Showing posts with label Iraq veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq veterans. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2023

Iraq War 20 years ago-and last night?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 20, 2023

20 years later, the bombs stopped falling, soldiers went back home,but for far too many, it never really ended. It never really does. You can see more photos here
March 20, 2003: U.S. Marines prepare themselves after receiving orders to cross the Iraqi border at Camp Shoup, in northern Kuwait.
Eric Feferberg/AFP via Getty Images

If you have PTSD, it is not too late to get help to heal. Yes, heal! Your life can be so much better once you make the connection between what happened, why it happened, and what you can do about it as a survivor of all of it!


Find some great vidoes like this one.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Jon Stewart stood up for veterans Ted Cruz stomped on

The Repubicans voting against taking care of veterans proved one thing. They don't really care about veterans. Jon Stewart stood up for all of you after Ted Cruz stomped on you!

and here is the video!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Wisconsin OEF-OIF veteran shot and killed trying to protect sister

Male shooting victim was decorated Army vet, family says, only trying to help sister out of 'very bad situation'

Rome Sentinel
Sean I. Mills
May 11, 2020
Family said the male victim was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army, who served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. They said he came home with a Purple Heart. Family said he is survived by six children.

The man who was shot and killed on Whittier Avenue Saturday night was a decorated Army veteran and father of six who had come to Rome to help his sister out of a "very bad situation," according to the victim's family and others close to the family.

The woman was also shot during the incident and remains hospitalized, according to police. The gunman is believed to have then turned his 12-gauge shotgun on himself.

Rome Police have not yet released the names of those involved in the incident at 107 Whittier Ave. The investigation is ongoing and police officials said they will release more information when it is available.

A sister of the two victims recently spoke to the Daily Sentinel and said her brother and her nephew traveled to Rome from Wisconsin to help the woman.

"My brother traveled here to help my sister in a very bad situation," the sister said.

"The fact of the matter is, she didn't come to file the police report and try to get the order of protection for no reason."
read it here

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

More than 200,000 veterans and service members signed up for Burn Pit Registry

More than 200,000 veterans, troops sign up for VA burn pit, airborne hazard registry

Connecting Vets
Abbie Bennett
May 5, 2020

The Pentagon encouraged registry participation in a letter to more than 700,000 active-duty, National Guard and Reserve members, VA said.
More than 200,000 veterans and service members have signed on to the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, VA announced Tuesday.

The registry was established in June 2014 and allows current and former service members to self-report toxic exposures and health concerns using an online questionnaire. That registry and their responses can be used to discuss health issues with doctors and other providers.

“Concerns about the long-term effects of exposure to burn pits remain a priority,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “By joining the registry, veterans, service members and the department will further understand the impact of deployment-related exposures on health.”

VA credited the Defense Department with an extra push to put participation beyond the 200,000 mark, which it called a "major milestone."
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

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Iraq veteran PTSD survivor proud to cry because it helped him heal

This Iraq War Vet Cheated Death 3 Times. He's Proud to Cry About It.

Men's Health
MAR 12, 2020
FitOps, which counts zero suicides among its alumni, cracked Somers open like that first grenade did. For most of his life, he had been motivated by men around him—his cartel-wealthy veteran uncle, or his hardcore first sergeant. In telling his story, and seeing how other people were affected and moved to tell theirs, Somers found his own strong sense of purpose.

Somers after joining FitOps, which helped him discover a new way to cope with PTSD and his harsh upbringing.

FROM ABOVE, YOU WOULD have seen two battered Humvees streaking down a rutted freeway, one behind the other in the center lane, surrounded by miles of Iraq’s parched terrain. As they approached an overpass, one moved into the far-left lane and the other moved far right. Afterward, the trucks weaved back into the same lane.

It was July 2003, and trucks were getting blown up every day in Iraq—insurgents often dropped grenades from overpasses. Bobby Somers, a 23-year-old specialist in the U. S. Army, sat behind the wheel of the second beat-up Humvee, fondly code-named Bertha. Clad in tan fatigues, he had one hand on the wheel, the other on a machine gun pointed out the window. A tiny earbud snaked into his left ear, pumping 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ album from a CD player tucked beneath his seat. Somers had driven thousands of miles like this without incident, and he felt invincible.
After both attacks, Somers was offered a medical discharge, but he stayed. “I remember when I got back into that truck, I was crying,” he says. “I didn’t want to drive out the gate. But I was more scared to let people know I was scared.”

