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Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Montana VA intimidates DAV volunteer for picture reporter took?

VA 'intimidates' decorated war veteran for being photographed on VA property
Billings Gazette
By Cindy Uken
August 21, 2014
Ed Saunders is seen in this Aug. 14 photo that the Veterans Administration is claiming is in violation of their rules because it was taken on their property at the Majestic Lane Clinic without authorization.
Ed Saunders Statement

Who is Ed Saunders?
Ed Saunders is one of Yellowstone County's most trusted and respected veterans. He is:

-- a Ret. Lt. Col in the U.S. Army

-- a decorated ground combat veteran, Persian Gulf War

-- a disabled veteran with service-related disabilities

-- a former member of the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery which has been renamed Yellowstone National Veterans Cemetery

-- a member of the Big Sky Honor Flight Board of Directors

-- one of the veterans who led the effort to get public transportation to the West End VA Clinic.

-- a driver with the Disabled Veterans Transportation Network

-- a lifetime member of Disabled Veterans of America

-- a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

Saunders has also helped numerous veterans get medals they earned but never received.
A man who helps disabled veterans with transportation to Montana’s VA facilities has been threatened with a $50 fine for appearing in a photo with a newspaper article critical of the new West End VA clinic.

In a sworn affidavit, Ed Saunders, adjutant of Billings Chapter 10 of Disabled American Veterans, said he was at the Billings VA Clinic on Aug. 18 on DAV business when VA police officer Steve McCollum asked Saunders to come to his office.

McCollum said he wanted a written statement from Saunders about his involvement with the Billings Gazette photo that was published Aug. 15. The news article centered on glitches with the opening of the new $6.3 million Majestic Lane Clinic. Saunders was among those critical of the clinic.

McCollum claimed being in an unauthorized photo on VA property is in violation of VA rules and subject to a $50 fine, according to Saunders’ notarized statement.

Saunders was not aware of the photo rule and said as a DAV public affairs officer he has taken many photos of DAV activities on VA property, including dedication of the new clinic when Montana’s congressional delegation was on hand. Saunders said he has also taken photos of DAV vans parked on VA property.
read more here linked from The Republic

Veterans hold silent vigil to end suicides

Silent vigil protests loss of veterans to suicide
Daily News Journal
Christopher Merchant
August 22, 2014
Veteran Matthew O'Dell, owner of Reveille Joe Coffee Co. and a veterans advocate, held a silent rally on the Public Square with other veterans to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide among veterans. Behind him is veteran Malcolm Stallard. The 22 indicates the number of veterans who commit suicide each day. (Photo: John A. Gillis/DNJ)
MURFREESBORO – More than a dozen people stood silently Friday on the Murfreesboro Public Square.

They held cardboard signs with various messages written on them:
• "I am a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder."

• "There are 22 veterans who commit suicide each day."

• "I am a veteran who has contemplated suicide."

Matthew O'Dell, the owner of Reveille Joe Coffee Company on the Square and a veteran who served in the U.S. Army and Marines, organized the silent demonstration.

"On average, 22 veterans are dying every day," O'Dell said after the demonstration. "Because they suffer in silence, we'll stay out here in the 100-degree heat and stay silent."

The group selected to hold the event on the 22nd day of the month in reference to veterans committing suicide, O'Dell said. He intends to hold his silent vigil on the same day every month.

Another veteran who participated in the event, Matthew Lange, talked about the difficulty retired personnel can have when seeking care.

"There's still a stigma about being a soldier and talking about those things," said Lange, who served in three tours in Iraq . "I can remember getting ready to come back home, and that was the worst time."
read more here

Fruits of deeds and courage of paralyzed veteran

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 23, 2014

About a month ago Wounded Times posted the story of Randy Abbott "Paralyzed veteran beaten and robbed causes international reaction of love." What got to most people was not as much about what he did in the military, but what he did with his life after an operation to help him ended up paralyzing him.
When asked his reaction to the outbreak of love and compassion generated by his story, Abbott is visibly shaken.

"When I have people who don't even know me and they call me from Hawaii, Australia and France and say 'Hey, just get back in the water and surf and you're gonna be ok. We love you buddy!' That means a lot to me."
KUSI News San Diego

Randy does what he can to help others enjoy surfing but more than that, he's helping them learn they can still enjoy life no matter what happened to them. To know that having a disabled body does not mean the person is disabled by the limitations.

Yesterday when I got home from work, there was an email from Randy with a message to call him. I wasn't sure who he was like most of the time when a veteran contacts me. I called, left a message and he called me back last night. No one knows about the conversations I have with veterans and they never will unless the veteran wants to share something. In this case, after you read what he wrote, you'll know why this story is different.

Randy said he wanted to apologize for lying. Still not sure of who I was talking to, I could hear the emotion in his soft voice. After a while it sunk in that I posted his story but I was still confused over the apology. The thing about his story that was reported in the news, wasn't about his military service, but was about what he did with his life afterwards.

Had this story been about his service in the military with him thumping a chest full of medals that turned out to be one of the thousands of frauds running around the country trying to get something for themselves, I would have understood the pain in his voice as I spoke about forgiveness, but it wasn't. It was a story of a veteran taking something bad that happened to him and making lives better for others.

I asked him if he lied about any of that and he said he didn't. That was all I needed to know because the simple fact he wanted to find forgiveness for something few knew about was humbling as well as inspirational.

I thought about how many times I've screwed up as a human in my own life, just like everyone else. I thought about my Dad doing the whole AA steps of making amenze knowing it was out of his power what people did with it but in his power to change his own life from that moment on. Just like every other human on the planet we can't change the past but can change with the next breath we take.

In Matthew 7, Jesus was addressing the difference between what men say and what they actually do.
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

The fruits of Randy's deeds are shown on the faces of all the kids and others he's met over the years. There will be some unable to acknowledge his actions are inspirational and change lives because they want to hold onto something wrong as if it will make them feel better about themselves.

Randy is like others in many ways. All of us can say whatever we want and many times we regret what we say. It takes a lot of courage to admit we were wrong and apologize. After being married for 30 years, I can attest to that fact of life and honestly I don't think I'm done needing to tell my husband I'm sorry for something plus the other way around. We've been married this long because we can see ourselves honestly knowing we are far from perfect. (I still haven't figured out how he puts up with me.)
Do Not Judge
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

When I told Randy he was already forgiven, he was quiet for extended time. Then he said "I do believe that." Then I asked him to do something for other veterans out there being tormented by something they think they did wrong. Knowing the power of forgiveness, I asked him to help others seek it for themselves. Without hesitation, he agreed. He knows what it feels like to have the weight on his soul but he also knows how being relieved of that empowers this moment on.

Randy showed courage when he joined the military just like everyone else along with compassion enough to be able to risk his life for the sake of others. Last night it required a tremendous about of courage for him to call someone like me not knowing how I would react or what I would do with what he had to say.
To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to acknowledge that I was dishonest about my military service. I have no excuse for my actions, dishonesty is dishonesty, and to those I have offended and or hurt I ask for your forgiveness. I did this with no malicious intent to hurt anyone or to gain anything, again to those I have hurt or offended I ask for your forgiveness.

After I was paralyzed and found myself dealing with all the medical issues and trying to learn how to live with being paralyzed, I wondered how many other people were dealing with the same thing. Thinking about all the things they will never be able to do again. I decided to start The View From 42, to help other people learn to live beyond their disabilities. Not knowing what it would become or how it would actually work. I have done no fundraiser; I have taken in no donations or financial contributions, I have funded everything from the beginning and to this date by myself. Do to some medical complications along the way things got put on hold for a time being. At first it was just going to be training service dogs for people, then after starting surfing and getting more active I realized how this help me and thought it could help other people.

People reached out to me for assistance with wheelchair purchases for their children, family members and or friends. Then people started asking if I could take them surfing, or help them get surfboards or wetsuits. I started of with tacking single individuals surfing with the help from volunteers. Bringing young people with disabilities and there families out for what we called a Southern California Surfing Experience. Then it turned into bigger one-day events with participants coming in from out of state. This was all done to help people with disabilities learn how to live beyond their disabilities, like I had done. A simple thing like a custom wheelchair or a surfing event put on just for them opens their mind to thinking about living their life beyond their disability. They start to see themselves as a person who has a disability instead of a disabled person. There is a difference, a big difference.

I still plan to continue to do this at whatever level I can; I am not sure how that will be now. This is a true honest desire just to help other people who have disabilities and have a desire to live beyond them.

Again I apologize for my dishonesty and misleading statements, and ask for your forgiveness.
Sincerely;
Randy
Email: pleasenojunk@mail.com

This was at the bottom of his email
A persons ability to enjoy life should not be hindered by their disability or their lack of accessibility to the world. Do not tell us what we can not do, help us do what we want to do.

Friday, August 22, 2014

We would never accept defeat on this major battle after war

What do you think when you hear there are 22 veterans everyday committing suicide? Almost one every hour and 8,030 each year.

