Showing posts with label military families. Show all posts
Showing posts with label military families. Show all posts

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Brandon Caserta's death changed nothing and we should be asking why

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 11, 2023

This is one of the reasons I gave up after 40 years of trying to change the end of the lonlyist battles they have.
"In 2021, the latest year for which numbers are available, 519 US service members died by suicide. Though a slight decrease from the previous year’s 582 suicides, the trend over the last decade and more has been increasing."

That came from CNN but while it is a recent report, it has been reported over and over again with different names attached to bills that have resulted in outcomes like this.
The Brandon Act is named after Brandon Caserta, a young sailor whose parents described him as a “very charismatic and upbeat young man” who “always helped everyone he could.”
But in June 2018, Caserta took his own life at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia. In letters to his parents and to his friends, Caserta said he was constantly hazed and bullied in the Navy, and he saw no other way out. He notified his commanders he was depressed but they took no action and showed no sympathy, according to Brandon Caserta’s father Patrick, who served 22 years in the Navy. (CNN)

Joshua Omvig's parents pushed for change and in 2007 President Bush signed the bill in his name too.

In 2007, I did a massive report on what was happening because of wars and battles they fought alone. I was asking why the press wasn't on suicide watch. After all, they spent a lot of time reporting on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but not not so much about what those wars were doing to those we sent to fight them. They didn't report on what was going in the military itself.

Brandon Caserta's parents tried to do something to save lives and spare other families from what they went through. It was the same reason the families of Erie County National Guards Matthew A. Proulx, Andrew L. Norlund, Justin C. Reyes and Gary M. Underhill's families grieved. Kevin Grosser and far too many others suffered needlessly with nothing really changing. I was looking up more of their names and bills attached to their names, but sadness started to take over and I had to stop. 

The problem is, people like me know what the truth is and we know what failed, but the most troubling thing is, we know what has saved lives. We should stop asking why members of the military, so committed to saving the lives of those they serve with, end up being unable to save their own. We should start asking why hasn't the military figured out what we knew 40 years ago!

Kathie Costos author of Ministers Of The Mystery Series

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Troops on food stamps new news to CNN?

CNN just figured out miliatry families are facing food insecurity

A quarter of US service members have been food insecure, new report finds

That was the headline. And then there was this, Washington


Just over a quarter of US service members have experienced food insecurity in recent years, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation. The report, released this week, said that 25.8% of Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel were food insecure. More than half of that percentage – 15.4% – were active duty troops. "" “We were surprised at the estimate. … I mean that’s a lot of people,” Dr. Beth Asch, a senior economist at RAND and the lead author of the report, told CNN.
You can read the rest of the report here.

In 2008, I did a huge report on this along with everything else we don't want to know is really happening to them as long as some get to satisfy themselves with slogans, like "suppor the troops" or use the neglect as something the leaders of the "other" parties allow to happen. Read Armed Forces Day on Food Stamps.

But nothing changed other than to get worse because it was hitting more and more families.

This is from 2012, but it wasn't just about having to take food stamps to the commerceary, they had to use food pantries.
At Fort Hood, the military's busiest deployment hub to Iraq over the past decade and home to as many as 50,000 soldiers, an on-post food pantry has served nearly 5,000 military families since 2008. Food stamp usage at on-post commissaries has ballooned from about $285,000 in 2001 to $1.4 million last year, according to the Defense Commissary Agency . Those numbers include soldiers, family members, reservists and retirees.
And it kept happening. This is from 2014
More troops and military families redeemed food stamps at military commissaries last year than ever before, according to statistics from the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) — but is it really the dire situation it seems? About five percent more shoppers used food stamps at commissaries in 2013 than used them in 2012. But the increase is actually a sign that use is leveling off instead of quickly increasing as it had been before. Between 2011 and 2012 it went up 13 percent. And back between 2008 and 2009 it went up 70 percent, according to figures from DeCA.
A later study had this stunning piece of information,
Commissary shoppers used $130.6 million in food stamps, officially known as the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in fiscal 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the Defense Department. About $29 million in WIC benefits were redeemed that same year.Commissary shoppers used $130.6 million in food stamps, officially known as the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in fiscal 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the Defense Department. About $29 million in WIC benefits were redeemed that same year.
In 2016 they weren't sure how many military families had to use food stamps. I can keep going on this but, you get the idea. Here's just one more to show that none of this is new even though CNN thinks they can act as if it was something they just learned.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Group of military spouses breaking the silence of PTSD

‘You think you’re the only one’: Documentary amplifies voices of military spouses facing PTSD
Idaho Capital Sun

APRIL 25, 2022
“We just felt that we really needed to talk to this group of spouses, which has been silent forever – all throughout history,” Betty said. “We thought we need to get as much history involved as we can.”
‘I Married the War,’ a new film produced and directed by Idahoans about the wives of combat veterans, will make its Idaho premiere May 4
During filming of a new documentary titled “I Married the War,” Director of Photography Bill Krumm captures military wife Laura Daniero Nickel for an interview with Lucien Nickel. (Ken Rodgers)

After the success of their first documentary film “Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor” in 2011, Betty and Ken Rodgers felt in their bones there were more stories to tell.

Their project got men who hadn’t shared their Vietnam War stories in decades — or, in some cases, ever — to open up their experiences. It helped people who didn’t live through the war know what that conflict was really like. And it helped Vietnam veterans connect with perhaps the only people who truly knew what they had gone through – each other.

Perhaps most importantly, for some veterans, it allowed them and their families to start to heal from their trauma.

But there were others who deserved to have their voices heard, their stories told, Betty said.

What about people like her, the wife of a Vietnam veteran? What about their experience healing their marriage from Ken’s post-traumatic stress, caused by his combat experience as a U.S. Marine trapped in one of the worst sieges in American wartime history – the siege of Khe Sanh in Vietnam? What about the wives of these veterans from every American war who come home battered physically and mentally and need care and understanding?
read more here

When I wrote my first book,  For The Love Of Jack back in 2002 (republished in 2012)  it was to #breakthesilence too many of us were living with. It was hard for veterans to talk, even to other veterans. It was even harder for wives to do it. When we did, we not only discovered we were not alone, we found support, gained knowledge and learned the ways of helping those we loved heal.

I am torn about the project above. I am grateful they were doing this at the same time greatly saddened that after all these years, anyone still feels as if they have something to hide or struggle with talking about it, makes it seem as if efforts among the pioneers like me, failed. If we succeeded, the stigma would be gone, hope would take over fear, knowledge would replace gossip and assumptions and no one would ever feel ashamed of surviving what they did, or loving them.

No battle in combat is ever fought alone and no one heals from what it does alone either!

Monday, November 29, 2021


My mother married the Korean War. My mother-in-law married WWII. I married the Vietnam War. They fought the battles in combat, but we fought the battles they brought back with them. Chances are, if your reading this site, you did too. Maybe the one coming home was your wife, son, daughter or friend. You know what it's like when things are going fine, as much as you know what things are like when they are not so great.

When I got into all of this, no one was talking about what it was like. My parents kept it all a secret and so did my husband's parents. It was almost as if they felt they should be ashamed of something. I had to learn what it was all by myself and eventually, wrote For The Love Of Jack, His War/My Battle.

Today I received an email about a fabulous documentary, I Married The War, and happy to share this. The thing is, their service is a part of them. Combat is a part of them. When we marry them, that is included in the deal. When I watched some of the videos, I thought, wow, this is for the rest of us who fight their battles back home.

Official Trailer for I Married the War

We are thrilled to release our new Official Trailer for I Married the War. Created by our stellar Director of Photography, Bill Krumm, it offers an introduction to all eleven women, and clear insight into what the film is all about.

We couldn’t be more grateful to these women for their honest and candid interviews about their experience as wives of combat veterans. Even though less than 1% of our country’s population currently serves in the Armed Forces, we still have 5.5 million military caregivers living with veterans from WWII, the Korean War. the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and OEF/OIF (the Middle East Wars).

It is our goal that I MARRIED THE WAR will help foster the national dialogue about supporting our veterans when they return home forever changed, and their families who are not prepared for that change when the war comes home with their loved ones.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Warning on royal commission cover-ups on suicides

why is this all still happening?

‘I have nothing to lose. My son is dead’: Warning on royal commission cover-ups

Sydney Morning Herald
By Melissa Cunningham and Angus Livingston
July 8, 2021
“I am concerned there will still be cover-ups, or people not talking about the issues that have caused some of the suicides." Julie-Ann Finney

Julie-Ann Finney campaigned for a royal commission in veteran suicides after her son David took his own life.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
The mother of a navy sailor who took his own life is promising to come out swinging at the federal government if it allows more cover-ups, demanding whistleblowers get protection if they give evidence to a royal commission probing veteran suicides.

Former deputy commissioner of NSW Police Nick Kaldas will lead the national Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicides, which was formally created on Thursday. The commissioner will be aided by James Douglas QC, a former Queensland Supreme Court judge and Peggy Brown, a consultant psychiatrist.
War veteran Rob Campbell said he had struggled “enormously” when he returned to Australia after serving in Afghanistan and East Timor and had watched his close friends grapple with PTSD and mental anguish, following years of serving in the army.
read more here

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Legacy of healing PTSD from my Dad

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 22, 2021

When I think about my Dad, I often wonder how he'd feel if he knew what he started back in 1982. All these later, the number of lives changed because he served in Korea and he never knew about them. I am a living legacy to him and his life.

About a week ago, I received a strange message on Facebook from a man claiming to have pictures of my Dad in Korea. He wrote things that had to be true, so I called him. His Dad served with mine. The twist to the story is that his Dad probably never knew he had a son born in Korea. Yesterday he sent me pictures I had never seen before and I thought about my Dad a lot more than usual.
My Mom and oldest brother went to stay with him when he was in Japan.
We were a normal family. Both of my brothers were born on Army bases. He was a Staff Sergeant. He left the Army before I was born but I was a typical Army brat. I also grew up with uncles who served in WWII. That was all normal to me. I didn't discover it was not usual to have a family full of veterans, or that having living room furniture from Japan was odd, until I was older.

When I met my current husband, I was already divorced and only 23. The night he met my husband, he said, "He seems like a really nice guy but he's got shell shock." My husband is a Vietnam veteran. I had no idea what he was talking about and when I asked him to explain it, he told me to go to the library because war changes people.

I spent all my free time at the library with clinical books and a dictionary, learning as much as I could. The more I learned, the more I fell in love. Not just with the man I would end up marrying, but loved my Dad more and all veterans. Now they call it PTSD.

My Dad started what turned out to be my life's work. Thousands of articles, books, videos, several websites and more, all started because of my Dad's life in the Army. Over the years, I've had many messages thanking me for what I do and to pass appreciation on to my husband for his service. I just wanted you to know, that had it not been for my Dad, I don't think any of this would have started.

This is why today the featured video is, Dan Fogelberg, The Leader Of The Band.

If you've sent me emails thanking me for what I do, and thanking my husband for his service, I wanted you to know that none of this would have happened if my Dad didn't understand what he saw in my husband. It is a good reminder that we never know how much we do change the world when we are willing to do what we can, when we can, when we are willing to try.
read more on PTSD Patrol

Sunday, March 28, 2021


March 28, 2021

Houston Tumlin -- the kid who played Ricky Bobby's son in 'Talladega Nights' -- grew up to proudly serve his country, but sadly suffered from PTSD and depression as a result, which led to his suicide ... his mother tells TMZ.
Michelle Tumlin tells us ... her son honorably served in the U.S. Army for nearly 6 years, earning many accolades as an E-4 specialist in the 101st Airborne Division

Houston's awards include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, but Michelle says he was most proud of earning his Air Assault wings.

Michelle says, "Houston received a different set of wings" this week, and while the family is hurting from the loss, she says they want to stress to anyone who is suffering to reach out and get help.

