Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Stop being absent from your own life!

Time to filter out the BS and fill up with something to actually work toward!

OK, you can tell what kind of mood I'm in right now. 

Frustrated does not even come close to wanting to get up on my roof and scream that it is time to stop being absent from your own life!

You found excuses because you looked for them.

You found other people to blame, because you looked for them.

You found whatever you wanted to find when you wanted to find it.

So when the hell will you find what you need to stop screwing around and get serious and #TakeBackYourLife from PTSD?

How many officers do you need to hear from? One this site, you've read about officers in every department of people who made it their job to do whatever it takes to save others.

HOW ABOUT YOU DO THE SAME FOR YOURSELF?

Fire Department Captain "I thought I was bulletproof"

First Responders and PTSD: Still waiting to just get over it? Pay attention! Your life is calling in sick. Time to #TakeBackYourLife

First responders can be haunted by close encounters with suffering and death

“I thought I was bulletproof. I thought nothing ever bothered me.”

Captain Rick Stack, a long-time North Attleboro firefighter, has been diagnosed with PTSD.
But beneath the aura of command he cultivated, invisible damage was webbing slowly outward. Stack didn’t know it yet, but the job was taking a toll — week after week, month after month, year after year. In time, his own suffering would break through the surface.

Wild ride up in the air in a Viper

F-16 demonstration pilot uses cockpit camera during air show — and the result is stunning
Air Force Times
By: J.D. Simkins
July 30, 2018

The 2018 F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, commanded by Maj. John "Rain" Waters, center. (Air Force)

The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team put forth their usual brilliant performance last week when they flew in the 2018 AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The team from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, specializes in demonstrating the capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, one of the service’s prized fighters.

While performing in Oshkosh, the team’s commander, Maj. John “Rain” Waters, put together one hell of a cockpit video specifically for your viewing pleasure.
read more here

Using the words from Contact "Want to go for a ride?" So do a lot of other people. It just came onto YouTube 2 days ago and has had 83,563 views already!
Cockpit video using my virb360 cam in the F-16 Viper Demo Team performance at 2018 Airventure. Pilot: John Waters

Monday, July 30, 2018

Veteran thanked Officer who saved him from suicide

Veteran who considered taking his life thanks cop who saved him
By:KXAN
Posted: Jul 29, 2018

GRANITE SHOALS, TX (KXAN) - Granite Shoals Police Officer Tim Edwards received a challenge coin Friday for getting a veteran mental health treatment when he was about to end his life two weeks ago.

Air Force veteran Larry Guynes says he has struggled with depression and anxiety. The medication he was taking didn't sit well with him and he contemplated killing himself.
"I called the suicide hotline," he said. "I was on the phone with them and unknowingly they called Officer Edwards in."

Edwards was dispatched to Guynes' home.

"When I saw him, I instantly saw somebody who was looking for help," Edwards said.

Edwards says the lessons he learned from crisis intervention training kicked in.

"He was standing in his front yard on his phone when I walked up," Edwards said. "I just gave him the opportunity to speak, let him tell me what's on his mind."

Guynes didn't feel threatened by Edwards, saying he was quiet and calming.

"My focus immediately shifted," Guynes said. "I wasn't thinking about harming myself any longer. It was immediate. It was astounding."

"He had a plan," Edwards said. "I believe he would've went through with it if we would not have intervened that evening."

Guynes was the one who handed Officer Edwards his challenge coin. Etched on the back is the quote "Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid," by former President Ronald Reagan.
read more here

PTSD Veteran sleeps outside Rehab, service dog not welcomed

Combat Veteran Sleeps Outside with Service Dog When Denied Access to Rehab Facility
FOX 16 News
By: Rebecca Jeffrey
Jul 29, 2018

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Justin Simmons knows what war looks like.
"I hear screaming and yelling, I hear explosions."

It's a scene that now lives in his head.

"You know, there's some things that don't go away," Simmons said.

The Iraq combat veteran is taking on a new battle for his best friend.

"This guy's kept me out of more trouble than any jail commitment," he said looking at his service dog Blue.

He says a PTSD episode landed him in jail back in 2011.
He says last week he was sentenced to treatment at the Recovery Centers of Arkansas in North Little Rock until a bed opened up at the VA.

"I was automatically court ordered and if I left I would go to jail," he said.

While he was welcome inside the RCA, Blue was not because he didn't have the right certification.

"You're not allowed to deny me access with my service dog. It's not legal," Simmons said.

Blue is a registered service animal through the Americans with Disabilities Act.
read more here

Canada:Police officer's family speaks out about PTSD

Police officer's family speaks out about PTSD
The Nugget
By JENNIFER HAMILTON-MCCHARLES
July 29, 2018

Murray Northrup died last year.

Osprey Links Golf Course was Northrup's second home so it was only fitting his family, friends and emergency services paid tribute to the veteran police officer, who served more than 37 years with the Ontario Provincial Police and North Bay Police Service.
Murray Northrup's wife Diane Northrup, his daughter Krista Northrup and Police Chief Shawn Devine of the North Bay Police Service organized and attended the 1st annual Murray Northrup Golf Tournament to recognize Post Traumatic Stress Disorder held at Osprey Golf Course Saturday. Northrup who served as a police officer for more than 37 years committed suicide July 19, 2017 after suffering from PTSD.

“Post traumatic stress is a silent killer. Murray suffered for years,” his wife, Diane, said Saturday.

“He lived to be a cop and died because he was a cop.”

Before his death, Northrup said her husband left several letters to his family and first responders who would be called to the scene the day he died July 19, 2017.

“The letter he sent to his lawyers, about 10 pages in length, detailed all the incidents that have stayed with him. Everything was in there – the dates, times and names over the past 30 years.”

Northrup said her husband saw his first fatal when he was five and that stayed with him for his entire life.

“Murray's dad told him to stay in the car, but he didn't and saw the women who died. He still remembered the dress she was wearing.”

Murray Northrup also made a request in his final letter to his loved ones to do something to help heroes suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

His daughter, Krista, promised she will do whatever she can to answer her dad's request.

The family organized a tribute to Northrup in a way he would appreciate – a golf tournament.
read more here

Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan taking Honor Flight!

'Hot Lips' actress from “M*A*S*H” booked for women's Honor Flight event
Omaha World Herald
By Steve Liewer / World-Herald staff writer
July 30, 2018
For the Female Veterans Flight, only women will be onboard. The veterans. Their escorts. The airline pilots. The flight attendants. Even the news media.
Loretta Swit Actress who played Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in “M*A*S*H” will speak before flying with vets to D.C.
Come September, an actress who portrayed a female soldier on television for more than a decade will travel to Washington, D.C., with a planeload of Nebraska women who served in the military, for real.

Loretta Swit, who played Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the iconic 1970s TV show “M*A*S*H,” is scheduled to speak at a dinner honoring the 135 female veterans in La Vista on Sept. 23. The Korean War comedy-drama focused on an Army combat medical unit.

Swit, now 80, will join the veterans early the following morning on the first leg of the daylong trip to visit patriotic sites in the nation’s capital.
read more here

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Office of the Inspector General for Veterans Affairs Denver Did Nothing?

VA whistleblowers say Denver office did no work for a year
FOX 31 Denver
BY ROB LOW
JULY 24, 2018
"Long lunches, I mean watching movies, reading books. I mean I was doing school work. I`m not going to lie I did not have any work assigned. I spent the majority of my time doing school work," said whistblower No. one, who happened to be a paid intern making $47,214 a year to help conduct information technology audits.

DENVER -- Imagine making close to $100,000 a year and having nothing to do at the office.
It's what Denver whistleblowers say was reality for employees at the local Office of the Inspector General for Veterans Affairs.

That's the very division in charge of wiping out waste, fraud and abuse for the medical system that serves the nation's veterans.

"These are your tax dollars that are paying the salaries of these individuals to sit in an office and do absolutely nothing all day," said one anonymous whistleblower to the Problem Solvers.

"After a while it became a joke," is how a second whistleblower described it.

"Come into work and pretty much staring at the wall all day kind of just hanging out every day pretty much with nothing to do."

Both whistleblowers filed complaints with the Office of Special Counsel in Washington, stating an office of 11 employees basically did no work from April 2017 to April 2018.

The combined salaries of those employees during that time frame totaled more than $1.2 million.
read more here

PTSD Patrol Sunday Morning Empowerment Zone

PTSD Patrol Family Road Trip
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
July 29, 2018

Yesterday it was raining when I was getting ready to do the video for today. A song popped into my head and I could not get it to stop playing in my mind. 

Melissa Manchester "Come In From The Rain" is about coming home from a journey and returning to someone who loves them.

I used that song a long time ago because it is what it is like when you come back home to your family.

When you listen to the lyrics, you'll know what I mean. We do not know what you have packed in your memories. We just know you are still packing pain. 

We don't know if it is because you do not love us anymore, or we did something wrong, or anything else that caused what is going on with you. All we can do is guess unless you tell us.
read more here

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Never Forgotten Honor Flight trip

There are some stories that absolutely melt your heart. When Vietnam Veterans take an honor flight, sometimes there are no words needed to express the emotions. 

This is one of those times and you can clearly see it in the stunning pictures taken by Alexandra Wimley.

As for the words, it is also clear that Devi Shastri, the reporter, took the time to know these veterans and tell their stories.

*******

Vietnam veterans reflect on an emotional Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight trip to Washington
Oshkosh Northwestern
Devi Shastri
July 28, 2018
“It’s the camaraderie that we are united,” Rihm said. “We are together as a group (of Vietnam veterans) because we weren’t treated very well. When I was discharged from the Army, I did not leave the fort with my uniform on. I put on civilian clothes. I did not want anyone to know.”

OSHKOSH - Standing in front of the dark, reflective sheen of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, Navy veteran Joel Walker knew exactly whose name he was looking for.

George D. MacDonald.
Veteran Al Morasch II becomes emotional and hugs board member Jim Campbell after finding a name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., during the Never Forgotten Honor Flight trip, May 21, 2018. "He was my best friend," he said. Alexandra Wimley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
MacDonald was a childhood friend of Walker; the two grew up together in Evanston, Illinois. MacDonald was a captain in the Air Force during the war.
A veteran looks for a name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., during Never Forgotten Honor Flight, May 21, 2018. Alexandra Wimley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Walker had been to the wall before — with the Veterans of Foreign Wars as a past state commander for Wisconsin. He also had a general idea of where MacDonald’s name was etched into the shiny black granite. But he couldn’t find it.
read more here and see more stunning pictures

Technology and tenacity help amputees stay in service!

Soldier amputees have more options for continued service
Joint Base San Antonio
U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition
By Whitney Delbridge Nichels
July 26, 2018
FOB FRONTERAC, Afghanistan - Col. Todd R. Wood (right), commander of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, administers the oath of re-enlistment to Staff Sgt. Brian Beem (left), a cavalry scout assigned to the 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, during a special ceremony at Forward Operating Base Frontenac, Nov. 9. Beem is a single leg amputee who has continued to serve despite his injury. He lost his leg after an improvised explosive device detonated during his 2006 deployment to Iraq.
ARLINGTON, Virginia — Thanks to advances in modern medicine and the availability of sturdier prosthetics, soldiers who are able to redeploy after amputation have a number of possible options for continued military service.

Army Staff Sgt. Brian Beem lost his leg in 2006 to an improvised explosive device in Iraq. "I thought my career was over," he said.

Beem credits his experiences at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, with helping him assess and eventually find options for returning to duty.

“It took me about a year to get up to speed with physical training, and I was feeling pretty confident,” he said. Within a short time, Beem was ready to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit. Although he was no longer on patrol as he was in previous deployments, he still played a vital role in battle staff operations.