Those numbers are men and women, far more than numbers, but we don't seem to care enough. If we had,  we would never accept defeat on this major battle after war. Take a look at the numbers from combat and compare them to what you just read.

Vietnam War
Year of Death
Number of Records
1956 - 1959
4

1960
5

1961
16

1962
53

1963
122

1964
216

1965
1,928

1966
6,350

1967
11,363

1968
16,899

1969
11,780

1970
6,173

1971
2,414

1972
759

1973
68

1974
1

1975
62


Service Number of Records
Air Force
2,586

Army
38,224

Coast Guard
7

Marine Corps
14,844

Navy
2,559

Total Records
58,220


Gulf War 1990-1991 Persian Gulf, Op Desert Shield/Storm 363 but we lose at least 660 each month to suicide.

In one year, we lost more veterans to suicide than we lost during the entire war in Iraq 4,476 from 2003-2012

In one year, we lost more veterans to suicide than during the entire war in Afghanistan 2,342 so far from 2001.

Major combat operations are far from over when they have a harder time staying alive back home than they did fighting the other part of war.  If we do not change what we are doing, we have accepted defeat and given up on saving their lives.

Veterans Fight Out of Dark Places Mixed Martial Arts

First Rule Of This Fight Club: You Must Be A Veteran
NPR
by QUIL LAWRENCE
August 22, 2014
Iraq veteran Todd Vance is the founder of P.O.W. — or Pugilistic Offensive Warrior — mixed martial arts training for veterans in San Diego.
David Gilkey/NPR

About a dozen military veterans have locked themselves inside a caged boxing ring, in a rough part of San Diego, and they're starting to throw punches. It's therapeutic, they say.

"A lot of people say, 'You guys are punching each other in the face. How is that helpful?' " says Aaron Espinoza, a former Marine. "But it's a respect thing, it's mutual. I have to push him, he has to push me to get better."

Espinoza is a regular at P.O.W., which stands for Pugilistic Offensive Warrior, a mixed martial arts training session that's free for veterans. Iraq veteran Todd Vance founded the group after his own struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"I was in a dark place for a long time and I personally used mixed martial arts to get myself back on track," says Vance. "Once I got back on track I went to school — studying social work."
read more here

