Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Newest Medal of Honor Hero Talks About Battle With PTSD

Medal of Honor nominee urges fellow soldiers to get help for PTSD
Associated Press
Article by: MITCH WEISS
April 23, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For U.S. Army Sergeant Kyle White, the firefight began without warning.

White's platoon left a meeting with village elders in Afghanistan after an interpreter heard suspicious chatter on an Army radio.

On the way back to their outpost, White's platoon was ambushed. Over the next few hours, White put his own life at risk to save fellow service members during the Nov. 8, 2007 attack.

"I remember thinking multiple times that day I wasn't going to make it," said White, who will be awarded the Medal of Honor next month by President Barack Obama.

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old White, who now lives in Charlotte, was honored by the North Carolina military community. Gov. Pat McCrory, who was at the gathering, called White a "true American hero."

In his first public discussion of the attack, White made a brief statement and then answered questions about the firefight that killed five members of his platoon and a Marine embedded with his unit.

He also discussed his life since leaving the Army in May, 2011. The Seattle native graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte with a finance degree, and he now works as an investment analyst at a bank in North Carolina's largest city.

White said that after the ambush, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He urged veterans suffering from the illness to get help.
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Politician doesn't think Iraq Vet had real job?

‘Reckless and Irresponsible’: Dem Maryland Gov. Candidate’s Attack on His Iraq War Vet Opponent Backfires
The Blaze
Jason Howerton
Apr. 22, 2014

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, a Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland, has a public relations problem on his hands after he suggested his opponent, an Iraq war veteran, isn’t qualified for a “real job.”

Speaking at an event organized by the Tech Council of Maryland on Monday, Gansler took aim at Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, his opponent for the Democratic nomination, when asked about Maryland’s state-run health insurance exchange.

He touted his leadership skills and experience working with budgets when explaining why he is the better candidate to tackle the state’s issues.
read more here when you are done screaming.

Here's the video

"That's all fine an good but this is a real job."

More Military Officers Getting Help for PTSD Including Chaplains

Just because they have faith does not protect them from feeling the emotional toll of what they do. I am a Chaplain (Civilian, not military) and I depend on a large group of spiritual leaders in Point Man Ministries for support. Without them and the support I have received over the last 30 years, I wouldn't be able to help anyone including my own husband.

Some people just assume if you are faithful then you wouldn't be suffering. Yet it is because you are, you did what was needed for the sake of someone else, that you can be torn. The more you feel, the more you feel everything. Get help to feel better. You are not stuck suffering with PTSD and your life can change again.

Less silent suffering: Veterans’ post-traumatic stress taken seriously
The Washington Times
By Maggie Ybarra
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Baseball stadiums are some of the few places where Navy Cmdr. Steven Dundas feels safe, where his mind is not anxiously inching toward the past and latching onto memories of children with missing body parts and the stench of burning swamp fires.

The crack of the bat and the whiz of the ball during a minor league Norfolk Tides game at Harbor Park pulls him into the present and reminds him that he is no longer working at a trauma hospital in a war zone. Cmdr. Dundas, a 54-year-old chaplain for the Joint Forces Staff College, is one of a growing number of military officers struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I came home feeling completely isolated. I didn’t fit in society,” said Cmdr. Dundas, who served in the military for more than 25 years before he was afflicted with PTSD in 2008 while deployed in Iraq.

“Other chaplains and clergy did very little for me. I felt even cut off from God and for about two years, until about December 2009, I was pretty much an agnostic, just hoping that God was still around.”

The Defense Department has reported an uptick in the number of military officers who, like Cmdr. Dundas, are seeking help to cope with the disorder, borne out of war zone trauma and characterized by bouts of anxiety and paranoia. It is often accompanied by night terrors and irrational behavior and has spawned violent behavior and suicides.
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Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center opens Mental Health Center

Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center opens new mental health suite
By: Ashley Park
Apr 22, 2014

BONHAM, TX -- As more and more veterans are diagnosed with PTSD, getting help has become vital to their health, even survival.

The Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center has just opened up a new mental health outpatient clinic to offer more services to veterans who need them and who might be hesitant to seek help.

The new suite at the medical center in Bonham offers more space and privacy, something officials say will be beneficial to veterans with mental health disorders.

They say they've seen an increase in veterans and now that they have more space, they believe more will come forward for help.

Veterans will now have a new facility to help them through the challenges some say are even tougher than combat.

The Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center opened a new mental health suite complete with more than 20 offices, giving officials more space to offer more services.

"Individual and group therapy for veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, substance abuse disorder and addiction, and then areas that the VA call seriously mentally ill," says Dr. Steven Bender, clinical director of the mental health services.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Naval officer shoots wife, kills self in west San Antonio

Naval officer shoots wife, kills self in west San Antonio, police say
by Marvin Hurst, Andrew Delgado
Posted on April 22, 2014

SAN ANTONIO -- Local investigators were called to the scene of a fatal double shooting on the west side early Tuesday morning.

Police said a man shot his wife in the chin during a dispute inside their home in the 2200 block of Muuga Manor.

The husband then walked into another room and shot himself to death, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

The man's wife was transported to an area hospital and is expected to survive the attack, police said.

Four children were reportedly inside the home when the shooting happened, around 12:30 a.m. Police said one of the children called police and reported that her 'step dad' had shot her mom.
Ramirez's mother told KENS 5's Marvin Hurst that Ramirez served in Afghanistan. She believes her son was suffering from PTSD.
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The family of Senior Chief Petty Officer Ramirez claims he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Bones from Southeast Asian buried in Arlington grave with MIA remains

This sounds even to strange for an episode of Bones
Documents reveal Southeast Asian remains buried with US vet at Arlington
Stars and Stripes
By Matthew M. Burke
Published: April 21, 2014

Remains from an indigenous Southeast Asian were buried with those of an Army Reserve pilot from the Vietnam War at Arlington National Cemetery, America’s shrine for its fallen heroes.

According to internal POW/MIA documents, when the remains of Chief Warrant Officer 3 William Smith Jr. were turned over to investigators in Vietnam in 1999, a portion belonged to someone else.

Central Identification Laboratory documents stated that the unrelated remains had been identified and segregated from those of the pilot and that only Smith’s remains were shipped to Arlington for burial.

However, an internal memo from the laboratory obtained by Stars and Stripes said that did not happen.

After a ceremony that included a slow march, a horse-drawn caisson and a lone bugler, Smith was buried with foreign remains.

Laboratory anthropologist Gwen Guinan wrote in the internal memo that “subsequent to the shipment and the burial’’ it was discovered that a fragment of a leg bone that should have been separated from Smith’s remains “had been inadvertently included.’’ The memo, addressed to “record” and included in Smith’s case file, was dated Sept. 20, 2000, 12 days after Smith was buried.
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Ohio veteran finally applies for benefits at 106

Ohio veteran turning 106 recently applied for VA care
Lancaster Eagle Gazette
Written by
Ron Simon
News Journal
April 21, 2014

MANSFIELD — When William Dormaier joined the Army in 1943, he was 35 years old and just married. The young men in his unit called him “Pops.”

It’s not likely all of those young men still are alive, because Pops is about to celebrate his 106th birthday Thursday.

Daryl Boggs of the Richland County Veterans Service Commission is sure Dormaier is the oldest living veteran in Richland County and perhaps in all of Ohio.

Dormaier, blind in one eye and almost deaf, isn’t up to doing interviews these days, but his grandson, Robert Dormaier, knows all the stories and wants to share them.
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Australian Soldier Suicides Triple Afghanistan Combat Deaths

Soldier suicide: Number of veterans taking own lives more than triples Afghanistan combat toll
ABC News Australia
AM By Rachael Brown
Updated Tue 22 Apr 2014

Friday's Anzac Day events will commemorate those who fought and fell in wars - but what of those whose names will never be on memorial plaques, those who continued their struggle with demons back home, and lost?

The number of serving and former soldiers who have committed suicide is now more than triple Australia's combat toll in Afghanistan.

Retired Major Anthony Krupa has been married for 15 years, but he was wedded to his job even longer - 18 years, including 11 deployments.

He was addicted to the work, but now it haunts him.

"Back in Bougainville, one of the locals murdered a woman and child," he said.

"[They were] massacred with a machete. That was very difficult, we weren't armed, we weren't in a position to be able to do anything.

"I do have flashbacks of the situation in Iraq in 2005. The Iraqis had detained this insurgent, they were electrocuting him. I still recall the smell of the burning flesh to this day."

On the eve of a posting in 2012, Major Krupa suffered a mental breakdown and tried to kill himself. He confesses he hit rock bottom again last month.

"I crashed that night and once again I found myself in a dark place - 4:00am, not being scared, not worrying about the future of my wife and children, and just saying, 'That's it'," he said.

As with countless veterans, the question nags: "If I'm not a soldier, who am I?"
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Stray bullet killed Vietnam Veteran on his sofa

Stray bullet claims grandfather's life
Eyewitness News
By Mike Dinow
Published: Apr 20, 2014

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A 65-year-old man was fatally shot in the head Friday night while relaxing on a sofa.

While the shooting happened in Fresno, the man's family is grieving in Bakersfield.

"He had just laid his granddaughter Riley down and came and sat down," said Bob Watt, who is Gerald Perry's son-in-law.
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Ohio Veteran Saved Woman on Way to Ceremony for Him!

Veteran rescues neighbor while heading to ceremony in his honor
Monday, April 21, 2014

GRIMES, Iowa (KGO) -- A military hero came to the rescue again as he was heading to an event honoring him for his service.

Sgt. James Yates is a decorated Army reservist who completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yates was picking up his girlfriend and heading to a football game in his hometown of Grimes, Iowa, where he was going to be honored, when suddenly an 11-year-old boy ran to the house looking for help.

Turns out the boy's mother got trapped under her SUV when the jack collapsed.
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Virtual Reality for PTSD disclaimer shows issues

We make fun of virtual reality. Veterans say while it is "cool" it does not do them any good. Sure it may help some, but then again, any step taken will make them feel better for a little while but it doesn't last.

There is a new report on virtual reality. No big shocker here because folks have been pushing this for a long time. The kicker was found in the disclaimer at the bottom of the report.
Rothbaum is a consultant to and owns equity in Virtually Better, Inc, which creates virtual environments, however Virtually Better did not create the Virtual Iraq environment tested in this study. Co-authors Kerry Ressler, PhD, and Michael Davis, PhD, are founding members of Extinction Pharmaceuticals/Therpade Technologies, which seek to develop d-cycloserine and other compounds for use to augment the effectiveness of psychotherapy. They have received no equity or income from this relationship within the last three years. The terms of these arrangements have been reviewed and approved by Emory University in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.
Now that you read that, take it into consideration when you read about claims made.
Emory researchers report first findings of virtual reality exposure therapy for veterans with PTSD
Emory University
Woodruff Health Sciences Center
April 21, 2014

A randomized controlled clinical trial of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) found that shorter doses of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRE) reduces PTSD diagnoses and symptoms.

The study was published in the April 18, 2014 online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry,

Researchers at Emory University conducted the study with 156 veterans with combat-related PTSD. After an introductory session, each veteran was randomly assigned to receive d-cycloserine (DCS) (53 subjects), alprazolam (50 subjects), or a placebo (53 subjects) before each of five sessions of VRE.

The study found PTSD symptoms significantly improved from pre- to post-treatment with the VRE therapy and the DCS may enhance the VRE results for those veterans who demonstrated better emotional learning in sessions. In addition to self-reported symptoms, researchers used objective measures of cortisol, a stress hormone, and the startle response, and found reductions in reactivity after treatment. Alprazolam, known more commonly as Xanax, impaired recovery from symptoms.
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If it works for you, great. If not, don't give up. Keep looking for what works best for you. Make sure that you take care of the whole you. Your mind, body and spirit and heal. You are not "stuck" where you are and can change again.

