Showing posts with label incarcerated war veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label incarcerated war veterans. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

El Paso County Jail Veteran Pods Proving Support

Congressman Lamborn explores veteran care at El Paso County Jail

FOX 21 News
by: Brandon Thompson
Posted: Jan 21, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — It was a busy day at the El Paso County Jail, but far from it’s busiest. The around 1,450 inmates Tuesday were much more comfortable than this time last year when the average daily population reached 1,800, according to Sheriff Bill Elder.

“There are a lot more people here than I realized,” said Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Republican representing El Paso and Teller Counties in Washington.

Lamborn was visiting the jail Tuesday, the largest jail by inmate population, outside of the state’s Department of Corrections and it is specifically interested in veteran care.

“They might have mental health issues based on PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] or they might have things like that,” said Lamborn. “So, being able to treat that population differently from everyone else, I think makes a lot of sense.”

The veteran inmates in minimum security are housed with other inmates and have programs available to them. The deputies who oversee the veterans’ pods are veterans as well.

“One thing I see the veterans do is watching out for each other,” Lamborn said. “There’s a spirit of respect where they take some of the military traditions that they served under when they were in active service.”
read it here

and what they got wrong!
Lamborn was on hand for a daily tradition: 22 pushups at 3:00 p.m. to honor and remember the 22 veterans who take their own lives each day.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

After 2 tours of duty, veteran Marine faces death as detainee

'I refuse to die in here': the marine who survived two tours and is now fighting deportation

The Guardian
by Sam Levin in Adelanto, California
September 7, 2019

However bureaucratic challenges mean some immigrant service members don’t complete it, and under the Trump administration, a series of changes have made the process even harder. Some also mistakenly believe citizenship is automatic, advocates say. When immigrant veterans who haven’t been naturalized are convicted of certain felonies, they can then be deported.
Jose Segovia Benitez, a US Marine Corps veteran, is being detained in an Ice facility. Photograph: Damon Casarez/The Guardian

In his 21 months of detention, Jose Segovia Benitez says he’s been denied critical treatment for his PTSD and heart condition

Jose Segovia Benitez survived two tours of duty with the US Marine Corps, a bomb blast, and a traumatic brain injury.

But the US is not helping him recover. On the contrary, the government may be leading him to his death.

Segovia is currently imprisoned at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) detention center in Adelanto, California where he says he is being denied critical medical and mental health care. The 38-year-old veteran is facing deportation to El Salvador, a country he left when he was three years old and where his loved ones fear he could be killed.

“I’m not going to die here. I refuse to die here,” Segovia said on a recent morning, wearing a red jail uniform and seated in a cramped room with no windows to the outside.

During his 21 months of detention in the southern California facility, Ice has failed to provide adequate care for Segovia’s serious heart condition, denied him proper treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and repeatedly placed him in isolation, according to the former marine and his lawyers. The consequences, they fear, could be fatal.

Segovia is one of fifteen current detainees who filed a federal lawsuit against Ice last month alleging medical neglect and horrific conditions that rise to the level of “torture”. He is also one of the estimated thousands of veterans who have faced deportation over the years despite their service to the country.
read it here

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Florida creates more special pod for military veterans

Florida jail opens section just for military veterans

Tiffini Theisen
AUG 21, 2019
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., has championed the Tampa unit. "I'm very excited to see the commitment from all stakeholders as we work to improve how we identify and treat Veterans who are in need mental health services," he posted on his Facebook page in late July.
A jail in Florida this week became the latest to offer a special pod for military veterans.

"Veteran pods" are becoming an increasingly common part of jails nationwide as the criminal justice system focuses more on helping troubled former service members, who are more likely to have reported mental health issues, particularly PTSD. (Wikimedia Commons) A new housing unit is opening at the Falkenburg Road Jail near Tampa, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Tuesday

"They'll get treatment for mental health issues and drug addictions, lessons on how to gain employment and group sessions with fellow #vets who can relate to their concerns," the sheriff's office posted on its Facebook page. "The goal is to restore their pride and give them the tools to NOT end up back in jail."

Statewide, the Florida Veterans Support Line at 1-844-MyFLVet (693-5838) allows veterans and their loved ones to talk confidentially with someone trained to provide emotional support and connections to community resources.

