Showing posts with label women at war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label women at war. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Defense Department Releases Women in Service Review Implementation Plans

Defense Department Releases Women in Service Review Implementation Plans

Today, the Defense Department released the U.S. military services’ and U.S. Special Operations Command’s plans for implementing women into previously closed positions.

These plans, which were reviewed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, outline how the services and U.S. Special Operations Command will manage the incremental opening of these previously closed positions.

The successful integration of women into currently closed positions requires the department to be thoughtful and deliberate in determining the next steps. The department will proceed in a measured and responsible way to open positions to women. In all cases, notification to Congress is required prior to opening these positions. Full implementation by the services should occur by Jan. 1, 2016.

The secretary’s memo

The U.S. Army’s plan

The U.S. Navy’s plan

The U.S. Air Force’s plan

The U.S. Marine Corps’ plan

The U.S. Special Operations Command’s plan

The decision to rescind the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule for women was originally announced Jan. 24, 2013, by former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Dempsey.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Servicewoman Feels Betrayed by Military After Sexual Assault

Former Air Force Servicewoman Feels Betrayed by Military After Sexual Assault
May 23, 2013

Former Airman 1st Class Jessica Hinves' career in the Air Force was cut short after suffering from PTSD stemming from an assault by a fellow airman. This is her story. See the full report of sexual assault in the military on Thursday's PBS NewsHour.

Jessica Hinves grew up in a military family. Her first stepfather was a Marine. Her current stepfather is in the Army. Her uncle did three tours in Vietnam. When she was growing up, her grandfather, an Air Force mechanic, took her to see Delta planes on the tarmac. Even her babysitter was a former Air Force commander.

"Since my childhood they taught me every citizen should serve if you could, it's your duty. So I grew up hearing that." Hinves said.

When she turned 25, she left her job at a vineyard in east Texas and acted on her sense of duty to serve. She joined the Air Force. She had every intention of having a lifelong military career.

"It was very clear this is your job. This is what you do. You do it well, you train in it. You go up in rank, and you retire in 20 years," said Hinves. "To me it was so easy. It was so doable. I loved it."
read more here

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Woman's body found may be missing Army Sgt.

Autopsy confirms body found is that of missing California veteran
The roommate of Maribel Ramos, who was reported missing by her family members May 3, has been arrested for her murder, police say.

Autopsy could determine if body found in canyon is missing veteran
LA Times
By Matt Stevens
May 17, 2013

The Orange County coroner is expected to perform an autopsy Friday that could determine if a woman's body found in a remote canyon area is that of missing Army veteran Maribel Manriquez Ramos.

The body was found near the intersection of Santiago Canyon and Jackson Ranch roads about 5:15 p.m. Thursday in Orange. An officer was still at the scene Friday morning, an Orange Police Department official said.

For more than a week, Orange police have been searching for Ramos, a former Army sergeant who served in South Korea and Iraq and was just weeks away from graduating from college with a degree in criminal justice.
read more here
Army veteran in O.C. vanishes just as she is to be honored

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Don't forget Moms deployed on Mother's Day

U.S. troops serving overseas salute mom on Mother’s Day
By Kristina Wong
The Washington Times
Saturday, May 11, 2013

Troops serving in Afghanistan go for months without the comforts of home and seeing loved ones regularly — something that can be felt more deeply on Mother's Day.

This will be Army Staff Sgt. Alisa Ballard’s first Mother's Day away from her 11-month-old son, Christian.

“My mom tells me that everything that I’ll miss, I could miss when I’m home. He could walk at daycare, and I could be at work. So that gave me a little bit of comfort,” said the 31-year-old Woodbridge, Virginia, native.

Air Force Tech Sgt. Sonja Parks said she’s missed multiple Mother’s Days, in her more than 12 years as an Air Force medic, but it doesn’t make being away from her daughters any easier.
read more here

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marine detained over road rage caught on camera

The victims of the attack were interviewed on this 10 News YouTube Video Camp Pendleton road rage victim tells his side of the story UPDATE to this story
Marine investigated in videotaped road rage at Camp Pendleton
By Michael Martinez
April 5, 2013

A Marine is cited with communicating a threat in a videotaped road rage incident
His unit is gathering information for potential legal or administrative proceedings
Marine in a wheelchair and her brother were in other car
Video shows young man using hands and feet to wail on vehicle

(CNN) -- A Marine is being investigated for potential legal or administrative proceedings after a video this week showed him in a profanity-loaded road rage against another motorist at Camp Pendleton, California, a Marines spokesman said Friday.

The Marine, whose name, rank or unit weren't being released, was cited for communicating a threat in the incident, but he wasn't charged as of Friday, said Sgt. Christopher Duncan, a Camp Pendleton spokesman.

The video, which went viral on the Internet, shows a young man yelling outside a truck, and he uses his hands and feet to wail on the truck whose driver sits calmly behind the wheel with the window rolled up. A woman passenger films the video.
The driver sat there calm as can be while the Marine went wild. The driver is caretaker of a wounded Marine, in the passenger seat. She is the one filming the whole thing.
Marine detained over road rage caught on camera
9 News
ninemsn staff
April 4, 2013

"The passenger is a wounded female Marine and the driver is her caregiver brother."

A decorated US Marine has been detained and may face charges after terrorising a paraplegic woman and her caregiver as they sat in their car.

Footage shows the unidentified young Marine sergeant, who reportedly is a Purple Heart recipient, unleash a three-minute-long tirade of abuse against the pair, who barely move a muscle in response.

At one point the inflamed marine bashes on their car window and lets out a high-pitched scream as he challenges the driver to open his door.

The incident happened at Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base in southern California, on Monday afternoon and apparently stemmed from a driving dispute.
read more here

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Women veterans honored at Chicago VA, ABC dishonored with lousy story

Opened my email this morning with a link to a story I thought would be great. "Women vets honored at VA Hospital" sounded like a great thing to do until I saw the story was 95 words long including the title, date and the copyright saying WLS reserved all rights,,,,,they can keep all of 95 words they decided this story and women veterans being honored equaled. I think the whole thing could almost fit on a Tweet.

Sister War Fighters Double Up in Afghanistan

After two year separation, soldier twins reunite in Afghanistan
Apr 1, 2013
Written by
Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton
Task Force 3/101 Public Affairs

Army Spc. Janice Pagan (left) of Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team 'Rakkasans,' 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and her twin sister Army Spc. Janet Pagan (right) of 72nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion shop for perfume together at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, during a 3-day pass that reunited them after two years apart. / US ARMY/SPC. BRIAN SMITH-DUTTON
PAKTIYA PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN — Military service has long been, and still is, a family affair, and the Pagan twins are yet another example.

However, service in different units and places, especially in a war zone, can often keep family members apart for extended periods.

Thus, when U.S. Army Spc. Janice Pagan was granted a 3-day pass to reunite with her twin sister at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, it was a cause for celebration.

“I am very excited to see my sister,” said Janice, an automated logistical specialist assigned to Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

“After telling my family what is going to happen they are very happy as well.”

The twins have not been able to come together in more than two years due to being in different units within the Army.
read more here

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thieves stole everything from deployed Marine including underwear

Marine at war robbed of everything
Thieves struck while away in Afghanistan; vets offer help
Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
Dec. 28, 2012

Hammond, 34, originally from Peotone, Ill., is serving her second combat tour. Her husband is assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion, recovering from injuries he suffered in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005.
(From left) Maj. Shane Goodwin, Regional Command Southwest Comptroller; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Grant Murphy, RC (SW) Financial Management Resource Officer; and Gunnery Sgt. Jamie Hammond, RS (SW) Comptroller chief, sing during a memorial for Master Sgt. Scott Pruitt who was killed in action April 28, in Zaranj, Afghanistan.

It had been a tough year to begin with. Then Gunnery Sgt. Jamie Hammond discovered that just about everything she owned except the desert camouflage on her back was stolen while she was in Afghanistan.

All her other Marine Corps uniforms, including the ones she got at boot camp 13 years ago. Her baby spoon. Fossils collected with her grandfather. The safe filled with tax returns and other important documents. Bedding, snowboard, shoes.

Everything, gone.

Hammond, a comptroller chief with Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan, had returned for a conference. The day before her flight back to the war zone, she stopped by Cube Smart in Vista on Nov. 30 to drop off some gear.

