Friday, July 31, 2015

Marine Corps Officers Not As Smart As Before?

Why Are Marine Corps Officers Less Smart Than Before?
Newsweek
BY DELANEY PARRISH
7/30/15

"Today's less qualified officer candidates 
will be tomorrow's senior military leaders"
The General Classification Test (GCT) from World War II to present day. BROOKINGS
When the United States ended the draft and transitioned to an all-volunteer military in 1973, there was concern about who would join and whether the transition would negatively impact the quality of the force, which many suspected it would.

As it turns out, the quality of the force as a whole actually increased over time. In 1977, 27.1 percent of new enlisted recruits met the military’s standard for being “high quality,” meaning that they possessed a high school diploma and above-average intelligence relative to the U.S. population as a whole. Decades later, at the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, 60 percent of new enlisted recruits met the high quality standard.

But what about military officers? Though commissioned officers comprise only about 16 percent of the force, they clearly have a major impact on the success of the military as a whole given their leadership role for their troops and responsibility for strategy and tactics.
read more here

Vietnam Veteran Died Over Wrong DNR Order

Audit cites California VA hospital’s ‘confusion’ in patient’s death
Sun Herald
BY MICHAEL DOYLE
July 30, 2015
A Citrus Heights, Calif., resident, Mayo had served in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and worked as a Riverside County deputy sheriff. He had a medical history that included hypertension and post-traumatic stress disorder when he entered the hospital for elective heart surgery.
WASHINGTON — An erroneous wristband placed on a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran caused a “delay in life-saving intervention” at the Mather VA facility in Sacramento, federal investigators say in a new report prompted by the patient’s death under questionable circumstances last October.

The wristband incorrectly identified patient Roland Mayo as having given a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, also known as a DNR.

The resulting “confusion” about Mayo’s status “delayed chest compressions, defibrillation pad placement, and medications” when he went into cardiac arrest, investigators with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General concluded. As a result, two precious minutes reportedly passed between the time Mayo’s pulse stopped and CPR began.

“The American Heart Association recommends initiating immediate chest compressions for adults suffering from sudden cardiopulmonary arrest,” investigators noted.

They further described a seemingly frantic scene on the day of Mayo’s death, during which so many medical personnel crowded into the patient’s room that they blocked the doorway and spilled out into the hallway.

“A nursing supervisor and physician requested several times for nonessential personnel to leave, but no one did so,” investigators noted. “Staff reported having difficulties hearing the physician’s orders throughout the code because there were so many people in the room.”
read more here

Canada: Widow Blames Mounties For Husband's Death

Widow Blames Mounties for Husband's Death
Courthouse News Service
By DARRYL GREER
July 31, 2015
In the days after his death, his widow says, an RCMP chaplain took over the funeral arrangements and refused to let her deliver a eulogy or play songs she selected for the funeral.
VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - Harassment from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police drove a prominent member of the force to suicide, and the Mounties wouldn't let his widow give a eulogy at his funeral, she claims in court.

Sheila Lemaitre, a former Mountie who met her husband Pierre Lemaitre on the job, says her husband was a dedicated, passionate officer who was praised by higher-ups.

Pierre Lemaitre joined the RCMP in 1985 and was posted to a media relations position in 2003. In July that year, a reporter told Lemaitre that his direct supervisor had sexually harassed her "on a number of occasions."

"Although struggling with the impact of reporting this complaint would have on the small media unit, Pierre Lemaitre knew from policy and training that he was required to report the matter to the Sergeant's superior officer," the widow says in her July 20 claim in British Columbia Supreme Court.
Sheila Lemaitre says her husband was "shunned and isolated" by fellow officers after the transfer, causing him to develop depression, anger management issues and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. He went off-duty on sick leave in February 2013 and committed suicide on July 29 that year.
read more here

SIckening Note on Marine Iraq Veteran's Car in New York

Veteran finds hateful note on car at NY shopping center
WISH TV 8
Rachel Yonkunas
Published: July 31, 2015

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A simple trip to the store ended with a veteran getting a hateful letter left on his car.

When a local Iraq War veteran went shopping Thursday morning, he did not expect to find an anonymous note with ugly language left on his car.

The letter blasted the Marine for having a Purple Heart and serving overseas. It stated, “All of you Islamaphobe vets deserve to die.”

The note has people shaking their heads. Some call the author pathetic.

“It’s just shocking,” Ann Lanoir said. “It’s just ignorant. That’s the way I feel. I feel like some punk wrote it.”

“Makes me sick to my stomach,” Navy veteran Robert LaPrairie said. “To me, it’s an act of terrorism really.”
read more here

Veteran of Korea and Vietnam Laid to Rest At Arlington

Fresno-area veteran lauded at Arlington burial
McClatchy DC
Corinne Kennedy
July 30, 2015
A family man and patriot, friends and family say
Veteran of 329 combat missions in Korea, Vietnam
Inspired loyalty from colleagues
Leué flew 329 combat missions over both Korea and Vietnam during more than three decades of military service. He earned numerous honors, including four Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Navy Commendation medals and a Bronze Star. He also penned two memoirs detailing his service.

The Navy Honor Guard carries the casket of Korean and 
Vietnam war veteran David Leue. Daniel Desrochers McClatchy
WASHINGTON A construction worker removed his hardhat and held it over his heart Thursday morning as the funeral procession wound its way through Arlington National Cemetery.

As the sun broke through the clouds for the first time all morning, tourists put down their cameras to watch as the family of David E. Leué followed his shiny silver casket, draped in an American flag and carried by horse-drawn cart, to its final resting place.

Leué, of Clovis, Calif., died Jan. 25 and was interred with full military honors, including a three-volley rifle salute and the playing of Taps. He was 87.

His burial at Arlington took several months, as is often the case at the revered patch of greenery across the Potomac River from the capital, where the tombstones honor national luminaries and everyday Americans alike.
read more here

Waco Looks At PTSD in Veterans and First Responders

This report says that research on First Responders with PTSD started recently but that report is wrong. It began years ago but acknowledging how long all of this has been going on would force folks to admit they didn't take it seriously enough when they had a chance to fix it fast.
Waco research facility takes aim at PTSD in first responders, veterans
KXXV News ABC 25
By Grant Hermes
Posted: Jul 29, 2015

Doctors at the Warrior Research Institute (WRI) said they've seen a clear link between traumatic situations experienced by first responders and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), similar to the way veterans develop the disorder.

According to the institute's director, Dr. Suzy Bird Gulliver, between nine and 13 percent of fire fighters experience some form of PTSD on the job. Gulliver focuses primarily on veterans and fire fighters, although said the research at WRI, in partnership with Baylor Scott and White healthcare, has begun to expand to police officers and paramedics.
read more here
KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

PTSD I Grieve

Washington 7-11 Clerk Did Not Like Serving Soldier?

Soldier denied service at 7-Eleven 
KIROTV.com
By Gary Horcher
July 29, 2015
“From moment one, the only thing I was hoping to do by coming forward with this is to get the issue addressed with the employee,” He said. “If you don't know something is wrong, you can't fix it."

REDMOND, Wash. — A local soldier, whose story sparked a firestorm of nationwide anger on social media, says a Redmond convenience store clerk denied him service, after he showed his military ID.

Collin Brown –- who is a reservist in the Army – was purchasing cigarettes for his fiancé, and a Slurpee last Wednesday, at the 7-Eleven on West Lake Sammamish Parkway. Brown put his U.S. military ID on the counter, when the cashier asked for his proof of age. The ID clearly has his date of birth on the back and serves as legal ID.

“She said, 'You're in the military?' I said, 'Yes,'” Brown said. “She said, 'I can't serve you.'" Honestly, I was in shock. I asked, 'Are you serious?' “She looked at me like she was offended," he said.

Brown says he asked the clerk why there was a problem as he pulled out his driver's license to back up his military ID.
read more here

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Death of Twentynine Palms Marine Still Unclear

Twentynine Palms Marine shooting death details unclear
The Desert Sun
Anna Rumer
July 29, 2015
Dominic Pavelko was stationed at the Twentynine Palms
military base as a motor transport operator before he
died as the result of a gunshot wound.
(Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Scholles)
Nearly a month after a 23-year-old Marine died of a gunshot wound at the Twentynine Palms military base, officials have released little information on the circumstances surrounding his death.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Justin Smith confirmed that a Marine died of a gunshot wound on July 2, but said he was unable to release any information surrounding his death other than saying the injury didn't occur during a training exercise.

"Officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at this time," he said in an email. "Right now, the focus of the investigation command is bereavement and grief counseling, which are offered to service members and their families at all times, but especially in the light of recent circumstances."

A representative for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service acknowledged there was an ongoing investigation into Dominic Pavelko's death, but declined to comment further.
read more here

UK: More Afghanistan Veterans Than Iraq Veterans Have PTSD

Troops who served in Afghanistan ‘suffer more PTSD than Iraq veterans’
By WMN UK
DavidWells
Posted: July 30, 2015

Far more British troops who served in Afghanistan are seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than those who were deployed to Iraq, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

For each separate deployment to Iraq, soldiers have a 40% increased risk of PTSD, but for those who went to Afghanistan there is a 270% risk, it said.

Dr Dominic Murphy, a clinical psychologist and head of research at veteran’s mental health charity Combat Stress, said the statistics were “surprising”.

“It could be because there is now more awareness and less stigma than ever before – we are also seeing a huge increase in veterans coming to us at Combat Stress with PTSD,” he said.

“In Afghanistan from 2005 onwards there was a big increase in the number of British fatalities, which could be seen as a measure of increased war fighting.

“Things got very difficult in Afghanistan, with more people getting injured or killed that could be one of the reasons why people are so badly affected now.”

Dr Murphy said he was also surprised at the fact that members of the armed forces are more likely to be assessed with a mental disorder than the general population of the UK.
The Army and Royal Marines had the highest proportion of personnel assessed with PTSD during the eight-year period, thought to be because both routinely deployed in large numbers to Iraq and Afghanistan.
read more here

“Missing in America Project” Will Honor 21 Utah Veterans

Unclaimed Weber County vets to get full military funerals 
Standard.net
Mitch Shaw
July 30, 2015
To date, the MIAP has interred 2,441 veterans across the country. The organization estimates the remains of 200,000 to 300,000 veterans are still unclaimed.
OGDEN — They have no known family and some of them have been dead for nearly 20 years, but this weekend a group of Utah veterans will finally receive the resting place they deserve.

On Aug. 1, an organization known as the “Missing in America Project” will honor 21 Utah veterans whose remains have been in the care of area mortuaries, in some cases for as long as 18 years, but have remained unclaimed.

A full military service will be held for the veterans at 9 a.m. at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 17111 S. Camp Williams Road, Riverton.

Eleven of the veterans are from Weber County and 10 hail from Salt Lake County.

A pair of Salt Lake County veterans who have been in the care of family will also be included in the service.

Roger Graves, a Cedar City resident who oversees the MIAP project in a five-state region that also includes Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana, said the MIAP’s mission is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans to “provide honor and respect to those who have served this country,” by securing a final resting place for veterans that Graves calls “Forgotten Heroes.”
read more here

Kansas City Veteran Accused of Lying by 6 From His Unit

Kansas soldier honored for his service now under attack by members of his own unit
FOX4KC News
BY LINDA WAGAR
POSTED JULY 29, 2015
Myers said he has been dealing with Garrison’s lies ever since 2008. That’s when Garrison was interviewed by HBO for a documentary on the portion of Arlington Cemetery dedicated to veterans of the Afghanistan War.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Fellow servicemen of one area solider say Brandon Garrison told several lies about his military experiences in order to receive unearned praise and free services he didn’t deserve.

Some may have already heard about Garrison. He received a free house in Kansas City Kansas last year. Last February, he got a free service dog; all because of his service half a world away in Afghanistan.

Garrison served in the Army and left with what he describes as major injuries, from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome to traumatic brain injury; something he said may have been resulted when both of his eardrums were ruptured.

Garrison was on FOX 4 News again last May talking about more injuries. This time possible nerve damage caused by exposure to noxious fumes from the burning pits the Army used to dispose of trash in Afghanistan. It was after that news report that six members of Garrison’s former Army unit contacted FOX 4 with a warning: Garrison is a liar.

Myers said Garrison spent the majority of his service in the Korengal Valley in the only air-conditioned office in the outpost.
But Garrison was considerably more straight forward when it came to his claims on HBO regarding Sgt. Wilson.

“I would like to apologize first and foremost to the family members and service members who were affected by the inaccuracies of my interview eight years ago,” Garrison said. “I take full responsibility for that. The lessons that I learned from that have helped make me a more mature individual.”
read more here


From Stars and Stripes
At home, but not at peace: A soldier's struggle with PTSD
Spc. Brandon Garrison volunteered to deploy and loved putting on his uniform each day. But after watching a mortar attack claim one of his friends in Afghanistan, he joined the thousands of servicemembers battling PTSD.
March 30, 2008

Baby Survived After Pregnant Woman Shot to Death in Murder-Suicide

Pregnant woman shot to death in murder-suicide, unborn baby survives
FOX 8 Cleveland
BY DARCIE LORENO AND LORRIE TAYLOR
JULY 29, 2015
“Chrissy was on her knees, she was yelling and screaming ‘he`s going to kill me, he`s going to kill me,’” Mary said. “I said Chris, don`t, I told him’ don`t kill Chrissy, don`t kill her, don`t kill Chrissy’ and he shot her in the head.”

“He looked at me, put the gun to his head and shot.”

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A pregnant woman was shot to death, but doctors were able to save her unborn child after an apparent murder-suicide Tuesday night.

That’s according to Mary Scruggs, the mother of the suspected shooter, Chris Scruggs, 32. Chris was the victim’s fiance and high school sweetheart, Mary says.

“He loved Chrissy and Chrissy loved him,” Mary said.

Mary says her son struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; there were times when he wasn`t himself. “So you sensed there were moments when he was edgy? Asked Fox8’s Lorrie Taylor, “I knew, um hum, and I can understand that.”
read more here

Iraq Veteran's Home Robbed 3rd Time

Thieves Target Iraq Veteran’s Home Three Times 
CBS
Steve Pickett
July 29, 2015
Bowden also struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Golfing became therapy — until burglars stole the golf clubs.
FORNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Kevin Bowden’s garage is his late night sanctuary. “When I don’t sleep, I’m here,” he said, pointing to one of two patio chairs stationed at opening of the garage of his Forney home.

Sleep is an apparent rarity for the Iraq War veteran. Disabled after sustaining an injury to his brain after a roadside bomb detonated under his military Humvee, the former Army Sergeant takes refuge in his garage, filled with tools, lawn equipment and a home security system.

Missing from the inventory are drills, a leaf blower and Bowden’s treasured golf clubs.
read more here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

VA Budget Short $3 Million or Billion?

The headline was $3 Million but as you read the article, you see it was more like $3 Billion,


Department of Veterans Affairs reveals last minute $3 million budget shortfall
by Continuous News Desk
Posted: 07.28.2015
"The VA's not managed well I think, because they should have asked for that a long time ago," he said.

Congressman Jeff Miller who chairs the House Veteran's Affairs committee agrees.

"Unfortunately, the VA waited to the last minute to inform us before the August recess that they now have a $2.6 billion budget shortfall," says Miller.

But that isn't anything new. The claim about "last minute" isn't true either.

This was posted back in April
Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the 2016 Veterans Affairs funding bill, and slashed more than $1.4 billion from the president’s requested budget for America’s Veterans. Today, VA Secretary Bob McDonald appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss that budget proposal.

This came out in June
Hearing on VA Budget Shortfall
June 26, 2015 - FRA
The House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) held a hearing to review how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) could have a $2.6 billion budget shortfall for the current fiscal year (FY 2015). The VA claimed that the shortfall is mainly because of increased demand by veterans for health care, including new life-saving treatments for Hepatitis C.
Hmm,,,that was "last minute" before August recess?


VA Budget Shortfall Again No Big Shocker To Us takes a look at the shortfall going back to 1985. It is really odd how $3 billion number keeps popping up and heads of members of Congress claim to be so upset over it,,,,over and over again.

2008
Vietnam Veterans of America: President Bush's VA Budget is $3 Billion Short

February 13, 2008 - "The annual exercise of debating the merits of the President's proposed budget is flawed," said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America, before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "Medical Center directors should not be held in limbo as Congress adjusts this budget and misses, yet again, the start of the fiscal year.

"These public servants can be more effective and efficient managers if they are able to properly plan for the funding needed to care for their patients. We ask that you consider an immediate alternative to the broken system we currently have," Rowan said.

Rowan characterized as "inadequate" the FY'09 request for $2.34 billion more than the FY'08 appropriation. This "barely keeps up with inflation" and "will not allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue enhancing its physical and mental health care services for returning veterans, restore needed long-term care programs for aging veterans, or allow working-class veterans to return to their health care system."

2009
$3.6 billion hike urged for VA health care
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 6, 2009

Four leading veterans groups called Friday for a $4.5 billion increase in veterans programs, including $3.6 billion for health care.

This is an even bigger increase than the groups asked for a year ago, and puts added pressure on President Barack Obama to keep campaign promises for full funding of Veterans Affairs Department programs.

The increase, which would result in a $54.6 billion discretionary VA budget, comes in the so-called “independent budget” prepared each year by AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Warrior Woman Marine Runs To Honor Fallen Female Troops

Marine vet honors fallen female troops with 160-mile run 
Marine Corps Times
By Dean DeChiaro
Medill News Service
July 29, 2015
Marine Maj. Bridget Guerrero (ret.) ran 160 miles around the Puget Sound in Washington from Thursday through Sunday. Each mile represented a female service member who lost her life in Iraq or Afghanistan.
(Photo: Courtesy of Marine Maj. Bridget Guerrero (ret.))
When veteran Marine Maj. Bridget Guerrero set out to run a mile for each of the 160 female troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, she never thought that one of their moms would show up to support her along the way.

After training for months, Guerrero set out to run 160 miles around Washington's Puget Sound from Thursday through Sunday. When she noticed a stranger among the crowd that came out to support her along the four-day trek, Guerrero introduced herself — and quickly realized the woman was the most important person there.

Re McClung, the mother of Maj. Megan McClung, an accomplished triathlete and the first female Marine officer killed during the Iraq War, had come to wish Guerrero well. She gave Guerrero her daughter's service coin, which Guerrero kept duct-taped to her arm for the remainder of the race.

"To know she is running for my daughter … and to know that she is running with Meg's coin and to know that funds she raises will pay forward to the daughter of another Marine — it's overwhelming," Re McClung wrote on Facebook.
read more here

VA Doctor Regrets Facebook Comment "Off Yourself Please"

A VA doctor regrets leaving a comment but while we've all said things we regret but writing something leaves plenty of time to think before you type it.
VA Doctor Regrets Facebook Post Telling Gun Advocate to 'Off' Himself
Associated Press
by MaryClaire Dale
Jul 29, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — A Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist said Tuesday he regrets a Facebook post suggesting that a gun-rights supporter "off" himself.

Dr. Gregg Gorton said his comment was meant to be sarcastic but he'd love to take it back nonetheless.

"It's just one of those moments you'd rather take back in your life," Gorton told The Associated Press. "I've worked 30 years to treat psychiatric patients. I teach about suicide prevention. ... That's not me."

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia is reviewing his job status, Gorton said. He has worked for the agency for 11 years. The hospital has apologized to veterans and called the post "unacceptable."

Gorton's comments follow a story in The Washington Times.

Gorton was responding to a post that came through his Facebook page by an apparent gun-rights supporter, according to images posted to the website Imgur and described by the newspaper.

"I am all for gun control," the user wrote. "If there is a gun in the room, I want to be in control of it."

Gorton replied: "Off yourself, please."
read more here

30 years and working on suicide prevention but didn't take time to think about what he was typing?

Iraq Veteran Arthur Guise VA National Cemetery Denied Burial

You may be thinking that as a murder, this veteran does not deserve to be buried at a National Cemetery. You may be thinking that since he did serve this country and risked his life for it, that was enough for you. The trouble is, there is no easy answer.

Here is a reminder of what happened.
'He saw a lot in Iraq. It changed him': Father of shooter in York County murder-suicide
The man who authorities said committed suicide after he shot a woman at a York County bar last night likely suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following military tours in Iraq, according to his father.

Lenard Guise of Mount Holly Springs said Arthur Guise, his son, did two tours in Iraq during his time in the Army.

"I think that affected him," Guise said. "He was going to some counseling to help. He saw a lot in Iraq. It changed him."
Here is the latest.
Iraq War veteran denied burial in national cemetery after murder-suicide
York Daily Record
Written by Dylan Segelbaum
Jul 29, 2015

A request from the family of an Iraq War veteran accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend and then killing himself outside a bar in the Dillsburg area for him to be buried in a national cemetery has been denied.

"It's a very tiny, tiny, tiny occurrence that, unfortunately, it does happen now and again," said Michael Nacincik, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration. "We have to follow the law, and that's what we did in this case."

On July 2, Arthur Guise, 31, of Dillsburg, walked into Flapjack's Restaurant and Pub, and, without saying a word, shot and killed Sharon Williams, 33, of Mount Holly Springs, before killing himself, the York County Coroner's Office has said. Both died at the bar, which is off Route 15 in Carroll Township. Under federal law, Nacincik said, veterans who commit a capital crime are barred from being buried in a national cemetery. Though he did not have exact numbers for denials, Nacincik said the administration handles the burials of 125,000 veterans per year.
read more here

Guise wanted help and tried to get it. Now he is dead and so is Sharon Williams. Folks are recovering from the shock but some are still grieving. While you are deciding what should be the right way to bury this veteran, we should also be wondering what was the right way to take care of him before he went from risking his life twice in combat into pulling the trigger of someone he used to care about.

Sgt. Kyesha Lashell Harris-Foster Died 2 Months After Hit And Run

Killeen: Soldier Dies Two Months After Hit-And-Run
KWTX Our Town Texas News
By: Ethan Hutchins

KILLEEN (July 27, 2015) Police continue to search for a hit-and-run driver after a Fort Hood soldier who was struck by a vehicle in May died over the weekend.

Sgt. Kyesha Lashell Harris-Foster, 28, was hit early May 25 by a car while walking along South Fort Hood Street in Killeen.

The driver of the car that hit her did not stop.

Several people did, however, and were helping the 28-year-old victim when another car, whose driver couldn't see what was happening, struck Harris-Foster, pinning her beneath the car, the police said.

The car also struck a woman who had come to the victim's aid.

That driver did stop.

On Saturday, just two months after the accident, Harris-Foster died at a local hospital.
read more here

Former Navy SEAL Alleges Anti-Gay CIA

Former SEAL alleges anti-gay harassment in CIA
Brett Jones says he was bullied, called slurs, left outside in hot weather during deployment
San Diego Union Tribune
By Joshua Stewart
July 28, 2015
“I don’t tolerate racism or bigotry, and for some reason, that line of work attracts some people that are like that,” Jones said. “And because of the way the small units are, it goes unchecked.”

