Showing posts with label ABC news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ABC news. Show all posts

Friday, November 16, 2012

Soldier Surprises Parents Live on 'Good Morning America'

Soldier Surprises Dad Live on 'Good Morning America'
Nov 15, 2012
by ABCNews
Stars of new OWN series Yolanda and Morris Goins reunite with their son Cameron.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ABC reporter Peter Lloyd faces jail in Singapore with PTSD

Lloyd faces jail in Singapore
By Greg Jennett in Singapore

Posted Tue Dec 2, 2008 6:21am AEDT
Updated Tue Dec 2, 2008 6:53am AEDT

In court today: Peter Lloyd (AAP: Joseph Nair)
ABC reporter Peter Lloyd is today set to go to jail for breaking Singapore's tough anti-drug laws.

The 42-year-old will face the Subordinate Courts, where he will plead guilty to some of the four drugs charges against him.

Lloyd was arrested in Mount Elizabeth Hospital in July and charged with trafficking, possessing and consuming methamphetamine, or "ice".

He was also charged with having utensils for using the drug and Ketamine, better known among party drug users as "Special K".

Singapore's Attorney-General has since dropped the most serious trafficking charge, which would have carried jail terms of between five and 20 years and five to 15 strokes of the cane.

In return, Lloyd will plead guilty to some of the remaining charges.

Under Singaporean law, sentencing Judge James Leong could give Lloyd up to 10 years jail.

But lawyers will lodge submissions for the punishment to be reduced.

The guilty plea, contrition and a recent diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be among the arguments.

The former Delhi-based foreign correspondent told Fairfax newspapers in November that his exposure to mass casualties in the Bali bombings and the 2004 tsunami in Thailand had left him in a "zombie" state of depression.

He said he had an "instant sense of wellbeing" when he smoked "ice" for the first time at a party in Singapore in February.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Six months of TV news and only 181 minutes of war news

June 23, 2008
Reporters Say Networks Put Wars on Back Burner
Getting a story on the evening news isn’t easy for any correspondent. And for reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is especially hard, according to Lara Logan, the chief foreign correspondent for CBS News. So she has devised a solution when she is talking to the network.

“Generally what I say is, ‘I’m holding the armor-piercing R.P.G.,’ ” she said last week in an appearance on “The Daily Show,” referring to the initials for rocket-propelled grenade. “ ‘It’s aimed at the bureau chief, and if you don’t put my story on the air, I’m going to pull the trigger.’ ”

Ms. Logan let a sly just-kidding smile sneak through as she spoke, but her point was serious. Five years into the war in Iraq and nearly seven years into the war in Afghanistan, getting news of the conflicts onto television is harder than ever.

“If I were to watch the news that you hear here in the United States, I would just blow my brains out because it would drive me nuts,” Ms. Logan said.

According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been “massively scaled back this year.” Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The “CBS Evening News” has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s “World News” and 74 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” (The average evening newscast is 22 minutes long.)
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Veteran's Administration cover up of PTSD

Veteran's Administration cover up of PTSD
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 5:58 PM
By Vic Lee
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (KGO) -- There is new evidence suggesting the Veteran's Administration is covering-up sub-standard mental health care given to vets. There's evidence a federal judge in San Francisco accepted on Tuesday, even though the case has already been tried.

There was email was written in March by Norma Perez, Ph.D., a V.A. psychologist who coordinates post-traumatic stress disorder cases.

She wrote, "Given that we are having more and more compensation-seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out. Consider a diagnosis of adjustment disorder."

The email was discovered by accident through a Freedom of Information request by a veterans group.

"It is a very damning email. Cut off the money, disguise them with adjustment disorders so they don't get V.A. benefits," said Gordon Erspamer, a Veterans Groups' Lawyer.

Attorneys for Veteran's groups suing the V.A. say the email supports their case that the dept has failed to diagnose and treat PTSD and other mental health problems.

Their lawsuit asks the court to force the V.A. to treat veterans who show signs of PTSD and are at risk of suicide.

The V.A. says the email's author admits it was poorly worded and has no bearing on the lawsuit.

"I think she made it clear she had mistakes. The secretary has disciplined her and also said she doesn't reflect any V.A. policies," said Kerri Childress, a Veterans Administration spokesperson.

This is the second email that the veterans say the V.A. has tried to conceal from the public.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

TBI Struggle for Words Frustrates Woodruff

Woodruff interviews U.S. soldiers in Iraq on Jan. 29, 2006, just moments before a roadside bomb went off, ripping into his skull. His head was unprotected, and the explosion almost killed him. Doug Vogt, an ABC cameraman, was also seriously wounded in the blast.

Struggle for Words Frustrates Woodruff
By Christine Dugas,USA Today
Posted: 2008-02-25 15:56:25
Filed Under: Health News
(Feb. 25) -- One year after Bob Woodruff spoke about his brain concussion on an ABC documentary, he is busy flying around the world on assignments and continuing to draw attention to the signature injury of the war in Iraq: traumatic brain injury.

His recovery seems miraculous, considering how the shrapnel from a roadside bomb had ripped into his skull on Jan. 29, 2006. Woodruff, 46, is back at work at ABC news, although he does not have his previous job as a news anchor — at least not yet.

"I don't know if I could do that," he says. "I think it's possible. But one thing that I know for sure is that I'm going to remain as a journalist because I have always loved journalism."

Woodruff now works with a team to produce more in-depth assignments. He can better cope with longer projects because his traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused a language disorder that makes it hard for him to come up with words. And for a journalist, nothing could be more frustrating.

Woodruff continues to improve and often speaks with ease and confidence. But he still occasionally runs into a roadblock in his brain.

In a recent interview at his office, Woodruff described how reading and writing have helped his brain improve. After he got out of the hospital he was not willing to just sit at home, he said, "watching sports on TV all day long with a — what do you call the thing that controls the TV?" He couldn't come up with the term remote control.

Woodruff has a disorder called aphasia. It happens when a stroke or TBI affects the language side of the brain, usually the left side. The National Aphasia Association estimates that 1 million people in the USA have it.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

'Coming Home: Soldiers and Drugs'

Coming Home: Soldiers and Drugs

Spc. William Swenson was on his final mission in Iraq when his vehicle drove over a 200-pound improvised explosive device. The blast injured Swenson's spine, and he developed syringomyelia. When a laundry list of prescribed painkillers proved ineffective, Swenson says he turned to marijuana.

Back home, Swenson tested positive for marijuana and cocaine, he told ABC News. The Army court-martialed him and threw him in jail for 20 days.

Spc. Alan Hartmann was a gunner on a Chinook helicopter, flying missions from Kuwait into Iraq and ferrying the dead bodies of U.S. soldiers killed in combat.

After surviving his third crash, Hartmann returned home with chronic neck pain, fatigue and nightmares. He traded his prescribed anti-depressants and painkillers for methamphetamines. Hartmann eventually checked himself into rehab and is now clean.

Spc. Jeffrey Smith worked as a medic in a Baghdad ER, where he witnessed the "complete insanity" that would stay with him long after he retured to the homefront. "We saw everything from gunshot wounds to people missing legs, arms, pieces of their face," he told ABC News.

Smith said to escape from the daily "insanity," if even for a short time, many soldiers working in the hospital began to abuse Ambien, Percocet and Prozac, as well as prescription painkillers available on the black market in Baghdad.

Smith told ABC News he self-medicated himself with alcohol, marjuana, cocaine and ecstasy. Smith even attempted suicide, he said. Although he sought help, Smith said he was kicked out of the Army without benefits after testing positive for cocaine twice and marijuana once.

Spc. Matthew McKane worked as a medic in the Baghdad ER. He says his worst day was when a suicide bomber drove a car into a Baghdad orphanage, injuring dozens of children, some younger than five. Like many of his co-workers, McKane turned to drugs to numb his senses. When those weren't enough, McKane said he and a fellow medic tried propofol, a powerful anesthetic. His comrade overdosed and died.

When McKane returned to Fort Carson, he said he tested positive for cocaine. He is currently in prison awaiting a court-martial on misconduct charges. McKane believes he will soon be dismissed from the Army because of his drug use.

