Showing posts with label CNN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CNN. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Second Lieutenant Gary Hurst proposes live on Head Line News

Officer proposes on live
TV Morning Express
Added on October 10, 2012

Second Lieutenant Gary Hurst proposes to his girlfriend of three years live on HLN's "Morning Express."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Soldier outraged Afghan policeman who shot him did interview on CNN

Vacaville soldier outraged man who shot him in Afghanistan is free, gave interview on CNN
Daily Democrat
By Melissa Murphy
Created: 09/18/2012

Nearly three years ago, an Afghan policeman turned on the very same U.S. Army soldiers that trained him, killing two and wounding three others.

Army Staff Sgt. Christian Hughes, a Vacaville Christian High School graduate, was among the wounded and remembers the events of the attack on Oct. 2, 2009, like they happened yesterday.

On Monday morning, Hughes and his family were once again reminded of the horrific day, when they learned the man responsible is not only alive and well, but bragging about it on international television.

"I never thought I would see him again," Hughes said in a telephone interview from his home in New York. "I woke up thinking everything was fine and normal today. Now I'm looking at the man who tried to murder me. It's unbelievable."
read more here

Monday, August 6, 2012

CNN posts temple shooter was Army veteran

Sources name alleged gunman in Wisconsin temple shooting
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon August 6, 2012

NEW: It's "Aurora one minute, the next it's you and your family," victim's relative says
Law enforcement officials name the shooter as Army veteran Wade Michael Page, 40
Those inside the temple say the man had a 9/11 tattoo on one arm
The wounded remain in critical condition

Oak Creek, Wisconsin (CNN) -- The man who shot six people to death and wounded three others during a rampage at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist, according to a law enforcement source involved in the investigation.

Law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation named him Monday as Wade Michael Page, 40. One law enforcement official said he owned the gun used in the shooting legally.

He had apparently served on active duty, a U.S. official familiar with his record said.

The source declined to give further details.

The officials asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak on the record about the shooting investigation. A police officer responding to the attack shot and killed the gunman, police said.
read more here

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Voters in America: Vets Wanted?" J.R. Martinez documentary

Last night I watched "Voters in America: Vets Wanted?" with J.R. Martinez talking about how hard it is for so many Guards families, especially after combat. The general pubic doesn't want to think about what happens to them when they come home and cannot find work. Most assume they are just taken care of. This documentary shows how hard it is and has been for them.

Documentary Description: Multiple deployments interrupt lives and careers and can lead to health and financial challenges. Narrated by former U.S. Army infantryman and motivational speaker J.R. Martinez, "Voters in America: Vets Wanted?" looks at the unique burdens for families of men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it follows the reintegration of members of the Georgia National Guard's 877th Engineer Company into civilian life.

Deployed to Afghanistan in December 2010, half of these veterans faced unemployment when they returned to the U.S. The documentary also examines whether the bipartisan Veterans Jobs Bill passed in November 2011 is of any help as our nation's heroes make full transitions back to the lives they left to defend America, and it offers insights into how veterans' unemployment may impact their decisions as they head to the polls this November.
read more here

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Time for an Iraq war parade?

Vets ask: Time for an Iraq war parade?
By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd
updated 9:33 PM EST, Tue February 7, 2012
New York parade for Super Bowl-winning Giants sparks talk of veterans parade
Some GOP candidates have suggested parade for Iraq vets is a good idea
Pentagon spokesman says parade is deemed improper with troops still in Afghanistan

(CNN) -- On a day when New York City threw a parade to celebrate the New York Giants for their Super Bowl victory, at least one veterans' group is using the occasion to ask: What about a parade to honor the soldiers who fought in Iraq?

"If the Giants deserve a Super Bowl [parade], so do the 1 million Iraq veterans who have served," says Paul Reickhoff, an Iraq war veteran who now heads Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "The American people want a chance to say thank you, and want a chance to respect and remember those who served."

Along the parade route Tuesday in New York, several parade-watchers voiced support for the idea.
"Without a doubt there should be one," said Jim Lynch, who said his brother Scott was killed in Afghanistan. "They deserve it."

"Amen. Absolutely," said his friend Jim Diffley. "We showed up at 7 a.m. for a Giants parade; I'd be here at 4 o'clock yesterday for an Iraq war veteran parade."
read more here

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CNN needs to report on military heroes more than bad reports

CNN needs to report on military heroes more than bad reports
Chaplain Kathie

When I wrote about CNN took the easy way out on reporting Veterans with PTSD because they focused on two recent reports of headline grabbing veterans, I was deeply troubled by this
"A coincidence -- two recent high-profile cases? Or a sign of an increase in hostile behavior as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal from Iraq, similar to that seen when U.S. troops returned home from the Vietnam War?"

What CNN did not point out was this simple fact.
1.2 million veterans sought mental healthcare in 2011
January 15, 2012
Wait time critical in VA care for mental health
St. Cloud Times
Written by
Frank Lee

The number of veterans seeking mental health care has increased since 2006 from about 900,000 to 1.2 million last year, according to a Government Accountability Office study.

With all of these veterans seeking mental health help, how is it that CNN sought out "experts" that never seemed to be able to mention this very simple fact while reporting on these two cases?

