Showing posts with label wounded warrior. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wounded warrior. Show all posts

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wife of TBI wounded Camp Lejeune Marine behind new center

Camp Lejeune New Wounded Warrior Center Opened Friday
Dec 07, 2012

Officials at Camp Lejeune celebrated the opening of a new $29 million center for wounded warriors and their families with a robbon cutting Friday morning.

The 37,000-square-foot center serves wounded, ill and injured Marines, sailors and their families.

The center has areas for medical and mental health case management as well as recovery care centers.
read more here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Haven firefighters giving each week to Wounded Warriors Project?

Last month after reading a lot of complaints about Wounded Warriors Project, I did a post about it. Ignoring this would have been easier but considering how many people think this group is doing a lot more, they deserved to know. Now it seems that a group of firefighters is giving money out of their own pocket but above that, out of love for the troops. Is Wounded Warrior Project a country crock?

In this report it says that Wounded Warrior Project "raises awareness and support for injured service members" but no one is asking why they need millions to do what I do for free everyday. It doesn't cost anything to raise awareness and frankly the only ads I've seen on TV have been for Wounded Warriors Project and not the wounded themselves. According to the complaints, the wounded say backpacks and trips are not what they need. They need money to pay their bills and help to heal. They need to get into treatment and be seen by doctors without having to wait months. They need to have their claims processed so they can feed their families when they can't work and they need jobs when they can work.

If you have a charity that is doing good work for their sake, get a good ad agency so that you get this kind of money coming into you. Just don't lose the heart you have to get up everyday to help them. Also don't get this group confused with Wounded Warrior Battalion or Wounded Warrior Program. They do really great work!

Firefighters give back to wounded warriors
Monday, 23 Apr 2012
Tina Detelj

September 11th was a call to action for firefighters in New Haven. The day after the attacks, a bunch of them jumped on the train to go down to New York City to try to help. Now they're finding another way to help.

This time they are hoping to come to the aid of those who fought for our country: wounded warriors now in need of help themselves.

"These young men went to their recruiting office and they joined the war to stand by the 343 firefighters that died and the citizens that day," said Battalion Chief Paul Sandella, "then we should bring it for them, now that they're home and have injuries that are going to be lifelong."

Sandella is organizing the effort in which 75 percent of the Elm City's 300 firefighters have agreed to payroll deductions averaging $5 a week. The money goes straight to the Wounded Warriors Project , which raises awareness and support for injured service members.
read more here

Monday, January 23, 2012

Veteran amputees best police and firefighters

Veteran amputees best police and firefighters
Jan. 22, 2012
An inaugural softball game in Mission Viejo helped raise funds for wounded veterans
Army veteran and Wounded Warrior left fielder, Nick Clark, just comes up short of cathcing this fly ball in the fifth inning in Mission Viejo Sunday.


MISSION VIEJO – Their motto: "Life without limbs is limitless."

The words were on full display on Sunday as a team of wounded warriors took on police and firefighters in a softball game in Mission Viejo.

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team faced off at Alcia mark against the Orange County Veterans & First Responders, made up of players from the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the Garden Grove Fire Department.

The players on the Wounded Warriors are all veterans of the Army or Marine Corps and all have lost a limb in active duty. The game was a fundraiser for the team, which was formed last March.
read more here

Monday, November 28, 2011

Local Woman Raises $40,000 to Help Wounded Warriors with a Cookbook

Local Woman Raises $40,000 to Help Wounded Warriors with a Cookbook
Gladys Rodriguez gathered recipes from Marine moms, wives, family and friends before she self-published a cookbook.
By Mitchelle Stephenson

Gladys Rodriguez is an American in love with her country. Sure, she loves her husband and her children and her job, but she really loves America in a way that only people who have lived in other places can.

The Crofton resident said it is the home she “chose.”

Rodriguez and her husband immigrated from Cuba (via Chile) in 1970 and took the oath of citizenship on July 4, 1976 at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

Rodriguez works full time in Davidsonville at Homestead Gardens.

But spend a few minutes talking to Rodriguez about her story and she quickly moves the conversation to her enthusiasm for a charity close to her heart.

That charity is the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which helps wounded warriors and their families with financial assistance and other necessities.