“It was really gratifying to be able to deploy,” he said. “It’s possible, but it’s not easy. The process is there for those who have the perseverance.”
read more here

Stolen Valor: Miserable excuse to abuse heroes

Man who pretended to be a decorated veteran sentenced
WPTV Webteam
Tory Dunnan
Jul 27, 2018
"My actions, which I thought were for a good reason. To help my family overall," he said. "I've dishonored myself, my sons, my daughters, my family, my country, and veterans everywhere. For that, I am truly sorry," said Liroff who could barely get through a prepared statement.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - A man in Port St. Lucie who pretended to be a veteran entered a no contest plea in court Friday.

For years, Edward Liroff told stories about his service saying he was shot twice in combat and that he pulled two soldiers out of a burning helicopter.

The ruse unraveled when tried to get a code enforcement job with the city and police say a document he used turned out to be falsified.

In court, a judge credited him with some of the time he has spent behind bars but he still must serve nine more months in jail.

Liroff apologized and said, "this wasn't his brightest moment."
Once he pays back all the money he received from veterans benefits, his one-year probation will be dropped.
read more here

Healing PTSD with laughter?

The Millennial Who Uses Comedy to Help Veterans Heal
Politico
By DEREK ROBERTSON
July 26, 2018
“Until I joined the class, I talked about [that experience] two times, and each time I had full breakdowns about it,” Croghan told me afterward. “I hate to use the word ‘safe,’ but that’s what [the class] was. I felt comfortable discussing it with the group we had. … Until that point, I’d never done that before.”
A millennial-run nonprofit is bridging a divide between the military and civilians by giving veterans a chance to tell their stories—and their jokes—in public.

For the better part of a decade, Christopher Croghan was at war.

He deployed to Iraq for the first time in 2007 at the height of the conflict. Returning home, he found it no more peaceful than the desert. Like many in his generation of post-9/11 veterans, Croghan found it almost impossible to speak candidly about what he had lived through—particularly with those closest to him. When faced with the choice between returning to the battlefield and processing at home the trauma he brought back, he repeatedly volunteered for redeployment, even as a soldier for hire after leaving the Marines.

“The only stuff my family knew about the war and me is that every once in a while we would have a celebration, and I would get way too drunk,” Croghan said. “And I’d say, ‘Well, you’ve never shot at a fucking kid, so shut the fuck up.’”

Croghan’s drinking led to a DUI. Both the judge and his therapist at the VA encouraged him to pursue writing, his personal outlet of choice. One day, however, a slightly adjacent program crossed the desk of Croghan’s therapist—the Armed Services Arts Partnership, a nonprofit that teaches creative- and performing-arts classes for veterans and military families. ASAP’s mission is to forge “a new path for veterans to reintegrate into civilian life, and for our communities to welcome them home.”

Which is how, on a warm evening in May, Croghan came to be standing on a stage at the Drafthouse Comedy Theater on Washington, D.C.’s K Street, just a few blocks north of the White House, preparing to deliver a monologue that he had spent the previous six weeks perfecting in a storytelling class with nine other men and women.
read more here

Courage to speak about seeking help to heal PTSD

There is something that Sgt. 1st. Class James Spraggins understands very well. He understands what his choice of profession caused, but he understands a lot more than that!

It takes a lot of courage to choose a career that could kill you.

It takes a lot of courage to put your life on the line for the sake of others.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that sometimes, you need help too.

What takes even more courage, is to speak out publicly so that others are inspired to ask for help too!


*******

A Platoon Sergeant receives the gift of hope, strength and life
U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition
By MaryTherese Griffin
Courtesy Story
07.27.2018
"...this would be the start of my new life; the gift of hope, strength, and most importantly the gift of life.” Sgt. 1st. Class James Spraggins


Courtesy Photo | Sgt. 1st. Class James Spraggins Iraq 2008, (Photo courtesy James Spraggins)

ARLINGTON, Va. - “I was a disaster who was proficient at hiding the fact that I needed help. I was very confused on what was going on with myself and feared for the future.”

Those courageous words are from Sgt. 1st Class James Spraggins. The former Infantryman turned Army Sniper has deployed multiple times over his 15 year Army career and wants to let other Soldiers know a few things about his journey.

