Showing posts with label combat veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label combat veterans. Show all posts

Friday, December 11, 2020

106 members of the House want to toss out veterans votes!

Georgia 616,527
Michigan 520,129
Wisconsin, 315,574
Pennsylvania 710,375

You risked your lives to defend this country and now these 106 members of congress's are trying to take away your votes!
Are they calling their own election illigetimate too?
How does this make you feel?
What are you going to do about it?


All 50 states have officially certified the results of the 2020 presidential election as of this week, reaffirming what has been known for over a month now: Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.

And yet, on Thursday, 106 Republican members of Congress signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to allow the state of Texas to file a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the election results in the states of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, all of which President Donald Trump lost.

Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Tom McClintock of California’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Ken Calvert of California’s 42nd Congressional District
Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Neal P. Dunn of Florida’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Ted S. Yoho of Florida’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. John Rutherford of Florida’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida’s 11th Congressional District
Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida’s 12th Congressional District
Rep. Ross Spano of Florida’s 15th Congressional District
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida’s 25th Congressional District
Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter of Georgia’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Drew Ferguson of Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Rick W. Allen of Georgia’s 12th Congressional District
Rep. Russ Fulcher of Idaho’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois’s 12th Congressional District
Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois’s 18th Congressional District
Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. James R. Baird of Indiana’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana’s 9th Congressional District
Rep. Steve King of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Roger Marshall of Kansas’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Ron Estes of Kansas’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Ralph Abraham of Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. John Moolenaar of Michigan’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Trent Kelly of Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District
#50 - Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana’s at-large congressional district
Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st Congressional District
Rep. Gregory Murphy of North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District
Rep. David Rouzer of North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Robert E. Latta of Ohio’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District
Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District
Rep. Fred Keller of Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District
Rep. John Joyce of Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District
Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District
Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District
Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District
Rep. John Rose of Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. David Kustoff of Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Ron Wright of Texas’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas’s 11th Congressional District
Rep. Randy Weber of Texas’s 14th Congressional District
Rep. Bill Flores of Texas’s 17th Congressional District
Rep. Kenny Marchant of Texas’s 24th Congressional District
Rep. Roger Williams of Texas’s 25th Congressional District
Rep. Michael C. Burgess of Texas’s 26th Congressional District
Rep. Michael Cloud of Texas’s 27th Congressional District
Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. William Timmons of South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District
#100 - Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Ben Cline of Virginia’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Alex X. Mooney of West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Carol D. Miller of West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District
#106 - Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District

Saturday, April 25, 2020

"Story about hope and kindness, not fear and despair" retired Navy psychiatrist volunteer at hospice

In a Farmington hospice, a friendship bloomed among two veterans

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
By Reid Forgrave
MARCH 27, 2020
“I’ll have sadness when someone I care about is no longer around. That’s a hard thing about hospice. But there’s something that tempers that for me: the reality I’ve been able to help somebody in their last days of life.” Tim Magee
In these uncertain times, a visitor and a patient bond over rich life stories.
Tim Magee, left, must defer his visits to Dave Roberts for now. But he’s grateful for the friendship the two veterans have forged over the past year.

This is a story set in a place where people typically die — but it is a story about hope and kindness, not fear and despair. This is a story about small gestures of grace that have blossomed over the past several years at Trinity Care Center, an AseraCare hospice in Farmington, Minn.

Life and death are themes forever present at hospices, places where people are cared for and comforted through the final chapter of their lives as painlessly as possible.

But in these uncertain times, this is a story of light for all of us.
read it here
Linked from Philadelphia Enquirer

Friday, April 10, 2020

PTSD: If the leaders have not managed to take care of their it yourself!

Stop waiting for someone else to do it!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 10, 2020

Over and over again we read about responders not getting the mental health help they desperately need. After over 4 decades of research into what PTSD does, if the leaders have not managed to take care of their it yourself!

Stop waiting for someone else to begin taking care of you and the people you risk your life with. If they are still so ignorant they have not managed to provide you with the proper support, do it for each other. After all, peer support is what works best. It can only work if you learn all you can to be able to respond with facts, as well as encouragement.

The longer you wait, the more will die by their own hands because of what their jobs did to them!

You already their trust, because they trust you with their lives, as you trust them with yours.