“When I lifted the door to my storage unit, I was in utter shock, disbelief, panic and rage. All of the items I had acquired during my childhood and adult life were stolen from me,” Hammond recalled in an email. “It is still hard to comprehend the loss.”

When her yearlong tour ends, it will really sink in, “since there is nothing to unpack.”

The thieves pilfered about $25,000 worth of her possessions; insurance will reimburse her for $2,000, Hammond said. They also charged on her cards, passed her checks to an identity theft ring and tried to obtain a fraudulent mortgage.

“They stole her damn underwear!” fumed Neil Kenny, 63, of Staten Island, N.Y., and a Marine veteran of the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh, Vietnam.
read more here

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pennsylvania’s Oldest Living Marine From WWII Celebrates Her 97th Birthday

Pennsylvania’s Oldest Living Marine From WWII Celebrates Her 97th Birthday
December 3, 2012
By Kim Glovas
Grace Ricci Bergman is Pennsylvania’s oldest living Marine from World War II. (Credit: Kim Glovas)
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pennsylvania’s oldest living Marine from World War II is celebrating a milestone today. She — yes, she — is marking her 97th birthday.

Grace Ricci Bergman of Blue Bell served in the Marines at a time when women had limited options in the services. Bergman’s fiance and brother were serving in the military at the time, and she decided to join as well, unbeknown to her parents. When Bergman was accepted, she told her parents she had a new job. Bergman eventually told them what that job was, and off she went.
read more here

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Floridian Appointed to VA Committee on Women Veterans

Floridian Appointed to VA Committee on Women Veterans
NOVEMBER 30, 2012

WASHINGTON – Five new members have been appointed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises VA on issues and programs affecting women veterans. Larri Gerson, an Air Force veteran who serves as a claims examiner for the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs and webmaster for the National Association of State Women Veterans Coordinators, was among those selected. She is the former state women-veterans coordinator for the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“VA relies on the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans to provide insight on key issues that impact the women veteran population. The Committee’s recommendations provide guidance that direct VA’s efforts to identify and address the diverse needs of women veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “VA welcomes the newest members.”

Established in 1983, the committee makes recommendations to the Secretary for administrative and legislative changes. In addition to Gerson, the new committee members, who are appointed to two-year terms, are: Gina Chandler, Bryant, Ark.; Mary Morin, Raymond, N.H.; Charlotte S. Smith, Farmington, N.M.; and Mary Westmoreland, Bronxville, N.Y..

“Women serving in the military continue to demonstrate their dedication in defense of our great Nation,” Shinseki added. “VA remains committed to providing women veterans with equitable, quality benefits and services that appropriately meet their needs.”
read more here

Friday, November 23, 2012

Soldier’s last wish: Let DOMA die before I do

Soldier’s last wish: Let DOMA die before I do
Washington Post
Posted by Andrea Stone
November 22, 2012

Charlie Morgan should have been dead by now.

“I was to have expired last month, in October,” said the 47-year-old career soldier who has battled Stage IV breast cancer for four years and was given less than six months to live when she voluntarily stopped chemotherapy in April. “But I’m still here.”

She hopes to live to see the United States Supreme Court do right by her and her family.

You see, as a chief warrant officer in the New Hampshire National Guard, Morgan is eligible for all the benefits a grateful nation can provide its military service members. But as a lesbian married to another woman, her wife will not receive the survivor benefits other military widows get and which she will need to help raise their daughter Casey, 5, after she is gone.
read more here

Saturday, November 3, 2012

One of the first female pilots talks about WWII

Winter Parker one of first female military pilots
By Brittni Johnson
October 31, 2012

Photo by Isaac Babcock Patricia Erickson shows her Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to her for contributing to the Women Airforce Service Pilots program, volunteering her flying skills to help the World War II efforts.

Being at the controls of a plane thousands of feet above the ground felt as safe as home for Patricia Chadwick Erickson.

For the men who were part of her crew, the experience wasn’t the same. She said they white-knuckled it all the way as she “rocked” her B-25 bomber from take-off to the landing. They weren’t ever sure a woman could do it safely — flying a plane was surely a man’s job.

“A lot of the men didn’t trust us,” Erickson said.