Former Navy SEAL Brett Jones discusses the importance of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the continuing breakdown of boundaries for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals during the 2015 Cultural Awareness Day observance, April 10, 2015.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/Released)

A former Navy SEAL who gained national attention for a memoir about being gay in one of the military’s elite communities has filed a complaint, saying he was the victim of homophobic bullying during a June deployment as a CIA contractor.

Brett Jones says when he arrived at his outpost in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan on June 11, he was forced to endure anti-gay bullying, including homophobic slurs, a crass PowerPoint presentation, and snide comments as people watched the news about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down bans on same-sex marriage.

The atmosphere was so toxic that he feared for his safety and had to return home early, he said.

The anti-gay comments came from a group of contractors and civil servants in the CIA’s Global Response Staff, Jones said. Many, like himself, are former members of special-operations units. A few of them took issue with working alongside a gay man, Jones said.
read more here

Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital Opens in Alaska

Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital opens in Anchorage
KTVA News 11
By Alexis Fernandez
July 28, 2015

The Patriots Program has 14 locations across the country, but the new facility is the first of its kind in Alaska. It’s also the only hospital named after Chris Kyle.

ANCHORAGE – Active duty military servicemembers and veterans in Alaska have a new hospital to turn to for help.

On Tuesday, Universal Health Services — the second largest U.S. hospital chain — cut the ribbon to its new Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital at 1650 Bragaw Street in Anchorage. The 36-bed hospital will primarily focus on mental health services like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and short-term care in a non-traditional environment. It previously helped adolescents with behavior programs in Alaska.

Chris Kyle was a U.S. Navy Seal who wrote the best selling book “American Sniper” after he served four tours in Iraq. He was shot and killed in 2013 at a shooting range in Texas.

His wife, Taya Kyle, was at the dedication ceremony to represent her late husband.
read more here

Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital
Inpatient Treatment Program for Service Members and Veterans ages 18 and older
Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital provides an intensive dual track treatment program for military service members and veterans, who have experienced trauma and are in need of detoxification and/or rehabilitation for substance abuse.

At its foundation, our program provides intensive trauma-focused multi-disciplinary treatment (i.e., psychotherapy, nursing, psychiatric and spiritual) with the goal to improve patients’ overall resiliency.

Holistic in nature, the Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital is attentive to needs of the whole self—the mind, the body and the spirit, and therefore, provides services that enhance the mind, strengthen the body, and empower the spirit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More Talk Out of Congress On Military Sexual Assaults?

House passes bill urging VA to change military sexual assault regulations
The Hill
By Cristina Marcos
July 27, 2015

The House passed legislation on Monday that calls on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to define military sexual assault as a service-connected cause of mental health disorders.

Passed by voice vote, the bill directs the VA to report to Congress every year on the number of claims for disability compensation based on a mental health condition allegedly caused by military sexual trauma.

The report would have to include the average number of days to process the claims and a description of the training provided to Veterans Benefits Administration employees who are processing the claims.

“We owe it to our veterans who are subject to personal assaults during their military service to ensure that the VA expeditiously and accurately processes mental health claims for conditions related to [military sexual assault], such as depression, anxiety or PTSD,” said House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.).
read more here


Seriously? And when do they plan on doing that instead of just talking about it?

2007
Healthy Living Report: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

But it's not just the bombs and gunfire that threaten their lives. Nearly 3,000 women reported last year that they were sexually assaulted while serving in the military, according to the Department of Defense's 2006 annual report on military sexual assault.

And now, the Cincinnati VA is getting national attention for a new program to help them recover.

2008

Female veterans report more sexual, mental trauma, CNN
Story Highlights
Dept. of Veterans Affairs diagnosed 60,000 veterans with PTSD
Women have comprised 11 percent of military force in Iraq and Afghanistan
VA: 22 percent of women, 1 percent of men suffered sexual trauma in military
Expert says women afraid to report sexual harassment for fear of retribution
In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs found that women are reporting signs of mental health issues when they return home at a higher rate than their male counterparts.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said in a Monday letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates that harassment and assault of military women, especially in combat zones, is a “scourge” that needs to be eliminated.

Casey is particularly interested in how the military handles complaints from women in the National Guard and reserve, whose cases may be harder to investigate than those of women on full-time active duty and in the federal civilian workforce.

Of the women veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who have walked into a VA facility, 15 percent have screened positive for military sexual trauma, The Associated Press has learned. That means they indicated that while on active duty they were sexually assaulted, raped, or were sexually harassed, receiving repeated unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature.

Yep more smoke and mirrors out of Congress,

2010
Women vets' secret war: Sexual trauma
66,342 female veterans report assaults from 2002 to 2008 -- by their band of brothers.

By KIM ODE, Star Tribune Last update: December 17, 2010 - 11:32 PM

Judy VanVoorhis knew that some men thought she had no business serving in the National Guard. How? She smiled fleetingly. "They told me." The military world often lacks the nuance of civilian life.

She had enlisted in 1985 and moved steadily through the ranks, becoming an instructor at an officer training school. In 1999, while at a conference, a group of instructors went out for supper.

"One guy seemed like he was trying to get everyone drunk, without drinking too much himself," she recalled. "I left, but he cornered me and tried to kiss me and I said I wasn't interested."

It has just gotten worse but they still haven't figured out we have been paying attention and noticed the truth behind the smoke and mirrors. Another election year and more talk about doing absolutely nothing at all! They want their jobs back even though they never did anything to earn your votes.

Commanders Split on Warrior Women but History Isn't

Before you decide which Commander is right and which one is still living in the stone age, here's a bit of history of American Warrior Women
Mary Ludwig, who would go down in history as Molly Pitcher, was born circa October 13, 1754, near Trenton, New Jersey. In 1768, she moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she met William (also known as John) Hays, a local barber. They married on July 24, 1769.
Pitcher witnessed her husband collapse at his cannon, unable to continue with the fight. She immediately dropped her water pitcher and took his place at the cannon, manning the weapon throughout the remainder of the battle until the Colonists achieved victory. According to the National Archives, there was a documented witness to Pitcher's heroic acts, who reported a cannon shot passing through her legs on the battlefield, leaving her unscathed:

"While in the act of reaching a cartridge ... a cannon shot from the enemy passed directly between her legs without doing any other damage than carrying away all the lower part of her petticoat. ... She observed that it was lucky it did not pass a little higher... and continued her occupation."

Dr Mary Edwards Walker, Civil War POW and Medal of Honor
Only Woman Medal of Honor Holder Ahead of Her Time
Department of Defense
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 30, 1999. He told her Mary Walker was the first American woman to be a military doctor, a prisoner of war and a Medal of Honor recipient. She was also a Union spy and a crusader against tobacco and alcohol.

"He told me she was always imitating men, and if she had dressed like a lady, she would have had a larger role in history," said Walker, a resident of Washington's Georgetown Aged Women's Home. A retired free-lance journalist, Walker said she's working on a book, "Woman of Honor," to tell the story of her aunt's Civil War exploits and her controversial life thereafter.

Through the family friend and research, Ann Walker learned her aunt was born on Nov. 26, 1832, in Oswego County, N.Y., and graduated from Syracuse Medical College in 1855. She married fellow medical student Albert Miller, but declined to take his name. The couple set up a medical practice in Rome, N.Y., but the public wasn't ready to accept a woman physician. The practice and the marriage foundered.

When the Civil War started, the Union Army wouldn't hire women doctors, so Walker volunteered as a nurse in Washington's Patent Office Hospital and treated wounded soldiers at the Battle of Bull Run in Virginia. In 1862, she received an Army contract appointing her as an assistant surgeon with the 52nd Ohio Infantry.

The first woman doctor to serve with the Army Medical Corps, Walker cared for sick and wounded troops in Tennessee at Chickamauga and in Georgia during the Battle of Atlanta.

