Showing posts with label Houston TX. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Houston TX. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Houston Police Officer recovering after third time being shot on the job

Houston police officer rushed into gunbattle "because I knew my guys were down"

CBS News
Alex Sundby
January 29, 2019
The police department said in a statement later Tuesday that the 54-year-old officer was shot in the neck and listed in serious but stable condition. At the press conference, Acevedo described the officer as a "big teddy bear" who was also shot in the line of duty in 1992 and 1997.

A veteran Houston police officer who was shot after rushing into a gunbattle at a suspected drug house to help two of his wounded colleagues said he had to do it "because I knew my guys were down," the city's police chief said Tuesday. The officer, who has been on the police force for 32 years, was shot for the third time in his career Monday, Chief Art Acevedo said at a press conference.
"'I had to get in there because I knew my guys were down,'" Acevedo said the officer, 54, wrote in a note. "That just speaks volumes as to this man and just his courage under fire."

Four officers in total were shot Monday, and a fifth suffered a knee injury in the gunbattle, which stemmed from an attempt to serve a search warrant. Acevedo didn't identify the officers because they all work undercover in narcotics.
read more here

Friday, September 1, 2017

Houston VA Employees Wouldn't Let Flood Keep Them Away

‘They can count on us’: Houston VA hospital withstands Harvey, prepares for aftermath

Published: August 31, 2017

WASHINGTON — When Hurricane Harvey lashed southeast Texas on Friday and brought punishing rain and devastating floods for days afterward, the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in downtown Houston remained open, operated by about 700 staff members who made the facility their temporary home.
Hospital staff members were sleeping on floors or small cots in their offices or in a small auditorium, Dr. SreyRam Kuy, the associate chief of staff at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, described Wednesday in a post on the VA’s website. Some of them weren’t certain if their homes were flooded, while others saw news footage of their neighborhoods under water.
They stayed to care for about 400 veterans who remained at the hospital, which is also serving as a shelter for homeless veterans and others.
One former U.S. Army Ranger swam through flood waters to reach the hospital Tuesday, where he was treated for a burst appendix, The Associated Press reported.
If you are shocked by VA employees doing something like this, then you don't know many of them! 

Ain't no valley low enough

Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe
Remember the day I set you free

I told you you could always count on me darling

From that day on, I made a vow
I'll be there when you want me
Some way, some how
Oh baby there ain't no mountain high enough

Ain't no valley low enough

Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe
Oh no darling

No wind, no rain

Or winters cold can stop me baby, na na baby
'Cause you are my goal
If you're ever in trouble
I'll be there on the double
Just send for me, oh baby, ha
My love is alive

Way down in my heart

Although we are miles apart
If you ever need a helping hand
I'll be there on the double
Just as fast as I can
Don't you know that there

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Houston VA Puts Focus on Female Veterans PTSD Through Art

Houston VA Hospital Hosts Art Exhibit Showcasing Paintings By Female Veterans
Houston Public Media
Lopez is in the process of being discharged due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and says painting has been therapeutic in her journey to cope with the horrors of war.
Texas has the highest population of women veterans in the country and doing artistic work is one of the strategies some of them use to ease the transition to civilian life.

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center has hosted an exhibit this month showing some of their paintings.

Natalie Lopez, a San Antonio native, is the author of one of the pieces.

Actually her painting, which is titled “Forever unfit puzzle” and depicts a soldier in distress, was one of 10 that won a nationwide contest organized by the Veteran Artist Program and the VA’s Center for Women Veterans.

“Painting helps me release stress, just like the gym for most people,” Lopez, who was deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and Iraq in 2008 and is now stationed in Abilene, told Houston Public Media.
read more here

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ret. Army Captain Court Filled With Duty and Loyalty

Former officer's courtroom is filled with a sense of duty, loyalty
Houston Chronicle
By Lisa Falkenberg
December 3, 2016
Davis, who struggled to cope back home in Houston after 22 years in the military, was the poster child for Carter's cause.