More events for veterans in Central Florida

From Cathy Haynes

August event list #2 - veterans, military and patriotic events in Central FL
Please share this information and events with your friends and interested others and attend.  Post where appropriate.
If you did not receive the August #1 list of events, please contact me and I will re-send.
If you wish to be removed from the email list, just let me know.
Camaraderie Foundation Family Fun Day – SAT. Aug 23 - Kids Workshop and Back To School event for military and veteran families.  Come and bond with other military families for a unique day of fun. Enjoy building a Kids Workshop Kit project and 3 Do It Yourself Classes for home owners. Workshops begin at 9:45am, 10:30am & 11:15am. All materials are provided FREE by Home Depot. Show your completed project and pick up free school supplies from the Back-To-School Brigade of Operation Homefront.  9am-12noon at Home Depot, 4600 W. Lake Mary Blvd., Lake Mary, 32746. (Only this location)  Info: events@camaraderiefoundation.com 
Honor Flight Welcome Home – Sat Aug 23 – The WW2 and Korean War veterans truly appreciate the “Welcome Home” receptions at the airports with the flags and patriotic signs – It makes a difference!  After a day spent in Washington DC, 25 veterans of WWII and Korean War veterans return home thru Orlando Int’l Airport.  The nation-wide organization has three local hubs that take veterans on a single day trip to our nation’s capital where they visit the WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War Memorials, Marine Corps Iwo Jima and the Air Force Monuments, and witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.  This group will return at about 9:35 pm.  Come welcome these former warriors home!  Bring your flags, banners and signs! Southwest Airlines #1867 from Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Terminal A, Airside 2 (hotel area in front of Starbucks.) Before leaving home, check online to see if the flight is on time because there may be delays due to weather, mechanical or medical issues.  Free parking has been arranged at an off airport property with free shuttle to airport - Contact Cathy Haynes for those details NLT 7pm  - chaynes11629@yahoo.com   407-239-8468.
For the Early Birds - you can wave them off in the morning no later than 5am – same location.  They process thru Security early and quickly.
Honor Flights for the remainder of the year will be on THURS. Sept 4; Two local hubs at two airports (Sanford and OIA) on Sat. Sep 27; Sat. Oct 18; and Sun. Nov 2.  (Dates subject to change)
Women Veterans Roundtable w/OPM Director Archuleta – MON Aug 25 - Katherine Archuleta, the United States Director of the Office of Personnel and Management will be visiting Orlando Monday to host a forum for female veterans.  This Roundtable Discussion will take place starting at 4pm in the 2nd Floor Veterans Conference Room at the Orlando City Hall (400 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL).  A major focus of the discussion will be the employment of women veterans in the federal government to understand any challenges, barriers, or successes that may have been experienced.  Parking will be validated if you use the City Commons parking garage adjacent/connected to Orlando City Hall (use the skywalk to City Hall.)  Annie Artis of local FL Association of Veteran Owned Businesses (FAVOB) and Karen Connors of Orlando City Mayors’ VAB will facilitate.  Contact Annie at 517.862.1434 secretary@FAVOB.com
Central Florida Veterans Incorporated -  Tues. Aug 26 - Dr Greg Welch is the guest speaker at 5:30 pm at the Orlando VA Clinic Canteen at Lake Baldwin, 5201 Raymond St, Orlando, 32803.  Dr Welch has done extensive work for DoD and has recently joined the faculty at UCF.   His current research interests include virtual and augmented reality, human tracking systems, 3D telepresence, computer vision, and stochastic estimation, in particular with applications to healthcare simulation. Open to all interested persons who care about the military and veterans.
Ocoee Military History show – Sat. Aug 30 – (Labor Day Weekend) - A “show and tell” of artifacts and interests from Seminole War to present.  8am – 5pm at the Tom Ison Center, 1701 Adair Street, Ocoee, 34761.  Military History buffs:  Come share your items and knowledge! Space is limited but there are still tables available inside.  No sales – just displays.  There is ample room outside for vehicle displays and tents. Admission will be free, donations gladly accepted.  Event POC: Glen Richardson at 407-877-7472  cappouch@aol.com  
TEACHERS – Schools start again in mid-August.  Please consider extra credit for student attendance at this History event!
VetFest USA – Sat. and Sun. Aug 30 and 31 (Labor Day weekend) – Benefit festival for veterans groups located under I-4 near the Amway Center and Church St. in downtown Orlando.  Events start at 11am each day and go into the night.  About 50 food trucks, displays, lots of music, 50’ tall mechanical Robosaurus T-rex.  $15 tickets available online OR if they are bought from these veterans groups, the group gets to keep the proceeds of the sales:  Foreign Wars (VFW’s), United Service Organization (USO), Underwater Demolition Team-Sea, Air and Land (UDT-SEAL) Association, and the Joe Kittinger F-4 Vietnam Memorial Fund.  See vetfestorlando.com   407-748-5084.
