Showing posts with label CNN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CNN. Show all posts

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Only The Dead See End Of War--Michael Ware's Darkest Moment

Operation Iraqi Truth: New Documentary Reveals
Why War Is Hell
Michael Ware spent seven harrowing years covering the Iraq War – and he has the scars to prove it
Rolling Stone
By Reeves Wiedeman
March 25, 2016
By 2009, however, another IED attack debilitated Ware's senses of smell and taste – "I get too salty, too sweet, and that's about it" – and he soon realized he had to get out. He moved to Brooklyn, but found himself unable to walk to the corner store, much less work on the book he had a contract to write. He took assignments from CNN that sent him back to conflict zones. Eventually, he went on leave from CNN, citing post-traumatic stress disorder, and never went back. "That's when I started watching the tapes," Ware says.
read more here
Only the Dead See the End of War
HBO
His footage captures the violence, fear and confusion that defined the Iraq War, as well as his self-described “darkest moment” of the war, which haunted him long after he left the country.
Directed by two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag in collaboration with Australian journalist Michael Ware, Only the Dead See the End of War examines the Iraq War and its moral consequences through the story of the rise and fall of jihadi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the progenitor of ISIS. A harrowing and graphic account from both sides of the war zone, as well as an illuminating window into the origins of a modern terrorist organization, the film is told through visceral hand-held video footage culled from hundreds of hours that Ware shot while reporting over the course of the war. This unique, on-the-ground view is combined with eye-opening narration for a frank, unsparing look at the Iraq War unlike any before.

Arriving in Baghdad in 2003 as a novice reporter, Michael Ware was initially on a three-week assignment to cover the invasion of Iraq. He left seven years later, having gained unprecedented access to the Iraqi insurgency and American troops, as well as a myriad of demons -- the after-effects of witnessing seemingly endless, horrific violence.
read more here

Only The Dead

Monday, October 26, 2015

Michael Ware Found Healing PTSD in Writing Only the Dead

Michael Ware, war correspondent, relives his Iraq War hell in Only the Dead
The Sydney Morning Herald
Karl Quinn
National Film Editor
October 26, 2015
"One night in Brooklyn I woke and heard somebody screaming blue murder, and suddenly realised it was me." Michael Ware
Only the Dead documents the experiences of Australian war correspondent Michael Ware in the Iraq War, which he covered for almost seven years. Photo: Transmission
As Baghdad bureau chief for CNN, Michael Ware was living a life almost unimaginable to a working-class boy from the suburbs of Brisbane, or to the lawyer he later became before finding his way into journalism.

"I had a private army of 50 people," he says over a few drinks in the bar of the Cinema Nova, where his documentary Only the Dead will screen from Thursday. "I had checkpoints set up at either end of the street because we always knew the car bomb was coming – what we wanted was stand-off, so that when it did come it wouldn't be able to get too close."
"I turned to all sorts of things to try to find some kind of relief. I just wanted the pain to stop, anything that would give me some pause from the demons that surrounded me constantly."

For years, he couldn't sleep, and even when he could it was no better. "One night in Brooklyn I woke and heard somebody screaming blue murder, and suddenly realised it was me." While wrestling with his demons, he had torn his shoulder. "For a period of time there, you had to be very careful how you woke me," he says.

He did the equivalent of seven tours of duty in Iraq – first as a print correspondent for Time, then as the man trying to help American audiences make sense of the war on television every night. He finally left in 2009, but only began to emerge from the darkness in 2012, when he penned a piece for Newsweek after two former colleagues were killed.

A month later, he wrote a piece on post traumatic stress disorder. "It begins: 'I should be dead; I wish I was'," he recalls. It was a major turning point, he says now. In writing it, he rediscovered his will to stay alive.
read more here

Sunday, September 27, 2015

CNN VA Fast Facts Too Fast and Missed Most Important Fact of All

Department of Veterans Affairs Fast Facts CNN Library September 25, 2015 is floating all over the net today. The trouble is, while it is good it isn't good enough to give folks an idea how long all of this has been going on.

They kind-of-sort-of skipped over some of the most important years of all.
More Than 260,000 Can't Get VA Health Care
Associated Press | January 25, 2006
WASHINGTON - More than a quarter-million veterans considered to have higher incomes could not sign up for health care with the Veterans Affairs Department during the last fiscal year because of a cost-cutting move. Those locked out - totaling 263,257 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 - have no illnesses or injuries attributable to their service in the military and earn more than the average wage in their community.

The VA suspended enrollment of such veterans beginning in January 2003 after then-VA Secretary Anthony Principi said the agency was struggling to provide adequate health care to the rapidly rising number of veterans seeking it.

That year the VA population was about 6.8 million. About 7.5 million are enrolled today, with more than 5 million treated.

"There is no reason for the VA to give the cold shoulder to veterans who have served our country honorably," said Rep. Lane Evans of Illinois, ranking Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

VA spokesman Matt Burns said VA provides world-class health care to veterans, "particularly our newly returning veterans, those with low incomes and those who have sustained service-related injuries or illnesses."

Iraq veterans are guaranteed health care if they enroll within two years of leaving the military.


2008 Reported by Associated Press VA secretary pledges to cut 5 weeks off wait
Peake wants to reduce wait times from roughly 180 days to 145 days by the start of next year. He cited aggressive efforts to hire staff, noting the VA will have 3,100 new staff by 2009. VA also is working to get greater online access to Pentagon medical information that he said will allow staff to process claims faster and move toward a system of electronic filing of claims.