That's the biggest problem in the fight to end the stigma of PTSD. As with Vietnam veterans coming home with PTSD, some did get into trouble, were arrested and locked up. Some were killed by police officers. Some ended up making the headlines as well but most of them came home suffering in silence while doing the best they could to adapt back to civilian life. They did all of this while reading reports about "crazy Vietnam veterans" and being told they were all someone to be afraid of. No matter what was being said about them many carried on their fight to make sure that "no other veteran would be left behind" and they managed to get this nation to come up with compensation and programs to treat their combat PTSD. It is because of them psychologist and mental health workers began helping average people.

Back then, all the general public knew was what was reported in their local papers and seen on news stations. It was all local. Now there are three major 24-7 cable news stations, FOX, CNN and MSNBC but while they should be reporting on every kind of story about our veterans, they seem to be only interested in reporting on them getting into trouble. Now there is the Internet connecting people across the globe so that anyone with an interest in finding out what is going on in another part of the country, they find it. A small town newspaper reporting on one of their veterans can be read about by everyone. Usually the attention grabbers are bad reports, or at least it seems that way but if this blog is any indication of what people really want to read about this is one of them.

"For those I love I will sacrifice"
is the most popular post on this blog with 28,789 Pageviews. The next most popular one is 12,970 Pageviews for Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter, hero Marine honored While I post about the bad reports as well as the good, no other posts have come close to these two.

I've been thinking about this for a long time and can only come to one conclusion. The popularity of these stories is because the general public never seems to be made aware they exist while watching or reading news coverage where they live. While they can find out about candidates running for the Presidency and what they are doing in a different state, since that is all the national media seems interested in covering, they cannot find out about veterans the same way unless they are in trouble. They have to spend the time searching for these stories while the national media stations take the easy way out and end up supporting the fear the general public has toward veterans.

The following are reports on this blog from the first 14 days of 2012 that are positive ones. While I do cover the bad reports along with the good it would be real reporting for the national news stations to do the same. That way the general public would finally understand that most veterans never stop giving back and want to do more for this country no matter what price they had to pay for what they've already done.

After reading these you'll understand why, even after tracking all these reports, there is no other group I'd rather spend my time with and on. I just wish that CNN could do the same. While they celebrate heroes every year, they never seem to be willing to spend the time to report on our veteran heroes making a difference everyday.
Caught on video: Unemployed Iraq Vet stops bullies on bus
Iraq war vet stands up to bullies on Lacey bus
January 1, 2012
Posted on December 31, 2011 at 5:10 PM

LACEY, Wash. - Jim Hardie doesn't really see himself as much of a hero.

"I really don't feel like I have any more value than anybody else,” he said.

He's a family man with an eight-year run in the Marine Corps. But for the last two years he’s been riding the bus in search of a job.

Last week after a full day of searching, Jim sat across from three guys he felt were being disrespectful to everyone on the bus.

West Virginia Air National Guard female medic earns Bronze Star for Valor

W.Va. flight medic receives medal for bravery in Afghanistan
By Travis Crum
January 1, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nicole Hopkins, a flight medic from West Virginia, said she would never forget the day she left Afghanistan with severe injuries received during a dangerous mission in one of the war's deadliest months.

She vividly remembers looking out her flight's window during her return trip at another plane carrying coffins draped in American flags.

"What I thought most about during that flight home was the guy we picked up that day, Sgt. Matthew Weikert," Hopkins said. "He was flying back to the states the same time as me, only he wasn't flying home injured."

Hopkins, a 35-year-old staff sergeant with the West Virginia Air National Guard, was presented the Bronze Star with Valor last month for her bravery during missions to rescue injured soldiers in July 2010.

Military veterans create Tampa charities to help troops

The Tampa Tribune
Published: January 02, 2012

They were both in the Navy.

They are both named Bob.

And now they spend their days helping out those who serve by running two of Tampa Bay's biggest military charity organizations.

Bob Silah served 27 years, retiring as a captain in 1989.

An active member of the Tampa chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, he regularly kept in touch with the local military community, especially the folks at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.

In 2004, he got a call from a doctor there.

"They said they had more and more patients coming in and they needed help, especially with their families," said Silah, who came up with an idea to help.

He created Operation Helping Hand that May.

Veteran dies saving employee from gunman
Family, friends remember Carter’s kindness
January 3, 2012
MILTON-FREEWATER - Everyone knew Rob Carter, friends and family of the Milton-Freewater native said Saturday.

Carter, 58, died Friday doing just what he was known for - cherishing and protecting those he loved. When a gunman entered Carter's business shop, Carter threw himself over his employee to shield her from gunfire, McKenzie Marly said.

That's how her father did things, she explained. "He took care of everyone."

Cecil "Rob" Carter was born to Ray and Kathy Carter on July 18, 1953. He and his brothers, Alan and Cliff, found plenty of trouble to get into, much of it fights among themselves, Marly, 33, said, reciting family legend. "But if anyone messed with any one of them, you had to deal with ‘The Carter Boys.' That's what they were known as. But they were brothers in every way."

USO Sailor Of Year Killed In Afghanistan Standing In For Wounded Bomb Tech
U-T: USO Sailor Of Year Killed In Afghanistan
January 4, 2012
Chad Regelin Killed Monday

Jeanette Steele, U-T San Diego
SAN DIEGO -- When Navy bomb disposal technician Chad Regelin was named 2011 USO sailor of the year, he couldn’t make it to the October gala in Washington, D.C.

He was in Afghanistan, standing in for a wounded bomb technician.

That job took his life Monday. Regelin, a 24-year-old sailor assigned to a San Diego unit, was killed during combat operations with a Marine Corps special operations company in Helmand province, Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced.

