Showing posts with label Vermont. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vermont. Show all posts

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Vermont National Guardsman "dead man walking" after burn pit and VA failure to test him

What's killing Staff Sergeant Wesley Black? The VA doesn't want to talk about it.

By Brianna Keilar and Catherine Valentine
March 6, 2020

"You're looking at a dead man walking!" Staff Sergeant Wesley Black

Washington (CNN) "I'm not bullshitting you when I say the conversation went like this: 'Hi Wesley, I just wanted to call and see how you're doing. Are you alone this weekend?'" retired Staff Sergeant Wesley Black said, describing the call he received three years ago from his doctor.

"'No, my wife is here,'" he answered.

"'Great,OK good, because we wanted to let you know you have stage four colon cancer, and we'll be in touch with you Monday, OK? Have a good weekend.'"

Black was 31 years old and had recently begun a new career as a firefighter. His wife had just given birth to their baby boy. Days before, they had signed the mortgage on their first home.

The colon cancer had spread to his liver and lungs and Black says doctors gave him three to five years to live. That was three years and one month ago.

Later, he learned burn pits used by the military to destroy trash in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Black had served in the Vermont National Guard, were to blame.
read it here

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Vermont veterans rate 88.7% higher than the national rate for suicides

Endless struggle: Vermont’s veteran suicide rate is among highest in the nation

VT Digger
By Peng Chen
Jul 21 2019
Vermont’s veteran suicide rate has been higher than the national rate almost every year from 2005 to 2016, according to the veteran suicide data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Data shows there were 25 veteran suicides in Vermont in 2016 — a rate of 56.8 per 100,000 people. That put the state’s rate 88.7% higher than the national rate.
Josh Pallotta is pictured here during his service in Afghanistan. Facebook photo

In Valerie Pallotta’s eyes, her son, Josh, was always determined to do what he liked, including fighting for his country.

When Josh came home one day in 2009 and told her he was joining the Vermont National Guard, she asked if he realized he would be deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“He said ‘I know. That’s why I’m joining’,” Valerie said.

Josh scored so high in the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test that he could choose whatever branch in the military he wanted, according to his mother. He opted for infantry because he knew that he would be on the frontlines. He was 20.

Valerie said Josh was a teddy bear type who enjoyed snowboarding, football and lacrosse. He also had a great sense of humor that made everyone want to be around him. But things changed after he lost two members of his unit in a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan.

“That totally changed him,” Valerie said.

At 21, it was the biggest loss of Josh’s life. He came back to Vermont a few months later. Valerie said Josh was OK at first. He worked as a transportation security officer at Burlington International Airport. But then problems began to crop up. He had a hard time sleeping, which led to missing work and ultimately, being fired.

Valerie said Josh had another job later that required him to make sandwiches and mop the floors. He really liked it and was good at it, but the business closed. Josh was left with “What do I do now?” said Valerie, and felt he had few choices.

Soon, his mother said, Josh lost motivation and purpose in life. In September 2014, he ended his life. He was 25.
If you are in crisis or need help for someone else, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Valerie had not spoken with her son during the nine months before he took his own life. She took a tough love approach, hoping Josh would buck up. But that backfired on her, and she has had to live with a terrible sense of guilt, she said.

What’s worse, she said, time doesn’t heal.

“This is the worst thing to ever happen to me. I will never have grandchildren. He was my only child. I will never see my child get married and have kids,” she said.
read it here

That last part is something you need to pay attention to, because if you feel as if you are a burden now, suicide is something your family will never get over. 

If you do not want to be a burden...THEN STOP BEING ONE AND DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO BE BETTER FOR THEIR SAKE. You can heal and isn't it time you started to?

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Monday, November 26, 2018

Did Burn Pits Kill General?

Vt. Guard general’s death draws attention to burn pit dangers

Providence Journal
Donita Naylor
November 25, 2018

Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.
Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.

Heston was buried with full military honors at the Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, Vermont, on Saturday. An order from Vermont Gov. Philip B. Scott said flags would be flown at half-staff until sunset Monday.

Heston, the oldest son of Thomas and Dorothea Heston, grew up in Cumberland, graduating from Cumberland High School in 1978 and from Roger Williams College in 1982.

