Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Florida Georgia Line gets disabled veteran on the "track"

Veteran Presented with Tracked Wheelchair by Florida Georgia Line and Fox News' Jennifer Griffin


PEOPLE
By Joelle Goldstein
July 15, 2019
Marine Corps veteran Chris Kaag was honored with the all-terrain tracked wheelchair during Florida Georgia Line's July 13 concert.

A wounded veteran was in for a huge honor over the weekend when he was presented with a new wheelchair by Florida Georgia Line and Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin.

During the country duo’s concert in Camden, New Jersey on Saturday, Marine Corps Veteran Chris Kaag was given a brand new all-terrain tracked chair to help him get around more places.

The emotional moment was captured in a video and shared to Instagram by The Independence Fund, a nonprofit organization that has teamed up with FGL during their 2019 “Can’t Say I Ain’t Country” tour to help wounded, injured or ill veterans in need.

At each leg of their summer tour, the country duo, known for their hit “This Is How We Roll” and “H.O.L.Y.”, will be presenting the specialized wheelchairs, which provide the ability to regain independence lost through their injuries, to wounded veterans.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of all, Griffin recalled, was when Kaag’s 6-year-old son joined his father on stage and became overcome with emotion as the crowd chanted, “USA! USA!”
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VFW added 25,000 new members during the past year

VFW snaps 27-year membership decline and adds nearly 25,000 new members


Military Times
By: Brian Mackley
July 16, 2019
This year, the VFW helped advocate on the behalf of 526,000 veterans for $8.4 billion in disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also highlighted it’s prominent legislative advocacy for veterans in the nation’s capital, as well.

Don Foran, who as a teenager spent the last months of World War II on dangerous assignments driving a jeep, restored and donated the same model of a 1942 jeep to the Canyon VFW post. (Lauren Koski/The Amarillo Globe News via AP)

The Veterans of Foreign Wars said it has added almost 25,000 new members during the past year, ending a long period of steady decline.

Officials with the 120-year-old veteran service organization attribute the uptick to a new strategy to target new members using social media, as well as word of mouth, to inform veterans how much work they do to serve veterans.

"The VFW is making a difference in the lives of countless others every day, and thanks to the power of social media and the internet, more people are taking notice and wanting to be part of our team,” VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence said in a recent post on the organizations website.
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Navy Corpsman hit by explosion...of cash

Navy corpsman wins $1 million on scratch off


By N.C. Education Lottery
Posted Jul 12, 2019

RALEIGH – Michael Strong has been on a lucky streak lately when it comes to scratch-off games. His luckiest ticket to date? The $150 Million Cash Explosion ticket he bought Wednesday that won him a $1 million prize.

“I decided to play this game because $20 tickets are my lucky tickets,” said Strong. “I always win when I play them. I’ve won 26 out of the last 27 $20 tickets I bought.”

Strong, a Navy corpsman, currently calls Waianae, Hawaii home, but has been stationed all over the world, including North Carolina. He was in Richlands to do some work on his home when he decided to continue his lucky streak at the Scotchman on South Wilmington Street.

“My friends were joking with me about my luck,” said Strong. “They said I should buy a ticket since I was back in town. So I took a break from the fence I was building, bought a ticket, and won $1 million!”

Strong claimed his prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He had the choice of taking an annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $424,506. He plans to use his winnings to invest and pay off bills.
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Senior Center kicked out veterans and told seniors to do pledge in closet!

Todd Starnes: Seniors told to pledge allegiance to the flag -- in a closet

FOX News
By Todd Starnes
July 15, 2019

“The first person to receive a trespass notice walked into the center carrying his flag and was told, ‘This is your warning. If you try to say the pledge you will be escorted off the property by the sheriff,’” Miss Minnie told me. “He did receive a trespass notice.”
A raging battle over prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance at a Washington State community center took an ugly turn when military veterans were thrown off the property and elderly patriots were told to recite the pledge inside a closet.

The board of directors at the Mullis Community Senior Center on San Juan Island decided to revise its lunchtime program by removing the traditional prayer and the recitation of the pledge.

The center’s executive committee blamed the prayer and the pledge for a decline in attendance, as I mentioned on the "Todd Starnes Radio Show" Podcast.

