg was eventually amputated just below the knee, and he lost most of the movement in his right hand and wrist.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Third of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans thought of committing suicide

Frankly I am appalled! How can the national news stations pay no attention to any of this when they are on the air 24-7 and manage to cover other stories all the time?
Newest veterans say suicide is their biggest challenge
USA Today
Gregg Zoroya
July 30, 2013

The nation's newest combat veterans -- those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan -- say the biggest challenge facing their generation is suicide, according to a survey by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

About 3,000 active-duty troops have killed themselves since 2001. The annual tally of these deaths climbs each year. And those numbers often don't include servicemembers who are part of the National Guard or Reserve.

Moreover, the Department of Veterans Affairs has uncovered evidence that this self-destructive trend is following many young veterans after they leave the service, adding to an estimated tally of some 22 suicides per day among veterans of all ages.

"The fact that so many of our members know someone that has tried to commit suicide or that had mental health issues really underscores the seriousness of this problem," says Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for the association.

The survey by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America were based on about 4,000 veterans who responded to a survey the association sent to its 120,000 members in February.

About a third of respondents said they had considered taking their own life at some point. A slightly larger percentage said they knew someone who had committed suicide. Forty-five percent say they know an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who has attempted suicide. Two-thirds say they have veteran friends who need mental health counseling.
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More bad news as Military Suicides increase

Army Releases June 2013 Suicide Information

The Army released suicide data today for the month of June 2013. During June, among active-duty soldiers, there were 14 potential suicides: four have been confirmed as suicides and 10 remain under investigation.

 For May 2013, the Army reported 12 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers: two have been confirmed as suicides and 10 are under investigation.

For CY 2013, there have been 77 potential active-duty suicides: 42 have been confirmed as suicides and 35 remain under investigation.

Updated active-duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 185 (166 have been confirmed as suicides and 19 remain under investigation).

During June 2013, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 8 potential suicides (4 Army National Guard and 4 Army Reserve): none have been confirmed as suicides and eight remain under investigation.

For May 2013, among that same group, the Army reported 10 potential suicides; however, subsequent to the report, 4 more cases were added bringing May’s total to 14 (11 Army National Guard and 3 Army Reserve): two have been confirmed as a suicide and 12 cases remain under investigation.

For CY 2013, there have been 81 potential not on active duty suicides (51 Army National Guard and 30 Army Reserve): 40 have been confirmed as suicides and 41 remain under investigation.

 Updated not on active duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 140 (93 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve): 138 have been confirmed as suicides and two remain under investigation.

Another Vietnam Vet passed away, but lives to tell VA he isn't dead yet

Veteran speaks out after Dept. of Veteran's Affairs claims he's dead
WANE.com
Megan Reust
Updated: Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A local veteran and his wife are in disbelief and want answers. Over the weekend, they got an official letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating his benefits were coming to an end because he was dead. The only problem is the information's wrong - he's alive.

Veteran Jim Mitsch, who the VA claims is dead, spoke exclusively with NewsChannel Monday. He said when he checked the mail Saturday and saw an envelope from the VA addressed to his wife it raised his eyebrows. After looking it over he said they couldn't believe what was right before their eyes. And the date the VA claimed he died made things even more frightening.

"They have you listed as dying on July 5, 2013 which coincidentally was July 5, 1967 that I thought that I really did die when we were ambushed. My squad was ambushed," veteran Jim Mitsch said.

Mitsch served in Vietnam. He said he was one of the few who made it out alive that day after being attacked.
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Medal of Honor Hero Staff Sgt. Ty Carter talks about having PTSD

Staff Sgt. Ty Cater knows what it is like to wake up with PTSD because of combat. He also knows what it is like to be on the road to healing it. He wants to help others because he understands the pain they are in.
Medal of Honor recipient, formerly of Fort Carson, wants to help eliminate PTSD stigma
The Gazzette
By Erin Prater
July 29, 2013
Carter said he struggles with PTSD, though counseling has helped. He spoke about a comrade who died because of PTSD and called the condition "a combat wound."

"It's something that needs time to heal," he said. "The best way to do it is to use the facilities that the Army provides. The stigma is slowly going away, but I'm just worried about the new soldier who's trying to prove themselves by not seeking help."
A former Fort Carson soldier who will be awarded the Medal of Honor next month is hoping to de-stigmatize post-traumatic stress disorder by speaking about his own struggles with it.

Staff Sgt. Ty Carter will receive the medal for heroic actions at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan during an Oct. 3, 2009, battle with hundreds of insurgents who tried to overtake the outpost, the White House said Friday in a press release.

At the time of the battle, Carter was assigned to the 3rd Squadron of the 61st Cavalry Regiment, part of Fort Carson's 4th Brigade Combat Team.

Speaking in a live webcast Monday from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where he is stationed, Carter, 33, told reporters he was transitioning to a cadre position at the base's Warrior Transition Battalion for soldiers with serious injuries and long-term illnesses when he learned he would receive the medal.
During the Oct. 3, 2009, battle, Carter risked his life repeatedly, running through gunfire to grab ammunition and supplies for comrades and then to rescue Spc. Stephan Mace, who was wounded and pinned down. Others had tried to reach Mace and died in the attempt.