During his 34-year military career, he rose to the second-highest rank in the Vermont National Guard. He was also a trooper in the Vermont State Police for 26 years, retiring as a sergeant in 2010.
June Heston, his wife of 30 years, told Fox News that in 2016, four years after returning from his last deployment in Afghanistan, he began having back pain. He was diagnosed 10 months later with stage IV pancreatic cancer. No one had thought of testing for cancer.

She said Sunday night that Mike’s oncologist “did all the genetic and genomic testing” and found that his cancer “was not hereditary in any way.” The doctor wrote to the Veterans Administration with his conclusion that the cancer had an environmental cause.
read more here

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Vermont Mom Goes On Mission After Hearing 'Your Son Took His Own Life'

They are willing to endure any hardship that comes to serve this nation. Then come back feeling like a stranger among family and friends.

They fight for our country. Then they don't think they are not worthy of anyone fighting for them, especially when they cannot fight for themselves. 

They risk their lives, willing to die for those they serve with. Then believe they do not want to bother any of them with their problems.

They finally understand they need help but then fail to believe they deserve it. All too often, afraid if they get in line, they'll push back someone they think deserves it more.

When they come home, and folks believe they are finally safe, that is when the words no mother wants to hear rips her apart.

'Your Son Took His Own Life': A Veteran's Suicide Set His Mother On A Mission To Help Others

Vermont Public Radio
Annie Russell and Henry Epp
August 8, 2017

In Vermont, of all the deaths by gunshot wounds in the last six years, more than a quarter were suicides by current or former members of the armed forces. Even though Veterans Affairs knows that soldiers are at greater risk of taking their own lives, it’s difficult to intervene successfully.

Valerie Pallotta, whose son Josh died by suicide in 2014, now runs a fund in her son's name to raise money for a treatment center.
Now, one Vermont mom who lost her son has made it her mission to end veteran suicide.
Josh Pallotta, 25, was one of those Vermont veterans who took his own life. He died in 2014. His mother Valerie Pallotta of Colchester is trying to create a space where veterans can socialize and also get treatment.
"When you get home, you have to play catch-up. It's not easy. It's not easy to adjust to a completely different world." – Brian Barrows, Army veteran
read more here

We can talk all we want about raising awareness but no one wants to talk about the only question that isn't getting answered. What good does it do?

All this awareness hasn't changed the outcome. Then next question is, why are we tolerating any of it? Why are we not standing up to our elected officials and demanding accountability from them? Why are we so willing to settle for Moms, Dads, Wives and Husbands hearing the words they thought they no longer had to fear?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Vermont First Responders Mental Health Bill Leads in PTSD Help

First Responders Celebrate Passing of Mental Health Bill 
My Champlain 
By: Rebecca Reese 
Posted: Jul 06, 2017
Burlington, Vt. - Firefighters and lawmakers came together to recognize the passing of a bill that will cover mental health under worker's compensation for first responders Thursday morning.
International Association of Fire Firefighters Vice President John 'Jay' Colbert explained that from witnessing horrific emergencies and enduing extreme stress, first responders are two times more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He said those with PTSD are six times more likely to commit suicide.
"This truly is a historic day," Colbert said. "On behalf of the 304,000 firefighters across the United States and Canada I want to commend the people, the legislators and the emergency responders in the state of Vermont for leading the way."
Vermont is the first state in the country to pass legislation to treat mental health injuries as any other injury for first responders.
go here to watch video and let them know you support this!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Driver of Fatal Crash That Killed 5 Sought Help From Hospital

Suspect in fatal Vermont wrong-way crash suffered from PTSD, documents say
Oct 11, 2016
Steven Bourgoin, 36, visited hospital three times before fatal crash
BURLINGTON, Vt. —Court documents are providing new information about the man police said caused a head-on crash that killed five teens.
The documents were filed Monday in Chittenden County Superior Court, according to WPTZ.

Prosecutors charged Steven Bourgoin, 36, of Williston, with reckless or grossly negligent operation of a vehicle and aggravated operating a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Detective Sgt. Benjamin Katz filed an affidavit detailing parts of the investigation. Investigators said Bourgoin was driving northbound in the southbound lanes just before midnight Saturday when he hit a car carrying five teenagers.

Bourgoin then stole an officer's cruiser, police said, and fled southbound -- only to turn around and return to the scene where he hit the victims' car a second time.

