Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

"Our veterans and first responders need help, and they need to be heard" and so do we

Hundreds turnout to run for first responders, veterans and law enforcement officers

ABC Action News
By: JJ Burton
Oct 22, 2023
“Our veterans and first responders need help, and they need to be heard,” she said. “Seeing how much this event grows every year just shows how much noise is being made for a cause that needs more concern.”
Hundreds showed up at Madeira Beach for a very important race, the Legends Never Die 5K. For the people racing, winning wasn’t the goal. “We are here to raise awareness about PTSD and mental health for first responders and our military,” said Fire Chief Clint Belk.
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Hundreds showed up at Madeira Beach for a very important race, the Legends Never Die 5K.

For the people racing, winning wasn’t the goal.

“We are here to raise awareness about PTSD and mental health for first responders and our military,” said Fire Chief Clint Belk.

The department started the race three years ago with just their firefighters. Now, it’s grown to more than 300 people running with them.

“It’s great,” Kaylee Turner said. “This event means so much to me and my family.”
read more here

This is a good thing to do. Not trying to take away from helping them at all. It just makes me wonder what if they do something for everyone with #PTSD to show that if civilians can get hit by PTSD by just one event, those subjecting themselves to events all the time, can learn just how human they are!

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Georgia man sentenced for stealing 100 disabled veterans and Social Security beneficiaries

Man sentenced for stealing veteran, Social Security benefits

A Georgia man has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in South Florida for his part in running a scheme to steal more than $1.8 million in veteran and Social Security benefits
By The Associated Press
March 4, 2022
From 2012 to 2017, Green and others attempted to redirect more than $1.8 million in benefits from more than 100 disabled veterans and Social Security beneficiaries, officials said. The scheme resulted in the actual loss of nearly $1 million although the federal government reimbursed the victims for the full amounts of their stolen benefits.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A Georgia man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison in South Florida for his part in running a scheme to steal more than $1.8 million in veteran and Social Security benefits.

Ronaldo Garfield Green, 29, was sentenced Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale federal court, according to court records. A federal jury found him guilty in November to conspiracy to commit fraud. He must also pay $915,000 in restitution.
read more here

Friday, January 7, 2022

St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office lost two deputies to suicide

1-Month-Old Baby Orphaned After Both Parents Die by Suicide Within Days of Each Other

By Katie Campione
January 05, 2022
"While it is impossible for us to fully comprehend the private circumstances leading up to this devastating loss, we pray that this tragedy becomes a catalyst for change, a catalyst to help ease the stigma surrounding mental well-being and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many of us face on a regular basis," Mascara concluded his statement.
Clayton Osteen, 24, and Victoria Pacheco were both St. Lucie County Sheriff deputies and shared a one-month-old son named Jayce
The infant son of two Florida sheriff's deputies is orphaned after both of his parents took their own lives.

Clayton Osteen, 24, and Victoria Pacheco both died by suicide in the past week, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said on Tuesday.

Shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve, authorities received a call that Osteen had attempted suicide. He was transported to the hospital for his injuries.

On Jan. 2, Osteen's family decided to remove him from life support, the sheriff's office said.

In the wake of her partner's death, Pacheco also died by suicide, the sheriff's department learned on Tuesday. Osteen and Pacheco shared a 1-month-old son named Jayce.

Osteen joined the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office in 2019. In 2020, he was awarded deputy of the year, according to his obituary.
read more here

'Close' Relative to Adopt Baby of Deputies Who Will Be Laid to Rest Together After Tragic Deaths
Osteen — a Florida native — was a former SWAT team member and was named 2020 Deputy of the Year, his obituary said. He also served in the U.S. Marines and as a non-commissioned officer. Loved ones remembered him for his humor and dependability.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Please pray for my friend

One of my best friends Gunny is in the hospital fighting for his life. He has COVID and is on oxygen. All he asked for was prayers. He has come to believe in the mighty hand of God and trusts the power of prayers. If it is not His will that Gunny be healed, then he wants prayers for his beloved wife.

Friday, July 2, 2021

7 Year old daughter of firefighter found in Surfside rubble

Please pray for all the families involved but hold a special place in your prayers for this firefighter. 

Miami Firefighter's 7-Year-Old Daughter Found in Surfside Collapse Rubble
NBC Miami
Published July 2, 2021

The body of the 7-year-old daughter of a Miami firefighter was recovered from the site of the collapsed condominium tower in Surfside, officials said Friday.

The girl's body was found in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Thursday night by members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team.

The firefighter, a member of the team that found his daughter, was notified immediately, officials said.

Family members identified the girl as Stella, the daughter of Graciela Cattarossi, who lives in the building with her parents, Gino and Graciela Sr. The three adults remain missing.
read more here

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

George Taylor, advocate for homeless veterans, passed away

Longtime Brevard County homeless veterans advocate George Taylor dies at 70

Florida Today
Tyler Vazquez
May 18, 2020
Taylor's own experience with PTSD and homelessness enabled him to form a real connection with homeless veterans, according to those close to him.
Students at Pineapple Cove Classical Academy in Palm Bay invited veterans and veterans groups to their campus on Friday for a Valentine's Day to honor their service, and learn from their experiences. The kids put together care packages for National Veterans Homeless Support, and loaded them up in a van for NVHS Founder and President George Taylor, Sr. (Photo: TIM SHORTT/FLORIDA TODAY)

George Taylor, the longtime champion of veterans issues in Brevard County, passed away Sunday at the age of 70 after suffering a heart attack last Thursday.

A former homeless veteran himself, Taylor was rarely without his signature black cowboy hat and even less often without his purpose: Helping homeless veterans survive and find housing.

He could be commonly found in the wooded areas and sandy scrub brush where homeless veterans were known to camp. Reaching out to them and connecting them with needed services was his purpose and his mission and led him to found National Veterans Homeless Support, a group that aids homeless vets.
read it here

Friday, April 24, 2020

Navy veteran Steve Hefler on 'country road" to recovery from COVID-19

Coronavirus Florida: Watch Sarasota Memorial staff sing ‘Country Roads’ to recovered patient

Herald Tribune
By Michael Moore Jr.
Staff Writer
April 24, 2020

Recovering from the coronavirus can be a long and difficult road.

Just ask longtime pediatrician and Navy veteran Steve Hefler, who has been fighting for his life for 25 days in Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 critical care unit. Except you can’t ask him — because he, like all COVID-19 patients, is quarantined.

But the isolation caused by quarantine can be a difficult reality for many patients and their families to cope with, which is why Hefler’s son, Jonathan, set up a GoFundMe page for cell phone chargers that are “desperately needed in every hospital.”
read it here
After fighting for his life for 25 days in Sarasota Memorial’s COVID-19 critical care unit, longtime pediatrician and Navy veteran Steve Hefler is on the road to recovery. #TeamSMH celebrated "Dr. Steve" and his transition to a step-down unit this afternoon, singing his favorite song — “Country Roads” by John Denver — while his family joined in via FaceTime.

Veteran lost battle with COVID-19, and what honored by Nurse who was also a veteran

Florida Nurse Pays Tribute to Fellow Fallen Veteran Who Died of Coronavirus: 'My Heart Was Broken'

By Robyn Merrett
April 22, 2020
“My heart was broken and saddened when a veteran lost his life to this deadly virus.” Marc Kagan


A Florida nurse stepped in to give a fallen veteran a proper send off after the retired military personnel died of coronavirus earlier this month.

On Monday, Manatee Memorial Hospital shared a photo on Facebook of the touching moment, which shows nurse Marc Kagan saluting the late veteran, whose body was covered by a white cloth.

Of the moment, Kagan, a fellow veteran himself, explained in a statement shared by the hospital that he felt it was his “duty” to honor the late veteran.

“I’m an RN, a retired USAF officer (Flight Nurse) and a retired Firefighter/Deputy Sheriff/Paramedic. I work presently as a Cath Lab nurse and recently doing scanning of hospital personnel going in and out of the COVID-19 Unit.”

Kagan shared, “My heart was broken and saddened when a veteran lost his life to this deadly virus.”

“He didn’t get the military send off with a flag over his brave body. It was with my duty and honor to salute this brave American,” Kagan added.
read it here

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Iraq Veteran Sunnie Smith died while waiting for liver transplant from the VA

Army veteran dies while waiting on liver transplant, family remains frustrated by VA health care system

First Coast News
Author: Ken Amaro
April 20, 2020
On Saturday, Army Veteran Sunnie Smith died from complications related to her disease. She leaves behind a 10-year-old and many who loved her.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Sunnie Smith's name is not on the Veterans Memorial Wall, but she is being remembered as a hero on the battle lines and on her bed of affliction.

"She was my hero," said Betty Smith.

Sunnie Smith did two tours in Iraq, came home and fought the biggest fight of her life. We met the Smith family a year ago.

