Saturday, October 31, 2015

Shocking! You Don't Have to Be A Veteran To Drive Like You Are?

Veteran wants proof you deserve that military license plate 
Tampa Tribune
By Howard Altman
Tribune Staff
October 31, 2015
Earlier this month, Connie O’Dell went to the department of motor vehicles office in Ruskin to get a new license plate for her husband, Navy veteran Mike O’Dell.

As a result, O’Dell is on a new mission — trying to change how plates commemorating the five branches of the armed services are issued in Florida.

O’Dell says his wife saw a Navy license plate, asked if she could purchase it and was told she could — even though she was never in the Navy and didn’t have to show discharge papers or any other proof that she served.

O’Dell said he did some research and found out those are indeed the rules. But he wants them changed.

“I asked at least three or four dozen veterans since then and none of them were aware that the people driving around with those license plates weren’t necessarily in the service,” said O’Dell, who served in the Navy from 1971 to 1973. “They were not happy to find that out. We served our country. We deserve those plates. Those who did not, don’t deserve those plates.”

The bigger issue, O’Dell said, is concern that non-veterans with nefarious intent might try to pass themselves off as veterans. He said civilians who want to show their support should get a “supporter” plate instead.
read more here

John McCain Defends Colleges Over Veterans

This makes sense today considering it is Halloween. Is this trick or treat? Trick is McCain is pulling a switch on who is getting the treat and who the trick is being played on. Does the word delusional come to mind?
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), in a speech on the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, charged that fellow Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has "orchestrated" a "shameful ... vendetta against for-profit universities." McCain upped the ante by asserting that Durbin has a "well-known record of not supporting the men and women who are serving in the military."
Yep! He really said that even though we all know how much McCain does not support veterans as he constantly reminds them he is one of them.
In his own floor speech yesterday, Durbin encouraged the Pentagon to continue its investigation. Durbin noted that Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said that the University of Phoenix was the "worst by far" for-profit college in terms of taking advantage of the vets who are members of his organization.
Top that off with the fact McCain strongly opposed Jim Webb's GI Bill calling it "too generous" and now he is defending those responsible for getting that "generosity" by using veterans. Statement of Senator Jim Webb on the White House's Embrace of his 21st Century GI Bill
This bipartisan coalition consistently rejected the allegations of this Administration, and of Senators McCain, Burr and Graham, among others, who claimed that the bill was too generous to our veterans, too difficult to administer and would hurt retention.
You can read the rest of this on The Huffington Post McCain Lashes Out At Durbin, Defends Veteran-Abusing For-Profit Colleges

Here are a few more of what McCain got wrong. John McCain needs to remember he's a veteran

Massachusetts Town Canceled Veterans Parade?

Veteran's parade canceled in Marshfield Posted: Oct 29, 2015
Parade organizers say the timing of the parade means fewer and fewer attend. And they had added problems this year, including a loss of funding and a complaint that the parade tied up traffic for too long.
"Year Incorporated As a town: 1640"

The Town of Marshfield is located in Southeastern Massachusetts in Plymouth County. A coastal community 30 miles from Boston, Marshfield has a yearly population of about 25,000 people which grows to about 40,000 in the summer months. The town's rich history of over 350 years dates back to the pre-revolutionary war era and is best known as the home of Daniel Webster from 1832 until his death in 1852. While a resident he was a very important national political figure and was known as "the Farmer of Marshfield".
Guess they don't want to bother remembering how men and women stepped up to make this nation free and others stepped up to retain that freedom.

Fort Riley Soldier Found Dead

Soldier dies from gunshot wound on Fort Riley 
By Brian Dulle
Published: October 29, 2015

FORT RILEY (KSNT) – Officials in Fort Riley says around 5:50 p.m. Wednesday evening a 1st Infantry Division Soldier died of a gunshot wound in his residence on the installation.

The identity of the soldier is not being released at this time pending notification to family.
check for updates here

22 veteran suicides a day — a misused statistic

Finally! Finally someone is talking about what veterans have been saying all along but reporters just didn't care enough to learn the facts. The truth is even more stunning than that simplistic quote of "22 a day" when researchers looked at the demographics. Most are over the age of 50, yet were responsible for all the research started 40 years ago and are the last to be helped by all the "awareness" groups out there. They never talk about the fact veteran suicides are double civilian population.

They survived combat but couldn't survive back home? Younger ones are triple their peer rate yet they are the topic of every awareness charity raising money while it all gets worse for the veterans. Does it still feel good to write a check when it gets worse for veterans?
22 veteran suicides a day — a misused statistic
My San Antonio
Express-News Editorial Board
Published 12:00 am, Saturday, October 31, 2015

Now and then we hear reference to a powerful statistic about our veterans. It’s often expressed with the best of intentions but without proper context.

The statistic is this: There are 22 veteran suicides a day in this country. As in all veterans, but it’s often mistakenly framed around combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The statistic comes from a 2012 Department of Veterans Affairs suicide data report. That report is based on data from 21 states between 1999 and 2011. The report is clear that the statistic 22 suicides a day applies to all veterans, not just those who have served more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the vast majority of the suicides, about 69 percent, involved veterans who were at least 50 years old, the Los Angeles Times and others have reported.
read more here
Sounds like someone may actually have been reading Wounded Times and thought about it for real change!

Philanthropist Lois Pope Making Sure Disabled Veterans Are Honored

Philanthropist helps put disabled veterans documentary on TV 
Associated Press
Saturday, October 31, 2015
“I had no idea about the horrors of war and the devastation it can cause to human beings’ minds and bodies until the moment I walked into the room at Rusk Rehabilitation and saw dozens of Vietnam veterans, some without legs and arms, some mutilated, some burned so badly and some blind.” Lois Pope
ADVANCE FOR USE SATURDAY, OCT. 31 - In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, Palm Beach County philanthropist Lois Pope poses at her home in Boynton Beach, Fla., with a DVD copy of a PBS documentary about disabled military
MANALAPAN, Fla. (AP) - A Manalapan philanthropist is making good on her promise to herself to share the story of the nation’s disabled veterans with as many people possible.

On Nov.10, the documentary “Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History” is set to premiere nationwide on PBS. The hourlong film chronicles American wars starting with the American Revolution up to the current conflict in the Middle East, with a focus on the disabled veterans who come home to fight their own personal war of survival once they leave the battlefield.

The $1 million budget film is funded by philanthropist Lois Pope, who for decades has wanted to share the story of the nation’s disabled veterans if she ever had the financial means to do so. It is directed by six-time Emmy award winning director Ric Burns.

“It’s an unflinching report,” Pope said. “It’s a candid chronicle of disabled veterans.”
And Max Cleland was a captain in the Army during the Vietnam War when a grenade exploded and caused him to lose his legs and one arm.