Open your mouth if you think someone you know is struggling instead of fearing how they will judge you. If you still fear talking about PTSD, then that is your problem and you need to overcome it. Learn what it is and why you have it and then you will see that it is a price you are paying for surviving what you lived through.

Start helping each other heal! Contact me if you have questions 407-754-7526

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

First female combat veteran running for President reporting for National Guard

Gabbard takes presidential campaign break for Army National Guard training

By: The Associated Press
  August 13, 2019
Gabbard is the first female combat veteran to run for U.S. president. She was elected to Congress in 2012.
HONOLULU — Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is taking two weeks off from her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign to participate in Army National Guard training.
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Gabbard announced the two-week break in a statement Monday. She will return to the campaign trail on Aug. 25.

Gabbard is a major in the Army National Guard who has served in the military for more than 16 years and deployed to Iraq in 2004 and Kuwait in 2008.
read it here

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Taco Bell employee shocked veteran after he asked for military discount

Lower Burrell veteran overwhelmed by Taco Bell teen worker’s generous offer

Madasyn Czebiniak
July 23, 2019

Army veteran Chris Archer will never forget the experience he had Saturday at the Taco Bell in Harrison.

As he was ordering his lunch — four tacos and a water — he asked the employee serving him if the restaurant offered a military discount.
The crew member, Liam Samples, said no. Samples, 17, proceeded to do something that blew Archer’s mind.

He tried to pay for Archer’s $6 meal.

“Before I even had a chance to think about what he was doing, he already had his wallet out and was trying to pay,” said Archer, 39, of Lower Burrell. “I was just like, ‘No, no, no … I got this. That’s amazing. Thank you for the thought for this.’ ”

Archer, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, thought it would be be fitting to highlight Samples’s generous act by pointing it out to the Tribune-Review.

He said he has been given the senior discount at places where no military discount was offered, but no one has ever tried to pay for him out of their own pocket. Especially a 17-year-old.
read it here

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Would you help them if they needed you?

Who are you driving away? 

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 17, 2019

Today is St. Patrick's Day. Tradition says that he drove snakes out of Ireland. That got me thinking about driving other things away, like the people in your life. 

So who are you driving away? Are you pushing people away so they do not see you as being vulnerable? Weaker than they thought you were? 

What is it that keeps you from seeing that you would feel terrible if someone needed you, but pushed you away instead.

St. Patrick
St. Patrick, (flourished 5th century, Britain and Ireland; feast day March 17), patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and probably responsible in part for the Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons. He is known only from two short works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Letter to Coroticus, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
Healing takes a triple play like the trinity. Mind-body and spirit. Leave one out and you will not heal as well as you would by taking care of all the things that make
Before the end of the 7th century, Patrick had become a legendary figure, and the legends have continued to grow. One of these would have it that he drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea to their destruction. Patrick himself wrote that he raised people from the dead, and a 12th-century hagiography places this number at 33 men, some of whom are said to have been deceased for many years. He also reportedly prayed for the provision of food for hungry sailors traveling by land through a desolate area, and a herd of swine miraculously appeared. Another legend, probably the most popular, is that of the shamrock, which has him explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, three persons in one God, to an unbeliever by showing him the three-leaved plant with one stalk. Traditionally, Irishmen have worn shamrocks, the national flower of Ireland, in their lapels on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
St. Patrick took care of poor sailors..what if they were too proud to accept his help? 

Well, that happens all the time...especially when you were the one who made it your job to save other people. Bet you didn't stop to see that it was the same career choice everyone you serve with made too. 

Would you help them if they needed you? Then what's stopping you from asking them for help to stay instead of pushing them away?

Don't give me the stigma crap. If you spent a fraction of the time you use to cover up the pain, on learning what is causing it, the stigma would be proven to be a grim fairy tale. It would not even exist.
read more here

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The only thing I want to hear is, they are worth fighting for.

Are You Ready to Fight For Love?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 2, 2017

"I'm telling you I'm not going." Words to a song or words we live by? The choice is ours, but if we stay, we better ready for the war that hasn't ended after any war. 

I don't want to hear it is too hard to stay. I did it for 35 years and we're having our 33rd wedding anniversary. I get it. It sucks to be in a position where you're fighting a battle no one trained you to fight. THEN TRAIN YOURSELF! This is a war that was brought to the front door of you heart.

I don't want to hear it is too hard for you to understand. I went to work right out of high school but ended up reading clinical books at the library with a dictionary because I had no clue what the psychiatrists were writing about. I didn't understand Vietnam because when my Vietnam veteran was there, I was only 11 years old. 

You don't even have to get out of your PJs. All you have to do is turn on your computer or power up your tablet or get online with your cell phone to find what you're looking for. The problem is, if you are not looking for the thing that will help change your life and your veteran's life, then you are not going to find it.

The only thing I want to hear is, they are worth fighting for. Mine was and still is. Frankly that is what pisses me off the most. Too many take the easy way out and walk away from them because "rough times are showing" and they find excuses to leave instead of expectations to hope for.

My buddy Gunny just called me an ornery PITA, "pain in the ass" when I told him about being set off with Suicide Awareness Month. We are not even close to getting to the point where we're talking more about marriages like mine than widows visiting graves.
I'm Not Living Without You
And I am telling you I'm not going
Even though the rough times are showing
There's just no way - there's no way

We're part of the same place

We're part of the same time
We both share the same blood
We both have the same mind

These are the things you should be reading and you don't even have to search for them. Here are the links.

National Center for PTSD

  • What is PTSD? | ¿Qué es el TEPT?
    Find out about the symptoms of PTSD and how they develop.
  • Symptoms of PTSD | Síntomas del TEPT
    Learn about PTSD symptoms and when to get help.
  • How Common is PTSD?
    Find out how many people have PTSD and who is most likely to develop PTSD.
  • History of PTSD in Veterans: Civil War to DSM-5
    Learn about the history of the diagnosis of PTSD in a timeline that reflects military events and the importance of Veterans.
  • Early attempts at a medical diagnosis
    Accounts of psychological symptoms following military trauma date back to ancient times. The American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) mark the start of formal medical attempts to address the problems of military Veterans exposed to combat. European descriptions of the psychological impact of railroad accidents also added to early understanding of trauma-related conditions.
  • Understanding PTSD and PTSD Treatment
    Find out more in this quick guide to PTSD Basics.
It PTSD isn't new at all!

The Civil War killed and injured over a million Americans, roughly a third of all those who served. This grim tally, however, doesn’t include the conflict’s psychic wounds. Military and medical officials in the 1860s had little grasp of how war can scar minds as well as bodies. Mental ills were also a source of shame, especially for soldiers bred on Victorian notions of manliness and courage. For the most part, the stories of veterans like Hildt have languished in archives and asylum files for over a century, neglected by both historians and descendants.

You may have been waisting your time with nonsense yesterday, but you just ran out of excuses. It is all there if you bother to look for it. The question is, are you ready to fight to stay, or not?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Real Veterans Take Over Night Shift

Military vets take the spotlight in ‘Night Shift’ season opener
Lansing State Journal
Mike Hughes
Aug. 9, 2017
Montoya was in the Army from 1992-95, then re-enlisted after the Sept. 11 attack, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. As doctors and medics saved him, he said, “one of the very few things I do remember is somebody holding my hand, saying, 'Not on my shift. I'm not going to let you die.'”
LOS ANGELES -- Our TV sets and movie screens are filling up with soldiers now.

Along the way, stereotypes persist. Just ask some of the former soldiers involved Thursday's “Night Shift” episode, a key one directed by East Lansing's Tim Busfield, a Navy veteran.

Often, the veterans say, shows depict the extremes:

•The unflinching rock. “Some (shows) have a list that says, 'Remember, soldiers don't get nervous; soldiers don't fidget; soldiers don't' – and I'm like, 'Well, I do,'” said Josh Kelley, once a Ranger sergeant in Afghanistan and now a busy actor.

•Or the opposite. “They always show the former soldier as (emotionally) broken,” said Toby Montoya, who was in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Some are, but most aren't. I'm not.”

He would have every reason to break down. Eight years ago, he said, a 490-pound explosive device hit his vehicle in Afghanistan; he's had 22 surgeries and remains in a wheelchair.

