Sunday, April 21, 2019

Do you know the worth of your vehicle?

Are you worthy?

Wounded Times and PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 21, 2019

(cross post today)

Today is Easter. The day of a life rising from the dead. A life given, so that others may live and be made worthy by faith in Jesus.

The night before, the people who heard the voice of Jesus must have been wondering why they thought He was telling the truth, when His life ended the way it did. They must have been crushed.

Yet the truth was known by a cave left empty and all He said was once again believed.

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
Albert Einstein

He died for others, but He also lived for others. He did not just come to die and rise, but to lift us up and know, that we were loved. God knew we were here and in need of help, as much as we were in need of hope.

Jesus did what He was sent to do. Did you? So many times we think maybe we were wrong about what we were sent here to do. We appear to be failures to others, yet, no matter what others think, we rise and do it all over again.

If you are struggling between what other say you should do, and what you know you need to do, I have something that may help encourage you to stay true to what you were created for.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
I made the choice to follow where I was being led. I knew it would not be easy, but I did not know it would be so damn hard.

When I was training to be a Chaplain with the IFOC, David Vorce said that Satan was busy when we run up into road blocks. I just never thought those road blocks would be laid by people who were supposed to be "friends" of mine.

While I left the IFOC, I have not left the mission that I was prepared to do. I focused on first responders and veterans. I still do. After 37 years, it is in my DNA, so there is no getting away from it.

A few years ago, someone I thought was a friend, stood up during a large gathering after one of the members had committed suicide. She made this announcement. "22 veterans a day are committing suicide and I'm gonna do something about it."

It was almost as if she just woke up one day and decided that she suddenly had the power to do what I had been doing for over 3 decades. You know, like I had done nothing. Sick to my stomach, I could not even listen to the rest of what she had to say.

What I did hear, was an impassioned plea from one of the other members. "Please stop talking about it. It hurts my heart." She was a friend of the member who took his own life.

Well that caused the woman to become enraged and she snapped back at the grieving friend.

I drove home in tears. I couldn't figure out why that "friend" had not just dismissed my work, but pretended I was not even worthy of her learning anything from me.

The next day, I called the President of Point Man, Dana Morgan, and told him what happened. My heart was being ripped out, my ego was so beaten down that I doubted all the work I had done, but the worst thing was, my soul was so crushed, I was not sure if I was supposed to keep doing it or not.

It was hard enough to fight this battle, mostly alone, but it had been one betrayal too many for me.

Dana said he would ask the other leaders of Point Man to pray that I find the answer.

The next morning I felt a little better but, still unsure, I asked my boss at work if she would have her prayer group help me find the answer.

As I was talking about my own pain, I cried. When she started to ask me questions about veterans, I stopped crying. When I explained to her how they can go from being willing to die for the sake of others, to not wanting to be here anymore, that soul crushing feeling started to lift.

By the time I got home, the weight was gone.

I called Dana and told him that I had my answer. Thinking about myself, caused me great emotional pain. Doubt caused by someone else left me believing I was wrong to even try. Doing what I had done for so many years, filled me with peace. I knew that whatever would come, would be OK, because as long as I knew what God wanted of me, I could deal with it.

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called." Ephesians 4:1
Dana asked me if I told my boss yet. I told him I would in the morning.

When she came in, I started to explain what happened, but she started laughing. The look of puzzlement must have been clear because she responded. "You don't get it. As soon as you started talking yesterday, I started praying."

I got my answer. No matter what comes, I know I am doing what I am supposed to do. While it would be so much easier to receive more help than I am getting, it does not stop me from doing it.

Maybe the lack of help I receive is so that I can share this extra burden with those who are going through the same type of thing.

It is really hard to see so many others beating their own chest and getting attention for a bunch or words that mean absolutely nothing.  They are all about themselves and not the cause they claim to be invested in.

When the end result is a worse situation for those they claim to want to help, it is then others figure out that they came to this "ministry" unarmed and their foolish ways were discovered.

Well, a few days after that encounter with the woman who almost made me give up, a younger veteran was struggling. He needed my help. I gave it and he started to heal.

