Saturday, August 17, 2019

Police Officer resigned after arresting disabled Navy veteran with PTSD and brain tumor

Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police body camera video: Officer Johnathon Silva's April 2019 arrest

Newlon could not be reached for comment Friday at several phone numbers listed under his name. His landlord described him to police as a Navy veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain tumor, according to incident reports released by the Police Department, and the woman who called police said she only wanted him to get help.
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Calverton Cemetery will 'never let a veteran be forgotten'

Calverton cemetery employees strive to 'never let a veteran be forgotten'

Newsday Long Island
By Martin C. Evans
August 17, 2019
“I turned away and just felt, wow…,” he said. "I felt good that I could make that family feel a little better than when they had when they came here.”
Douglas Chong is a former Army tank mechanic who now works as a landscaper at Calverton National Cemetery. Photo Credit: Martin C. Evans

Richard Hilts was a specialist in the Army a decade ago when his wife’s grandfather, a Navy man who served in World War II, was laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetery.

For the interment, Hilts volunteered to replace a member of the color guard. In his neatly pressed uniform, moving with ceremonial deliberateness, the soldier helped fold the burial flag into a tight tricorner, then knelt to give the colors to the widow.

Today, Hilts is one of the cemetery's nearly 100 employees — 62 are former service members — who prepare final resting places for thousands of veterans every year.

“That tells the story of our mission here — to never let a veteran be forgotten,” said Hilts, 35, of Coram, who studied on the GI Bill at St. Johns University, then went to work setting gravestones at the cemetery the day after he graduated in 2015.

“Yes, we lost some people while I was over there,” Hilts said of his three combat tours in Iraq. “So I’d say this is especially personal for me.”
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"Ultimate Tribute to The King" and disabled combat medic

Top Elvis impersonator coming to The Villages to raise money for disabled veteran’s new home

Villages News
By Larry D. Croom
August 13, 2019

Villagers for Veterans has worked tirelessly over the past couple of years to raise money to build the special house for Kelly, a 17-year Army veteran who was injured during a 2002 training accident while preparing to deploy to Iraq. Kelly’s spine was crushed when a cable snapped during a sling load operation. As a result of her injuries, the Army medic, who lives alone in the Tampa area, was permanently paralyzed and has very limited use of one arm.
Dwight Icenhower, who has made a full-time career as Elvis Presley impersonator, will perform his ‘Ultimate Tribute to The King’ show at the Savannah Center at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Villagers for Veterans is bringing a special performer to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown – one who strives to keep the memories of “The King of Rock and Roll” alive forever.

Dwight Icenhower, who has made a full-time career as Elvis Presley impersonator, will perform his “Ultimate Tribute to The King” show alongside his Blue Suede Band at the Savannah Center at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18. His appearance is a fundraiser being put on by the group to raise money for a smart home that’s being built for disabled Army veteran Sgt. Pam Kelly on the Historic Side of The Villages.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio's broke silence on suicide in his own family

Mayor Draws on Father’s Suicide in Dealing With Spike Among NYPD Officers

The Wall Street Journal
By Katie Honan and Tyler Blint-Welsh
Aug. 15, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to stem the spike in suicides among New York Police Department officers this year by speaking openly about his father’s suicide in urging them to seek help.

The mayor talked about his family’s experience in a letter he sent to NYPD officers on Wednesday night, shortly before a longtime officer became the ninth member of the department to die by suicide this year. The 56-year-old officer, who had been with the department for 25 years and served in its Strategic Response Group, fatally shot himself at a home in Laurelton, Queens, according to a police official. His suicide came a day after another officer fatally shot himself in Yonkers.

In his letter, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, detailed the depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism that his father, a decorated World War II veteran, battled before killing himself. His father, who lost part of his leg during the war, died when Mr. de Blasio was 18 years old. Although his father was always strong physically, the mayor said, it “wasn’t the kind of strength he needed.”

“My dad couldn’t deal with what he had lived through,” he said in the letter.

“I say from experience: There is strength in asking for help—in doing the right thing for you and your family.”
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Man charged after disabled Vietnam veteran's body found

New details emerge after homeless man allegedly kills Vietnam Veteran

WEAR ABC 13 News
by Amy Russo
August 15th 2019

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WEAR) — New details are being released after a homeless man was charged with homicide.

The arrest report from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office says on Wednesday morning deputies were called out to a death investigation on Beverly Parkway.

Upon arrival, Jason Woodell told deputies he was working on a house at the 100 block of Beverly Parkway when Henry Vasquez told him there was a body under a white sheet at a property nearby, the report says.

Vasquez told deputies he was picking up trash when he noticed what appeared to be a human body under a sheet covered in blood, the report reveals.

It adds the body had been wrapped in a white sheet, blue furniture moving quilt, and dumped in a gravel parking lot.

The report says the victim is a disabled Vietnam Veteran. He was described as a man who could "barely get around without a cane."
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Friday, August 16, 2019

NYPD Officer's sister begged for her brother to be helped before he committed suicide

NYPD cop who killed himself had mental evaluation in June, sister says

AM New York
By Anthony M. DeStefano and Michael O'Keeffe
August 16, 2019

“The psychiatrist saw him once and then she says he’s OK and gives him his guns back,” said Echeverria, 52. “And almost two months to the day, he kills himself. What kind of doctors do they have? What kind of counseling do they have?”

The sister of an NYPD officer who shot himself to death said the department cleared her brother for duty after a June mental health evaluation — even though the officer regularly threatened to harm himself or others.

Eileen Echeverria of West Islip, whose brother, 25-year department veteran Robert Echeverria, 56, took his own life Wednesday night, said she asked NYPD officials at least 10 times in recent years to provide mental health assistance to her brother and take away his weapons.

“They failed him epically. … It is NYPD’s fault,” Eileen Echeverria said in an interview Thursday. “A hundred percent. I begged them so many times, please take his guns, please get him help.”
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