Williston Officer Eric Shepherd was the first officer on the scene. He told investigators Bourgoin was driving at nearly 100 mph when he caused the second crash.

The five teens were pronounced dead at the scene. Seven other cars were also hit, injuring five additional victims who received treatment at UVM Medical Center.
read more here

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Navy Veteran Went From Working Out In Gym To Hero in Action

Tragedy’s effects: After taking the rifle from Jody Herring
Barre Montpelier Times Argus
By Eric Blaisdell
August 23,2015
If the shooting wasn’t tragic enough, Williams knew both the alleged shooter and the victim well.

File Photo by Toby Talbot

Washington County State’s Attorney Scott Williams talks to the media
after the arraignment of Jody Herring on a first-degree murder charge.

BARRE — Scott Williams seemingly has a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time.

The Washington County state’s attorney recalled an incident a few years ago when he was on a passenger jet to Florida and a 15-year-old girl went into cardiac arrest. Williams said he performed CPR on the girl and saved her life.

Then there was another time when he was driving with one of his children and a friend in Texas when he happened upon a head-on car crash. Williams said it was a drunk driving incident and the drunk driver was Mexican. He said everyone was attending to the other car and the victims and no one went to help the man.

Williams went to the man who had very serious injuries but was still conscious and tried to comfort or help in any way he could.

On Aug. 7 the former Navy man again found himself in a life-or-death situation.

Police say Jody Herring, 40, of South Barre, fatally shot Department for Children and Families worker Lara Sobel outside Barre City Place as Sobel was leaving work. The shooting is alleged to be connected to Herring losing custody of her 9-year-old daughter. Herring has since pleaded innocent to first-degree murder and is being held without bail.

Williams was working out in the gym at City Place and heard the two gunshots. He rushed outside, got the rifle away from Herring and disabled it, as his mind essentially worked on autopilot.

If the shooting wasn’t tragic enough, Williams knew both the alleged shooter and the victim well. read more here

Friday, October 3, 2014

Troubling response to two Vermont National Guard suicides in a week

This may sound like a good idea especially after two members of the Vermont National Guard committed suicide in one week, but it isn't. I really hate to say it but it could lead to larger problems stopping them from asking for help. If the VA shares information with the National Guards, what does the "multidisciplinary response" actually mean to the members of the Guard?
Guard, VA promote programs to help combat vets
Free Press
Sam Hemingway
Staff Writer
October 3, 2014
Col. Martin Lucenti, state surgeon with the Vermont National Guard, talks about the outreach team tasked with reaching out to soldiers, even knocking on doors, to check the mental health of its soldiers.

COLCHESTER – A team of Vermont National Guard and Veterans Administration personnel are on the lookout for combat veterans who have mental-health or other re-integration problems, the Guard's top medical officer says.

"We get together regularly and say, 'Who are you worried about?' " Col. Martin Lucenti said during a news briefing Thursday afternoon at Guard headquarters at Camp Johnson in Colchester. " 'Who's having drug problems? Who's having behavioral health problems? Who has financial crises?' All those things trigger a multidisciplinary response."

Lucenti said the exact number is unknown, but about 25 percent of the 1,500 Guard soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lucenti made his remarks in the aftermath of the suicides of two Guard soldiers in the past week.
read more here

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Military Taught Joshua R. Pallotta to Put Uniform On, Not How to Take it Off

Mourners honor Afghanistan veteran who suffered PTSD
Burlington Free Press
Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer
September 29, 2014
"Josh took his own life," the Rev. Lisette D. Baxter told the gathering Monday morning at Ira Allen Chapel on the University of Vermont campus. "I think we ought to say that out loud ... and not whisper it so it's a secret among us."
Left, Maj. Gen. Steven Cray, adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard, gives his condolences to Gregory Pallotta and his wife, Valerie, following the funeral for their son, Joshua Pallotta, a member of Alpha Company, who took his life after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan.
Tom Perry, coach of the Colchester High School football team, looked out at the hundreds of mourners Monday at Vermont Army National Guard Pfc. Joshua R. Pallotta's funeral.

"Close your eyes for a moment," Perry said.

Nearly everyone did.

Perry told them to conjure up their warmest memories of Pallotta. Perry said for him, the memory would be of Pallotta, an offensive lineman, in a football practice uniform.

