Showing posts with label first responders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label first responders. Show all posts

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The power inside of you is stronger than anything they can say against you

Why give them power over you

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 6, 2019

Do you believe you made the choice to risk your life for others because you were called to do it? Was there a tug to enter into a job you knew could kill you?

There was always something very different inside of you. Plenty of times in your life someone said something proving they did not understand your decision to choose that kind of job.

You did not let them stop you then. They had no power to prevent you from doing what you knew you needed to do. Then why listen to them now when you need to heal because of that job? 
The only power people have over you, is what you allow them to have. If you hear someone say something stupid because you need help now think about it and you'll see they are not making any sense at all.

First, your job required you to help others and so did theirs. If they are turning against you needing help from them...they should not be on that job.

Next, think about how you would have died to save them and supposedly they would have died on the job to save you too. Would it be too much to ask them to listen to you to save your life now or you to listen to them to save theirs?

Come out of the dark and fight like you served...side by side.

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)

You may feel lost and alone right now

and wondering what you did wrong.

You may think you are now weak instead of strong.

Why believe what others say about you

when you always knew what was true?
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
 He had plans for you and put what you need inside of you
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you"
He had
"plans to give you hope and a future."
 You had everything you needed to do your job already inside of you and that includes healing because of your job.

Over 7 million Americans have PTSD and most, ended up hit by the one time that could have killed them. You responded to those times. For you it was not one time but the one time too many saving them that hit you the hardest.

You proved you were brave when you took your job and trained hard to be able to do it. What is stopping you now from being brave again so you can train to heal because of your job?

If you cannot find the right words to explain what PTSD is, then you may not understand it totally. Time to learn what it is so you can explain what it is not.

It is because of your job that you grieve

It is not God punishing you

"The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them." Luke 12:12 The Voice (VOICE

And when you understand what it is, then you can become a hero after you begin to fight this war against the people who have no power over you anymore.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

First Responders fighting PTSD, you can walk in their shoes...sneakers

Iowa officer's shoe campaign helping first responders struggling with PTSD goes national

If you or your loved one is suffering from PTSD, you can contact the Code 9 Project here. Officer Slagle's shoes are back up for sale and can be found here.

FOX 28 News
by Kayla James
July 3rd 2019

It was just this spring Marion officer Ron Slagle announced the pre-ordering of his footwear, the Honor and Respect Shoes. 

The sneakers, sporting a patriotic design, are an effort of Slagle's to raise money for the Code 9 Project and Blue H.E.L.P. Both are organizations focusing on providing help and resources to first responders and their families battling post traumatic stress disorder.

On Wednesday morning, Officer Slagle appeared on "Fox and Friends" to discuss his shoes and his mission. Code 9 Project co-founder, Deborah Ortize, tells CBS2/Fox28 News the shoes quickly sold out after his appearance. In addition to them selling out for a brief period of time, Ortize says she's been receiving many calls and e-mails to the Code 9 Project's headquarters.
read more here

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Boise Fire Department FINDING HOPE

FINDING HOPE: Boise Fire Department coping with suicide death, fighting stigma of mental illness

By: Karen Lehr
Jun 25, 2019
"New firefighters saw veteran firefighters break down, and they talked about their feelings and how they were feeling that day, and really that has changed the stigma around it," Doan explained. "Other firefighters are seeing it's okay to seek treatment, that it's okay to not be okay."
BOISE, Idaho — Tuesday, May 21 is a day most Boise firefighters will never forget. Early that morning, firefighters at Station #6 discovered Senior Firefighter Charlie Ruffing died by suicide while working overnight.
It was known within the department Ruffing was facing struggles with his mental health. He was undergoing counseling to deal with post traumatic stress injuries as a result of incidents witnessed on the job over the course of his 20 year career.