Sunnie Smith was in the heart of her fight with liver disease and with the Veterans Affairs healthcare system.

"She needed that liver and we kept waiting and we kept waiting to be put on that list," said Betty Smith.

Betty Smith became her daughter's biggest advocate and made appeals with the VA and with her U.S. congressmen to put her daughter on the organ transplant list.

"She needed a liver and she fought the disease with courage," she said.

The army veteran was in the final stages of liver failure. The family says during her second tour in Iraq she became ill, and shortly afterward, they discovered the source of her illness.

Smith said in 2018, the VA, which was her primary health care provider, told them her daughter would possibly be accepted by a center in Virginia for a liver transplant. The hold up was her MELD score.
read it here

Monday, April 6, 2020

It Is Your Choice To Be Contagious Or Value Isolation Directives

Stop being responsible for spreading death

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 6, 2020

The only way COVID-19 is spread, is one person to another. The only way to stop it, is choosing to stop spreading it!

Coronavirus map: Tracking the spread in the US and around the world

We have seen too many irresponsible people putting their own desires to enjoy their lives come before the lives of all others.

We saw it with spring breakers flocking to beaches in Florida.

Thousands of spring breakers traveled from one Florida beach to cities across the US. Mapping their phone data shows the importance of social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Business Insider
Aaron Holmes
Mar 27, 2020
Steve Nesius/Reuters
Despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus, spring-break partiers flocked to Florida beaches earlier this month.

Newly released phone location data shows how people congregated at one Florida beach before traveling across much of the US.

The data shows about 5,000 devices traveling from a single beach in Fort Lauderdale in one week to cities spanning the eastern US, including New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and Houston.
read it here

We saw it during Bike Week

Coronavirus-fueled permit pulls don’t appear to lower Daytona Bike Week traffic

Daytona Beach News Journal
By Nikki Ross
Posted Mar 14, 2020
Despite the city of Daytona Beach trying to curtail Bike Week by revoking permits because of coronavirus concerns, thousands of bikers thundered onto Main Street on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Florida Deparment of Health announced Saturday morning two more Volusia County residents tested positive for coronavirus, a 29-year-old male and a 70-year-old male. The county now has five coronavirus cases.

And according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, an additional 20 people are being monitored for coronavirus in the county: one in Daytona Beach, four in Ormond Beach, three in Port Orange, two in New Smyrna Beach, three in Deltona, five in DeLand and two in DeBary.

Friday night, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry announced the city had revoked permits for any gathering of 100 people or more. That decision went into effect at 8 a.m. Saturday.
read it here

This map shows the spread in Florida

New Department of Health Map Allows Users to See COVID-19 Cases By Zip Code

NBC Miami
By Willard Shepard
April 4, 2020

The Florida Department of Health has launched a new update to their interactive COVID-19 map, which now allows users to see confirmed cases by zip code.

The interactive map allows users to see what is going on where they live, or work. Hotspots in the map are highlighted in red.

Expanded testing for the virus at sites set up by Florida’s National Guard in South Florida, and across the state, has resulted in valuable data for the Department of Health.
read it here

The choice is ours. The people paying for what we choose to do right here...right now, belong to us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Charity for Disabled Veterans Raised Nearly $300 Million But Little Helped Veterans

A Charity for Disabled Veterans Raised Nearly $300 Million. Why Did Most of the Money Barely Reach Them?

Mother Jones
MARch 9, 2020
“Nothing has changed. Based on the results, they’ve gone back to what they’ve been doing in the past that got them into trouble.” Daniel Borochof Charity Watch
In the summer of 2014, the Disabled Veterans National Foundation was in dire straits. Only seven years after setting up shop, DVNF had raised more money than all but a handful of other veterans groups, but only 15 percent of its revenue in that time directly reached veterans. The rest was owed, almost entirely, to a single contractor—an outcome that had already sparked a congressional probe and investigations by Florida and New York’s top prosecutors.