His brother Ryan said the sailor was on foot patrol when an explosion occurred. Regelin went to check it out and a second bomb, detonated via a wire, went off.

Gainesville Florida woman lost 84 pounds to become a soldier
Woman Loses 84 Pounds to Become Soldier

Army News Service
by Cynthia Rivers-Womack, USAREC
January 04, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Allison Scarbrough will officially change jobs Jan. 3, 2012, from retail cashier to Health Care Specialist in the U.S. Army. But the change has not been easy.

In May 2010, then 20-year-old Scarbrough walked into the Gainesville recruiting station ready to become a Soldier. This was a brave move for her because before she could enlist two things had to happen. Weighing 240 pounds, the 5-foot-5-inch Scarborough had to lose 84 pounds -- and keep the weight off -- before she would be eligible to enlistment. But for the motivated Scarborough, failure was not an option.

Decorated marine forgives DUI driver who nearly killed him
January 6, 2012

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman who was drunk when she hit a decorated Marine from behind on his motorcycle, leaving him with critical injuries that doctors initially thought would kill him, was sentenced Friday to four years and four months in prison.

Jessica Marie Bloom, 22, pleaded guilty Nov. 8 to felony charges of DUI causing injury and hit-and-run.

The crash left Gunnery Sgt. David W. Smith with numerous injuries, including a partial decapitation, lacerated kidney, lacerated liver and bleeding on the brain.

Smith, a Bronze Star recipient for valor, was comatose for two days, paralyzed completely for two of three days and on life support for 10 days.

Point Man shows the way to what faith can do

January 8, 2012

Point Man started with and for Vietnam Veterans.
Since 1984, when Seattle Police Officer and Vietnam Veteran Bill Landreth noticed he was arresting the same people each night, he discovered most were Vietnam vets like himself that just never seemed to have quite made it home. He began to meet with them in coffee shops and on a regular basis for fellowship and prayer. Soon, Point Man Ministries was conceived and became a staple of the Seattle area. Bills untimely death soon after put the future of Point Man in jeopardy.

However, Chuck Dean, publisher of a Veterans self help newspaper, Reveille, had a vision for the ministry and developed it into a system of small groups across the USA for the purpose of mutual support and fellowship. These groups are known as Outposts. Worldwide there are hundreds of Outposts and Homefront groups serving the families of veterans.

PMIM is run by veterans from all conflicts, nationalities and backgrounds. Although, the primary focus of Point Man has always been to offer spiritual healing from PTSD, Point Man today is involved in group meetings, publishing, hospital visits, conferences, supplying speakers for churches and veteran groups, welcome home projects and community support. Just about any where there are Vets there is a Point Man presence. All services offered by Point Man are free of charge.

Cancer survivor credits Army's help
January 8, 2012
Sgt. 1st Class Ana Carrizo Cancer survivor credits Army's help

Written by
Laura Ungar
The Courier-Journal

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ana Carrizo is surviving breast cancer while her mother is dying of the disease.

Carrizo, 43, said she found her cancer early, thanks to an Army program that electronically reminds soldiers to get medical screenings. But her 69-year-old mother, Ruth Turner, who lives in Panama, found her disease late, and now it’s considered terminal.

“If I was not reminded to do the checks, I probably wouldn’t have found the cancer,” said Carrizo, who was diagnosed in December 2009. “Being female in the military, I think they do a great job … taking care of us.”

Last Vietnam veteran in Florida Air National Guard retires

Written by Master Sgt. Thomas Kielbasa
January 8, 2012
Feature Stories
Command Chief Master Sgt. Charles Wisniewski completes 41 years of military service

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2012) – The last Vietnam veteran in the Florida Air National Guard is retiring and ending a more than 40 year military career.

State Command Chief Master Sgt. Charles Wisniewski, who served in Southeast Asia with the U.S. Air Force in 1972-1973, was honored during a retirement ceremony at the Florida National Guard Headquarters Jan. 6.

“Today really marks the end of an era,” said Adjutant General of Florida Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw Jr. during the ceremony. “When we say goodbye to (Wisniewski) today, we say goodbye to the last Vietnam veteran in the Florida Air National Guard. That is a milestone.”

Wisniewski, 59, joined the Air Force in 1971 and served as a weapons technician at Utipoa Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. During his year in Thailand he helped load B-52 bombers flying into Vietnam on bombing missions, including during the famed Operation Linebacker II in late 1972.

Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan wars reflect on coming home to NYC and transition to civilian life
Bronx Army vet says more aid available now from Veterans Administration


Tuesday, January 10 2012
When Sandra Rolon came home to the Bronx from her first U.S. Army deployment in Iraq in 2005, she was desolate and despondent.

The Mott Haven native was left homeless with two daughters to raise, and there were few services.

“I went to one or two meetings for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” she said. “There wasn’t anything at all.”

When she returned after her second round of duty--during which she helped close down the Camp Bucca detention facility in 2009--everything had changed.

“I got a call from the (James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the Bronx) the same day my orders ended,” said Rolon, 53. “They were directly calling all these soldiers, letting them know, ‘you have five years of medical coverage if you want to exercise that benefit.’”

Now, Rolon helps lead Military Women in Power, which operates out of the Bronx VA hsopital, and she said there has been a surge of interest in the group since the last troops returned to American soil in December.