Still, he's a vibrant force as “Night Shift” military adviser. The show is set at a San Antonio hospital, surrounded by military bases. Some doctors and patients are active-duty military; others are veterans.

On Thursday, that peaks when there are injuries during a military funeral. Victims fill the emergency room; it's an hour filled with guest stars who are veterans, directed by Busfield, also a vet ... even if his colleagues didn't realize it.
read more here

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Walk to Honor Veteran-Firefighter After PTSD Suicide

Exactly when do these efforts to raise awareness of suicides make them aware of reasons to live instead?
Walk to honour a fellow fireman
Shepparton News Australia
MARCH 18, 2017

A team of Shepparton firefighters will complete a 20km walk next month to honour a colleague who took his own life.

Just 18 months after finishing a 400km walk to raise awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, Ballarat firefighter Nathan Shanahan committed suicide.
He was as an ex-soldier and a former Mildura firefighter.

Mr Shanahan’s walk from Mildura to Adelaide in April 2015 was also a way for him to tackle his own demons.

However, in December last year he succumbed to his mental health problems.

To honour him, Mr Shanahan’s colleagues in Ballarat and Mildura organised the Walk Off The War Within challenge, a 20km walk to share the burden and walk as one.

About five Shepparton firefighters will take part in the challenge on Saturday, April 22, along with teams from CFA stations and other service groups from across the state.
read more here

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Veterans ask, "Do you really want to hurt me?"

Veterans ask, "Do you really want to hurt me?" Yes, some politicians just don't care if ending the Affordable Care Act can hurt veterans.
A preliminary review of 2006 data shows little change in the number of uninsured veterans since 2004, Woolhandler noted. Woolhandler's team found that 645,628 uninsured veterans were old enough to have served in Vietnam. More than 1 million (1,105,891) served at other times, including in Iraq and the first Gulf War -- 56.5 percent were older than 44. Among uninsured veterans, 26.5 percent said they couldn't get medical care because of costs, 31.2 percent delayed care due to costs, and 49.1 percent hadn't seen a doctor within the past year. In addition, two-thirds didn't receive preventive care. Yet, almost two-thirds were employed, the researchers found.
More than 600,000 veterans will go without health insurance next year unless 19 states stop holding out against expanding Medicaid, researchers said Wednesday.
Not all U.S. veterans receive health care through the VA's Veterans Health Administration, but the massive system does serve about two-thirds of the 9 million veterans who currently qualify. (To be eligible for VA care, a veteran must have a service-related physical or mental health condition.) Trump has proposed solving the VA's problems of long waits and poor care by allowing veterans to see private doctors, with Uncle Sam picking up the tab. But that program -- which would cost as much as $500 billion over 10 years, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget -- is controversial, with some veterans groups seeing it as partial privatization that could ultimately weaken the VA.

The truth is, about 80% of the veterans in this country do not use the VA for all of their healthcare. Most do not go for a lot of reasons. Some won't go because they believe the VA is for veterans worse off than they are. If a veteran has a job and is insured under the Affordable Care Act, this will harm them and frankly, they want to know why? They really want to know why because the politicians talking about ending it are also talking about privatizing the VA and sending them into the same mess that is about to get a lot worse.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Elgin VFW Post 1307 Needs Help To Hope Again

Tough choice for struggling Elgin VFW post: Time to sell building?
Daily Herald
Elena Ferrarin
December 17, 2016

If you walked into the members- and guests-only bar of Elgin VFW Post 1307 on an average Friday night, you'd be lucky to find 10 people.

There is no bingo or fish fry anymore, although twice-monthly country line dancing and weekly raffles have survived. Occasionally, the hall gets rented for events.

And now, the post's membership will make a pivotal decision about its future on Jan. 2: Sell the building, or mortgage it to make much-needed repairs with no foreseeable means of repaying the debt.

Post Commander Art Buckheister and Post Quartermaster Scott Webb believe it's best to sell.

"The VFW is not about bars and canteens and things," Webb said. "The VFW is about veterans. Serving veterans and serving our community. That's what must be paramount. It's time to get out of the bar business."