She says ... "Houston Lee Tumlin was so much more than a child actor from 'Talladega Nights.' My beautiful boy brought joy to everyone he encountered and made them feel special. Houston fought his battle for years, and we will continue to fight for him."

We're told Houston will have a full military funeral, and his family marched in an event over the weekend in Helena, Alabama to raise awareness for veteran suicide and PTSD support.
read more here

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Military children should not have problem joining after seeking help

Military children shouldn’t be penalized for seeking mental health care, senators say

Military Times
Karen Jowers
June 2, 2020
The proposal would require the service surgeons general to give “liberal consideration” to children raised in a military family, because of the potential challenges of military family life, when deciding whether to grant a waiver allowing them to join the military despite prior mental health conditions. It the waiver is denied, a mental health provider would have to review the request.
Army Lt. Col. Rudy De La Rosa with his daughter Samantha, who graduated from Air Force basic military training in May, 2019. She successfully fought to overcome notations in her dependent medical record that initially kept her out of the military. (Photo courtesy of De La Rosa family)
Senators are seeking to end “undue discrimination” against military dependents and civilians with prior mental health conditions who seek to enter the military.

“Children who face the stress of parents being deployed, moving frequently and other sacrifices should never be penalized for seeking mental health care,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who introduced legislation in May, along with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Over 1,000 discover “Beyond Band of Brothers Dishonest”

KOLD Investigates: Arizona veterans, families out thousands after tour company files for bankruptcy

KOLD 13 News
By Shaley Sanders
June 1, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It was supposed to be a bucket list adventure to celebrate our veterans until the trip of a lifetime turned into a trip to nowhere.

Now, hundreds of travelers are out thousands of dollars, and many may not even know.
“Part of the thing that stings the most is that these were trips that were tailored to veterans,” said Alana Stevens.

Stevens, who lives in Tucson, said she wanted to surprise her army veteran husband and WWII history buff with a big trip for his 50th birthday.

“He is a disabled vet. He was a paratrooper,”Steven said.

Stevens said she purchased a WWII tour through Germany through Beyond Band of Brothers Tours. She said she paid the company about $5,000.

With so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Stevens said she tried to contact Beyond Band of Brothers Tours to make sure their September trip was still on schedule.

“I Googled Beyond Band of Brothers and the website was black,” Stevens said.

While searching for answers, Stevens said she stumbled upon a Facebook group called, “Beyond Band of Brothers Dishonest.”
read it here

Monday, June 1, 2020

Help raise PTSD HEALING Awareness

Learn how to make a difference

Wounded Times
Cross Posted on PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 1, 2020

No matter what you think you know about PTSD, the truth is,  you have a lot more power than you think you do. The problem is, until you learn how to use it, things will still suck!

PTSD Patrol Family Road Trip Guide
We have actually taken a back seat for far too long!

This video was the first one I did on PTSD and Wounded Minds to help you learn more about the difference you can make. Originally it went up in 2006 and was reposted afterwards.

Help Raise PTSD Awareness

National Center for PTSD

There are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD.
Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don't get the help they need. June is PTSD Awareness Month. Help us spread the word that effective PTSD treatments are available. Everyone with PTSD—whether they are Veterans or civilian survivors of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events—needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life.

Join Us
During PTSD Awareness Month, and throughout the entire year, help raise awareness about the many different PTSD treatment options. You can make a difference in the lives of Veterans and others who have experienced trauma. Everyone can help.
read it here

Friday, May 29, 2020

Father and Son Marines Beat Enemy Together...Both Had COVID-19

SC veterans, father and son, battle COVID-19 together

By Jason Raven
May 29, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Thomas Bowman Jr. said in early April he began feeling under the weather.
Thankfully, both men have been released from the hospital and have made full recoveries. (Source: Family photo)
He originally thought it was his chronic sinusitis acting up. But on April 5, he began feeling worse and his symptoms were getting severe.

“The symptoms of COVID-19 had begun forming in my lungs. Headaches. Shortness of breath,” he said.

