Wounded Times


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Home of the Brave Homeless Veterans Get Pot

Homeless veterans were discovering apartment walls don't make a home when they have nothing to cook with. A veteran faced that fact when he wanted to cook a meal for himself. Now he is doing what he can to make sure homeless veterans have pots, pans and everything else they need to start again.
Once homeless vet helping others with home basics
Courier Post
Carol Comegno
July 31, 2015
Former homeless veteran Fred Silhol sits in his Audubon apartment with the apartment starter kit he put together for other homeless vets transitioning to permanent housing from Volunteers of America homeless shelters. (Photo: JOHN ZIOMEK/COURIER-POST)
AUDUBON – A homeless and divorced military retiree from Cherry Hill found himself living in a car and then a seedy motel until reluctantly landing at the Home of the Brave, a homeless shelter in Camden for veterans.

After getting rehired to his old job as a bartender at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Route 70, Fred Silhol was able to leave the shelter for an apartment in Audubon with the assistance of Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, the Home of the Brave operator.

Excited to be in his own home again, the retired U.S. Army master sergeant wanted to cook dinner that first night but suddenly came to a ballon-bursting realization. He did not have a pot or pan, dish or cup, silverware, can opener or anything else to prepare a meal and eat it except for his stove.

Resolute, he scraped $50 together to buy some basic, but essential, items for his new home.

That gave Silhol the idea to pull together another apartment starter kit for a homeless veteran transitioning from a shelter to permanent housing.

The VOA accepted his donation and embraced the concept, creating a new program kicking off this month called ASK, the Apartment Starter Kit.

“I just wanted to give back something for what the VOA did for me and to help other veterans who may find themselves in the same predicament as I did when leaving the shelter,” said Silhol, 54, a who served as a paratrooper in both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and as a drill sergeant.
read more here

Friday, July 31, 2015

Marine Corps Officers Not As Smart As Before?

Why Are Marine Corps Officers Less Smart Than Before?

"Today's less qualified officer candidates 
will be tomorrow's senior military leaders"
The General Classification Test (GCT) from World War II to present day. BROOKINGS
When the United States ended the draft and transitioned to an all-volunteer military in 1973, there was concern about who would join and whether the transition would negatively impact the quality of the force, which many suspected it would.

As it turns out, the quality of the force as a whole actually increased over time. In 1977, 27.1 percent of new enlisted recruits met the military’s standard for being “high quality,” meaning that they possessed a high school diploma and above-average intelligence relative to the U.S. population as a whole. Decades later, at the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, 60 percent of new enlisted recruits met the high quality standard.

But what about military officers? Though commissioned officers comprise only about 16 percent of the force, they clearly have a major impact on the success of the military as a whole given their leadership role for their troops and responsibility for strategy and tactics.
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Vietnam Veteran Died Over Wrong DNR Order

Audit cites California VA hospital’s ‘confusion’ in patient’s death
Sun Herald
July 30, 2015
A Citrus Heights, Calif., resident, Mayo had served in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and worked as a Riverside County deputy sheriff. He had a medical history that included hypertension and post-traumatic stress disorder when he entered the hospital for elective heart surgery.
WASHINGTON — An erroneous wristband placed on a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran caused a “delay in life-saving intervention” at the Mather VA facility in Sacramento, federal investigators say in a new report prompted by the patient’s death under questionable circumstances last October.

The wristband incorrectly identified patient Roland Mayo as having given a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, also known as a DNR.

The resulting “confusion” about Mayo’s status “delayed chest compressions, defibrillation pad placement, and medications” when he went into cardiac arrest, investigators with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General concluded. As a result, two precious minutes reportedly passed between the time Mayo’s pulse stopped and CPR began.

“The American Heart Association recommends initiating immediate chest compressions for adults suffering from sudden cardiopulmonary arrest,” investigators noted.

They further described a seemingly frantic scene on the day of Mayo’s death, during which so many medical personnel crowded into the patient’s room that they blocked the doorway and spilled out into the hallway.

“A nursing supervisor and physician requested several times for nonessential personnel to leave, but no one did so,” investigators noted. “Staff reported having difficulties hearing the physician’s orders throughout the code because there were so many people in the room.”
read more here

Canada: Widow Blames Mounties For Husband's Death

Widow Blames Mounties for Husband's Death
Courthouse News Service
July 31, 2015
In the days after his death, his widow says, an RCMP chaplain took over the funeral arrangements and refused to let her deliver a eulogy or play songs she selected for the funeral.
VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - Harassment from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police drove a prominent member of the force to suicide, and the Mounties wouldn't let his widow give a eulogy at his funeral, she claims in court.

Sheila Lemaitre, a former Mountie who met her husband Pierre Lemaitre on the job, says her husband was a dedicated, passionate officer who was praised by higher-ups.