Another veteran needed help. A wife of a veteran needed help. A wife of a firefighter needed help. More and more needed help and I was able to be there because people were praying for me and the mission I was put into position to do.

I am doing what I can with what help I have been given. Sure, I get upset knowing I could be doing so much more if I did receive help but that is not the reality I live with. 

We understand that it is hard to go without help, so we understand those seeking it from us. I know the worth of my vehicle even though others think it is a worn out antique.

We know what it is like to find the courage to ask for help, as well as, what it is like to not often find it for ourselves. We know what hardships and struggles are, what doubt feels like and above all, we know what would comfort us, what words would help us find relief.

That is the lesson I have a hard time remembering during times such as this, but I've been on this road to long now, that I can also remember what it was like when someone did show up to help me out, offer comforting words, or let me know I was there when they needed someone the most.

Know that whatever you do, you are doing if for the right reasons and the price you pay, helps you do it far better than if you had it all handed to you on a silver platter.

Any crown I've ever worn
I lay it down
Any praise I've ever gained
I give it all to You
For there's nothing in this world
That can compare
For You alone are worthy
You alone are worthy
You are near to all who call
Upon Your name
Ever giving, ever loving
You remain the same
For You open up Your hands
And satisfy
I give You all the glory
Give You all the glory
You are worthy oh Lord
Of all honor
You are worthy to receive
All praise
In Your presence I live
And with all I have to give
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
Songwriters: Darlene Joyce Zschech You Are Worthy lyrics © Music Services, Inc

New Hampshire Airman's death under investigation in Qatar

NH Airman dies overseas in non-combat incident

Cherise Leclerc
April 20, 2019

The Department of Defense says Staff Sgt. Albert J. Miller, of Richmond, has died overseas.

Miller died on April 19th at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in a non-combat related incident.

He was assigned to the 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Miller was 24 years old.

An investigation into the cause of his death is ongoing
go here for updates

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Will you fight for me this time?

When PTSD is your not fight it alone

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 20, 2019

I fight everyday for veterans because all of you matter, and so do your families. The only thing I want out of decades of work, is to not be needed anymore. After 37 years, it would be nice to know that you are getting all the help you need and no one needs me anymore. 

I give everything I have away for free most of the time. Sometimes I cannot afford the expense, so I ask for help. I asked when I started to give away the PTSD Patrol T-shirts but only a few people helped me. The goal was to change the conversation from heartache to empowerment.

Then I see all the new groups popping up getting press coverage and shared on social media a zillion times, raking in millions of dollars, yet there are more veterans than ever being failed and left to fight alone.

PTSD is my battle and I cannot fight this alone, nor should I be expected to still do it alone!

There are so many things I never get credit for doing. Coming up with the "new normal" living with PTSD back in 2010 is one of them.

Surviving something that could have, or should have, killed us, leaves the old normal behind and we get to adapt to a "new normal" of the way things evolved afterwards...AS SURVIVORS.

I do not know what combat is like. I survived 10 times during my life. All of them have been known to cause PTSD. While I did go through the stress reactions that become side effects of PTSD, it was not able to take hold. The nightmares, for the most part, were gone, along with flashbacks, mood swings, anger, paranoia and constant questioning as to why I was still alive evaporated.

That is why I understand what combat did to veterans. I got into an argument with a veteran many years ago, who decided to challenge me. He said "What do you know? You were never in combat!" So I ran down the list of things I survived and then challenged him to be able to tell me he understood what all of them did to me. 

Once we agreed to be two human survivors, he started to listen to what I had to say so that he could rejoice as a survivor too and heal.

I came up with "suffering in silence" because that was exactly what my then-future-husband and his buddies were doing in 1984. After two years of researching PTSD, I wrote about it so that others could learn about it.

I tried over and over again, until a therapy session in 1999, with a psychologist, started what would become, the book FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR/MY BATTLE.

I did not want fame back then, especially when I was writing about a very personal subject during a time when few others were willing to do so. I still do not want fame, but after 37 years, it is now a time to shout from the roof that we will be celebrating our 35th anniversary and my husband is still my hero!

