Saturday, August 31, 2013

Taking the D out of PTSD but not the way you think

Taking the D out of PTSD but not the way you think
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 31, 2013

This is what the military tells them

Punitive Articles of the UCMJ Article 134—General article
“Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.”

But this is what disorder means when part of Post Traumatic Stress
Definition of DISORDER
1: to disturb the order of
2: to disturb the regular or normal functions of

Medal of Honor Recipient Ty Carter Says Drop the ‘D’ from PTSD. Carter addresses stigmas associated with PTSD on 'Morning Joe' but think about what else still going on. The stigma is still alive and strong while too many are not alive and more are not feeling so strong about seeking help.

I'll give away the date of this report below.
Army fights stigma of mental care By ROBERT H. REID – 2 hours ago

BAGHDAD (AP) — A military culture that values strength and a "can do" spirit is discouraging thousands of soldiers from seeking help to heal the emotional scars of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite top-level efforts to overcome the stigma, commanders and veterans say.

Up to one-fifth of the more than 1.7 million military members who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan are believed to have symptoms of anxiety, depression and other emotional problems. Some studies show that about half of those who need help do not seek it.

"It's a reality that for some — certainly not all, but for some — there's a stigma to stepping forward for behavioral health," Maj. David Cabrera, who runs counseling services at a military hospital in Germany, told The Associated Press.

"Our goal is to eradicate the stigma," he said. "We're not there yet."

Encouraging more soldiers to seek help, and training leaders to spot signs of trouble, have taken on new urgency since the fatal shooting last Monday of five U.S. service members at a counseling center at Baghdad's Camp Liberty.

Army Sgt. John M. Russell has been charged with five counts of murder. He was finishing his third tour in Iraq and had been ordered to seek counseling at the center, the Army said.

Sergeants on their third or fourth assignments to Iraq or Afghanistan are more than twice as likely to suffer mental health problems as those on their first assignment to a combat zone, according an Army study last year.
This wasn't last week last month or even last year. It was in 2009. The same year Ty's heroic efforts saved lives.
Specialist Ty M. Carter distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009

This goes to show that as for providing the troops with awareness of what PTSD is, they have not done their job. As for taking the "D" out of PTSD, we need to start taking the "dumb" out of how the military views it and then the letter won't matter as much. The label has been changed far too many times already and as we've seen by the results, didn't do any good before.

PTSD veteran sues after being set on fire in VA operating room

“They Set Me on Fire”
Lawyers and Settlements
By Brenda Craig
August 31, 2013

Stafford, WV: American military vet Steven Anthony was already living a life compromised by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when he was suffered another blow to his already fragile mind at a Veteran’s hospital in Martinsburg, Virginia. Steven became a victim of veteran medical malpractice.

Several months ago, Anthony was admitted for some routine surgery. The plan was to give Anthony a general anesthetic for knee surgery, and while he was in the operating room, remove a lesion on his forehead.

“As I lay on the operating table, my mind was telling me I was getting hot. I woke up to see flames all around me,” says Anthony. “I reached up and pulled fire from my face.”

The operating room team had been using an electric cauterizing device to control bleeding during the removal of the lesion. It ignited Anthony’s oxygen supply and caused the cotton gauze around his face to catch fire.

“Everyone else backed off and Steven burnt his hands as he tore the burning material from his face,” says his attorney Anthony Williams, who is a former marine and judge advocate, and has represented members of the military on a variety of issues. “He suffered some superficial burns on his face and hands but the real issue aggravated his PTSD.”
read more here

Suicides and Combat: Who to believe?

Suicides and Combat: Who to believe?
By Jeremy Schwartz
Aug. 30, 2013

Earlier this month, a much publicized Department of Defense study loudly proclaimed that there is no link between wartime deployments or combat and the sharp increase in military suicides since 2005. Instead, the authors blame an apparent increase in mental disorders among U.S. service members -- disorders stemming not from combat, but from “indirect cumulative occupational stresses across both deployed and home-station environments over years of war.”

On closer examination, the study has some obvious limitations. It studied service members between 2001 and 2008; for the beginning of that time period few of those who died of suicide would have deployed to war (troop levels were low in the first years of the war in Afghanistan and the Iraq war didn't begin until 2003). And despite making much of the fact that the study included 151,560 current and former military personnel, it analyzed just 83 suicides.

The study was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, and careful readers of the publication can be excused for being thoroughly confused on the issue of military suicide. Just two months earlier the journal published another study that concluded that traumatic brain injuries – the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts – are indeed associated with a greater risk of suicide and that the suicide risk increases with the number of brain injuries sustained by service members.
read more here
My comment
Thank you is not enough to say for writing this. The DOD wants us to believe combat has nothing to do with the suicides but no one ever asks them to explain things.

The most obvious question is "If they were not deployed but committed suicide, what is wrong with the mental health evaluations they give to recruits?" No one asks that or when they discharged troops with "personality disorders" instead of treating them. They don't talk about hazing, sexual assaults or training itself being traumatic. They don't talk about or have to account for the rise in OEF OIF veterans killing themselves after discharge even though their "resilience training" were part of what they had. They also don't want to talk about attempted suicides.

The DOD Suicide Event Report for 2012 has still not been released. For 2011 there were over 900 suicide attempts. Again, they don't have an answer for them or the fact 2012 was the deadliest year on record. So thank you very much for not being part of the problem. Truth is always part of the solution.

This got me thinking about all the stuff that keeps happening. Not even touching the suicides back here, the obvious is what has been happening all along. They are using muskets against tanks.
Military suicide research nothing more than pure bullshit! Can I prove it? The research proves it but after all these years what proves it even more are the questions not being asked.

In 2009 this report came out.
Officials: Army suicides at 3-decade high
The Associated Press
By PAULINE JELINEK – 1 hour ago
January 29, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense officials say suicide among U.S. soldiers increased again last year and is at a nearly three-decade high.

The Army plans to announce figures later Thursday, but senior officials told The Associated Press that at least 128 soldiers killed themselves last year.
Obvious question: Since this happened right when the "resilience training" started, how did it get worse after this "record high" was reported?

According to the latest suicide report from the Army there were 185 suicides in the Army plus 93 National Guardsmen and 47 Army Reservists in 2012. For 2013 as of the end of July there were 94 suicides in the Army, 58 National Guardsmen and 32 Army Reservists.

So they went from 128 in 2009 to 325 in 2012 after spending billions a year on "preventing" them.

Obvious question: Since the number of suicides went up what is wrong with the training that has been pushed all these years to prevent them?

There are over 900 suicide prevention programs!

The survey by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America were based on about 4,000 veterans who responded to a survey the association sent to its 120,000 members in February. About a third of respondents said they had considered taking their own life at some point. A slightly larger percentage said they knew someone who had committed suicide. Forty-five percent say they know an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who has attempted suicide. Two-thirds say they have veteran friends who need mental health counseling.

The DOD claims most commit suicide without being deployed (as stated above) but the DOD has been clueless on what to do about military suicides and PTSD. Expecting them to be able to un-break soldiers is ridiculous because their job has been to break them down to train them for combat. It is in the DNA of the DOD.

Obvious question: Why hasn't the DOD been able to figure out what they have been doing, paying for and pushing has not worked?

Battlefield medicine has advanced so far there are several quadruple amputees along with single and double amputees.

Obvious question: Why hasn't mental health advanced a fraction of the way? Had the DOD received faulty weapons, the contracts would have been canceled however they do not seem willing to cancel contracts and funding for providers of their programs despite massive failures.

We know that billions have been spent on these failures but we don't know who is going to be held accountable for them. We know that the DOD shows no sign of changing what they do but we don't know why they refuse to acknowledge any of this.

The last obvious question: If they commit suicide without being deployed into combat, how lousy is the resilience training they can't even keep them alive here?

Police Officer, OEF OIF veteran wins judgement after disgraceful treatment

Jury awards former West Palm Beach officer, fired on PTSD rumors, $880,000
Palm Beach Post
By Jane Musgrave
Staff Writer
August 30, 2013

WEST PALM BEACH — For three years, Matthew Ladd insisted that his military service in Iraq and Afghanistan shouldn’t have disqualified him from the ranks of the city’s police force.

Late Friday, a Palm Beach County jury agreed, ordering West Palm Beach to pay the 28-year-old Army veteran $880,000 for firing him on the basis of rumors that he had post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I’m stunned,” Ladd said shortly after the verdict was announced. “I’ve just been so stressed out about this case. Finally, I can get some sleep. My wife can get some sleep.”

His attorney Sid Garcia said Ladd was the victim of “malicious gossips” who lied about the trauma the rookie officer suffered while serving in the Middle East. They ultimately persuaded then-Police Chief Delsa Bush that Ladd was a danger to himself and others even though a psychiatrist who examined the rookie officer at the request of police brass found no evidence of mental distress and declared him fit for duty.

“Former Chief Bush did not take time to treat him like a human being,” Garcia said. Instead of believing the doctor, he said, she believed a vicious memo a sergeant wrote, claiming Ladd was mentally ill.
read more here

Vietnam Veteran on vacation in Europe informed son killed in Afghanistan

U.S. Soldier Killed In Afghanistan Was Son Of Vietnam Veteran (Video)
By Beth Ford Roth
August 30, 2013

Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, 24, died August 28, in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The young soldier was killed when insurgents attacked his unit with what the Department of Defense reports as "an improvised explosive device, small arms and indirect fire."

Ollis was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light) at Fort Drum in New York.
read more here

Marine gets new bike at Harley Davidson Anniversary Party

Wis. Marine receives surprise Harley at kickoff
By Associated Press
CREATED AUG. 30, 2013

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Wisconsin Marine got a surprise when he helped kick off Harley-Davidson's 110th anniversary party.

First Sgt. Timothy La Sage rode a new 2014 Project Rushmore motorcycle onto the grounds of the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee Thursday.

After La Sage's ceremonial ride, Bill Davidson -- great-grandson of company co-founder William A. Davidson -- told the Milwaukee native to keep the motorcycle.
read more here

Marine infantry squad leader earns Silver Star

Marine infantry squad leader earns Silver Star
Marine Corps Times
By Hope Hodge Seck
Staff writer
August 29, 2013

A rifleman from Camp Lejeune received the Silver Star on Aug. 28 for leading a successful night mission in 2012 that cleared more than 50 enemy compounds near an Afghan village without causing a single civilian casualty.
Second Marine Division Sgt. Maj. Bryan Zickefoose congratulates Sgt. Ryan Steinkamp on Aug. 28. The rifleman with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, led his squad through a hostile village in Afghanistan in 2012 and cleared more than 50 compounds.
(Lance Cpl. Scott Whiting/Marine Corps)

Sgt. Ryan Steinkamp, a squad leader with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, was pinned with the military’s third-highest valor award for his decisive battlefield leadership during a lengthy and grueling combat engagement while attached to Regimental Team Combat 6 in Afghanistan.

On April 17, 2012, Steinkamp and his squad were inserted by helicopter near the village of Payawak in Afghanistan's Helmand province, close to Forward Operating Base Delaram for a night mission that would become a test of combat skills and endurance. Steinkamp led the squad across 800 meters of terrain laced with mines en route to clear Payawak of insurgents, according to his award citation.

When the squad arrived at its objective, they were beset by enemy ambushes from multiple positions.
read more here

MOH Ty Carter deserved better from the press

MOH Ty Carter deserved better from the press
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 31, 2013

Washington Post Correction is already done for the original article about Ty Carter receiving the Medal of Honor.
●An Aug. 27 A-section article about Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter being awarded the Medal of Honor incorrectly said President Obama noted that Spec. Edward W. Faulkner Jr., a survivor of the same 2009 battle in eastern Afghanistan, committed suicide less than a year later after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Obama did not mention suicide, saying only that Faulkner “eventually lost his own life back home.” A death certificate says Faulkner died of an accidental methadone overdose, with PTSD a “contributing” factor.
This is the whole video from the White House.

You can hear exactly what President Obama said. It is 20.59 minutes long. The press cannot do what I do with videos because they have someone telling them how much time they get to spend on an assignment. While reporters do stay for a whole event, a tiny fraction of what they film is seen. You saw that when I put up the videos of President Obama speaking at the DAV Convention. He talked for over half an hour but all you saw were clips strung together. How are you supposed to know what was really said unless they at least give you a full transcript?

They get to edit it down to fit time but when they do, they will take out what they want you to see or hear. Usually that equals a spin based on their own opinion.

NBC has this video on the Medal of Honor and it is 50 seconds long. The commercial running before the video is 30 seconds.

Obama awards Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter from CBS 1.24 minutes long. At least they covered what Ty Carter did to earn the Medal of Honor.

When broadcast news has time to worry about, cutting their video makes sense, I guess, but it depends on what they are putting in for the rest of the news show. When they put it online they should just put up the whole thing so that readers will get the extra content and know what else was said.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Why are so many committing suicide with so much being done?

Why are so many committing suicide with so much being done?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 30, 2013

This is what was known in 1978
For approximately 500,000 veterans (Wilson 1978) of the combat in Southeast Asia, this problematic outlook has become a chronic lifestyle (referring to the obsessive connection with combat experiences) affecting not only the veterans but countless millions of persons who are in contact with these veterans. The symptoms described below are experienced by all Vietnam combat veterans to varying degrees. However, for some with the most extensive combat histories and other variables which have yet to be enumerated, Vietnam related problems have persisted in disrupting all areas of life experience.

According to Wilson (1978) the number of veterans experiencing these symptoms will climb until 1985 based on his belief of Erickson's psychosocial developmental stages and how far along in these stages most combat veterans will be by 1985. Furthermore, without any intervention, what was once a reaction to a traumatic episode may for many become almost unchangeable personality characteristic.
My husband is one of them. His nephew was too but he committed suicide. You need to be reminded that for every Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD, they also had families. Every time I post on a suicide, I remember how close my husband came to being one of the statistics.

This is what was known in 2005

After Military Service, Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Die at Twice the Rate of Veterans Free of PTSD

Study by Senior Scientist at The New York Academy of Medicine Presents Striking Findings

NEW YORK CITY, September 7, 2005—A ground-breaking study conducted by Dr. Joseph Boscarino, a Senior Scientist at The New York Academy of Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, found that U.S. Army Vietnam veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had twice the rate of post-service deaths 30 years after military service, when compared to other veterans.

Dr. Boscarino’s study, published in the August 2005 issue of Annals of Epidemiology (Elsevier, New York, NY) is the first to confirm that PTSD can be deadly. Previous research indicated that veterans with PTSD—incurred during combat or other major life-threatening experiences—not only had more psychological problems, but also more physical disabilities, health problems, and medical conditions, such as heart disease.

“This is the first study to confirm that PTSD is associated with a higher risk of death from multiple causes, particularly from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and from external causes, such as suicide or accidents,” Dr. Boscarino stated. He added, “The reasons are unclear, but may be related to biological, psychological, or behavioral factors associated with PTSD. We expected more deaths from cardiovascular disease, based on our past research, but the higher cancer mortality was a surprise. Clearly, further investigation is needed.”

So why did this happen in 2006?
Douglas A. Barber, a 35-year-old truck driver, shot and killed himself on Jan. 16 2006 with a shotgun as Lee County sheriff's deputies and two friends on the phone tried to talk him out of it.

It isn't as if this was anything new even though the DOD didn't have to count Barber. After all, he became a VA problem and not their problem anymore. They do that a lot. They excuse suicides and their lack of care for the troops, say most had not been deployed but apparently forgot to find an excuse that all of these deaths have gone up after they spent billions on "preventing" suicides. Just seems reasonable to usher in Suicide Prevention Month with an honest discussion. Doesn't it?

A really interesting thing happened in 2006 in the UK showing how troops suffering from what we now call PTSD was treated during WWI.

Harry Farr, who was shot for cowardice during the first world war, is to be given pardon. Photograph: PA

All 306 British first world war soldiers executed for desertion or cowardice are to be pardoned, Des Browne, the defence secretary, will announce today.

For 90 years, families, friends and campaigners for the young soldiers have argued that their deaths were a stain on the reputation of Britain and the army.

In many cases, soldiers were clearly suffering from shellshock but officers showed no compassion for fear that their comrades would have disobeyed orders and refused to go "over the top".

It isn't as if PTSD, suicides and the crisis they go through back home is anything new. This has hundreds of their stories that shouldn't have happened. Death Because They Served but then again considering all the "efforts" made to prevent suicides over the last 8 years or so has produced an increase in them, none of this should be that shocking.

It would really be nice if the good reporters doing the hard work of trying to tell the truth received the attention they deserved and then maybe, just maybe, the troops and veterans would as well. After all, if we really want to prevent suicides, we need to prevent people getting away with letting them die.

In 2008 there were another 148,000 added to the number of Vietnam veterans seeking help for the first time.

Those numbers gave advocates a false hope that the stigma was dying instead of them.

We need to be brutally honest right now. When it comes to preventing suicides, we are not even close especially when you consider how many years this has all been going on.

In the Suicide Event Report for 2008 there were a total of
268 Service Member suicides in CY 2008 (Army = 140; Air Force = 45; Navy = 41; Marine Corps = 42). This includes 12 Reservists and 21 National Guard members on Active Duty (Army = 24; Air Force = 6; Navy = 1; Marine Corps = 2). The total of 268 cases includes cases that are pending final determination by the AFMES but are strongly suspected to be suicides by the DoD’s Suicide Prevention and Risk Reduction Committee (SPARRC).

In CY 2008 there were a total of 239 DoDSERs submitted for suicides (Army = 121; Air Force = 35; Navy = 41; Marine Corps = 42).

Of the 268 confirmed suicides, 35 (13%) occurred in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and 7 (3%) in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Thirteen percent of Service Members who died by suicide had a history of multiple deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan.

It went on to list the findings for attempted suicides as well. These are just from the Army.
"2008 Reported Suicide Events
A total of 2104 Army DoDSERs were submitted for CY 2008. Of these, 121 (6%) were submitted for Suicides, 570 (27%) for Suicide Attempts, 410 (20%) for Self-harm Without Intent to Die, and 1003 (48%) for Suicidal Ideation only."

One hundred sixteen suicide attempts (12%) were reported to have occurred in OIF-OEF

We don't know how many attempted suicides in the military last year because the Suicide Event Report has not been released yet. We do know that last year was the highest on record for successful suicides. This is not including these suicides that happened after they were discharged. This is how 2013 began on suicide reports.

Eric Lewis Harm survived combat in Afghanistan, but he couldn’t survive coming home. The decorated Army combat veteran was found dead Dec. 28 2012, an apparent suicide in Manistee County, four months after he left the military. Harm, 24, was a 2007 graduate of Benzie Central schools and grew up in Almira Township.
Navy SEAL Robert Guzzo returned from Iraq, he feared seeking treatment for PTSD would endanger his career. The Fold devotes today’s show to telling his story. After Veterans Day, he went to "be with the angels" after he committed suicide.
Dr. Peter Linnerooth committed suicide on Jan. 2, at the age of 42 in Mankato. Linnerooth was awarded a Bronze Star after an honorable discharge in 2008 and became critical of the military's limited work on providing mental health care to soldiers, especially to those with PTSD, in the pages of Time magazine and the New York Times. Capt. Linnerooth will be buried with full military honors at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
U.S. Marine Corps, John Lutz survived combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq while earning 13 service commendations and the respect of his buddies. "He was a Marine to the fullest," said fellow Marine Kevin Ullman. "He was someone who could lighten any situation with witty sarcasm." Ultimately, however, Lutz could not escape the demons he carried back home to Davie after his discharge 18 months ago.
Chris Bourque seemed fine when he returned from a mental health leave several months ago. They knew Bourque was suffering from the effects of his military service in Bosnia and Afghanistan, but the Saskatoon correctional worker seemed "back to his old self," Mark Friesen said. He was dependable and hardworking, and never missed a chance to add a sarcastic comment or bit of wry humor. "He never talked about (Afghanistan), and we didn't want to pry," Friesen said. That's why Friesen was shocked by the phone call he received in late November informing him of Bourque's death.
28-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran Edward S. Passetto stood before the flagpole at Berkshire Community College to speak about the importance of the American flag and raise it in awareness of Student Veterans Week at the college. Passetto never showed. His body was found around 10 a.m. on the Monument Mountain Reservation in Great Barrington, the victim of an apparent suicide.
Staff Sgt. Josh Berry, was wounded when the shooter opened fire inside a crowded medical building at the sprawling Army post in Texas. Feb. 13, 2013, a result of years of post-traumatic stress caused by the Fort Hood shooting, according to his father.
Neil Landsberg, a former Combat Controller in the United States Air Force, was an active Region 3 team member. Neil took his own life last week. He leaves behind many friends at Team Rubicon who will carry on his name and spirit through service
May 22, Sergeant Brad Farmer lost his battle with the psychological wounds of war when he took his own life. He was 30 years old.
U.S. Army Spc. Christian Estrada. The former soldier, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, died June 5 in his apartment in Killeen, Texas, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, his family said. Christian Estrada to rest on a day as sunny as the grin that the 24-year-old Iraq War veteran flashed in family photos. "He had a smile from ear to ear," childhood friend Daniel McCann said Wednesday at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, where Estrada is being interred. "His laugh was amazing," said Trisha Ryder, of Dennis, who knew Estrada as far back as their days at Ezra H. Baker Elementary School. She turned and wept. A diagnosis of service-related post-traumatic stress disorder chipped away at Estrada's natural cheer. Honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 2010, Estrada died June 5 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while in his apartment in Killeen, Texas.
On June 10, 2013, Daniel Somers wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.
On the day after Mother's Day 2013, Sean Cassedy drove himself to the VA hospital in Louisville and shot himself in the head.
Jon Hyatt shot himself June 28, but his mother, Lisa McLaughlin, said he had been tormented by things he had seen and done in Iraq.
On July 13 Fort Campbell reported 2 murders, 7 suicides in only 31 days
Private First Class Erik Jorgensen Idaho Army National Guard member committed suicide at the National Guard's Orchard Combat Training Center
Matthew Marc Melanson, who served in the Connecticut and Massachusetts National Guards and served in Afghanistan from 2011-12 and suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, later committed suicide.
Specialist Cody Baker, an Iraq War veteran, took his life earlier this month. His family says he suffered for years from post traumatic stress disorder and now they're hoping to change the way military members are treated.
Those are just some of the tragic stories happening all over this country while the DOD claims their programs are working. When they tell you that, think of the ones they don't have to count anymore on top of the ones they report on. Then ask yourself something they have failed to ask. "If any of these "programs" worked then why are so many dying?"

Why are they still suffering and still not seeking help? Why are so many they claim were not deployed committing suicide? What about all the test they give to recruits? Are they saying their tests don't work or are they saying their programs don't because if they kill themselves before facing death in combat, there is a much larger problem going on.

So people like me read one report after another happening in another part of the country and thinking about what life was like when no one was talking about PTSD or suicides, getting sick to our stomachs that it is all getting worse with so much being done.

Iraq war vet who fought ‘Don’t Ask’ dies in car accident

Iraq war vet who fought ‘Don’t Ask’ dies in car accident
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
August 30, 2013

A gay veteran of the Iraq war who fought against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has died in a car accident in Rochester, N.Y., according to media reports and an LGBT advocate who worked with him.

Darren Manzella, who came out as gay in 2007 while serving in the Army during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” died on Thursday, said Steve Ralls, the former spokesperson for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network who handled his public relations at the time. Ralls said he had just turned 36 on Aug. 8.

Ralls said openly gay troops currently serving around the world today are able to do so, in part, because of Darren’s sacrifice.
read more here

Upcoming Orlando area patriotic events

UPDATE to events

Special event added for Sat. Sept 14.  These trick shot (artistic billiards) professionals will happen to be in this area and are voluntarily putting on a FREE show to recognize veterans, military, first responders and their families.  All persons are invited!  These world champions have appeared on ESPN, etc. 
Sponsored by Veterans Outreach Foundation (VOF) composed of local community defense industry volunteers. 
Also - Groups associated with veterans, military and first responders:  Tables will be available for you to set up a small display to share information about your group.  You MAY find some new membership and community supporters! Contact the listed phone number to RSVP a spot.
Caring and sharing,
Cathy H