A recent bill - passed this legislative session - will soon allow those working on the front lines in Idaho to file for workers compensation to cover the cost of treating psychological injuries incurred while on the job, but Boise Fire is doing even more to make sure this never happens again on their watch.
read more here

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Monday, June 24, 2019

Community forms Hands Across the Bridge to support veterans and first responders fighting PTSD

Community Joins Hands Across SH 66 Bridge in Support of Veterans, First Responders

Blue Ribbon News
“To see this amount of support from the community shows that people do care,” Salerno said. “And that eases the minds of our military veterans and first responders, knowing that all of these people are out here for them.
(ROCKWALL, TX — June 24, 2019) 
On June 22, community members joined hands on the State Highway 66 bridge to raise awareness on suicides committed among our country’s military veterans and first responders.

In Oct. 2018, Third Watch LE Motorcycle Club started a Walk Across the Bridge movement to raise awareness and combat suicides among veterans and first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The bridge walk, held on the 22nd of each month, has grown from 13 participants in October to an average of 90 participants each month.

As part of their bridge walk event this month, Third Watch LEMC invited folks to line the bridge, hold hands, and take a few minutes of silence to remember those veterans and first responders who committed suicide due to PTSD. The Hands Across the Bridge event saw more than 140 people span a third of the two-mile bridge in support of the cause.

Third Watch LEMC’s John Salerno, a 9/11 survivor and retired NYPD detective, said he was honored at the turnout for the event, and hopes they can make it halfway across the bridge for the next one.
read more here

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Bomb tech responded to Pulse and more...lost everything

Orange deputy found to have fled crash after drinking: 'I gave too much of myself to the Sheriff’s Office’

Orlando Sentinel
MAY 28, 2019

Futch also said he used the Sheriff’s Office Employment Assistance Program to speak with a psychiatrist about the trauma he experienced from his job. He said the allotted six sessions didn’t help; he’s still seeing a therapist and said he’s “absolutely” doing better.
Futch appealed the decision to fire him, but said he has no desire to return to a career in law enforcement. “I lost my marriage, I lost my mind, I gave way too much of myself to the Sheriff’s Office,” he said.
Orange deputy found to have fled crash after drinking: 'I gave too much of myself to the Sheriff’s Office’
This image shows Emiliano Hernandez's car after it was hit by Matthew Futch's OCSO-issued truck (Orange County Sheriff's Office)
An Orange County deputy was fired after an investigation found he got into a car accident after drinking at downtown Orlando bars while he was on call for the agency, then fled and lied to his supervisors about the crash.

Matthew Futch, a 10-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, violated the agency’s policies governing truthfulness, conformance to laws, violation of rules and operating vehicles during and after the Sept. 14 crash in downtown Orlando, the investigation found.

The Orlando Sentinel obtained the report through a public records request.

In a phone interview Friday, Futch admitted drinking prior to the crash, but cited depression, PTSD and personal turmoil as “extenuating circumstances.”

Futch worked as a bomb technician during the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre; he built the explosive breach that ended the hours-long standoff and was involved in the shootout with the gunman, according to an FDLE summary of the attack that claimed 49 lives. He also built the explosive breach used in the June standoff in which four children died and an Orlando police officer was seriously injured.
read more here

Monday, April 22, 2019

First Responders workshops for the stress of coping with danger

Workshops help first responders deal with stress

The Republic
By Mark Webber

Two upcoming workshops for local first responders will help them deal with the stress of coping with danger, chaos and tragedy which are part of their professions.
Mike Kutsko

Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among police and firefighters have been found to be as much as five times higher than the civilian population, said Columbus Deputy Fire Chief Mike Kutsko.

Workshops on Monday and Tuesday at Columbus City Hall are designed to help the first responders, and also their families, Kutsko said.

Until recently, most first-responders would never admit they have a problem. Good mental health is a prerequisite to working in police or fire operations, so there is fear of losing promotions – or worse – if someone admits feeling depressed or traumatized, Kutsko said.

"There is a big stigma with mental health," Kutsko said. "There’s a fear that others will look on you as if you are weak."
read more here

Sunday, April 7, 2019

PTSD Patrol It is a family road trip

PTSD Patrol Family Road Trip Guide

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 7, 2019

I decided to tell our story so that no one would feel as lost or alone as I did.

When I got into all of this, there were not many people talking about live with PTSD. Within our community of veterans, we were talking about it and most of our friends were learning it from me. I learned from the experts on this road a lot longer before I ever knew there was one.

The book was ready in 2000 but I was still searching for a publisher when the planes hit the Towers. 

16 years ago, on April Fools Day, my first book was published because I knew enough to know that suffering would spread out because of September 11, 2001. 

I was talking to a Psychiatrist I know and he said I needed to get my book out there, so I decided to self publish it.

I am not going into detail on this right now, but there is an announcement coming on this soon. For right now, if you want a copy of the book, DO NOT BUY IT ONLINE and there are reasons for that. 

If you want to read it, then email me or leave a message here.

Just know that whatever you are going through, the only thing that has been causing a detour between your family beginning to heal is the missing effort on your part. 
read more here and for this weeks video

Friday, April 5, 2019

First responders often haunted by what they see

Strong, brave and traumatized: Upstate SC first responders often haunted by what they see

The Greenville News
Liv Osby
April 1, 2019

James Kaiser loved being a paramedic.
It’s all he ever wanted to do.

At 49, he’d been helping people for nearly three decades, shocking a heart attack victim back to life or stanching the bleeding wounds of a teenager who crashed his car into a tree, and keeping them alive in the ambulance until they could reach the hospital.
Then one February night in 2016, after preparing a special meal for his family, he walked out into the front yard, put his gun to his head, and took his own life.

“He had not been diagnosed with PTSD,” his wife, Sheila Kaiser, told The Greenville News.

“But I know from living with him ... that he did suffer from it.”

Strong and courageous
James Kaiser is among an alarming number of first responders contemplating and dying by suicide.
Of 4,022 EMS staffers and firefighters responding to a 2015 survey, 37 percent had contemplated suicide and 6.6 percent had attempted to take their own lives, according to research published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.
read more here

This may help explain the difference between civilians with PTSD and the responders who try to save their lives every day.

Grieving does not mean you are means you are human. While you are heroic, you are not superhuman and the way you may think things could have turned out differently, the events were not scripted and it was not a movie where the director allows the impossible to be possible.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Isn't it time to respond to yourself and save your own life?

Plugging into present

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 31, 2019

Tomorrow is April Fools Day, but so far, the joke may have been one you pulled on yourself.

If you have been telling yourself that you are currently worth less than you used to be, then, it has been a cruel joke.

Maybe you told yourself that you have fallen down on the job...or because of your job. Maybe you told yourself about a thousand times that you should just give up and end the misery. Well, you're partly right on that one but not in the way you think.

You should give up on all the negative thinking so that you can end the misery and start to live a happier life. 

How about you unplug from the negativity of yesterday and begin to "plug into the present" possibilities available to you today?

Plug Into The Present is a site about electric cars. They need to have charge stations on the road, especially on long trips, or they run out of power.

You need charge stations too. So far you have been using the wrong power source. Think about it this way. If it was your job to save lives, why would you give up on yours now?

You can take the back seat of your own life and give up...

or you can use your power to take back control of this moment on.
Think about that. Think about how up until now, you have not been thinking enough of the right things. You operated on the negative charge stations instead of the positive change stations.

The lives you saved would not be here to be fighting to take control of their own lives as survivors without you. Have you ever wondered what happened to them? Would you be shocked if they had PTSD? Well, over 7 million Americans have diagnosed PTSD and a lot more are wondering what the hell is going on with their lives.

Now, notice that it only takes one time for PTSD to take over. That's right. Just one event can cause a survivor to be bitten by it. How many times did you expose yourself to traumatic events because you put your own life on the line to save someone else?

