Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sanders: VA Must Not Be Privatized

Sanders: VA Must Not Be Privatized

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement Friday in response to reports that President-elect Donald Trump is considering privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs: 
“Privatizing the VA would be an insult to the more than 22 million veterans who risked their lives to defend our country and it would significantly lower the quality of health care they receive. Our goal, shared by The American Legion and other major veterans’ organizations, must be to improve the VA, not destroy it. When men and women put their lives on the line to defend us, the president must listen to them, not to the Koch brothers and their extreme right-wing, anti-government ideology. We will vigorously oppose any and all efforts to privatize the VA.
“The president-elect should listen to American Legion Executive Director Verna Jones, who recently said the nation’s largest veterans’ organization ‘would like the Trump administration to know that we value our Department of Veterans Affairs’ because ‘dollar-for-dollar, there is no better care or value available anywhere in the United States – period.’
“The president-elect should listen to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. ‘Politicians, pundits and politically-motivated organizations are using the national crisis in access to care at the Department of Veterans Affairs as justification to dismantle and privatize the VA health care system, with some even proposing that veterans be charged for their service-connected care. The VFW says no! Veterans must not stand idle as politicians who never served or use the VA health care system dictate when and where veterans can receive care.’
“The president-elect should listen to Paul Rieckhoff of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America who said, ‘The worst case scenario within the vets community is a total dismantling of everything they worked generations to create. There is a growing fear it is all going to get burned down.’
“The veterans’ organizations are right. We must protect the VA, not destroy it.”

Veteran Accused Of Hit And Run Due Back In Court

Veteran Accused Of Hit And Run Due Back In Court
Santa Clarita News
Perry Smith
December 30, 2016
A veteran accused of a felony hit and run crash that left an LAPD motorcycle officer injured back in August has yet to be charged, per the county’s D.A.
The case against Philip Scot Newlyn, 28, alleges that he drove his white pick-up truck into an on-duty LAPD motorcycle officer’s vehicle on purpose, driving into the back of the officer’s vehicle on the Interstate 5 freeway near Castaic, on the morning of Aug. 17. Newlyn then reportedly fled the scene and was arrested the following afternoon, according to CHP officials.

“We have no doubt this was an intentional act,” said CHP Capt. Edward Krusey during a news conference. “The officer was in full uniform on an LAPD motorcycle. It should have been extremely obvious to the person.”

At issue, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, is the suspect’s mental state at the time of the collision. Newlyn is a decorated veteran who investigators suspect might have been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and off his medication at the time of the collision.

As a result, his case has been in Department 95, a court system that determines whether a suspect is mentally competent to assist in his or her own defense.

As a result, Newlyn will not be formally charged until this determination is made. He’s due back in court Feb. 8 for a status readiness hearing.
read more here

Disconnected Line Between Civilians and Military

Study shows strain on force, civilian-military disconnect
By Howard Altman, Times Staff Writer
Published: December 30, 2016
With all these issues, suicide and suicidal thoughts remain a huge concern, with 7 percent of military spouses, 12 percent of active-duty members, 14 percent of veterans (18 percent for post-9/11 vets) admitting suicidal thoughts during their time in uniform.

Still, active-duty military personnel are reluctant to seek help. According to the survey, 40 percent of active-duty personnel feel that seeking mental health care will harm their career.
More than 15 years of war in countries like Afghanistan has not only created a strain on the U.S. military, but a perceived disconnect between military and civilian families. HOWARD ALTMAN | Times
In a nation where less than a half-percent of the population wears the uniform, those who do, and their families, are feeling the strain after more than 15 years of war.

That's the findings of a report released in December by Blue Star Families, a Washington-based non-profit supporting men and woman in uniform and their families.

The study, conducted in April and May 2016, contacted more than 8,300 respondents, including military spouses, active-duty service members, veterans and their immediate family members.

Among the key findings:
• 72 percent of active-duty and military spouse respondents said they feel too much stress for a healthy work-life balance and 37 percent said they have experienced relationship challenges because of worry over future deployments.

• 42 percent of military family respondents report experiencing more than six months of family separation in the last 18 months. Thirty-seven percent of military couples reported experiencing relationship challenges in the past year related to worry over future deployments.

• The majority of active military families — 57 percent — are unlikely to recommend service to their own children.

• Military families were 27 percent less likely to have dual incomes than married non-military couples with children under 18. Fewer than half — 48 percent — of military families with a civilian spouse earned two incomes, as compared with two-thirds — 66 percent — of the general U.S. population with children.

• 66 percent of military families said they can't find adequate childcare while 33 percent say school does a good job of complying with the Interstate Compact of Educational Opportunity for Military Children and 9 percent say they homeschool.

The survey also found there is a sharp civilian-military divide, with 88 percent of those responding feeling that the public does not understand their sacrifices.
read more here

Vietnam Veteran Lost Home For Christmas...and Dogs

Veteran loses home, dogs to Christmas fire
The New Mexican
By Tripp Stelnicki
December 31, 2016

In the early hours of Christmas morning, Fred Vigil lost everything he had.
Fred Vigil, 68, from Santa Fe, a Vietnam Veteran who served in 1967-68, stands over the remains of his home on Friday, December 30, 2016. Vigil’s home caught on fire on Christmas. He also lost his two dogs Paco and Loca. Luis S├ínchez Saturno/The New Mexican
A fire, possibly started by a wood burning stove, consumed Vigil’s trailer parked off Rabbit Road, just after midnight Sunday. The fire might have taken Vigil, too, were it not for a miraculously timed beer run.