Rodriguez has raised more than $40,000 for the Semper Fi Fund through sales of a cookbook that she self-published with recipes from military wives and mothers.
read more here

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wounded warriors make run at NYC Marathon glory

Wounded warriors make run at NYC Marathon glory
By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN
updated 11:07 PM EST, Sat November 5, 2011
Achilles Freedom Team members race in marathons across America
Most members are amputees or victims of traumatic brain injuries
Running a marathon "was always a life goal for me," says Michael Kacer, 29
Kacer, competing in his 10th marathon, will be joined by 24 other wounded vets

New York (CNN) -- Wounded warriors will gear up Sunday and go into a different battleground -- the New York City Marathon.

Twenty-five disabled veterans will push through 26.2-mile route through the five boroughs, running, churning hand cranks, pushing wheelchairs and propelling prosthetic legs to the finish line in Central Park.

One of those 25 was in Walter Reed Army Medical Center three years ago, suffering from a lost limb, a reverse colostomy and two collapsed lungs that made it near impossible to breathe.

"I never thought I'd ever be able to run, let alone run a marathon, which was always a life goal for me," Michael Kacer said.

On Sunday, Kacer will be running in his 10th since 2009. He is a member of the Achilles Freedom Team, a group of wounded veterans, most of whom are motivated amputees and victims of traumatic brain injuries, who race in marathons across America.
read more here

Thursday, November 3, 2011

90,000 soldiers medically unfit for combat

90,000 soldiers medically unfit for combat
By Gregg Zoroya - USA Today
Posted : Thursday Nov 3, 2011 13:51:38 EDT
Nearly 90,000 soldiers are either unfit for combat with health restrictions or are otherwise unavailable for combat, according to data released to USA Today.

Although the Army said it can fill combat brigades heading to Afghanistan with healthy soldiers — some rushed in at the last minute as units head overseas — the growing list of ill, injured or wounded is making the job tougher, military officials said.

“The problem of a growing population of not-medically ready soldiers has begun to erode the readiness of the Army,” the service’s surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, recently said at a military conference in Washington, D.C.

Army data show record numbers of soldiers either on the sick list, with limited-duty issues, or unfit and waiting months to receive their medical retirement. Plans are in place to reduce the Army by nearly 50,000 soldiers in coming years, further diminishing the pool of healthy GIs, said Claude Chafin, a spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee.
read more here

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bicycle trek helps veterans down road to recovery

Bicycle trek helps veterans down road to recovery

By Eloísa Ruano González, Orlando Sentinel
7:11 p.m. EDT, October 29, 2011
Photo: Veterans' bicycle ride
( TIFFINI JONES VANDERWYST, RIDE 2 / October 29, 2011 )
Cyclists make their way to Winter Haven from Orlando during the Ride 2 Recovery Florida Challenge. More than 200 cyclists, mostly injured veterans from across the country, took part in the 350-mile seven-day trip from Jacksonville to Tampa.
More than 200 cyclists, mostly injured military veterans, set out to cross Florida coast to coast in seven days. They took part in the 350-mile Ride 2 Recovery Florida Challenge from Jacksonville to Tampa to raise money for veteran rehabilitation programs across the country.

The group stopped this weekend in Orlando. They had dinner at the American Legion Post 286 on Friday and rode 44 miles to Winter Haven on Saturday. They plan to end their trek today in Tampa.

"Yes, we're injured and gave up part of our life. But we're still living our lives to the fullest," said Army Sgt. Nathan Hunt before setting off Saturday from the Sheraton Safari Hotel near Walt Disney World.
read more here

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wounded warriors ride bikes from Jacksonville to Tampa

Vets ride bikes from Jax To Tampa
Wounded Warriors To Make 350-Mile Journey In 6-Day Span

Posted On Oct 25 2011

Wounded warriors ride bikes from Jacksonville to Tampa as part of the Ride 2 Recovery.

It's kickstands up for a couple hundred veterans wounded at war who are riding bikes from Jacksonville to Tampa as part of their road to recovery.

The men and women share a bond from the battlefield. They are veterans, many of them wounded at war.

"The reason I'm riding a recumbent (bicycle) is I was, early in my career, I hurt my back rappelling out of a helicopter," local veteran Craig Greenhill said.

Some of the soldiers are amputees. Others have traumatic brain injuries and have lost the ability to maintain balance.

Despite those challenges, they'll make the 350-mile ride in six days.
read more here

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Count the causes like a cadence

It seems as if they are everywhere. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans joining the numbers of other veterans across the country. You can always tell when a new veteran is in the room. They are looking around, feeling out of place until another veteran goes to greet them and then, then they know they belong again.

When they are active duty, regular military or citizen soldier, they are with other people they would lay down their life for and in return, they know the others would too. They have a shared sacrifice leaving behind families and friends, jobs all while wondering if today is their day to die. When they come home, that sense of belonging is gone. They assume they can just pick up where they left off with their families and friends but soon they realize they don't think the same way they did a year before. How can they? How can anyone they know understand anything about where they've been?

That is just part of their problem. Unemployment is high because most employers have no clue what these men and women are like. While they would make the best workers after proving they were so committed to their last job they were willing to die doing it, employers put their applications aside. They can't understand the veteran either.

Wounded servicemen and women have a harder time when they are unable to work and unable to have their claims approved so they can afford to live. Imagine that! Managing to live through bombs and bullets, every hardship yet discovering coming home is even harder to do. Suffering from wounds, by body or mind, they have to deal with the pain topped off by bills coming in the mail and wondering when they will be able to pay them. They wonder if they will ever be out of danger.

Here's a story of one of them wounded five times with three Purple Hearts!

Badly wounded Marine finds a new way to serve



WASHINGTON — Kurtis Foster knows the cost of wartime service.

"I was wounded a total of five times," Foster said, "but I only got three Purple Hearts."

Count the causes like a cadence: Grenade. Land mine. Homemade bomb.

First, the Oakhurst, Calif., resident took shrapnel to the neck. Then he got tossed from a truck when he and his fellow Marines drove over the land mine. Then, on Foster's third tour of Iraq, in 2007, an improvised explosive device concussed the bejesus out of him.

Foster recalls vomiting a lot. Other than that, his final combat injury is mostly a blur.

"I remember little things," Foster said, "but it's like little clips."

Two other injuries came and went, unheralded. The Marine Corps added it all up and counted Foster as 60 percent disabled. His knees are bad. Arthritis ages him, all over. He has a hard time getting to sleep, and a hard time waking up. Headaches harangue him. His memory is inconstant, and it's not always his friend.

Foster is 26, and now he's reporting again for duty.

On Friday, the Yosemite High School graduate and medically discharged Marine sergeant formally started work in Fresno, Calif., as a Wounded Warrior Fellow. The two-year congressional fellowship will support Foster's work as a veterans' casework specialist in the Fresno district office of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif.

Established in 2008, the fellowship program provides annual salaries of roughly $40,000 to veterans who are at least 30 percent disabled, allowing them to work in House of Representatives members' district offices across the country. The fellowship also gives them a new start, doing work that hits home.

read more here

Friday, October 14, 2011

Care Giving Falls To Wives And Often Causes Deep Emotional Fallout

After Wounded Soldiers Return Home, Care Giving Falls To Wives And Often Causes Deep Emotional Fallout (VIDEO)
Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Gansner was lucky: The IED that exploded beneath his vehicle in Iraq one hot night in July 2006 didn't kill him. It did, however, shatter his heels and ankles and shred his legs, and the concussion bruised his brain, dimming his cognitive and emotional abilities. Jagged shrapnel also peppered his body, leaving him bleeding heavily. Forty of his fellow 101st Airborne troopers lined up to donate blood, and medics and surgeons patched the holes and saved his leg. Medevac planes sped him homeward for advanced surgery.
read more here

Friday, September 16, 2011

Retroactive TBI Benefits No Longer Just For OEF/OIF Injuries

September 16, 2011

Retroactive Traumatic Injury Benefits No Longer Just For OEF/OIF Injuries
TSGLI Payments Will Be Made for Qualifying Injuries

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is extending retroactive traumatic injury benefits to Servicemembers who suffered qualifying injuries during the period Oct. 7, 2001 to Nov. 30, 2005, regardless of the geographic location where the injuries occurred.

“Now all of our nation’s Servicemembers who suffered severe traumatic injuries while serving their country can receive the same traumatic injury benefits, regardless of where their injury occurred,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We at VA appreciate the efforts of Congress and the President to improve benefits for our troops.”

Effective Oct. 1, the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Traumatic Injury Protection benefit, known as TSGLI, will be payable for all qualifying injuries incurred during this period. This retroactive benefit is payable whether or not the Servicemember had SGLI coverage at the time of the injury.

The Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2010, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in October of 2010, removes the requirement that injuries during this period be incurred in Operations Enduring or Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). This is welcome news for the many Servicemembers who suffered serious traumatic injuries while serving stateside or in other areas outside of OEF/OIF during this time period, but until now have not been eligible for TSGLI.

TSGLI provides a payment ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to Servicemembers sustaining certain severe traumatic injuries resulting in a range of losses, including amputations; limb salvage; paralysis; burns; loss of sight, hearing or speech; facial reconstruction; 15-day continuous hospitalization; coma; and loss of activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury or other traumatic injuries.

National Guard and Reserve members who were injured during the retroactive period and suffered a qualifying loss are also eligible for a TSGLI payment, even if the cause was not related to military service, such as a civilian automobile accident or severe injury which occurred while working around their home.

National Guard and Reserve members make up more than 40 percent of the total force which has been deployed since 9-11. Those who are no longer in the National Guard or Reserves can also apply as long as their injury occurred while they were in service.

“I am extremely pleased that these total force warriors who defend our freedoms are getting the recognition and benefits they have rightfully earned in service to our nation,” added Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.

VA is working with the Department of Defense to publicize this change in the TSGLI law. Additionally, all of the branches of service are identifying any claims previously denied because the injury was not incurred in OEF/OIF and reaching out to those individuals.

Although applications are currently being accepted by branch of service TSGLI offices, benefits will not be paid until Oct. 1, 2011, the effective date of the law.

For more information or to apply for a TSGLI payment, Servicemembers and Veterans should go to Insurance VA Gov or contact their branch of service TSGLI Office (contact information available at above link).

Monday, August 29, 2011

1,800 riders take part in Wounded Warrior Motorcycle Run

More than 1,800 riders take part in Wounded Warrior Motorcycle Run

More than 1,800 motorcyclists showed up Sunday for a Wounded Warrior Motorcycle Run where five local veterans were honored and money was raised for the cause of supporting injured soldiers across the country.

“A lot of bikes here,” said Bill Teckenbrock of Naperville, surveying the motorcycles lined up in the morning in New Lenox Commons. Shortly after noon, the hundreds of motorcycles rumbled off to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

The ride was preceded by a ceremony in which checks of $1,000 were presented to five area veterans, three of whom are in wheelchairs.
read more here

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Conference for families of wounded warriors

Conference for families of wounded warriors
by Staff Report

On September 14 and 15, the USO is hosting its 2nd Annual Wounded Warrior and Caregivers Conference in Fayetteville and Ft. Bragg.

At the event, experts, along with military personnel and couples will highlight several newsworthy topics, including major challenges facing our military, their caregivers and the children of deployed and wounded troops. Many of these challenges like suicide and depression are seen most when troops return home to their families. Troops will be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming months and years, makes the Wounded Warrior and Caregivers Conference even timelier.

Wounded Warrior and Caregiver’s Conference is a two-day event focusing on the issues facing our nation’s wounded warriors and their caregivers (i.e., a spouse, significant other, mom or dad). The event will cover topics such as post-traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, parenting and children’s grief, and suicide prevention. The conference is free and open to caregivers and wounded warriors from Fort Bragg’s Warrior Transition Unit and Camp Lejeune’s Wounded Warrior Regiment.

The Caregiver’s Conference will be held on Sept. 14 at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Fayetteville, and the Wounded Warriors Conference will be held the next day at the Bragg Club on Fort Bragg.

There will be more than 400 Caregivers in attendance, as well as Wounded Warriors, and featured presenters Sloan Gibson, USO President; John Pray, USO Senior Vice President Entertainment and Programs; Dr. Kim Norman, Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California; Melissa Lofaso, Director of Suicide Prevention & Education, TAPS; Trevor Romain, the Trevor Romain Foundation and Game On Entertainment.

read more here

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Northrop Grumman Foundation and USO team up for Wounded Warriors

Northrop Grumman Foundation Helps Break Ground on USO Wounded Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir

ARLINGTON, Va., June 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Northrop Grumman Foundation participated in today's groundbreaking of the United Service Organization's (USO) Wounded Warrior and Family Center, to stand adjacent to the new hospital located on the grounds of Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

In front of a standing room only audience of over 250 military and industry representatives, media and invited guests, shovels wielded by elected officials, military dignitaries, industry supporters and USO leadership were used to break ground on the USO's first stateside Wounded Warrior and Family Center. Today's event also launched the Operation Enduring Care initiative of the USO.

The center at Fort Belvoir will be a high-end, 25,000 square foot facility where wounded troops and their families can find respite and renewal in "home away from home" surroundings. The center will be operated by the USO of Metropolitan Washington.

