Showing posts with label Delaware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delaware. Show all posts

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Who killed Army veteran Everett Palmer Jr.

Family claims US Army vet was murdered in police custody

New York Post
By Tamar Lapin
June 12, 2019

They claim that when his body was returned to them, his throat, heart and brain were missing.

The family of a US Army veteran who died last year in Pennsylvania police custody are claiming he was murdered, according to published reports.

The last time relatives of Queens-born Everett Palmer Jr., 41, heard from him was in April 2018, when he said he was going to Pennsylvania to resolve an outstanding DUI warrant from two years earlier, the family said.

Palmer, a dad of two who lived in Delaware, was booked into a single cell at the York County Prison on April 7, 2018.

Two days later, he was dead.

“The most frustrating part is my son being murdered and not having any answers to how he was murdered,” Rose Palmer, Everett’s mother, said during a Tuesday press conference, according to CBS News.

“Since April 9, I have not had a good night sleep since I think about my child and the possible scenarios. It is torture. He didn’t deserve this,” she said. “He went there to check on his license and he never made it out.”
read more here

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Find help to heal PTSD before you spread suicide

Fate of two soldiers sheds light on veteran suicide, points out where to get help

Delaware Online
Jerry Smith
February 19, 2019
Pfc. Jacob Jonza (left), and Sgt. Daniel Grime of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, provide security for their platoon during a patrol through a business district in Baghdad's Sha'ab neighborhood in 2008. (Photo11: Staff Sgt. Michael Pryor/Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)

Free: This abridged version of the story about veteran suicides is presented free as a public service to allow access to information to get help. To read the full story, please subscribe online.

Francis Graves III and Jacob Jonza each carried emotional scars after returning home from military deployments to the Middle East.

Ultimately, each tried to take his life. One lived, while the other died.

About 24 First State veterans kill themselves each year, part of 6,000 veterans who commit suicide nationwide, according to a 2016 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs survey.

Because the number has risen in the last decade, both the Trump administration and Wilmington Veterans Administration Medical Center have made veteran suicide a priority.

Graves, from Townsend, lost his battle years after returning from a stint in Saudi Arabia when he killed himself in 2015.

Jonza tried to kill himself in 2008, but was saved.
read more here

As you'll see in the video, the pain never stops for those you leave behind. Stop spreading suicide and start inspiring healing!

Go to the link and look at what help is out there for you in Delaware. If you live in another area of the country, you can find help to heal there too~

#CombatPTSD and #Take BackYourLife

Monday, August 27, 2018

Vietnam veteran takes veterans for last ride---in truck hearse

Vietnam vet uses pickup truck to make sure war veterans are never forgotten
ABC Action News 6 Philadelphia
August 26, 2018

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, you can't come through here right now, we got a funeral going on. I said I know, I got him in the back," says Elliott.
The boots polished to a high shine, and the rifles and helmets in a fallen soldier tribute, have accompanied many service members on the journey to their final resting place, in the bed of Ron Elliott's truck.

"I transport the casket in here and I deliver them down at the cemeteries," says Elliott.

It's obvious that this isn't just any old pickup truck. The sides of the truck are covered with names.
"They're all Delaware Veterans, who died in each war," Elliott says.

Names from World War II to the Vietnam War.

Ron fought in Vietnam, where he lost many friends. He hasn't forgotten them, and he doesn't want anyone else to forget them either.
read more here

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Did Burn Pits Kill Joe Biden's Son?

Biden addresses possible link between son’s fatal brain cancer and toxic military burn pits
Dan Sagalyn
January 10, 2018
The issue appears to be personal for Biden, whose son, Beau Biden, a former Delaware attorney general, died at age 46 in May 2015 from glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain cancer.

A U.S. Army soldier watches bottled water that had gone bad burn in a burn-pit at Forward Operating Base Azzizulah in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, February 4, 2013. File Photo by REUTERS/Andrew Burton 
Former Vice President Joe Biden said he thinks toxins found in smoke from burning waste at U.S. military installations in Iraq and at other facilities abroad could “play a significant role” in causing veterans’ cancer.
“Science has recognized there are certain carcinogens when people are exposed to them,” Biden said in an interview with Judy Woodruff last week. “Depending on the quantities and the amount in the water and the air, [they] can have a carcinogenic impact on the body.”
Biden’s comments shed light on a debate that has roiled physicians, former service members and the Department of Veteran Affairs about whether the health of some U.S. military personnel was compromised by garbage disposal methods used by contractors and the military at overseas bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, Beau Biden’s judge advocate general unit was activated in late 2008. He served in Iraq for much of 2009 at Camp Victory in Baghdad and Balad Air Force Base, 50 miles north of the Iraqi capital. Both bases used large burn pits. Earlier, he helped train local prosecutors and judges in Kosovo after the 1998-1999 war. read more here

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Woman Loses It Over PTSD Service Dog

And the winners are the veteran, his family, people who stuck up for him and Kathy's Crab House because of what they are doing about this!
Kathy's Crab House & Family RestaurantYesterday at 9:05am
We would like to express at this time how sorry we are over the embarrassing turn of events that occurred earlier this week in our restaurant, here in Delaware City.
It is unfortunate that some of the public are not familiar with federal regulations regarding service animals, which, in fact, do permit service animals into establishments such as grocery stores, public buildings and restaurants, giving aid and comfort to their masters in their time of need.
That being said, we would like to take what may have been perceived as a negative incident and turn this into a positive opportunity, by educating and enlightening the public about the role of service animals and how they help and serve many returning veterans who have suffered serious wounds and injuries, as well as those veterans suffering from PTSD.
So, at this time, we would like to announce that we will be sponsoring a fundraising effort for veterans and service animals thru the Montana Wounded Warriors. We would like to enlist your help as a sponsor, volunteer, or as a donor and help us enlighten and educate the public as well as to help those veterans in need.
Details need to be finalized at this time, but as they come together, we will make additional announcements to keep you apprised of our progress.
Thank you

Video captures argument about veteran's service dog in restaurant
USA Today Adam Duvernay
Wilmington News Journal
September 21, 2017

WILMINGTON, Del. — A now-viral video depicting the argument over a veteran's service dog in a Delaware restaurant has participants on all sides explaining their actions.

The video begins in the middle of an argument where a woman believed a veteran's service dog ruined her dining experience. The video shows Delaware resident Ciara Miller standing in the middle of Kathy's Crab House in Delaware City, Del., arguing with a small group of people, which included a man holding the leash of a Great Dane wearing a vest indicating it's a "PTSD service dog."

"I'm not going to keep my opinions to myself. I'm going to voice it just like I did. There's nothing you can do about it," Miller said in the video.
read more here

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Hero’s Welcome Group Honors Those Who Served

Father-and-son veterans from Marple saluted for service 
Delaware County Daily Times
By Leslie Krowchenko, Times Correspondent
POSTED: 10/17/15
“I decided that no veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would come home to the same treatment our Vietnam veterans came home to,” wrote Hyland. “It was then that A Hero’s Welcome was born.”

Tina Crognale, a volunteer with A Hero’s Welcome, presented a certificate to
Mike Carroll Sr. in recognition of his service. LESLIE KROWCHENKO — DAILY TIMES
Mike Carroll Sr. wondered what all the fuss was about Saturday morning when he heard sirens and horns on his street.

Little did he know the celebration was for him.

A paratrooper with the 509th Army infantry regiment, Carroll was congratulated for his service in a short ceremony on the front lawn of his house. More than 100 family members, friends and neighbors, some arriving by township police and Delaware County Sheriff’s Department escort, joined in a surprise thank him for his dedication to his country.

“He was one of many people who stepped up and signed on the dotted line,” said Brenda Hecklin, Pennsylvania chapter director of A Hero’s Welcome. “We want to show veterans that they are not forgotten, but are supported and appreciated.”

