Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Filmmaker Accused of Stealing Money for PTSD Documentary

Filmmaker Accused of Stealing Money for PTSD Documentary
The Connecticut Law Tribune
January 30, 2017

The three plaintiffs eventually raised more than $1.7 million for the film, according to the complaint. While the money raised was supposed to go exclusively toward the making of the film, the suit alleges Bernadette King, Michael King's wife, was given $60,000 for "unknown office operations" and another $70,000 went to pay writer Richard Friedenberg to draft a script for an unrelated for-profit feature film.
A West Hartford woman has sued a California-based production company claiming they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for a documentary on war and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Poster for the film “When War Comes Home.”
Credit: Michael King Productions

Debra Hyde claims Michael King Productions spent a good portion of the money donated for filming on such things as luxury hotel stays unrelated to filming, plane tickets for family members and restaurants. Hyde also claims she, Laurence Smith and Jennifer Harris, also plaintiffs in the case, were not allowed to screen the final version of "When War Comes Home," and that the film was never publicized despite an agreement to do so.
read more here

This is what happens when people want to make money off someone else's pain.
I am sure you see the dates on these. 2006 and 2007. Those are my videos that used to be up on Youtube when I started to make them to help veterans and their families understand what we had lived through since 1982. They had to have a format edit and that is why you see 2006, 2007 and 2010. I gave them away for free just like everything else I do. 

There was a book published in 2008 with the same title.

I am done for the day. I need a good stiff drink!

Florida First Responders May Get Justice For PTSD

PTSD legislation could give first responders lost wages
Senate Bill 516 mandates 'clear and concise' medical evidence
Click Orlando
By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter
January 30, 2017
“We do see a lot of bad stuff and it affects different people differently," he said. "(PTSD) is disabling ... . I represent first responders in a lot of cases and it’s just a shame that those who are suffering from PTSD can’t go back to the job – can’t get wage loss benefits.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The fight to provide lost wages to first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder received a potential lifeline Friday, in the form of Senate Bill 516.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Keith Perry of Gainesville, allows for lost wages “whether or not the mental or nervous injury is accompanied by physical injury requiring medical treatment.”

Mike Clelland, a retired battalion chief with the Longwood Fire Department, now with the Morgan and Morgan Law firm, said he “likes the proposal with reservation.”
read more here

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Veteran Needs Your Help With Combat PTSD

A Veteran Needs Your Help 
Combat PTSD Wounded Times 
Kathie Costos 
January 30, 2017
A veteran needs your help. He did everything possible to stay alive in combat. After all, the lives of everyone in his unit depended on him. It didn't matter if he was sick, tired, hungry, or if he spent the night battling memories he didn't want to keep. He was always watching over everyone else.

When he got back home, everything came with him. It wasn't a matter of staying alive, because someone else needed him. It was a matter of not knowing how to get up when he no longer knew who he was. Nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, pushing people away when he needs to have someone care. 

Hope? No hope of healing. Hell, he didn't think he deserved to and even if someone told him he could, he wouldn't believe them. Not that he would have told anyone he needed help at all. He feels totally alone like no one will ever understand him and even if they did, they would think he was just weak or there was something mentally wrong with him.

All he needs is someone to show up the same way others were watching his back with each deployment. Someone to just show they care about him. That's all he needs to know. He is worthy of someone sitting with him, listening to him, buying him a beer or even a cup of coffee. Picking up the phone and showing some compassion, listening without any judgment or competition.  

Do you think you can do that? Ok, then. That veteran is you. 

It is a safe bet you'd do anything for one of your brothers or sisters, without thinking anything less of them than you did in combat. So what's stopping you from doing what you need to help now? If in your mind your buddies deserved your help, then why don't you deserve their help?

Cross posted on Residualwar.com

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Special Operations 1 KIA and 3 Wounded in Yemen

U.S. service member killed in Yemen raid marks first combat death of Trump administration
The Washington Post
By Missy Ryan, Sudarsan Raghavan and Thomas Gibbons-Neff
January 29

A U.S. Special Operations service member died of injuries suffered during a weekend raid against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, the military said Sunday.

Three other American troops, members of a Navy SEAL unit, were wounded in the operation on Saturday against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The militant organization has remained a potent threat amid an extended civil war in Yemen.
read more here

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,

If you read the Declaration of Independence, it came at a very high price for the freedoms we still have and have expanded upon after this document was delivered to the King of England. In the end there is this portion.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
We have men and women in foreign nations risking their lives side by side with Muslims, yet they have not only been banned from entering our country, they have been told by our President, the troops are in those countries for the oil.