Like other groups, DVNF used sappy solicitations to raise money, often centered around veterans with heartbreaking stories of injuries suffered in combat. But many of these characters were completely made up. By the time New York authorities announced a settlement with DVNF that summer, the charity was spending 90 cents of every dollar it raised to pay Quadriga Art, the direct mail firm that coordinated its fundraising campaign, and Convergence Direct Marketing, a firm that designed the direct-mail solicitations. As part of the agreement, Quadriga was ordered to forgive DVNF’s massive debt and pay the state nearly $10 million, the “largest amount of financial relief ever obtained in the US for deceptive charitable fundraising,” according to the New York attorney general’s office.
Instead of cutting ties with Quadriga, DVNF has continued fundraising at near record levels while using most of its revenue to offset exorbitant direct mail costs. While the settlement barred DVNF from resuming the same fundraising arrangement with Quadriga or any of its “successors” for three years, it did not say anything about restricting DVNF’s fundraising costs. And it still permitted the charity to work with Quadriga in a limited capacity if the firm won a “competitive bidding process.”
read it here

If you have been donating to this group thinking they are Disabled American Veterans...they are not!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

James Craig “Doc” Glynn, Stolen Valor spoke at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery

Combating Stolen Valor: Why this disservice to veterans remains an ongoing problem

Florida Today
By John McCarthy
March 4, 2020
In a 2014 FLORIDA TODAY story about Port St. John veteran Melvin Morris being awarded the Medal of Honor, Glynn was quoted as having been with Morris in Vietnam on the mission that earned him the medal. Glynn’s military records show he was in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky at the time.

In Florida, it is a felony to falsely claim military service while soliciting for charitable contributions or for the purpose of material gain.

During a ceremony at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery last March honoring Vietnam veterans, a Vietnam veteran with an impressive military record delivered the invocation.

James Craig “Doc” Glynn was introduced as a retired Green Beret medic and Army master sergeant who served in Vietnam and later in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The audience was told Glynn was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, 10 Bronze Stars and nine Purple Hearts, among other military commendations.

Glynn did serve in Vietnam as a medic, but the rest is not true. His military service ended in 1972, and the years since have included prison time for fraud and forgery.

Military veterans have a term for lying about military service as Glynn has done: Stolen Valor.
read it here

Friday, February 21, 2020

Over 500 bikers escorted a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall

More than 500 bikers escort Vietnam Memorial replica through Florida

Herald Tribune
By Omar Rodríguez Ortiz, Marco Eagle
Posted Feb 19, 2020

Marco Island is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall’s first stop of its 25th season, and the only stop it will make in Florida.
Over 500 bikers escorted a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall from Fort Myers to Marco Island on Tuesday.

The Wall That Heals honors more than 3 million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the names of the 58,276 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Marco Island is the wall’s first stop of its 25th season and the only stop it will make in Florida.

Roger Spies, a Vietnam War veteran, was one of the first bikers to arrive at the Interstate 75 rest stop by exit 131 to escort the wall on his Harley Davidson Road King.
read it here

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Florida man changed with killing Navy Veteran's dog

A man in Florida allegedly killed a veteran's dog for barking too much

NBC News
By Nicole Acevedo
Feb. 1, 2020
“When I got the call, my son was screaming in the phone, 'He’s hanging my dog,'” Richard Hunt told WFLA.
A man is facing charges for allegedly killing a dog for barking too much and then punching a child who refused to help him cover up the crime, authorities said.

Robert Leroy Edwards, 38, was arrested Wednesday on charges of animal abuse and child abuse by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The black labrador retriever, named Midnight, belonged to Richard Hunt, a disabled Navy veteran, according to NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa. Hunt's adult son, Ian, was caring for Midnight at his home at the time of the incident.

Ian Hunt told NBC News that Edwards was a boarder at his home.
read it here

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Navy Flight Surgeon James Mazzuchelli continued to save lives after he died

Their Son’s Heart Saved His Life. So He Rode 1,426 Miles to Meet Them.
Jan 24, 2020

What she did not yet know was the way those heavy words would ripple outward like a stone dropping into a still pond: allowing a man to return to work, a veteran to get his health back, and an ailing cyclist to get back on his bike. And how those little waves would slowly smooth out the edges of her own grief.

Lt. James Mazzuchelli in an undated photograph. Courtesy U.S. Navy
It took several drafts to get the letters right. To capture her boy who, just a few short months before, had been so full of life, energy, and love. To distill him into the two dimensionality of words on paper.

Three weeks earlier, the thread that held Christine Cheers’s world together had been ripped clean away, sending her whole life spinning like an off-balance top. On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, someone on the other end of the phone had said the words that bring any parent to their knees: “There’s been an accident.”

Her son, 32-year-old Navy flight surgeon James Mazzuchelli had been injured in a helicopter training mission at Camp Pendleton. If she wanted to see him while he was still alive, she needed to get on the next flight from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Diego—and she needed to pray.