Mace died after he was pulled to an aid station by Carter and others.
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Ty M. Carter to receive Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan

Firefighters battle massive explosion in Tavares Florida

7 hurt in plant explosions at Blue Rhino in Tavares
WESH News Multiple explosions from propane plant rock area
Jul 30, 2013

The plant contained about 53,000 20-pound propane cylinders, Herrell said.
TAVARES, Fla.

Propane explosions at the Blue Rhino LP gas plant rocked the Tavares area on Monday night, injuring seven people.

A massive emergency response was called to the plant, which is located at the 300 block of County Road 448, after multiple injuries were reported.

All employees on staff at the time of the explosion were accounted for by 2 a.m., Lake County spokesman John Herrell said.

"Plant management is comfortable saying they are accounted for," Herrell said.

Seven people were hurt -- some of them critically injured, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

"It's very, very dramatic. It's surreal," Herrell said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families."
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Iowa Mayor-National Guardsman blows whistle on spending

Soldier-mayor blows the whistle on war fraud
The Des Moines Register
By Kyle Munson
July 29, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, IOWA — Leave it to a stubborn, small-town Iowa mayor to step up and help Congress thwart fraud in its decade-long, $100 billion reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan.

George Toubekis, an Iowa Army National Guard sergeant first class, spent most of the last year stationed in the landlocked nation.

Today he’s back home in University Park, an obscure suburban bump on the southeast side of Oskaloosa that occupies less than one square, hilly mile of Iowa soil. Toubekis, 37, is mayor here of fewer than 500 residents and oversees a modest annual budget of about $100,000.

The mini-putt golf course qualifies as a major business. The big issue is the $783,675 reconstruction of a main road that runs eight-tenths of a mile all the way across town, 80 percent of which will be federally funded.
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Call from VA saved veteran's life

Syracuse veteran saved by emergency phone call from VA
Standard-Examiner
By Jamie Lampros
correspondent
07/29/2013

SYRACUSE — Larry Kerr finally decided to answer one of the insistent phone calls from the Veterans Administration. It’s a good thing he did. That phone call saved his life from a potentially deadly heart condition.

Kerr, 65, was home sleeping last week when his phone rang around 10 a.m. He thought it was just the hospital calling to tell him about an appointment they had set up for him.

“I figured they would leave a message, but they didn’t. They called again. And then they started calling my cellphone,” he said.

The phone call was from a physician at the VA, telling him he needed to get to the emergency room immediately.

“He said, ‘I’ve called 911. You need to get there right now. Right now,’” Kerr said.

Within minutes, the Syracuse and Layton fire, police and EMS were at his door, along with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office. They got Kerr out of bed and transported him to Davis Hospital and Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, a fast and irregular heart rhythm and the leading cause of sudden cardiac death.
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Army veteran, police officer and Mom died on training exercise

Wheeling police officer was a veteran and mother
Daily Herald
By Deborah Donovan
7/29/2013

The Wheeling police officer who died Saturday after collapsing during a training exercise two days earlier was a decorated Army veteran with service in Kuwait and Iraq, as well as the mother of a 13-year-old daughter, the department said today.

A wake and service for Shamekia Goodwin-Badger, 33, will take place from 3-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Kolssak Funeral Home in Wheeling.

Goodwin-Badger joined the Wheeling department in 2008 after four years as an officer in Hawthorn Woods.

"The loss of Officer Badger has deeply shaken all members of the Wheeling Department," Chief William Benson said in a statement released today. "She was an officer who could handle any situation, displaying a calm, firm demeanor, but also one that was compassionate and understanding."

Goodwin-Badger worked the midnight shift with specialties as a youth officer and evidence technician.
read more here

Schofield soldier dies in skydiving incident

Schofield soldier dies in skydiving incident
Associated Press
Jul. 28, 2013

HONOLULU — A Honolulu skydiver who died after losing consciousness while jumping from a plane was a decorated Army veteran.

Hawaii News Now reported Friday that 30-year-old Capt. Martin Monahan had been assigned to Schofield Barracks since 2010.

Monahan was practicing a maneuver when he attempted to jump over Dillingham Airfield on Tuesday.
read more here

Gen. James Amos accused of interfering in military sexual assaults cases

Top Marine Gen. James Amos is accused of interfering in sex assault, desecration cases
The Washington Times
By Rowan Scarborough
July 28, 2013

A military judge did something extraordinary last summer when he ordered the Marine Corps‘ top officer to submit sworn statements in a sexual assault case.

The answers from the commandant, Gen. James F. Amos, have some in Marine legal circles wondering whether he told the full truth.

Gen. Amos, a Joint Chiefs of Staff member, faces charges from defense attorneys that his words and actions have unleashed a wave of unlawful command influence over jurors who venerate the commandant.

A fellow general said the commandant ordered him to “crush” Marine defendants in the desecration cases of those caught on videotape urinating on Taliban corpses. Defense attorneys call that order blatant, illegal command interference.

The Defense Department inspector general has begun an investigation of Gen. Amos based on a whistleblower complaint filed by Maj. James Weirick, a staff attorney at the Marine base at Quantico, Va., who saw what he considered illegal interference. IG investigators have interviewed Maj. Weirick and several senior generals. A Marine spokesman said the commandant denies any wrongdoing, is committed to giving defendants fair treatment and looks forward to litigating the charges in court.
read more here

Medal of Honor Vietnam Hero Col. Bud Day passed away at 88

Col. Bud Day, Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies at 88
Associated Press
by Jennifer Kay and Melissa Nelson-Gabriel
Jul 29, 2013

MIAMI -- Retired Col. George "Bud" Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam and was Arizona Sen. John McCain's cellmate, has died at the age of 88, his widow said Sunday.