Which brings us to another time Somers nearly died, years after he’d finished his tour, while at his home in Texas. He went into his bathroom, put a gun in his mouth, and almost pulled the trigger. Fate had intervened twice to save Somers’s life. Now he would need a different kind of help.
read it here

Monday, March 9, 2020

Decorated UK War Hero Fighting For Better Care After Attempted Suicide

War hero demands better mental health services for veterans after PTSD caused breakdown

The Express UK
Mar 9, 2020
“I could go and see the doctor, for six months, if I was lucky and she could fit me in once a week. But that was only four sessions a month, so 24 sessions in total. That doesn’t even get through all the trauma of one tour.”

Ex-Colour Sergeant Trevor Coult and his son

He witnessed numerous friends get killed or sustain horrific injuries during a brutal three tours in Afghanistan. Mr Coult was awarded the third-highest military honour for bravery for fighting off suicide bombers and gunmen who ambushed his convoy in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2005.

Mr Coult then survived eight bomb blasts and 76 enemy engagements during three operational tours of Afghanistan.

But he attempted to kill himself by driving his car into a wall.
read it here

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Spreading suicide awareness spreads more suicides of younger veterans and older ones too!

If you still think that the groups raising awareness veterans are killing themselves is a good thing...YOU ARE NOT THINKING AT ALL!

Suicide remains growing challenge for younger veterans, survey shows

Military Times
Leo Shaqne III
March 1, 2020

The number of young veterans who know someone who has died by suicide or considered harming themselves both increased significantly in recent years according to just-released annual membership survey of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, another sign of the mental health struggles facing the military community.
An excerpt from the annual Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America member survey released on March 4, 2020. More than two-thirds of individuals who participated said they know a fellow veteran who attempted suicide. (Courtesy of IAVA)
Of the more than 1,700 veterans who participated in the questionnaire, more than two-thirds said they know at least one post-9/11 veteran who has attempted suicide. Nearly as many — 62 percent — said that they have lost a fellow young veteran to suicide.

Six years ago, only about 40 percent of members surveyed said they knew of a fellow veteran’s suicide.
read it here

Time to stop spreading misery and start spreading hope!

When will people wake up? What will it take for veterans to stop being treated like they are not worth every effort to let them know they can heal...they do not deserve to suffer...they are not broken and their lives are not hopeless?

As long as all this crap taking over social media is support, they will lose whatever shard of hope they have left and become one of the ones everyone is talking about, raising money talking about something they have no clue about and increasing their numbers of those we failed!

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Man gets 110 years for killing disabled veteran and stealing VA benefits

Montana man gets 110 years for killing disabled veteran

FEBRUARY 28, 2020
“You are barbarians, both of you,” Lori Petzack said to Craft and Zdeb during the sentencing hearing. “My son fought for your freedom and independence for four years in the U.S. Army. He received a frontal lobe traumatic brain injury in Mosul, Iraq, from an IED which fully disabled him for the rest of his life, which you both took away.”
A Montana man who was convicted of killing a disabled veteran in February 2016, burying his body in the dirt floor of a barn and stealing his disability benefits was sentenced on Friday to 110 years in prison.

Brandon Craft, 25, of Great Falls, will not be eligible for parole until he serves 50 years, District Judge Elizabeth Best ruled.

Craft's ex-wife Katelyn Zdeb, 25, pleaded guilty in April 2018 to stealing Adam Petzack's Veterans Affairs benefits for several months after his death. She testified against Craft at his trial in November and was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison with no time suspended.
read it here

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Missing Iraq Veteran Brenda Jackson Has Not Been Forgotten After Four Years

Police Renew Effort To Find Missing Park Forest Mom

JANUARY 08, 2020

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It was just over four years ago when an Iraq War veteran disappeared from her home in Park Forest.
The police - and the woman's mother - are asking for help in finding out what happened.

"I miss her,” says Maria Gonzalez, the mother of Brenda Jackson.

Jackson, 31, a mother of six, disappeared four years ago.

"I know she never would've been gone this long without some way of contacting me. We had a very close relationship,” Gonzalez said. "And her children meant the world to her. Her children meant everything to her."

Gonzalez says Jackson had filed for divorce from her husband before she vanished.
read it here

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Tim Foret, OEF OIF veteran lost battle with PTSD

Mentor veteran loses battle with PTSD, community wants to remind vets help is out there

19 News
By Kelly Kennedy
January 7, 2020
“We tried doing everything and he was just a proud vet. He didn’t want the help. He kept telling everybody he was fine, he was anything but.” Chris Blood
MENTOR, Ohio (WOIO) - A Mentor veteran took his own life last weekend. 19 News is told the man barricaded himself inside his home. Police and SWAT tried to talk the vet down, but sadly, it did not work.