Everything I have done on PTSD is because of him. The more I learned about PTSD, the more I loved him.

After 16 years since the book was published I am grieved more than ever. While I sit here thinking that maybe I should have just settled for our happy ending with this battle won, and returned to what most view as "normal life" the tug at my heart makes it impossible to do it now.

I reviewed a lot of the posts I put up about this book, along with many emails and I am even more convinced that had it not been for the way the publisher dealt with my work, more could have been helped.

Help is one thing that I have not been on the receiving end of very often. Yesterday I posted on this on Facebook.

This was after sharing an extremely embarrassing situation that I needed help to recover from. I needed help to take back control of my book. Less than ten responded with help. It made me wonder if I matter at all after all these years.

Then I reviewed reasons why I should still fight for this book to be shared with as many people as possible. It came from emails I received over the years when I actually knew it mattered!

July 20, 2005

Dear Kathie,

Thank you for sharing your life and wisdom in For The Love of Jack. I must also thank you for sharing it through the internet.

I admit to you that I had not initially sought out this information. It was forwarded to me yesterday by my good friend Edward XXXXXX. I started the book last night, didn't sleep very well, too many thoughts on the matter at hand, woke up this morning, made a lighter and quicker breakfast fare than usual only so that I could get back to your story.

Being forty-eight years of age I do share most of your pre-Jack memories of Vietnam, especially the news reports at dinner time, it was a pretty horrific time in our lives. I'm ashamed to admit that Vietnam was a memory that I had set aside.

I had heard some talk of PTSD, it only came to light with 9/11. I had also heard of "shell shock" but again, it seemed like a distant memory of something that happened to people back in WWII. In my ignorance I thought that it was caused by a physical manifestation - like shrapnel or a head injury having been it's cause.

Your book enlightened me in more ways than you can imagine. I wish these living angels could sprout wings so that we would know them when we see them, so that we could revere and thank them and treat them with the fullest respect and dignity that they so deserve.

Then again, you should have sprouted a set of wings, too!

With love and continued healing and blessings to you and yours,
August 4, 2005

Hello Kathy - I was just about to contact you. Late Tuesday afternoon, Bobby XXXX, our PTSD Unit Case Manager completed his review of the book (I've inserted his comment below) We just wanted to allow our internal case managers an opportunity to review before placing online. Now, in terms of formatting, how would you like the book to be placed on the website? In Adobe or some other format? We are now in the process of revising our website and over the next two weeks will have a lot of new information going online, at that time, we will also place your book online. Do we need to have any formal agreements from you in order to do this? Anything else you want to let me know about? Just let me know. Thanks again Kathy.

Here is Bob XXXX comment

Hi Stephen, I put a little more into Kathie's book.It'll be especially helpful to significant others or those affected by secondary ptsd, up close or from distances. She makes it easy for the readers who need to grasp closure as well as those who quietly need to know.

December 20, 2005
Dear Mrs., Costos

I came across a Web-site and I enjoyed what you had written there. I am a Veteran Vietnam 1967-69. I know what it is like to be married to a Vietnam Veteran. I have two ex.-wife's neither of whom can say I ever abused them. I think the work normal is something Vets don't have. My last two wife's still love me either can sleep in the same bed with me. So they now sleep in the bed of someone else. I have a knew wife of a year and she has moved to the couch.

She I think she is afraid, I might died during the night. I do love her very, very much so I respect her need to sleep on the couch. I have got the works, heart problems, Sugar, PTSD a whole list. I go out and work everyday I can to take care of her and would not have it any other way. My problem I just don't no how mush longer I can hang in there.

I have been fighting with the Veterans Administration since 2001 to get help. Last Dec. I manage finally to get some help. I was homeless for three years after 2001. I would work and could only make enough money to eat and buy my smokes. I was refused care by four Veterans Hospitals during that time. So, I know what you have been through. I know in your heart your a good person. You not only tried, but you kept tiring. Most women just take the money and run!

Thank you Kathie for hanging in there with yourVet, heaven has a place for you waiting.

