Showing posts with label body-mind-spirit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label body-mind-spirit. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

New Books To Help Churchless Children Of God Heal PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 17, 2021 

By the summer, it was getting more and more difficult to find anything new to say about #PTSD. After all, next year will be 40 years after I started. I was feeling pretty hopeless about helping anyone new, especially when the increase of people suffering showed no signs of going down. I mean, there is only so much a person can do. I needed a miracle to be able to say what needed to be said in a new way. 

The books I wrote are for other "churchless" children of God, like me. I don't go to church anymore, so I couldn't go into any kind of building, other than my own home. Considering that Jesus didn't have a church, early Christian prayed outside or in their own homes, I knew God could hear me no matter where I was, with them as examples. I prayed for a way to do it and put it into God's hands.

What came next was the story of The Lost Son based on the Parable.

The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
When we survive the events that cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, no matter what caused it, we often turn away from God. When you live your life trying to do the right thing, for the right reason, and end up subjected to what happened, it is human nature to wonder why it happened to you. I know I did, each and every time. There were ten of them for me. The thing that made surviving them different for me, was while I lost faith in myself, I didn't lose it when it came to God.

That faith helped heal me but it did not mean I was totally resilient. I had a rare form of it that was linked to my ex-husband. I suffered for decades until I found out he passed away and couldn't hurt me anymore. The only thing I had to fear was the dark side trying to pull me back in and stop me from walking in the light of God's love.

As I said, I prayed for a new way to say something that wasn't new. I thought I'd be writing one book but God had other plans for me too and gave me two books to write at the same time. 

Having faith in God and Jesus, does not mean we have to be perfect. The Lost Son and Alive Again are written in the language we all use as adults. In other words, there is swearing going on. They involved adult situations, including drinking alcohol and using drugs to stop feeling anything. The list of causes covers most of them. By the end of both books, God's love won!

The Lost Son begins on September 13, 2019 and ends in 2020. Alive Again begins on September 13, 2021. The events are in Salem, MA and fictional town of Gabriel, New Hampshire. The number 13 plays an important part of both books but you'll have to read them to discover why that is. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

update from Wounded Times

I am currently on hiatus because I am working on my 4th book. Last week I got on a roll and now added over 20,000 words to it! I will update when I can.


Thursday, June 24, 2021

time for healing awareness that saves lives

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 24, 2021

There seems to be a lot of confusion out there about what faith is in America is now. This shows in the drop of people attending buildings of worship and the rise in suicides.

Why is focusing on the spiritual needs of people with PTSD is important? PTSD hits the emotional part of our brains. That is where our souls live.

Considering how many groups popped up all over the country because of the report from the Department of Veterans Affairs about veterans committing suicide, the fact that more Americans commit suicide without much attention at all.

A lot of them had PTSD but did not find the hope and help they needed to heal. We know this by all the reports of military, veterans and first responders with PTSD committing suicide. What we are not reminded of as often, is how many civilians give up too.
Suicide is a Leading Cause of Death in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2019:
Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,500 people.
Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.
There were nearly two and a half times as many suicides (47,511) in the United States as there were homicides (19,141).
That was the last report they have listed. Right now no one is sure how many with all the turmoil this country has gone through over the last couple of years, but one thing is clear, there is only one reason people commit suicide. They lost hope that life could get better. Losing the ability to believe in that, even just for a little while, takes away hope.

If they cannot find hope that the next day can be better, and no one gives it to them, it is a battle they lose. This is why suicide awareness does not work. It robs them of hope, putting a spotlight on all those who gave up on their own lives...and everyone else.

Less than half of Americans attend worship service now according to Gallop

People leave the building when they do not find what they need inside of it. Usually there are many reasons but the basic one is, they had a problem big enough they felt drained instead of filled as they walked out the door.

People also confuse the building with God Himself. They tend to believe that God wants nothing to do with them, or turned away from them, and they abandon that relationship entirely. Once that link to what they believe in has been severed, a piece of them is empty.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Exit12's veteran movement workshop started by Marine



I grew up in a household where we were driven to help other people. My grandparents would go out of their way for others, even if it affected their own happiness and prosperity. And so this feeling of needing to be of help to others is probably part of my DNA.

In high school I had a friend who was a ballerina and I was intrigued, so I started taking classes—ballet, tap and jazz. The call of ballet was so interesting because it was so physical and yet so intricate and smart at the same time.

