Wounded Times


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why Are They Debating Women in Combat?

Women in Combat: Silver Stars, Combat Action Badges and Casualties
by Richard Sisk
Aug 31, 2015

In the coming weeks, the service chiefs will likely cite reams of data to support their positions on whether to lift restrictions on women serving in combat jobs.

A couple of the statistics will be hard to miss: More than 9,000 female troops have earned Combat Action Badges during modern combat operations, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hundreds more have earned valor awards, including the Silver Star, the Army's third-highest valor award.
More than 214,000 women now serve in the military, account for about 14.5 percent of the force. The Marine Corps has the lowest percentage – slightly less than 7 percent. More than 280,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"As of April 2015, 161 women have lost their lives and 1,015 had been wounded in action as part of Global War on Terror (GWOT) operations" since the 9/11 terror attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Army alone reported 89 women killed in the line of duty in Iraq and 36 in Afghanistan. "In addition, in modern combat operations, over 9,000 women have received Army Combat Action Badges for ‘actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy,'" the CRS said.

Through 2012, the Army reported that 437 women earned awards for valor to include two Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 31 Air Medals, and 16 Bronze Stars.
In some instances, the women earning awards for valor led men in firefights. Then-Army Capt. Kellie McCoy, a West Point graduate, earned the Bronze Star with "V" device for her actions on Sept. 18, 2003, for leading 11 male paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division in breaking up an enemy ambush between Fallujah and Ramadi in Iraq's Anbar province.

read more here
Oh but let's not forget the Medal of Honor as well as even more,,,,,,,,,

New Researchers Decades Behind On PTSD

This is why nothing has changed on PTSD research. They did it again. Over and over and over again, repeating studies other researchers discovered over 30 years ago! And I thought you couldn't get into MIT unless you were able to read? This is the headline MIT: PTSD could be prevented And this was the "shocker"
“That was really surprising to us,” said lead author and MIT postdoc Michael Baratta. “It seems like stress is enabling a serotonergic memory consolidation process that is not present in an unstressed animal.”
Yep, they blamed serotonin
Blame it on the serotonin
The specific pathway of this disease involves a part of the brain known as the amygdala, an almond-sized structure involved in responding to and remembering stress and fear. In mice with chronic stress who experience a trauma, a neurotransmitter known as serotonin acted on the amygdala to promote the process of memory consolidation. (Memory consolidation is the process by which short-term memories are turned into long-term memories.)
This shows it goes back to 1972
40 Years of Academic Public Psychiatry edited by Selby Jacobs, Ezra Griffiths
Page 80
"Pioneering research on the role of specific brain areas (locus coeruleus, raphe nuclei, midbrain dopamine neurons) regulating brain norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine functions the systems targeted by out current psychiatric medications.

Easy to see why everything I started reading over 30 years ago has been forgotten. Guess there is no money in actually paying attention to what was learned before the internet actually gave them the ability to learn what was done long before most of them were even born!!!!!
Military veterans
Information about PTSD in veterans of the Vietnam era is derived from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Survey (NVVRS), conducted between 1986 and 1988. The estimated lifetime prevalence of PTSD among American veterans of this war is 30.9% for men and 26.9% for women. An additional 22.5% of the men and 21.2% of the women have been diagnosed with partial PTSD at some point in their lives. The lifetime prevalence of PTSD among veterans of World War II and the Korean War is estimated at 20%.
And this shows who started all the research new researchers have avoided at all costs,,,and I do mean costs since they get paid to do new research no matter how many times it has been done before.
When PTSD was first suggested as a diagnostic category for DSM-III in 1980, it was controversial precisely because of the central role of outside stressors as causes of the disorder. Psychiatry has generally emphasized the internal weaknesses or deficiencies of individuals as the source of mental disorders; prior to the 1970s, war veterans, rape victims, and other trauma survivors were often blamed for their symptoms and regarded as cowards, moral weaklings, or masochists. The high rate of psychiatric casualties among Vietnam veterans, however, led to studies conducted by the Veterans Administration. These studies helped to establish PTSD as a legitimate diagnostic entity with a complex set of causes.

