Showing posts with label The Warrior SAW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Warrior SAW. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

This long war is only won by giving them reason to fight

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 22, 2022

Fighting to help people heal #PTSD is a long war. It is not fought with bullets or bombs, yet far too many end up in mass graves. Graves that should not have been filled for many more years but they were still casualties of the wars they sent to fight. This long war claims more lives than wars declared by governments, yet they refuse to prepare for the veterans created who will carry the title of veteran all the days of their lives. If they are still having increased suicide rates within the military, it will become significantly higher in the veterans community.

This long war is only won by giving them reason to fight to take back their lives from PTSD. They won't find it unless they have the knowledge and support they need to do it. The stigma is still alive throughout the country when survivors of all traumas end up still believing they have a reason to feel ashamed when in fact, they should celebrate being a survivor with one more injury to heal. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL THEM THAT with the power to get them to listen? It isn't that I didn't try.

My repulsion comes when I see the groups claiming to be helping veterans fail to actually do it yet manage to increase their funding while using the false claim of "22 a day" referring to veterans committing suicide. Knowing that when they came out with that number, they grabbed if from the headline of reporters instead of actually taking the time to read the VA report itself which stated clearly it was taken from just 21 states limited data. Each and ever other report since then, has also failed to compile the data from what they omitted. If they were members of the National Guard or Reserves, and not deployed into a combat zone, they were not counted on the death certificates as veteran. If they were not honorably discharged, they were not counted as veteran but they were discharged by the thousands under personality disorders instead of being diagnosed and treated for PTSD. It was easier to just get them off the books than care for them the rest of their lives. The same lives that were shortened by this reprehensible treatment.

In 2013 I wrote The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War. A non-fiction history of how we ended up spending billions while numbers of families had to bury more veterans who survivided combat but not what it did to them. Back then I thought if people only knew, they'd do something about it. They didn't.

The question is, if I figured it out so long ago, why didn't the "experts" manage to do it?

Now we see that efforts have not come close within the military and that is frightening.

USA Today just posted an article 'Still too high': Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin orders independent panel to study military suicide by Tom Vanden Brook

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday ordered the creation of an independent panel to review suicides in the military focusing on nine bases, including three in hard-hit Alaska.

Congress required the Pentagon to create the committee, independent of the Defense Department, to review suicide prevention programs and find ways to improve them. The announcement, and the inclusion of bases in Alaska, comes after USA TODAY reported earlier this year that there were 17 suspected or confirmed suicide deaths in 2021 among the 11,500 soldiers based in the state. That was more suicides than the previous two years combined for U.S. Army Alaska.

"It is imperative that we take care of all our teammates and continue to reinforce that mental health and suicide prevention remain a key priority," Austin wrote to the Pentagon's senior leadership. "One death by suicide is one too many. And suicide rates among our service members are still too high."
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who chairs the personnel panel of the Armed Services Committee, successfully amended the National Defense Authorization Act to require the independent review commission. It is modeled on the committee that investigated problems at Fort Hood surrounding the murder of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

“I have spoken to many spouses and family members who have lost their children or spouses to suicide in the military,” Speier said Tuesday. “The numbers have painfully grown by 40% over 5 years. I will not rest until we change this tragic trajectory."
read more on USA Today
I've heard that so many times over the last 40 years that I lost hope a long time ago they would actually live up to the claim. Considering they have been making the same fatal mistakes over and over again, we continue to see the senseless loss of life. It's not like it was not known what had to be done.

This is from the Makua Aloha Center and was a long time ago considering it says that I was doing this work for 25 years, but this is now my 40th!

This shows that I "dominated this topic" before all the nonsense came out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Six years later, Suicides After War

Facebook let me know about something I put up six years ago.

Shocker for a couple of reasons. The first is, I hardly ever think about this book and the other is, the numbers are far worse than they were back then.

If you haven't heard of this book, that is Ok since a lot of people haven't. One person liked it.

May 14, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Since I write so much on the subject of PTSD and suicides, I forget a lot of things I've written, but the thing is, I remember most of their stories. I had to go back and take a look at this book. Totally sadden by the fact that the military and the VA still has not figured out what people like me learned decades ago.

We learned because it was all too personal to us. It was not just something to research, but it was our lives. What we failed to do, meant someone we loved would suffer, and usually, that meant our entire family. What we succeeded at is what kept us going. Knowing that the other side of all of this is beyond measure. Seeing these magnificent men and women heal is the reason I get up every morning.

Sure it would be great to not have to work a regular job and the do this the rest of the day, but I really think that is one of the biggest reasons I find it so reprehensible that so many are making money, and having fun, because they talk about veterans committing suicide.

We lived it. We have seen so many coffins filled that when I did the first video on suicides back in 2007, I had to call the President of Point Man to help me recover. The heartbreak was tearing me apart.

Anyway, tonight I am sitting here, reminded yet again, of how much we learned over all these years, and how it is all being thrown away, including the veterans all these people claim to be working so hard for. 

From THE WARRIOR SAW, Suicides After War

By the time I finished writing FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR MY BATTLE in 2002, troops had been in Afghanistan for months and there was only talk of sending more into Iraq.  My heart was already breaking knowing what was coming for far too many of the war fighters and their families. Remembering what it was like to feel alone with this struggle, I tried to do something about it for others.  

I started blogs and websites but was getting angry more about the fact I had to search for hours just to find the few stories being covered.  That’s when I decided that I would put all their stories in one place so that no one felt as if they were the only going through all of this.  It was also in an attempt to avert what happened to Vietnam veterans like my husband suffering from PTSD along with the secret we thought we had to keep.  