Bowman Jr. -- a Marine Corps veteran -- was admitted to the VA Hospital in Columbia. Bowman had pneumonia in his lungs and a high fever. He tested positive for COVID-19.

When he was talking with doctors, he remembered he had visited his mother and father a few days before he started to feel ill.

“Bowman Jr. had recently cut his own grass and his mother and father’s grass. He was very concerned they could possibly contract this illness,” Dr. Amy Lucas at the VA Hospital in Columbia said.

Bowman Jr. followed his father’s footsteps when he joined the United States Marine Corps. Now Thomas Bowman Sr., a Vietnam War veteran, followed his son’s footsteps when he also tested positive for COVID-19 and found himself hospitalized.
read it here

Thursday, May 28, 2020

letter from a soldier in Vietnam to his sister finally came after 52 years

Soldier's lost letter from Vietnam War finds its way home 52 years later

WHAS 11 News
Heather Fountaine
May 28, 2020

NORTH VERNON, Ind. — A five page letter from a soldier to his sister landed in the mailbox of North Vernon, Indiana’s Janice Tucker last week. The envelope was postmarked May 10, 2020, but the words written inside were from Vietnam in 1968.
“It begins with 'Hi sis. I just read your letter, wow.' And I'm thinking, I have a sister that lives in Jeffersonville and I didn't send her a letter,” laughed Tucker, confused by what she had received.

As she started reading, she realized it was a note from her brother, William Lone, talking about his time serving in the Vietnam War.

“So, I called my brother. He lives in South Carolina. I read the letter to him and he said, ‘I remember writing that letter to you.’”

“I was in the field where you’re out there sleeping in tents,” Lone described.

He said he had sealed the envelope and put a .05 cent stamp in the corner before handing it to another soldier to deliver the letter to his sister who was 17-years-old at the time.

“Janice was still at home then, so it was going to go to Floyds Knobs, Indiana.” Or at least, it was supposed to.

The delivery was delayed for decades, more than half a century in fact.
read it here

Saturday, May 23, 2020

This is for those who choose to honor and remember them!

Memorial Day: Time to remember and honor sacrifice

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 23, 2020

Memorial Day, may be considered as the kick off of summer and a time to enjoy our lives to some, but for others, it is a day to remember members of our families and friends no longer here physically. The memory of them remains.

My husband and I are both second generation Americans. Our grandparents came here from Greece, Italy, and Canada. They raised their children to value this county enough they would pay any price to defend it.

My husband's Dad and Uncles fought in WWII. He lost one of his uncles, who was a 19 year old Marine. Another uncle was a Merchant Marine and he was rescued when his ship was hit. He never really recovered but was able to live out his life along with other "shell shock" veterans on a farm. My husband and his nephew fought in Vietnam.

For my Dad, it was Korea and my uncles it was WWII.

Memorial Day means a lot more to us, while for others, a three day weekend to enjoy, or go shopping. It is not a time to think about what we want to do, but is a time to honor what they did, and what so many others did for the sake of all of us.

Today we are being asked to stay home as much as possible and in public, practice being distant from others while wearing a mask. We are asked to do this to protect others from what we may pass onto them with COVID-19 pandemic claiming so many lives. Fast approaching 100,000 deaths, it seems the least we can do.
Coronavirus live updates: New York eases restrictions on gatherings in time for Memorial Day weekend; US nears 100,000 deaths
Some people protest about their rights to do what they want to do, without considering anyone else, even as the numbers continue to grow. Sad when considering all other generations were asked to do for the sake of others.

There will always be selfish people in this country and, God willing, there will always be those who put the lives of others above their own. This is for those who choose to honor and remember them!
This report provides war casualty statistics. It includes data tables containing the number of fatalities and the number of wounded among American military personnel who served in principal wars and combat actions from 1775 to the present. It also includes information such as race and ethnicity, gender, branch of service, and, in some cases, detailed information on types of casualties and causes of death. (read the report here)

Vietnam war deaths 1956-1975
The First and the Last
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.

