Thursday, February 28, 2013

Port St. Lucie police officer shot during standoff

Port St. Lucie police officer shot during standoff
SWAT situation lasts 6 hours
UPDATED 5:49 PM EST Feb 28, 2013

Injured officer has nine shotgun pellets in his leg

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. —A police officer is recovering after being shot during a standoff with a man who's now facing serious charges, investigators said.
read more here

Sequester will raise the cost of troops medical care?

Military to spend more on care under sequester
By Gregg Zoroya
USA Today
Posted : Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Sweeping budget cuts going into effect Friday create a paradox for military medicine: spending money to save money, Army, Navy and Air Force medical officials say.

As thousands of civilian medical workers are furloughed because of the “sequester,” patients will be sent to private doctors at public expense to receive timely medical care, according to the military medical officials.

“This will result in increased medical care costs to the DOD (Department of Defense) and American taxpayers,” says an Army Public Affairs statement released this week.

The point of the sequester cuts established by Congress and signed by President Obama was to slash federal spending by $85 billion across the federal government.

Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, Navy surgeon general, wrote in a recent message to sailors that “Navy Medicine will not and cannot hang a ‘closed’ sign at the front door of our facilities. We will work ... to refer care as necessary, also recognizing that referring out care does not save money in the long run.”
read more here

These are the elected officials that voted against women

These are the people who voted against the Violence Against Women Act.
That means they also voted against protecting women like me. I was almost killed by my ex-husband over 30 years ago. There is no excuse for voting against something that will end up helping women like me and make it a crime to hurt us instead of something that just says "shame on you, don't do it again."
Florida members of the House and Senate that voted against protecting women

For more members go here

Senators that voted against protecting women
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Iraq veteran talks about attempted suicide

Iraq veteran talks about attempted suicide
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
February 28, 2013

When it is too late and we read about successful suicides, we settle for feeling sorry for the families left behind. Shame on us! We settle too easily for too much.
Military Suicides on Rise; No Simple Solutions
Arizona Public Media
Story by Gisela Telis
February 26, 2013

When Ricardo Pereyda returned from Iraq, he thought his most difficult days were behind him. But nothing had prepared him for the battle he would face back home.

“It was extremely difficult when I got back,” Pereyda recalls. “Here I was, a 22-year-old kid ... and I felt used up. I felt like, what now?”

Pereyda, who had served in the U.S. Army military police, was now living with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Nightmares kept him from sleeping, and his days were wrought with anxiety, anger and grief.

Within a year and a half, Pereyda was medically discharged and going through a divorce.

It was then, Pereyda says, that he decided to end his life. On a quiet afternoon, with his beloved dog beside him, he wrote a letter to his loved ones and held a gun to his head. He would have pulled the trigger, he says, if it weren’t for the thought that entered his mind in that moment: the thought of the pain his death would cause his parents.
read more here
We settle for what the military tells us they are doing about it, then settle for excuses they give us for more and more committing suicide everyday, then we settle for lame ass titles like "No Simple Solutions" as if that is supposed to do any good or save one life.

Reporters are given assignments to cover and sometimes they don't care or have no clue what they are reporting on. Sometimes they do care but are not given the proper deadline so they can actually investigate what is real to weigh against what they are being told. They go out and interview "professionals" without anything to know if they are being fed a BS line or the truth. Most of the time I sit here shocked by what disinformation passes for facts.

Here are the simple solutions that keep getting ignored.

1. End Resilience Training.
Because telling them they can train their brain to be "mentally tough" is a barrier to asking for help. When they get that notion into their heads that PTSD is being mentally weak, they are not about to admit they need help. They feel defective as if the others they are with are tougher or "trained" better than they were able to.

2. Stop pretending any of this is new.
Because while OEF and OIF veterans are the first internet generation, they are not the first generation of war fighters to suffer from what was asked of them. Everything printed in the press has happened to every other generation. The general public just didn't know what was happening because reporters and researchers had limited access to reports.
If they think for a second all this suffering is just about them they will not listen to older veterans and their families who have been through all of this and are still standing. They went through coming home with no help at all, between 150,000 and 200,000 of Vietnam veterans committed suicides, went through many divorces and then tried again, got jobs, lost jobs, over 300,000 of them ended up homeless and the list goes on.

3. Stop funding research that has already been done.
Because PTSD and combat has been studied for over 40 years and there has not been anything new that has come out to justify wasted spending topped off with no accountability on any of this.

4. Start funding programs with a proven track record that includes families.
Because families are on the front lines of helping veterans heal. They can help or they can do more harm simply because they do not understand what PTSD is, why they act and respond the way they do or where to go for support for what they are going through.

5. Stop pretending that "moral injury" has not always been part of Combat and PTSD.
Because it has already been well documented that it begins with that. It has to include healing the soul/spirit of the veteran.

6. Stop pushing attempts to numb them.
Because numbing is not healing and does not work.

7. Cognitive therapy has to be changed.
Because exposing them to face what happened and what they did will not work unless they are able to forgive what they did as well as what was done to them.

8. The final thought on this is Congress must stop holding hearings on the problems and start holding hearings on what works along with holding the DOD, VA, groups and charities accountable for the outcomes of what Congress paid them to do. If they do not then we will continue to see suicides and attempted suicides go up.

Jacksonville firefighters charity helps native son following Afghanistan injuries

Jacksonville firefighters charity helps native son following Afghanistan injuries
'He was spared by God and has all his limbs,' says Josh Gillette's dad.
Florida Times Union
by Dan Scanlan
Posted: February 27, 2013

Josh Gillette might not be able to make it to Friday’s luncheon in his honor.

Jacksonville native Josh Gillette, 32, is recovering from an explosion in Afghanistan. He attended Englewood and Wolfson high schools and was part of their JROTC programs
But as the Jacksonville native continues therapy at Walter Reed Medical Center for major injuries suffered in Afghanistan, people who don’t know him will be helping his future.

Funds raised at the 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Jacksonville Fire Fighter Hall at 618 Stockton St. will go to his family from the Jacksonville Fire Fighter Charities. The bills have racked up from Gillette’s and his wife’s trips from their Tennessee home to Walter Reed for therapy, said his father, David Gillette.

“I prayed and prayed for God to provide for my son and daughter-in-law and every time I turn around, someone is wanting to help,” Gillette said from his Jacksonville home.
Fundraising site The website The War Hero was set up by Shain Gillette to help cover the costs his brother’s family is incurring in recuperating from his injuries.

read more here

Army won't release Madigan PTSD data

Army withholding findings of Madigan PTSD probe
By Rebecca Ruiz
NBC News contributor

The results of a months-long investigation into the reversal of post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses at Madigan Army Medical Center are being kept confidential.

Earlier this month, Army Secretary John McHugh told reporters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state that the Madigan findings would not be disclosed.

Days later, the Army denied Freedom of Information Act requests for documents related to the controversy made by three Seattle-area news organizations.

George Wright, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, told NBC News that “concerns brought up in the Madigan matter will be addressed” in a separate forthcoming report by the Army's Task Force on Behavioral Health.
read more here

Connecticut Grandmother killed kids in murder-suicide

Double Murder-Suicide Again Brings Mental Health Issues to the Forefront
Debra Denison reportedly suffered from bipolar disorder. 'It underscores that we need to do more to provide mental health access to people and families struggling," state Sen. Andrew Maynard said.
By Bree Shirvell

As Connecticut residents mourn the tragic loss of two young North Stonington boys, the state is once again facing questions about mental health and gun policies.

On Tuesday afternoon, Debra Denison, 47, of Stonington picked up her grandsons, Alton Perry, 2, and 6-month-old Ashton Perry, from Kidds and Co. day care in North Stonington. Sometime that night she shot the two boys to death at a boat launch in Preston near Lake of Isles golf course before killing herself.

"This is absolutely heartbreaking," Senator Chris Murphy said. "Our thoughts are with the family and their loved ones as they deal with this awful tragedy.”
read more here

Fort Hood families talk about cuts

Fort Hood Families Take Part In Army's Online Fiscal Cliff Chat
Posted: Feb 27, 2013
By Sophia Stamas

If Congress can't agree on a national budget by Friday, automatic spending cuts will take effect, delivering a hard hit to the military.