Maj. Thomas B. Bryant sings for betterment of troops
Third Army soldier sings for betterment of troops
January 10, 2012
13th Public Affairs Detachment
Story by Cpl. Christopher Calvert

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – For many, singing offers an outlet to express one’s feelings. Troops often find singing helps pass the time during a deployment while building esprit de corps among members of a unit. For one Third Army soldier, singing is more than just a hobby; it’s a way to help his fellow brothers and sisters in arms.

Maj. Thomas B. Bryant, Third Army/ARCENT Logistics, deputy plans chief and Silver Creek, Miss., native, grew up singing his entire life.

“I’m the son of a preacher,” said Bryant. “I’ve been singing pretty much all of my life. It’s just been one of those things God has blessed me with. I like to make people feel what I’m feeling, and singing helps me accomplish this.”

When Bryant graduated from high school, he felt compelled to join the U.S. Army Reserves and serve his country like his father did before him, he said.

Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan to be posthumously awarded Navy Cross
Marine from Camp Pendleton to be awarded Navy Cross posthumously
January 10, 2012
The secretary of the Navy next week will present the Navy Cross to the family of a Marine from Camp Pendleton killed while saving the life of other Marines in Afghanistan, officials announced Tuesday.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is set to present the medal Jan. 17 to the family of Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton. The Navy Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor for combat bravery by Marines or sailors.

Hogan, 20, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, was killed Aug. 26, 2009, by a buried explosive device after pushing a Marine to safety and yelling warnings to other Marines. Hogan was on a walking patrol in Helmand province, long a Taliban stronghold.

According to the Navy Cross citation, Hogan spotted a trigger wire for a buried bomb and hurled himself into the body of the nearest Marine to push him away from the imminent blast.

Triple amputee soldier wants to stay in Army!
US soldier who lost legs in Afghan blast wants to stay on active duty
January 11, 2012
By staff
A U.S. soldier who lost both legs and an arm from an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan wants to stay on active duty, if the military will have him, according to a report on the Army website.

Pfc. Kyle Hockenberry, 19, nearly lost his life in the June 2011 blast in Haji Ramuddin that killed Pfc. Nick Hensley.

Veteran Uses His Disability Check To House Homeless Veterans
Shane D'Onofrio, N.M. Veteran, Uses His Disability Check To House Homeless Veterans
January 12, 2012
It's an understatement to say that Navy veteran Shane D'Onofrio would give the shirt off his back for his fellow servicemen.

The Rio Rancho, N.M. veteran actually dedicates his income to vets in need, according to

D'Onofrio reinvests his disability check -- about $1,700 each month -- back into What Would U Give, a nonprofit he started a few years ago designed to help other disabled veterans get off the streets while building community development and helping veterans achieve their after-military life goals.

90 year old WWII veteran still doing her part to help the troops
January 13, 2012
WWII vet still doing her part to help the troops

By Arline A. Fleming/Special to the Independent

NARRAGANSETT — Doris Blaney might be 90 years old, but she is hardly an idle nonagenarian.

In addition to knitting items to sell at the South Kingstown Farmers Market and being an active member of the Washington County VFW Post 916, she decided that when it came time to donate to the state-wide project for the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW, offering an average donation wouldn’t be enough.

This year’s cause, Suicide Prevention in the Military, just felt more important to her than that.

“I was a Marine during World War II and it just hit home, so I decided we should do something as big as we can possible do.”

Blaney decided to organize a fund-raiser to make a significant donation and raise some awareness in the process, and when she announced her intention to her five grown children, her 12 grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends, “they all jumped in with both feet,” she said.

Super heroes get PTSD too
January 14, 2012
After all these years some people still think that cowards and criminals are the only veterans claiming PTSD. That if they have PTSD, they are dangerous. What can we expect when the only time they make the news is when they are arrested or killed in a police standoff? While we read other reports here, the general public has no clue what it is really like for any of them.

Here's a story you should pass onto anyone you think needs an attitude adjustment. Read about Sgt. Rieman and what he did to earn his Silver Star. If this isn't courage, nothing is.

Silver Star Recipient Talks About His PTSD at Free Symposium

Posted Fri, Jan 13, 2012

By Bobbie O'Brien
Sgt. Tommy Rieman was awarded a Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and courage under fire while serving in Iraq. But, he will do something that takes as much courage this Saturday in Sarasota. He will discuss living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The free symposium will start with a documentary that features the soldier and others struggling with PTSD and examines the military culture that stigmatizes mental health.

Rieman survived 11 wounds while guiding his team through multiple attacks in Iraq December 2003 and President Bush recognized his bravery.

“Tommy Rieman was a teenager pumping gas in Independence, Kentucky when he enlisted in the U.S. Army,” Pres. Bush said. “He was on a recognizance mission in Iraq when his team came under heavy enemy fire. For his exceptional courage, Sgt. Rieman was award the Silver Star. He has earned the respect and gratitude of our entire country.”

And Rieman is proud of his country and the Army. So much so, he agreed to be a part of the Army's video program called Real Heroes. But while on his second tour in Iraq, his situation changed and he considered suicide.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More women in combat means more mothers with PTSD

More women in combat means more mothers with PTSD
By Kyra Phillips and Michael Cary, CNN
Tue December 13, 2011

Staff Sgt. June Moss was diagnosed with PTSD after serving in the Iraq war
As more women see combat, more female vets are suffering from PTSD
Treatment helps, but Moss worries about slipping back into depression
Today, Moss has gotten over her fear of crowds

Palo Alto, California (CNN) -- It wasn't until five months after Army Staff Sgt. June Moss returned from the Iraq war in 2003 that her real battle began. The horrors of the war -- witnessing decapitated and burned bodies amid mass destruction -- led to post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I do notice when I'm stressing out that I start having dreams about what I saw and how I felt," says Moss, now 40 and retired from the Army. "It does come back as if to haunt you."