Add these to the Previous Calendar listings….
Free Legal Seminars – Weekly beginning Thurs. Sept 4 – Viera area.  Free legal seminars offered to the public with the intention of providing information on a variety of legal topics for 6 weeks.  “State and Federal Constitution and How They Work Together” on Thurs. Sept 4, 6pm-8pm. Provided/coordinated by Space Coast Community Law School, at Moore Justice Center, 2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Jury Assembly Room, Viera, 32940.  Topic for Sept 11:  Veterans Benefits, presented by Garren Cone of AVET Project.   Info and list of future topics:  spacecoastcommunitylawschool.com  321-269-6833
The Boogie Woogie Veterans Show – Fri Sept 5 – Join Company B with the Andrew Sisters Musical Tribute Act at the Henegar Center in downtown Melbourne, 7pm – 9pm, 625 E New Haven Ave #119, Melbourne, 32901.  Open to the public, $25 per person – FREE for veterans!  www.henegar.com  Contact Justin at 321-724-5400 ext. 233  orJustin@MelbourneRegionalChamber.com
Stick Marsh Veterans Bass Challenge - Sat Sept 6 – NEEDED:  service connected disabled veterans and boaters willing to bring their boat out – NO charge!  Fishing teams of up to 3 (1 military veteran or active, 1 Municipal Leader, plus 1 Boat Captain) at The Stick Marsh, 6,500-acre reservoir near Fellsmere, west of Vero Beach.  Bragging rights and prizes will be awarded afterwards at the Bass Challenge BBQ hosted at Bass Pro Shops. Contact Justin at 321-724-5400 ext. 233  or Justin@MelbourneRegionalChamber.com
End of Summer Bash – Sat. Sept 6 – Fundraising event supporting Wounded Warrior Project with a dance, entertainment and dinner.  The theme is Tropical Summer Nights from 4pm – 8pm, with a dinner of $2 hot dogs and $3 hamburgers.  Raffles and 50/50 drawings with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.  American Legion Post 286 Family at 529 E. Fairlane Ave., Orlando, 32809 in South Orlando (half of block west of Orange Ave. between Oak Ridge Ave. and Fairlane Ave.)  Sponsored by the Pine Castle area American Legion Family of friendly members (Legionnaires, Auxiliary and S.A.L Members.) Info:  407-859-1460.
Every Day is Veteran’s Day – Sat. Sept 13 – Special tribute to veterans from 10am-1pm. Keynote speaker will be Brig. General Wilma Vaught, USAF (ret.), one of the most highly decorated women in U.S. history.  One Senior Place, 715 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, 32714.  407.949.6733   Organized by VITAS. 
Veterans of Osceola County exhibit – Tues. Sept.16 – New exhibit opens with a ribbon cutting at the Museum of Military History, 4:30 pm.  5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34746.  407-507-3894 for further information. www.museumofmilitaryhistory.com 
Veterans Tribute & Museum/Museum of Military History Tenth Anniversary Celebration – Sat. Sept. 20 - All day affair, 10 am Commanders Call (vendors, displays, sharing, etc.) snacks, entertainment, door prize every thirty minutes, lots of meet & greet.  Commemorative coins available.  Museum of Military History, 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34746.  407-507-3894 for further information.  www.museumofmilitaryhistory.com 
Gold Star Mothers and Families – Sun. Sept 28 –Honoring and remembering the loved ones who died while serving in the armed forces.  3pm-5pm in Orlando City Hall Rotunda, 400 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, 32801.  Gold Star families – bring a photo of your loved one. Refreshments after event.  RSVP requested by Sept 24 to Jean at 407.691.4548 or 407.875.0028.  Presented by VITAS, Dignity Memorial, and the City of Orlando.
Orlando National College Fair – Sun. Oct 12 - Over 200 college representatives from across the country will be at the CFE Arena on the campus of the University of Central Florida. The fair is open to the public, 1 pm to 4 pm and this year there are two financial aid workshops at 12 noon and 2:15 pm. In addition, a representative from the UCF – Veterans Academic Resource Center (VARC) will be located near the counseling center to answer questions. 
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Golf Tournament – Fri. Oct 17 - Stoneybrook East Golf Course, 8am start time. Proceeds benefit the JROTC Scholarship Program.  2900 Northampton Ave, Orlando, 32828 in East Orlando.  Contact Dick Aldinger at 407-859-7436   famdinger@aol.com or Mike Patterson at 407-240-7609dmphome@earthlink.net
Osceola County Stand Down – Sat. Oct 25 – Various services offered to veterans, including homeless veterans.  Volunteers needed!  Osceola County Veterans Service office, 330 N. Beaumont Ave., Kissimmee, 34741.  Contact Tommie Maldonado, VSO at 407-742-8455, Ken Mueller, HCHV, at 407-631-7228.  Register to volunteer with Chanel at 407-742-8455 cf66c@osceola.org 
EXTRA
Horse Back riding and Equine Assisted Therapy – Free for military veterans.  321-412-8057.  Endorsed by AVET Project.