"That face, that sly half smile of his," Perry said. "That's the Josh I see. That's the one I will choose to remember."

Mostly, though, sorrow filled the room as family, friends and brothers-in-arms honored the fun-loving, sensitive man who came back from the 2010 Vermont Army National Guard deployment to Afghanistan struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

A week ago, those struggles cost Pallotta, 25, his life.
Their son's obituary made a direct reference to his post-combat struggle. The couple, speaking with a reporter after the funeral, said their son was proud to serve his country, but the military needs to do more for soldiers who come home with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.

"There's a song he posted on his Facebook page," Valerie Pallotta said of her son. "One line is 'They teach me how to put a uniform on, but they don't teach me how to take it off.' "
read more here

Friday, May 9, 2014

Vermont Army National Guardsmen PTSD and TBI

Vt. Guard working to address signs of PTSD with vets
Burlington Free Press
Sam Hemingway
Staff Writer
May 8, 2014

COLCHESTER – An estimated 25 percent of 3,000 Vermont Army National Guard soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, the state surgeon for the Guard said Thursday.

"I think 25 percent is a reasonable ballpark that tells me they are receiving some semblance of care" for PTSD symptoms, said Col. Martin Lucenti, the Guard's top medical officer.

Lucenti said about a third of the 3,000 soldiers in the Guard deployment were exposed to a concussive event — an explosion or roadside bomb — during their time in Afghanistan, but only about 30 suffered concussions that could lead to at least a mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis.

Lucenti said the Guard tries to track soldiers struggling with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries through regular medical checkups, home visits and a "battle buddy" program that encourages soldiers to stay in touch with comrades in their units.

"A significant amount of our soldiers do require some additional behavioral health support to reintegrate after deployments, obviously more with each subsequent deployment," Lucenti said.

Lucenti's comments came in the aftermath of the April 26 shooting death of Kryn Miner, a chief warrant officer, 2, with Guard's headquarters division. Police said Miner was shot by one of his teenage children at his home after he threatened to kill his wife and four children.
read more here

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vermont National Guardsman Killed by Family Member

Police: Vermont National Guard member threatened family before being shot dead by relative
April 29, 2014

ESSEX, Vermont — A Vermont National Guard member threatened family members with a gun before one of them shot and killed him, police said.

Kryn Miner died of multiple gunshot wounds to his head, neck and torso early Saturday, the state medical examiner's office said.

Miner, 44, had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, police said.

No arrests have been made, and the people involved in the shooting have been cooperative with law enforcement, Essex Police Chief Bradley LaRose said.

"The surviving members of the Miner family are victims of an unimaginable set of circumstances," he said.

The police investigation's findings will be presented to the Chittenden County state's attorney for review, police said.
read more here

Friday, January 27, 2012

Vermont proposal: Legalize pot for PTSD treatment

Vt. proposal: Legalize pot for PTSD treatment
By Wilson Ring - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Jan 26, 2012 17:00:20 EST
MONTPELIER, Vt. — A Vermont lawmaker wants to amend the state’s medical marijuana law so that anyone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder could use it to help alleviate their symptoms.

State Rep. Jim Masland said he introduced the bill earlier this month at the request of a number of his constituents who were using marijuana to alleviate stress symptoms they felt were caused by their military service.

“I understand that these unnamed individuals, at least a couple, haven’t been able to find relief any other way or at least this is the best way for relief,” Masland, D-Thetford, said Thursday. “So I would say they are quietly, surreptitiously using marijuana, but they would much rather do it legally.”

Masland said the veterans who asked him to introduce the legislation had served in the Vietnam War as well as the wars the United States has fought over the last decade.
read more here

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Afghanistan Veteran's first call as firefighter lieutenant was to his own house

Community rallies to help veteran left homeless by fire

By Judy Simpson

Jericho, Vermont - January 20, 2012

The sign in front of Clark's Truck Center in Jericho says it all: asking for donations for a family whose home was destroyed by a fire Jan. 14. The home is owned by Travis and Becky Hale and their five children. All made it out safely. In an ironic twist, Travis is a member of the Underhill Jericho Fire Department. And so is Randy Clark, who owns the truck center.