(ABC News)

Hidden Wounds Lead to Drugs
Part Three of the Series: 'Coming Home: Soldiers and Drugs'

Nov. 28, 2007

Editor's Note from Brian Ross: In the third year of a joint project with the nonprofit Carnegie Corporation, six leading graduate school journalism students were again selected to spend the summer working with the ABC News investigative unit.
Editor's Note from Brian Ross: In the third year of a joint project with the nonprofit Carnegie Corporation, six leading graduate school journalism students were again selected to spend the summer working with the ABC News investigative unit.

In His Own Words: Spc. Alan Hartmann (go to link for video)

This year's project involved an examination of whether, as happened in the wake of the Vietnam War, Iraqi war veterans were turning to drugs as a result of the trauma and pain of war.

The U.S. military maintains the percentage of soldiers abusing drugs is extremely small and has not increased as a result of Iraq.

The students' assignment was to get the unofficial side of the story from soldiers, young men of their own generation.

Today's report is the third in a series of five reports.

As more U.S. service members return home from Iraq and Afghanistan after witnessing the horrors of war, more will turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.

That's according to mental health experts who say there is a strong correlation between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and substance abuse. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that afflicts people who have been through a traumatic event.

Coming Home: Soldiers and DrugsDr. Phillip Ballard, a psychiatrist at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs, Colo., said he has seen a significant increase of soldiers from nearby Fort Carson seeking inpatient treatment for substance abuse.

"PTSD has as part of its core diagnosis the use of substances as self-medication for the relief of depression, anxiety, whatever feeling they may have," Ballard said. "Sometimes it's considered to be a weakness or a less than manly thing to ask for assistance or ask for help so they do the best they can do with what they have available...they use the chemicals and drugs they've used in the past to numb feelings up."

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Tale of Three Medics

High at the Mountain Post

This is a good report.

When my husband's nephew came home from Vietnam, he was already addicted to heroin. It was self-medication that he was hooked on. He didn't want to get high. He wanted to kill off feelings he did not want to ever feel again and if it meant he would kill off any good feelings with them, so be it. To him, not feeling that kind of pain was worth any price.

That price sent him to jail for a long time. When he got out, eventually, he fell in love with a good woman with a sharp mind. A professional woman, independent and wealthy by some standards. She helped him begin to heal enough that he was willing to get clean. She made sure he went to the VA to be treated and he was. Eventually his claim was approved. He had shrapnel still imbedded in his body and a lot of back pain, along with a diagnosis of PTSD. All those years, he never knew what it was. He didn't have much of a sense of it until my husband was diagnosed and began to share with his nephew. Andy, well he was just a few months younger than my husband Jack. Both of them enlisted in the Army the same year.

Back then MRI's were very dangerous for anyone with metal in their body. The VA wanted him to have an MRI. He though they were trying to kill him. The next attack came when he sent for his records from the DOD. The response came back that the unit he served in, never existed. Andy had been living with blaming himself for a couple of his buddies getting blown up. The denial meant that the government was also denying his friends died. If the unit never existed, then neither did they.

All that work, all that time of healing, was over with a few days later when he contacted his ex-dealer. He was back on heroin. Not long after, he bought enough for ten men to die. He checked himself into a motel room. Locked the door. Pushed furniture up against the door so that no one could get in. He used all the heroin. He knew what he was doing.

This country can say it as many times as they want but what all of this boils down to is that no one really looks at the soldiers and Marines as human. If they ever did they wouldn't see them as being any different than themselves. They would have to take a good, long, hard look at what we ask all of them to go through when we send them to war. Logical people would understand that in sending them, we should accept the responsibility for them, since they are necessary for the security of this nation. We are not a logical nation. We are an emotional one. We are a judgmental one. For all the talk of being compassionate, while the majority of the people are, those who lead it are not.

A lot of people want to just blame Bush for all of this, but Andy committed suicide when Clinton was in office and it was not Bush in office when Andy and my husband came home. Bush however is in office right now. He did in fact send the troops into two different nations to risk their lives. Debate the righteousness all you want but what is not and should never be open to debate is taking care of them. Bush didn't cause the problems with the VA, he increased them. He did not cause all the wounded veterans, but he added to them and failed to take care of them. The VA was already backlogged and under-funded as well as under-staffed before Afghanistan was invaded and well before Iraq was even being addressed. No one did anything about it.

Now as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans receive preferential treatment, as abysmal as it is, the older veterans are pushed aside. Will we ever get any of this right? Will we ever live up to what we say? kc