Showing posts with label Kansas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kansas. Show all posts

Friday, February 14, 2020

Ted Phillips, Navy-Vietnam-Homeless Veteran Laid To Rest By Community

Homeless Navy veteran buried with honor by veteran community

KSN News
by: Byron J. Love
Posted: Feb 13, 2020

WINFIELD, Kan. (KSNW) – Homeless veterans are all too often laid to rest in solemn, sparsely attended services as the surviving family of the deceased can often be difficult, if not impossible, to reach.
Data from a 2019 report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that approximately 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night, and over the course of a year that number can double.

The inscription above the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetary mausoleum reads “No one is ever buried alone, all are buried with honor,” and the staff and south-central Kansas veteran community do their best to fulfill that promise.
A great deal is unknown about the life of Ted Phillips, 73, who was laid to rest Thursday at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery in Winfield. Phillips, who was born April 5, 1946, according to his service records, served in the United States Navy during the time of the Vietnam war, including duty from 1964 to 1968.
read it here

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ex-Army Ranger killed by police after wife found murdered

Wife’s body found after police kill estranged husband, a former Army Ranger

The Associated Press
By: Margaret Stafford and Heather Hollingsworth
August 14, 2019
In this photo provided by the Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff's Office, Charles Pearson is pictured in a booking photo dated Oct. 8, 2018. (Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff's Office via AP)

The body of 49-year-old Sylvia Ussery-Pearson was found Tuesday night in northwest Arkansas' Benton County, police said during a news conference in Overland Park, Kansas, where she was from. The discovery was made hours after 51-year-old Charles Pearson, a 21-year veteran Army Ranger who had completed two combat tours in Iraq, walked into a Country Inn and Suites and told the general manager that he killed his wife.

Pearson said he was armed and heading to the nearby Legends Outlet shopping district.

Police in Kansas City, Kansas, said that when law enforcement confronted Pearson at a nearby intersection, he fired several shots at officers, who returned fire and killed him.
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Sunday, July 28, 2019

4 shot at McConnell Air Force Base

Officials: Airman killed, 3 injured in Wichita shooting

Associated Press
July 27, 2019
A crew chief with the 931st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron marshals a KC-46A Pegasus on the flightline at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., Feb. 21. (Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick/Air Force)

WICHITA, Kan. — Authorities in south-central Kansas say a 20-year-old McConnell Air Force Base airman has been killed and three others injured in an east Wichita shooting.

The shooting occurred around 2 a.m. Saturday at an apartment where a party was being held. Police say arriving officers found the wounded 20-year-old unresponsive and performed CPR, but he died at the scene.

Two other men, ages 21 and 22, were taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. A 19-year-old woman had already been taken by a private vehicle to hospital with serious injuries. Police say she is expected to survive.
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Chainsaws, shovels and muscle brought to bear by an Ohio militia

Ohio's militias are armed and ready, with good intent they say

The Plain Dealer
By Brian Albrecht
July 28, 2019
But there are militias that say they support the government and exist to serve as a citizen’s defense force in the historical sense of these groups. Armed, yes, but also prepared and trained to respond to disasters or local community needs.
Members of the Irregulars of Ohio Reserve Militia take a break for a photo with personnel of the Life’s Little Adventures Farm in Wooster, where militia members cleared fallen trees and foliage in May to help the facility that uses rescued animals in therapeutic programs for children, and veterans recovering from PTSD. (Brian Albrecht/The Plain Dealer)
CLEVELAND, Ohio — This is the militia: Men and women clad in camos, carrying semi-automatic rifles, stalking the woodlands, shredding targets, prepping for worst-case scenarios.

And this is the militia: Two militia members arrested and charged in Cincinnati earlier this year for allegedly making bombs; a militia leader arrested and charged with firearms possession by a felon in April after a video showed his group detaining migrants in New Mexico at gunpoint; two members of a Illinois militia pleading guilty in January to bombing a Minnesota mosque; three Kansas militia men convicted last year of plotting to blow up an apartment complex where Somali refugees lived.

And this: Chainsaws, shovels and muscle brought to bear by an Ohio militia to help clean up tornado-ravaged areas of Dayton, and an overgrown farm in Wooster that offers therapeutic programs to treat traumatized families and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The recent history of private militias in Ohio and the United States has been fraught with confrontation and violence.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Afghanistan veteran and wife on motorcycle killed by vulture

Army Veteran, Wife Killed in Crash With Vulture: Kansas Patrol

By The Associated Press
April 22, 2019

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan.—Authorities say a vulture caused a crash that killed an Army veteran and his wife as they rode a motorcycle in southern Kansas.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the bird came out of a ditch Saturday afternoon, April 20, and struck 42-year-old Brandon Husband, of Fowler, in the head on a rural road near Medicine Lodge, about 75 miles southwest of Wichita. 

The motorcycle then went off the road, struck a barbed wire fence and overturned. The patrol says neither Husband nor his wife, 43-year-old Jennifer Lynn Husband , was wearing a helmet.

Brandon Husband’s obituary says he served one tour in Kosovo, three in Afghanistan and was part of an Iraqi soldier training mission on the Iraq-Jordan border.

The Husbands leave behind four children.
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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Kansas National Guard Captain quit in protest for more to be done on preventing suicides!

This is the kind of Captain the military needs to keep because she cared more about those she was leading than her career! Captain Fields YOU JUST MADE A DIFFERENCE BY TAKING A STAND LIKE THIS!

Kansas National Guard Captain Submits Resignation in Wake of Suicides

Topeka Capital Journal
By Katie Moore
Posted Apr 6, 2019
When Fields tried to elevate concerns, she said she felt like addressing suicide wasn’t a priority for guard leadership. And while she said she doesn’t want to play “the female card,” she believes being vocal as a woman isn’t always well-received.

Fields said by speaking out, she has a lot to lose, but hopefully something will be gained.

“We have to hold our organization accountable,” Fields said. “We are not doing right by our soldiers.”

A captain in a Kansas National Guard brigade that experienced several suicides in six months said she has submitted a letter of resignation after concerns about the issue weren’t taken seriously enough by leadership.
The National Guard has a higher suicide rate than other branches of the military, including active-duty soldiers, a report from the Department of Defense said. However, the Kansas National Guard has a lower rate than guards in many other states, said Maj. Jason Davee.

Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli said the Kansas National Guard has had nine suicides in the past five years, three of which were in the past 18 months.

Additionally, a civilian who worked in the guard’s behavioral health department died by suicide last summer, and a man who had just been discharged died earlier this year. Their deaths weren’t included in official numbers, said Capt. Tara Fields.

Fields has served 12 years in the military, eight on active duty. She joined the Kansas National Guard just over a year ago as a behavioral health officer.
read more here

If you want to know why there has been more military members committing is because leaders like her are not being heard! They hear her now! Pass this on and make sure other units hear her too!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Mistaken stranger reunited Vietnam Veterans

Kansas man gets letter by mistake, helps reunite Vietnam Veterans
written by Annette Lawless
The three met this week. It turns out the James and Jimmy had a lot in common. Not only do they share the same name, but they are both pilots and have also worked for Cessna. Jimmy’s wife’s name is Mary. James’s mom’s name is also Mary.

A handwritten note changed everything for James Porter.

This summer, James got an unexpected piece of mail from California. In it, a man named John Washe wrote a plea to find a friend who served in the Vietnam War.

“I’m attempting to locate an x Army buddy named Jimmy Lee Porter of Wichita. Worked for Cessna,” he wrote in the note, dated July 19. “He is in his very early 70’s now, was stationed as a draftee in Ft. Hood between 1966 and 1968. If this is the correct Jimmy, pls let me know.”

This is the second note John would send to Porter. The first letter came 15 years ago, but James was motivated this time around to help out the man.

James contacted several military organizations, like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Veterans Administration. Some told him that Jimmy Lee Porter wasn’t in their record books. James contacted KAKE’s Annette Lawless for help, fearing the man may be dead.

Yet, days later, James found Jimmy.

It was perfect timing, as John had plans to drive through Kansas soon.
read more here

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Senate hearing with veterans charity got testy

Alleged altercation at US Senate hearing between VA staffer and MVP founder
WIBW 13 News
By Shawn Wheat
Jun 21, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- 13 NEWS has learned that there was an alleged physical altercation in April of 2017 during a subcommittee meeting in Washington D.C., between an employee of the VA and the founder of the Military Veterans Project.

In a recent e-mail exchange, Military Veteran Project (MVP) founder Melissa Jarboe told Joseph Burks, the Public Affairs Officer for VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, to cease and desist any communication with her.

“The physical attack, verbal abuse and intimidation you displayed on April 27, 2017 has not been forgotten, rather thoroughly documented via video, audio and written statement to appropriate parties and chain of command,” Jorboe said in the e-mail, obtained by 13 NEWS.