Wounded Times Blog began in August of 2007, had over 18,000 posts by the time this book was finished and was viewed over 1 million times. There are 2,727 posts on Combat and PTSD, 4,822 on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and 988 on military suicides.

The stigma of PTSD has always been a barrier to getting the help they needed to heal, which was obvious, but what most people did not know was it added to their suffering when they believed it was their fault they had it and there was something “wrong” with them.

In October of 2007 psychiatrists with the American Psychiatric Association published a study on stigma and found “RESULTS: Stigma was portrayed as a major disadvantage to treatment seeking. Yet most participants indicated that people would be supportive of treatment seeking. Reducing symptoms was a major advantage of care. Barriers, especially those viewed as "self-induced," such as pride, not being able to ask for help, and not being able to admit to having a problem, were considered major impediments. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that interventions developed to engage veterans in care must be directed toward cognitive factors that motivate treatment seeking. “

By the time that study was released I had been putting videos up on YouTube for a year to make sure veterans knew what PTSD was all about and do it in terms that put it simply without all the psychiatric jargon I had to suffer reading when there was absolutely nothing else to learn from.  No self-help books in the 80’s, no Internet in homes and no one in the civilian world were talking about any of this.

So why are we reading reports on Military Suicides reaching an all time high in 2012 after all these years? Because average people had no way of knowing what it was, what to do about it and very few knew how to save their lives.  We relied on the media to inform us and they let us down.

How do I begin to tell you the story of what happens after war when too few even know what it is like for them during it?  We didn’t pay attention when our parents and grandparents came home and wanted to tell us stories while we were growing up.  We got bored.  It didn’t dawn on me that while I was reading about the Korean War and WWII in school, I had veterans of those wars in my own family.  It was not until I grew up and fell in love with a Vietnam veteran in 1982 that I started to care enough to learn.

Maybe that is the way to start this.  To make it all personal to you dear reader you need to know the men and women just as much as you need to know the numbers.  You need to know where we are, how we got here and what can be done about it. So we’ll start with some numbers.

The Gulf War lasted six months.  It claimed the lives of 382 US troops. Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, 2001-2013 has claimed 2,178 US troops so far. 310 of them were killed in 2012. Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-2012 had claimed 4,486 US troops. 1 was killed in 2012. Yet the deadliest year was in 2012 and claimed more lives connected to military service than any other year, but their deaths were by their own hands. 

This nation has spent about a billion dollars on efforts to prevent suicides but after all these years evidence proves they did not work.  Congress kept funding programs no matter what happened and then they had to hold countless hearings listening to family members plead with them to do something about war fighters killing themselves.

These are the deaths from suicides for 2012.
Army 182
Army National Guards 96
Army Reserves 47
Marines 48
Air Force 59
Navy 60
492 total reported suicides from one year alone. 

Added onto those suicides came news that at least 22 veterans take their own lives everyday. Every major media outlet continued to use the wrong numbers while declaring headlines like “the worst year” when their numbers were only 349.  CNN had the Army total right but left out the other branches. “325 Army Suicides in 2012 a record” reported by Tom Watkins and Maggie Schneider on February 2, 2013. The issue there is it left people wondering about the others in the Marines, Marine Reservists, Navy, Air Force and Air National Guards. 

In February those numbers were revised to add a soldier to the 7 reported in January another Army National Guardsman. This news was buried in the report from the Department of Defense news release for January suicides, 19 “potential” soldiers, 6 Army National Guardsmen and 8 Army Reservists.

That is where we are.  How did we get here? What went so wrong they were surviving in combat but not coming home? How do we change what happens to them so they stop finding life more dangerous here than it was in combat? This war after war requires something that cannot be purchased like the newest and latest weapon the Pentagon drools over. It requires something that is freely given because it was received freely.  It requires us to make the difference for them.

Bill Gates didn’t start Microsoft until 1975 and most households did not have a personal computer until the 90’s.  Things were going on the same as they are now only people didn’t have Facebook to share their heartaches or find support groups to turn to.  There was no way to track stories across the country because no one was going to subscribe to every newspaper and there were a lot more of them back then.  National news on TV was actually national news but time limits didn’t allow for anything more than what producers considered the top stories while now we have 24-7 cable news stations.  The producers of these “shows” don’t seem too interested in the veterans because stunningly most Americans thought the troops were out of Afghanistan a long time ago.

If you’re wondering why suicides went up after the Suicide Prevention Hotline went into effect, after bills were passed by Congress, which there were many, after the Department of Defense put into practice prevention programs beginning with Battlemind replaced by “Resilience Training” then you are not alone.  The truth is, after over 40 years of researching what combat does to those we send, the Congress, Department of Defense, the VA and “mental health professionals” have arrived to fight this enemy unarmed.

If you want to read it, go to the link but if you have been reading this site since 2007, when it went up, you probably know everything in the book already.

All of this goes into why I started PTSD Patrol. Someone has to be reminding all of you that you are so worth every effort, and a hell of lot more than you have been getting.

So I will leave this post with this message...Let this be your alive day! (PS old video when the VA said it was 18 veterans committing suicide. We know the truth better now than we did back then.)

Friday, February 21, 2014

CSF Clusters of FUBAR

CSF Clusters of FUBAR
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 21, 2014

USA TODAY reported Comprehensive Soldier Fitness price was $125 million
The Army began the program in 2009 amid increasing cases of suicide and mental illness. It has cost $125 million to teach the coping skills to a million soldiers.
"Lt. Col. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman, said the program was redesigned in recent years and is not now intended as a way of preventing illnesses such as PTSD or depression.

When it was started in 2009, it was supposed to be a "long-term preventative health strategy." New goals released last year are now more generally worded. One of them, for example, says the program should provide soldier and families with "self-awareness and psychological resources and skills to cope with adversity and thrive in their lives."

This was reported by the LA Times $50 million a year
"A lot of their programs don’t have any good data behind them," said Kenneth Warner, a professor of public health at the University of Michigan who led the Institute of Medicine committee that produced the report. "We remain uncertain about which approaches work and which ones are ineffective."

The 291-page report was especially critical of the Pentagon’s biggest and costliest prevention program, known as Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, which is used throughout the Army.

Based on the principles of positive psychology, it includes training in assertiveness, negotiation and coping strategies such as maintaining an optimistic outlook on life. About 900,000 soldiers receive the training each year at a cost of $50 million. The program was recently expanded to include families of service members.

That may sound like a lot of money but that isn't close to how much money was spent on this.

NBC reported on this failure with
"One obvious example of an unproven and controversial approach is the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program, which includes a mandatory online training program developed with the American Psychological Association, the report finds."

But did not seem interested in the fact the man responsible for this program had developed it as a research project to give school aged children a better sense of self-estime. A research project? Yes. He was also president of the American Psychological Association.

From The Warrior SAW Suicides After War
One of the issues they found was that CSF was “embraced” by the American Psychological Association and Martin Seligman was past president. Why is he important? Because this was his program and he received a $31 million dollar no-bid contract to implement and run the program. (The publication is still online as of the writing of this book.) This really nails it. “ At minimum, they should issue an unambiguous and widely disseminated statement acknowledging that the report is seriously flawed an that, as a result, the verdict is still out as to where CSF actually works.”

It is very difficult for me to take my emotions out of this. I have had too many veterans and family members contacting me for help because of this. Here are the cold, hard facts.
2006, 2007, 2008 2009
$2.7 million Baylor Texas A and M Army Medical Research Project for PTSD
$1.6 million Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital received Monday the mock check of a $2.7 million was handed over to a contractor to make phone calls. Yep~phone calls! 570,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan were supposed to be called to find out why they hadn’t gone to the VA.
$50 Million study by the National Institute for Mental Health for practical interventions for mitigating suicides and enhancing Soldier resiliency
$1.4 Billion We initiated programs to better diagnose and treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and other injuries through advanced medical research. We also have made investments in upgrading our clinics and hospitals including a $1.4 Billion investment in new hospitals at Forts Riley, Benning, and Hood.
$500 Million in additional psychological health providers, new facilities, and world-class research
$1.5 Billion to Army Family programs
$50 million research program into the factors behind soldier suicides and how to prevent them, Army Secretary Pete Geren told reporters at the Pentagon.
$1.97 million Defense Department study.“The Army's alarming suicide trend continues this year, said David Rudd
$34 million University of Pennsylvania no-bid contract to develop Comprehensive Soldier Fitness and run it.

But that is just the start of all of this. Every branch has also spent billions on the same "efforts" that failed. Money came from each branch, plus the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institute of Mental Health, grants and a growing list of colleges and universities receiving grants. Much like the University of Kentucky receiving $677,000 for a two year study to discover how 100 families felt after their veteran committed suicide.

The rest is in The Warrior SAW. The government has also been spending billions on "addressing" veterans committing suicide and treating PTSD. We have also seen more of them committing suicide along with a dramatic rise in younger veterans committing suicide. What we have seen as a result of all these "efforts" is the money keeps going out but no one is held accountable for the money and lives they have already lost.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

When will the military stop pretending CSF is working?

When will the military stop pretending CSF is working?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 16, 2014

Every time I hear a claim like this "Resilient leaders yield resilient soldiers" I want to scream "Where is the proof?"

How many years have to go on before they actually figure out this does not work?

Here are the basic facts.

The Department of Defense Suicide Event Report for 2012 was not released. This is 2014. 2012 was the highest year for military suicides. It was also during a time when there were less serving in the military.

The total for 2013 has not been released yet. The last report from the DOD Army Suicide Information, which includes Army, Army National Guards and Army Reserves, (does not include the other branches) and did not include December numbers.

As of November the total for Army Suicides was 139. The total for all of 2012 was 185.

Army National Guards suicides for 2013 in the same report were 89. For all of 2012 it was 93.

Army Reserves for 2013 50. For all of 2012 47.

The military as a whole have downsized. In other words, less serving in the military topped off with less deployed into Afghanistan, should have given them a clue that this program they hatch in 2009 failed.

This is the claim made about CSF
Master Resiliency Training, a part of Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, focuses on five areas of strength: physical, spiritual, social, family and emotional. The resiliency program teaches soldiers the skills needed to cope with adversity, adapt to change, and recover from emotionally challenging life events.

If it worked we would have seen a lot less suicides. We would not have seen a 44% increase in young veterans committing suicide.
Suicides Among Young Male Vets Jumped 44 Percent From 2009-2011
That was the headline from NewsMax
New data from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows the number of young male vets committing suicide jumped 44 percent from 2009 to 2011, or roughly two young men a day, reports say.

The suicide rate for all veterans remained mostly unchanged over the same period; the department estimates some 22 veterans a day take their own life, Stars and Stripes reported Thursday.

Top all that off with the fact that even I saw this coming back in 2009 and know that this should not have come as any kind of shock to the people in charge.

