Showing posts with label Army Ranger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Army Ranger. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2020

39 Army Rangers are women!

Pennsylvania female soldier breaks barriers

21 News
by Brian Sheehan
January 9th 2020
While Farber is the first National Guard member in Pennsylvania to enlist and graduate, 38 other women from across the county are also U.S. Army Rangers.
As the United States military continues moving towards gender equality in the workforce, more women are serving in combat positions.
Sgt. Danielle Farber is the first female National Guard soldier in Pennsylvania who enlisted and graduated U.S. Army Ranger School.

In 2013, the Pentagon lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions.

Farber graduated in December.

She’s originally from Chester County, but is stationed at Fort Indiantown Gap where she currently works as a medic.
read it here

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Veteran Army Ranger healing his PTSD with hugging arms

Soldier’s new mission: giving free hugs to help others’ mental health

WGN9 News
DECEMBER 23, 2019
“There are many routes to recovery, Dr. Troiani says, there’ not one golden brick road” to help people recover from PTSD.
Kevin Milligan is 6’6”, has a massive wingspan and a giant smile. He’s also a great hugger.

Kevin is a former Army Ranger who was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was in Kosovo and Afghanistan from 1998 to 2003. When he had to stay in Afghanistan longer than he planned, he says he felt like the whole world had fell out from under him.
To help him heal, he started The Unconditional Hug. Studies have shown that people need eight hugs a day for maintenance and twelve for survival. They help ward off disease, reduce stress and just make us feel good.

Kevin stood on the corner of Washington and Clark for about an hour and a half, in ten-degree temperatures, and hugged as many people that would let him. We counted about twenty-five to thirty.

Dr. Joseph Trioani is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Adler University in the Loop. He’s a retired Navy Commander and the founder of The Military Psychology Program. He trains other clinical psychologists to treat veterans with PTSD.
read it here

Thursday, September 5, 2019

History made as Airman becomes Army Ranger...oh yes she did!

First female Air Force airman earns Army Ranger tab

Air Force Times
By: Diana Stancy Correll
September 3, 2019

“Ranger School is truly not for the weak or faint of heart. It speaks well of all those who persevere to find that inner grit and motivation to push through all that Ranger School throws at them,” said Lt. Col. Walter Sorensen, Air Force Security Forces Center chief of training, in an Air Force news release.
Air Force 1st Lt. Chelsey Hibsch has become the first female airman to graduate from Army Ranger School in Fort Benning, Georgia. She is now a flight commander in the 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California. (Machiko Arita/Air Force)
Nearly 300 airmen have earned the Ranger tab since the Army started accepting airmen into its school 64 years ago. But none have been women — that is, until Air Force 1st Lt. Chelsey Hibsch became the first female airman to earn the tab last week.

Hibsch, a former enlisted airman who previously served with the 374th Security Forces Squadron at Yokota Air Base in Japan, pinned on the tab at the Army Ranger School graduation at Fort Benning, Georgia, Aug. 30.

She was eligible to take the Army Ranger Course after she attended the Air Force’s Ranger Assessment Course, which is hosted by the Air Force Security Forces Center and based on the first two weeks of the Army Ranger Course. She also attended the Tropic Lightning Academy at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

Hibsch described the Air Force’s Ranger Assessment Course as “an unmatched learning experience on leadership and followership," and prepared her for Ranger School because it provided an “understanding of how you function when you’re hungry, tired, wet, cold and worse, then you have to lead a team of individuals feeling the exact same way."

“You really find out a lot about your teammates and yourself in these stressful situations,” Hibsch said, according to an Air Force news release.
read it here

Sunday, August 25, 2019

"Thank You For My Service" by veteran Army Ranger

Review: ‘Thank You For My Service’

The Washington Free Becon
Jeffrey Cimmino
AUGUST 25, 2019

From Balad to Black Rifle
He doesn't discount the reality of PTSD or survivor's guilt among some veterans, but he takes issue with the media-made notion that every veteran story is an "endless parade of horribles" and veterans are "ticking time bombs waiting to explode." 
Mat Best is an American man's man, someone who loves "man s—t like beards and whiskey and guns and hot chicks in American flag bikinis." Beneath layers of playful, irreverent humor, Best’s memoir Thank You For My Service is a serious book about a former Army Ranger navigating his way back into civilian life, overcoming an addiction to war, and trying to support his fellow veterans.

