Please Don't Thank Me for My Service

on Saturday, 07 March 2015.

Hunter Garth, 26, a veteran who fought in Afghanistan: "I pulled the trigger.  You didn't. Don't take that away from me."  by Matt Richtel, The New York Times.

HUNTER GARTH was in a gunfight for his life and about to lose.

He and seven other Marines were huddled in a mud hut, their only refuge after they walked into an ambush in Trek Nawa, a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. Down to his last 15 bullets, one buddy already terribly wounded, Mr. Garth pulled off his helmet, smoked a cheap Afghan cigarette, and came to terms with what was happening.

I'm going to die here with my best friends, he recalled thinking.

I didn't know any of this, nor the remarkable story of his survival that day when I met him two months ago in Colorado while reporting for an article about the marijuana industry, for which Mr. Garth and his company provide security. But I did know he was a vet and so I did what seemed natural: I thanked him for his service.

No problem, he said.

It wasn't true. There was a problem. I could see it from the way he looked down. And I could see it on the faces of some of the other vets who work with Mr. Garth when I thanked them too. What gives, I asked? Who doesn't want to be thanked for their military service?

An Important Voice from the Past Still Relevant

on Tuesday, 02 December 2014.

Jan C. Scruggs is the founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and is responsible for the construction and placement of The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, DC.  

In 1978 he started the fund by contributing $2200 of his own money for a memorial to be erected in memory of the 58,000 lives sacrified during the 20 year U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Scruggs was a combat infantryman who was with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He saw significant action during his tour in 1969-1970 and was wounded in action. Upon his return and recovery, he began a crusade for Vietnam Veterans that is as relevant and poignant today as it was August 5, 1978 when he wrote an article for the Washington Post.  

From its inception. The Wall was intended to not only memorialize those who sacrificed their lives but also to foster a healing about the war.  It does both.  The healing process continues today.   For over 32 years, The Wall has been the most visited memorial in the world.

Click on Continue Reading to read Scruggs' article.

Kevlar for the Mind: Helping Professionals for Veterans

on Wednesday, 04 February 2015. Posted in News

Like the decade following the end of World War II, the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been marked by a tremendous influx of veterans into the classroom.

Traditional "brick and mortar" and virtual universities and schools are frantically trying to keep pace with the opportunities afforded to troops through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

And these opportunities range from technical and scientific fields as found in the Professional Program for Veterans and Military Personnel at California State University to business as exemplified by the Master of Business for Veterans degree at the University of Southern California.

Sam and Lydia: An act of service and devotion

on Monday, 19 December 2016.

ChLydia

US Marine Charlie Schletz gets comfortable with his precious cargo Lydia for the 1073 mile drive to Kansas City and her new owner, US Marine Sam Collins.

Travels with Charlie

Over a year ago, Sam Collins was an in-patient at the Kansas City VA Hospital undergoing treatment for cancer. Sam had had one type of cancer or another for going on 10 years straight. When the Hearts 4 Heroes US (H4HUS) truck pulled into the parking lot of the VA, he had no idea he’d meet someone that day that would change his life.

The H4HUS team put on a four-day clinic for inpatients and outpatients at the Kansas City VA. Alongside ten therapy dogs the H4H staff introduced the Veterans to canine assisted therapy. Sam figured he would attend; if for anything to break up the monotony of the VA. It was at this clinic he first met the three legged therapy dog Lydia. Often you’d find Sam and Lydia off to the side, off in the corner, or out in the middle of a field away from the larger group. Sam and Lydia’s relationship grew into one that he hadn’t felt in years.

My Opinion: Veterans Have to Readjust to Civilian Life After War and Service

on Tuesday, 02 December 2014.

By Harry Croft
By Sydney Savior
For the Deseret News

 

Summary: By all accounts, veterans have the capacity and should be able to effectively retrain themselves to operate in an environment other than that which they were accustomed to being successful

On the backdrop of a sky filled with colorful fireworks and streets crowded with animated parades celebrating the Fourth of July, what emerges in the minds of many is the deliberation and decision of our founders to pen and defend the Declaration of Independence. That was pen-to-paper, and then the real work and battle had to begin to realize the landscape we now call the United States of America.

What comes to mind for others on the backdrop of commemorating July 4, 1776, an epic day in history, is the battle that rages on in Iraq. Veterans who have volunteered to fight, whether in the name of duty or honor, watch as nearly 12-years of grueling battle for groundbreaking democracy comes unraveled, seemly in the blink of an eye. Now veterans are in the fog on the return on investment for their battle wounds and scars.

Founder Paul Baffico Talks About LCVFSF

on Friday, 12 June 2015.

LCVFSF6-10-15BafficoCooperInCroppedt

Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation President and Founder talked with hostess Bev Cooper of the TV program "Coopert's Corner" about Veteran issues and how LCVFSF works with those in need of help in Lake County communities. LCVFSF is available with a network of local services and providers to facilitate service members and/or their family members reintegrate and find new direction, meaning, purpose and hope in life after the military experience.  

The interview is one hour of enlightening and helpful information. Click on the picture above to watch the June 3, 2015 program.

Peer Support Specialists Help Heal America's Veterans

on Tuesday, 02 December 2014.

baren flag
In April 2012, Berg was the battalion guide for the change of command ceremony at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. He was in Security Platoon, General Support Motor Transport (company), 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Division. This was about a year after coming out of the U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment and returning to duty.

Homeless Female Veterans---The Story

on Friday, 20 February 2015.

From Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

AHomeless

Former Army Captain Jaspen Booth opened a house for homeless woment and Vets and named her organization "Final Salute".  

Watch the video story by clicking here.

Veterans Aren't PTSD Basketcases; They're Disciplined And Committed

on Monday, 01 December 2014. Posted in News

GUEST POST IN FORBES WRITTEN BY Paul A. Dillon,
President/CEO of Dillon Consulting Services LLC, a U.S. Dpt of Veterans Affairs certified Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business

The stories keep coming—relentlessly. Daily in the national media—on TV, radio, online and on the printed page—are heartrending tales of broken young veterans returning from the recent wars, and their heroic caregivers. Young people, burdened by all types of injuries, seen and unseen–blown off limbs, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, and mental illness dominate the national discussion regarding those who most recently have served. The terrible shootings at Ft. Hood and the Washington Navy Yard only reinforce how damaged these veterans must be.

And, surely, without a doubt, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have taken a terrible toll on the 1% of our citizenry who have stepped forward to defend the other 99% of our national population. According to a report published by the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, in the 13 years since the 9/11 attacks our nation's military has been deployed and in a state of war, more than 2.5 million young men and women have volunteered to serve and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan—and, as of May 2014, more than 6,668 have been killed and over 51,785 have been physically wounded.

Lowe's Military and Veteran Discount Available

on Monday, 01 December 2014. Posted in News

September 25, 2014 | Kate Horrell
Despite much debate, complaint, and argument, Lowe's continues to offer two different discount policies for various military folks. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about the discount policies, amongst both the military and veteran population and also amongst the Lowe's staff.

Since most of the Lowe's staff has never served in the military, it is easy to understand how their own policies can be confusing to them. Please be kind and don't be rude to the staff. Honestly, from some of the comments I've seen here, I'm surprised they haven't cancelled the discounts altogether. Let's not have that happen because of confusion and frustration.

The official Lowe's policy, as listed on their website today, explains two different discounts: military and veteran. The way that Lowe's defines military and veteran is the key to understand which discount you might be eligible to receive. I have copied the section below from the Lowe's website, with some formatting changes to make it easier to read and understand.