Showing posts with label Lake Wales FL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Wales FL. Show all posts

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Disabled OEF-OIF veteran told to cover tattoo by Lake Wales Skydiving?

April 3, 2013

I am a disabled combat veteran. I served in Iraq and worked in Afghanistan. I took an IED because my country asked me too, and I was injured by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. I have a Purple Heart and an ARCOM with Valor. I fully expect to be treated differently when I am visiting another country - when I am in America I expect equality and toleration; but what I experienced today is something that I never would have thought I'd have to go through in my own country. The country I fought for!

I am a skydiver with around 300 jumps under my belt. I've done jumps from 30,000 feet, helicopters, hot air balloons, wingsuit skydives and so forth. So with that being said I travel around doing this sport quite a bit. Today was my second time at a dropzone called "Florida Skydiving Center / Skydive Lake Wales".

Coincidentally there are soldiers from the country of Qatar being trained there.
read more here so he knows how many care about his story

Is this America the land of freedom and free speech along with free expression? Then why does this business have the right to tell a veteran, or anyone, to cover up a tattoo?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Medal of Honor hero William Charette, passed away at 79

Medal of Honor recipient dies at 79
By Gina Harkins - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Mar 19, 2012
Retired Master Chief Hospital Corpsman William Charette, who received a Medal of Honor for throwing his body on top of a patient during a grenade attack during the Korean War, has died.

Charette, 79, died Sunday morning at his Lake Wales, Fla., according to the Ludington Daily News. His nephew told the paper that Charette had undergone a couple of surgeries in the last six months.
read more here

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Changing the world of PTSD with weapon of words

My readers know that Friday is my play day with my husband. It's the one day of the week he knows he can drag me away from the PC for at least 5 hours. It's been that way for years. While the day may change because of events that come up on the weekend or meeting friends, one day is our's. We are still relatively new to Florida after 4 years and considering the size of this state. There is so much to see besides Disney, Universal and Sea World. We do go to those parks often but we also enjoy taking in nature here. Yesterday was one of those days when the theme parks just wouldn't fill what our need was.

I opened up the link to things to do here and found the Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales. Jack wanted to do something natural and walk so it was a perfect fit. I had never heard of Edward Bok before so I was fascinated with this man from the Netherlands who became an American icon. He wanted to change the world through his words. He held onto what his Grandmother said when he was young, "Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it."

While he seems to have accomplished this with the sanctuary, he also did this with the power of words. He knew words were a weapon to use against wrong thinking.

"Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it."

Edward William Bok (1863-1930), American editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was born in Den Helder, Netherlands, on October 9, 1863. He came to the United States at the age of six. Educated in the Brooklyn Public Schools, he became an office boy with the Western Union Telegraph Company in 1876.

Continuing his education at a night school, he began working for Henry Holt and Company, publishers, in 1882. Two years later he became associated with Charles Scribner's Sons, publishers, eventually becoming advertising manager. He was the editor of The Brooklyn Magazine from 1884 to 1887. In 1886, he founded The Bok Syndicate Press, which led to the offer of the editorship of The Ladies' Home Journal in 1889.

Under his management, The Ladies' Home Journal became one of the most successful and influential publications in America and the first magazine in the world to have 1 million subscribers. Bok was a champion of social causes, a pioneer in the field of public sex education, prenatal education and childcare, and an environmental activist in public health and the saving of Niagara Falls. After 30 years as editor he retired in 1919.

A year later he published The Americanization of Edward Bok, which won the Gold Medal of the Academy of Political and Social Science and the Joseph Pulitzer Prize for best autobiography.

In addition to his autobiography, Bok published the following:

Successward (1895)
The Young Man & The Church (1896)
Her Brother's Letters (1906)
Why I Believe in Poverty (1915)
Two Persons (1922)
A Man from Maine (1923)
Twice Thirty (1925)
Dollars Only (1926)
You: A Personal Message (1926)
America Give Me a Chance (1926)
Perhaps I Am (1928)

A noted philanthropist, Bok established the following awards and civic enterprises:

In 1921, he created The Philadelphia Award of $10,000 a year to the citizen of Philadelphia or vicinity who, during the preceding year, performed or brought to its culmination an act or contributed a service calculated to advance the best interests of the community of Philadelphia.
In 1921, he founded The Philadelphia Forum.
In 1922, he founded the Citizens' Award of $1,000 to be awarded each year, to each of the policemen, firemen and park guards of the city of Philadelphia who performed an outstanding act of service, or contributed to the efficiency of the service during the preceding calendar year.
In 1923, he created The American Peace Award, providing $100,000 for the best practicable plan by which the United States might co-operate with other nations to achieve and preserve the peace of the world, one half to be paid upon the acceptance of the plan by a selected jury, and the balance upon its acceptance by the Senate. The plan submitted by Doctor Charles Herbert Levermore of the New York Peace Society won the award.
In 1923, he created The Harvard Advertising Awards bestowed by the Harvard University School of Business Administration for raising the standard of advertisements in American and Canadian periodicals and for the intelligent conception and execution of plans for advertising.
In 1925, Bok created The American Foundation, Incorporated, (later known as The Bok Tower Gardens Foundation, Inc.)
In 1926, Bok founded, with others, The Philadelphia Commission, devoted to the beautification of the metropolitan area at Philadelphia. He also established the Woodrow Wilson Professorship of Literature of Princeton University by endowment, and in 1929 he established "The Woodrow Wilson Chair" at Williams College by endowment.
On February 1, 1929, President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the Sanctuary in Lake Wales, Florida, that Bok had made as a gift for visitation by the American people in gratitude for the opportunity they had given him.
Edward William Bok died in Lake Wales within sight of the Tower on January 9, 1930, and is now buried at the base of the tower.

I've spent a lifetime believing in the power of words. I am a simple person, drop out of two colleges because I was already making more money working than I would have with the degree I was going for. Thinking far ahead was not one of my gifts. Like most, I lived for the moment when I was young. My passion was writing but my education was sorely lacking exposure to the great writers throughout history. One of my aunts gave me a collection of the classics and I devoured them. As a Greek Orthodox, most of the services were in Greek and I didn't understand the language so it came natural for me to simply study the Bible so that I would know what I was missing. Over the years I wore out many of them. Then came the other religious books, spiritual books and history books. This is all part of the basis of what I believe and the foundation of the work I do on line.

Had it not been for communication, civilization would not have survived. Could you imagine this world if no one was interested in communicating with other nations and learning their language in order to share information while they were establishing trade with them? There is unlimited power in words. We can do just as much harm to others with verbal abuse as we can with physical abuse. We can heal with the power of words and offer hope, create a basis for peace as well as a cause for war.

When it come to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, those words seem to create a barrier to admitting there has been a wound and that wound is creating havoc inside the wounded. To have a "wound" there is no shame in that but to have a "disorder" conjures and image of being defective, being weak among the strong, being less than among the mighty. When you take apart the first three words you see "after trauma comes stress" and then creates disorder in a person's life. Where is the shame in that?

The stigma of PTSD is an artificial excuse to ignore it and I truly believe it is because other people have the notion they are just as likely to be wounded as the next man or woman exposed to trauma and they are afraid of it. As with AIDS, they feared it when the diagnosis was new and lived afraid of those who had it. They knew that it could have been them at the same time they were pointing fingers and blaming the person with it. This stigma ended when it was discovered children were developing it without sexual contact, people who had transfusions because of surgery had it because the blood was not screened for it. Things changed because humanity understood what it was, how it was transferred from human to human. Yet AIDS is fairly new in comparison to PTSD. So why is it that an illness that has been afflicting humans since the beginning of time is still seen as something to be ashamed of?

Again it gets back to the power of words. The attitude communicated to those who have been wounded is an assault against them. They are still told to "suck it up" and "get over it" and when they can't, they are blamed for what PTSD is doing inside of them. The people pointing the fingers and dismissing PTSD are the ones who should be ashamed they are so uninformed, so uneducated and judgmental, they are unable to learn. It is disgraceful in a day and age where communication with the entire world is at our fingertips, they still prefer to live in the dark ages oblivious to the cause of PTSD. The desire to learn is absent from them.

In society we find them condemning the wounded and blaming them. Yet we still need to look to the fact PTSD has been in the shadows of society since the beginning of civilization. There are people across every nation living next door to others with PTSD, yet their neighbors have no idea. There are police officers and emergency responders still out there responding to our emergencies, taking care of us with PTSD. There are successful people with PTSD as well as the homeless. There are people who moved in next door to us after they lost everything in a hurricane, tornado or mudslides or fires, yet we will never know it.

This is from the National Institute of Mental Health
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Approximately 7.7 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 3.5 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have PTSD.

PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood, but research shows that the median age of onset is 23 years.

The disorder also frequently occurs after violent personal assaults such as rape, mugging, or domestic violence; terrorism; natural or human-caused disasters; and accidents.
It said that 19% of Vietnam veterans had PTSD but that figure is wrong. The numbers were much greater than most experts had predicted. By 1978, 500,000 were diagnosed according to a study done by the DAV. By 1986, 117,000 had committed suicide. Over 300,000 became homeless. In 2007, a report came out that over 18 months, from 2006 into 2007, another 148,000 Vietnam Veterans were diagnosed with PTSD. The VA has also stated they are seeing veterans of the Gulf War, Korean War and WWII veterans being diagnosed with PTSD.

The words of "normal reaction to abnormal events" do more to paint a picture of being a human exposed to trauma than any other words we could possibly use. No one is untouched by trauma or unchanged by the events in their lives. Each one of us react to them differently and the wound does not come in a one size fits all any more than any wound does. With combat the warriors develop it and so do the civilians exposed to it. We need to understand there is nothing normal in wars or combat operations. We do not walk outside our homes with machine guns knowing that the next moment may be our last moment on earth. We do not train to be able to kill. We do not train to be able to obliterate other humans on a daily basis as part of going to college to learn how to succeed in business. They do. What they are not trained to do is change from human to machine without emotion. They are not trained to freeze out everything that makes them human and then unfreeze all of it when it is no longer necessary for them to endure it.

If we place the shame of PTSD on those who still want to deny it, then the stigma of being wounded evaporates. If you hear someone say that PTSD is not real, is the fault of the wounded or any other ignorant statement, stop them by telling them they are an embarrassment to society and should be ashamed of themselves.

Bok knew the power of words and used what his Grandmother said to build the rest of his life with. Can we do the same when it comes to this? Can we make the world a more beautiful place for the wounded by using the right words at the right time and shutting the mouths of the fools who refuse to understand what PTSD is? Can we do that when they try to cut the wound deeper by attacking the wounded? Can we make sure that we change the world at least for those who have been changed by events in this world of our's? Can we provide them a sanctuary from the fools and help them find the healing place they need?

Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington