Showing posts with label Residual War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Residual War. Show all posts

Saturday, November 12, 2016

You Have The Power To Change The Conversation On PTSD

Veterans consider the next commander-in-chief on PRI by Steven Snyder posted yesterday, this report on how our veterans are looking at the results of the election differently.
Brian McGough is a combat-wounded veteran who served in the initial invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
McGough, who has fought for the right of women to serve in combat, worries that President-elect Trump's views might result in limiting opportunities for women in the military.

"It's important to remember that there are a lot of veterans out there who are now feeling like they don't belong in this country," McGough adds. "There are veterans of color, veterans of different religious preferences, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender veterans who now feel threatened in their own country. And for me that's very concerning."
Another vet, who wrote to us from Ellwood City, Penn., expresses bitterness.

"I'm a veteran with mental health issues, and we just elected a man that thinks I need to just toughen up. ... I wish I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I'm neither proud of my country nor my service today. I just want to wake up from this nightmare."

But Dean Castaldo, an eight-year military veteran, points out that the men and women in the armed services — more than a million — represent a cross-section of America.

And regardless of their differences, Castaldo says, they all work together as a team.

Residual War, Something Worth Living For is about a female soldier, proven hero, suffering for what she thinks she caused by saving the wrong person. Suicides, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, military women, Warrior Transition Units mistreatment of our soldiers and the rest of the things that they really go through are within this work of fiction. 

Some hear about a female soldier with PTSD and assume it is just because of sexual assault, failing to notice females are just as human as the male soldiers and are exposed to the same dangers of combat. Some hear about soldiers committing suicide, assume they "just couldn't take it" without ever considering the simple fact they managed to "take it" when other lives were in danger, but did not receive the help they needed to heal afterwards.

Some hear about folks running around the country, screaming about how they are raising awareness, but the reality is there are less serving now than when the Army started to "address PTSD" yet it translated into more suicides among less to count.

Whatever you have heard up to this day after Veterans Day, you will now have the power to change the conversation.

Keep in mind that Combat PTSD Wounded Times has over 27,000 posts on it, so there is a lot of "news" put into this book. Your challenge is to discover what is true about the lives of these fictional characters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

PTSD: Residual War of Finding Something Worth Living For

PTSD: Residual War
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 4, 2016

I haven't been doing much posting lately because I was working on my new book. A real switch for me since this is a work of fiction but within the pages is a lot of truth that few want to talk about. Hey, why should they bother when some many of gone bonkers over what is easy? How the hell they think raising awareness is going to help anyone is beyond even my understanding of human nature. To borrow a line from Dr. Phil someone should ask them "how's that working for you so far" because it has only gotten worse for the veterans.

So, it begins.

A young woman, Mary Walker, grieves for the brother she lost to suicide in Afghanistan while she blames him for being weak and selfish. Her other brother is confined to a wheelchair after being blown up by an IED. After yet another day playing caregiver to him at the Lake Nona VA hospital, she finds a script written by someone with the name Mary Edwards Walker and the words Medal of Honor.

She has a couple of hours sitting by the memorials to the fallen and reads every word.

The script starts at Fort Christmas where there is one of the strangest military funerals she ever heard of.

Then she begins to read about Colonel Amanda Leverage serving as a Chaplain in Afghanistan, cold, distracted and detached, Mary has already made up her mind she should not be in any position to tend to the spiritual needs of anyone.

Leverage is demoted and sent to Fort Christmas by someone protecting her so that she can at least fill out her days until she can retire with some kind of dignity. She is in charge of a bunch of misfits just like her, only they are all males. 

After reading the script, Mary finds a better understanding that having PTSD is far from being weak, but more the strength of their love that makes them grieve so much.

RESIDUAL WAR Something Worth Living For, is about finding something worth staying alive for since they are all too ready to risk their lives for the sake of others in combat, but seem to find something worth staying alive for when everyone is out of danger, but them.

It is the one thing they all have in common. When it comes to laying down their own lives for someone else, they were worth it. When it comes to seeing that same worth within themselves, that, that they find impossible to find. Yet, when they do, when they understand that it is the strength of their love that enabled them to do it, they use the same love to heal and then help others to find something worth living for within themselves.

There is a female hero in Leverage, plus one in a Black Hawk Pilot who wanted to die when she became an amputee and was told she couldn't fly anymore. She managed to not only live, but fly the General who gave her back something to live for as well.

The women and men in this book are not perfect but none of them are weak. All of them are dealing with PTSD, survivor guilt and in Amanda's case, savior's remorse on top of it. 

After over three decades of spending this much time with veterans, the last thing any of the are is weak. Ya, I know, perfect timing considering what hit the news about one more ignorant person using "not strong" and "can't take it" to explain why so many take their own lives.

This is nothing more than passing judgement on what we may think instead of what we actually learn about people.  It is about finding redemption among your peers and learning what it is to be a simple human within the complexity of military life. There are many part within these pages that are based on true stories stung together.

Homeless veterans abandoned and used as lab rats by ruthless, greedy fools who saw them as a way to get rich while pretending to care. The veterans actually believed no one would ever care about them, until Leverage arrived and taught them that they also have something worth living for after being betrayed by the Army in 2013 when 11,000 of them were kicked out of the only like they ever wanted.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Suicide Awareness: Something Worth Living For

Something Worth Living For
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 25, 2016

Did you have something to risk your life for? Obviously you did or you wouldn't have joined the military. Were you willing to die to save someone else? Easy to guess that was a fact and you proved that one everyday you were deployed. So after all that, with the life of others mattering that much, why are thinking about taking your own life? Isn't there something worth living for?

That is the part no one has been able to explain to me. The thing is you can come up with all reasonable answers but none of them really equal to anything being any harder than combat. You survived all that. While coming back home shouldn't be this hard for you or any veteran, none of it is as hopeless as you think it is.

When I told the truth about what was going on in the Veterans' Community, folks wanted what was easy to understand. Like some saying they are raising awareness and getting away with taking a couple of headlines, quoting numbers as if they even begin to understand the report they came from.  

Anyway, after thirty four years I figured since those folks are winning attention for themselves while veterans have been losing their lives for decades, it was time to do some fabricating of my own. Most of the characters came from listening to veterans over all these years and blended with imaginary situations. They got into trouble for something worth the risk.

Everyone is talking about veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. No one is talking about the fact that the majority of veterans committing suicide are over the age of fifty. Yet our older veterans have more wisdom about what needs to be done than the younger generation has begun to understand.

So I created a story to tell what it is like for the newer veterans wrapped in a mystery, blended with a fictitious conspiracy using homeless veterans as lab rats in order to create the perfect soldier. 

These veterans were among the eleven thousand kicked out of the Army in 2013. This came after years of prevention training, the military telling us they were taking all this seriously at the same time they betrayed the very men and women willing to die for the sake of someone else. They got away with it because the American public wasn't paying enough attention.

A group of proven heroic soldiers are transferred to a old fort taken over by a high ranking member of the Army to protect them from being kicked out as well. Each of them had multiple deployments and even though they were suffering for their service they did not leave their military family.

The story is about passing judgment, raw emotions, survivor guilt, nightmares, flashbacks and losing hope that anything will ever get better. It is also about being betrayed by some while being supported by the family they entered into when they became the smallest minority in the nation. 

Those willing to die to save the lives of others yet having to search for a reason worth living for are all over the news but what is being talked about is far from the real world they live in.

You are not like the other 90+% of the population who never put their lives on the line. They suffer PTSD too and they commit suicide, but you risked your own life because other lives mattered more. Seems there should be a "veterans lives matter" movement because obviously most of you missed that. Still you don't fit in with them now that you live everyday as a veteran. You do fit in perfectly with other veterans and they are ready to help you heal so you can pass the healing along to others. That's something worth living for!

Ask yourself a question they don't want you to think about. "How does raising awareness save a single life?" What good does it do anyone to talk about a fabricated number of veterans killing themselves when they still don't know how to heal?

It is time to change the conversation from suicides to surviving. Evidence has shown no sign of suicides being reduced, no matter how much money they spend or how many times sad outcomes get into the news. You don't need someone to tell you that you don't want to live anymore. You need someone to give you back hope so you know there is something worth living for.  

RESIDUAL WAR will be on Amazon soon so get ready to see a world they only heard about from slogans.