Confederate troops captured her on April 10, 1864, and held her until the sides exchanged prisoners of war on Aug. 12, 1864. Walker worked the final months of the war at a women's prison in Louisville, Ky., and later at an orphans' asylum in Tennessee.

The Army nominated Walker for the Medal of Honor for her wartime service. President Andrew Johnson signed the citation on Nov. 11, 1865, and she received the award on Jan. 24, 1866. Her citation cites her wartime service, but not specifically valor in combat.

Walker's citation reads in part that she "devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health. She has also endured hardships as a prisoner of war for four months in a Southern prison while acting as contract surgeon."

Go here for more Warrior Women Medals And then there are these from Business Insider
Maj. Lauren Edwards led more than 150 Marines and several vehicles in defensive maneuvers during the invasion of Iraq.

Sgt. Sherri Gallagher is one of the top long-range rifle marksmen in the country, and was named Soldier of the Year.

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester killed several enemy combatants while under attack in Iraq, saving American lives.

Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho is the U.S. Army Surgeon General—the first non-male, non-physician to take on this role.

As a military correspondent, Staff Sgt. Lindsey Kibler covered Army development and outreach in one of the most dangerous regions of Afghanistan.
v Cpl. MaryBeth Monson maintained the security of her base during an attack by Afghani insurgents disguised as American soldiers.

Air Force 2nd Lt. Samantha Morrison is the fastest woman triathlete in the armed forces.

Air Force Lt. Col. Susan Pangelinan orchestrated a disaster response mission during the California wildfires.

Spec. Ashley Pullen saved the life of a squad member by shielding him with her own body while under attack.

Spc. Elizabeth Wasil overcame combat injuries to become an all-star Army athlete.

Margaret Woodward commanded the entire U.S. air campaign in Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn.
And more Warrior Women from the Army report
Cpl. Erica Gunter
2015: The first woman of 13M Military Occupation Specialty to become a launcher chief

Maj. Chrissy Cook
2014: The first female Bradley commander to lead her crew to "Top Gun"

Maj. Gen. Nadja West
2013: The first African-American female major general of the Army's active component

Lt. Gen. Flora D. Darpino
2013: The first female judge advocate general of the Army

Spc. Jessica Jones
2013: One of the first female Soldiers to graduate the artillery mechanic course and recognized as her company's honor graduate

Spc. Alexandra Seccareccio
2013: The first woman to obtain the multiple launch rocket system crewmember specialty

Maj. Gen. Laura J. Richardson
2012: The first female deputy commanding general of a maneuver division

Brig. Gen. Margaret W. Burcham
2012: The first woman to be promoted to a general officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson
2011: The Army's first-ever female African-American reserve officer to obtain the rank of major general

Sgt. Sherri Gallagher
2010: The first female to be selected as Best Warrior's Soldier of the Year

Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho
2011: The first female and first nurse to become surgeon general of the Army

There are even more you can find with a simple search online. Ok, now back to the article and it should be easy to be able to decide who is right and who is wrong.
Current and Past SOCOM Commanders Split on Women in Combat
Military.com
by Richard Sisk
Jul 28, 2015
U.S. Army Soldiers use teamwork to scale an obstacle during the Ranger Course on Fort Benning, Ga., April 21, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional skills in a challenging environment.
(U.S. Army/Pfc. Antonio Lewis/Released)

The current and former heads of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) split last week on lifting the restrictions on women in combat in special operations and throughout the military.

Army Gen. James Votel, who has led SOCOM since last August, backed the policy of the Obama administration and the Pentagon in stating that women who can meet the standards should be allowed to serve in previously restricted Military Occupational Specialties.

Standards are "absolutely the bottom line," Votel said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado last Friday. "This is about meeting the standards for the task that the nation expects us to be able to do. If people can meet the standards, then we should be able to integrate them."

In a separate panel at Aspen, retired Adm. Eric Olson, SOCOM commander from 2007 to 2011, said that the military and the nation must look beyond standards in making the decision and view women in combat in another context.

"I think that we are only having part of the discussion on women in combat," Olson said in a separate panel discussion at Aspen. "I think that we need to ask ourselves as a society if we are willing to put women in front-line combat units to take the first bullet on target."
read more here
Seriously?

WWII Veteran Diagnosed With PTSD at 105

Durham’s oldest veteran, 107, faces life’s end with post-traumatic stress disorder 
Durham News
BY VIRGINIA BRIDGES
July 28, 2015
Samie Anderson turned 107 last week
Anderson was diagnosed with PTSD at 105
Late in life diagnosis aren’t uncommon as veterans slow down and ‘darker voices get louder’

Samie Anderson has lived many lives.

Anderson, who turned 107 last week, grew up in rural Mississippi in the early 1900s, rode freight trains across the country as a teenager, hand rolled biscuits and cinnamon rolls as a chef and became a father of three and grandfather and great grandfather to many.

Today, however, one of Durham’s oldest veterans faces his final days with post-traumatic stress disorder more than 70 years after he fought in World War II.

Anderson was just diagnosed last year.

The late-in-life struggle is “actually common,” said Ilario Pantano, director at the N. C. Division of Veterans Affairs.

Many older veterans came home from war and needed to jump right back into the work force or faced a country that wasn’t very sympathetic, he said. Back then, post-traumatic stress wasn’t a mental health disorder, but something waved off as “shell shock.”

“They were forced to bottle up their pain, literally and figuratively, and get to work,” Pantano said.

“And then as their children left home, or now that they’ve retired and they have more time to begin decompressing in the later part of their life, some of these memories start to surface.”

More than 400,000 veterans in the state are older than 60, Pantano said, and as some of them slow down “those darker voices get louder.”
read more here

Missing Vietnam Veteran Found After 7 Days Stuck Under Tree

Missing Vietnam veteran, 66, is found alive under a fallen tree - SEVEN DAYS after he vanished during woodland walk 
Daily Mail
Kiri Blakeley
July 27, 2015
Army vet Larry Merton Shaddy, who reportedly has cancer and dementia, disappeared during a late-night walk near his care home
He fell down a steep embankment and got wedged under a broken tree
A passerby spotted him on Monday and phoned police
Shaddy, from Springdale, Maryland, is dehydrated and has leg injuries but is otherwise said to be in good spirits
A Vietnam veteran who has been missing for seven days has been found alive - wedged under a fallen tree in thick woodland.

Larry Merton Shaddy, of Springdale, Maryland, was conscious, lucid, and able to give his name to his rescuers, they said. He is now being treated for dehydration and leg injuries in hospital.

The 66-year-old, who is said to have cancer and dementia, was reported missing by his care home at 1am on July 20 after he failed to return from a late-evening walk.

He was spotted under a large tree limb by a passerby in Prince George's County on Monday, according to NBC 4 Washington.

He was just 0.3 miles from his care home.

The passerby, who was walking down the 9000 block of Ardwick-Ardmore Road, flagged down a passing motorist, who radioed for help.

The tree was removed by the Prince George's County Fire Department, using hydraulic power tools. Mr Shaddy was then placed in a large basket and pulled up the steep embankment to a waiting ambulance.
read more here

Iraq Veteran Killed in Kermit Texas

Deadly Shooting Outside Bar in Kermit
NewsWest 9
By Kalene O'Brien
Updated: Jul 27, 2015

WINKLER COUNTY, TX - One person was shot and killed outside of a bar in Kermit over the weekend. Authorities are now working to figure out who’s at fault. It happened around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday at the Texas Moon Bar and Lounge.

It all started out as a fist fight and then quickly turned into a deadly shootout between four guys. Locals say it’s a shock for their small community. 25 year old Mark Stahlman was killed by the gunfire.

His brother was one of the four guys involved in the gunfight.

The other two guys were place in custody for just over four hours before they were released. read more here

Canada: Afghanistan Veteran Denied Insurance Because of PTSD

Afghan war veteran denied insurance because of PTSD
CTV News Canada
Michael Shulman
Published Monday, July 27, 2015
"I did a job the government asked me to do (and) I did it to the best of my ability. I was injured during that but now I lack the ability to have the privilege of protecting my investment (and) my house," said Arnsten.