Founded by Montgomery County resident Sharon Hyland, A Hero’s Welcome was created to provide all veterans with the ticker tape parade-type reception lavished on troops returning from World War II.
The celebration was a “twofer,” said Hecklin, as the group also applauded Carroll’s son, Mike Jr., an Army sergeant who served in Mogadishu, Somalia. He was involved in the overall operation of Black Hawk Down and was awarded the Purple Heart.
read more here

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Delaware Police Officer Receives Award After Veterans Received Help

Cop Shop: Officers Nee and Carter win 2015 Awards of Valor 
Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 09/30/15
Aston 2nd Ward Commissioner Carol Graham presented certificates of recognition to Aston Fire Chief Michael Evans, Aston EMT Tony Cirino, Crozer-Keystone Health System Chief Paramedic Robert Reeder, Aston EMT John Gibson Jr., Aston EMS Capt. Bruce Egan, and Aston Police Chief Dan Ruggieri.
Congratulations to Upper Darby Police Officer Thomas Nee and Collingdale Police Officer William “Fox” Carter. Both were among those selected to receive 2015 Awards of Valor by The National Liberty Museum.

The pair was honored at the 10th annual Awards of Valor Ceremony Wednesday night at the National Liberty Museum in Old City Philadelphia.
Carter is among the supervisors of the Delaware County Southeast Regional Emergency Response Team, as well as assigned patrol duties. He was nominated for his commitment to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder training for police officers and for training for the proper interaction for police with those suffering from PTSD, as well as homeless veterans. He organized a daylong training for officers for more than 75 police and support personnel. In addition, he leads the Toys for Tots campaign, and oversees outreach to fellow officers and community members for used clothing to give to homeless vets in the area.
read more here

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wounded Police Officer Saved Life

‘Marc Hanly saved my life’ says friend of Norwood shooter
Delaware County Daily Times
Rose Quinn
POSTED: 09/07/15

For Corey Clark, it’s anybody’s guess what his friend Darrel Burt was thinking when he barricaded himself inside his Norwood apartment with two bottles of wine, two loaded .45-caliber handguns and an apparent broken heart.

Thursday night, the 25-year-old Darby Township man wasn’t interested in guessing games. Instead, he mainly wanted to express his heartfelt thanks to Ridley Park Police Officer Marc Hanly, whom he said “saved my life” when the bullets started flying in the hallway of the Mohawk Manor Apartments early on Aug. 30.

“It’s all been weighing heavy on me,” Clark said. He was referring to a dizzying confluence of events that left Hanly with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds in the chest and leg, and Burt, who’d been shot in the shoulder, behind bars at the county prison on four counts of attempted first-degree murder and related criminal charges.

A bartender, Clark downed a few beers after the late shift as he looked back on the life-altering ordeal, offering the vantage point as both good friend and near-victim of the accused gunman.

“Everyone in this situation is a victim. There’s no aggressor,” said Clark. “I wish we could just turn the clock back on this whole situation.”

Clark, who grew up in Prospect Park and graduated from The Christian Academy in Brookhaven in 2008, said he hasn’t been sleeping well since the incident.

A rough patch

All Clark knew as he drove from his Poplar Street row home in Briarcliffe to the apartment complex in the 600 block of Mohawk Avenue that night was Burt was in trouble — perhaps even suicidal, based on a pair of text messages he received from Burt, at 12:28 a.m. and again at 12:32 a.m.

“I’m freaking out in my mind and I’m calling him the whole way over,” Clark said of the about five-minute, 2.2-mile drive. “I called six or seven times. Darrel never answered.”

Clark said he was aware Burt, 36, apparently suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after his stint in the U.S. Army, but his behavior that morning was nothing like Clark had ever seen in the two years they had been friends.
read more here

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Beau Biden Passed Away At 46

Vice president's son Beau Biden dies at 46 of brain cancer 
The Associated Press
May 31st 2015

In addition to his work as a lawyer and attorney general, Biden was a major in an Army National Guard unit that deployed to Iraq in 2008.
DOVER, Del. (AP) -- He was the privileged son of a longtime U.S. senator and two-term vice president, yet Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III was no stranger to personal adversity.