Restaurants and attractions – Do you need an evaluation of your facilities with regards to wheelchair accessibility?  The local PVA – Paralyzed Veterans of America – could assist you with fresh perspectives.  The new program “Wheels on the Go” provides the mobility challenged an additional chance to vary daily routines by dining in restaurants or visiting attractions.  The PVA-member veteran will then provide an evaluation of the facility for handicapped friendliness that will be shared with others. It’s a help-help, Win-Win situation for both sides.  To offer your site for evaluation, contact Central FL PVA Exec. Director John DeMauro at 407-328-7041  cfpvaed@cfl.rr.com
Ice Bucket Challenge and PVA - You have likely seen, heard or participated in the recent Ice Bucket Challenges.  It brings awareness and donations for the research/cure of ALS - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease.)  There are 26 veterans just in Central Florida who have been diagnosed with ALS and are members of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).  Military veterans who have received spinal cord injuries or have diseases that involved the spinal cord/nerves are eligible for membership.  The diseases along with ALS include Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lupus, spinal stenosis and others.  Benefits of membership include, but are not limited to, adaptive sports, veteran-to-veteran mentoring, legal awareness, and medical awareness and advances.  There are also volunteering opportunities.  See website at  pva.org  or contact John at 407-328-7041  cfpvaed@cfl.rr.com
Mentors needed - Orange County Veterans Court IS succeeding!  Longer term success is possible with community mentors.  Be a “battle buddy” or “foxhole buddy” by assisting someone with life challenges.  No proselytizing – just non-judgmental caring.  Most of the offenders are DUI or possession.  If you have experienced substance abuse – although not required - and came thru it, you may be very helpful to someone else.  If you are interested in participating as a mentor, know someone who is interested, or are a part of an organization where Mentors can be recruited, contact Diana Miers, the Coordinator.  A Mentor Training session will be held Wed. Sept. 17 at 12noon at the Orange County Public Defenders Office. Additional announcements will be made as the training approaches. She or Judge Brewer have graciously offered to visit various groups and organizations to keep the mentor program in use. It does make a difference and you can too…..  Contact dsm@dianamierslaw.com  407-603-6538
Home Depot and Lowe’s always support our Military by offering 10% off your purchase with Active, Reserve or Retired Military ID. 
Inquire about Home Depot's efforts to repair and renovate veterans' homes at no cost. They have committed $50 Million to help with this initiative surrounding Veteran's Day.www.homedepot.com
Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and financial assistance. www.operationhomefront.org
·         Check out:  hiredbyfriday.com and iamveteran.com.  Both sites are for veterans and hiredbyfriday.com is a site for Veterans to upload their resumes and employers can look for skilled veterans there.
·         American Warrior Radio Show  from 11am-noon EDT on Saturdays, radio station WMEL - AM 1300    Nationwide broadcast:  www.1300wmel.com 
·         WoundedTimes.blogspot.com - Veterans News Service covering news that matters to veterans and their families. Local, state and national news and events – especially with videos involving Central Florida military and veterans. Dedicated to defeating Combat PTS.
·         Vet Centers are available for combat zone veterans to help with personal and family readjustment counseling and outreach services.   The nearest centers are located in Orlando, Melbourne, Clermont, and Daytona Beach.      www.vetcenter.va.gov/
·         Shades of Green Resort – Armed Forces Recreation Center on Disney property provides various packages for active duty, reservists, guardsmen, 100% service connected disabled, and retired military personnel and their families.  Go to www.shadesofgreen.org for information.  Special discounts for rooms may be available based on occupancy levels, and special ticket rates.  (407) 824-3400
·         The Navy Exchange (NEX) –NEX in Orlando is for all branches of active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents.  It is located west of Orlando Int’l Airport, about 1 mile south of the Beachline Expy/528 on Tradeport Dr.  Competitive pricing and programs. The big white building on the west side of Tradeport -  7151 Earhart Dr., Orlando, 32827.   www.mynavyexchange.com  407-857-3550
·         MWR / ITT Ticket Office – Offers discounted attraction tickets to active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents.  It is locate adjacent to the Navy Exchange (NEX) listed above.  Phone: 407-855-0116 or 407-851-4396 for details,   email: mwrorl@gmail.com  or Text MWROrlando to 30364 for MWR Specials.
·         Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to active duty, Guard and Reserve service members, and their families with comprehensive information on every aspect of military life including deployment, relationships, economics, grief, education, parenting and child care, and much more. www.militaryonesource.mil
Caring and sharing,
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL
407-239-8468

