May 13, 2013:
Seal Team Six is best known for its very successful mission to get Osama Bin Laden. But it did something equally impressive a little over a year ago in a very different effort. In this case it was to simply to save an American who had been kidnapped by Somali bandits. I saw this story on CBS 60 Minutes last night and felt that is was a story I would like to recount here.
May 10, 2013:
"I still miss my team." David, an Army Recon Vietnam veteran had been wounded and was receiving treatment at a hospital in Vietnam when his team went out on patrol and never came back.
May 8, 2013:
Today, May 8, 2013 is the 68th anniversary of V.E. Day. The long and terrible war was over in Europe. That continent was devastated by the aggressive attempt of Nazi and fascist forces to conquer it under their dark cultures of death. The forces of freedom had won out and the celebrations were immense and fervent.
May 6, 2013:
CBS 60 Minutes presented a very powerful piece last night, May 5, 2013, on traumatic brain injuries (TBI's) as real, and this is important, physical wounds. TBI is not the same as PTSD. It is something completely separate from PTSD, but can be an extremely debilitating factor if both are being experienced by the same person.
May 5, 2013:
It has been 45 years since I left Vietnam. Much has happened during that time, of course. I married, had two daughters and now, two, soon to be three, grandchildren. I got an education and had a career in teaching at both the high school and university levels. And now, I am very pleasantly retired.
May 4, 2013:
This story is being repeated more and more these days. The Joint POW/MIA Command organizes 90-100 missions each year all over the world trying to recover the remains of service members listed as missing from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War. Every month they positively identify six to eight of the MIA's and take them off the list.
May 3, 2013:
The private sector has been making commitments to hire veterans for some time now. For example, Walmart, UPS, and others have been doing this for some time. The White House has recently announced a "significant new effort to reduce unemployment and improve job prospects among veterans." They say that they are "enlisting the support" of U.S. companies to hire 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. I am pleased to see a coordinated effort by both the public and private sectors in this effort. All such efforts are to be welcomed, and might I add, encouraged. It is after all, the right thing to do.
May 2, 2013:
This is a powerful video of a wife speaking about her Vietnam veteran husband's struggles to recover from the debilitating effects of PTSD. Her love and understanding, as well as that of fellow veterans brought him to recognize his need for help.
May 1, 2013:
This is a video of an outdoor concert for the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego. The musicians range in age from the Vietnam era to the present, and they know how to jam and have some fun.
Apr 30, 2013:
A lot has transpired in the two weeks that have passed since the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 14, 2013. The cowardly, destructive intent of terrorism made it through the fire walls of our national security and tried, once again, to cause fear and panic among us. Once again, it has failed. The people of Boston showed the world that Americans do not scare easily. That freedom will not be cowed by the cowardly forces of terror.
Apr 29, 2013:
This young U.S. Navy veteran has a very important message for all veterans. "Don't wait if you are having problems." If you are recognizing that you are having problems, or are hearing that from others, don't wait to go see the local VA. You have earned those benefits. They are there for you. Don't hesitate to use them.
Apr 25, 2013:
This Army medic veteran says it better than most. He gives as clear an insight into the difficulties of transitioning from war experiences back into civilian life as anyone I've seen in these videos before. He knows the problems, because he has not only experienced them, but he had faced them head-on, looked at them for what they are, and has found the most useful tools to be put to use in handling them in the healthiest, most effective of ways.
Apr 24, 2013:
Eddie Agosto joined the Marines at age 19 to escape the mean streets of Brooklyn. In 1980, President Carter sent a small force into Iran to try to liberate the American Embassy hostages that were being held by revolutionary Iranian element. It ended in a disastrous crash in the desert during a sandstorm. Eddie was on that mission. He was in another helicopter. He and his comrades had to rescue the injured and hastily bag the ruined bodies of the deceased and get out of there before their failed mission was discovered by Iranian revolutionary forces. What he saw and experienced, and what he had to do for his comrades, sent him on a downward spiral into the darkness of PTSD on his return home.
Apr 17, 2013:
This young lady has a lot to say to us about separation from the military and re-entry into civilian life. But she has even more to say about recognizing PTSD and being present to those who are going through it.
Apr 16, 2013:
A few days ago, the Medal of Honor was awarded to a man who stood by his fellow troops through the toughest moments of battles in the Korean war. He was an Army Chaplain who was captured along with others of his unit and died in a Chinese POW camp.