Thank you again, To be kind is ever so wise!
Your Friend,
The Rose

So, I read more emails, more on how this book helped them, as well as helped them help someone else.

I asked publishers to take this on and they said no. I asked marketing people who claimed they were willing to help, but they did nothing. I asked law firms, and they did nothing. It would be easier for me to just forget all about this, but not easier on the families needing to find it!

Now, I am begging for someone to help me! I cannot afford to get this book printed by myself and there is no way in hell I want to profit from it after all these years being tortured by the publisher. I have paid too high of a price already for trying to do the right thing for the right reasons.

If you can donate, any amount will help. If you cannot donate, then please pass on this on to someone who can. Keep in mind that it will not be tax deductible since this money is going to me so that I can have total control over purchasing and shipping the books out. I wrote this long before I was a part of any group other than families suffering in silence! 

Spc. Kamisha Block's family did not settle for what military told them

Army reopens case of 2007 murder-suicide that was originally called 'friendly fire'

Published: April 19, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas – One gunshot wound to the chest from friendly fire — that’s the story Spc. Kamisha Block’s family was told about her death in Iraq.
Spc. Kamisha Block was buried in her hometown of Vidor, Texas. Twelve years after she was murdered by a fellow soldier at Camp Liberty, Iraq, the Army has reopened the investigation into her death. Rose L. Thayer/Stars and Stripes

Her family had no reason not believe the two soldiers who arrived at their home in Vidor, Texas in August 2007 to break the bad news to them.

But when Block’s body arrived at their local funeral home with five gunshot wounds, including one in the head, her family started asking questions.

“It’s just lie after lie after lie after lie!” Shonta Block

Shonta Block said family members have questioned the Army about her sister, waiting six months to get the report on her Aug. 16, 2007 noncombat death. The family learned while she was deployed at Camp Liberty, Iraq, the 20-year-old soldier was shot to death by her 30-year-old boyfriend, Staff Sgt. Paul Brandon Norris, who then turned his weapon on himself.

In August, Shonta Block, who works with a remodeling company, said they finally got a glimmer of hope when a phone call from the Inspector General of the Army Criminal Investigation Command informed her that the investigation into her sister’s death was reopened.

“I was on a job painting a door,” Shonta Block said about the call. “I said, ‘Oh my God, thank you.’ I couldn’t stop saying it. I just kept saying thank you.”
read more here

Veteran thanks officer for saving his life during crisis

Military veteran living with PTSD recalls night APD officer helped save his life

KOAT 7 News
Shellya Leggett 
April 19, 2019
"When it was going on, that was like, that was really intense and scary for me. So, it was just like, in hindsight thinking about it, you know, that guy was really, really patient and really cool with me." J Freeman

Albuquerque police and other agencies across New Mexico are requiring officers to get training from psychologists on how to deal with people with mental illnesses.

A man who said that training helped save his life spoke to KOAT. J Freeman is a six-year Army and Air Force veteran who lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said without the help of Albuquerque Police Department officer Phillip Meier, he might not be here to tell his story.

Freeman said he spent some time overseas in Kuwait and Iraq but has been home since 2003 and lives every day with PTSD.

"It's not always easy to have a conversation with someone, and when it's a police officer or anyone, especially when they have weapons on them, it just makes you all the more defensive and agitated," Freeman said.

About a week ago, he had a PTSD crisis.

"If I was agitated, if this were two years ago, this would have been a completely different ending," Freeman said.

He needed help, and two-year APD officer and five-year Navy veteran Phillip Meier was there.
read more here

Friday, April 19, 2019

Veterans Memorial Park taken over by homeless

Port Angeles considers fencing off Veterans Memorial Park from the homeless

King 5 News
Author: Eric Wilkinson
April 19, 2019

Police calls to Veterans Memorial Park in Port Angeles have skyrocketed and residents say they no longer feel safe.

At Veterans Memorial Park in Port Angeles, a replica of the Liberty Bell is defaced with graffiti. The park is teeming with garbage. Nearby residents say they no longer feel safe.

"This can be a horrific mess of trash and human waste," said Karen Rogers. "We have needles, illicit sex acts. This is a school bus route, for crying out loud!"

