Showing posts with label Louisiana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Louisiana. Show all posts

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Veteran with cancer cannot get treatment from VA because of state borders and COVID-19

Veteran and family plead for hospitals to treat his stage 4 cancer

Apr 10, 2020
"I was informed that my father had no scheduled appointment. Even all of the CT scans, his chemo, everything had been canceled, but no one had contacted us," said Barron who's been trying to contact the VA Hospital in Shreveport to see if her father's treatments could be moved to that location.
BENTLEY, La. (KALB)- 64-year-old Byron Walters has been to Vietnam and back, serving his country in the United States Army.

He's currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic with the rest of Louisiana on top of stage 4 cancer.

"I have prostate cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer and liver cancer," said Walters as he explained that he's due for his fourth round of chemotherapy.

The VA Hospital in Houston, Texas has been treating him since he found out about his cancer and that's where he was scheduled to travel for his next appointment this month. He's been told that his treatments should be done no more than 3 weeks apart.
read it here

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Young veteran helped homeless 83 year old Korean War veteran

Local veteran helps find home for fellow 83-year-old Korean War vet

KNOE 8 News
By Reggie Wells
Jan 31, 2020

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A local army veteran helped another vet who had been homeless for years. Drew Baker and Arthur Calhoun first met when Calhoun was looking for a warm place to rest in a local restaurant.

“It was quite a shivering cold day that evening," Baker says. "He had came in trying to seek some shelter. It was warm. There were a couple individuals offering to give him a ride home, but Mr. Calhoun explained he didn't have a home. He was living on the street."

After meeting the 83-year-old Korean War veteran a second time on the Louisville Bridge, Baker knew he had to find a way to help him.

Baker gave Calhoun food, opened up his home for a few nights in his home and even helped get Calhoun admitted into the hospital to check on some injuries.

"I put Mr. Calhoun in a hotel for a couple of nights until the Northeast Louisiana Veteran's Home could take him in and get everything processed."

"This guy has saved my neck a time or two,” Calhoun says. “He don't look much like a hero, but he's a pretty good friend."
read it here

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Airmen who commit suicide are 'chickensh*t' according to uninformed Commander

Air Force commander apologizes for calling airmen who commit suicide 'chickensh*t'

Task and Purpose
Jared Keller
August 05, 2019
Col. Michael A. Miller, commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, speaks to airmen following a 1.2 mile run on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 (U.S. Air Force photo)
The commander of one of the Air Force's two B-52 Stratofortress wings issued an apology to airmen on Monday after referring to airmen who take their own lives as "chickenshit" during an event stand down event he ordered to focus on suicide prevention within his unit.

Col. Michael A. Miller, commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, reportedly commented that "killing yourself is a chickenshit way to go" during a 1.2 mile "resiliency day" run with personnel on Friday.

"Let me say that my choice of words was poor," Miller said in a statement on Monday. 'I referenced the act of suicide in a manner that was insensitive and inappropriate."

However, that one sentence doesn't capture the context or intent of the message I was trying to relay," he continued. "Battling through pain to ask for help is one of the most courageous things we can do. Asking for help is hard, so we need to build that sense of family where it is acceptable to ask for help from each other." Miller's comments, first described by airmen in social media the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, came days after Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein ordered all units to take a day before Sept. 15 to focus on suicide prevention.
read it here

Funny thing about words. If he did not think it, he would not have said it. Seems more like he made the choice to remain uniformed in uniform.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

PTSD on Trial: Louisiana Walmart

Attorney: Veteran who threatened to ‘shoot up’ a Walmart suffers from PTSD

Houma Today Louisiana
Dan Copp
January 19, 2019

An attorney representing man who was accused of threatening to “shoot up” a Thibodaux store last month said his client suffers from PTSD and is a decorated Army war veteran.

Louis Albarado, 68, Thibodaux, was charged with terrorizing following an incident at the Walmart at 410 North Canal Blvd., the Thibodaux Police Department said.

Shortly after 2:09 p.m. Dec. 23, the suspect entered the store and became irate after someone took his grocery cart while he wasn’t looking, police said.

Albarado then accused several customers of taking the cart and made threats about “shooting up the store,” police said.

The post-traumatic stress disorder his attorney says he is suffering from is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it, according to the website.

After management escorted Albarado out of the store, police were called to the scene and arrested him.

During questioning Albarado admitted he had planned to retrieve a gun from his vehicle and shoot the person who took his cart, police said. A search of the suspect’s vehicle led police to a loaded .44 magnum handgun.

Albarado’s attorney, Eric Santana, said there is a lot more to the story.

Santana said his client’s experiences in Vietnam have left him suffering from multiple mental health and physical issues and the VA hospital classifies him as “100 percent disabled.” Albarado is a decorated war veteran whose life has been thrust into chaos since his arrest, Santana said.

According to military records submitted by Santana, Albarado received a National Defense Service medal, a Vietnam Service medal, two Bronze Stars and other medals and commendations in the 1970s.
read more here

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Iraq veteran, then police officer, denied surgery?

Army veteran and St. Louis police officer needs back surgery; denied by health insurance
Author: Rachel Menitoff
August 16, 2018
"I can't play with them. I can't wrestle with them. I can't throw the ball with them. I just can't do those things. This gives me a chance to do that. At least, it gives me a solution going forward."

ST. LOUIS — He was a patriot, fighting in Iraq, then became a police officer. He has numerous awards and medals, but he’s also a dad.

He can't even play with his sons because his pain is so severe, pain he got serving his country and community.

Timothy Nolan has had back problems throughout his life. He has a degenerative condition. And he was used to a lot of physical work as an infantry team leader in Iraq, and most recently as a St. Louis police officer.
read more here

UPDATE from Louisiana, another veteran is fighting after he served in the Navy and then as a Sheriff's Deputy!

Vietnam veteran files federal lawsuit against Louisiana VA office director
Lafayette Daily Advertiser
Leigh Guidry
August 17, 2018

A veteran in Lake Charles filed a federal lawsuit against the Louisiana Veterans Affairs regional office director.

George Jackson, 76, lives in Lake Charles with his wife, Helene. On Thursday, she and a veterans advocate went to the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana to file the lawsuit against Mark Bologna.

Jackson, the plaintiff, stayed at their home.

"I'm here because my husband, George Jackson, can't be here," she told media Friday.

Jackson is considered tetraplegic, having lost the use of his limbs. He can still move them slightly but he has no strength. He splits his time between a hospital bed in his home and his electric wheelchair.

The Lake Charles native served 30 years in the U.S. Navy, climbing ladders, crouching, lifting heavy things and performing other jobs on ships. He was aboard wooden ships used to sweep rivers for mines during two tours in Vietnam.

"Most of my job was on ships ... 30 years of going up and down ladders," he said.

But he doesn't regret joining the Navy, he said. It was always his dream.

"That's the only thing I really wanted to do," Jackson said. "I watched Navy movies on TV. In first grade, I looked out the window, and I always wanted to be a sailor."

So he joined once he was old enough "and I put 31 years in the military."
read more here

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

DD214 said US Citizen, Vietnam Veteran was deported anyway?

One thing to keep in mind when you watch the video. Deported veterans committing suicide, are not counted at all...anywhere.

Busted with 267 pounds of pot and a DD214 that says ‘US citizen.' Should this Marine have been deported?
Military Times
By: Tara Copp
1 hour ago

At his 2002 deportation hearing, Martinez said the judge told him he had a case and could probably win, but he’d have to go back to jail to wait for a hearing, which might take two years. Martinez' other option was to be deported.

NUEVO PROGRESO, Mexico ― Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Jose Maria Martinez is not your typical deported immigrant.
In February 2002, five years after Jose Maria Martinez was sentenced to federal prison on drug charges, he was to be released. But immigration agents said his paperwork was incorrect. Two weeks later, he was deported. (Jillian Angeline and Tara Copp/Military Times)

First, he doesn’t want your sympathy. He was busted in 1997 at a South Texas border checkpoint with 267 pounds of marijuana in his car.

“I screwed up, it was bad. It was so bad it pisses me off sometimes,” Martinez said.

He’s an ardent Trump supporter and cheers at the thought of a wall. In our in-person encounter, he made clear that reporters, save for Fox, were purveyors of “fake news.” His personal views on former President Barack Obama landed him in Facebook jail. He takes a hard line on those who are in the U.S. illegally.

To the day he was deported, he thought he was a U.S. citizen.

It was February 2002. He’d just completed five years in federal prison for the drug bust. He’d served his time. Martinez was ready to be released, start over. Instead, immigration agents walked into his holding cell in Oakdale, Louisiana.

“They said they were going to deport me,” Martinez said.
“I took the oath in San Antonio and got on a plane to San Diego,” he said. He was assigned as an infantryman and mortar man and deployed in 1967 to Vietnam with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He and several other Marines started naturalization classes, Martinez said, but then they were pulled into operations.
read more here

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Three Sailors Killed in Crash in Philippine Sea

2 sailors from Florida, 1 from Louisiana die after aircraft crashes in Philippine Sea

Associated Press
November 25, 2017

The U.S. Navy says two sailors from Florida and another from Louisiana died in an aircraft crash in the Philippine Sea.
In a news release, the Navy's 7th Fleet said the families of Lt. Steven Combs and Airman apprentice Bryan Grosso of Florida and airman Matthew Chialastri of Louisiana were notified of their deaths following the Wednesday crash.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fort Hood soldier found dead on post on Christmas Eve

Fort Hood soldier found dead on post on Christmas Eve
Army Times
By: Meghann Myers
December 28, 2016

A 21-year-old private was found unresponsive in a Fort Hood, Texas, home on Dec. 24, according to an Army release.

Pvt. Paige Elizabeth Briles, from Kaplan, Louisiana, was a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to a warrior transition unit, the release said.
read more here

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gary Sinise Honors WWII Veterans "They saved the world from tyranny"

Actor Gary Sinise flies veterans to New Orleans' WWII Museum
KSLA 12 News
October 28th 2016
Two dozen World War II veterans from Texas and Louisiana joined Gary Sinise this week for the flight of their lives.
(Source: KSLA News 12)
Two dozen World War II veterans from Texas and Louisiana joined Gary Sinise this week for the flight of their lives.

The actor best known for his roles on "Criminal Minds:Beyond Borders" and as Lieutenant Dan in "Forrest Gump" sent 8 veterans from Tyler, Texas, and 16 veterans from Shreveport, La., to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans on Wednesday.

"They deserve everything. They saved the world from tyranny," Sinise said Wednesday before their flight out of Shreveport Regional Airport. "That was the most horrible conflict in human history. and the amount of devastation that happened during that time in the world is unthinkable."
read more here

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Texas Rangers Offer No Answers in Shooting Death of Lyle Blanchard

Navy veteran's shooting death still under investigation
Killeen Daily Herald
Jacob Brooks
October 22, 2016

Lyle P. Blanchard Courtesy photo Lyle P. Blanchard, 59, of Harker Heights, is seen in recent years. Blanchard was shot and killed on Aug. 30 by Bell County Sheriff's deputy Cpl. Shane Geers after a failed traffic stop and pursuit.
The Texas Rangers are still investigating a shooting death involving a Bell County deputy that claimed the life of a Navy veteran on the outskirts of Harker Heights nearly two months ago, the county district attorney said late Friday.

The case stems from an Aug. 30 shooting, in which Cpl. Shane Geers, with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, shot and killed Lyle P. Blanchard on the private drive leading to Blanchard’s home after a failed traffic stop and short pursuit.
read more here

Monday, August 22, 2016

Veterans Home Flooded, Hearts Flooded With Loving Response

Veterans forced to relocate during the flood
By Kevin Frey, Reporter
Monday, August 22nd 2016

"My heart is just so full, I don't know what to say -- but thank you all so much," said Ethel Comeaux to the volunteers. "There is people who care, people do care. This is the evidence of what people do for you."
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A handful of veterans in Baton Rouge were forced to relocate after the storm left their home flooded.

The owners of the Magnolia Care Center on Florida Boulevard are now working to get their veteran's home back up and running after it took on approximately 5 feet of water. The flood left a destructive path at the center, causing floor tiles to crack, walls to become waterlogged, and mold to grow.

Byron and Ethel Comeaux have owned the center for the last 15 years. Never once has it flooded.

The facility serves as a home to around 10 veterans. All of them suffer from either bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a result, they need constant and intensive care.

"It's very, very hard for changes to happen to them -- so when you have a change, they don't understand the change," said Byron Comeaux, who is himself an army veteran.

Last week, however, one of those changes came in the blink of an eye as the waters rose around the facility.

"It was coming fast. I told Mr. Comeaux, if we waited 20 minutes, we would not have been able to leave," said Donald Crochet, a resident of the facility.

The residents were relocated to a home in north Baton Rouge. Many of the residents are counting down the days until they can go back home to Florida Boulevard.
read more here

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Officer Matthew Gerald Laid to Rest

Slain Baton Rouge Police Officer and Veteran Mourned at Funeral
ABC News
Jul 22, 2016

Matthew Gerald, one of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sunday, was mourned today at his funeral by family, friends and colleagues.

A Louisiana State Trooper makes his way to a funeral services for police office
Gerald, 41, a husband and father, was an Army and Marine veteran who completed three tours of duty in Iraq. He had been serving the Baton Rouge Police Department for less than a year when he was fatally shot.
read more here

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Baton Rouge Lost 3 In The Line of Duty

Baton Rouge shooting: 3 officers dead; shooter was Missouri man, sources say

By Steve Visser
July 17, 2016

(CNN)The shooter who killed three law enforcement officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday was a Missouri man who launched a deadly rampage on his 29th birthday, police sources said.

Gavin Long, who was born on July 17, 1987, was the man who gunned down officers before he was killed in a gunbattle with other officers responding to the shootings.

Two Baton Rouge police officers -- ages 41 and 49 -- died, said Police Chief Carl Dabadie. The gunman also killed a 45-year-old sheriff's deputy and critically wounded a 41-year-old deputy who is "fighting for his life," said East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux.

Another wounded deputy and police officer have non-life-threatening wounds, law officers said.
read more here

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Veteran Has New Mission After Attempted Suicide, Saving Others

Suicide Attempt: A Soldier's Story
ABC News 25
By Jillian Corder, Reporter
Friday, May 27th 2016

"There's no way that God allowed me to live through this if there is a God - which I know there is - that he would not want me to be helping other people when he saved me through that," Matthew Richard
After struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder , or PTSD, for years, Matthew Richard attempted to take his own life in March. (Source: Jillian Corder/KPLC)
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Louisiana, and every 13 hours, someone dies by their own hand, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nationwide, stories of veterans falling victim to mental health disorders are all too common.

After struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder , or PTSD, for years, Matthew Richard, 30, attempted to take his own life in March.

"So I looked in the mirror and I said 'God I'm going to countdown,'" Richard said, describing the moment he decided to take his own life, "I said 3, and I took it off safety. I said '3, 2, 1' and I said 'God' and I shot."

To understand what led Richard to this moment, he starts from the beginning of his military career. He joined the Marine Corps in 2005, following in the footsteps of his godfather.

"I told myself since I was 6 or 7 years old that I was going to be a Marine because of him," he said.

Just two years in the service, tragedy struck when Richard was overseas in Ramadi, Iraq.

"I ended up accidentally shooting a best friend of mine over there when we got back from patrol," said Richard.

Richard's gun discharged, killing Lance Corporal Steven Chavez. He went to the brig for a year for negligent homicide and received a bad conduct discharge, meaning his military benefits were stripped. Richard was no longer eligible for help from the VA, forcing him to deal with PTSD on his own.

"I was struggling mentally, physically, and spiritually for a long time after that dealing with it," said Richard.

Richard was in a place he never thought he'd be.

"I've had four or five senior Marines who have come back from war and shot themselves over divorce or other things, and I told myself, 'I'll never do that.'"
read more here

KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Louisiana Lawmaker Wants PTSD Service Dog Registry to Stop Frauds

Louisiana lawmaker files bill to create service dog regulations
KPLC 7 News
Liz Koh
Wednesday, April 20th 2016

Service dogs are often used to help disabled individuals or those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

(Source: Liz Koh/KPLC)
Like anything else, there are those looking to take advantage of the animals even if they don't need them.

Senator Jonathan Perry of Kaplan has filed a bill that aims to crack down on service dog fraud.

Joshua Mercer is an Army veteran who suffers from PTSD. He got his service dog Chloe about a year ago.

"I don't know what I'd do without her," said Mercer.

Chloe earned her service dog patch of honor by going through extensive training.

"She went through about three rounds of testing and that includes over 100 hours of public access training using various situations that I would encounter in my day-to-day life and she rocked it," he explained.

Those who take advantage of the system skip training altogether. Currently, there is no way to officially identify service dogs. Since there are no regulations for the industry, it's as easy as buying a service vest and then claiming your pet as a service dog.

"Having been in the military, it's very prideful. It's hard to admit when you have a disability or an issue and (it's) very humbling," said Mercer. "I think it's a horrible thing to take advantage of that and to pretend that you're somebody that you're not. It's sad."

If it passes, Perry's bill will require the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs to create a service dog registry.

The proposal also states service dog owners should be required to obtain a doctor's note and carry identification.
read more here

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Vietnam Veteran Shocked to Hear He's Dead

Veteran Declared Dead, but Alive 
By Caitlin O'Neal 
Published 03/02 2016
"February the fourth, the VA sent out a letter stating that I had died, which came as a great shock to me. After that, it's been a struggle to try to get the VA to recognize I'm not quite dead yet. And that my VA benefits need to be reinstated," explains Willingham.
FARMERVILLE, La.-- John Willingham, a Vietnam Veteran has been receiving benefits from Veterans' Affair's, including supplemental pay for his wife. Early last month, Willingham contacted the disabled American Veterans, his legal representative to the VA to inform them that his wife had passed away.
"She was an invalid the last two, two and a half years of her life. That I needed to stop the pay, the supplemental pay," says John Willingham, Veteran. read more here

Friday, February 26, 2016

Two Vietnam Veterans Interred With Huge "Family"

‘They did have family’: More than 100 attend Slidell burial for 2 Vietnam veterans without relatives
New Orleans Advocate
Sara Pagones
February 25, 2016
Advocate Staff photo by Scott Threlkeld
Members of Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle group salute during an interment ceremony
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell. Claudie 
Ray Shiftlett and John Henry Huber III, both of whom served in the Army during the 
Vietnam war era, had their ashes interred during a ceremony attended by about 150 people.
No grieving relatives gathered at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell on Thursday to share reminiscences or eulogize the two men who were laid to rest under vivid blue skies as American flags fluttered in the morning breeze.

John Henry Huber III, of Metairie, and Claudie Ray Shiflett, of Slidell, had no next of kin to mourn them. But the two Vietnam veterans, both of whom died late last year, were honored by a different kind of family as their ashes were interred: fellow veterans who turned out in large numbers to bear witness to their service to the nation.

Cemetery staff had reached out to Ken Kimberly, chairman of the St. Tammany Parish President’s Veterans & Military Affairs Advisory Council, asking him to spread the word about the ceremony to military and veterans groups.

More than 100 people answered the call, including members of the American Legion, the Buffalo Soldiers, Louisiana Women Veterans and residents who had learned about the interment on social media.
read more here

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Missing Veteran's Body Found in Red River

Family of veteran found in river offers advice in dealing with PTSD 
Posted by Troy Washington
Updated: Feb 21, 2016

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The body of a Bossier City man who was reported missing earlier this month was recovered from the Red River Sunday.

The body of 33-year-old Bernard Rozell Hall
was found Sunday morning in the Red River
(Source: Bossier City Police Department)

The Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol found the body of 33-year-old Bernard Rozell Hall around 7:00 a.m.

Police say the Bernard Hall's body was found in the river near the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway scenic overlook area, just north of McDade Street.

Hall was reported missing on February 10 by family members.

"Anyone out there going through this or dealing with this let it be known, post traumatic stress disorder is a serious illness," said Pamela Hall.
read more here

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather

Monday, February 15, 2016

Family Searching for Missing Iraq Veteran in Louisiana

Family of missing Bossier City war veteran wants answers 
by Troy Washington 
Feb 14, 2016 

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A Bossier City family wants answers five days after the mysterious disappearance of 33-year-old Bernard Hall, an Iraqi war veteran.
"Police tell us that a blood trail led to the river, but we're still hopeful that he's out there somewhere,” said Hall’s mother, Pamela Hall. His car was found abandoned on the banks of the Red River. Hall was last seen Tuesday and reported missing on Wednesday. 

"Bernard, you have a loving family and we want you home," said Pamela Hall. Bossier and Caddo Parish dive teams have been searching for Hall who, according to his family, suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bi-polar disorder and Schizophrenia. "He's missing and we have no idea where he is, we are hurting," added Pamela Hall. read more here

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Vietnam Veteran, Retired General Charles "Hondo" Campbell Passed Away

'Hondo' Campbell, former FORSCOM boss, Vietnam vet, dies 
Army Times
By Michelle Tan
February 9, 2016
Commander of a Special Operations A-Detachment in Vietnam, then-2nd Lt. Charles "Hondo" Campbell sets out on a mission in Vietnam in 1971.
(Photo: Army)

Retired Gen. Charles "Hondo" Campbell, former commanding
general of Forces Command, died Feb. 8, 2016.
(Photo: Army photo)
Retired Gen. Charles “Hondo” Campbell, former commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, has died.

Campbell served in the Army for 40 years, retiring in June 2010. He was the last continuously serving general officer who saw action in Vietnam to leave active duty, according to information from the Army.

He died late in Shreveport on Monday after a lengthy illness, according to The Shreveport Times in Louisiana, Campbell’s hometown. He was 68.

Tributes and condolences were pouring in on social media Tuesday, with many calling the man who went by the nickname “Hondo” a great soldier and leader. While the origin of that famous moniker is somewhat obscure, it reportedly is related to the character in the Louis L’Amour western novel by the same name, a role played by John Wayne in the movie version of the classic tale, according to information from the Army.
read more here