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

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

better days with better ways

This is from my other site, PTSD Patrol where I post daily now. If you risked your life for the sake of others, there is a special video below for you.

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 16, 2021

Are you fighting people who are trying to help you? Are you fighting God? Are you fighting yourself? You know you are not the way you want to be, not the way you used to be and nothing looks the way it did before. What are you doing about it? Are you trying to find someone to blame for the way your life is? Then maybe you should start with yourself because for whatever reason, you ended up believing you are a lost cause.

Time to start believing you are a worthy of better days.

Most of the time, survivors left the church because they did not find what they needed there. At least that is what some say but the truth is, what you needed was the foundation the faith was built on. That foundation is Jesus. Personally I don't attend church anymore and became a Chaplain so that I could care for the needs of fellow churchless souls, much like Jesus and His disciples did. They went to where the people were and tended to their needs, giving them reason to hope for better days, learning a better way to live and know they were loved.

Look at His life! He was raised poor, spent His ministry homeless and had no possessions. He was treated like a rock star one minute and hated the next by the same people who ended up shouting for Him to be Crucified. He knew what it was like to feel abandoned, betrayed, tested, and He knew what it was like to feel the emotional pain of someone else so deeply, He cried for them. He got angry.

There is no way of knowing why you survived and others did not. The only thing you can be sure of, is you did and it is up to you to define what you will do for the rest of your life. If you are blaming God that is because you think He judged you and wanted you to suffer...but those are your thoughts and not His.

PTSD strikes the emotional part of your brain and that is where your soul lives. If your soul has a strong emotional core, then you feel things more deeply. That means you love more deeply and feel pain stronger than others. What you may not be aware of is how powerful that soul of yours is. Everything you need to heal is already there. The purpose of getting help is to help you find it within yourself. One more thing you may not be aware of is that Jesus, the Son of God, had no problem asking for help when He needed it. He couldn't have done what He was sent here to do, alone.

This is why today the featured video is Goo Goo Dolls, Better Days. You may think it is about Christmas but if you remember what church services were like, it was all about that one day when He came into this world, and the day He left all His love behind for all of our days!

Better Days
Goo Goo Dolls

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
'Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there's ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them
So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Rzeznik
Better Days lyrics © Songtrust Ave, BMG Rights Management

Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it!
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD 

And if you are among those who suffered because you were willing to risk your life for the sake of others, understand that PTSD Is Not God's Judgment.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Devon Levesque prepares to bear crawl NY Marathon to save veterans...and thanks the Lord he can

Trainer prepares to 'bear crawl' entire New York City Marathon

Fox News
By Frank Miles
May 8, 2020
“When I found out about FitOps and how they were working with these heroic veterans who have made it through war but were struggling back at home, I made it my mission to get involved. My goal in bear crawling a marathon is to raise enough money to sponsor veterans and put them through FitOps camp and help them reach their goals,” the 27-year-old said.

Devon Lévesque Thank the Lord Every Day ✞

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s still up in the air if New York City Marathon will happen in November.

One of Manhattan’s top fitness trainers, however, is gearing up for all of its 26.2 miles in a very unique way.

Devon Levesque, a partner in the high-end training facility Performix House in New York City, is training to do the marathon in a bear crawl where he will run on his hands and feet.

He told Fox News: “Bear crawl is a full body exercise where you walk on your hands and feet. It takes a lot of core, quad, and shoulder strength since all of your weight is on your hands, and your toes and back are parallel to the ground.”

He’s like "Fight Club," in 2020, without the anarchy.
read it here

From the New York Post

Thursday, March 5, 2020

American Legion Chaplain leading veterans trained to talk to veterans and stop these suicides

Tackling veteran suicides one on one

American Legion
March 4, 2020
“I knew we had to do something about veteran suicides,” said Miller, who was a Strategic Air Command medic during the Korean War. “That’s when I started the peer group … to have veterans trained to talk to veterans and stop these suicides.
(Photo courtesy
In 2012, U.S. Air Force veteran Frederick Miller saw a report on CNN about veteran suicides. And then he started to notice multiple reports showing the number of suicides each day, but didn’t see much in the way of how the problem was being addressed.

So Miller – the former Nassau County (New York) chief of parasitology, an ordained reverend and the chaplain for Arthur H. Clune American Legion Post 1533 in Mastic Beach – decided to start addressing the problem at the local level.

Miller’s Veterans Peer-to-Peer Program started at his post, but has since grown to become a Suffolk County program, with more than 100 Legion Family members participating. Those who participate in the program as counselors undergo training and then work with veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and what Miller calls the “moral injuries” associated with serving in combat.
read it here

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Key to help veterans fighting PTSD is MIA

Caring for the spirit of veterans fighting PTSD, MIA again!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 2, 2020

The value of treating the mind and body has been known for decades, not months, but you would not know that with this "news report" about the Veterans Administration. Army to revolutionize healthcare with whole person concept was posted on Wounded Times back in 2008. Many other posts followed that one. A month after that report was posted, the one key finding that was missing, was the spirit. Apparently, that is missing again!

We learned a long time ago that we need more Post Traumatic Spiritual Recovery efforts combined with caring for the mind and body!

Do reporters ever check to see if they are reporting the truth anymore?

If you want reasons why what was learned way back in the 80's on the need to care for the sprit, as well as the mind and body, it is because reporters stopped asking questions!

Veterans Affairs employees try new health care methods aimed to treat both the mind and body

KMOV 4 News
Alyssa Toomey, News 4 Reporter
Feb 1, 2020
St. Louis is one of 18 cities helping to spearhead the shift in healthcare.
ST. LOUIS ( -- Employees at the Veterans Affairs got to try a new approach to healthcare on Saturday.

Acupuncture, Tai Chi, hypnosis and other methods were part of the VA Employee Whole Health Wellness Retreat.

"I think it's a fantastic concept and a great way to model healthcare," Susan Boyle said. "I think it's what our veterans need instead of looking at them as being sick individuals."
read it here

Monday, July 8, 2019

Veterans lives saved by boxing club?

'They Saved My Life,' Boxing Club Provides a Healing Outlet for Veterans

The Associated Press
By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Diana Nelson Jones
7 Jul 2019
Boxing isn't for every veteran who needs an outlet, but for those it does help, it is a testament to the power of physical activity in improving mental health
Brandy Horchak-Jevsjukova, left, helps Tysh Wagner with stretches after a workout at Warrior's Call Boxing in Baden on Monday, June 10, 2019. Wagner served two tours of duty as a medic in Afghanistan and says the boxing workout helps her heal from the trauma of her war experiences. Horchak-Jevsjukova, co-owner of Warrior's Call, served in Iraq. (Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
BADEN, Pa. (AP) — Brandy Horchak-Jevsjukova jokes that she is Tyshie Wagner's service dog.

A veteran's service dog is trained to lean into her to provide comfort, to stand watch behind her, to jump up or paw her to interrupt a crisis.

Brandy has leaned into Tyshie persistently since they met in 2017, when Tyshie was almost 400 pounds, terrified of leaving her house, and imagining — and once attempting — suicide. She had gone through several therapists and had a husband who was at his wits' end.

Cutting through the chronology of their story, we arrive at the Warrior's Call Boxing Club in Baden, Beaver County, one recent morning.

Brandy and her husband, Vitali Jevsjukova, whom everyone calls "V," opened the club in 2015 to be the help to veterans that boxing had been for them during their military service in Iraq.
read it here

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vietnam veteran, Pastor tends to all veterans in Holiday

Holiday pastor serves fellow veterans, invites all to spring festival

Tampa Bay Times
Ernie and Regina Bullock
By Sarah Whitman
Times Correspondent
Published March 12

Ernie Bullock served nearly two tours in Vietnam, and survived the 1968 Tet Offensive.