The events of September 11th encouraged Spraggins to enlist; he felt like he was honoring his family name by taking it overseas to defend the nation’s freedoms. However, after his last two deployments, Spraggins says he was a different person. “I no longer had the same mentality towards human kind when I returned,” and that included himself Spraggins said.

Spraggins suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was assigned as a Platoon Sergeant to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Knox, Kentucky. This was the first time, he says, he was away from his comfort zone. “I can remember feeling on top of the world (before PTSD), but then I lost who I was, I lost all hope. This began the complete spiral and destruction of Sgt. 1st Class Spraggins,” Spraggins recalled. “Those moments were some of the darkest moments of my life. I began neglecting everyone close to me so that I didn’t have to visit them or talk to anyone.”

Spraggins says he even began neglecting his basic human needs, like hygiene, for weeks and would skip meals for days to the point of complete exhaustion and he didn’t sleep. After suffering multiple panic attacks daily for several months he started thinking to himself that living was no longer an option. He sat with a loaded pistol in a church parking lot, thought about it, prayed about it, then he called his sister. “After failing in every direction, I turned for help. I made the choice to walk into Building 1480, the Behavioral Health Clinic on Fort Knox, this would be the start of my new life; the gift of hope, strength, and most importantly the gift of life.”
read more here

Friday, July 27, 2018

North Dakota did not protect veterans looking for help?

North Dakota Veterans’ personal information at risk, audit says
Bismark Tribune
James B. Miller, Jr. Forum News Service
Jul 24, 2018
Most notably, the audit found that the Veteran Aid Loan System was outsourced to a vendor without the department receiving an exemption from the Information Technology Department, meaning that, since 2005, information from veterans including credit history, debt-to-income ratio, discretionary income, spousal income, discharge information and more were hosted by an unvetted vendor.
In an extensive report, the Office of the State Auditor recently expressed concerns with the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs’ handling of the veteran aid loan, hardship assistance grant, impact grant and highly rural transportation grant programs.

The report stems from a performance audit conducted on the NDDVA beginning in October 2017 and concluding on March 28, 2018. The effort was headed by Rep. Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, and the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee.

The Veterans Aid Loan Program is a permanent revolving fund for eligible veterans and surviving spouses to receive funds for relief or assistance. The audit found that to obtain a loan, the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs required applicants to have the financial ability to repay the loan. However, neither ACOVA or the NDDVA had established underwriting guidelines to use when determining an applicant’s financial ability to repay the loan.
Attempts to reach North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Lonnie Wangen and Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Dean Overby for comment went unanswered.
read more here

Two Fort Hood veterans planned wedding, now funeral and trial

Bride-To-Be Accused Of Killing Fiancé In Fight Over Wedding Guest
CBS 4 Denver
Brandon Watkins
July 25, 2018
A friend of Watkins told KKTV the couple served together in the Army at Fort Carson.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) — A bride-to-be is accused of killing her fiancé while they were planning their wedding.

Jacqueline Souza, 31, told investigators she thought her fiancé, Brandon Watkins, was having an affair – and that he wanted to invite that woman to their wedding in Las Vegas, KKTV reports.

The couple reportedly got into a fight about the invitation when they got home late Friday night after celebrating their upcoming wedding and Watkins’ new job.
read more here

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Too many veterans facing off with police officers

How much louder do they have to scream? That was the question a couple of weeks ago when we posted about veterans committing suicides in very public ways. 

Last year, veterans were facing off with law enforcement officers every week. Now there are three within 3 days.
Man taken to hospital after barricading himself inside Byron hotel
The standoff began when police went to do a welfare check and found the man had barricaded himself inside the room
Author: WMAZ Staff
July 24, 2018
When police arrived, they found the door barricaded with all the furniture inside the room.

The SWAT team was called in after family members and police were not able to make contact.

The man inside was confirmed as a military veteran, and police are saying he is under intense mental and physical stress.