In Orlando, the Orange County Corrections Department Armed Forces Dormitory opened in 2012. Its dorm employs guards who are also veterans or reservists. The program provides counseling, treatment and re-entry support for veterans. Those with violent or serious charges are not eligible.
read it here

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Cuyahoga County Jail bedsheets removed after too many suicides including veteran

Cuyahoga County Jail removing bed sheets from cells for mentally ill, isolated inmates to curb suicides
By Adam Ferrise
August 7, 2019
The move comes after eight inmates died in the jail in 2018, and another in 2019. Five of those inmates committed suicide, including Nicholas Colbert, who hanged himself in the military veteran’s pod in May.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County Jail administrators ordered bed sheets to be removed from cells that house inmates considered to be at high risk for self-harm in an effort to curb suicide attempts in the facility.

Inmates who are mentally ill, being held in isolation or being held in a cluster of cells designated for military veterans will be given an additional blanket in lieu of bed sheets, according to the order.

Jail Administrator Rhonda Gibson ordered the change Friday, saying it is necessary to “increase safety for inmates who are of high risk of self harm," according to the order.

The move comes after eight inmates died in the jail in 2018, and another in 2019. Five of those inmates committed suicide, including Nicholas Colbert, who hanged himself in the military veteran’s pod in May.

Jail officials have struggled to curb suicide attempts, which tripled over a three-year period that included 69 suicide attempts in 2018. Cuyahoga County has refused to provide updated information on suicide attempts in 2019.
read it here

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Who killed Army veteran Everett Palmer Jr.

Family claims US Army vet was murdered in police custody

New York Post
By Tamar Lapin
June 12, 2019

They claim that when his body was returned to them, his throat, heart and brain were missing.

The family of a US Army veteran who died last year in Pennsylvania police custody are claiming he was murdered, according to published reports.

The last time relatives of Queens-born Everett Palmer Jr., 41, heard from him was in April 2018, when he said he was going to Pennsylvania to resolve an outstanding DUI warrant from two years earlier, the family said.

Palmer, a dad of two who lived in Delaware, was booked into a single cell at the York County Prison on April 7, 2018.

Two days later, he was dead.

“The most frustrating part is my son being murdered and not having any answers to how he was murdered,” Rose Palmer, Everett’s mother, said during a Tuesday press conference, according to CBS News.

“Since April 9, I have not had a good night sleep since I think about my child and the possible scenarios. It is torture. He didn’t deserve this,” she said. “He went there to check on his license and he never made it out.”
read more here

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Disabled, Incarcerated Veterans Moving Forward

San Diego County, City Take Action To Help Disabled, Incarcerated Vets

By City News Service
June 5, 2019
In 2013, the county Sheriff's Department and San Diego Veterans Administration started the Veterans Moving Forward program for male veterans in the Vista jail.

An American flag mural fills an entire exterior wall of bar formerly known as El Uno in City Heights near University Avenue, Nov. 10, 2016.

On Tuesday, the city of San Diego announced a plan to help disabled veterans while the county took a step toward strengthening an outreach program for veterans being held in the Vista Detention Facility.

On a 4-0 vote — Greg Cox was absent — the county Board of Supervisors directed Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer to develop a plan for participants in the Veterans Moving Forward program at the Vista Detention Facility, including options for future housing.

Robbins-Meyer will also find additional vocational training space in the jail, and work with community partners to develop job training and certification opportunities for veterans after they are released. Robbins-Meyer will have up to three months to present the board with a plan.

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar — who along with Jim Desmond recommended the proposal — said the county is home to one of the largest population of veterans in the United States and "adjusting to civilian life is very challenging," especially for those who find themselves in jail.

According to the county, there has been a significant increase in the number of veterans booked into regional jails over the past three years. In 2018, there were 637 veterans booked into a San Diego County jail, with an average of three bookings per veteran.
read more here

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Combat wounded veteran with PTSD got jail after failing to kill himself?

Failing Corporal Carson: Veteran with PTSD jailed for months after failed suicide

Author: Phil Trexler
June 3, 2019
Rather than help the vet, prosecutors brought what Deseray Carson calls an “outrageous” criminal indictment alleging eight crimes that did not happen to her or her children. Prosecutors also ensured his incarceration with a high bond usually reserved for killers and rapists.

Wife with 7 children left alone to fight zealous prosecutors for mental health treatment

STREETSBORO, Ohio — Army Cpl. Joseph Carson came home from Iraq with a Purple Heart.

PTSD came along, too.

And it all changed his life and the lives of his wife and seven children.

The flashbacks. Nightmares. The daily struggle.

And then came the 191 days he spent in the Portage County Jail - facing over 60 years in prison - after cutting his arm while trying to kill himself on Veterans Day.

His wife, Deseray, spent those six-plus months fighting for his release, pleading with prosecutors that her husband needed treatment, not confinement.

Those prosecutors and police saw it differently. They convinced a judge to hold Carson under a $500,000 cash bond, then charged him with eight counts of felonious assault, one count each for Deseray and their children. He was barred from speaking to his children.

“My whole world stops,” Deseray Carson said. “A man who fought for his country, and was hit by a bomb, and has sacrificed so much, physically and mentally. It’s just heartbreaking what’s happened to Joe, our kids and myself. He just sits in jail. And for what?”

They were all home last November when Carson, 36, became enraged over alcohol. He struck his wife and shoved his son during the tirade, according to family and police reports.

But he did not attempt, the family said, to use the knife to harm them. In fact, no one was injured that day except for the Army vet.
read more here

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

National Guard veteran hanged himself Friday in the Cuyahoga County Jail

Medical Examiner: National Guard vet hanged himself in Cuyahoga County Jail
By Adam Ferrise
Posted May 13, 2019
Colbert spent two days in general population at the downtown jail and was moved Friday morning to a cluster of cell’s specifically for veterans. He hanged himself about 2:30 p.m.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner on Monday confirmed that a National Guard veteran hanged himself Friday in the Cuyahoga County Jail.
Nicholas Colbert, 36, died Friday in the Cuyahoga County Jail. He was a National Guard veteran.
Nicholas Colbert’s death was ruled a suicide, a medical examiner spokesman said in a statement. No other information was released.
Colbert served in the National Guard overseas and struggled with heroin addiction in the decade or so since his return, his family told
read more here

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Texas executed Vietnam veteran with PTSD?

Texas death row inmate's son arrested for outburst during father's execution

The Chronicle
By Keri Blakinger
February 28, 2019

Billie Wayne Coble's son pounded on the execution chamber windows, cursing and shouting "no" as he watched his father die.
It was just after 6:20 p.m., and the 70-year-old triple killer was about to become the oldest Texan executed in the modern era of capital punishment.

The aging Vietnam veteran who murdered his in-laws in an apparent rash of vengeance offered a only a short final statement before he was pronounced dead, according to the Texas Department of Criminal
It was a dramatic and unexpected end to a decades-long saga.

Back in the summer of 1989, Coble was distraught over the disintegration of his third marriage when he kidnapped his estranged wife and killed her parents and brother before attempting to kill himself.

But the Waco man, now 70, had no priors and, as he racked up years of good behavior in prison, his attorneys argued that a pair of experts for the state got it wrong at trial when they offered testimony claiming he'd be a future danger even behind bars.

"That Coble will be executed on such discredited testimony is unconscionable," Brian Stull, an ACLU attorney who previously handled the case, wrote two days before the execution. "The example of his case already shows all who are willing to look why the death penalty is never justice, and why it should be abolished once and for all."

Raised in an orphanage, Coble went on to serve in Vietnam as a machine gunner involved in combat. Afterward, his sister said he came back "different," according to court records, and he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder.
read more here

Monday, February 25, 2019

Army veteran committed suicide after "sextortion" scam by prison inmates


South Carolina Inmates Charged With Extorting Veteran Before He Took His Own Life "Using contraband cellphones, the inmates, John William Dobbins and Carl Richard Smith, allegedly posed as the parents of a fictional teenage girl they claimed had sent Army veteran Jared Johns explicit photos."

'Sextortion' by inmates targeted Greenville veteran just before his suicide, parents say

The Greenville News
Kirk Brown,
Feb. 25, 2019
The person identified as Harris responded that his wife "is going to the police and you are going to jail."

Within minutes of that exchange, according to Greenville County Senior Deputy Coroner Kent Dill, Johns died from a self-inflicted gunshot. Bowling said data from her son's Apple Watch shows that his heart stopped beating at 12:03 p.m.
Army veteran Jared Johns was the target of a "sextortion" scam by prison inmates in the hours before he killed himself in Greenville on Sept. 11, 2018, according to his parents. They shared records with The Greenville News that appear to corroborate extortion attempts through text messages.

Kathy Bowling and Kevin Johns believe that inmates at Lee Correctional Institution tried to bilk their son out of $1,189 while posing as the parents of a 17-year-old girl who purportedly sent him illicit photos.

Jared Johns, 24, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan, and the condition left him unable to cope with the threats that he received in the moments leading to his suicide, his parents said.

"I feel like they're the ones who shot him," Kevin Johns said.

"My son should still be alive," Bowling said.
read more here

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Retiring reporter fought for Vietnam veteran and many others

Thank you Al Whitaker! We’ll miss your flair for going after scam artists, fighting for what’s right and telling rich stories
WHNT 19 News
Denise Vickers 
September 15, 2018

Al fought for a veteran who fought for our country.

Al’s story began, “Ron Buis served his country with honor but now he’s serving time.”

Buis was charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling – a felony and he was being held without bond. Al’s narrative explained, “It’s not that Buis was outside shooting into someone else’s house. He was in his mobile home and the bullets traveled into the mobile homes near his. It happened on more than one occasion, too. His friends tell us Ron wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. They say he was shooting at the voices in his head.”

Buis came home from Vietnam with a Purple Heart, a Vietnamese Citation for Gallantry with Bronze and Silver stars, and a Gold Star from the Marines in lieu of a second Purple Heart. Al’s story revealed, “He also brought with him the haunting memories of a horrible experience that would later manifest themselves as psychotic depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

On live tv, Al stared directly into the camera and closed his report vowing, “Mr. Buis, we make you this promise, sir, we will not rest until you get the help you need. And we promise you we’ll keep you apprised of any developments.”

It took 5 months, but Al Got Results for Buis.
read more here

Monday, June 18, 2018

Veterans getting out of jail with help to have hope

Incarcerated vets get second chance through re-entry program
Times Leader
By Kulsoom Khan - For Times Leader
June 17, 2018

Former Marine Gene Santore had a loving family, a thriving business and “lot of money in the bank.”

He nearly lost all of it three years ago when he got arrested for a drug deal and being involved in a robbery.
Gene Santore, 58, of Clarks Summit is a former Marine. After serving some jail time for a drug-related charge in 2015, he participated in the VA’s Veteran Just Outreach Program and Lackawanna County’s treatment court for incarcerated veterans. He now serves as a mentor for the program. - Kulsoom Khan | Times Leader

The Clarks Summit resident served in the Marine corp and in the reserves for six years. He hurt his shoulder in 1989 and had eight surgeries. Santore’s doctors gave him Percocet and Oxycontin to help him deal with the pain, which eventually turned into a serious addiction and led to heroin use later on.

“I was on a 180 milligrams a day of that and after 24 years, it just doesn’t work anymore,” he said. “You resort to the next best cheaper thing, and that’s heroin.”

After spending six months in jail, Santore began participating in the VA Medical Center’s Veteran Justice Outreach program in 2015. Veterans Affairs started the initiative in 2009 and works in collaboration with Lackawanna County Veterans Treatment Court to help incarcerated veterans and those who have been recently released from prison to transition back into society.

The program helps with assistance in finding jobs, housing and repairing damaged relationships through counseling. There are currently 105 veterans participating in the program, which can last 18 months or longer.

Social workers from the VA and probation officers from Lackawanna County also work with veterans who have issues with drug and alcohol abuse to keep them off of drugs and out of prison.

“What helped me is supervision from my probation officer to my case managers down there,” said Santore while sitting outside the VA Medical Center in Plains Township. “All these people genuinely cared to help me, which I never had happen before.”
read more here

Monday, December 11, 2017

Missouri Veterans Project For PTSD Veterans in Prison

Missouri prison program recognized for veteran rehab

Associated Press
Monday, December 11, 2017

The heart of the program is pair programming, in which veterans can teach other veterans, said Rusty Ratliff, a correctional case manager who oversees the ward.
MOBERLY, Mo. -- A new veterans ward in a Missouri prison is earning recognition for veteran rehabilitation.
The Columbia Missourian reported the Missouri Veterans Project began at the Moberly Correctional Center six months ago. Its success has led to similar programs at prisons in Jefferson City, Potosi and Boonville.
The pilot program began with a post-traumatic stress disorder program. The ward now offers staff-led training and classes for mental-health assistance. Fifty one of 66 available beds in the program now are filled.
read more here

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ACLU Fighting For Incarcerated PTSD Veteran

I was reading an article from The Stranger. Since I only track news and government reports, I did a search to see if this was real or not. It is. 

The following is from the ACLU
ACLU-WA Sues to Stop Pierce County from Abusing and Neglecting Incarcerated Individuals Experiencing Mental Illness
December 5, 2017

The ACLU of Washington today filed a class-action lawsuit against Pierce County for refusing to provide necessary treatment to people with mental illness in the Pierce County Jail and subjecting them to illegal restraint and isolation practices. As a result of these unlawful actions, people with mental illness suffer unnecessarily while in the jail, and can spend years cycling in and out of the criminal justice system.

“It’s cruel, counterproductive, and illegal for jails to refuse people experiencing mental illness the treatment they need,” said ACLU-WA Equal Justice Works Fellow Jessica Wolfe.

“Pierce County punishes people for their mental illnesses while at the same time refusing to provide basic mental health services. These policies and practices cause significant psychological harm and contribute to a revolving door of incarceration that is both costly and ineffective,” Wolfe said.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on behalf of people experiencing mental illnesses incarcerated in Pierce County Jail, the lawsuit—Bango et. al v. Pierce County—asserts that people are forced to wait months to see a mental health provider face-to-face, experience significant delays in receiving necessary medications, and are denied basic mental health services, despite repeated requests for treatment.

As a result, their mental illnesses progress unchecked, leading to hallucinations, delusions, and an increased risk of self-harm. Pierce County then punishes people experiencing mental health crises by placing them in solitary confinement, using eyebolts to chain their legs and arms to the concrete floor, and leaving them in restraint chairs for hours on end. Pierce County perpetuates this vicious cycle by releasing people directly into the community without a supply of their psychiatric medications. Due to their untreated illnesses, many will end up back at the Jail.

The suit was filed on behalf of two plaintiffs with mental illness who have suffered serious harm due to the Pierce County’s abusive practices and failure to provide treatment: Donald Bango served in the US military for 15 years and has received a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal. Mr. Bango was medically retired from the military due to mental health issues stemming from the violence he witnessed during his service in Iraq. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, and panic disorder. 
As a result of his mental illnesses, Mr. Bango experiences visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, and flashbacks. Mr. Bango’s mental health has deteriorated significantly since his booking into the Pierce County Jail due to Defendants’ unwillingness to provide medically necessary psychiatric medications, access to mental health providers, and other basic mental health services. 
Defendants have also placed Mr. Bango in solitary confinement and left him naked and alone in a cell with his arms handcuffed behind his back. Despite Mr. Bango’s ongoing concerns about falling into further mental health crisis or psychosis, his requests for psychiatric medications have repeatedly been denied by Defendants, who have informed him that he did “not meet the requirements” for mental health care and told him to stop requesting services. 
Scott Bailey has been diagnosed with major depression, experiences anxiety, and has a history of suicide attempts. Mr. Bailey has been incarcerated at the Pierce County Jail approximately eight times, dating back to 1999. Defendants have routinely failed to adequately screen Mr. Bailey’s mental health conditions, mental health history, or use of psychiatric medications. Further, Defendants have failed to provide him with timely access to basic mental health services, despite his repeated requests. Defendants have responded to his pleas for help by informing him that the Jail was “not set up to do treatment” and denying him psychiatric medications and counseling. In lieu of treatment, Mr. Bailey received “mental health worksheets” instructing him to get enough sleep and exercise more.

Pierce County’s failure to appropriately supervise the Jail to prevent the abuse of the most vulnerable in their care is unlawful and inhumane. “The goal of the lawsuit is to compel Pierce County to do what they refuse to do: ensure incarcerated individuals with mental illness are treated humanely and receive necessary mental health treatment and services,” says ACLU-WA Senior Staff Attorney Antoinette Davis.

The suit asserts Pierce County Jail violates the constitutional right to due process and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, along with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Pierce County Jail’s policy and practices continue despite decades of notice about these problems, including prior litigation, Herrera v. County, brought by the ACLU-WA and others in 1995. In settlement of that suit, Pierce County was required to adopt constitutional medical care standards, policies, and procedures.

ACLU-WA Equal Justice Works Fellow Jessica Wolfe and Senior Staff Attorney Antoinette Davis and cooperating attorneys, Salvador Mungia and Janelle Chase-Fazio of Gordon Thomas Honeywell, are representing the Plaintiffs.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Innocent Vietnam Veteran Released from Prison...After 38 Years!

