Showing posts with label Ohio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ohio. Show all posts

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Disabled Veterans Reaching Out For Help


Veteran, disabled police officer now calls fifth-wheel camper home in Highland County

A disabled former police officer and U.S. Army veteran is now calling a small fifth-wheel camper home in northern Highland County.

He met with The Highland County Press this week inside his Big Sky Montana camper parked in a rural area on private property between Leesburg and Greenfield.


Disabled veteran fights massive tax bill from IRS

LANSING, Mich. - A disabled veteran is in the fight of his life as the country he fought to serve and protect is fighting him for a massive sum of money.

William Milzarski, 46, is a highly decorated, disabled Michigan Army veteran, but now he's being forced to take on a new battle. The IRS has left him with a financial burden he struggles to carry.
Many college graduates know the crushing weight of college debt. Milzarski said he succeeded in getting his debt canceled, but the IRS still has its hand out.
Milzarski served three years as an engineer during the first Gulf War before he left the military, finished law school and became a top state of Michigan disability advocate.


Disabled veteran frustrated by craftsmanship of donated home

ANDERSON, Ind. -- A disabled veteran in Anderson is frustrated after he says a non-profit organization took on more than they could handle and left him with an unfinished home with lots of projects to complete.

Tim Senkowski lost both of his legs to a buried explosive while serving in Afghanistan.
“I lost both my legs – they cut right above the joints. I lost half my bicep, three-quarters of my triceps,” said Senkowski.
After he returned home to Anderson, he was put in touch with a local non-profit veterans group called “The Path Home.” Organizers there offered to build he and his family a house with donated time and resources.
But the process was slow, Senkowski said it took four years for him to get the keys to his new home – and it was still incomplete. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Veteran Committed Suicide During Appointment at VA Clinic

Apparent suicide by veteran inside Warren VA clinic ‘tragic situation,’ VA says
Vindy News
By Ed Runyan
July 25, 2017

The U.S. Veterans Affairs Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center says the apparent self-inflicted shooting death of a Vienna man inside the Warren Outpatient Clinic on Friday is a “tragic situation.”

“There was a sad, isolated incident Friday afternoon at our Warren VA Outpatient Clinic,” a spokeswoman said Monday after being contacted by The Vindicator.

“Due to privacy regulations, we cannot provide additional information on the incident or individuals involved, but our condolences and thoughts are with the family of our nation’s hero,” said Kristen Parker, chief of external affairs at the Cleveland center.

The Warren Police Department confirmed Monday that a Vienna man shot himself to death in the chest while attending an appointment inside the VA offices on Tod Avenue at 3:54 p.m. Friday.
read more here

And this one,

Veteran found dead of suspected suicide at Ann Arbor VA hospital

ANN ARBOR, MI - A veteran was found dead of suspected suicide at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System campus, an official says.
At about 6:45 a.m. Friday, July 14, a VA employee found the body of a veteran near the East Parking Structure, said Brian Hayes, public affairs officer.
The VA is investigating the incident and is waiting on the coroner's report to confirm the means of the death, he said.

Veteran Commits Suicide at Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center

Amarillo Police and Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center have confirmed a suicide occurred just after 7 a.m. on the VA's property.
The veteran died from a self inflicted gunshot wound.
In order to protect the Veteran’s privacy, the VA will not share any additional details.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Vietnam Veteran Not Happy Discovering He Woke Up Dead in Ohio

Veterans Administration mistakenly declares war veteran "dead"
ABC 6 News
by Kurt Ludlow
July 11th 2017

A military veteran turned to Six On Your Side for help after getting the surprise of his life. He was surprised to find out he was "dead." At least as far as the government was concerned.

"We are so sorry to learn of the death of Manis McKenzie, and extend to you our deepest sympathy," said Manis as he read from a letter to his wife from the Veterans Administration.
"And they said I had died March 30th and if I'd known that, I wouldn't have scheduled the knee surgery," he said as he laughed.
McKenzie had just returned home from knee surgery. He's got a great sense of humor, which he promptly used on his wife.
"I called my wife and I said, 'I thought you told me that the surgery went well.' She goes, 'well it did.' And I said, 'well I don't think it went so well. I got a letter stating that I died,'" he said.
read more here

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Cincinnati Bell Rejecting Veteran's PTSD Service Dog?