Vigil, 68, was showering, unaware, as the flames spread through his home. Nearby neighbors, celebrating late on the holiday evening, noticed the blaze when one stepped outside to grab beers from a parked car. They leapt into action, broke a window to enter the fiery trailer and pulled a disoriented Vigil to safety.

Meanwhile, Vigil’s old photographs, the fatigues he wore in Vietnam and his savings burned to the ground with the rest of his trailer in a matter of minutes.

“All my worldly things,” Vigil said. “It’s all gone.”

Worse, the two beloved dogs that helped Vigil cope with post-traumatic stress disorder — Paco, a boxer, and Loca, a German shepherd — did not escape. Because they didn’t bark or otherwise react to the fire, they were victims, Vigil believes, of smoke inhalation.
read more here

Combat PTSD Bad Discharges May Not Be Lifetime Scarlet Letter

Pentagon review could help veterans shed ‘bad paper’ discharges linked to trauma
Published: December 30, 2016
“So many of our servicemembers have developed PTSD and brain injuries while on active duty," he said. "Many...were undiagnosed until long after their service was completed."
The Defense Department announced Friday that it is reviewing and potentially upgrading the discharge status of veterans who might have been improperly discharged for reasons related to post-traumatic stress syndrome, sexual orientation, sexual assault and other circumstances.

“With today’s announcement, the department is reaffirming its intention to review and potentially upgrade the discharge status of all individuals that are eligible and that apply,” a Pentagon news release said.

The announcement comes a week after President Barack Obama signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a bipartisan provision to help veterans who may have been erroneously given a less-than-honorable discharge due to bad behavior arising from mental trauma, such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury.
“Too many service members have lost access to their VA benefits because of mental health injuries that were not recognized when they left the military,” said Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee Personnel Subcommittee, in the same statement.

The provision will let veterans with mental health injuries and those who experienced military sexual trauma more easily have their discharges upgraded “so that they can get the care they need and the benefits they earned,” she said. read more here

They would not have PTSD or TBI if they did not risk their lives. Why should they have to pay for their service the rest of their lives just because we did not help them while they were still in? The DOD told them it was their fault when they pushed "Resilience Training" making them think they were weak instead of having a strong emotional core. How could they ask for help when they believed there was something wrong with them instead of right with why they served in the first place? They did not get the help they needed and it is up to us to make sure they get justice now.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Combat PTSD, Legacy of Leaving?

Fight Back For Their Sake
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 30, 2016

He still has PTSD but I have a good marriage and so do a lot of us older wives. We wanted to leave a legacy of love, not of leaving.
How is it that we knew more then? Thirty-two years later, it seems as if most of us knew what to do so that we could have better lives with PTSD than this generation knows now. The other thing is that back then, we had to learn the hard way.

No one was going to the press to get coverage for talking about raising awareness for themselves while doing absolutely nothing meaningful. We had a hard enough time to get the press to report on what all of us were going through. 

No social media groups to seek out. No cell phones to call for help or even phone numbers other than 911. No computers to link us to others, or have the basic ability to learn about others so we no longer felt all alone.

Maybe we were just doing whatever we could because our lives depended on getting whatever help we could to help them? 

Ok, enough of that. What got me started on this is I read an article on Ask Ms. Vickie about a wife going through what all of us did.
I am a wife of a lieutenant colonel in Army Reserve. We have been married for 25 years. The first 10 years were fairly normal with some ups and downs.
The next 10 years from 2001 until 2011, my husband served multiple deployments overseas for the most recent two wars. He seemed to be gone more than he was home. Those were very turbulent years. Among those deployments were two-year deployments to Afghanistan, and his last deployment was one year in Iraq.
Sound familiar?  If not this next part will.
He is done with his counseling now, but not much else has changed. He lies about things and takes me for granted. He keeps threatening to file for divorce.
I've never stopped loving him and I can't see my life without him, but he acts like he doesn't love me and he says that he is numb to me. I know that all of this fits the PTSD pattern.
Is there anything that can be done or anything out there that might be able to save my marriage? Thank you for your help!
Normally she is pretty good with the advice but not so much this time.
So my question for you is, why you are staying with someone who doesn't respect you and doesn't want to be with you? In my opinion, he's already saying the marriage is over. You're the only one fighting for the marriage.
Good Lord! If I had a dollar for every time my husband said stuff like this hubby does, I'd have a second house! Everything going on comes with the territory. How about she suggest he actually see a counselor that knows what he/she is talking about? Like maybe one with the specialized training in combat trauma?

Yes, Ms. Vickie is right to talk about getting away from physical abuse. There is no excuse for that at all. It would have been a lot more helpful for her to explain to the "wife" why he does what he does, thinks the way he does and treats his family like this.