Vietnam Veteran Puts Up Protest Billboard "VA Is Lying, Veterans Are Dying"

Angry billboard brings national VA protest to Haley center
Tampa Tribune
Howard Altman
August 31, 2015
The billboard is on the 1200 block of East Fowler Avenue near the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. SALLY MULCARE
A national group of veterans and their families, upset with the Department of Veterans Affairs, has brought its protest to Tampa — in the form of a message on an electronic billboard on the 1200 block of East Fowler Avenue near the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.

“VA is Lying, Veterans Are Dying,” reads the message, sponsored by a Facebook group called “VA is Lying,” launched by a Vietnam War veteran from Indiana.

“I started the Facebook group about two years ago because I was angry at the VA,” Ron Nesler said.

Nesler said he was upset, in part, about the treatment of his step-daughter, whose biological father is a Marine exposed to Agent Orange when he served in Vietnam. The exposure led to severe birth defects in the child and Nesler said his anger has been stoked by the VA’s poor response to a federal law mandating treatment for children of veterans exposed to the defoliant.

The VA’s actions on the matter have been “unconscionable,” said Rick Weidman, executive director for policy and government affairs for the Vietnam Veterans of America, a veteran service organization that has helped Nesler fight for benefits for his stepdaughter.
read more here

Veterans, No Soup For You, Fundraisers Sucked Pot Dry

You are reading the work of a successful do'er and financial failure. Doing the work, I'm good at but I really suck at raising money to do it. I had to go back to work for a paycheck last year since no one has donated in over a year.

Anyway, there are more of "me types" out there doing the work for the sake of the work and not for money. It hurts when I have to file my financials and show a loss of a couple of thousand every year. What hurts more is when I read about charities using professional fundraisers leaving them with about 15 cents for every dollar given for the sake of veterans.

Donations to Illinois veterans charity mostly go to pay telemarketers
Chicago Tribune
David Jackson
August 31, 2015
A VietNow charity volunteer pushes a rack of boxes filled with hundreds of sandwiches bound for homeless people in Chicago on July 19, 2015, in Lombard.
(Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)
To address the profound and unmet needs of veterans, Americans last year donated $1.4 million to a Rockford charity called VietNow National Headquarters.

But most of the money — about 85 percent — went to for-profit phone solicitors, and most of the rest was spent on VietNow's own administrative costs and a convention, public tax filings show.

The fraction of donations spent on direct service to former military personnel and their families did not even reach 7 percent in 2014. The charity gives out scholarships to youths, but it reported only a handful, worth $3,985.

"It may not seem like much, but it's the best we could do. That's probably the best way to put it," said charity President Joe Lewis, who took the top office last year.

In all, more than 90 percent of the $24 million donated to VietNow since 2003 came through telemarketers who kept the lion's share, the Tribune found. After fielding questions from the Tribune, Lewis vowed to renegotiate VietNow's telemarketing contracts.

"I wish (critics) could show me another avenue or how to raise money that we could embrace that would provide us with the funds we need for our organization," Lewis said. "I understand from the public's perception how it seems like so little of it comes to us. Do I wish we could get more? Pardon the language but, hell yes."
Helping to manage all of VietNow's fundraising is Richard Troia, a longtime telemarketer who in 2004 was permanently banned from charity fundraising in Illinois.

Troia bought more than $1 million worth of office and residential property in Florida and launched a company called United Publishing Inc. that since 2009 has been listed as a registered agent for VietNow in that state, the Tribune found.
read more here

Police Office Shot and Killed, Manhunt Searches for Killers

Manhunt In Fox Lake After Police Officer Shot And Killed
CBS Chicago
September 1, 2015

CHICAGO (CBS) — A manhunt was underway in far north suburban Fox Lake, after a police officer was shot and killed while chasing three suspects on foot.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said an officer was shot Tuesday morning near Rollins Road and Route 59.