But they learned. Eventually they’d admit, surprised, that she was a good pilot after all. It was 1943, and Erickson was part of the second class of women to learn to fly military aircraft and be a part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. All the children in her family — two brothers and a sister — volunteered along with her.

Erickson, now a 92-year-old Winter Park resident, was one of 25,000 women to apply to be a WASP and one of the 1,074 to successfully complete the grueling program out of 1,879 candidates who were accepted. The WASP members were considered civilians then, and their role was to free up Air Force men for combat military roles. They’d ferry soldiers from military base to military base, test out new planes and engines, fly planes to get repairs and make sure previously broken planes were safe to fly again.
read more here

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fallen soldier Brittany Gordon as 'uncommonly brave and uncommonly kind'

Mourners recall soldier Brittany Gordon as 'uncommonly brave and uncommonly kind'
Tampa Bay Times
By Kameel Stanley
Times Staff Writer
October 28, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG — Cedric Gordon spent many days alone in his living room, hoping he would never see a stranger in uniform walking to his door.

As the father of a deployed soldier, it could only mean something bad.

But Gordon, St. Petersburg's assistant police chief, tried to put it out of his mind. He learned to comfort himself.

His baby served in an elite unit. People were praying for her. What were the chances she wouldn't make it home in December from her first overseas assignment?

On Oct. 13, Army Spc. Brittany Bria Gordon, an Army intelligence analyst, was killed when a suicide bomber attacked her unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, becoming the first female soldier from Tampa Bay to die in the recent wars.

The 2006 St. Petersburg High graduate, the only daughter of Cedric Frank Gordon and Brenda Thompson Gordon of St. Petersburg, was 24.

"I kept asking God: Why Brittany? Why my daughter? Why my baby girl?" Gordon told a standing-room only crowd gathered for his daughter's funeral Saturday at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church. "But I know that knowing God is better than knowing why."
read more here

Spc. Brittany B. Gordon "Her Dream was to serve"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Military refused to acknowledge spouse of fallen soldier

When This Woman Was Killed In Combat It Exposed How The Government Really Treats Same-Sex Spouses
Business Insider
Robert Johnson
Oct. 15, 2012

When the first of October rolled in a couple of weeks ago it reminded many of us that summer was really over. Forget Labor Day and September 21, the first day of fall; October is changing leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween.

Unfortunately that routine awareness was lost to three members of the North Carolina National Guard who were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, at about 9 a.m. that morning, as they made their way through an open air market.

The deaths passed largely unnoticed by Americans outside the military, but what caught global attention is Sgt. Donna R. Johnson's wife and the fact that the Army refuses to acknowledge her very much at all.

Gannett-owned Army Times is taking the brunt of the protest, but the Times only followed the AP's lead, when it mentioned the other two male soldiers killed were survived by wives, while failing to mention Johnson's wife Tracy Dice.
back to story here

Westboro hate group held off by huge crowd

Spc. Brittany B. Gordon "Her Dream was to serve"

Daughter of St. Petersburg assistant police chief dies in Afghanistan
Tampa Bay Times
By Keyonna Summers and Kameel Stanley
Times Staff Writers
In Print: Monday, October 15, 2012

"Her dream was to serve," said Brittany Gordon's cousin, the Rev. Evelyn Thompson. "If I would describe her, she had no fear. She wanted to make a difference. Because that's what military people do: make a difference in the lives of others."
[Courtesy of Gordon family]
Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon was the daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and his former wife, Brenda Gordon.

ST. PETERSBURG — Days after her 24th birthday and just months before she was to return home this year, an Army soldier from St. Petersburg has died in Afghanistan.

Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, a 2006 St. Petersburg High School graduate, was the daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and his former wife, Brenda Gordon. On Saturday, the Army informed the family of her death.

"She made a major impact on everyone in her short life," said her aunt, the Rev. Debbie Thompson. "We just thank God for the memories of her we have in our hearts."

Gordon appears to be the first military woman from this area — Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties — to die in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's devastating," said St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon, who spoke briefly Sunday to Cedric Gordon. "I don't think there can be anything more painful to go through. ... Our thoughts and prayers are with him."
Spc Brittany Gordon

Suicide attack killed female soldier from St. Pete, says C.W. Bill Young
Tampa Bay Times
By Kameel Stanley
Times Staff Writer
In Print: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Associated Press
Senior Airman Devon Garner-Klingbeil stands near transfer cases containing the remains of Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, left case, and Army Sgt. Robert J. Billings, right case, early Monday at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

A local soldier killed in Afghanistan on Saturday died in a suicide bomb attack, U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday night.