Most of it comes with PTSD, when they think they do not deserve help at the same time they demand respect from us. When they feel so miserable about what is going on inside of them, they want the rest of the family to be miserable too, then wonder why we are. When they are suffering and seek out anything to feel better, like buying stuff, making bad decisions, cheating or thrill seeking. That list is pretty endless, but while they don't seem to mind using that energy for all that, they can't seem to find the strength to fight back against what PTSD is doing to them or their family.

Twisted? Yep but when you understand what PTSD is, and what it does to them, you know the person we fell in love with is still in there. 

Advice to the "wife" is, get to a safe place, then learn whatever you can about what PTSD is. No matter if you go back with him or not, you still have to live with yourself and help your kids recover from all of this. 

It has nothing to do with you or really, even the way he feels about you, since it is a pretty safe bet that he doesn't feel much at all. You may be thinking it is about what you lack, but it isn't. Your kids wonder about themselves as well. They think it is their fault. Trust me. I did when I was an Army brat and then when I was older, a vet-Army wife. (Hubby was already out of the Army by the time we met.) 

We went though all that was bad but came out on the other side and we still hold hands when we go shopping. I wasn't just the only one fighting for my marriage, anymore than a lot of my friends were just fighting for theirs. We were fighting for our lives and the future we were creating for our kids.

Is it hard? Hell yes! We split up more times in the beginning than I can even remember but we never once stopped talking. He knew I love him but he also knew what I wouldn't put up with.

The last thing hubby or wife needs is a lazy lover. They need someone who loves them enough to fight for them. There was no way in hell I was about to let Vietnam take my husband away from me. She had him for just one year but haunted him trying to keep him with her. I said, screw that! I learned about that enemy and knew her weakness. I knew that love was a good weapon but it was like an unloaded bow. I didn't just have to figure out how to make the arrows but how to use them. So here's some sound advice.

Mood swings Use the good mood swings to enjoy a day together. Don't screw it up with talking about what they did wrong during a bad day. On a bad day, walk away. Go off and do what you want to do without hostility against him. Have your own life when he can't be part of it and share it when he can. Always let him know he is welcome to come with you but never force him to go or you'll both have a miserable time.

Learn what battles to fight and what ones to let go of
Your enemy is PTSD. Not him. It is trying to destroy the same person willing to risk their lives for the sake of someone else. That comes from a very strong emotional core that few others have. Think about the size of the population of this country then understand less than 1% serve now and less than 10% are veterans. Our husband are not the only rare ones. So are we!

Is it worth losing sleep because he didn't unload the dishwasher or take the trash out? Is it worth an argument because you want to go to a movie and the thought of sitting in dark theater with a bunch of strangers behind him is so repulsive that he causes a fight right before you are heading out the door? Pick you battles because you need as much time and energy as you can get to destroy the enemy instead of helping it defeat the person you are supposed to love.

It is alway easier to walk away than to stay in the short term but there is something you need to consider. If you walk away too soon without giving it all you have to give and getting whatever you can to help you help him, what will you miss?

If you thought they were special enough to fall in love with, then why aren't they special enough to fight for now? When I think about the last 15 years or so, imagining I would have gone though the worst times, walked away and would have missed the best times, it make me sick to think of all I would have missed. He still has PTSD but I have a good marriage and so do a lot of us older wives. We managed to do it all with a lot less than wives have now. We wanted to leave a legacy of love, not of leaving.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

One of Two Killed in Helicopter Crash Named

Updated 4 mins ago
LA PORTE, TX (KTRK) -- The name of one of the two soldiers killed during a routine training flight near La Porte has been released by his family. Relatives of 33-year-old Lucas Lowe from Hardin told ABC13 they've been notified of his death.

Lowe leaves behind a son, daughter and a wife who is pregnant with twins. He served in Iraq in 2008.

ABC13 has also learned that the other soldier killed in the crash is from the Houston area. His identity has not been released.
read more here

Killing Pain or Killing Veterans?

The claim made about Opioids is a valid one. The question is, why hasn't Congress done their jobs after all the years it has been reported in the past?

Not a new problem for veterans
Air Force veteran Ken Grady, 45, says the local VA prescribed him OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and fentanyl patches in the 2000s because of a series of surgeries for back injuries. “The VA made it so easy,” he says. “It was endless, and I abused it.”
And one more thing to point out is this.
Last month, Mr. Grady had several teeth pulled by a VA contractor, who prescribed him Vicodin for the pain. Mr. Grady says he protested, but “you don’t have to twist my arm too much.” He relapsed, bought more pills on the street and landed back in jail. He hoped to be out by Christmas but his mother says it is taking longer than expected to find treatment and a place to stay.

The VA Hooked Veterans on Opioids, Then Failed Them Again
Wall Street Journal
By Valerie Bauerlein and Arian Campo-Flores
Photographs by Travis Dove for The Wall Street Journal

Shortly after enlisting in the Army, Robert Deatherage was prescribed Percocet for a back injury. Wounds from Afghanistan meant more painkillers.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.—Robert Deatherage, a 30-year-old Army veteran who has battled addiction to pain pills and heroin since suffering severe injuries in Afghanistan, says he reached rock bottom a year ago when he holed up in an empty church and tried to kill himself. Twice.

