Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Training Accident Claims Lives of Two Marines

2 Marines identified in deadly California helo crash 
The Associated Press
January 25, 2015
Capt. Elizabeth Kealey, left, and 1st Lt. Adam Satterfield, right, were killed when their UH-1Y Venom helicopter crashed during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Friday. The Marines and the aircraft were based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. (Photo: Marine Corps)
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Sunday as talented pilots.

Capt. Elizabeth Kealey and 1st Lt. Adam Satterfield died from injuries in the crash Friday at the Twentynine Palms Marine base.

They were the only two Marines aboard the UH-1Y Huey helicopter.
read more here

American Sniper More About What They Do For Each Other

'American Sniper' shocks critics 
Time Gazette
Brian Mosely
Sunday, January 25, 2015
It's about soldiers looking out for and taking care of each other, long after the battle is done.

American Sniper surprised box-office watchers by pulling in a huge haul over the four-day weekend -- taking over $105 million during its first weekend of wide release.

The film is up for several Oscars this year, including one for star Bradley Cooper, who bulked up 30 pounds and learned how to speak Texan for the role of Navy Seal Chris Kyle.

But the movie isn't about the 160 kills Kyle reportedly made. It's about the impact that war has on our soldiers and the long road back to their loved ones.

There really hasn't been a film that tackled the topic since the 1946 film "The Best Years of Our Lives," about three returning World War II vets and challenges they encountered returning to "normal life."

What they suffered from wasn't called PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) back then -- instead you'd hear phrases like "shell-shock" or "combat fatigue."

For a great many vets, it wasn't called anything at all -- they just suffered silently, but their families knew.

Unfortunately, over the years, there's also been plenty of the "crazed solider returns from war and then does something terrible" movies.

Ask a vet sometime what they think about them.

In American Sniper, Cooper and director Clint Eastwood show the impact that combat has on the mind of our troops.

The blank stare when it's obvious Chris Kyle is reliving the horror. A sudden noise that rackets up the heart rate. Even a typical drive in traffic can generate reminders of combat.

It's about soldiers looking out for and taking care of each other, long after the battle is done.

But as usual, there has been the typical belly-aching from those who see our military as nothing but ruthless killers, pointing out that Cooper and the rest of the cast are constantly calling the enemy "savages" in the movie.
read more here
This is a huge shock to them as well
'American Sniper' hauls in $200 million at box office
Brian Steler
January 25, 2015

"American Sniper" is on track to make $200 million in its first ten days of nationwide release, a feat matched by only a few R-rated films in Hollywood history.

The Oscar-nominated Iraq War movie, starring Bradley Cooper as the legendary sniper Chris Kyle, may go on to beat 2004's "The Passion of the Christ," which currently ranks as the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.
read more here

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nam Knights Memorial Service for Frenchie

There was a Pastor a while back talking to the mourners at a memorial service. Everyone seemed to be asking why the veteran died. He told them to shut their eyes for a second. Each of them had been given the power of life or death. Eyes popped open! He asked them how they would decide who lives and who dies. After all, it seemed to be the natural question given the fact so many were searching for why God let it happen. The Pastor let the thought of having that power sink in for a bit. Then he smiled. He told them they already had that power. When they forgot about someone, it was as if they were never here, thus, they died. Yet when they are remembered, when they leave a piece of them with us, they never die. 

Yesterday was one more of those days when people wanted to know why Frenchie left us. After all, he served in the Air Force and then the Army. He worked the rest of his life as you'll hear in the video below. He was a family man of many different families and Frenchie left a piece of him with everyone he came in contact with.

The thing I'll remember most about him, aside from the fact he was always there when anyone needed him, was the nickname he gave me of "chicken lady." I am a hugger. So was he. One day I was out at the Orlando Nam Knights Club house eating a chicken wing and he tried to hug me. I said "get away from my chicken" and we laughed so hard he turned red. Every time after that, he made sure I didn't have anything in my hands other than my camera.

Listen to the video and people talking about his life.

If yesterday was any indication, Frenchie will never really die for any of us. The Nam Knights Green Swamp Chapter reminded us how much of an impact he had on many lives.

PTSD: Resilient Does Not Mean Impervious

War Icons We Fail To Remember
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 25, 2015

When a veteran looks at a young person enlisting in the military they are torn. They remember their own decision to serve and the pride they had stepping up to put everything they had on the line "up to and including their own life" at the same time they remember what it felt like to awaken to the simple fact they would never, ever be a civilian again.

How do they warn them? How do you tell a teenager fresh out-of high school they will live with this one decision for the rest of their lives? Would they go back in time and do any of it differently?

There are choices in life that define all of us. Terms in the dictionary we hardly ever hear the meaning of while assuming we know it all. When a nation decides to send men and women off to fight wars, we want it all nice and tidy clean. We cheer them as they go and wave flags. We don't want to see what they go through. We don't want to see the horrors they see.

When they return, we want to believe nothing bad happened to them or because of them. We want to believe it all occurred as if Harry Potter gave them all magic wands to cause the enemy to fall. We want the icons.

We want to see the images like George Washington crossing the Delaware Christmas Day 1776 but we don't want to see how the soldiers with him were freezing because they did not have enough supplies or support.
"The freezing and tired Continental Army assembled on the Jersey shore without any major debacles. Once ready, Washington led his army on the road to Trenton. It was there that he secured the Continental Army's first major military victory of the war. Without the determination, resiliency, and leadership exhibited by Washington while crossing the Delaware River the victory at Trenton would not have been possible."
This is the definition of resilient "able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens: able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc."

We want the image of raising the flag at Iwo Jima but we don't want to be reminded of what they went through before it or afterwards.
"There are six Flag Raisers on the famous Iwo Jima photo. Four in the front line and two in back. The front four are (left to right) Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block. The back two are Michael Strank (behind Sousley) and Rene Gagnon (behind Bradley). Strank, Block and Sousley would die shortly afterwards. Bradley, Hayes and Gagnon became national heroes within weeks."

That is what the military thought they could create in soldiers over seven years ago. Soldiers are not manufactured things with no feelings or emotional bonds to others.

Somehow they got the notion that they were no longer humans filled with all the complexities of what makes military folks able to do what they do at all. They are brave. It takes bravery to be face off with an opposing force wanting to kill them and their friends. They were already resilient and proved that simply by getting through military training pushing their bodies and minds past the point of no-return to their civilian youth. They are bonded to their units and pulled from their families just long enough to be sent back to them with the war ingrained on their soul.

If you look up the definition of capacity you'll see what has been happening when they come home. "The ability to hold or contain people or things: the largest amount or number that can be held or contained: the ability to do something : a mental, emotional, or physical ability." For all they do, all they are willing to do in service no one thinks of their capacity to accomplish the task has limits.

The solider trained in this theory believed it meant they were to become Impervious "not capable of being damaged or harmed."

It seems the military had the same misunderstanding of what this research project they bought into would accomplish especially when Generals tried to pin the suicides to what these soldiers lacked when they were afflicted by PTSD and no matter how much training they had, could no longer live with the pain.
"Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations." General Raymond Odierno

That thought must have excluded Medal of Honor icons like Dakota Meyer suffering from his memories so much so he pulled over to the side of the road one day, removed the gun from his glove compartment, put the barrel to his head and pulled the trigger not knowing the bullets had already been removed. Omitted remembering all the other Medal of Honor recipients openly discussing their own struggles.

Today there is another icon capturing the attention of the nation, Chris Kyle, "American Sniper" and subject of the mega hit movie. The bravado statements he made in his book were only part of his story just as what he did after he came home from war for the last time but could not find peace. Even today, after death to him was up close through the scope and personal because he could see the eyes of his target as well as what happened when his bullet ripped flesh and bone some dared call him a coward. Some use his service as a call to hate but most view his suffering as a call to help heal.