Exit12 Dance Company, which I co-founded in 2007, works predominantly with, and for, veterans of war. Sadly, all our 2020 tours have been cancelled or postponed because of COVID-19.
Román Baca, artist, choreographer and US Marine Iraq War Veteran, pictured in Iraq in 2006. ROMAN BACA

After losing two of my Marines to suicide in 2011, I started to develop Exit12's veteran movement workshop, Movement to Contact. We invite veterans to work with us and go through one of our movement workshops. Initially these were designed to rebuild the feeling of self and a sense of trust and teamwork. But a lot of veterans were reporting that they were also being inspired creatively. The workshops allowed them to create, choreograph and think imaginatively, and they would say, "wow! I did that! I wonder what else i could do with my life?"

We had one army veteran who served for the U.S. in the Vietnam War. He would self-report that the army trained him how to kill, that he was a killer, a shell he's been trying to shed his whole life. He came to a couple of our workshops and he did a couple of writing workshops with another veterans' organization. And now in his hometown, he is a peer veteran counsellor.

When I got into dance, I was drawn towards the story ballets that had impact and purpose. At university, we performed a piece by Antony Tudor called Dark Elegies. It's a piece where the children in a community die in a tragedy. We interpreted it as them playing on the beach and getting swept away by a huge wave.
read it here
Find more inspirational stories here

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Is Mindfulness still more hype than help for PTSD?

What is the DOD filling their heads with now?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 6, 2019

Last year the BBC reported that many were thinking that "Mindfulness" was actually more hype than help.

Mindfulness meditation has been practiced for millennia – and today is a billion-dollar business. But how much does the practice really change our health?
“There is a common misperception in public and government domains that compelling clinical evidence exists for the broad and strong efficacy of mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention,” a group of 15 scholars wrote in a recent article entitled Mind the Hype. The reality is that mindfulness-based therapies have shown “a mixture of only moderate, low or no efficacy, depending on the disorder being treated,” the scholars wrote, citing a 2014 meta-analysis commissioned by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
So how it is that now members of NATO, including Maj. Gen. Piatt of the 10th Mountain Division thinks it works great?
The British Royal Navy has given mindfulness training to officers, and military leaders are rolling it out in the Army and Royal Air Force for some officers and enlisted soldiers. The New Zealand Defence Force recently adopted the technique, and military forces of the Netherlands are considering the idea, too. This week, NATO plans to hold a two-day symposium in Berlin to discuss the evidence behind the use of mindfulness in the military.
Well that was from the following article reported yesterday on the New York Times. What is your head full of right now?
The Latest in Military Strategy:

The New York Times
By Matt Richtel
April 5, 2019

“I was asked recently if my soldiers call me General Moonbeam,” said Maj. Gen. Piatt, who was director of operations for the Army and now commands its 10th Mountain Division. “There’s a stereotype this makes you soft. No, it brings you on point.”
As commander of the coalition forces in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt juggled ruthless pursuit of enemies and delicate diplomacy with tribal leaders, using a trove of modern weaponry and streams of tech-generated data.

But his best decisions, he said, relied on a tool as ancient as it is powerful. Maj. Gen. Piatt often began daily operations by breathing deliberately, slack-jawed, staring steadily at a palm tree.
read more here

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Minneapolis Afghanistan veteran "Soul Medic" for those who serve

'Soul Medic:' From the battlefield to Minnesota, a therapist continues to listen
Star Tribune
By Libor Jany
AUGUST 24, 2018

After years with military, therapist Resmaa Menakem works with Minneapolis police
“We don’t take care of police officers from a human point of view. A police officer will go from watching a baby getting killed, or domestic violence, to a hit-and-run where someone has a gaping wound. And no one is asking, ‘How are you doing?’” Resmaa Menakem
Resmaa Menakem last year started offering counseling services for the Minneapolis Police Department. He says every call an officer goes on can take a psychological toll.

It got so that he could spot what ailed them almost as soon as they walked through the door.

And each time, Resmaa Menakem, then a therapist working at U.S. military bases across Afghanistan, closed his office door and listened as combat-weary soldiers and civilian workers poured out their hurt.

Since moving to the Twin Cities, his work soothing tormented minds has continued. Only now, his clients include police officers, many of whom also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Overseas, he heard about the constant rattle of insurgent gunfire and the makeshift bombs that regularly exploded in markets and outside restaurants and cafes. And he heard about what came next. Depression. Anxiety. Nightmares.

Here, he has continued to listen.
Over the years, more and more police agencies have come to recognize how officers are affected by trauma — not just from major emergencies like a mass shooting, but also the daily grind of responding to service calls. Now, many departments offer help for cops who are having difficulties.

In Minneapolis, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has promised to transform the department’s culture “to realize that we recognize they’re not robots, they’re human beings.” Last year, the city received a $750,000 grant from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), one of five U.S. cities chosen for a pilot program to “provide community outreach for collective healing and organization support for officer wellness.” And Mayor Jacob Frey recently proposed allocating $150,000 for counseling to help officers “process what they encounter in the line of duty and recalibrate between calls.”
read more here

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Marine veteran fought back from PTSD with Yoga

Contemplating suicide, this Marine turned to yoga to save his life
By Mayra Cuevas
June 29, 2018
"If we had firefights or anything went on that was a high-stress day, I was teaching yoga," he says. "We were in the dirt just doing the practice, and the students were coming. Even these big Special Forces dudes were coming and like, 'Hey, what are you doing over there?' 'I'm doing yoga and meditation.' "
(CNN) Marine Justin Blazejewski rolls out his yoga mat over a dock floating along the banks of the Potomac River. It's a sunny weekday morning inside the DC beltway, where he lives and works as a military contractor.
"I stumbled upon yoga to save my life, basically, and I knew that I found something special," he said. "And it's taking me on a totally different path than I originally planned."

After a quick warmup, Blazejewski folds over himself, the top of his head resting on the creaky boards beneath him. The soles of his feet rise into a bright blue, cloudless sky. He lifts both arms, vertical against his torso, until he's in a full unsupported headstand or niralamba sirsasana, as the pose is called in yoga-speak.
read more here

Friday, April 13, 2018

Clergy learning how to heal veterans with PTSD

Lay leaders learn veteran and military culture
Tyler Morning Telegraph
By LouAnna Campbell
Apr 12, 2018

Enlisted. Officer. National Guard. Reserves. Active duty.

These were just some of the terms about 30 lay leaders, pastors and community leaders learned Thursday at Central Baptist Church.

With 15 military installations in the state, Texas has become a veteran-friendly place to live, and the Smith County Behavioral Health Leadership Team and Texas Veterans Commission teamed up to give free training to faith, community and lay leaders.

“Texas is home to almost 1.6 million military veterans, many of whom have experienced one or more forms of military-service-related trauma,” said Craig Combs, Texas Veterans Commission community partner coordinator.

The training gave those in attendance a glimpse into military culture and the stress and effects that continuous readiness has on military members and their families.

Local mental health authorities like the Andrews Center are part of the programs the Texas Veterans Commission relies on to reach veterans. Now they are reaching out to faith-based communities to help veterans and those serving in the Reserves and National Guard.

The veterans group is working with faith community members to give them skills in suicide awareness, military sexual trauma, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder and moral injury.
read more here

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wounded warriors find healing the ancient way

It seems as if everyone has heard the term "Wounded Warrior."  

I've been using it since the early 80's because Native Americans have been using it long before I discovered the term while research PTSD. One of the reasons why I used Wounded Minds in the first PTSD video I did in 2006.

I didn't copyright it but they should have!

Veterans With PTSD Find Relief in Native American Rituals
Voice of America
Cecily Hilleary
March 22, 2018

Since ancient times, Native American and Alaskan Natives have held warriors in high esteem and have developed a wide variety of prayers, ceremonies and rituals to honor returning soldiers and ease them back into community life.

Sweat lodge constructed by veterans during a Veterans Community Response retreat, Flying B Ranch, Kamiah, Idaho. Courtesy: Michael Carroll.
“I wasn’t the kind of guy you’d want to meet in a dark alley.”

That’s how U.S. Army veteran Michael Carroll, 39, from Spokane, Wash., described himself after coming home in 2004 after serving 18 months in Iraq.

He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and given an honorable discharge.

“The transition from military to civilian life was definitely unpleasant,” he said. “I was extremely temperamental and hostile, and I lashed out a lot. Anything could trigger me — sounds to smells to seeing trash on the side of the road,” a reminder of explosive devices used against coalition forces in the Iraq war.

Over the next few years, he underwent the standard treatment for PTSD — psychotherapy and medication — which he said did him more harm than good.
read more here

Friday, January 5, 2018

Stealing healing or raising awareness?

In the fight for their lives!
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 5, 2018
Stealing healing or raising awareness? That is the question that needs to be answered fast. If people do not know about a situation, they think it is only happening to them. If no one talks about what is happening to them, no one tries to do anything about it.

That's the point. We talked about suicides when no one knew it was happening, then tried to move onto healing when no one was talking about that either. Now we have to talk about both, but it seems far too few are listening...again.

"Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,How you suffered for your sanity,How you tried to set them free.They would not listen, they're not listening still.Perhaps they never will..." Starry, Starry Night

January 6, 2006 was one of the first post I did on a veteran committing suicide.
An Iraq war veteran's suicide earlier this month was a cry for helping others with post-traumatic stress disorder, his close friend says.
Douglas A. Barber, a 35-year-old truck driver, shot and killed himself on Jan. 16 with a shotgun as Lee County sheriff's deputies and two friends on the phone tried to talk him out of it.
That was when I was "screaming in an empty room" trying to "raise awareness" of something I had been tracking for decades on other sites I had online. After all, I'd been doing it since 1993 when I had been given my first PC. Truth is, by then I had already been active in writing about it to local newspapers since 1984. It took me two years before that to understand enough to open my mouth publicly.

I tried to do something that would hit more people back in 2007 with the video "Death Because They Served" but I had to a lot of research first. Over 400 reports later, it was necessary to get their stories out.

Back then, yes, "raising awareness" was vital.. It was the only way anyone would try to do something on a massive scale. Little did I know that the "effort" would be reduced down to an "easy number to remember" and people would get away with quoting from a headline.

Non-combat deaths, non-caring media was the first attempt to put the stories together April 16, 2007. That was followed up with Cause of death, because they served. It must have worked because in August of 2007, Greg Mitchell asked "Why isn't the press on suicide watch." (I checked to see if the original link worked, it doesn't by mine still does.)

The thing is, we knew there was a problem back then. We also knew there were things to do to make sure we changed the outcome. 

Raising awareness meant that veterans would finally find out they were not alone, and not just about talking about how many gave up. It was about facts, sure, but it was also about the most important fact of all. They could heal. Life could get better.

So, most of in all this since "before the flood" move on from talking about the "problem" after the press and politicians decided they needed to focus on this great American secret we lived with. The problem was when we moved on, they moved in and took over.

They took over the attention of the press and got boatloads of cash to talk about something they had absolutely no understanding of or even a basic enough idea to know what had been done, how long it had all gone on, or even discover the way to change the outcome.

We had to step back into the mix and not just fight for veterans to take back control of their lives, but fight to get the facts straight.

Before I got involved in giving suicides attention, it was more about raising awareness of healing.  That's why the books and the videos, plus all these articles.

If the truth is supposed to "set you free" then we need to make sure we set veterans free from the notion that they cannot heal. That their last worst day is the one they just had because with the right help, there is a whole new world of living with PTSD but not letting PTSD destroy them anymore.

If you want to know what they need to know, here is something they need to reminded of. They were willing to die because they loved others more. Help them live for love now too!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Point Man Showed Veterans How to Heal PTSD Over 30 Years Ago

Point Man Planted the Seeds of Healing PTSD
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 21, 2017

A week ago today, I was in Buffalo New York, giving a speech at the Point Man International Ministries conference. 

I was talking about suicides and ranting against what has been brought to the public's attention out of ignorance and deception. 

No one is talking about the suicides within the DoD

No one is talking about the number of veteran suicide numbers reported yet remaining the same after over a decade of "efforts" claimed to be changing the outcome. 

No one is talking about the Veterans Crisis Line being in operation all this time, yet the outcome for far too many veterans has been death because they served but were unserved by the public talking about their suffering.

The number everyone knows is "22" but those repeating that number did not care enough to read the report, or even check to see what the solution is. The truth shall defeat the demons but lies have fed destruction.

It isn't that it was some kind of new situation veterans faced, but the delusion convinced the public it was all about the new generation of veterans coming home.

The other speeches you can hear on the link above and if you want to find hope in all this darkness, listen to their words. My speech won't be on video. It isn't that I said anything new to readers of Combat PTSD Wounded Times. It is the same thing I've been saying all along.