As the deadline draws near, more military families and civilian employees have questions about how the sequester might affect them.

So today the Army hosted a live chat on it's Twitter feed.

The three main topics were impact on soldier training, civilian furloughs, and how they could affect programs and services to military families.

"I'm concerned about retirement pay," says Tamma Ruth.

After 23 years as an Army wife, Tamma is intently tuning into the buzz over automatic spending cuts.

She says, "My husband has served, and been in Iraq, and been in harm's way for a long time, and I think he deserves to have his full military retirement."
read more here

Open letter to Senate Veterans Affairs Committee

Dear Senator Sanders, The House and Senate have failed our troops and our veterans!

More and more leave military service while both houses refuse to hold anyone accountable for what is done to them while they are in. You guys hold hearings while families hold dead veterans in their arms screaming "why" when these men and women survived combat but could not find one reason to live one more day.

These are the facts

Comprehensive Solider Fitness increased suicide warning ignored by the DOD and Congress held no on accountable. The program passed off as Resilience Training, which replaced Battlemind failed these men and women. Each year we read headlines of the rise in suicides at the same time we read leaders saying they were doing something about it. The Congress turned around, renewed contracts, funded research that was passed off as new without ever once acknowledging the studies were already done in the last 40 years and never once asked for the money back when the results were this deplorable.

Just because OEF OIF Veterans, the first internet generation of war fighters have made the news, that does not mean any of this is new. Look up the records of what veterans all the up to the Gulf War came back to and finally learn the truth.

Has Congress ever once noticed that with the implementation of the Suicide Prevention reporting an increase in calls, no one asked why with all the other things the government has been doing in "preventing" PTSD? What about Suicide Prevention Fund had a surplus?

Or that this is the kind of "training" they have been doing?
Staff Sgt. Victoria Gettman, a lab technician instructor at Fort Sam Houston, told The Huffington Post that she was among 800 soldiers from the 264th Medical Battalion undergoing resilience training on Sept. 26. Almost all of the soldiers were fresh out of boot camp and in training for their first job in the Army.

After a 45-minute talk on how to cope with stress, the officer in charge turned the stage over to a chaplain for the sometimes controversial "spiritual fitness" part of the session.
No one was held to account for any of this.

When will Congress once and for all ask what works? When will all of you take a look at how we ended up with this?

Veterans 7% of population 22% of suicides yet we are expected to believe our government has been addressing it?

Senator Sanders I know you just took over as Chairman, but you have to get your staff to actually learn about what is real, what works, what is a waste of money and what families are going through if you are ever going to do anything meaningful to save their lives!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has a tough job ahead

Hagel vows to ‘take care’ of DoD work force
Army Times
By Marcus Weisgerber
Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Feb 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pledged to take care of the Defense Department’s military and civilian work force even as billions of dollars in defense spending cuts loom.

In his first address to the Pentagon work force as defense secretary on Wednesday, Hagel said the DoD needs “to deal with this reality” that about $46 billion in cuts, known as sequestration, are set to kick in Friday.

“We need to figure this out,” Hagel said. “You are doing that. You have been doing that. We need to deal with this reality.”

If hit with these spending cuts and a yearlong continuing resolution, which is $11 billion less than the Pentagon’s planned 2013 budget, senior defense officials have said they would need to furlough most of DoD’s 800,000 civilian workers over the next six months. Military pay is exempt from the sequestration cuts.

“Our budget problems here, if nothing else what we’re dealing with, what you’re dealing with, what we’re all dealing with, is yes, dollars coming down; but it’s the uncertainty of the planning, it’s the uncertainty of the commitments, the uncertainty of what’s ahead,” Hagel said.
read more here
Just noticed this is post 18,000!

Man shot, shooter fleas in Florida

Dog Shoots Owner: Florida Owner Shot in Leg by his Dog
By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 27, 2013

Dog shoots owner: A man in Florida was wounded after his dog shot him in the leg with a pistol while they were driving.

A Florida man was shot and injured by his dog over the weekend, it was reported. The man walked away without any serious injuries.

Gregory Lanier, 35, was shot after his dog kicked a loaded gun while they were riding in his truck, reported Highlands Today. The gun, which was positioned on the floor, then shot him in the leg.
read more here

Veterans 7% of population 22% of suicides

I just emailed them to let them know, if anyone is shocked, they just haven't done the research to give them a clue. It's all out there. I tried to warn about this back in 2009 and posted about how it can be tracked back to "resilience training" more than anything else.
Suicides Keep Rising among Vets, Americans
Source: Fars News Agency
Published: Wednesday 20 February, 2013

TEHRAN (FNA)- A new report released earlier this month by the Veterans Administration showed that suicides among US veterans has risen from an average of 18 per day to 22 per day.

The details also show that suicides among regular Americans are also escalating. For all self-inflicted deaths across the US, some 22.2 percent are carried out by veterans. At the same time, Vets make up just 7 percent of the overall population.

Suicide among Veterans

That's the title of a section of the latest VA report detailing suicides among veterans. 'Of the 147,763 suicides reported in 21 states, 27,062 (18.3%) were identified as having history of US military service on death certificates,' the report states, 'Among cases where history of US military service was reported, Veterans comprised approximately 22.2% of all suicides reported during the project period.'
read more here

Returning troops need help to cope

Veteran: Returning troops need help to cope
Suicide prevention and the military was discussed Friday at an event in York.
Daily Record/Sunday News

Bill Kohler says he never thought about killing himself after returning from tours of service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But there were times he felt numb.

"It's not that I wanted to take my life, but I didn't really care if it ended," he said.

Kohler, a veteran of the Army National Guard, spoke Friday at the York County Suicide Prevention Coalition's lunch and learn on the topic of suicide prevention and the military. Kohler served as a combat medic in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 and was injured by an IED during his last tour, according to a news release.
read more here

OEF OIF Veterans, the first internet generation of war fighters

OEF OIF Veterans, the first internet generation of war fighters
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
February 27, 2013

None of this is new. When Gulf War veterans returned, the internet was in infancy leaving this generation the first to be reported on the most.

Jake Wood had a Q and A about Combat and PTSD.
This question gets asked a lot.
Do you think that PTSD is more prevalent among soldiers of Iraq and Afghanistan compared to previous wars, or do you think it is just more recognized now? If the former, why?
This was the answer most people know.
Interesting question. From what I have read and been educated in by mental health professionals, the rates of PTSD now are not more prevalent than before. Soldiers, no matter how good they are as soldiers, are still human beings. The ancient Greeks and Romans were documenting mental reactions to trauma over 2000 years ago.

The real answer is a simple one. Reports of veterans with PTSD have never been this high but that does not mean veterans of other wars suffered less. This is the first Internet generation of veterans. Simple as that.

The traumas of war have been recorded all the way back to biblical times and even then the exploration of the soul/moral suffering of the war fighters delved into the unseen aftermath of combat. King David wrote about his own suffering in Psalms. Most historical accounts of some of the greatest military leaders touched on this inner turmoil throughout history. The only difference is the ability to communicate has been expanded so that what happens in one part of the world is recorded for all the world to learn from.

Military suicides are not new. Chuck Dean wrote about 150,000 Vietnam Veterans committing suicide. Substance abuse used to numb much the way legal medications numb but do not heal and most lead to other problems like veterans in jail instead of in treatment. Domestic violence that could have been prevented if basic knowledge of what a flashback is and what happens during a nightmare. The list is huge but the truth is, they don't suffer more, we just read about it more now than ever before and interviews like the one Jake Wood did, just didn't happen.

Veterans Events in Central Florida for March

Provided by Cathy Haynes email
Black History Month Special Exhibit will continue thru to mid-March – due to popular demand! This exhibit provides recognition honoring the African Americans serving in every conflict of the United States of America from the Revolutionary War and the first years of our republic through the current war in Afghanistan. For more than 237 years, African American contributions to all branches of the armed forces have been critical to the defense of our freedom. The exhibit can be seen as a part of regular admission at the Museum of Military History located at 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34746. Tues – Sun, 10am – 6pm. For further information on the exhibit, please call 407-507-3894 or visit website at Museum of Military History
Baseball Seats for Soldiers – Remember that Major League Baseball has its Spring Training in Florida thru the end of March. The Grapefruit League has four teams based within about an hours’ drive from Orlando – Atlanta Braves at Disney, Detroit Tigers at Lakeland, Houston Astros at Kissimmee, and Washington Nationals at Viera. Many have discounted or free tickets for military and veterans appreciation. Check the teams’ schedules online, take advantage of their offers and thank them for their generosity!
Your help is needed - NOW! The Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation (CFVMPF) is preparing to engrave names of Central Florida’s fallen warriors on granite monuments. The monuments will be placed in a memorial park at the new Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center at Lake Nona. Local families and friends are asked to review the lists of the fallen to make sure their local loved one’s name appears in the list, and to correct any spelling errors. And to spread the word. This effort applies only to the six county region that the medical center will serve – Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties. Deadline is April 30. Donations for the Memorial Park are still welcomed! Contact: or Jerry Pierce at 407-529-6925
4th Annual Ride for the Stone on Sat. Mar. 2 – Fund raising effort to provide grave site markers for parents who lose a child and cannot afford a cemetery marker. All vehicles welcome, $10 per person. Two starting points at 10:30 – your choice of Winter Garden or Deland; Last stop at 3:30 at the “Bunker” - Cpl. Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum at 3400 North Tanner Road, Orlando, 32826. Food, drinks, 50/50 draw and live music. For more information: email or 407-256-9360. (Event flyer available)
Housewarming and Key Ceremony, Sat. Mar. 2 in St. Augustine by Home for Our Troops for Marine MSgt John Hayes and his family. This is a specially built home for this wounded warrior. Info – Homes For Our Troops This organization is also active in Central FL and has some local corporate sponsors.
Central Florida Fair from Thurs. Feb. 28 thru Sun. Mar 10. Military Appreciation Night is Tues. Mar 5 – and gates open at 4pm. Not only are Active Duty, Reservists and Veterans admitted for FREE but Police and Firefighters are too! Other days: bring the “Give Back Coupon” coupon from the website ( and receive a $3.00 off regular $12 Adult Gate admission on select days, and $1.00 will be donated to the charity of the day for every coupon which is redeemed. Free parking. Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 West Colonial Drive, Orlando 32808. Advance discounted tickets at Walgreens until Feb 28.
The Last Naval Battle of the American Revolution Commemoration – 2013 is the 230th Anniversary of this sea battle that occurred just off the coast of Port Canaveral. The Brevard Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invite all Color Guards and interested persons to attend this ceremony on Sat. Mar 9, assembly at 9:30 am, Brevard Veterans Council, 400 S Sykes Creek Pkwy, Merritt Island, 32952. Please contact us if your group will be represented by a color guard; bringing greetings and/or presenting a wreath. EVERY color guard unit will receive a commemorative flag streamer. Event is attended by many veterans and history groups. Contact: Ben at 321-952-2928, or Steve Williams at
Cooking Class provided by the Vietnamese Chef Quoe Viet - Sat. Mar 9 at 10 am, at the “Bunker” - Cpl. Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum at 3400 North Tanner Road Orlando, 32826. Kindly RSVP by Thurs. Feb 28 so that we are prepared to accommodate the amount of people attending. Joanne at or (c) 508-523-7192.
Vietnamese/American Joint Ventures Project is hosting two events to raise funds for Exhibit Gallery and the Vietnam War Memorial Monument for the “Bunker” – Sat. Mar 9 at 6:30 PM at 7017 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, 32809; and Sun Mar 10, at 6:30 PM at Pinellas Performing Arts Center, 4951 78th Ave., Pinellas Park, 33781. Both events will have entertainment and food-tickets are $40. Joanne at or (c) 508-523-7192. (Event flyer available)
Veterans Resource and Job Fair – Wed. Mar 13, 10am – 2pm at Hungerford Memorial High School Cafeteria, 100 E. Kennedy Blvd, Eatonville, 32751 (in Orlando metro area). Learn about free job placement, employability, skills training, housing and counseling services. Representatives include VA, UCF, HBI, AMVETS and more! Free lunch. Cash door prizes, and gift certificates to be given away. Home Builder Institute (HBI) offers free construction and maintenance skills training to vets. POC: Rosa Cannaverde 407-490-0961 (Event flyer available)
Service Dogs for Veterans demonstration will be conducted at the “Bunker” on Sat. Mar 16 at 4pm by Nancy Ried of D4DV – Dogs for Disabled Veterans. Service dogs allow independence and companionship for disabled veterans. Nearly 6 million animals are put down every year and this 501(c)3 organization incorporates some of rescued, rehabilitated dogs into the lives of disabled veterans. Training is also provided at the Martin Work Camp by inmates through the "Train the Trainer" program established by D4DV and the Florida Department of Corrections. Some of the inmates are veterans themselves. Wish list for dog supplies is at Bring supplies when you attend this demo at the “Bunker” - Cpl. Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum at 3400 North Tanner Road, Orlando, 32826. Joanne at or (c) 508-523-7192.
Commander’s Call - Sat. Mar 16 at 10am – 4pm at the Museum of Military History located at 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy, Kissimmee, 34746. This ongoing program is held on the 3rd Sat. of each month is designed to appeal to families, military memorabilia collectors, history buffs, re-enactors and others interested in military history. In addition, persons interested in displaying, trading or selling their military items such as honor coins, swords, photographs, military buttons, scale model boats and planes, military art, uniforms or other equipment should register in advance by calling the museum to reserve a spot. Re-enactors and veterans are also welcome to come in uniform to add to the history and authenticity of the military experience. Non-military booths such as healthcare providers, home improvement, local attractions or other businesses are also invited to be vendors for a minimal donation. Call 407-507-3894 for further information or to register your table space.
Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses (FAVOB) – meeting on Wed. Mar. 20 at 11:30 am, Strength in numbers for all veteran (including service disabled veterans) owned businesses. Provides networking and awareness of local and state contacts and contracts. Contact Brian for location and info: 407-374-9072.
Scholarship Golf Tournament sponsored by AUSA Sunshine Chapter (Association of the United States Army) on Fri. Mar 22, 8am Sharp, Shotgun Start, lunch; Check-in starts at 7am. Timacuan Golf and Country Club, 550 Timacuan Boulevard, Lake Mary, 32746. Go to: for info and to register. Sponsorships welcomed! (Event flyer available.)
Tico Warbird Airshow - March 22, 23 and 24 in Titusville. Advance tickets available – 321-268-1941 Info: Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum - 6600 Tico Road, Titusville, 32780 Open 7 DAYS A WEEK 9am – 5pm
Honor Flight - Mark your calendars for send offs and Welcome Home celebrations at the airport. Three Honor Flight hubs use Orlando International Airport – Honor Flight of Central Florida, Villages Honor Flight, and Space Coast Honor Flight. All have the goal to fly WWII veterans and terminally ill veterans to Washington DC for a day. They visit the various military memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery. Veterans make the trip at no charge – donations and corporate sponsorships are welcomed by all hubs. It is great fun and rewarding to welcome these warriors home in the evening! Dates: Sat. Mar 23; Tues. Mar 26; ALL three hubs on Sat. Apr 27; Two hubs on Sat. May 25 (Memorial Day weekend); and more are scheduled thru the year. Times and airlines will vary. Free parking arrangements are underway. (Ocala Honor Flight uses the airport in Ocala and makes a flight on Thurs. May 23.) Each hub flight consists of about 25 veterans, 25 guardians and about 5 admin./medical staff.
4th Annual Wounded Warrior / Lone Sailor 5k Run/Walk/Roll facilitated by Central Florida Navy League – Sat. Apr. 6, 7:30 am, Baldwin Park, Orlando, 32814. Discount for registration before April 2. Go to: Proceeds will be split between Wounded Warrior Project and the Lone Sailor statue monument project to be placed at Blue Jacket Park on the former Navy Recruit Training Base. Sponsors welcomed. Navy League: Citizens in support of sea services – Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines, but open to all. We do not discriminate against Army or Air Force!
Golf Tournament – Central Florida Marine Corps Foundation (MCF) is having its only fund-raising activity. Support the organization's projects by participating or donating in this 25th Annual Golf Tournament. Fri April 12 at Timacuan Golf and Country Club, 550 Timacuan Blvd, Lake Mary, 32746. 8am Sharp start, lunch. for info. Sponsors and prize donations are welcomed! (Event flyer is available.)
2013 Seminole County Homeless Veterans’ Stand Down preparations are underway for Sat. May 18, (Armed Forces Day) at the Seminole County Health Department. Stand Downs typically provide services such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling; as well as referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. More information to follow, but Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. Go to: and click on the Stand Down link. The Stand Down is paid for through donations, anyone who would like to contribute financially may send your tax exempt donation to the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, ATTN: Sean, PO Box 547068, Orlando, FL 32854-7068 (mark it for the 2013 Seminole Stand Down); the Homeless Services Network is a 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax exempt.
You may have missed events for the following but their efforts continue and are worthwhile for your support and donations:
« West Orange Habitat for Humanity's wounded veteran project Home at Last. The groundbreaking occurred for the 5th mortgage-free, disability-friendly home in Oakland. It is for Marine Cpl. Ronald Clayton "CJ" Barnes Jr. , wife Katy, and their newborn son who decided to make his debut 3 weeks early!

