October 4, 2015
There is a price being paid all over this country just because what is easy to say is being supported and promoted as fact yet the truth has a heartbreaking complexity that goes far beyond what can be cut down to a slogan. The collateral damage is all due to our collective ignorance. We hear about the "problem" and turn around to write checks but never manage to wonder where all that money went. I'd love to see an "awareness" charity fit this into their fundraising Tweet or Facebook post.
"Department of Defense has had increased suicides after "prevention training" then turned around to boot out 140,000 leaving the discharged with no help at all, betrayed others with PTSD treating them like slackers while telling the public they care, and then Congress betrayed even more by not taking responsibility for all the money they spent, laws they passed, rules they wrote because they could turn around and blame the VA when they in fact had jurisdiction over and then folks saw charities making millions off "awareness" raising and jumped on the bandwagon making suffering of veterans a way to make money leaving them without help so they could fact off with law enforcement officials all over the country to the point where communities had to come up with Veterans Courts to try to keep veterans out of jail and get them the help all the others failed to provide."
In 2013 NPR reported "The most recent statistics on incarcerated veterans from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) are almost 10 years old. In 2004, 10% of the State prisoners reported prior service in the U.S. Military. 140,000 were being held in prisons nationwide, 62% reported having an Honorable Discharge. A majority of veterans in State (54%) and Federal (64%) reported they served during a wartime period. At that point in time veterans of the Iraq-Afghanistan era comprised 4% of incarcerated veterans in both State and Federal prison."
Yep, it's that bad. Just to prove the point, when all the reporters were finally talking about suicides tied to the military and PTSD, Congress decided to start spending money. No, not just over the last decade or so but back in the 70's. Vietnam veterans pushed for all of it yet after all these years what was learned was forgotten and so have the Vietnam veterans been forgotten. They are the majority of the suicides but hey, why tell the truth on that simple fact?
As for current news, the DOD reported that there were 99 suicides in 2006 and was the highest number of suicides in 26 years. So Congress decided to do something about it but didn't matter to any of them what they did made it worse. More committed suicide even as less were serving with the end of wars.
Over the first six months of 2015, 130 active-duty troops took their own lives, along with 89 reserve members and 56 National Guardsmen. In the second quarter, the reserve component experienced 47 suicides and the National Guard, 27.As for the VA, "The analysis found that the actual number of estimated suicides per day among veterans has remained relatively stable, ranging from 20 per day in 2000 to 18 per day in 2007 and 22 per day in 2009 and 2010, the latest estimates available, according to a report on the study released Friday. The rate of suicide among veterans who use VA health care services has remained steady in recent years, at about 36 per 100,000.The analysis found that the actual number of estimated suicides per day among veterans has remained relatively stable, ranging from 20 per day in 2000 to 18 per day in 2007 and 22 per day in 2009 and 2010, the latest estimates available, according to a report on the study released Friday. The rate of suicide among veterans who use VA health care services has remained steady in recent years, at about 36 per 100,000."
Yet even that report came from limited data. At least you can see that when more "efforts" were made, there were more suicides but WTF no one shows any sign of changing a damn thing they got wrong already.
How about we take a look at another missed number in all the talk about the price being paid by those who risked their lives for this country? I was reading about another veteran in crisis facing off with law enforcement officers and wondering who is being held accountable for failing veterans in the first place? A Deputy was shot in the face by a veteran with PTSD. The veteran is now facing charges.
Local Shooting Starts Conversation About PTSD was the headline but the news begins with the false conversation of "22 Veterans Commit Suicide Everyday."
How do you begin a conversation with bad information? How to you boil any of this down to a soundbite as if it will ever change anything?
This is what happened in California but keep in mind it is happening all over the country.
Mariposa deputy shot in morning shootout
Your Central Valley News
By Patrick Nelson
Published 10/02 2015
The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office is asking for prayers after one of their own was shot in the face during a shootout with a suspect early Thursday morning. The deputy remains in critical condition. 35-year-old Brian Ballasch of Merced is being charged with shooting the officer.
While this shooting happened in a small community it's impacting anyone who puts on a law enforcement badge for a living.
The Fresno Sheriff's Office is just one of many agencies offering their support for the critically injured officer.
Just a day after the Merced Police Department was warned about former Marine Brian Ballasch struggling with post traumatic stress disorder he had a run in with Mariposa deputies.
After ramming his vehicle into deputies trying to stop him on Highway 49 near Mariposa investigators say he got out and started shooting a .45 caliber pistol hitting a deputy in the face and upper body who is now fighting for his life in a Madesto hospital.
Officials are visibly shaken by the incident
"One deputy... I'm sorry... a ten year veteran of the office, a father, a husband, a friend was struck at least twice," Kristie Mitchell of the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office said fighting back tears.