At a late-morning news conference, Lake County Sheriff’s Det. Chris Covelli said, around 7:50 a.m., the officer radioed he was pursuing three suspects, after looking into their “suspicious activity.” Police lost radio contact with the officer, who was later found with a gunshot wound. Shortly after the news conference, Covelli confirmed that the officer died.

Covelli said police were conducting a ground and air search for three suspects — two white males and a black male. Unconfirmed dispatch reports indicated the suspects might have taken the officer’s gun and pepper spray. Police did not provide a more detailed description of the suspects.

People in the area were being told to stay inside, and to report any suspicious activity to 911.
read more here

The first female VFW chief in Florida is reaching out to younger veterans

Leaving no Florida veterans behind: Front and Center
Orlando Sentinel
September 1, 2015

VFW Commander Amber Putnam: Veterans deserve better care.
Florida is veterans friendly, says VFW Commander Amber Putnam.
The first female VFW chief in Florida is reaching out to younger veterans.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the herd of GOP presidential hopefuls, recently made a bid to stake out leadership in one vital area: veterans' affairs.

His VA reform plan would enlarge options for care outside the VA and boost focus on female veterans care. Paramount issues in Florida, home to America's third-largest veteran population and more than 166,000 women veterans, including Amber Putnam, the first female state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Florida. Putnam, a panelist on the Sentinel's November Florida Forward veterans forum, recently shared plans for the VFW.

Q: What challenges do you foresee as the first female head of the Florida VFW?

A: The challenges I face are in many ways no different than those of state commanders that have come before me. As a woman, I of course come from a different perspective, but first and foremost I am a veteran. One thing we pride ourselves on as an organization is that we embrace and support all combat veterans regardless of race, religion or gender. It was that way when we served in the military, and it remains that way as we continue to serve.
read more here

Veteran with PTSD Missing in Idaho

Missing retired Army vet with extreme PTSD 
Local News 8 ABC
POSTED:Aug 31, 2015
BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho - An Idaho Falls area family is searching for a missing retired Army veteran with extreme PTSD.

Family members say Mark Oliver is a medically retired combat war veteran. He left home last night near Lincoln Road and Edmiston Drive.

The family says he is a high risk veteran. "He suffers from severe PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and depression. He had a medical history of seizures and black outs" says his wife. 

Mark was last seen wearing a black military shirt, blue jeans, and grey tennis shoes. He wears glasses and has a white gold wedding band. He is six feet tall and about 180 pounds.

Oliver has a large rose tattoo on his left forearm. He was driving a 2010 metallic blue Mazda 3.

If you have any information you are encouraged to call the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office (208) 529-1200.
get updates here

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fort Bragg Commander Removed For Kissing Spouses--Not His

Colonel Removed Over Accusations of Kissing Spouses, Poor Leadership 
Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
by Amanda Dolasinski
Aug 31, 2015
In this file photo from Sept. 25, 2012, Col. Chad B. McRee, commander of the 16th Military Police Brigade, briefs soldiers about the importance of buddy aid when it comes to suicide prevention at Fort Bragg, N.C. 16th Military Police Brigade photo

As Congress wrangled with the growing clamor over sexual misconduct in the military in 2013, a Fort Bragg commander made it a practice to give the wives of subordinates unwelcome kisses on the lips at public events.

After an anonymous letter was sent to the commander's superiors, a subsequent investigation led to his removal from his job. But he stayed in the military and was allowed to quietly retire in April 2015 -- more than two years after the initial complaint about his conduct.

An Army investigation -- triggered by an anonymous letter to Lt. Gen. Daniel Allyn, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps at the time -- reveals that Col. Chad McRee, former commander of the 16th Military Police Brigade, violated five of eight core expectations for Army leaders, made inappropriate remarks toward officers and noncommissioned officers and was unfairly authoritative toward Family Readiness Group members, officers and noncommissioned officers.
In 2013, McRee was suspended amid numerous allegations, then reinstated for the purpose of relinquishing command.