Hard To Hold On To: PTSD Fueled Military Suicides

Laura Kaye draws attention to prevalence of suicide among vets
HAPPY EVER AFTER
USA Today
Special for USA TODAY
August 21, 2014

Laura Kaye, author of Hard to Hold On To, finds more than just a story in the new novella in her Hard Ink series.

Laura: Every once in a while, a character and a book compel you to take his story a step further.

Something about their story or their history or their wounds crawls under your skin and demands that there's something more important there than just a story. And that's what Edward "Easy" Cantrell, the strong, brave, but very troubled veteran hero of Hard to Hold On To, did for me.

So, here's what I'm doing with that feeling: I'm donating all of my proceeds of the first two weeks' sales of this e-original novella to a national non-profit organization that assists wounded veterans as they transition to civilian life. So that's all sales through Sept. 1.
Here are some of the more staggering statistics, according to the Department of Defense. In the U.S. Army, which has the highest suicide rate among the branches (48.7% of all military suicides in 2012), the suicide rate in 2012 was 30 per 100,000, compared with 14 per 100,000 among civilians and 18 per 100,000 in 2008. In 2012, 841 active-duty service members attempted or committed suicide.

Among veterans, as of November 2013, 22 committed suicide every day. Every. Day. I cannot read or think about that statistic without getting choked up. A frightening 30% of veterans say they've considered suicide, and 45% say they know an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who has attempted or committed suicide.

But this problem is more than a list of numbers. It's what real men and women are facing. Since Hard to Hold On To released on Tuesday, members of several military families have contacted me with their stories. One woman shared that her husband lost a military friend to suicide just three days earlier — and it was the third such loss to suicide he'd experienced. Another woman shared that her husband was an Army veteran who served in the Balkans, got air-lifted out around the age of 21, and suffered from severe depression and PTSD, ultimately attempting suicide, after returning home. Another shared that her son had committed suicide, and believed the only way to combat the problem was by coming at it with acceptance and knowledge so that people get the help they need.
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Drone Pilots PTSD Study Links 17 Symptoms

Study: Drone Pilots Suffer PTSD Like Soldiers In Combat
CBS News Cleveland
August 21, 2014
For some of the pilots, the symptoms can be the same as for veterans returning from combat tours.
Pilots of remote controlled drones can suffer the same symptoms of PTSD as military personnel who have been under enemy fire.
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

DAYTON, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) – They are miles from the battlefield, watching war through video monitors and computer screens, but the men and woman who remotely operate military drones can still show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reports Live Science.

About 1,000 Air Force drone pilots completed questionnaires that listed 17 symptoms characteristic of PTSD, such as recurring nightmares, intrusive thoughts, trouble falling asleep and difficulty concentrating.

Researchers found that 4.3 percent of them suffered from moderate to severe PTSD.
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Neighbors Step Up When Amputee Afghanistan Veteran Was Evicted

Neighbors rally to help evicted wounded warrior
Stone Haven residents help veteran find new home
By KSAT Anchor
Ursula Pari
August 21, 2014

SAN ANTONIO - Neighbors in the Stone Haven subdivision on the far North Side are coming to the aid of a wounded warrior who was left homeless Wednesday after falling behind in his rent.

The reclusive veteran lost a leg in combat in Afghanistan and also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his time in battle. So when his neighbors saw his belongings being removed from his home, they took action.

Kara Myers is leading the effort to help the soldier, who earned numerous honors, including the Purple Heart.

“He risked his life for us, so it’s the least we can do,” said Myers.

She said that Wednesday afternoon, several neighbors went into action after noticing a sheriff’s deputy supervising the removal of the soldier’s belongings to the yard.

"At one time they were lined up all the way down the curb, down here and across the other side," Myers said, describing the scene of volunteers who showed up to help pack up the furniture and clothing and take them to a safe place.
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Fort Bragg Soldier from Florida killed in Afghanistan

Fort Bragg paratrooper killed in Afghanistan
WRAL.com
August 21, 2014

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A Fort Bragg paratrooper has been killed in action in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense said Thursday that Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Leggett died the prior day.

The 39-year-old from Ruskin, Florida, was assigned to the headquarters battalion of the 18th Airborne Corps.

No details were provided about where or how Leggett was killed.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Veteran Brian Beaird's family awarded $5 million

LA City Council To Pay $5M In Death Of Veteran Shot By Police After Televised Corvette Pursuit
CBS Los Angeles
August 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a disabled veteran who was fatally shot by Los Angeles police after a pursuit.

The family of 51-year-old Brian Beaird filed a wrongful death lawsuit in May, seeking $20 million in damages. Beaird was shot and killed by Los Angeles police last Dec. 13 at the end of an hour-long car chase that was broadcast on TV.

According to the family’s attorney, Beaird watched live as police shot his son.
Just after 10:30 p.m., the Corvette smashed into a Nissan Maxima. As the car’s tires spun and smoked, the driver exited the Corvette. He was then shot, and collapsed on his back on a sidewalk.

The Oceanside man — a National Guard veteran — died at a hospital about 45 minutes after the chase ended near the intersection of East Olympic Boulevard and South Los Angeles Street.
No weapon was recovered at the scene of the shooting, according to police. read more here

Medal of Honor Vietnam Veteran Bernard Fisher Passed Away

Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient Bernard Fisher dies
The Idaho Statesman
By John Sowell
Published: August 20, 2014

KUNA, Idaho (MCT) — Bernard Fisher, who risked his life landing his attack plane to rescue a fellow pilot while North Vietnamese troops shot at him, died Saturday at age 87.

President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Fisher with the Medal of Honor for his heroics in rescuing Maj. Dafford "Jump" Myers on March 10, 1966, in the A Shau Valley along South Vietnam's western border with Laos.

