Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lawyers take on suicide prevention through veterans experiences

Lawyer uses military experience to destigmatize suicide and encourage camaraderie


Daily Campus
ALEXA VICKARYOUS
OCTOBER 30, 2018

A Dallas lawyer explored suicide prevention through the lens of a veteran and its importance in the law field in his lecture “Battling Suicides and Depression: How Lawyers Can Help Each Other.”
Twenty-nine students attended the lecture and heard how Brian Farlow’s 27 years of active and reserve military service was connected to his mental health as a lawyer.

“We are the most educated profession, with the possible exception of doctors, and yet we are struggling to maintain a decent mental health,” Farlow said. “We are struggling with suicides.”

According to a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lawyer occupation had the 11th highest suicide rate with 19 suicides per 100,000 professionals.

President of the Student Bar Association Brooke Adams, the SBA Mental Health Awareness Committee and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Stephen Yeager planned this event as part of Dedman Law Wellness Week which coincided with National Law Student Mental Health Day.

“As a law student, it is hard, and Brian Farlow talked about the pressure you are in,” Adams said. “Here you learn it is okay to take a knee. It is okay to not be the best.”

Farlow played a video called “Shoulder to Shoulder,” which told the story of a soldier who attempted suicide. A fellow soldier prevented the suicide when he noticed that after a divorce his friend was not playing his guitar very much or talking to many people. This soldier saved his friend’s life by noticing the red flags and by removing the firing pin from his gun.
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Army Veteran Killed By Hit and Run Driver in Katy Texas

Veteran riding bicycle killed in hit-and-run crash in Katy


Click 2 Houston
By Brittany Taylor - Digital News Editor, Phil Archer - Reporter
October 30, 2018
Lavergne-Profit served in the U.S. Army as heavy equipment operator beginning in 2002, including a tour in Afghanistan. After she returned home she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
KATY, Texas - A troubled Army veteran was killed by a hit-and-run driver Monday night as she rode her bicycle on a poorly lit road in Katy. Now her family and police want answers.
The crash was reported at 11:50 p.m. in the 2300 block of Elrod Road.

Investigators said Tonashia Lavergne-Profit was riding a bicycle, which was not equipped with the required lighting, in the middle southbound lane when a dark-colored pickup truck struck her. The pickup fled the scene without calling for help, officials said.

Lavergne-Profit was found dead at the scene, officials said. Investigators believe Lavergne-Profit died instantly.
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Roxbury Social Services got Vietnam Veteran out of car..now needs help

Helping a Homeless Vet Drains Roxbury Social Services Account

Tap Into Roxbury
By FRED J. AUN
October 30, 2018
Roxbury Social Services can be reached at (973) 448-2026. Wald can be emailed at waldj@roxburynj.us. Donations can also be made through Friends of Roxbury Social Services.
ROXBURY, NJ – When Roxbury Social Services Director Janet Wald learned about the Vietnam veteran living in his car, Wald did what she usually does: Everything she could to help.

Her efforts aided the fellow, at least temporarily, but they also pretty much wiped out the money Social Services sets aside for temporary housing of the homeless.

The matter was raised by Roxbury Councilman Bob DeFillippo at a recent meeting of the Roxbury Mayor and Council. He asked Roxbury residents to donate some money to help replenish Wald’s temporary housing account.

“Social Services could really use some help, so I’m giving a shout-out to the community,” Defillippo said. “Janet could use some donations … to replenish that housing budget.”

Wald said she expended about $1,200 helping the man.

“This gentleman, a veteran, was also a New York City policeman and a 9/11 responder,” Wald said. “He ended up homeless. He was living out of his car.”

On top of that, the 69-year-old was suffering from a “pretty big hole” in his foot caused by an ulcer and was “going back and forth to a doctor,” according to Wald.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

UPMC chaplain among wounded in synagogue mass shooting

Veteran police officer, UPMC chaplain among wounded in synagogue mass shooting


Pittsburg Post Gazette
Shelly Bradbury
October 28, 2018
Pittsburgh police officer Tim Matson is seen here after receiving an award at the 19th Annual Law Enforcement Agency Directors Awards Ceremony on Jan. 27, 2017. Officer Matson was one of four officers wounded in the Squirrel Hill synagogue mass shooting on Oct. 27, 2018.