When more left the military entering into the civilian world again, Americans were shocked to learn there were 22 of them committing suicide every day but the shock wore off. They didn't understand that these veterans were still only human after all. They didn't want to be reminded of the fact they were sent because Americans wanted them to go as long as they didn't have to subjected to any of the horrors or be held responsible for the aftermath.

They didn't want to know that as shocking as those numbers were, they were only a fraction of what was really happening. Only 7% of the population yet veterans are double the suicide numbers of civilians and the most stunning number is that young veterans survived combat yet their rate of suicide is triple their peer rate.

These veterans were trained to fight in combat but that training prevented them from surviving home.

Seeking help was not an option when they all received the same convoluted message of being trained to "return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc."

Right now we are faced with a growing number of combat veterans after troops have been removed from Afghanistan and Iraq. These veterans are no longer counted by the military. After washing their hands from the defiling of yet one more generation of warfighters, we were suffering from the delusion of them being cared for and about by those leaders. We search for other reasons when the facts have been slamming us in the face for years.

Parent after parent stands at the grave of a veteran shattered by all that was done to them piled on top of what they had to do. They wonder why it happened then they wonder what they can do to prevent another family from suffering the same deadly end. They get their story into the newspaper and their community becomes aware for a time. Then they go back to reality TV shows. They get the attention of a politician willing to hear their story. They are promised something will be done while what was already done and failed far too many before is never mentioned.

They get a Congressional Bill produced with the same name ingrained on the tombstone and the family goes back home joining the ranks of the other families led to believe fairy tales only to pick up the newspaper years later discovering nothing changed and more died by their own hand.

They blame themselves wondering what they did wrong. Friends blame themselves for not seeing warning signs. Communities show up and hold candlelight memorials when the real memories they should have held were about the promises they heard before.

Older veterans however remember. They remember the time when they came home and no one noticed the burden in their minds. When they stood and fought the government to "bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle." As these veterans watch younger folks join, they remember it all up to and including the fact that just because they come home from war, the war was not left behind.

Woman Charged Defrauding Vietnam Veterans

Woman charged in scam 
Suspect accused in fraud of veteran and vet organization
Durant Democrat.com
By Matt Swearengin
January 24. 2015

A Caddo woman is facing felony charges dealing with defrauding a veteran and using a computer to obtain money from an organization for veterans. Sixty-two-year-old Deborah Sue Lemmones was charged Friday with exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult and computer fraud. 

Lemmones came under investigation after Richard Chase, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran who is now deceased, spoke to the Bryan County District Attorney’s Office about a woman he said had been defrauding veterans. Before his death on July 26, 2014, Chase was active with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 986 in Durant.

He contacted authorities after learning of several incidents where Lemmones had allegedly convinced veterans to loan her large sums of money. Chase also had spoken with the Democrat about the allegations and he had prepared an article he planned to release after the suspect was charged.

Chase said one of the victims suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other health problems. He said there was another victim in a nursing home and that individual later died, and also a victim in Madill.

District Attorney Investigator David Cathey then investigated allegations that Lemmones had financially exploited several disabled veterans in southern Oklahoma.
Local Vietnam Veterans of America Treasurer Paul Blake told Cathey he had identified 20 electronic withdrawals from February 2012 until December 2013 from the VVA bank account at First United Bank, and according to the affidavit, each of the transactions, totaling $7,953.11, was used to pay the phone bill of Walter Lemmones.
“Lemmones believed it was OK to have the VVA pay her phone bill even though she had been ousted from the organization for quite some time because she was still using the phone to help veterans,” Cathey wrote in his affidavit. read more here

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Knows Military Power Has Limits

As He Exits, Hagel Warns of Limits to Military Power 
Stars and Stripes
by Jon Harper
Jan 23, 2015
"We're products of our experiences, and we all come at our jobs ... being shaped by those experiences," Hagel said. "The violence, the horrors, the suffering that I saw [in Vietnam] conditioned me ... I saw the suffering of our own troops; I saw the suffering of the Vietnamese people; I saw terrible things, which war always produces."
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel waits for junior enlisted military personnel assigned to the National Capital Region to arrive at his office in order to host a lunch and listen and discuss their concerns at the Pentagon, Jan. 20, 2015. Adrian Cadiz/DoD
WASHINGTON -- As he prepares to hand over the reins of the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is warning that military power has its limits and Americans should avoid believing that force alone can transform conflict-riven societies in the Middle East and elsewhere.

"It is easy to drift into other missions, and I do believe that you always have to ask the tough questions, [such as] what happens next? Where do you want this to end up," Hagel said in an interview with Stars and Stripes and Military Times.

"Any secretary of defense has to always be on guard that we don't inadvertently sometimes drift into a more accelerated use than we thought of what our military was going to be [doing] ... I think the two long wars that we were in the last 13 years is pretty clear evidence of ... how things can get out of control, and drift and wander."
read more here

Fort Bragg Soldier Stands Trial For Drowning 8-month-old Puppy

Soldier accused of drowning puppy to hire lawyer, return to court Feb. 12
Fayetteville Observer
By Paul Woolverton
Staff writer
Jan 24, 2015.
Staff photo by Babette Augustin
As two animal protection advocates watched, a Fort Bragg soldier accused of felony cruelty to animals for the drowning of an 8-month-old puppy in Fayetteville made his first court appearance Friday.

A first appearance is where a defendant is formally told the crime he is accused of and the maximum potential punishment. He also is asked whether he plans to hire a lawyer, seek a court-appointed lawyer or represent himself as the case proceeds.

The soldier, Spc. John Garrett Burrow, 22, was arrested this week by the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office along with his wife, Kelsey Caroline Burrow, 20. Kelsey Burrow is charged with misdemeanor accessory after the fact.

The drowning of the dog, named Riley, has drawn outrage from many.

John Burrow is accused of tying the puppy's feet to its nose with a military parachute cord and throwing it into McFadyen Lake, about a quarter-mile from the couple's west Fayetteville home. The dog's body was found Jan. 2.
read more here

Community Supports Homeless Veteran After Being Set on Fire

Ventura Residents Rally Around Homeless Veteran Lit on Fire at Beach Amid Search for Assailants
JANUARY 20, 2015
Those who knew Frazier believed he was a veteran who moved from New Mexico about six months ago and had been staying at the beach ever since.
Messages of support and encouragement have been left at the spot where the 58-year-old man was brutally attacked on Jan. 17, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)
The life of a homeless man who suffered serious burns when he was doused in lighter fluid and set on fire as he slept on a Ventura beach over the weekend was saved by the quick-thinking actions of a passerby, who extinguished the flames before calling for help.

The unidentified man happened to be near Pierpont Beach at South Seaward Avenue around 11 p.m. Sunday when 58-year-old John Frazier was attacked by three men, according to a news release from the Ventura Police Department. He dialed 911 after putting out the blaze.

Doug Kern walked by moments after the man used sand to put out the fire, which has engulfed Frazier in flames of up to 6-feet high.
read more here

Marines, Left Behind By Psychological Mumbo Jumbo

"New top Marine Corps general releases plan to shake up the service" in the Washington Times report by Dan Lamorthe had this piece of information in it from Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph F. Dunford Jr.
Dunford also calls for changes at home. While attending boot camp “changes a person forever,” he said, the service should explore adopting new psychological testing for recruits to make sure they are capable of not only becoming a Marine, but successfully completing their time in service. “We will quickly assess the efficacy of available psychological screening tools currently used by special operations forces, law enforcement organizations, and industry,” the general said.

“The end state is to enhance the quality and resilience of the force – thereby making us more combat ready.”
There is a PDF of what the General thinks.

"The term Marine is synonymous with young men and women who are disciplined, smart, physically and mentally tough, and who remain always faithful to each other and to our Corps."
RAND Corp did research on this resilience theory and the difference between what the leadership was told would work up against what actually happened.
"An important distinction between approaches to promote resilience, as compared with traditional medical interventions,is the emphasis on prevention as opposed to treatment.

The research on psychological resilience has not been in a form that can be used easily by the military to identify which factors are informed by scientific evidence.