“I was just so sick of being as sick as I was,” he says. He put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, but it didn’t fire. He says he then used two syringes to shoot all the drugs he had, but didn’t overdose.

Mr. Deatherage took the failure as a spiritual sign and walked to the nearby Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The facility didn’t have any space and turned him away, offering only a jacket from the lost and found and a phone number for a homeless veterans coordinator. After he picked up his disability check a few days later, he checked into a hotel where he knew other addicts, including veterans.

“It gets discouraging,” Mr. Deatherage says. “It makes it easier to just say, ‘F--- it, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.’ ”
read more here

But this is nothing new.

Veterans dying from overmedicationCBS News
By Jim Axelrod
September 19, 2013
(CBS News) Veterans by the tens of thousands have come home from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries suffered on the battlefield. Many of them seek treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals. Now a CBS News investigation has found that some veterans are dying of accidental overdoses of narcotic painkillers at a much higher rate than the general population -- and some VA doctors are speaking out.
Five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan left 35-year-old Army Spc. Scott McDonald with chronic back pain.
His wife Heather said over the course of a year, VA doctors in Columbus, Ohio prescribed him eight pain and psychiatric medications."It just got out of control," said Heather. "They just started pill after pill, prescription after prescription...and he'd come home with all brand-new medications, higher milligrams."
Then a VA doctor added a ninth pill -- a narcotic called Percocet. Later that evening, Heather came home from work and found Scott disoriented on the couch.
"And I asked him," Heather recalled, "'You didn't by chance by accident take too many pills, did you?' And he's like, 'No, no. I did what they told me to take, Heather.' I popped a pillow under his head and that's how I found him the next morning, exactly like that."
McDonald wasn't breathing. The coroner's report ruled his death accidental. He had been "overmedicated" and that he died from the combined effects of five of his medications.
read more here
But that wasn't new either
Veterans with PTSD more likely to get addictive painkillers despite the risks, VA study showsBy Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 4:34 PM (2012)
CHICAGO — Morphine and similar powerful painkillers are sometimes prescribed to recent war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress along with physical pain, and the consequences can be tragic, a government study suggests.
These vets are at high risk for drug and alcohol abuse, but they’re two times more likely to get prescriptions for addictive painkillers than vets with only physical pain, according to the study, billed as the first national examination of the problem. Iraq and Afghanistan vets with PTSD who already had substance abuse problems were four times more likely to get these drugs than vets without mental health problems, according to the study.
Subsequent suicides, other self-inflicted injuries, and drug and alcohol overdoses were all more common in vets with PTSD who got these drugs. These consequences were rare but still troubling, the study authors more here 

But that was nothing new either. 

Rise in drug prescriptions may signal abuseBy Gregg Zoroya - USA TodayPosted : Saturday Nov 1, 2008
The sharp rise in outpatient prescriptions paid for by the government suggests doctors rely too heavily on narcotics, says Army Col. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
Recently, at least 20 soldiers in an engineer company of 70 to 80 soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., shared and abused painkillers prescribed for their injuries, according to court testimony.
“The groundwork for this toxic situation was laid out through the continual prescription of highly addictive, commonly overused drugs,” said Capt. Elizabeth Turner, the lawyer for one defendant in the case.
In response to six suicides and seven drug-related deaths among soldiers in Warrior Transition Units — created for the Army's most severely injured — aggressive efforts are underway to manage prescription drugs, says Col. Paul Cordts, chief of health policy for the Army surgeon general. These include limiting prescriptions to a seven-day supply and more closely monitoring use.
But that wasn't new either 
Autopsy: Mix of pain meds killed Irwin soldierThe Associated PressPosted : Friday Aug 22, 2008 8:08:04 EDT
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — An autopsy of a soldier who died while training at Fort Irwin has revealed she was killed by a combination of prescription drugs she was taking for pain.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department made the finding about the accidental death of Spc. Emily T. Ort, 24, of Willis, Texas.
“There is no evidence of suicide,” the report said. “The decedent did not have a history of chronic drug abuse.”
On May 3, Ort was discovered unresponsive in her sleeping bag and was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy was performed a few days later, but the report was not released until this week.
Ort had acetaminophen, morphine, hydrocodone and gabapentin as well as anti-anxiety drugs Valium and oxazepam in her system, the report said.
The soldier was apparently taking Vicodin and Valium for injuries she sustained during a 2007 car accident.
The night before she died, Ort told her mother that her medication was stolen and her doctor prescribed morphine and a muscle relaxer as replacements, the report said.

I could keep going but I have such informed readers you get the point.

“Homeless Vet Anything Helps God Bless!” But He DIdn't Serve

Police find crack pipe on panhandler faking veteran status
Dayton Daily News
Will Garbe Staff Writer
Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016

Dayton police arrested a panhandler falsely claiming to be a veteran, before authorities discovered a crack pipe during the man’s jail booking, according to a police report.