Best's book covers everything—his decision to join the military out of high school, his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than a modest portion of his sex life. After serving multiple deployments in Iraq, he wrestled with the question of whether to stay in the military.

"Was I going to age too rapidly and burn myself out over here and miss all of my twenties if I stayed? Probably. Would it be more rewarding to stay? Maybe. Would I regret not giving the carefree twenties a shot? I didn’t know," Best writes.

Yet the transition proved challenging. College initially seemed compelling, but an afternoon on a campus listening to students' conversations—and their "fundamental lack of understanding of how the world works"—dissuaded him from that path.

He then opted for a job in private security that ended in a booze-filled sex-fest during a party at the home of a Gatsby-esque Los Angeles billionaire. Best blasts Los Angeles for its "selfishness, rudeness, and disrespect," observing that "it's incredibly mind-blowing how quickly that town can break you down."
read it here

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ex-Army Ranger killed by police after wife found murdered

Wife’s body found after police kill estranged husband, a former Army Ranger

The Associated Press
By: Margaret Stafford and Heather Hollingsworth
August 14, 2019
In this photo provided by the Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff's Office, Charles Pearson is pictured in a booking photo dated Oct. 8, 2018. (Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff's Office via AP)

The body of 49-year-old Sylvia Ussery-Pearson was found Tuesday night in northwest Arkansas' Benton County, police said during a news conference in Overland Park, Kansas, where she was from. The discovery was made hours after 51-year-old Charles Pearson, a 21-year veteran Army Ranger who had completed two combat tours in Iraq, walked into a Country Inn and Suites and told the general manager that he killed his wife.

Pearson said he was armed and heading to the nearby Legends Outlet shopping district.

Police in Kansas City, Kansas, said that when law enforcement confronted Pearson at a nearby intersection, he fired several shots at officers, who returned fire and killed him.
read it here

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Veteran called crisis line and lived to heal

Veteran gets life-saving help at VA Clinic

Albany Herald
By J.W. Huckfeldt
Jul 7, 2019
“As soon as I walked into Dublin VA, I was immediately admitted to Urgent Care, where I was treated by a nurse practitioner,” Ridings said. “She knew that I needed help, was determined to provide whatever care I required, and that I couldn’t leave the medical center.”

Greg Swars Albany Herald

DUBLIN — When Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner Kristin Horton logged into her LinkedIn account April 24, she found a message from Ashton Ridings, a former U.S. Army Ranger, who required emergency intervention on April 17. The first line of the letter read, “You guys saved my life.”

“My night terrors left me with three or four sleepless nights, and knew I needed help now,” Ridings said. “I was overwhelmed, my (post-traumatic stress disorder) hit me hard, and this time I couldn’t run or work it off. I felt like suicide was my only option, so I planned it out step-by-step.”

Ridings made up his mind that he was going to die by suicide if he couldn’t find help immediately. He called the Veterans Crisis Line and finally the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center. Ridings thought enrolling in a PTSD program at the medical center would be a step in the right direction.

The Veterans Crisis Line contacted the Dublin VAMC Emergency Department informing the staff Ridings, who was suffering from severe PTSD, would be presenting sometime that day.
read it here

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Ret. Major General Eldon A. Bargewell killed in lawnmower accident

Retired Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell dies in East Alabama lawnmower accident

By: Samuel Sachs Chuck Williams
Posted: Apr 30, 2019

(WRBL) - Former Delta Force Commander and retired Major General Eldon A. Bargewell has died, age 72, Barbour County Coroner Chip Chapman confirmed.

Bargewell died in a lawnmower accident at his Eufaula, Ala., home on Monday.

Bargewell was pronounced dead at 9:36 p.m. CDT, following when a lawnmower rolled over an embankment behind his house on Barbour creek, said Chapman.

He was an American soldier who fought on the nation's battlefields from Vietnam to Afghanistan.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Mellinger has known Bargewell for 45 years.