"He was a heck of a pilot and one of the finest gentlemen I've ever met," retired Air Force Col. Eugene Deatrick said Tuesday by phone from Alexandria, Va.

Deatrick, 89, commanded the 1st Air Commando Squadron at Pleiku and had a distinguished flying career himself. Fisher, Deatrick said, took his responsibilities seriously but had a calm demeanor.

Col. David Iverson, commander of the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, called Fisher an "American hero."

"Bernie's life is an inspiration to those who met him and to all airmen who will continue to hear his story," Iverson said in a written statement. "The men and women of Mountain Home Air Force Base were blessed to have a special relationship with Col. Fisher. He visited and mentored airmen on numerous occasions, sharing his philosophy and leadership advice."
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Military Identity Theft

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 21, 2014

Given the right opportunity, (trauma) it strikes without mercy. It seems harmless at first as it penetrates your memory while you wait for your brain to reboot allowing you to go back to the way you were before, but when you are not paying attention, it gets stronger.

Everything stored in your system is infected. Your memory files become infected. The entire system starts to perform with issues. Slower connections to the outside world. Crashes leaving you to start all over again. Frustration builds, anger grows and you pull back from wanting to communicate knowing your system needs more help than you can do yourself, you wait until it gets bad enough to take it in to be fixed. Too often you waited too long and a minor virus spreads to wipe out your entire hard drive.

You can replace the computer and start all over again. Pretend that the files you lost didn't really matter to you but you know they were actually priceless. You are not a computer and you cannot simply replace your mind. You memories are part of you but those memories can become trapped behind stronger memories and those memories corrupt others.

Military identity theft isn't about some thug knowing computer coding enough get your personal information and take what you have. It is more about a thief knowing your coding and how to hit you as hard as possible to rob you of a part of who you are. It is called PTSD.

By the time you turn 25 the military and all that came with it became a part of who you are. Most never thought of doing anything else as if it was part of your DNA before you joined. That is a problem as much as it is part of the recovery.

Old enough by 18 to vote and join the military but not old enough to drink.

You are old enough to be called Veteran before 25 but not old enough to rent a car.
20s and beyond According to recent findings, the human brain does not reach full maturity until at least the mid-20s. (See J. Giedd in References.) The specific changes that follow young adulthood are not yet well studied, but it is known that they involve increased myelination and continued adding and pruning of neurons. As a number of researchers have put it, "the rental car companies have it right." The brain isn't fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car.

As a veteran, the military life, and all that came with it, is part of you. That is why you can never fully fit back into the civilian world. Why would you want to? After all, while you know what it is like to have all the regular problems civilians have, they have no clue what it was like for you. It is one of the reasons veterans spend their free time with other veterans.

You are not selfish or you would have done something else with your life instead of risking it for the sake of someone else on a daily basis. Sure, you may act selfish if you have PTSD, but that is part of feeling lousy.

All the reports on military suicides are up no matter how much they talk about prevention and awareness. Seems like the same story when it comes to computers like the one you're on right now. Being aware of what is going on in the world outside of your room bring little protection to for you.

Next month is "suicide awareness month" but most are wondering what the point is. Numbers go up even though programs to prevent them have also increased. We know more about the number of suicides than ever before but less about how to actually raise awareness of what PTSD is and what it does. For all the talk about raising awareness, it is time we actually start to help you be aware of what you can do to help yourself fix your hard drive.

It is time to recover your memory and protect it.

For a start, go to the top of Wounded Times and in the search field, put in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, military suicides and combat but don't stop there. Put in spiritual healing too. Time to be aware of facts and how to start healing.

OEF OIF soldier killed in motorcycle crash

War vet who served in Iraq and Afghanistan killed in Coopersville crash
FOX 17
BY AGILLFILLAN
AUGUST 20, 2014

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. – A war vet who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars died after crashing his motorcycle in Ottawa County Wednesday.

The crash happened at about 1:30 p.m. at 64th Avenue and Randall Street.

Friends of the family have identified the crash victim as 26-year-old Mike VanHolstyn of Grand Rapids. He was active duty in the army and served 15 months in Iraq and a year in Afghanistan.

Investigators said the motorcyclist was heading west on Randall and the car was going south on 64th Avenue. The car, driven by a 52-year-old Muskegon County man was stopped at a stop sign. The car pulled out, not seeing the motorcycle, said investigators. Deputies said the 26-year-old Grand Rapids man on the motorcycle took evasive action before the crash and ‘put the bike down’ but was hit anyway.
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