Monday, February 29, 2016

Christian Chaplain Dared to Talk about Jesus?

Watchdog Group Wants Air Force to Pull 'Jesus' Video
by Bryant Jordan
Feb 27, 2016
Other videos on the recruiting site highlight chaplains of various faiths talking about their work as well, including Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim. But none of these discuss witnessing their faith to service members or converting anyone to the religion.
(US Air Force photo/Deana Heitzman)
The head of a watchdog group says the major general who heads up the Air Force Recruiting Service has reneged on a promise to quickly remove a video in which a Protestant chaplain touts his role as a minister who brought someone to Christ during a deployment to Iraq.

In the 2-1/2 minute video, Chaplain and Air Force Capt. Christian Williams talks about the chaplaincy being "one of the most rewarding ministries in the world," serving a pluralistic environment of airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines of different backgrounds and cultures.

Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the video is perfectly fine until it hits the two-minute mark, when Williams departs from talking about serving and counseling troops to celebrating successfully bringing a female airman to Jesus.

"Before I left Iraq," Williams says in the video, "she told me that 'as a result of the example I saw you set ... I have accepted Christ as my personal lord and savior.' You can't put a price tag on that."
read more here

My head just exploded!

Well then, I guess Chaplains need to stop being Chaplains! Seriously? I am a Chaplain but not a military one even though I work with veterans and am certified, plus serve with Point Man International Ministries, but I am also someone who experienced a hell of a lot of life threatening events. I can testify what my faith has brought me through and how what I gained is shared with others so they can find their way out of darkness too.

I call it "Air Support" and it works but my "job" is to get them to start healing and that is the priority. If the veteran is a Christian already, great, then I can address him/her as a Christian would.

Now when we use the word "Christian" we need to face one simple fact, there are many different types of "Christians" with their own rules and beliefs. The basic "title" does not hold the same meaning.

I happen to be Greek Orthodox. Not an easy thing to be especially since I am female and they do not allow females to practice sacraments. The other day I had to turn down a police officer after he asked me to bless his Saint Michael medal. I told him I could pray for him but that was just about it. (Role of Women) My "job" is not to get them to join the Greek Orthodox Church or any other church, but it is to help them heal.

I work with veterans and families from all different faiths letting them know I am speaking as a Christian but I do not get into preaching at them as much as I do getting what God put into them all connected back again so they can use what they were given to heal. Believe me, it makes sense with a lot more time to explain it.

The thing is, as you read in the article there are many different types of Chaplains from different faiths. Just because this Chaplain is talking about Jesus doesn't not mean he was trying to get the Airman to join his church, so in my opinion, there should be no problem with this at all.

Five Finger Death Punch Just Punch Out Hopelessness

Five Finger Death Punch just made me cry again.  Not normally a fan of heavy metal, since I'm old and listen to music from the 70's and 80's, but this group has won me over. 

After "Wrong Side of Heaven" about homeless veterans, I am so glad they are out there trying to do what they can with a great amount of talent and surprisingly tender hearts.  You can't put out videos like theirs if you didn't care about the subject.

Well, it seems as if they've just done it again.  They just made me cry. This time My Memesis is about people falling apart.  At the end of the video is this, “Grief is an irreversible current of sadness when you miss your last opportunity to be there for someone.”

If you've been following the "suicide awareness" folks screaming about 22 a day, it is a safe bet you haven't learned anything.  Nothing has changed and the more people I talk to, the more sick to my stomach I get.

So just getting facts out of the way, since the "awareness" folks don't like them very much here's the truth.

CDC Suicides in America 
"There were 41,149 suicides in 2013 in the United States—a rate of 12.6 per 100,000 is equal to 113 suicides each day or one every 13 minutes."

For veterans, reports from all over the country put veterans committing suicide double the civilian population rate, which means that there are over 26,000 veterans committing suicide in this country every year.  Sorry but if you believed the bull of "22 a day" then you've just missed over 50 more. 

It seems the "awareness" folks were unaware of the fact that the report from the VA stated clearly it was using limited data from just 21 states.

Ok, so now that you know that, what do you do about it? Learn to help them live instead of talking about something you don't have a single clue about. If you don't know, don't talk.  SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND LEARN if you really want to make a difference because if you can't listen to facts then how the hell do you think you're going to be able to sit and listen to someone opening up about the pain they are dealing with?