The Veterans Outreach Foundation (VOF) cordially invites you to attend our second “RACK Up A Victory!” Trick Shots show to honor all Veterans, Armed Forces from all branches, and their families.
To all of our Military, Veterans, Reserves, First Responders, and your families who allow you to selflessly do what you do, we thank you for your sacrifice and service to our country!  We appreciate you, and we would love to bless you with our gift of this wonderful event!
Event:  RACK Up A Victory!
Date:   Saturday, September 14th, 2013
Time:   1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Place:  Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel
 9939 Universal Blvd.
 Orlando, FL 32819
 Sebastian K Ballroom
Admission:  FREE!  (*Reservations required*)
                                                (407) 437-5922
Professional World-Class Trick Shot Artists Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman, Steve Lillis, and BCA Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Massey will be performing amazing Trick Shots and will be sharing their personal stories of faith, inspiration, and encouragement in honor of our Veterans and Military.
Mike Massey is an Army Veteran, Steve Lillis is a Navy Veteran, and all three players’ fathers were WWII Veterans.   These champion poolplayers are donating their show as a gift to “give back” to our Veteran and Armed Forces Community.
Performers will be available for photos, autographs, and socializing after the show. 
~~~  There will be prizes and giveaways!  ~~~ So, please, get the word out for all to enjoy!
Admission is FREE, as a token of our appreciation to our current and former Military and their families for their sacrifices and service to our country.
·         Reservations are required.
·         Please call the VOF at (407) 437-5922 to make your reservations. 
·         Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
 Self-parking is FREE for our event guests.  Just identify yourselves with the VOF-RACK Up A Victory! event upon exiting the parking lot.
For anyone who is interested in lodging…
The Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel is offering a discounted room rate of $94 per night, single/double occupancy.  Rates apply for the dates of Friday, Sept. 13th thru Sunday, Sept. 15th, based on availability.  Guests may call in directly to the hotel and identify themselves with VOF-RACK Up A Victory! and they will be offered the discounted rate.  Taxes are applicable.  There is an extra person charge of $20 per person per night.  Children under 18 may stay free in their parents’ room using existing bedding.
We look forward to seeing you at the event!
Warm Regards,
Diane (“D”) Romano
Vice President  
"Making a Difference, One Person at a Time"

Orlando area patriotic events from Cathy Haynes
September 2013 - Upcoming military, veterans and patriotic events in Central Florida
If you wish to be removed from the email list, just let me know.
Please share with your friends and interested others.  Post where appropriate.
need Veterans’ Day weekend events info ASAP!
Businesses annual budget note
Eye Opener Breakfast
Patriot Day
Villages Honor Flight
MOAA Golf Tournament
9/11 Tribute Event
Borinqueneer’s Florida Honor Ceremony
Job Fair
Fairways for Warriors Golf Tournament
Dinner and Karaoke
AVET Veterans Cruise
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Disabled Home Service Program
POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony
POW/MIA Day and Commander’s Call
2013 Veterans Stand Down in Orlando
Ride to the Rock for the Stone
Space Coast Honor Flight
Gold Star Mothers and Families Day
Navy League Golf Tournament and Navy Birthday Ball
Community Legal Services
NOTE:  Many businesses operate on an October-to-October fiscal year.  Submit your ideas and wishes that will help veterans and our military personnel to your appropriate planning offices as soon as possible.  Proper budgeting for projects need some time for consideration and approval.  Don’t miss out and don’t let your employer miss out on making a difference in our communities!
Wed. Sept 4 -  Eye Opener Breakfast – Charting a course for living, learning, and earning with vision loss with guidance assistance from Lighthouse Central Florida. 7:30am – 9am at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1217 Trinity Woods Lane, Maitland, 32751.  Shared by Dwight of National Association of Blind Veterans (NABV)   Info: 321.248.0216
Sun. Sept 8  -  Patriot Day – Honoring the first responders and, special this year – the service and military dogs! Luncheon and Dog Demonstrations.  1 PM at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2093, 4444 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, 32804. 
Sun. Sept 8  -  Honor Flight - About 25 WWII veterans from the Lady Lake area of Villages Honor Flight will take a day trip to Washington DC to visit the war memorials.  They will also go to Arlington Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The guardians who are accompanying the veterans on this trip are Marine Corps League members!  They will return late in the day and you are invited to welcome them home at the Orlando Int’l Airport.  They return from Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI) aboard Southwest Airlines Flight #1389 at about 10:30 pm.  Or you can welcome them home to American Legion Post #347 where entertainment will start at 11:30 pm with Diamonds and Spurs.  The Village Cheerleaders, Twirlers and Clowns will be there to greet the buses and vets when they arrive, about 12:20 am.  It is a late arrival but it will be a rousing patriotic event.  American Legion Post 347 at 699 W Lady Lake Blvd, Lady Lake, 32159.  Info contact:  (c) 352-391-0548   For Airport greeting and free off-site airport parking info :  Cathy Haynes   407-239-8468 
The next hub flight will be Space Coast Honor Flight on Sat. Sept 28.
Fri. Sept 13 – 8th Annual JROTC Scholarship Golf Tournament – Prove that Friday the 13th can be lucky by getting a hole in one and by supporting local JROTC seniors with much needed scholarships!  Sponsored by the Central Florida Chapter of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).  8am start at Stoneybrook East Golf Club, 2900 Northampton Ave., Orlando.  $80 includes breakfast, luncheon, etc.  Info: Dick Aldinger 407.859.7436
Sat. Sept 14  -  9/11 Tribute Event – Annual Military and First Responder Appreciation Event – 11am – 5pm at Waterford Lakes Town Center (near Regal Cinemas) in east Orlando between Colonial/SR50 and the 408 on Alafaya Trail.  A FREE public event to meet, learn and say “Thanks” to our men and women in uniform.  Displays, vehicles and demonstrations from military, Orange Co. Fire Rescue and Sheriff’s Dept.  Wounded Warrior, Homes For Heroes, The Camaraderie Foundation, The Lone Survivor Foundation, AMVETS, The American Legion, C.O.P.S. and many more non-profit support organizations will be present.  Raffle tickets will be sold, silent auction proceeds benefitting several charities.
LOTS of activities and games for families at no cost - Face painting, animals to pet, a caricature artist, a magician, music, games, thousands of dollars in hourly giveaways, and Warrior Way, an intense set of inflatable’s and obstacle courses sure to entertain every age. The event’s main sponsors are Carl Black Chevrolet, Orlando Harley Davidson, Darden Restaurants, The Crosshairs, Playnation of Orlando, the Orlando Solar Bears and the Orlando Magic.   Facebook at 911tributeorlando   Promoted by Game Plan Media and The Crosshairs; Info: Laura Burk  407.900.1915
Sat. Sept 14  -  Borinqueneer’s Florida Honor Ceremony – The US Army 65th Infantry Regiment heroes and Patriots gathering will be recognized by Florida Governor Rick Scott and others for their service.  The Puerto Rican group of warriors was formed by Congress in 1899 and served in WWI, WWII and Korea until it was integrated.  Thru the years they experienced discrimination and segregation without recognition.  Just as there was past belated recognition for the Navajo Code Talkers, Tuskegee Airmen, Women Air Force Service Pilots, and others, the Borinqueneer’s stand to receive the Congressional Gold  Medal.  With many of the warriors currently living in Central Florida, this event will recognize and provide an update on the CGM process.  Event also will have health fair, veteran assistance, music. Free, 1 PM (doors open at 12 noon) at the Kissimmee Civic Center at 201 E. Dakin Ave., Kissimmee, 34741.  407-742-0101; or Dennis Freytes (VP for the NAUS, SE Region)   407-298-1151.