Prior to Department of Defense budget cut talks, the Marine Corps planned to reduce troops from 202,000 to 186,800 to accommodate a post-war Marine Corps. Due to budget changes and the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, however, that number has been cut to 182,100 Marines, reducing the ranks by 19,900 men and women.

The force reduction will take place over the next four years. The Marine Corps will reduce its active-duty strength by about 5,000 Marines per year from across the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos has stressed that the resulting force of 182,100 Marines will retain the capacity and capability to support current and possible crisis response operations through rotational deployments.

Less serving but suicide numbers not down enough to account for the reduction. This came out in June of 2014 on Marine Corps Times
According to the 2014 data, there have been 70 confirmed and suspected suicides by Army soldiers; 34 by airmen, 21 by Marines and 36 by sailors. In the same time frame last year, there were 81 suicides by soldiers, 24 by airmen, 25 by Marines and 24 by sailors.

The total number for 2014 so far — 161 — is still sharply lower than the 200 reported by this time in 2012.

Enough said about "resilience" training? Hardly, because this does not include the veterans who were discharged and no longer counted by the military.

The latest release of information on Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is that the rate of them committing suicide is triple their civilian peer rate.

This is nothing more than psychological mumbo jumbo!

Military Suicides "Incomprehensible and Unacceptable"

Medal of Honor recipients motivate MARSOC Marines, sailors 
U.S. Marine Corps Forces
Special Operations Command
Story by Lance Cpl. Steven Fox
January 20, 2015
“Many think the proudest moment of my life was when I received the Medal of Honor,” said Dix. “Certainly, that was a highlight of my life, but the proudest moments are when I get invited to personally thank those who continue to serve this country.”
Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Retired Major Drew Dennis Dix, Speaks to members of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., on January 20, 2015. Maj Dix, is one of only 79 living recipients of the Medal of Honor.
(U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Scott A. Achtemeier/Released)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Two Medal of Honor recipients visited U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) at Stone Bay, Jan. 20 to speak with Marines and sailors.

Col. Harvey Barnum Jr., USMC (Ret.), and Maj. Drew Dix, U.S. Army (Ret.), both having received Medals of Honor for their heroic actions during the Vietnam War, spoke about bravery and sacrifice, but touched on a myriad of other themes and topics as well.

Barnum and Dix are actively involved in working with wounded warriors and service members suffering from depression. Consequently, both men spoke passionately about suicide prevention and urged the attending Marines and sailors to communicate and seek help when under distress.

“I feel very bad, as a Marine, when we lose a Marine in combat,” said Barnum. “But to lose a Marine through suicide is incomprehensible to me. It’s unacceptable.”
read more here

Carlos Hathcock Vietnam Marine Sniper Legend

When the movie American Sniper came out friends of mine were talking about Carlos Hathcock and how he saved lives in Vietnam. Not enough hours in the day, I never got around to posting about him but thanks to the posting below, here's his story.

This Marine Was The ‘American Sniper’ Of The Vietnam War
We Are The Mighty
JANUARY 23, 2015
Many American snipers had a bounty on their heads. These were usually worth one or two thousand dollars. The reward for the sniper with the white feather in his bush cap, however, was worth $30,000. 
Carlos Hathcock at work in the fields of Vietnam.
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

Long before Chris Kyle penned “American Sniper,” Carlos Hathcock was already a legend.

He taught himself to shoot as a boy, just like Alvin York and Audie Murphy before him. He had dreamed of being a U.S. Marine his whole life and enlisted in 1959 at just 17 years old. Hathcock was an excellent sharpshooter by then, winning the Wimbledon Cup shooting championship in 1965, the year before he would deploy to Vietnam and change the face of American warfare forever.