Rogers is a former mayor of Port Angeles. Her son is an Iraq War veteran. To her, seeing the memorial this way just isn't right.

"This place, to me, is the heart of service," she said. "We honor those who have served our country. We honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice."

The situation has grown much worse over the past three years with the opioid epidemic. Police calls to the park have skyrocketed.
read more here

Florida veteran moved back to California...and into "Faith Defines Us"

Affordable housing helps veteran start clothing company

The Signal
Emily Alvarenga
April 18, 2019
Now, Martin owns his own business. “Faith Defines Us” is an online Christian apparel brand that, according to Martin, is “more than just selling clothes, it’s like a ministry.”

Tommy Martin served in the U.S. Army for six years before moving to California from Florida.

“I just wanted something different from where I grew up,” Martin said.

He then “played catch up by going back to school” and went on to get three bachelor’s degrees in marketing, business law and design.

Martin and his wife were living in San Francisco and looking for Veteran Affairs housing benefits a couple of years ago, when they stumbled upon the Santa Clarita Veteran Enriched Neighborhood.

A total of 78 single-family homes were being built by Homes 4 Families, a nonprofit dedicated to helping create affordable housing for veterans.

“(My wife) grew up in Santa Clarita, and didn’t want to move back, but God works in mysterious ways,” Martin said.
read more here

Unclaimed veterans laid to rest in Washington

Unclaimed veterans' remains put to rest with dignity and honor

by Julia Espinoza
April 18th 2019

PASCO, Wash. -- Remains of 21 veterans left unclaimed by loved ones are being honored with a proper burial at the Washington State Veterans cemetery in Medical Lake.

On Thursday, a service took place before the ride, honoring fallen heroes with a poem, folding of flag and the pledge of allegiance.

“It’s part of the veteran brotherhood no brother or sister left behind they deserve full military honors and they should not be forgotten,” said John Fish, Ride Coordinator.

The Missing in America Project is a program that helps locate, identify and provide a proper burial for fallen heroes.
read more here

Missouri firefighters caught pushing around disabled veteran in wheelchair

Now that I have your was in a very good way~

Missouri firefighters push disabled veteran home after electric wheelchair battery dies

ABC 13 News
Thursday, April 18th, 2019

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- A group of Missouri firefighters lent a helping hand to a fellow citizen after his motorized wheelchair battery died, leaving him stranded far from his home.
Video shared to Facebook by the Raytown Fire Protection District showed three firefighters as they pushed the man's wheelchair down the side of the street as their fire engine followed behind them.

In an interview with Yahoo, deputy chief Mike Hunley said the man was an elderly veteran whose chair became trapped in muddy grass. By the time he was freed, the battery had begun to run low, so firefighters pushed him seven blocks home and set him up to recharge the battery.
read more here

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Vietnam Vet Charles "Billy" Johnson laid to rest by "brothers"

Veteran with no family honored by Tennessee vets

WSMV 4 News
Posted on Apr 17, 2019

A funeral was scheduled Wednesday for a Vietnam Veteran in Nashville, knowing he had no living family or close friends that would attend.
So, the VA Hospital in Murfreesboro sent out an open invitation for anyone to come.

Family doesn't have to be blood relatives, the family here today was veterans.
No one deserves an unattended funeral.

Certainly not Vietnam Vet Charles "Billy" Johnson.

When local veterans heard about this April 17th service, Veterans Cemetery in West Nashville invited anyone who cared about those who served.

"Kind of warmed my heart a little bit to see all these people here to pay final respects."
read more here

Arizona now has way to track veterans committing suicide...because they did not before

Governor Ducey Signs Bill To Better Track Veteran Suicides

News Release
April 17, 2019

New Data Will Help Inform Arizona’s Efforts To Prevent Veteran Suicide

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed HB 2488, legislation sponsored by Representative Jay Lawrence, directing the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) to submit an annual report improving the tracking of veteran suicides in Arizona.