On Tuesday night the community held a vigil to remember the veteran and to raise awareness for PTSD.

Tim Foret, 38, was no stranger to being out on the battlefield.

“He had been over in Iraq and Afghanistan, several tours, seen things that no man should have to see and sadly he brought that home with him,” said Chris Blood, friend to Foret and First Lady of the US Militia RC, a veteran support group.

There was one enemy the soldier could not defeat, PTSD.
read it here

What could have happened if he had known veterans like him could heal...instead of being made aware too many were committing suicide instead?

YOU CAN HEAL and life can get a lot better than what it is right now.
If you are struggling, that is the message you need to leave this site with.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Amputee Iraq Veteran Rides Again With Restored Faith

Canton veteran who lost leg rides again thanks to customized motorcycle

By Kelly Byer
January 5, 2020

Charles Zollicoffer on the trike he received from CAMVETS
Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer ride a motorcycle for the first time in eight years.

More importantly, he said, the fall program renewed his faith in humanity.

“I was left for dead on the side of the road,” he said. “So, during my time in this last seven or eight years, I have lost a lot of faith in people. A lot.”

In 2011, a drunken driver pulled in front of Zollicoffer’s 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle on state Route 800. The now retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran had completed three tours in Iraq and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.

Another person came across the early morning wreck and stopped to help. Zollicoffer, a 53-year-old Canton resident, spent months in a coma and had his left leg amputated at the hip.

This past Veteran’s Day, he received a modified trike at the Makers For Veterans closing ceremony. His family’s safety concerns had kept Zollicoffer from pursuing a costly trike, but they talked and accepted what it meant to him beforehand.

He’s taken a few rides.

“I can’t even describe the feeling, when you get that wind blowing through your hair,” joked Zollicoffer, who has a shaved head. read it here

Monday, December 30, 2019

UK Veterans 'betrayed and abandoned' by the Government

Heroes' pension betrayal: Savings scam sanctioned in Whitehall could cost military veterans up to £50,000 each and force them to work into their eighties to recoup their losses

Daily Mail
30 December 2019
Tens of thousands of pensioners have lost up to £10billion between them Armed forces now face working into their eighties despite suffering trauma They said they had been 'betrayed and abandoned' by the Government
Forces veterans have had their futures ruined by a Government-sanctioned pension scam.

Although some are still suffering trauma from tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, they now face working into their eighties after losing nest eggs worth up to £50,000.

They said they had been 'betrayed and abandoned' by the Government which registered the rogue scheme but now refuses to help.
read it here

Nebraska who suffered his second traumatic brain injury is making a miraculous recovery

Nebraska veteran comes out of coma in time for Christmas

WCMH/CNN 17 min ago

OMAHA, Neb. — A Purple Heart veteran from Nebraska who suffered his second traumatic brain injury is making a miraculous recovery.

Tony Belt, who fell 18 feet in a work accident, woke up from a coma before Christmas and has been able to communicate by giving a thumbs up or down. WCMH/CNN
Christmas Eve marked three months since Tony Belt fell 18 feet in a work accident, KETV reported.

"The doctors told me he probably wasn’t going to make it to the weekend,” said Kyli Belt, Tony’s wife.

He survived that weekend, but doctors still said he would never wake up.

Tony is a fighter. He spent eight years in the Army, deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006, he was shot in the head, an incident that ended his military career and sent him home with a Purple Heart. read it here

Friday, December 20, 2019

Amputee Iraq veteran who adopted amputee dog has new place to call home

Country singer Craig Morgan surprises Tennessee veteran with mortgage-free home

News Channel 5
By: Laken Bowles
December 20, 2019
NewsChannel 5 featured Ferguson's story over the summer when he adopted a puppy with a missing leg. Ferguson lost his leg during a deployment in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an IED. He also suffered other injuries, including a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Dickson County veteran received an incredible gift this Christmas – a custom-built, mortgage-free home.

 On Thursday, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Josh Ferguson, along with his wife and family, were presented with the keys to their new home.

Country singer Craig Morgan and Taya Kyle, who is the widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, surprised Ferguson with the keys.
read it here

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Iraq veteran blamed PTSD for shooting at car and road rage?

Route 29 road rage driver gets three months in jail

Fauquier Now
By Don Del Rosso
Staff Journalist
December 19, 2019
Testifying Wednesday in circuit court for 15 minutes, Mr. Busicchia blamed his behavior on post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by military experiences in Iraq. Beginning in 2003, he served about 13 months in the country.