April 17, 2002 is a date that continues to haunt Shaun Arnsten.

The Afghanistan war veteran was part of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group that lost four Canadian comrades and saw eight others injured in friendly fire at the hands of an American F-16 fighter jet near Kandahar.

"I was about 150 metres from the point of impact where the bomb was," Arnsten told CTV News.

In 2003, Arnsten, 38, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a year later he received a medical discharge.

"I'm a young guy -- a soldier -- I went to war, I saw horrible things, I came back (and) I had a reaction to it," Arnsten said.

But the repercussions of his PTSD have affected his life back at home in Cochrane, Alta., as well.

Earlier this month, Arnsten says that he was rejected for mortgage disability insurance by Sun Life Financial because of his condition.

The veteran suffered a severe concussion in a motorcycle accident in April, which he says is preventing him from returning to his work as a heavy equipment operator.
read more here

Veterans May Get More Help From Veterans Affairs

House backs bill to help vets who've suffered sexual assault
Associated Press
Posted: Monday, July 27, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Veterans who suffered sexual assault or other sexual abuse while in uniform would get help more easily from the Department of Veterans Affairs under a bill approved Monday by the House.

The bill would allow a statement by a survivor of military sexual trauma to be considered sufficient proof that an assault occurred. The House approved the bill xxx--xx Monday night.

The bill is named after Ruth Moore, a former Navy sailor who was raped twice by a superior officer nearly three decades ago. Moore, of Milbridge, Maine, was awarded more than $400,000 in retroactive disability benefits last year after a decades-long battle with the VA.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, called it an important step to get the VA to make its benefits process easier and fairer for veterans like Moore who were sexually assaulted during their military service.

Since starting work on the issue five years ago, Pingree said she heard from "countless veterans who've struggled for years to get disability benefits for (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other conditions that stem from their assaults."
The Defense Department estimates that about 19,000 sexual assaults occurred in the military in 2010, but only 13.5 percent of those assaults were reported.
read more here

Monday, July 27, 2015

Florida Late on "Armed Citizens" at Recruitment Centers, Opps!

Last week we read this
Marine recruiters told to call the cops if armed citizens show up
Marine Corps Times
By Hope Hodge Seck, Staff writer
July 23, 2015
Marines were also instructed to call the relevant Army Corps of Engineers representative to notify the lessor of the recruiting office property of the presence of the armed individuals.

After four Marines and a sailor were killed by a lone gunman last week, armed civilians have volunteered to stand guard at military recruiting stations around the country — but troops are being warned to keep their distance and alert law enforcement of their presence.

In a memo published Tuesday that was obtained by Marine Corps Times, Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, the head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, advised troops not to support the "armed citizen" volunteers in any way.

"These citizens' presence, while well intentioned, will be counterproductive to our recruiting operations," Brilakis wrote.
read more here

It seems that my state of Florida didn't get the memo!
Florida to speed concealed weapons licenses to veterans
FLORIDA TODAY
R. Norman Moody
July 27, 2015
The Florida move to expedite the process for military and veterans comes amid debates about how best to protect recruiting stations, many of them in shopping center storefronts, and reports of armed citizens showing up at recruiting stations.

Amid reports of armed citizens standing guard at military recruiting stations and recommendations on how best to protect military personnel, Florida officials announced today that they will expedite concealed weapons permits for active duty military and veterans.

The move comes on the heels of the murder of five military members in Chattanooga, Tennessee earlier this month.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs said its goal is to issue licenses to qualified active military and veterans within 30 days, a third of the time allotted by law.

“The men and women who serve and have served our country deserve all of the support we can provide,” Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said. “We are pleased to expedite active military members and veterans’ applications for a concealed weapon license, and our partnership with tax collectors throughout the state will make this process even more convenient.”
read more here

Opps!

Volunteer Team of Retired Marines Performs Up to 9 Ceremonies A Day

RIVERSIDE: Always faithful, Marine vets serve at national cemetery funerals 
A volunteer team of retired Marines performs as many as nine ceremonies a day.
Press Enterprise
BY JEBB HARRIS / CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Published: July 27, 2015c
Staff Sgt. Robert "Bob" Dugan, 90, escorts Alyssa Fitzpatrick of Hemet to the memorial for her Marine father and wife at Riverside National Cemetery.
JEBB HARRIS, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Memorial Day comes a few times a month for Staff Sgt. Robert “Bob” Dugan. He rises early, puts on his Marine Corps dress blues and drives his pickup from his Costa Mesa home to Riverside National Cemetery.

At 90, Dugan is the oldest and most highly decorated of the volunteers of the honor detail team Semper Fi No. 1. He’s one of a crew of Marine veterans, from all over Southern California, who gather at the cemetery to provide a proper military service for their brothers and sisters.

With the passing of so many World War II and Korean War veterans, and the increase in casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan, there was a time when memorial services for some veterans amounted to a presenting of a folded flag and a recording of taps. Funding was short, and not enough troops were available to properly honor the dead.
read more here

Amputee Iraq Veteran Tries for WWE

Disabled local veteran now WWE hopeful 
The Courier Journal
Connor Casey
July 26, 2015
Iraqi War veteran, Michael Hayes, 29, completes a set of lateral rises during an afternoon workout at the Louisville Athletic Club. In 2006, during a deployment in Iraq, Hayes' Humvee was caught in an IED blast. He was the only survivor in the accident, suffered burns to his body and lost the bottom of his left leg. Hayes spent a year confined to crutches or a wheel chair and said he was more than excited to receive a prosthetic. “When they put me in that leg it was awesome,” said Haynes, “It was liberating.”
(Photo: Alyssa Pointer/The Courier-Journal)

Michael Hayes is tough; tough enough to join the military straight out of high school, tough enough to drag himself out of a destroyed Humvee in Iraq carrying his detached left leg and tough enough to become a professional wrestler.

Born at Fort Knox and raised in Louisville, Hayes decided at an early age that he wanted to be a professional wrestler. He graduated from Seneca High School in 2004, joined the U.S. Army, and was eventually deployed to Iraq.

In August 2006 in Ramadi, Iraq, Hayes was riding in a Humvee hit by an IED (improvised explosive device). Hayes was the only survivor, and he had to drag himself away from the wreckage carrying his own left leg, which had been blown off from the knee down. Along with losing the leg, he sustained a broken hip, a crushed right heel, shrapnel damage in his hands and burns on 35 percent of his body.

Hayes believes now that his injury is what opened the door for him to pursue his childhood dream.

"I think what was necessary was for me to experience some sort of catastrophic pain and suffering, which would allow me to grow enough to where I could accept and actually appreciate doing what I've wanted to do my entire life," Hayes said.

He spent the next 18 months undergoing rehabilitation and physical therapy at the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, using the prosthetic leg he'd have for the rest of his life.
read more here

UK: Disabled PTSD Veteran Feels Alone and Forgotten

"I feel alone and forgotten" - York army veteran and blast victim tells of PTSD struggle 
York Press
Kate Liptrot
July 27, 2015
"This country seems to want to ignore people, there has got to be a better way to treat PTSD."
A DISABLED war veteran who was injured in an explosion says he has been unable to access help for post traumatic stress disorder.

Christopher Hornblower, 36, from York, served in the 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment until he was medically discharged in 2004.

He was left with extensive injuries including twisted knee caps, severed tendons and a dislocated right knee as a result of an explosion while serving abroad.

More than a decade later, Mr Hornblower still suffers traumatic flashbacks, difficulties with sleep and problems related to his time in the Army.

But he said despite repeatedly trying to access psychological help from the NHS in York, he has been unable to get the specialist help he needs for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Last week he was referred from York Hospital for an urgent appointment at Bootham Park Hospital but the appointment was cancelled at the last minute and he was not been notified of another, Mr Hornblower said.