« Operation Safety 91 (OS91) sponsored a luncheon banquet for local First Responders. OS91 efforts provide Psalm 91 cards to military and first responders. Toll free: 877-820-7467
EXTRAS of Interest:
The Navy Exchange (NEX) still exists in Orlando for all branches of active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents. It is located west of Orlando Int’l Airport, about 1 mile south of the Beachline Expy/528 on Tradeport Dr. Competitive pricing and programs. 7151 Earhart Dr., Orlando, 32827. 407-857-3550

·American Warrior Radio Show from 11am-noon EDT on Saturdays, radio station WMEL - AM 1300 Nationwide broadcast:

· - “A one stop resource for ALL veterans nationwide who are transitioning from military to civilian life.” There are resources for all veterans, postings for new benefits, jobs, and more!

· - Veterans News Service covering news that matters to veterans and their families. Local, state and national news and events – especially with videos involving Central Florida military and veterans. Dedicated to defeating Combat PTS.

·Shades of Green Resort – Armed Forces Recreation Center on Disney property provides various packages for active duty, reservists, guardmen, 100% service connected disabled, and retired military personnel and their families. Special discounts for rooms may be available based on occupancy levels, and special ticket rates. (407) 824-3400

·Vet Centers are available for combat zone veterans to help with personal and family readjustment counseling and outreach services. The nearest centers are located in Orlando, Melbourne, Clermont, and Daytona Beach.

·Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to active duty, Guard and Reserve service members, and their families with comprehensive information on every aspect of military life including deployment, relationships, economics, grief, education, parenting and child care, and much more.

Cpl. Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum (aka “The Bunker”) - at 3400 North Tanner Road, Orlando, 32826. The museum is a place full of knowledge, experiences, and memories. It is here that you will discover many unique and historical artifacts of the Vietnam Era. Open to the public with FREE admission on Saturdays from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and Sundays from 10:00pm to 4:00pm. Private and educational tours can be scheduled with prior agreement and confirmation with the museums staff. Hours of operation are subject to change due to restoration in progress.

Museum of Military History –5210 West Irlo Bronson Highway - located west of SR 535 on SR 192 Kissimmee, 34746 – near the Poinciana Blvd. intersection on the south side of the road. "Educating the world about the cost of freedom" with educational exhibits starting with the Civil War, incorporating World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and leading the visitor up to the most current pages of our military history in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hours of 10 am to 6 pm on Tues. thru Sun. (Closed Mondays.) For more information call 407-507-3894
*Note: If you or your friends have military items that may not mean much to your other family members, please consider donating them or placing them "on permanent loan" with a Museum for safekeeping. Others may appreciate their historical significance, and it will keep them out of potential landfills. If possible please include the story of the item. I am now accepting information about organizations planning public events (Memorial Day in May!) that involve military, veterans or patriotic themes. Please include date, location, time, and a point of contact (name, email, phone). Other people cannot attend if they don’t know about the event!

Navy Identifies SEAL Lost at Sea During Training

Navy Identifies SEAL Lost at Sea During Training
Feb 27, 2013
Honolulu Advertiser
by William Cole

The Navy identified the SEAL commando who was lost at sea last week during training off Kaena Point as Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Matthew John Leathers of Woodland, Calif.

The Coast Guard said it suspended its search for Leathers Sunday after "exhaustive efforts" to locate the 33-year-old, who went missing during an open-ocean training exercise last Tuesday.

Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps crews worked with Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety to search an area covering more than 24,000 square miles using aircraft, cutters, small boats and shore personnel.

"In this case, I have the heartbreak of informing not only the family, but a close-knit military community, that a loved one could not be found," Capt. Joanna Nunan, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, said Sunday in a news release.
read more here

Two Navy Divers Die in Aberdeen Diving Op

Two Navy Divers Die in Aberdeen Diving Op
Feb 27, 2013
Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- The Navy is investigating the deaths of two sailors during a diving operation at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, the second deadly incident at a deep pond there in the past month.

Officials say the divers died Tuesday. While one diver was pronounced dead at the scene, the other was transported to a local medical facility, where he was pronounced dead. The unit is based at Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.
read more here

Camp Pendleton Marine died skydiving

Pendleton Marine dies while skydiving in Perris
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Rob McMillan

PERRIS, Calif. (KABC) -- A Marine from Camp Pendleton has died while skydiving in Perris, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The accident was reported at 3 p.m. at 2000 Goetz Road near Perris Valley Airport. The male victim was declared dead at the scene, and a U.S. flag was draped over the body.
read more here

Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. Davis, 14th Navajo killed in Afghanistan

Marine is 14th member of Navajo Nation to die in Afghanistan
By Alex Pena
Stars and Stripes
Published: February 26, 2013

The Marine who died in Afghanistan on Friday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. Davis, a Navajo from Kayenta, Ariz.

Davis, 34, died Feb. 22 while conducting operations in Helmand province, according to a Department of Defense news release. He was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 32nd Georgian Liaison Team, Regimental Combat Team 71st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Davis was killed in a bomb attack while working as the liaison for the Georgian military, which has been partnered with the Marines in Helmand province for several years.

According to the Navajo Square, an online community site for the Navajo Nation, Davis is the 14th Navajo to be killed while serving in Afghanistan.
read more here

Resilience BS still being pushed to prevent PTSD

Resilience BS still being pushed by people that do not understand PTSD.

Does TM work? Yes because it helps the body to calm down, but so does Yoga, taking long walks and listening to calming music, praying, writing and you name it. When they work on teaching their bodies to calm down again, it all helps. Is TM the answer to all? No. Nothing is. The most harmful thing about this report is they are still pushing Resilience Training which has proven to be a failure. The results of the military suicides from last year alone prove that it does not work and they cannot prevent PTSD unless they do the one thing that has been proven to at least help. Having someone with the proper training to listen to them RIGHT AFTER THE TRAUMA before it has time to sink in.

On May 3rd, 2012 the David Lynch Foundation held an international summit on the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other stresses, as well as how TM can help build resilience in the brain in active duty military.

Since 2005 the David Lynch Foundation has shared Transcendental Meditation with our most stressed populations.

If you are inspired by this video please make a donation using the Donate button on the right.

The David Lynch Foundation runs entirely on donations and there is a long list of schools and organizations eager to participate. Change begins within!

Comprehensive Solider Fitness increased suicide warning ignored

Patriot Guard Riders take stand for soldier told to remove flag

Condo association tells soldier to take down American flag
by Nick Dutton
February 26, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A request to remove an American flag at an Alabama condo complex has caused an online uproar and sparred a Facebook sharing frenzy.

WHNT reports that a soldier and his wife, who live at the Stepping Stone Condominiums in Huntsville, received a note Monday stating that they had to remove their flag.

The note said the American flag violated the the condo homeowners association’s bylaws — and urged the couple to remove the flag as soon as possible to keep the community tidy.

WHNT reports that after word spread about the letter, the Patriot Guard showed up and was standing guard with American flags near the couple’s condo.
go here for more

Routh family thanks Kyle for PTSD help

Routh family thanks Kyle for PTSD help
Parents of gun range killings suspect thank victim
Updated: Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013

DALLAS (AP) - The parents of the man accused of killing former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle on a Texas gun range are publicly thanking the celebrated sniper for helping their son deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The mother of Eddie Ray Routh said Tuesday she and her husband want others with PTSD "to know their struggle is recognized."

In a statement, Jodi Routh also expressed hope that the tragedy will "somehow help in getting care and assistance for those in need." read more here
Ex-Navy SEAL died pursuing his passion

Santa Cruz Police department grieve 2 Officers killed

'Darkest day': Two police officers killed in line of duty
By Erika Conner, Kyle Bonagura and Lisa Fernandez

Two Santa Cruz, Calif., police officers were shot to death Tuesday afternoon - the first time in city history that officers were killed in the line of duty. One suspect was also killed.

The two officers who died, Det. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler, had a combined 38 years of experience with the Santa Cruz Police Department.

"We at the Santa Cruz Police Department are like family," Santa Cruz police chief Kevin Vogel said.

"I've known both of these officers for a long, long time and there just aren't words to describe how I feel personally about this and how our department is reacting to this horrific, horrific tragedy."

Baker had been with the department for 28 years and leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a son, Adam, who works for the department as a community service officer.

Butler leaves her partner, Peter, and two young sons.

"This is the darkest day in the history of the Santa Cruz Police Department," Vogel said.
read more here

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, Vietnam Veteran

Senate confirms Hagel for defense secretary
By Michael O'Brien
Political Reporter
NBC News

The Senate voted to confirm former Sen. Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama's next secretary of defense following weeks of dogged opposition by Republican senators to their erstwhile colleague. The Senate voted 58 to 41 to formally confirm Hagel, on the heels of a procedural vote earlier in the day that cleared the way for Tuesday afternoon's final vote.
read more here

With a "friend" like John McCain comes a political enemy.

“I do not believe that Chuck Hagel, who is a friend of mine, is qualified to be secretary of defense,” fellow Vietnam vet and Arizona Senator John McCain of Arizona said on CNN on Sunday. McCain voted Tuesday with a 71-senator majority to end the filibuster, but later voted against confirmation.
This is what he had to say about Chuck Hagel, a former buddy of his, also a Republican and even once considered by McCain and the best person for Secretary of Defense when he had his eyes on the office of Commander-in-Chief.

But that was way back in 2000 before McCain wanted the war in Iraq.

More bad news for veterans, thanks to Congress

VA backlog continues to mount; no clear solutions in sight
By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes
Published: February 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — VA Secretary Eric Shinseki pledged Tuesday that his department will make progress toward ending the benefits backlog this year. House and Senate leaders promised to tackle the issue in upcoming hearings. Veterans groups are lobbying lawmakers this week on the depth of the problem.

But exactly how anyone can fix the mounting headache remains unclear.

As of last week, the benefits backlog – the number of claims pending for more than 125 days – sat above 600,000 cases, up about 7 percent from a year ago. The average claim takes about 270 days to process.

Department officials have offered a host of solutions over the last year, but have no positive trend to show for it. More claims adjusters, different processing methods and closer coordination with veterans groups have yet to pull down the overdue case numbers.
read more here

VA protected from sequester cuts, but veterans will feel the pain
By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes
Published: February 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs will be spared when sequestration hits March 1.

But veterans will not.

Despite assurances that veterans benefits and services will be exempt from the budget cuts, veterans and their families will share the suffering along with military counterparts. The result could mean more homeless veterans, less help for those looking for work, and tens of thousands of furloughed veteran struggling to make ends meet.

“There’s a very large concern about the secondary effects (of sequestration) on veterans programs nationwide,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “We still don’t know all the ways veterans might be hurt.”

VA programs and payouts are exempt from the mandated spending cuts. White House and department officials have promised that that disability benefits, veterans education funds and health care services will continue uninterrupted.
read more here

American Legion Commander "Washington is failing troops and veterans"

Washington failing military, Legion leader says
Army Times
By Rick Maze
Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

The head of the nation’s largest veterans’ group said Tuesday that Washington is failing troops and veterans.

Army veteran James Koutz of Boonville, Ind., national commander of the American Legion, criticized politicians for using the defense budget and service members as pawns in a battle over deficit reduction and spending priorities.

He also objected to attempts to increase out-of-pocket Tricare costs for retirees and opposed a recent Pentagon move to create a new medal for drone operators that ranks higher in precedence than some medals awarded to combat troops on the ground.
read more here

New VA clinics, expansions left in limbo
By Kevin Freking
The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Feb 26, 2013
WASHINGTON — A veterans’ health clinic in Brick, N.J., is in such disrepair that when the snow gets heavy, patients have to go elsewhere for fear the roof might collapse. Another in San Antonio has extensive mildew and mold problems that could prove a health hazard for employees and patients in the coming years.

In Lake Charles, La., it’s not the condition of a clinic but the lack of one. It’s estimated that 6,000 veterans would enroll in VA health care if the community were to get a new clinic.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has cited these examples as it sought approval from Congress last year for a dozen new or expanded health clinics around the country.

Lawmakers anticipated that the cost for the current fiscal year would probably run into the tens of millions of dollars, but the estimate from the Congressional Budget Office came in at $1.2 billion. The nonpartisan CBO said that sound accounting principles require the full cost of the 20-year leases for the clinics be accounted for up front.

The huge jump in the clinics’ price tag left lawmakers scrambling, and in the face of the budget-cutting climate on Capitol Hill, the VA request stalled. Now the agency is warning that unless lawmakers act, some currently operating clinics may have to close after their old leases expire and other long-planned expansions will not go forward.
read more here

Tapping the rest of your life for PTSD treatment?

Here's one more example of a headline not turning out the way it sounds. Watch the video on this page and notice the veteran still "tapping" a year later in a follow up interview. What did the reporter mean by "it works" if this veteran still has to "tap" a year later?
Study Involving Rochester Veterans Shows PTSD Treatment Works
By: Ali Touhey
Updated: February 25, 2013

There's news about service members coming home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A study with connections to veterans in Rochester shows a nontraditional therapy works.

A study on the success of a therapy called "Emotional Freedom Technique" is published this month's "Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders."

It's also called the "Tapping Solution." We first told you about it last year because some of the research was done locally.
read more here
Here's the truth on this. You don't have to "tap" to feel better. You can skip and it would work just as good as long as you are talking and someone is listening.

Comprehensive Solider Fitness increased suicide warning ignored

Comprehensive Solider Fitness increased suicide warning ignored
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
February 26, 2013

Working on The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War, my new book on military suicides and reviewing some research I've done over the years has dropped a bombshell of a reminder of how we got the deadliest year of suicides connected to military service. While suicides within the military made headlines across the country and internationally, the results of a study done trying to figure out how many veterans have committed suicide produced a finding that their suicides are almost one an hour everyday.

What no one seems to be talking about is how did they get there from when nothing was being done? How is it possible with all the Bills Congress has passed and funded, these suicides have been allowed to increase without accountability from them?

In May of 2009, I offered this warning about what they were doing.
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness will make it worse
General Casey, now hear this, you cannot, repeat, cannot train your brain to prevent PTSD and until you understand this "Because it is scientifically proven, you can build resilience." does not equal the cause of PTSD, you will keep making it worse! Did the rise in suicides and attempted suicides offer you no clue that Battlemind didn't work? Apparently something told you it didn't or you'd still be pushing this. When you have a program in place to "train them to be resilient" beginning with telling them if they do not, it's their fault, what the hell did you and the other brass expect? Did you think they would listen to the rest of what the Battlemind program had to say to them? Are you out of your mind?

With all due respect, because I do believe you care about the men and women you command, this is just one more in a series of mistakes because it seems no one in the Pentagon or the upper rows of the food chain have a clue what causes PTSD.

While adversity does make some stronger, you cannot train them to do it. Life and character does that quite effectively on their own. Some will walk away stronger after traumatic events but one out of three humans will not. Some experts put the rate at one out of five walk away wounded but the best experts I've listened to since 1982 have put it at one out of three.

Do you think that this man could have "trained his brain" as well?
UK:WWII veteran finally diagnosed with PTSD
A D-DAY hero has been told he is suffering a stress related illness picked up in battle — 65 years AFTER he was the first Brit to storm an enemy beach.

WWII vet George McMahon, who was the first soldier on Sword Beach in Normandy, France, had revealed he is still suffering terrifying flashbacks from June 6, 1944.

And Army docs have told the 89-year-old war hero he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) picked up during WWII.

Mr McMahon's family first sought help from docs when the ex-soldier talked vividly about the war in the lead-up to the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

Mr McMahon of Kirk Ella, Hull, was then visited by the Service Personnel and Veterans' Agency — part of the Ministry of Defence — who said he was displaying PTSD symptoms.

The Scotland-born Army vet who served with The King's Regiment Army was awarded the Military Cross for storming two machine-guns.
Back then there were plenty of excuses to use for what happened to veterans but after Vietnam veterans came home and forced the wound to be treated, we ran out of excuses. How can you continue to dismiss what is so obvious? It is the nature of man, what is in their core, their empathy for others that is at the root of PTSD. I've talked to them long enough and enough of them to have understood this over 20 years ago. I also live with one.

I'm sick and tired of reading about what does not work being repeated. In all these years, people like me have already learned from the mistakes we made trying to help our husbands and others. To us, it wasn't a numbers game or a research project. This has meant our lives and the lives of the men we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. Aside from that General Casey, I've spent countless hours attempting to undo the damage done because the troops are not being told what they need to hear in the first place.

I've held Marines in my arms crying because the military told them they were not strong enough and National Guardsmen told they were not cut out for combat. All of this because the military has been telling them it's their fault they didn't work hard enough to toughen their brains.

How many more suicides are you willing to live with? Has it not gotten thru to you yet that you are losing more men and women after combat than you do during it? This is only part of it because I doubt you have considered how many have committed suicide and tried it after they were discharged. You cannot order them to stop caring! You cannot order them to become callous or oblivious to the suffering of others. Between the members of their own unit to the innocent civilians that do end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, you cannot seriously expect them to just "get over it" and "toughen" their brains. These men and women walk away with their own pain compounded by the pain of others. This is what opens the door to PTSD and until you understand this is what the difference is, you will never get close enough to finding the best treatment for it and they will continue to pay for it.

Ever notice the vast majority of the men and women you command end up carrying out the mission they are given, fighting fiercely and showing great courage even though they are already carrying the wound inside of them? They fulfill their duty despite flashbacks and nightmares draining them because their duty comes first to them. Do you understand how much that takes for them to do that? Yet you think telling them their minds are not tough enough will solve the problem? What kind of a tough mind do you think they needed to have to fight on despite this killing pain inside of them?

I fully understand to you, I'm no one. I have been ignored by senators and congressmen, doctors and other brass for as long as I've been trying to help, so you are not the first. I've also been listened to by others trying to think outside the box, but more importantly to me, by the men and women seeking my help to understand this and their families. I tell them what you should have been telling them all along so that they know it's not their fault, they did not lack courage and they are not responsible for being wounded any more than they would have been to have been found by a bullet with their name on it.

If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them.
Army Launching Program To Train Soldiers To Combat Post-Traumatic Stress
Sam Stein HuffPost Reporting

Faced with a growing number of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cases in the armed forces, the U.S. Army will begin a program this summer to proactively address the problem by focusing on building the mental resilience of its personnel.

In a speech before the international affairs organization the Atlantic Council on Thursday, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey laid out the virtues of the newly formed initiative, which he called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.

"We have been looking very hard at ways to develop coping skills and resilience in soldiers, and we will be coming out in July with a new program called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness," said Casey. "And what we will attempt to do is raise mental fitness to the same level that we now give to physical fitness. Because it is scientifically proven, you can build resilience."

"The whole idea here is to give soldiers the skills they need to increase their resilience and enhance their performance," he went on. "A lot of people think that everybody who goes to combat gets post-traumatic stress. That's not true. Everybody that goes to combat gets stressed. There is no doubt about it. But the vast majority of people who go to combat have a growth experience because they are exposed to something very, very difficult and they prevail. So the issue for us is how do we give more people the skills so that more people have a growth experience... We thought it was important to get started on this because everything else involves you treating the problem. We need to be more proactive."
Yet this did little good. Researchers ignored this warning. In June, half way through the worst suicide record in 2012, there did come a warning from psychiatrists but again, most reporters failed to fully understand what this all meant.
Dangerous Ideas
How our core beliefs promote and prevent progressive change
by Roy Eidelson, Ph.D.
The Army’s Flawed Resilience-Training Study: A Call for Retraction
Claims about the CSF program’s effectiveness are not supported by the research.
Published on June 4, 2012 by Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. in Dangerous Ideas
Note: My thanks to co-author Stephen Soldz.

Ten years of continuous war, characterized by multiple deployments, elusive guerilla adversaries, and occupied populations seemingly more tilted toward resentment than gratitude — have taken a significant toll on US troops. In addition to those who have been killed, physically maimed, or neurologically impaired by combat, many soldiers have experienced debilitating psychological disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Large numbers are on antidepressants and other psychotropic medications, while the suicide rate among troops has risen to alarming levels.

The sobering realities of the psychological effects of war pose a serious challenge for the US military tasked with simultaneously fighting multiple wars and anticipating years of “persistent conflict” ahead. The good news is that key sectors within the military have now identified the mental health of our troops as a major issue that must be addressed. Indeed, in addition to treatment for those suffering psychological impairment, the military leadership is pursuing intervention efforts aimed at preventing such adverse outcomes by increasing soldiers’ psychological resilience to combat exposure. The largest of these new initiatives is the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program, launched in 2009 and based upon the “positive psychology” framework of psychologist Martin Seligman. And that brings us to the bad news: despite the over-hyped claims of CSF’s leading proponents, at this point there is little evidence to suggest that CSF works.
I strongly suggest that if you are researcher or member of the media trolling this blog, you go to the link and read what else was in the report. When you do you'll understand what I've been screaming about all this time.

Congress gets paid after screwing up country

Whatever budget battle's outcome, lawmakers themselves unaffected
By Joyce Tsai
Stars and Stripes
Published: February 25, 2013

WASHINGTON — Sequestration’s across-the-board assault on hundreds of thousands of government workers is set to hit Friday, but some will be spared, including active-duty troops and Defense Department civilians working in combat zones.

Add to that short list of protected workers: congressional lawmakers, who could put a stop to it all.

“The whole thing is dripping with irony and hypocrisy,” especially if you consider that they’re the ones who created this problem in the first place — and now seem resigned to letting it happen, said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, a nonpartisan government watchdog group in Alexandria, Va.
read more here

Special Operations Aviation Regiment receive 20 medals for valor

Spec ops unit awarded 20 medals for actions
Army Times
By Michelle Tan
Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

Seven soldiers from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment received Silver Stars for their actions during a harrowing rescue in Afghanistan.

The soldiers, from the regiment’s 3rd Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., were honored with the nation’s third-highest award for valor during a ceremony Feb. 22.

They were honored for their actions of Sept. 14, 2011.

Six other soldiers received the Distinguished Flying Cross, also for their actions on that day.

In addition, seven soldiers from the 160th, including one of the Silver Star recipients, received the Air Medal with “V” device for their actions during separate missions.

One other soldier, Sgt. Jonathan L. Nichols, received a Purple Heart for wounds he received in action Sept. 29.