The former U.S. Marine, who also served with the Air Force, returned from war in 1970 a changed and broken man.

He has since dedicated his life to counseling and serving veterans.

Bullock works at the Veterans Hospital in Sarasota and as an associate pastor at Holiday Community Fellowship Church in Pasco. He leads the church’s veteran outreach, a chapter of Point Man International Ministries.

Bullock joined the organization in the 1990s when he became a Christian and led a chapter in New York before moving to Florida two years ago.

The outreach will host a free Spring Festival at Holiday Community Fellowship Church, 5144 Sunray Drive, from noon to 4 p.m. on March 16. Families are invited to come meet firefighters, members of law enforcement and veterans, play games and participate in youth activities. Veterans and their families will serve as volunteers.

“It is essential for children and others to meet veterans and law enforcement and emergency responders,” Bullock said. “People of all ages need to understand these men and women care for others and rise to the call of duty every time they walk through the doors at work. Some of these people have given up their lives to save someone else.”

Last year, about 150 people attended the festival. About 25 volunteers helped organize the second annual event. Many participate in Point Man’s meet-ups at church.

The members form a community with common histories and purpose, Bullock said.

Bullock ministers often to veterans struggling to reconcile their experiences with daily life.

“Many veterans get stuck in grief, but also many are stuck in anger,” Bullock said. “I believe the worst of the anger should be dealt with in therapy groups in VA hospitals. However, churches have a role in recovery, too.”
read more here

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Heritage Foundation experts missed spiritual experts and a lot more

Considering the "experts" could not even get this right... not hard to guess why they did not know that groups like Point Man International Ministries had been doing exactly this work since 1984!

Glickstein highlighted the way government efforts have failed—and offered a possible solution. He said that in the last 10 years, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have together run 1,100 different programs addressing PTSD and veteran suicide, at enormous expense. During that time, the average of 21 veteran suicides per day has not changed.
Point Man International Ministries proved this worked back in 1984 and has been doing it ever since. So what else did these "experts" miss?

What Faith-Based Efforts Can Do to Help Prevent Veteran Suicide

The Daily Signal
Steven Bucci
December 10, 2018

I don’t often quote sources from The New York Times, but in mid-November, David Brooks wrote a piece called “Fighting the Spiritual Void.” He stated without equivocation that “[t]rauma is a moral and spiritual issue as much as a psychological or chemical one.”

He could not be more correct.

The Heritage Foundation convened a panel to discuss post-traumatic stress disorder and veteran suicide from the faith angle. The panel was chaired by myself, a 30-year veteran of the Army Special Forces, and the members included Richard Glickstein, an advocate working to move the government to appropriately address the crisis; Dr. David LeMay, a medical doctor who specializes in rehabilitation; and Lt. Col. Damon Friedman, an active-duty Air Force special operator, who also leads a veterans service organization called Shield of Faith Missions.

The panel laid out quite a story.
read more here

Spiritual Health and Military Suicide Prevention

Friday, November 2, 2018

Veteran done talking about suicides...too busy talking about hope

Veterans find hope after trauma

We Are Iowa
Brynn Carman
November 1, 2018
Therapist Michele Lundstrom says that's exactly the help veterans living with PTSD need to heal. A passion that gets them into the right mental state."I'm getting choked up talking about it because I sit with this all the time and I want people to know that you don't have to keep telling it over and over," said Lundstrom. "We can treat the symptoms and the symptoms tell a story and that's what people didn't know when people were returning from Vietnam."

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is extremely common among combat veterans. In the past it's been very hard to treat. But now younger vets in Iowa are learning how to overcome their mental injuries, and live here on home soil with a new found purpose.

"I'm done talking about veteran suicide," said veteran, Troy Peterson. "I got it. I was almost a statistic."

When Troy Peterson got home from Iraq, his life was riddled with addiction and depression. Things got so bad it almost it almost cost him his life.

"On July 30 of 2015 I attempted to take my own life," he said. "I planned it out that that was going to be my last day. I didn't want to admit that I was struggling and I didn't want to admit to my problems."

The next day he woke up in a hospital bed embarrassed and confused. But determined to find a new purpose.

"Best thing that ever happened to me, was that I hit rock bottom."
read more here

Monday, May 7, 2018

Was Mindfulness over hyped for PTSD?

(Note to readers: as with everything else, find what works for you! If something does not help you, find something else to help you heal. Always make sure that you are addressing your mind-body-spirit, no matter what you do.)

Mindfulness may have been over-hyped
Bruce Lieberman
May 7, 2018
A 2017 article that assessed evidence on meditation as a treatment for PTSD summed up the overall state of affairs: “This line of research is in its relative infancy.”
Mindfulness meditation has been practiced for millennia – and today is a billion-dollar business. But how much does the practice really change our health?
In combat veterans with PTSD, mindfulness-based group therapy increased healthy connections in parts of the brain that control ruminating (Credit: Getty Images)
In late 1971, US Navy veteran Stephen Islas returned from Vietnam, but the war continued to rage in his head. “I came very close to committing suicide when I came home, I was that emotionally and mentally damaged,” Islas remembers. At his college campus in Los Angeles, a friend suggested he check out a meditation class. He was sceptical, but he found that before long “there were moments that started shifting, where I was happy. I would experience these glimpses of calmness.”

Forty-six years later, Islas says that he has never completely freed himself from his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which was formally diagnosed in 2000 at the Veterans Affairs (VA) West Los Angeles Medical Center. But he’s convinced that meditation has saved his life.

Various forms of meditation are now routinely offered to veterans with PTSD. It’s also touted as a therapeutic tool to help anyone suffering from conditions and disorders including stress, anxiety, depression, addiction and chronic pain. More broadly, meditation has come into vogue as a way to enhance human performance, finding its way into classrooms, businesses, sports locker rooms and people’s smartphones through Internet apps like Headspace and Calm.
“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.
read more here

Saturday, April 14, 2018

PTSD Sunday Morning Empowerment Zone Early

Fight to take your life back
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 14, 2018

(editors note: filming escort of the Vietnam Memorial Wall tomorrow, so putting these up today instead of tomorrow. It is still the Sunday Morning Empowerment Zone, but just a day early. If that bothers you, watch these tomorrow.)

The road sign is "Hope Road" and nearby they are working on the roads around it, clearly marked by "Construction Entrance." Would be nice if all of us saw the signs like that.

Finding a way to hope is always a process of constructing the way to get there. Feed positive thoughts into it and you'll get there a lot faster. You need help to kick the crap out of you so there is room for good stuff to get in.

 My buddy Jonnie has been going to the American Combat Club in Downtown Orlando. His VA therapist recommended them because they are giving three months of free classes to veterans battling to heal. Besides, he enjoys the fact he can punch stuff without getting into trouble.
read more here

From PTSD Patrol
Think of your brain like the engine of  your car.

Your Mechanic explains how your engine can get clogged.
"Fuel injectors deliver fuel into the cylinder for combustion. Clogged fuel injectors can be caused by debris or impurities in the fuel. Fuel injectors are responsible for getting fuel into the engine. ... The fuel is then ignited and the engine keeps on moving."

All the negative thoughts you put into the thing that drives you stops it from moving in the right direction. It doesn't matter how strong your body is if you don't have fuel to power it. It doesn't matter how smart you are if you're stupid enough to let the impurities invade your brain.

Doubt, fear, anger, paranoia, hatred of others and hating what you believe you turned into, leave little room for all the good stuff to get in.

You stay stuck. If it goes on too long, then you end up with a broken engine that could have been powering healing.

When social media decided that talking about veterans committing suicide was a hot topic, they managed to add all the bad outcomes and none of the good. It is like using the wrong grade of gas to power your ride.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

"It’s time to lighten your rucksack, friend."