In April this year, the Northrop Grumman Foundation announced a $5 million pledge to Operation Enduring Care, which is the largest single gift to the USO in the 70-year history of the organization, and the founding donation to this initiative.
read more here
Northrop Grumman Foundation Helps Break Ground on USO Wounded Warrior

Monday, May 16, 2011

When I get hurt

Yesterday the DAV was collecting donations for the Forget Me Not campaign at the Bass Pro Shop in Orlando. Some people tossed in a dollar or two, some tossed in pocket change but a couple of people put in $20.00. You meet a lot of different people when you show up at the businesses that do in fact really support veterans and the troops. You also meet some of the active duty soldiers normally along with the veterans.

 Yesterday a young man came over to the table, picked up a Why Join pamphlet as a sad look came over him. He looked up at me and asked, "Is this the place I contact when I get hurt and need help?" He is heading to training with the Air Force next week. His Mom came up behind him, said how proud of him she was, then said how worried she was for him. We talked for a while but his question wouldn't leave my mind.

The Forget Me Not is the perfect name for what the DAV does all year. We remember them. It is also what the rest of the country does not do. They are forgotten soon after they are sent. How many people in this country know how many tours of duty have these men and women shown up for? How many know how many were wounded? When they come home, especially if they come home hurt, they stand little chance of being noticed at all.

There are a lot of people in this country that really do care about them but the majority of Americans got on with their lives soon after 9-11. Astonishing that over 300 million people are not able to take care of less than one percent of the men and women coming home from risking their lives.

There will be more coming home hurt and needing help because they were willing to serve in the military. Will the rest of this nation remember them?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A warrior’s toughest battle: getting some help for the veterans

A warrior’s toughest battle: getting some help for the veterans
A military man and support expert outlines problems in a meeting with area care providers.

NANTICOKE – When U.S. Army Col. David W. Sutherland enters a building, part of him can’t help but think how he and a team of armed soldiers might take it over.

Standing telephone poles and working street lights sometimes leave him bewildered.

Sutherland, a veteran of both Iraq wars, has been shot at, bombed and not long ago witnessed a suicide bomber kill 20 people before his eyes, less than 10 feet away. Normal life isn’t quite normal for him any more.

At Luzerne County Community College on Friday, Sutherland commanded the attention of more than 80 representatives of organizations and agencies in Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties about how they can better aid returning military and veterans’ transition to civilian life.

The symposium was part of a new collaborative initiative called the Tri-Vets Community Task Force aimed at doing just that.

Sutherland is now the special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with the principal focus on Warrior and Family Support. He has served in the military for 28 years and in 2008 and 2009 was regional division chief in the J5 Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, making him responsible for strategic planning and advising the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on issues relating to the Middle East.
read more here
A warrior’s toughest battle: getting some help for the veterans

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Military TAP plagued by inconsistencies, indifference

Military TAP plagued by inconsistencies, indifference
February 6, 2011 posted by Chaplain Kathie
The DOD releases reports of what they’re doing as if it is all good but the truth is, it is not all good. There have been a lot of advances in the care of wounded servicemen and women. While that is true, the stories the veterans tell show that all is not well on the home front.
TAP has problems, Wounded Warriors Program (not to be confused with Wounded Warriors Project) has problems. Until these problems are fixed, we’ll keep losing more and more to suicide.
Program for departing service members plagued by inconsistencies, indifference
By Carl Prine
Sunday, February 6, 2011
WASHINGTON — Launched during a time of peace to aid departing service members, the Transition Assistance Program is failing war veterans and their families, according to Pentagon reports obtained by the Tribune-Review.
Called “TAP,” it began in 1989 as a federal pilot program run by the Department of Defense, Labor Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs. For most of the 140,000 troops who annually must take the course, it’s three days of classes on topics ranging from the new GI Bill for college to special initiatives that help wounded personnel and their families.
Crisscrossing the U.S. and Europe, investigators from the Pentagon’s Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy in Alexandria, Va., determined that TAP was plagued with “significant gaps in consistency of services” and “low” spousal participation, according to the files. The reports added that there was “little evidence” financial aid, relocation assistance or post-military education applications “are emphasized or provided” by TAP coordinators.
Reports state that TAP staffers often failed to help military spouses find off-base jobs and were “not well versed” in recovery care programs; TAP support for injured personnel and their families was “not readily apparent.”
The reports allege:
• Instructors at Italy’s Naval Air Station Signorella in late 2009 lacked the training and “established level of competency” to conduct counseling for personnel leaving the service.
• Sailors at Florida’s Naval Station Mayport slept through classes in late 2009 because they were forced to stand overnight watch, a problem of “mission win; Sailors lose.” At naval bases in southern Europe, sailors were forced to pay their own way to attend briefings.
• Military discharge counseling so bad at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida that the “risks of violations of federal statute high.”
• A program at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina that exceeded classroom capacity for Marines, offered limited child care to spouses attending workshops and discharged reservists who weren’t receiving the courses that they needed.
Questions about the program’s ability to “maintain enduring connection with National Guard or Reserve Community questionable; extent of proactive engagement could not be determined.”
for more go here