Officials declined to discuss many details of the events of Sept. 14, 2011, due to the sensitive nature of the 160th’s missions. However, officials confirmed that the soldiers were responding to a distress call for a risky daytime casualty evacuation in an area known for heavy insurgent activity.
read more here

Point Man Ministries, PTSD Moral Code Talkers

Point Man Ministries, PTSD Moral Code Talkers
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
February 26, 2013

Last night during our weekly conference call on Skype, leaders of Point Man International Ministries had a discussion about the latest news centered on the "moral injury" and some "experts" acting as if it was not part of Combat PTSD. What stuns most of us is the fact that these same experts fail to comprehend the fact that Combat PTSD is different than other types of PTSD. Why? Because war fighters are not just survivors of the trauma, they participate in the event itself. Members of law enforcement are hit almost as hard by this type of PTSD simply because of the fact they also participate in the events with weapons. While there is always a spiritual connection between trauma and faith, experts have failed to notice.

Humans walk away after surviving a traumatic event either believing they were saved for a reason or God did it to them. When we're talking about the traumatic events of combat, it is the same process but when they are looking around at the carnage left behind, it is very hard to think that God is real when all of it was allowed to happen. How could a loving God let all that happen? Why did they survive but others did not? Their moral code is broken. Before PTSD hit, they knew what they were doing but above that, they knew why they were doing it. It wasn't about what people talked about, the need to send them into combat or the need to keep them there. The number one job of a war fighter is to end it. That's right. It is not to kill as many opponents as possible but it is to get them to stop fighting. It is not to take lives but to save the lives of the men they are with. It is not to take over another country but to preserve their own country.

Those are the reasons they are willing to die. Those are the reasons they are prepared to risk their lives for. Those are the reasons they keep going until as many as possible return home.

Jake Wood, a PTSD soldier from the UK said that "war made sense" because everyone was watching out for each other. They knew what they had to do and didn't think about the politics behind it. They were trying to do what they were sent to do. He talked about how it was a matter of being unselfish.

This "moral injury" or wound, has been known for generations. Lately it has been in the news, recorded by reporters with no knowledge of the history behind it.

Veterans' 'moral injuries' are wounds of the soul
Wars leave troops haunted by guilt, shame
Written by
Associated Press
Feb 23, 2013

WASHINGTON — A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, former Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo thinks of himself as a killer — and he carries the guilt every day.

“I can’t forgive myself,” he said. “And the people who can forgive me are dead.”

With American troops at war for more than a decade, there’s been an unprecedented number of studies into war zone psychology and an evolving understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinicians suspect some troops are suffering from what they call “moral injuries” — wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something, that violates their moral code.
read more here

Frankly after almost 30 years of taking care of the spiritual aspect of PTSD, this "news" has left us stunned. How is it possible that "experts" are now paying attention to this as if it is new? How much else have they gotten wrong on Combat PTSD? We knew it hit the emotional part of the brain where most believe the soul lives but "experts" never think about what goes into being "human" anymore than they think about what makes them "who" they are inside.

Members of Point Man International Ministries have been "moral code talkers" all this time and finally now, mental health "professionals" are looking at what we've known all along.

1.of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
2.expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work.
3.founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.
4.capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
5.conforming to the rules of right conduct ( opposed to immoral ): a moral man.
1.a system for communication by telegraph, heliograph, etc., in which long and short sounds, light flashes, etc., are used to symbolize the content of a message: Morse code.
2.a system used for brevity or secrecy of communication, in which arbitrarily chosen words, letters, or symbols are assigned definite meanings.
3.any set of standards set forth and enforced by a local government agency for the protection of public safety, health, etc., as in the structural safety of buildings (building code) health requirements for plumbing, ventilation, etc. (sanitary or health code) and the specifications for fire escapes or exits (fire code)
4.a systematically arranged collection or compendium of laws, rules, or regulations.
5.any authoritative, general, systematic, and written statement of the legal rules and principles applicable in a given legal order to one or more broad areas of life.

It is as if this is all a foreign language to the "experts" much like the Navajo language was so foreign that no one could break their code.
Navajo Code talkers
They were a small band of warriors who created an unbreakable code from the ancient language of their people and changed the course of modern history.
KNOWN AS NAVAJO CODE TALKERS, they were young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of WWII. At a time when America's best cryptographers were falling short, these modest sheepherders and farmers were able to fashion the most ingenious and successful code in military history. They drew upon their proud warrior tradition to brave the dense jungles of Guadalcanal and the exposed beachheads of Iwo Jima. Serving with distinction in every major engagement of the Pacific theater from 1942-1945, their unbreakable code played a pivotal role in saving countless lives and hastening the war's end.

They understood each other but no one else could. We understand the code of the soul but few others do. Until more understand, the troops and veterans are doomed to treatments and medications that numb them instead of heal them like the latest from the Navy "The procedure is meant to numb nerves in the neck that can cause physical arousal and therefore allow patients to feel more calm and decrease the symptoms of PTSD."

We will keep seeing a rise in military suicides and attempted suicides until the "experts" actually learn what has been know all these years.

There are many things that keep getting missed when we talk about Combat and PTSD. This is to clear up the biggest one of all. What is courage and how does it link to being "mentally tough" so that you can push past what you were told about "resiliency" training. Chaplain Kathie "Costos" DiCesare of Wounded Times Blog tries to explain this in interview done by Union Squared Studios.

After police standoff veteran hopes to get help for PTSD

Veteran at center of police standoff hopes treatment of PTSD will help him
Feb 25, 2013
Gabriel Roxas

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - He held sheriff's deputies at bay and forced his neighborhood to be evacuated for hours, but even so, neighbors said their hearts went out to him.

Witnesses say the teen's injury was not serious, but Ramirez's situation is.

Cameras weren't allowed inside the El Dorado County Jail when News10 report Gabriel Roxas sat down with Miguel Ramirez during visiting hours. The Marine veteran, who served in Afghanistan, requested an interview after initially turning down the station's request to talk.

Last week, Ramirez locked himself inside his Cameron Park home after officers responded to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon.

The scene was something neighbor Frances Lopez couldn't have imagined last fall when she first met the man she described as a nice guy.

"My son is also in the military and was over in Afghanistan, so we discussed that a little bit," Lopez recalled.

But as the months passed, Lopez says Ramirez's behavior became more erratic.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Soliders will see less training and more cleaning with budget cuts

Soldiers to help maintain posts in money crunch
By Joe Gould
Posted : Monday Feb 25, 2013

Soldiers may find themselves washing windows, cutting grass, manning post gatehouses and doing other jobs they haven’t performed in a generation, under the current budget crunch, according to a top Army official.

As civilians are laid off or furloughed, the Army will have soldiers do their jobs, providing them with less training and fewer services, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.

“What it’s going to mean are shorter operating hours and closed gates,” Hammack said. “It’s going to be inconvenient; it’s going to be longer lines. It’s going to mean you’re going to see soldiers doing things you’ve seen civilians do over the last 10 years. That could be anything from mowing lawns and washing windows to replacing light bulbs.”

Soldiers, instead of training, would be working in maintenance roles because the Army will not otherwise have the money or the manpower. Sustainment, restoration and modernization funding “would have to go away,” Hammack said.
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Suicide in military more tied to PTSD than deployments

This is the headline.
Report: No Link Between Deployment, Suicide in Military
Notice what the headline made you think this article was all about? Bet you thought that it just meant they were passing off military suicides.
Young, white men most at risk
February 22, 2013
Here's the section that came after the part they wanted you to read. Notice what is in here and has been linked to suicides.
The report was published in Armed Forces and Society, a military studies journal, and was written by Army Research Psychologists James Griffith and Mark Vaitkus. "Primary risk factors associated with having committed suicide among the 2007-2010 [National Guard] suicide cases were age (young), gender (male), and race (white)," according to the report. People who fall into that group are also most likely to commit suicide in the general population.

The report found very little relationship between whether a soldier had faced active combat and whether they committed suicide, but the study suggests that problems at home that may be associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder could have an impact on whether a soldier takes his or her own life.
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Instead of a headline like they used do you think it would have been more important to discuss what the rest of us are talking about? The fact that PTSD has been linked to military suicides? Maybe if they had they would have pointed out that training itself is traumatic for some. You also have to remember that while the rate of PTSD is 30% the redeployments have increased that risk by 50% for each time they are sent back. All in all, yet again another report that proves beyond a doubt what the DOD has been doing to address all of this has left more dead by suicide.

iPhone killed saving soldier's life

Close Call for Alaska-based Soldier Story Updated: Feb 15, 2013

ANCHORAGE - On May 14, Joel Stubleski was with his unit in Eastern Afghanistan, the 3-509th out of Fort Richardson, Alaska. His unit was returning from a mission when they heard gunfire.

During the commotion, he felt a strong pressure in his upper thigh. "It knocked me over." He said he didn't feel pain right away. He didn't see blood, so he continued to reload. He'd been hit.

Once he knew what had happened, he took cover and waited. A fellow soldier put the tourniquet he kept in his pocket around his leg. Stubleski waited. While he waited, he thought, "Is this it? If it is, there's nothing I can do -- at least I went out doing what I was supposed to do." He was bleeding and, he said, he started feeling tired. "I kept telling myself, don't close your eyes."

After helicopters picked him up, medics inspected his injuries. They cut off his clothes and went through his pockets. There, they found his iPhone -- with a bullet hole through it. "The medics would come up to me and say, ‘this is the coolest thing I've ever seen.’"

Stubleski wasn't carrying it for calling or texting. He said he used it as a camera or for music. The doctors told him how lucky he was that the bullet didn't hit the femoral artery. They said that the iPhone probably changed the trajectory of the bullet, making the wound shallower in his flesh. The protective cover he had on his phone made it so the glass didn't shatter, making his wounds worse. He and his friends joked they should replace their body armor with iPads.

Even though his injuries could have been worse, they were bad enough to cut his deployment short. He came back after his injury. His battle buddies didn't return until the fall. He said keeping up with them on Facebook helped lift his spirits during his recovery.
read more here linked from Boing Boing

Fort Riley soldier died of gunshot wound

Ft. Riley Soldier Dies From Single Gunshot

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - A Ft. Riley soldier is dead after suffering a single gun shot in Junction City early Saturday morning.

Junction City Police were called to 311 W. 8th Apt. #2 just after 1:30 a.m. in reference to a subject suffering from a gunshot wound.

Upon arrival, officers located a 22-year-old Ft. Riley soldier suffering from a single gunshot.

He was transported to Geary Community Hospital and was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy has be scheduled. His identity is not being released at this time, pending notification of next of kin.

The investigation is ongoing but police say the incident does not appear to be criminal in nature.

Australia Defense Ill Prepared for PTSD Time Bomb

Defence 'ill-prepared' for PTSD time bomb
Sydney Morning Herald
February 24, 2013
Tim Barlass

Soldiers who have served in Afghanistan say the Defence Department is unprepared for the number of servicemen who will return with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ray and Pam Palmer, the parents of commando Scott Palmer, who was killed in Afghanistan, are among those who believe the impact will be much higher than Defence's estimates of about one in 10 serving staff.

Private Palmer was among the first on the scene when his colleague Private Damien Thomlinson drove over an improvised explosive device, which was to claim both his legs.

Mrs Palmer, from the Northern Territory, said she noticed a big change in her son before he returned for his third tour of Afghanistan in 2010. He later died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash.

''He developed a twitch, a sense of nervousness and was reluctant to go out in case a car backfired,'' she said.

''The government is not ready for the number of people that are going to come back with PTSD. They think it is going to be a ripple but it is going to be an enormous wave.

''The government should realise they stuffed up with Vietnam; not helping the guys when they came back. Let's not make the same mistake twice,'' she said.
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Arrest made in death of 2nd LT. Alvin Bularoro

Camp Pendleton Marine arrested on murder warrant
The Associated Press
Feb. 23, 2013

FALLBROOK, Calif. -- A 23-year-old Marine corporal has been arrested on a murder warrant charging him with killing a man found dead in his car last month, authorities said.

Kevin Albert Richard Coset was taken into custody Friday night at Camp Pendleton, San Diego County Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser said in a statement. Agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service assisted in the arrest.

On Jan. 3, the body of 24-year-old Alvin Bulaoro was discovered zipped into a sleeping bag inside his Toyota 4Runner at an Albertsons market in Fallbrook. He was last seen Dec. 21, when he went to visit friends. His family reported him missing Dec. 23.
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Senator Mitch McConnell thinks blog satire is real

GI Bill' Parody Draws Official Response
Feb 22, 2013
United Press International

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office confirms it queried the Pentagon about a satirical report that Guantanamo detainees will get GI Bill benefits.

The parody appeared in The Duffel Blog, founded in 2012 by a Marine veteran and frequently described as a military version of the satirical news website, The Onion.

It quoted a fictitious Defense Department spokesman as saying, "By allowing the detainees to use the Department of Veterans Affairs, we hope to completely crush their souls with bureaucracy" -- and included a made-up quote attributed to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, saying his department is prepared to process detainees' GI Bill benefits claims "in 12-15 years as per standard operating procedure."
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Soldier lost leg but returned to duty in Afghanistan

Amputee Soldier Returns to Battlefield
Feb 22, 2013
by Sgt. Luke Rollins

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - It's clear from the way Staff Sgt. Brandon Vilt moves around the maintenance bay of Delta Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Lighthorse, that he has his mission in mind. An OH-58 "Kiowa" helicopter crew chief responsible for the maintenance of the troop's fleet, he and his soldiers keep the "moshshe"-Pashtu for mosquito because of its bite and illusiveness, and the nickname for the Kiowa-flying to bring the fight to the enemy.

"I just want to make sure my guys put out a good, quality product," said Vilt, a Cameron Park, Calif., native.

Not only is he responsible for the soldiers on the maintenance bay floor, but he's also a platoon sergeant. If he's not overseeing the maintenance of Kiowas, he's up in the office loft doing administrative work for his soldiers.

Vilt moves up the stairs to his office. The motivation in each upward step ignites a spark of inspiration among his coworkers, but he's too humble to show his discomfort if he had any. "Stairs are the worst," he says, collapsing into his office chair. A prosthetic leg hangs on the rear wall. Vilt rolls up his left pant leg to reveal the prosthesis helping him accomplish the mission at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
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Military Chaplains need healing too

"Despite never seeing combat" was pointed out in this article as if it was an important factor. This Chaplain ended up with PTSD after being sent to Afghanistan. He was already haunted by the suicide of a soldier he was taking care of before he was sent there.

Post-Traumatic Stress: Looking For A Place To Rest
UPDATED News Canada
February 24, 2013

A Canadian Armed Forces chaplain who was sent to Afghanistan to give spiritual support to the troops came home with post-traumatic stress disorder himself, despite never seeing combat.

Maj. Michel Martin takes listeners to his dark corner of reality, describing a heart-wrenching descent into anguish, depression and anger in a CBC Radio documentary entitled Looking for a Place to Rest. It was produced by John Chipman for The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright.

Martin, who moved into the armed forces after acting as a civilian pastor, was on the front line dealing with the mental suffering of the troops.

The sudden suicide of a soldier under his care, before his deployment to Afghanistan, began his spiral of emotional stress.

“I had a burden on me, I felt guilty,” Martin says.
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Chaplains do not fight in combat but they fight what combat does to others. If you can't understand how Chaplains can need help to, then you don't understand PTSD.

Police shooting of PTSD Gulf War Veteran Stanley Gibson to be examined

Family of slain veteran still wants to see someone held accountable
Police shooting of Stanley Gibson to be examined in revamped process
Las Vegas Sun
By Conor Shine
Jackie Valley
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013

In the 14 months since Stanley Gibson was shot and killed by Metro Police officers, Gibson’s family has struggled with unanswered questions.

What was Gibson, a 43-year-old Gulf War veteran allegedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, doing out of the house that fateful December night when police approached him, his older brother Rudy asks. Why did a plan to remove Gibson from his vehicle with beanbag rounds and pepper spray end with him being shot seven times by police officer Jesus Arevalo? And why were police in such a hurry to end the standoff with the unarmed Gibson, whose vehicle was boxed in between two patrol cars?

“Why not give him another half an hour? The car wasn’t going to fly anywhere,” Rudy Gibson said.

“I’ve been running that in my mind over and over and over again. It doesn’t make any sense. … This never should have happened.”

The family’s quest for understanding has yielded lots of closed doors but few answers.
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Gulf War veteran Stanley Gibson's widow seeks justice