When he was only 3, just weeks after his father, Joe Biden, had been elected to the Senate, the younger Biden was seriously injured in a 1972 car crash that killed his mother and infant sister. His father was sworn into office at his hospital bedside.

As a young college student, not long after his father's 1987 presidential campaign imploded among allegations of plagiarism, he was back in the hospital, holding vigil with other family members as Joe Biden underwent surgery for a life-threatening aneurysm.

And after launching his own successful political career, Beau Biden was dogged by health problems. In 2010, he suffered a mild stroke at the age of 41.

On Saturday, Beau Biden died of brain cancer, less than two years after he was diagnosed. He was 46.
read more here

Monday, March 30, 2015

Vietnam Veterans Day From Coast to Coast

Taunton Vietnam veterans group holds POW/MIA ceremony
Wicked Local
Marc Larocque
March 29, 2015

Members of the POW/MIA awareness movement, including a faithful group of Vietnam veterans in the Taunton area, have helped foster governmental and societal responsibility toward families of U.S. service members who go missing during war, said the president of the Massachusetts Vigil Society.

Dan Golden was the keynote speaker at the 33rd annual POW/MIA Remembrance Day Ceremony on Sunday at the Vietnam Memorial Fountain downtown on Church Green. The event has been organized each year by the Taunton Area Vietnam Veterans Association to remember the 39 Massachusetts servicemen and 1,637 others nationwide whose remains were never returned from the battlefields of Southeast Asia.
read more here

Springfield ceremonies remember Vietnam veterans 
The first salute at the Vietnam Veterans’ monument at Mason Square
WWLP 22 News
By Sy Becker
Published: March 29, 2015
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – April will mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam. 

Two solemn ceremonies were held in Springfield Sunday as Vietnam veterans honored their fallen comrades.

The first salute at the Vietnam Veterans’ monument at Mason Square, where African American veterans of the Winchester Square Vietnam Era Veterans honored the soldiers who never came home, many they had known all their lives.
read more here
Springfield commemorates Vietnam Veterans Day 2015
Elizabeth Roman
March 29, 2015
Springfield- Local leaders including Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal commemorate the Vietnam Veterans Day in Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD — For more than 25 years local leaders and veterans have gathered at Court Square in honor of those who served and those who died during the Vietnam War.

A ceremony was held Sunday afternoon featuring the reading of the names of those killed or missing in action as well as laying a wreath at the Vietnam Memorial. The event included various speakers including newly appointed Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Affairs Francisco Urena who is a Purple Heart Marine, Springfield Veteran of the Year Ronald Krupke, U.S. Rep Richard E. Neal, Dr. Samuel J. Mazza, who served as a trauma surgeon during the Vietnam War, and more.
read more here
There are a lot of great videos on this page for Vietnam veterans.
Vietnam veterans honored at ceremony in Bristol Twp.
Bucks County Courier Times
Elizabeth Fisher
March 30, 2015
Chloe Elmer/Staff Photographer
Vietnam vets
America, Hose, Hook, and Ladder Company No. 2 Fire n Bristol Borough Chief and Desert Storm veteran David Pearl shares a moment with Jesse Hill, treasurer of the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans, after he thanked him in a speech during The Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans event from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at their Bristol Township Headquarters to honor veterans on the March 29, 1973 anniversary of the last U.S. troops to leave Vietnam. The group will also celebrate their 8th anniversary at the headquarters. Attendees were also given a K-9 demonstration from Falls and Bristol Township police officers, in honor of the K-9 Working Dogs Veterans Day, which was March 13.

Veterans from all service branches saluted as the American flag and the black-and-white POW-MIA flag were hoisted. A three-gun salute followed at a ceremony Sunday at the headquarters of the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans in Bristol Township.

The occasion was a ceremony to mark the 42nd anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, signaling the end of a 10-year conflict and North Vietnam’s release of what it claimed were the last of its American prisoners of war. It would be four more years before the last of the American troops came home.