A veteran Pittsburgh police officer known for keeping his cool under pressure and using humor to defuse tense situations was one of four officers wounded while responding to an active shooter Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Pittsburgh police Officer Timothy Matson cracked jokes in his hospital room Sunday, a day after he was shot multiple times and critically injured while confronting the shooter who killed 11 people.


“We were in his hospital room today, visiting, and as soon as we walk in he’s already cracking jokes,” Cmdr. Jason Lando said. “He’s in that situation, where his life is the one in danger, and everyone is so worried about him — but he’s cracking jokes and it makes everyone feel better.”


That’s just the type of guy he is, Cmdr. Lando said. Officer Matson joined the department in 2005 and was assigned to Zone 5. He has been a part of the city’s SWAT team since 2016.


“When bullets are flying and people’s lives are in danger, Tim Matson is the guy you want going through the door,” Cmdr. Lando said. “He’s the guy who goes in and calmly gets the job done.”


An online fundraising campaign for Officer Matson raised nearly $20,000 Sunday.

read more here

Veterans Court Saved Veteran Who Save Child

Man who rescued toddler graduates Veterans Treatment Court


WLOS NBC 10 News
October 26, 2018

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) - A man who was hailed as a hero after rescuing a toddler in a crash celebrated a milestone on Friday.
Gage Hampton, an Afghanistan veteran who rescued a toddler from a wreck in May, graduated from Buncombe County's Veterans Treatment Court. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)
Back in May, Gage Hampton came to the rescue of a toddler who was trapped in a car that had crashed through a store window.

On Friday, he graduated from Buncombe County's Veterans Treatment Court. The Army veteran has overcome PTSD and been sober for nearly three years.

During Friday's ceremony, he was presented with a Quilt of Valor.

"All my support network is here. It's just a real blessing to have this ceremony and to graduate from veterans treatment court," Hampton said. "I got the feeling of redemption, you know, to be in this situation and it's just a blessing, it really is."

Hampton did combat duty in Afghanistan while he was in the Army. He said the experience taught him the meaning of self-sacrifice.
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Hurricane Michael puts VA appeals on fast track

VA prioritizing all pending Veterans benefits appeals claims for victims of hurricanes Florence and Michael


From the Department of Veterans Affairs
WASHINGTON — Veterans impacted by recent hurricanes Florence and Michael will now have their pending appeals claims for benefits prioritized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), department officials announced.

VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals has determined that the significant effects of hurricanes Florence and Michael were sufficient cause for the Board to advance the appeals for counties in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia determined to be disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


“Accelerating the decision process on pending appeals claims for those Veterans and their families affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael is the right thing to do,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.


By regulation, the Board may advance appeals on its docket by a motion of the chairman if sufficient cause is shown. All Veterans and other appellants with an appeal currently pending before the Board whose addresses of record are in one of the affected counties will have their appeal automatically advanced on the Board’s docket. 


No action from Veterans or appellants are needed if their addresses are current. Visit the list of counties affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael at this link: https://www.bva.va.gov/.


The advancement on docket (AOD) for these two storms is expected to last for six months from the date of the events. Therefore, Florence counties will be AODed from Oct. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019; and counties affected by Hurricane Michael will be AODed from Nov. 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019. The Board will reassess AOD for these two storms once the six-month periods end.


The Board’s mission is to conduct hearings and decide appeals in a timely manner. For more information about VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals, visit www.bva.va.gov/.




VA Pensions On Chopping Block

VA amends regulations on VA pension and other needs-based programs

From the Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently amended its regulations governing entitlements to VA pension and Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which are need-based programs.

“The amended regulations bring consistency to the pension process and ensure benefits are available for Veterans and survivors with financial need,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “They will help maintain the integrity of and provide clarity to our needs-based pension program.”

VA’s pension program provides monthly benefit payments to eligible wartime Veterans and their survivors with financial need.