Buckheister agreed. "We were pretty good at it for a lot of years. Now things have changed and it's time to refocus."
read more here

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Veteran Sang National Anthem in Front of Whining Protestor

Do they actually teach what respect is there? The young woman seems to think that the veteran, who risked his life for this country, did not deserve any respect at all. Freedom of speech does not trump the rights of others to do the same. It is about time folks understood the full impact of the 1st Amendment.
Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
My Dad and my Uncles served and so did my Husband and his Dad and his Uncles. What they are doing is showing disrespect to every generation that thought this country, as imperfect as it is, was worth dying for. She couldn't even stop whining long enough to think about that.
Video captures national anthem standoff between #BamaSits protesters and veteran
by Andrew Donley
October 27th 2016

A peaceful protest during the national anthem before Alabama's last home game was disrupted by a proud veteran, and the incident was captured on video.

Protesters saying that the way the veteran interrupted them was uncalled for, but the veteran says he was well within his rights.

"#BamaSits is a peaceful protest. We are protesting social injustice. We support underrepresented LGBTQ community and people of color against discrimination and we're also protesting against police brutality," Emerald Vaughn said.
read more here

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Un-remembered Story of Veteran Suicides

We Did Not Think And It Was Not This Bad
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 16, 2016

All the talk about raising awareness is a bunch of bullshit.  Plain and simple.  

That is the biggest problem of all.  Folks are doing a lot of talking using whatever is simple to them and we have seen the deadly results.

When the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that an average of 22 veterans were committing suicide everyday lazy reporters jumped on the headline without reading the report and it seemed as if none of it was happening before. Now the number is put at 20. Does that mean they change their "easy to remember number" or do they actually think about how they did not make a difference at all?

Wrong on all counts, the number was pushed and suddenly folks were running around the country claiming they were going to do something about it.  They did. When you think about "numbers" they can get them wrong because for the number they find, there are many more they do not find.  When they use percentages, then they are basing their findings on the ones they do find.

They managed to make it all worse and the truth is not just in the numbers but in the percentages.

This is from the Department of Veterans Affairs research on veterans committing suicide.

According to the US Census of 2000 there were 26.4 million veterans in the US.  In 2013 it was down to 19.6 million veterans.

So how did we end up with the same numbers on suicides but almost 7 million less veterans and over a decade of "awareness" and prevention?

Sixty five percent of the veterans are over the age of 50.  That has not changed but you wouldn't know that because most of the folks running around avoid even mentioning them. They are not even aware of the simple fact the majority of veterans in this country have struggled longer, suffered longer and waited longer for the help they fought for.
"Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared to a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000." reported by News 21 August 24, 2013

They did not get training in prevention the way the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were presented with programs to help them recover from combat.  

That is one more thing no one is talking about. It does not work.

The number of OEF and OIF veterans committing suicide are lower than older veterans but when researchers compare the them to civilians in their age group, yet again, the percentages prove the training is more bullshit.

"The suicide rate among young male veterans continues to soar: ex-servicemen 24 and younger are now three times more likely than civilian males to take their lives, according to a federal study" reported by NBC News January 10, 2014

The Department of Defense keeps saying that non-deployed service members are committing suicide but never once mention the fact they were trained in prevention by them.  Ok, then if it did not even work on members who never set foot in a combat zone, how did they expect it to work for those who went? Top that off with those with multiple deployments they knew would be at greater risk way back in 2006?

And after a decade of training friends of Darrell Almond had to bury him at the age of 33.  He survived Iraq and Afghanistan but could not survived being back home. "Some of Almond's friends did not realize the magnitude of his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  "I know he struggled with it, but we didn't think it was this bad." said Joseph Hadley who served with him.

"We are either determined to repeat history or pretend just enough to let us go to sleep at night feeling as if we did something today.

The question is, how does it feel to read another article about another veteran repeating the history we left for them?" Kathie Costos Wounded Times

Monday, March 7, 2016

Anti-Trump Ads Feature Veterans

Conservative group releases brutal anti-Trump ads featuring veterans calling him a 'con man' 
Business Insider 
Pamela Engel 
Mar 7th 2016 

Military veterans are appearing in ads released over the weekend by an outside group, hoping to stop Donald Trump from snagging the GOP presidential nomination.