Pierre Lemaitre joined the RCMP in 1985 and was posted to a media relations position in 2003. In July that year, a reporter told Lemaitre that his direct supervisor had sexually harassed her "on a number of occasions."

"Although struggling with the impact of reporting this complaint would have on the small media unit, Pierre Lemaitre knew from policy and training that he was required to report the matter to the Sergeant's superior officer," the widow says in her July 20 claim in British Columbia Supreme Court.
Sheila Lemaitre says her husband was "shunned and isolated" by fellow officers after the transfer, causing him to develop depression, anger management issues and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. He went off-duty on sick leave in February 2013 and committed suicide on July 29 that year.
read more here

SIckening Note on Marine Iraq Veteran's Car in New York

Veteran finds hateful note on car at NY shopping center
Rachel Yonkunas
Published: July 31, 2015

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A simple trip to the store ended with a veteran getting a hateful letter left on his car.

When a local Iraq War veteran went shopping Thursday morning, he did not expect to find an anonymous note with ugly language left on his car.

The letter blasted the Marine for having a Purple Heart and serving overseas. It stated, “All of you Islamaphobe vets deserve to die.”

The note has people shaking their heads. Some call the author pathetic.

“It’s just shocking,” Ann Lanoir said. “It’s just ignorant. That’s the way I feel. I feel like some punk wrote it.”

“Makes me sick to my stomach,” Navy veteran Robert LaPrairie said. “To me, it’s an act of terrorism really.”
read more here

Veteran of Korea and Vietnam Laid to Rest At Arlington

Fresno-area veteran lauded at Arlington burial
McClatchy DC
Corinne Kennedy
July 30, 2015
A family man and patriot, friends and family say
Veteran of 329 combat missions in Korea, Vietnam
Inspired loyalty from colleagues
Leué flew 329 combat missions over both Korea and Vietnam during more than three decades of military service. He earned numerous honors, including four Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Navy Commendation medals and a Bronze Star. He also penned two memoirs detailing his service.

The Navy Honor Guard carries the casket of Korean and 
Vietnam war veteran David Leue. Daniel Desrochers McClatchy
WASHINGTON A construction worker removed his hardhat and held it over his heart Thursday morning as the funeral procession wound its way through Arlington National Cemetery.

As the sun broke through the clouds for the first time all morning, tourists put down their cameras to watch as the family of David E. Leué followed his shiny silver casket, draped in an American flag and carried by horse-drawn cart, to its final resting place.

Leué, of Clovis, Calif., died Jan. 25 and was interred with full military honors, including a three-volley rifle salute and the playing of Taps. He was 87.

His burial at Arlington took several months, as is often the case at the revered patch of greenery across the Potomac River from the capital, where the tombstones honor national luminaries and everyday Americans alike.
read more here

Waco Looks At PTSD in Veterans and First Responders

This report says that research on First Responders with PTSD started recently but that report is wrong. It began years ago but acknowledging how long all of this has been going on would force folks to admit they didn't take it seriously enough when they had a chance to fix it fast.
Waco research facility takes aim at PTSD in first responders, veterans
KXXV News ABC 25
By Grant Hermes
Posted: Jul 29, 2015

Doctors at the Warrior Research Institute (WRI) said they've seen a clear link between traumatic situations experienced by first responders and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), similar to the way veterans develop the disorder.

According to the institute's director, Dr. Suzy Bird Gulliver, between nine and 13 percent of fire fighters experience some form of PTSD on the job. Gulliver focuses primarily on veterans and fire fighters, although said the research at WRI, in partnership with Baylor Scott and White healthcare, has begun to expand to police officers and paramedics.
read more here
KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

PTSD I Grieve

Washington 7-11 Clerk Did Not Like Serving Soldier?

Soldier denied service at 7-Eleven 
By Gary Horcher
July 29, 2015
“From moment one, the only thing I was hoping to do by coming forward with this is to get the issue addressed with the employee,” He said. “If you don't know something is wrong, you can't fix it."

REDMOND, Wash. — A local soldier, whose story sparked a firestorm of nationwide anger on social media, says a Redmond convenience store clerk denied him service, after he showed his military ID.

Collin Brown –- who is a reservist in the Army – was purchasing cigarettes for his fiancé, and a Slurpee last Wednesday, at the 7-Eleven on West Lake Sammamish Parkway. Brown put his U.S. military ID on the counter, when the cashier asked for his proof of age. The ID clearly has his date of birth on the back and serves as legal ID.

“She said, 'You're in the military?' I said, 'Yes,'” Brown said. “She said, 'I can't serve you.'" Honestly, I was in shock. I asked, 'Are you serious?' “She looked at me like she was offended," he said.

Brown says he asked the clerk why there was a problem as he pulled out his driver's license to back up his military ID.
read more here

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Death of Twentynine Palms Marine Still Unclear

Twentynine Palms Marine shooting death details unclear
The Desert Sun
Anna Rumer
July 29, 2015
Dominic Pavelko was stationed at the Twentynine Palms
military base as a motor transport operator before he
died as the result of a gunshot wound.
(Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Scholles)
Nearly a month after a 23-year-old Marine died of a gunshot wound at the Twentynine Palms military base, officials have released little information on the circumstances surrounding his death.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Justin Smith confirmed that a Marine died of a gunshot wound on July 2, but said he was unable to release any information surrounding his death other than saying the injury didn't occur during a training exercise.

"Officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at this time," he said in an email. "Right now, the focus of the investigation command is bereavement and grief counseling, which are offered to service members and their families at all times, but especially in the light of recent circumstances."

A representative for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service acknowledged there was an ongoing investigation into Dominic Pavelko's death, but declined to comment further.
read more here

UK: More Afghanistan Veterans Than Iraq Veterans Have PTSD

Troops who served in Afghanistan ‘suffer more PTSD than Iraq veterans’
Posted: July 30, 2015

Far more British troops who served in Afghanistan are seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than those who were deployed to Iraq, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

For each separate deployment to Iraq, soldiers have a 40% increased risk of PTSD, but for those who went to Afghanistan there is a 270% risk, it said.

Dr Dominic Murphy, a clinical psychologist and head of research at veteran’s mental health charity Combat Stress, said the statistics were “surprising”.

“It could be because there is now more awareness and less stigma than ever before – we are also seeing a huge increase in veterans coming to us at Combat Stress with PTSD,” he said.

“In Afghanistan from 2005 onwards there was a big increase in the number of British fatalities, which could be seen as a measure of increased war fighting.

“Things got very difficult in Afghanistan, with more people getting injured or killed that could be one of the reasons why people are so badly affected now.”

Dr Murphy said he was also surprised at the fact that members of the armed forces are more likely to be assessed with a mental disorder than the general population of the UK.
The Army and Royal Marines had the highest proportion of personnel assessed with PTSD during the eight-year period, thought to be because both routinely deployed in large numbers to Iraq and Afghanistan.
read more here

“Missing in America Project” Will Honor 21 Utah Veterans

Unclaimed Weber County vets to get full military funerals 
Mitch Shaw
July 30, 2015
To date, the MIAP has interred 2,441 veterans across the country. The organization estimates the remains of 200,000 to 300,000 veterans are still unclaimed.
OGDEN — They have no known family and some of them have been dead for nearly 20 years, but this weekend a group of Utah veterans will finally receive the resting place they deserve.

On Aug. 1, an organization known as the “Missing in America Project” will honor 21 Utah veterans whose remains have been in the care of area mortuaries, in some cases for as long as 18 years, but have remained unclaimed.

A full military service will be held for the veterans at 9 a.m. at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 17111 S. Camp Williams Road, Riverton.

Eleven of the veterans are from Weber County and 10 hail from Salt Lake County.

A pair of Salt Lake County veterans who have been in the care of family will also be included in the service.

Roger Graves, a Cedar City resident who oversees the MIAP project in a five-state region that also includes Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana, said the MIAP’s mission is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans to “provide honor and respect to those who have served this country,” by securing a final resting place for veterans that Graves calls “Forgotten Heroes.”
read more here

Kansas City Veteran Accused of Lying by 6 From His Unit

Kansas soldier honored for his service now under attack by members of his own unit
POSTED JULY 29, 2015
Myers said he has been dealing with Garrison’s lies ever since 2008. That’s when Garrison was interviewed by HBO for a documentary on the portion of Arlington Cemetery dedicated to veterans of the Afghanistan War.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Fellow servicemen of one area solider say Brandon Garrison told several lies about his military experiences in order to receive unearned praise and free services he didn’t deserve.

Some may have already heard about Garrison. He received a free house in Kansas City Kansas last year. Last February, he got a free service dog; all because of his service half a world away in Afghanistan.

Garrison served in the Army and left with what he describes as major injuries, from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome to traumatic brain injury; something he said may have been resulted when both of his eardrums were ruptured.

Garrison was on FOX 4 News again last May talking about more injuries. This time possible nerve damage caused by exposure to noxious fumes from the burning pits the Army used to dispose of trash in Afghanistan. It was after that news report that six members of Garrison’s former Army unit contacted FOX 4 with a warning: Garrison is a liar.

Myers said Garrison spent the majority of his service in the Korengal Valley in the only air-conditioned office in the outpost.
But Garrison was considerably more straight forward when it came to his claims on HBO regarding Sgt. Wilson.