When the VA Suicide report came out in 2016, Vietnam Veterans of America felt the need to ask a question. What about them and their generation?
Vietnam Veterans of America VA Suicide Report 2014: 65 Percent of Veterans over Age 50

(Washington, DC)—On August 3, the VA released Suicide Among Veterans and Other Americans 2001-2014, a comprehensive analysis of veteran suicide rates in the United States in which VA examined more than 55 million veterans’ records from 1979 to 2014.

“While the number of suicides among all veterans is significant, what may not be known is that approximately 65 percent of all veterans who died from suicide in 2014 were 50 years of age or older,” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America. “Why is it that so many veterans, basically, take their lives by suicide? Last year, the Clay Hunt SAV Act, Public Law 114-2, was enacted to address the high suicide rate amongst the newer veterans but did not specifically address the older veterans. We call on the VA to increase its outreach and education efforts immediately so that the families of all veterans, especially our older veterans, are aware of this risk.”

The VA must overcome all barriers to find the key—if indeed there is one—to preventing suicide in as many instances as possible among our veterans. All Americans must also realize that there is a very serious problem with veteran suicides and act upon it with a coordinated effort in our communities—with our fellow veterans, both young and old; our families; our friends; and with researchers and the agencies of government. As we have repeatedly stated, one veteran suicide is too many. And let’s not fool ourselves with easy answers.”

Since 2001, the rate of suicide among U.S. veterans who use VA services has increased by 8.8 percent, while the rate of suicide among veterans who do not use VA services increased by 38.6 percent. In the same time period, the rate of suicide among male veterans who use VA services increased 11 percent, while the rate of suicide increased 35 percent among male veterans who do not use VA services. In the same time period, the rate of suicide among female veterans who use VA services increased 4.6 percent, while the rate of suicide increased 98 percent among female veterans who do not use VA services. A link to the report may be found here.
While this may seem like a fair question, it is ever more troubling when you consider the fact that it was their generation of veterans, and my generation of family members, started all the research and funding to take care of all generations. They fought for those who came home earlier but had turned their backs on Vietnam veterans.

A Seattle police officer had come home from Vietnam, much like others he had been forced to arrest, deeply burdened by where they were. Bill Landreth decided to do something about helping them heal and spreading the hope he had for better days. 

Bill started to meet them in coffee shops so they could see things in a different way. That was the beginning of Point Man International Ministries and has been going strong since 1984. 

It is a group dedicated to raising awareness that tomorrow doesn't have to be as bad as their worst day was. That they could heal instead of simply suffering, popping medication from the VA or street drugs. Instead of getting numb with alcohol, they could begin to live their lives stronger than they were before.

For Point Man, it was more than just saying they wanted to do something. They took on the countless hours of quietly working miracles with peer support for the veteran as well as their family, one on one or in small groups.

They spread the seeds of hope to all generations and showed them the way out of the darkness.

When the awareness they began got the attention of the media, they were forgotten. It was a lot easier for the new groups to claim they were worthy of the money they asked for. 
This is from Charity Watch

" some accounts, the existence of over 40,000 nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving the military and veterans and an estimated 400,000 service organizations that in some way touch veterans or service members... 
Additionally, the number of new veterans charities has increased relatively rapidly over the past five years or so, growing by 41% since 2008 compared with 19% for charities in general, according to The Urban Institute as reported in a December 2013 The NonProfit Times article."
While the rest of the country seems to find the over 400,000 veterans charities doing a lot of talking and pulling stunts, our group has been doing the work of beginning miracles and standing by the side of our brothers and sisters until they could make their own for others.

The seeds planted by Vietnam veterans were producing holyistic healing of spirits that changed lives. Talking about deaths that didn't merit anyone reading the reports produced more suicides and paved over the hope that could have been harvested over three decades ago.

The Workers Are Few35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9)
Clearly, you can now see that suicides are new after war. Peer support is not new. The "22 a day" you hear about is not ending the lives of just the younger generation of veterans. As a matter of fact, it isn't even 22 a day.

Many states do not have military service on death certificates. That means they were not counted in any of the studies done by the VA or the CDC. Most veterans are not in the VA system.