Among the attendees was Dennis Parr, a Bristol resident who served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-1973. The ceremony was particularly poignant for him because of the many friends he lost in battle, and the fact that his son, Riccardo, served two tours in Iraq as a Marine hospital corpsman.
read more here
Vietnam veterans honored for courage, service at Lynchburg commemoration
News Advance
Katrina Dix
March 28, 2015

The first U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam 50 years ago this month, but the conflict claimed one of Lynchburg’s own more than a year earlier, when Lt. Kenneth Shannon died after his helicopter was shot down over South Vietnam on March 15, 1964, just five days after his arrival overseas.

At a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War at the American Legion Post 16 Saturday afternoon, veterans who served with him or even went to college with him greeted his widow, Ginger Shannon-Young, who moved back to Lynchburg about four years ago.

Some were saying hello for the first time in almost 50 years; others, for the first time ever.
read more here
Vietnam Veterans Day
March 29, 2015

Knoxville, TN (WDEF)- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder announced March 29th will now be known as Vietnam Veterans Day.

The day is to recognize the courage, service and sacrifice of the men and women who served during the Vietnam War.
read more here

Missouri honors Vietnam veterans today
KMA Land
Special to KMA -- Mona Shand
March 30, 2015

(Jefferson City) -- It's been nearly 40 years since the official end of the Vietnam War and today Missouri honors the sacrifices of all those who served in the conflict. Many Vietnam veterans came home to find the country in the midst of the anti-establishment, anti-war movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Daniel Bell, public information officer with the Missouri Veterans Commission, says today's observance of Vietnam Veterans Day gives Missourians a chance to make up for the past.

"Vietnam veterans were not welcomed home in the same manner that your World War II, Korea, and your current returning veterans were treated," says Bell. "This is just a way of recognizing their sacrifices and their service to our country."
read more here
Vietnam Veterans Day honors Alaskans who served
News Miner
By Weston Morrow
March 30, 2015
Vietnam Veterans Day
Veterans and audience members listen to a panel discussion during a Vietnam Veterans Day program at Randy Smith Middle School on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

FAIRBANKS — Veterans, active-duty military members and community members gathered in the gymnasium at Randy Smith Middle School on Sunday to honor the service of Alaska’s many Vietnam veterans.

The event Sunday was timed purposefully to fall on March 29 — a date that commemorates the withdrawal of the last United States troops from Vietnam in 1973. Forty years later, in 2013, the Alaska Legislature declared March 29 to serve from then on as Vietnam Veterans Day, “to acknowledge and commemorate the military service of American men and women in Vietnam.”
read more here

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Veteran Takes On Great American Discovery Trail For PTSD

North Myrtle Beach veteran embarks on 5,000-mile journey to spread PTSD awareness 
By Alexandria Savage-Davis and Kaley Lawrimore
Updated: Mar 04, 2015
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A North Myrtle Beach veteran has embarked on a 5,000 mile journey to raise money and awareness for a condition that effects people overseas, as well as here at home.

Corporal Ryan Weldon, a 34-year-old Marine Corps Veteran, who joined in 1999, and was active until 2003, has embarked on a 5,000 mile walk from the East coast of Delaware to the coast San Francisco, California.

He has chosen to follow the Great American Discovery Trail, which stretches 6,800 miles across the United States of America.

Weldon said the idea to walk was motivated by a combination of factors, and after reading an article in Time magazine entitled “This Bill Could Help Veterans With Mental Health,” he was inspired.

“I had a dream Christmas Eve, and woke up Christmas Day with the urge to walk across the U.S. - PTSD is on the rise," Weldon said. "I thought why not do this? You need to go ahead and get this out there in the open. We need to get rid of the stigma attached to mental disorders and start talking about them.” read more here

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Deployed Soldier in Afghanistan, Life of the Parties Back Home,,,,Sort of

Permanently on parade! Soldier returned from Afghanistan to find he'd been on a simultaneous tour of duty at home after his friends took a cardboard cutout of him to weddings and parties so he wouldn't feel left out
US soldier sergeant Aaron Mast, 29, spent nine months in Afghanistan
He had a cardboard cutout of himself made for wedding he would miss
Friend's then took the model to every major event he couldn't attend
The cutout went to weddings, birthdays, and Halloween events
Daily Mail
23 December 2014

Soldier Aaron Mast thought he had missed out on nine months of weddings, birthday parties and even Christmas while serving in Afghanistan.

But when the 29-year-old returned he discovered he had been on a simultaneous tour of duty at home after his friends took a cardboard stand-in of him to every big event.

Mr Mast had made the cutout for a friend's wedding that he couldn't make, but he was shocked to learn it became a project for his friends and family.

''It really sucked being away from my friends and family for such a long time and I hated missing out on big events like weddings and birthdays,' said the solider from Dover, Delaware, said.

'But I had no idea that it would turn into such an amazing project for all my friends and family to keep me in their thoughts while I was away.'

After enlisting in 2003, Mr Mast served two tours in Iraq, the first in 2005 and the second in 2008. Last March he was due to go overseas for his third tour as a sergeant in a communications unit when he realised he would be away for the marriage of his good friends Christina and JJ.

Fed up of missing out on wedding photos, Mr Mast decided to have cardboard cut-out of himself made and left it in the care of his friends so he could still feature in the snaps on their big day.
read more here

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wreaths Across America Honors Fallen Back to Revolutionary War

Wreaths Across America ceremony honors fallen colonial soldiers
Newark Post Online
By Josh Shannon
Mon Dec 15, 2014
Wreaths Across America
Kevin Conley's service dog Angus, who helps him control his PTSD symptoms, mingles among the crowd at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Pencader Heritage Museum on Saturday.

As part of a nationwide observance, dozens gathered Saturday near the site of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge to lay wreaths in honor of the 24 colonial soldiers who died in the only Revolutionary War battle fought in Delaware.

“When our forefathers came to this ground in 1777, on their lips and in their minds was what freedom really stands for: independence and liberty,” State Rep. Earl Jaques told the crowd gathered at the Pencader Heritage Museum on Route 72. “They gave us that with their blood and with their ultimate sacrifice.”

Jaques, a brigadier general in the Delaware National Guard, was one of 10 people chosen to lay the wreaths, which are part of the Wreaths Across America program.

The effort began in 1992 when the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of wreaths and arranged to have them laid on graves at Arlington National Cemetery. The tradition continued, largely unnoticed, until 2005, when a photo of the wreaths went viral online.

The attention led to an influx of funds and volunteers, and the project expanded. Today, more than 540,000 wreaths are laid at 900 locations in all 50 states and in cemeteries on foreign soil.
read more here

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Moving beyond the clinical treatment for Combat PTSD

Retired pastor and chaplain to present 'PTSD and Spirituality' Aug. 7
Cape Gazette
Aug 03, 2014

The Rev. Ray Michener will walk his listeners through an in-depth look at "Post Traumatic Stress & Spirituality: God and the Devastated Self" from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Summer Spirituality Series held in the Parish Hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 211 Mulberry St. in Lewes.

This presentation includes a brief clinical look at PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and an attempt to look beyond the clinical aspects into the role of the spirit in the healing process. Moving beyond the clinical treatment modalities, Michener will attempt to examine what traumatic stress does to an individual’s concept of such things as self, morality, God or religion, and even family and society in general. The goal of this look at PTSD is not designed as how to deal with someone suffering from PTSD, but rather how to be with someone and hear their story.