May 29, 2009
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness will make it worse

General Casey, now hear this, you cannot, repeat, cannot train your brain to prevent PTSD and until you understand this "Because it is scientifically proven, you can build resilience." does not equal the cause of PTSD, you will keep making it worse! Did the rise in suicides and attempted suicides offer you no clue that Battlemind didn't work? Apparently something told you it didn't or you'd still be pushing this. When you have a program in place to "train them to be resilient" beginning with telling them if they do not, it's their fault, what the hell did you and the other brass expect? Did you think they would listen to the rest of what the Battlemind program had to say to them? Are you out of your mind?
If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Combat PTSD Translation

Combat PTSD Translation
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 23, 2013

They say the eyes are the window to the soul but they are wrong. The eyes are the gateway to the soul.
"The eyes really are a window to the soul, according to scientists.

Patterns in the iris can give an indication of whether we are warm and trusting or neurotic and impulsive, research has found."
"Their findings showed those with denselypacked crypts are more warmhearted, tender, trusting, and likely to sympathise with others.

In comparison, those with more contraction furrows were more neurotic, impulsive and likely to give way to cravings."
(Scientists discover that eyes really are "the window to the soul, Daily Mail UK, February 7, 2007)

The first group are more like the people deciding they are willing to enter into the military. They know the risks to their lives just as much as they know the hardships that come with the jobs they are willing to do.

Some people want to think they simply do it for their country but the truth is, it goes even deeper than that. They are willing to die for the others they are with.

After I wrote The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War, I struggled to explain the title. Simply put, it about what they see in combat topped off by how they see themselves afterwards. All the other attempts referenced in the book are useless and we've seen the deadly results. As the military did more to prevent PTSD and suicides, they increased instead.

There are over 900 suicide prevention attempts that have been tried and failed for reasons. They forgot the soul at the heart of PTSD.

These men and women are among a rare group of unselfish people in their core. Everything that comes afterwards, comes because they had the ability to care so much they were willing to die for someone else. That ability also comes with the ability to feel pain more deeply.

If researchers are ever going to come up with something that works, they must develop the road map for them to be able to overcome it. Prevention attempts have proven useless because they would first have to prevent them from caring and if they did, then they would end up with no one being willing to do anything for anyone else.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Veterans discuss PTSD and suicide after war

Veterans discuss PTSD signs
Veterans discuss PTSD and suicide after war
Written by
Laura Peters
Jun. 26, 2013

STAUNTON — Ben Shaw had blown all his money on toys and alcohol. He was living on his parents’ couch at 28 years old.

Once a highly esteemed Marine, he came back from the Iraq War in 2007 after being overseas for four years.

He says he doesn’t remember much of his life after he returned home. He took almost all his money to purchase a motorcycle and hit the road. The rest of his cash, he drank it away.

“Don’t ask me what happened during that trip, I was drunk for most of it,” he admitted.

He had found love, then had his heart broken after his fiancé cheated on him, left him and took the ring.

During a PTSD and suicide forum at VFW Post 2216 in Staunton, he told his story about how he thought he could escape all his problems with ending his life.

“Late 2008, I’m sitting here grasping at straws, by process of elimination I tried all these things, nothing’s working, nothing’s sticking.

Nothing was sort of hoisting me out of where I am,” Shaw said. “I remember just mulling over this and at one point I just caught myself saying, well if this doesn’t work, I’ll just kill myself. It was stunning. It was not something I expected. It was not something I intentionally thought about.”

To this day, he can’t explain the thinking behind his suicidal thoughts.
read more here

To learn more about what is going on with suicides after war read, THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Veterans deserve the truth about PTSD

Veterans deserve the truth about PTSD
Wounded Times Blog
Kathie Costos
June 6, 2013

A good place to start on this is attacking the news reports coming out insinuating there is anything new on PTSD. This is insulting to all veterans and advocates. They are angry because they have paid attention. They also earned the right to be treated properly. Given the fact that as reports come out, the truth has been covered up. They are dying needlessly because reporters ignore the history of efforts claiming to be addressing PTSD as well as suicides. Veterans deserve the truth.

This is PTSD Awareness Month but while it may sound like a new endeavor, it isn't. Wounded Times even has the link up on the sidebar. It is up there because far too many people still don't understand it. The veterans know what it is doing to them. Their families are starting to learn about it. But what if I told you raising awareness started for OEF and OIF veterans back in 2008?

Major General David Blackledge came out and talked about his own battle with PTSD.
"It's part of our profession ... nobody wants to admit that they've got a weakness in this area," Blackledge said of mental health problems among troops returning from America's two wars.

"I have dealt with it. I'm dealing with it now," said Blackledge, who came home with post-traumatic stress. "We need to be able to talk about it."

As the nation marks another Veterans Day, thousands of troops are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with anxiety, depression and other emotional problems.

Up to 20 percent of the more than 1.7 million who've served in the wars are estimated to have symptoms. In a sign of how tough it may be to change attitudes, roughly half of those who need help aren't seeking it, studies have found.

Blackledge was followed by General Cater Ham talking openly about his battle with PTSD.
Now the commander of U.S. Army Europe, Ham, along with his wife, discussed his post-combat difficulties in an interview just before Christmas. It was the second interview the pair have given to a newspaper. Their willingness to speak publicly about the issue is rare in traditional military culture, but they appeared entirely comfortable. “Frankly, it’s a little weird to me that people are making a big deal about it,” Ham said of the response to his openness. “Like lots of soldiers I needed a little help, and I got a little help.”

By the end of 2008 Army Times reported that more than two thirds of Americans had no clue what PTSD was.

A month later, January of 2009 the DOD suicide prevention conference started to focus on PTSD and the stigma.
An Army staff sergeant who had lost Soldiers in the war zone was called a coward, a wimp and a wuss from a leader when he mentioned he might need psychological help.