Peake promised to “virtually eliminate” the current list of 69,000 veterans who have waited more than 30 days for an appointment to get VA medical care. Such long waits runs counter to department policy, and a group of Iraq war veterans have filed a lawsuit alleging undue delays. He said VA plans to open 64 new community-based outpatient clinics this year and 51 next year to improve access to health care in rural areas.

“We will take all measures necessary to provide them with timely benefits and services, to give them complete information about the benefits they have earned through their courageous service, and to implement streamlined processes free of bureaucratic red tape,” Peake said in testimony prepared for a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Thursday.


Veterans Affairs Health Dept. Undersecretary addresses House Appropriations Subcommittee Undersecretary for the Health Dept. of Veterans Affairs Michael Kussman
He also promised to provide “compassionate care” for veterans suffering from mental health issues such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He said that VA expects to treat about 5,771,000 patients in 2009. Kussman also said that in April 2006, over 250,000 “unique” patients were waiting more than 30 days to receive their treatment but that as of January 2001, that figure has been reduced to just over 69,000.
VA to call Iraq, Afghanistan veterans reported by Associated Press April 24, 2008
The Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday that on May 1 it will start calling 570,000 recent combat veterans to make sure they know what services are available to them.

The first calls will go to about 17,000 veterans who were sick or injured while serving in the wars. If they don’t have a care manager, the VA says they will be given one.

The next round of calls will target 555,000 veterans from the wars who have been discharged from active duty, but have not reached out to the VA for services. For five years after their discharge from the military, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have access to health care at the VA.

The effort will cost about $2.7 million and will be handled by a government contractor.


Vet care spending is at record level reported by USA Today Gregg Zoroya on July 23, 2008
Expenditures hit $82 billion in 2007 because of the rising cost of health care, the expense of caring for an aging population of mostly Vietnam veterans and a new crop of severely wounded troops from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That exceeds the $80 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars spent in 1947 after most of the 16.1 million Americans serving in World War II left the service, according to a Congressional Research Service report submitted to Congress last month.

An 11 percent hike in spending is slated for this fiscal year to $91 billion and the Veterans Affairs Department has proposed $94 billion for 2009. And still more is needed, said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is seeking another $3.3 billion for the 2009 budget proposal.

“While we are spending more than in previous years, we are still not meeting many of the health care and benefits needs of our veterans,” Murray said.

Last month’s passage of a new GI Bill will add $100 billion in education benefits for veterans over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and his Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama clashed over the bill last month.

McCain opposed it, saying its increased education benefits might encourage troops to leave the military.

Peake: VA needs young, tech-savvy workers reported by By Rick Maze - Staff writer Aug 21, 2008
VA expects to receive almost 900,000 benefits claims this year, and has a backlog of about 400,000 claims
Followed by this report September 14, 2008 from Gazette reporter Jill Bryce, Backlog of veterans benefits appeals growing bigger.
It’s estimated there are 600,000 to 800,000 unresolved claims and appeals with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to veterans’ advocates.

“We have claims that have been pending for a decade, two decades and some that date back more than 50 years. We have appeals from World War II,” said David E. Autry, a spokesman for the Disabled American Veterans in Washington D.C., which represents veterans and advocates and helps them obtain their benefits.
Would have been more helpful to actually do basic research on what has been really behind all this pain and suffering for all these decades. CONGRESS!!!!!!!

If you have some time there are over 25,000 more reports just like those right here on Wounded Times.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Brooke Baldwin Should Prove What She Really Believes About Veterans

"CNN’s Brooke Baldwin shows rest of media how to apologize" or so Erik Wemple wrote on the Washington Post. Maybe that is what she thinks however, there is far too much yammering and far too little thinking going on.

This is what Baldwin said in the first place.
“And a lot of these young people … and I love our nation’s veterans, but some of them are coming back from war, they don’t know the communities and they’re ready to do battle.”

This is the apology being defended by Wemple.
On CNN’s “New Day” program Baldwin said:
I made a mistake yesterday. We were in the middle of live TV, I was talking to a member of Congress, and I was recounting a story, a conversation I had had recently just referring to police. And I absolutely misspoke, I inartfully chose my words 100 percent and I just wish speaking to all of you this morning: I wholeheartedly retract what I said. And I’ve thought tremendously about this, and to our nation’s veterans, to you — this is just who I want to speak with this morning — I have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform. And I wanted you to know that this morning, so to all of you, I owe a tremendous apology. I am truly sorry.

"Recounting" a conversation she had? Ok, if someone told her in a conversation that the moon was made out of cheese, would she simply repeat that without ever wondering what kind of cheese it was? Would she do some research to find out if the person expressing the thoughts was telling the truth or not? Would she ask experts on the CNN payroll for their thoughts?

Baldwin may have shown how to say "sorry" but didn't do much good for proving being informed in the first place would have prevented her from even repeating those words.

Baldwin isn't just a person stopped on the street for an interview. She's a reporter! She has a job to do. This didn't just hurt the feelings of veterans but it added to the already uninformed believing veterans are dangerous and looking for some kind of a fight.

Guess it didn't matter to her that veterans are more likely to harm themselves than anyone else or the other very underreported fact that PTSD veterans have PTSD because they put their lives on the line over and over again for others and are, in my opinion, some of the best people you'd ever want to meet.

When they come home the number on job they go into is law enforcement followed by firefighting. Both jobs require putting their lives on the line to defend, protect and save lives. And yes, some of them have PTSD but just like the citizens after traumatic events in their own lives, most folks would never know they were suffering. Suffering doesn't mean they are not capable of love, compassion, mercy, forbearance, or lacking anything other than proper help to heal.