Wounded Marine vet says boss won't let him come to work with PTSD service dog
FOX News
July 8, 2017

“Despite repeated effort we have yet to receive any information regarding the current status of Yaunce’s condition and its effect on his ability to perform his duty,” Cincinnati Bell told Fox and Friends.
An ex-Marine awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat says his bosses won’t let him come to work with his trained service dog.

“I was told by my supervisor that HR said that if I showed up with the dog I’d be fired,” Yaunce Long told Fox and Friends Saturday.

Long said he installs phone lines for Cincinnati Bell in Ohio. He has a service dog, named C4, to help him control anxiety caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He was diagnosed with the condition after a 10-year stint in the Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was with counter-intelligence.

Long said that each day for a week he was sent home without pay when he showed up with C4.
read more here

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Marine Married for Just 10 Days, Died in Motorcycle Crash

Family Mourns Newlywed US Marine Killed in Motorcycle Crash
NBC Los Angeles
By David Summers and Monica Garske
Lance Corporal Brandon Laughman and his wife had only been married 10 days before he died
An active duty United States Marine who was killed in a motorcycle crash in Mission Valley this week had gotten married to his high school sweetheart just 10 days before the accident.

"He has a big heart and [is] very independent. Love for his family, if he had his mind set on something, he had his mind on it,” said Kaytlin Laughman, wife of Lance Corporal Brandon Laughman, 20, in a phone interview with NBC 7 Friday.

The couple had wed in Urbana, Ohio, where Laughman was born and raised. Days after marrying his bride, Laughman returned to active duty in San Diego.
read more here

Friday, April 28, 2017

Army Ranger Soldiers Deaths Possible Friendly Fire

Army Ranger from Kettering dies in Afghanistan anti-ISIS raid Pentagon says
Military investigates possible friendly fire
WCPO Staff
Apr 28, 2017

An Army Ranger from Ohio died in Afghanistan Thursday, the Pentagon said in a news release.
Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, was killed "supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel" in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, according to a release from U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

Thomas and one other soldier, Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Ill., were killed as the result of "small arms fire while engaged in dismounted operations," the Pentagon said in a release. Both soldiers were stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia. A third soldier was wounded.
read more here

Saturday, April 15, 2017

PTSD on Trial: Iraq Veteran

Ohio judge finds Mississauga veteran not guilty of attempted murder due to insanity
The Star
Staff Reporter
April 14, 2017
Lesko, a permanent resident of Canada where he has lived since 2009, served in the U.S. military from 2003 to 2008, including two tours in Iraq.

He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following his arrest.

A Mississauga veteran was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Friday for an attempted murder and felonious assault charge he faced in Ohio.

Jason Lesko during one of two tours of duty in Iraq when he served in the U.S. military from 2003-2008. (SUPPLIED BY PRECIOUS LESKO)
The charges stemmed from an incident in November 2016 when Jason Lesko allegedly stabbed his brother several times in the neck, chest and hand with a kitchen knife at their father’s house in Ravenna, Ohio.

Lesko’s wife Precious recalled her husband being confused and “behaving erratically” on Nov. 28.

The next morning, she awoke to find her husband had disappeared from their Mississauga home without his cellphone or a change of clothes.

He turned up at his father’s house in Ohio, where his brother was. His brother tried to reason with him, urging him to return to his family in Canada.

Jason Lesko was charged on Dec. 8 with attempted murder, felonious assault and disrupting public services in connection with the incident involving his brother, which he couldn’t even remember, according to Precious.

read more here

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Vietnam Veteran Stopped Robbers At American Legion Post

VIDEO: Vietnam veteran fires shot at thieves breaking into American Legion Post
FOX 8 News Cleveland
APRIL 6, 2017
The burglars had a good working knowledge of the building and thought they were cutting the wires to the security system, but it turns out the new system is wireless.
WAYNE COUNTY, Ohio -- A couple of burglars pick the wrong place to break into.
A Wayne County sheriff's deputy, responding to an alarm early Wednesday morning at The American Legion Post outside Wooster, meets 76-year-old Don Bertsch, a Vietnam veteran, who is the financial officer for the post.

The two men search the building and eventually work their way up to the second floor where Bertsch, who has a conceal carry permit, encounters two men inside an office they have broken into.

"Came face to face with a guy in a ski mask and he hollered at me 'don't shoot' and tried to push the door shut and I could see another individual in there with them and I pulled my gun out," Bertsch said.

read more here

Brecksville Veterans Hospital Left Behind Pills, Wheelchairs and Bowling Alley?