Helping vets is soldier’s mission
Daily News Miner
Keith Kurber II
2 hrs ago
"It’s time to lighten your rucksack, friend. It’s time to get found."  
Keith Kurber II

FAIRBANKS — As a career soldier, everything I did for the military was based on a mission statement. It didn’t matter whether it were a peacetime training exercise or a wartime operation, the mission gave us the “who, what, where, when and why” of our task. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus Christ provided his mission statement and it reads like this: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10, New American Standard Bible). Because I am a follower of Jesus, his mission becomes mine. Wherever I go, I am to seek out and save the lost.

The seeking part of the mission seems fairly straightforward; it means I am out and about, looking for those who need to be saved. The idea of saving is also an uncomplicated notion, as long as I don’t forget that what saves somebody is pointing them to Jesus. Personally, I can’t save anyone, but I can tell them all about Jesus, who can. I can tell people that he is the answer to their deepest needs, especially their aching fear of the unknown, their chronic lack of peace and their confusion. Who wouldn’t want that?

But sometimes lost people don’t want to be found. As a young man, I regularly resisted the advice of well-meaning Christians trying to “save” me by pointing me to Jesus. And being lost isn’t a great feeling either. No matter what you call it, being lost, confused, unsure, unclear, perplexed, disoriented or bewildered, it’s largely an unpleasant experience. When you understand that the original meaning of “being lost” also encompasses being destroyed, rendered useless or killed, it takes on a very weighty sense. The bottom line is this: Being lost is not a good place to be, especially eternally so.
read more here
Keith Kurber II is the senior pastor of Harvest, a church that he and his wife, Nola, also an ordained minister, founded in September 2010. They look forward to many years serving Fairbanks and the Tanana Valley together through Harvest. Keith retired after serving 30 years of Army active duty, reserve and National Guard service as a colonel of special forces. He is also a Drop Zone graduate, having attended in March of 2018. Insight is sponsored by the Tanana Valley Christian Conference.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Horror of war and the battles we should be winning

These homefront battles should be won and done
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 15, 2018

A little while ago I came across this headline.

Horror of war heroes 'tearing families apart' as impact on loved ones goes unrecognised

While an understanding of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has grown in recent years, the secondary trauma is ripping families apart.
Their loved ones came back from the horrors of war as heroes in need of support.But it’s not just service personnel who can suffer in the aftermath of conflicts – it can devastate the lives of their partners and families, too. 
It is from Scottish News on The Daily Record. It looks like they, as well as the rest of the NATO nations have a lot of catching up to do, including the USA.

How is it that when Vietnam veterans came home over 40 years ago and forced this nation to pay attention to what combat did to them, most of what was known has been forgotten?

"Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door"

How have we allowed anyone to believe any of this is new? How have we managed to screw it up so badly that OEF and OIF families are believed to be the only ones having to face any of this?

"So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts"

Stunning for anyone involved in this work all this time because, to tell the truth, I find it all unacceptable and inexcusable.

I got into all of this in 1982, but there is a group, who has my heart and I belong to, doing this work for veterans and their families going back to 1984.

We figured out that healing happens with the triple play of mind, body and spirit, as well as the fact that families were on the front line of this battle they brought home to us.

It is our fight and a lot of us won many battles but have still not won the war only because too many are oblivious to the simple fact they could learn how to defeat PTSD.

Point Man International Ministries knew this way back then. 
Outposts are lead by Christian Vets who care deeply about veterans and their struggles. They fully understand the difficulties associated with returning home after a long and difficult deployment as well as the non-combat experiences. Outposts are places for veterans to talk, share and listen to others who have walked in their shoes. All Vets are welcome regardless of what country they served with and gender is irrelevant as both men and women have served and sacrificed for their respective countries.
And the original Homefront

Homefront groups are lead by Christian mothers, wives and friends of both active duty military and veterans. They provide an understanding ear and caring heart that only those left behind at home can understand. They have experienced the stress of dealing with deployments and the effects of a loved one returning home from war. If you have someone you love deployed or having issues readjusting since coming home get connected with a local group or contact HQ for assistance.