First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.

The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.
Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.
This is from 2010. The numbers are higher now and the debt we owe them has still not been paid yet.
John 15:13 King James Version (KJV) 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows, advocates for caregivers of wounded veterans.

Father Caring For Wounded Veteran Daughter Earns National Honor
By D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff
May 17, 2020
Joseph Narvaez has been named to the 2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows, advocates for caregivers of wounded veterans.
Joseph Narvaez became the primary caregiver for his wounded veteran daughter, Laura.
(Dole Caregivers Fellow)
CLEARWATER, FL — After his daughter suffered injuries while serving in the Air Force, including a traumatic brain injury from an improvised explosive device, Clearwater resident Joseph Narvaez stepped up to become her primary caregiver.

Now Narvaez is being honored for his commitment by being asked to join the 2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows.

The Fellows are 30 military and veteran caregivers who have been carefully selected from across the country to represent Americans caring for a wounded, ill or injured service members or veterans at home.

The role of these Fellows has never been more important as caregivers are under unprecedented stress due to the threat of the coronavirus, said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation based in Washington, D.C.

As a Dole Caregiver Fellow, Narvaez will serve as a leader, community organizer and advocate for the nation's 5.5 million military caregivers – the spouses, parents, family members and friends who provide more than $14 billion in voluntary care annually to someone who served.
read it here

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Veteran dying of COVID-19, unable to speak, sang God Bless America before he died!

Veteran's last words hold special meaning to family

May 9, 2020

Tom McDermott was pretty amazing — he survived polio, nearly became a priest and even worked on nuclear submarines while he was in the military.

McDermott's family said goodbye to the 84-year-old who battled Alzheimer's and coronavirus in his final days, but it was his last words that left them all in awe.

"He was on comfort measures and there was no expectation he was communicating," said Vin McDermott, Tom's son.

Doctors said Tom McDermott's lungs were overwhelmed by the virus and he never spoke again. Instead, he sang.

While Tom McDermott's family was at mass, a call came from the hospital: his last words were a song: "God Bless America."

"I don't know where the memory to sing or the energy to sing came from," Vin McDermott said.
read it here

Thursday, May 7, 2020

93 year old Air Force veteran picked up hitchhiking to get Hershey bar to split with girlfriend!

Air Force veteran, 93, hitchhikes to store for Hershey bars, says he and girlfriend split one ‘every night’

MAY 7, 2020

Mike, a retired Air Force veteran, also told Farmer that he met his girlfriend Doris — or ‘Do,’ as he calls her — at a senior dance about 20 years ago. He added that Doris didn’t know he was doing this, and “probably hasn’t even started looking for me” yet.

Rich Farmer said he picked up Mike, 93, after he saw the elderly gentleman hitchhiking in the road near a senior living community. (Rich Farmer)

LAKE SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A 93-year-old Air Force veteran in California was so intent on procuring Hershey bars for his girlfriend that he sneaked away from their senior community and hitchhiked to the local 99-cent store.

The man, identified only as Mike, said he splits a Hershey bar with his girlfriend Doris every night, but he’s been having trouble getting to the store amid the coronavirus health crisis. On Monday, April 27, however, he tried his luck with hitchhiking, only for local resident Rich Farmer to stop and pick him up.

“I was going home for lunch at about 12:30 or 1:00 in the afternoon,” said Farmer, a real estate broker in Lake San Marcos, in an interview with Fox News. “When I turned a corner to go up the hill to my house, I saw an elderly gentleman about four feet into the street.”

Farmer said he couldn’t ignore Mike, who quickly stuck his thumb out as Farmer drove by. Farmer swung a U-turn and rolled down his window to ask if the elderly gentleman needed any help.
read it here

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Some Veterans with dependents may "wait until 2021 for their stimulus checks"

With IRS Deadline Looming, Some Veterans May Still Wait Months for Stimulus Money
By Patricia Kime
4 May 2020

Making veterans who can't fill out the online form wait until 2021 for their stimulus checks, when they can file a tax return that includes dependents, is "incompatible with the goals" of the stimulus money, Takano said.
The Internal Revenue Service has set a deadline of May 5 for veterans to register for dependent payouts, after initially saying they would have only two days. But the guidance, along with warnings that veterans who don't complete the form now will have to wait until next year for their stimulus funds, has left some confused and scrambling.