Now does it make sense that it has nothing to do with being weak? If not then understand that it actually has more to do with the strongest part of you. It is the same part that compelled you to take action with courageously placing yourself in harms way.

Your courage and training did not mean you stopped being human.
read more here

Saturday, March 23, 2019


WHAT KILLS FIRST RESPONDERS: Efforts underway to combat deadly stress of emergency work

Idaho State Journal
John O'Connor
March 23, 2019

They convinced Hale, who is a U.S. Navy veteran, to seek treatment and Moldenhauer personally drove him to a Veterans Administration therapy and rehabilitation program in Salt Lake City. Hale later underwent additional mental health treatment at an International Association of Firefighters-affiliated rehabilitation center for emergency workers in Baltimore.
Pocatello Fire Department Capt. Andy Moldenhauer, pictured, recently received an award from the American Red Cross for helping paramedic Dustin Hale, who was suicidal, get help for his severe post-traumatic stress injury. Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
Dustin Hale sought to cope with the anguish he routinely encountered as a Pocatello Fire Department paramedic by mentally absorbing victims' pain and cramming it into his own psyche.

"Some of us, like myself, we take a lot of the pain and what the families and patients are feeling and try to take it away from them by taking it on ourselves," Hale explained.

After several years of treating trauma, Hale's inner turmoil boiled over, culminating last fall with him holding a gun to his own head. It's a story he's embarrassed to tell but shares publicly, hoping to convince first responders to be open about the extreme stress they experience and to seek help when needed.

It's a timely message. Four other members of the Pocatello Fire Department have sought help via a post-traumatic stress injury, or PTSI, rehabilitation program during the past year and a half, according to their local union leader. A cross section of department members also plan to take peer support training offered through their international union, during which they'll learn to identify colleagues with PTSI and take appropriate steps to help them.

Snake River Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 plans to bring in a renowned speaker on PTSI at 6 p.m. July 15 at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center, 870 S. Fisher Ave. in Blackfoot.

The state has also taken recent action to address the problem of emergency service workers experiencing PTSI, passing a law on March 13 extending workers' compensation to cover the mental health condition for law enforcement officers, 911 dispatchers, firefighters and paramedics.

"There's no one who does the job that (stress) doesn't affect," Hale said. "Without the proper outlet and the proper care as far as mental health goes, sometimes that can turn into an actual injury. That's where PTSI comes in."
read more here

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

"I just tried to be there,” Chaplain Ron Link explains life as responding to responders

Always on call: Meet the chaplains who assist sheriff's office during crises

Dawson County News
Jessica Taylor
Feb. 26, 2019
Each year they receive 40 hours of training from the Georgia Sheriffs' Association to maintain their certification, which they said reinvigorates and motivates them to keep answering the calls from dispatch.

Dawson County Sheriff's Office Chaplains Ron Link and Dr. Charles Blackstock. - photo by Jessica Taylor 
"I just tried to be there,” Ron Link said as he recounted his first call from dispatch. “I didn’t know what I was supposed to do but it turns out I was doing what I was supposed to,"

Link became a chaplain for the Dawson County Sheriff's Office three years ago, and vividly remembers his first call to a scene: a devastating house fire.

Dr. Charles Blackstock, the lead chaplain who has served in the role for 10 years, was in Atlanta, leaving Link with the responsibility of responding to the call alone.

"I had no formal sheriff’s office training. I just went out there to try to be a help," Link said. "It was kind of overwhelming. It was a really bad scene."

It was a house fire, and someone’s significant other was inside. All Link could do was stand outside with the husband, comforting him as authorities conducted their investigation.

"I didn’t know what the procedures and processes were. I didn’t know who to talk to. All I knew was there was somebody there that was in real, emotional crisis and so I went over and stayed with him until his family arrived," Link said.

It was his first taste of what his new role as a chaplain entailed.

