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

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Michael Fanone and veterans uge House to condemn violence

Letters delivered by veterans urge House Republicans to condemn political violence

Los Angeles Times
JAN. 4, 2023

WASHINGTON — Dozens of military veterans on Wednesday hand-delivered letters to top Republicans in the U.S. House, calling on them to publicly condemn political violence as the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol approaches.
Former Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone leaves Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office at the Capitol on Wednesday after delivering a letter urging the Georgia Republican to publicly condemn political violence.(Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
Former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone wrote the letter, which was signed by more than 1,000 military veterans, active duty members, law enforcement officers and military families. Fanone, who was beaten and shocked with stun guns during the attack on the Capitol, delivered a copy to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office. While the GOP leadership remains unsettled, the groups behind the effort consider the Georgia representative one of the de facto leaders of the new Republican majority in the House.

Veterans also delivered letters to GOP Reps. James Comer of Kentucky, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Elise Stefanik of New York and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, who is trying to become House speaker.

read more here
video from NBC

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Veterans with PTSD on trial

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 12, 2022

My head is exploding right now. Can any reporter explain to me why they manage to always report on a veteran with PTSD committing crimes, use it in the headline, yet do not notice they do not report on everyone else committing crimes when they have PTSD too?

Apparently veterans with PTSD are on trial but reporters fail to see we all are!

This is the headline the headline that caused a massive headache!

"Veteran with PTSD pleads guilty to killing 2 men in SC in 2017, lawyers say" and is on Stars and Stripes.
Family members for King and McNair spoke on Friday before Melton's sentencing "about the tragedy and loss of their sons," Campbell said.
Mental illness and drugs

Melton served in the military and was stationed in Iraq in 2004, developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of that experience, said his defense lawyer, Justin Kata of the Giese Law Firm in Columbia.

Kata said Melton was later diagnosed by a psychiatrist.

At the time of the killings, "he had PTSD symptoms and he was self-medicating," Kata said.
According to the National Center for PTSD, there are 15 million Americans joining the PTSD club every year but reporters will only cover veterans committing sucide and crimes.
Facts about How Common PTSD Is
The following statistics are based on the U.S. population: About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives. About 15 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma. About 8 of every 100 women (or 8%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%). Learn more about women, trauma and PTSD

Let's look at the results of this. 

Veterans have a hard time finding jobs because employers remember reading about a veteran like this one. Because reporters do not cover all the other survivors with PTSD, they have no idea that PTSD does not make people dangerous or even get them to contemplate the simple fact that they have probably already hired a lot of good employees with PTSD unknowingly.

Veterans getting all the attention is a billion dollar industry because people care about veterans. While that is a good thing, we should consider why there are no massive fundraisers for everyone else with PTSD not getting the help we all need.

People in law enforcement, fire departments, emergency responders, medical, you name the occupation, are ignored. No one seems to care.

I was guilty of this too. I spent decades focused on veterans when few others were. I thought that since there were so many other people, they'd have enough help but I did not know no one in the media was putting it all together. It never even dawned on me that after surviving over 10 events, I had a rare form of it. It also didn't dawn on two therapists I saw over the years.

Do we take care of veterans properly? NO!

Do we take care of anyone in need to mental health care properly? NO!

Until we get reporters to cover all of us so that we know how many of us there are after surviving, we will not be able to focus on what is helpful to others, that can help us too. We will not be able to inspire hope to others suffering from something only we can understand. While we may not be able to fully understand the causes if we did not experience it, we can understand what it is doing to them, and they can understand what it has done to us.

Kathie Costos on Amazon

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Will some please explain this?

How does someone decide to serve this nation, risking their lives for a noble cause, turn around and attack it for a lie?

Will someone please explain this to me. These are just a few of the headlines that have me very confused.

DOJ recommends four-month jail term for Air Force veteran who joined Jan. 6 riot

Kyle Cheney
In the case of Jancart and Rau, however, prosecutors say they came to Washington prepared for potential violence — Jancart brought a gas mask and Rau brought kevlar-lined gloves — and were among the first to breach the building, emboldening others to follow suit. They delved deeper into the building, stepping past broken glass, and ignoring alarms and tear gas. In addition, after the riot, the pair celebrated their actions on social media.
Prosecutors are recommending a four-month jail term for the first military veteran set to be sentenced for participating in the Capitol riot, citing his service as a factor warranting stiffer punishment.
In this image taken from Capitol building security camera footage and released in a criminal complaint by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Derek Jancart, circled in red by the source, joins other rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia via AP

Derek Jancart, an Air Force veteran, breached the Capitol in the early wave of the riot and meandered for 40 minutes — alongside friend and fellow defendant Erik Rau — to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. Jancart remained outside while Rau, also facing a four-month sentence, briefly stepped into Pelosi's suite. The pair is due to be sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to misdemeanor offenses.
read more here 

Marine veteran, an Oath Keepers member, pleads guilty in Jan. 6 riot

Assocciated Press
Alanna Durkin Richer
September 16, 2021
Marine veteran Jason Dolan, front left center, is seen holding a phone above his head inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Prosecutors say Dolan was one of 16 members of the Oath Keepers who traveled to Washington D.C. by rental car in order to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida via
A member of the Oath Keepers militia group that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has pleaded guilty and will cooperate with investigators against his fellow militia members, marking another win for the Justice Department in its major conspiracy case stemming from the attack.

Jason Dolan, 45, is the fourth person associated with the group that recruits current and former military, police and first responders to plead guilty to conspiracy charges for their roles in Capitol riot. The former Marine from Wellington, Florida has also agreed to cooperate and testify for the government before any grand juries and trials.
read more here

Yesterday Trump continued to lie saying the audit in Arizona proved he won, when it proved he not only lost Arizona, but lost by more votes. The crowd cheered as if they were not able to discover facts. 

At Georgia Rally, Trump Falsely Claims Arizona Audit Found He Won in Maricopa County

Christina Zhao

Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed during a rally in Georgia on Saturday night that the results of the Arizona election "forensic audit" concluded that President Joe Biden lost in Maricopa County, despite the report stating that Biden won with 1,040,873 votes—99 more votes than shown in the certified ballots.

"We won at the Arizona forensic audit yesterday at a level that you wouldn't believe," Trump told the crowd in Perry, Georgia. "They had headlines that Biden wins in Arizona, when they know it's not true. He didn't win in Arizona. He lost in Arizona based on the forensic audit."
read more here


Is it because some veterans want to belong to a group and feel they must surrender common sense to remain one of their members? 

Is it because they want to believe what they are told? 

Some people say that they are just so filled with hatred, that is all that matters to them. Yet none of them can explain how people serve in the military among all others with different political beliefs, but remain loyal to all those they serve with, yet cannot tolerate different beliefs as veterans. How does this happen?

Why would they break the law and risk everything for a man who continued to lie to them even after he caused everything that happened on January 6th?

Why would they believe a single word he and his supports say even after the evidence shows his campaign knew it was all a lie?

Read this and then consider if they are not getting the facts, who are they getting their information from?

Trump campaign knew soon after election that voting machine claims were false: report

The Hill
Monique Beals
Court documents released Monday show that by the time a campaign news conference on the issue took place, an internal memo had already been circulated confirming that the claims about Dominion Voting Systems and software company Smartmatic were false, according to The New York Times.

At the Nov. 19 news conference, the team of the former president's attorneys claimed Dominion was in cahoots with financier George Soros and Venezuela in an effort to steal the election from Trump.
read more here

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The best way to heal is to open up

The best way to heal is to open up
Jesse had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life after deployment. He used drugs and alcohol to try to forget his experiences in Iraq. He eventually reached out for help at VA, where he received therapy and connected with other Veterans. Now Jesse’s a Peer Support Specialist and encourages fellow Veterans to reach out for help.

If you have not been in Make The Connection from the are missing a lot!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

5 Facts About VA Home Loans

5 Facts About VA Home Loans That You Should Know

Guest Post Myriel Legaspi

Most Americans dream of becoming homeowners are some point in their life. Government-guaranteed home loans have addressed many of the issues that have come up for potential homeowners. However, many real estate experts see VA home loans as the best government home loans available. Their consideration as the best government loans available is because they can do much more than buy a home.

If you are an applicant that meets the VA loan requirements, you must know how many things VA can do for you. We will go over five things that eligible applicants should know about VA home loans.

1.            Zero Money Down

Perhaps the most appealing thing about VA home loans is that eligible applicants can buy a home without paying a down payment. It is a significant benefit since most conventional loans have a down payment requirement of 20%. However, removing down payments does not entirely remove all of the initial costs from buying a home. Borrowers are still required to pay for money deposits, appraisals, and home inspections. 

Additional benefits from VA loans are lower interest fees, low monthly mortgage payments, no mortgage insurance premiums, and the ability to finance the funding fee.

2.            Finances the Construction/ Refinancing of a Property

Although most people who know about VA loans know about its home-buying capabilities, it is important to note that they can also finance the construction and the refinancing of a property. Both construction and refinancing loans have eligibility requirements.

  • VA Construction Loans

Any construction project financed by the VA construction loan requires land preparation before construction can begin. Because the VA cannot insure loans on vacant land, empty lots not prepped for construction are not eligible. 

  • VA Refinancing Loans

The VA insures two refinancing loans, and they are Interest Rate Reduction Loans (IRRRL) and Cash-Out Refinancing Loans. IRRRL offers loans of up to 100% of the current loan amount for eligible applicants. As the name suggests, cash-out loans offer cash options on home equity from a conventional and a VA home loan. Money from these cash-out loans can pay off debts, financial emergencies, and home improvements.

Borrowers who used a conventional loan to finance a property's construction have often ended up refinancing that property through a VA refinancing loan to enjoy VA loan benefits.

3.            VA Adaptive Housing Grants  

Veterans who sustained a life-altering injury due to their military service can use a VA grant to fund their property's adaptation to meet their disability needs. There are two types of grants insured by the VA and improve the applicant's quality of life.

The two types of property adaptation grants are the Specially Adaptive Housing (SAH) Grant and the Special Home Adaption (SHA) Grant. In the fiscal year 2021, SAH grants offer up to $100,896, and SHA grants have a limit of up to $20,215. In addition to the amount, both grants offer, SAH grants are for applicants who own or will own the property, while SHA grants are for applicants who might not own property.    

4.            Reusable Benefits

One of the best benefits from VA home loans is that their benefits are reusable with no current limit to how many times borrowers can use these loans. Eligible Veterans and Active Duty Service Members qualify for a set amount of entitlement. These entitlements are a specific amount that the VA insures if the borrower ends up defaulting on the loan. Additionally, there are no limits as to how many times entitlements are usable, and the only requirement is for borrowers to finish paying off previous loans. 

5.            Benefits Last a Lifetime  

Finally, VA home loan benefits earned last a lifetime for Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, and eligible spouses. However, these benefits were not lifelong in 1944 when VA home loans became part of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act. The permanence of these benefits came from the signing of the Veteran's Housing Benefits Improvement Act of 1970, signed into law by President Richard Nixon.   

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a government-sponsored brokerage specializing in VA home loans. Phil has more than 22 years of experience working in real estate professionally. For more information about VA loans or to submit a VA loan application, give us a call at (877) 432-5626.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Military and veterans get special day at Kohl's...every Monday

Kohl’s Launches Military Mondays – A New 15% Off Discount Every Week

KOHL's Corporate
The in-store discount rewards and celebrates active and former military personnel, veterans and their families every Monday, all year long.

Kohl’s is introducing Military Mondays – a 15 percent in-store discount – to thank active and former military personnel, veterans and their families for their selflessness and service to our nation. The Kohl’s discount is valid in-store every Monday – all year long – when customers show a valid Military ID, Military Dependent ID or Veteran ID at the point of purchase.

Kohl’s military discount has been strongly advocated for by store leaders and Kohl’s Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG) as an opportunity to reward our active and former military personnel, veterans and their families for their sacrifice.

“Through Military Mondays, we are proud to strengthen our support of our military families who have made sacrifices to ensure the safety of our communities,” said Doug Arnoldi, Kohl’s vice president, district manager, and a champion for the military discount. “We saw a need to better serve our brave military families, and this discount is our way to give back, and lighten the load, for families who have given so much.”

In addition to Military Mondays, Kohl’s support of military and their families is expressed in numerous ways throughout the company. Through Kohl’s volunteer program, Kohl’s associates volunteered at more than 250 events in 2018 specifically benefitting 230 organizations that support military causes. Kohl’s associates nationwide are also encouraged to join Kohl’s Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG), which recognizes and celebrates diverse perspectives and fosters an inclusive environment.

To learn more about the incredible savings families enjoy when they shop at Kohl’s, click here.

Kohl's offers active military, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, IN STORE ONLY. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type. Proper identification includes: military identification card; a state-issued identification indicating veteran status; or Form DD 214. FOR MILITARY DISCOUNT, please bring identification to verify your military status for this offer. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Orlando Nam Knights 25th Anniversary Bikeweek Party

Today out at the Orlando Nam Knights Eternal Chapter, the bike week party was extra special. It is the 25th year! This is a welcome message from the Orlando Nam Knights to the newer generations of veterans and police officers, that they are welcome and wanted here!

President of the Nam Knights brought a tribute to the Orlando Nam Knights for the 25th year of dedication to Florida. As mentioned, all the Florida chapters started out with this one, the first in Florida. Congratulations for work well done and lives well lived.

357 is one of the Orlando Nam Knights favorite bands and when you listen to this one, you'll understand why. Really great they came out to help celebrate the 25th year!

Monday, January 29, 2018

God grant me peace with memories of yesterday

A Prayer For Heroes
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 29, 2018

God grant me peace with memories of yesterday.

Courage to face what comes knowing I can make a difference this day.

Hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Yesterday is gone. I cannot change what has been.

Help me do the best I can today and tomorrow, begin again.

You created me to be able to help others.

Help me to accept help from others.

You created within me courage to do what had to be done.

Help me to ask for help when the one in need is this one.

You surrounded me with people who would die for me.

Help me trust them with my heart so they may see the wound within me.

Let me accept help so that I may continue to 
do for others as you created me to do.
Kathie Costos 

When I think about regular people, like me, losing hope to the point where they commit suicide, it is heartbreaking. 

Hope is what keeps all of us from giving up this life we have. Often it is not enough to love others, if we feel as if we do not deserve to be loved.

There was a time in my life when I felt that way. While I did not attempt suicide, I prayed that God would to it for me. I lost hope, a sense of self worth, but above those, I lost faith that God even cared about me.

When the people committing suicide were those who dedicated their lives to saving others, it is beyond heartbreaking.

If you are among those in the military, veterans, police, firefighters and first responders, please read the prayer I wrote for you because after all these years of working with some of you, that is what I see within all of you!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Florida Military and Veterans Assistance Program to Protect Protectors

Florida's military, veterans getting more protection against scammers

Attorney General launches 'Military and Veterans Assistance Program'

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
“Florida has more than 90,000 active duty and reserve military members and more than 1.5 million veterans,” said Bondi.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Service members, military veterans and their families are often targeted by scammers, and now Florida's Attorney General is doing something new to help protect all of them.
Today, Attorney General Pam Bondi launched the Military and Veterans Assistance Program or MVAP. It's a new consumer protection program that will directly assist the military and veteran communities with consumer protection-related issues.
“Florida has more than 90,000 active duty and reserve military members and more than 1.5 million veterans,” said Bondi. “To the men and women who have put on a uniform to protect our country, we will continue to do everything we can to protect you from these scammers. As Memorial Day approaches at the end of this month, I am honored to have the opportunity to assist the heroes who lay their lives on the line to keep us safe.”
Members of Bondi’s MVAP team will provide resources and information to base JAG officers, county veteran service officers and other organizations across the state to help service members and veterans learn how to protect themselves from scams and file complaints.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Orlando Veterans Make the News In a Good Way

News 6 gives voice to veterans The Veteran's Voice debuts on 
Click Orlando
February 14, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. - WKMG-TV News 6 this week launched "The Veteran’s Voice," a section of dedicated to those in Central Florida who have served our country. "The Veteran’s Voice" is designed to be a platform that gives veterans an opportunity to be candid about the daily challenges they face.  
Over the next year, News 6 will interview local veterans in an effort to understand more clearly how our community can help make Central Florida a model when it comes to veterans’ needs. To see their stories, go to

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Navy Veteran Survived Truck Fire in Florida

Navy veteran escapes truck fire with minor injuries
Posted: Jan 31, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Navy veteran is lucky to be alive after he crashed his pickup truck and it burst into flames.
The 18-year veteran from Jacksonville walked away from the fire with only a few scratches.

Michael Smith was driving down an exit ramp when his brakes wouldn't work properly Friday. "I put my foot on the brake and nothing. Foot pedal to the floor, nothing," he said. "I mean, just fear, I just got scared. I don't know. Didn't know what to do."
read more here
WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Monday, November 9, 2015

Florida 5th Best State for Veterans

2015’s Best and Worst States for Military Retirees
Wallet Hub
by John S Kiernan

Retirement is typically viewed as the end of the line – a time for rest, relaxation and the pursuit of interests long ago put on the back burner. But the narrative is far different for military retirees.

For starters, the average officer is only 47.1 years old – and enlisted personnel even younger at 43.2 – upon retirement from service. Most re-enter the job market. Military retirees, veterans in particular, must also deal with the trials of assimilation, which have proven especially difficult in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rising numbers of young vets have encountered hardship and homelessness.

Military retirement is a far more complicated issue than one might initially assume, given the extent to which state tax policies differ when it comes to military benefits, the relative friendliness of different job markets to veterans, and a variety of other important socioeconomic factors.

With that in mind, WalletHub sought to help ease the burden on our nation’s military community by identifying the Best and Worst States for Military Retirees. As a result, WalletHub took 20 key metrics into account in devising its rankings. You can check out the results, our methodology and expert commentary below.

find your state here

Friday, May 10, 2013

Congressman Webster thinking outside the box

Today I attended a Florida Association of Veteran Business Owners luncheon and Congressman Webster was the speaker. He is one of the reasons why I am not a Republican or Democrat.

I am an Independent because I do not agree with any of them all the time. That is a wonderful thing because after hearing him speak, they don't agree with each other either.

Congressman Webster talked about giving money back to the treasury and having a hard time doing it but even Warren Buffett was stunned he did. Buffett said that if any member of congress returned money he would double it. Buffett had to write a check.

He also talked about "cookie-cutter" answers to everything. So far I agree with him. What really got my attention was when he was talking about not checking off the "box" the rest of the members of congress do all the time. He thought about what he was doing and it saved the tax payers money. You can hear him tell this story in the video below.

One thing to keep in mind if you think that none of them are "all good" or "all bad" that is how most people feel and they are not interested in political games no matter how much the media wants us to be constantly bickering. Most of us just want what doesn't work fixed and what works improved on.

Congress members have a habit of saying they want to end something, like Obamacare, but we want them to fix it. They talk about the problems we all deal with but again, back to what Webster was talking about, cookie-cutter "solutions" make more of a mess and we get the crumbs. That is not what he said but that is what it boiled down to. There is no one size solution to anything but doing nothing is often just as bad.

I also know that Congressman Webster cares about veterans and that is something readers of this blog all agree with him on. We have got to do a better job making sure they have the best this nation has to offer them since they all paid it ahead.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Violent Veterans, the Big Picture or not?

I usually like reading the Huffington Post, but not this time. This article is missing a lot. While it's easy to blame the "military culture" as usual, this time, there is a lot more to it than that.

Sexual assaults against women is a huge problem, partly because there are more women in the military than before but also there is the issue of the military lowing the standards to maintain troop levels. Not an easy task with two active military campaigns, one being Afghanistan since 2001 followed up by Iraq in 2003. They allowed gang members into the military. They allowed people with criminal backgrounds in, gave options of jail or combat, allowed in all kinds of people they never would have allowed in before. The draft caught a lot up as well during Vietnam but even back then, there were standards. The draft allowed for a much larger pool of men to pull into the military, so there could be a little bit more picky.

That's one problem. The other is PTSD. We talk a lot about self-medicating with drugs and alcohol but we avoid talking about what a flashback does or the paranoia that also comes with PTSD. During a flashback, they are not "in their right senses" because while they may be physically at a location, their doing a time travel back to someplace else. Every part of them is back there, where it happened, with their lives on the line, the smell filling their nostrils, the taste in their mouth, their hearts pumping on overload, their muscles just as tense and they are watching for the enemy. No matter who comes up on them at the wrong moment, they are in that moment the enemy. This can also happen in the middle of the night with a violent nightmare and a wife makes the mistake of trying to wake up her screaming husband within arms reach. This usually leads to a bloody nose or black eye, occasionally something worse. Avoidable violence if they know what is happening during a nightmare or flashback and know how to handle it with the least repercussions.

Sexual assaults, part of this is because the brass has yet to come to terms with it, even after all these years and treat it like a crime. That's exactly what it is but much like the Catholic church simply transferred the offenders, the military still repeats the same mistakes and sends the wrong message that rape is not that big of a deal to end a military career. When these cases do end up going to trail, women across the nation let out a great big cheer that someone is finally doing something to take all of this seriously.

