Showing posts with label New Jersey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Jersey. Show all posts

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rory Hamill cautionary story about when helpers need help too

When the helpers cannot help

Sarasota Herald Tribune
By Billy Cox
Staff Writer
Posted May 17, 2020

It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was going to happen — emotionally, psychologically, to the public at large — once the coronavirus infections began their roller-coaster ascent in March, igniting shelter-in-place rules. 
SARASOTA — “I began writing at 3:46 in the morning on April 19, 2020. I’ve been drunk on red wine since the previous night. I haven’t slept. I haven’t stopped suffering. My own personal hell has been reignited, in light of present circumstances affecting us all.”

Motivational speaker Rory Hamill was losing altitude. The disabled Marine corporal had been here before, back in 2012, as he sat in his car, contemplated his gun, round chambered. Thoughts of his children pulled him back from the brink.

Hamill swerved from the abyss into public service, promoting his own resilience as an example for others. He was determined to keep a record of that journey, even amid the downward spiral of gravity.

“This pandemic,” Hamill pressed on last month, “although viral in nature, alludes to what happens to us as human beings, when we are stripped of our outlets and are deprived of our ability to socialize.”

When the news of Hamill’s suicide rippled out of New Jersey last week, the loss scattered shock waves across many of the 45,000 nonprofits dedicated to supporting America’s veterans. Hamill’s record still lingers in cyberspace, through videos, newspaper articles, a “60 Minutes” interview, and exhortations on his website:

“In light of my injuries, I learned that helping others, helps myself. No obstacle is impassable; by endurance, we conquer.”

Hamill, 31, encountered the impassable obstacle amid the national isolation. And as a result, everyone is taking inventory of mental health issues inside their own military circles.

“The wounded veteran community is fairly tight-knit, and when something like this happens, the word gets out,” said Kevin Kenney, an Army veteran and director of Operation Patriot Support (OPS) in Bradenton.
read it here

Also Combat wounded veteran Rory Hamill inspired others to live on...until he lost his own battle
On March 14, 2020 I posted a warning about the need to take action to help veterans with PTSD during isolation. I was thinking more about older veterans, since most of them are not online.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Combat Wounded Veteran Rory Hamill inspired others to live on....until he lost his own battle

UPDATE: Do not become one more

Last night I could not get this story out of my mind. We loose too many people who decide their lives toward helping others, only to give up on themselves. This is not easy but it can be easier if you are willing to follow your own advice and ask for help when you need it!

If you are struggling to understand how this can happen, it is because those who put others first, put themselves last. That also includes asking for help when they need it. We need to do a lot more on encouraging veterans like Rory Hamill to follow their own advice before we continue to lose more like him.

Veterans Mourn, Outraged After Death of Another Decorated Local Marine Corps Combat Veteran

Shore News Network
May 3, 2020

OCEAN COUNTY, NJ – Rory Hamill served with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines during his combat deployment to Afghanistan in in 2009. He returned home from war as an amputee and went on to become a veteran’s mental health advocate. Hammil was a motivational speaker and veteran mentor with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Veteran’s Diversion Program. After returning home from Afghanistan, Hammil went to college and earned a degree in social sciences.
“Today, I learned that my friend, Rory Patrick Hamill, took his life yesterday,” said his close friend Jase Wheeler. “Have no idea what triggered him, but can say, I totally understand what it’s like when you battle PTSD on a daily basis. Add to that, the fact we have to quarantine, change every part of our daily routine, can’t get out to see friends, unable to do all the things that allow us to de-stress. It’s brutal. He was a father of 3, a motivational speaker, a hero and a friend.” read it here

Still pushing: Cpl. Rory Hamill
Story by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht
New Jersey National Guard

“All this stuff started coming out a few years ago,” said Hamill. “I thought I was fine, but it took me some time to realize things weren’t alright.”

His past deployment experiences coupled with his injuries caused Hamill a deep depression that led to alcohol abuse and a feeling suicidal. He knew he needed to turn a corner in his life.

“After one bad night, I found myself looking into the mirror, and realized that I needed to figure this out for my kids,” said Hamill. “They’re the driving force in my life.”

In addition to his kids, the other driving force in Hamill’s life is a calling to help fellow veterans.

“I don’t like quitting, at all,” said Hamill. “Call it pure stubbornness, but I don’t like giving up. I’ve always been told I can’t do stuff my entire life. It’s made me want to prove people wrong.”
read it here

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Caldwell University has agreed to pay $4.8 million for defrauding veterans program

Caldwell University to pay $4.8M for defrauding veterans program

New Jersey Business
By: David Hutter
January 6, 2020

Caldwell University entered into an agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey to resolve an investigation dating back to 2013, according to Caldwell and the United States Attorney’s Office.

Between 2009 and 2013, Caldwell College had a contractual relationship with Ed4Mil, a company that provided on-line training courses to veterans in conjunction with Caldwell, Caldwell spokeswoman Colette Liddy told NJBIZ.

Unbeknownst to Caldwell’s board and cabinet, Ed4Mil personnel and a college employee engaged in a scheme to defraud the government, Liddy said. The college employee separated from employment with Caldwell before the scheme was discovered. A number of people from Ed4Mil, including its principal, and the former Caldwell employee have pleaded guilty to criminal charges, she said.

Liddy said the board of trustees and the cabinet of Caldwell University have denounced this conduct and along with the administration are truly sorry for what occurred. Caldwell University cooperated with the government throughout its investigation, she said.

“Caldwell has been committed to making restitution to the United States on behalf of the veterans of our country by returning all of the money that the University was paid under the Ed4Mil contract,” Liddy said. “To that end, as part of the agreement with the United States Attorney, Caldwell has agreed to pay $4.8 million, representing the funds Caldwell received under the contract with Ed4Mil. Since becoming aware of the misconduct in August 2013, Caldwell University has developed new policies and procedures to ensure that this type of conduct will not happen again.”

From Jan. 1, 2011, through Aug. 8, 2013, Caldwell University submitted false claims for payment to the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive education benefits and funds pursuant to the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act (Post 9/11 GI Bill) to which it was not entitled, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. He also stated that the post 9/11 GI bill was designed specifically to help veterans who served in the armed forces after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
read it here

Thursday, December 26, 2019

11 Year old boy got Christmas see his brother

Watch: 11-Year-Old Boy Reunited With Military Brother While Christmas Caroling At Woodbury Senior Center

By CBS3 Staff
December 18, 2019
“For weeks my parents have been asking, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ And I kept saying each and every single time, ‘I want to see my brother,'” Mark said. “Until a day ago they said, ‘So you are sticking to your word?’ And I said ‘Yes.’ And today he’s here.”

WOODBURY, N.J. (CBS) — Military homecomings always pull on the heartstrings, especially during the holiday season. An 11-year-old boy from Deptford Township had his Christmas wish come true while caroling with his Oak Valley Elementary classmates at a senior center on Wednesday morning.
Mark DiTizio told the audience at Atrium Post Acute Care of Woodbury all he wanted for Christmas was for his brother, Private Second Class Eric Shaw, to come home from the military.
read it here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

GoFundMe ringleader of homeless veteran story admits guilt!

New Jersey man pleads guilty in GoFundMe scam involving Marine veteran

By: The Associated Press
21 hours ago
“Do your research, and make sure you are donating to a worthwhile cause,” Coffina said.
Mark D'Amico, left, stands with his lawyer, Mark Davis, as he pleads guilty to one count of misappropriating entrusted funds in Burlington County Superior Court in Mount Holly, N.J., on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. — A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Friday to a state charge stemming from a scheme that raked in more than $400,000 in online donations with a phony story about a homeless man helping a stranded woman.

Mark D’Amico pleaded guilty in state Superior Court in Burlington County to misapplication of entrusted property stemming from the late 2017 scheme.

D’Amico; his ex-girlfriend, Katelyn McClure; and homeless Marine veteran Johnny Bobbitt faced state and federal charges. McClure and Bobbitt have already pleaded guilty to federal and state charges. D’Amico still faces federal wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges.
read it here

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Stolen Valor fraud ripped off over $2 million from women

FBI: Fraudster posing as petty officer helped fleece females for $2.1 million

By: Navy Times staff
September 6, 2019 
A probable cause affidavit filed by Special Agent Dean J. DiPietro, a member of the FBI’s White Collar Crime squad in Atlantic City, estimates that Sarpong and the other three people netted at least $2.1 million in the scams over the past 3 ½ years.
Rubbin Sarpong never was a U.S. Navy petty officer stationed in Canada or Syria who needed a little cash to come home to his loved one.

