Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts

Friday, December 9, 2022

NYC Paramedic "I’ve Never Witnessed a Mental Health Crisis Like This One"

I’m an N.Y.C. Paramedic. I’ve Never Witnessed a Mental Health Crisis Like This One

New York Times
By Anthony Almojera
December 7, 2022
I’ve gone down the road of despair myself. The spring and fall of 2020 left me so empty, exhausted and sleepless that I thought about suicide, too. Our ambulances are simply the entrance to a broken pipeline. We have burned down the house of mental health in this city, and the people you see on the street are the survivors who staggered from the ashes.
Mr. Almojera is a lieutenant paramedic with the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and the author of “Riding the Lightning: A Year in the Life of a New York City Paramedic.”

There are New Yorkers who rant on street corners and slump on sidewalks beside overloaded pushcarts. They can be friendly or angry or distrustful. To me and my colleagues, they’re patients.

I’m a lieutenant paramedic with the Fire Department’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, and it’s rare to go a day without a call to help a mentally ill New Yorker. Medical responders are often their first, or only, point of contact with the chain of health professionals who should be treating them. We know their names and their routines, their delusions, even their birthdays.

It is a sad, scattered community. And it has mushroomed. In nearly 20 years as a medical responder, I’ve never witnessed a mental health crisis like the one New York is currently experiencing. During the last week of November, 911 dispatchers received on average 425 calls a day for “emotionally disturbed persons,” or E.D.P.s. Even in the decade before the pandemic, those calls had almost doubled. E.D.P.s are people who have fallen through the cracks of a chronically underfunded mental health system, a house of cards built on sand that the Covid pandemic crushed.
read more here

Friday, September 10, 2021

Responders to Twin Towers still paying the price

2/3 of FDNY firefighters, EMTs who worked at WTC site have long-term illness: Report

ABC 7 News
By Eyewitness News
September 7, 2021
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Twenty years after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, more than two-thirds of New York City firefighters and EMTs who responded to the World Trade Center that day or worked on the pile of toxic wreckage have some kind of long-term illness, according to the latest snapshot of FDNY health released Wednesday.

Nearly 16,000 FDNY members were exposed to dust, particulates, noxious gases, chemicals, and fibers while working for more than 10 months in the rescue and recovery effort.

More than 11,300 of them have been diagnosed and certified with at least one WTC-covered condition for physical or mental health, from asthma and reflux to PTSD and cancer, the report from the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program said.

"This intense environmental exposure is directly related to many of the symptoms and illnesses," the report said.
read more here 

'Eyewitness to 9/11: Behind the Lens' reveals untold stories, rare video of America's darkest day

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we hear from the Eyewitness News journalists who were there, in the streets, in the air, and in the newsroom, reporting on the events as the tragedy unfolded, capturing the unforgettable video of that day, and risking their lives to tell the world what was happening.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio's broke silence on suicide in his own family

Mayor Draws on Father’s Suicide in Dealing With Spike Among NYPD Officers

The Wall Street Journal
By Katie Honan and Tyler Blint-Welsh
Aug. 15, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to stem the spike in suicides among New York Police Department officers this year by speaking openly about his father’s suicide in urging them to seek help.

The mayor talked about his family’s experience in a letter he sent to NYPD officers on Wednesday night, shortly before a longtime officer became the ninth member of the department to die by suicide this year. The 56-year-old officer, who had been with the department for 25 years and served in its Strategic Response Group, fatally shot himself at a home in Laurelton, Queens, according to a police official. His suicide came a day after another officer fatally shot himself in Yonkers.

In his letter, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, detailed the depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism that his father, a decorated World War II veteran, battled before killing himself. His father, who lost part of his leg during the war, died when Mr. de Blasio was 18 years old. Although his father was always strong physically, the mayor said, it “wasn’t the kind of strength he needed.”

“My dad couldn’t deal with what he had lived through,” he said in the letter.

“I say from experience: There is strength in asking for help—in doing the right thing for you and your family.”
read it here


Monday, July 29, 2019

Most obvious answer to stop suicides still being missed

Want to save lives? Get the message right first

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 29, 2019

If you visit this site often, I am sure it has been showing my frustration more and more. Glad that I am not doing a podcast, because holding back words I should not use in public, is getting harder and harder.

I am sick and tired of hearing another head of yet another department make the same mistake of miscommunication out of ignorance.

Another New York Officer committed suicide. He was the fifth since June. This is the message from NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.

“You may not know this, and it may be hard to imagine, but you are not out there all by yourself,” he said. “More people than you know, who wear the same uniform as you do, share the same doubts and fears and struggles that you do. Seeking help is strength. Talking about your problems is strength. Acknowledging you need a place to turn is strength. There is no shame here ― only a promise to provide you with the help and support you need and deserve.”

In a tweet, the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association called the officer’s death “terrible news,” asking for prayers for his friends, family and colleagues.
read it here
The part that they need to hear is that while there are others suffering, they are also still serving. They are still risking their lives to save strangers because lives matter. That includes those they serve with and are willing to die for too.

If they understand what PTSD is, then there is no stigma. If they understand what their job is, then there is no reason to deny they need help. If there is no reason to deny they need help, they will stop killing themselves and start helping each other heal.

 After 37 years, I would like to finally be able to retire. Considering how the most obvious answer to this heartbreaking outcome keeps getting missed, I doubt I ever will be able to.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

OEF OIF Veteran killed by crane died saving co-worker

Father of four killed in crane accident at SoHo construction site

PIX 11 News
APRIL 13, 2019

SOHO, Manhattan — A construction worker who was a father of four and war veteran died early Saturday during a crane incident at a Manhattan construction site.
Gregory Echevarria, 34, was found unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma to his body at a construction site in the vicinity of Varick and Broome streets around 3:15 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The construction crew, that also included Echevarria's brother, was setting up a crane counterweight when it slipped, fatally striking Echevarria, a source told PIX11.

Echevarria's final act was reportedly pushing a coworker out of the way, saving his life.

"He's selfless, that's one thing I can say," family friend Duane Davis told PIX11 Saturday outside Echevarria's childhood home in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

"The best father, son, everything," family member Judi Cruz said of Echevarria.

Family told PIX11 that Echevarria was a father of four, including a three-month-old, and that he was a veteran. Echevarria did four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan over 10 years, according to family members, who are devastated that his baby boy is left without a father.
read more here

Thursday, July 12, 2018

FDNY Battalion Chief cannot forget brother lost on 9-11

1st FDNY battalion chief to enter the north tower on 9/11 is retiring
ABC News
Jul 11, 2018
"We looked at each other, wondering if we were both going to be OK. And then I gave him the same orders as the other officers," he said. "That was the last time I saw my brother Kevin."
Joe Pfeifer, right, is retiring from the New York Fire Department after 37 years of service.
After nearly 37 years on the job, Joe Pfeifer, the first battalion fire chief to enter the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001, will be retiring.

He told ABC News on Wednesday that Sept. 11, 2001, had started as a beautiful summer day. He was answering routine calls as a documentary crew followed along. He said they heard a plane noisily fly overhead. They then watched as it hit the World Trade Center.

"In that moment, I knew I was going to the largest incident of my life, the largest fire I've ever seen. And, I also knew that thousands of people were in need," Pfeifer told ABC News.

That summer day with its bright, blue skies quickly turned to darkness.

"Matter of fact, after the collapse, you couldn't even see a hand in front of your face," he said.

He was the first battalion fire chief to arrive and enter the north tower on Sept. 11. When he got there, he said, he heard there was a fire above the 78th floor so he ordered teams to go in and evacuate. One of those firefighters was his brother Lt. Kevin Pfeifer.

"We looked at each other, wondering if we were both going to be OK. And then I gave him the same orders as the other officers," he said. "That was the last time I saw my brother Kevin."

He said his brother's memory motivated him to continue.
read more here

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Jon Stewart Crusading for Sept. 11 First Responders.

Jon Stewart’s next act: Lobbyist? 
The host has promised to fight for a 9/11 bill in September.

Jon Stewart is less than a week away from retiring from The Daily Show, but he’s already thinking about his next act: crusading this fall in Washington for the Sept. 11 first responders.

The Comedy Central star has promised to make a Capitol Hill trip as early as September to support a bill extending an expiring law that provides billions of dollars in medical health benefits for the police, firefighters and other emergency rescue workers who spent time at Ground Zero, as well as survivors of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Stewart committed to lobby the very lawmakers he’s made a career out of skewering during a backstage greenroom chat early in July with John Feal, an Army veteran and post-9/11 cleanup worker who is spearheading the advocacy push for the legislation. Feal told POLITICO that he expected Stewart to firm up the date for the visit after his final Daily Show appearance on Thursday.

“Everything he’s ever said, he’s kept his word,” Feal said.

The first-responders portion of the law, passed in 2010, is scheduled to expire this October but has enough money to run into next year. A separate fund for 9/11 survivors and first responders ends in October 2016. Supporters want to renew the whole law in perpetuity, like the health programs for coal miners who suffer from black lung disease, and the government workers and contractors who built the country's nuclear weapon arsenal. In early July on his program, Stewart called it “bullshit” that the 9/11 first responders even have to lobby to extend it, and demanded to know who on the Hill was blocking the effort.

In his 16-year TV career, Stewart has put his shoulder behind a number of policy and political issues. He has put the spotlight on bureaucratic blunders preventing military veterans from getting health care, and is widely credited with CNN’s decision more than a decade ago to cancel an earlier version of the ‘Crossfire' talk show. Sensing his power with young voters, senior White House aides also cultivated relationships with Stewart and his staff, and the host even met twice privately in the Oval Office with President Barack Obama.
read more here

Thursday, July 2, 2015

NYC Military Veterans Budget Boost $2.9 Million

A Budget Victory for NYC Military Veterans 
Gotham Gazette
by Joe Bello
Jul 02, 2015
Lastly, and quite significantly, the Council's veterans initiative was more than doubled with funding for organizations that will provide direct services (legal, health services, job placement, and support programs) for veterans and their family members.

With almost half of Mayor Bill de Blasio's term in office complete, it has been well-documented that military veterans have seen a number of administration policies as perplexing and frustrating. What's made this all the more disappointing is that the mayor has unique insight into the difficulties veterans and their family members face through the experience of his own father, a World War II veteran who struggled when he came home.

As a result of the administration's decisions and the belief that we weren't being heard, my group (NY MetroVets) banded together with several other veterans groups to push for real progress. After months of testimony at hearings and engaging with local elected officials and the media - while keeping the veterans community informed and engaged - our hard work paid off in the city budget.

Late last week the City Council voted to adopt the New York City Fiscal Year 2016 budget. The spending plan, which starts July 1, contains an increase of almost $2.9 million dollars for veterans services.

This increase will double the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) budget and allow Commissioner Loree Sutton to not only hire additional staff but perhaps even address some veterans issues that are outside the mayor's strategic plan. It also puts money into the city's veterans homelessness-fighting initiative to assist the federal Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the final push to end veteran homelessness here in New York City.
read more here

Thursday, April 9, 2015

IAVA Paul Rieckhoff Among Others Removed for New York Mayor's Veterans Council

Mayor to present veteran board appointments, amid harsh criticism
Capital New
By Gloria Pazmino
Apr. 9, 2015

“It’s become clear to the community that the mayor is not serious about veterans' issues,”
Rieckhoff told Capital.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce today a new set of appointees to the Veteran Advisory Board, finally replacing many of the members whose terms had expired.

The appointments have angered representatives of the city’s veterans, who say that de Blasio has failed to act quickly on a crisis.

The board, established in 1987, serves as a liaison between veterans and the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs and helps guide policy and connect the veterans to resources in the city. The mayor is responsible for appointing six members; the speaker and Council appoint five.

The mayor’s slow pace of appointments led to questions about whether the board was serving its purpose in the early months of his administration. Gotham Gazette reported last year on some of the holdover members’ murky attendance record at meetings and frustration among city veterans who did not feel they had a direct connection to the board.
All board members who were appointed by former mayor Michael Bloomberg have been removed, including Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and C.E.O. of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America—the country’s first organization specifically for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, which boasts over 200,000 members and is headquartered in the city.

Rieckhoff told Capital the members were only told about their removal a day in advance and said he questioned the qualifications of the new members. He also criticized Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, for her slow pace of action so far.
read more here

August 18, 2014
IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff issued the following statement:
“IAVA congratulates General Sutton on this well deserved honor to head Veterans Affairs for the city of New York,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “New York is home to one of the largest communities of veterans, who face the same issues as veterans across the country, including homelessness, unemployment, suicide, waiting on disability benefits, and more. General Sutton knows the problems veterans face and is uniquely positioned to help solve them. As a New York based organization, IAVA looks forward to continuing our work with General Sutton as she continues to improve the lives of veterans.”

From NPR in 2010
Pentagon Shifts Its Story About Departure of Leader of Brain Injury Center
Two days later, we got a message from Sutton's boss, Charles Rice, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. A Pentagon spokeswoman, Eileen Lainez, said that Haight "misspoke." Sutton stepped down after Rice decided "that a change in leadership was necessary to continue moving the organization forward," Lainez said.

The Pentagon has pledged in recent days to improve its care for soldiers with mild traumatic brain injury — and one place that might need some attention is communications at the top.

Earlier this month, we reported that the military was routinely failing to diagnose such injuries, which are the most common head wounds sustained by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also found that soldiers had trouble getting adequate treatment at one of America's largest military bases, Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Three tour Iraq veteran wanted to "prevent American Spring"

Troubled Iraq vet found on city bus loaded with guns
New York Post
By Kirstan Conley and Joe Tacopino
May 29, 2014

A troubled Iraq war veteran who believed he was trying to protect Americans from a bloody civil war was busted after riding a Brooklyn bus while carrying a 12-gauge shotgun, machete and an array of ammo, law-enforcement sources said.

Christopher Palumbo, 27, who served three tours in Iraq, was charged with larceny and weapons possession after terrified bus passengers saw the high-powered weaponry slipping from his bag on a bus in Bay Ridge on Tuesday, sources said.

The former Marine said that he was protecting people and trying to prevent the “bloodshed” from an “American Spring,” sources said. Palumbo’s mother said he was deeply affected by serving overseas.
read more here

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CNN Puts PTSD and 9-11 NY Cops On Trial

CNN Puts PTSD and 9-11 NY Cops On Trial
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 7,2014

Everyone remember watching in horror as firefighters and police officers walked into the debris clouds of New York City that day. We watched for days as they searched for survivors and then bodies as hope evaporated almost quickly as the dust settled on everything. We watched as they stood silently saluting when one of their brothers bodies was removed carried under a flag.

By the time the news crews like CNN moved on, people stopped watching what was happening to these men and women. Claims for illnesses caused by working in the toxic piles and claims for PTSD were being fought for but hardly anyone noticed.

Two wars were started because of that day. Veterans paid and are still paying. The police officers and firefighters along with other first responders are paying. Just when you think it doesn't get any worse, this comes along.

If the allegations are true, then the justice system needs to prove it and they need to be held accountable. It is rare but it does happen. Not just now but there has been a history of frauds in every walk of life while people needing help the most often never receive it.

What boils my blood pressure is how CNN reported this. Pay close attention to the bold parts.

Prosecutor: More than 100 NYC police and firefighters indicted in PTSD scam
By Ray Sanchez. Susan Candiotti and Lorenzo Ferrigno
January 7, 2014

Photos show the "disabled" first responders playing basketball, doing martial arts
More than 100 cops and firefighters have been indicted in a disability scam
The scam spanned more than two decades
Some claimed to have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the 9/11 attacks

New York (CNN) -- Though the former New York City police officers and firefighters were supposed to be fully disabled -- some suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- photos in court documents released Tuesday painted a starkly different picture.

One man smiled behind shades and flipped the bird aboard a Sea-Doo personal watercraft. Another sat at the controls of a helicopter. A mixed martial arts instructor posed with arms crossed. They're seen riding motorcycles, hauling in massive sailfish, slugging softballs for the "NYPD Blues," taking jump shots, running half marathons and golfing, and even giving television news interviews while selling cannoli at Manhattan's famed San Genaro festival.

They are among the more than 100 retired New York City police and firefighters indicted in a massive Social Security disability scam involving hundreds of millions of dollars, authorities said. More than half the recipients received funds for fraudulent claims for PTSD in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center.

"We will chase down every penny that these dishonorable thieves fraudulently pilfered so that the truly heroic firefighters, police officers, medics, and civilians who actually risked their lives on September 11, 2001, and are now suffering because of it, can get the care that they critically need," said James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York.
The alleged scam spanned more than two decades, with law enforcement officers and firefighters coached on how to behave during doctor visits in order to qualify for full disability benefits, officials said.
read more here

The claim is for PTSD. Right? So what does it matter what they do physically especially when most of the things they were doing charities have been raising huge sums of money to supply them with?

Martial Arts and PTSD? Yes, many use that. Everything in the list above are things that people with PTSD not only can enjoy but are encouraged to do but CNN makes it seem as if they are not supposed to do any of this.

Riding motorcycles? Ever see a veteran or a cop on a motorcycle? Marathons, golfing, fishing and playing softball? Everything on this list are things they are told they should do to be active in recovery and what almost every charity across the country is raising boatloads of cash to provide.

As for helping these cops get through the system, that isn't anything new either.  For veterans there are veterans service officers helping veterans get thru the rigmarole of the claims process.

CNN just managed to not only put these cops on public trial, they did it to the veterans with PTSD as well. If you read Wounded Times you know exactly what experts recommend for the veterans to do as part of healing.  All of what is in the list is

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Afghanistan veteran serving at Ground Zero because of it

Afghanistan vet finds a new way to serve
By Jeremy Bradley
January 1, 2013

Ricardo Benejam was born and raised in New York City and saw the twin towers fall
Benejam enlisted in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and 2009
He now works at the 9/11 Memorial as a visitor services host
Benejam: It's like you're continuing to serve because you're telling the story

(CNN) -- Ricardo Benejam is a born-and-bred New Yorker. He grew up with a view of the World Trade Center from the window of his childhood apartment in lower Manhattan.

On September 11, 2001, he was a freshman in high school when the twin towers fell.

"I had actually blurted out, 'We'll be going to war,'" he recalls. "You knew it wasn't an accident. That was my first thought at 14 [years old]."

He witnessed the devastation firsthand as he walked home that day.

"I saw cars that were littered with dust," he said. "I saw people in business suits that were littered in dust."

Benejam visits ground zero several times a week now, not just to pay respect to his fellow veterans or to reflect on the events that inspired him to serve his country. He works at the 9/11 Memorial.

"Working down there, it's like you're continuing to serve because you're telling the story of what happened and what was there before," he said.

Part of what makes his job so special is the bond he shares with other veterans visiting the site.

"You meet a veteran, and it's almost like seeing a brother or sister," Benejam said. "A lot of us have deployed (as a result of) what happened on 9/11."
read more here

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shoeless Man in Viral Photo Was Homeless Veteran

I still think that NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo proves compassion lives in Manhattan when he took his own money to buy socks and shoes for a man he thought needed them. After all, it was a cold night. The store clerk gave his employee discount to help the officer pay for them. The stranger waited long enough to find out what was going on to capture this act of compassion on a camera.

Now a reporter discovered the man he helped is not homeless, at least not homeless anymore. He was homeless but was provided with a place to live by the VA in 2011. In other words he was a homeless veteran.

Shoeless Man in Viral Photo Not Homeless: Officials
Jeffrey Hillman, the barefooted recipient of boots from a caring NYPD officer, has an apartment in the Bronx, the I-Team has learned
By Melissa Russo
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012

He may be shoeless, but he is not homeless.

Jeffrey Hillman, the barefooted recipient of boots from an NYPD officer last week, has an apartment in the Bronx, NBC 4 New York's I-Team first reported.

“He does have stable housing,” said Seth Diamond, New York City's homeless services commissioner. “We’ve worked with Mr. Hillman for years.”

Hillman used to be homeless, but entered shelter in 2009 before moving into an apartment secured by Veterans Affairs in 2011, the I-Team has confirmed. He pays his rent using a lifetime voucher for homeless veterans and his Social Security income.

Despite his permanent home, Hillman panhandles in Times Square, usually without shoes.

In fact, when an NBC producer spotted him Saturday night and snapped a picture, his new boots from Officer Lawrence Deprimo were nowhere to be seen. He's offered varying accounts of why he was not wearing them and did not mention that he had an apartment to call home.
read more here

I don't think less of this story now. I think it means much more. Consider that this NYPD officer had so much compassion in him all he cared about what helping someone just because he needed it. He didn't ask how he got to be where he was or anything past the fact this man had nothing on his feet. Nothing can change what Officer DePrimo did.

Now what makes this story better is that the man helped had been a homeless veteran up until last year when the VA stepped in and found him a place to live. Part of President Obama's pledge to get veterans off the street by 2014.

Yes, he does have a place to live now and yes DePrimo proved that compassion does not ask anything more than what is needed. Beyond that it also proved that sometimes the people we help may not need it as much as we may think at the time but we do it instead of requiring proof first.

Officer DePrimo showed compassion lives in New York and nothing can change that.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo proves compassion lives in Manhattan

UPDATE Shoeless man in viral photo was homeless veteran
Larry DePrimo, NYPD Cop, Buys Homeless Man Boots (PHOTO)
By Anthony M DeStefano
Posted: 11/29/2012
You have to like what NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo did for a barefoot man in Manhattan one frigid night this month. In fact, more than 260,000 Facebook users have "liked" DePrimo's actions, a number that's growing every day.

After a tourist from Arizona snapped a photo of DePrimo, of Holbrook, giving the man socks and boots to ward off the cold, the image became an instant hit on the NYPD's Facebook page.
read more here

Photo of NYPD officer giving boots to barefoot man warms hearts online
Cop keeps receipt in his vest 'to remind me that sometimes people have it worse'
NBC News
On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.

The act of kindness would have gone unnoticed and mostly forgotten, had it not been for a tourist from Arizona.

Her snapshot — taken with her cellphone on Nov. 14 and posted to the New York Police Department’s official Facebook page late Tuesday — has made Officer DePrimo an overnight Internet hero.

By Wednesday evening, the post had been viewed 1.6 million times, and had attracted nearly 275,000 “likes” and more than 16,000 comments — a runaway hit for a Police Department that waded warily onto the social media platform this summer with mostly canned photos of gun seizures, award ceremonies and the police commissioner.

Among all of those posts, the blurry image of Officer DePrimo kneeling to help the shoeless man as he sat on 42nd Street stood out. “This is definitely the most viral,” said Barbara Chen, a spokeswoman for the department who helps manage its Facebook page.

Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75.

read more here

Photo of NYPD officer giving boots to barefoot man warms hearts online Cop keeps receipt in his vest 'to remind me that sometimes people have it worse'
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Boots on the Ground - America Remembers

7000 Boots
"Boots on the Ground - America Remembers"
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Saturday, October 27th 2012
Two years ago the Patriot Guard Riders stood for Fallen Hero (KIA) SPC Kelly Mixon.

Today, Kelly's Gold Star Mother Julie has requested the Patriot Guard Riders participation in the celebration of "Boots on the Ground." This is a 1.5 mile presentation of Fallen Heroes Boots symbolizing the sacrifice of America's Fallen Warriors. In conjunction with the "Boots on the Ground" presentation in Downtown Fernandina Beach, there will be the First Annual 5K, 10K Heroes Run where the PGR has been asked to stand a Flag Line honoring those runningand walking for those who have fallen.

The Heroes Run motto is - "They fought to keep us safe, we run for all they gave!"

Walk or drive along 1.5 miles of "Boots on the Ground" stretching from the corner of Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach to the Atlantic Ocean. A memorial of over 7,000 Boots, Pictures, and Flags honoring the brave Firefighters, Police Officers of 9-11 and Fallen OIF-OEF U.S. Service Members.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Veteran on Mission: Stop Soldier Suicides

Brian Kinsella, CEO Stop Soldier Suicides
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Brian served as a Logistics Officer in the United States Army from 2005-2010. His service includes assignments in Germany, Italy, and Fort Knox. He deployed as a Detachment Commander to Baghdad, Iraq for 15 months during the surge in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then served as the Aide-de-Camp and Executive Officer to the Commanding General of the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). He deployed to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of the Joint Logistics Command.

Brian is currently working in the Corporate and Investment Banking division of BNP Paribas in New York City. He graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Political Science and attended the University of Louisville Graduate School of Business.

Oct 12, 2012 by Associated Press
As the number of American troops committing suicide rises, a former Army officer is on a cross-country motorcycle trip to raise awareness of his mission to get service members free mental health care.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Marine Gunnery Sgt. was in Pentagon during attack

Marine, first responder donates personal 9/11 memorabilia, awards
Marine Gunnery Sgt. was in Pentagon during attack
Updated: Tuesday, 11 Sep 2012
Renee Dials
Photojournalist: La-Keya Stinchcomb

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A retired Marine from the Gulf Coast was at the Pentagon when it was attacked on 9/11.

Ronald Mix had an appointment at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, to talk with an official about his pending transfer from the Marine Corp University in Virginia to Camp LeJeune. He had no idea how the day would unfold.

"This was the day that I said I'm going to go in and take care of this, and as I was going in, the World Trade Center episode happened," Mix said.

Mix was a Staff Sergeant at the time. He and others were watching the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center when another unthinkable act occurred.

Mix was in a different part of the huge complex when the Pentagon was attacked.

"I went home. I couldn't.. I would just stare at the TV. I said I got to do something."

Even though he didn't work there, and he didn't even know if he would be allowed on site, he went back to do whatever he could.

Mix and another Marine were first to display a flag at the tragic scene.
read more here

Eleven years later: Marines remember 9/11

Eleven years later: Marines remember 9/11
2nd Marine Logistics Group
Story by Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - They saw the tragedy unfold through the windows of their childhood schools in New York City. They have grown, and all of them followed their own paths into the Marine Corps, but the images still burn in their memories.

Three Marines from 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group took a break from their daily jobs to meet here and remember the day 19 hijackers etched Sept. 11, 2001, into the collective memory of Americans.

“It was surreal,” said Pfc. Lawrence N. Ellington-Farley, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native and an administrative clerk with the battalion. “It was like the day before didn’t even happen.”

He was an 11-year-old student enduring another day of classes when he saw a plane crash into the World Trade Center.

“If you looked out the window, you could actually see people jumping or falling out of the building,” said Ellington-Farley, whose father was one of the first responders at the scene. “That is something I don’t think I will ever forget.”

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people and stripped the New York City skyline of its iconic Twin Towers. The legacy of the attacks still troubles the Marines of 8th ESB who experienced the event within the city’s limits.

“I have a little girl and a wife back home, and it always worries me because you never know if something will ever happen like that to New York,” said Lance Cpl. Angel Anaya, an embarkation specialist with the battalion.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Remarkable Untold Story of the 9/11 Surfer

The Remarkable Untold Story of the 9/11 Surfer
By Hillary Ossip
Mon Sep 10, 2012

Tune in to the premiere of The 9/11 Surfer on Tuesday, September 11 at 8 PM E/P.

The 9/11 Surfer documents what could be the last untold survival story from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. This documentary tells the true story of 9/11 survivor Pasquale Buzzelli, who rode a blizzard of falling debris from a 22nd floor stairwell of the World Trade Center’s North Tower and lived to tell the tale.

The firemen who rescued Mr. Buzzelli shared his remarkable story of survival with the media. However, Mr. Buzzelli did not come forward, and his captivating story became a myth, an urban legend, and an enigma that gave rise to much speculation.
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PTSD After Trauma

Monday, September 10, 2012

58 cancers receive 9/11 fund coverage

58 cancers receive 9/11 fund coverage
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:02 PM EDT, Mon September 10, 2012
The addition finalizes a June proposal
An estimated 950 to 2,150 people are expected to take advantage
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg hails the move

(CNN) -- Federal health authorities Monday added 58 types of cancer to the list of covered illnesses for people who were exposed to toxins at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

The addition finalizes a recommendation from Dr. John Howard, administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program. Howard proposed in June that the program accept the recommendations of its Science/Technical Advisory Committee and add some cancers to the coverage list -- 14 categories in all.

Firefighters responding to 9/11 at increased cancer risk

The advisory committee review called for expanded "coverage for certain types of cancer resulting from exposure to toxins released at Ground Zero."

"The publication of this final rule marks an important step in the effort to provide needed treatment and care to 9/11 responders and survivors through the WTC Health Program," Howard said in a statement Monday.

The rule is expected to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register, and will take effect 30 days after its publication, Howard said.
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