Veterans face a risk of suicide four times greater than non-veterans in Arizona. Until now, Arizona did not have a formal way to track or report veteran suicides in the state. The new annual report will provide critical data to help Arizona understand and prevent veteran suicide. The report will begin in January 2020 and will track a variety of data points that will provide historical and regional trends and compare Arizona's resident veteran suicide rate to the national rate and other regions across the country.

“Our veterans have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom, and this country and Arizona are going to continue doing everything we can to support our veterans and prevent veteran suicide,” said Governor Ducey. “This legislation will provide Arizona with a necessary tool to understand the issues that cause veteran suicide, and implement data-driven policy to address this devastating issue.”

“There are no easy answers when it comes to veteran suicides. With this new report, Arizona will now be able to define the scope of the devastating problem of veteran suicide and find a way to prevent them and bolster our veterans’ services,” said Representative Lawrence. “I thank my colleagues for the bipartisan support and Governor Ducey for signing this legislation to help Arizona’s veterans.”

The FY2020 budget includes increased funding for Arizona’s “Be Connected” suicide prevention program. The Be Connected program connects service members, veterans and their families to support and resources. In 2018, the program assisted over 2,000 individuals. This investment will also support community outreach efforts to find additional public, private and non-profit partnership opportunities and increase awareness of the critical resources available to Arizona’s military and veteran communities.

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife
Side by side the same way you fought every other battle!

Vietnam Veteran Col. Philip Conran may get MOH

Should this airman receive the Medal of Honor for Laos battle? A congressman thinks so

Air Force Times
By: Stephen Losey
April 19, 2019

A California congressman is pushing to upgrade a retired Air Force colonel’s Air Force Cross to a Medal of Honor for “extraordinary heroism” during a fierce 1969 battle in Laos.
Col. Philip J. Conran receives an Air Force Cross for his heroic actions in Laos on Oct. 6, 1969. (Courtesy of the Robert F. Dorr Collection)

Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-California, on Monday introduced a bill, HR 2330, that would authorize the president to upgrade Col. Philip Conran’s Air Force Cross to the nation’s highest award for valor.

On Oct. 6, 1969, as the United States’ war in Vietnam spilled over into Laos, then-Maj. Philip Conran was part of a mission that went south when a helicopter was shot down, according to a narrative provided by Carbajal’s staff. Conran took charge during the rescue attempt, and repeatedly put himself at risk to save 44 of his fellow troops, according to the legislation.
read more here

"The Code" doesn't think female officers can manage a wedding too?

‘The Code’ for tone deafness? CBS show on Marines grilled for tweet about female officer

Marine Corps Times
By: J.D. Simkins
April 18, 2019

Network television shows on military subjects seldom lead the charge when it comes to accurately portraying the subject matter on which said shows are based.
A tweet from the official account of CBS' "The Code" sparked some harsh criticisms of the new show. ("The Code")

And that’s fine. Audience members should never expect to attain a firm, gospel-like grasp of military culture based on shows scheduled adjacent to series like “God Friended Me” or “Hawaii Five-0.”

Such tempered expectations should likewise be extended to CBS’ “The Code,” a show about “the professional and personal lives of some of the military’s brightest legal minds in the courtroom, where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator — and a Marine,” according to the show’s IMDB page.

Since its debut, veterans have been quick to point out minor inaccuracies, such as ribbon placement or the apparent scarcity of qualified barbers in the region — harmless slip-ups.

But on Tuesday, a tweet from the show’s official Twitter account riled the masses for coming off as questioning basic capabilities of women in the Corps.

“Can Lt. Harper Li balance her duties to the Corps with planning her wedding?” the tweet read. “Find out in the latest episode of #TheCode.”
go here to read the rest if you want to, but do not miss the Tweet responses!

#SprayedAndBetrayed Blue Water Veterans still waiting for justtice

Will the benefits for ‘blue water’ Vietnam veterans be settled soon?

Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
April 17, 2019
“Even though the court has ruled that the VA must provide these benefits, there is no guarantee it will happen,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “Congress must create a permanent legislative fix.”
Troops from the First Cavalry Air Mobile Division watch the carrier USS Boxer after arrival at Qui Nhon, Vietnam, on Sept. 12, 1965. (AP file photo)
The fate of disability benefits for “blue water” Vietnam veterans will be among the key topics lawmakers tackle when they return from their district break at the end of the month.