Although one victim sent him $50,000 in a series of wire transfers dating back to early 2016, according to court documents, Sarpong really was laundering her money, stashing it in bank accounts or doling it out to co-conspirators on two continents to further what authorities say is an ongoing swindle that preys on lonely hearts with a crush on military men.
Federal prosecutors say that Rubbin Sarpong on March 2, 2017, posted a photograph of himself on social media accounts, holding a large stack of cash to his ear like a mobile phone, with a caption reading "WakeUp with 100K... OneTime. Making A phone Call To Let My Bank Know Am Coming;" (U.S District Court for the District of New Jersey)

Sarpong’s alleged scheme was outlined in a 27-page federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Camden, New Jersey. It paints him as a grifter living in the south New Jersey town of Millville, with tentacles that reached out to at least 30 victims and three co-conspirators in the U.S. and the West African nation of Ghana.

Federal court records reveal that Sarpong was arrested Wednesday, a day after being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
read it here

Monday, August 26, 2019

Manufacturer ordered VA to destroy tubing, they used it in Florida anyway?

Did VA hospital leaders ignore recalls on faulty medical equipment?

Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
  August 26, 2019
Dennis McLain, head of the facility’s National Nurses United chapter, said the manufacturer of the IV tubing (BD, headquartered in New Jersey) issued an urgent recall of the equipment two weeks earlier, instructing hospitals to “destroy all products” found in their inventory.
Chemotherapy is administered to a cancer patient via intravenous drip at a North Carolina hospital in 2013. (Gerry Broome/AP)
Staffers at a Florida-based Veterans Affairs hospital say leadership ignored a medical equipment recall for weeks — even after a patient’s life was endangered — despite repeated warnings their inaction violated health and safety norms.

But officials at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa said their week they have removed all of the faulty items without any harm to patients, dismissing concerns that proper procedures were not followed.

It’s unclear whether the dispute is isolated to the single VA medical center or indicative of larger problems with recall alerts throughout the nation’s veterans hospital system. Department of Veterans Affairs officials in Washington, D.C. referred all questions to local hospital officials.

At issue is a July 31 incident where a patient at the Tampa medical center received too much prescribed medication because of what nurses described as malfunctioning IV equipment. Tubing designed to slowly drip out fluids into the patient’s bloodstream instead allowed a rush of medication all at once. In a grievance filed with facility leadership, staff said a medical disaster was avoided only because nurses on duty quickly diagnosed and responded to the problem.
read it here

Friday, May 31, 2019

New Jersey Police Officer, harassed by Chief for military service gets $1.8 million dollar justice award

Jury awards Navy reservist, ex-cop $1.8M in discrimination suit

Associated Press
May 31,2019

FREEHOLD, N.J. — A jury has awarded $1.8 million to a former New Jersey police officer who claimed he was discriminated against because of his military service.

Kenneth Hagel filed suit in 2014, claiming Sea Girt Police Chief Kevin Davenport falsely believed he was gay and stymied his promotion to sergeant because he periodically was absent from his job for training and deployment with the U.S. Navy Reserves.

Jurors in Monmouth County found the chief had engaged in anti-military and false sexual orientation discrimination. The panel awarded the 50-year-old $262,800 in compensatory damages for lost salary and benefits, $500,000 in emotional distress damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

The chief told he could not comment.

The town’s administrator also declined comment on the verdict.
read more here

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Katelyn McClure, 29, pleaded guilty to theft by deception

New Jersey woman pleads guilty in 'feel good' GoFundMe scam with homeless vet

NBC News
By Tim Stelloh
April 16, 2019
Prosecutors have said that she and her then-boyfriend concocted a story about the man giving the couple his last $20 when they ran out of gas.

Kate McClure appears in court at Burlington County Superior Court in Mount Holly, N.J. on April 15, 2019.Joe Lamberti / Camden Courier-Post via AP, Pool

A New Jersey woman pleaded guilty Monday to helping swindle thousands of GoFundMe donors out of more than $400,000 with what authorities called a “fairy tale narrative.”

Katelyn McClure, 29, pleaded guilty to theft by deception and will serve a four-year term in state prison, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
McClure and D’Amico created a GoFundMe campaign that aimed to raise $10,000 to get Bobbitt off the streets.

The then-couple raked in $402,000 from 14,000 donors — a sum authorities say they quickly spent on gambling, a BMW and a trip to Las Vegas, among other things.
read more here

Homeless 'good Samaritan' gets probation in GoFundMe scam
By: DAVID PORTER, Associated Press
Posted: Apr 12, 2019
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) - A homeless man was sentenced to five years' probation Friday after admitting last month that he conspired with a couple to scam the public out of $400,000 in donations by concocting a feel-good story about him helping a motorist in distress.

Johnny Bobbitt had pleaded guilty in state court to conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Conditions of his sentence include inpatient drug treatment and cooperation with prosecutors against his co-defendants. If he violates those conditions, he will be sentenced to five years in prison with no possibility of parole for at least 18 months.
read more here

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Navy Commander needs intelligence brief on veteran suicides

If politicians remain clueless about veterans committing suicide, how can they fix anything?

It is not as if he should not know considering his rank in the Navy~
Over the course of the 17 years since 9-11, Ryan Peters of Hainesport made four separate overseas deployments as a Navy SEAL: to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and to Central and South America.In the Middle East, he tested that virtue they inculcated at the Naval Academy called loyalty.
We know that ear worm of a number was based on limited data from just 21 states...but we also know that numbers without details mean creative accounting...much like all the bills and "efforts" created by people who did not take any of these suicides they care so much about...seriously enough to learn even basic facts.

I think he does care but needs an intelligence briefing before he can actually do anything to change the outcome! 

Assemblyman Peters introduces resolution to bring awareness to veteran suicide

March 7, 2019
Press Release

TRENTON – Assemblyman Ryan Peters introduced resolution AJR194 on Thursday to raise awareness for veteran suicide.

“The rate of veteran suicide is more than 1.5 times higher than the average population. That is a heartbreaking statistic,” said Peters (R-Burlington). ”These are men and women that fought bravely for their country and are coming home with the feeling of being left out of society.”

According to the 2016 VA National Suicide Data report, the rate of suicide was 1.8 times higher among female veterans compared to non-veteran adults and 1.4 times high in male veterans.

An average of 22 veterans a day commit suicide, according to the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

“The resolution aims to take the startling statistic of 22 veteran suicides a day and turn it into a rallying cry for us all to put more focus into our heroes returning home and for them to know we are there for them,” Peters said.

The resolution would make neon yellow the official color of veteran suicide awareness in New Jersey and call it “Vet 22”. Peters was approached by representatives of the nonprofit VALOR Clinic Foundation from Pennsylvania, who explained that attaching an awareness campaign and a bright color to veteran suicide awareness has helped the foundation connect veterans to services they didn’t know were available.

One VALOR Clinic program connects veterans suffering from depression with other veterans to help heal them through companionship and mutual understanding. Programs like NJ Vet2Vet are available in New Jersey to provide similar support-based treatment.

“Many times we return home and go back to the lives we used to live, and our world gets bigger and lonelier, and we don’t stop to think that there are men and women who have been through this before and can help us out,” said Peters, who served multiple combat tours overseas as a Navy SEAL.

“Let’s bring attention to the programs and support systems we have available locally, and let’s put more focus on the 340,000 men and women in New Jersey who have served our country because we can’t afford to have them slipping through the cracks when they re-enter society,” he continued.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

GoFundMe Frauders plead guilty

Homeless man and the woman in viral good Samaritan story plead guilty to federal charges

By Janet DiGiacomo and Madison Park
March 6, 2019

(CNN)It was a feel-good story that got people to open their wallets and donate.

The premise of the story that went viral in 2017 was that New Jersey resident Kate McClure ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia and a homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., gave her his last $20 while she was stranded. In return, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Bobbitt, saying they wanted to pay it forward to the good Samaritan and get him off the streets. But the story wasn't true, authorities said, as McClure and Bobbitt pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges.

"In reality, McClure never ran out of gas and Bobbitt never spent his last $20 for her," according to a US Attorney's Office press release. "D'Amico and McClure allegedly conspired to create the false story to obtain money from donors."

McClure, 28, could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She will be sentenced on June 19.

Bobbitt, 36, could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He will be sentenced at a later date.
read more here

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

New Jersey Navy Veteran took swim in Passaic to save woman

Car veers off NJ highway, plunges into Passaic River

March 5, 2019

NEW JERSEY — A Navy veteran sprang into action and rescued a woman after her car veered off a New Jersey highway on Monday and plunged into the cold water of the Passaic River.

Michael James, 37, was driving on Route 21 North around 9 a.m. when he saw what had happened. A 22-year-old woman's car hit the guardrail and went want it.

She managed to crawl out a back window and was perched on the car, but she couldn't swim.

" When the car went under, so did she," James said.

So he went into the frigid water after her.

"I just went, I didn't even think about it," he said.
read more here

Saturday, January 26, 2019

WWII Veteran Harry Rockafeller stands tall

NJ police install 9-foot statue to honor veteran

Police One 
January 25, 2019

"Rocky we did it!"
“It was really an overwhelming sense of pride and honor,” Malone said of the dedication. “He’s no longer with us, but his memory and his legacy are going to be permanent reminders here in Wall Township of the sacrifice of all World War II veterans.”


New Jersey police officers launched a fundraiser last spring in an effort to honor a highly decorated World War II veteran. The result is now displayed outside their station. 

Patrolman Mike Malone and his fellow Wall Township police officers hoped to raise enough money for a memorial service, but the outpouring of support resulted in $130,000 - enough to create a bronze statue of WWII veteran Harry Rockafeller, who recently died at the age of 100, reports. read more here

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Homeless vet Johnny Bobbitt appears in court

GoFundMe case: Homeless vet Johnny Bobbitt appears in court

ABC 6 News
December 7, 2018

MT. HOLLY, N.J. (WPVI) -- Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless veteran accused of trying to scam GoFundMe donors, appeared before a judge on Friday.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit, the 35-year-old appeared via closed-circuit video.

The prosecution asked he be held for trial without the option for bail.

Bobbitt has yet to formally hear the charges against him, although the Burlington County prosecutor publicly announced Bobbitt will be facing charges of fraud by deception and conspiracy.
read more here

Thursday, November 15, 2018

This is what happens when reporters run with "stuff that was made up"

GoFundMe campaign to help homeless vet was 'predicated on a lie,' prosecutor says

ABC News
Nov 15, 2018

The "heartwarming tale" of a New Jersey couple helping drug-addicted homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt was "predicated on a lie," designed to dupe thousands of people into contributing to a GoFundMe campaign, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Bobbitt, and the couple, Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico, allegedly conspired to concoct a story to tug at the hearts and wallets of kindhearted individuals, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said at a news conference Thursday. They initially sought to raise $10,000. But the wildly successful GoFundMe campaign brought in over $400,000.

But every shred of the trio's story, including the part that Bobbitt used his last $20 to help McClure out of a roadside jam when she ran out of gas, was all bogus, Coffina said.

"The entire campaign was predicated on a lie," Coffina said. "Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake."

In one of the texts read by Coffina, McClure allegedly wrote to a friend, "Ok, so wait, the gas part is completely made up but the guy isn't. I had to make something up to make people feel bad. So, shush about the made up stuff."
read more here

And yet when this report from the VA came out in April, no one cared.
Analysis of a nationally representative survey of U.S. veterans in 2015 shows that veterans with a history of homelessness attempted suicide in the previous two years at a rate 5.0 times higher compared with veterans without a history of homelessness (6.9% versus 1.2%), and their rates of two-week suicidal ideation were 2.5 times higher (19.8% versus 7.4%).
Oh, sure, they go onto Facebook, find something they can use and bingo! Instant fame...and usually fortune follows.

In one of the earliest reports from on this scam, there was this toward the end.

In the weeks since, she’s returned to the spot along I-95 where Johnny stays with cash, snacks and Wawa gift cards. Each time she’s stopped by with her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, they’ve learned a bit more about Johnny’s story, and become humbled by his gratitude. Eventually, the Florence Township couple knew they had to do something more.“I would say, ‘I keep thinking about that guy,’” D’Amico said. And McClure was thinking about Johnny, too. 
So they launched a GoFundMe campaign, putting an ambitious $10,000 goal and hoping to rein in a few hundred dollars to book Johnny a motel for a few nights where he could clean up, and start to get back on his feet. In just over a week, the campaign has garnered more than $5,000 in donations, and continues to grow.
Associated Press picked the story up two days later on November 22, 2017.

After all, I do not believe what I see on Facebook unless I can track it back guessed it, an actual news story.

Assuming that reporters actually did their jobs, asked questions and made sure what they were told was actually the truth, should have all of us questioning other things they "shared" that turned out to be far from the truth.

If you read Wounded Times, I am sure you know exactly where I am going with this. Straight to the crap about "raising awareness" on "22" veterans killing themselves and how the talkers seem to be getting a lot more attention for a rumor than the veterans they are supposed to know about.

After all, how can anyone "raise awareness" unless they have vast knowledge on the subject. You know. Taken a lot of time to understand what they are supposed to be sharing with the masses. You'd think a topic as important enough to cause them to spend so much time putting attention on, would actually do something to address the "problem" they claim matters so much. But then again, you'd have to assume they had any intention of changing the outcome.

So, social media pushed their stunts and pushups but it seems as if no one on social media bothered to ask them what their stunts would do to save a life.

No one asked them what qualified them to take on such a serious matter, or even why they deserved the money. No one asked if that number was the truth. Hey, maybe everyone just assumed that since they read about it in news reports, it had to be true.

The problem is, the people getting all the attention, and funds, for talking about the headline, did not even think it was important enough to read anything beyond the headline.

Gee, do you think they might have found the report itself important? Do you think they may have wanted to see what had been done over the previous 4 decades to discover what worked and know what failed before they took to social media and contacted the press?

Now there is an awakening going on but it is too late for far too many to apologize, unless you want to go to a cemetery, if they had enough money for a funeral. 

Next time something is worthy of your support, make sure it really is or we are going to continue to see the "awareness" folks get rich off the suffering they had no intentions of changing. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Do not forget military families caught by Hurricane Michael

Lawmakers vow to rebuild damaged Air Force base

FOX 13 News
Jim Turner
October 15, 2018
Base command at Tyndall last week called the hit from Michael “widespread catastrophic damage,” with every structure damaged, including hangars where planes that could not be flown out --- due to maintenance or safety reasons --- had been sheltered.

TALLAHASSEE (NSF) - Northwest Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, where pilots train to fly the F-22 stealth fighter, won’t be abandoned because of major damage it sustained in Hurricane Michael, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson vowed Monday.

Speaking to reporters at Tallahassee International Airport, Nelson sought to dismiss growing concerns that the storm-battered base outside Panama City will follow the path of what had been Homestead Air Force Base, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and subsequently became an Air Force Reserve base.

“I think that fear is unfounded,” Nelson said. “As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I can say that Tyndall will be rebuilt, and it will be an example of a modern U.S. Air Force base. That is because it is critically located right next to one of our greatest national assets, the Air Force Eastern Gulf Test and Training Range, which is the largest testing and training range for the United States military in the world.”

read more here

Trump gets bird’s-eye view of Tyndall, devastated Florida communities

Associated Press
Deb Reichmann and Darlene Superville
October 15, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, looks on as President Donald Trump talks with reporters after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael, Monday. (Evan Vucci/AP)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump got a bird’s-eye view Monday of Florida communities left in ruins by Hurricane Michael, including houses without roofs, a toppled water tower and 18-wheel trucks scattered in a parking lot during a nearly hour-long helicopter tour of portions of the Panhandle.

Trump initially saw uprooted trees and houses with blue tarps covering damaged roofs after his helicopter lifted from Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso. But the severity of the damage worsened significantly as Trump approached Mexico Beach, a town of about 1,000 people that was nearly wiped off the map in a direct hit from the hurricane and its 155 mph winds last week.

Many of the houses in Mexico Beach had no roofs. In some cases, only the foundations were left standing. The water tower lay on its side and 18-wheelers were scattered in a parking lot like a child's toys.

Trump also saw Tyndall Air Force Base, which was heavily damaged by the storm.
read more here


 JOINT BASE McGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST — More than a thousand military families were without power in the last week — many for nine days and counting — after a power surge destroyed an electrical substation. The Oct. 4 surge, which caused the substation equipment to erupt in flames, knocked out electricity to 1,087 homes on the McGuire Air Force Base. The length of the outage rivals the blackouts that parts of New Jersey experienced after Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy and the nor'easter storms last winter. read more here

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Veteran with PTSD gets probation after flight meltdown

Man pleads guilty to threatening airline crew on flight to New Orleans | The Times-Picayune
By Laura McKnight
September 14, 2018

A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Thursday (Sept. 13) in a New Orleans federal court to interfering with an airline crew after he drunkenly threatened the plane's captain and crew during a flight last fall from Chicago to New Orleans, court records show.

Joel Michael Bane, 39, also struck two local law-enforcement officers who had boarded the plane upon its arrival in New Orleans to escort Bane off the aircraft, according to a factual basis for Bane's plea agreement.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo set sentencing for Dec. 13.
Flying off into the sunset as a flight departs to the north from Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner, La. Tuesday, September 15, 2015. (Photo by David Grunfeld, | The Times-Picayune) ((Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.c)
An airport worker described Bane as "very large and very muscular" and warned law-enforcement that "four or five officers would be needed to remove the passenger from the plane," according to court records.

DeSalvo said that his client, a military veteran diagnosed with PTSD, was reacting in accordance with his training.

"It was just a very unfortunate situation where I think there was a lack of communication, and Mr. Bane was suffering from PTSD from six tours in the Middle East," DeSalvo said, adding that Bane's PTSD has been deemed "a total and permanent disability."
Bane faced up to 20 years in prison for the conviction, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. But he will receive no prison time and be ordered to probation as part of a plea agreement, defense attorney Frank DeSalvo said Friday. DeSalvo said the incident was caused by miscommunication and compounded by his client's post-traumatic stress disorder.

The disturbance, caught at least partially on cellphone video, occurred Oct. 13 as Southwest Airlines Flight 208 neared Louis Armstrong International Airport.
read more here

Monday, July 16, 2018

New Jersey Neighborhood does not want PTSD veterans?

It looks like a neighborhood in New Jersey is not so neighborly when it comes to veterans with PTSD, or anyone else.
"The issue has been contentious from the outset when residents first heard about it last year in September. Residents said they are not against veterans, but they worry about those suffering from PTSD, saying the building is across the street from a preschool and blocks away from East Side High School. They questioned if the facility would be just for veterans, and wanted to know what happens to veterans if IFS is unable to find permanent housing for them in 60 to 90 days.
Just an FYI for this deplorable neighborhood. They could already have people living in their neighborhood with PTSD and they just did not know it.

Wonder how this makes them feel considering when Veterans have PTSD, like they do, they were hit by it while risking their lives for citizens, just like them?

Wonder how Police Officers and Firefighters feel about this considering when they get hit by PTSD, they were also hit by it serving their communities? You know, the same kind of community who said that homeless veterans with PTSD should not live there.

Wonder how this makes the over 7 million other people in this country with PTSD feel?

That's the real problem. Uneducated folks just guessing at something they do not understand at all. Then why would you just judge someone you know nothing about and then try to block them from living next to you? It happens everyday when someone rents and apartment or sells a house. You do not know who is moving in and have no right to stop them from doing it, but apparently, it is OK to do that to veterans!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Lawsuit: Sheriff fired Deputy because of PTSD?

Army veteran diagnosed with PTSD sues over firing from sheriff's office
Matt Gray
July 6, 2018

Several of John McMickle's co-workers at the Gloucester County Sheriff's Office visited the U.S. Army veteran as he mourned the death of a friend in February 2017.

While McMickle wasn't a drinker, he had several alcoholic beverages that night and ended up in the hospital.

The events of that evening would eventually lead to his firing, and McMickle has filed a suit claiming the county discriminated against him.

McMickle was honorably discharged in 2006 after serving six tours, according to attorney Kevin Costello, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder related to his service.

The veteran believes, according to the suit filed in Superior Court, that the county treated him unfairly based on his disability, rather than anything he actually did wrong.

Following his trip to the hospital, a health and welfare check was conducted "and no issues were identified." Despite that finding, McMickle's gun and ammunition were removed from his home, the suit states.
read more here

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Twenty inured at Trenton Arts festival

20 injured, suspect killed in Trenton arts festival shooting
ABC 6 Action News
June 18, 2018

TRENTON (WPVI) -- Twenty people including a child were injured and a suspect was killed after gunfire broke out during a 24 hour arts festival in Trenton, New Jersey.
Sixteen of those injured suffered gunshot wounds, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said Sunday morning. A 13-year-old boy and three other people are in critical condition.

The Mercer County's Prosecutors Office Homicide Task Force is taking over the investigation as there was an officer-involved shooting in the incident, officials said.

It happened around 2:45 a.m. Sunday at the 'Art All Night Trenton 2018' festival at the Roebling Wire Works Building on the 600 block of South Clinton Avenue.
read more here