“We discovered that many of the incoming seniors were uncomfortable with an introductory ceremony where the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer were recited,” they wrote in a letter to the San Juan Islander.

The senior center went on to say they had a “duty to provide a safe and peaceful environment in our building and on our property, inclusive to all.”

Minnie Kynch, a longtime member of the community center, told me that a majority of the citizens staged a rebellion and decided to show and recite the flag in spite of the rule. So then, the operators of the community center decided to play hardball.
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Navy veteran cremated and ripped off by faker posing as nephew

Florida launches investigation after fake nephew cremates veteran


BY CNN WIRE
JULY 16, 2019

CITRUS COUNTY, FL — A U.S. Navy veteran was cremated after a man falsely claiming to be his nephew signed off on his cremation and death certificate, the I-Team uncovered.

Navy veteran Robert Walaconis of Hernando, Florida died June 5, 2018 at 71 years old.

His son and daughter said they found out months later.

They claim items were missing from their father’s home – including a gun collection – and told the I-Team they were shocked when they discovered his death certificate listed a nephew named Todd Smith.

But Walaconis doesn’t have a nephew, according to his son, Michael.
Michael said that fake nephew also made decisions against his father’s wishes.

“He wanted to be buried in Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania,” said Michael. “I can’t believe this could happen to someone.”
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Vietnam veteran confronted memories of 1st Sgt. Charles Sellers at the Wall

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall more than names


The Chronicle-Telegram
Bruce Walton 
July 16, 2019
Gannett spent the last few hours looking over the wall to find several names, including the name of 1st Sgt. Charles Sellers, Gannett’s sergeant, who died in Vietnam. The worst part, he said, was that he died at the hands of his own soldiers. It was through his work at the wall he said, that he even remembered his name Monday.
WELLINGTON — A small but dedicated group assembled for the closing ceremony of the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall on Monday afternoon.

Although attendance was less than for the opening ceremony Thursday, the respect was just as overwhelming.

The Amherst Veterans Military Honor Guard led the presentation of colors, followed by the last reading of the 98 Lorain County Vietnam veterans who died in the war. Brant Smith, Wellington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6941 quartermaster and one of the main organizers of the event, gave the last words before the closing prayer.

“I truly love all of our Vietnam veterans, these men are my heroes, these men are the reason that myself and so many other young men of my generation have served our country because of these men and women that paved the way for us,” he said.
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This is from the Virtual Wall

Sen. Donna Campbell lied about PTSD and pot

Did study show that 70% of veterans who committed suicide had THC in their system?


Politifact.com
By Taylor Goldenstein
July 15th
But the study Campbell cited doesn’t seem to exist. Some research does exist on this topic, but experts questioned the validity of drawing a conclusion about the connection between marijuana use and suicide generally — let alone among veterans.
🤬We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
Texas lawmakers this year voted to broaden the state’s medical marijuana program to include more qualifying conditions than just intractable epilepsy.

Under the bill, which was signed into law, patients with several more conditions, including terminal cancers, autism and multiple sclerosis, will now be eligible to participate in the program.

During a debate in the Senate over the proposal, state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, argued against including post-traumatic stress disorder in the bill. The disorder was ultimately not included in the bill that passed.

"A study was done, a post-mortem, so a retrospective study done, looking at autopsies and drug levels, what drugs were in the blood of veterans that committed suicide, and 70 percent had THC," Campbell said.

We decided to take a look at Campbell’s claim to see if a study of this nature existed and whether there’s a connection between veterans, marijuana use and suicide.
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Tom Hanks encourages people to ‘Be There'

Tom Hanks encourages people to ‘Be There' and help prevent veteran suicide

Connecting Vets
By Ben Krimmel
JULY 15, 2019

Even the smallest action can make the world of a difference.

Actor Tom Hanks is joining the call to promote the "Be There for Veterans" public service announcement to raise awareness for the VA's #BeThere campaign to support veterans in need.

"Twenty veterans take their lives every day," Hanks says in the PSA. "Learn how to be there for a veteran at bethereforveterans.com. Honor the code! Be there! Leave no one behind."

The VA hopes their #BeThere campaign underscores how everyone can play a role in suicide prevention.