The ads, from the conservative American Future Fund, feature veterans disavowing Trump's statements about prisoners of war and end with the text: "Trump's a phony. Stop him now."

In one ad, former Special Forces commander Michael Waltz, who served in Afghanistan, said that Trump "hasn't served this country a day in his life" and called him a Vietnam War draft-dodger.

"He essentially called anyone who is captured in combat a loser," Waltz said. "It's something that I just personally can't stomach and am sickened by, as should every veteran and every soldier in the United States military."

Trump, who is the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, criticized Arizona Sen. John McCain last year and called into question his status as a "war hero."

"He's not a war hero," Trump said. "He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."

Trump quickly walked back that statement and agreed that McCain, a Vietnam War POW, was in fact a war hero. Trump also said that he doesn't like "losers," referring to McCain's loss to President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
read more here

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Get it Right For Veterans Day or We Will Continue to Fail Them

Veterans Deserve The Truth
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 8, 2015

Here we go again. As Veterans Day approaches there are more news reports and editorials coming out. Some from politicians and some more from charities. Jeff Chidester, host of the Clear Channel radio show wrote a piece on how we've failed veterans.
Each of our veterans is part of an elite fraternity, to which only about 1 percent of the country belongs. The U.S. military is without a doubt the most mighty fighting force ever assembled in history. However, it is also the most moral and humane group of men and women.
If you really want to honor veterans on the one day of they year their existence is acknowledged, then please get it right. Veterans are not "1 percent of the population" but current military are a little less than 1 percent.
"There are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, according the Census Bureau, approximately 10 percent of whom are women. To put that in context there are 319.2 million Americans, according to the bureau. Nov 10, 2014"
Plus the number of homeless veterans has gone down since the high of over 300,000 when everyone was avoiding them. Homeless Veterans
America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone.
12% of the homeless adult population are veterans
20% of the male homeless population are veterans
68% reside in principal cities
32% reside in suburban/rural areas
51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
50% have serious mental illness
70% have substance abuse problems
51% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans
But the fact remains they served this one nation and returned to different states. If you want to know what is going on in your state, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans has an easy search to use to find out how your state treats veterans.

Bill pushed to end homelessness for veterans
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development report there were nearly 50,000 homeless veterans across the country in 2014. More than 750 of those veterans live in Upstate New York with 143 homeless veterans in the Southern Tier.
Veteran Suicides The claim is "22 a day" but everyone seems to get that wrong too. Congress Acts on Veteran Suicides, New York Times By The Editorial Board FEB. 9, 2015
Jeff Hensley, an Iraq war veteran, last year at an installation about military suicide in Washington. Credit Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
An estimated 22 veterans kill themselves each day on average, according to the latest government data. Although many are older veterans, and some never served in combat, the suicide rate is particularly high and has been climbing among veterans under 30.
This was about the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act among a series of other attempts to appeal to the masses as if it would do a damn bit of good when it simply repeated what had already been done and changed, absolutely nothing to reduce the number of suicides.

As a matter of fact, they went up.

Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans, CBS News, November 7, 2007
CBS News did an investigation - asking all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records, for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. Forty-five states sent what turned out to be a mountain of information.

And what it revealed was stunning.

In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That's 120 each and every week, in just one year.
Yet before this bill the number of military suicides reached the highest level in 26 years,

2006 Suicide Rate for Soldiers Sets a Record for the Army, Associated Press August 17, 2007
The report said that the 99 confirmed suicides by active-duty soldiers compared with 87 in 2005 and that it was the highest raw number since 102 suicides were reported in 1991, the year of the Persian Gulf War.

Investigations are pending on two other deaths.

Officials reported 948 suicide attempts, but there were no comparisons for previous years.
We reached that number in the first quarter of 2015 according to the Department of Defense Quarterly Suicide Report.
In the first quarter of 2015, there were 57 suicides among service members in the active component, 15 suicides among service members in the reserve component and 27 suicides among service members in the National Guard.
Those reports are from the Army alone yet every branch has seen the number of enlisted reduced as the number of active duty suicides and attempted suicides went up.

If you really want to do something to honor veterans, then tell the truth or don't say anything at all. We knew more about all of this before all the online groups started. Just because you think you have something to say doesn't mean it will help and more often than not, it does more harm.