For Blackstock, a pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church, stepping into the role was a little bit easier. With his ministerial background, he was rather comfortable with providing faith-based support to the sheriff's office staff and the community.
As chaplains, Blackstock and Link voluntarily assist the sheriff's office by delivering death notices, consoling emotional victims at crime scenes and emergencies and supporting the sheriff's office staff through counseling and helping officers cope with traumatic events.

How they go about providing assistance from scene to scene varies with every call.

"You never know what you’re going to get called on to do," Blackstock said.
read more here

Why is this important?

In 2008, I became a Chaplain with the IFOC and received Certification in Crisis Intervention, among other things, plus an award for my work focusing on PTSD prevention for first responders. For the next two years, I trained in many more programs to help avoid the worst results of their service from taking hold. While I no longer wear the badge, I carry the valuable lessons I learned with me everyday.

Why would I do that?
I am a ten time survivor of facing death during traumatic events, including when my ex-husband decided he wanted to kill me, and almost did.

Throughout my life, my family was doing the intervention without knowing it. Sure, I had nightmares, flashbacks, and all the other symptoms of PTSD, but it did not have a chance to take hold because it was addressed right away.

Through the research I had done for a couple of decades, I learned that there is a 30 golden window to battle trauma and take back control of my life. The symptoms had started to go away within the first month, and I was on the road to recovery.

Every now and then, things pop into my mind, but the memories no longer control my life. 

The worst one was when my ex stalked me, ignored the restraining order and every time I heard a muscle car engine rev, it sent a electrical charge through my body and I wanted to run. That went on, even after moving to Florida, far from where he lived, and long after I married my current husband.

When my cousin sent me a copy of his obituary, I stopped freaking out from the sound and began to enjoy the noise again. That comes in handy considering what I do on PTSD Patrol with car shows...although I still do not like my first reaction when I come across a Cutlass. I take a deep breath and move on to interesting pictures to take.

Knowing what all those times did to me, it was easy to understand what it was like for all the veterans and responders were dealing with, and being a family member of a Vietnam veteran, I also understood what it was like on this side of the trauma.

All of this goes into what I have done with my life since 1982, and what I do everyday. So if you find some comfort on this page, gain some knowledge, or decide that you can just copy it, now you know what is behind all of it.

Healing requires what Chaplains do because they are trusted with being able to listen without judging, comfort when needed and let you know that minute you start to address what happened, that is the minute you begin to heal as a survivor of it. 

First I listen. Most of the time, it is over a cup of coffee or at an event when someone sees what I am wearing. A shirt with PTSD Patrol or my Point Man vest, lets them know I am someone willing to listen.

Then I guide them to understanding what PTSD is and let them know how to kick it out of their new normal as a survivor. And is time to work on the spiritual side of healing so they can come out on the other side even better than they were before. You know, like me! 

None of what I do would have worked had I not had the life I had...or learned to become a leader to healing those who risk their lives to save people like me all the time. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

EMS Support offers hope of healing

Special Report: Unseen and Unspoken

WAVY 10 News
By: Marielena Balouris
Posted: Jan 24, 2019
"The world got really dark. It was gray. There was no color, I felt no joy. I had absolutely no sense of the future. It dawned on my one day that I wasn't willing to fight to save my life." Lisa Crouch
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) -- Imagine experiencing the worst moments of someone else's life -- every single day at work.

That's what many first responders do on a daily basis.

For Lisa Crouch, those traumatic experiences started to add up.

A career firefighter and paramedic, she dedicated her life to helping people in our community.

But what happened when everyone else's traumatic events started to affect her?

"You're afraid to go to sleep at night, because you know the nightmares are coming," Crouch said. "So you don't go to sleep, because you're fighting sleep because you're scared of the nightmares. But when you do fall asleep, you have the nightmares. And then you wake up the next day, and you're a mess."