"That sense of loss was devastating for him," Carter told me in an interview in September. "For a time, he lived as an angry, miserable son of a bitch. But now, he is one of the most beautiful, inspiring individuals you'll ever meet."
First Sgt. Arthur Davis displays his uniform on Friday. Davis was out of the Marines for one year when he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He pleaded guilty and went to veterans court. Photo: Michael Ciaglo, Staff / © 2016 Houston Chronicle
State District Judge Marc Carter remembers sizing up the man before him in late 2009: a grim-faced, middle-aged guy with a U.S. Marine's bearing and politeness, but with eyes closed off to the world, skeptical of everyone and everything.

Carter, a retired Army captain, would explain to retired 1st Sgt. Arthur Davis that his court was different, that veterans got a fair shake here. That everything he might need - drug treatment, psychological therapy, housing assistance, employment assistance, a second chance - was available. He just had to want them.

Davis wasn't sold. He was new to the criminal justice system, and the only good thing he'd seen was another judge step down and thank him for his service - right after sentencing him to probation for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Carter knew Davis needed more than a handshake. He needed the program that the Republican judge had pioneered in Harris County for veterans facing criminal charges.
read more here

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Firefighters Raising Alarm of PTSD

Firefighters Raise Alarm About Risk Of PTSD In The Ranks
New research indicates PTSD might be as common among firefighters as military veterans.
Houston Public Media

Three Houston firefighters have killed themselves in the past five years, according to White.

Dave Fehling | Houston Public Media
Volunteer firefighters training at Texas A and M’s Disaster City in College Station
Firefighters from the U.S. and Canada are in Las Vegas this week for the biennial convention of the International Association of Firefighters. One of the main topics of the conference this year is post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We know that it’s increasingly on the rise,” said Alvin White Jr., the union president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association and a conference attendee.

White says it’s not clear what’s contributing to the increase – it could be simply that more firefighters are willing to seek treatment. The 9-11 attacks also helped to de-stigmatize the disorder among first responders.

“Before that we tried to deal with it ourselves,” White said. “We’d self-medicate ourselves with alcohol and try to take care of it that way, because it was a sign of weakness.”

A report released Tuesday from the International Association of Firefighters summarizes the most recent research on PTSD. Estimated rates among firefighters range 9 to 20 percent, which is comparable to the rate in the military.
read more here

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Army Veteran Shot and Killed Delivering Pizza

Police seek shooter who killed Army veteran
By Brandon Walker - Reporter
Posted:April 29, 2016

HOUSTON - Crime Stoppers and the Houston Police Department's Homicide Division held a press conference Friday morning to ask the public's help in identifying the suspect who shot and killed a Domino's Pizza delivery driver, who was also an Army veteran.

Paul Hillick Jr. was shot and killed on March 17, less than a mile from Domino's.

Police said Hillick had just completed his pizza delivery route around 11 p.m. and was driving west on Court Road, between Manor Park and South Post Oak, when he was shot multiple times through his front driver side window.

Hillick's vehicle struck a mailbox, then came to a stop. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
read more here

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Veteran of Three Deployments Found Safe

Looks like miracles do still happen!
Family says missing veteran found safe
KHOU 11 News
Kevin Reece
March 8, 2016

“He has not burned all of his bridges here,” his aunt said. “That we do love him and everybody’s very concerned. And his children miss him a lot. And everybody pray for a miracle for him, because that’s what it’s gonna take.”
HOUSTON - A Houston family says Joseph Daniel Hopkins was found safe overnight, this after he was reported missing.
Concerned family and friends were desperately searching for the brain-injured veteran who walked away from Camp Hope in northwest Harris County two and a half weeks ago with only his wallet and the clothes on his back.