Earlier Monday evening, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a news release saying that Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon died from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The military provided no other details.

Contacted by phone later that night, Young, R-Indian Shores, told the Times that military officials had advised him that the IED came from a suicide bomber.

"It is not one that was planted as a mine. The person was wearing a suicide vest. This is also considered an IED," said Young, who chairs the House defense appropriations subcommittee.

Late Monday night, the New York Times published a story describing a suicide attack that occurred Saturday morning in Afghanistan in which a U.S. soldier was killed. The article does not name the soldier, but the circumstances are what Young described.
read more here

To all the women serving

Monday, October 15, 2012

Westboro hate groups held off by huge crowd at funeral

Westboro Baptist Church Protester Bull-Rushed At Military Funeral Protest
The Huffington Post
By Nick Wing
Posted: 10/15/2012

The Westboro Baptist Church's attempt to picket a military funeral in North Carolina over the weekend drew a lively counter protest that crested when a service member in the crowd bull-rushed a congregant attempting to stomp on the American flag.

The service was meant to honor 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson, who was among 14 people killed earlier this month in a suicide bomber attack in Afghanistan. Johnson was reportedly gay, and is survived by her wife Tracy Dice, also a member of the armed forces. Westboro, which frequently links the death of American soldiers to the nation's growing acceptance of gays, made no mention of Johnson's sexuality in a release announcing their intent to demonstrate.
read more here

Monday, October 1, 2012

Alarming breast cancer rates among troops

Alarming breast cancer rates among troops
Army Times
By Jon R. Anderson
Staff writer
Posted : Monday Oct 1, 2012

If you think breast cancer is just something for your grandmother, mom and aunts to worry about, think again. Not only is breast cancer striking relatively young military women at alarming rates, but male service members, veterans and their dependents are at risk, as well.

With their younger and generally healthier population, those in the military tend to have a lower risk for most cancers than civilians, including significantly lower colorectal, lung and cervical cancer rates in certain groups.

As local installations roll out events in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month — like the fun runs and walks this week at Fort Polk, La., and Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and coming up Oct. 19 at Camp Lejeune, N.C. — we want to try an experiment. We’ve set up the MilTimes Boot Breast Cancer Facebook page in hopes of establishing a forum where military people affected by breast cancer can network, tell stories and get the word out about events — like the PCB Navy Diver Wives team raising money for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on Oct. 27 in Panama City, Fla.

But breast cancer is a different story.

“Military people in general, and in some cases very specifically, are at a significantly greater risk for contracting breast cancer,” says Dr. Richard Clapp, a top cancer expert at Boston University. Clapp, who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on military breast cancer issues, says life in the military can mean exposure to a witch’s brew of risk factors directly linked to greater chances of getting breast cancer.

Indeed, in a 2009 study, doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center found that breast cancer rates among military women are “significantly higher” — that military women are 20 percent to 40 percent more likely to get the disease than other women in the same age groups.

Researchers point to a higher use of oral contraception — also linked to breast cancer — among military women as a possible culprit.
read more here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

UK soldier becomes Mom while deployed in Afghanistan

Baby birth shock for soldier on Afghanistan deployment
The MoD did not know the servicewoman was pregnant
BBC News

A team of doctors has flown to Afghanistan after a British servicewoman gave birth to a boy having not realised she was pregnant.

Originally from Fiji, the unnamed Royal Artillery gunner is said to have only learned she was about to give birth on Tuesday after having stomach pains.

Mother and baby are "stable" in Camp Bastion, Helmand province, said the Ministry of Defence.

The woman went to Afghanistan in March and her baby was five weeks premature.

A specialist paediatric team from Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital has left for Afghanistan, RAF Brize Norton has confirmed.

The MoD said the team would provide "care for mother and baby on the flight home".