Crouch spent 20 years working as a firefighter and paramedic in the Hampton Roads area. After decades of dealing with trauma, something shifted.

"The world got really dark. It was gray. There was no color, I felt no joy," said Crouch. I had absolutely no sense of the future. It dawned on my one day that I wasn't willing to fight to save my life."

Doctors found nothing physically wrong, but Crouch new something was off.

Then came her first suicide attempt.
"Die, be miserable for the rest of my life, or I can make something good out of this hell I went through," Crouch said.
read more here

Sunday, January 6, 2019

PTSD Patrol Time for You Turn

Making A YouTurn

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
January 6, 2019

If you risked your life protecting and saving others, and you give up on yourself, what kind of message does that deliver to us?

Over 7 million Americans have PTSD because we survived something that could have killed us. It didn't because someone like you put your lives on the line to make sure that did not happen.
So now, when the life you need to save is your own, it is time to make a YouTurn and ask for help because if you don't, then we'll wonder how much we are supposed to feel ashamed you got PTSD because of us!
read more here

Friday, January 4, 2019


When your job is to save yourself too!

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 4, 2019

This year started off with a Chicago Police Officer taking his own life on New Year's Day. Suicide claims more lives of responders than being killed doing their jobs. 

I have a question for members of the military, law enforcement, firefighters (professionals or volunteers) EMT, and veterans of all of these services. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Seriously! You took a job to protect others even though you knew could kill you. Safe bet you did it even though you were afraid at times. Even though you were willing to do all that, you still cannot answer how it is that you are so afraid to talk about what the job did to you, that you cannot talk to save your own lives?

Do you depend on those you serve with or not?

Does life matter to you or doesn't it?

The over 7 million people in this country with PTSD are waiting for an answer. Because if you cannot understand you ended up with PTSD saving them and caring about their lives, are they supposed to be too afraid to talk too? Are they supposed to feel as if surviving is something to be ashamed of too?

When more service members take their own lives than are killed doing their jobs, it robs them of hope to heal. If you give up on yourself, then what was all you did for?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Social workers placed aboard ambulances in Las Vegas

Las Vegas mental health Crisis Response Team sees success with new strategy

By: Joe Bartels
Dec 08, 2018
"We are outperforming expectations by some distance, and I think we are showing a good cost-savings to the state and we're going great care for patients," said Asst. Fire Chief Jon Stevenson with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There is a small crisis response team that is making a big impact when it comes to the emerging mental health crisis across Las Vegas.

"It can be tense," said Amanda Jurden, a licensed clinical social worker.
"Usually, we just try and talk to the person, kind of gauge where they're at, find out, number 1, are they open to talking to you, are they going to be voluntary patient?" explained Jurden.

Jurden is now on the front lines of the Crisis Response Team and rides aboard an ambulance to make an on-scene patient assessment during a mental health crisis incident.

"They can be angry, they can be agitated, they can be under the influence, all of those things," said Jurden.

"But at the end of the day we just want to see if they are willing to engage with us, and cooperate in some form or fashion," said Jurden.

The Crisis Response Team was organized in April 2018 with the goal of connecting those in mental distress with available resources while reducing the burden on local emergency rooms.
read more here

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The lessons Vietnam veterans have to teach those who serve

Police Officers should learn from Vietnam Veterans

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 6, 2018

Yesterday I read an article that broke my heart. Then I thought about how it happened to other heroes that I spend most of my time with. They do not see themselves as heroes, but they are to me, especially my own husband.

Who wants to be a police officer? Job applications plummet at most US departments

The Washington Post
By Tom Jackman
December 4, 2018

Chuck Wexler talks to police chiefs frequently, as head of the Police Executive Research Forum think tank in Washington. Recently, he asked a roomful of chiefs to raise their hands if they wanted their children to follow them into a law enforcement career. Not one hand went up, he said.