Hopkins, 31, served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His family says he suffered a traumatic brain injury when a bomb exploded under his vehicle. Monica Hopkins Key says her nephew has struggled with PTSD and dependency issues ever since, often hoping that the next stop, the next treatment center, will finally bring him a solution and peace.

read more here

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Armed Robbers Learn Don't Mess With Marine on Harley

Former Marine helps halt suspected serial robbers
KHOU 11 News
Rucks Russell
December 30, 2015

HARRIS COUNTY — Harris County Sheriff’s deputies and Houston Police placed a northwest Harris County apartment complex on lockdown Wednesday as they combed the area for a group of suspected armed robbers thought to have struck the La Michoacana Meat Market on Spring Cypress Road.
Justin Knight, a former Marine, was at a nearby when
four suspects robbed a La Michoacana Meat Market in
northwest Harris County on Wednesday. (Photo: KHOU)
Justin Knight saw what was happening from his seat in a nearby bar. Then the former Marine hopped on his Harley Davidson and did what he had to do.

“I can’t stand a thief,” said Knight. “I realized I couldn’t chase them down, so I jumped on the motorcycle and I chased them down. And when I got up to them, they happened to be flipping through the money and there was a sheriff’s deputy sitting right there.”
read more here
Crime Stoppers (Fresno La Michoacana Aggravated Robbery)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Houston Deputy Shot Dead While Pumping Gas!

Deputy fatally shot from behind at Houston gas station
The Associated Press
Aug 29th 2015

HOUSTON (AP) — A sheriff's deputy in uniform was shot and killed Friday night while filling up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station, according to authorities.

Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was pumping gas into his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a man approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ryan Sullivan told The Associated Press. Once the deputy fell to the ground, the suspect fired more shots.
"In my 45 years in law enforcement, I can't recall another incident so cold-blooded and cowardly." RON HICKMAN, HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF
Police described the suspect as a dark-complexioned male who is believed to be between 20 and 25 years old, and stands about 5-foot-10 to 6-feet tall. He was wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts and driving a red or maroon pickup-style truck with an extended cab. Police said an intensive search for the suspect remained ongoing Saturday morning.
read more here

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Houston Astros Honor Deploying Texas National Guard

ABC 13 News
Pooja Lodhia
July 18, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- There was a huge honor today for our military service members at Minute Maid Park. The Texas National Guard 136th Expeditionary signal battalion will be deploying to the Middle East for about nine months.

The 300 men and women will be in charge of communications for other deployed units in the region. Today, before the big Astros/Rangers game they and their families were honored.
read more here

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Every Hour Veterans Plant Flags for Lives They Know Are Lost to Suicide

This is what is important because this outcome is after far too many years of suffering for far too many. Read this story and then watch the video. Then please tell me they are not worth saving.
Flags planted every hour to raise awareness for military suicide
KHOU 11 News
Kevin Reece
March 20, 2015
HOUSTON -- Over the course of the 441 hours of basketball games that make up the NCAA March Madness tournament, 441 American flags will be planted in front of the PTSD Foundation of America's Camp Hope in Northwest Houston to draw attention to the unsolved epidemic of military suicides.

"Losing basically one every hour," said PTSD Foundation Executive Director David Maulsby while standing in front of the first 24 flags placed in the ground since the tournament began.

"We've been 24 hours since the tournament started, we've lost 24 veterans to suicide," said Maulsby of the statistically proven estimate of one active duty or military veteran suicide approximately every 64 minutes. "And that should get people's attention."

Maulsby decided to have the residents of Camp Hope place one of the flags every hour on the hour until the tournament is over. Camp Hope offers counseling and treatment for soldiers and their families battling PTSD.
read more here

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Vietnam Veteran With PTSD Service Dog Turned Away by VA

VA clinic turns away Veteran because of service dog 
AOL Newsy
Mar 12th 2015
A U.S. Army veteran from the Houston area says his service dog got him turned away from his local VA clinic. "A guard stopped me in the hallway and said, 'You can't come in here with that dog,'" John Sutton told KRIV.

John Sutton served in the Vietnam War, and his service dog, Jack, is specially trained to help Sutton with his post-traumatic stress disorder. "Jack has helped John Sutton after three suicide attempts," Fox News reporter Heather Nauert said.