The pension regulations, which were updated Oct. 18, cover the following:
Establish a clear net-worth limit for income and assets for Veterans to qualify for pension,
Establish a 36-month look-back period to review asset transfers at less than fair market value that reduce net worth and create pension entitlement,
Establish up to a five-year penalty period to be calculated based on the portion of the covered assets that would have made net worth excessive, and
Updates medical expense definitions for consistency with VA internal guidelines.
The changes are intended to ensure VA only pays benefits to those Veterans with a genuine need.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Group teaching female soldiers that war has not broken them

When Female Veterans Return Home


Marie Claire
Jim Rendon
October 29, 2018
While civilian and military men commit suicide at higher rates than their female counterparts, according to a 2016 VA report, in 2014, the difference between soldiers and civilians was greater for women in all age groups. For young women it is particularly alarming: In 2014, female veterans between 18 and 29 years old killed themselves at six times the rate of civilian women of the same age. Researchers don’t know exactly why so many female veterans are committing suicide, but they have found that survivors of military sexual trauma have a higher rate of suicide than others, and about 20 percent of female soldiers have been victims of such abuse, according to the VA. The study also found that female veterans were more likely than civilian women to kill themselves using a firearm—the most lethal method of suicide.
More than 380,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and about 1 in 5 of them return with post-traumatic stress disorder. One unorthodox veterans’ retreat is teaching female soldiers that war has not broken them. In fact, their anguish may be key to their transformation.

First Lieutenant Brie Zeiger tried to stifle her fear as the C-130 transport plane she was riding in began its descent toward Forward Operating Base Salerno in a hostile region of Afghanistan. The base was attacked so often that the soldiers nicknamed it “Rocket City.” Just three months earlier, in June 2012, insurgents had detonated a truck bomb and invaded the base, killing two Americans. As the plane approached the runway, Zeiger heard an odd sound, like pellets smacking a metal target at a fairground shooting game. This was normal, the crew told her, just incoming fire from the Taliban.

Zeiger, then 26, was a nurse in a small surgical unit there. At night, the faintest whir of helicopter blades would jolt her from bed; wounded were on the way. She loved the challenge of the work, the rush of making life-or-death decisions. “I felt like I was doing exactly what I was meant to do,” she says. But in time, she was numbed by the relentless stream of injured soldiers. One soldier arrived riddled with shrapnel from an improvised explosive device. The medical team tried to keep him alive by pumping air in and out of his lungs. Zeiger remembers looking into his eyes, digging through his bloody clothes to find his dog tags, then watching the 23-year-old pass away. “There is something about seeing a soldier die that changes you,” she says.
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Sailor stopped to help driver, then was shot to death

Navy sailor in San Diego shot by driver he stopped to help


WTKR 3 News
NICK BOYKIN
OCTOBER 27, 2018
The victim was identified as 21-year-old Curtis Adams of San Diego. Adams was on active duty with the Navy at the time of his murder, said Lt. Dupree.
SAN DIEGO — An active-duty Navy service member was killed after pulling over to help what he thought was a stranded motorist early Saturday, said police, according to FOX 5 in San Diego.

The San Diego Police Department received a call around 2:20 a.m. about a shooting that occurred at southbound Interstate 15 at the northbound Interstate 5 ramp. The caller stated her boyfriend was shot, said San Diego Police Lt. Anthony Dupree.

Investigators learned the victim and his girlfriend pulled over to help what they thought was a stranded motorist. When the victim got out of the car, he was shot immediately.

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Veteran called crisis line, shot and killed by police

Veteran called crisis hotline, pointed gun at police, was killed by officer, Houston police say


Click 2 Houston News
Megan Kennedy
Brittany Taylor
October 27, 2018

Carroll had served in the military for four or five years and suffered from PTSD, his father-in-law told KPRC. Carroll leaves behind a 16-month-old child. 

HOUSTON - A man was shot and later died after pointing a gun at Houston police officers, the department said.

The suspect, identified by family members as a veteran, had initially called a veterans' crisis hotline for assistance, the family said. The man told the crisis hotline that he had cut himself and was armed with a gun. Houston police confirmed the department received the routed 911 call from a U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Crisis hotline.

The man has been identified as 30-year-old Christopher Carroll.

After receiving the 911 call, investigators responded to the man's home on Eagle Creek Drive around 12:45 a.m. Saturday.

When they arrived, they located a family member attempting to calm Carroll down, said Matt Slinkard, an assistant executive chief with the special operations command with the Houston Police Department. Family members of Carroll told police he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was currently experiencing a crisis.
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Sunday, October 28, 2018

What actually defines us, are actions like this!

Evil shall not define us

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 28, 2018

Most of today, I have been listening to the news reports about the massacre in Pittsburgh. Yesterday I had let a comment on Google+ that the people had gone to pray and worship and someone went to kill them because they did.