Across the country, interest in becoming a police officer is down dramatically. In Nashville, job applications dropped from 4,700 in 2010 to 1,900 last year. In Seattle, applications have declined by nearly 50 percent, in a department where the starting salary is $79,000. Even the FBI saw a sharp drop, from 21,000 applications per year to 13,000 last year, before a new marketing campaign brought an upswing.

And retaining officers once they’ve joined is getting harder too. In a PERF survey of nearly 400 police departments about voluntary resignations, 29 percent of those who left their police job voluntarily had been on the force less than a year, and another 40 percent had been on the job less than five years. 

At a PERF gathering of police chiefs and commanders from across the country in Washington Tuesday, many attributed their declining numbers to a diminished perception of police in the years after the shooting and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and an increase in public and media scrutiny of police made possible by technology and social media.
read more here

If you want to become involved in this kind of work, here are some things to consider.

First the obvious risk to your life followed by the actions of a few, being taken out on you. The second thing to consider is there is a valuable lesson you can learn from Vietnam veterans.

You may be too young to remember this, but you need to know so that you'll understand the rest of what you need to hear.

This is what most people heard about Vietnam veterans. 
"Everybody's heard of the My Lai massacre"
This was just part of Vietnam veterans being attacked when they came home, called baby killers an oh, so many other horrible things.

What they did not hear, was the other part of this story.

— March 16, 1968, 50 years ago — but not many know about the man who stopped it: Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot. When he arrived, American soldiers had already killed 504 Vietnamese civilians (that's the Vietnamese count; the U.S. Army said 347). They were going to kill more, but they didn't — because of what Thompson did.
For the most part, Vietnam veterans knew what they did and were honorable in horrible conditions.

They ended up hearing that Afghanistan is the longest war this country fought, but here is the truth on that part.
DCAS Vietnam Conflict Extract File record counts by INCIDENT OR DEATH DATE (Year) (as of April 29, 2008 )
Year of Death Number of Records 1956 - 1959 4
1960 5
1961 16
1962 53
1963 122
1964 216
1965 1,928
1966 6,350
1967 11,363
1968 16,899
1969 11,780
1970 6,173
1971 2,414
1972 759
1973 68
1974 1

1975 62

Mayaguez Incident

1976 - 1979 0
1980 - 1986 0
1987 1
1988 - 1989 0
1990 1
1991 - 1999 0
2000 - 2006 5
Total Records 58,220
Not that what was going on in 1968 excuses what happened, but you get the idea. This video is with MOH Sammy Davis Jr. and his wife Dixie. He is talking about what happened to him when he came home, just out of the hospital, after his actions were worthy of the Medal of Honor. It is cut in between one of the Nam Knights reading his citation, so that you can know the full power of his story, against what he came home to.

What I am getting at is simply, no matter how they were treated, they were always honorable, and like Sammy, did not give up on the American people, or themselves. Many went on to serve in other ways. 

Many more fought to make sure that no other veteran would ever, ever be treated like they were.

Because of their efforts, courage and dignity, they managed to provide such a powerful force for good that the government finally had to do something about PTSD. Everything that came afterwards, was due to them.

The thing is, they knew what was in their core and it was good. It was a desire to serve and a will to do whatever they could to prove who they really were inside. Today, they are cherished for obvious reasons, and now you know what the not so obvious ones are.

So, if you are a member of Law Enforcement already, thank you for what you do for us everyday, no matter how you are treated in return. You show up everyday knowing it could be your last day. You save people from criminals, rush toward gunfire, respond to accidents and ever increasing mental health crisis situations.

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando police officer is being honored for saving the life of a veteran who was threatening to commit suicide.On Sept. 3, Officer Wesley Cook responded to the report of an armed, suicidal man who was holding a knife to his throat in the 400 block of West Amelia Street. 

This is not a job that people do because they do not care. It is a job you do because they care so much. It comes with a heavy price, so please, make sure that if you need help you ask for it. After all, you must know how important that is since you made it your career to help others.