One more thing with this is the attitude that women do not belong in the military, should not be in combat environments and are more of a problem than a help or a sister. This attitude is fed by the fact they take women with little combat training, because they are not supposed to be in combat, then put them into combat areas, expect them to know what they're doing, and end up forcing the men in their company to play knight in shining armor.

It's not that the women could not hold their own given the right training, it's that the military does not train them to go into combat roles, but puts them in it just the same.

How do I know this? Because two of my videos focused on women at war. Women At War and The Voice, Women At War, were responded to by a lot of negative comments from soldiers and veterans about the women being more of a problem than a help. During a conference of female veterans in St. Louis, I spoke to several female veterans and was informed the complaints were legitimate enough. The military says that women do not go into combat zones but we've all seen the pictures. Considering that Iraq, aside from the Green Zone, was all combat zones, it's pretty hard to keep females out of combat areas when they had to go on re-supplying missions and work in one area from another. This kind of issue causes a lot of bad attitudes. Compiled on top of this is the fact the women are so afraid of being attacked by the men in their own units, even in the heat of Iraqi summers, they will reduce their fluid intake during the day to avoid having to use the facilities at night. They are that terrified. This ends up causing them health problems because they dehydrate their bodies.

All in all, if you want to know what stress on steroids is, talk to some of them and you'll discover there are a lot of reasons lives fall apart after combat. If you want to know what it was like when Vietnam veterans came home with no help for PTSD, until they fought for it, go to any prison in the country or jail and you'll find at least a few of them. They were sent to jails because they were self-medicating, because of domestic violence charges caused by flashbacks and nightmares along with a multitude of other problems no one seemed to care about back then. Veterans courts are finally starting to spread across the nation but back then it was just veterans in court.

So, yes, problems are real in the military and in military families, but to paint the problems as is found in this article is not really fair at all. You can look at something without really knowing what you're seeing and just assume you're right. As for the studies listed in the article, I can't remember them or how many people were asked to participate in the studies but it could be a very small group, if my guess is right. I do however urge you to read it because it's good to understand the magnitude of the problems we all should be dealing with instead of just ignoring them.

(One more thought is when you read about killing and hurting themselves more than any other time in history, understand that after Vietnam and the wars before, no one really took a serious look at what when with what.)

Helen Benedict: Violent Veterans, the Big Picture

Iraq War veterans seem to be killing and hurting themselves and others more than the veterans of any other war in American history.

Only two weeks ago, the New York Times reported nine murders and a rising number of rapes and other violent crimes against women committed by Iraq war veterans at Fort Carson, Colorado. One veteran beat his girlfriend to death. Another raped and murdered a mentally challenged teenage girl.

Some say this rise in veteran violence only reflects the better reporting of crimes and is not a rise at all, but the statistics are too startling for that to be true. Suicide rates are the highest they have ever been in the Army. The number of attempted suicides and self-inflicted injuries among soldiers has jumped six-fold since the Iraq war began and is continuing to rise. The rates of sexual violence against women inside the military are the highest ever seen. Domestic violence among veterans has reached historic frequency. And post-traumatic stress disorder rates appear to be higher among Iraq War veterans than among those who have served in Afghanistan or even, many believe, in Vietnam. One of the symptoms of P.T.S.D. is uncontrollable violence.

Psychologists usually blame the violence committed by Iraq War veterans on the stress of multiple deployments, the loss of close friends and comrades to bombs and bullets, and the military tendency to punish rather than treat G.I.s who break down at war.

These factors certainly all contribute, but the reasons for veteran violence and suicide lie much deeper than these. They begin in the family backgrounds of the troops, and are exacerbated by the nature of military training, the misogyny in military culture, the type of war we are waging in Iraq, and the remorse, fury and self-loathing that comes from fighting a war one doesn't believe in. None of these factors tend to be much discussed in the press, but they add up to a recipe for veteran violence:

Take the fact that half of all Army soldiers and Marine recruits report having been physically abused as children, while half of the women and about one-sixth of the men report say they were sexually abused, according to two significant veteran studies published in 1996 and 2005 respectively. A lot of people are joining the military to escape violent homes; some bring that violence with them. Most people inside the military know this. Most outsiders don't. click link for more

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wounded Warrior Returns part of Great Americans

This is just one of the videos on site. I received an email about this site. Once I saw what the site was dedicated to, I was hooked. I know my readers feel the same way I do about the troops, veterans and the men and women serving this nation on our police departments and as firefighters. It takes a unique person to be willing to do what they do. Great Americans is celebrating them in videos and interviews. I'm very glad they did.