Police said the 41-year-old panhandler, Janon Price, held a sign reading “Homeless Vet Anything Helps God Bless!” before his arrest Tuesday on the 900 block of Wayne Ave.

“I asked him if he had prior service in any branch of the military,” wrote the Dayton officer. “Mr. Price stated that he did not serve in the military.”
read more here

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another Combat PTSD Headline Busted!

The Headline: New PTSD study shows promise of faster recovery
KVIA ABC News 7 

The Claim
Last month, researchers released the results of a three-year study of "cognitive processing therapy" at Fort Hood. According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, CPT is a 12-session psychotherapy that teaches patients how to evaluate and change upsetting thoughts since experiencing trauma. Sessions can be done individually or in groups of 6-10 people and last 60 to 90 minutes each.

And how much does it cost? Just an idea on this
SAN ANTONIO (March 19, 2008)—A $33 million research program—the largest ever undertaken to help our courageous armed forces personnel cope with combat-related traumatic stress—will likely ensure better detection, prevention and treatment of traumatic stress’s often-devastating effects and improve countless lives, study leaders said today at a press conference at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The research program is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as part of $450 million the U.S. Congress allocated in 2007 to address the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The DoD Peer-Review Medical Research Program awarded the grant.

DoD, VA approve $45 million to fund the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD

Award to be managed by the UT Health Science Center San Antonio and the VA National Center for PTSD, leaders of the national PTSD research consortium

SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 12, 2013) — In an unprecedented show of support for our nation's wounded warriors, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have agreed to provide approximately $45 million over five years for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research to advance PTSD diagnosis, prevention and treatment for service members and veterans. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the VA National Center for PTSD lead the consortium, announced over the weekend by the White House and DoD and VA officials.

The Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP) will provide an array of cutting-edge clinical treatment trials and biological studies for active military and veterans with PTSD and related conditions, said CAP Consortium Director Alan L. Peterson, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. The consortium's initiatives will include efforts to learn more about the biology/physiology of PTSD development and treatment response to inform diagnosis, prediction of disease outcome, and new or improved treatment methods.

Maybe the DOD and the VA should ask for their money back?

A simple Google Search would have changed this headline cognitive processing therapy
Cognitive processing therapy for sexual assault victims. PA Resick, MK Schnicke - Journal of consulting and clinical …, 1992 - Abstract 1. Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) was developed to treat the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in rape victims. CPT is based on an information processing theory of PTSD and includes education, exposure, and cognitive components. Cited by 1301 Related articles All 6 versions Cite Save [HTML]
A comparison of cognitive-processing therapy with prolonged exposure and a waiting condition for the treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder in female … PA Resick, P Nishith, TL Weaver, MC Astin… - Journal of consulting …, 2002 - Abstract 1. The purpose of this study was to compare cognitive-processing therapy (CPT) with prolonged exposure and a minimal attention condition (MA) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. One hundred seventy-one female Cited by 929 Related articles All 12 versions Cite Save [PDF]
Cognitive processing therapy for veterans with military-related posttraumatic stress disorder. CM Monson, PP Schnurr, PA Resick… - Journal of Consulting …, 2006 - Abstract 1. Sixty veterans (54 men, 6 women) with chronic military-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) participated in a wait-list controlled trial of cognitive processing therapy (CPT). The overall dropout rate was 16.6%(20% from CPT, 13% from waiting list). Cited by 548 Related articles All 11 versions Cite Save [BOOK] Cognitive processing therapy for rape victims: A treatment manual PA Resick, M Schnicke - 1993 -
Sexual assault is a traumatic event from which many survivors never fully recover. They may develop a range of disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, poor self- esteem, interpersonal difficulties and sexual dysfunction. This volume provides insight into Cited by 730 Related articles All 5 versions Cite Save More [HTML]
A randomized clinical trial to dismantle components of cognitive processing therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder in female victims of interpersonal violence. PA Resick, TE Galovski, MOB Uhlmansiek… - Journal of consulting …, 2008 - Abstract 1. The purpose of this experiment was to conduct a dismantling study of cognitive processing therapy in which the full protocol was compared with its constituent components-- cognitive therapy only (CPT-C) and written accounts (WA)--for the treatment of posttraumatic Cited by 438 Related articles All 16 versions Cite Save [PDF]
An evaluation of cognitive processing therapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood sexual abuse. KM Chard - Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 2005 - Abstract 1. This study compared the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy for sexual abuse survivors (CPT-SA) with that of the minimal attention (MA) given to a wait-listed control group. Seventy-one women were randomly assigned to 1 of the 2 groups. Cited by 300 Related articles All 11 versions Cite Save
Cognitive processing therapy TE Galovski, JS Wachen, KM Chard… - … Based Treatments for …, 2015 - Springer Abstract Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment designed specifically to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and comorbid symptoms. This chapter will first review the theoretical underpinnings of the intervention and Cited by 5 Related articles All 3 versions Cite Save [PDF]
Adapting cognitive processing therapy for child sexual abuse survivors KM Chard, TL Weaver, PA Resick - Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 1997 - Elsevier With the advent of managed care, there is an increasing need for short-term, empirically based treatments. This article presents a cognitive behavioral therapy protocol for the treatment of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, Cognitive Processing Therapy for Cited by 75 Related articles All 5 versions Cite Save [HTML]
Pattern of change in prolonged exposure and cognitive-processing therapy for female rape victims with posttraumatic stress disorder. P Nishith, PA Resick, MG Griffin - Journal of Consulting and Clinical …, 2002 - Abstract 1. Curve estimation techniques were used to identify the pattern of therapeutic change in female rape victims with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Within-session data on the Posttraumatic Stres Disorder Symptom Scale were obtained, in alternate therapy Cited by 107 Related articles All 9 versions Cite Save [PDF]
[PDF] Cognitive Processing Therapy PA Resick, CM Monson, K Chard - Retrieved May, 2007 - Session 2-The Meaning of the Event*: Patient reads Impact Statement. Therapist and patient discuss meaning of trauma. Begin to identify stuck points and problematic areas, and add to Stuck Point Log. Review symptoms of PTSD and theory. Introduction of ABC Worksheets Cited by 7 Related articles All 4 versions Cite Save More