Members of Congress have gotten away with just repeating the same failed attempts to reduce suicides and the stigma of PTSD. They failed and we let them because we didn't make sure we were doing our veterans a service instead of serving our own ego and political point of view.

With all the facts in hand, I take the veterans side against all politicians. Men and women join the military and accepted the fact they may die for the sake of those they were with. Political point of view didn't matter. When it comes to taking care of them, both sides failed but zealots took sides of the elected instead of the neglected.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller "I buried three women in Iraq"

New Marine commandant: ‘Personally insulting’ to talk about women in combat
Washington Post
Thomas Gibbons
October 2, 2015
“The Marines who were a part of the GCITF did a great a job…they worked their tails off,” said Neller. “The people that made it to the end deserve our gratitude for their discipline and strength and fortitude to make it to the end.”
Newly instated Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller made some pointed comments regarding women in combat Thursday, following a public back and forth between the Marine Corps and the Secretary of the Navy over whether the Marine Corps would allow women into previously closed ground combat roles.

“This has nothing to do about women in combat,” Neller said to a theater full of Marines at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia.“I buried three women in Iraq in 2006 and they died alongside 311 men.”

“To me its personally insulting to talk about women in combat. Women have been in combat,” he added.

Neller was dismissing the idea that including women in combat was anything new, and he made sure to point out that the debate was about women being directly assigned to positions in ground combat units such as the infantry.
read more here

Friday, September 25, 2015

Help For Formerly Incarcerated Vets

DOL-VETS Announces $1.6 Million to Help Formerly Incarcerated Vets Return to Work, Avoid Homelessness

Sept. 23, 2015
WASHINGTON — Supporting the president's goal to eliminate homelessness among U.S. military veterans, the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service today announced the award of $1.5 million in grants to help once-incarcerated veterans considered "at-risk" of becoming homeless. In all, seven grants will serve more than 650 formerly incarcerated veterans in six states.

"Everyone deserves a second chance, especially the men and women who have sacrificed for our country," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "The Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program (IVTP) opens doors for veterans who may have struggled but who want to return to America's workforce. Today's grants will help these veterans become valuable contributors to the nation's economic recovery and our society."

The Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program grants will provide referral and counseling services to assist in reintegrating and/or transitioning formerly incarcerated veterans considered "at-risk" of becoming homeless to meaningful employment. The funds will also support the development of methods to address the complex problems facing these veterans. The program's design is flexible, to enable it to address national, regional and/or local issues that prevent once-incarcerated veterans from returning to the workforce.

The grant recipients and award amounts are as follows:
  • Veterans Multi-Service Center | Philadelphia, Pa. | $223,937
  • Goodwill Industries of Houston | Houston, Texas | $300,000
  • Volunteers of America of Los Angeles | Los Angeles, Calif. | $300,000
  • Impact Services Corporation | Philadelphia, Pa. | $300,000
  • United States Veterans Initiative | Las Vegas, Nev. | $110,000
  • The Workplace Inc. | Bridgeport, Conn. | $129,565
  • Aletheia House, Inc. | Birmingham, Ala. | $160,704
For more information on these grants, visit

Thursday, August 20, 2015

If I Die, It Means I Lived

My parents generation had an excuse for not learning about PTSD and what war did to those who came home, just like all the other generations before theirs. If they committed suicide, it was a secret they covered up much like when they drank too much. The term "self medicating" had not entered into conversations simply because they passed it off as being an alcoholic.
Alcoholism: a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms on reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and vocationally.
According to the origins of that term came from 1855.

My generation was more curious and searched for answers unwilling to settle for the "sin response" like in biblical days when suffering was God's judgment for committing an abomination. We just knew there had to be more to it than what we were told. Just as veterans are learning that PTSD is not about suffering as some sort of judgment from God but more about the strength of their emotional core. They just felt it all more than others.

There is always more to life than what we are told or what is easy to see. Sometimes you just have look harder to find what has been there all along.

One of the few shows I take the time to watch is Humans. There was a quote by Max getting ready to sacrifice himself so that Leo (Colin Morgan) would have a chance to get away. Max didn't have time to fully charge up and he knew he'd never be able to get away from Professor Edwin Hobb (Danny Webb) and Leo wouldn't have a chance to escape.