Day, one of the most highly decorated U.S. servicemen since Gen. Douglas MacArthur and later a tireless advocate for veterans' rights, died Saturday surrounded by family at his home in Shalimar, after a long illness, his wife, Doris Day said.

"He would have died in my arms if I could have picked him up," she said.

Day received the Medal of Honor for escaping his captors for 10 days after the aircraft he was piloting was shot down over North Vietnam. In all, he earned more than 70 medals during service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was an enlisted Marine serving in the Pacific during World War II and an Air Force pilot in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

In Vietnam, he was McCain's cellmate at one camp known as the Plantation and later in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where he was often the highest-ranking captive. During his imprisonment, the once-muscular, 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Day was hung by his arms for days, tearing them from their sockets. He was freed in 1973 - a skeletal figure of the once dashing fighter pilot. His hands and arms never functioned properly again.
read more here

Why is the press silent on military suicides?

Why is the press silent on military suicides?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 29, 2013

This is really deplorable. This is the end of July. So far this month the Department of Defense released the number of suicides for April and May on the 18th. They still have not released the June deaths by suicide. Why? Why hasn't the press been interested in even asking or reminding the public this information has been withheld?

For April there are 6 still under investigation and May Army report has 12 remaining under investigation. April, 17 cases remain under investigation for Army National Guards and Army Reserves and 10 for May.

The Suicide Event Report for 2012 has not been released. This report contains suicides by branch, means, demographics and the number of attempted suicides. Why is there a delay in releasing this? The numbers are from last year!

As bad as all of this is, families are still waiting for the outcome of investigations.
They still don't have answers from last year.
Active-duty suicide numbers for calendar year (CY) 2012: 183 (162 have been confirmed as suicides and 21 remain under investigation).


Not on active duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 140 (93 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve). Of these, 138 have been confirmed as suicides and two remain under investigation.


Do they matter or not? It seems as if every newspaper and TV station is ready to jump on whatever crumb of information the DOD is willing to release but to this day few have bothered to stay on top of any of this. Why hasn't the press actually asked for some accountability on this? Why haven't they asked for answers from the DOD or Congress?

Families feel forgotten and that their suffering just doesn't matter. They sent their sons and daughters off prepared for the fact it could be the last time they see them. They are not expecting to have to bury them after they came home from combat. They don't expect to have to bury them after they have been discharged from risking their lives.

What is going on and who is asking in their name?

UPDATE

Obama: In America, no War Should Ever Be Forgotten
Associated Press
by Darlene Superville
Jul 28, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Six decades after the Korean War ended, President Barack Obama said Saturday that American veterans deserved a better homecoming from a war-weary nation and that their legacy is the 50 million people who live freely in a democratic South Korea.

"Here in America, no war should ever be forgotten, and no veteran should ever be overlooked," he said in a speech at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, where ceremonies marked the 60th anniversary of the end of hostilities on the peninsula.

Obama said the conflict didn't unite or divide the country the same way World War II or the Vietnam War did, respectively, and that U.S. veterans came home to neither parades nor protests because "there was, it seemed, a desire to forget, to move on" by Americans tired of battle.

But they "deserved better," Obama said, adding that, on Saturday's anniversary, "perhaps the highest tribute we can offer our veterans of Korea is to do what should have been done the day you came home."

He appealed for people to pause and let these veterans "carry us back to the days of their youth and let us be awed by their shining deeds." In the audience of several thousand on a sunny and humid morning were dozens of American and Korean veterans of the war. Obama asked them to stand and be recognized.
read more here


President Obama is Commander-in-Chief but he isn't demanding any answer either.

Soldier's parents horrified to learn son's widow had sold medal online

Hero soldier's parents forced to buy back his posthumous gallantry medal after his widow sells it on Gumtree for just £500 - without even telling them
Daily Mail
By KERRY MCDERMOTT
29 July 2013

Fusilier Simon Annis, 22, killed by a bomb in Helmand in 2009
Wife Caroline presented with posthumous Elizabeth Cross as next of kin
Soldier's parents horrified to learn son's widow had sold medal online
Pete and Ann Annis have bought it back from new owner for £2,457
Soldier's widow is understood to be in a new relationship

'Insulting': Fusilier Annis' morther Ann said she would
have re-mortgaged
her house to get her son's medal back
The parents of a young soldier killed in Afghanistan have told of their disgust after his widow sold a medal honouring his sacrifice on Gumtree.

Fusilier Simon Annis' wife Caroline was presented with the posthumous Elizabeth Cross - given to the next of kin of soldiers killed in action - after he died in an explosion in Helmand in 2009 at just 22.

She has now been branded 'callous' by the soldier's parents, after she sold it for £500 through the website without even offering it to them.

The couple have now paid out £2,457 to its new owner in order to get their son's Elizabeth Cross back.

'It's as if my boy's life meant nothing to her,' Ann Annis told the newspaper, adding: 'It was terribly insulting that she didn't offer us the medal instead of sneakily selling it.'