No weapon was found and police say he never threatened anyone or himself.
read more here


Man charged with Domestic Battery after Cape Coral standoff
FOX 4 News
Jul 24, 2018

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- A several-hour long standoff with deputies ended safely Monday with the suspect in jail for Domestic Battery.

Cape Coral Police responded to a welfare check in the 900 block of SW 47th Terrace after a wife called the VA clinic to report her husband was having combat flashbacks and threatened to harm himself.

Deputies responded and attempted to contact the resident, 48-year-old Michael DeArmas, who refused to come out or cooperate with deputies. He later walked out and was taken into custody without incident.

DeArmas' wife spoke to detectives and told them that DeArmas is a combat veteran who has flashbacks and becomes delusional, especially when drinking, as the couple had been doing last weekend.

She said he had access to guns and had threatened to kill himself and their dog.
read more here


Deadly officer involved shooting after standoff in West Central Fresno
July 21, 2018

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With Action News cameras recording from a distance and witnesses hiding out in neighboring hotel rooms, Fresno Police officers shot a man in the parking lot of the Parkway Inn.

"Officers fired two rounds. One of those rounds struck the suspect at which point he dove right in through a broken window into the hotel room," said Deputy Chief Pat Farmer.

Officers knew they'd hit him and paramedics rushed in, but they could not save the suspect and a standoff ended.
Action News talked to some of Maya's family members, including a woman who was with him at the motel.

They say he was a good man who once served in the army.

They called him a family man who had turned his life around over the last ten years and state records show he also owned his own business.

Both weapons turned out to be pellet guns, but police say they looked very realistic, especially from a distance.
read more here

How much louder do they have to scream? 

Stolen Valor: Gulf War at 15 and Iraq when service ended in 1996

UPDATE: After being shocked by the update, I decided to go to the VA website for the answer. Here it is!
Gulf War Service
For VA benefit purposes under 38 CFR 3.317, Gulf War service is active military duty in any of the following areas in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations at any time August 2, 1990 to present. This includes Veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010-2011).

Southwest Asia theatre of military operations: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E., Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea

Iraq
Kuwait
Saudi Arabia
The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Bahrain
Qatar
The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)
Oman
Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Oman
Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea
The airspace above these locations
Note: Service in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001, is considered qualifying service for disability benefits associated with certain presumptive diseases.

Really odd followup to this story boils down to no one officially ended the Gulf War!
“More than 650,000 Service members served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991. For VA benefits eligibility purposes, the Gulf War period is still in effect,” the VA website states. “This means that anyone who served on active duty from August 2, 1990, to present is considered a Gulf War Veteran. For example, the Veterans Pension benefit requires service during a wartime period. Therefore, any Veteran who served on active military service for any period from August 2, 1990, to the present meets the wartime service requirement.”
This was reported on the Bradenton Herald along with this part.
“Even those of us who served in Operation Desert Storm were told that ‘the war was over’ when it fact there was only a cease fire declared, and no official end to the war has been declared as of this date, and all veterans who served from Aug. 2, 1990 until a date yet to be declared are Gulf War veterans.”


Holmes Beach mayoral candidate falsely claims he’s a veteran of first Gulf War. He was 15
Bradenton Herald
Mark Young
July 25, 2018

HOLMES BEACH
Holmes Beach mayoral candidate Joshua Linney claims in his campaign biography that he served with the U.S. Army in Iraq and that he is a veteran of the first Gulf War.
Holmes Beach mayoral candidate Joshua Linney claims he misspoke in misrepresenting his military service. Provided photo

“I’m a Gulf War veteran whose worked to overcome war, trauma, alcoholism, chemical dependence and PTSD, while living with disabilities, and I conquered them all,” Linney, 42, wrote in a biography submitted to the Manatee County supervisor of elections office and posted on the agency’s website

However, Linney was never in Iraq, according to his discharge papers. And as for his claim to being a Gulf War veteran, the war was fought in January-February 1991, when Linney was 15.
When he was 18, Linney enlisted in the Army in September 1993 and was medically discharged in August 1996, after he fell off a building and suffered a traumatic brain injury for which he receives disability benefits, according to his discharge papers.
read more here
.