In January, a federal court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs for years has used faulty reasoning to deny disability benefits to veterans who served in ships off the waters of Vietnam. VA officials had argued that extending the benefits to an additional 90,000 veterans would cost as much as $5 billion over 10 years, a figure that advocates have disputed.

This week, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., announced plans to reinforce that ruling and establish a permanent fix for those veterans, who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants has caused a host of rare cancers and respirator illnesses.

Already the chairman and ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee have introduced similar plans, and that House panel is preparing for an expansive hearing on the topic early next month.
read more here

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Book not pulled on account of zombies

When a copyright goes wrong

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 17, 2019

Update on the book thing...It seems that the book went into the dead file somewhere, at some time, and must have been bitten by Zombies because its alive!

Members of Washington National Guard's 194th Wing pose as zombies with their simulated injury makeup before participating in the Cascadia Rising exercise, a test of Washington state’s earthquake response plan. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Paul Rider

I have been trying to figure out what I was seeing, since it did not make sense. If you have read Wounded Times lately, then you know the trouble I've been having with my first book. If not, then you may not need to go back and see what it is all about because of what I am about to show you.

For the sake of my loyal readers, I do not want to rehash all of it, so please forgive me and you can catch up here.

Today I went to ISBN to understand how it works. After all, two numbers on a book did not make much sense. Here is the deal on them.
About the ISBN Standard "ISBN" stands for "International Standard Book Number".

An ISBN is a number, not a bar code.

One agency per country is designated to assign ISBNs for the publishers and self-publishers located in that country. The U.S. ISBN Agency cannot assign ISBNs to publishers and self-publishers located outside the United States and its territories.
Still not sure what is going on with overseas operations but we'll focus on the US for now. 
The ISBN identifies the title or other book-like product (such as an audiobook) to which it is assigned, but also the publisher to be contacted for ordering purposes. If an ISBN is obtained from a company other than the official ISBN Agency, that ISBN will not identify the publisher of the title accurately. This can have implications for doing business in the publishing industry supply chain.

When participating in the ISBN standard, publishers and self-publishers are required to report all information about titles to which they have assigned ISBNs.

For more than thirty years, ISBNs were 10 digits long. On January 1, 2007 the ISBN system switched to a 13-digit format. Now all ISBNs are 13-digits long. If you were assigned 10-digit ISBNs, you can convert them to the 13-digit format at the converter found at this website. A 10-digit ISBN cannot be converted to 13-digits merely by placing three digits in front of the 10-digit number. There is an algorithm that frequently results in a change of the last digit of the ISBN.
On Amazon, FOR THE LOVE OF JACK has the "978" number with the original one.

Paperback: 148 pages Publisher: Xlibris Corp (April 1, 2003) Language: English ISBN-10: 1401086918 
ISBN-13: 978-1401086916
Yet, the book that came in last week, (which according to Xlibris) is not new, it did not have the old ISBN number on the inside. It just had the one that was issued after 2007. Yes, this is like a very bad movie that you cannot shut off!
So, exactly why would a publisher do this after they "stopped printing it" and pulled it from distribution years before?

Even that is in doubt because apparently Xlibris cannot make up their mind when they stopped it.

 First it was 2005,

And then it was 2004~Which came in an email last week after they wrote how they stopped in 2005.

Again, we know it was not a used book! (Yes, that is my name and after I started writing back in 1984)
Love that part at the end. I bet she hoped it did so that I would go away and stop wanting them to be accountable!

The worst part of this is, they have been doing this to me for 16 years! Why not remove a book if they had in fact stopped distribution of it? Why put on a new ISBN number on a book that was "out of print" a couple of years before this special number was even issued?

Wonder how many others they did it to? 

If they did it to you, leave a comment and then maybe someone with the power to do something about it will!

I am trying to raise funds to take control of this book back! I want to print it and give it away. Please go here to support that effort.