Sat. Sept 14  -  Job Fair – Actual hiring businesses; Classes for job seekers in resume writing, interviewing, etc.  Classes for entrepreneurs in doing business with Orange County, federal govt,; starting businesses, loans, etc.  Free and open to all.  Sponsored by FAVOB (FL Assoc. of Veteran Owned Businesses) and the Small Biz Alliance of Windermere.  9:30am – 3pm at Faith Assembly Church, 9370 Curry Ford Rd, Orlando, 32825.  Info: Dan Fanelli  407.844.7632   Event flyer available.
Sat. Sept 14  -  Fairways for Warriors Golf Tournament – 9am start at Kings Ridge Golf Club in Clermont.  Second Annual Fairways for Warriors Golf Tournament to provide golf instruction, equipment and tee times to help disabled veterans overcome their challenges.  At least one wounded warrior will be on each team.  Info:  352-242-4653.
(Notice courtesy of Ed Burford, Seminole Co. VSO.)
Sat. Sept 14 and 28  -  Dinner and Karaoke - Dinner starts at 5pm and Karaoke at 6pm to 10pm.  Cpl Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum (aka “the Bunker”), 3400 North Tanner Road,  Orlando, 32826.  New website at:      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. 
Mon. Sept 16 – AVET Veterans Cruise - Deadline for reserving cruise cabin for Nov. 14-17 trip from Port Canaveral aboard Carnival’s Sensation.  Proceeds and outright donations from cruise go to provide a Recuperation & Reintegration Retreat for OEF/OIF warriors – Warriors are assessed for PTS, TBI, suicide, counseled, taught techniques of coping, etc. Assists past and present military and their families. Info for this 501(c)3 Non-profit group and/or cruise:  Kim Cone   321-373-7046. 
Sponsors and speakers for American Warrior Radio Show  from 11am-noon EDT on Saturdays, radio station WMEL - AM 1300    Nationwide broadcast: 
Tues. Sept 17 - Constitution Day and Citizenship Day commemorating the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the United States Constitution and recognizing all who are born in the US or, by naturalization, have become citizens.  Fly your American flag!
Tues. Sept 17 -  Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Disabled Home Service Program - 6:30pm meeting for all interested persons (vet or not) to form and coordinate volunteer teams to provide needed inside and/or outside "basic living" home and yard work/repairs.  A various collection of generous businesses, veterans networks and local contractors have volunteered to make this happen for Central Fl. disabled veterans!  At no charge to the recipient!
Exterior home service examples that can be provided: lawn and garden work, raking, tree & shrub trimming, pressure washing, screen door & window repair, painting, ramps/lifts, hand railings, disability access.  Interior home service examples that can be provided:  small handyman work around the house, painting, cleaning, and computer set-up.
     One or 2 days a month will be set aside for volunteer teams to do multiple projects based from requests we receive (shut-ins will have First Priority) Committees will comprise of members from all involved entities to determine in advance which project to be done that month and call you to make arrangements for the work requested. If your project is not selected for that month, it will be placed for the following month until completed as this is an on-going monthly program as long as there is member need for the program.
     To qualify you must be residing in or near Orange County (for the time being) and a disabled veteran -whether or not you are VA rated.  You DO NOT have to be a DAV member.  This program is designed to improve the lives and provide added value to our fellow Central Florida Disabled Hero’s by providing a vast array of FREE services in your homes. Additional mtgs to join as a volunteer will be held in Oct. and Nov.  For an application to receive services, contact Ray Stone (Home Services Coordinator)  407-501-0767
Wed. Sept 18 – POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council sponsoring ceremony honoring all POW’s and MIA’s.  10 AM in the Orlando City Hall Rotunda, 400 S. Orange Ave, Orlando.  UCF’s Air Force ROTC conducting Missing Man table ceremony, guest speaker LTG Mark Hertling. Free parking only at City Commons Garage located at southwest corner of 460 Boone Ave and South St.  Bring parking ticket to event for validation.  Info: 407.246. 3720  or website at
Fri. Sept 20  -  POW/MIA Day at Museum of Military History.  Ceremony at 11am to honor POW/MIA’s.  All are welcome to attend.
Sat. Sept 21  -  Commander’s Call at Museum of Military History -  10am – 3pm.  Special awareness this day will be the‘Bring Bowe Bergdahl Home Campaign.’  It is a nationwide effort to raise awareness that the only POW being held in Afghanistan is being held in captivity, away from his family, his fellow brothers in arms and his country. 
The “Commander’s Call” is an ongoing program held the 3rd Saturday of each month. It will include the local Civil Air Patrol, Sea Cadets and other youth organizations. The event is a family oriented program and includes military memorabilia collectors, history buffs and food vendors. The public is invited to attend. Those interested in displaying or trading 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. Call 407-507-3894 for further information or to register your table space. 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34746. 
Sat. Sept 28  -  2013 Veterans Stand Down in Orlando  -  9am – 3pm at Downtown Orlando Recreation Center, 649 W. Livingston St., Orlando, 32801 – within easy walking distance from the Lynx Bus Terminal.  Volunteers needed! Donations welcomed!  This event provides services to all veterans (particularly the homeless veterans) with medical care, dental screening, haircuts, clothing, VA benefits and info, food and more.  Color copies of the information flyer will provide FREE bus transportation to the Lynx Bus Terminal for this event. (Bus drivers will only accept COLOR copies.) Make and give the copies to homeless veterans so that they can receive help. Over 300 persons received assistance last year.   Info:  Sean Gibbs of the Homeless Services Network at   407.893.0133  x107 or x212  or Orlando VAMC coordinator Ken at 407.631.7228.  (Cathy can also provide the color information flyers by email.)
Sat. Sept 28  -  Ride to the Rock for the Stone, benefitting the Bradley Summersill Foundation.  The foundation provides grave site markers to families who have lost a child and cannot afford a marker.  Three sign up locations at 11 AM – your choice:  Rock Springs Bar and Grill in Apopka, or “The Bunker” in Orlando, or the Winter Garden VFW Post 4305.  The cost is $5 per person, all vehicles welcome - you ride where you want and then meet up at the Rock Springs B & G at 3pm.  Entertainment starts at 3:30PM by Nora Ricci and Bubba.  Rock Springs B & G (family friendly!) – 4939 Rock Springs Road, Apopka, 32712;  “The Bunker” (Cpl Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum) -  3400 North Tanner Road,  Orlando, 32826;  VFW Post #4305 – 1170 E. Plant St., Winter Garden, 34787.  Info:  407.256.9360.
Sat. Sept 28  -  Honor Flight – The Space Coast hub will take about 25 WWII and Korean War veterans to Washington. See trip description on the Sept 8 listing.  They will return late in the day and you are invited to welcome them home at the Orlando Int’l Airport.  Specific flight information is pending.  A grand reception is planned at the Wickham Park Senior Center, 2785 Leisure Way  Melbourne, FL 32935   1-888-750-2522   For Airport greeting and free off-site airport parking info :  Cathy Haynes   407-239-8468 
Sun. Sept 29  -  Gold Star Mothers and Families Day – Honoring and remembering the sons and daughters who died while serving our country.  3pm – 5pm, Orlando City Hall Rotunda, 400 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, 32801.  Free parking available only at City Commons Garage on SW corner of Boone Ave. and South St.  Info: Stephanie  at 407.691.4536
On the Horizon:
Fri. 11 Oct The 1st Annual Bob Bret Memorial Golf Tournament – Sponsored by the Navy League of Central Florida.  8am Shotgun start, Four-person scramble $70 per person, including lunch and range balls $50 for active military. Sponsors welcome!  Proceeds benefit local JROTC’s, scholarships.  Contact Brian Holmes  407.252.3008
Sat. 12 Oct  -  238th Navy Birthday Ball – Sponsored by the Navy League of Central Florida.  Hyatt Regency at OIA. Info:
Wed. 30 Oct  -  Community Legal Services in Orlando in partnership with the law firm of Baker Donelson will be available to veterans for completing simple wills and advanced directives.  FREE!  Pre-register by calling 1.866.428.0105 x2906  or  x2913.   Email:  to get list of what you need to bring.
The journey after military service can be a difficult one.
If you are a Veteran or warrior in crisis or know of one who is,
Please call the VA’s 24/7 Suicide Prevention Line at
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
To speak with a trained counselor - It’s Confidential.
Or find a Crisis Center near you at
Caring and sharing,
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veterans and military organizations

Navy SEAL taking a leap to help wounded SEAL

Navy SEALs to parachute into Washington-Grizzly, hope to raise $50K for wounded Montana colleague
The Missoulian
By Martin Kidston
August 29, 2013

Attending a University of Montana football game was the last thing on Bo Reichenbach’s mind last July when he was critically injured by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan.

More than a year later, the 24-year old Navy SEAL and Billings native continues to recover at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital, learning to use his prosthetic legs while fighting off infections.

While the battle toward recovery has been slow, Reichenbach is winning the fight, and this weekend, at least, he’ll get his chance to attend Montana’s season opener against Appalachian State University on Saturday night.

“He’s a Griz fan, and he’s very excited to come out,” said Reichenbach’s father, Don. “I never thought I’d be doing what I am with him. All things considered, it’s all pretty amazing.”

Reichenbach’s road to Washington-Grizzly Stadium and the season opener was a long one.
read more here

Community comes together for Navy SEAL critically wounded in Afghanistan

Army Captains renew wedding vows in Afghanistan

Vanguard Couple Renews Their Vows in Afghanistan
DOD Live
Story by Sgt. Sarah Bailey
Posted on August 30, 2013

U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Rorebeck, right, operations officer for 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division and Capt. Crystal Rorebeck, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th IBCT, renew their five year wedding vows, Aug. 16, 2013, on Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah Bailey)

Five years ago when U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Rorebeck, a Norwalk, Iowa, native, and the operations officer for 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, married U.S. Army Capt. Crystal Rorebeck, a native of Breckenridge, Texas, and the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th IBCT, they made a promise to each other to renew their vows every five years on their anniversary.

Neither one could have known that in five years on Aug. 16, 2013, both would be deployed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Fortunately, both husband and wife were deployed in the same area and were able to uphold the promise they made to one another.

Matthew knew this event was not only a milestone in his marriage but also something important to his wife and coordinated with his battalion chaplain, U.S. Army Capt. Mickey Bashman, 3-7 Inf. Regiment, to ensure his wife’s wishes were met.
read more here

War Trauma Drives A Veteran Toward Suicide

War Trauma Drives A Veteran Toward Suicide
'I Wasn't The Same Guy, And I Didn't Understand It'
Huffington Post
David Wood
Posted: 08/29/2013

DURHAM, N.C. -- A story Mike McMichael's grandma told him when he was young probably saved his life. But that was years after he had grown up to be a National Guard infantry officer, been knocked unconscious by an IED blast in Iraq and come home after a long combat tour with brain injuries the Army never diagnosed.

It was after worsening tremors and memory lapses forced him to quit the military, and after blackouts and violent rages cost him his civilian job and nearly drove away his wife, Jackie, and their four young children.

It was when he felt he'd failed as a warrior and failed as a dependable wage earner and failed as a husband and dad. When suicide began to look like the only option left, it was then that he remembered the story his grandma had told him. She'd been a nurse, and the story went like this.

Many years before, a man in his prime unaccountably had fallen on such hard times that he came to believe suicide was the only way to end his pain. He put a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. The blast blew off his face and part of his brain, but it left him alive and breathing.

For the rest of his life he sat in a chair, unable to speak, alone with his thoughts. Inside, the young Mike imagined, he was silently screaming.

"How did things get so bad in his life that he thought that was the answer?" Mike wondered. In Mike's own darkest moments, when thoughts of suicide were banging up against his zest for life and love for his family, the story weighed on him. He hesitated, perfecting the suicide plan but putting off the decision. "I didn't want to be that guy," he explained. "That's what drug it out."

So far, at least, Mike, now 39, has triumphed over his demons. But it's been close. He is a stocky, well-muscled man whose commanding presence, friendly, backwoods demeanor and liquid Carolina diction camouflage a world of hurt and struggle.

For too long, Mike got no help. For too long, professional help was out of reach. For too long, he resisted what help there was.

In that, he is like too many others, military men and women who remain at risk of suicide.
read more here

PTSD I Grieve from Kathleen "Costos" DiCesare on Vimeo.

It is almost as if nothing has been done in all on PTSD

It is almost as if nothing has been done in all on PTSD
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 30, 2013

Tuesday I watched a rough cut of Terrible Love. The trailer came out in May and I was not only impressed with the work Christopher Thomas did, but proud of consulting on it. The best part of the movie was when the wife of a National Guardsmen looked at him asking "Who are you?" when their lives were falling apart. It was clear she had some understanding of what PTSD was but just didn't know enough to matter.

It is something that happens all over this country everyday when they come home, seem changed just a bit at first but as time goes by, they are less and less able to hide what is really going on inside of their heads.

I remember those days very well. It was almost impossible to stay even knowing what was going on inside of my husband's head. That was back when no one was talking about families like mine. It was before the internet, Facebook, online support groups and way before anyone in the press cared. It is astonishing for me to read all of the problems we faced over 30 years ago are still going on no matter how much has been done to fix it. It is almost as if nothing has been done in all this time since history has been repeated over and over again.

How do you fix something without first understanding the cause? That is what the military has been doing since 2006. They come up with all of these prevention programs at the same time they say they do not know what causes some to be hit by PTSD. At the same time we read about this program and another one, we're also reading how some are being discharged with personality disorders. That one really makes me laugh because reporters don't seem to be aware of the fact the military does testing on the mental health of the recruits as well as physical tests. If they ended up allowing in soldiers with personality disorders as they claim than that would mean their testing failed. No reporter has asked them to validate their claim.

The military claims that most of the soldiers committing suicide had never deployed but so far there are unanswered questions as to how many have been a victim of military sexual trauma, hazing, abuse or asked to be discharged because they discovered joining the military was a horrible mistake for them.