"We have several veterans with no Internet access," one email received by said. "Are you able to get at least 25 copies of this IRS form mailed to us?"

Nearly 7% of U.S. veterans live below the poverty level, and more than two million veteran households lack fixed or mobile broadband connections at home, according to a Federal Communications Commission study released last year. read it here

Monday, April 20, 2020

Korean War veteran's family told he was doing good....hours after he died of COVID-19 at Veterans Home

A family was told their dad at a Jersey vets home was rebounding from coronavirus. He was already dead.

North Jersey
Scott Fallon
April 18, 2020

Tom's body had even been taken to the other man's funeral home to be prepared for cremation the next day — Tom's wishes were to be buried next to his wife.

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. – It was the best news Steve Mastropietro could have hoped to receive.

His 91-year-old father had made a near-miraculous rebound on Saturday morning after being diagnosed two days before with COVID-19.

A nurse at the New Jersey Veterans Home in Paramus said Tom Mastropietro no longer had a fever.

The Korean War veteran had not only eaten breakfast, but even walked to the bathroom unaided.

“I was stunned but happy,” Steve said. “He looked like hell the last time I saw him. They made me think he had turned a corner.”

Four hours later, the nursing staff called again.

They had made a terrible mistake.

Tom Mastropietro had died hours earlier.
read it here

Thursday, April 2, 2020

If our marriage lasted all these years with can yours!

Is your marriage strong enough for isolation and PTSD?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 2, 2020

People like me have been telling veterans the worst they can do is to isolate. Right now, the worst thing for their health is to be out. It is saving their lives but eating away at them at the same time.

This is a trying time for any marriage. When you add a veteran with PTSD, it can make it even harder to go from day to day. I am sharing this with you so that you can learn from our long history and be able to take some of the extra stress off your shoulders.

This morning my husband and I were talking about how isolating during COVID-19 pandemic has tested our marriage. It is hard being together all the time. Then again, it has not just been a few weeks for us. We've been together 24/7 since the end of September. Now that is a test of a marriage!

We moved from about 1,600 miles, with no clue where we would live. We had to walk away from the house we made an offer on in New Hampshire, and our house sold in Florida. The day we passed papers was our 35th anniversary. I was unemployed because I had to leave a job I loved and pretty much, we were homeless, with plenty of money in the bank.

My attitude was that it was a second honeymoon and a road trip!

Our long marriage has been tested over and over again. The first test came was when mild PTSD exploded! When it did, I already knew what PTSD was since I had been researching it for years. I had no clue that it could get worse with other traumatic events.

Readers of Wounded Times know our story very well, so I do not want to rehash all of that right now. You can read about it in the book I wrote back in 2002 and then republished in this edition.

(I am not trying to make money off this, and when you see how little it costs, you'll believe me.)

Here is a video I did with a good friend of mine on this book.


No matter what, let them know you love them. It does not mean you have to approve of the way they act. It does not mean you are supposed to always like them. He asks me "Do you love me?" out of the blue and I aways say "Yes, always...and sometimes I even like you." Do not expect perfection out of yourself or your marriage...or them! Nothing is ever perfect.

Love them enough to learn what PTSD is and be empowered to act and react appropriately. I have a lot of videos on PTSD that can help you understand them better. Learn why they think irrationally, have overblown reactions or, end up looking for an argument.

Take some stress off your shoulders knowing what you can do to cut unnecessary tension and stop blaming yourself for the way they act. It really has nothing to do with you but if you do not know what is going on with them, you will end up blaming yourself.

No matter how much I knew about PTSD, I still blamed myself for what I lacked or what I was not good enough for. If you know nothing about PTSD, it is worse for you!