It said: "It is not military policy to allow servicewomen to deploy on operations if they are pregnant. In this instance the MoD was unaware of her pregnancy."
read more here

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Texas soldier’s suicide still haunts her mother

I went to read Texas soldier’s suicide still haunts her mother in Bedford but discovered you need to be a subscriber to finish reading the article. (If I subscribed to every newspaper I read, I'd never be off line.) But what I found was the comment section had a post from this Mom and all of us need to read what she wrote.

Margy Agar · Top Commenter

The time line is written well however the FIRST, AND "MAIN ISSUE" of this story remains with me to be who, and why Kimberly was taken off of the 24 /7 watch, because according to her doctors' SWORN STATEMENT, he never released her and never would have removed her from that watch. He did it for her safety, fear of a relapse, and he was distraught after learning she died. Officials in Germany who were investigating Kim's death were asking me if I knew what may have "triggered" her death and I had no idea, at least until I started reading all of this sworn statements. It is mentioned in the article about problems with a colleague and through reading all of the sworn statements I found that on September 30th there was a very heated discussion with the females in the chorus about 1 of the colleagues who was not present. The discussion left Kimberly extremely upset. This 'colleague' had been "bullying" Kim for months. In fact Kim had called me very upset after going to London to have me deactivate her Facebook page because of it. She also told me she filed a complaint about it and nothing was done. So she got out of the hospital and returned to the exact situation she left, THE FIRST TIME. Then according to an Army spokesman (publicist) she was only watched for 48 hours. In my opinion, I know that is not enough time to readjust or get counseling or even get set up on the right medications. When was a Medical Board going to happen. Kim was diagnosed with Borderline personality Disorder...She saw doctors during her teen years for depression from a family divorce and hormonal changes but not a Personality Disorder. I also unfortunately found out after she died that Kim was forcibly raped in her teens...That combined with her one severe IED and another one that was never reported to the Army, had Kim diagnosed with a Personality Disorder but NOT PTSD....WHY NOT? They Co-Cur.

"PTSD is a disabling anxiety disorder triggered by a traumatic experience, ranging from a one-time event such as physical assault to chronic stresses such as those experienced during warfare. Patients are commonly treated with supportive therapies, including anti-psychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and psychotherapy..." COLUMBIA UNIV MED CENTER AUG, 2012

Now to address the Army's response to my accusations of "bullying" were met with words such as:" it is inappropriate to say that".......So I will quote Defense Secretary Mr. Leon Panetta and change bullying to "BELITTLING AND HUMILIATING "AMONG HIS OTHER WORDS:

Panetta said suicide is "one of the most complex and urgent problems" he faces. "Commanders cannot tolerate any actions that belittle, haze, humiliate or ostracize any individual, especially those who require or are responsibly seeking professional services...."

The second worst thing someone could have done to her 24 days after a serious suicidal attempt would be THE have to wait the whole weekend until Monday and face the person who had been allegedly giving Kim problems for months. She would have the whole chorus stop singing, NOT tell Kim, who would keep singing, then be reprimanded (humiliated, laughed at etc.) for singing the wrong note. By her account they called her a "Field Girl" (Combat) who belonged back in combat because she could not read music...

A month before her death, Kim was excitedly talking about coming home and going to college in culinary arts. Now I'll never see her as a bride or have children This story is from my heart and you can make your own decisions based on what's written here. But I have TWO 1000 page reports complete with sworn statements and I feel her death was senseless. The worst thing that could have happened after September sixth was to put her on that isolated floor with no roommate and take away the 24/7 watch ordered by the doctor until their next visit at the very minimum because he feared a relapse. My main goal now is too correct what went wrong with Kim's story, changes need to be made especially since I was not privy to ANY information after her initial attempt on 9.6.11. And lastly, get rid of the stigma of suicide, people do not commit suicide they die from it. And until we as a nation can even SAY the word, I feel nothing will change, especially in the military.

(I am not a professional reporter, just an anguished mother)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Honoring the Sacred Trust with our Veterans

Honoring the Sacred Trust with our Veterans
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
September 7, 2012

For those who don't know who I am, I am part of the 8% of this country. I am part of the military families no one seems to talk about very much anymore. My uncles all served in WWII and my Dad was a Korean War veteran. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran and so was his nephew. His Dad and his uncles all served in WWII. One, his uncle John was KIA in Saipan. Another uncle was a Merchant Marine and his ship was hit by a Kamikaze pilot. He ended up in the ocean and was brought back home with what was then called "shell shock."

Since veterans were always part of my life, it seems only right I do what I do everyday. I can't think of a better way to spend my life.

It really gets funny somedays when I get emails from Republicans accusing me of being a defender of the President and then get one from a Democrat accusing me of attacking him. That tells me that I am doing what I set out to do. Tell the truth without playing the political game too many others do.

I made a promise to a Marine 5 years ago that I would never get political again. So when a politician does something for veterans or the troops or their families, I let you know just as much as I let you know when they do something against us.

Here's my political belief in a nutshell. No politician has ever given veterans back what they paid and no politician ever will. Some come closer than others but when I hear them fight so hard for everything else but military families, when no politician holds up a Bill unless the VA and TRICARE is fully funded to take care of the 8% of the population willing to sacrifice everything they have for the "greater good" then that says a lot.

So I get up everyday, put on the coffee, let the dog out and say a prayer. I hope that this day I do whatever I can to bring the truth and cover as much news as possible. Usually by 7:00 I'm reading emails and start posting. By 10:00 I've usually shed a few tears over some of the emails I get. My day online ends around 7:00 when my husband starts to ask me if I'm going to watch TV with him. At 11:00 I go to bed and say a prayer hoping I did all I could do that day and then wondering if I did or not.

These conventions have me torn. If I go too hard after the RNC for their convention and the lack of time spent on veterans, some Republican friends of mine will be hurt. I know how much they love this country and our veterans because of how much time they spend trying to do right by all veterans. But if I don't go after the politicians for this, then I am not doing what I promised. I won't be telling the truth.

Well it looks like I finally figured out how to do this the right way. On YouTube there are some fantastic videos going up about the time spent on our veterans and families. Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama did a lot of work for military families and their speeches were fantastic. Joe Biden and President Obama also talked a great deal about our troops, families and our veterans. But they had the spotlight on them while a few others did not. I found these videos that will make you feel good considering how little veterans have been in the news.

The good thing about the lack of attention paid to them during the RNC convention is the media noticed and for the last two weeks, veterans have been the topic of the day all over the news sites. That is a good thing!

‪Beau Biden‬: 'Stunning' Republicans didn't mention Afghanistan in Tampa
By Geneva Sands - 09/07/12

‪Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden on Friday blasted Republicans for leaving mention of Afghanistan out of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's speech during the convention in Tampa, Fla., last week, calling the omission "stunning."

"You seated me next to a family who has a son in San Diego in the U.S. Navy and cousin of theirs going off to Afghanistan on Tuesday ... and that they didn't mention any of this in Tampa is truly remarkable to me, and that's why I'm confident the president would have spent a lot of time on this regardless of what they did in Tampa, but that's — I mean it just, it was stunning, it was just stunning," said Biden on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."‬

Biden, who served in Iraq with Delaware's Army National Guard, knocked GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan's (Wis.) budget proposal for reducing funding to the U.S. ‬Department of Veterans Affairs.

‪"I believe his math on this, I don't believe his math on his marathon times, but I believe his math on the budget. It's an $11 billion cut in year one, Joe, to veterans benefits ... he wants to cut the VA by $11 billion, 85 percent of which goes to the 2.3 million people that have served in uniform over the last ten years," he said.
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Ed Meagher

Vietnam Veteran Ed Meagher Remarks at 2012 Democratic National Convention

Tammy Duckworth at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

Veteran Nate Davis at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

Honoring the Sacred Trust with our Veterans - 2012 Democratic National Convention Video Tom Hanks

So I'll keep posting what they get wrong and what they get right until they all get it right. I am sorry to my friends on the Republican side as much as I am sorry to my Democratic friends, but I picked my side a long time ago and that is on the side of veterans, not politicians.

UPDATE September 8, 2012

Veteran Tulsi Gabbard on Obama's military record
September 4, 2012
Iraq War veteran and Hawaii Congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard speaks with CBS News political director John Dickerson about President Obama's role as commander-in-chief and the White House's priorities when it comes to veterans' affairs.

Gabbard talked about being a medic and how the troops not only took care of their own but took care of everyone else in Iraq.