Veterans Administration wastes money by leaving equipment at abandoned hospital
Cleveland 19 News
Posted by Paul Orlousky, Reporter
Friday, April 7th 2017
Troubling to safety officials is an alarm sounding, no one ever to respond. A clock still ticking, and oddly in several locations lights still on. It gets worse.
A Cleveland 19 investigation by reporter Paul Orlousky has found that thousands of usable items were left behind when the Brecksville Veterans Hospital was closed in 2011. A group of urban explorers tried doors at the Brecksville VA Hospital and got inside. We found an internet link to their exploits. They did not act at our direction or with our knowledge, and their entrance was illegal. Still, what they recorded is extraordinary.

Wheel chairs weren't taken to the expanded Stokes VA Hospital. The abandoned basketball court houses desk chairs, lobby chairs, you name it, some in pristine condition. On the video, one of the explorers is heard saying "How many hospitals can you say have a movie theater, a bowling alley, a church." It is no exaggeration.
There is a six lane bowling alley. By today’s standards, possibly dated equipment, but wouldn't some commercial lane want the parts of the Brunswick pin setters. Elsewhere, bowling balls simply left, along with shoes in every size. What appears to be a multi denominational chapel sits abandoned. The stained glass pristine. The pews the same. In the theatre, there are the audience seats and much more. The projection equipment was left in place. An audio board left in place. And stage lighting that any school would love left hanging in place above a stage never to be used again. There is a perfectly good pool table, abandoned in a recreation room. Bingo signs and equipment also left there. Expensive cafeteria fixtures sit idle. Same with the barbershop, another restaurant, and even the morgue refrigeration and autopsy equipment.
read more here
Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Young Girl's Santa Letter Changed Soldier's Life

Santa letter 50 years ago changed lives
The Republic
By Staff Reports

Written by Kim Stover
Our shared wish for an end to armed conflict still resonates, and my Vietnamese doll still stands on my desk, a testament to a young soldier’s big heart and a young girl’s belief in Santa Claus and in goodness itself.
Fifty years ago, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal published my letter to Santa Claus, shaping my adult life.
When my second-grade teacher, Judy Williamson Mervine, assigned a letter to Santa Claus, I wrote, “Dear Santa Claus, Please stop the war in Vietnam and give all of my toys to the people there so they will have a good Christmas and if I don’t get any toys I won’t care because Christmas is when the baby Jesus was born in the manger and we have gifts to celebrate Christmas. Kimberly Ann Stover.”

Surprised that my letter asked for something beyond toys, Mrs. Mervine decided to contact the Journal.

The Journal reporter asked me what war was, and I said it was fighting with guns. She asked me if I really believed in Santa Claus, and I said yes, but admitted, “Santa might not get there because his reindeer would get tired.” She also asked if Santa had any toys left over, what present would I want. I said a doll.

The front page of the Dec. 22, 1966, Journal featured the story.

Close to where my family lived, Mrs. Anita Ripley read the article and sent it to her son, Private First Class Jim Ripley, who was stationed near Saigon working as a heavy vehicle driver in Company B of the 69th Engineering Battalion of the U.S. Army.

Then Jim decided to make sure that I got that doll.
read more here

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shocked Coffee Shop Customers Rushed to Help Vietnam Veteran After He Set Himself on Fire

Vietnam veteran sets himself on fire as a political protest
By Bob Jones
Nov 21, 2016

AKRON, Ohio (WEWS) -- Surveillance video from Angel Falls Coffee shows the Vietnam veteran-- dressed in a Marine Corps uniform--- including a hat-- trying to get into a political conversation with customers.
The owner of the coffee shop said the vet wanted to know who organized recent protests against Donald Trump.

"He seemed to be pro-rally, against Trump and he talked to my customers about how people needed to protest more about Trump," said Jim King.

When no one engaged in the conversation, the veteran left the shop, handed his cell phone to a stranger and told him to record a video. What happened next was horrifying.

"He walks over to his car and grabs a gas can and proceeds to douse himself with gasoline and then light himself on fire," said Lt. Rick Edwards of the Akron Police Department.

The stunned witness did not get a video. Others threw coats on the veteran and put out the fire with an extinguisher.

King said, "He was curled in a fetal position perfectly still except for some hand movement and he was completely coated in ash."
read more here

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Donations Stolen From Ohio Homeless Veterans Shelter

Donations stolen from Lorain homeless veterans
ABC News Cleveland
Tara Molina
Nov 18, 2016

LORAIN, Ohio - A veteran's shelter relied upon by dozens of Cleveland veterans was robbed of its donations.
"I could be homeless and I'm not," Carmen Tucker said.

For Tucker, and so many other veterans, Valor Home and Family and Community Services offer more than shelter from the streets. Tucker calls it his second chance.

"They gave me the opportunity to achieve some of the things I need in my life to move forward," he said.

But when he learned someone stole their donations? Someone stole cash, gift cards, food and cleaning supplies meant for veterans.

"I probably can't say what I want to say on TV," he said.

Senior Veteran's Advocate, Sandra Wright, said those are items they provide to any vet who comes through the door and needs some help.

"It hurts ! It's here to help other people," Wright said.
read more here

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Green Beret Soldier's Death in Kenya Under Investigation

Fort Bragg-based Green Beret dies while serving in Kenya
Army Times
By: Meghann Myers
October 28, 2016
A memorial service for a 3rd Special Forces Group soldier is set for Saturday in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 11 days after his mysterious death while deployed to Kenya, according to his obituary.

Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Bannister, 33, was found dead of non-combat related injuries on Oct. 17, Maj. Christopher Foreman, a spokesman for 3rd Special Forces Group, told Army Times on Friday.

Bannister's remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on Thursday. The cause of his death is under investigation, Foreman said.

The Reynoldsburg, Ohio, native spent four years as a Marine from 2003 to 2007, then re-enlisted into Special Forces in 2010, according to a 3rd Special Forces Group release.

He did two deployment to Afghanistan, the release said, earning three Bronze Star Medals -- one with the combat "V" device -- and various other awards.
read more here

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vietnam Veteran Puts Uniform Back on to Protest in Ohio

The story about the decorated veteran standing outside GOP Convention
RNC Profiles
Posted by Cleveland 19 Digital Team
July 19th 2016


Vietnam War veteran Lou Pumphrey can’t shake the death of a fallen comrade nearly 50 years ago. (Source: WOIO)

The pins on his uniform, which he wears in full despite the 80-degree heat, catch the eyes of delegates and media as he stands in the crowd with an American flag mounted on his shoulder -- a white peace sign replaces the stars against the blue.

Pumphrey showed up outside of Quicken Loans Arena hoping to attract attention -- and he has.

The Cleveland native is critical of both major party candidates, but bore the weight of the nation’s flag to highlight what he says is Donald Trump’s contradictory perspective on war. The Republican candidate deferred deployment to Vietnam on four occasions before a medical disqualification, a luxury for veterans like Pumphrey who resent the candidate’s eagerness to lead the country into war despite his personal attempts to avoid it.

“The guy is such a fraud,” Pumphrey said. “I’m afraid of Donald Trump becoming president.”
read more here

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Five Ohio Correctional Officers Committed Suicide in One Year

5 suicides by SOCF staff in 1 year
Portsmouth Daily Times
By Frank Lewis
July 15, 2016

“If there had been this many inmates who had committed suicide in a year’s time at one institution, they would have spent countless dollars – hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars – doing investigations to try to find out what the problems were. I only wish the DRC cared as much about the officers and line staff as they do the inmates in these situations.” Randall Hiles
It is, at once, extremely sad and compelling.

On July 1, the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (S.O.C.F.) lost another officer to suicide. If you are counting, that makes five Officers who have committed suicide in a one year period. Three of the officers were currently working at S.O.C.F., one had just recently retired and one former officer, who committed suicide four weeks ago, was on probation and was recently removed when he ended his life, according to Randall Hiles, president of Local 7330 of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA).

“The one officer that just killed himself received a two-day working suspension for absenteeism but he had every minute covered,” Hiles said. “I thought for sure it would be dropped. I’m no saying that’s the main reason he killed himself. I’m saying I know that he was really stressed out over that disciplinary issue. (DRC Director) Gary Mohr and (Managing Director of Operations) Ed Voorhies at the central office, I hope they look at this. I thought they would after the first suicide and take measures to stop this but nothing has been done.”
read more here

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fallen Soldier's Dad Charged With Taking Donations Meant to Honor Son

Father charged with theft of donations for soldier's grave stone
Pickaway News Journal
Trish Bennett, Editor
Published: June 30, 2016

CIRCLEVILLE - The father of a local soldier killed in Afghanistan is facing charges in the theft of money intended to repair his son's grave stone at Forest Cemetery.
Roger D. Jenkins, 51, is pictured here in this file photo
from a ceremony held at his son's grave site in May of 2015.
Roger D. Jenkins, 51, of Stoutsville, pleaded not guilty to theft, a fourth-degree felony, on Wednesday in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court. He was indicted on the charge June 3 by the Pickaway County Grand Jury.