Simon, from Irlam in Salford, who served with 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and Caroline had been married for just a few months when he was killed while on duty.
read more here

VA investigation takes a year to figure out while veterans are left without?

The only thing this counselor is accused of is knowing the veteran. That's it. The VA is claiming she didn't tell them she knows the veteran. Either she blew it or she didn't. So why take a year to investigate while she's still on the payroll and veterans depending on her are left without her help?
Roseburg VA counselor upset by investigation
CT Post
July 27, 2013

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A Veterans Affairs counselor in Roseburg has been idle for close to a year as officials investigate whether she had an intimate relationship with a veteran who attended support groups for those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jamie Carlson, 33, has remained on the payroll during the investigation, collecting her $65,000 annual salary while spending her workday on Facebook and YouTube. Though her work life might sound cushy, Carlson said she'd rather be meeting with patients.

"They have made it intolerable for me," she told the Roseburg News-Review newspaper.
read more here

Will Capt. William Swenson ever receive Medal of Honor?

Dakota Meyer said that he would not be alive had it not been for Capt. Swenson. So why hasn't Swenson received the honor he should have?

Army Capt. William Swenson
"The 2009 battle of Ganjgal is perhaps the most remarkable of the Afghan war for its extraordinary heroism and deadly incompetence. It produced dozens of casualties, career-killing reprimands and a slew of commendations for valor. They included two Medal of Honor nominations, one for Swenson.

Yet months after the first living Army officer in some 40 years was put in for the nation’s highest military award for gallantry, his nomination vanished into a bureaucratic black hole. The U.S. military in Afghanistan said an investigation had found that it was “lost” in the approval process, something that several experts dismissed as improbable, saying that hasn’t happened since the awards system was computerized in the mid-1970s.

In fact, the investigation uncovered evidence that suggests a far more troubling explanation. It showed that as former Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer’s Medal of Honor nomination from the same battle sailed toward approval despite questions about the accuracy of the account of his deeds, there may have been an effort to kill Swenson’s nomination.

Swenson’s original nomination was downgraded to a lesser award, in violation of Army and Defense Department regulations, evidence uncovered by the investigation showed."


The Marine Corps Times reported that Swenson had been highly critical of the rules of engagement in Afghanistan and the lack of assistance from Army support personnel after he had radioed for help that night.

“When I’m being second-guessed by higher or somebody that’s sitting in an air-conditioned TOC [tactical operations center], why [the] hell am I even out there in the first place?” Swenson told investigators looking into the ambush, according to the Marine Corps Times. “Let’s sit back and play Nintendo.”

Sgt. Rafael Peralta will not receive Medal of Honor for saving lives

Sunday, July 28, 2013

News Press puts out help request to find son days after his body was found

I don't know what is going on with the media these days but this was released today.

Southwest Florida mom asks for help to find her soldier son
Anyone with information urged to call military law enforcement Jul. 28, 2013
Written by Philip Grey
Leaf-Chronicle
read more here

Really odd considering the same reporter wrote this
Body found on post is that of missing soldier

Family members notified Friday evening The Leaf Chronicle Written by Philip Grey Jul. 19, 2013 FORT CAMPBELL, KY. — A family member of Spc. Brandon David Bertolo has confirmed that the body found in a Fort Campbell training area Friday morning is that of the 23-year-old “Strike” Brigade soldier, missing since July 14.

VA Travel claims drop after fraud arrests

Arrests bring drop in Seattle VA travel claims
By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press
July 28, 2013

SEATTLE (AP) — A funny thing happened after federal authorities arrested several military veterans last year and accused them of lying about how far they drove to get to medical appointments at the Veterans Administration hospital in Seattle.

A bunch of others who didn't get busted stopped filing for so much money in mileage reimbursements, and the VA hospital began saving tens of thousands of dollars a month, officials say.

"We are taking this benefit-travel fraud seriously because of the amount of money that's going out the door," says James O'Neill, the VA's assistant inspector general for investigations. "When we can publicize the ramifications of committing this fraud and being prosecuted, we can really reduce it."

Ten people, including two VA clerks who admitted taking kickbacks, were charged in federal court in Seattle, and several are due to be sentenced this week. Others have already been given prison terms of up to two years.
Among the recent cases:

— 16 people were indicted in Cleveland last year and charged with stealing a combined $250,000 in fraudulent mileage reimbursements.

— A veteran in Maine pleaded guilty last September to charges of falsely claiming more than $17,000 in travel reimbursements.

—Last April, a veteran in Oklahoma City was sentenced to probation and ordered to return more than $36,000 in false mileage claims.
read more here

From PTSD to Prison: Why Veterans Become Criminals

From PTSD to Prison: Why Veterans Become Criminals
The Daily Beast
by Matthew Wolfe
Jul 28, 2013

Nearly 1 in 10 inmates have served in the military. Matthew Wolfe on how the system fails them—and the new prison dorms that could help them get back on track.