It was shocking, but we have had many times such as this. It is easier to think of all the bad that came out of the murder's hatred.

CNN just reported on the mass murder in Pittsburgh.These are the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting but when we think of how one person hated so much, we may tend to think that actions based on hatred have become what defines us.

What actually defines us, are actions like this!
People hold candles outside the Tree of Life Synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018.
Maybe the thing that scares us the most, is, we know the next time it could be anyone deciding to take out their misery on others. Maybe it is because we also know, it could happen anywhere, at anytime.

Easy to have our thoughts go in that direction. It is easy to want to stay in the safety of our homes, behind locked doors. Easy to shop online instead of going out in public. Easy to keep our kids home and teach them there, instead of sending them to school. Easy to communicate with strangers on our cell phones, than to sit and talk, eye to eye, as if they deserved your full attention.

It has become easy to justify being offended by the least little thing, as if everyone else should bow down and let them have their own way. Being offended has become a full time cause, feeding into those who hate instead of finding what binds us by what we communicate.

What is hard, is not what is done by evil acts. That is always something easy for them to do. What defines us is, what we do in response.

When we refuse to stop worshiping, as we choose, that defines us.

When we refuse to stop going shopping and being out with others, that defines us.

When we refuse to settle for what is, because we are constantly thinking of what could be, that defines us.

When we refuse to let an act of pure hate take one moment of love from our hearts, that defines us too.

When we see someone in need and refuse to walk away, that defines us. 

When we see someone being abused and refuse to think it is their problem and not ours, that defines us.

When we stand against what some of our friends think is OK, and we refuse to remain silent, that defines us.


We have witnessed many, far too many, acts committed by hatred to have forgotten how time and time again, we respond with love and compassion for the victims, support for the survivors and gratefulness for the First Responders. We also do it with a tremendous amount of courage. 

One person acts out of hate, hundreds respond with compassion.

That is what we will be defined by!

Four Police Officers among the wounded in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting claims 11 lives; 4 officers among multiple wounded: Officials

"First responders prevented the shooting from becoming a worse tragedy, and the injured have been taken to three area hospitals with level one trauma centers. Without their courage, this tragedy would have been far worse." Alleghany Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich
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'Darkest day in Pittsburgh's history': Officials discuss new details in Squirrel Hill massacre

Pittsburgh Post Gazette Shelly Bradbury and Ashley Murray October 28,2018 Law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others discussed the latest details of Saturday’s mass shooting at Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill at a Sunday morning press conference.
The 11 people killed inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue Saturday included a husband and wife and two brothers, authorities said Sunday. 

The victims, who ranged in age from 54 to 97, were identified as: Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland
Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross
Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood
brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill, and David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill
married couple Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg
Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill
Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill
Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington. 

Widow fights for one of 2 million veterans not counted!

Widow’s fight: A 40-year-old suicide, a ‘bad paper’ discharge and marijuana


Herald Tribune
Bill Cox
October 28, 2018


A week before Christmas, Peter hanged himself from a tree in the woods near Walpole, Massachusetts. (1978)

Joanne Mills has been fighting to upgrade her husband’s 1971 ‘undesirable’ discharge from the Navy, which stemmed from a $10 bag of marijuana.
SARASOTA — Joanne Mills was all of 19, never had a boyfriend, when he sold her two pairs of shoes at the Thom McAn store in a Boston mall. “He had the most beautiful piercing blue eyes I’ve ever seen,” she recalls. She went home with buyer’s remorse — too expensive. She returned one pair hours later; the blue-eyed heartthrob was still working his shift. He asked her something like, do you ever go to the beach?

It was the summer of 1971, and Peter MacRoberts, 21, had a sky-blue two-door Ford Fairlane with a black ragtop. They went everywhere, day trips to Cape Cod, rock concerts, Frank Zappa, The Eagles, Chicago. He was a sports nut, loved to play baseball, cheer the Bosox at Fenway Park, and recite batting averages, ERAs.

But Peter was broken, and the full extent of it never became clear until much later. Even when she walked in on his unlocked apartment when they were still dating, and found him alone, electrical cord wrapped around his neck, racked with shame and despair — even then, Joanne underestimated its magnitude.