He was moved to serve as a special assistant to the 18th Airborne Corps Headquarters. He went on leave in December 2014 and retired in April 2015, according to Tom McCollum, a spokesman for Fort Bragg. McRee denies allegations
read more here

Veterans HERD Veteran Needed Help and Did It

Area Veteran falls on tough times; fellow service members lend a hand
By Marissa Perlman, News 4 Reporter
Published: August 30, 2015
Some of the vets helping Gozdan suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other physical injuries. But that doesn’t stop them, organizers say they are ready to help.
CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – One local Vietnam veteran’s home is in need of a major overhaul, but he can’t afford to fix it. He’s now getting help from neighbors who have also served. Darryl Gozdan lives on the Cheektowaga-Buffalo border.

He’s lived in this home since 1958, and says he has gotten behind on keeping it up. Now he can’t afford to renovate.
read more here

Vets H.E.R.D. Objective
To raise public awareness about the lack of veterans’ resources in our community and also to ensure that no veteran or service member is forgotten upon his or her return home from active duty.

Vietnam Veteran says "I thank God they recognize the soldiers now"

Orangeburg soldier survives as others around him die in Vietnam attack
Times and Democrat
August 29, 2015
“I thank God they recognize the soldiers now. We go through hell in combat. It took me 21 years to get my disability (benefits), and they know what I went through,” he said.
Albert Shuler Jr. spent 11 months in the combat zone in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, surviving six ambushes and a firefight.
The searing heat and drenching rain make the walk up hills and down through valleys longer.

Albert Shuler Jr. is not used to climbing through the Central Highlands of Vietnam, especially with up to 70 pounds on his back. Carrying his personal items, weapon, ammunition and rations, he moves through thick terrain, constantly looking for an enemy he knows is out to kill.

His reconnaissance platoon maneuvers the best it can. A sergeant gets hit. A member of the squad is hit too, and the infantrymen are pinned down amid the bloodshed.

The North Vietnamese Army unleasheas a barrage of fire. Artillery support is summoned. Planes drop bombs against the enemy, but there are two men whose bodies must be brought back.

Shuler and another soldier are asked to do the job. Fright fills him, and he is almost killed by a sniper. But he gets the job done. These men are his fellow soldiers -- even in death.

The dramatic experience is just one of many during the Orangeburg man’s time in Vietnam. Another comes just a week later.
read more here

Today continues The Times and Democrat's print and online series, “Vietnam: They Served With Honor.” The stories based on interviews with local veterans of the Vietnam War will continue on Sundays and Wednesdays through Nov. 11, Veterans Day. For more photos and video, and earlier stories in the series, visit TheTandD.com.
This is from Wounded Times and shows that while some folks think what OEF and OIF veterans go through is new, it isn't.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vietnam Veteran Finds Forgotten Photos of Never Forgotten

Dawn patrols and downtime in America's ugliest war 
Daily Mail
PUBLISHED: August 2015

One veteran's forgotten photos of Vietnam unveiled after 47 years, showing troops unaware of protests at home - and the many who never made it back
Former artillery officer Christopher Gaynor, now 70, took the images in 1967 and 1968 while deployed

They stayed hidden away for more than 40 years before he reopened them and relived old memories
Shelter: Soldiers are pictured above in cramped conditions near a battery of Howitzer artillery units in Loc Ninh. Thomas Corbin, bottom left with a bandaged finger, was one of Gaynor's war buddies. He died in action a year after this photograph was taken in 1967
These candid images show life on the front lines of the Vietnam war through the eyes of a young soldier, who rediscovered the collection decades after the conflict ended.

In the images by former artillery officer Christopher Gaynor, helicopters swoop down in high-risk troop deployments, convoys rumble through the booby-trapped countryside and infantrymen make tense dawn patrols.

Gaynor, now 70, spent more than a year in Vietnam between 1967 and 1968, taking photographs as he went. As well as showing scenes of battle-ready soldiers and equipment, he also showed his war buddies in their down time.
Photographer: Gaynor is pictured in a more recent photograph, honoring his fellow soldiers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
read more here

Veteran Survived 3 Tours, Attempted Suicide But Not Tampa VA Hospital

Mom questions care at Tampa V.A. hospital
News Channel 8
By Steve Andrews Investigative Reporter
Published: August 29, 2015
Robert Bradford arrived at Haley in May 2012. He suffered paralysis from a gunshot wound to the neck. Robert did two tours of duty in Iraq, a third in Afghanistan. It wasn’t an enemy bullet that turned him into a quadriplegic. Suffering invisible wounds from post traumatic stress disorder, he attempted suicide in 2011. By the time he arrived in Tampa, his mother recalls Robert was eating a regular diet, moved about the grounds with his power chair and went on outings everyday. However, his condition deteriorated and in March of this year Monte told V.A. Secretary McDonald, she wanted her son “out of this grave yard.”
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – The mother of a U.S. Army soldier claims the military sent her son to fight a war at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration hospital without ammunition.

Monte Reinhardt claims her quadriplegic son received substandard care, contracted infections and lived in unsanitary conditions. Her son Army Specialist Robert Bradford was a patient at Haley’s Spinal Cord Injury Center for three years.

“He didn’t really receive top notch care, he really didn’t,” Monte stated.

So earlier this year she fired off a letter to V.A. secretary Robert McDonald complaining of “unsafe staffing levels, no respect for sanitation practices,” pointing out Robert’s gums “are near rotten.”

“When I would brush his teeth, and I would not be rushed, the toothbrush would be bloody,” Monte added.

She wrote McDonald, that Robert contracted “a new infection weekly.”

“He would have a U.T.I.(urinary tract infection) and a couple of times it would get to the point where it was just flat out red,” she explained.
Robert died two days after surgery. His uniform shirt now hangs on a chair in her apartment.
The flag that draped his casket sits on a cabinet beside an urn that contains his ashes. read more here

One More Thing About Bikers Getting Old

Time to laugh a bit. 

A friend sent this picture.

Yes, you read it right and don't need to check your glasses.

It says Sons of Arthritis. Turns out there is a website for our generation with even more stuff for us.

They have T-shirts for Ibuprofen Chapter, Titanium Chapter and Hydrocodone Chapter butt I didn't see any Hemorrhoids Chapter.

Nitty-Gritty Reality of PTSD Awareness and Suicide Prevention

Brutal Honesty, We Suck At Being Aware
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 30, 2015

If we are ever going to change a thing on suicides tied to military service, then it is about time for some brutal honesty regarding the nitty-gritty reality of how much we suck at it.

It is long past the time when PTSD Awareness should have been replaced with Healing Awareness. How many more years do we keep repeated the same failed attempts? Frankly it hasn't done anything in all these years. Veterans are still suffering instead of healing.
The National Center for PTSD promotes awareness of PTSD and effective treatments throughout the year. Starting in 2010, Congress named June 27th PTSD Awareness Day (S. Res. 455). For the second consecutive year in 2014, the Senate designated the full month of June for National PTSD Awareness (S. Res. 481). Efforts are underway to continue this designation in 2015.
Five years later and families are still suffering without knowing anything about what PTSD is or what they can do to actually help someone they love anymore than they know how they can make their lives better. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

What good did it do? What good did all the "efforts" to raise awareness do when the numbers show nothing has changed? The men and women suffering Combat PTSD managed to do everything humanly possible to survived combat while still being willing to sacrifice their own lives to save someone else. Yet these same service members struggle to find a reason to stay alive back home where they are supposed to be out of danger. Top all that off with the fact that there are billions of dollars spent every year on PTSD.