What is known is that many states are reporting veterans are committing suicide double the civilian rate. Not that was anything new to report. 
Veterans commit suicide at a rate that is twice the national average. In fact, the annual military death toll from suicides has for several years exceeded the number killed on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Billings Gazette reported that in 2012 but few understood that most of them were not the OEF and OIF generation. They were the older veterans.

A state like Florida, with a large senior veteran population has been reporting the rate is triple the civilian rate.

We live our days with this command from Jesus gave to His disciples.
"As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." (Matthew 10)

The seeds of hope were planted by the Son and spread by those the nation has forgotten. While they get walls of stone, parades and parties, pins and handshakes and words of "welcome home" it is a home where they have been carrying the burden of their brothers alone.

They showed you the way to heal, but when will you stop walking away from what they give freely?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Why Ask Why and Not Why Not?

Why Not Take Tomorrow Back in Your Hands?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 23, 2017
What is worse to you, needing help from someone else, or worrying that they won't help? Oh, it is all so easy to see so many getting help online but, so hard wondering why you are not one of them. Gets pretty lonely, at best, and at worst, robs you of whatever hope you try to hang onto.

We can keep asking "why" something happened, but sooner or later, we've run out of questions before we found a single answer. I know that feeling all too well and right now, I'm in one of those times when the back of my neck hurts from my head being down so low, instead of held up high. 

The weight of the world or something much deeper? I can sit here and feel sorry for myself, asking "why" or I can add in that one extra word that opens the door to possibilities.

Instead of asking "why" add in "not" and see what happens.

I am not a veteran. I am just a human dealing with life and other people as best as I can. You have all the same problems the rest of us do but you also have the extra weight on your shoulders from serving and putting your life on the line.

When you need help, first figure out why you are not asking for it. Is it because of your pride? Nope, since you had no trouble asking for help when your life was on the line along with those you served with. Is it because you've asked before and ended up feeling worse because you were turned down, turned away or put down? So why not ask someone else?

Nothing will ever change until you try to make it happen. If you know your life sucks, then wonder why and then why not do something to make it better?

Life mattered so much to you that you were willing to risk it for others. So why not risk your pride to save your own this time?

Look at your family and the people you think you are making miserable. You must care about them or you wouldn't be thinking of what you're doing to them. Why not think of what you can do for them? Why not think of ways to make your lives better together instead of thinking about something that will cause them to blame themselves for the rest of their lives. Why not give them a chance to help you stay instead of leaving them with that?

Why let what you survived defeat you now? Why not take back control over your life instead? If your pride is stopping you from asking for help, why not think of what it can be like to stand on the other side of this darkness and help someone else get through their own?

"Why be afraid if I'm not alone"

I made Alive Day years ago, and at the end, it says that "18 veterans committed suicide today" but that was what we knew a long time ago. We know better now and now you know better too. The song on the video is "I Will Live For Love" and why not think of your life that way? You were willing to die for those you served with and loved like family. Why not be willing to live for them too?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bet You Didn't Know Majority of VA Hospitals Use Holistic Therapies

Majority of VA hospitals offer holistic therapies, alternative to opioids, study finds

Washington Times
Laura Kelly
August 11, 2017

“In addition, some of the mind/body practices can be effective for the reduction of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. A patient might not want to admit they have PTSD, but they may be persuaded to take a yoga class,” she said.

This Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows hydrocodone pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Leftover opioids are a common dilemma for surgery patients; a study published Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017,

Nearly 80 percent of military medical facilities are offering alternative medicines for pain management and psychological treatment instead of opioids when possible, according to a study published Thursday by the nonprofit RAND Corp.

Over 8.9 million veterans are treated at 1,233 veteran health facilities each year, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The study said there were about 76,000 alternative therapy patient visits per month treated by 1,750 providers. Services include acupuncture, yoga, relaxation therapy, among others, and responding physicians said patients often express interest and openness to the treatments.
“Patient visits for [complementary and alternative medicine] make up a small but nontrivial portion of total outpatient [military treatment facilities] visits,” the authors wrote.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Time To Do More Than Raise Awareness

If everyone is raising awareness, why don't veterans stop killing themselves? 

Isn't that a fair question? Isn't that a question all of us should be asking? There is another question that all of us should be, not only asking, but getting an answer to; What good are they doing for veterans?

It is easy to talk about how much someone cares but a lot harder to care enough to know what will help. Then they need to be willing to do it as well as prepared to do it.