The president’s order, enacted with the stroke of a pen at 4:42 p.m. Friday, suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.


And in The Bill of Rights there is this portion.

Article the third... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I wonder what they would think had they lived to see this day. 
by Katharine Lee Bates – 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
Katharine Lee Bates Biography Poet, Scholar (1859–1929)
That same year, Bates spent part of the summer in Colorado. She was there lecturing at Colorado College. During her visit, she went on a hike to Pikes Peak. The view from this mountaintop inspired her most famous poem. "It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind," she later said, according to the Library of Congress web page on "America the Beautiful."
I wonder what she would write if she had lived to this day.

Walker County Wounded Warrior Banquet Draws 1,200

A sight to behold: More than 1,200 people show support for veterans during Wounded Warrior Banquet
The Huntsville Item
By JP McBride
Jan 27, 2017

In suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, many veterans feel like they are alone in their pain and are helpless in finding the healing they need.

The residents of Walker County and others from around the state of Texas showed that there are many Americans who want to help veterans struggling with PTSD find a solution and get them on the road to recovery during the eighth annual Walker County Wounded Warrior Banquet on Thursday night.

A sellout crowd of more than 1,200 generous folks made their way to the main building of the Walker County Fairgrounds for the banquet to honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country by donating to organizations like the Lone Survivor Foundation and Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs, as well as the Warrior Family Support Center in San Antonio.
read more here

Stronger (2017) - Official Trailer (HD)

Film draws awareness to PTSD, provides suicide intervention

Arizona Afghanistan Veteran Died After High Speed Chase

Girlfriend: I-17 chase suspect was Army veteran battling PTSD
AZ Family News
By Zahid Arab
Jan 26, 2017

The girlfriend of a man who stole work truck in Gilbert and led troopers on an I-17 chase says he was an Army veteran dealing with PTSD.

Brad Moore, 29, drove nearly 95 miles before he drove off the road and died near Camp Verde Tuesday.
Moore finished his service several years ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
“That’s not him at all. I would have never expected something like that ever,” said the woman who asked we not use her name.

His family says Moore served in the Army as a paratrooper during a tour in Afghanistan. The 29-year-old finished his service several years ago.

While DPS calls what Moore did criminal, the woman says those that knew him say it’s out of character.

“We lost such a beautiful soul. He had the most contagious laugh and smile. It just lit up the room,” she said.
read more here
azfamily.com 3TV | Phoenix Breaking News, Weather, Sport

Vietnam Veteran Dave Roever Inspiring "Devil Brigade" Soldiers

Vietnam veteran inspires ‘Devil’ brigade Soldiers
Camp Casey South Korea
Cpl. Dasol Choi
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team
“Roever inspired me because he told his story of how he wanted to give up because of what happened to him,” said Spc. Mitchell Strange from the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st ABCT. “While a lot of people would have given up, he never gave up. From now on, I want to start to look at things more positively.”
Photo By Cpl. Dasol Choi | CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, listen to a speech given by Dave Roever, a former riverboat gunner in the Brown Water forces in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal, during resiliency training at the Camp Casey Multipurpose Complex, Camp Casey, South Korea, Jan 24. (U.S. Army Photo by Cpl. Dasol Choi, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs)
CAMP CASEY, South Korea ¬– Soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, had an opportunity to hear from a Vietnam War veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal, during a resiliency training session held at the Camp Casey Multipurpose Complex, Camp Casey, South Korea, Jan. 24.

Invited by Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea and his chaplains, Dave Roever, a veteran of the U.S. Navy who served in the Vietnam War, shared his experience of overcoming hardship that he faced while serving in the Vietnam War as a riverboat gunner in the Brown Water forces in the Navy.

“My heart followed troops; I love the troops; I was one and I never got it out of my system,” Roever said. “I came here to say to the troops not to cave under pressure but to stand strong and always defend against the enemies.”

Although injured during the war and believed to be dead, Roever never gave up. Instead, he considered a moment, which others might call a defeat, as an opportunity.