We had excuses before the 80's when researchers knew what PTSD but average folks were not clued in. I had no idea back in 82 when my Dad was using "shell shock" to explain it to me when I met a Vietnam veteran. I had to go to the library to learn about it from clinical books and a dictionary because of all the words I didn't understand. That research started me on this odyssey lasting over half my life. I ended up marrying that Vietnam veteran over 30 years ago. We're still together and past most of the anguishing years into the healing years when what is normal for us is far from normal to the civilian world.

What I learned saved lives and helped families just like mine. I still have to accept responsibility for what I failed to do that ended up costing my husband's nephew his life. I knew it all. Knew all the right things to say to help him. I had all the facts and understood what was needed. What I didn't know was how to get him to listen and hear me. His suicide haunts me every time I read about another veteran becoming so hopeless and lost the only way they see to end their suffering is to end their own lives.

Outreach work has supported generations of veterans to seek help. As a matter of fact this report came out in October of 2008
In the past 18 months, 148,000 Vietnam veterans have gone to VA centers reporting symptoms of PTSD "30 years after the war," said Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, deputy commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He recently visited El Paso.
But that came along with being sent to the back of the line almost as if they were not really worthy.
Vice Adm. Daniel L. Cooper, undersecretary for benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs -- in a memo obtained by the El Paso Times -- instructs the department's employees to put Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans at the head of the line when processing claims for medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, employment and education benefits...

The rest of the country decided that they were going to do the same thing and started charities just for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. It didn't matter that Gulf War veterans, Vietnam veterans, Korean War veterans and WWII veterans waited even longer to have their wounds treated and be reassured they mattered as well.

Most of the "awareness" advocates are not aware of the simple fact most of the suicides, 78% of them are those older veterans they pushed to the back of the line.
Veteran suicide numbers have gone up in recent years with much of the attention focused on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan killing themselves. However, almost seven out of 10 veterans who have committed suicide were over the age of 50, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs study.
Veterans over the age of 50 who had entered the VA healthcare system made up about 78 percent of the total number of veterans who committed suicide - 9 percentage points higher than the general pool.
But it is easier to just go with the flow and talk about what is popular like repeating the number "22" as if it was based on facts and then dismissing the fact that number is being presented pertaining to just Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Easier to avoid mentioning that after all these years of everyone doing everything, or claiming to, more are dead today than alive and healing.
"After two tours in Iraq with the Marine Corps Reserve, Steven Vickerman tried to resume a normal life at home with his wife, but he could not shake a feeling of despair.

His parents, Richard and Carole Vickerman of Palisades, went to visit him at a veterans hospital after he suffered a mental breakdown; they were in disbelief. The funny and adventurous baby brother had become sullen, withdrawn and full of anxiety. Vickerman, who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, killed himself Feb. 19."

His suicide didn't happen this year. It didn't happen last year. His family buried him in 2008.
"Families like the Vickermans often feel overwhelmed by the guilt and helplessness that surrounds post-traumatic stress disorder. The Vickermans wanted to help their son but did not know where to look for support services or how to deal with the effects of the illness.

The VA, they believed, had failed their son. The services available, they said, were insufficient, and the government should do more to address the issue for returning war vets.

"There should be something that can be done, not only for the proud soldiers but also for their families," Carole Vickerman said. "When you hear the word 'stress,' it sounds so innocuous. It's not stress; it's a killer.""

Families still don't know what to do anymore than they understand what PTSD is, what it does, why it does it or what they can do to make it better by not making mistakes to make it worse.

What good did PTSD Awareness really do? Not much at all other than to raise a lot of money doing Lord knows what for who other than fundraisers. It is still extremely hard to understand what they are trying to actually raise awareness of and who they are trying to inform when they cannot even answer basic questions.

It all sounds great until you actually listen to what they don't say. You never really hear anything helpful or, for the most part, factual.

The first fact they need to know is they are not stuck! They can change again and heal to live better lives but that won't happen as long as folks are still stuck on letting others know how much they really don't know about PTSD and suicides.

You are not alone. There is support.
The Defense Department takes the issue of suicide very seriously and is actively working to reduce the number of suicides.

Defense Suicide Prevention Office serves as the government oversight authority for the strategic development, implementation, centralization, standardization, communication and evaluation of Defense Department suicide and risk reduction programs, policies and surveillance activities to reduce the impact of suicide on service members and their families.

Everyone can help prevent suicide. Know how to recognize common risk factors including chronic pain; feelings of guilt, anger, or shame; exposure to trauma; a sense of hopelessness; relationship problems; and posttraumatic stress disorder. If you are experiencing any of these behaviors or notice them in friends and family who have served in the military, encourage them to seek help right away.

Service members in crisis should seek help immediately by contacting the Military Crisis Line. Dial 800-273-8255 (press 1 for military) for 24/7 crisis support. The crisis line, found at http://militarycrisisline.net, also provides a chat and text service.

The problem with that is, again, simple. Facts show what they have been doing does not work If it had, then the number of current military suicides would have been reduced to the point where they would be historically low. They are not. They remain high. What makes that worse is the other simple fact on suicides among the OEF and OIF veterans committing suicide. Compared to their peers, they are triple the civilian rate.
Former troops in that high-risk age group — who were also enrolled for care at veterans' hospitals — posted a suicide rate of 79.1 per 100,000 during 2011, the latest data available. In contrast, the annual suicide rate for all American males has recently averaged about 25 per 100,000, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports.
During 2009, the suicide rate for veterans 24 and younger was 46.1 per 100,000 — meaning the deadly pace increased by 79 percent during that two-year span.

For female veterans it is even worse.
The rates are highest among young veterans, the VA found in new research compiling 11 years of data. For women ages 18 to 29, veterans kill themselves at nearly 12 times the rate of nonveterans.

The awareness most folks are claiming to raise is different from our reality. If you really want to raise meaningful awareness, then start with the truth, that isn't pretty, isn't popular or lucrative but is vital if we are ever going to stop sucking at what we do for them. Before Congress passes another prevention bill we have to prevent them from doing more harm than good.

UK Veteran Went From Diana's Pallbearer to Tossed Aside

Hero soldier who carried Princess Diana's coffin says Ministry of Defence 'tossed him aside' after he lost a leg and left the Army
Daily Mail
PUBLISHED: 03:39 EST, 30 August 2015
Ex-Welsh Guardsman Phil Bartlett hit out at treatment after leaving Army
He says he was 'tossed aside' after losing a leg following 20 years service
Mr Bartlett, 41, was one of pallbearers at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997
But after being discharged he hit financial trouble and attempted suicide
Do you know any of the other pallbearers? Call 02036151861 or email sam.tonkin@mailonline.co.uk
Earlier this month it emerged that NHS delays are leaving badly wounded Afghanistan veterans wheelchair-bound because many are having to wait months for prosthetic legs that actually fit properly.
Proud moment: Phil Bartlett, 41, (circled) carried the grief of a nation on his shoulders as pallbearer at Princess Diana's funeral. But he said the Ministry of Defence then 'tossed him aside' after he left the Army
A former soldier who carried the grief of a nation on his shoulders as pallbearer at Princess Diana's funeral says the Ministry of Defence then 'tossed him aside' after he lost a leg and left the Army.

Phil Bartlett, 41, an ex-Welsh Guardsman, hit out at David Cameron for the way he has been treated since being medically discharged following 20 years of service in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland.

He told of how his life went into a downward spiral after leaving the Army, leading to him attempting suicide, and accused the government of 'tossing him aside like a toy'.

Mr Bartlett told Lauren Veevers and Emily Nash at The Sun on Sunday how he went from proudly carrying Diana's coffin to suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and being left jobless, divorced and living in a one-bedroom council house.

Speaking on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Princess of Wales' death, he said: 'It was such an honour to carry her coffin.
read more here