“I blocked out so much. I thought it was because we had broken up,” Joanne remembers. “But I never pursued it. I was just a kid. He made me promise I would never leave him.”
read more here

Keep this in mind the next time you hear about how many veterans committed suicide today. None of these veterans would be included in on any reported number, but families remember their names!


"In 2016, the Veterans Legal Clinic at Harvard Law School produced a study called “Underserved: How the VA Wrongfully Excludes Veterans with Bad Paper.” It found that since the Vietnam War, nearly 2 million veterans have been dispatched with general or less than honorable discharges. Such “bad paper” can inhibit or deny completely their access to VA services."
It is even higher now! 

Veterans in other news October 28, 2018

Motorcycle shop provides custom bike for local disabled veteran


KTVL 10 News
by Jennevieve Fong
October 27th 2018

MEDFORD, Ore. — Central Point veteran Jed Morgan is finding meaning through motorcycles. As a double amputee, Morgan is not letting his disability stop him from taking a ride.

Morgan served in Afghanistan and was hit with an improvised explosive device in 2012, damaging his right hand and forcing surgeons to amputate both his legs.

With the help of Thunderstruck Custom Bike, he was fitted for a custom-fit motorcycle on Saturday, which will allow him to drive with his prosthetics.

“They help us in so many ways we can’t even imagine, so if we can give freedom or anything back to a veteran...some piece of mind...a little bit of mobility whatever it may be...we’re all into doing it," shop owner Mark Daley said.

Organized by Combat Hero Bike Build, the motorcycle will be given to Morgan for free as a thank you for his service. Daley said a custom bike like this ranges from $20,000 to $30,000.
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Elgin funeral director goes above and beyond for Vietnam War veteran

Daily Herald
Doug T. Graham
October 25, 2018
Daniel Symonds, pictured here on tour in the Middle East, is a member of the Army Reserve and an Elgin funeral home director. courtesy of Joy Symonds
Daniel Symonds' unique opportunity to help a fellow veteran came last year when he received a phone call from Kane County Coroner Rob Russell.

The body of a homeless man, who had served in the Vietnam War, had been brought to the coroner's office. The man's background made a funded military funeral impossible: He had gone AWOL and was charged and convicted.

"He came home and he just walked away one day," said Symonds, who has been a funeral director for 23 years and a member of the army reserves for 16 years. "He was done."

The man, whose name Symonds declined to disclose, was eventually pardoned, along with many other AWOL Vietnam veterans, by President Gerald Ford. But the man had lost his military benefits.

"I knew absolutely I had to help him, even if I have to reach into my pocket," Symonds said. "The whole leave-no-man-behind-thing is important to me."
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Discussing the impacts of Agent Orange


BY FOX 17 NEWS
October 27, 2018
“I’ve got a charcoal foot now because of it which went crooked. I had open heart surgery a little less than two years ago because of it,” said Jeron Hendricks, a Vietnam War Veteran.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A chemical sprayed on troops by the US military during the Vietnam War is continuing to impact the lives of veterans and their families. One Michigan Vietnam veteran is teaming up with the group Vietnam Veterans of America to do something about it.

Philip Smith conducts meetings like this one Saturday in Grand Rapids throughout Michigan to warn veterans about a silent killer many of them are unaware of Agent Orange.

Smith serves as the director for Vietnam Veterans of America.

“When Admiral Zumwalt was alive and he was the Admiral of the Navy.” “’He says don’t spray that stuff ‘well guess what we did and the ultimate factor is the disease that came down with it afterward,” he said.
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Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Dorchester damaged by vandal

Boston Globe
By Katie Camero GLOBE CORRESPONDENT
OCTOBER 26, 2018

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Dorchester was vandalized this week, and State Police are searching for those responsible for the defacement, which left the stone memorial damaged and an American flag cut in half.

State Police said a woman passing the memorial, a neighborhood landmark on Morrissey Boulevard, on Thursday noticed the damage and alerted State Police.

Bricks had been thrown at the memorial, leaving marks on the stone, an American flag was cut up, and a Massachusetts flag was taken off its pole and found near trees with trash littered on top of it, State Police said Friday in a statement.

A POW/MIA flag was also missing from the memorial, and vegetation in the area was uprooted, said State Police Lieutenant Tom Ryan.
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General helping Florida recover had donated kidney in his spare time?