Navy SEAL's body still missing after dive in 2013

Navy: SEAL Died in Dive Full of Safety Lapses
Honolulu Advertiser
by William Cole
Apr 21, 2014
Leathers was described as a "super-nice guy" who would give others the shirt off his back, according to friends and media reports. He was the father of three young children and had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The disappearance last year of a Pearl Harbor Navy SEAL who was spearfishing with other unit members on a training free dive off Kaena Point was accompanied by sweeping procedural and safety violations, according to the Navy's investigative report.

The death of special operations Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew John Leathers, 33, was likely caused by drowning due to shallow-water blackout during the breath-hold dive training, the command investigation concluded. No scuba gear was used for the exercise.

Leathers, a member of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, was wearing an estimated 8- to 10-pound weight belt on the day of his disappearance, Feb. 19, 2013, according to the report.

He was likely negatively buoyant, which would have kept him under water after a blackout, the report said. His body was never found.
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Marine and 2 year old son battling brain cancer

Marine father, toddler son both diagnosed with brain tumors
WCTI12 News
By Amber Roberts
Apr 20 2014

First, a Havelock family learned their 2-year-old son has brain cancer. Then, the toddler's Marine father learned he has a brain tumor too.

Devon and Valerie Morse, both 24, have a 2-year-old son named David. The family lives at MCAS Cherry Point, where Devon has been stationed as a Marine for the past six years.

The Morse family said they discovered in March that David was not feeling well. The toddler was vomiting, suffering from nose bleeds, and couldn't balance while walking. The family took David to Carteret General Hospital, and he was later airlifted to Vidant Medical Center.

Doctors said the 2-year-old boy had a tumor on the right side of his brain-- the size of a tangerine. After more examinations, the family found out the tumor was malignant. David has brain cancer.

"I stopped and I cried and I cried," Valerie said. "And my husband had to walk out of the room, just to take a breather real quick. And my son looked up at me, and said, 'What's wrong, mommy?' And I just lost it."

David underwent surgery, and doctors were able to remove the majority of the tumor, his family said. He is now undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

But just as Devon and Valerie were coming to terms with their son's long journey ahead, they learned more bad news.

In April, Devon went to Carteret General Hospital after suffering from numbness in his body. Doctors later discovered that Devon has a tumor in his head as well. Doctors said the tumor is too small for surgery, but serious enough for him to seek additional medical treatment and begin taking medicine to prevent it from worsening. Devon is continuing his visits to doctors to figure out how serious his condition is and how to handle it.

If you want to know more and help this family go here

19 Year Old Soldier Earned Bronze Star for Valor, 69 Year Old Receives It

Vietnam veteran honored
Marblehead native to join Ohio Military of Fame
Sandusky Register
APR 20, 2014

Marblehead native John Henderson will never forget his time in Vietnam for a number of reasons. For one, his year-plus spent serving his country in the war is precisely detailed in his 12-inchthick binder. It neatly holds everything from war photos to maps of where he was deployed.

He doesn’t need it to remind himself of the horrors, however.

Plenty of memories are still triggered almost 50 years later as part of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he experiences frequently.

He was 19 years old when he departed for ’Nam. “It’s tough at 19 to handle that,” Henderson said.“It made life harder for me”

Both good and bad memories will always live with Henderson, but strictly good memories will be linked with Henderson’s name throughout eternity.

He will soon be inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor.

“I never thought I’d be inducted into the hall of anything,” Henderson joked.

He’ll patch up his original green U.S. Army uniform and wear it to the May 2 induction ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse.

Yet another pin will be added to his already colorful collection — a bronze star medal with a “V” device. “It’s quite a deal; it means a lot,” Henderson said.
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