He said: "I feel alone and forgotten. It's not just in York, this is happening all over the country.
read more here

River Community Wellness Gets Huge Donations From Philanthropist

Philanthropist, 97, gives River Hospital $1m
Watertown Daily
By KENNETH J. EYSAMAN
MAGAZINE EDITOR
PUBLISHED: MONDAY, JULY 27, 2015
Launched in February 2013, the River Community Wellness Program is the nation’s only civilian outpatient treatment program serving soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Army announced May 13 the program would end in July. But on May 30, Army officials agreed to a reprieve.

ALEXANDRIA BAY — A $1 million donation by a longtime north country philanthropist will kick-start a capital campaign aimed at helping River Hospital expand its River Community Wellness Program, hospital Chief Executive Officer Ben Moore III announced Sunday.

Retired businessman and philanthropist Richard R. Macsherry, 97, shared news of his latest gift with nearly 250 hospital supporters gathered for River Hospital Foundation’s 13th annual Festive Evening at Bonnie Castle Resort and Marina.

“This is my 98th year on the river,” Mr. Macsherry said, adding that the hospital is an “important institution worth our support.”

Three years ago, Mr. Macsherry, then 94, suffered a serious injury after a fall that required him to be airlifted to a hospital in Utica, said his son, Richard H., a retired hospital administrator and member of River Hospital’s Board of Trustees.
read more here

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Iraq Veteran Missing in Ohio

Happy Update: 
Missing Upper Arlington Veteran Returns Home

Police search for missing Upper Arlington veteran 
NBC 4 News Ohio
By Nick Bechtel
Published: July 25, 2015
UPPER ARLINGTON (WCMH) — Police are searching for an endangered missing person Saturday evening.

Upper Arlington officials said Christopher Bock-Bacalao was reported missing on Saturday.

A police sergeant said he made threats against his well-being before he went missing.

Family members told NBC4 he is a rowing coach at Upper Arlington High School.

They also said he was an Army veteran who served one tour in Iraq. read more here

Congress Passed the Americans with Disabilities Act 25 Years Ago?

A soldier gets paid this much to risk their lives and spend 24-7 in service to the country.
VA Compensation
So we have some folks now getting $15.00 an hour for a "minimum wage" and some think that is great.

$670 a week is what a 100% disabled veteran receives as compensation.

If you look at it as a 40 hour a week paycheck they are missing since they cannot work, that boils down to $16.75 an hour for disabilities they suffer with 24-7. There are 168 hours in a week. That means they get less than $4.00 an hour for what they have to live with every day of the year for the rest of their lives.

When you think that veterans are having a hard time finding jobs, remember that they don't just want to work, they have to just to be able to live.

As for the rest of the article showing that employers are still reluctant to hire veterans they need to remember that while it is true most veterans do not have PTSD, there is no assurance anyone sitting across the desk from them doesn't have it.  Folks get PTSD from a long list of things in their own lives.  At least with a veteran you know they are used to hard work, working as a team in really bad conditions while thinking fast and pushing themselves to the limit of endurance.  Sounds like the perfect worked to me as well as among the best this country has to offer.  It isn't just patriotic to hire a veteran.  It is a smart thing to do!
People With Disabilities Are Twice As Likely To Be Poor. These Businesses Are Fighting That Stat
Huffington Post
Eleanor Goldberg
Impact editor
Posted: 07/26/2015

The staggering unemployment and poverty rates among people with disabilities is a reminder of how much work still needs to be done to protect this underserved demographic.

Sunday marks 25 years since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, a bill that aimed to give the group equal opportunities to pursue jobs and public and private services. While some vital progress has been made, people with disabilities still face incredible challenges when it comes to obtaining employment and becoming financially stable.
"Employers are scared to hire us," Debbie Eagle, who’s been blind since she was born, told NPR.

"Because they don't know what kind of accommodations we require. And if they don't meet what we consider to be reasonable accommodations, they're afraid we'll sue them."

Eagle, 43, has a bachelor’s degree in special education and said she’d love more than anything to be able to find work and stop relying on government assistance.

Michael Morris, executive director of the National Disability Institute, agrees with Eagle and told NPR that the issue at hand is that “attitudes are slow to change.”

Veterans, both those with disabilities and without, are facing an overwhelming amount of such stigma when they return home.

While most veterans come back without any emotional issues, experts say that hiring managers are skeptical that vets will “go postal” while on the job, USA Today reported in 2013.
read more here

VietnamVeteran Deserves Standing Ovation

McCrabb: Vietnam veteran deserves standing ovation
Journal News
By Rick McCrabb Staff Writer
July 26, 2015
“I’m proud of my service, like the other vets,” he said. “We were all anti-war like the rest of the country. I just wish people weren’t anti-solider. I never was comfortable talking about the war.”

MIDDLETOWN — There was a time — the day before Army Lt. Dan Sack was scheduled to arrive home in Cincinnati after serving during the Vietnam War — when he was spit on while walking through Haight-Ashbury, a neighborhood district near San Francisco and fertile ground for the hippie generation.

Sack and an Army buddy took a taxi from the Oakland Army base and toured the neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon. As they walked down the street, proudly wearing their uniforms, hundreds of hippies exited the neighborhood stores, and started chanting, “Ticket To Kill. Ticket To Kill. Ticket to Kill.”

He still doesn’t understand the meaning behind the words.

Patriotism, he said, hit “rock bottom” in the late 1960s.

Thankfully, before a riot ensued, Sack and his friend were picked up by a military police unit, put in the back seat of a government vehicle and driven to safety.

“I could have died the day before I got home,” he said.

Now, 47 years later, Sack will receive a much different reception that will include a standing ovation, not spitting. Sack, 70, of Middletown, will be one of the five veterans honored on Aug. 2 during a Dayton Dragons baseball game at Fifth/Third Field. He will appear on the field between innings and a 60-second video highlighting his military career and community service will be shown on the scoreboard.

Sack’s life, and for that matter, some of Middletown’s history, could have been rewritten on a February 1968 morning.

Sack and Jan Doxey, 22, of Florida, were sleeping in a hooch when a 122mm rocket exploded in the early dawn, sending Sack under Doxey’s bunk. Sack’s legs were filled with shrapnel, and he was temporarily deaf.

But Doxey was killed.
read more here

Finalist For Ms Veteran America Served in the Air Force

Military vet with Alma ties competes for Ms. Veteran America
The Morning Sun
July 26, 2015

Anne Kitchen grew up in Alma and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who was announced as a top 25 finalist for Ms. Veteran America 2015.

She competed in the national semi-finals back in May and is now competing for the crown on Oct. 18.

Kitchen began her military career in December of 2004, and thereafter served six years active duty in the United States Air Force as a meteorologist.

The main focus for Ms. Veteran America is to raise awareness and end homelessness among women veterans.

The competition highlights more than the strength, courage, and sacrifice of the nations military women, but also reminds people that these women are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.
read more here

Fort Hood, At Least 9 Suicides In 7 Months

Fort Hood: 9 confirmed suicides so far this year 
Killeen Daily Herald
Jacob Brooks Herald Staff
July 26, 2015

Fort Hood is on track to match the 17 soldier suicides it had last year, and according to a recent Defense Department report, the Army has had more than double the number of suicides as any other active military branch in recent years.

Fort Hood officials last week said the post confirmed nine soldier suicides so far in 2015 with one pending.

There were 17 suicides in 2014, which is more than double the six suicides in 2013. That had been the lowest number in years.

Since 2009, Fort Hood has had double-digit suicide counts: 11 in 2009; a record-high 22 in 2010; 10 in 2011; and 19 in 2012.