"To have a fire at one of your own people's houses-- it's tough. Wish I did not do this, but anyway, so that is what we are doing, we are raising money for Travis and Becky. They are great people and trying to help them," Clark said.

Just days before the fire, Travis was elected as an officer for the volunteer department.

"Yeah, like I told a few people Tuesday night I was elected as a lieutenant, and Saturday I went to my first call at my own house. So definitely not what you expect when you join the fire department," Travis said.

His main concern was that his fellow firefighters were not injured battling a fire at his house.
read more here

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran committed suicide at Occupy Burlington Vermont

Protesters: Veteran shoots self at Vt. encampment

Paramedics rush a shooting victim from the Occupy Burlington, Vt., encampment at City Hall Park to an ambulance Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011. The public was not believed to be at risk after the afternoon shooting at City Hall Park in Burlington, but the circumstances are still being investigated, said Burlington Police Deputy Chief Andi Higbee. (AP Photo/Burlington Free Press, Ryan Mercer)

By Dave Gram
Associated Press
November 11, 2011

"This person has clearly needed more help than we were capable of giving him here at this park," said Emily Reynolds, a University of Vermont student and a leader in the local Occupy movement.

If government provided better mental health services, she said, "this probably wouldn't have happened."
BURLINGTON, Vt.—Police said preliminary investigations show a 35-year-old military veteran fatally shot himself in the head Thursday at an Occupy Wall Street encampment in Vermont's largest city.

Burlington police said the name of the Chittenden County resident is being withheld because his family has not been fully notified.

The man shot himself inside a tent in City Hall Park on Thursday afternoon. Mike Noble, a spokesman for the Fletcher Allen Health Care hospital in Burlington, confirmed that the man had died. Noble said he could provide no other details.

read more here

Saturday, July 2, 2011

National Guard Colonel does not think PTSD is normal?

Col. John Coffin has just shown part of the problem with the stigma of PTSD living on.

"It is a term just thrown around that Vietnam veterans like me object to, although sadly enough it is one of the things that honors people. If you have PTSD people really feel for you as a Vietnam veteran. But however, if I declare myself having PTSD, I have just called myself less than a normal person," Coffin said.
"Less than normal" is what he said but it shows he does not understand what PTSD is. It is a very NORMAL response to the abnormal world of combat. What does he think trauma is? Trauma comes with traumatic events, in other words, not part of normal life. Simple to understand if you want to.

It looks like Coffin doesn't want to but he's in a role of deciding what happens to the men and women under his command. If he has this attitude, then what chance does a soldier with PTSD have if he can't understand what it is?

Vermont soldiers confront the challenges of PTSD

Colchester, Vermont - July 1, 2011

Megan Daleiden works in Human Resources for the Vermont Guard, but 5 years ago after she returned from a deployment in Iraq she found herself struggling to readjust.

"I was jobless, I was bored and I was suddenly finding myself as a housewife! Looking for jobs, as opposed to a team leader who was in charge of eight other soldiers," she said.

She said her spouse, a war vet himself, noticed a change in her personality after she got back.

"The problem is you are going through it. So you do not notice what you are doing to other people," Daleiden said. "One day my husband just sat down and said, 'Why are you so angry?' And I thought, 'I am not angry, at all!'"

Col. John Coffin says Daleiden's behavior is normal. He works with soldiers before deployment and after they return to evaluate their mental state.

Coffin explained, "We ask them three questions. Who are you, what did you do? What was your first thought or feeling when you got off the plane? Then the money question-- is there anything you want to say now as you leave your tour?"

He says soldiers need an opportunity to talk about the deaths of fellow soldiers and troubling memories. His team then evaluates them individually to see who needs extra help readjusting.

"When they get home to avail themselves of vocational and counseling services, so they can lift off into a new life, having been at the gates of hell," Coffin said.

And for some, that leaves a mark.
read more here
Vermont soldiers confront the challenges of PTSD

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vermont National Guard soldiers' families called by evil hoaxer

Hoaxer calls Vermont National Guard soldiers' families telling them their son or daughter is injured
By Ethan Sacks

Wednesday, April 21st 2010, 10:54 AM
Family members of soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been targeted with late-night phone calls from a twisted hoaxer expressing sympathy for their son or daughter's injuries or death in the line of duty.