"I remember in 1974 as a young Ranger in the still-forming 2d Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis seeing and meeting quite a few legendary and highly decorated officers and non commissioned officers. Among those was Lt. Eldon Bargewell," Mellinger said. "Eldon stood out even then amongst those giants, for he had earned a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in 27 September 1971 as a Staff Sergeant while serving with Command and Control (North), Studies and Observations Group, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)."
read more here

Thursday, April 4, 2019

U.S. Army's 75th Ranger will receive Bronze and Silver Star in same deployment

Air Force Operator to Receive Silver, Bronze Star for Same Deployment
By Oriana Pawlyk
3 Apr 2019

The U.S. Air Force will award a special tactics airman two medals for valor for separate missions in Afghanistan in which he risked his life to save others.
Tech. Sgt. Cam Kelsch, a tactical air control party operator assigned to the 17th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing. (U.S. Air Force)
Tech. Sgt. Cam Kelsch, a tactical air control party operator assigned to the 17th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, will receive the Silver Star and Bronze Star with "V" device in a ceremony at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia, on April 9, Air Force Special Operations Command announced Tuesday.

Kelsch, 29, from Ventura, California, exposed himself to direct enemy fire while accompanying members of the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment during a night raid on April 25, 2018, in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel/Resolute Support in Afghanistan. The team was reportedly sent out to neutralize a high-value target, but the service did not disclose where the raid took place, or how long the battle lasted
read more here

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Medevac crew refused to give up on saving Army Ranger

Medevac crew receives valor awards following harrowing rescue mission

Published: January 11, 2019

Under fire and carrying a badly wounded patient, the Black Hawk helicopter was just lifting off an Afghan battlefield when the crew chief saw an Army Ranger in the landing zone get shot and drop to the ground.

The Black Hawk darted back to evacuate the fallen Ranger.
From left: Sgt. Armando Yanez; Spc. Emmanuel Bynum; Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Six; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Cole; and Capt. Benjamin Krzeczowski 101ST CAB, WINGS OF DESTINY/FACEBOOK
Spc. Emmanuel Bynum, thinking quickly, directed the pilot to make an emergency landing on a dusty patch masked from most enemy fire. They still took fire — in all, about two dozen rounds to the helicopter, which would become nearly unflyable.

After the wounded Ranger was loaded, the Black Hawk lifted off. But there was more danger to come as they flew from Paktia province toward a base in Logar province dozens of miles to the north.

For their courage during the July operation, Bynum and four other aircrew members received the Distinguished Flying Cross with valor during a Jan. 5 ceremony officiated by Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Each of the five “completely disregarded his own safety” and refused to leave Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz and an unnamed casualty on the battlefield, award citations said.
read more here

Monday, September 24, 2018

Family pleads with VA employees to step forward after veteran's suicide

Family of soldier who took own life asks VA whistle-blowers to come forward
AZ Family
Lindsey Reiser
September 24, 2018
The 2016 letter specifically mentioned Castaneda, among other veterans, saying the Phoenix VA failed him by not checking on him. "He was considered such a high risk that they were supposed to be having someone check on him at his home, and apparently they weren't not checking on him all the time," Smith said.
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona's Family has been covering problems at the Phoenix VA for years. We told you in 2016, whistle-blowers wrote a letter alleging serious problems there.

Now, the family of one of the veterans mentioned in that letter is making a plea, asking those whistle-blowers to come forward to give them closure.

Three years after Army Ranger Antouine Castaneda took his own life, his mother-in-law, Margaret Smith, said they are still searching for answers. And she said her granddaughters ask questions about their dad.
read more here

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Stolen Valor: Miserable excuse to abuse heroes

Man who pretended to be a decorated veteran sentenced
WPTV Webteam
Tory Dunnan
Jul 27, 2018
"My actions, which I thought were for a good reason. To help my family overall," he said. "I've dishonored myself, my sons, my daughters, my family, my country, and veterans everywhere. For that, I am truly sorry," said Liroff who could barely get through a prepared statement.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - A man in Port St. Lucie who pretended to be a veteran entered a no contest plea in court Friday.

For years, Edward Liroff told stories about his service saying he was shot twice in combat and that he pulled two soldiers out of a burning helicopter.

The ruse unraveled when tried to get a code enforcement job with the city and police say a document he used turned out to be falsified.

In court, a judge credited him with some of the time he has spent behind bars but he still must serve nine more months in jail.