A Jeffersonton man will spend three months in jail for firing two gunshots from his car at a van near New Baltimore in June.

Damian Patrick Busicchia pleaded guilty Oct. 23 in Fauquier County Circuit Court to one felony count of firing a weapon from a vehicle — in exchange for dismissal of an identical gun charge and a felony hit-and-run count.

After a 35-minute hearing Wednesday afternoon in circuit court, Judge James E. Plowman sentenced Mr. Busicchia to seven years in prison, suspending all but three months.
Driving a black Audi A6, Mr. Busicchia cut off the driver of a van, according to investigators

The van driver gave him the finger. Mr. Busicchia, 39, then lowered his driver-side window and fired two shots, according to investigators. The bullets didn’t strike the van or other nearby vehicles.
read it here

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Military suicide research shows suicides increased during Wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan

Historic data on military suicide shows no clear link with combat operations

Military Times
Leo Shane
December 13, 2019

The results show an increase in suicide rates among soldiers during the Vietnam War and the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but decreases during the U.S. Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
Contrary to public assumptions, increased combat operations do not lead to more military suicides and may actually result in fewer troops engaging in self-harm, according to a new analysis of historic Defense Department data released Friday.

Study authors say their findings provide both a reminder that the motivations behind suicide aren’t singular, simple factors, and an alert to other researchers that more data on the problem is available than they may know about.

The study tracks Army suicide data from the 1840s to today. Dr. Christopher Frueh, a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and one of the study’s authors, said researchers spent the last four years combing through Army medical records to find the information.

“Before we started, we didn’t know if the data would be there,” he said.

What they found was a trove of reports, including from the Army Surgeon General as far back as 1843 that included accounting of “self-inflicted” deaths in the ranks. By the early 1900s, those suicides were clearly delineated in official service figures, allowing researchers to analyze the death totals across different eras of military operations.
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

Monday, December 9, 2019

Operation Combat Bikesaver mending veterans of all generations

Hot rod therapy: Vets tout positive influence of motorcycle building workshop; ‘It’s really amazing what getting your knuckles dirty and bloody can do’

Chicago Tribune
DEC 08, 2019

Participants are from different branches of the service and different wars and conflicts including Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. What they find on those Sundays is the camaraderie they had while serving and a place to work through their feelings physically by working on projects or their own bike.
U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Indiana), right, visits the headquarters of Operation Combat Bikesaver in Center Township near Crown Point on Friday, December 6, 2019. At left is organization CEO, president and founder, Jason Zaideman. (Michael Gard/Post-Tribune) (Michael Gard / Post-Tribune)

Marine veteran Dan Riordan explained to U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., how the motorcycle he is building at Operation Combat Bikesaver Inc. will look when the project is done.

The bike will be Marine Corps dress blue with the red stripe. There will be a Gold Star in front with the names of the members of his battalion “Mad Ghosts 224” killed in action listed, Riordan said. The battalion logo will be on the sides.

“It’s gonna be looking good and sounding even better,” Riordan, of Griffith, said.

Young was in Crown Point to tour the Operation Combat Bikesaver facility and learn more about the work done there to help veterans struggling with issues including depression and PTSD find their footing.
read it here

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Wynonna Judd welcomed paralyzed veteran to new home

Paralyzed veteran gets free home in Murfreesboro

by: Stassy Olmos
Posted: Sep 22, 2019

“Five years ago, get a call two in the morning that he was in an accident all the way up in St. Louis,” Camacho’s friend Liam Cronin said in the ceremony Saturday, “Drive up the next day and spend the next day, and spend the next week sleeping on a hospital cot beside him.”
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s the simple things many of us take for granted, like getting in and out of bed or taking a shower all by ourselves, that paralyzed Army Sergeant Bryan Camacho hasn’t been able to do in years. ‘But, thanks to the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops, the solider now has a brand new home in Murfreesboro, with special amenities to help.

The Murfreesboro community welcomed their new neighbor on Saturday morning.
This homecoming much more encouraging than the last one 12 years ago when Sgt. Camacho returned from Iraq.

Camacho was first injured in 2007 as an Infantryman deployed with the 10th Mountain Division in Iraq. He was paralyzed from the waist down when his vehicle ran over an IED.
Slowly recovering in the U.S., Camacho was in another accident in 2014. His adapted truck spun out on ice and rolled, paralyzing him from the neck down.
read it here