All they want at that moment is to be able to know they matter enough that someone actually took the time to spend with them and listen to whatever they wanted to share.

Don't look at your watch.  Don't look at your phone to see who did what on Facebook. Look into their face and see their eyes.  Hold their hand.  Give them a hug.  Whatever you do, don't try to fix them.  You're not qualified but you are more than qualified to give them what they need at that exact moment. Be someone to let them know they actually do matter!

Don't judge them.  Don't try to find an answer or come up with some stupid shit you read online like "God only gives us what we can handle" because then you are telling them God did it to them! 

Whatever you did yesterday doesn't matter because you just didn't know any better.  What you do from this point on is in your hands.

The CDC has a link to the most recent reports on suicide across the country. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention so you can get a better idea on anyone facing the choice of this being their last worst day by ending their life or ending the suffering by changing and living.

Five Finger Death Punch Reveal Powerful Video for ‘My Nemesis’
By Chad Childers
February 29, 2016

As we’ve seen in recent years, when Five Finger Death Punch make videos, they make sure they use the art form for maximum impact. Whether it be driving home a point about post-traumatic stress disorder for soldiers or delivering a cinematic, movie-like clip for entertainment, Five Finger Death Punch rarely disappoint. So with their new video for “My Nemesis,” you knew the band had something pretty special in store.

The band reunited with director Nick Peterson, who also helmed their “Coming Down” and “Wrong Side of Heaven” videos. In the new clip we see multiple storylines playing out with a teen girl leaving home and hitting the streets to get away from her drug abusing mother, a teen boy exiting his home to escape his abusive father and a man dealing with extreme grief after losing his wife and walking in on his son and his friends using drugs. The three central characters all end up at the beach staring longingly at the ocean as a message appears on the screen. “Grief is an irreversible current of sadness when you miss your last opportunity to be there for someone,” reads the message.
read more here

Navy SEAL Medal of Honor Ceremony

Medal of Honor Cermeony President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers for his actions during a hostage rescue mission in Afghanistan.
FEBRUARY 29, 2016
From NPR
The president also summarized some of Byers' career, noting that he had been on 11 overseas deployments and nine combat tours.

Canada Charity Gives First Responders PTSD Service Dogs

PTSD service dog meets family of firefighter who took his own life Staff
Published Monday, February 29, 2016
"What they're doing here is just beyond words, it's incredible," he said. "Finally, somebody has recognized mental health problems in first responders, and they're actually doing something about it."
A service dog named in memory of an Edmonton firefighter and former draft pick for the Edmonton Oilers was given a hero's welcome on Sunday.

Bolt is a post-traumatic stress disorder service dog. Dogs like Bolt are trained to help first responders overcome trauma. The volunteer organization United By Trauma provides the dogs to emergency workers affected by PTSD.

Bolt is still in training, but will soon be ready for work, the organization's co-founder, Nicole Taylor, told CTV Edmonton.
read more here

Guindon Military Family Suffers Second Tragedy

New England native fatally shot on first patrol as police officer
Boston Globe
By Maria Cramer Globe Staff
FEBRUARY 28, 2016
The shooting ended a young life already marked by tragedy. In 2004, when she was in high school, her father, Air National Guardsman David Guindon, killed himself the day after he returned from a grueling six-month tour in Iraq.
Officer Ashley Guindon of the Prince William County (Virginia) Police Department.
New England native Ashley Guindon first joined the Prince William County Police Department in Virginia in 2015 but left abruptly for personal reasons. She returned less than a year later.

“She felt like she still wanted to do this job,” Police Chief Stephan M. Hudson told reporters. “She couldn’t get it out of her blood.”

Late Saturday afternoon, on her first day back with the department, 28-year-old Guindon and two other officers approached a house in Woodbridge, a suburban community 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. A woman there had called police after a fight with her husband. As they neared the front door, the husband, Ronald Hamilton, a 32-year-old Army staff sergeant, allegedly opened fire, striking all three officers, Hudson said during a press conference Sunday.