Two Fort Campbell Soldiers Charged With Criminal Homicide

Fort Campbell Soldiers Arrested Christmas Eve, Charged in Slaying
DEC 27, 2016

Two Fort Campbell soldiers have been charged with criminal homicide.

Friday, at approximately 1:06 am, Clarksville Police Officers responded to a man covered in blood on the ground at an apartment complex on Royster Lane. Upon arrival, officers discovered 25-year-old Joseph Gordon deceased in the parking lot.
read more here

Fort Hood soldier found dead on post on Christmas Eve

Fort Hood soldier found dead on post on Christmas Eve
Army Times
By: Meghann Myers
December 28, 2016

A 21-year-old private was found unresponsive in a Fort Hood, Texas, home on Dec. 24, according to an Army release.

Pvt. Paige Elizabeth Briles, from Kaplan, Louisiana, was a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to a warrior transition unit, the release said.
read more here

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Iraq Veteran's Life Changed After PTSD Service Dog

Veteran sees life improvement after he gets service dog
FOX 10 News
December 27, 2016

HOENIX (KSAZ) - It is no secret that many veterans require help, and Patriot Paws is one but many organizations that train service dogs for disabled veterans.

The training process can be difficult for both the veteran and the dog, but some might ask the question: does the veteran choose the dog, or the other way around?

The answer, quite possibly, may be a little bit of both, at least for Justin Ross.

"I came back in 2005 from Iraq," said Ross. He served the Army for eight years, and he was also hit by an IED.

"Even my buddies, they don't know how I survived," recounted Ross. "My shadow, my footprint, the bottom of my boot, was burnt to the ground. I just got lucky."
read more here

Taylor Swift Surprises Oldest "Swifty" WWII Veteran!

Taylor Swift Surprises 96-Year-Old Veteran with Home Visit and Performance
Taylor Swift is known for surprising fans with one-of-a-kind experiences — showing up at weddings, bridal showers, and even inviting them over for dance parties at her house. And on Monday, she continued the tradition — surprising a 96-year-old World War II veteran with a visit to his Missouri home.

Cyrus Porter had made headlines for being the oldest “Swifty” — telling Ozarks First that he’s been to multiple Swift concerts, using his love for the 27-year-old singer to bring him closer to 20+ grandchildren.

“I’ve been to two concerts,” he said. “Memphis and St Louis. Look what she does… she puts on a show no one else puts on. I just enjoyed going to see ’em and her. I would as soon go see her right now as anybody!”
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Brussels Airport Caused Loss, Recovery Followed

Air Force family recovers after loss
By Senior Airman Chip Pons
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
December 26, 2016
As his prior-enlisted medic training kicked in, Martinez, who had suffered the brunt of the blast, desperately searched for his family amidst the bodies and gore. When he found his wife and saw the stillness of her body, he knew instantly he had lost his soul mate, his best friend and everything went dark.
From left, Gail Martinez and her husband Air Force Lt. Col. Melchizedek “Kato” Martinez during a family vacation to Venice, Italy, before she was killed in a bombing at the Brussels Airport on March 22
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Nine months ago, Air Force Lt. Col. Melchizedek “Kato” Martinez, a career tactical communications officer, was welcomed home from another combat deployment, a constant in the Martinez family. His wife, Gail, and their four children, planned a family retreat to their second home, the one place that, no matter what was going on within their family, would center them – Disney World.

With bags packed, the family of six made its way to the Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, en route the happiest place on earth, and anxiously waited in line to check in for the flight to Florida.

That’s when the first bomb detonated.
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DOD: Private Healthcare Providers Saw 795,000 Under Tricare?

Navy aims to mimic Wal-Mart, Delta to get more sailors choosing military health care
The Virginian-Pilot
By Brock Vergakis
Dec 25, 2016
The military has achieved a 97 percent survival rate for wounded personnel during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he doesn’t want to see those numbers drop in future conflicts.

By comparison, the survival rate was about 80 percent in World Wars I and II, and about 84 percent during the Vietnam War, according to various studies cited by the Navy.
The Navy’s top doctor wants more sailors, Marines and their families to get their health care from the military so its medical personnel will be well-trained for the next conflict, and he’s eyeing private-sector methods to achieve his goal.

Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, the service’s surgeon general, said in a recent interview at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center that he’s working to make accessing care more convenient, to improve patient experiences and to leverage technology in an effort to appeal to young people.

He said about three of every four sailors were born after 1986, making them digital natives who are changing expectations of how health care should be delivered.

“We’ve got to adapt to that,” Faison said, mentioning videoconferencing and mobile apps.

Sailors, Marines and their family members are allowed to use the federally subsidized Tricare health program to seek treatment from private providers, and Faison is on a quest to recapture some of those patients.

Throughout the Defense Department, military facilities saw 250,000 inpatient admissions in the 2015 fiscal year; private facilities in the care network had more than three times as many – 795,000.

Faison said the Navy needs a variety of patients at home so its doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen are prepared for anything that comes up during a deployment.
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Veteran Chaplain-Priest Removed For PTSD?

Where is Fr. Robert? Archdiocese owes an explanation 
Poughkeepsie Journal
Dennis Maloney December 26, 2016

Where is Father Robert Repenning? On July 1, the Archdiocese of New York removed Father Robert, pastor of Holy Trinity in Poughkeepsie, because they learned he suffered from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder as his reward for serving his country as Army chaplain. 

He, unlike most, served in active combat and is a decorated veteran.

He never hid his PTSD and sought treatment for it at the Veterans Affairs upon homecoming. Not good enough for the Archdiocese! 

They wanted him to go to St. John Vianny, where they send pedophiles to “evaluate” his PTSD by them. Don’t they trust the VA?

Five months after removing him for evaluation, they have not done it! Why?

It’s not important to them that he brought new life to a dying parish. It’s obvious they want to punish him for daring to become a Chaplain!
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Female Soldier Proved Doctors Wrong And Did the Unxpected

A soldier's story of trauma, triumph and tomorrow
December 23, 2016
Gardner has proven wrong every doctor who told her it couldn't be done. While in rehab Gardner started playing sled hockey and eventually made the USA women's Sled Hockey team.
LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Army Sergeant Christy Gardner was injured in the line of duty while serving overseas as a military police officer. She suffered skull and facial fractures as well as a spinal cord injury that left her without the use of her legs.

Since then, Gardner, a native of Lewiston, Maine has been through 22 surgeries. Her doctors gave her a three-page list of things she would never do again. “They said I'd never live alone or be independent,” Gardner said. “They said I wouldn't walk or ride a bike or even be able to bathe alone.”

But Gardner was on a mission. Beneath the shock and anguish, she was determined to live her life to the fullest, no matter the challenge.

“I'm highly competitive and there was no way I was going to settle for my wheelchair and sitting on the couch."

After years of physical and speech therapy, Gardner’s medical team decided it would be in her best interest to have her legs amputated. She had the left removed in the summer of 2015, and her right leg the next year.
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Nitty-Gritty-Pesky Facts Skipped on PTSD Reporting

Yet One More Infomercial on PTSD Program
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 26, 2016

This is the claim being made. "A ground-breaking program hopes to help soldiers with PTSD like no one has ever has done before." Ok, well then I guess everyone in this for the last four decades did not exist. That is when all the real "ground breaking" started. Since then, it has been more like digging a hole in the ground and veterans falling into it.

Just a reminder, I wrote about the "collateral damage" being done to our troops and spawning the suffering of millions of veterans right along with their families back in 2015. It got into the nitty gritty pesky things called facts and historical reports tying most of the results to the deplorable "resilience training" our troops were receiving. 

The number of enlisted was higher, yet the number of suicides were lower before they started this. There were also two full-force wars being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Top that off with the fact the DOD kept saying most of the suicides happened with non-deployed troops taking their own lives. Yep, after getting the same "training" everyone else got.

The geniuses thought it would work on combat forces deployed multiple times when it didn't even work for stateside folks? But they kept doing it anyway. As the number of enlisted went down and the number of suicides went up, they pushed the training harder.

But the press never bothered to investigate why any of this was happening or the fact that Congress kept writing FUBAR bills that simply repeated what had already failed. Well, BOHICA on yet one more case of the press not doing their jobs with this latest report. It leaves so many questions it is hard to know what the goal of this was.
Packers Don Barclay hopes to spread word of his uncles’ ground-breaking PTSD therapy program
ABC News
By Aisha Morales
Published: December 23, 2016

Green Bay, Wis. (WBAY) – A new program and the only one of its kind is hoping to change the way veterans and active duty military members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health struggles are treated.

It’s a four-week intensive program based in Virginia created by Doctor Tim Barclay, uncle of Don Barclay of the Green Bay Packers.

Dr. Tim Barclay has seen the issue up close and personal and thinks it’s time to make a change.

“In treating veterans I’ve always been frustrated that not being able to deliver the type of care that is actually needed to treat like traumatic brain injury, PTSD, depression, and anxiety, and common things that they struggle with, simply because of insurance benefits are so limiting,” said Dr. Barclay.

This passion was the start of Collateral Damage Project, a non-profit program that will survive solely on donations.

