Saturday, July 15, 2017

Broken Links Behind Veteran Suicides

Veteran Suicides and Broken Links
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 15, 2017
I get a lot of emails with "broken links" in the subject line. I stopped opening them because if there are broken links on this site, then it is up to the reader to track down where the link came from. There are almost 28,000 post put up over almost 10 years, so no, I'm not going to do the work for them to find the right link. The source of the article is always listed. If they cannot figure out how to find the source, then that is their problem.

Apparently there are a lot of broken links in the news. Most of them originate when the source decides they just don't want to do the work. After all, it isn't as if a report on suicides is important enough to matter or merit true investigations. That just takes way too long and is very emotionally draining.

Thirty-five years ago, there were plenty of legitimate excuses for us when I got into all of this. Most people didn't know what PTSD was. My Dad called it "shell shock" but that Korean War veteran couldn't explain it. My WWII veteran uncles couldn't either. My Dad told me to go to the library to figure out what he saw in my (then) Vietnam veteran boyfriend. 

Back then it wasn't about taking on a war I didn't fight in. It wasn't about setting off on journey that, apparently, became my life's work. It was about knowing what I was getting into with this man I fell in love with.

I could have taken what I learned and settled for keeping it to myself but what started out as selfish reasons took on a life of its own. I knew all too well the heartache and loneliness that others were living with. I knew how hopeless it felt.  

Fast forward 33 years of marriage and 35 standing by his side, I can tell you first hand that none of this is new, although it may be news to you. Oh, don't get me wrong here. When I help a veteran, it is as if I am helping my husband when no one else did. When I help a family, it is as if I am helping myself when no one else would.

For me, PTSD Awareness came with real questions that I invested a lot of time getting the answers to. It is the reason my husband is still here and we're still married. It is the reason why a lot of lives have been saved because of what I learned for the sake of the man I loved--and still do.

For me, for all the families out there, we may be the subject of over 400,000 charities now but few of them actually get to the heart of the matter or attempt to make us believe we actually do matter.

Ok, so now that you know I am in this with love as reason, and have had a successful marriage all this time, know one more thing. We lost my husband's nephew, also a Vietnam veteran, to suicide. Why? After all, I knew everything I needed to know to help him. What I didn't know was how to get him to listen.

That is something that will haunt me until the day I die. It is more powerful than the lives I've saved. More haunting of my soul than all the wondering in the world of why after all these years, it is all still happening. Frankly, it pisses me off!

There is a Mom here in Florida, going through the same hell. Wondering why she couldn't save her own son. A son she watched grow up and decide that he wanted to become a Marine so that he could save lives. After all, when they join the military, that is the goal. 

Sure we talk a crapload about "freedom" but never seem to follow that with what else would happen if this nation was invaded. It would mean a lot of destruction and death. It would mean major suffering from coast to coast. They join, willing to accept death for our sake and those they serve with.

Now think about this. Those same men and women, willing to die because they value the lives of others more than for themselves, survive combat but cannot find what they need to save their own lives.

Pretty disgusting isn't it now that you think know how many do it everyday, but then again, you don't know how long it has all been going on or the fact that we had better results when people were more interested in doing the actual work to change lives, than publicize the worst results of all.

Next time someone asks you for a donation because they are raising awareness, ask them where they were when Joseph Rasor needed them to make him aware that he could heal and then actually do it. After that, ask then when they are planning on offering an apology to his Mom!
Target 8: Pinellas mother says Marine fell through cracks, took his own life
News Channel 8
Steve Andrews Investigative Reporter
Published: July 14, 2017

“When I was with the sheriff’s office, I was part of the hostage negotiation team. I have a lot of training in suicide prevention and I couldn’t prevent my own son from taking his life. And that’s just a burden I’m going to have to carry in life.”
Carol Rasor-Cordero
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Joseph Ryan Rasor was born and raised in Pinellas County.

Joe joined the Marines at age 18. He shipped out to war at 19.

“You can’t really plan for it,” said his mother Carol Rasor-Cordero.

During his six years in the Marines, Joe deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

His mother noticed a slight change in Joe each time he returned home. Carol wondered about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

“I figured after three tours, there has to be something there, it wasn’t observable to me,” said Carol, a former Lieutenant with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Joe left the Marines in 2010. He finished up his degree and took graduate courses at the University of South Florida.
read more here

Now you know that the military let him down, but didn't know it is actually the order the DOD received from Congress back in 2008. They were ordered to do pre and post deployment screenings. The DOD has been doing "resilience training" to "prevent" PTSD and suicides. The VA gets blamed for what the DOD failed to do. Congress, WTF is wrong with them? No one has been held accountable and then they pretend this is the all news to them.

The VA cannot talk to a family without the veteran's permission. Just like all other privacy laws, we have no right to know unless the veteran has given permission. Sure we want to help them, but as adults, it is their choice to accept all the help we can give or not. 

I got lucky, lots of times, when they accepted the help, but the suicide of my husband's nephew is the one that got away and I can never get over.

To Carol, you have my heart. Please know that all too often, it isn't what we didn't know. It is what they will not hear.