During the last year of his service contract with the Marine Reserves, Christopher Lee Boyd was sent to Iraq. Boyd was a driver in the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, Charlie Company, out of Lynchburg, Virginia. In Iraq, Boyd’s unit escorted convoys and swept for land mines. When Boyd drove, he watched the road for IEDs. The bombs could be disguised as almost anything; his team found them stashed in potholes, trash bags, and, once, in a dead sheep. In November of 2004, Charlie Company was transferred to a base near Haditha. At the same time, 100 miles to the southeast, coalition forces were attacking Fallujah, an insurgent stronghold. As the insurgents fled the city, they flocked north.
Four of the Marines in the Humvee — Sgt. Jesse Strong, 24; Cpl. Jonathan Bowling, 23; Lance Cpl. Karl Linn, 20; and Cpl. Chris Weaver, 24 — were killed. Five others were injured. Of the ten men in his vehicle, only Boyd escaped without injury.

A few months later, Boyd was back in Virginia, working a third shift at a Frito-Lay plant. He had trouble sleeping. When he did sleep, he had nightmares about the raid. Boyd soon discovered that if he drank until he passed out, he didn't dream.

Boyd's twin sister, Crystal, remembers the change in her brother happening gradually. She knew Chris as a cheerful, easy-going family man. Slowly, he grew anxious, irritable and sullen. He began to distance himself from his girlfriend and their two sons. Before long, he started carrying a gun, a .380 pistol. He explained that he wanted to be able to protect his family.

One Saturday morning in 2008, Boyd finished his shift and began to drink. In the evening, a friend drove him to a party. The last thing Boyd says he remembers is sitting in the front seat of the car outside the party, drinking liquor. When he woke up, he was in a police car, on his way to jail. The police officer told Boyd that he had shot his friend in the chest. The bullet made a clean exit, and the friend lived. Corporal Boyd was sentenced to five years in prison.
read more here

Mother And Son From Unity Gearing Up To Deploy To Afghanistan Together

Mother And Son From Unity Gearing Up To Deploy To Afghanistan Together
WABI News
by Morgan Sturdivant
July 27th 2013

Unity - A member of the Maine Army National Guard, Specialist Parker is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan.

With patriotism being an important part of life for many in Unity, they're honoring him, and his family, with Blue Star Service banners to proudly hang on their home while he's away.

His mother couldn't be prouder. Maybe that's because she's going to be serving right along side of him.

"I'll be getting to take my mother with me," said Parker.

"We're both going together, which is such a source of pride for me, you can't even begin to imagine," said Holly Parker, specialist with the Maine Army National Guard.

Serving in the same unit and deploying at the same time is a part of her life she says she'll never forget.

"I've always had that burning desire to serve my country, and to know that I can answer this call is just a source of pride, and to have my son want to do that as well, and to be able to go, and to have him side by side serving with me, it's just an amazing opportunity," said Holly Parker.
read more here

War fighters justified even when reason for war was not

War fighters justified even when reason for war was not
De-tour Combat PTSD Survivor's Guide
Kathie Costos
July 28, 2013

When humans do something unselfish, end up suffering for it afterwards, we tend to forget why we even tried. We may try to save a life but if they die, we blame ourselves for missing something we should have done. When we try to stop someone from committing suicide, it is even worse. We keep torturing ourselves believing we failed them. We can't see how many other factors contributed to the anguish that made them want to leave.

Doing something for a good reason with a bad outcome eats away at our core. Believe me, I know how that feels. When we act on what our heart tells us to do, end up feeling used and betrayed, we think it is our fault and the next time, we are not so willing to even try again.

For the men and women in the military it is even worse. They have a good reason to want to go into the military. Sometimes it is because someone they admire in their family served. Sometimes it is because they never thought of doing anything else. It is a good reason to want to serve the country and an even better reason when they want to save the lives of others.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the "moral injury" veterans must face to heal Combat PTSD. Like many before them, the reason they were sent pushes the reason they wanted to serve into the fog of war. This fog goes far beyond the battlefield. It makes it very hard to focus on the beginning when the end brought so much pain.
read more here

Injured Afghanistan Vet Told She Can’t Fly American Flag

UPDATE
Injured Afghanistan Vet Now Being Allowed To Fly Her American Flag As-Is
Injured Afghanistan Vet Told She Can’t Fly American Flag At Apartment
CBS Sacramento
Reporting Anjali Hemphill
July 27, 2013

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — An injured veteran of the war in Afghanistan has been told to take down the American flag she has flying from her balcony by her apartment’s management company.

Jen Elliot was shocked when she found a notice on her front door. It’s from her property management company asking her to remove an American flag from her balcony, along with some other items.

“I was very upset and very offended by it,” she said. “We live in America. Why shouldn’t we fly our flag proudly?”

Elliot says she immediately checked her lease to see if she was in fact violating any rules.

“It does say you cannot have flags, plants or wind chimes. However, it does say that the American flag can be displayed within the laws of the state and proper flag etiquette. And mine is.”

After CBS13 went to the property manager, the rental company called Elliot to say she can fly her flag—it just can’t stay where it’s at. The flag can’t be screwed into the siding of her balcony.
read more here

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Joint Base Lewis McChord soldier had "nothing left to lose" before acid attack on judge

When you read the headline, it doesn't come close enough to telling the rest of the story.
Former soldier charged in acid attack on Thurston County judge
The Olympian
Jeremy Pawloski
Staff Writer
Published: July 26, 2013

Prosecutors have charged a former soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord with throwing sulfuric acid at Thurston County District Judge Michael “Brett” Buckley’s face during a Sept. 10 attack at the judge’s Olympia home.