“I was burned and was given up twice as other Soldiers believed I was dead. I never died, never claimed it, and never said that,” Roever said. “But I can tell you, I wouldn’t have been standing here giving you this speech if I had given up.”
read more here

American Legion Service Officer Goes Above and Beyond

‘No Man Left Behind’: Marine Corps veteran opens home to help fellow vets
FOX 17 News Michigan
Janice Allen
January 27, 2017
"I bought a house and I didn't need all the rooms, so I started bringing in veterans that needed help," Clemens explained. "If they need food, I buy them food... If they need clothes, I give them clothes."
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Joe Clemens has been back to civilian life for awhile now, but he's still fighting to help his fellow man.

"No man left behind. That's the way I've lived my life," he told FOX 17 News. "When I got out, nobody helped me, so because of that, I wasn't going to let that happen to anyone else."

Despite battling a rare and terminal blood disorder as a result of his service, Clemens has made it his mission to help veterans who are struggling.

"They're not gonna fall through the cracks," he said. "To come back, and not be able to feed your family, it takes a toll on you."

Clemens is a Service Officer at American Legion Post 459. His job is to help veterans navigate different resources to secure their benefits and get back on their feet.
read more here

Spc. Patrick James Rodgers' Body Recovered After Motorcycle Crash

Identity of soldier killed in H-1 motorcycle crash released by Army
By Brigette Namata and Web Staff
Published: January 27, 2017,
The name of the Schofield Barracks soldier who died from a motorcycle crash early Friday morning on the H-1 Freeway was released by the Army Saturday.

He was Spc. Patrick James Rodgers, 26, of Willis, Texas, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

A wheeled vehicle mechanic, Rodgers enlisted in the Army in March 2010. He previously served in Oklahoma and South Carolina, and moved to Schofield Barracks in July 2014. Rodgers deployed once to Kuwait for 12 months in 2012. He was a recipient of two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Good Conduct Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal, among others.
read more here

Air Force Major Helping Healing of Combat PTSD

Before you cringe reading Wounded Warrior, keep reading because this is about Wounded Warrior Program and to them healing is not a project. It is a mission.

If you think that women are only hit by PTSD from experiencing sexual assaults, this should be an eyeopener. Too many forget they are still in the same combat zones and trying to get through it the best they can. After all, the lives of others depend on them too.

There are heroes in combat and then there are heroes because of it. Maj. Lisa McCranie is one of them.
Wracked by PTSD for years after combat, an Air Force pilot finally got help
San Antonio Express-News
By Sig Christenson
January 28, 2017
That’s how it is in the pilot community, she said, explaining that no pilot she’s known has ever admitted to suffering from PTSD and the Air Force had no formal support program to help them.
Members of one of the basketball teams playing an exhibition game huddle before the start of a game at the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program Warrior Care Event at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. The CARE event provides seriously wounded, ill and injured military members, veterans and their caregivers focused and personalized service through caregiver support, training, adaptive and rehabilitative sports events.
A veteran of Afghanistan, Maj. Lisa McCranie is a pilot to the core, so steeped in the culture of never showing weakness that she hid every symptom of post traumatic stress disorder even as the weight of war began to crush her spirit.

Years in uniform and the bulk of 2,800 hours in the cockpit went by — 1,100 of them in combat — before she even realized she had PTSD.

McCranie found herself in yet another war, to get help.

“I told my commanders, ‘I’m not OK right now,’ and then part of my story is how I’ve been treated in the military, which hasn’t been good. I had an ops group commander who basically threatened to take my wings from me if I didn’t go through a re-qualification and fly,” she recalled.

McCranie recently earned a medical retirement from the Air Force and will soon leave the service and head to a culinary school in Denver. A feeling of isolation followed her through much of her military career, but after spending time at a recent Air Force Wounded Warrior program Warrior CARE event in San Antonio, which drew more than 120 wounded, ill and injured airmen, she was relieved to find that she wasn’t alone.
McCranie flew four different aircraft after entering the Air Force in 2004 — the C-17 Globemaster III, T-6A Texan II, MC-12W, a reconnaissance plane, and the UV-18A Twin Otter.
read more here

Saturday, January 28, 2017

PsychArmor's Invisible Wounds of War Worthy Of Sharing

When I saw the cartoon on this video, I got ready to have my head explode. I thought about just passing on this article since lately there has been far too much bullshit stories and not enough helpful facts. 

In this case, I am very proud to admit I was totally wrong and very, very glad I spent the time to watch this video. Heidi Kraft is spot on and talks about most of the things we talk about all the time. If you are trying to explain PTSD to someone, this is the video to share with them.
Help for Caretakers: Understanding PTSD in Veterans
by Amy Bushatz

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of the invisible wounds of war often discussed in popular culture. But it's also a very real diagnosis.