Disabled Army Vet kicked heroin to be heroic to daughter

Veteran goes from spending $500 a day on heroin to owning a business
News4Jax
By Chris Parenteau - Reporter
July 25, 2018
"God is the only reason I came through it," Tipper said. "And I think there is always a plan and that things may seem insurmountable to be able to come past an addiction, but it’s definitely doable."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A United States Army veteran went from spending $500 a day on heroin to owning a business.

Kendall Tipper shared his story about how the opioid crisis affected him with News4Jax on Wednesday. The former soldier talked about how he broke his addiction and turned his life around.

Day-to-day, Tipper works as a chauffeur, driving a black car for Tipper Transportation, the company he started.

But to getting to where he is today wasn't easy.

"A lot of times, I would catch myself thinking, 'Am I going to be on drugs forever?'" Tipper said.

After he graduated from First Coast High School, Tipper enrolled at Florida State College at Jacksonville, but he quickly knew it wasn’t for him. That’s when he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

"I need the discipline and I didn’t have it at the time," he said.
read more here

Getting carried away with sharing everything?

Want to know the best way to destroy a reputation? Go off on a public rant about whatever you think, as soon as you think it then share it without ever thinking about what comes next.

Florida Official Resigns After Cursing Out Army Veteran As ‘Traitor’ On Facebook
THE PALM BEACH POST
By ALEXANDRA SELTZER
July 26, 2018
“My words were spoken as a private citizen, not in any professional or public capacity and should be treated accordingly,” she wrote. She also added her role in the exchange wasn’t “her finest hour” and she “let my Trump hate get the best of me and said some truly hurtful things.”

The vice chair of a little-known environmental panel resigned Wednesday after she came under fire for cursing at a U.S. Army veteran, calling him a traitor and speaking ill of fallen veterans in a Facebook chat earlier this month.

Patricia “Pat” Edmonson, who until Wednesday afternoon served on the Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation District, and U.S. Army veteran James Plowman, who lives in North Carolina, didn’t know each other before they met in cyberspace through a discussion on Facebook on July 16.

But their conversation turned extremely ugly — and has gone viral.

The two sparred over a Facebook post by another user regarding President Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin. After Plowman mentioned the years he spent in combat, Edmonson, wrote using an expletive, “—— you, traitor.”

Edmonson then launched into a vitriolic tirade of posts. “Do your dead brothers ever visit your dreams and ask you why you’ve turned your back on them?” she wrote. She also asked:“Do you smell the rotting flesh of those you’ve betrayed?”

Reached on Wednesday, Plowman said he isn’t concerned about being called a traitor. That’s comical to him, he said. But the comments she made about soldiers killed in battle “just can’t be forgiven,” Plowman said.
read more on Task and Purpose



In 2007 I was one of those idiots. I always complained about people crossing the line and getting to political, until I did it. That kept going on until I received an email from a Marine serving in Iraq, telling me he really liked the work I did but did not want to read my political BS.

I snapped back at him in an angry email and sent it feeling oh, so justified. That was until he responded with just one question. "Are you doing this for yourself or us?"

When I stopped crying enough to see the computer screen again, I made him and promise that from that day on, he would not read anything political unless a politician did something for them or to them.

It is not easy keeping my word but I did and have gone after elected officials no matter what party they belong to. Frankly after what I've seen, I have lost faith in both sides, including staunch supporters who would rather fight than communicate.

Anyway, the thing is, I have friends on both sides and none of them know what I think. On the flip side, none of them know when they are hurting me by publicly sharing their thoughts while slamming something I feel strongly about. 

While their view is important to them, their view can destroy friendships, ruin organizations and, all too often, destroy a reputation.