The Bronze Star recipient had previously brought Jack with him to numerous PTSD therapy sessions at that VA outpatient clinic in Conroe, Texas.

As it turns out, the fact that Jack is a service dog was not a problem. The problem was that he is a PTSD service dog.

The only types of service dogs allowed inside VA hospitals currently are ones that help with vision, hearing and mobility problems, as well as seizure-response dogs. read more here

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Community Steps Up For Blind Homeless Marine Veteran

Blind, homeless vet's draws support, but fate still uncertain 
KHOU 11 News
Doug Miller
February 25, 2015
"Ashamed," said Kenneth Fregia, one of the officers who stopped to help. "There's probably thousands of them in the city just like that, you know. It's a shame."

HOUSTON - A blind and homeless Marine Corps veteran evicted from a shelter that failed to pay its rent spent Tuesday night inside a dark and cold building in the Third Ward, sharing sleeping quarters with his caretaker.

Enrique Avala moved into the building along with Tom Jones, who ran the non-profit shelter that closed earlier in the day and hoped to open a new shelter in the new location. But his fate remained uncertain, as the new building's owner complained that Jones moved in without a signed lease and gave utility workers the wrong address to turn on the electricity.

Avala's story, aired on KHOU 11 News Tuesday evening, triggered a flood of phone calls and emails from viewers offering to help. Most of them offered money, a couple offered him a place to stay and one even offered to pay for a few nights in a hotel room. KHOU passed all of the offers along to Jones, who acts as Avala's caretaker.
read more here

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Houston Citizens Join Forces to Get Korean War Veteran Home

When you read about younger families being helped by Congress because they are caring for their disabled veterans, remember this story. That help does not include older veterans and their families.
Local 2 viewers help disabled Korean War veteran get home for Thanksgiving
Click2 Houston
Author: Bill Spencer
Investigative Reporter
Published On: Nov 27 2014

The Korean War -- it's been called America's forgotten war, but for 75-year-old Robert Taylor it's impossible to forget. As an Army foot soldier, Taylor suffered a near fatal head injury when he got into a brutal fight for survival with a soldier from the other side, getting his head smashed in with the butt of a rifle, an injury that has caused Taylor painful seizures his entire life.

Now, five decades later, after suffering a massive stroke last November, Robert and his wife, Linda, have been trapped in Houston for more than a year, unable to return to their home and family in Bristol, Tennessee -- all because they couldn't afford a $10,000 medical transport in an ambulance to get Robert back home.

"It sounds like an old cliché, but it's been like hell for us here," Linda said. "I have no help here to care for my husband and all our family is back home in Bristol."
With nowhere else to turn, Linda Taylor called Local 2 News for help to get her husband back home.

That's when Local 2's Bill Spencer went to work trying to find an ambulance service willing to help this brave veteran. It took more than a month and too many phone calls to count, but Spencer finally found the folks at Abingdon Ambulance Service in Abingdon, Virginia.

Through an incredible act of generosity, they agreed to transport Robert Taylor all the way from Houston back to Bristol -- an 18-hour ride with three trained paramedics by his side the entire time -- and absolutely free.

"We can be a blessing to this family, we have the ability, we have the resources, and it's the right thing to do for any veteran who has served this country," said Keith Martin, of Abingdon Ambulance Service.

In addition to the medical transport, a special GoFundMe account was set up to raise money for the Taylors.

After Local 2 News called loyal viewers to donate, you did just that. In fact, through those donations Local 2 raised more than $14,000 in a matter of weeks for the Taylor family.
read more here
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Houston police officer judged veteran with PTSD service dog

Houston police to disabled vet blocked from restaurant: 'You don't need a dog'
Houston Chronicle
By Heather Alexander
February 26, 2014

Less than a year after Gov. Rick Perry's high-profile announcement of a new law protecting people with service dogs from being refused entry into public places, Houston police and businesses seem to be unaware that anything has changed.

For the third time in as many weeks, a disabled veteran has been told he cannot go into a restaurant because he has a dog, with staff in each incident questioning vets about needing a dog without being blind.

In the most recent case, a veteran, who says he served with special forces in Afghanistan, called the Houston Police Department to back him up when staff at Thai Spice Buffet on Voss said he couldn't come in, Tuesday.

Aryeh Ohayon said the officer didn't talk to restaurant staff, a complaint the manager confirmed.

"The officer said to me, you're not blind, you don't need a dog," said Ohayon, who needs his dog, Bandit, for post-traumatic stress disorder. "It's frustrating and a let down. We put our lives on the line, we want to be treated like normal people."
read more here

Friday, November 1, 2013

People took pictures of homeless man dead on the street for a day

Houston Homeless Man Lay Dead For A Day As Passersby Took Pictures Of Him, Did Nothing To Help
Posted: 11/01/2013

A homeless man in Houston was left dead on the sidewalk for close to a day as pedestrians walked by, doing nothing to help. Some even took photos of his lifeless body with their cellphones.

"If they just had used their cell phone to make a call instead of a picture, perhaps this man could still be alive today," Sgt. Brian Harris of the Houston Police Department, told KHOU. "I would like to say our city is better than that, I know our city is better than that."

Police said the man, who was discovered dead by a deputy constable on Tuesday, likely died of natural causes. His identity has not been determined.
read more here

Is this what we've come to?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Four Houston Firefighters killed fighting motel fire

4 firefighters killed in Houston motel fire
CBS News

Four firefighters were killed while battling a fire that engulfed a Houston motel and restaurant on Friday, and at least five other people were hospitalized, authorities said.

Flames were shooting from the roof of the Southwest Inn, along one of Houston's most heavily traveled expressways, and black smoke was blanketing the area are firefighters tried to extinguish the blaze.

Three firefighters were killed at the scene, while the fourth died at a hospital, according to the mayor's office and local medical examiner. Five other people were injured and are hospitalized for chest pains or leg injuries.
read more here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chris Kyle murder causes PTSD sufferers to fear backlash

PTSD sufferers fear backlash in wake of SEAL murdered
Feb 04, 2013
By Greg Groogan
Special Projects Reporter

It is fact for which there is rock solid confirmation - during his four combat tours Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle saved scores of Marines from insurgent bullets.

That a deeply disturbed former Marine would senselessly take the life of a comrade who was so clearly trying to help him speaks to the real and present danger of battle related post-traumatic stress.

"That should be a wake-up call to everybody that these guys continually need help, these guys and girls that come back from combat," said Paul De La Cerda, an Iraq War veteran.

With his band "Warrior Spirit" De La Cerda deploys music as a force of healing for both his own PTSD as well as that suffered by the military comrades with which he regularly comes in contact.

"We are just trying our best to bring these guys back to who they were," said De La Cerda.

De La Cerda genuinely fears the killing of Chris Kyle will result in the kind of negative "blowblack" against veterans that the Seal sniper was fighting to end.

"You already know the backlash from it is going to be guys with PTSD will automatically be labeled as killers or guys that are about to snap," said De La Cerda.
read more here

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Texas college on lockdown after several people shot

Update January 23, 2013
Suspect In Lone Star College Shooting, Charged With Aggravated Assault

3 wounded in Houston college shooting; two people detained
Lone Star College System campus near Houston, has gone into a lockdown
Associated Press
HOUSTON January 22, 2013 (AP)
Authorities in Texas say three people have been wounded in a shooting at a Houston-area community college.

Harris County Sheriff's Maj. Armando Tello says three people had been wounded and a person of interest has been detained.
read more here

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Disabled vet rescued from burning apartment

Disabled vet rescued from burning apartment
ABC News
Saturday, January 05, 2013

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A veteran and a pizza delivery driver rushed into a burning Houston apartment to save a trapped man early Saturday.

It happened just before 9pm at the Midtown Terrace Suites on Blodgett. Investigators said the old hotel has been converted to an apartment complex and caters to local veterans.
read more here