“We’re hoping to launch our first group of participants in the Spring, so we’re just in our intensive fundraising mode to get all the things that we need to get in place,” said Dr. Barclay.
read more here
Specialized Intensive PTSD Programs (SIPPs) already exist.
SIPPs provide PTSD treatment services in an inpatient or residential setting. Length of stay varies across programs and is based on the needs of the Veteran. SIPPs include:
Evaluation and Brief PTSD Treatment Units (EBPTUs)
PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (PTSD RRTP) and PTSD Domiciliary Programs (PTSD DOM)
Specialized Inpatient PTSD Units (SIPUs)
Women's Trauma Recovery Programs (WTRPs)
The Miami VA has something that is "intense" therapy for PTSD
Inpatient PTSD Programs include four basic types of services conducted while veterans reside in hospital units providing 24-hour nursing and psychiatry care:

Specialized Inpatient PTSD Units (SIPUs) provide trauma-focused evaluation, education, and psychotherapy for a period of 28 to 90 days of hospital admission.

Evaluation and Brief Treatment of PTSD Units (EBTPUs) provide PTSD evaluation, education, and psychotherapy for a briefer period ranging from 14 to 28 days.

PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Programs (PRRPs) provide PTSD evaluation, education, and counseling, and case management emphasizing resuming a productive involvement in community life. PRRP admissions tend to be 28 to 90 days.

PTSD Substance Use Programs (PSUs) provide combined evaluation, education, and counseling for substance use problems and PTSD. PSU admissions range from 14 to 90 days.
Yet, there were problems with this program.
A drug abuse rehabilitation program at Miami’s Veterans Affairs hospital failed to monitor patients, provide sufficient staff, control access to the facility or even curb illicit drug use among patients — culminating with the death of a combat veteran in his 20s who overdosed on cocaine and heroin, according to a federal report.
So, back to the claim being made. How is it that a program that hasn't even started get a headline like this? You read how they are looking for funding and want to find ten patients to do it in the spring. Where is the evidence? What exactly is different about this? The interview video is about looking for psychologist on top of everything else. Shouldn't the headline be more like, "Yet one more group jumps onto the bandwagon" for Heaven 's sake?

Our troops and veterans committing suicide after surviving combat should be an important enough topic that they merit real reporting instead of an infomercial.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Gang Dresses Up as Soldiers, Gets Confronted by Real Veteran

UK Fake Soldiers pretend to be with Invicted Foundation after they said "Invictus" 

'YOU ARE NOT EX-FORCES' Shocking moment war veteran confronts a gang of ‘conmen dressed in army uniform pretending to be from a homeless charity’
Ex-para Colin Eastaway confronted the men after he spotted them collecting money in Nottingham city centre
The Sun
25th December 2016
THIS is the shocking moment an ex-para confronts a gang of youths dressed in army uniform apparently posing as a charity helping homeless veterans at Christmas.

Colin Eastaway – who served with Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan – spotted the lads dressed in camouflage collecting coins in a bucket in Nottingham city centre.

But he claims they were not serving soldiers, making it an offence to wear the colours, and bamboozled them with questions about their military history, IDs and charity permits. 
Colin recorded the angry exchange on his phone as the youths become aggressive when told them: “You’ are not ex-forces,” in front of stunned passersby.

WWII Veteran No Longer Feels Forgotten with Thousands of Birthday Cards

WWII veteran gets birthday surprise thanks to viral post
by KATU News
December 24th 2016

"Oh, God there's thousands of cards here," said Hardey. "I would never get them all read."
HILLSBORO, Ore. — A WWII veteran, feeling forgotten all these years, got the birthday surprise of a lifetime thanks to the help of an Instagram post that went viral.
Jack Hardy, 99, receives thousands of letters for his birthday.
Birthdays mean another year, and another couple of cards just from family and friends, but this year, when Jack Hardey turned 99, people around the world celebrated with him.

This soldier became and internet sensation thanks to a family friend who posted a message online encouraging people to send Hardy a card for his birthday this year. More and more posts were shared on social media and soon thousands of people responded.
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Marine Gets Home For Christmas As Gift From Gold Star Family

Gold Star Family Helps Holland Marine Get Home For Christmas To See Sick Mother
CBS Boston
December 24, 2016
“It just wouldn’t have been Christmas,” his mother said.
HOLLAND (CBS) — The smiles were never-ending after Marine Lt. Josh Peloquin arrived home early Saturday morning.

“I almost toppled him over and I started bawling my eyes out,” said Josh’s mother, Tonya Olsen. “I just didn’t want to let go.”

His coming home was more important than ever this year, because Olsen is very sick.

“This year has been such a hard year,” she said. “We lost my father, his grandmother, and we found out I have pulmonary fibrosis.”

Josh is stationed off the coast of Africa. Two weeks ago, he was told he was going back to the US for Christmas.

But he couldn’t afford the trip home to Holland, Massachusetts.

“My mom is really sick, and I had to make the tough decision to save my money,” he said.

A Gold Star family from the Cape who had lost their son in combat heard about Josh’s family and plight–and they paid for his plane ticket home.
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