Man Who Spent Nearly 40 Years Behind Bars for Crime He Did Not Commit Speaks Out
NBC San Diego
Wendy Fry
Craig Coley, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran, hopes authorities can still find the man who killed his then-girlfriend and her 4-year-old son in 1978

Craig Richard Coley has spent more than 38 years behind bars for a double homicide he did not commit. On Thanksgiving Day, he tasted freedom.

On Thursday morning, Coley woke up in Carlsbad, California, just blocks from the beach, a free man for the first time since Nov. 11, 1978.

During an hour-long exclusive interview with NBC 7, the 70-year-old Vietnam veteran broke down and cried while reading details of the horrific crime that put him away.

“In the early morning hours, of November 11, 1978, Rhonda Wicht was beaten and strangled to death in her apartment. Her 4-year-old son...”
Coley has maintained his innocence from behind bars for more than 38 years.
He was arrested on Veteran’s Day 1978 after serving his country in the U.S. Navy. His service included several deployments to Vietnam aboard USS Enterprise and USS Bainbridge.
read more here

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Iraq Veteran Got Second Chance Being Good Dad Because of Good People

In crisis after Iraq tour, Kansas City veteran given second chance at fatherhood

Steven Dial
November 2, 2017
He felt he was out of options, so Brown put a call into the VA for help. He received a PTSD diagnosis after his military service, and workers moved to get him into a rehabilitation program through KVC Health Services.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- After returning from serving in Iraq, James Brown’s life went in a downward spiral. He got addicted to pain pills, went to jail and lost custody of his children.

“It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters.” The old saying rings true for Brown.

He served our country, then came home to a broken family. His troubles went out of control when his wife left him. Brown was arrested multiple times after his return from Iraq in 2015, once on a weapons charge.

“I tried to commit suicide, then I got addicted to pain pills, which also got me in trouble with the law,” said Brown. “I was on my way to try and commit homicide -- kill me and my kids.”
His two young children, Jayden and Adrianna, went to live with Cathy and Stu MacFarlane as part of the foster home program. While the couple has children of their own, they’ve also spent the past four years opening their home to children in need.
read more here

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dad Fears For Son Because He Came Back From War?

This is Independence Day but Christian Hidalgo is not free. Not free from the memories of battles he was sent to fight. Not free of the demons that followed him home. Not free of anything really, because today he woke up in jail instead of a VA hospital.

He knew he needed help and went to the VA but he left before was seen by a specialist.

So what happened? What happened that Gary Hidalgo didn't know what his son took home from war? Why wasn't he trained to understand what he was seeing? Why wasn't Christian helped as soon as he got back? Isn't that what all the Facebook "charities" are saying they do? After all, they are all over the country. As a matter of fact, there are now over 400,000 of charities claiming to be helping veterans. So where were they?

That's the biggest thing that keeps getting missed. Veterans come home after risking their lives in war, then find they are still left alone to fight this. So why aren't they finding the help they need a decades after "awareness" was spread across social media sites?
‘I’m Scared Every Day:’ Father Of High-Speed Pursuit Suspect, Army Vet Says Son Suffers From PTSD 
CBS News 
July 3, 2017 

WEST COVINA ( — Rarely do we find out what was going on with the driver in a pursuit.

But Gary Hidalgo is speaking out after his son, who he says suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was arrested following a high-speed chase Saturday.

“I’m scared every day,” he said. “It’s hard. I don’t know what to do.”

Gary says his son, Christian, was injured a few years ago serving oversees in the Army.

“He looks at you like he’s OK … He looks normal. But there’s something that’s a trigger that I have no idea how to handle or manage,” he said. 

Gary says his 26 year old son called him from the VA in Los Angeles describing suicidal symptoms and left before seeing a specialist. read more here

Saturday, January 21, 2017

We probably have the idiotic report of the week on Combat PTSD

Ladies and Gentlemen, we probably have the idiotic report of the week. Then again, the week isn't over yet. "Mindset of charged Iraqi War vets questioned" By Jim Holt on the Santa Clarita Valley January 20, 2017,
"The actual condition, however, has yet to receive the attention it demands from the Veterans Administration where psychologically wounded soldiers – as Andersen is convinced applies to Ditch – go for help."
I know it is very hard for some younger folks to comprehend the simple fact that something isn't all about them, but involves far too many other waiting even longer for what they claim they lack, but that is bull. Bull at least for this generation considering Vietnam veterans are the ones who came home and pushed for all the funding and research.

This is part from the Department of Veterans Affairs History of PTSD.
"In 1980, APA added PTSD to DSM-III, which stemmed from research involving returning Vietnam War Veterans, Holocaust survivors, sexual trauma victims, and others. Links between the trauma of war and post-military civilian life were established."
And this is how long researchers have been trying to understand it.
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.
The subject of the report are two veterans. The report added this.
In a letter dated July 10, 2013, addressed to Ditch from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a copy of which was obtained by The Signal, shows Ditch being compensated as of February 2011. The claim, according to Andersen, was for injuries Ditch suffered which include PTSD and traumatic brain injury, TBI. According to Andersen, he and Ditch – age 20 and 22 – when they were deployed to Iraq with the 27th Infantry, were not the same people that returned to America.“Ditch had a buddy that was shot right next to him in a tower,” Andersen said. “He also saw lot of other friends shot and killed; some blown up.“He was a good kid,” he said. “There are hundreds of guys, including high-ranking guys, ready to support him.”
There is only so much the VA can do. Consider the fact there are now over 400,000 veterans charities set up across the country to "support" and help veterans. Countless folks are doing pushups and taking walks so they raise awareness about the problems veterans have, without doing anything about the "problem" itself.

They get away with all of it because the press never holds any of them accountable. Are they afraid to actually go after a feel good story they jumped to share more than they are afraid of the outcomes they did nothing to change?

They have made the VA an enemy instead of covering what they have gotten right, plus all the different things they are doing to treat PTSD. The VA saved more veterans than you will ever hear about but the veteran has a responsibility in all of this too. They need to do the work to heal and take advantage of what had been in place for them since the 80's. PTSD Suicide Survivor New Year's Message of Hope

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Will President Obama Pardon Incarcerated PTSD Veterans Too?

Vietnam group asks Obama to pardon veterans
The Hill
"We hope that President Obama, in the final hours of his Presidency, will do right by his troops by helping bad-paper vets with PTSD," Rowan said. "We cannot wait another four or eight years for an outgoing President to take action to help the most vulnerable veterans in the country."

A veterans service organization is asking President Obama to pardon veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who received a less-than-honorable discharge after the president commuted the prison sentence for former Army soldier Chelsea Manning.

"As pardons are being issued to people who have been convicted of serious felonies, veterans who served their country in combat wait to be offered the same clemency," said John Rowan, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America.

With four days left in office, the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it was commuting Manning's sentence, in addition to 208 others, and pardoning 64 individuals.
read more here

Sunday, October 2, 2016

PTSD on Trial: Walter Laak

Las Vegas man’s journey from stalwart Marine to PTSD time bomb
Las Vegas Review Journal
Keith Rodgers
October 1, 2016

Since his general discharge from the Marines under honorable conditions in January 2005, Laak said his Veterans Affairs service-related disability rating for PTSD has been increased in stages from 30 percent to 100 percent. At one time, he said, he was taking medication for nightmares but stopped, without explaining why he turned away from the VA’s efforts to help him cope with the mental illness.
The horrors of war came home with Walter Laak when the Las Vegas Marine returned from two tours of combat duty in Iraq with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Today he sits in a jail cell, charged with beating and attempting to run over a Las Vegas pastor with his vehicle, then driving back to his victim’s home and firing multiple gunshots into it while the pastor’s wife and children hid inside. It is the third serious crime Laak has been charged with since his return from the battlefield. He was given a general discharge in 2005.

In two jailhouse interviews last week, Laak, 36, said he carried out the unplanned attack because he believed the pastor, a former neighbor, was an FBI “snitch” trying to interfere with his efforts to expose what he says were war crimes committed by U.S. military officials during the Iraq War.

In the interviews at the Clark County Detention Center, where he awaited a court appearance Monday to face charges of attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm, Laak spoke calmly about his war experiences and made some seemingly bizarre allegations about “friendly-fire” Marine deaths.

His first tour of duty began at the onset of the invasion of Iraq and lasted through his unit’s arrival in Nasiriyah, where he says his experience led to his ongoing struggle with what he calls “delusional” PTSD.
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