Ok, confession time. A few weeks ago I had yet one more frustrating conversation with a local charity for veterans. It turned out they were not doing the work, but sending veterans to others to do the work. Top that off with only selected veterans and their families were welcome. The OEF and OIF veterans mattered enough but the majority of our veterans didn't.

When I asked them if they were aware of the fact that 65% of the veterans committing suicide were over the age of 50, the answer was "yes" but they were not willing to do anything for them.

So why are the majority of the veterans being neglected? Or should I say, rejected, simply because they were here longer?

Are you still writing checks to these new groups when your husband is part of the forgotten majority? Are you passing on links on Facebook to them instead of groups helping your family?

Do you honor all our veterans or just some of them? Have you even thought about that?

The results are these groups with selected attention have ended up getting in the way of veterans discovering they do have the hope of healing and are not stuck where they are. Seems like that would be a beneficial message to share with them. 

So what good are you doing our veterans? Do you find out what is really helping and who is doing the work or settle for what is popular? Raising awareness, whatever that is supposed to mean, is very popular and all kinds of stunts are being pulled all across the country. The problem is, no one in the media pushing these stories bothered to review the outcome. 
Matthew 11:29-30King James Version (KJV)29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We, however, review the outcome on a daily basis when we read about veterans taking their own lives after surviving combat. We read about the families left behind. I don't know about you, but every time I read one, I think about how my husband is still here and how close we came to that not happening. I think about his nephew who lost his battle over a decade ago and how I could not find a way to help him. I couldn't even find the right words to get him to hear me.

I think about the lives saved over the years and then I get even sadder because this work is not glamorous, or expensive or even publicized because that is the way it needs to be. I just get sad knowing so many others could be doing the same work but do not bother.

If you really want to help them, then help them find their roots. Who they were is still in there beneath the pain of how they are right now.

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

If you want to do more than just talk about helping veterans, then do it!

Be part of the help that has been going on since 1984 for all generations of veterans, Point Man International Ministries. We talk a lot about Veterans Courts operating now as good for them. It is the basis of how Point Man started when a Vietnam veteran/Seattle police officer, noticed he was arresting too many Vietnam veterans and he decided to do the work and help them.

Support group that are taking care of all generations. Look them up online and read their mission statement. Don't write a check to selective groups if you want to help all generations. Find out what they claim to be needing the money for.

Ask questions before giving support to any group. If they do not, or will not, answer your questions, then let others know what you discovered. The press will has shown no interest in doing it, so it is our job!

We cannot set them free from PTSD controlling their days unless we are willing to give hours digging them out of the trench.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Military Chaplain 100 Years of Serving

Military Chaplains Turn 100 Years Old as 'Attacks' on Service Rise
CBN News

"Chaplains serve as a constant reminder to our troops that God is present with them, especially in a combat environment." Douglas Carver

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I. It's also the 100th anniversary of when U.S. military chaplains made their mark in the U.S. Armed Services, according to Douglas Carver, former U.S. Army chief of chaplains.
Less than 150 chaplains served in the Army and National Guard when America entered the war against Germany.

That number grew to more than 2,300 by the end of WWI in 1918, and Carver says that rise secured the role of chaplains in today's Armed Services.

He calls chaplaincy the "ministry of presence."

"Chaplains serve as a constant reminder to our troops that God is present with them, especially in a combat environment," Carver, the executive director of chaplaincy for the North American Mission Board, wrote to Baptist Press.
read more here

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Texas VA Enlisting Clergy to Help Veterans Heal Their Spirits

VA offering training to clergy to help veterans
Killeen Daily Herald
FME News Service
April 13, 2017
Building Community Partnerships. Local communities are often the most important and most neglected resources for reintegration of returning service members.
TEMPLE — The VA has training programs for local clergy to assist veterans in their communities.

“We want to reach out to anyone who will help us connect veterans to the local VA,” said Jeffrey Weir, chaplain for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. “We want to connect with not only clergy, but with helping organizations who serve veterans.”

Weir was the guest speaker at the Care Leadership Team’s April meeting. The Care Leadership Team is made up of people representing local agencies and organizations, communities, churches, schools, volunteers and hospitals who network to share community concerns, information and to connect resources.

“If you run into veterans who have needs we have resources for them,” Weir said. “One issue is that not everyone who says they’re veteran is a veteran. Don’t worry about that, we’ll sort that out.”

Central Texas Veterans Health Care System includes the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center, Waco VA and six outpatient clinics, including a large Austin clinic.

“We have 39 counties in Texas that we cover and most are rural,” he said. “You could drive in any direction from here and within a few minutes you’d be out in the country.”

Weir talked about training available to clergy.
read more here

Monday, April 3, 2017

Vietnam Veterans PTSD Research Everything Old is "New" Again

OMG....Yet another "new" study on the link between PTSD and the whole veteran!

"The mind and body are intimately linked, which is why there needs to be a change in the way post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is treated, say Australian researchers."

The date this came out was today, April 3, 2017.

A world-first study of 300 Vietnam veterans, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, has shown PTSD – a condition that affects an estimated one million Australians – is not just psychological.
It wrecks havoc on the body too, impacting the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as a sufferers’ sleep.
Based on the findings PTSD should be considered a “full systemic disorder” rather than just a mental health problem, says Miriam Dwyer, CEO of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation.
Yes, it really did say that. It seems as if it has shown up all over the Internet as if no one bothered to even check to see if it was something new or not.

This was done in 1999 and is just one of many...

Combat Exposure, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, and Health Behaviors as Predictors of Self-Reported Physical Health in Older Veterans


We used path analysis to model the effects of combat exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and health behaviors on physical health. Participants were 921 male military veterans from the Normative Aging Study. Their mean age at time of study was 65. Measures of combat exposure, PTSD symptoms, smoking, and alcohol problems were used to predict subsequent self-reported physical health status. Both combat exposure and PTSD were correlated with poorer health. In path analysis, combat exposure had only an indirect effect on health status, through PTSD, whereas PTSD had a direct effect. Smoking had a small effect on health status but did not mediate the effects of PTSD, and alcohol was unrelated to health status. We conclude that PTSD is an important predictor of physical health and encourage further investigation of health behaviors and other possible mediators of this relationship.

This is on the spiritual connection from National Institute of Health 2008 and check the dates referenced.

Little attention has been given to spiritually based approaches for managing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in combat veterans. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a growing need for more complementary and holistic therapies to assist combat veterans returning from deployment. Surveyed veterans report that they would use complementary approaches to health care if such programs were available ().We developed a spiritually based group intervention that teaches a series of focusing strategies using mantram repetition, slowing down, and one-pointed attention (, ). A mantram is a Sanskrit word meaning “to cross the mind” and is sometimes referred to in the West as “holy name repetition” () or in the East as “mantra repetition.” Repeating so-called sacred words such as “Om Mani Padme Hum” from Buddhism or holy names such as “Rama Rama,” “Jesus Jesus,” or “Ave Maria,” have been associated with reduced arousal, respirations, enhanced cardiovascular rhythms (), and decreased stress and depression (). Unlike other meditative practices, mantram repetition does not require any specific posture, quiet surroundings, eyes closed or any religious/spiritual beliefs. Mantram repetition is easily learned, personal, portable, invisible, and can be readily practiced without changing one’s activities or environment. 

The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, effect sizes, and patient satisfaction of this spiritually based group intervention on mantram repetition in a sample of combat veterans with PSTD. The specific aims were to evaluate (a) recruitment and retention of veterans in the program, (b) effect sizes for PSTD symptom severity, psychological and quality of life outcomes, and (c) level of patient satisfaction of the program. These preliminary findings will be used to conduct a larger randomized controlled trial.
Background and Significance
PSTD is highly prevalent in military veterans (). With the War in Iraq, an estimated 12% to 13% of service personnel have met PTSD criteria following combat (). Standard treatments for PTSD include medication, cognitive-behavioral and exposure-based therapies, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), relaxation or combinations of these (). Very little attention, however, has been devoted to the spiritual aspects of managing PTSD or studying complementary therapies to mitigate symptoms. We consider the mantram program as spiritual, not religious, because it does not require an institution, congregation, or some formalized group to be practiced.
The mantram intervention program has been studied in veterans with chronic illness (), health care employees (; ), and HIV-infected adults (). Veterans and employees have reported significant reductions in stress, anxiety, anger and improvements in spiritual well-being and quality of life (; ; ; ). HIV-infected adults have reported significant reductions in anger and increased spiritual faith/assurance (). 

There are actually older studies, but you get the point. None of the so called "new" studies on PTSD are new at all!