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Numbers on PTSD and TBI expected to increase

It isn't a secret because it has happened after every war. The difference is this time, there are some people talking about it before it happens.
"Jan. 1, some 63 percent of the more than 9,000 Army Wounded Warrior Program Soldiers were diagnosed with behavioral health injuries -- 47 percent had PTSD, 16 percent Traumatic Brain Injury."

Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli also addressed the increase in the Guards and Reserves.

Chiarelli expects increase in behavioral health needs
Feb 2, 2011

By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 1, 2011) -- The Army's vice chief of staff said with the drawdown in Iraq and eventually in Afghanistan, the country could expect to see an increase in the number of Soldiers suffering from depression, anxiety, Traumatic Brain Injury and post-traumatic stress.

Speaking at the opening of the Reserve Officer Association's National Security Symposium Jan. 30, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli praised the reserve component for being "truly remarkable" in what he called a nearly decade-long era of "persistent engagement," and added that the health and well-being of U.S. forces was absolutely critical to the security of the nation.

"Soldiers and their families are under tremendous stress and strain, physically and emotionally," he said. "Unfortunately, and I've said this often over the last couple of years, I do think it's going to continue to get harder, at least for a little while longer before it gets easy."

Of particular concern to Chiarelli were the physically hidden or unseen wounds -- Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Citing the Army Wounded Warrior Program population, he said as of Jan. 1, some 63 percent of the more than 9,000 Army Wounded Warrior Program Soldiers were diagnosed with behavioral health injuries -- 47 percent had PTSD, 16 percent Traumatic Brain Injury.
read more here
Chiarelli expects increase in behavioral health needs

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Michelle Obama honors military families on Oprah

Michelle Obama honors military families on Oprah

Associated Press
January 27, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama urged Americans during an episode of the "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that aired on Thursday to offer more support for the country's military families.

"There are things as a nation we can do big and small," Obama said during the episode, which was taped on Jan. 21. "And it's not a difficult thing to do."

The first lady has become an advocate for military families has traveled to military installations to talk with service members about their needs and concerns and has urged Americans to volunteer time to help them. On Thursday, she visited the Army's largest training post at Fort Jackson outside Columbia, S.C., and said the military's new exercise regimen and healthier foods could be a model for others across the U.S.

Her appearance on Winfrey's show comes after President Barack Obama announced new government-wide initiatives to support military families, including programs aimed at preventing suicide and homelessness.
read more here
Michelle Obama honors military families on Oprah

For other stories from this program and more on Oprah go here
The Bravest Families in America

Friday, January 7, 2011

Support, donations pour in for CNN Hero homebuilder

Support, donations pour in for Hero homebuilder
By Kathleen Toner, CNN
January 6, 2011 9:55 p.m. EST

Free homes for injured troops
Dan Wallrath and his group, Operation Finally Home, build houses for injured U.S. veterans
For his efforts, Wallrath was named a top 10 CNN Hero in November
The exposure has helped Wallrath help more troops and their families
He just partnered with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to help a victim of the Fort Hood attack

Salado, Texas (CNN) -- Dan Wallrath spent 30 years as a homebuilder in Texas, but it wasn't until 2005 that he found his life's work.

After helping renovate the home of a young Marine who had been severely wounded in Iraq, Wallrath realized there were thousands of other injured war veterans who needed a hand. So he decided to help them by doing what he knew best -- building homes -- and giving them away, mortgage-free.

For his efforts, Wallrath was recognized in November as one of the year's top 10 CNN Heroes. The exposure has helped take his organization -- now known as Operation Finally Home -- to the next level.

"It's just been incredible," Wallrath said last month. "We've been getting phone calls and e-mails and donations from all over the world."

Since the airing of "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," Operation Finally Home has received more than $100,000 in contributions -- as well as three pieces of property that will be used for future homes. All told, being honored as a CNN Hero has enabled Wallrath to more than double his impact.

So far, his group has completed nine homes, and it has 13 more planned or under construction.
The spotlight also led "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to partner with Wallrath on a special project last month: building a home for one of the victims of the 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.
read more here
Support, donations pour in for Hero homebuilder