Then again maybe Baldwin is just remembering some of the other "reports" CNN has done over the years.
Experts: Vets' PTSD, violence a growing problem, By Ashley Hayes, CNN, Updated 5:02 PM ET, Tue January 17, 2012
A coincidence -- two recent high-profile cases? Or a sign of an increase in hostile behavior as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal from Iraq, similar to that seen when U.S. troops returned home from the Vietnam War?

"You're going to see this more and more over the next 10 years," said Shad Meshad, founder of the National Veterans Foundation, who has been working with veterans since 1970. "... There's a percentage that come back, depending on how much trauma and how much killing they're involved in, they're going to act out."

And in the same article there was this,
"What we don't want to do is stigmatize veterans by saying they're walking time bombs," said Elspeth Ritchie, chief clinical officer for the Washington, D.C., Department of Mental Health and a former U.S. Army colonel. "They're not."
But then again, Richie had a bad habit of doing exactly that. Had she thought differently about our veterans she would have told the truth that an infinitesimal number of veterans cause trouble to anyone.

Keep in mind, according to the VA report from 2014 "Living Veterans (Periods of War and Peace) 23,234,000" yet there are few reports compared to those numbers. What we do see more of is veterans committing suicide and trying to on an upward trend at the same time there are more and more "efforts" to "raise awareness" and help veterans. (Don't get me started on that!)

There is way too much bullshit going on all over the country and the last thing veterans need is to hear something like what Baldwin said and they didn't deserve it to be in her mind in the first place. After all, if she didn't think it, she wouldn't have said it.

So, now what? Being one to open my mouth and let the words come out before I can actually think of how it sounds before it is too late, she is not beyond redemption. After all typing something isn't the same as saying something. I can hit the delete button and you'd never know I was about to be a blithering idiot, (Lucky you I usually catch myself) but saying it can't be taken back.

She needs to show that she has really wanted to learn what the truth is. Let her go on CNN and interview experts and veterans with a list of questions and then she'll show she how much she does care. We can judge by the type of questions she asks and if she had any follow-up questions ready. If she really cares then she'd do enough research to be able to do that.

Making mistakes is human, but showing where her heart really is, must now be proven.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CNN Special Follows Veterans With PTSD

Soledad O'Brien's New CNN Special Follows Veterans With Post Traumatic Stress
(Exclusive)
The Wrap
By Tim Molloy
July 16, 2014

Therapy program includes equine therapy, transcendental meditation, and physically and emotionally demanding trust exercises

CNN's new Soledad O'Brien special, “The War Comes Home,” will focus on veterans returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq coping with post traumatic syndrome, rage, and thoughts of suicide.

The special follows Delon Beckett and Garrett Combs, two returning veterans at a time that the Veterans Administration is under intense criticism for its failure to help American troops back from war. One in five veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, or severe depression, according to a Rand Corporation study cited by CNN.
read more here
Published on Jul 16, 2014
Every hour a U.S. Veteran takes his own life, and it's estimated that 1 in 5 of all returning vets suffer from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or depression, with families and employers hanging in the balance. As the US prepares for the final draw down of soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, Soledad O'Brien takes an intimate look at two vets and their families' lives as they struggle with the transition from War to Home and their battles within: ranging from alcoholism, drug dependence, and explosions of anger to suicidal and homicidal thoughts. O'Brien follows these wounded warriors to a new program in Malibu CA that uses a combination of therapies and challenges to help these Vets heal and find peace of mind. It involves TM, ropes courses, and equine therapy ... but can 5 and a half days on the pacific coast really save soldiers lives?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why didn't Barbara Starr report these stories?

Why didn't Barbara Starr report these stories?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 8, 2013

FOX and MSNBC are political stations and we've gotten accustomed to that. FOX is for Republicans, MSNBC is for Democrats but the rest of us thought CNN was more for us. The way these three giants have been delivering the "news" has resulted in, not just the dumbing down of the American public, but contributed to the disassociation between the public and the military.

Two wars were forgotten about unless producers thought a story was catastrophic enough to cover it.
Sep 16, 2013
9/16/13 - CNN Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr reported on Monday morning that an attack on the Washington Navy Yard by multiple assailants may be an act of terrorism. Later in the day, she stressed that the "bottom line" is that officials are now investigating a "conspiracy to attack the United States military" and all that entails. Starr began by stressing that initial reports are worthy of skepticism, but the notion that multiple gunmen participated in this attacks is troubling.

"I think we have to really face the notion of the real bottom line here," she asserted. "If this pans out, if this proves to be true there were a total of three gunmen, the U.S. military is facing a considerable problem beyond this terrible initial tragedy."

"You're talking about a conspiracy of people to attack the United States military inside this country, inside of Washington D.C.," she insisted. "Three people plotting, planning, talking about how they would carry this out."

It is supposed to be her job to report on what is going on but there are so many stories she has missed over the last ten years that we should be wondering if she is missing these stories or is the producer. Or, even worse, CNN itself has decided they didn't want to.

Barbara Starr is a Pentagon correspondent for CNN, based in the network's Washington, D.C., bureau.