At least three prank calls were believed to have been made by a woman last week in Vermont, making the family worry until it could get in touch with the loved one, who was not injured, ABC News reported.

"All our families, it's a roller-coaster ride," National Guard Lt. Col Lloyd Goodrow told ABC. "Somebody does something like this, it just makes it worse."

About 1,500 Vermont guardsmen are serving in Afghanistan, The Associated Press reported.

Read more: Hoaxer calls Vermont National Guard soldiers families

Monday, August 24, 2009

Auction boosts Guard families

Adam Boyle of Barre examines silent auction items on a table at the Barre Elks Club on Saturday during a benefit for Vermont National Guard families.


Auction boosts Guard families
By David Delcore TIMES ARGUS STAFF - Published: August 24, 2009

BARRE – The banner outside the Barre Elks Lodge on Saturday stated: "Guard(ian) Angels Auction." However, the message could just as easily have been: "Mission Accomplished!"

Before the doors ever opened on an auction that was designed to raise funds to assist the families of 1,500 members of the Vermont National Guard who will be deployed to Afghanistan later this year, the event's bubbly organizer declared it a success.

"This is bigger than I ever imagined," Elizabeth Perreault said, while taking care of a few last-minute details for what had been a summer-long project that took on a life of its own.

When she came up with the idea of hosting a silent auction back in June, Perreault, whose husband, Paul, is among the guardsman scheduled to deploy, said she hoped to collect perhaps $1,000 worth of items that could be sold to raise money for "family readiness centers" located at each of the state's 18 armories.
read more here
Auction boosts Guard families

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vermont National Guardsman job denied due to Afghan duty

How is this right? It isn't but it's what members of the National Guards face all over the country. It is especially hard for them in this kind of economy. The regular military, well, they don't have to worry about their jobs while they deploy because they are doing their jobs, but for Guardsmen and Reservists, they have to depend on civilian jobs to take care of their families. Does anyone realize what we are putting these men and women through? You would think that Congress would smarten up and pass some kind of help for them when we keep sending them back to Iraq and Afghanistan leaving them to suffer financially for it.

Prison guard: Job denied due to Afghan duty
The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jul 20, 2009 9:16:01 EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Several temporary correctional officers at the state prison in Springfield say they were denied permanent jobs because of their pending deployment to Afghanistan with the Vermont National Guard.

At least one of the officers is planning to file a complaint against the Vermont Department of Corrections in federal court.

Tim Nolan of Chittenden tells Vermont Public Radio he was hired as a temporary correctional officer last October with the understanding that if he performed well he could become permanent when a spot became available.

Nolan says his new career was on track until he notified officials about his pending deployment.

Corrections officials say they're looking into the situation.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vt. town comes together for paralyzed soldier

Vt. town comes together for paralyzed soldier

By John Curran - The Associated Press
Posted : Saturday Jun 27, 2009 15:41:23 EDT

HYDE PARK, Vt. — For Pfc. Andrew Parker, it was a bittersweet homecoming: He was hailed as a hero, feted with a star-spangled parade and showered with gifts at a welcome home ceremony.

He had to watch it all from a wheelchair.

Parker, a 21-year-old Army cavalry scout, was paralyzed in November when a roadside bomb blew up the vehicle he was driving on patrol in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, after months of rehabilitation in Veterans Administration hospitals and a community fundraising effort that added wheelchair-accessible accommodations to his parents’ house, the wounded warrior came home.

Riding in his wheelchair in the back of a flatbed truck, a smiling Parker took in the flag-waving well wishers and the hand-lettered signs — “For your sacrifice and our freedom” and “Thank you, Andrew” among them — on a six-mile parade to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7779.
go here for more

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Vermont State Police need help after National Guardsman was attacked

Assault at Guard firing range investigated

The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Nov 2, 2008 10:37:48 EST

JERICHO, Vt. — Police are looking for two suspects who allegedly assaulted a Vermont Army National Guardsman at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho.

Police say 23-year-old Jordan Paquette of St. Albans was assigned to keep trespassers off the firing range while drills were taking place on Saturday when two men in dark clothing approached the post around 6 p.m.

Police say when he asked them to stop and identify themselves, they refused and assaulted him. Paquette received minor injuries.

The two men then fled.

Anyone with information is asked to call state police.