Michener is a retired Lutheran pastor and U.S. Navy chaplain. After nine years in parish ministry, he entered the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps and quickly found it an exciting and enjoyable ecumenical ministry. Over the course of 20 years, Michener served with the U.S. Marines as chaplain with a combat battalion during two tours in Beirut, Lebanon; with Navy surface and submarine sailors; and his final assignment with the U. S. Coast Guard stationed at Fell’s Point, Md.
read more here

Monday, June 23, 2014

PTSD: "Part of him died"

Reminder: A part of them does die in combat. The good news is, a "new" part and replace that part and they can heal. PTSD is a change within them. They can change again.
'Part of him died,' family says of returned veteran
The News Journal
William H. McMichael
June 22, 2014
Last in a series about issues veterans face after returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Visit our Returning Home page for prior stories, videos and a graphic about PTSD.

The photograph over the fireplace is the very picture of a loving, happy family. Seated together on the floor, close enough to be touching, father Kevin Conley, mother Tina and children Dylan and Brynn exude a natural warmth that seems entirely unforced.

The picture was taken before Kevin, 43 and a now-retired major in the Delaware Army National Guard, left to spend a year away from home on deployment, most of it in a remote corner of Afghanistan with a team configured to help local officials build a viable community after years of war.

That was in 2010. When Conley returned home to Middletown, Delaware, he brought with him a mind and body wracked with injury and anguish. Nine surgeries for those injuries have dotted his three-year struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, or TBI. The middle-of-the-night outbursts, the getting lost while driving and the need to lean on others to remember everyday chores have taken a toll on his family.

And now, all await the repercussions of a late-night run in with the law at a neighborhood bar-and-grill.

"She's been through the wringer," Kevin says of Tina.

"It's horrible," Tina says. "It's been horrible."

Nine years of war in Iraq and more than 12 in Afghanistan have left an indelible mark on the psyche of those who served, and those who love them. So far, 6,819 have died and 52,044 have been wounded.

Largely unseen are those who came home with PTSD, the war's signature injury. The Department of Veterans Affairs says between 11 percent and 20 percent of the 2.6 million who served in both wars have PTSD. A Stanford University study said it could be as high as 35 percent — or as many as 910,000 men and women. And since 2000, more than 287,000 service members have been diagnosed with TBI, according to the Pentagon.
read more here

Kevin Conley is a just-retired major in the Delaware Army National Guard who is 100 percent disabled after his 2010 stint in Afghanistan. He suffers from PTSD and TBI, and the combination has sometimes had a devastating impact on his family life. Delaware Online video

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Marine Amputee Iraq Veteran Gets Car and Care from Viden Dealtership

Anonymous donor helps Iraq veteran, family
Delaware County Daily Times
By Tim Logue
POSTED: 05/16/14
U.S. Marine veteran Greg Gerard poses with his girlfriend Amber Falck and their kids Gavin, 3, and Aubrie, 9 months, at the Videon Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in Newtown Square. They received a $7,000 check from Videon through the dealership’s relationship with Operation First Response.
(Times staff / ERIC HARTLINE)

EDGMONT — Steve Videon expected to see an Iraq War veteran exiting his West Chester Pike dealership in a 2014 Dodge Dart Tuesday.

But after discussing a few options with Greg Gerard, a retired Marine from Lancaster County, the owner of Videon Chrysler Jeep Dodge cut him a $7,000 check instead.

“He thought it over Tuesday night and called us back to say he was going to take the check,” said Videon, who had donated a two-year lease to support the fund-raising efforts of Operation First Response, a Virginia-based non-profit that assists wounded and disabled combat veterans.

Gerard was in line to receive the car thanks to an anonymous donor who won the lease at a raffle held at the May 3 Walk for the Wounded event in Rose Tree Park.

The winner, a Delaware County woman who works for the Boeing Company, spent $20 on her raffle ticket and was conspicuously reserved when her name was called.
read more here

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Delaware National Guards Awards Flag to Volunteer

Elzey Family Receives Honor For Service
Milford Live
Bryan Shupe
May 7, 2014
In April, local business owners Butch and Linda Elzey were presented with an American Flag and certificate of authenticity from Delaware National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Scott Smith during a appreciation dinner the Elzey family held for the recent return of the Delaware National Guard Unit from Afghanistan. The flag presented to the family was flown on September 11, 2013 at Camp Cowpens Kandahar Air Base, the home base of the Delaware National Guard 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Task Force in Afghanistan.