How can a caregiver go about understanding PTSD in veterans? What are the symptoms, and what can families do about PTSD?

PsychArmor, a non-profit dedicated to bridging the military-civilian divide by providing resources to help community members and others engage veterans, has free video courses on a variety of military-related issues. This section of PsychArmor's Invisible Wounds of War at Home caretaker and family video series focuses on PTSD. In the first video, Heidi Kraft, a clinical psychologist, Navy veteran and PsychArmor's clinical director, helps caregivers and families answer the question "what is PTSD" while also discussing the stigma that still surrounds the problem.

read more here

Man Donated 10 Acres For Montana Veterans Home

Emotional testimony: Supporters push for money to pay for veterans home in Butte
The Missoulian
Renata Birkenbuel
January 27, 2017
The facility would be built on a 10-acre parcel of land near Continental Drive and the Interstate 90 interchange in Butte. Don Harrington donated the land. The other veterans homes in the state are in Columbia Falls, nearly a four-hour drive away, and Glendive, which is six hours away.
The Butte delegation and others on Friday pushed for the Legislature to approve a loan to build a long-awaited veterans home in southwest Montana that would serve the state’s many veterans.

Proponents overwhelmingly urged a subcommittee to help fund the projected $16.8-million project in bonds. The state has $5 million to commit to the nonpartisan project, but the federal government has not provided additional money as hoped because Montana is not on a high-priority list compared to other states.

“We have $5 million in the bank, but we need $10 million (of bonded money),” said Sen. Jon Sesso, D-Butte. “But we are losing more in construction inflation waiting to build the home. This is a simple formula.”

Sesso, Senate Minority Leader and one of the long-range planning committee members hearing testimony on House Bill 14, said Montana has been on the federal list since 2012.
read more here

Double Amputee Army Veteran Now Serves in Washington DC

Army Veteran, Double-Amputee Finds New Battlefield in DC
ABC News
Jan 27, 2017
Florida Congressman Brian Mast says he decided to run for office on a day seven years ago when he woke up in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Army bomb technician had been serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of the Joint Special Operations Command. “We came to a place on the battlefield that I told my guys I was pretty sure that there was a bomb buried somewhere there,” Mast said. “I found it in a way I didn’t intend to.”

Mast stepped on an improvised explosive device and lost both of his legs and his left index finger in the blast. His injuries ended his 12-year military career, but not his commitment to service. “The most important lesson my father ever gave me was very shortly after I was injured,” Mast recalled.

“He said, 'Brian, you can't let this keep you down ... You cannot let your kids see you sitting on your butt regardless of what happened to you, because your kids will think it’s an OK way for them to go through their life. That's when I decided the most important fight of my life could be here in Washington, D.C. in another capacity.”
read more here

Master Sergeant's Parents Get Double Act of Kindness

Act of kindness helps Arlington military family, twice
Sean Giggy
January 27, 2017
Officials, who already agreed to move the ceremony to Fort Worth, moved it again. This time to the hospital, so these Air Force parents could give their Air Force daughter that Master Sergeant pin.
Noelle Scala's parents, Joe and Better, were able to be there to put a Master Sergeant pin on their daughter. Photo: Courtesy
FORT WORTH - Air Force veteran Joe Scala is in the hospital battling cancer, but he prefers to talk about how the staff helped him with his heart.

“What they’ve done, they gave us our life back,” he said.

Joe’s agony began when he and his wife, Betty, were both admitted to Texas Health Arlington Memorial as patients last month.

“It was an emotional drain on us. Both of us," she said.

But, soon after, one act of kindness changed everything.

“It gave me my life back,” Joe said with a little grin. “My little girl.”

Air Force Deputy Airfield Manager Noelle Scala is Joe and Betty’s only child. After five miscarriages, they call her their “miracle baby.”

Now, Noelle, after 14 years of dedicated service, was selected to receive one of the highest promotions the Air Force can give: Master Sergeant.
read more here

Marine's Wife Paralyzed in Robbery is Pregnant

Family raising funds for former Marine's pregnant wife paralyzed in alleged armed robbery
Published January 27, 2017
“This baby is a miracle. It shouldn’t have survived it. I can’t wait to find out what we’re having and give birth,” Webb told KPRC2. “It’s seriously what is keeping me going.”
The Houston woman who was left paralyzed in an armed robbery and later discovered she was pregnant at the hospital is speaking out in an effort to help authorities nab the alleged suspects. Paxton Webb, 23, is still recovering at Texas Medical Center.

