Showing posts with label Maine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maine. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2020

MOH MSG Gary Gordon's grave vandalized in Maine

“American Hero” veteran’s grave vandalized. Police need our help in finding out who did it.

Law Enforcement Today
by: Kyle S. Reyes
May 23, 2020

LINCOLN, MAINE – It’s exactly the kind of story we don’t want to be reporting on Memorial Day Weekend.
Police are looking for help in finding whoever is responsible for desecrating the grave of an “American hero”.

They put up a Facebook post about the damage this week:

“MSG Gary Gordon is not only a hometown hero for Lincoln, he’s an American Hero!!” they said.

The vandalism to his gravestone is believed to have occurred sometime within the last 2 weeks.

“There has been talk that this may have been done as an additional honor, where Medal of Honor recipients have gold, inlaid to the engravings and that this is still a work in progress,” they said.

But if that’s the case, they said the family was never notified that this was happening.
read it here

Medal of Honor Monday: Army Master Sgt. Gary Gordon

Department of Defense
JULY 1, 2019

If you've ever seen the movie "Black Hawk Down," then you know the story of Army Master Sgt. Gary Gordon. Gordon and his comrade, Army Sgt. 1st Class Randall Shughart, made the most difficult decision service members could ever make — to give their lives for their brothers in arms. This Medal of Honor Monday, we honor Gordon's life and sacrifice during a 1993 humanitarian crisis in Somalia.
Gary Gordon was born Aug. 30, 1960, and grew up in Lincoln, Maine. At the age of 18, he joined the Army and was a combat engineer for many years before being selected for the elite Special Forces group known as Delta Force.
read it here

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

"22" is not honorable for Memorial Day or any other day!

Dishonoring their lives on Memorial Day

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 19, 2020

If you hate it when I won't like this one! My anger is directed toward all the people out there participating in spreading the lie that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. If you are one of them, doing your pushups, thinking that you are helping, you are not. You may feel good about doing it, but the only people you are helping are the ones collecting the money you raise for them!

I have been fighting that ear worm since the report came out and it is time for more people to do whatever it takes to stop this bullshit! The known cases have gone up since suicide awareness started. It has only made them aware of other veterans giving up when they need to be made aware that their lives can be a hell of a lot better than they are aware of!
York police raise suicide awareness with 22 push-ups per day
YORK, Maine — The York Police Department has entered a challenge to complete 22 push-ups for 22 days to bring awareness to veteran and law enforcement suicides. An estimated 22 veterans die by suicide each day, according to a 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That has given rise to a national movement to bring awareness to veteran suicide and those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
York residents are encouraged to film themselves and participate in the push-up challenge using the hashtag #22yorkmaine on social media, according to the department’s Facebook page
I am a fan of the police officers but not this stunt!

Fact on veterans committing suicide
Report came from limited data from just 21 states.

From page 15

Are we preventing suicides or preventing the truth? Shouldn't facts matter? Should the fact that suicide is contagious matter? Telling a veteran, or anyone else, that there are a lot more taking their own lives, does nothing to help them want to stay alive. You are robbing them of hope and a reason to seek help to heal.

Good motives do not replace good results. If the did then you would not be seeing an increase in suicides among law enforcement, but none of you are doing pushups for your own house!
Police Officer Suicide Facts
At least 228 police officers died by suicide in 2019, Blue H.E.L.P. says. That's more than were killed in the line of duty. USA Today

I have a list of names on this site because they were not just numbers. Officers doing pushups for a fictitious number of veterans committing suicide does not make sense when their own numbers have been going up. How many more officers have to take their own lives in the parking lots of Police stations before you guys wake up? 

What will it take for you to grasp the fact that if you #BreakTheSilence about your own pain, you will help them? What if instead of hearing how many others have committed suicide, you turned it around and told them #TakeBackYourLife so that they would want to fight to heal instead of not trusting you to listen to them? They trust you with their lives on the job but they cannot trust you with their pain? WTF? 

Any idea of the fact that the people who started all this push up bullshit just decided one day to "do something" about it without finding out what needed to be done? MY GOD! I did the first report on veterans committing suicide back in 2007!
I admire police officers because there are many times you have saved my life! I survived traumatic events that could have killed me 10 times and most of the time, you guys saved me. It breaks my heart to see so many of you take your own lives because of the jobs you have but when there is still this massive failure going on when it comes to saving the people you risk your lives with, there is no excuse. It is even more infuriating to see all of you participating in this stunt that has been a failure and spreads pain.

If you really want to make a difference, learn some facts and then support the groups doing what they can to actually PREVENT SUICIDES!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Suicidal Veteran called crisis line from Texas...Police dispatched to veteran in Maine?

I-Team: Suicidal Texas veteran left waiting as crews are dispatched to a house in Maine

by Jon Chrisos
February 24th 2020
In this case, the text actually came from someone in Texas who's now using the number Greg used when he lived in El Paso years ago.
NATIONWIDE (WGME) - The I-Team discovers a nationwide problem with the suicide hotline intended to help our heroes and their families when they're in crisis.

Every day hundreds of veterans call or text the Veterans Crisis Line.

VCL is a key piece of the federal government's suicide prevention efforts, but when minutes matter we found a flaw leaving emergency responders struggling to find the person crying out for help.

"It was just before midnight, we were in bed sleeping," said Rebecca Cumming's who got a terrifying wake-up call when two police officers showed up at her home in Windham.

Cummings is a former solder, Army wife, and now military mom.

"I honestly thought they were here to talk about my son who's away at basic training. If the police are at your door in the middle of the night and you didn't call them and there's nothing going on it's usually pretty bad news," she said.

But instead, according to a police report obtained by the I-Team, police were dispatched to the home by the Veterans Crisis Line "for the report of a suicide attempt."

The text to the hotline suggested "the person was feeling suicidal, had a plan, and wanted to act on that plan tonight."
read it here

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Converted cargo trailer, called Veterans Emergency Temporary Shelter giving shelter to homeless veterans

Boothbay veterans create mobile shelter for homeless vets

NBC News Center Maine
Author: Don Carrigan
January 1, 2020

BOOTHBAY, Maine — As more than 100 people gathered for a New Year’s Day breakfast at the American Legion Hall, two veterans and Legion members used the event to introduce a new project to help find shelter for homeless veterans.
It’s a converted cargo trailer, called Veterans Emergency Temporary Shelter -- VETS for short. It’s the design of Vietnam combat veteran Ed Harmon, built by him and fellow Legion member Arthur Richardson, an Air Force vet. Harmon says the trailer is insulated, has heat, lights, microwave, refrigerator, and even a commode. In short, he says, a comfortable and safe temporary place for homeless veterans to live until more permanent housing can be found.

“It’s a temporary solution, and that’s what we need is that temporary time, so people can work on finding a space for veterans to be housed. Harmon says he got the idea after being part of a statewide committee meeting on the problem of homeless vets. Legion Member John Hargraves was also part of that meeting and said there is no question of the need for temporary housing help.
“Basically, at any point in time in Maine there’s a least ten homeless vets in the system who have applied through agencies who don’t have a bed,” Hargraves says.
read it here

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Travis Mills expands to prove veterans are not alone

'You're Not Alone,' Mills Tells Veterans At Suicide Prevention Event

Maine Public Radio
September 17, 2019

Maine Gov. Janet Mills today joined with 30 organizations to call attention to suicide prevention resources for veterans.

Speaking in the State House Hall of Flags, Mills noted that Maine has the highest number of veteran suicides in the Northeast.

“We know that many people, many veterans are suffering, and I want you to know that you’re not alone. Please hear me when I say you are loved, honored, welcomed and not alone,” she said. "In 2016, 29 Maine veterans took their lives. These men and women who faithfully served our state and our nation lost their lives I think needlessly and in a preventable manner. We deeply mourn that loss."

Mills said people needing help can call or text the Veterans Crisis Line or the Maine Crisis Hotline.
read it here

Maine retreat for wounded veterans is ready to expand

The Associated Press
by David Sharp
Monday, September 16th 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A soldier who lost all his limbs after an explosion in Afghanistan and created a retreat to help others like him understands that injuries can run deeper than shattered bones.

So, the Travis Mills Foundation plans to address post-traumatic stress disorder when it embarks on a major expansion of its facility in Rome.

For one week each month, the retreat that opened two years ago will dedicate itself to PTSD recovery by getting participants started in a series called Warrior’s PATHH, operated by a partner. Participants must be willing to commit to the 18-month program that helps veterans recover from the invisible wounds of war.

“There’s no free vacation,” Mills told The Associated Press. “I’ve been able to rebuild myself with true grit and having wonderful people who were there for me. We’re trying to provide a way for them to push forward and to get through it.”

Plans for the $5.4-million expansion, to be unveiled Sunday, also include an addition with a swimming pool and gym equipment, along with the expanded calendar with dozens of weekly PTSD treatment sessions.
read it here

Monday, September 16, 2019

Farmington Firefighter Captain Michael Bell killed in line of duty

Veteran firefighter killed, 6 others injured in Farmington explosion

Posted 9:01 AM Updated 1 min ago

Firefighters were called to the Farmington Falls Road building at about 8:07 a.m. for a smell of propane. The explosion occurred minutes later.

Captain Michael Bell died Monday in an explosion after responding to a gas leak at the LEAP building in Farmington. Photo courtesy town of Farmington

FARMINGTON — A fire captain was killed and eight other people — including six firefighters — were injured Monday morning when a building exploded, apparently due to a propane leak, according to officials.

Captain Michael Bell died Monday in an explosion after responding to a gas leak at the LEAP building in Farmington.

Capt. Michael Bell, 68, a 30-year member of the Farmington Fire Rescue Department and brother of the department’s chief, died in the blast at 313 Farmington Falls Road, according to Stephen H. McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The explosion occurred after firefighters responded to a report of a gas smell shortly after 8 a.m. at the LEAP offices, which had recently been renovated and expanded.

LEAP, which stands for Life Enrichment Advancing People, is a group that provides services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to the nonprofit organization.

Along with the other firefighters, an emergency medical responder and a LEAP employee were injured in the explosion, according to McCausland. Five of the firefighters reportedly suffered serious injuries.

Bell was the second firefighter this year in Maine to be killed in the line of duty, according to reports.

A preliminary investigation indicates the explosion was caused by propane gas, according to Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck Jr., who spoke at a press conference near the fire station on Farmington Falls Road.

Firefighters were called to scene at 8:07 a.m. for a smell of propane, according to McCausland. The explosion occurred minutes later.

The two-story LEAP building and a new addition recently opened and was “flattened,” McCausland wrote in his press release.

Injuries to the victims include burns consistent with a blast, Peck said.

Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell Sr., 62, was among the seriously injured as was LEAP maintenance worker Larry Lord of Jay.

Both were taken by LifeFlight to hospital. The others who were injured were either taken by ground or flown to hospitals, Peck said.

The Bells are part of a firefighting family that included their father, the late Jack Bell who spent nearly 50 years on the department before he died at age 80 in 2009.
read it here

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Airman killed while trying to stop robbery

Airman Shot and Killed While Trying to Stop Armed Robbery

Portland Press Herald, Maine
By Dennis Hoey
18 Mar 2019

A Westbrook native serving in the Air Force was shot and killed Friday night in Arkansas while trying to stop an armed robbery at a convenience store, authorities said.

North Little Rock police said Shawn Mckeough Jr. was killed while trying to stop a robbery at a Valero Big Red convenience store and gas station.
Shawn Mckeough Jr. Photo courtesy NewsCenter Maine
The 23-year-old Mckeough, who graduated from Westbrook High School in 2014, was a senior airman with the Air Force. Police said he was an on active duty and stationed at the Little Rock Air Force Base.

“As a result of the investigation, detectives have learned that two armed suspects entered the location in an attempt to rob the business. The victim in this incident attempted to stop the armed robbery and was fatally shot,” the police department said in a statement Sunday.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Mckeough was pronounced dead at the scene. He apparently was a customer at the time of the robbery.

Sgt. Amy Cooper, spokesman for the North Little Rock Police Department, said in a telephone interview Sunday night that the two robbers – one of whom appears to be a man based on surveillance camera footage – remain at large. The police department is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to their capture.
read more here

Friday, March 15, 2019

Travis Mills, finalist for Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Honor Award

Travis Mills of Maine a finalist for national award honoring courage and sacrifice

Press Herald
March 7, 2019

Mills, a combat-wounded veteran and quadruple amputee, established a foundation and opened a retreat center for veterans in Maine.

Travis Mills has been selected as a finalist for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Honor Award, according to 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine.

Pingree in a statement Thursday said that Mills was one of 20 finalists for the award. Four citizens will be selected to receive the citizens’ honor from living Medal of Honor recipients.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills. Photo by Elise Klysa

“To be selected as a finalist for this national award is a great honor in itself and a fitting one for a veteran who has inspired so many,” Pingree said. 

“Travis Mills’ hard-fought physical recovery after being critically injured by an IED in Afghanistan demonstrates a resilience and inner strength we can learn from.”
read more here

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Maine VA Medical Center shutting down dialysis center?

Vietnam veteran feels displaced by shutdown of Togus VA outpatient dialysis center

Central Maine Kennebec Journal
Abigail Austin
February 2, 2019
According to an official statement from the VA Maine Healthcare System, the shutdown of the outpatient dialysis center is temporary and caused by the unexpected departure of three dialysis nurses. 

Vietnam veteran Ron Wills poses for a photo Friday outside the Togus VA facility in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Abigail Austin
AUGUSTA — “There’s nothing wrong with the new dialysis center,” Vietnam veteran Ron Wills said, “but it’s just not Togus.”

The North Anson resident feels displaced, having received a letter during his dialysis treatment at the Togus VA Medical Center last week stating the outpatient dialysis center was closing. Christine Wills, Ron Wills’ daughter, said her father has been stressed by the transition.

“He went through hell once,” she said. “(He doesn’t) need to go through it again.”

Ron Wills receives dialysis treatment three times a week, each one lasting four to four-and-a-half hours. He first started receiving care at Togus in 2006 after the first of two strokes.

“Ron is on borrowed time,” said Barbara Wills, his wife of 47 years. “I don’t want them to shorten it up for me.”
read more here

Monday, July 16, 2018

Maine Law Enforcement front line on mental health?

Increasingly, Maine police on front lines for mental illness interventions
July 15, 2018
Involuntary committals are up, as are related service calls, forcing a shift in how authorities train for and perform their jobs.
Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce poses for a portrait at the county jail on Thursday. Staff photo by Derek Davis
Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin J. Joyce said calls related to people in crisis are spiking.
Maine is seeing a surge in involuntary committals – cases where people are held for mental health issues against their will – that is changing how police do their jobs.

The number of those committals has risen steadily in the last decade, from 344 in 2009 to 401 last year, an increase of nearly 17 percent. In another measure of mental illness affecting law enforcement and the courts, the number of Mainers found not competent to stand trial has leapt from seven in 2008 to 136 last year.

As state-provided services for the mentally ill dwindle, more front-line intervention work is performed by Maine’s law enforcement community, significantly changing how police train for and perform their jobs.

The number of calls for service that were mental health-related for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office rose from 383 in 2013 to 486 last year, an increase of nearly 27 percent. This year, the pace is continuing to rise, with 278 calls for service through early July, according to figures from the sheriff’s office. And those numbers don’t include calls for other issues – such as domestic violence or a disturbance – that are rooted in mental illness but categorized differently.
read more here

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Vietnam veteran killed protecting kids from deadly driver

Sanford woman charged after deadly hit-and-run at baseball game
June 3rd 2018
Sharrow's car hit a closed gate and she drove back toward the main gate, where she struck Douglas Parkhurst, 68, of West Newfield before speeding away from the scene.

SANFORD (WGME) -- A Sanford woman faces a manslaughter charge after police say she struck and killed a West Newfield man after driving on to the field of a baseball game Friday night.
Carol Sharrow, 51, was arrested after police said she drove a car on to the field at Goodall Park shortly after 7 p.m. Friday.
read more here

Thursday, May 10, 2018

What is wrong with this report? This!

WGME News blew suicide report, no shocker
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 10, 2018

Chock this one up to a powerful story ruined by a reporter not knowing anything about the subject he just called an "emotional plea" to prevent suicides. 

What is wrong with this report? This!
"According to a statistic released by the military, 22 veterans are dying because of suicide every day."
WGME needs a lesson on the difference between the "military" and the "veterans" they just reported on. The DOD=Department of Defense, and they do release a suicide report every quarter, but since reporters stopped covering that, here is the link to the average of 500 service members taking their own lives every year, counted by the military, but not anyone else.

Here is the link to the suicide report from the VA on veterans committing suicide, with the "22 a day" and the simple fact that number came from just 21 states, and limited data.

This is how much this report cost the tax payers.
"The cumulative cost of the State Mortality Data Project has been $46,771.29 as of 11/16/2012; including FY12 expenditures of $35,094.23 and FY13 expenditures of $11,677.06. All cost associated with the State Mortality Data Project are related to state fees for processing and delivery of mortality data."
All that for a report that was not complete.
"To date, data from twenty-one (21) states have been cleaned and entered into a single integrated file containing information on more than 147,000 suicides and 27,062 reported Veterans. In addition to the issues identified above, barriers to full project implementation include inconsistent availability of requested information in all states, barriers to providing non-resident data and sending preference to provide de-identified data due to conflicting interpretations of Social Security laws. Negotiations with states are continuing as we begin requesting more recent years’ data as well as renewing or revising previously completed Data Use Agreements."
What makes this worse, this was on the same report,
"Estimates that the number of suicides among Veterans each day has increased, are based on information provided by 21 states and may not be generalizable to the larger Veteran population. To account for uncertainty in the estimated number of Veterans who have died from suicide each year, confidence intervals were calculated using variability in the percentage of Veterans reported among all suicides in participating states."
Ya, but a reporter told everyone that was the number and that is how all this BS got started, including dopes like me who believed it, instead of reading the report. About a year later, I finally found the report and read it. Then after the first page, I put duct tape on my head to prevent it from exploding! 

So, then we had people who not only went by the headlines, they decided they didn't even need to know anything more about any of this, but deserved millions of dollars in donation for TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING THEY DID NOT EVEN BOTHER TO LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT!

OK, that rant is over. Now back to the story they news crew blew!

Here is the video on Facebook that captures a veteran, Jeff Paradis telling others they are worth living! He mentions "22 a day" as he cries pleading with other veterans to fight for their lives! 

He was visiting one of his buddies at the VA who survived to fight another day!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Fort Campbell Soldier AWOL After Hazing

Maine man charged with military desertion was hazed by team leader, father says
March 23, 2018

Anthony Seeley of Farmington says his son Austin and a fellow recruit were driven to leave their base in Kentucky after being put in dangerous situations by their team leader.
Austin Seeley, 19, of Farmington, third from the right in this group shot, left his Army post at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and was advised by his father to turn himself in to the Franklin County sheriff. Anthony Seeley, Austin's father, a combat veteran, said his son has been hazed and put in unnecessarily dangerous situations by his team leader. Contributed photo
The Farmington soldier who was charged with desertion was being hazed and put in dangerous situations by his team leader when he left his base without permission, his father said.

Pvt. Austin Seeley, 19, and his friend, Noah Fisher, 18, of Boise, Idaho, whose rank was unavailable but who also is enlisted in the Army, left their base, driving from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Maine, and turned themselves in Monday at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office once the military issued a warrant for their arrests.

But that’s not the whole story, said Anthony Seeley, Austin’s father.

During an interview Thursday, Seeley said his son has undergone constant hazing – to the point of physical injury – from his unit’s team leader since he arrived at Fort Campbell in October.
read more here

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Travis Mills focusing on inspirational message at CPAC

Travis Mills Speaks At CPAC In Washington
WABI 5 News
David Abe
February 25, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WABI) - "This is all about inspiring people to do greater things, and to never give up on themselves, and to never quit."

Staff Sargent Mills lost parts of all four limbs after an improvised explosive device went off near him during his third tour in Afghanistan.

After a long recovery, Mills now uses his foundation to bring fellow injured veterans and their families to a retreat in Maine, to experience moments they may have thought were no longer possible.

"Some really monumental moments have happened with some fathers and daughters or some fathers and sons that went kayaking for the first time, or found out they could, you know, go out there and go tubing with their loved ones."

Saturday, Mills spoke on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"I think the biggest problem facing our veterans today, when they get out of the military, is communication breakdown."

His panel, not political, but focused on delivering a message of how people can help veterans transition back into civilian life.
read more here

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Jesse Melanson wasn't the same after Iraq

Family of Richmond man say PTSD, medication factors in shooting death
Central Maine
Keith Edwards
February 24, 2018
Jesse James Melanson, 33, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his four tours of duty with the Army in Iraq and had stopped taking medication, according to a brother, a sister and his ex-wife.

A Richmond man who shot and killed himself earlier this month as he was about to be arrested at his home over allegations of stolen property suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his four tours of duty with the Army in Iraq, where he witnessed his best friend since kindergarten get killed in a mortar attack, according to the man’s family.

The brother, the sister and the ex-wife of the late Jesse Melanson said he was a great father to his two children, that he was hardworking and generous, but also that he wasn’t the same person when he came home from Iraq.

Lisa Melanson said when she talked to her brother last month, he said the medication he took to try to control his PTSD was too strong and was making him sick, so he had stopped taking it. She said she urged him to go to VA Maine Healthcare System-Togus to adjust his medication. He told her he would.
read more here

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Amputee Afghanistan Veteran Happy to Pull The Trigger...on Moose and Hopelessness

For this injured veteran, this year’s moose hunt was more than just a hunt

Bangor Daily News
John Holyoke
September 28, 2017
“So I was like, ‘I’ll just keep moving with it.’ I kind of accepted it. And now I have this opportunity. That’s the way I see it. God saved me for a reason. I get to share my story with everybody.” Zachary Stinson
Zachary Stinson of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, with the moose he shot a on the opening day of the 2017 moose season season in Maine. Stinson, a former Marine, was injured in Marjah, Afghanistan, seven years ago. Gabor Degre BDN
Among the dozens of hunters who visited Gateway Variety in Ashland on Monday morning, one had a story to share that was less about moose and more about life. It was a tale of tragedy, recovery and appreciation. And as Zachary Stinson explained, it’s a story he feels he has learned can make a difference to others.
Stinson is a direct, friendly 28-year-old who drove 15 hours from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, to take part in his own hunt of a lifetime.
Hours after pulling the trigger, Stinson was still excited, eagerly describing the hunt a group of locals helped set up for him.
read more here 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Maine Soldier and Family Assistance Center Specialists Face Pay Cut?

Supporting our veterans is about more than talk

The Hill

Some were forced to give up a job that they describe as a calling because they could no longer afford to pay their bills. Others are hanging on, taking second jobs and facing severe hardship at home.

As a Republican and a Democrat who serve in the state house in the great state of Maine, we spend our days on opposite sides of the aisle.

More often than not, we disagree.

However, we came together today because we believe that some things are more important than party affiliation.

Before we are Democrats, Republicans, or even Mainers — we are Americans. And as Americans, there is no more important issue than supporting our troops.

As Catherine Rampell recently reported in the Washington Post, the workers who are actually supporting our troops are not getting the respect they deserve.

More than 400 men and women across our country make it their mission to support our troops.

Known as Soldier and Family Assistance Center specialists, they are the people who military service members or veterans turn to in crisis — they do whatever it takes to connect them, and their families, with a broad range of legal, medical, financial and psychological services.

In fiscal year 2015 alone, SFACs addressed more than 2.7 million inquiries, referral requests and outreach calls.

We are speaking out for SFACs today because their wages were recently slashed in half by the federal government.
read more here

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Vietnam Veteran's Daughter Wouldn't Take No For Answer From VA--Dad Survived

Veteran's daughter battles VA, gets results


Zach Blanchard 
August 05, 2017 

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – A Vietnam Veteran battling a serious rare bacterial infection at a hospital in Bangor was finally being transferred to a VA Hospital in Boston Saturday.
66-year-old David White from North Carolina was visiting his daughter in Bangor when he fell ill and checked in to St. Joseph Hospital. 

His daughter, Heather Donald, said she struggled with the VA for days to get her father transferred. 

She said doctors told her he needed to see a specialist because the infection could not be treated with antibiotics. 

“It's extremely frustrating,” Donald said. “They're telling me that there's nothing they can do. They don't have space available." Donald took to Facebook, was interviewed by 13 News Now in North Carolina and The Boston Globe. 

She also reached out to Senator Collins Congressman Poliquin’s offices in search of answers. read more here

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The House in the Woods Provides Veterans Solace From Community

Veteran says House in the Woods saved him, hopes it can now help others
Zach Blanchard
July 08, 2017
Lawrence said he was overcome by PTSD after he served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now credits House in the Woods with saving him and wants to do the same for others.
LEE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The House in the Woods, a project aimed at providing military veterans a place of refuge, held its grand opening Saturday.

The project has been the work of the House and Emery families after they both lost their sons in the line of duty.

Sgt. Joel House died in June 2007, and Sgt. Blair Emery died just months later in November. Both served in Iraq.

10 years after their deaths, the families were able to open their facility in Lee thanks to a massive outpouring of local support from individuals and companies.

The lodge-style facility has a large gathering space, commercial kitchen, as well as lodging for guests and staff.

Paul and Dee House founded House in the Woods in the hopes of creating a program that would provide military men and women and their families with a place to escape and experience the outdoors.

“I was lost,” Lawrence McManus said. “It eats away at you.”
read more here

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Staff Sergeant Travis Mills Opens Retreat for Other Wounded Veterans

Quadruple amputee soldier transforms an old Maine country estate into a vacation destination which will give 56 veterans and their families FREE holidays this summer
Daily Mail
By Darren Boyle for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 12:16 EDT, 20 June 2017
Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was blown up on April 10, 2012 in Afghanistan While on patrol, Mills placed his backpack on the IED which exploded He is one of only five solders in Iraq or Afghanistan to survive losing four limbs. His retreat for wounded veterans in Maine will open on Sunday afternoon
According to Mills, the property will open this Sunday following its extensive makeover
Quadruple amputee soldier Travis Mills will open his transformed Maine estate this weekend which will allow 56 veteran families to have free holidays this summer.

Mills, who was a Staff Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne was critically wounded by an improvised explosive device while on patrol on his third tour of Afghanistan on April 10, 2012.

The 16-bedroom mansion in Readfield, Maine will be officially opened by the retired veteran this Sunday.
In 2014, he created the Travis Mills foundation to help fellow veterans and the project was made possible by an incredible fundraising drive. He told People magazine he managed to raise the $2.75 million to restore the historic 11,000 square-foot house.
read more here