It is this type of stigma from toxic leadership that can kill, and that is being examined by scientists, clinicians and specialists in an attempt to eliminate it, said Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton, who is the Army's highest ranking psychiatrist.

Dr. Sutton described the staff sergeant's real experience during her opening remarks of the 2009 Department of Defense/Veterans Affairs Annual Suicide Prevention Conference being held Jan. 12 through 15 in San Antonio. More than 750 people -- specialists from the military, VA, and civilian social workers, chaplains, researchers, and family members effected by suicide -- gathered with a common goal of finding ways to reduce suicide.

"The secretary of Defense and chairman of the joint chiefs have both emphasized, 'seeking help is a sign of profound courage and strength.

In March of 2009, The Department of Defense testified before Congress on A hearing meant to give Defense Department officials a chance to explain their plans for spending $900 million allocated for mental health care quickly turned into a debate on how that money should be spent.

As yet, military experts on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries are still working out which studies should be funded, which treatment methods should be adopted and which pilot programs should be put in place.

“We keep getting studies,” Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House defense appropriations panel, said at a hearing Tuesday. “That’s the problem with the Defense Department — they study it to death.”.

Studied to death was a proper choice of words considering that 2012 brought the highest number of attempted and successful suicides tied to military service after billions had been spent. Congress has been just as guilty of talking about it, funding bills and pushing programs that have not produced good results. What do they do? They fund more of the same and veterans, well, they get news reporters pretending that everything being done today is new.

Now that you have some idea, you need to know that efforts to raise awareness about PTSD had started many years before. FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR/MY BATTLE told the story of what was happening to Vietnam veterans and their families and was originally released in April of 2003.

Read THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR so that you will know who did what and when it was done. Billions spent funding the same programs that have a history of failure. Reporters ignoring the voices of psychiatrists and psychologists and advocates screaming about how the programs have made it worse and in fact prevented far too many from seeking help. History has proven we were right all along. How families suffered without knowing what they could do to help. If you think there is no need to fear what is coming, consider this last thought. The Department of Defense still has not released their comprehensive report on military suicides for 2012. It is almost the end of June. The data should have been released months ago. The report on Army, National Guards and Reservists for May have not been released yet. This all points to a very bleak outcome for all the campaigns to raise awareness and prevent needless suffering.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wounded Times research proves there is nothing new on PTSD

Wounded Times research proves there is nothing new on PTSD
Wounded Times Blog
Kathie Costos
June 20, 2013

I think you'll file this under "does not play well with others" because my patience is gone. It left the building a couple of years ago. When I read crap from someone who should know better as a "professional" it makes my head hurt as much as it makes my heart break.

I was reading, yet again, another article by Elspeth Cameron Ritchie getting something else wrong and ignoring the obvious. Among some things in her latest article she writes "What is exciting, for me, are the new treatments for PTSD." Sounds as if there is something new being done. Yet when she lists them there is nothing new about any of them and cause me to leave this comment.

"Despite the monthly exhortations, most service members do not seek help for PTSD or the related illness of depression. They fear that treatment will end their careers." shows what the DOD is doing is not working. When will they change what does not work? We've been studying combat and PTSD for 40 years!
Take a look at some facts Ritchie missed.
Acupuncture clinical trial 2006
PTSD Service Dogs clinical trails 2011
Virtual Reality, 2009
Nothing new has come out in years. As for "blocking" they have been also trying that for years and most experts have scoffed at it. In 2008, scientist discovered the cells that are "the glue" that keeps bad memories stuck in the brain.

Also in 2008, they tried to figure out who would end up with PTSD.

Then Neuroscientists at The University of Queensland have discovered a new way to explain how emotional events can sometimes lead to disturbing long term memories also in 2008.

Then the Army and the National Institute of Mental Health began a five-year, $50 million research program into the factors behind soldier suicides and how to prevent them. Lot of good that did since last year was the highest suicides tied to military service.

I can go on and on linking to reports found right here on Wounded Times proving there is nothing "new" or exciting. Until people in position of authority and given a huge audience like TIME awaken to the fact they lack the ability to honestly research what they are attempting to write about, nothing will ever change. Wounded Times does not have an archive of over 19,000 reports for nothing. All the reports were available online for anyone really interested in discovering what has really been going on.
Some Hope Amid the Calendar’s Grim Pages
TIME Battleland
By Elspeth Cameron Ritchie
June 19, 2013

June is PTSD Awareness Month.

May was Mental Health Awareness Month.

September will be Suicide Awareness Month. More public-service announcements about “seeking help is a sign of strength.”

Despite the monthly exhortations, most service members do not seek help for PTSD or the related illness of depression. They fear that treatment will end their careers.

A plethora of efforts has not reduced the suicide rate in service members. So what is newsworthy or new?

One organization, Honor for All, is hosting an event June 22 here in Washington, D.C. General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, is scheduled to speak.

While I look forward to such events, I am cynical about whether speeches or awareness can reduce PTSD and suicide. What is exciting, for me, are the new treatments for PTSD.

We have written about Complementary and Alternative Medicine in a series in Psychiatric Annals, a leading purveyor of continuing medical education for psychiatrists.

For the last six months, we have discussed and debated acupuncture, stellate ganglion block, virtual reality, yoga, and other as-yet unproven treatments as possible therapies. They offer promising avenues for research, hope for the afflicted, and a promise from mental-health professionals that we will not quit until we can better help those with PTSD.
read more here

Read THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR and discover what else they have not been telling you.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book May 14, 2013
By James G. Young
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

If you have not read anything Kathie has written you are at a major disadvantage when discussing PTSD. She has a first hand account of dealing with this herself as the wife of a Nam vet, but then devoting her life to understanding the dilemma and helping others understand it as well. I consider Kathie a highly knowledgable contact with regards to this subject and have consulted her many times.