The percentage of women in the military has doubled in the last 30 years, with more than 350,000 serving as of 2009, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs' latest figures. With more female troops in combat, there has been an increase in PTSD diagnoses: One in five female veterans suffer from PTSD, according to the VA.

As a light-vehicle mechanic, Moss drove across Baghdad and provided security at checkpoints during her combat tour in Iraq. When she returned home, she became overly protective of her two children, fearing that someone was going to kidnap or harm them.

At the same time, she hunkered down inside her home, staying in bed, because she says it was too hard to face the most mundane tasks such as shopping.

"It was crazy. I couldn't even do crowds. It reminded me when we were in a marketplace (in Iraq), and we didn't know if somebody was out there to kill us," Moss explains. "I'm back home, and I didn't have to worry about a suicide bomber, but I still felt as if there was one lurking in the mall or the grocery store."
read more here

Monday, December 12, 2011

Couple's love story was tested by war

Couple's love story was tested by war -- four times
By Chelsea J. Carter
CNN December 12, 2011

Both Nathan and Raquel Dukellis served in Iraq; he returned to shut down U.S. bases
On this deployment -- his fourth -- he went back to the city that haunts the couple's marriage
They talk candidly about love's battle with separation, fear and doubt
Nathan says this deployment was like coming full circle -- with the war and with his marriage

Editor's note: This is the second of four stories profiling soldiers and their families whose lives were defined by the Iraq war. The first was published Sunday.
Fort Bliss, Texas (CNN) -- The pictures on the walls at the Dukellis home tell the story of the couple's time together -- and apart.

There's Nathan in his uniform with his comrades. There's Raquel with her sisters. Nathan serving in Iraq. Raquel working.

They're pictured together occasionally -- at their wedding, of course, and in a recent photo, during a vacation in the mountains.

At first glance, Raquel and Nathan Dukellis seem an unlikely pair. She's outgoing; he's reserved.

She has a large, extended family; he is an only child. Both sport tattoos on their arm -- Herman Munster appears on hers; his arm features her name and a skull.
read more here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CNN Reporter and PTSD: Don McCullin's War With Guilt

CNN Reporter and PTSD: Don McCullin's War With Guilt
Written by Mairi Mackay
Monday, 10 October 2011 09:26

October 8, 2011 (CNN) - Don McCullin is best known for the unwavering gaze of his war photography.For thirty years he traveled to places most people run from, depicting horror unflinchingly and with enormous compassion for the people he captured in unimaginable situations.
Considered one of the greatest war photographers, McCullin's pictures chart conflicts in Vietnam, Bangladesh, the Congo, El Salvador, Biafra, Cambodia and the Middle East, including the Six-Day War in June 1967.
He has, as he puts it, taken "terrible liberties" with his life -- dashing through rice paddies in Vietnam to escape snipers' bullets; jumping up to snap a shot during gun battles -- to bring home images that are, at times, excruciating to look at but often unforgettable.
And yet, as enduring as these images are, forgetting them is exactly what McCullin now wants to do. "That war stuff... I don't even want to print it anymore," he says. "I want to put it right out of my mind."
read more here

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Added On July 5, 2011
CNN's Don Lemon talks to Dr. Mark Goulston about the new rule changes for troops suffering from PTSD.

Dr. Mark Goulston said that it is hard for them to ask for help and he's partially right on the reason. One that keeps getting missed is that these men and women are "helpers" and think of others first. This type of person has a very hard time asking for help with anything.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Challenges facing veterans

May 29, 2011
Panelists weigh in on the No. 1 burden on our veterans once they return home from war?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CNN Robin Meade offers way to Salute to Troops

As simple as creating an online greeting card. Create a "Salute to Troops" you can e-mail to your military loved one.

Every weekday morning on HLN's "Morning Express," anchor Robin Meade and her team do a shout-out to U.S. troops by showing off photos and videos sent in by their loved ones. Tune in every hour between 6 and 10 a.m. to see the salutes on air, or click through the archives on this page.

A mortar attack in Iraq in 2006 shattered Marine Sergeant Kenny Lyons' jaw, and cost him his leg. He says his mother never left his side while he recovered. So, he surprised her, by asking HER to cut the ribbon when he got the keys to his new house. Which was built in less than FOUR DAYS and comes mortgage-free, thanks to "Homes for our Troops." They build specially equipped homes for injured vets.

Monday, May 24, 2010

CNN Pays Tribute to Coalition Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq

There are times when I am absolutely heartbroken by the lack of news coverage of Iraq and Afghanistan. There always seems to be some other story for all the major media stations to jump onto with too little time to remind the American people there are troops risking their lives everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is more heartbreaking is that even when they return home, out of danger from bombs, they are still in danger from bullets but instead of the weapon held in the hands of enemies, the gun is held in their own hand. 18 suicides a day, most committed with guns. The American people are not reminded of the fallen except when a hometown boy or girl comes home for the last time. They are not reminded of the wounded. Most of the time the American people are left on their own to search for news or just get on with their own lives, their own problems, their own families. Few know of the hardships of the families of the military and harder times for the families of National Guards and Reservists.