How a 2-star Army general took charge of a broken city

Associated Press
By: Tamara Lush
October 28, 2018
"There was a gentleman who needed a kidney," he says casually.

That's right. In the last four months, McQueen has retired from the military, started a new job, helped coordinate one of the largest hurricane responses since Katrina, and donated a kidney. To a stranger.
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Mark McQueen’s sand-colored combat boots have walked the ground during many disasters.

Afghanistan.

Iraq.

Florida's Panama City.
Then-Maj. Gen. Mark McQueen, commanding general, 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training), takes a moment to praise the soldiers of the Special Troops Battalion, 304th Sustainment Brigade, for their 12 months of serving as CRC Cycle 4 at the Conus Replacement Center on Jan. 13, 2017, after their transfer of authority ceremony at Fort Bliss, Texas. (DVIDS)
The two-star general had no sooner retired from the Army and started his job as city manager for this Gulf Coast community when it was slammed by a category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Michael became the most devastating hurricane to hit Florida in decades. Almost all of Panama City's water, sewer, electric and cell services were wiped out.

Despite McQueen having no municipal experience and having been on the job only two weeks, city leaders say he's exactly the man they need for the long recovery ahead.

"I believe the Lord sent him," said Panama City Commissioner Billy Rader. "God knew this was going to happen before we did."
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Tiny Homes for homeless veterans face "code" issues

Veteran's tiny home collides with Kitsap County code

KING 5 News
Author: Tad Sooter, Kitsap Sun
October 26, 2018


Lynam said there are ways for Rye and his tiny home to remain on the property. The county allows "special care units," essentially small homes for people who need care due to a health condition or other circumstances. Rye's home would likely qualify, he said. Under a recently-passed transitory accommodations ordinance, a property owner can also provide space for an RV or other shelter to house a homeless household for up to 180 days.
Volunteers transformed a bare trailer chassis into a tidy framed house for a Navy veteran. But a complaint led county staff to inspect the property where the home was located and found it collided with county code.

SEABECK — Sam Rye's tiny house is a palace compared to his last abode.


The former Navy machinist camped in a tent in state parks around the Kitsap Peninsula before military buddies banded together a year ago to help him build a little house on wheels. Big retailers donated supplies for the project.


Volunteers transformed a bare trailer chassis into a tidy framed house, with a bedroom, composting toilet, kitchen and cozy living room. The electric fireplace flickered beneath a flat-screen TV on Tuesday as Rye discussed his diminutive dwelling with pride.

read more here

Night to remember at Rock and Brews in Kissimmee

Rock and Brews Kissimmee Soft Opening

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 28, 2018

Last night was the soft opening of Rock and Brews new location in Kissimmee Florida. We got to taste some great food, and had a lot of fun in the kitchen. 
Sgt. Dave Matthews of Never Forgotten Memorials brought out a fabulous rum cake for the staff to celebrate with them.
Cycle Fever was out doing an interview too!


Sherrie LaBarre, of Team Red White and Blue talked about her service in the military and how she continues to serve in the veterans community as Outreach Director.


What is your purpose now?

Types of vehicles have different purposes

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
October 28, 2018

We choose vehicles based on what we like and what we need to do. If you need to clear snow, then you would want to have a snow plow. While a plow will clear snow, it would not be good to put one on a race track. That is, unless you plan on clearing other cars by shoving them out of the way.

On the other hand, a race car is meant for speed, and could clear snow very fast with a plow attached to it. The trouble is, it would not be able to do it very long.

When I was young, I wanted to be a writer. I always thought that I would be writing horror novels, instead of surviving horrors. Now I write about horrors in a much different way.

I could look at my life and think that it went off track, because while I wrote three books, I have not finished one of the several horror books I started. I am not sure what to even find the manuscripts now. I did not choose this work. My life did.

Most of us think we are supposed to do something and it sucks when we cannot do them, for one reason or another. You may think that because your job caused you to be invaded by PTSD, you cannot save anyone anymore.

That is because you are not looking at how many you can still save by letting them know there is hope for their lives too. 

Think about the group of veterans in TEAM RUBICON. They are no longer in the military, but used their training and desire to help by responding to disasters. They put their lives on the line all the time because they put others first, just like they did in the military.

Find what you do best and then find a different way to do it. Being of service to others comes in many different ways. You can still be true to the core of who you are, even though how you do it changed. #TakeBackYourLife
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