“I am here ad I’m fighting every day,” she told KPRC2.

Webb was working at Katz Boutique, an adult shop, on Christmas Eve when a pair of armed suspects whose faces were covered allegedly demanded money from her before firing a shot into her back. The assault left her paralyzed from the chest down.

“The bullet completely severed my spine, hit my lungs, missed my heart by less than a centimeter, fractured a couple of ribs and fractured my left shoulder,” Webb told KPRC2.
read more here

ABC 13 News Video from robbery

Montford Point Marines Honored at MacDill Air Force Base

Medal honors black Marines who served despite discrimination in WWII
Tampa Bay Times
Howard Altman, Times Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2017
"When they would go out on furlough, the black Marines couldn't go certain places," she said. "There was an incident on a train to New York. They were trying to put out my father, but the white Marines all stood up and said, 'No, we are all Marines, stay right here.'"
TAMPA — In 1943, as the Marines were slogging through a bloody Pacific island-hopping campaign, two good friends from Nyack, New York, showed up at a recruiting station to join the fight.

David Knight was given orders to report to boot camp within a week. His friend, Charles Robert Fountain, passed the physical too, but then had to undergo questioning about his personal life, education and marital status. It would be seven months before the corps would accept him.

The difference?

Knight was white, Fountain black.

Friday at noon, Fountain's service as one of the first black Marines was honored during a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base presided over by the commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command, Lt. Gen. William Beydler. Fountain's daughter, Kim Fountaine of Ruskin, received a Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to those black Marines stationed at the Camp Montford Point — a rundown barracks outside of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where some 20,000 were housed in substandard, segregated quarters between 1942 and 1949.
read more here
Feb 12, 2012
Last night at the Orlando Nam Knights there was a surprise guest. Charles O. Foreman, a WWII veteran, member of the Montford Point Marines came. He is part of the group of Marines receiving the Congressional Gold Medal. At 87 he is just amazing. No matter what he had to go through because of the color of his skin, he'd do it all over again. He credits the Marines with making him the man he is today.

VA Un-Freeze Job List Did Not Include Claims Processors?

It seems that POTUS had a busy week issuing Executive Orders, then discovering they are not Royal Decrees, had to undo them.
Among the things President Trump had to undo, was placing a hiring freeze on the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA released a list of jobs that are now excluded from the freeze. They seem to have thought of everything but Claims Processors.

It was a week filled with proof that the power, and will, of the American people will stand against what politicians do.

VA specifies jobs exempt from Trump's hiring freeze
The Hill

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a full list of jobs exempt from President Trump’s federal hiring freezing that includes a slew of medical specialties.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to exempt anyone it deems necessary for public health and safety, including frontline caregivers,” acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Snyder said in a statement. “The president and VA remain committed to seeing that our veterans receive the quality care and benefits they’ve earned. This is the right thing to do for our veterans.”

Trump signed an executive order Monday that freezes all federal hiring except for the military. It also allows for exemptions for public safety.

The hiring freeze has come under fire from dozens of Democrats, including every Democrat in the Senate, who say it disproportionately affects veterans, as the VA won’t be able to hire support staff and veterans won’t be able to apply for federal jobs. The Democrats wanted Trump to exempt the entire VA from the order.
read more here

Friday, January 27, 2017

VA Still Needs Doctors and Nurses, And Will A Lot Longer Now

Trump’s hiring freeze comes as VA in Spokane seeks doctors, nurses
The Spokesman Review
Mike Prager
FRIDAY, JAN. 27, 2017

The Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Administration Medical Center in Spokane has job openings for doctors, nurses and other care specialists that may or may not be filled because of President Donald Trump’s hiring freeze of federal workers.

The president’s press secretary initially said the freeze would extend to the VA, which has been harshly criticized for the long wait times veterans face getting care.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said of the VA Tuesday, “Right now, the system’s broken,” and that the hiring freeze is meant as a “pause” while a new VA secretary takes stock of the situation.