Guindon, who was born in Springfield, Mass., and raised in Merrimack, N.H., was killed.
On Sunday morning, Merrimack police escorted Guindon’s mother, Sharon, to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport so she could fly to Virginia.
Determined and intellectually gifted, Guindon graduated in 2005 from Merrimack High School and went to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. She spent six years in the US Marine Corps Reserve and was drawn to forensic science, a fascination that led her to work in a funeral home while she was still in college.
read more here

Nebraska County Jail Starts Veterans Unit

Douglas County jail in Omaha opens new military vet unit
The Columbus Telegram
Updated Feb 27, 2016
Justine Wall, the department's in-house program coordinator, said he's never seen a prison unit operate the way the veterans unit does, "where everybody looks out for each other, everybody takes care of each other."
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Douglas County jail in Omaha has a new prisoner unit to house military veterans, the first of its kind in Nebraska and one of several in jails nationwide.

The Douglas County Department of Corrections unit, which houses 25 to 30 men, opened about three months ago, The Omaha World-Herald reported ( ) Saturday.

The special unit is based on the idea that many crimes committed by veterans are related to things that happened to them in the military.

"People who went down-range, they saw things, they have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), they are back, they self-medicate, and they get in trouble," said Mick Wagoner, a lawyer with the Veterans Support Legal Network.

The unit is open to all male military veterans except for the most dangerous, predatory or disruptive people. People facing murder charges aren't eligible, nor are those with chronic behavior problems in jail.
read more here

Vietnam Veteran's Daughter Fights For Justice

Daughter Believes Dad Was Wrongfully Convicted Of Murder 
"He's wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder. There was no intent here. He didn't wake up in the morning and say 'hey, I'm going to kill my brother today.' He simply tried to stop his violent brother," said Thompson.
The nation's top legal experts believe up to 100,000 U.S. prisoners are innocent.

The issue of wrongful convictions has been thrust into the spotlight recently after the wildly popular Netflix documentary 'Making a Murderer' took the nation by storm.

A Springfield woman claims her father was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder, and now she's fighting for justice.

"Anyone that knows him knows he loved his brother. And there's no way he intended to do this. There's no way," said Kelly Thompson.

But that's not how the jury saw it.

"There was no forensic experts. No one testified about his post-traumatic stress disorder from being a Vietnam vet. No one testified about how drunk he was. No one testified about any of the forensics of where my uncle was on the couch compared to what the state was trying to say," said Thompson.
read more here

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Virginia Gunman Facing Murder Charges, Pentagon Army Staff Sergeant

Police: Army staff sergeant killed rookie cop who was Marine reservist
Guindon was a former Marine Corps reservist and had a master's degree in forensic science, according to Hudson. Guindon served in the Marine Corps Reserves from May 2007 to February 2015 as a field radio operator, said Capt. Andrew Chrestman, a spokesman for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve. She ultimately reached the rank of corporal and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal.

Virginia police officer killed on her first day on the job; man charged
By Ralph Ellis, Faith Karimi and Joe Sutton
Updated 4:02 PM ET, Sun February 28, 2016
Video Source: WJLA
Ronald Williams Hamilton faces two murder charges.

Hamilton is an active duty Army staff sergeant assigned to the Joint Staff Support Center at the Pentagon, said Cindy Your of the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Ashley Guindon was sworn in as an officer on Friday.
CNN)A police department in a Washington suburb is mourning an officer who was killed during her first day on the job.

Ashley Guindon, 28, of the Prince William County Police Department was fatally shot Saturday in Woodbridge, Virginia, while answering a domestic call in which two other officers were wounded and the suspect's wife was killed, county police Chief Steve Hudson said at a news conference on Sunday. Guindon had taken the oath of office on Friday.

Ashley Guindon was sworn in as an officer on Friday.

"The Prince William County Police Department is in deep mourning," Hudson said. "This is a sad day for everybody in this room, a sad day for law enforcement."

Ronald Williams Hamilton, 32, is accused of shooting the three police officers as they approached the front door of his house about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Hudson said.
read more here

Semper Fidelis America Memorial for Mike Titus

Semper Fidelis America Memorial for Mike Stryker 91 Titus at the VFW Post 4287 on Saturday February 27, 2016

"Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" is a poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there; I did not die.