Michael Edward Martin, 33, already is in custody at a federal detention center, awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a Judge Advocate General military prosecutor in a separate case. On Friday, Thurston County prosecutors charged Martin with first-degree assault and first-degree malicious mischief in connection with the attack on Judge Buckley.

The former soldier apparently blamed the judge’s prior decision to issue a restraining order against him for ending his military career.

“He felt like his life was falling apart, and he was looking for others to blame,” Andrew Toynbee, Thurston County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, said Friday.

Prosecutors believe Martin threw battery acid in Buckley’s face the evening of Sept. 10 after Buckley answered a knock on his door. Buckley was treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He suffered minor injuries in the 9:25 p.m. attack.
In a response to the court ruling, the former girlfriend stated she feared Martin had “nothing left to lose” because of proceedings taking place to remove him from the military. “I do fear that this makes him even more of a threat to me and others,” she wrote in March 2012.
Johnstone also discovered an entry on Martin’s Facebook page on June 29, 2012, that warned Joint Base Lewis-McChord personnel whom he believed had wronged him to “stay lookin over ur shouler cuz if you dont u might find ur damn face melting of ur (expletive) skulls.”

Toynbee said Friday that if Martin is found guilty of the assault and malicious mischief charges related to Buckley’s attack, he could face a 10-year prison sentence. Toynbee added that there are several potential aggravating factors that could add more years to the sentence.
read more here

Vietnam veteran's mule-powered journey to visit father's grave ends sadly

Mich. veteran's mule-powered journey to visit father's grave ends sadly
Truck rear-ends wagon, injuring man, killing mules
JC Online
Written by Mikel Livingston
Jul. 26, 2013

A Vietnam veteran’s 1,000-mile trek to visit his father’s grave — a journey that took him through the Clinton County town of Colfax on May 24 and 25 — took a sad turn this week.

Since May 1, 68-year-old Charlie Peters has been traveling by a wagon pulled by a pair of mules from his home in Owosso, Mich., to the grave of R.B. Peters in Okemah, Okla.

Peters had been hoping to reach the grave site next week, to thank his father in person for the elder Peters’ service in World War II.

But on Wednesday night, Peters’ wagon was rear-ended by a truck in a late night accident on Highway 64 in Ozark, Ark. Peters suffered two broken ribs.

According to various media reports from that area, one of the mules died at the scene and another died overnight at a nearby veterinary hospital.

Carol Peters, Charlie Peters’ daughter, said her father was traveling back to Owosso by car Friday, along with his son.
read more here

Are veterans men or mice?

Are veterans men or mice?
De-tour Combat PTSD Survivor's Guide
Kathie Costos
July 27, 2013

There have been many reports of researchers tackling PTSD using mice. Mice? Yes, mice. Now they are implanting false memories in mice as if that has anything to do with being a veteran with PTSD. "The technique could lead to treatments for phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder in humans."

While the report comes out of Australia, they are doing it here in the US as well, among many other stupid mice tricks that would make even David Letterman blush.

While some researchers have done good work, especially with the brain scans of PTSD veterans along with showing the benefits of the holistic approach addressing the spirituality of veterans, not much else new has come out over the last decade.

That sends chills down the spines of researchers around the world looking toward the US for guidance. They are now sure after over 40 years of mind-numbing money being wasted we are still not using what works. We're seeing the results of our failures in the rise of military suicides, multiple attempted suicides within the military and as veterans go without proper care.
read more here

Only family showing up at Vietnam veteran Kay Lindemann's funeral was his dog

Beloved dog was 'only family' of Puyallup vet laid to rest
My Northwest.com
BY TIM HAECK
July 25, 2013

When Vietnam veteran Kay Lindemann of Puyallup was laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetary Thursday, almost nobody noticed. No family was on hand, just his constant companion, his beloved dog "Buzzard." 
(Tim Haeck/KIRO Radio photo)
When Vietnam veteran Kay Lindemann of Puyallup was laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery Thursday, almost nobody noticed. No family was on hand, just his constant companion, his beloved dog "Buzzard."

As a young Marine, Lindemann was wounded in Vietnam and spent the rest of his life getting treatment for complications from his injuries. Roncy Roehm runs Canyon Pet Lodge and she remembers the first time she took care of Buzzard.

"We had to pick him up the first time we met him at a car dealership because his "father" had a medical episode," she recalled. His "father," Kay Lindemann, drove around in a Hummer with a place for Buzzard in the back seat.

"Kay took Buzzard everywhere with him, in fact one time Kay told me he preferred his dog over people. It was just him and his dog."

Lindemann often needed medical treatment and relied on Roehm for doggie day care.
read more here

Texas Marine recognized for valor in Afghanistan

Texas Marine recognized for valor in Afghanistan
DVIDS
2nd Marine Logistics Group
Story by Cpl. Paul Peterson
July 23, 2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - The distinguished heroism and life-saving actions of a Marine from Hallsville, Texas, earned him the thankful appreciation of his fellow servicemembers during an award ceremony here, July 23.

Lance Cpl. Joel T. Murray, an engineer heavy equipment operator with Combat Logistics Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest), received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V” device in recognition of his “heroic achievement” during the defense of Forward Operating Base Shir Ghazi in the Helmand province.
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Sgt. Richard Marshall passed away after being wounded in Iraq

Soldier, Oklahoma Native Dies Of Heart Attack Years After Injury In Iraq
News On 6
Tess Maune
Posted: Jul 25, 2013

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma - Sgt. Richard Marshall was severely injured by a roadside bomb in 2007.