CNN has done a good job tracking it all. They could have done a better job on the news station itself, but the online work they've done has been outstanding. I search it often because I know it is accurate and very up to date. It looks like CNN has done it again with this site. Take a look at it and remember, just because we are not reminded everyday of the price they pay, they still pay it.

CNN Pays Tribute to Coalition Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq Wars with Launch of “Home and Away”
Ten-Year Project Culminates in Immersive Online Interactive Memorial and Month-long On-Air Programming Honoring Troops
Continuing to develop innovative ways to present its audience with news and information, CNN is combining the unparalleled strengths of its on-air and online platforms to honor every Coalition Forces casualty in Afghanistan and Iraq. has launched “Home and Away,” an immersive interactive which allows users to learn about and pay tribute to more than 6,000 fallen troops from more than 20 countries. Simultaneously, CNN chief national correspondent John King begins a month-long tribute on his week-nightly 7 p.m. ET program, JohnKing, USA, airing one of the fallen’s personal stories each night. On Memorial Day, a special edition of JohnKing, USA, entitled “Home and Away,” will be dedicated entirely to this subject. Throughout these tributes, King will utilize the Magic Wall to go behind the statistics and provide human faces to the sacrifice.
“Each of these casualties has an inspiring and moving story, and we wanted to find an exceptional way to honor the sacrifice every single one of them made,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. “We hope ‘Home and Away’ serves as an enduring memorial for those that made the ultimate sacrifice while also helping the CNN audience more personally connect with this deeply complex topic.”
“We were so moved by the powerful stories of these service members and those who loved them along the way,” said Michelle Jaconi, Executive Producer, John King, USA. “Our colleagues have created a powerful tool that allows us to more deeply engage with our viewers, connecting them to personal tributes from the fallen's family and friends."
Available at this extensive data visualization project began nearly 10 years ago at the start of the war in Afghanistan. A cross-divisional effort between the CNN Library and, a team of researchers, producers, designers, user-experience specialists and developers have gathered information about the casualties of the wars. Evolving from two separate lists of casualties in Afghanistanand Iraq, “Home and Away” tells the story of where and how the lives of these troops began and ended, and is continually enhanced with personal memories from family and friends.
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CNN Pays Tribute to Coalition Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq

Saturday, May 1, 2010

CNN decides to wait for war reporter to heal

Michael Ware has done some amazing reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan but as the years ticked by, you could see the changes in him. At least CNN had someone there all the time but when they failed to understand the need to heal from being exposed to war for so long, they also failed to show they understood what the troops were going through.

Imagine being a solider with PTSD and hearing CNN didn't want their war reporter to have the time he needed to be treated for PTSD and time to heal. That would have delivered the message that a wound like PTSD was less worthy and Ware should just get back to work.

Ware has been with CNN long enough to understand the way they do things, so it's doubtful he misunderstood them. The question is, what turned CNN around? Was it public pressure? Bloggers were really upset over this. What will they learn from this? Will they finally do some really great reporting on PTSD with one of their own trying to heal? Time will tell.

April 30, 2010, 7:03 pm
CNN Is ‘Standing With’ Stressed-Out War Correspondent
Michael Ware has spent so much of the past nine years reporting from war zones for Time magazine and CNN that it’s almost like he’s a citizen of Iraq.

That experience, he says, has left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. In an interview on Thursday, he said that CNN wanted him back in the field before he felt he was ready and, as a result, he was under the impression that he had been released from his contract. “I required further time off than I think CNN was able to give,” he said.

But there may have been a misunderstanding. On Friday CNN said that Mr. Ware is still employed by the network, disputing an unsourced report on a blog that he was no longer working for the network and that the disorder was a reason.

“We will continue to support him during this time,” the cable news network said in a statement. The network said it was “rightly regarded as an industry leader” in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, and that it offers support services to past and present employees.

Mr. Ware’s agent, Richard Leibner, said, “They are clearly standing with him now.”
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CNN Is Standing With Stressed-Out War Correspondent

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does CNN care about PTSD at all?

If you watched any of the news reports from Iraq, you would have seen the changes in Ware along with seeing the kind of courage it took to stay there and then go back so many times. If he needs to heal then CNN should give him all the time he needs to do it along with all the support it takes. Above that, CNN should take it personally that one of their own is suffering because he was dedicated to his job in a combat zone. Ware reported on the conditions in Iraq but he also reported on the troops. He cared. CNN could have gone a long way in helping the soldiers heal as well if they bothered to report on it as much as they do report on celebrities and gossip.

Michael Ware On Leave From CNN
Huffington Post
Danny Shea
Foreign correspondent Michael Ware, the face of CNN's coverage of Iraq, is on leave from the network.

The network says that Ware, who has been conspicuously absent from CNN, is on leave to write a book.

"Michael is currently on a leave of absence writing a book," a CNN spokesperson told the Huffington Post. "We don't discuss individual contracts."

AllThingsCNN, a blog covering the network, speculates that Ware will not be returning to CNN ever after the network denied his request for more time off to write his book and deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Ware was the subject of a haunting, must-read Men's Journal profile in December 2008 that brought readers into his tortured world. Titled "CNN's Prisoner of War," the story by Greg Veis quoted Ware as saying of his return from Iraq, "I am not the same fucking person. I am not the same person. I don't know how to come home." click link above for more

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anderson Cooper:Marines don't know when last step will be their last

Marines look for IEDs 4:35
CNN's Anderson Cooper travels with U.S. Marines in Afghanistan as they look for IEDs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CNN Barbara Starr writes about two soldiers lives she took personally

Behind the Scenes: Triumph and tragedy for two wounded soldiers
Story Highlights
CNN's Barbara Starr celebrated a victory and mourned a loss on July 15

An injured Marine was celebrating getting into Harvard Law School

On same night, a warrior with a traumatic brain injury was found dead in his car

Men's stories are linked -- both pleaded with the government to aid injured soldiers
By Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Where were you on the night of July 15? You may not even remember, but for me it was an extraordinary evening, an evening of unimaginable triumph and unbearable tragedy.