It is not easy to remember to keep stuff to myself, so as a reminder, I left that embarrassment online all these years. I did not know who I was hurting back then either but the worst thing is, I was so self-absorbed, I did not even think about anyone else. That is why I cried when I read the Marine's email. I was doing that for myself.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Alene Duerk , Navy's first female Admiral passed away

First Woman Promoted to Navy Admiral Dies at 98
Stars and Stripes
By Corey Dickstein
25 Jul 2018
Following her death, Navy officials described her as a trailblazer for military women and a medical innovator.
WASHINGTON -- The first woman to rise to admiral in the Navy died Saturday, just more than 46 years after her groundbreaking promotion into the ranks of flag officer, the service announced Wednesday.
Retired Rear Adm. Alene Duerk, the first woman to rise to admiral in the U.S. Navy died Saturday, June 21, 2018. (U.S. NAVY)
Retired Rear Adm. Alene Duerk spent her career in the Navy's nursing corps, serving during three major wars and eventually rising to the Navy's top nurse position, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command. She was 98 years old.

Duerk never envisioned making the Navy a career when she entered the service as an ensign in 1941 after graduating from the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing in her native Ohio, she said in a 2016 interview at Bowling Green State University.
read more here

UPDATE: It took time for Time to report this. They just did on July 30!

When the meaning messes up the message

Off topic: Does Walmart know what "ring my bell means?
The lyric "You can ring my bell" was seen as sexually suggestive according to The Slanguage of Sex(1984), "'You can ring my bell any time you want to' would be regarded as a 'come-on' phrase in the US if used by a female," and "Songs like 'Ring My Bell' by Anita Ward caused scarcely a raised eyebrow in the '70s."[9] Billboard magazine included the song on its list of the 50 sexiest songs of all time.
That is almost as dumb as the Nissan commercial with Mony Mony...and kids on the bus singing about "ride the pony" without knowing what that song meant.

That is part of the problem when someone is trying to get you interested in what they have to sell. 

Same thing with the "suicide awareness" raising going on. They do not know the meaning behind the message either. 

In that case, it should have been about making people aware that tomorrow can be better instead of talking about something they do not understand. All that does it take hope away from them and message has opposite result.

Young veteran helped Vietnam veteran learn exactly what he means to community

Former Marine asks for help to repair fellow veteran's dilapidated home
WMTW ABC 8 News
Victoria Ottomanelli
July 23, 2018

A former Marine asked the community of Fort Smith, Arkansas, to help out a Vietnam veteran in need of a new home.
James "Skip" Hampton has been living in his home in Fort Smith since 1962, but has no physical or financial means to fix the bathroom plagued by mold, install central air conditioning or fix any other issues that make it difficult for him to enjoy a good quality of life in his own home.

Alejandro Cardenas, a former Marine and fellow veteran, found out what Hampton was going through while he was on the job restoring houses. After seeing the state of Hampton's house, Cardenas immediately wanted to do something about it but knew he couldn't do it alone.

When he asked people to donate supplies and volunteer to help work on Hampton's house, hundreds of messages began pouring in from people inside and outside of the local community alike. The original plan was to just fix the bathroom, but with the help of everyone involved, the volunteer team decided to remodel the entire house.
read more here

Family of missing veteran lives changed

Family searches for answers after Army vet with PTSD vanishes
FOX 19 News
By Amber Jayanth, Reporter
July 24th 2018
Since his absence, the family lost their home and Isabella now has to work to help support her mother and other four children.

GREENFIELD, OH (FOX19)
A Greenfield Army veteran has been missing for nearly three months.
Now, his family is desperate for answers and hopes to bring him home.

The family tells us Harold Willis, who goes by the name Henry, lives in Greenfield but works in Hillsboro.

He never made it home May 3.

Melissa Willis just gave birth to her daughter Journey 10 days ago, but there wasn't much of a celebration because her husband and Journey's father and remains missing.

"He would have definitely been there," she said. "He never missed a birthday, never missed a holiday, He was always there. Always provided. He was a really good man."

Her husband of 18 years never would have missed the birth of their child.

Now, each day that he is gone breaks her heart a little bit more.

His oldest daughter, Isabella Willis, said he was last seen leaving his construction job in Hillsboro.

"He said he was coming home from a friend's house and he never made it home that night and he never picked up his check," she said.

Since his absence, the family lost their home and Isabella now has to work to help support her mother and other four children.
read more here