Starr provides viewers with the latest news each day from the Pentagon regarding the war in Afghanistan and other national security matters. Since 2003, Starr has made repeated trips to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, where she has been embedded with U.S. troops. She traveled to Beirut, Lebanon in 2006 with U.S. Marines tasked with evacuating Americans during Israel’s war with Hezbollah.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Starr had exclusive access to Lt. Gen. Russel Honore as the only reporter traveling with him as he directed hurricane relief efforts. Starr has also reported directly from the Persian Gulf, Russia, Central America and the Chinese-North Korean border. Starr has profiled numerous wounded troops and reported on the fallen regularly from Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"U.S. Marine Sgt. Brian LaLoup, who was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, shot himself following a night out drinking in the Greek capital on Aug. 12, 2012, according to the court filing." but it was not until yesterday the story broke on NBC because his parents filed a lawsuit because his heart had been removed. This happened in August of last year. A suicide inside the US Embassy in Greece and officials accused of removing the Marine's heart after his officers thought drinking more would make him feel better? This was not a huge story last year?

Durning September for Military Suicide Awareness Month the Huffington Post did a fantastic job of covering the stories that do in fact matter. Stories most of us not only read, but live with everyday. David Wood, reporter for Huffington Post, interviewed Army Chief Ray Ordierno. He is head of the Army and the Army National Guards along with the Army Reserves. Army Chief Ray Odierno Warns Military Suicides 'Not Going To End' After War Is Over. As such Wood should have asked him some questions that have not been addressed following claims the folks in the DOD have made about "prevention" as well as claims that "non-deployed" soldiers commit suicide more than deployed do. So let's look at what was not asked by Wood or Starr even though they had access to officials.

This was said by Odierno.
"Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations."

"But it also has to do with where you come from. I came from a loving family, one who gave lots of positive reinforcement, who built up psychologically who I was, who I am, what I might want to do. It built confidence in myself, and I believe that enables you to better deal with stress. It enables you to cope more easily than maybe some other people."

On the first claim that it is the weakness of the soldiers, he was not asked to explain that claim even though other Generals have talked about their own struggles with PTSD, Navy SEALS and other Special Op troops have committed suicide along with troops from every rank and branch.

Medal of Honor Dakota Meyer tried to kill himself when he got home. The list goes on and on and up and up but while he gets to say the suicides went down, no one brings up a very important point. The truth is the number of enlisted soldiers has gone down as well under sequestration. The cutbacks hit every branch of the military.

The Army National Guards and Reservist suicides have gone up yet when the AP reported the numbers the beginning of this year for 2012, they left them out. CNN reported the Army numbers along with the National Guards and Reservist but left everyone else out.

"325 Army suicides in 2012 a record" was reported on February 2, 2013 by Tom Watkins and Maggie Schneider of CNN. Within the reporting there was a section about the stigma living on but no one asked what happened to all the years of "efforts" made to reduce suicides and prevent PTSD with the BS "resilience" training causing the stigma to outlive the soldiers.

This "training" was based on a research project for school aged kids to increase self-esteem but the DOD used it for troops going into combat. This was never important enough for CNN to cover?

No one is asking "If deployments really have nothing to do with suicides, then what is wrong with their mental health evaluations? What is wrong with their suicide prevention and "resilience" training if it didn't even work on the non-deloyed?"

Starr has not seemed too interested in the simple fact that every year the DOD releases the Suicide Event Report for all branches including attempted suicides, another factor not important enough to cover any more than she seems interested in asking why the DOD does not see fit to release the monthly suicides for all branches and not just the Army.

Starr has done some great work in the past but with everything being tracked by Wounded Times it has become obvious that CNN does not seem really interested in reporting on anything they really have to investigate anymore.

CNN doesn't really seem interested in reporting on the fact that a huge charity Wounded Warrior Project has filed a lawsuit against a tiny charity out of Indiana, Help Indiana Vets, because the founder dared to bring to public attention what most of us have been talking about for a long time. This should have been a huge story especially when the founder is a disabled veteran with a veteran spouse turned away from WWP causing them to start their own charity.

National veterans’ charity sues local Indiana veterans’ charity
FOX 59
11/25/13
by Jill Glavan
Reporter

INDIANAPOLIS – A national nonprofit group that pulls in more than $150 million annually for veterans has sued local group Help Indiana Vets.

The lawsuit stems from a post on the Help Indiana Vets website, alleging national program Wounded Warrior Project is “a fraud.”

Dean Graham, who founded Help Indiana Vets and posted the article, said he was shocked to hear he’s being sued.

“I think they’re trying to shut me up,” Graham said.

Graham’s allegations are that Wounded Warrior Project does not donate a majority of its profits directly to veterans in need. His article has been re-posted on Facebook and led to emails sent by former donors to the national group.

In the lawsuit, attorneys for the Wounded Warrior Project argue that Graham’s post violates its trademark infringement and has cost it more than $75,000.

“(Graham’s) false and misleading statements alleged herein have deceived many WWP supporters and have caused a number of WWP supporters to cancel their ongoing donations to WWP,” the lawsuit said.
read more here

This should have been a national story but it wasn't. There are so many more stories that are not given proper attention but when suffering goes on and on and nothing gets fixed it isn't because people don't care. It is because the reporters stopped investigating and started parroting.

UPDATE

Just to give you an idea of how many National Guards and Reservists we're talking about this is from the DOD.

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of December 4, 2013

The Army National Guard, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Air National Guard announced this week a decrease in activated National Guard members and reservists, while the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve announced an increase of activated reservists. The net collective result is 238 fewer activated National Guard members and reservists in comparison to last week.

At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 32,166; Navy Reserve, 3,816; Marine Corps Reserve, 1,987; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 7,320; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 378. This brings the total National Guard and reserve personnel who have been activated to 45,667, including both units and individual augmentees.


In November of 2012 it was
The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 42,175; Navy Reserve, 4,594; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 8,970; Marine Corps Reserve, 2,562; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 661. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 58,962, including both units and individual augmentees.