Liroff apologized and said, "this wasn't his brightest moment."
Once he pays back all the money he received from veterans benefits, his one-year probation will be dropped.
read more here

Monday, July 23, 2018

Arizona may join states tracking veteran suicides

Arizona lawmaker planning bill to mandate tracking of veteran suicides
JULY 23, 2018
“Before you can solve a problem, you’ve got to realize the extent of the problem,” said Mike Scerbo, spokesman for the family of Antouine Castaneda. Castaneda — a decorated Army Ranger who signed up after 911 — took his life on his 32nd birthday, July 23, 2015.
Rep. Jay Lawrence at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on July 23, 2018. (KTAR Photo/Kathy Cline)

PHOENIX — A bill that would require the compilation of veteran suicide statistics could be introduced next session in the Arizona Legislature.

State Rep. Jay Lawrence — a Republican who chairs the House Military, Veterans and Regulatory Affairs Committee — hasn’t written the bill yet. In fact, he’s only submitted suggestions to the Arizona Legislative Council.

He does plan to have something ready for the coming legislative session.

As Lawrence envisions it: “[The bill would] require the state of Arizona to compile a report on veteran suicide and provide that report to the Legislature and the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning Jan. 1, 2020.”
A November 2017 study from Arizona State University found Arizona veterans were almost four times as likely to commit suicide as nonveterans.
read more here

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

PTSD veteran shot by police in Florida sought help

Veteran shot by deputies suffered from PTSD, parents say V.A. failed to provide better help
ABC Action News
Wendi Lane
Feb 20, 2018

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. - A family is left devastated after deputies shot and killed their son on Saturday when he threatened to kill himself and his wife.

The man’s parents say the father of four suffered from PTSD and depression after serving in Afghanistan.

"He loved his kids. He loved his family. I always called him my American hero," said Lisa Batchelder, mother of 28-year-old Ryan Batchelder.

Right out of high school Ryan Batchelder joined the army.

"He went over to Afghanistan. He left as my little boy and when he came back he just wasn’t the same." said Lisa.

Ryan’s mother Lisa says he never talked about his time in Afghanistan, only mentioning that one day he switched shifts with a friend, and that friend was killed in an attack.
Michael was there when Ryan smashed his vehicle into a deputy’s car.

"I was watching my boy get shot. There was nothing I could do. I begged them to stop shooting. I can’t close my eyes," said Michael.

The Batchelder’s don’t blame the deputies but wish it could’ve been easier for their veteran to get help.

"They need more providers for our soldiers. They need to figure out how to hold those providers." said Lisa.
read more here

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Steelers Army Veteran Alejandro Villanueva Talks About PTSD

Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva revealed why he served three tours in Afghanistan

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Stephen Knox
December 9, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva has one of the most interesting stories in the NFL.

Villanueva graduated from West Point, and while there he walked onto the Army football team. Before beginning his career with the Eagles in 2014, he served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. He is a decorated Army Ranger, winning a National Service Medal and a bronze star.
However, he revealed that a big reason why he served the final two tours in Afghanistan was due to the struggles he had once he returned home.
“Now I started developing a fear of flying. I started developing even a fear of bacon because it can give you cancer,” Villanueva said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. “So you start developing all these things because you’re like ‘Holy smokes, I’m a healthy 20-year-old now back in normal society, I have a life expectancy. I don’t have to die tomorrow.’ It’s a very tough thing to reconcile in your mind. It causes a lot of stress. I think that’s one of the main reason for PTSD is that I was ready to die and now I don’t have to die.
read more here

Sunday, September 24, 2017

NFL Afghanistan Veteran Army Ranger Stood Alone For Anthem

Alejandro Villanueva, a U.S. Army veteran, was the lone Steeler on the field during national anthem

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"He's going to be free": Sea turtle named for deceased Army Ranger

"He's going to be free": Sea turtle named for deceased Army Ranger released at Virginia Beach Oceanfront
The Virginian-Pilot
By Katherine Hafner
May 19, 2017

The sea turtle was the first catch James Spray had made all day.
At the Buckroe Fishing Pier in Hampton on Monday, Spray had just about given up, when his hook snagged a juvenile Kemp’s ridley turtle – the world’s most endangered sea turtle.

In the hands of the other anglers it flopped around and struggled, but in Spray’s hands the turtle was still and calm.

It “just seemed so peaceful,” he said.

So attached did Spray become to the turtle in the days that followed, that on Friday he gathered with the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Team at the North End to release it back into the Atlantic.

For him, the turtle he dubbed Ranger Tan was more than just a peculiar catch.

Something about it connected him to his Army friend, Jason Benchimol, who died of a heroin overdose a few months ago. The name – Ranger Tan – refers to Benchimol’s status as an Army Ranger and the distinctive tan beret Rangers wear (the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center has been naming each rescued sea turtle after a Crayola crayon color). The men met in the military in 2008 and became close friends over the years.

His death “was a terrible blow,” said Spray, who added that his friend suffered from “severe” post-traumatic stress disorder after combat overseas. “He was much better than the disease.”

The two recently had undergone treatment together at the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where Spray is living, though he owns a home in Moyock, N.C.

Inexplicably, catching Ranger Tan became a way to for him reconnect with Benchimol – there was something about the way the animal was at peace.
read more here

My two cents:

PTSD is not now, nor has it ever been, a "disease" and that is a major problem. If you think all that is "wrong" with you came from you, then where is the hope to heal? If you know the only way you ended up with PTSD is because you survived something that could have killed you, then you know, it happened to you!

Causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after a very stressful, frightening or distressing event, or after a prolonged traumatic experience.
  • serious road accidents
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
  • witnessing violent deaths
  • military combat
  • being held hostage
  • terrorist attacks
  • natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis
  • a diagnosis of a life-threatening condition
  • an unexpected severe injury or death of a close family member or friend

They forgot to add in occupations like First Responders rushing to what the rest of us run away from!

You can only heal if you fight to take back control of your life!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Army Ranger Soldiers Deaths Possible Friendly Fire

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

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

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

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Hampshire Army Ranger Shot by Other Soldier Receives Outpouring of Support

Over $20,000 raised in 1 day for NH soldier shot by fellow Army ranger
February 18, 2017

HUDSON - There has been an outpouring of support from the community after a soldier from New Hampshire was shot in the neck by another Army ranger earlier this week.
A GoFundMe page for Joshua Keller has already collected more than $20,000. He was accidentally shot in Washington, and the other solider is facing charges.

His father Matt Keller spoke with NH1 News earlier in the week. He said his family has been in Washington since Sunday to be with their son.
read more here

Solider from NH shot by fellow Army ranger, in critical condition
The Associated Press
February 14, 2017

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — An Army ranger from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state has been charged with shooting a fellow soldier, who remains in critical condition.

The Olympian reports that Spc. Thomas Patrick Popek was arraigned in court Monday on an assault charge. The 23-year-old victim from Hudson, N.H., is in critical condition and unable to breath on his own.
read more here

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Army Ranger Facing Charges After Shooting Another Soldier

Army Ranger arraigned in shooting of fellow JBLM soldier
The Olympian
Kenny Ocker
February 13, 2017
One witness said Popek had returned to JBLM from a deployment five days earlier.

An Army Ranger assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord was arraigned Monday in Pierce County Superior Court, charged with shooting a fellow soldier in the neck Saturday in Parkland.

Spc. Thomas Patrick Popek, 22, faces one count of second-degree assault for the incident, which charging documents say left a JBLM soldier on life support with a bullet lodged in his neck.

The 23-year-old is in critical condition in an area hospital and unable to breathe on his own.
read more here

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Body of Missing Veteran Army Ranger Found

Missing Iowa veteran with PTSD found dead
FEBRUARY 2, 2017
"My heart is absolutely broken with the news I got today. Aaron was a Army Ranger vet, my husband , a father to our 2 beautiful daughters and a great friends to many and he is no longer with us... I am overwhelmed by all the texts and Facebook messages so please don't take offense if I don't get back to you. Aaron Goff I loved you more than anybody could imagine and I don't know what I and your kids are going to do without you.. I love you."
COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa — An Iowa veteran who has been missing since Jan. 30 has been found dead.

Authorities say they received a call around 7:40 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, by a person who found a body under the Monkey Run Bridge on Second Street in Columbus Junction. The body has been identified as missing 34-year-old Aaron Goff.

Goff was reported missing by family in the early hours of Monday, Jan. 30, says the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office.
read more here