Ballasch was also shot in the shootout, but will be ok. He is being held for the attempted murder of a peace officer. The three other deputies involved in the shootout have been placed on administrative leave which is standard protocol as California Highway Patrol is investigating
read more here
These are other just from 2015
Magoffin County Sheriff's Deputies and Kentucky State Police, went to serve an arrest warrant on Vietnam War Veteran, Carter Castle.
MARICOPA, Ariz. --- An Arizona military veteran died after a confrontation with police in his neighborhood south of Phoenix Sunday afternoon. The widow of 32-year-old Johnathan Guillory says her husband struggled for many years with post-traumatic stress, brought on by a combat deployment in Iraq. He also spent time as a contract worker in Afghanistan.
On the balcony of his second-story apartment in U.S. Air Force dress blue uniform, Francis “Frank” Lamantia Spivey stood with an assault rifle pushed up to his chin just after midnight Feb. 25.
Police said William Dean Poole, 52, had told the hotline he planned to kill himself and not to send anyone to his home because it would not end well. When officers arrived at about 5:25 p.m., Buie said Poole was sitting on a lawnmower and fired multiple shots at police first. The officers returned fire, killing Poole.
Glendale police fatally shot Joe Tassinari in March 2015 outside his home near 67th and Peoria avenues. An officer said Tassinari, who was suspected of displaying a firearm at a woman earlier that night, did not obey commands and made a threatening move by reaching for his waistband. Dallas and neighbors said Tassinari typically kept a gun on him in one of his back pockets.
Anthony Hill, a 27-year-old US air force veteran, was shot dead on 9 March at his apartment complex outside Atlanta. Police officers had been responding to a 911 call for an episode during which Hill was not wearing clothes, crawling on the ground and banging on his neighbors’ doors.
An as-yet-unidentified officer shot and killed Brian Babb, a 49-year-old former captain in the Oregon Army National Guard, after Higgins called police to Babb’s west Eugene home because he was suicidal and told Higgins he had fired a gun in his home.
At least two Victoria police officers were placed on administrative leave Sunday after fatally shooting a 25-year-old man outside of his home. Brandon Lawrence, was an Afghanistan veteran.
Standoff on 1-35 With Texas Veteran Ends With Help, Police confirmed he was a veteran and took him to the hospital. Investigators were waiting Saturday afternoon to talk to doctors and decide whether to file charges, Dickson said.
A army spokesperson has released the name of the Soldier found dead by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department SWAT Wednesday in the Century at Fenwick Apartments in the Berwick area. The Soldier was Spc. Roobelson Viciere, 30, 3rd Infantry Division Artillery.
Boise Police Department On average, Boise police officers encounter approximately one veteran per week facing a crisis and in need of assistance, and officers are provided the opportunity to aid in referring the veteran to one of the network partners. These interactions demonstrate the value of the program, and that its objective is being met.
Wade Allen Baker, 44, of Clyde, alone in the church when law enforcement crews arrived. The man exchanged gunfire with the officers, she said.
Barry Sutton was a civilian contractor, working with DynCorp International. He was helping to train police officers in Afghanistan as part of NATO's resolute Support Mission, according to the Floyd County Sheriff's Office. Sutton was one of 12 people who died after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy traveling through a crowded neighborhood. "Barry was a solid career officer, Floyd County Police Department SWAT veteran and deputy,"
Mr. McGranahan had served two tours of duty in Iraq, been wounded in the back, and awarded a Purple Heart. The woman, Shirley Mowery, said her grandson suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, but was not capable of hurting anyone. Toledo police have identified Donald McGranahan II as the main taken in custody after a standoff with police in West Toledo today.
An Ormond Beach father and husband was additionally charged Thursday with attempted second-degree murder after his wife described to police a horrific night of "PTSD rage." Before barricading himself in his house for seven hours on Wednesday, Kevin Hamilton attacked his wife, threatened to kill his family and shoot himself in front of his crying 4-year-old son, police reports state.
Keep in mind that I cannot find all the reports, so there are a lot missing from this list. There were many more news reports about veterans on trial for standoffs from other years during this year like the one going on in Tampa Florida
Matthew Buendia changed after his third deployment to Afghanistan and that when he came home, the former Marine became a recluse. "He was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," said Swanson, "A lot of those doctors were giving Matthew different types of medications. He was taking very severe stuff." Buendia is accused of shooting Hillsborough County deputy Lyonelle De Veaux during a domestic dispute in October 2011. The deputy survived the shooting.
This isn't even factoring in the number of questionable suicides like accidents that are actually on purpose or drug overdoses that may or may not have been on purpose. Families are still wondering what the purpose of all this "awareness" actually produced to spare other families from suffering the same deadly outcomes.
Too many lives have been shattered because veterans are still unable to find the help they need to heal from where they were sent. So when will someone be held accountable for this failure that spreads from the DOD to our communities? When do we actually do something to change the outcome? How do we get there when all the nonsensical "awareness" raising fails to not only tell the truth but trivializes this massive suffering down to a convenient soundbite of "22 a day" just because it is easier than reporting the facts?