Showing posts with label Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer. Show all posts

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Long Island Veterans Fight For Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project

Long Island veterans groups demand Gov. Cuomo provide state aid for peer-to-peer programA fight for funding is underway in Albany for a program that helps veterans deal with the unseen wounds of war.

News 12
February 6, 2020

A cry of protest has arisen from Long Island veterans who are furious Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not included funding to a peer-to-peer program that helps veterans facing the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Assemblyman Mike LiPetri, along with several Long Island groups, are demanding the $4 million in state aid needed for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project be included in Cuomo's budget.

Morris Miller, a Vietnam veteran who volunteers as a peer counselor, understands the importance of the peer-to-peer program.

"PTSD is not just for Vietnam veterans, it's Iraq, Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Desert Shield. There are our younger veterans, and we have to, as older veterans, stand up for these guys," says Morris.
read it here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer to Peer Program

New Program To Help Veterans With PTSD
WWNY news
Story Published: Sep 19, 2012
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is often called an invisible wound of war.

All too often it goes untreated.

"PTSD is a part of our community and a lot soldiers end up getting out of the military and staying in our community," said Tim Ruetten, mental health services coordinator for the Jefferson County Office of Community Services.

Thanks to a new program the Jefferson County Office of Community Services is working to launch this fall, veterans in the north country will be getting a new tool to help in healing.

"Other veterans who have experienced those symptoms themselves and resolved them would be there to help other newly discharged veterans or veterans who are experiencing those symptoms too, you know, get through that process," said Roger Ambrose, director of the Jefferson County Office of Community Services.

It's called the PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer to Peer Program.

It's named for a combat medic who struggled for years with the symptoms of PTSD before dying from a drug overdose in 2008.
read more here
Posted by Patty Ritchie
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
RELATED ISSUES: Health, Mental Health, Military, Military Affairs, Troops, Veterans

Senator Ritchie Secures Funds for Program Named to Honor “9-11 Vet”

A peer-support program for returning veterans suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), made possible through a grant secured by State Senator Patty Ritchie, is coming to Jefferson County this November.

The PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans is named for an Army soldier from New York who enlisted following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and who took his own life after returning home from Iraq.

Dwyer, an Army medic with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, was famously featured in a widely seen photo carrying a 4-year-old Iraqi boy to safety during a raging battle in the early months of the war. While in Iraq, his unit was engaged in nearly daily gun battles for three weeks.

“9-11 reminds us all of the sacrifices that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines make every day to protect our freedom,” said Senator Ritchie. “That’s why it’s especially important that we make sure that, when they come home, they receive the care they need to cope with the transition.”

The peer support program gives veterans a chance to interact with others who may be experiencing the same emotions and challenges caused by stress from combat and wartime service.

“Soldiers with PTSD are casualties of war, and this program gives suffering veterans someone to lean on, who may have been through the same hardships,” Senator Ritchie said.

Recent studies have shown that between 6 percent and 12.5 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD, and 62 percent have received some level of mental health care after coming home.

Persons suffering from PTSD are six times more likely to commit suicide.

Senator Ritchie, whose district includes the largest US military post east of the Mississippi River; Senator Lee Zeldin, a combat veteran and captain in the US Army Reserves, and Senator Roy McDonald, a Vietnam War veteran, jointly secured funding in this year’s state budget for the program.

Programs in four counties—Jefferson, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Suffolk—are each eligible to receive up to $200,000 in state budget funds.

Locally, the program will be administered by the Jefferson County Community Services, which is seeking proposals from providers who wish to operate the program.

Interested agencies can obtain more information or an application by emailing Roger Ambrose, director of Jefferson County Community Services at Applications must be submitted by October 15th, as the program is expected to be in operation by November 15th.

Here is his story

Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer dies after PTSD struggle

Monday, July 28, 2008

77,000 calls in one year to VA suicide hotlines

Suicide hot line got calls from 22000 veterans
The Associated Press
By KATHARINE EUPHRAT – 8 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 22,000 veterans have sought help from a special suicide hot line in its first year, and 1,221 suicides have been averted, the government says.

According to a recent RAND Corp. study, roughly one in five soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, putting them at a higher risk for suicide. Researchers at Portland State University found that male veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide than men who are not veterans.

This month, a former Army medic, Joseph Dwyer, who was shown in a Military Times photograph running through a battle zone carrying an Iraqi boy, died of an accidental overdose after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder for almost five years.

Janet Kemp, national suicide prevention coordinator for the Veterans Affairs Department, said the hot line is in place to help prevent deaths such as Dwyer's. "We just want them to know there's other options and people do care about them, and we can help them make a difference in their lives," she said in an interview.

The VA teamed up with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to launch the hot line last July after years of criticism that the VA wasn't doing enough to help wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In April, two veterans groups sued the VA, citing long delays for processing applications and other problems in treatment for veterans at risk for suicide. The department has spent $2.9 million on the hot line thus far.

The hot line receives up to 250 calls per day — double the average number calling when it began. Kemp said callers are divided evenly between veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars. Richard McKeon, public health adviser for SAMHSA, said 10 to 20 of the 1,575 calls received each week have to be rerouted to high-volume backup call centers throughout the country.

The veterans hot line, which is linked to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, received 55,000 callers in its first year, including both veterans and people who are concerned about them, according to figures being released Monday. One-third of the 40 specially trained counselors are veterans themselves.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Spc. Dwyer's Widow: Soldier propped up as hero, then discarded

Widow: Soldier propped up as hero, then discarded
Soldier in famous photo never defeated 'demons'
Associated Press
Published: Sunday July 20, 2008

By ALLEN G. BREED and KEVIN MAURER, Associated Press Writers

PINEHURST, N.C. - Officers had been to the white ranch house at 560 W. Longleaf many times before over the past year to respond to a "barricade situation." Each had ended uneventfully, with Joseph Dwyer coming out or telling police in a calm voice through the window that he was OK.

But this time was different.

The Iraq War veteran had called a taxi service to take him to the emergency room. But when the driver arrived, Dwyer shouted that he was too weak to get up and open the door.

The officers asked Dwyer for permission to kick it in.

"Go ahead!" he yelled.

They found Dwyer lying on his back, his clothes soiled with urine and feces. Scattered on the floor around him were dozens of spent cans of Dust-Off, a refrigerant-based aerosol normally used to clean electrical equipment.

Dwyer told police Lt. Mike Wilson he'd been "huffing" the aerosol.

"Help me, please!" the former Army medic begged Wilson. "I'm dying. Help me. I can't breathe."

Unable to stand or even sit up, Dwyer was hoisted onto a stretcher. As paramedics prepared to load him into an ambulance, an officer noticed Dwyer's eyes had glassed over and were fixed.

A half hour later, he was dead.

When Dionne Knapp learned of her friend's June 28 death, her first reaction was to be angry at Dwyer. How could he leave his wife and daughter like this? Didn't he know he had friends who cared about him, who wanted to help?

But as time passed, Knapp's anger turned toward the Army.
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Monday, July 14, 2008

Warren Zinn on the death of Spc. Joseph Dwyer

In all these years, I've cried more times than I would dare try to remember. This is one more time to be added to the many. Warren Zinn, the photographer of the famous image of Joseph Dwyer, has been trying to figure out if his picture had anything to do with Dwyer's death or the life he had when he came home. Zinn, like many, ask themselves the same question over and over again. What could have been done to prevent it? The truth is, nothing. While it's true they need more help from the DOD and the VA to heal their wounds, there has to be more outreach done for them and more community involvement, families and friends can only do what they know how to do in between now and the time that comes when they are all taken care of.

You didn't see the picture of Dwyer running to help the child but Zinn did.

Warren Zinn
Former Photojournalist, Army Times
Monday, July 14, 2008; 12:00 PM

"The e-mail was a punch in the gut: 'the soldier you made famous -- killed himself last Saturday -- thought you should know.' ... Dwyer was dead of a substance overdose at 31. I'd read news reports that he was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. He thought he was being hunted by Iraqi killers. He'd been in and out of treatment. He couldn't, his mother told the media, 'get over the war.' But as I stared at his image on my wall, I couldn't dodge the question: Did this photo have anything to do with his death? News reports said that he hated the celebrity that came with the picture. How much, I wondered, did that moment -- just 1/250th of a second when three lives intersected on a river bank in Iraq -- contribute to the burdens he'd brought home with him?"

Or what came after and the compassion

Washington: Mr Zinn, I really don't have a question at this time. The photograph you took is famous -- we have an enlarged, framed copy of it where I work. In fact, there are several. I am a physician at Walter Reed Army Center. That photograph exemplifies the best in all our medics -- we have the best medics in the world, and I am proud of them and proud to work with them. You did not cause this young man's death, nor is he the only one who chose to end his life as he did.

That is an unfortunate reality of war, the deaths that are not counted in the official death toll. So many of our men and women are walking wounded. They refuse the help they are offered and deny that they have a problem. We are trying very hard to change this culture of denial, but it is an uphill battle, most unfortunately. I think every time a warrior's "story" is told, it helps both them and someone else. Thank you for telling us your story, and a little bit about Joesph's.

for more of this go here

go here for more pictures

Too many pictures we will never see. Too many moments of compassion in the midst of horror. We may appreciate them, we may honor them, we may respect them, but what we all need to do is remember they are just humans like the rest of us but unlike the rest of us they have seen things and done things the rest of us will never have to because they do it for us.

It doesn't matter if you agree in the mission or not, because they do not all agree either. What they do agree on is that they are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of their brothers. This takes a rare individual. We cannot come close to understanding all of it but we can try. We cannot save all of their lives when they make it back home, but not all the way home. We can try and it's about time we got serious about this and stopped finding excuses for not doing it today for all of them.

When photographers like Zinn risk their lives to take the pictures of the troops, they bring us closer to understanding that it is not all just a bunch of news reports but news reports about people just like us. Please go to his site and look at all the pictures there. Just make sure you have a tissue. You'll need one.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

CBS Evening News ready to tell story of Spc. Joseph Dwyer

Story Draws National Media Spotlight


The story of former soldier Joseph Dwyer's death and struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder has been picked up by several national news outlets.
The CBS Evening News contacted The Pilot Tuesday and is working on a story, tentatively to air Thursday night. Newsday and the Associated Press both picked up the story Monday. USA Today ran a reprint of an Army Times story Tuesday. Even the Melbourne, Australia, newspaper The Age ran a story.

Dwyer died at his Pinehurst home June 28. Pinehurst police believe an accidental overdose of inhalants and prescription drugs caused his death.

Dwyer became famous in 2003 when a photograph of him running with an Iraqi boy in his arms appeared in newspapers, magazines and television programs. Army Times photographer Warren Zinn took the photograph during one of the first days of the war as Dwyer ran the boy to a makeshift Army hospital.
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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer dies after PTSD struggle

Army Pfc. Joseph P. Dwyer, 26, from Suffolk County, N.Y., carries a boy injured in a firefight between the 7th Cavalry Regiment and Iraqi militia troops near Al Faysaliyah village, south of Baghdad.

Credit: Warren Zinn, Army Times

Soldier in photo dies after PTSD struggle

By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jul 3, 2008 15:56:51 EDT

During the first week of the war in Iraq, a Military Times photographer captured the arresting image of Army Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer as he raced through a battle zone clutching a tiny Iraqi boy named Ali.

The photo was hailed as a portrait of the heart behind the U.S. military machine, and Doc Dwyer’s concerned face graced the pages of newspapers across the country.

But rather than going on to enjoy the public affection for his act of heroism, he was consumed by the demons of combat stress he could not exorcise. For the medic who cared for the wounds of his combat buddies as they pushed toward Baghdad, the battle for his own health proved too much to bear.

On June 28, Dwyer, 31, died of an accidental overdose in his home in Pinehurst, N.C., after years of struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. During that time, his marriage fell apart as he spiraled into substance abuse and depression. He found himself constantly struggling with law, even as friends, Veterans Affairs personnel and the Army tried to help him.

“Of course he was looked on as a hero here,” said Capt. Floyd Thomas of the Pinehurst Police Department. Still, “we’ve been dealing with him for over a year.”

The day he died, Dwyer apparently took pills and inhaled the fumes of an aerosol can in an act known as “huffing.” Thomas said Dwyer then called a taxi company for a ride to the hospital. When the driver arrived, “they had a conversation through the door [of Dwyer’s home],” Thomas said, but Dwyer could not let the driver in. The driver asked Dwyer if he should call the police. Dwyer said yes. When the police arrived, they asked him if they should break down the door. He again said yes.
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Death casts shadow over photographer’s famous shot

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jul 3, 2008 15:50:59 EDT

Warren Zinn felt sucker-punched the day he learned that former Pfc. Joe Dwyer had died.

Sitting in his office with the image of the young soldier he had made famous more than five years ago hanging above his desk, Zinn looked at Dwyer’s face and considered the poison-pen emails he received from people he doesn’t know, people who suggested he had contributed to the troubled man’s death.

“The sad thing is that he clearly had a problem coming back from this war and nothing was done about it, or not enough was done,” said Zinn, 30, a former Military Times photographer now a law student at the University of Miami. “I think it’s almost like an indication of the war right now.”
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From war hero to war haunted
LI vet depicted in famous struggle with menacing stress disorder that escalated to a standoff


October 23, 2005

Army Spc. Joseph Dwyer angled a mirror out the back window of his apartment in El Paso, Texas, trying to make out the Iraqis in the evening gloom. He couldn't see them, but he felt that they were out there somewhere, ready to attack.

Holding his 9-mm handgun tight, the 29-year-old medic from Mount Sinai phoned in an air strike using military code. He directed the fighter jets to his own street address.

Then he heard a noise from the roof - maybe an Iraqi trying to get in? - and that's when Dwyer began firing.

Nobody was hurt in the three-hour standoff Oct. 6 in which Dwyer, deep in a post-traumatic stress-induced delusion, barricaded himself into his apartment, fighting off an imaginary Iraqi attack.

Back then, an image of hope
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