“Once second I am a tall, strapping 6-foot-2, young Army captain the next second I’m laying on the ground bleeding to death,” he said.
read more here

Palm Beach County philanthropist helps bring disabled veterans documentary that airs Nov. 10 on PBS
"History books tell us who won and lost wars. They never tell us the story of the continuing suffering of those who come back home disabled for life." Lois Pope

Published on Aug 19, 2015
Attendees of the 97th National Convention in Baltimore can attend a special screenings of this documentary film, directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns. The movie is a tribute to the history of disabled veterans, the documentary features images and archival footage from the Revolutionary War to today's conflicts in the Middle East, as well as personal stories from disabled veterans.

Central Florida Veterans Events Part 1

Central Florida Veterans Events

From Cathy Haynes

November list #1  – Preliminary list of veteran, military and patriotic events in Central FL

Events thru Sun. Nov 8 – that I am aware of….There MAY be other events.  Please get your groups Veterans Day recognitions and ceremonies to me ASAP (like in 5 minutes!) because people cannot attend or join what they don’t know about……

Misc. info
Everyone and especially Veterans – please plan to attend the various school programs.  There MAY be events at some schools near your home that are not listed here.  Our young ones need to be aware of who veterans are and how they have served our country.  Your attendance reinforces the efforts that some teachers are trying to provide.  Be an example – be someone that the young generation will remember and model after…

Just a bit of reminder for folks - There is a difference between veterans and military.  Sometimes people get confused that veterans were once active military but they are not officially serving anymore.  And our military are serving now and will one day be veterans.  Retired veterans served a specified required time in service.  All military retirees are veterans but not all veterans are military retired.   Veterans Day honors all persons who once were in the military - especially the living.  Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military.  Armed Forces Day is the third Saturday in May - it was established in 1950 to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force Days.  That is a day to pay tribute to men and women who currently serve the United States’ armed forces.

October was Agent Orange Awareness Month.  The organization Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) encourages your education and support of the Federal Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015 (S.901 and H.R.1769) 

Who is deployed?  - Attn. persons with any family member currently deployed to Afghanistan and other “rough areas.” - Local groups are seeking the names and addresses for warriors in such areas. Care packages would like to be sent.  Send names and addresses of Central Florida deployed military service men and women to Cyndi Landers – cyndilanders @ of AUSA (Association of the United States Army, Sunshine Chapter).

There are more than 600 deployed Soldiers (and a few Marines too) from our own local 2-124th Florida National Guard and 143rd ESC Army Reserve.  Care package groups want to send boxes of snacks, good food, hygiene items, and things that may not be readily available to warriors in those “frontlines.”  Providing names and addresses early (NOW) will allow the warriors to provide such items as gifts to their battle buddies during the holidays.  AUSA (Association of the United States Army, Sunshine Chapter) is collecting items and monies needed for shipping.  Drop off donations on Mon, Tues and Wed, November 2, 3 & 4 at L-3 Communications, 12351 Research Parkway, Orlando, 32826  (POC:  Karen Thaldorf, 407-382-4482.) Additional contacts: Daila Espeut-Jones – 407.924.0810 – daila.espeut-jones @ ; Greg Maida – 407.497.5688 – gsmaida @   Another group is  J.O.S.H. - Just Our Soldiers' Helpers Inc.  Contact Kathy at 407-314-1607  kathy @  

Shopping consideration – As we are preparing for the upcoming holidays, please consider buying items that are made in this country.  Buying “Made in U.S.A.” allows employment for more persons in this country and some of those workers may be veterans, reservists, or guardsmen/women.  UPC barcodes do not always indicate the country of manufacture.  Look for the “Made in U.S.A.” labeling.

Mentors needed - Veteran Courts ARE succeeding!  Longer term success is possible with community mentors and there are mentoring programs in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties.  Be a “battle buddy” or “foxhole buddy” by assisting someone with life challenges.  No proselytizing – just non-judgmental caring.  Most of the offenders are DUI or possession, or PTS anger issues that are being rechanneled.  If you have experienced substance abuse – although not required - and came thru it, you may be very helpful to someone else.  If you are interested in participating as a mentor, know someone who is interested, or are a part of an organization where Mentors can be recruited, contact your local Veterans Court resource.

Vietnam Veterans of America Daytona Beach Chapter 1048 had a "Welcome Home" for 25 Permanently Hospitalized Vietnam War Veterans from Emory L. Bennett VA Nursing Home as new members to VVA Chapter 1048. www. vva1048. com 1920 Mason Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32117.  After a short ceremony, VVA Chapter 1048 hosted a luncheon for all Emory L Bennett Veterans and the staff members, who are dedicated caring professionals for our Veterans.  Thank you for remembering and recognizing our former warriors!
For more information please contact Rod Phillips at 386.690.9553
Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America offers ONCE IN A LIFETIME SPECIAL, LIFE MEMBERSHIP for $100. This offer will be good between November 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.  Contact Rod Phillips 386.690.9553  The offer is available to anyone, whether new or existing members, unless you are already a fully paid up Life Member at this time. This includes people who are currently annual or 3 year members, and it even includes those who have already signed up for a Life Membership on time payments!

Military Recognition Program by Orlando Solar Bears – Solar Bears Hockey Team is seeking active military/veterans/guard or reserve personnel from all branches to honor at their home games for the 2015-16 season.  He/she should be in uniform or wear their military branch themed clothing and provide a short bio.  Contact the office to nominate yourself or someone else and to get further information.  Recognition will include complimentary game tickets & parking for that game! Wheelchair seating available upon request (based on availability); Numerous home games.  Contact Taylor Bartz, Community Relations Coordinator for Orlando Solar Bears,  407.951.8200 x124  tbartz  


Nam Knights & Monster Challenges Mud Obstacle Benefit Run  - Sat. Oct 31 - This Green Swamp Nam Knight event is for the sole purpose of supporting “Home at Last”, the organization constructing a specially adapted house for Marine Staff Sergeant Brandon Wittwer.  He is a Marine Corps Scout Sniper, injured in Iraq and medically retired in Nov 2014. 100% of the proceeds will go to “Home at Last”.   Registration is now closed for competition but spectator admission is $10.  Monster Challenges is a 4+ mile, 28+ mud obstacle event including snow and zip lines!  Little Monster's course is nearly 3/8 mile and is designed for children under the age of 10. With safety being the most important aspect, there is plenty of opportunity for the Little Monsters to get down and dirty just like their folks! All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Arnold Groves and Ranch, 15000 Frank Jarrell Rd, Clermont, 34714.  Info:  Monster Challenges  352-978-2898   contact
The mission of the Nam Knights is to honor the memory of American Veterans and Police Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, to assist Veterans and Police Officers in their time of need, and to promote community awareness through sponsorship and participation in various community and fund-raising events.”
“The Nam Knights Motorcycle Club continues to grow and thrive due to the extraordinary dedication of its members, their families and our benevolent supporters.”  Nam Knights Info:  contact is needed!
Info:  Home at Last Project, Inc.  dad @  407.876.2472