So why hasn't everyone else? Is it because they do not have the ability to discover this or is it because they have more than we ever did to find what they are looking for, but settle for what is easy to find?

"So don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be okay"

People keep saying they are looking for answers. Too many claim they want to reduce suicides. Many more claim to care. When it has all gotten worse, the answer to make it better has been there all along but when I talk to people about becoming leaders, they walk away.

They are not happy with the fact that this is usually supported financially by the leader of the group, simply because we're more about doing the work instead of getting money.

These groups are small groups, and often, one on one, with privacy instead of publicity. One of the reasons I find it impossible to support any of the "awareness raisers" out there, publicizing the heartache and obliterating any chance of someone finding hope again and giving them the power to change the ending.

I keep wondering where all the good Christians are in the Veterans Community and what they are doing when they could be doing this work for the sake of their brothers and families.

I have seen what is unimaginable suffering but also limitless healing to the point where it is actually proof of miracles still happening everyday. To see all these families needlessly suffering, is like a dagger to my soul. I always wonder how an average person like me managed to learn at the library when these families have not even searched for online in the palm of their hand and the cell phone they are never without.

So what exactly do you think you can add to their living years? Want to change the outcome? Then you better start by changing what you put into it!

Kathie Costos DiCesare
Published on Mar 29, 2015

Vietnam veterans said they would never leave one generation behind. They fought for each other and for all generations but have been forgotten. Reporters just don't have time for them or reminding anyone that they waited longer, suffered longer, are the majority of the suicides, attempted suicides and those waiting for claims to be honored by the VA.

Had it not been for them, nothing would have been done on PTSD.

When you watch this video, you'll see that they deserve just as much attention as the newer veterans. The problem is, none of our veterans get enough of anything!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Iraq Veteran Chaplain Betrayed by Catholic Church Because of PTSD?

Iraq Veteran Betrayed by Church Over PTSD?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 29, 2017

Most of my life has been dedicated to veterans and PTSD. For over 3 decades, every true expert on PTSD has said that spiritual healing is vital, especially when the person afflicted by it, came with their job.

It takes a very special person with a strong emotional core to not just do their jobs, but even think they should do them in the first place.

They are pulled to do them. Knowing all the hardships, as well as the risks, did not stop them from putting their lives on the line for someone else.

That is how much life mattered to them. Rev. Robert Repenning knows what that is like. He also served as an Army Chaplain in Iraq. He spoke about God's love and he showed the compassion of Christ as well as what courage is like on behalf of the Church. Too bad the Catholic Church did not notice faith was spread by people just like him when Jesus sent out the 12 others.

"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 10:7-8

At least that is the way I thought it was supposed to be. How can the church, or any house of worship claim they care when they refuse to send someone who not only understands what our veterans are going through, but lives with it, walks the walk and still has the same connection to God?

Why is it they were so ready to turn their backs on this veteran when so many others should be welcomed into the healing power of God's love?

I am with Point Man International Ministries because they believe as I do. They go out and minister to those in need of healing, just as Christ said it should be done.

To think that this message has been sent out to all those who put their lives on the line for the sake of others, proving the greatest level of love their is, a betrayal of the mission they took an oath to fulfill.

The topper in all of this is, he is fighting to stay in the church and continue to minister to Catholics instead of walking away to go to another denomination that will not just welcome him, but value the help and hope he can offer so many veterans. 

Unassigned priest with PTSD finds 'peace amidst the storms'
Poughkeepsie Journal
Nina Schultzman
December 29, 2017
"The faith talks about mercy. The faith talks about compassion. The faith talks abut the sanctity of every human person. What is the Archdiocese saying by treating someone with a disability this way? They are not living up to the gospels." Rev. Robert Repenning
Meanwhile, "if I defend myself, they say I'm attacking the archdiocese," Repenning added.

For the past 18 months, the Rev. Robert Repenning has had no church to call home, no parish to serve.