So how is it that with 10,000 less in the Army National Guards and Army Reservists there are more suicides? As for the other NG and Reserve units, there is no telling what their numbers are now or were since the reports have not been released.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Military spouses spar with CNN's Starr

Military spouses spar with CNN's Starr
Army Times
By Karen Jowers
Staff Writer
September 6, 2013

Longtime CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has apologized to two military spouses who were irked by her comments in an Aug. 29 report on possible military action in Syria.

In the report, Starr said there is no question that the military can afford another mission.

“And I don’t think it’s really going to affect military families at all,” she said, according to a transcript. “This is going to be, if it it is ordered, a cruise missile strike, no U.S. troops on the ground, Navy ships out in the eastern Mediterranean that would be on deployment anyhow. So the capability is there. The money is there. Because what we’re talking about is something that will last, we are told, just potentially a couple of days.”

In a letter posted Sept. 4 to the HuffingtonPost.com, military spouses Rebekah Sanderlin and Molly Blake, both journalists, wrote: “There is no such thing as a person-less war. Our military cannot afford for Americans to forget that wars and battles and military strikes are fought by troops, that troops are people, and that those people have families.”

As for being able to afford another mission, the spouses wrote: “In our military communities this summer we couldn’t even afford to pay federal employees for a five-day work week,” referring to the six weeks of one-day-a-week furloughs ordered for most Defense Department civilians.

The spouses described difficulty getting doctor’s appointments and counseling services to deal with problems created by 12 years of war.
read more here

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dr. Sanjay Gupta comes out in support of medical marijuana for PTSD

Dr. Sanjay Gupta comes out in support of medical marijuana
‘We have been terribly and systematically misled’
Gupta, who is CNN's chief medical correspondent, said he had been too dismissive of research and case studies that pointed to benefits of medicinal marijuana.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
BY TRACY MILLER
THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has something to say about marijuana: I was wrong.

The high-profile doc, who is CNN's chief medical correspondent, apologized for "not looking hard enough" at the research on medicinal marijuana that suggests it can help treat conditions from chronic pain to post-traumatic stress disorder.

"We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that," he wrote in an op-ed published Thursday on CNN.com.

"It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works."

Gupta, who authored a 2009 Time magazine article titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot," changed his mind while working on his documentary "Weed," which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on CNN.
read more here

Monday, June 24, 2013

Twinkie coming back, over 8,000 veterans not

Start the countdown! Twinkies return to shelves July 15
CNN Money
By Chris Isidore
June 24, 2013

Good news Twinkies fans, your beloved snack is due back on shelves on July 15.

The announcement was made by Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos and Co., one of the two companies that bought the rights to Twinkies and other snack brands from the bankrupt Hostess Brands earlier this year.


Click above if you really want to read more. I hope you don't.

June is PTSD Awareness Month. You'd think that the fact we are losing more veterans to suicide would at least be among the top stories of the major news sources. You'd think that way if you really thought the major news sources cared. They don't.

At least 22 veterans commit suicide every year. Then there are the number of attempted suicides. Here on Wounded Times you read their stories everyday. Yet when we mention these facts to the average person they are in shock they didn't hear of it before.

So what exactly is June supposed to be raising awareness of? Is it what military brass wants us to know? Is it what politicians want us to think they are doing? What exactly is the point? When we see all the suffering grow and spread every year, we are more aware of the fact that the big news stations just don't care.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Officials: Arrest made in ricin scare

Officials: Arrest made in ricin scare
By Matt Smith and Carol Cratty
CNN
updated 8:00 PM EDT, Wed April 17, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Arrest came in Tupelo, Mississippi area
Sources say the FBI expects to receive test results on letters Thursday
Envelopes were addressed to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi
Initial tests on those envelopes detected the deadly poison ricin; additional tests under way
(CNN) -- An arrest has been made in connection with letters sent to President Barack Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker that authorities are testing to determine if they contain ricin, two federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

The person was arrested in the Tupelo, Mississippi, area, one of the officials said.

Discovered Tuesday, the letters were addressed to Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, and to Obama.

The letters were stopped at a government mail-screening facility after initial tests indicated the presence of ricin.

Because initial tests can be "inconsistent," the envelopes have been sent off for additional tests, an FBI statement said. The FBI does not expect to receive results from the tests until Thursday, federal law enforcement sources told CNN.

The letters read: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."
read more here

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nancy Grace attacks veterans with PTSD

Nancy Grace attacks veterans with PTSD
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
February 13, 2013

Before the State of the Union address before Congress, news came out that another Sheriff's Deputy was killed in the line of duty and another one was in surgery because an ex-cop decided law enforcement officials needed to die.

I was flipping back and forth to find out what was going on and Anderson Cooper was on a split screen with Nancy Grace on CNN.

Nancy Grace breaks the news that alleged cop killer (name removed) may have died Tuesday in the mountains of Big Bear, CA, ending the statewide manhunt.

While multiple law enforcement sources told CNN earlier that (the cop killer's) body is believed to be in a burned cabin, authorities now say the rubble is too hot to examine.


During discussing what cop-killer had done, Grace brought up PTSD. The cop-turned-killer was also an Iraq veteran. Grace proved she knows absolutely nothing about PTSD when she made it sound as if veterans with PTSD should not be allowed to even be on the streets. (I spent the last couple of hours searching for a video on what I saw last night and as soon as I find it, I'll update it here.)

When people like her say such terrible things about our veterans because a minority of them get into trouble, it hurts all of them. Does Grace know that law enforcement is the number one job veterans take along with being firefighters? That many of these officers are also members of the National Guards? Does she understand that veterans are more likely to harm themselves than someone else or have a frickin clue how many combat veterans we have in this country that do not do anything wrong?