All too often the only reports we read are when things go wrong. When claims are not approved and veterans suffer. I post them but they break my heart. I'm rejoiced when I read about them overcoming astronomical odds yet still willing to serve, still willing to give back. This they do everyday. I've been part of different groups over the years and have never met finer individuals. They deserve all the positive coverage they can get. To tell the truth, I need to read more positive stories so that I can do what I do when they do fall through the cracks and need us standing up for them. Watch the video and then go to the site to see more.

My videos will be up there very soon and pulled from YouTube and Google. They cannot be bothered to understand what these videos are or what they mean.

Wounded Warrior Returns
This video interviews Garrett Jones, a Marine, who is an avid snowboarder, in spite of the fact that he lost a leg due to an improvised explosive device. Produced by Sgt. Jeremy Ross.



Law Enforcement

Fire / Rescue


Homeland Security



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Neighbors pull father and son veterans from burning home

Neighbors pull vets from burning home
Neighbors pull vets from burning home
09:15 AM CST on Thursday, November 13, 2008
DALLAS — Two military veterans — an elderly father and his son — are recovering after fire consumed their mobile home early Thursday in Southeast Dallas.

Neighbors were alerted to the fire in the 14700 block of Lasater Road shortly after 1 a.m., and they moved quickly to pull James and Danny Malone from the flames.
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Saturday, December 1, 2007

In DNC Speech, Obama Pledges to End Partisanship

I'm breaking my own rules here by posting the whole thing. There was just no good way of cutting it. Plus I want to make sure I have a copy of the entire speech Senator Obama gave. He reminded me of what was good about America and what can be again. If I didn't believe in this country, there would be no point in fighting as hard as I do to get this right. We have not sunk so far that we cannot return to what our real values used to be.

November 30
In DNC Speech, Obama Pledges to End Partisanship

from the Obama for President Campaign, Nov 30 ,2007

Washington, DC— In remarks at the Democratic National Committee’s annual fall meeting, Barack Obama today pledged to bring an end to the bitter partisanship that has divided the country and unite Americans behind a sense of common purpose. Rather than re-fight the partisan battles of the 1990s, Obama said he would build a new majority focused not just on winning, but on governing, and deliver change that is more than just a slogan – change we can believe in.

As Prepared for Delivery:

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama
Democratic National Committee Fall Meeting
Friday, November 30th, 2007
Washington, DC

Less than a year from now, you will go into the voting booth and you will select the President of the United States of America.

Now, here's the good news - the name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot. The name of my cousin Dick Cheney will not be on the ballot. We've been trying to hide that for a long time. Everybody has a black sheep in the family. The era of Scooter Libby justice, and Brownie incompetence, and Karl Rove politics will finally be over.

But the question you're going to have to ask yourself when you vote this year and next is this:

"What's next for America?"

We are in a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril. The dream that so many generations fought for feels as if it's slowly slipping away. We are working harder for less. We've never paid more for health care or for college. It's harder to save and it's harder to retire. And most of all we've lost faith that our leaders can or will do anything about it.

We were promised compassionate conservatism and all we got was Katrina and wiretaps.

We were promised a uniter, and we got a President who could not even lead the half of the country that voted for him.

We were promised a more ethical and more efficient Washington, and instead we have a town that is more corrupt and more wasteful than it was before. And the only mission that was ever accomplished is to use fear and falsehood to take this country to a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged.

It is because of these failures that America is listening, intently, to what we say here today - not just Democrats, but Republicans and Independents who've lost trust in their government, but want to believe again.

And it is because of these failures that we not only have a moment of great challenge, but also a moment of great opportunity. We have a chance to bring the country together in a new majority - to finally tackle problems that George Bush made far worse, but that had festered long before George Bush ever took office - problems that we've talked about year after year after year.

And that is why the same old Washington textbook campaigns just won't do in this election. An electoral strategy that starts out leaving half the country behind just won't do. Telling the American people what we think they want to hear instead of telling the American people what they need to hear just won't do. Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we're worried about what Mitt or Rudy might say about us just won't do. If we are really serious about wining this election Democrats, we can't live in fear of losing it.