“This PSA underscores VA’s public health approach to preventing Veteran suicide, which encourages everyone to play a role in suicide prevention,” said Aaron Eagan, deputy director of operations and integration for suicide prevention in VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. “The ‘Be There’ campaign is focused on simple yet impactful ways we can all reach out to and engage Veterans.”
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Where will you be when they need you?

That is the question I have been asking since I began my online work back in 93. I was known as Namguardianangel.

It seems like a lifetime ago, especially now that all the results seem so bad. 

There used to be good results because people with good intentions back it up with diligent work on research to know exactly how to help them. Now it is whatever will obtain the most popularity, even if that means they have to lie to gain it.

The lie is "suicide awareness" actually means something other than spreading misery instead of healing.

After all these years I am still asking "where are  you when they need you" because from what I have seen, most are just taking whatever they can get while veterans are still suffering.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Bravo Company battles to save their brothers after war

Military Unit, Ravaged by War, Regroups Back Home to Survive the Peace


The Wall Street Journal
By Ben Kesling
July 14, 2019
“Derek, Grant, Timmy—all those guys died at their own hands,” said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Musil, listing close friends from Bravo Company and other units he served in who had killed themselves. “All those men were warriors. If they can do it, what’s stopping me?”
Veterans at the reunion talk about their experiences since returning from deployment to Afghanistan. PHOTO: TRAVIS DOVE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Suicides drive Bravo Company veterans to test whether reuniting will help overcome lingering effects of battle

Nearly a year ago, the combat-hardened paratroopers of Bravo Company realized things were getting too dangerous. They weren’t working as a team. Too many men were dying. Nobody seemed to know how to stop the bloodletting.

And that was a decade after they got home from war.

During an 11-month tour of Afghanistan’s notorious Arghandab Valley, three soldiers from Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment were killed in action and a dozen more lost at least one leg or arm. In the 10 years since they returned to the U.S., two B Company soldiers—isolated from their buddies, struggling with their demons—have killed themselves, more than a dozen have tried and others admit they have considered it.
“I didn’t think I deserved to get help,” Jason Horton confessed to the group over a microphone in a conference room. It’s hard to find help in a system as large as the VA, he said. He found it helpful to talk one-on-one with someone who experienced the same trauma he did. “It’s a big sea, and it’s hard to swim in that sea,” he said.
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You learned how to fight...now learn how to live! #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Maryland Air National Guard soldier stopped attack

Off-duty Air National Guard member kills armed man at Maryland restaurant

By: The Associated Press
July 12, 2019

MILLFORD MILL, Md. — Authorities in Baltimore County say an off-duty member of the Maryland Air National Guard shot and killed an armed man while reportedly breaking up a fight outside a restaurant.

Baltimore County Police say the shooting happened early Friday after the airman saw people arguing outside the restaurant in Windsor Mill.

Authorities initially identified the airman as an off-duty officer. They say he has a gun permit.
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Many federal agencies can't tally fatalities outside of work hours

Agencies Boost Efforts to Stop Wildland Firefighter Suicides


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 15, 2019


Reasons for the rise are unclear, though some cite longer and tougher wildfire seasons and an increase in the number of wildland firefighters who previously served in the military and were already dealing with post-traumatic stress.
CREDIT USDA.GOV
Federal wildland firefighting authorities are increasing mental health resources following an apparent increase in firefighter suicides in recent years.

Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise say it's difficult to track the number of suicides because many federal agencies can't tally fatalities outside of work hours and some families don't want the cause released. But officials say there appears to be a jump in known suicides, so efforts are being boosted to get wildland firefighters help.

Experts say the high-intensity camaraderie of the wildfire season can be followed by months of isolation in the offseason and sometimes money concerns without a steady paycheck.
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If you are reading this, there is a reason you are here.

The fact that over 7 million Americans have PTSD, and most from just one event, needs to sink into your brain.

Why? Because you are still just another human, susceptible to the same kind of events the rest of the population goes through. For us, it can be just one event.

That said, you decided to put your own life on the line to save as many other people as possible. For you, it is the one event too many. 

If you do not look down on the people you are risking your life for...THEN WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF?

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife