Showing posts with label South Carolina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Carolina. Show all posts

Friday, May 29, 2020

Father and Son Marines Beat Enemy Together...Both Had COVID-19

SC veterans, father and son, battle COVID-19 together

By Jason Raven
May 29, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Thomas Bowman Jr. said in early April he began feeling under the weather.
Thankfully, both men have been released from the hospital and have made full recoveries. (Source: Family photo)
He originally thought it was his chronic sinusitis acting up. But on April 5, he began feeling worse and his symptoms were getting severe.

“The symptoms of COVID-19 had begun forming in my lungs. Headaches. Shortness of breath,” he said.

Bowman Jr. -- a Marine Corps veteran -- was admitted to the VA Hospital in Columbia. Bowman had pneumonia in his lungs and a high fever. He tested positive for COVID-19.

When he was talking with doctors, he remembered he had visited his mother and father a few days before he started to feel ill.

“Bowman Jr. had recently cut his own grass and his mother and father’s grass. He was very concerned they could possibly contract this illness,” Dr. Amy Lucas at the VA Hospital in Columbia said.

Bowman Jr. followed his father’s footsteps when he joined the United States Marine Corps. Now Thomas Bowman Sr., a Vietnam War veteran, followed his son’s footsteps when he also tested positive for COVID-19 and found himself hospitalized.
read it here

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Marines evacuate Beaufort and Parris Island ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Parris Island Evacuates, Canceling Graduations as Dorian Threatens East Coast
By Gina Harkins
3 Sep 2019

Beaufort and Parris Island are near Hilton Head Island, on South Carolina's southeast coast. Parris Island is a marshy base just a few feet above sea level.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island started the evacuation of recruits to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., Sept. 3, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Dana Beesley)

Thousands of Marines and recruits will evacuate two South Carolina military installations as the deadly hurricane that devastated the Bahamas makes its way toward the East Coast.

Leaders ordered evacuations at Marine Corps Base Parris Island and the nearby Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort on Monday as Hurricane Dorian moves across the Caribbean and toward Florida and the Carolinas. Personnel and any dependents must head to safe locations at least 100 miles -- but no more than 400 -- away from the base, according to evacuation orders, which went into effect Monday.

All graduation events at Parris Island, where about 20,000 recruits train to become Marines each year, have also been canceled this week. That includes ceremonies for Golf and Papa companies, which were held at the base Sunday, ahead of schedule.
read it here

Monday, August 26, 2019

Community guards Vietnam veteran's possessions after eviction...and heart attack

Vietnam veteran evicted from apartment; people seen rummaging through belongings

by: WBTW
Posted: Aug 23, 2019
Trinemeyer said the veteran suffered a heart attack at around the same time he got the eviction notice and only recently got out of the hospital.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A Carolina Forest veteran is headed to New York after an eviction.

Veterans Outreach Program Specialist Chris Aranda, with the Department of Veterans Affairs, told WBTW the veteran, identified as Tom, was released from the hospital around 3 p.m. on Wednesday and was dropped off at a homeless shelter.

When VA members went to the shelter, the veteran wasn’t there, Aranda said. The members went looking for the veteran and found him on Oak Street.

The veteran stayed in a hotel overnight, where he was able to shower and sleep in a bed, Aranda added. On Thursday, volunteers from various vet organizations helped the veteran load the rest of his things before he heads to New York to stay with family and friends.

“Very unfortunate event that he came home to this, but veteran community stepped up once again and ensured we leave no veteran behind,” Aranda said.
“I will never leave a veteran behind. If there’s a veteran in need, if there’s a veteran in the street, if a veteran just needs a meal – I’m there,” said Chase McCarthy.

Some volunteers stayed overnight to protect Tom’s property.

“We basically just stayed here to make sure that what was left of his property was, that nobody else looted or messed with anything else. A lot of his stuff had already been taken. To my understanding it had been here a few days already,” said Chuck Hooks.
read it here

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Col. Derek O'Malley on right path to helping Airmen heal

'Heartbroken' Air Force commander shocked and in disbelief as base suffers its third suicide this year

Business Insider
Ryan Pickrell
August 17, 2019

The Air Force is taking a hard look at itself as service suicides skyrocket. As of August 1, 78 airmen had taken their own lives since the start of the year. That is a 56 percent increase over the toll from the same time last year.
The US Air Force has seen 78 suicides so far this year, 28 more than this time last year. U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II

A "heartbroken" Air Force commander expressed shock and disbelief after a South Carolina base suffered its third suicide in as many months.

"Here we are again. I can't believe it," Col. Derek O'Malley, the commander of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, said in a video on Facebook Wednesday. "We lost another airman yesterday."

"I wake up every day, my command team, we wake up every day to try to make this place a better place. There's so much we try to do, so much more we need to do. But none of that matters right now because we lost another one of our own."

US Air Force 2nd Lt. Christopher J. Rhoton, who served in the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was found dead in an apparent suicide Tuesday, Maj. Allen Dailey with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office told WIS, a local media outlet.
read more here

Starting on the right path is what you just did.

Col. O'Malley, I grieve for you and everyone else in the military, as much as I grieve for our veterans.

I have watched and waited for someone to step up and speak loud enough to be heard. What has been done, has not worked. You just did exactly that.

Please reconsider "resilience" training, since that is part of the increase in suicides. It prevents them from seeking help because they think it is their fault for being weak instead of being taught what PTSD is and why they have it.

Telling them they can train their brains to become mentally tough, and all they hear is they are mentally weak if they end up with PTSD. Simple as that.

What has been said has done more harm than good. Just as all the suicide awareness has removed hope from their minds. You just gave them back hope.

For over 3 decades I have seen far more than my share of suffering, but I have also seen how magnificent it is when they open their eyes to all they can become, even with PTSD.

They need to see what is strong within them instead of being told what is wrong with them.

They need to know that it is the strength of their emotional core that allowed them to become a service member, but also caused them to feel all they experienced more than others.

For civilians, over 7 million of us, it is the "one" event that can cause PTSD. For service members, it is the "one too many" that inflicts pain beyond comprehension. 

So, thank you for doing the video and speaking out. You showed you care about those you serve with and that is the beginning of healing.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

21 Flags meant to honor veterans burnt at funeral home

A funeral home says 21 US flags honoring veterans on July 4th were set on fire

By Paul P. Murphy
July 10, 2019

(CNN)Twenty-one American flags were found burned at a cemetery in Anderson, South Carolina, according to the funeral home that runs it.

Owner Jess McDougald says his family has never seen anything like it in McDougald Funeral Home's 85 years of operation.

The funeral home has been run by the same family for three generations, since McDougald's grandfather started it, and he says they put out American flags during patriotic holidays.

The remains of the flags were found in a pile, the funeral home says.

"We've put flags out for as long as I can remember," McDougald said. "We've never had a problem." The flags lined the road to the veterans section of the cemetery on the evening of July 3: about 30 of them, 4 feet by 6 feet in size, fixed to 8-foot poles.

But when cemetery staff arrived for work July 5, they found poles in a pile with the burnt remains of 21 flags.
read it here

Monday, June 10, 2019

Petty Officer James Miske died on May 26 in Columbia, South Carolina.

SC funeral home asks community to serve as family after Vietnam veteran dies alone

FOX 8 News
June 10, 2019

CHAPIN, S.C. — A Vietnam veteran died with no family to take care of his final salute, so a funeral home will take up the duty.

“It is my honor to use the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Program to give this Veteran that final salute. I am reaching out once again asking that you help us serve as family for this previously Unclaimed Veteran,” Caughman-Harman Funeral Home said in a Facebook post Thursday.

Petty Officer James Miske died on May 26 in Columbia, South Carolina.

He was born in 1944 in Chicago and served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1967.

He was assigned to Aviation Administration Maintenance before transferring to Naval Reserves.

“Petty Officer Third Class Miske served his Nation honorably in the Vietnam War receiving a National Defense Service Medal and a Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star,” the funeral home wrote.
read more here

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Marine faces charges of killing another Marine

Marine shot and killed at Beaufort air station, another Marine in custody

Marine Corps Times
By: Shawn Snow
April 13, 2019

A Marine was shot and killed aboard the Beaufort, South Carolina, Marine air station at 9:30 p.m. Friday, according to Marine officials.

Another Marine is a suspect in the shooting and currently is in custody, according to Lt. Kevin Buss, a spokesman with the Beaufort air station.

The Marine killed in the deadly shooting belonged to Marine Aircraft Group 31, or MAG-31.

The incident is under investigation and the Corps provided no other details.

MAG-31 and the Beaufort air station are also home to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, an F-35B training squadron.
get updates here

Monday, March 18, 2019

Fort Jackson’s 51st Commanding General marks 100 years of family service

This general’s family: From segregation to command in 100 years

The Associated Press
By: Christina L. Myers
March 17, 2019
"That was one thing I did reflect on. Somebody at some point in time said your particular race can't do that," Beagle said. "At some point our ancestors fought so we could be in those front-line units and those combat units."
Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., commander of Fort Jackson, South Carolina, speaks to the president of the Sgt. Isaac Woodard Historical Marker Association following the dedication ceremony in Batesburg-Leesville, S.C., last month. The general is descended from a soldier who served at Camp Jackson in a segregated Army more than a century ago. (Christina Myers/AP)
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Pvt. Walter Beagles arrived at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, in 1918, an African American draftee in a segregated Army that relegated black soldiers to labor battalions out of a prejudiced notion that they couldn’t fight.

More than 100 years later, his great-grandson now serves as Fort Jackson’s 51st commanding general.

Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., a combat veteran who took command last June, admits that it gets to him, knowing he’s serving where his ancestor served but under vastly different circumstances.

"It does become pretty surreal to know that the gates my great-grandfather came through are the same gates I come through," Beagle said. "You always reflect back to you're standing on somebody's shoulders. Somebody put that stair in place so you can move one more rung up."

Beagle hails from the same town where his great-grandfather came from: Enoree, South Carolina. The family dropped the "s'' from the end of its name during his grandfather's lifetime.

He says he felt compelled to enter the infantry as a young man at least partly because African Americans once were largely shunted aside — considered inferior and unsuited to combat.
read more here

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Group takes care of pets when veterans have to go into the hospital

When veterans have to go to the hospital, this group steps in to foster their pets

The State
Published: February 14, 2019
”It was an unknown need in South Carolina,” Pawmetto Lifeline CEO Denise Wilkinson said. “The vets have no family and their pets are the only love they have in their lives. (With the new program), they take care of themselves and have no worries. When they get out of the hospital, we give them their pet back.”

The program is funded by the Michael J. Mungo Foundation, which will pay for the services on an as-needed basis. The foundation honors the late founder of Mungo Homes of Columbia.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — Pawmetto Lifeline, an organization that advocates foster care for stray animals as an alternative to shelters, on Wednesday unveiled a new program to help military veterans and their pets.

The “Boots for Service” program provides foster care and medical care for pets of veterans who have to enter the hospital and have nowhere to put their furry (or feathery, perhaps) friends.

By partnering with the U.S. Veterans Administration, the privately funded Pawmetto Lifeline organization will support identified veterans who might put their pet’s needs above their own and not seek treatment.

”If they are in trouble . . . and they have a dog or a cat, and they have to go to the hospital, what are they going to do?” McMaster said. “That causes more trouble. So this is a great, great program. I don’t know how many other states are doing this. But we are.”
read more here

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Stolen Valor Marine Dishonored Disabled Marines

Man raised money to send Marine families to Disney. He pocketed most of it, feds say

Charlotte Observer
Charles Duncan
January 11, 2019

Simpson raised about $481,000 for the charity, but spent only about $90,000 of that actually helping Marines, the feds charge.
A charity raised funds to send Marines and their families to Disney theme parks, but its founder John Simpson pocketed most of the money for himself, according to a federal indictment filed this week in South Carolina.

Simpson raised about $481,000 for the charity, but spent only about $90,000 of that actually helping Marines, the feds charge. The other $391,000 went to enriching himself, paying off his mortgage and bills, and for his then-wife’s “adult novelty business, Red Room Toys,” according to court filings.

Sherri Lydon, the U.S. Attorney in Charleston, South Carolina, accuses Simpson of lying about his military career to raise money. The indictment states he “falsely represented himself as a retired career marine with as much as 20 years of service, a retired Master Sergeant, a former Drill Instructor, and a Recon Marine.”
In fact, according to the court filing, Simpson served less than five years in the Marine Corps and was given a bad conduct discharge after going absent without leave in 1998.
read more here

Friday, October 12, 2018

Freak bullet killed Marine Veteran sitting on porch

UPDATE: 17 year old charged

The bullet was fired at a street sign. It killed a retired Marine on his porch, SC cops say

The State
October 11, 2018
The 48-year-old was a retired Marine major, and his family had recently moved into the Hodges house, the Index-Journal reported.

A retired veteran was killed Wednesday when a bullet fired at a street sign went through it and fatally struck him while he was on the porch of his South Carolina home, according to law enforcement.

Greenwood County Coroner Sonny Cox said Joe Darius Black was killed by a gunshot wound to his upper body, WYFF-4 reported.

He was a retired United States Marine, according to the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, which said Black “served his Country for 20 plus years.”

When sheriff’s deputies arrived around 11:30 p.m., they reported Black’s family was “administering CPR,” which they continued, along with Greenwood County EMS personnel, but the veteran died on the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.
read more here

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Vietnam veteran charged with shooting 7 police officers

The Latest: Disabled veteran held in shooting of 7 officers
Associated Press
October 4, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of seven South Carolina law enforcement officers

The man accused of killing a police officer and wounding six other law enforcement officers in a South Carolina standoff is a military veteran who received disability payments after being wounded in the Vietnam War.

That’s according to a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling in a divorce case involving 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins and his ex-wife Carol Hopkins.

The court noted in the year 2000 that Frederick Hopkins was injured in the Vietnam War and he was receiving a disability payment of $1,127 a month. Hopkins also was a lawyer, admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1980, but was later disbarred.
read more here

Friday, September 28, 2018

Homeless veteran James Clyde Hutchens Jr., 56 died in shelter

LEXINGTON, SC (FOX Carolina) - Officials in the Midlands have found family members of an Army veteran who died in a Lexington County homeless shelter earlier this month.

This SC veteran died at a homeless shelter. Can you help find his family?
The State
Teddy Kulmala
September 28, 2018

The Lexington County Coroner’s Office needs help locating family for James Clyde Hutchens Jr., an Army veteran who died earlier this month at a shelter for homeless veterans. The Lexington County Coroner’s Office needs help locating family for James Clyde Hutchens Jr., an Army veteran who died earlier this month at a shelter for homeless veterans. Lexington County Coroner's Office
Coroner’s officials need help locating the family of an Army veteran who died this month at a homeless shelter in Lexington County.

James Clyde Hutchens Jr., 56, died Sept. 13 of natural causes at a shelter for homeless veterans, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, whose office has been unable to locate any family for the veteran.

Fisher’s office has limited information. She said they believe Hutchens, whose date of birth is Aug. 1, 1962, has some possible ties to family in Spartanburg, but they still have been unable to locate any next of kin.
read more here

Thursday, September 13, 2018

In other news...the failure of raising awareness

We just posted how a veteran had a mental health crisis situation at Tampa Airport. He served six tours in the Air Force...but is seems as if there are a lot of stories that should make national news. 

Apparently, people who put their lives on the line to save others, still have not been made aware they are killing themselves. 

Oh, wait, my bad! They have been aware of that for a very long time.  Seems they missed the message on how to change the outcome and heal!

Like these!
MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( - An hours-long standoff in a northeast Memphis neighborhood ended peacefully Wednesday afternoon, after a man fired shots from his home and barricaded himself inside. 36-year-old Alfred LaBarre, a war veteran according to Memphis police sources, now faces several charges.

MINDEN TOWNSHIP — Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck said the Sauk Rapids man who apparently took his own life on Sunday was a military veteran in crisis.

The incident brought authorities to a standoff with the man, forced neighbors to evacuate the area around the 7300 block of Minnesota Highway 95 and shut down that road.

The news release from Heck's office said the victim was Rodolfo Alberto Gomez Jr., 44, of Sauk Rapids, a military veteran.

This marks the third Chicago officer to die by suicide in the last two months The Chicago police are mourning the loss of one of their own again.

The Chicago Police Department says a veteran officer took her own life Wednesday morning—marking the third suicide within the department in just two months.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Vietnam Veteran Got Surprise Visit from Combat Vets Association

Upstate veterans association surprises fellow vet in hospice with motorcycle rev up
FOX Carolina
By Ashley Minell
Updated: Jul 20, 2018
"In my opinion, God puts certain people in place at the right moment. And I see Matthew Dordal and the association and all the people that showed up that night as that," said Dordal.
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina)
On July 17, 68-year-old Vietnam veteran and motorcycle lover, Jerry Palmer, got the surprise of a lifetime.

"My husband tried to explain that they were coming for him and he didn't believe it until we saw... Jerry started crying. My husband was there and choking them back as well. We all felt the chill," said Joyce Tebault, Jerry's friend.

The people on the bikes felt it too.

"When you see the emotional connection Jerry had with motorcycles and hearing them roll up and us being fellow veterans. It was emotional for all of us," said Matthew Dordal, Chapter Commander of Combat Vets Association.
read more here

FOX Carolina 21

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Shaw Air Force Base female Airman found dead

30-year-old airman from Shaw Air Force base found dead in hotel
by ABC News 4
May 21st 2018

Sumter, S.C. (WCIV) — An airman at Shaw Air Force base was found dead this weekend at an off-base hotel.
The incident remains under investigation by the Sumter County Sheriff's Office.

Monika Carillo, 30, Airman 1st Class, assigned to the 20th Component Maintenance Squadron (CMS) at Shaw Air Force Base, was found dead on Saturday at approximately 10 p.m., according to the public affairs department with the United States Air Force.

She was an electronic warfare section team member who served in the Air Force since Sep. 12, 2017.
read more here

Saturday, March 3, 2018

PTSD Retired Police Officer and Veteran's Dogs Missing

Woman asks for help locating service dogs who assist her husband with PTSD
Friday, March 2nd 2018

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A Conway woman is asking for the public’s help in locating two lost service dogs that her husband relies on daily.
According to Tillman, her husband, Chris, is a retired police officer and Army veteran who suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. The registered service dogs help him to feel secure, she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Tillman at (843) 340-6611 day or night.
read more here

Monday, February 19, 2018

How S.C. first responders are trying to save their own

Firefighter suicides outnumber line-of-duty deaths. How S.C. first responders are trying to save their own.
The Post and Courier
Angie Jackson
February 18, 2018
Suicides such as Emily Avin’s were once overlooked by firefighters and paramedics eager to maintain an image of bravery and invincibility. But that’s changing as the profession acknowledges a deadly scourge that claims more lives than the perils firefighters face in the line of duty.

Emily Avin was supposed to come home that day in September.

Her parents had arranged it: Avin would move back into their country home in the small Florence County town of Pamplico, where she grew up playing softball and cheering for her high school football team as the mascot. It would be a break, for a month or so, from her job as a paramedic, a career the young woman loved but now found emotionally draining.

She worked one last 24-hour shift in Aiken. Afterward, instead of driving across the state, Avin called her mother upset.

Sue Ann Avin detected hopelessness in her daughter’s voice.

“Emily, you’re not thinking about doing anything to hurt yourself, are you?”
Later that morning, Emily Avin called 911 from her home in Aiken to report a suicide.

She then picked up a gun, walked outside and pulled the trigger before anyone could reach her. She was 26.
read more here

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Local Vietnam veteran honored with final ride to Florence National Cemetery
Holly DeLoache
Friday, February 16th 2018

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The life of a local Vietnam veteran was honored Friday - on his final ride to Florence National Cemetery.
Sheldon Shepherd served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He’s described as an outdoorsman and animal lover.

He passed away in his Conway home last month and was escorted by friends, family, and the Combat Veteran's Motorcycle Association on Friday

Shepherd received a purple heart and two bronze stars for valor.

"He never talked about it much, never bragged about it,” said Richard Caruso, who said he considered Shepherd to be like a brother.

"A tough guy. He wouldn't take any mess but he had a heart of gold. He'd give you the shirt off his back,” he continued.
read more here

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

TBI-PTSD Army Veteran Needs Help Going Back Home

Wounded Veteran’s Home Still Unlivable Since 2015 Floods

ABC News Columbia
Angela Rogers
September 26, 2017
According to Richland County, the property management firm hired non-licensed contractors, so the $91,000 Santana spent on fixing flooring, walls, electrical, and heating and cooling all goes to waste, since the work was done without permits, not up to FEMA code, and violated regulations.
Columbia, SC (WOLO)– Since the historic flooding of 2015, a now-retired wounded Army veteran is having to fight a different type of battle, one he never expected.

“Being a wounded warrior, with TBI, essential tremor, and PTSD, it’s very emotionally draining because I can’t, no matter what my wife and I do, we just cannot find resolution, and it’s been two years. And we want to move on but we can’t.” Maj. Miguel Santana 

Santana served his country for 26 years. He did a tour in Afghanistan, and two tours in Iraq. When he was deployed his family lived in Germany and he entrusted a property manager to take care of his home in the Midlands, especially when the devastating floods of 2015 hit.

“I could not physically be here. I trusted this property manager, that we had a signed contract, and I trusted the contractors to do what they said they were going to do. And everything was being supervised and managed by the property management company and they failed us,” Santana said.
read more here