Jarboe declined an on camera interview, but told 13 NEWS, she was called to testify by Senator Jerry Moran, at a hearing on "Preventing Veteran Suicide".

When asked by Senator Moran if there was a partnership between the MVP program and the VA, Jarboe said, “We do not currently have a strong partnership with the Veterans Administration. We are there if they need us. We are not asked to attend any of their boards. We are not a part of their direct community approach or outreaches. But, we will still eagerly assist the Veterans Administration when they are in crisis or in need because that’s what we’re supposed to do as Americans.”
read more here

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Two Wyandotte County Sheriff's Deputies Killed

Second sheriff's deputy dies following shooting in Kansas
CBS News
June 16, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A second sheriff's deputy has died after being shot while an inmate was being transported to a Kansas City courthouse. Kansas City, Kansas, police confirmed that 44-year-old Deputy Theresa King died early Saturday from injuries suffered when an inmate overpowered the two deputies.

The shooting happened Friday as an unidentified inmate was being moved. Police said it is possible that King and the other slain deputy, 35-year-old Patrick Rohrer, were shot with their own firearm, but police gave no other details.

Investigators said the inmate may have grabbed a weapon from one of the deputies during a struggle after he got out of a van transporting him late Friday morning. The inmate was shackled and in handcuffs, CBS affiliate KCTV reported.

Both officers were with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department. King had 13 years of service and Rohrer had been with the department for seven years.
read more here

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Three Non-combat deaths Operation Inherent Resolve this year

Mystery surrounds 'non combat' death of female soldier battling ISIS in Iraq as her body is returned home and Department of Defence announce an investigation
Daily Mail UK
Associated Press
March 3, 2018
The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that 26-year-old Christina Marie Schoenecker, Arlington, died Monday in Baghdad, Iraq
The department did not release any details about her death and said it is under investigation
The Army Sgt. was the third soldier to die since the beginning of 2018 in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS called Operation Inherent Resolve
The military noted that 51 U.S. military members have died since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2014

Mystery surrounds the death of an Army Reserve soldier from Kansas who has died in Iraq in a non-combat situation.

The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that 26-year-old Christina Marie Schoenecker, Arlington, died Monday in Baghdad, Iraq.

The department did not release any details about her death and said it is under investigation.

The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that 26-year-old Christina Marie Schoenecker (Pictured), Arlington, died Monday in Baghdad, Iraq
The Army Sgt. was the third soldier to die since the beginning of 2018, according to The Kansas City Star. 

All three deaths in the ongoing, U.S.-led fight against ISIS called Operation Inherent Resolve were non-combat related. Schoenecker enlisted in the Army in May 2009 and was on her first deployment, which began last June. A human resources specialist, she was assigned to the 89th Sustainment Brigade out of Wichita. read more here

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Death of Soldier in Baghdad Under Investigation

Army identifies soldier killed in noncombat incident in Baghdad 
Published: February 20, 2018 

The Pentagon has identified a soldier who died in a noncombat incident Monday in Iraq while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State campaign. 

In a statement Tuesday, the military said Sgt. Christina Marie Schoenecker, 26, of Arlington, Kan., died in Baghdad. The circumstances of her death are under investigation, which is standard for fatal events. 

Schoenecker was assigned to the 89th Sustainment Brigade, Wichita, Kan. 
read more here

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Death of Fort Riley Soldier Under Investigation

Fort Riley soldier found dead off post
Military Times
Charlsy Panzino
January 17, 2018

A Fort Riley soldier was found dead in an off-post residence on Monday, according to the Army.

Spc. Hunter Schmidtke, an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, was found unresponsive in the home in Junction City, Kansas.
read more here

Friday, November 17, 2017

"He felt he was unworthy" and took his own life after 2 tours in Iraq

Kansas veterans: 'This is an emergency'

KWCH 12 News
November 16, 2017
“We lost more men after combat than during combat...something new has to be done!” says Steven who served with Norman.

WICHITA, Kan. A Kansas veteran commits suicide five days after the birth of his little girl, and the men he served with are ready to take action.

The people who knew Norman Worden call him a hero, a loving father and husband. He was a man who would die for the brothers he served with in Iraq. But on the inside, Norman was fighting a battle few can understand.

“He felt he was unworthy and didn't deserve a lot of things. I would say he was a hero and he would tell me I’m far from that. I'm not a hero,” says his wife Jordahn.