He deployed in 1966 as a military policeman, but immediately volunteered for combat and was soon transferred to the 1st Marine Division Sniper Platoon, stationed at Hill 55, South of Da Nang. This is where Hathcock would earn the nickname “White Feather” — because he always wore a white feather on his bush hat, daring the North Vietnamese to spot him — and where he would achieve his status as the Vietnam War’s deadliest sniper in missions that sound like they were pulled from the pages of Marvel comics.
1969, a vehicle Hathcock was riding in struck a landmine and knocked the Marine unconscious. He came to and pulled seven of his fellow Marines from the burning wreckage. He left Vietnam with burns over 40 percent of his body. He received the Silver Star for this action in 1996.
read more here

Carlos Hathcock; Sniper in Vietnam February 28, 1999|JON THURBER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Army Kicking Out Soldiers Early Slated For Deployment

Policy will force-out enlisted slated to deploy
Army Times
By Jim Tice, Staff Writer
January 23, 2015
The Army plans to inactivate six brigade combat teams this year as part of a sweeping reorganization and drawdown for reaching an active component end strength of 490,000 soldiers by Sept. 30. The manning goal is about 10,000 fewer troops than are in the force now.

Soldiers scheduled deploy with an ETS date of up to 12 months
away may be involuntarily separated, under Army policy.
(Photo: Sgt. Michael Crawford, U.S. Army Europe)

Involuntary separations of up to 12 months ahead of a soldier's ETS have been authorized for certain Regular Army enlisted soldiers who are assigned to units scheduled for deployment or deactivation, and who decline to re-enlist or extend as the Army draws down.

The special policy, called the Enlisted Involuntary Early Separation Program, mirrors a similar policy in effect during 2014. The program applies to three categories of active component (Regular Army) soldiers:

Units Scheduled for Contingency Deployment: Soldiers assigned to units that are deploying in support of a named contingency, such as Resolute Support in Afghanistan, and who will have six months or less of service remaining when their unit arrives in theater will be involuntarily separated up to 12 months in advance of their contracted ETS if they do not re-enlist or extend to stay with the unit through the deployment.

Units Scheduled for Inactivation: Soldiers assigned to inactivating units with ETS between the inactivation date and inactivation plus 365 days, and who elect not to re-enlist or extend, will be involuntarily separated up to 12 months before their ETS.

Units Scheduled for Korea Rotation: Soldiers who do not re-enlist or extend to meet the service remaining requirement for a Korea rotation plus 90 days, and who cannot be effectively used by other units at the same installation, will be subject to involuntary early separation.
read more here

UK Researchers Have Found Signs of PTSD 3,000 Years Ago

Aside from the fact all the signs of what war does are in the Bible, especially in the Psalms of David, this shows PTSD is not new. It just has a newer name.

Did ancient warriors suffer PTSD too?
Texts reveal that battles 3,000 years ago left soldiers traumatised by what they saw
UK researchers have found signs of PTSD up to 3,000 years ago
They say soldiers experiencing horrors of the battlefield is not just a phenomenon of modern warfare
The earliest reference had been from the Battle of Marathon in 490BC
But scientists traced mention of 'shell shock' back to 1,300 BC
Daily Mail UK
23 January 2015
UK researchers have found signs of PTSD up to 3,000 years ago. They say soldiers experiencing horrors of the battlefield (stock image shown) is not just a phenomenon of modern warfare. The earliest reference had been from the Battle of Marathon, 490BC. Pictured is a Mycenaean Vase decorated with Bronze Age warriors

Ancient warriors armed with swords and spears from 3,000 years ago suffered from shell shock just like modern soldiers, according to a study.

Soldiers who experienced the horrors of the battlefield and were left with post traumatic stress disorder is not a phenomenon of modern warfare, say the researchers. An analysis of ancient texts shows PTSD became common considerably earlier than previously believed, although the symptoms were explained away as 'the spirits of those enemies whom the patient had killed.'

The earliest reference had been from the Battle of Marathon 490BC but scientists traced mention of 'shell shock' back to 1,300 BC in ancient Mesopotamia.