Halloween Party Military and Family Friendly – Sat. Oct 31 - There will be a Haunted House, treats, snacks and games for the children.  Free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  3pm – 5pm at American Legion Family at Post 286 Pine Castle, 529 E. Fairlane Ave., Orlando, 32809 (north of Sand Lake Road on Orange Ave. in south Orlando.)  The American Legion Post 286 Pine Castle Department of Florida members, the Legionnaires, American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion, make up what is known as The Legion Post 286 Family.  “Working Together as ONE”,  all three organizations place high importance on preserving our American traditions and values, improving the quality of life for our nation's children, caring for veterans and their families, and perhaps most importantly, teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship and  better places in which to live.   
Children and Youth Committee embraces all activities for improvement of conditions of life in the community where the American Legion Family is located. It has been a major activity of The American Legion and Auxiliary since 1926, and has resulted in the completion of a vast number of projects to make American communities.  This is a very pro-active and involved Post!  407-859-1460

Daylight Savings Time ends – Sun. Nov 1 – Turn your clocks back one hour.  Use that bonus time to do something nice for our veteran and service personnel!

Election Day – Tues. Nov 3 – Become educated and do your civic duty – VOTE!  Our local elections tend to have a more direct impact on us.

Student Veteran Story Day – Tues. Nov 3 – event presented by the UCF History Dept. and the Community Veterans History Project, Colbourn Hall, UCF Main Campus, UCF Main campus, 9am to 5pm.  The UCF Community Veterans History Project is collecting, preserving, and making accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The histories, which students began recording during the fall 2010 semester, are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected veterans' histories to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.  Pre-registration required, visit:  Info: Program Coordinator of Veterans Academic Resource Center (VARC) Joshua.Johnson @  407-823-5874

The First Academy Veteran’s Day Celebration – Wed. Nov 4 – The students of Wounded Warrior Club of The First Academy would like to honor members of the Armed Forces.  10am in Faith Hall.  First Baptist Orlando, 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, 32805. (North of I-4 and John Young Pkwy, exit 79.)  Info/RSVP’s appreciated for head count planning to 407-206-8659  or  marygooseman @      Shared by Brian Rose, Principal.  Event flyer available.

"Debt of Honor" Movie Screening – Wed. Nov 4 – WUCF presents this FREE movie screening followed by a panel discussion with local veterans and support providers. 6:30pm – 9:30pm.  Orlando Science Center, 777 East Princeton Street, Orlando, 32803.  Free parking!  Kindly register your attendance at WUCF website.
The movie is scheduled to be on WUCF TV at 9pm on Wed. Nov 10.
“Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History” is a new documentary film by six-time Emmy Award-winning director Ric Burns.  It will “examine the way in which the American government and society as a whole have regarded disabled veterans throughout history, beginning in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War and continuing through today’s conflicts in the Middle East. The film combines personal stories, told by distinguished disabled veterans, with deep history narrated by leading scholars in the fields of disability studies, history and psychology to illustrate the human cost of war and the enormous sacrifices of military service. These sacrifices are brought to life through hundreds of carefully curated still images and archival footage from across the country.“  Info: catherine.hiles @   407.823.5554  Event flyer available.

US Army Field Band & Soldier’s Chorus Live Concert - Wed Nov 4 – FREE concert in Lake County begins at 7:30 pm, at the First United Methodist Church of Clermont, Wesley Center, 715 W. Juniata Street, downtown Clermont, 34711. The Concert Band regularly travels and performs with the Soldiers’ Chorus, together presenting a powerful and diverse program of marches, overtures, popular music, patriotic selections, and instrumental and vocal solos.  The Band has invited 16 outstanding students from the local high school bands to perform with them on stage. Reserve FREE tickets at  armyfieldband114. eventbrite. com. Limited seating. Tickets must be presented at the door for entry.  Info:  352-394-2412   Source:  Found by accident at The News Ledger Four Corners news.

Veterans Day Golf Tournament – Fri. Nov 6 – Fairways for Warriors (Orlando Chapter) sponsors this four-person scramble at Eagle Creek Golf Club, 10350 Emerson Lake Blvd, Orlando, 32832. Registration deadline November 1st. Maximum entries 120. If you’re not able to attend, PLEASE consider making a donation to this great cause. All donations are tax deductible.  Registration 7:30 am, Shotgun start 8:30 am.  F4W provides golf equipment, instruction, and outings to wounded warriors and their family members. Golf has proved to be an excellent tool for mental and physical rehabilitation. It has given these brave men and women the opportunity to heal from their significant injuries (amputations) and some injuries that we can’t see such as depression, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and others. F4W is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity and is dependent on tax-deductible financial donations with 96% of the monies going toward the program!  Info:  Tom Underdown   tom @ 407-399-0977   fairwaysforwarriors. org

Winter Park Veteran's Day Celebration - Fri Nov 6 - Col. Lance Kildron, USAF is the guest speaker at the Ruby Ball Amphitheater located outdoors at 721 West New England Avenue, Winter Park, 32789. He is Commander of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 159 and professor of Aerospace Studies at UCF (University of Central Florida.)  The veteran informational gathering will begin promptly at 9:30 am, and the official program will commence at 10am thru 11am with music, anecdotal speakers and recognition of veterans.  Info: Clarissa Howard, Communications Director at 407-599-3428  choward @

Veterans Day Weekend Open House, Sat and Sun Nov 7 and 8 - The Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum will provide free admission to the museum for all military, active or retired.  Also, ALL Florida residents will be admitted free.  ID is required.  A highlight of the open house will be your first look at the massive cockpit of a combat veteran B-52, the world’s famous jet bomber.  In addition to our collection of vintage aircraft, we will be featuring plastic modelers and radio controlled modelers, and a visit from Jungle Jim with his Florida wildlife.  If you have a classic car that you would like to show on Saturday and/or Sunday, please contact the museum.  9AM-5PM, Saturday and Sunday.  Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.  Space Coast Regional Airport, 6600 Tico Road, Titusville, 32780.  Info:  Ron Davis, Public Relations Officer, 321-268-1941. Publicrelationsofficer @

“Freedom Isn’t Free” and "One Nation Under God"– various dates and locations - By Your Side Ministries produces this celebration of Christian Patriotism.  It is a live musical Program with video and live testimonials honoring our 1st Responders and all branches of the military and veterans, and in partnership with Operation Safety 91.  Check Operation Safety 91website for specifics:  www.   407-484-4506
November 7 - Lake Ridge Village, Eustis.
November 8 - First Christian Church, Kissimmee.
November 11 - "One Nation Under God", BYSM Theater, Winter Garden (see below.)
November 20 – Apopka VFW/Community Center, Apopka.
November 21 - Atria at Lake Forest, Sanford.
By Your Side Ministries Theater, 13355 W Colonial Dr., Winter Garden, 34787 (in the strip mall behind Taco Bell.)  Doors open at 6 pm. Dinner starts at 6:30 pm.  50 minute program "One Nation Under God" starts at 7:15pm. Donations for the dinner will be accepted.  Reserve Tickets for free dinner and program at  www. byyoursideministries. com/ boxoffice     Info:  Dave Gillum at: dave @   321-305-1111

Veteran’s Day Parade – Sat. Nov 7 – in Kissimmee, Osceola County.  Units still welcomed to participate.  Contact ASAP.  Parade line up starts at 8am at the Osceola County Courthouse, 2 Courthouse Square, Kissimmee, 34741.  Parade starts at 10am.  Numerous units including pick-up truck with seats for Purple Heart recipients.  Sponsored by the Osceola County Veterans Council.  Contact TJ Palmer at  tpalmer44 @  407.552.7124  or Gary at 301)275-5403.     Shared by TJ Palmer.

4th Annual Ruck Sack March – Sat. Nov 7 - "Walk a Mile in Their Boots" at Medical City in Lake Nona.  Sponsored by Camaraderie Foundation to benefit warriors, past and present, and their families who seek counseling for PTS issues.  3, 6 or 12 mile challenge at Lake Nona. You can participate as a Walker or a Runner; or compete for prizes as a Warrior, in which you must carry at least 35 lb. in your ruck sack or backpack.  The first 400 registered receive a Ruck Sack March shirt & commemorative dog tags. This event is chip timed and top finishers will be awarded with a medal. Prizes will also be awarded for top finishers and fundraisers. The goal is not only to raise awareness about Camaraderie Foundation’s mission of helping to heal the invisible wounds of war for our Military Service Members and their families, but to raise funds to help implement our counseling scholarships and programs for them.  Marriages, families, and LIVES HAVE BEEN SAVED.  Registration and Sponsorships available at www. rucksackmarch2015 .kintera. org   Contact Jackie at 407.841.0071    camaraderiefoundation. com 

Concert to honor veterans – Sun Nov 8 – The Orlando Concert Band and the pipe organ of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke will be joined by a choir of over 200 singers from The Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Luke, St. James Catholic Cathedral, All Saints Episcopal Church, Lake Brantley and Colonial high schools.  Free concert at 2pm, 130 N. Magnolia Ave., Orlando, 32801.  Info: 407-849-0680.  Source: Orlando Sentinel.

Mount Dora Patriot Cruise and Salute - Sun. Nov 8 – 23 veterans, many of whom are wounded, ill or injured, and their families will be taken on a scenic boat ride, this 4rd Annual event.  At 12noon, after their return, a patriotic ceremony and picnic will be held. Gilbert Park in downtown Mt. Dora. 310 S Tremain St, Mount Dora, 32757.  Details: www. mountdorapcs. org  Info to volunteer or help:  Rozann Abato  fra10 @  305-772-5246  

Veteran’s Day Luncheon – Sun. Nov 8 – First United Methodist Church of Oviedo Military Support Team sponsors this to honor all who have served.  ALL Veterans and their spouse or guest(s) are invited.  Lunch is FREE but reservations are requested by Thurs. Nov 5 for proper planning. A “turkey with trimmings” lunch will be served at no cost in the Christian Life Center / Gymnasium, 263 King Street, Oviedo, FL 32765.  The luncheon will include a Color Guard and Missing Member Table ceremony, beginning at 12noon.  Guest speaker is the Colonel Todd Wasmund, Commander, 3d Infantry Division Artillery and son of member Charlotte Wasmund.  Hot meal and the fascinating talk! RSVP to the Church office (407-365-3255) or to Bronco7a @

Wounded Warrior Appreciation Dance - Sun Nov 8 - Orlando Chapter of USA Dance and Macy’s Furniture Gallery present this “Gala in the Gallery” fundraiser. Come dance in a beautiful, unique, new dance venue where you can dance down the aisles and in the center court of the Macy's Furniture Gallery.  7pm – 9:30pm at 820 West Town Parkway, Altamonte Springs, 32714 (From SR's 434 & 436, go 2 traffic lights South on SR 434, East on West Town Parkway.) Army Specialist B.J. Jackson and his family will be recognized for service and sacrifice while serving in Iraq.  DJ's Bobby & Judi Chapman (The Dancing Chapmans) will play your requests for any style of dance.  ALL DANCERS INVITED! Entertainment includes the exciting "Spartan 300 Warriors' Salsa Performance by Ultimate Alliance Team.  USA Dance has served the Central Florida dance community for 24 Years with teaching, exhibitions, and an outlet for having fun with ballroom, swing, and Latin dancing.  Also providing programs for special needs and and senior dances. Admission  $10   Info:  407-614-3472  twelvedancer @   Also see:  orlando-usadance. com  

Caring and sharing,

Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL
chaynes11629 @

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fort Carson Soldiers Among Betrayed

Soldiers with mental health issues dismissed for 'misconduct'
Colorado Public Radio · NPR
Daniel Zwerdling , Michael De Yoanna
Oct 28, 2015

Staff Sgt. Eric James, an Army sniper who served two tours in Iraq, paused before he walked into a psychiatrist's office at Fort Carson, Colo. It was April 3, 2014. James clicked record on his smartphone, and then tucked the phone and his car keys inside his cap as he walked through the door to the chair by the therapist's desk.

As he sat there sharing his fears and telling the therapist he'd been thinking about suicide — all while secretly recording the entire session — James was inadvertently helping to bring a problem within the Army to light: As it tries to deal with thousands of soldiers who misbehave after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and then being diagnosed with mental health disorders and traumatic brain injuries, the military sometimes moves to kick them out of the service rather than provide the treatment they need.

The Army tried to dismiss James in 2013, because he had been stopped for drunken driving two years earlier. This despite pledges by Army commanders and a 2009 congressional edict to make sure such misconduct is not the result of mental issues brought home from the wars.

Saying he wanted evidence to protect himself, James made secret recordings of more than 20 hours of sessions with therapists and officers at Fort Carson. In the recordings, counselors can be heard berating him for suggesting he has serious mental health problems. They try to convince him his experiences in Iraq were not too traumatic — and even seem to ignore him when he talks about wanting to commit suicide.

When Army leaders heard about the recordings, they ordered an investigation. It concluded that James had been mistreated, and two of his therapists were subsequently reprimanded.
read more here

If you doubt this, then read about the reporting done out of Dallas on Warrior Transition Units.

Suicides Went Up Because of CSF Contagious Stigma Feeder

How the Army Killed Off Hope
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 30, 2015

This question came from an article on the New York Times about the 2/7 Battalion. They lost 20 to war but so far 13 more to suicide.
Q. Are multiple combat deployments a contributing factor to suicide?
Dave Philipps: The data suggest there is little or no added suicide risk associated with multiple deployments, but those studies have been unable to address the amount of combat seen. Second, no study has looked at this question after active duty. We simply don’t know. Anecdotally, nine of 13 members of the 2/7 who killed themselves did multiple tours. And I think it is important to note the quick succession of these tours, with less than a year between.
The answer is, redeployments have a lot to do with the suicides and the Army knew it back in 2006
The report also found a doubling of suicides among soldiers serving in the Iraq war from 2004 to 2005, the latest period for which data are available. Twenty-two soldiers took their own lives in Iraq and Kuwait in 2005, compared with 11 in 2004 and 25 in 2003, Army officials said.
That was from the Washington Post Repeat Iraq Tours Raise Risk of PTSD Army Finds
U.S. soldiers serving repeated Iraq deployments are 50 percent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress, raising their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Army's first survey exploring how today's multiple war-zone rotations affect soldiers' mental health.
Earlier Army studies have shown that up to 30 percent of troops deployed to Iraq suffer from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with the latter accounting for about 10 percent.

The findings reflect the fact that some soldiers -- many of whom are now spending only about a year at home between deployments -- are returning to battle while still suffering from the psychological scars of earlier combat tours, the report said.
If you are serious about understanding any of this, I strongly suggest you go and read the whole report that is still active online. All the answers came from what the Army started and the Marines paid for along with the Airmen and Sailors.

How a Marine Unit’s High Suicide Rate Got That Way
New York Times
OCT. 29, 2015
The funeral for Eduardo Bojorquez, a member of the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, who committed suicide in June. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Since coming back from Afghanistan in 2008, the hard-hit Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment has struggled to adjust. The battalion, known as the 2/7, lost 20 men in war. In the years since, it has lost 13 more to suicide. The battalion now has a suicide rate 14 times that for all Americans.

The New York Times asked Dr. Charles Engel, of the RAND Corporation, and two Marines who served with the battalion in Afghanistan, Arthur Karell and Keith Branch, to answer readers’ questions about the devastating effects of combat and the high suicide rate among veterans. The conversation took place on Facebook in October, moderated by Dave Philipps, a reporter for The Times who covers veterans’ affairs. Here are some of the questions and answers, which have been condensed and edited. read more here This is another important piece on the report
A.K.: The events of the past inform the outlook for the future. When the events of the past repeatedly trigger an anguish that doesn’t abate, it may cause a veteran to question what kind of future they have in store. I’ve heard of post-combat stress described as a response to deep moral trauma, as war is just about the most intense and certainly the largest-scale moral trauma humans inflict on one another. For veterans, post-military activities, pursuits and/or careers that involve or embody a shared purpose, go a long way toward recovery from that moral trauma.
That stigma is due to the program that had been sold as the answer to not just to preventing suicides, but in preventing PTSD. It is called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.
Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) is designed to build resilience and enhance performance of the Army Family — Soldiers, their Families, and Army Civilians. CSF2 does this by providing hands-on training and self-development tools so that members of the Army Family are better able to cope with adversity, perform better in stressful situations, and thrive in life.

It didn't take long to understand this program has in fact fed the stigma and should have been ended as soon as suicides increased after its implementation in 2009. Even I knew it would and predicted the inevitable outcome of increasing suicides. Telling them they could take this training to become resilient managed to translate into their thinking that if they ended up with PTSD, they were mentally weak and didn't train right.

Instead of ending this fubar farce, they pushed it harder. It didn't matter it was an unproven research project.
The Dark Side of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness”
Mandatory "resilience training" program for all U.S. soldiers raises concerns.
Psychology Today
Roy Eidelson Ph.D. Roy Eidelson Ph.D.
Dangerous Ideas
Posted Mar 25, 2011
Although its advocates prefer to describe Comprehensive Soldier Fitness as a training program, it is indisputably a research project of enormous size and scope, one in which a million soldiers are required to participate. Reivich, Seligman, and McBride write in one of the special issue articles, "We hypothesize that these skills will enhance soldiers' ability to handle adversity, prevent depression and anxiety, prevent PTSD, and enhance overall well-being and performance" (p. 26, emphasis added). This is the very core of the entire CSF program, yet it is merely a hypothesis - a tentative explanation or prediction that can only be confirmed through further research.
This is yet another good place to learn some facts because as the Army tends to point toward the high number of non-deployed soldiers committing suicide, they fail to mention this program was so insufficient that it could even keep them alive, refusing to even consider the fact they expected it to work on those with multiple deployments.

Top that off with the other factor of the high number of young veterans receiving this training only to commit suicide stateside after surviving combat overseas and you get the idea they failed to see.

When you hear someone saying they are "raising awareness" make sure they are made aware of this since so far few have a clue of what I knew would happen after listening to them complain about Battlemind, the predecessor to CSF. As for Congress, they just kept paying for it, over and over and over again along with all the other money they have spent over the years to produce more deaths after combat than during it. It should have been called Contagious Stigma Feeder because that is exactly what it did!

The Army managed to explain less about the facts on PTSD. They don't know what PTSD is, why they have it or the simple fact that it does not mean they are stuck suffering the way they are today.

PTSD is set of by trauma, not them. They are not weak. As a matter of fact it is the strength of their emotional core that causes them to feel everything more deeply than others.  Feel more love and feel a lot more pain.

They can heal and the sooner they get it the better when it is mild and most can be reversed.

None of this is new and Vietnam veterans pushed for all the research going back to the 70"s.

We learned a lot because of what they started yet it appears the Army is still loading the same old BS they used when Patton slapped a soldier.

Will Iraq Veteran Matthew Ladd Ever See Justice Jury Awarded?

WPB Iraqi war vet continues to battle city to get $888,000 verdict
Palm Beach Post
Jane Musgrave
October 29, 2015
Filed in: 15th Circuit, 4th District Court of Appeal, Civil, Florida Legislature

Former West Palm Beach police officer Matthew Ladd while serving in Afghanistan in 2005.
Two years after a Palm Beach County jury ordered West Palm Beach to pay an Iraqi war veteran $888,000 for improperly firing him as a police officer, an appeals court this week ordered the city to pay up.

But whether 30-year-old Matthew Ladd will ever see the money still remains an open question.

A jury in 2013 agreed the city used PTSD as a ruse to fire Ladd, days after a psychiatrist declared him fit for duty.

In an unusual move, city officials earlier this year filed a separate lawsuit, claiming Ladd lied to the jury about his condition. In the lawsuit, they claim they obtained medical records that showed Ladd was diagnosed with PTSD in 2007 and he was taking experimental drugs when he worked as a city cop.

Garcia claims Ladd, who served two years in Iraq and Afghanistan, wasn’t diagnosed with PTSD until 2012, two years after he was fired. He branded the city’s action “a vexatious, bad faith attempt to punish Mr. Ladd” for winning the $888,000 verdict. read more here

Leap of Faith Saved Veteran From Fighting PTSD Alone

Longview veteran praises VA for helping save his life
CBS News 19
Posted: Oct 30, 2015
"There isn't any way to make people forget what happened to them in combat," Lusk said. "You can't make the memories go away. But you can find peace. My life's been better since connecting with the VA."
LONGVIEW (KYTX) - When war veterans come back home, the fight doesn't stop there as many people struggle to ease back into society. For one Longview veteran, he is still here today thanks to the help of those close to him going through similar struggles.

Leaders from the Overton Brooks Veteran Association Medical Center held their second Longview town hall meeting in the past three months. Larry Lusk served in the Vietnam War and went to the meeting Thursday to voice some of his concerns. However, Lusk's biggest fight came soon after he returned from war.

"Getting into the late 80s, my life was pretty much falling apart," Lusk said. "It ended up I had PTSD pretty bad."

Even being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Lusk still didn't want to talk about what he was going through.

"I didn't want to have anything to do with the army, with the VA or anything," Lusk said. "I saw a lot of bad things happen. I had some friends get killed right beside me."

Around that time, after a fellow combat veteran encouraged Lusk to get help, he took a leap--a life-saving leap.
read more here
KYTX - News, Weather,

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Budge Cuts Caused Florida Mental Health Crisis

If you think this can't happen to veterans then consider far too many do not go to the VA for help. Guess where they end up when they are in crisis and need emergency mental health care if they don't go to the VA?

My God! Read this article and then contact your elected official for an explanation or vote for his/her termination!
Insane. Invisible. In Danger
Tampa Bay Times
Leonora LaPeter Anton
Michael Braga
Anthony Cormier
First in a series
Oct. 29, 2015
Instead of hiring more guards, adding nurses or increasing counseling sessions for patients, DCF and state lawmakers kept cutting.
FLORIDA’S STATE-FUNDED MENTAL HOSPITALS are supposed to be safe places to house and treat people who are a danger to themselves or others.

But years of neglect and $100 million in budget cuts have turned them into treacherous warehouses where violence is out of control and patients can’t get the care they need.

Since 2009, violent attacks at the state’s six largest hospitals have doubled.

Nearly 1,000 patients ordered to the hospitals for close supervision managed to injure themselves or someone else.

A mental patient stabbed orderly Tonya Cook over and over. Watch more surveillance videos.Alachua County Sheriff’s Office For years, the state Legislature, the governor’s office and the agencies that oversee Florida’s mental hospitals ignored the chaos and continued cutting. Then state regulators hid the full extent of violence and neglect from the public.

The Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune spent more than a year chronicling life in these institutions, interviewing patients and their families and examining thousands of pages of government records. Using police and hospital reports from across the state, reporters pieced together the first comprehensive list of injuries and violent attacks inside Florida’s mental institutions.
read more here

A mental patient stabbed orderly Tonya Cook over and over. Watch more surveillance videos.

Vietnam Veteran Receiving Medal of Honor After Saving 8 Lives 48 Years Ago

Vietnam War veteran to receive military's highest decoration for daring rescue of 8 soldiers
By Tom Perkins
Special to The Ann Arbor News
on October 29, 2015
Against the odds, Kettles got the helicopter airborne, saving the eight men and his crew.
Charles Kettles poses for a photo in front of the demonstration of his stories at the Ypsilanti Historical Museum, Sunday, October 25, 2015 in Ypsilanti(Junfu Han | The Ann Arbor News)
Now, 48 years later, Kettles is up for the Medal of Honor, the US Military's highest decoration, for the rescue. Sec. of Defense Ash Carter recently approved the action, and it only needs Congress's approval before President Obama's signature makes it final.
The daring rescue was something off of a movie screen – the type of war flick where one thinks "That was cool, but there's no way it ends like that in real life."

On May 15, 1967, northwest of Duc Pho Airfield in Vietnam's central highlands, orders came in for Charles "Chuck" Kettles, commander of the 176th Assault Helicopter Company's first platoon, to evacuate 44 soldiers pinned down by the North Vietnamese Army in a battle that wasn't going well for the Americans.

Eight choppers landed, the soldiers scrambled aboard, and the helicopters were airborne with minutes - mission accomplished.
read more here

In addition to the courageous rescue, Kettles flew more than 600 missions over two tours in Vietnam while earning 27 air medals and a Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest decoration a soldier can receive.

Army Capt. Florent Groberg Dedicates Life To Those Died

Medal of Honor recipient Groberg: 'Now I have a big responsibility'
Stars and Stripes
By Corey Dickstein
Published: October 28, 2015

WASHINGTON — Army Capt. Florent Groberg left Afghanistan in 2012 with a mangled left leg that required more than 30 surgeries and confined him to a hospital bed for three months. It was the most difficult time of his life.

“All you can do is sit there with your own thoughts for hours and hours and hours and hours,” he told Stars and Stripes on Monday. “You don’t sleep, you’re on drugs for the pain and things like that.

“All I could think was just, ‘How?’”

In Afghanistan, Groberg was charged with protecting a formation of senior leaders on Aug. 8, 2012. When an insurgent armed with a suicide vest attacked the group, Groberg tackled him, and the vest exploded. The Army said his actions that day saved many lives.

For his heroics, Groberg will receive the Medal of Honor on Nov. 12 from President Barack Obama.
During the tedious hours of recovery, Groberg discovered the answer: He was alive. And he realized he could dedicate his life to honor the four people who did not survive the attack in Abadabad: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, Air Force Maj. Walter David Gray, Army Maj. Thomas Kennedy and Ragaei Abdelfattah, a USAID foreign-service officer.
read more here

Oct 28, 2015
US Army Capt. Florent Groberg talked about the anticipation of receiving the Medal of Honor during an interview at the Pentagon. Groberg will be honored with the medal on November 12, 2015, by President Barack Obama after being recognized for his bravery for tackling an Afghan suicide bomber who aimed to harm his fellow servicemen

VA Lacks Data to Track Mental Health Progress,, Still

Nothing has changed in decades. How many times do members of Congress get to listen to problems before they finally fix the VA once and for all veterans? It is exactly the same as it was in the 80's and 90's!
Watchdog: VA lacks data to track mental health progress
Stars and Stripes
By Heath Druzin
Published: October 28, 2015
Navy veteran Dean Maiers, broke down in tears while telling the committee about his struggles after his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, which included a suicide attempt. He said the VA treatment he finally received saved his life, but that the VA’s narrow appointment schedule means finding time for treatment is difficult.
Navy veteran Dean Maiers covers his eyes to hold back tears Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 before a Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where he emotionally told of how he tried to kill himself before receiving mental health care.
WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs officials are using two different wait-time standards for veterans seeking mental health evaluations and could be underestimating how long it takes to schedule those appointments because they lack consistent data, according to a report from a government watchdog.