By the Numbers
Fort Hood suicides by year:
2009: 11 confirmed
2010: 22 confirmed
2011: 10 confirmed
2012: 19 confirmed
2013: 6 confirmed
2014: 17 confirmed
2015: 9 confirmed, 1 pending

Fort Hood suicides in 2014:
January-March: 3
April-June: 6
July-September: 5
October-December: 3
Total: 17

Army suicides in 2014:
January-March: 27
April-June: 31
July-September: 31
October-December: 35
Total: 124


In a Defense Department report released earlier this month, the Army had 30 suicides in the first quarter of 2015; six of them were at Fort Hood.
The Army had 124 suicides in 2014, up from 115 in 2013. In 2012, the Army had 165 suicides.

The Air Force had 14 suicides in the first quarter of this year, the Marines had three and the Navy had 10, according to the report. 
In 2014, the Air Force had 62 suicides, the Marines had 34 and the Navy had 53.
read more here

Death by Suicide is Expensive

Forgotten in all the reports on veterans committing suicide are Vietnam veterans Suicide Rate Spikes in Vietnam Vets Who Won't Seek Help
But suicide rates among Vietnam veterans are the highest of any particular group, according to John Draper, project director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
In 2007 CBS News did a report showing the high number of suicides after contacting all 50 states and when information was not already collected, CBS paid to cover the cost of doing it.
Veteran Suicides: How We Got The Numbers
Results 2004
Overall Rates
Veterans: 17.5 to 21.8 per 100,000
Non-Veterans: 9.4 per 100,000
Male Rates
Veterans: 30.6 to 38.3 per 100,000
Non-Veterans: 18.3 per 100,000
Female Rates
Veterans: 10.0 to 12.5 per 100,000
Non-Veterans: 4.8 per 100,000

Results 2005
Overall Rates
Veterans: 18.7 to 20.8 per 100,000
Non-Veterans: 8.9 per 100,000
Male Rates
Veterans: 31.5 to 35.3 per 100,000
Non-Veterans: 17.6 per 100,000
Female Rates
Veterans: 11.1 to 12.3 per 100,000
Non-Veterans: 4.5 per 100,000


And then there were more we didn't talk about. Attempted suicides within the records of the VA.
"This 12,000 attempted suicides per year shows clearly, without a doubt, that there is an epidemic of suicide among veterans," said Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense.
But that report didn't come out this year. Or last year. That report was made public because of a lawsuit filed way back in 2008.

The media has to stop pushing the "22 a day" claim made and start reporting the truth! Yet another report out of Washington tied marijuana to a report on veterans committing suicide.
Olympia Hempfest offers high times all weekend at Heritage Park
"The dispensary also hosts a support group for veterans called Twenty22Many (pronounced “twenty-two too many”), which has a visible presence at this year’s Olympia Hempfest. The group was started in response to a report that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide daily because of issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder."
Which is really ironic considering a couple of paragraphs above that one was this.
"Attending her first Hempfest was Anne Sulton, co-owner of A Bud and Leaf, one of two recreational marijuana retailers in Olympia. She was impressed by the peaceful crowd and said the event embodies an expression of freedom that Americans often take for granted."

A lot of people are taking those who served for granted.

Just because the media claims "freedom of the press" that does not mean they should have the freedom to push rumors.

We know the numbers are a lot higher and it is time the truth mattered simply because the numbers went up after the media decided it was a good topic to cover.

Charities popped up all over the country and congress spent more money on "awareness" and "prevention" when it turned out that veterans were preventned from healing and living better lives.

Suffering veterans turned into a billion dollar industry and funeral homes saw business booming. In other words, they became merchants of death. When more veterans committed suicide they became a price paid for our ignorance.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been "dealing" with PTSD veterans for 4 decades yet someone decided only the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan mattered. Why? Because the press hardly ever bothers to tell the stories of older veterans suffering longer with less help for the same wounds the new generation is getting attention for.

The answer is obvious. Reporters are focusing on what is easy, social media. They are assigned stories to cover, don't take the time or don't get the time to do real research, so they opt out of fact gathering and search for what is popular on Facebook and Twitter.

So who do we get to blame for all of this? US! If we don't start to hold them accountable for correcting the rumors, veterans will still keep paying the price for charities raising funds about wrong "awareness" as congress spends more and more money on what does not work.

We've all heard about sequestration and the cuts in government spending,,,or so we were told. Yet that is not what Congress ended up doing.
Mental Health Programs See Increases in FY 2014 Funding; $1.012 Trillion Package Provides Relief from Sequestration
The budget plan increases spending to $1.012 trillion in 2014 and $1.014 in 2015—up from the $967 billion required by the across-the-board sequester cuts. It provides for about $63 billion in sequester relief, divided equally among defense and non-defense programs.
The spending package includes $1.1 billion for mental health programs, which is $136 million more than the 2013 enacted level. NIMH will receive $1.45 billion, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will receive $1.03 billion and SAMHSA will receive $3.63 billion. In addition, the spending plan provides the first meaningful increase in funding for the Center for Mental Health Services.
Troops were discharged after sequestration kicked in and the defense budget for servicemembers shrunk. The funds for "prevention" programs that did not work did not get cut because more service members were still committing suicide and they needed the money to continue to push the programs that already were proven failures. Does that make sense to you?

The VA suicide report put the number at 22 a day with the disclaimer the data was limited based on 21 states. All veterans are not in the VA system, so they did could not track all the suicides tied to military service. Even within their own system they found there were 12,000 attempted suicides every year.

Death by suicide is expensive. Healing is less profitable but a hell of a lot more remarkable!

USA Today did a report on suicide stating there is an American committing suicide every 13 minutes.
The nearly 40,000 American lives lost each year make suicide the nation's 10th-leading cause of death, and the second-leading killer for those ages 15-34. Each suicide costs society about $1 million in medical and lost-work expenses and emotionally victimizes an average of 10 other people.

Only in one area did Americans react to suicide. When soldiers started killing themselves in record numbers during two arguably unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a groundswell from the public and Congress drove the military to respond.

The Army suicide rate tripled from 2004 and 2012 as more than 2,000 GIs took their lives. A new RAND study says that since 2005, about $230 million was poured into suicide research, more than two-thirds of it from the military.

"All the military research is likely to benefit civilians as well," says Michelle Cornette, executive director of the American Association of Suicidology.

A centerpiece effort is a $65 million study — the cost split between the Army and NIH — analyzing soldier suicides and tracking tens of thousands of troops over a period of years to understand self-destructive urges.
National Institutes of Health Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC) Table Published: February 5, 2015
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
$0 2011
$0 2012
$77 2013
$79 2014
$79 2015
$81 2016

Suicide
$49 2011
$44 2012
$37 2013
$39 2014
$39 2015
$40 2016

Suicide Prevention
$25 2011
$22 2012
$21 2013
$22 2014
$22 2015
$22 2016

Yes those numbers are in the millions.

For all the money spent and all the information gathered the result is more veterans are dying after all the "awareness" made less veterans aware of what they needed to heal.

This is even more troubling when you factor in that all the research on combat related PTSD began with Vietnam coming home and pushing for it.
Suicide Wall
In its efforts to help these veterans, the 700,000-member Disabled American Veterans (DAV) funded the FORGOTTEN WARRIOR PROJECT research on Vietnam veterans by John P. Wilson, Ph.D. at Cleveland State University. That research resulted in formation of the DAV Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program to provide counseling to these veterans in 1978. With 70 outreach offices across the United States, this DAV program served as a model for the Veterans Administration (VA) Operation Outreach program for Vietnam era veterans, which was established approximately a year later.
I still have the pamphlet hanging on my wall.

Just goes to show that intervention happened but did more harm than good, yet we allowed everyone to do everything they wanted instead of what was needed. No one was ever held accountable when it all got worse. Americans wrote checks to charities raising awareness for a selected group of veterans leaving far too many still suffering longer and dying younger. No one paid the price for our ignorance but veterans and their families.