A pretrial hearing in the case is set for July 8.

According to the indictment, Jenkins is accused of using deception to take money in excess of $7,500 from 11 individuals and organizations between May 1 and June 9, 2015.
Prosecutors contend the money was donated to help repair the grave stone of Army Spc. Gerald R. "Bub" Jenkins that was damaged by vandalism in April of 2015. No charges have ever been filed in the vandalism case.

Gerald Jenkins, 19, was a combat engineer assigned to the 1st Brigade Special Troop Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was killed Oct. 20, 2010, by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in the Maquan, Zhari district of Afghanistan.
read more here

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ohio National Guard "Demystify PTSD"

Demystifying PTSD for Employers 
Ohio NationalGuard

Myth or Fact?A majority of Ohio's military veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

It is a myth, as less than 10 percent of Ohio National Guard service members suffer from significant PTSD.

The Ohio National Guard has produced the above video to encourage employers to understand diagnosed and undiagnosed PTSD among their employees who are service members and veterans.

“We are committed to supporting our men and women who are suffering from the effects of a traumatic experience,” said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. “Many times, because of the stigma associated with the condition, they are not seeking treatment. By partnering with employers to dispel the myths about PTSD, we can break down the barriers that could be preventing recovery.”

Employers, PTSD survivors and others who are concerned about this issue are encouraged to commit their support online by participating in the dialogue with #DemystifyPTSD.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fort Hood Soldier From Ohio Died At Temple Hospital

Fort Hood soldier dies at Temple hospital
Killeen Daily Herald
June 24, 2016

FORT HOOD — Fort Hood officials released the name of a soldier who died June 22 from an illness at Scott and White Hospital in Temple.

Chief Warrant Officer-3 Michael Steven Adkins, 37, whose home of record is Wooster, Ohio, entered active-duty military service in January 1997 as a quartermaster technician. He was assigned to the 206th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Hood since 2013.

Adkins deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from January 2002 to August 2003, March 2004 to January 2005 and from July 2009 to July 2010. He also deployed in support of Operation New Dawn from June 2011 to November 2011.
read more here

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ex-Ohio VA Official Gets 57 Months in Prison

The Latest: Ex-Ohio VA official gets 57 months in prison
By - Associated Press
Friday, June 10, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Latest on the sentencing of a former VA official

A federal judge in Akron has sentenced the former director of two Veterans Administration medical centers in Ohio to more than 4 ½ years in prison for taking bribes in exchange for confidential information to companies seeking work with the VA.

Attorneys for 64-year-old William Montague, of Brecksville, had sought a sentence of 51 months, citing Montague’s cooperation with federal prosecutors after he pleaded guilty in 2014 to 64 counts related to bribery schemes to help contractors. He was sentenced to 57 months on Friday.

Montague served as director of a Cleveland VA medical center from 1995 until his retirement in 2010.

He served as interim director of a VA medical center in Dayton for nine months in 2011.
read more here

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ohio PD Story Smells Like Wet Dog: Decommissioned K-9 and Retirement Fee?

Retiring Parma police dog's price sparks controversy (video, photos)

By Maura Zurick
May 19, 2016

Kim Toporowych, said Felix and her husband have an "incredible bond" and she "knew that Dan would never have a more loyal partner than Felix."
PARMA, Ohio –Just how much a Parma police officer had to pay to reunite with the dog that was his work partner is a matter of perspective. His wife pegs the figure at $3,500. The city says the family paid $1 - and donated $3,499 to the city's coffers.
Felix is a 6-year-old former Parma K-9 officer. (Maura Zurick)
Kim Toporowych, the the wife of officer Dan Toporowych, said they were told they would have to pay $3,500 to purchase Felix, who was being retired. She said she learned after making the payment that state regulations required only a $1 payment for a decommissioned K-9.

The Toporowychs raised nearly $4,000 on gofundme to buy the K-9, so it didn't come out of their pockets. Still, Kim Toporowych feels like the city was less than forthcoming in dealing with her husband.

They considered the dog a part of their family but Felix was technically city property. City officials valued the dog at more than $10,000, and determined he could have worked another three years.
read more here