James was still breathing when Christine and her husband, David, arrived at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, the next morning. But it soon became clear that his condition would not improve. Machines were keeping him alive, and the doctors told Christine that what she was seeing was likely his future—that her scuba-diving, world-traveling, over-achiever of a son was never going to wake up.
read it here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Disabled veteran fought for his service dog rights...and all others

‘Service animal’ signs going up at Hillsborough parks after veteran files suit

Tampa Bay Times
By Christopher O'Donnell
Published 4 hours ago

The county recently reached a settlement in the suit that requires posting “service animals are welcome” at all 200 or so of its parks. The county must also ensure that information about service animals is included in annual employee training about accommodations required for disabled people under federal and state law.
Cesar Silva and his 7-year-old service dog Sophia visit Rotary Riverfront Park in Temple Terrace on Tuesday. A disabled Iraq war veteran, Silva takes Sophia with him everywhere but ran into trouble with a park ranger during a 2016 visit to Veteran’s Memorial Park. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
It started with a heated encounter between Cesar Silva, who has disabilities, and a park ranger. Silva helped bring about the same changes at city parks in 2013.

TAMPA — Sophia, a bright eyed 7-year-old German shepherd, is Cesar Silva’s constant companion.

A disabled Army veteran, Silva struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries that affect his balance. Sophia is trained to get help if he falls. She will gently nudge him and distract him when he’s overwhelmed.

Sophia was with Silva when he and partner Samantha Tapia visited Veteran’s Memorial Park and Museum on U.S. 301 in Tampa in May 2016. Their arrival caught the attention of park ranger Roger Cramer who questioned why Silva had parked in a disabled spot and why Sophia, wearing her service dog vest, was not on a leash.

Silva, 38, has a disability symbol on his license plate. He explained that he doesn’t always use a leash because his balance problems put him at risk of falling, an exemption allowed by state law.

That did not satisfy Cramer, according to Silva. As the discussion became heated, Cramer called the couple combative and refused their request for his name and title. Tapia said she felt afraid and called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
read it here

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Real help vs others helping themselves

Getting wrong kind of help worse than none

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 3, 2019

If you are wondering why I could not post on this site for a while, it became impossible to be upbeat and share anything encouraging when we were being tortured for trusting the wrong people.

There are people we think we can count on to help us get to where we want to go. It can be devastating to discover we were wrong.

My husband and I decided to sell our house in Florida so that we could move closer to our daughter in New Hampshire. We turned to "friends" we had known for 15 years to sell it. Worst mistake of our lives!

I found a buyers agent to help us in New Hampshire. Catherine Allen was a stranger turned into a blessing. Our house was not getting much attention and she took a look at the listing. Catherine said the pictures were the biggest part of the problem and so was the price.

When I told our "friend" what Catherine said, that was the last time she took my phone call and would not respond to emails. I had no clue what the hell was wrong with her but what made it worse was what it did to us personally knowing that "friends" would treat us like that. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

After two months, Wounded Times is back in operation

Wounded Times is back

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 1, 2019

After two months, Wounded Times is back in operation...although right now, I do believe only part of my brain arrived in our new home.

September 30th was our 35th anniversary. It was also the day we closed on our old home and headed up north. When the movers closed the door to the truck, we got into the car without a clue where we would end up living.

We headed to a La Quinta because they allow dogs and then I thought about how strange life was. It was our anniversary and I was unemployed because of the move. We were also basically homeless since the house we thought we were going to buy did not do well on the inspection. We had to start the search all over again.

The thought of all of this should have freaked me out but I cracked up laughing. Then I blurted out,"35th anniversary...I am unemployed and homeless! Yahoo! Road trip for our second honeymoon~We knew we had to do this so that we could live closer to our daughter.

I had to leave my job at Fidelity National Title and everyone on our team in Timeshares. After 5 years it was very hard leaving them since they were more than coworkers...they were family too.

Here is the catch up.

Our first real estate agents in Florida sucked big time! The house was over priced and they were not interested in earning their commission. (Never deal with people you think are supposed to be your friends.) The pictures were horrible and they stopped returning my phone calls. Long story short, I had to get a lawyer to get them to cancel the contract. We lost two months with them.

We got another agent Wes Garrison of ReMax and he knew what he was doing so well that he sold the house in less than 2 weeks. He also managed to keep me from losing my mind. He had a professional photographer show up with a drone and the pictures were so good, I was amazed our house could look like that...and we lived there for 15 years.