The bomb had killed three of his fellow soldiers, but Marshall somehow managed to kick open the door of his humvee to let the other survivors know he was alive.

He'd show the same fighting spirit for the next six years.

Marshall was born to be a soldier.

"It's our family duty, it seems, to serve our country," said Marshall's cousin, William Lowe.

Lowe said Marshall was serving his country proudly during his third tour of duty in Iraq, when he volunteered to go on a routine patrol.

That's when Marshall's humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.

"My mother calls me and says, 'Hey, Richard has been severely hurt,'" Lowe said.

Marshall needed open heart surgery immediately after the explosion in Baghdad. He survived the attack and was eventually sent back to his home in Alabama, still ready to fight.

"He was pretty adamant about staying in the Army, and I know he gave it his best efforts to even serve after he was injured, but his health just wore him," Lowe said.

So, instead of the military life, Marshall settled into his most important roles: that of Dad, to Autumn and Jalen, and husband to Brittany.
read more here

Motorcycle riders show support for Army veteran paralyzed from the neck down

Riders show support for Army veteran paralyzed from the neck down
News 12 at 11 o'clock
By: Meredith Anderson
July 26, 2013

Chris Allison (WRDW-TV)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The local motorcycle community is giving back to a man who gave so much.

An Army veteran who then went into the Coast Guard is visiting Augusta, but not because he wants to. Now, a group of riders are making him feel at home.

He cannot move, but Chris Allison's story will move you.

"He has two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star," explained his wife, Sharon Allison. "He was a rescue swimmer, he saved many lives."

He cannot talk, so his wife will talk for him.

"We're practically newlyweds. We were married, it was two months," she said. "Then was out on his motorcycle one day and a woman hit him."

A month or so after the accident in Douglasville, he ended up at the Augusta VA hours from home.

Sharon has been the only one by his side since he came here until Thursday night.

"I ride with the Christian Motorcycle Association," said David Kiser. "It's one of the things God has called us to do."
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Ty M. Carter to receive Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan

Ty M. Carter to receive Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan
Stars and Stripes
By Patrick Dickson
Published: July 26, 2013
Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, part of the White Platoon fire team, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, provides overwatch on a road near Dahla Dam, Afghanistan, in July 2012.
U.S. ARMY

WASHINGTON — The White House announced late Friday that Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter will be awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry for his service at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan.

On Aug. 26, President Barack Obama will award Carter the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a cavalry scout with the 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations in Kamdesh district, Nuristan province, Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009, according to a White House news release. He fought with Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in January.

Carter will be the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

COP Keating was a company-sized outpost in Nuristan, situated at the bottom of a constricted, bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Kushtowz and Landay Sin rivers.
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Suicidal veteran, Los Banos police in two-hour standoff

Suicidal veteran, Los Banos police in two-hour standoff
Merced Sun Star
Corey Pride
Published: July 27, 2013
GENE LIEB/glieb@losbanosenterprise.com Los Banos Police Chief Gary Brizzee, pointing, gives direction to Sgt. Zina Holden while other officers keep watch on a house on Lombardy Court.
LOS BANOS ENTERPRISE
LOS BANOS — A suicidal man with a gun had a more than two-hour standoff with police Thursday afternoon.

The man, whose age is unknown and identity is being withheld, surrendered to police and was taken to a Veterans Administration hospital for treatment.

Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said that at 2:37 p.m. his department received a call from a crisis hot line reporting a suicidal veteran with a gun in a residence on the 2000 block of Lombardy Court.

Police responded to the residence and called the man, who was alone in the home.

"We made contact with him and he informed us that if we got close to the residence he was going to shoot us," Reyna said. "He said he could see us and he was loading the rifle."

Police called for backup and moved away from the home to the Ancona Street intersection. They left their vehicles near the man's residence for fear that moving them would cause him to start shooting, Reyna said.
read more here

Is the DOD trying to make it worse for military men and women?

Is the DOD trying to make it worse for military men and women?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 27, 2013

On July 18, 2013 the Department of Defense released the April and May suicide report. This was done when they should have been releasing the June report.

In April the DOD said there were 11 "potential" suicides. Think about that. That means the families are left wondering what happened. For May it was 12 "potential" suicides. So far this year there have been;
For calendar year 2013, there have been 64 potential active-duty suicides: 31 have been confirmed as suicides and 33 remain under investigation.
They also revised the total of Army suicides to 183.

Updated active-duty suicide numbers for calendar year (CY) 2012: 183 (162 have been confirmed as suicides and 21 remain under investigation).

The most forgotten group has been the National Guards and Reservists.

For April 2013, among that same group, the Army reported 16 potential suicides; however, subsequent to the report, one more case was added bringing April’s total to 17 (14 Army National Guard and 3 Army Reserve).

During May 2013, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 10 potential suicides (8 Army National Guard and two Army Reserve).

For CY 2013, there have been 70 potential not on active duty suicides (45 Army National Guard and 25 Army Reserve)

Updated not on active duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 140 (93 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve)

So far as of the last week of July, they have not released the Suicide Event Report for 2012. Why? Why on earth would it take this long to release what they have been tracking all along?