This party - the party of Jefferson and Jackson; of Roosevelt and Kennedy - has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we led, not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we summoned the entire nation to a common purpose - a higher purpose. And I run for the Presidency of the United States of America because that's the party America needs us to be right now. A party that doesn't just offer change as a slogan, but real, meaningful change - change that America can believe in.

That's why I'm in this race. I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists - and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not get a job in my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am President.

I'm in this race to take those tax breaks away from companies that are moving jobs overseas and put them in the pockets of hard working Americans who deserve it. And I won't raise the minimum wage every ten years -I will raise it to keep pace so that workers don't' fall behind.

That is why I am in it. I'm in this race because I want to stop talking about the outrage of 47 million Americans without health care and start actually doing something about it. I expanded health care in Illinois by bringing Democrats and Republicans together. By taking on the insurance industry. And I have put forth a universal health care plan that will do more to cut the cost of health care than any other proposal in this race. Here’s the truth – if you can’t afford health insurance right now, you will when I’m President. Anyone who tells you otherwise is more interested in scoring points than solving problems. And I’m in it because we’ve had enough of that.

I run for president to make sure that every American child has the best education that we have to offer- from the day they are born to the day they graduate from college. And I won't just talk about how great teachers are - as President I will reward them for their greatness - by raising salaries and giving them more support. That's why I'm in this race.

I am running for President because I am sick and tired of Democrats thinking that the only way to look tough on national security is by talking, and acting, and voting like George Bush Republicans.

When I am this party's nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don't like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture - because it is never ok. That's why I am in it.

As President, I will end the war in Iraq. We will have our troops home in sixteen months. I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century - nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now."

America, our moment is now.

Our moment is now.

I don't want to spend 2008 re-fighting the same fights that we had in the 1990s. That’s exactly what Mitt and Rudy want. That’s they’re only hope of winning because they know that if this election is about health care, or ending this war, or making college affordable, then they will lose. They are counting on the same bitter partisanship and the same electoral map we’ve had for far too long.

I believe I can transform that map. In my Senate race I won some of the reddest, most Republican counties in Illinois. In 2006, when House and Senate candidates in states like Missouri, and Nebraska, and Tennessee, and Virginia, and Indiana needed someone to come campaign for them, I was the one they called. And I’m attracting more Independents and Republicans to our cause than anyone else in this campaign.

It’s because I believe we can build that new majority – not just to win, but to govern – to actually get something done. I don't want to pit Red America against Blue America, I want to be President of the United States of America. And that won't just be a Democratic victory; that will be an American victory.

And that is a victory America needs right now.

I am not in this race to fulfill some long-held ambitions or because I believe it's somehow owed to me. I never expected to be here, I always knew this journey was improbable. I've never been on a journey that wasn't.

I am running in this race because of what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now." Because I believe that there's such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.

I don't want to wake up four years from now and find out that millions of Americans still lack health care because we couldn't take on the insurance industry.

I don't want to see that the oceans have risen a few more inches. The planet has reached a point of no return because we couldn't find a way to stop buying oil from dictators.

I don't want to see more American lives put at risk because no one had the judgment or the courage to stand up against a misguided war before we sent our troops into fight.

I don't want to see homeless veterans on the streets. I don't want to send another generation of American children to failing schools. I don't want that future for my daughters. I don't want that future for your sons. I do not want that future for America.

I'm in this race for the same reason that I fought for jobs for the jobless and hope for the hopeless on the streets of Chicago; for the same reason I fought for justice and equality as a civil rights lawyer; for the same reason that I fought for Illinois families for over a decade.

Because I will never forget that the only reason that I'm standing here today is because somebody, somewhere stood up for me when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn't popular. And because that somebody stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand stood up. And then a few million stood up. And standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world.

That's why I'm running, Democrats – to give our children and grandchildren the same chances somebody gave me.

That's why I'm running - to keep the American Dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity, who still thirst for equality.

That's why I'm asking you to stand with me, that's why I'm asking you to vote for me, that's why I am asking you to stop settling for what the cynics say we have to accept. In this election - in this moment - let us reach for what we know is possible. A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again. Thank you very much everybody.!B0DB128F5CD96151!2833.entry