We lost count on how many people came to see it, but the best part of all is that the buyers were actually people we knew and very glad to know they are in the home we loved.

After we signed the agreement, Hurricane Humberto was going up the east coast, so we had to wait to fly to New Hampshire to find a house. We thought we found a great one just across the Maine border, made an offer, and flew back home. 

The inspection turned out to be lousy and we had to walk away. Since we had already agreed to sell our house, we did not want to go back on our word, so we started packing...and sweating it out.

On the move side we had Catherine Allen of Keller Williams Coastal Realty. Moving over 1,600 miles away is hard, but after the mess the first selling agent put us in, Catherine was a true blessing! She got me through all that with some sanity left, got me through the inspection on the house in Maine killing the deal and then when it was time to search again, she had what we wanted all lined up. 

We spent the first week of October on the road. Then we stayed with our good friends for two more weeks. We started looking the second week in October. Some houses were OK but not what we wanted. 

This house had just listed a couple of days before we saw it and we offered their asking price. They said "yes" and mortgage broker Brad Kelly of Annie Mac and his team were able to get us to the closing table early in November in less than a month after we saw it.

Murray had to be boarded and we missed him so much that we picked him up and went to the Governor's Inn in Rochester. 

All of the staff made the stay memorable. It was amazing how people can be so nice that you can feel as if you are home. I was so comfortable there, I started walking around the grounds with just my socks on to have a cigarette. 

Murray started barking at the guests as if to say "get off my property" and I had a table in the bar for dinner every night since we had to eat in shifts so that Murray was not alone in the room.

It took two more weeks for our things to arrive from the movers and we are still unpacking.

Coming soon is an organized office so that I can find stuff again. Also coming is that Point Man has decided that I will start the first Out Post for female veterans in the area, especially since I am near the border of Maine. Hopefully I will find a location soon and I'll let you know when and where.

During all of this I have kept track of what has been going on with our veterans and I am more pissed off than ever! The news is terrible but too much is being accepted when none of what is going on should be accepted by anyone! With the national media and social media not paying attention to any of it, people run their mouths off with lies and slogans going unchallenged. The truth will only be known if we get as serious about sharing it as the liars have been for far too long.

Plan on daily updates as much as I can while we are still in the process of getting settled...and my brain resuming normal operations again, or at least as close as that can be.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Nursing assistant accused of ripping off disabled amputee veteran with PTSD and dementia

Nursing Assistant Accused Of Taking Money From Disabled Veteran
By D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff
Sep 25, 2019

BAYONET POINT, FL — A 38-year-old nursing assistant was arrested after Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said she took money from a disabled veteran with dementia.
A 38-year-old nursing assistant was arrested after Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said she stole money from a disabled veteran with dementia. (Pasco Sheriff)

Allyn Lopez of Shade Street Court in Hudson was charged with exploitation of the elderly/disabled Tuesday after the sheriff's office said she had her patient write two checks to her totaling $6,000.

The patient, who is also an amputee, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and dementia in 2017. The sheriff's office said Lopez befriended the patient while working as a certified nursing assistant from October 2016 and July 2019 at the Bayonet Point assisted living facility where he lives.
read it here

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Vietnam Veteran inspires after being imprisoned as POW

‘We made it:’ Local Vietnam veteran shares his POW story

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer: Briana Harvath
September 20, 2019

1,882 days; five and a half years. That’s how long Vietnam veteran Wayne Smith was a prisoner of war.

“We were in pretty bad shape, we certainly were,” said Smith.

He shared his story with us and dozens of people at Punta Gorda’s Military Heritage Museum.

The Air Force captain’s aircraft got shot down in 1968, just hours after this photo.

Now, he’s detailing his time in solitary confinement when communication was rare, but crucial.

“We used to break our knuckles by tapping on the walls and someone found out that actually, you could put the cup up against the wall, yell through it, and the other guy could listen to the other side,” said Smith.

Captured one warehouse over: prisoner of war survivor, Senator John McCain.

“We talked about anything,” said Smith. “It was important to stay in touch with each other.”

For two years, his family didn’t know if he was alive. Then, a released POW remembered his name.

“One of the things we thought was so important, any time we could, we would pass along names so in case someone made out, then we would tell the families,” said Smith.

Released during Operation Homecoming in 1973, the Naples man has shared his experience with people all over Southwest Florida.

A story, at one point, he didn’t know if he’d ever tell.

“We made it. And we survived because of each other,” he said.
read it here