As Max gets ready to jump off the bridge, he says to Leo, "If I die, it means I lived."

Here is a bit about the show in case you haven't seen it. I'm hooked!
Ivanno Jeremiah

Leo's devoted Synth approaches everything and everyone with the trusting optimism of a child -- for better or worse.
HUMANS, a bold new eight-part drama series from AMC, Channel 4 and Kudos, is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a 'Synth' - a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart.
"If I die, it means I lived" was huge for a Synth to say especially since this small group had been designed to be more human like.

Those words have stayed with me and seem even more important as each day goes by. While some folks are taking what they can out of each day, there are others doing all they can to put something into the days they live.

I have a sign hanging in my home "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" and I bought it after my husband's family was gone as well as mine. After all those deaths it seemed only natural to think that time we spend here isn't as important as what we do here.

I wanted to find the origins of those words and found this online.
"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives Who thinks most—feels the noblest—acts the best."
Philip James Bailey first released his magnum opus “Festus” in 1839

I believe each one of us has some kind of thing to do here. Some have clear gifts, knowing all along what they were sent here to do and everyone in their lives are there to help them do it. Others have no clue what they want to do. With that struggle going on, thinking about what they are supposed to do isn't even passing thought. They are that lost. Others are like me. I know what I am supposed to do but I don't know how much or what exactly is supposed to be accomplished by it. I go with the flow feeling like the 72 Christ sent out everyone forgets about.
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
Luke 10:1-23 New International Version (NIV)

Everyday I do what I can to fix what is broken, find what is lost and go where I am led only to discover I have to find someone else to fix stuff I can't, find that stuff that is right under my nose and then get lost getting from one place to another so even my GPS gives up.

All in all I get to spend a lot of time with a special group of folks so unlike me. After growing up surrounded by veterans in my family and then marrying into another military family, it was easy to understand how odd they really were compared to me. If I joined the military, like my Dad, it is a safe bet I'd get booted out during boot camp simply because I was a brat. I didn't want to be told what to do, didn't like authority, had very little patience, you name it. They were not like the rest of the people I knew. They still aren't and I am so glad they are the way they are.

I just don't like the fact they are suffering needlessly. I don't like how families are suffering because they don't know what to do. Above all that I hate the fact that in this day and age of instantaneous information in their hands, they fail to do what my generation did. We wanted to learn! Then we shared what we learned so others wouldn't have to spend as many hours as we did trying to figure it out. We learned for free at the local libraries in things called books we held in our hands and turned the pages instead of clicking arrows and turning up the brightness of a screen.

So how is it that the younger generation, with all their expensive gadgets, able to find anything in a second has learned so little about PTSD? Is it as some claim they are under information overload? Is it more about social media being bottlenecked by hacks giving wrong information? Is it about lazy reporters not reading the reports they are supposed to be reporting on? More to the point is, how the hell do we fix any of this?

Compared to the rest of the "normal" population with all the normal concerns, there are smaller groups looking just as human as us but their insides are a lot different. Sure, we're all capable of doing what they do but we don't do it. Those groups are military folks, veterans, members of law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders. They are not like us.

We may do something courageous or unselfish from time to time but they are willing to subject themselves to risking their lives over and over again for someone else. Doesn't matter how they are treated, mistreated, used, abused or in some cases, even hated, they still show up when they are needed. How do they do that? The stuff inside them is way more complex but we fail to notice the difference.

Military folks still show up, no matter what they have to go through as current military, even though they see the way veterans are abused by the government (Congress) failing to take care of them after screaming about how they have been suffering. (As if that even made sense to them) and we get to debate about the worth of the war instead of reason they risked their lives.  They did it for each other knowing that if they died, they lived long enough to save someone else. It was never about "me" to them it was always about "us" and what they could do for those they were with.

It is that same core belief that causes them so much pain.  To lose someone in war always leaves them wondering what more than could have done to have changed places with their buddy.  The truth is, they would have had they known ahead of time. But that was not in their power to know.

For those who understand this, they spend the rest of their lives still doing for others in remembrance of the life no longer here because before they died, they lived for someone else.