The report was released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office and dovetailed with a hearing on veterans mental health by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, where veterans talked about their continued struggles to get help from the VA in sometimes emotional testimony.

Former Marine Nicholas Karnaze, who served two tours in Afghanistan, said it took him one year to enroll in the VA system. When he did seek mental health care, he said he was bounced to two different phone numbers that both ended in voicemail. He didn’t get a call back.
read more here

Price Harry Feels Responsible for Veterans Because He is One

It has been said that if leaders had to go to war, wars would come to an end.
January 10, 1946
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.”
General Dwight D. Eisenhower Speech in Ottawa
Prince Harry, Michelle Obama honor wounded veterans 
The British royal said he first felt a responsibility to help veterans following his first tour of Afghanistan.
By Annie Martin
Oct. 28, 2015
"It hit me then that this flight was one of many, carrying home men and women whose lives would be changed forever, and some who had made the ultimate sacrifice. From that moment, I knew I had a responsibility to help all veterans, who had made huge personal sacrifices for their countries, to lead healthy and dignified lives after service." Prince Harry
FORT BELVOIR, Va., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Prince Harry and first lady Michelle Obama honored wounded veterans Wednesday in Fort Belvoir, Va.

The 31-year-old British royal and 51-year-old American advocate visited injured servicemen and women with Jill Biden, professor and wife to vice president Joe Biden.

Prince Harry arrived in the U.S. earlier in the day to promote the upcoming Invictus Games.

The event sees wounded armed services personnel partake in multiple athletic challenges, and will be held May 8-12, 2016, outside Orlando, Fla. read more here

Australia Paramedics High Suicide Rate

World first: Guideline to manage post traumatic stress disorder among emergency workers launched in Sydney Australia
Benedict Brook
OCTOBER 29, 2015
Sometimes that toll can be devastating. According to the National Coronial Information System, 110 Australian emergency service workers committed suicide between 2002 and 2012 — that’s one police officer, firerie or paramedic every six weeks.

Paramedic is one of the occupations with Australia’s highest suicide rates.
Picture: Marc McCormackSource:News Corp Australia
AS A paramedic, Jordan Emery was used to witnessing people in intense pain and raw grief at the very moment of their most desperate suffering. For the most part, he was able to manage his emotions and remain resolutely professional. But this call out was different.

“A motorcyclist was seriously injured,” Mr Emery told

“He had horrific injuries and he spoke to me a lot on the way to hospital. He had this very strong sense that he was dying, his injuries were consistent with that and he wanted me to tell his mum and brother how sorry he was for what had happened, how much he’d loved them and how good they’d been to him throughout his life.”

“He was the same age as my little brother,” a clearly moved Mr Emery said, “it was a dialogue between me and a complete stranger but it struck me because, in many ways, it felt like my little brother was lying there before me.”

Mr Emery said it was often those cases where the victim reminded them of someone in their own lives which affected emergency personnel the most — parents responding to an injured child, for instance, or an elderly person who had passed away who was the same age as their own parents.
“In the past, there might have been this idea that it’s your job to get over it, that you’re supposed to be tougher than this if you’re a paramedic,” he said, “but for me it’s about honouring the traumas you see rather than the idea that you shouldn’t think about it.”
read more here

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What Does Donald Trump Say to Veterans Waiting Decades?

Trump says a lot of things. All politicians do. There is a passage in the bible about knowing them by the fruits of their deeds because frankly, talk is still cheep.

Matthew 7:15-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

The truth is there are far too many veterans waiting even longer for Congress to fix the problems with the VA but year after year, folks run for office and complain about what they all let happen. Folks run for President and tend to avoid mentioning the simple fact that no President has ever lived up to taking care of our veterans.

There is a rich history of what our politicians let happen. Veterans are tired of blame games and promises before they get elected followed by even more excuses for what was not fixed. Is there anyone in Washington that is actually ashamed enough to apologize to veterans? Wouldn't you like to hear them explain how all this happened decades ago for a change? At least that way you'd know they really did care enough about you.
Donald Trump's surprise promise to a wounded veteran
By Noah Gray
October 27, 2015

Sioux City, Iowa (CNN)Donald Trump on Tuesday night did something he doesn't normally do: He stepped off the stage and went into the crowd to speak with a voter.

A question from a wounded veteran on Tuesday compelled Trump to walk off stage and speak with the man, eye-to-eye, and pledge to do his utmost to move his case forward and help him get the care he needs.

"I am going to put pressure on the (Department of Veterans Affairs) like you wouldn't believe," Trump said, asking the veteran for his contact information. "As president, I can guarantee it. As Trump, I can probably say, I'm going to be able to pull it off anyway."

The man was First Sgt. Todd Landen, a 22-year Army veteran. Sitting in his wheelchair in the front row, he asked Trump about his plans to improve health care at the VA -- a topic Trump has often touched on during the campaign.
Landen, who served three tours overseas, was wounded from an IED attack in Iraq, he told CNN in an interview after the rally. Along with his wife, April, and their 8-year-old daughter, Brianna, he moved to Iowa last year, after Landen finished up surgeries and retired from the Army.
read more here

Tet Offensive Survivors Reunited After Google Search

Nurses, soldier who saved them in Vietnam reunite
The News-Press
Patricia Borns
October 27, 2015
Paliughi still has a photo of the wall in the nurses' room stitched with bullet holes. "They were brave," he says. "They're nurses."
On the night of the Vietnamese lunar New Year, Ron Paliughi woke to the sound of fireworks in the seacoast city of Nha Trang.

Only "it wasn't fireworks," the decorated Army veteran remembers. "It was the rockets and mortars of 850 North Vietnamese soldiers launching the Tet Offensive."

Housed in a decaying French colonial villa were Carol Portner and Maureen Orr, young nurses on a USAID mission. As the streets filled with corpses and chaos, the soldiers' and nurses' paths crossed in a life-saving moment.

No names were exchanged. They barely saw one another's faces through the tear gas and smoke. What were the chances they would reunite 46 years later at Portner's Gulf Harbour home in south Fort Myers? And yet last week, the group met again for the second time in two years. It took a death to bring them together.
A Google search

After working in 75 countries, Steve Orr wrote a book about his travels, "The Perennial Wanderer, an American in the World."

In the end, Paliughi's search came down to Googling the words 'Robert's Compound, Nha Trang, Vietnam.' A chapter from Orr's book popped up describing the Tet Offensive there. The nurses were named. He reached out to Orr to confirm.
read more here

First Responder Trauma Linked to PTSD, Suicides

First responder trauma linked to PTSD, suicides
Click 2 Houston
Author: Sara Donchey, Reporter
Tera Roberson, Special Projects Producer
Published On: Oct 27 2015

Robert Harrington Jr. fondly remembers his father.

“I remember going to the station quite a bit on holidays: Christmas, Easter, always being in my Halloween costume, going up there to see him because he was working so much,” Harrington said. “I was proud of him, he was my hero, and he always seemed to have it together."