“And I think the VA in particular, if you look at the problems that have plagued people, hiring more people isn’t the answer,” Spicer said, according to the Washington Post. “It’s hiring the right people, putting the procedures in place that ensure that our veterans – whether health care or mortgages or the other services that VA provides to those who have served our nation – get the services that they’ve earned.”
read more here

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Veterans With Bad Discharges Get Fighting Chance

Tampa, Florida Veterans Lawyer Comments Need for Veterans to be Honorably Discharged
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire)
January 26, 2017

Many veterans who were diagnosed with mental problems or traumatic brain injury have received less-than-honorable discharges. But such a discharge can result in the denial of veterans’ benefits, thereby causing these veterans to become homeless, imprisoned, develop substance abuse or commit suicide.

In an effort to assist these veterans, the Vietnam Veterans Association of America wrote President Obama asking him to pardon all post-9/11 veterans who received less-than-honorable discharges without the due process of a court-martial. They are making the same request of President-elect Donald Trump.

Prominent Tampa, Florida veterans lawyer David Magann says, “Veterans who have received less-than-honorable discharges because they suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental illnesses are entitled to receive an honorable discharge.” “They should not lose their Veterans Affairs health benefits or GI bill education benefits.”

As reported in Shelbyville Daily Union, one such victim of this policy is Kristofer Goldsmith, who enlisted in the army a short time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In a little over two years, he was promoted to sergeant, and spent a full year in Baghdad. However, upon his return home, he had to drink in order to sleep, and he spent time in isolation so he would not hurt his family and friends in the event he had an abrupt fit of anger. Then, when he attempted to commit suicide, the Army gave him a less-than-honorable discharge for severe misconduct. He was not found guilty by a court marshal.
read more here

Man arrested in cousin's slaying in Tampa

Man arrested in cousin's slaying is Army vet, may have PTSD, family reported
Tampa Bay Times
Anastasia Dawson Times Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

TAMPA — Darrell Leon Gadson's mother was concerned about her grown son's "erratic" behavior Monday morning, a detective reported.

The 38-year-old had recently moved back to her country ranch home in Thonotosassa and was going through a divorce. Family members feared the Army veteran could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

So Marilyn Gadson, a registered nurse, asked her son's brother and cousin to visit the house at 9862 Timmons Road and talk to him.

They had just arrived and were sitting in the living room when Darrell Gadson came out of his bedroom with a gun, approached his 23-year-old cousin sitting on the couch and fired a fatal shot through his head, according to a report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
read more here

Remains Identified of Missing Fort Campbell Soldier

TBI: Remains identified as missing Fort Campbell soldier 
Beaver 1003 FM by Nick Fox
Posted on January 25, 2017 

ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The skeletal remains found Monday in Robertson County have been positively identified as Pfc. Shadow McClaine.
The Fort Campbell soldier went missing on Sept. 2, 2016 and was never seen or heard from again. read more here

Michigan Missing Veteran Alert

He has been found safe.

Police: Vet missing has not been seen since Monday
FOX 2 News
January 26, 2016

The Wixom Police Department needs your help locating a missing person.
The family of Arthur Tillman Jr. has not seen or heard from him since the evening of Monday, January 23.

According to debit card records, Arthur’s card was used on Tuesday, January 24 in Waterford and in Troy.

Arthur is a military veteran and may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Tillman Jr. is described as a 24-year-old African American man who is approximately 5’09” and 170 lbs.
read more here

Missing Veteran Alert Texas: Amon Gift, Afghanistan Veteran

Sheriff's Office: U.S. Army vet found dead in Sam Rayburn had been suffering from PTSD
By Gary Bass, Digital Content Producer
Friday, January 27th 2017

A 23-year-old Army veteran whose body was found in the Sam Rayburn Reservoir Thursday night had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder that resulted from being involved in two separate bomb attacks, according to a press release.

Fishermen found Amon Gift’s body in a cove just south of Mill Creek Park on the southeast side of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir at about 2 p.m. Thursday.

“Gift was a U.S. Army veteran who had recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan,” the press release stated.

“Gift suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder which originated when he was involved in two separate bombings while serving overseas. Gift’s family said he has recently been struggling with depression due to his PTSD, and it appeared to be worsening.”

Gift, a Houston resident had been missing since Jan. 20. His family members told authorities that he left Houston in his 2008 Dodge Dakota, the press release stated.
read more here 

Body found in Lake Sam Rayburn is that of veteran reported missing, according to JP
Sabine County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jamie Brasher has identified the remains as that of Amon Gift, 23, who had been reported missing by family members after he reportedly left his home in his 2008 Dodge Dakota.

Even though an official ruling on the cause of Gift’s death has not been made, pending a formal autopsy, it is believed that the man died of a gunshot wound. However, officers are not saying at this point whether the gunshot was self-inflicted or not.
read more here

ABC News 13
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Texas EquuSearch volunteers are looking for a Houston man who vanished before the weekend. Amon Gift, 23, was last seen by anyone on Friday in Houston. 

His wife Savannah told ABC13 she received a text from him saying he was at Mill Creek Park in Brookeland, Texas. But she wasn't able to find him there, his phone is turned off and no one has heard from Amon since Friday. 

She added that Amon, who serves in the military and returned from Afghanistan in May, has been diagnosed with PTSD. Savannah said she filed a missing person's report on Saturday. 
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Man Shot in Alabama Possible Suicide By Cop?

Knox man killed in Alabama officer-involved shooting
Hayes Hickman
Jan. 26, 2017
Partridge added that Oxford police were notified by the Heflin, Ala., Police Department, which initiated the pursuit, that the suspect was armed, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had made suicidal threats in the past. He could not confirm whether Lambert was a military veteran.
Micah R. Lambert
(Photo: Knox County Detention Facility)
A Knoxville man who fled the state after an alleged assault on a Knox County sheriff's deputy was fatally shot by police in Alabama following a pursuit Wednesday, authorities said.

Micah R. Lambert, 37, was killed when he attempted to charge officers with his SUV, according to Oxford, Ala. Police Chief Bill Partridge.

The chief said Lambert was wanted on a charge of aggravated assault on police officers in connection with an incident earlier this week in Knox County.
"Lambert had been reported missing and had left a friend's house with a loaded handgun after making threats to harm himself, according to the report.

"Mr. Lambert had left his dog with his friend and signed over the title to his vehicle before leaving," the report states.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Blind Veteran" Drove Car, Had Job and VA Comp Check?

Officials: Veteran faked blindness for 15 years, took home $400K in disability benefits
Jan. 24, 2017

A 60-year-old Florida woman has pleaded guilty to pretending to be blind for more than a decade to receive veterans disability benefits of nearly $400,000, investigators said.

Veronica Dale Hahn, of Bonifay, entered the guilty plea Friday in Panama City federal court.

Hahn is accused of convincing Veterans Health Administration staff and private doctors that her service-related injury caused nearly complete blindness in both eyes from 2001 to 2016, court documents say.
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PTSD On Trial: Aaron Wanless in Florida

Troubled vet sentenced to 48 years for shooting at lawmen
Northwest Florida Daily News
By Kelly Humphrey
January 25, 2017
Wanless was under treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses at the local Department of Veterans Affairs clinic when he fired a gun in the direction of Okaloosa County deputies during a 2015 altercation. In December, he was found guilty of five felonies in connection with the incident.
Assistant State Attorney Jonathan Schlechter and Public Defender Ricky Dayaram walked into Circuit Court Judge William Stone's courtroom on Wednesday with two very different goals.

Dayaram attempted to convince the judge to depart from mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines that could send his client, 35-year-old Aaron Wanless, to prison for nearly 50 years. He asked the judge to consider sentencing Wanless to 48 months in prison, followed by probation and in-patient treatment for mental illness.

Schlechter, on the other hand, argued that Wanless should be punished to the full extent of the law as prescribed by Florida's 10-20-Life statute, which at the time Wanless was arrested applied to felonies that involve the use of a firearm. The law was repealed last year and replaced with a statute that gives judges more flexibility in sentencing.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Canada Veterans Need to Look At US Reports on Mefloquine

In 2008 the VA issued a warning about Mefloquine, and there are other stories on this report going back to 2002.

Senator Dianne Feinstein wanted answers from Donald Rumsfeld in 2003
Veterans, families want answers over Forces' use of Mefloquine
Toronto Sun crime reporter Chris Doucette. (Sun files)
By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun
Monday, January 23, 2017

The call for accountability over the Canadian Forces’ use of a controversial anti-malaria drug is growing louder and veterans and family members hope Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hear their cries for help.

A former medic who served in Somalia, the wife of a soldier disgraced in the Somalia Affair, the mother of a soldier who killed himself in Rwanda and a doctor with expertise in the neuropsychiatric effects of Mefloquine toxicity recently submitted written statements to the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs outlining the drugs’ devastation.