Grace-less made is seem as if veterans with PTSD are all too dangerous to walk the streets!

All the talk about guns and PTSD veterans leaves them out of getting help. People like her would make it impossible for a PTSD veteran to keep their jobs as police officers and deputies. The vast majority of them are fantastic and since I spend most of my time with armed veterans with PTSD, I can assure you that what the cop-killer did was out of the ordinary.

Grace said that the military would have know the cop-killer had PTSD and shouldn't have been allowed on the police force. Sure that made sense if you happened to be as uninformed as she is. The truth is less than half of the veterans needing help for PTSD feel comfortable enough to even ask for it. The very fact that their jobs are threatened is one of the reasons they will not ask for help. They fear losing their military careers as well as public servant jobs because people like Grace shoot off their mouths to audiences with even less knowledge.

As with mental illness, the talk now is taking guns away from anyone with mental illness even though again the minority of them commit crimes. They are far more likely to harm themselves than anyone else or become a victim of a crime committed by others.

We're a smarter nation than that. It is high time the people like Grace actually learn what they are talking about before them make it worse on veterans with PTSD. Out of the over 21 million veterans we have in this country we read about few of them committing crimes at all yet Grace attacks PTSD veterans that happen to be an even smaller percentage of veterans. The basic fact is that the members of the media being paid to do their jobs take the easy way out on reporting on them and end up attacking veterans instead of honoring them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 things to know about PTSD CNN got wrong

Sniper killing aftermath: 5 things to know about PTSD
By Ashley Fantz
CNN
February 5, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
PTSD is marked by hyper-vigilance, a fear that a trauma will occur again
Rates of PTSD among the general population are low
Virtual reality is being used to treat PTSD sufferers

(CNN) -- When police caught up with alleged killer Eddie Ray Routh last weekend, the 25-year-old ex-Marine was crying, shirtless, shoeless and smelling of alcohol.

"I'm hurting," he told them.

Not long before, at a Texas shooting range, police say, Routh had gunned down Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who called himself America's deadliest military sniper.

As he sits in a Texas jail cell, details about Routh's psychological make-up have surfaced, including claims that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that affects a number of current and former members of the U.S. military.

Of course, combat duty doesn't automatically lead to PTSD. And it's not even clear that Routh served in a combat zone during his four years in the Marines.
read more here
While there are good parts to this report, there are many wrong ones. Like this.

"We need to remember that while substantial numbers of vets have mental health conditions," Cozza said, the majority do not.

Because it does not mention the fact less than half of the veterans needing help for PTSD seek in early because of the stigma attached to it coupled with the notion they will just "get over it" with time. Take a look at the number of Vietnam veterans in their 60's seeking help for the first time because they have retired and were no longer able to focus on jobs after a life changing event.

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who struggle with anger are twice as likely as other vets to be arrested for crimes, according to the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, which published a study last year.

Missing the fact that many veterans are arrested for domestic violence that happened when they were having a nightmare or flashback and their spouse unknowingly tried to shake them awake or yell at them. They ended up with broken noses and black eyes because they didn't know enough to get up out of bed and their husband landed in jail on a domestic violence charge. Missing the fact that arrests for alcohol and bar fights are included too. Then missing the medication aspect that in many cases has fueled violent reactions.

Exposure therapy often helps the person with PTSD revisit or re-experience their trauma as a means of lessening the effect the memory has on them, said Rizzo, who is with the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California.


Missing the point that this kind of therapy only works when they get the veteran to see the whole event and not just part of it so they can make peace with what happened.

But this may have done more damage to PTSD veterans.
"What happened this weekend with the death of former Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle at a gun range is exactly the opposite of the evidence-based approach to treating PTSD," termed 'prolonged exposure' or 'virtual reality exposure' therapy, he said. "Chris Kyle, while well trained in his field, had no clinical training in conducting therapeutic exposure."

There would be no "evidence-based" approach if people didn't try different things. There would be no training if Vietnam veterans didn't push it to begin over 40 years ago and families like mine living through all of it discovering on our own how to help because there were only a few experts on this back then.

This is also missing the point that none of this is new even though it is "news" to them!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CNN big news, not sure about Beyoncé singing anthem now

Marine Band says Beyoncé 'did not actually sing' during inaugural, then backpedals
January 22nd, 2013
Posted by CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta

Washington (CNN) - Pop star Beyoncé opted to use a "pre-recording" of her rendition of the National Anthem during inaugural ceremonies in Washington Monday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band told CNN Tuesday.

U.S. Marine Band spokeswoman Kristen DuBois said early Tuesday that "we know why the decision was made," adding that the pop star "did not actually sing," but instead lip-synched her own voice.

Later in the day, however, the Marine Corps said in a statement that no one in their organization "is in a position to assess whether [Beyoncé's vocal performance] was live or pre-recorded."
read more here

CNN seems to be lacking direction lately. This is from the Daily Show last night and as usual, Jon Stewart got it right.
Tuesday January 22, 2013
Inauguration 2013 - The First Black President 2 - Guns and God
In his inauguration speech, President Obama offers a progressive vision of America at odds with the boogieman Obama who lives only in the minds of his opponents. (03:29)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shooting at Connecticut Elementary School

Breaking news, check back with CNN for more information.
Shooting reported at Connecticut elementary school
CNN
December 14th, 2012
11:19 AM ET
A shooting has been reported at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut Emergency services are on the scene

President Obama live at 3:15 grieving along with the rest of the nation "our hearts are broken today."