Kathie truely has the inside pulse in understanding the issues here, the denial of our govenment and the failures of the administrations to come to grips with how best to deal with it. Our govenment is trying to find a series of magic bullets (medications) that some practioners hand out like candy because they have nothing else to give and lack the compassion needed.

Straighforward, if you haven't read this book or spoken to Kathie you are at a major disadvantage. Great Book Kathie, well written and researched, should be made mandatory reading for anyone dealing with or discussing PTSD.

Friday, May 24, 2013

April Army Suicides bring totals to 109 for 2013

Army Releases April 2013 Suicide Information
The Army released suicide data today for the month of April 2013. During April, among active-duty soldiers, there were 11 potential suicides: one has been confirmed as a suicide and 10 remain under investigation.

For March 2013, the Army reported 10 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers; 6 have been confirmed as suicides and 4 are under investigation.

For 2013, there have been 52 potential active-duty suicides: 22 have been confirmed as suicides and 30 remain under investigation.

Updated active-duty suicide numbers for 2012: 184 (159 have been confirmed as suicides and 25 remain under investigation).

During April 2013, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 16 potential suicides (13 Army National Guard and 3 Army Reserve): none have been confirmed as suicides and 16 remain under investigation. For March 2013, among that same group, the Army reported 12 potential suicides; however, subsequent to the report, another case was added bringing March’s total to 13 (9 Army National Guard and 4 Army Reserve): none have been confirmed as suicides and 13 cases remain under investigation.

For 2013, there have been 57 potential not on active duty suicides (36 Army National Guard and 21 Army Reserve): 21 have been confirmed as suicides and 36 remain under investigation.

Updated not on active duty suicide numbers for 2012: 140 (93 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve); 138 have been confirmed as suicides and two remain under investigation.
Read this book to know how it got this bad and then do something about it! THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR puts it all together so you know where we are, how we got here and what can be done about it. Every report in this book contains the source and they are taken from news and government reports. None of this had to happen if the American people knew what they were doing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Get your advance copy of THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR

UPDATE: Sorry you missed your chance. THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR, is available on Kindle now.

Want to know how the military ended up with the highest suicide and attempted suicides? Do you want to know how it happened after billions of dollars have been spent trying to prevent them? Do you want to know what the media should have made known to all? Do you want to know what they forgot to tell you?

This has detailed accounts of what happened to make it as bad as it is for the men and women serving this country. Beyond that, it also helps you to understand what can be done to help them heal. None of this is hopeless. Veterans have been healing. It is not widely known but it is far from a secret. It does not cost millions a year, or at least it shouldn't.

For a donation of $20.00 (or more please) you can get a PDF of this book before it is available on Amazon and Kindle. Just make sure to include your email and THE WARRIOR SAW in the subject line. You can start making a difference early!

Pointman of Winter Park is a 501c3

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Warrior Saw, Suicides After War hits military suicides with facts

The Warrior Saw, Suicides After War by Kathie Costos is now available. I am working on the Kindle conversion and that should be up (I hope) later today. In this work you will have three essential questions answered.

Where are we?

When it comes to military suicides and the record breaking year of 2012 we read the numbers but have forgotten each one represents a family left behind and many more wondering what they did wrong. When you only read numbers going up, it is easy to forget about how many lives these deaths affect.
2003 Army 79 26 while deployed
2004 Army 67 13 while deployed
2005 Army 87 25 while deployed
2006 Army 99 30 while deployed
(Army Suicide Prevention Program Fact Sheet, Army Public Affairs, August 17, 2007)
2007 Army 115 36 while deployed (50 deployed prior to suicide and 29 not deployed)

The following is from the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report.
Air Force Suicides Confirmed and Pending (2011 page 93)
2008 45
2009 43
2010 60
2011 50 241 Airmen who attempted suicide in 251 separate incidents.

Army Confirmed and Pending Suicides (2011 page 128)
2008 140
Suicide attempts 570
Of the 140 suicides, 34 (24%) occurred in OIF-OEF. One hundred sixteen suicide attempts (12%) were reported to have occurred in OIF-OEF. Nineteen percent of Soldiers with completed suicides, and 14% of Soldiers with suicide attempts, had a history of multiple deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Of suicide events reported as occurring in theater, the majority was reported to have occurred in Iraq.

2009 164 Army DoDSERs Submitted for Non-Fatal Events 2,047 Army DoDSERs for non-fatal events were submitted for 2009. Of these, 502 (25%) were submitted for suicide attempts, 347 (17%) for instances of self-harm without intent to die, and 1198 (59%) for suicidal ideation only

2010 160 DoDSERs provide data on suicide attempts for 400 individuals. Two attempts were reported (DoDSERs submitted) for 11 (2.75%) individuals, and three for one individual (0.25%). Additionally, four Soldiers with a 2010 suicide attempt DoDSER subsequently died by suicide in 2010 and were also included in the preceding section.

