Showing posts with label medic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medic. Show all posts

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Veteran heals PTSD in unique way...Forged By Fire

Winston-Salem knife maker creates works of art. Army veteran's hobby led to stint on "Forged in Fire."

Journal Now
Fran Daniel
June 12, 2021
“It’s very therapeutic for him, which is good,” Robin Lopez said. “But his creativity started coming out and it was allowing him to express that…I think it’s positive that we all have that creative outlet.”

After noticing that making knives soothed and brought him peace, Lopez began reaching out to other veterans who are dealing with PTSD and interested in making knives.

In the spring of 2014, U.S. Army veteran Fermin Lopez decided to make his own knife.

At the time, he was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lopez, who now lives in Winston-Salem, said he did a tour in the Middle East as a helicopter medic when war broke out in Iraq in the early 2000s.

“I was having a lot of issues with memories from the war and things like that, and I needed an outlet,” Lopez said.

To make his first knife, Lopez used a bag of charcoal he bought from Walmart.

“Then I used my grill and a hair dryer, and I actually was able to forge a knife,” he said. “It was mild steel. It was not like the ones I make now. It was just something to play with.”

He decided to make more knives, saying it helped take his mind off things.

“I felt a lot more relieved,” Lopez said.

His skills as a bladesmith, which is the art of making knives, swords and other blades, have come a long way since then.
read more here

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mom sends two sons back to Iraq again, and again

Iowa brothers called for multiple deployments

The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Mar 31, 2008 11:39:17 EDT

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Pat Chambers is proud of her sons, but a bit frustrated as well.

Later this year she will watch her two sons deploy to Iraq for a combined sixth time — a painful process that hasn’t gotten any easier with repetition.

“I want it all to end,” Chambers said. “I want them all to come home. Enough is enough.”

So far, the Navy has deployed 25-year-old Josh Chambers to Iraq three times. He’s headed back there April 5 for what’s expected to be a seven- to nine-month stint. His older brother Jonathan, an Army sergeant, is scheduled to leave in October for his second deployment.

“I was hoping not to go back, but your commanding officer, they see you do a good job,” said Josh Chambers, a 2001 graduate of Cedar Rapids Washington High School.

Josh Chambers is a Navy hospital corpsman, the equivalent of a battlefield medic, charged with caring for the approximately 50 troops in his platoon. He said his mother was an emergency room nurse, “and she always gave me her stories.”
go here for the rest

I don't know how the families are able to keep doing this over and over again. How many times can they say good-bye, welcome them home and then have to send them back again?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Many other Veterans suffered the same fate of homelessness

Helping Homeless Vets

Barre, Vermont - March 28, 2008

Under bridges, behind dumpsters, in dark alleys, in cars; they are common places Vermont's homeless veterans sleep when shelters are full.

Richard Schroeder knows. He's been there. The former Vietnam medic-- who earned the nickname "Doc"-- spent six years homeless.

"I've eaten out of dumpsters before. That's where I ate," says Doc. "When I talk to a vet who is struggling, I know where he's coming from. I been there and done that."

Doc suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after what he saw during combat. His marriage fell apart and he became an alcoholic.

Many other Veterans suffered the same fate.

One central Vermont group is working to get homeless vets off the streets and back into society.

"We can provide a transition back into stability so they don't have to wander around," explains Rev. Ralph Howe of the Hedding United Methodist Church.

go here for the rest

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Jennifer Pacanowski Army Medic with PTSD and shafted

A Lease on Her Life
By Maya Schenwar
t r u t h o u t Report

Friday 25 January 2008

Jennifer Pacanowski joined the Army to climb out of debt. She ended up in the hole.

It was July 2004 and Jennifer Pacanowski was headed home to Pennsylvania after six months as a medic in Iraq. Like most other soldiers in the Army, she had two weeks at home to "rest and relax" before returning to the combat zone. "It's kind of a vacation from war," she says.

But for Pacanowski, this summer vacation did not involve vegging in front of the TV or lazing on the beach; she didn't waste a moment of her break. She visited the people she was close to, spent a few days in Wildwood, New Jersey, "reliving a childhood vacation," and hosted a big barbecue for her friends and family.

"I didn't think I was ever going to see them again," she says. "I was basically preparing to die."

Pacanowski joined the Army on April 23, 2003, a month after the Iraq War began. It was a week before the "Mission Accomplished" banner flashed across television screens nationwide, as President Bush announced, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." Like many Americans, Pacanowski and her family thought the war was, for the most part, over.

But by the time of her R & R break in 2004, she could not envision the war's end - nor a way out of her predicament. Her small consolation was that, should she get out of the war alive, she'd be student-loan-free and well on her way to beginning a career in nursing.

However, three days into R & R, Pacanowski received a letter that turned the horror of her term in Iraq to a pointless hell. It was a notice from the US Army, explaining that the government would not pay off her college loans, despite previous guarantees.

Devastated, carrying both her financial burden and a growing feeling that Iraqis wanted the US troops out, Pacanowski dragged herself back for five and half more months of deployment. Loyalty was her only motivation not to desert.
go here for the rest

Friday, November 23, 2007

Military Nurse and GIVING THANKS

Name: RN Clara Hart
Posting date: 11/22/07
Stationed at: a military hospital in the U.S.

I held the hand of a soldier today and watched helplessly as he sobbed uncontrollably. I held the hand of a soldier and listened with growing horror to the litany of complaints; not sleeping, having nightmares, anxiety, dreading report for duty, uncontrolled crying, feeling irritable, not eating. I held the hand of a soldier and listened to him say, “I may not have been shot at or blown up but I also serve!”

As I looked into his red rimmed, tear filled eyes I thought, “You are a wounded soldier too." Because, you see, this wounded soldier is a United States Army Nurse.

This wounded soldier cares not only for other wounded soldiers but their families and their friends. This wounded soldier cares for not only the physical injuries but also the emotional injuries and social fallout that soon accompany. This wounded soldier sees the others being recognized for their injuries and is quick to say, “I don’t want to be given anything, the quilts, the coins, the clothes, the meals, the trips. I don’t want any of that."
go here for the rest

After reading this, I feel really, really bad about not paying enough attention to the nurses and medics in combat. I include them in my thoughts and prayers, but honestly, I do not separate them the way I really should. This article offers a glimpse at the inclusion of nurses when we think about combat roles. I, among many, feel they should not be lumped in. To me, they are a truly special breed of individuals. They risk their lives just by being in the combat zones but they also have to try to take care of all the wounded brought to them. We need to remember, aside from the technological advances in medical care, without them, the survival rate would not be historically high.

I've seen many horrific images of the wounded. I cannot imagine seeing such suffering face to face. We need to remember how much they go through and why so many suffer after. Yes, even they get PTSD and yes even they get killed and wounded.