As reports came out during the early hours the last reports are:
The gunman is the 24 year old son of the kindergarten teacher killed.
7 other adults were killed.
18 children killed.
3 wounded.
First responders were clearly shaken and most of them were from this small community.
Check back with CNN for more later. Please hold all of the families in your prayers.

UPDATE 3:36
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
"Earlier today a number of our citizens, beautiful children had their lives taken away from them."

Lt. Paul Vance, State Police confirmed
27 killed 18 Children dead at school, 2 died at the hospital
7 Adults dead.
Secondary crime scene with another person connected to this has been found dead.
UPDATE 6:59
27 Dead, Including 20 Children, At Sandy Hook School Shooting In Newtown
The Hartford Courant Staff
6:47 p.m. EST, December 14, 2012
NEWTOWN

Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, are dead after a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Another person was found dead at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown, sources told The Courant, and the gunman was found dead inside the school.

The shootings at the school took place in two rooms, one of which is a kindergarten classroom, sources said. One entire classroom is unaccounted for.


The report also stated that the shooter's Mom was not killed in the classroom but at home.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Experimental treatment for PTSD: Ecstasy

Experimental treatment for PTSD: Ecstasy
By Caleb Hellerman
CNN
December 1, 2012

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Rachel Hope suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for years
In 2005, she investigated an experimental new treatment: Ecstasy
Dr. Michael Mithoefer convinced the DEA to green-light a study of the treatment
More than 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD

Editor's note: This is the first installment of a three-day series on the controversial use of the drug Ecstasy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. On Sunday, read more about Rachel Hope's story and the history of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy. And don't miss "Sanjay Gupta MD" at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday.


(CNN) -- Rachel Hope was 33 years old when she received a painful reminder: She couldn't outrun the past.

Hope was trying to help a new assistant at her Maui rental property business, but it wasn't going smoothly. Part of it was Hope herself.

"I had this startle reflex," she explained. "The phone would ring, and I'm literally three feet off the floor, screaming.

"My new assistant said, 'You're driving me crazy!' And I would say, 'I'm really sorry, just please try to ignore it. It's embarrassing, but let's keep working.' "

But the young man, a teacher on break, wasn't pushed off easily. Soon after, Hope said, "he walked over to my desk and dropped a stack of papers two inches thick. It was every single PTSD study that was online, and he just said, 'pick one.' "
read more here



Australian veterans talk about benefits of Ecstasy

While there are many more reports on this blog about using Ecstasy to help with PTSD, the research goes back to 2007. Here are a few of them.

Israel tests Ecstasy on war trauma victims April 26, 2008

A New Look At Ecstasy To Treat PTSD February 11, 2008

Ecstasy Trials Was it a fluke -- or the future? November, 22, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2012

CNN Veterans Charities Cheating Compassion

Last night on CNN there was a repeat of a report they did on charities for veterans. Given the fact suicides have gone up along with all the suffering veterans and their families go through on a daily basis, you'd have to be a complete idiot to not wonder where all the generous donations in the millions every year has actually gone to. Never mind the millions Congress spent with terrible results.

Charity Cheats
When you open your heart and wallet to help a charity, how do you know your money will be put to good use? Tonight we'll bring you a special investigation into charities accused of collecting millions of dollars in donations and not spending it where donors expected.

One of the charities under scrutiny is the Disabled Veterans National Foundation or DVNF. CNN's Drew Griffin discovered there is no sign any of DVNF's cash donations of about $56 million over three years went directly to veterans. Not one dime. Due to CNN's reporting, the Senate Finance Committee is demanding answers from DVNF. The committee is requesting records relating to their fundraising and marketing activities to see if the foundation abused its tax-exempt non-profit status.

Drew tried to get a response from the president of the group, but she slammed a door in his face. So, we tracked down the vice president. You'll hear what she has to say about where all the money is going tonight on the program.

What's remarkable is the Disabled Veterans National Foundation is not the only charity Drew's been highlighting. He's also uncovered another vets group and even one that helps animals called SPCA International. Its signature program is called "Baghdad Pups." They've raised millions to reunite military dogs with U.S. troops and others who serve overseas, but as far as we can tell they don't do that at all.

Of all the charities we've been digging into, they all have one thing in common. All have connections to the fundraising company Quadriga Art, which essentially gets paid to build mailing lists for the charity groups. You'll see what Drew uncovered when he followed the money trail.

We'll also give you tips on what to look for to make sure you're donating to a charity with a good record. Join us for our special investigation tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.


Drew Griffin has a whole page worth of reports just like this.

Here is one of the stories CNN focused on last night.



The Disabled Veterans National Foundation is not the DAV even though most people think they are the same thing. If you want the one that has been around since WWI, then that is DAV.org There are so many groups starting out taking the name of another group with a long history and good reputation but doing things that are not the same.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This is what Turner calls an apology for "good suicides"

This is what Turner calls an apology for good suicides
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
October 27, 2012

Yesterday I had to ask Did Ted Turner say military suicide "is good" because I thought there had to be some kind of stroke or maybe he was drinking but I read the transcript. It is what he said. What was worse is that Morgan then came back without a followup question.

I would have loved to have heard, "How dare you?" "Do you have a single clue what it is like for them to come home after surviving combat but can't survive being home?" "Have you totally lost your own mind?" But Morgan's next question was about Turner giving money away. Nice way to suck up to the boss and slam all the veterans leaving behind grieving families.
This is what Turner calls an apology.