2011 167 440 DoDSERs for 2011 Army suicide attempts. As indicated in Table 5.29, these DoDSERs provide data on suicide attempts for 432 individuals. Two suicide attempt DoDSERs were submitted for 8 (1.85%) individuals 2011 Army suicide attempts 432 individuals with 440 attempts

Marines Confirmed and Pending
2008 42
2009 52
2010 37
2011 32
2011 156 Marines who attempted suicide in 157 separate incidents

Navy Confirmed and Pending
2008 41
2009 47
2010 38
2011 52
2011 87 Navy suicide attempts

Department of Defense Suicide Event Report for 2011
For 2011 there were 935 attempted suicides in the military with 915 individuals trying to kill themselves. 896 tried once, 18 tried twice and 1 tried three times.

These are the deaths from suicides for 2012.
Army 182
Army National Guards 96
Army Reserves 47
Marines 48
Air Force 59
Navy 60
492 total reported suicides from one year alone.

The DOD Suicide Event Report for 2012 has not been released yet but according to the DOD they expect the numbers to go up when they put all the data together.

How did we get here?

Oh, that one is the one that bothers me the most.
When you think that after billions have been spent every year and countless efforts made including the stunning fact there are over 900 programs, yet arrive with more suicides, that should be screaming across every headline in this country.

In 2006 there were more than 500,000 veterans with pending claims and of those 100,000 were over a year old without resolution according to the VA. By March of 2007, the Boston Globe reported that the backlog of claims had gone from 69,000 in 2000 to 400,000 in 2007 taking 177 days to process an original claim and 657 days to process an appeal. The news got worse with a staggering 915,000 in 2009 with 803,000 with the Board of Appeals.

“Backlogs are at the point where veterans must wait an average of six months for a decision on benefits claims and some veterans are waiting as long as four years,” number of unprocessed veterans claims exceeds 915,000 — a 100,000 jump since the beginning of the year.” (Have VA Pay old claims automatically, Rick Maze, Marine Corps Times, June 30, 2009)
This is what 2007 looked like.
In the past 18 months, 148,000 Vietnam veterans have gone to VA centers reporting symptoms of PTSD "30 years after the war," said Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, deputy commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He recently visited El Paso.

Veterans Affairs officials say prioritizing war-on-terror veterans is necessary because many of them face serious health challenges. But they don't agree that other veterans will suffer, saying that they are hiring thousands of new employees, finding ways to train them more quickly and streamlining the process of moving troops from active duty to veteran status. (Two-tiered system of healthcare, Chris Roberts, El Paso Times, October 8, 2007)
There was the Suicide Prevention Hotline taking calls and making "rescues" even when the number of suicides went up.
“Call volume has grown, from 67,350 in 2008, the center’s first full year of operation, to 193,507 last year. But the percentage of rescue calls — those calls for which emergency responders get involved — has declined, from a high of 4.26 percent in 2010 to 2.7 percent in the first months of this fiscal year.” (Reported on Dave Tobin, February 17, 2013.)
This is perhaps the most troublesome of all. “VA has been underfunded for years; for FY2007, the Bush Administration requested almost $4 billion less in VA funding than the amount suggested by major veterans’ organizations. In early 2007, Congress made veterans’ health care a priority, increasing the funding for veterans’ health care by $3.6 billion.” (IAVA 2008 Congressional Report Card)

According to the American Federation of Government Employees, the VA employed 1,392 Veterans Service Representatives in June 2007 compared to 1,516 in January 2003. Did they think about what would have happened if after the troops were being sent into a second war, the VA was prepared to take care of them with their claims as well as their wounds? Would older veterans have suffered even longer than they already had? Would it have helped to know all their years of fighting to make sure PTSD was treated for all veterans was worthy of their efforts?

VA has been underfunded for years; for FY2007, the Bush Administration requested almost $4 billion less in VA funding than the amount suggested by major veterans’ organizations.

“Clearly, the current funding process is broken. The VA had a $3 billion shortfall in veterans’ health care in fiscal years 2005 and 2006. The waiting list for new veterans’ health care appointments doubled in a year. The current backlog of benefit claims is approaching 400,000.

Staffing levels and training have not kept pace with the number or complexity of claims. Large numbers of retirements among older, more experienced claims adjudicators have worsened the current workforce crisis. By VA’s own estimates, new Veterans Service Representatives (VSRs) require several years of on-the job training to become fully competent.” (AFGE 2007)

Then there are the billions spent every year on "Resilience" training. Many experts have come out and said that this attempt does not work but instead of learning from the numbers, they pushed the programs.

You can read the rest in the book.

I track reports from across the country and readers of Wounded Times know that I only track verifiable reports from newspapers, government sites and academic media. This book gives the sites and the dates of the reports. If you look at the date of the report, 90% of them came from Wounded Times. You can go to the achieve on the sidebar, find the date you are looking for and then you'll find the links to where the reports came from. Some of them may not be active any longer but as of 6 months ago when I started writing THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR, most of the links still worked.

What can be done?

There are things that have to happen right now.

End Resilience Training. I have been screaming about that since it started.

Start to use the same kind of training Crisis Intervention Specialist use so they will know how to respond after an event right away. There is too much of a crisis going on right now and no time to play catchup. They can be trained in a week to know how to respond and have a basic understanding of the difference between mental illness and anxiety caused by trauma. They will also be able to do what police and firefighters have been doing for a very long time. It will not prevent all cases of PTSD but it will prevent a lot of them.

Get the families involved because they are the support system for them when they come home. Too many families have no clue what to watch out for, what PTSD is or what to do about it.

Get clergy involved because if you do not understand that this is in fact a "moral injury" then you are part of the problem. This is not a new idea. Jonathan Shay wrote about it in Achilles in Vietnam.