"In a spiritual sense, it's devastating not to have an assignment," said Repenning, a longtime local Roman Catholic priest and former Army chaplain, who served in the Iraq War. "I want to be in a parish."

Repenning, 45, says the archdiocese has discriminated against him as a disabled veteran because of the alleged severity of his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

His contract at Holy Trinity in Poughkeepsie, which he led for a six-year term that ended on July 1, 2016, was not renewed.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan has told Repenning that he has a "grave lack of any self-awareness... that you may have deep problems," according to correspondence Repenning shared with the Journal.

It's a “moral obligation, and a fraternal desire” of Dolan's to ensure Repenning is healthy, and “to do this, we need a professional assessment best done in a residential setting," the cardinal wrote in a 2016 letter to Repenning.

Repenning has said he did not agree to seek treatment at an archdiocese-approved facility and that he's already been receiving medical care at the Castle Point branch of the Veterans Affairs Hudson Valley Health Care System.

Since his leave began, Repenning said he's had psychological and physical tests completed, and his doctors have no concerns.
read more here

Sunday, December 24, 2017

"Yet we considered him punished by God"

Tonight Your Soul Can Feel Its Worth
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 24, 2017

The road ahead is in your control. Which way do you want to go?

Christmas Eve is a night to celebrate the birth of a miracle. It is about, as the song goes, "the soul felt its worth."

The thing, among oh so many others, we miss is that the birth of Jesus was a gift of love from God. He came to set things right in the world. Too many things had gotten twisted and some manipulated the message Jesus had come to deliver for their own gain.

Seems that is the way of the world but not the way of love. Love is what makes some think of others before they think of themselves. Love is what drives some to be willing to die for the sake of someone else. 

Jesus knew He would die when His time came and it was something He was willing to do. His birth, life and death were prophesized 700 years before it all happened.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

Some have looked at this "story" and say that Jesus failed but since what He came to do, was accomplished, the way it was supposed to happen, He won and defeated death.

I suppose it is just too hard for some people to understand that level of unselfish love, but there are others who know exactly what it feels like to be that way.

Christ was born knowing He'd suffer to teach us how to love others, as much as He came to help us understand we were loved. 

There are many among us suffering because they loved so much their own life was an afterthought. When they needed to spend time healing their own inner-wound, they thought about how others had suffered.

It is still hard to believe that no one told them they are a survivor because they fought for their life as much as they fought for others. The longer they lived, the more they could help others live.

So where is that attitude now? Where is the mindset that tells them they beat death already? Someone along the way must have told them that PTSD is something to be ashamed of. Like some kind of failure instead of what they succeeded at doing.

The secret is, they succeeded at defeating death as well as retaining love. After over 35 years, there has not been one single veteran who said he did not want to help other veterans heal. Think about that for a second.

They are eventually unashamed of themselves, yet instead of just thinking of living their own lives better, they want to make sure they pass saving grace on to them.

Tonight can be the night when your soul feels its worth. That same soul, who fought so hard to live before, is still needed to fight for others now.

Suffering for the sake of love does not mean failure. It meant that love won. Fight to take your life back from PTSD as hard as you fought its birth~

Friday, November 17, 2017

Amy Grant and Vince Gill Share Healing PTSD With Music

How these veterans are using music to win the fight against PTSD
The Tennessean
USA Today
Jake Lowary
November 16, 2017
Music therapy isn't really a secret, but it's one of a litany of new treatment programs like meditation breathing, medical marijuana and cannabinoid oil, that are attracting attention and support that just a few years ago would have been cast aside.

Deep in the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee, on land owned by two of country and gospel music’s most-acclaimed stars, is one of the most recent examples of how American veterans are taking control of their battle against their own demons.

Michael Smith, Danny Williams and Howard Spier are among the dozen gathered here on an unusually hot, early October day. Each are veterans who have fought for their country, but are now using music to overcome the stress they brought home from war.