The headline from DVIDS is that "Army's Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program spreads the importance of resiliency"

Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced the formal beginning of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Oct. 2, 2009, according to www.army.mil.

The Army-wide implementation of this program focuses on enhancing the performance and improving the overall strength and resiliency of soldiers, family members and Army civilians. In July 2012, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness was re-named Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness to incorporate family members.

This is the claim they are still making.
“The purpose of launching CSF2 was to increase people’s emotional strength, equip them with coping skills, and give them the ability to bounce back from any situation life may throw at them,” said Army Col. Kenneth Riddle, CSF2 director. “As well, the CSF2’s vision is to have a total Army team of physically healthy and psychologically strong soldiers, families and Army civilians whose resilience and total fitness enables them to thrive in both the military and civilian sector and to meet a wide range of operational demands.”
While this all sounds good the trouble is coming from not actually looking at the history of this programming. Are they trying to make it worse for the military men and women on purpose? If that is their intention, then they succeeded. If they are trying to save lives, then they failed miserably. The numbers prove it.

The suicides they have to count have gone up since they started this program.
2008 Army suicides at 3-decade high 128

But that was followed up by this
7 soldiers committed suicide in January of 2009 and the cause of death in 17 other cases is still pending, Army officials announced Thursday, marking a significant increase in soldier suicides from the same time period in previous years.

Last month’s numbers are six times higher than those from January 2008 and eight times higher than in 2004.

They said they didn't know why and then tried to blame it on winter.
"This is terrifying," an Army official said. "We do not know what is going on."

Col. Kathy Platoni, chief clinical psychologist for the Army Reserve and National Guard, said that the long, cold months of winter could be a major contributor to the January spike.

Then they tried to explain it away by pointing the finger at repeated deployments, which had been shown to raise the risk of PTSD according to an Army report in 2006.
"US Soldiers serving repeated deployments are 50 percent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress, raising their risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder according to the Army's first survey exploring how today's multiple war-zone rotations affect soldiers' mental health. (Washington Post 2006)
It wasn't that they were not trying. They were still pushing what was called Battlemind in 2009.
Battle Mind must be eliminated from what they are trying to do. There is no doubt in my mind that they really want to save the lives of the troops but they are the last to learn shooting with rubber bullets may be good for target practice but it in no way resembles or prepares them for the real thing. In other words, they are usually the last to learn what the rest of the country already knows. When it comes to PTSD, they are still shooting with blanks.


In March of 2009 William McMichael, staff writer for Army Times reported this.
But calls by troops and former troops to a Veterans Affairs help line indicate that the problem may be even larger that the alarming statistics provided at the hearing.

In calendar year 2008, the Army reported 140 confirmed or suspected suicides. That’s 20.2 suicides per 100,000 troops — an all-time high that is nearly twice the national average of 11.0 suicides per 100,000. The service’s suicide rate has more than doubled since 2004.

The Navy reported 41 suicides in 2008, a rate of 11.6 per 100,000. The Marine Corps lost 41 Marines last year to confirmed or suspected suicides — up from 25 two years earlier — a rate of 19.0 suicides per 100,000. The Air Force lost 38 airmen in 2008, a rate of 11.5 suicides per 100,000.

More ominously, 780 callers to a national Veterans Affairs suicide prevention hotline in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2008, identified themselves as active-duty troops, said Kathryn Power, director of the Center for Mental Health Services in the Department of Health and Human Services.


It was already proven to not be working when in February of 2009 the other bad reports were followed up by these.
U.S. Marine Corps, 1 suicide every two days, attempted ones, every 2 hours!
As many as 18 soldiers killed themselves in February, Army officials announced March 5.

Over at Fort Carson there was a recording of a psychologist saying "I am under a lot of pressure to not diagnose PTSD"

The Army counted 64 possible suicides in the first four months of this year, 11 of those were at Fort Campbell, Ky. — four suicides in January, three in February and four in March.
All of this is bad but what followed was even worse.
Eight soldiers committed suicide in eight days of New Year of 2010
Then by November of 2010 172 soldiers committed suicide this year—surpassing last year’s total of 162 for all of 2009.

Fort Hood’s 22 confirmed suicides, meanwhile, doubled its 2009 mark and was eight more than Fort Bragg, N.C., which had the second-largest tally.

For the beginning of 2011 it got worse
2 Marines killed themselves in February, raising to 4 the number who have committed suicide in 2011.

Another 17 Marines attempted suicide, according to the latest figures from the headquarters of the Marine Corps.

Military Suicides while enlisted are only part of the story. When you factor in how many the DOD no longer has to count, the numbers prove more deadly evidence that Battlemind and "Comprehensive Solider Fitness" do more harm than good. While most of the veterans committing suicide everyday are Vietnam veterans, reports from across the country are about Iraq and Afghanistan veterans taking their own lives even after having all this "training" plus getting involved in standoffs with law enforcement and showing up in veterans courts.

Psychologist and true researchers, including RAND Corp, have exposed this attempt as doing more harm than good. If you want to know more then read The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War and see what caused all of this. Every report in it gives you the source to where the news report came from, the government reports and everything you need to know the DOD doesn't want to tell you.

They can keep saying they are doing something about it but with these results it should leave you wondering why they would push what has made it worse and why the media has not even asked them to explain these results.

What are they doing about it now? They are pushing it harder.

Army's Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program spreads the importance of resiliency