The fact is that PTSD has been researched for over 40 years. None of this had to happen but the wrong people were listened to and the right people were forgotten about.
You can also read it on Kindle now.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Writers will find readers and make more money going it alone

Off topic sort-of

I was just reading the article about self-publishing and took some comfort in it. Working on the self-imposed deadline of April 15, tax day, has been grueling but THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR is a labor of love and outrage. While some will think of it as just too damn sad to want to read, they will discover how we ended up with the highest military suicide year on record, all the money spent on trying to "prevent" suicides ended up increasing them and how experts have stated clearly these programs do not work.

If you've been reading Wounded Times over the last couple of months, I've posted some of the outrageous things done and they got away with it while reporters have failed to give this any attention other than repeating what they have been told along with publicizing the wrong data. Shocking! Reporters not doing their jobs! As if that should be anything new to us paying attention to all of this all along and cringing with the email links to crap.

When the last week of March rolled around and Wounded Times broke the million views mark that proved something to me. All the research done on behalf of veterans and families means something. Keep in mind, veterans are only 7% of the population, so while this was shocking to some, they are my base. They are the people this work is geared to and so are my books. Books? Yes, since THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR is the followup to the FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR/MY BATTLE originally self-published in 2002 and re-released last year on Amazon. It hasn't gone up on Kindle yet since I plan on releasing both on April 15th there.

"The battle to save the lives of combat veterans is not lost and it is not new. 18 veterans and more than one active duty service member take their own lives each day. More attempt it. Kathie Costos is not just a Chaplain helping veterans and their families, not just a researcher, she lives with it everyday. Combat came home with her Vietnam veteran husband and they have been married for 28 years. She remembers what it was like to feel lost and alone. Everything you read in the news today about PTSD is in this book originally published in 2002 to serve as a guide to healing as well as a warning of what was coming for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans."
Barnes and Noble, while they are offering the For the Love of Jack for a huge amount of money even though it has not been for sale for many years, (still trying to figure out how they pulled that one off) still has a couple of reviews from 2003.

PTSD is sadly too common
Kathie's book was amazing. I have PTSD myself and could identify with both her husband and Kathie since I know what my husband has gone through dealing with me and can look back at the worst times. A very insightful account of a family torn apart by PTSD. Help keep the shelter open since proceeds go to help Veterans who are badly in need of help.
His War Her Battle Our Story
In Kathie Costos's groundbreaking new work, 'For the Love of Jack' she documents the life that thousands of families live everyday: living with a Vietnam Veteran who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the book, Costos describes the disorder and its effects on family and life through her own experiences. Although PTSD is a disorder that varies from individual to individual, anyone who has seen even the slightest of hints of it can relate to this book. Through the chapters the reader comes to know and love Jack along with his family and ultimately can relate back to veterans of all wars and their struggle with this disorder. Never before have I read anything quite like this. Costos's unique and insightful perspective allows the reader to realize the after effects of war on an individual and on a family that are all to often overlooked. She reminds the reader that, along with the Vietnam Veterans, the families too share in the pain and suffering and describes them eloquently as, 'America's Secret.' I think that anyone who read this book would immediately understand that Vietnam isn¿t just a war or a country but a day to day struggle that all too many families and friends of Vietnam Veterans along with the Veterans themselves continue to battle to this very moment. The subtitle of this piece is His War My Battle. As the proud daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, USMC 1968-1970 I can tell you that its not only His War and Her Battle but Our Story.
That is why this article matters.
Hugh Howey: Self-publishing is the future — and great for writers
Books have changed forever, and that's good. Writers will find readers and make more money going it alone, like me

Contrary to recent reports, I am not the story of self-publishing.

The story of self-publishing is Jan Strnad, a 62-year-old educator hoping to retire in four years. To do so is going to require supplemental income, which he is currently earning from his self-published novels. In 2012, Jan made $11,406.31 from his work. That’s more than double what he made from the same book in the six months it was available from Kensington, a major publisher. He has since released a second work and now makes around $2,000 a month, even though you’ve never heard of him.

Rachel Schurig has sold 100,000 e-books and made six figures last year. She is the story of self-publishing. Rick Gualtieri cleared over $25,000 in 2012 from his writing. He says it’s like getting a Christmas bonus every month. Amanda Brice is an intellectual property attorney for the federal government. In her spare time, she writes teen mysteries and adult romantic comedies. She averages $750 a month with her work.

Like Schurig, Robert J. Crane is quickly moving from midlist to A-list. When Robert shared his earnings with me late last year, his monthly income had gone from $110.29 in June to $13,000+ in November. He was making more in a month than many debut authors are likely to receive as an advance from a major publisher. And he still owned his rights. His earnings have only gone up since.

Right now you are probably thinking that these anecdotes of self-publishing success are the result of my having cherry-picked the winners. In fact, these stories appear in this exact order in my private message inbox over at Kindle Boards. The only sampling bias is that these writers responded to a thread I started titled: “The Self Published Authors I Want to Hear From.” I wanted to know how many forum members were making $100 to $500 a month. My suspicion was that it was more than any of us realized. Every response I received started with a variation of: “I’m actually making a lot more than that.” (click link for more)
I don't do this to write a best seller, not that I could no matter how hard I tried. I am a researcher of PTSD plus live with it everyday and have been helping veterans and their families since 1982. (Yes, I am that old now) When I was a young wife I had no clue what was going on with my husband and that is what started off this over 30 year quest to defeat Combat PTSD.

THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR, would not have had to be written if what we learned over the last 40 years was perfected instead of seeing billions being spent on what was already proven to be failures.

I don't want to get rich off these books but it would be nice for my charity, Pointman of Winter Park, to not lose a couple of thousand a year when I work an average of ten hours a day seven days a week.