But I would not actually know everything that happened until the night was long over.

A couple of weeks before July 15, a friend who works with injured troops emailed me to say it was time for Andrew's going away party.

Andrew Kinard is a young Marine I first met a few years ago at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington where he was recovering from a devastating IED attack in Iraq. He had stepped on the roadside bomb and lost his entire body below the hips.

The party being arranged was Andrew's farewell to D.C. Andrew is off to the rigors of Harvard Law School. He's says he's itching to get into a courtroom.

You need to remember the name Andrew Kinard. Many of his friends believe Andrew is such an amazing man that he will become president of the United States. If I had to bet, I'd say it could happen.

I wouldn't have missed the party for the world. I was touched that this tight-knit community of wounded warriors had included me in this very special, very intimate evening.

There was a display of photos of Andrew serving in Iraq. I suddenly realized I never knew how tall he was before the war. There were a few sniffles and wiping of eyes in the room for a Marine whose dream of service to his country ended within a few months of getting to Iraq. But sniffles didn't last long and the evening became one of hugs, laughter and good wishes (and more than a few beers) for a young Marine who had triumphed over what the war had dealt him.

But my warm feelings didn't last long. The next day another source in the wounded troop community came to me in the Pentagon hallway with another tale.

"You have to do something about the story of Ray Rivas," he said.

In the very hours we were celebrating Andrew in Washington, tragedy was unfolding in Texas. Lt. Col. Raymond Rivas, a 53-year old civil affairs officer who had dedicated his career to rebuilding war torn countries, was found dead in his car in the parking lot of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas.

Colleagues of Ray's said prescription pills and notes he wrote to his family and wife, Colleen, were found. A military source told me all indications are Ray took his own life.
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Triumph and tragedy for two wounded soldiers

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nancy Pelosi is killing the troops

Chaplain Kathie

Nancy Pelosi said the CIA did not tell congress exactly what was being done and when it was being done but it's not as if this would be the first time the CIA got things wrong and won't be the last time the government of this nation turns into a he said she said. Considering that anyone in the loop on any of the secret goings on running this country cannot talk about it in the media, there is a lot that is going on we don't find out about until years have passed. The problem is, the reporting on Pelosi, a pit-bull for the Democratic Party and target for the Republicans has in effect been killing the troops. It's not just the jumping on Pelosi story that has been doing it, it is the failure of the broadcast media to report on other things that are harder to report on but of so much more value.

Sgt. John Russell waits for trail, for what caused him to kill five at the Camp Liberty Stress Clinic. Five families grieve for their family members killed and another, Russell's family searches for answers, also grieving. While newspapers and local TV stations find this tragedy worthy of their attention and reporting, cable "news" has found a more interesting story in politics. Not that reporting on the characters running this country is bad, but we need to be asking what it is they value when they fail so miserably at reporting on what else is going on.

CNN, MSNBC and I presume FOX (because I don't watch FOX) have all piled on the same story of Nancy Pelosi and what the CIA did or did not tell congress. Others have since come out pointing out discrepancies in what the CIA claims and what they know to not be true. Is this a worthy story? Sure it is but so much coverage on this as if she is responsible for giving the orders to torture instead of claiming she was not told the whole truth. It is not as if she could have saved the lives of five men now dead because of the stresses the troops are under in Iraq as well as what they face in Afghanistan. So where is the reporting on what the troops are going thru? Where are the stories on Iraq and Afghanistan?

During the Presidential campaign the media found only that to report on and excused their lack of interest in the two military campaigns as viewer driven but did they ever explain how it was the blogs were on fire discussing both military campaigns as well as the Presidential one? The public interest was alive and well but being starved. The problem is the troops ended up paying for it because the general public was not informed adequately enough to rise up and help the troops coping with the tremendous stresses they were under and had nothing in place for when they came home needing our help. As the months went by, it was harder and harder to track the stories around the country about what was happening to them, the tragedies unfolding in every part of this country because not enough people knew what was going on.

Were 1.9 million lives worthy of reporting on? That's how many served. How about the lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan still? Don't they matter? What about their families? These are recent stories about the Camp Liberty tragedy that should have been on cable news.

Among 5 Killed, a Mender of Heartache and a Struggling Private
Published: May 16, 2009
They came to the clinic at the base in Iraq for reasons as different as their ranks.

Maj. Matthew P. Houseal, a 54-year-old psychiatrist and father of seven in the Army Reserve, was there to counsel, having requested an Iraq deployment to support soldiers struggling with the heartache and hardship of war.

Pfc. Michael E. Yates, 19, was there to talk, perhaps about the pain he was feeling about being separated from his girlfriend and infant son, relatives said.

And Sgt. John M. Russell, 44, was there because he had to be. After 15 years in the Army, he had fallen into debt and out of favor with his commanding officer, who took away his weapon and sent him for counseling.