The military has also had a habit of discharging troops with PTSD as soon as possible so they won't have to accept responsibility for what they do afterwards. Nice trick but a messy one. While some commanders are doing these discharges, others are redeploying soldiers with PTSD. Some commanders think it is a phony illness at the same time some courageously come out and talk about their own unseen wound and how PTSD changed them.

Some reporters are trying to do something about all of this and they have been paying attention. The Huffington Post has an article by David Wood "Military And Veteran Suicides Rise Despite Aggressive Prevention Efforts" and he hit most points you read here every day. He included the numbers on Vietnam Veterans usually left out of the reports even though they are the largest group in the VA claims pile of new claims and backlog. Here is part of his article.
WASHINGTON -- The good news: most people with military service never consider suicide. Contrary to popular perception, there is no "epidemic" of military-related suicides -- even though President Barack Obama used the word in a speech this summer at the Disabled American Veterans Convention. Among those few whose lives do spiral down toward darkness and despair, the vast majority never take that irrevocable step.

The bad news: the number of military and veteran suicides is rising, and experts fear it will continue to rise despite aggressive suicide prevention campaigns by the government and private organizations.

The Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), already struggling to meet an increasing demand from troops and veterans for mental health services, are watching the suicide rates, and the growing number of those considered "at risk" of suicide, with apprehension.

"It really is extremely concerning," said Caitlin Thompson, a VA psychologist and clinical care coordinator at the national crisis line for the military and veterans.

The warning signs of an approaching wave of suicides are unmistakable.

-- While the rate of suicides has traditionally been lower for the military ranks than for civilians, that trend has begun to reverse.

-- The number of suicides among active-duty troops of all services remains relatively low, at 350 last year, Pentagon data show. But that number has more than doubled since 2001, while in the Army's active-duty ranks, suicides have tripled during the same period, from 52 soldiers in 2001 to 185 last year.

-- Roughly half of active-duty troops who die by suicide never served in Iraq or Afghanistan. But there is growing evidence that war trauma weighs heavily on those who did. In one indication of deep emotional stress, the suicide rate among U.S. troops deployed to Iraq between 2004 and 2007, a period of intensified fighting, jumped from 13.5 to 24.8 per 100,000, according to a report issued in 2009 by the Army surgeon general.

-- Some 8,000 veterans are thought to die by suicide each year, a toll of about 22 per day, according to a 2012 VA study. The VA acknowledged the numbers might be significantly underestimated because they're based on incomplete data from 21 states, not including Texas or California. Even so, the data documents an increase of nearly 11 percent between 2007 and 2010, the most recent year of data in the study.

-- The population of veterans over 50 -- more than two-thirds of all veterans -- is swelling with aging baby boomers. Mostly men, they are considered more at-risk of suicide because they tend to be socially isolated, struggle with physical or mental deterioration, and possess easy familiarity with firearms.

I left this comment
Really great job on this and glad you talked about Vietnam veterans but I don't think people understand that after all these years of doing "something" because that generation of veterans fought for it, the numbers are worse now. You brought up how veterans are 22% of the suicides but they are also only 7% of the population. You brought up National Guards and Reservists but their numbers were not included in the 350 suicides for last year, which is also wrong. Citizen soldier suicides for last year are 140. As of July DOD reports there have already been 90 this year

While the full Suicide Event Report for 2012 has still not been released, even though this is the end of August, it contains one more subject not covered enough. Attempted suicides also show a clear problem. 915 more attempted suicide in 2011 while "successful" suicides were 301.

Obviously I couldn't supply the links to what I wrote, so I am doing it right now.

This is the link to the 2011 Suicide Event Report and on page one of the summary you will find the numbers. This report contains data by branch, means, demographics and perhaps the most important topic not discussed in the press, attempted suicides.

The AFMES indicates that 301 Service Members died by suicide in 2011 (Air Force = 50, Army = 167, Marine Corps = 32, Navy = 52).

This number includes deaths strongly suspected to be suicides that are pending final determination. DoDSER Points of Contact (POCs) submitted reports for 100% of AFMES confirmed 2011 suicides (Air Force = 46, Army = 159, Marine Corps = 31, Navy = 51) as of the data extraction date (26 April 2012).

A total of 915 Service Members attempted suicide in 2011 (Air Force = 241, Army = 432, Marine Corps = 156, Navy = 86).

DoDSERs were submitted for 935 suicide attempts (Air Force = 251, Army = 440, Marine Corps = 157, Navy = 87). Of the 915 Service Members who attempted suicide, 896 had one attempt, 18 had two attempts, and 1 had three attempts.

But that isn't the worst part.
•Known use of psychotropic medication was reported more frequently for suicide attempts (n = 400, 42.78%) compared to suicides (n = 75, 26.13%). Antidepressants were the most frequently used psychotropic medication among suicide decedents (n = 64, 22.30%) and those who attempted suicide (n = 342, 36.58%).

•DoDSERs indicated that 48 decedents (16.72%) had received outpatient behavioral health services within the month prior to suicide. Service Members who attempted suicide used outpatient behavioral health services more frequently (n = 570, 60.96%) than those who died by suicide (n = 114, 39.72%).

On the veterans suicides percentages, here is the link to that report. Veterans 7% of population 22% of suicides

This shows how "About 46 percent had been seen at a military treatment facility sometime in the 90 days before death. The treatment services include physical and behavioral health, substance abuse, family advocacy and chaplains." Military suicide numbers show efforts producing deplorable results and they have been basically admitting they know none of it works.

If you want your blood to really boil over this here is where part of the money on suicide prevention went including $677,000 to the University of Kentucky to fund a two year research project on 100 families to see how they felt after their veteran committed suicide and another $3.8 million to UCLA School of Dentistry to study saliva and $3 million on a nasal spray study. Approximately 3,400 researchers will work on more than 2,300 projects with nearly $1.9 billion in funding.

When I was putting together the research for THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR, I had only a fraction of the money spent on Wounded Times. I was totally repulsed discovering how much money was being spent producing a higher rate of suicides while not producing a higher rate of healing. The truth is it turned out to be billions a year spent by our government and you can read how it is broken down. Every report in this book is sourced by news reports, government reports and what many experts have slammed as not fitting in with military culture. The results speak for themselves.

More graves filled and more suffering. To think that families are suffering the way I was back when efforts were just beginning is like a dagger in my heart. There were reasons why I didn't understand why my husband changed. There are no excuses for this generation of wives to look at the stranger that came back in their husband's body.

September is "suicide prevention" month but because we didn't pay attention all this time there will be more we didn't prevent. This is what we knew in 1978