It was a feeling that despite his many attempts to get help, would lead Norman to take his life inside his Larned home.

He leaves behind his wife, three boys and a newborn daughter. “Right before his suicide, it was surprising to me. I thought he was doing well and was excited about our daughter, like there were no signs of anything,” says Jordahn fighting back tears.

The men he served with in the 714th on two tours in Iraq are asking how many more like Norman have to die before something else is done.
read more here

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Racist Message Delivered by "Victim"

Racist messages at Air Force Academy were written by student who claimed to be targeted
Chicago Tribune
Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post
November 8, 2017 

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria gives a speech about race relations to U.S. Air Force cadets during at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Sept. 29, 2017. (Jerilee Bennett / AP)

(This is what happened after it was reported.)

The speech, which the academy posted on YouTube, went viral. It was watched nearly 1.2 million times, grabbed headlines nationwide, and was commended by the likes of former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
(Reported but actually, did not happen the way it was reported.)
On Monday, police in Riley County, Kansas, revealed that a 21-year-old black man, Dauntarius Williams, admitted to defacing his car with racist graffiti as a "Halloween prank that got out of hand." Scrawled in washable paint were racist messages telling blacks to "Go Home," "Date your own kind," and "Die." 
The incident provoked controversy and concern at nearby Kansas State University, especially after Williams spoke with the Kansas City Star, claiming to be a black student who was leaving the school because of the incident. He was not, in fact, a student.
read the rest here 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Trusted to Care for Veterans, Going to Jail for Abusing Them

15 yrs in prison for former physician’s assistant who sexually assaulted vets at Leavenworth V.A. Hospital
NOVEMBER 3, 2017

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — A former physician’s assistant found guilty of sexually assaulting patients at the Leavenworth Veterans Administration hospital was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

In August, Mark Wisner, 66, was found guilty on one count of criminal sodomy, one count of aggravated sexual battery, and three counts of sexual battery.

Court documents say Wisner admitted to V.A. special agents investigating sexual abuse claims that he performed genital exams on men that were ‘excessive and unnecessary.’ Documents also state that Wisner said he ‘lost control’ and it became an ingrained habit.

During his trial, victims testified that Wisner groped their genitals, forced them to get prostate and genital exams they didn`t need, and had even made sexual advances. Some said Wisner would withhold medication if they didn`t go through with the exams.

The judge sentenced Wisner to 15 years and 5 months in prison (187 months) for the combined charges. Wisner will also have to register as a sex offender. Fox 4’s Kera Mashek was in the courtroom and reports Wisner could be eligible for parole after three years.
read more here

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Is that service dog a fake?

 Is that service dog a fake? Under federal law, you can’t even ask
Kansas City Star
Mark Davis
November 1, 2017

Fake service dogs are essentially untrained pets wearing vests or tags purchased online so Fido can tag along, too. They’ve become the bane of those who rely on trained service dogs to deal with disabilities.

The unleashed dog lunged from the woman’s lap and right at Andy, Michaela Chase’s dog.
“It was going for blood,” Chase said, thinking back to the narrow waiting room at her physical therapy gym in Lincoln, Neb. “It was in full attack mode.”
Shielded by Chase’s wheelchair, Andy avoided the other dog, which had a tag on its collar that said “service dog.” But though there was no fight, the damage was done.
“It really ruined Andy,” Chase said of her service dog trained by Paws for Freedom Inc. in Tonganoxie, Kan. Andy — the victim of a fake service dog, Chase said — now distrusts other dogs. He’ll even bark at other service dogs. 
read more here

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Stolen Valor to Grow Pot?

Oklahoma Vice: Veterans say pot grower lied about service in Iraq

News OK
Brianna Bailey
September 8, 2017

Command Sgt. Maj. Jared Worley of the  Kansas National Guard drove about three hours from Kansas to refute Constuble's claims about his military service at trial.On the witness stand, Worley testified that, Constuble spent less than two months in Iraq before he was found unfit for service and was sent home.

A Bartlesville man who claimed he grew marijuana to treat post traumatic stress disorder has spent much of the past decade lying about his time in Iraq, according to veterans who served with him.
Austin Eugene Constuble, 31,  told Oklahoma Vice he was forced to kill a special-needs child who insurgents strapped with an artillery shell in Iraq. He said he rescued bleeding children from a bombed out school. He also claimed he had been shot at and was injured by a roadside bomb.
None of those things are true.  
A jury in Washington County this week found Constuble guilty of cultivating marijuana at his grandmother's house and recommended a three year prison sentence.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Harry Colmery Left More Than a Legacy For Veterans

Editorial: Colmery’s legacy of serving veterans

Topeka Capital Journal
Editorial Board
August 18, 2017

Last summer, the Harry Colmery Plaza was dedicated in downtown Topeka exactly 72 years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 — legislation more commonly known as the GI Bill.

Harry Colmery’s niece, Jean Roberts, left, and granddaughter, Mina Steen, inspect the statue of their family member after it’s unveiling Tuesday afternoon in downtown Topeka. The new plaza is dedicated to Harry Colmery, a Topekan who is responsible for the creation of the GI Bill. (2016 file photograph/The Capital-Journal)

After serving in World War I, Colmery became a tireless advocate for veterans, and his involvement with the American Legion culminated in his appointment as national commander in 1936. He was also a member of the organization’s national legislative committee, and during World War II, he wrote a draft that eventually became the GI Bill.

Colmery witnessed the awful treatment of American veterans when they returned from World War I. After enduring unimaginable horrors on the battlefield, they were thanked with abject poverty, a lack of basic health care, no job prospects and no chance to pursue an education. Many of them suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder — a condition that wasn’t well-understand and for which treatments were still in the early stages of development — and other devastating war wounds. This made finding a job, paying for a home and caring for a family even more difficult. Then the Great Depression came.
read more here

Harry Colmery also left a history report of how Congress has failed veterans ever since.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

American Airlines Sued for Treatment of American PTSD Veteran With Service Dog

Lawsuit: Airline tells veteran with PTSD, ‘You’re not flying with THAT!’
Sun Herald
Anita Lee
October 26, 2016

An Army veteran who suffers from PTSD says in a federal lawsuit that American Airlines agents subjected her to two days of humiliation and stress when she tried to fly home from Kansas with her service dog, a Labrador retriever named Jake.
Service dog Jake was wearing his vest and had the credentials needed to fly with Army veteran Lisa McCombs, according to a lawsuit she filed against American Airlines and regional carrier Envoy for refusing to let her board a plane with Jake to Gulfport from Manhattan, Kansas. Courtesy of Lisa McCombs
Lisa McCombs says she flew without incident to Manhattan, Kansas, on Oct. 25, 2015, but was stuck there for two days because American regional carrier Envoy refused to let her board a return flight with Jake, even though he was wearing his service vest and met criteria to board the plane.

“Ms. McCombs was emotionally crushed and humiliated by the conduct of (Americans’) agents, who discriminated against her because of her disability and publicly shamed her,” says the lawsuit filed by Biloxi attorney Christopher Van Cleave of Corban Gunn Van Cleave in Biloxi.
read more here

Friday, September 30, 2016

Air Force Couple Flying High

Face of Defense: Married Air Force Pilots Serve, Fly Together
Department of Defense
By Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Thornbury
22nd Air Refueling Wing
September 29, 2016
“It makes it easier to talk about what’s going on at work, because we understand very intimately what’s going on in terms of the struggles to make the mission happen,” Chrystina said. “We understand each other’s challenges better than most.”
The couple that flies together
Capt. Chrystina Jones, left, 350th Air Refueling Squadron pilot, and Maj. Matt Jones, 349th ARS pilot, pose with their son, Dec. 2015, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. They both “refuel the fight” as KC-135 Stratotanker pilots, an aircraft that first took flight for the first time 60 years ago. (Courtesy photo)
For Air Force Maj. Matthew Jones and Air Force Capt. Chrystina Jones, love found them as C-130 Hercules pilots, and, over the years, gave them a different set of wings as KC-135 Stratotanker pilots and even added two more to their aircrew: their son and daughter.

The couple is relatively new to the KC-135, qualifying 14 months ago. Although a different mission brought them together, Matt relates his past and present with his wife with the tanker as it approaches its 60-year anniversary of its first flight.

“Chrystina and I share history together,” Matthew said. “The KC-135 has its own great history; it is just incredible for us to be a part of it.”

Before marriage, the couple served in the same squadron as C-130 pilots where they trained together. While they never operated a mission together, they did deploy with each other for five months to Iraq. As tanker pilots, they are assigned to different squadrons: Matt is a “Bandit” of the 349th Air Refueling Squadron; and Chrystina is a “Raven” of the 350th ARS.
read more here