“I would like to apologize first and foremost to the family members and service members who were affected by the inaccuracies of my interview eight years ago,” Garrison said. “I take full responsibility for that. The lessons that I learned from that have helped make me a more mature individual.”
read more here

From Stars and Stripes
At home, but not at peace: A soldier's struggle with PTSD
Spc. Brandon Garrison volunteered to deploy and loved putting on his uniform each day. But after watching a mortar attack claim one of his friends in Afghanistan, he joined the thousands of servicemembers battling PTSD.
March 30, 2008

Baby Survived After Pregnant Woman Shot to Death in Murder-Suicide

Pregnant woman shot to death in murder-suicide, unborn baby survives
FOX 8 Cleveland
JULY 29, 2015
“Chrissy was on her knees, she was yelling and screaming ‘he`s going to kill me, he`s going to kill me,’” Mary said. “I said Chris, don`t, I told him’ don`t kill Chrissy, don`t kill her, don`t kill Chrissy’ and he shot her in the head.”

“He looked at me, put the gun to his head and shot.”

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A pregnant woman was shot to death, but doctors were able to save her unborn child after an apparent murder-suicide Tuesday night.

That’s according to Mary Scruggs, the mother of the suspected shooter, Chris Scruggs, 32. Chris was the victim’s fiance and high school sweetheart, Mary says.

“He loved Chrissy and Chrissy loved him,” Mary said.

Mary says her son struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; there were times when he wasn`t himself. “So you sensed there were moments when he was edgy? Asked Fox8’s Lorrie Taylor, “I knew, um hum, and I can understand that.”
read more here

Iraq Veteran's Home Robbed 3rd Time

Thieves Target Iraq Veteran’s Home Three Times 
Steve Pickett
July 29, 2015
Bowden also struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Golfing became therapy — until burglars stole the golf clubs.
FORNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Kevin Bowden’s garage is his late night sanctuary. “When I don’t sleep, I’m here,” he said, pointing to one of two patio chairs stationed at opening of the garage of his Forney home.

Sleep is an apparent rarity for the Iraq War veteran. Disabled after sustaining an injury to his brain after a roadside bomb detonated under his military Humvee, the former Army Sergeant takes refuge in his garage, filled with tools, lawn equipment and a home security system.

Missing from the inventory are drills, a leaf blower and Bowden’s treasured golf clubs.
read more here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

VA Budget Short $3 Million or Billion?

The headline was $3 Million but as you read the article, you see it was more like $3 Billion,

Department of Veterans Affairs reveals last minute $3 million budget shortfall
by Continuous News Desk
Posted: 07.28.2015
"The VA's not managed well I think, because they should have asked for that a long time ago," he said.

Congressman Jeff Miller who chairs the House Veteran's Affairs committee agrees.

"Unfortunately, the VA waited to the last minute to inform us before the August recess that they now have a $2.6 billion budget shortfall," says Miller.

But that isn't anything new. The claim about "last minute" isn't true either.

This was posted back in April
Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the 2016 Veterans Affairs funding bill, and slashed more than $1.4 billion from the president’s requested budget for America’s Veterans. Today, VA Secretary Bob McDonald appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss that budget proposal.

This came out in June
Hearing on VA Budget Shortfall
June 26, 2015 - FRA
The House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) held a hearing to review how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) could have a $2.6 billion budget shortfall for the current fiscal year (FY 2015). The VA claimed that the shortfall is mainly because of increased demand by veterans for health care, including new life-saving treatments for Hepatitis C.
Hmm,,,that was "last minute" before August recess?

VA Budget Shortfall Again No Big Shocker To Us takes a look at the shortfall going back to 1985. It is really odd how $3 billion number keeps popping up and heads of members of Congress claim to be so upset over it,,,,over and over again.

Vietnam Veterans of America: President Bush's VA Budget is $3 Billion Short

February 13, 2008 - "The annual exercise of debating the merits of the President's proposed budget is flawed," said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America, before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "Medical Center directors should not be held in limbo as Congress adjusts this budget and misses, yet again, the start of the fiscal year.

"These public servants can be more effective and efficient managers if they are able to properly plan for the funding needed to care for their patients. We ask that you consider an immediate alternative to the broken system we currently have," Rowan said.

Rowan characterized as "inadequate" the FY'09 request for $2.34 billion more than the FY'08 appropriation. This "barely keeps up with inflation" and "will not allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue enhancing its physical and mental health care services for returning veterans, restore needed long-term care programs for aging veterans, or allow working-class veterans to return to their health care system."

$3.6 billion hike urged for VA health care
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 6, 2009

Four leading veterans groups called Friday for a $4.5 billion increase in veterans programs, including $3.6 billion for health care.

This is an even bigger increase than the groups asked for a year ago, and puts added pressure on President Barack Obama to keep campaign promises for full funding of Veterans Affairs Department programs.

The increase, which would result in a $54.6 billion discretionary VA budget, comes in the so-called “independent budget” prepared each year by AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.