With them on Amy Grant and Vince Gill’s secluded farm in Williamson County are songwriters associated with some of the biggest country hits, like Bob Regan, who are helping the veterans write the latest versions of country songs to help them cope and move beyond their struggles.

They stayed here for a few days, fully immersing themselves in the experience organized by Challenge America, which supports extending arts programs to under-served communities.

Veterans, still conflicted, see a bright future
read more here

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Needing Help for Combat PTSD But Won't Seek It?

Waiting For Help Without Asking?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 29, 2017

There is a huge difference between needing help and asking for it. My Mom was a great example of that. She was a proud woman, used to taking care of herself until she reached her 70's. 

After that, the usual argument was about what she needed her "kids" to do but we didn't guess she needed it. Yes, that twisted up. She figured since we knew her all our lives, we should just know what she needed and she shouldn't have to ask for it.

When we know someone needs help, it is never easy to guess what it is they need and even harder to figure out what they want from others.

Pride often gets in the way but then there is something else trapping people from help. They see others getting help while no one is helping them. The question is, if they do not ask for help they need, how can they receive it?
Jesus Heals a Man at a Pool (John 5)
Later Jesus went to Jerusalem for a special feast. 
In Jerusalem there is a pool with five covered porches, which is called Bethesda in the Hebrew language. This pool is near the Sheep Gate.  
Many sick people were lying on the porches beside the pool. Some were blind, some were crippled, and some were paralyzed, and they waited for the water to move.  
Sometimes an angel of the Lord came down to the pool and stirred up the water. After the angel did this, the first person to go into the pool was healed from any sickness he had. 
A man was lying there who had been sick for thirty-eight years.  
When Jesus saw the man and knew that he had been sick for such a long time, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be well?” 
The sick man answered, “Sir, there is no one to help me get into the pool when the water starts moving. While I am coming to the water, someone else always gets in before me.” 
Then Jesus said, “Stand up. Pick up your mat and walk.” And immediately the man was well; he picked up his mat and began to walk.
That story always gets to me. The first question I have is how the man got there in the first place? Someone must have brought him there. Why didn't they stay to make sure he got into the pool? After all, the first part of the help getting there was only part of what he needed. What about the other part?

Then I wonder if he ever asked anyone else to help him? Did he try to do it on his own? Did he watch as the others got help to get into the healing waters and simply sit there with the soul crushing feeling of not mattering as much as others?

It is also a great example of it never being too late to get help to heal!

Most of the phone calls and email requests for help, are from family members asking for help for their veteran. They want me to contact the veteran. I tried that many years ago and it failed. When they are not ready to ask for help, they are not ready to receive it. Sometimes it is pride. Sometimes it is because they do not think they deserve it. Most of the time it is because they do not understand what is going on inside of them.

If they think the wrong thing about PTSD, like it has more to do with being weak than the strength of their emotional core, they won't ask for help.

At that point, I'll do what I can for the family to understand it and give them enough knowledge to minimize turmoil in the home. Every now and then, the veteran ends up calling because he/she no longer feels it is their fault.

Too many veterans have no one to help them get to the healing they need because others get in the way. They tell them things that are simply not true. Then there is a lot of judgment going on much like what Jesus healed the man at the pool on the Sabbath. 

He got into trouble for doing it on that day when no one was supposed to work. I'd love to hear the explanation from the people working at the temple how it was ok for them but no one else. Still seems to me that Jesus was in fact doing more than they were with something that was actually on behalf of God and not raising funds for their pockets.

41 “I don’t need praise from people.  
42 But I know you—I know that you don’t have God’s love in you.  
43 I have come from my Father and speak for him, but you don’t accept me. But when another person comes, speaking only for himself, you will accept him.  
44 You try to get praise from each other, but you do not try to get the praise that comes from the only God.
If you need help, ask for it. If you do not get what you need, then ask someone else. Sooner or later you'll find the help that has been there all along just waiting for you to seek it.

Point Man International Ministries 
Hotline: 1-800-877-VETS (8387)