During my recent interview on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, I inadvertently used the word ‘good’ when asked for my thoughts on the increasing rate of suicide among U.S. military soldiers in the Middle East. It was certainly not my intent to imply that suicide is ‘good.’ Rather, I was implying that it is good that the public is more aware of these tragedies and is more averse to war and war-related fatalities,” Turner responded.


Excuse me but WTF! Maybe Turner didn't pay attention after Vietnam Veterans came home, suffered in silence with PTSD that, yes, was called PTSD in the 70's, or the fact they were being locked up because they tried anything and everything to stop the pain they had. Maybe he didn't notice when the jails were filling up with those veterans because they used drugs or drank too much to get numb. He sure as hell missed the numbers climbing of Vietnam Veterans committing suicide to the tune of 150,000 to 200,000 along with the fact that by 1978 500,000 Vietnam Veterans had PTSD. Homeless Veterans were walking the streets long before he made his fortune even though they didn't hang out in his neighborhood. He sure as shit didn't notice that everything available for OEF and OIF veterans was established because of the Vietnam veterans coming home and fighting for it!

That's the biggest offense of all in all of this. Turner is a "newsman" and as a newsman he should have given a damn about knowing what was going on even though he finds it reprehensible for this generation of men and women to feel so compassionately courageous they are willing to die to save someone else. Once again he missed that point. They don't join to kill. They join to save. They have to train how to kill because that is exactly what the other side is doing. They don't pick the battles they are sent to fight. Politicians do. Politicians are also the ones that are supposed to know WTF they are sending these men and women to risk their lives for. Just because they drop the ball, don't care to make sure they are 100% right about the necessity, and sure as hell don't bother to plan for any of the wounded coming home, that is not the fault of those who go.

Turner said he's all about peace but never once contemplated how peace was achieved and maintained throughout the history of this country.

Now he says it is good that the American people are aware? It would have been nice if Turner had fought to make sure the American people knew what I was reading everyday. Knew how families grieved because someone they loved came back so changed they no longer wanted to live. Knew what it was like for a Mom to stand by her son's grave and blame herself for not doing enough. Know what it like for them to learn that everything they needed to know was known but no one told them. Knew what it was like to discover the "resiliency" training they were getting was the reason why their sons and daughters thought it was because they were mentally weak and too ashamed to ask for help.

Ya, sure Turner can come out with another boatload of excuses for what he said this time but the truth is, he's had years to prove how he really feels.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Did Ted Turner say military suicide "is good"

When I saw this headline I figured Turner would end up saying something stupid afterwards that would explain saying what he said.

Ted Turner: Military suicides outnumbering combat deaths is 'good'
Published October 25, 2012
FoxNews.com

CNN founder Ted Turner, in arguing for a greater role for the United Nations as the world's policeman and condemning U.S. military spending, said recently that rise in military suicides in relation to combat deaths is a "good" development.

Turner made the comments in an appearance on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." The interview aired Oct. 19, but the comment about military suicides was highlighted Thursday by Brietbart.com.

MORGAN: You made the point to me in the break there, more American servicemen have --

TURNER: -- are dying now from suicide over there than are dying in combat.

MORGAN: That's shocking, isn't it?

TURNER: Well, what -- no, I think it's -- I think it's good, because it's so clear that we're programmed and we're born to love and help each other, not to kill each other, to destroy each other. That's an aberration. That's left over from hundreds of years ago.

It's time for to us start acting enlightened.
read more here


It is worse than I thought it would be. Turner must have gotten some crash course in New Age healing and figured he'd toss in his two cents worth.

What is worse than this? What Morgan said right after this deplorable comment from Turner.

MORGAN: What's it like to give away a billion dollars? I can't even imagine.

That was Morgan's followup question after Turner said "it's good" and that is how we're programmed.

There used to be a rule in journalism, even in talk shows. If you don't know what the hell you're talking about, don't talk.

Turner clearly understands very little about what causes military suicides and even less about our troops. He took a few buzz words from what we talk about with Combat PTSD and thought it would justify the number of combat survivors killing themselves?

Yesterday I met with a Mom of an Iraq veteran. We were talking about so many others she knows personally slipping into quicksand back home. It is because they are not getting what they need and families don't hear what they need to know. They are disposable. No one is holding congress or anyone else accountable for this AND THAT INCLUDES CNN!

This is from Spouse Buzz on Military.com

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Starting Point, working together, setting politics aside

It is astonishing that political differences have taken over so much that a reality TV show had to do something like this, but I am glad they did.

The veterans I spend my time with manage to do this all the time. They put the "mission" ahead of political views. Just as they did when they risked their lives, the only thing that matter was the guy next to them was "one of them" and political views really didn't matter that much.

They were willing to die for one another but most people in this country can't manage to have a civil discussion that gets to the point instead of pointing fingers.

Political parties come together to build home for veteran
October 17th, 2012
CNN
Ty Pennington explains

Ty Pennington is known for building homes for deserving people. We've been following his work as he brought both political parties together for one goal, to build a home for a military family. It's a plan both parties could agree on.

The plan called for half of the home to be built, you'll remember, at the Republican National Convention, the other half of the home was constructed at the Democratic National Convention. Today the home comes together. It's donated, it's finished and it goes to John Jones II and his wife, Tanisha. They're going to get that home at 12:00 noon today.

This morning on "Starting Point," Pennington talks to Soledad about the journey to getting the house produced, and the Jones family explain how thrilled they are to received the house.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Second Lieutenant Gary Hurst proposes live on Head Line News

Officer proposes on live
TV Morning Express
Added on October 10, 2012

Second Lieutenant Gary Hurst proposes to his girlfriend of three years live on HLN's "Morning Express."