In an email sent to Butch and Linda, retired Major General John A. Macdonald explained why he voted for Butch and Linda to receive the honor. “When a trooper knows he will be taken care of…really taken care of…whether on the battlefield, in garrison or at home, s/he will give beyond his/her all,” wrote Macdonald. “So in a very true sense of the word, by providing to troopers that you and your team deeply care, you are contributing to making our most dangerous and capable weapon, the American service member, even more effective.”
read more here

Friday, April 11, 2014

Delaware Missing Veteran Lee Riley is double amputee

Police seek help finding missing war vet
The News Journal
April 11, 2014

State police are asking the public's help in locating a 66-year-old war veteran who has not been seen since leaving the VA Hospital in Elsmere last week.

Lee Riley, of Townsend, is a double amputee who uses a wheelchair. He is African-American, about 6 feet tall, 150 pounds and bald.

When last seen April 3 about 10 a.m. leaving the VA Hospital, Riley was dressed in brown overalls and white sneakers and was wearing a Vietnam veterans hat, Cpl. John Day said.

He may be traveling to Washington, D.C. or to California.

Riley may be wearing one or both of his prosthetic legs. He uses a manually-propelled wheelchair and has no means of long-distances travel, Day said.

Anyone with information on Riley's whereabouts is asked to call Troop 9 at 378-5218 or use the state police Mobile Crime Tip App by downloading at: or call Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800)TIP-3333.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Slain Rite Aid manager's family holds fundraiser in his name

Slain Rite Aid manager's family holds fundraiser in his name
Delaware County Daily Times
By Rose Quinn
POSTED: 11/30/13

When he joined the Navy at age 30, Jason Scott McClay had finally started living the life he’d imagined since he was a student at Haverford High School.

His six years serving aboard the USS Kitty Hawk not only reinforced the deep pride he had for his country, but afforded him opportunities to forge lasting friendships and visit places like Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia, according to his mother, Margie Reiley of Haverford.

“He was stationed in Japan, but he got to travel all over the world,” she said. “He made friends wherever he went.”

A foot injury he suffered aboard the supercarrier that required two major surgeries curtailed Jason’s plan for a military career, she said. He was honorably discharged after seven years.

Come Saturday, Dec. 7, a fundraiser in memory of Jason Scott McClay to primarily benefit disabled and homeless veterans and their families through the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) in Coatesville will be held in The Ballroom at The Lamb Tavern, 865 W. Springfield Road in Springfield, from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets for the Jason Scott McClay Hero Fund are $30 and include buffet dinner, dessert, soda bar, silent auction and live music by Del’s Groove. There will also be a cash cocktail bar.

“Jason would be very proud of this,” his mother said.

The McClay-Reiley family

It will be three months on Dec. 19 since Jason, a Rite Aid pharmacy manager, was shot and killed during what authorities say was a robbery at the store at Ninth Street and Highland Avenue in Chester. Five Philadelphia residents are facing trial for first-degree murder and related offenses.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

VA furloughs take nearly a third of Wilmington VBA’s workforce

VA furloughs take nearly a third of Wilmington VBA’s workforce
Delaware Online
by Bill McMichael
Posted on October 15, 2013

The nationwide furloughs that sent home one-third of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s 21,000 workers during the partial government shutdown reduced the Wilmington office by nearly the same percentage.

Seven of Wilmington’s 24 workers were furloughed Oct. 8 along with more than 7,800 others around the country, prompting VBA to close off public access to all regional offices and facilities, including Wilmington. None of the seven process original compensation claims, according to the VA’s Ramona Joyce, so the impact of those furloughs on such cases would appear to be negligible. The office also processes payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs.

Wilmington falls under the Philadelphia Regional Office, where 183, or 17 percent, of 1,108 employees have been furloughed.

Online claims are still being accepted at VBA offices. But walk-ins – a common means of filing – are not possible, and phone calls for assistance or help with filling out a claim are not being accepted.
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