Marj Matchee writes her husband, Clayton, suffered paranoia and hallucinations prior to his 1993 arrest for the deadly beating of a Somali teen.

“You see things when you sleep. You see it in the daytime too,” she recalls him saying.

Many veterans who were forced to take the drug before it was licensed still suffer from side effects that Health Canada and AA Pharma, the Canadian supplier of the drug, quietly added to Mefloquine’s warning label last year.

“We must do more to reach out to these veterans, to acknowledge the harms that Mefloquine has caused them, and commit to funding research to study and ultimately try to reverse these effects,” Matchee writes.

Dr. Remington Nevin, of Johns Hopkins University, says Mefloquine toxicity can cause brain damage that mimics PTSD, so sufferers may receive the wrong treatment and symptoms such as suicidal thoughts persist.
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These may help their case
Lariam Psychiatric and Suicidal Side Effects Research shows the anti-malaria drug mefloquine hydrochloride—formerly sold under the brand name Lariam—might cause psychiatric abnormalities, suicidal ideations and behaviors, and potentially permanent nerve damage. Because of these psychiatric side effects, the drug’s manufacturer, Hoffmann-La Roche, pulled it from the market in 2008. The U.S. Army continued to administer it to soldiers, however, until 2011, when the army ceased prescribing Lariam even for soldiers deployed in malaria-prone regions such as Afghanistan. In July 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified the public that mefloquine products’ drug labels would be updated with a black box warning—the agency’s most serious kind—concerning the aforementioned side effects.

Mall Hero Identified

One more reason why we need to check the links to see what is true or not.

This story appears to be true,
Man killed in jewelry store heist described as a family man and protector
FOX 29 News
by FOX San Antonio
January 23rd 2017

SAN ANTONIO - The Good Samaritan killed in a jewelry store heist on Sunday afternoon has been identified by the Bexar County Medical Examiner as Jonathan Murphy, 42.
Murphy never served in the military but came from a military family and respected the service and sacrifice. Amber is not sure if Jon knew the robbers had guns. But, regardless he would have done what he did. His family asks for the communities continued support as they try to heal from a senseless act.
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But the report that linked to it, added in a bit of their own news.

SAN ANTONIO (KABB/WOAI) - The good Samaritan who was killed trying to stop a jewelry store robbery in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday afternoon has been identified as Jonathan Murphy.

A GoFundMe page, which has not yet been confirmed to be associated with Murphy's family, described him as a retired Marine and a manager at a car dealership.

The fund organizer said Murphy was a "first rate protector" who was with his wife at the jewelry store to get their wedding bands cleaned.
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Special Ops Veteran Brings Back "Ghost" From War Zone

Special ops veteran risks life to recover pets from bases in war zone
By Cristina Corbin
Published January 23, 2017
The recovery operation was costly and dangerous, requiring the special operations soldier to enter hostile territory in full body armor and make his way to a U.S. military base.

The purpose of his mission, however, did not include bringing back an American soldier. It was to pick up a 45-pound white Canaan dog named "Ghost" and reunite him with his human companion back home.

It's the kind of mission this soldier, who declined to give his name for security reasons, says he conducts in war zones around the world.

"It's the best feeling to reunite these pets with their soldiers," he told Fox News. "I was wounded in Iraq, myself, and I owe my life to my dog. There is a bond there that could never be broken."

For American soldiers serving abroad, pets are not considered military property – and are often left to die in the war zones where they bonded with their handlers. But this special operations soldier, with the help of a New York animal rescue group, has made it his mission to fly into countries in the Middle East and bring the pets back to the U.S. to live with their companions and their families.
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Homeless Veteran's Heart Warmed By Kindness From Cop!

When a St. Paul cop and a homeless veteran met, grace followed
Twin Cities Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: January 13, 2017

At first, it was just the man’s sign that caught Eric Reetz’s attention.

“Veteran 10 yrs Army,” William Tentis, 64, had written on a piece of cardboard. “God Bless.”
Reetz talks with Tentis before giving him a challenge coin with his badge number on it. He gives them only to people who’ve been a positive force in his life. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

Reetz, who is a sergeant first class in the Minnesota National Guard and a St. Paul police officer, could not just walk by as he headed into the Xcel Energy Center to watch a Minnesota Wild game. They talked briefly and Reetz gave Tentis, who is homeless, a $20 bill.

“I didn’t think that we’d ever cross paths again,” said Reetz, 40.
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