No one automatically has patience. It requires practice! The more you work at it, the more natural it will be to let things go. Before you react to them trying to piss you off, ask yourself how important it is to get into it with them. Most of the time, you'll decide to just shake your head instead of pounding your fist. If it is important enough then stand your ground but think before you speak. An unspoken word does not have be regretted. Once you say it, you can apologize all you want, but the damage is done.

I used to argue until I decided to just walk away. He knows he is in more trouble if I said nothing. Most of the time, he follows me, acknowledges my anger is beyond words. He says he is sorry and then tells me to come talk to him when I am over it. We have avoided many heated arguments that way and my blood pressure stopped changing the color of my face!

Take Care Of Yourself

There were times early on in our marriage when I forced him to come with me. I learned the hard way, neither of us enjoyed whatever it was I wanted to do. I started to just go off by myself. He was always invited but if he did not want to go, I went and had a good time.

I learned to live for myself! I went to movies with friends because he could not stand movie theaters. I went shopping by myself because he had a hard time with crowds. Most of the time I went to family events alone and when asked where he was, I just said he was having a bad day. No excuses and no other explanations were needed.

To some our marriage is not "normal" but for us, it became our "new normal" just as yours can be. Do not try to be like others and find what works for you.

If our marriage lasted all these years with can yours!

Monday, March 16, 2020

When things suck, try to remember other sucky days you got through

Isolated senior veterans and COVID-19 does not have to be this sucky!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 16, 2020

Experts have been saying that the worst thing veterans can do when they have PTSD, is to isolate themselves. Experts say that seniors need to isolate themselves because of COVID-19.
Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick Group of senior citizens If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Stock up on supplies.

Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.

When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.

Avoid crowds as much as possible.

Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.

During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
Well, we cannot stock up on supplies when we go to the store but everyday things like toilet paper and paper towels are gone, along with a lot of other things. We could not even find a thermometer yesterday.

It is hard on all of us because seniors are very active, but it is especially hard on senior veterans with PTSD. I spent years go get my husband out with other veterans. Being around them helps him thrive. Going to the gym helps him but the last few days has been a battle to keep him from going. Today I had some relief on that one. The gym he goes to closed!

Right now, it is very important that if you know another elderly veteran, keep that in mind so you can reach out to them and call them!

I am grateful for Amazon Prime and Netflix since he does not go online. Here are some of the things I try to get him to do.

Take a walk with your dog!
We live in a great walking neighborhood. Just because it is still cold here in New Hampshire, he can cover up with layers. At least he is away from the TV and keeps him physically active. Take a walk by yourself if you live alone.
Do projects around the house that have been put off.

We moved into our house in November and it needs work. Great time to do it!
Clean out the shed so he can clean out the garage! It is too cold for him to ride his Harley, but he can also clean that too since he is already in the garage. He can hang up all the tools he has. He can also go through the boxes of his things he never seems to have time to do. (Don't get me started on that one.)
Take a ride.
I am trying to keep him out of stores right now. So far, it has been impossible but trying to get him to at least stay in the car while I go shopping. I have to bribe him with a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. It is about 20 minutes to the store. It takes me about that long to do the shopping. Then 20 more minutes home. One hour less whining!
Try to avoid news.
It is OK to catch up on what is going on so that you do not imagine the worst. Just do not spend all day watching it! Find something funny to watch or at least inspirational. 
Be prepared for news this is getting worse.
Experts say that there is about a week lag time between when someone was infected and showing up in the numbers they are releasing. With everything shut down now, there will be a reported increase in the numbers, so be prepared for that gloomy news. Then understand that all happened before steps were taken to protect more people. 
If you go online, stay away from idiots!

Most of the things I share online are either really funny or inspirational. We all know I do have to post news, but I am trying to focus more on sharing other things. 
Remember other times you got through other things.
When things suck, try to remember other sucky days and then acknowledge that you got through'll get through this too! Then you can resume your life and do the things you normally did again. Besides, think of all the money you'll have saved up to enjoy it all more!