But those memories soon give way to the reality that his father is no longer alive.
"I just texted him back, 'I love you too,'" Susan Anderson said. "I found out later that 15 minutes later he had taken his own life."

Though Jason Anderson never talked about it, Susan Anderson said she feels her son suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after his time in the military and as a firefighter. She wants others to know that it's OK to ask for help.
read more here

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Fort Hood 1st Cavalry Museum Hit By Vandals

Courtesy photo Damaged helicopter Steven Draper,
director of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum,
posted this photo of one of the damaged
vehicles to the museum's facebook page.
Helicopters vandalized at 1st Cavalry Division Museum
Killeen Daily Herald
JC Jones
Herald staff writer
October 27, 2015

FORT HOOD — Military police are investigating after multiple vehicles on display outside the 1st Cavalry Division Museum were vandalized over the weekend.

Three helicopters were vandalized, including one with major damage, said Maj. John Miller, a 1st Cavalry Division public affairs officer.

“Military police investigators scrubbed down the crime scene and are conducting an investigation,” Miller said.

The damage was discovered Sunday afternoon by an on-duty staff sergeant walking the museum grounds.
read more here

Darkhorse Fake Marine Called Out

Stolen Valor

A Fresno Marine called out a store clerk after hearing talk about the clerk's supposed deployment.

U.S. Marine Dave Kind was standing in line listening to the clerk talking about being in the service and deployed overseas and was going to join the conversation, but then heard things that made him suspect the kid's story.

He decided to record the conversation with his phone and called him out.

After he put it on Facebook, it took off, getting shared over 3500 times.
read more here

"VA Lying" Veteran Breaks With Group

Too bad that veterans have been aware for decades about the troubles they have all along. So much for raising "awareness" of what the realities actually are.
Local veteran behind two billboards before breaking with 'VA IS LYING' group
Daytona Beach News Journal
By Mark Harper
October 28, 2015
Roger Gagnon stands along Interstate 95 in September in front of one of two 'VA is Lying' billboards he paid for to express his dissatisfaction with the agency. The billboards have since been replaced.
News-Journal/David Tucker

ORANGE CITY — At the back of an RV park just off Interstate 4, Roger Gagnon — a disabled ex-Marine — has his "little corner of paradise," a camper he shares with his 9-pound dog Nicky.

The solitude suits him. A self-described alcoholic in recovery, Gagnon said he has maintained sobriety for years but still suffers the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and seizures.

The past several months have brought anything but peace.

Gagnon blames the Veterans Administration for a three-week coma, then refusing to pay for his nursing care while he was recuperating in April. He started posting on a Facebook page, VA IS LYING, where other veterans and their families vent about the $169 billion agency and collaborate to help one another get help with care and claims.
Back stateside, he left his unit, was declared a deserter and was not sent back with his unit after the infamous Oct. 23, 1983, bombing of the Marine barracks. When he returned to the Marines in December, he was put in handcuffs and sent to the brig. He was discharged in 1984, his service records show, and he said he entered the VA's care in 1986.
read more here

Hard Earned: The Military Photographs of Stacy Pearsall

Stacy Pearsall: An Iraq War veteran whose weapon was a camera (Review)
By Katherine Rushworth
Contributing writer
October 28, 2015
In the image titled, "New Dawn, June 22, 2003," one of the most powerful and sensitively composed images in the exhibition, Pearsall positions herself beneath the wing of a transport plane; a silent observer cloaked in the veil of night as she captures the solemn movements of US Air Force personnel transferring a soldier from an ambulance to the plane. The dark figures in the middle ground are deeply silhouetted against an orange and yellow sky in the background; her composition a study of lights and darks, angles and lines, figures and forms.
This photo by soldier/photographer Stacy Pearsall, is titled, "Breaking Dawn, June 22, 2003." It portrays the transfer of a wounded soldier from an ambulance to an Air Force transport plane. Pearsall took the photo during one of her three tours of duty in Iraq. An exhibition of Pearsall's photos remains on view at the SUArt Galleries through January 24, 2016.
(Stacy L. Pearsall)
Stacy Pearsall served three tours in Iraq, but the shots she took were with a camera.

"I carry a gun," Pearsall has stated, "but my real weapon is my camera."

Through January 24 visitors to the Syracuse University Art Galleries in the Shaffer Art Building can take in an impressive array of about two dozen photographs taken by Pearsall during her tours in Iraq and a series of portraits comprising her more recent "Veterans Portrait Project," which she began following her retirement from service.

The show, titled "Hard Earned: The Military Photographs of Stacy Pearsall," was curated by Theresa Moir, a dual degree candidate in Museum Studies and Art History at Syracuse University.
read more here

Ex-Deputy Facing Charges as Fake Veteran With PTSD

How is it that there is still a stigma about being a veteran with PTSD yet so many non-veterans are claiming they have it from service?
Former Warren County sheriff's deputy accused of filing false report, lying about military honors
By Stephanie Baumer, Online News Producer
Oct 28, 2015

WARREN COUNTY, Mo. ( – A former deputy with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department is accused of faking a report and lying about being a combat veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

Dark Side of Disney Unauthorized Film "Keep Moving Forward"

See 'The Dark Side Of Disney' At The Logan Thursday Night
OCT 27, 2015

The Dark Side of Disney and the preview of Keep Moving Forward begin at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Logan. Tickets can be purchased online via this link, or at the theater if the event is not sold out.

Needless to say, this is a strictly unauthorized Disney doc, so it might make a nicely twisted double feature with the 2013 narrative film, Escape from Tomorrow (filmed without permission at the amusement park). But Thursday The Dark Side of Disney will be part of a different twin bill, paired with a rough cut of the documentary short, Keep Moving Forward, about a veteran who finds relief from post-traumatic stress disorder though a heavy dose of Disney.
read more here

Alleged McDonald's shooter: I'm a veteran with PTSD

PTSD is no excuse for this. It is rare for veterans with PTSD to harm someone else, but it does happen. There just seems to be a trend now to blame everything on it. One more reason why Veterans Courts are a good thing. No "get out of jail free card" and plenty of work for them to do to heal but they are still held accountable.
Alleged McDonald's shooter: I'm a veteran with PTSD
Des Moines Register
MacKenzie Elmer
October 27, 2015

The man accused of shooting two teens outside an Ankeny McDonald’s Saturday after they got into a dispute with employees about pickles says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from serving two tours in Iraq.

Gabriel John Coco, 36, of Des Moines allegedly pistol-whipped and shot the two 18-year-olds outside after he became angry over their exchange with McDonald's workers that "alluded" to pickles, police say.

Police wouldn't elaborate on what was said, and Coco’s attorney, Timothy McCarthy, would not permit him to answer questions regarding the shooting.
read more here

Police: Pickles dispute preceded McDonald's shootings