It was in that clinic, a low-slung building at Camp Liberty on the outskirts of Baghdad, that Sergeant Russell used a weapon that he seized from an escort last Monday to shoot and kill Major Houseal, Private Yates and three other people, Army officials say. He has been charged with five counts of murder in the deadliest case of soldier-on-soldier violence involving the American military in the six-year Iraq war.
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Among 5 Killed, a Mender of Heartache and a Struggling Private

Funeral set for soldier from Md. killed in Iraq
Baltimore Sun - United States
FEDERALSBURG - A 19-year-old Federalsburg soldier killed at a counseling clinic in Baghdad is to be buried this week.

Funeral services for Michael Edward Yates Jr. are to be held at noon Thursday at the Framptom Funeral Home in Federalsburg. Interment will follow at the Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery in Beulah.
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Mourners remember quiet, helpful Army doctor - Lubbock,TX,USA

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Story last updated at 5/20/2009 - 1:28 am

He was a soldier, a respected doctor, a steady-handed pilot, all qualities worth bragging about. But Matthew Philip Houseal wasn't the chest-beating type, his sister said.

He often melted quietly into the background. For that, many people knew him as "the invisible man," she said.

"He always was there for people," said Anne Houseal, a U.S. Air Force colonel. "He was a great example of service and honor."

Family and friends gathered Tuesday at St. Ann's Church in Canyon to pay their final respects to the slain Amarillo physician. Hundreds of American flags waved outside the church as a bell tolled and a lone bagpiper played softly in the distance.

Heads bowed and eyes welled with tears as a military color guard brought his flag-draped casket into the church. Arms curled gently around heavy shoulders.

"It's a sad day in America," said Jack Barnes, president of America Supports You Texas. "A good man was taken away from us."

Houseal, 54, a major in the Army Reserve, was one of five soldiers killed May 11 when a U.S. soldier allegedly opened fire in a mental health clinic at Camp Liberty in Baghdad.

In his sermon, the Rev. Phu Phan praised Houseal for sacrificing for his country and for placing the needs of others, often strangers, above his own.

"He found meaning in his desire to help others," Phan said. "We need to thank God for the gift of his life."

Troubled by the rising suicide rates among veterans, Houseal joined the reserves to use his training as a psychiatrist to help stem the tide.
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Tragic stories that have hardly been mentioned. But there are many, many more stories they find unworthy of their attention.

As Americans deal with the bad economy, home values dropping and jobs being lost, they will not think about what else is going on while they are hunting for jobs and worrying about finding ways to pay their bills. They won't find the stories of National Guards families suffering because of the lost incomes, coming home to no jobs after they risked their lives and the lack of support in their own communities to help them heal from PTSD. They won't know about families on food stamps because there is just not enough money to make ends meet while their family member is risking his/her life in service to this nation.

The media has a moral obligation to report on what is happening to our troops and have had a moral obligation to report on our veterans also suffering. They just have not taken the time to notice any of it. How many lives could have been saved had they bothered to report on any of what's been going on for the last 8 years? We need only look back at the tragedy of Camp Liberty for the answer. After this all the brass in the military have been trying to find out what else they need to do to prevent this from happening again because of all the reporting that was done and is being done. Yet tragedies have been unfolding across the country all these years that should have been worthy of their attention but alas, they just found more "important" to them to report on. After all, it's easier to jump on stories and take guesses when it comes to politics as usual but it is a certainty fueling the war between parties is not about to save lives, find answers, remove the stigma and provide knowledge about what the troops are going thru. They would have to actually invest the time in finding the people involved and talking to them instead of just picking up the phone and getting the usual talking heads to speculate of false earth shattering news.

The troops and our veterans are dying for the attention of the media but they haven't bothered to notice! They've just been too busy talking about Michelle Obama's arms and clothes and Nancy Pelosi's memory. How much time has talk radio invested in this as well? Honestly I cannot attack cable news and forget about the obligation talk radio has as well. They talk about what Pelosi knew or didn't know without any ability to actually know the truth but when the truth about what is happening to our troops and veterans is documented and known, they avoid it. What about the obligation Rush has to the troops? What about the obligation Hannity and O'Reilly have to the troops and our veterans? What about the hosts of Air America, admittedly doing a better job of mentioning any of their stories, but still, failing to spend enough time on any of them. Stephanie Miller, Richard Greene mention them from time to time and Thom Hartman spends more time on the veterans when he has on Larry Scott of VA Watchdog, but still not enough time. If you put all the hours talk radio on both sides spend on the troops and veterans it would pass as fast as you can hit a snooze button on an alarm clock but this alarm has been piercing the air in homes across this nation while the broadcast media has been snoozing!

We can talk about the obligation the government has to the troops and the veterans all we want but the media has a bigger obligation because the pubic has not been informed enough to get the government to live up to their obligations. They talk occasionally about gays in the military and don't ask-don't tell as a morale issue but fail to report on what is actually killing our troops and veterans that can be prevented. How many more tragedies will they suddenly find of value to even mention before they fully grasp the fact they are partly responsible for the failure to act, report and inspire the American people to act to correct the damage being done? How many more will be buried between this Memorial Day and the next one that did not need to die? Suicides have gone up every year and so have attempted ones while they failed to report so we can decide to act. Tell them they need to live up to their obligation to the troops because in the process of their decisions on what is valuable to cover, they are killing the troops by avoiding them.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Family's house saved because of Internet strangers

Internet strangers save family's home

Saved by the click 1:51
Photojournalist Oliver Janney introduces us to a couple giving thanks for people's generosity over the Internet.
Focus On Giving