The study, published in Early Science and Medicine, said that while modern technology has increased the effectiveness and types of weaponry, 'ancient soldiers facing the risk of injury and death must have been just as terrified of hardened and sharpened swords, showers of sling-stones or iron-hardened tips of arrows and fire arrows.'
read more here

Vietnam Veteran Fatal Motorcycle Accident Hours After Helping Others

Motorcycle crash victim was Vietnam veteran devoted to community service
Ocala Star Banner
By Austin L. Miller Staff writer
Published: Thursday, January 22, 2015
Hours before the accident, Whittier said, they talked about the next fundraiser for Veterans Helping Veterans. Harrison served on the organization's board of directors and helped with children's programs. In 2014, Harrison helped raise roughly $130,000 through a golf tournament.
Donald M. Harrison Jr., the motorcyclist killed Wednesday in a crash on North U.S. 441, was a decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran involved in local charities.
Donald Harrison
Photo courtesy of Mike Sizemore

Harrison's friends described the 64-year-old retiree as a generous man who helped raise money for the nonprofit Veterans Helping Veterans and other causes.

Harrison died after the 2011 Harley-Davidson he was riding was hit by a 2002 Ford Escape as the SUV was attempting to cross U.S. 441, according to the Ocala Police Department. The other driver, Charles E. Griffin, stopped nearby at the intersection of U.S. 441 and Northwest 22nd Street.

The impact sent both Harrison and his motorcycle into a ditch. Richard Donahue, a U.S. Navy corpsman driving by, stopped and, with an Ocala police officer, performed CPR on Harrison until emergency medical personnel arrived.
read more here

Friday, January 23, 2015

Nellis Air Force Base Chaplain Said PTSD Was God's Plan?

I had a massive headache and just wanted to get through my emails before I go lay down. It just got worse when I read this.
Former Nellis AFB Drone Operator On First Kill, PTSD, Being Shunned By Fellow Airmen 
Nevada Public Radio
Adam Burke and Joe Schoenmann
January 23, 2015
"I went to go see a chaplain," Bryant said. "And the chaplain told me that it was God's plan for all this to happen and that I should accept that."
In the new movie Good Kill, Ethan Hawke plays an airman who remotely operates Predator drones from the safety of a cubicle at Creech Air Force Base, 50 miles north of Las Vegas.

But in the film we learn that the cubicle is not such a safe place. Ethan Hawke’s character suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder on the job.

Former drone operator Brandon Bryant, who was stationed at Nellis for four years, consulted with the writer/director of Good Kill​, Andrew Niccol.

Bryant was the co-pilot in a two-man drone team, and it was his job to locate targets and pull trigger on missiles.

When he ended his four-year stint, Bryant received a certificate honoring him for having aided in the deaths of some 1,600 people.
Post-Traumatic Stress
The more that he shut himself away, the more isolated he felt. He started drinking heavily, playing video games when he wasn't working, and working out.

"I stopped sleeping because I was dreaming in infrared," he said. "White hot, black hot, the same type of filters I would see at work. It was like I couldn't escape myself."

Bryant told KNPR that at the time, airmen were discouraged from seeking psychological help at Nellis.

"When I told them I wasn't doing so well, they told me that if I sought help then they would revoke my clearance," he said. "So that kind of kept me in line."

Then Bryant's commander ordered him to go see with a chaplain.

"I went to go see a chaplain," Bryant said. "And the chaplain told me that it was God's plan for all this to happen and that I should accept that."
read more here

Ok, so far we've been made aware of the fact that Warrior Transition Units have been still telling PTSD soldiers to suck it up and get over it when they were supposed to be helped. We've read about the rise in suicides among veterans out of the military where the original damage was done. We've also read about all the bullshit about how this bill and that bill needs the public's support but never once told why we should. We've read about this group and that group with their hands out looking for money but never telling us what they've done with the money they all collected over the years while it is getting worse for veterans and families.

The list goes on but now we discover a Chaplain told an Airman looking for help that it was God's will.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff already told Congress to go to hell when they admitted they were not following the law on post deployment screenings and the DOD heads have all made stupid statements about intestinal fortitude after they pushed the "program" that made them all think it was their own fault. Just when you think you've heard everything, it gets to the point where you wonder when they hell congress will actually hear anything.