Clay Hunt’s Last Message on Suicide

Clay Hunt’s Last Message on Suicide

May 5, 2011 ~ No one truly understands why Clay Hunt, one of the military’s most vocal suicide prevention advocates, took his life on March 31, 2011.  As one who watches the disabled veteran in my family suffer, it looked to me like Clay Hunt had it all together. I say that from the perspective that [...]

Happy Mother’s Day from the Combat Zone

Happy Mother’s Day from the Combat Zone

May 4, 2011 ~ I have a question for all the mothers out there.  What comes to mind when you are asked about your favorite Mother’s Day gift or tradition?  For most of us it is probably something very simple.  Mother’s Day is synonymous with breakfast in bed, hand picked flowers, finger paintings, and sloppy [...]

Despite combat, I still know my child best

Despite combat, I still know my child best

May 4, 2011 ~ When our son returned from his third deployment, we could tell that something wasn’t right.  We knew that there had been subtle changes even after the first and second deployments, but we could see a significant change after his return from deployment number three.  We weren’t quite sure what was going [...]

Sleeping with My Cell Phone

Sleeping with My Cell Phone

May 3, 2011 ~ I drove two blocks from the house and reached down to pat my left hip, as I have done every time I’ve left my house for the past seven years. I fully expected to feel my cell phone clipped to the waist of my jeans. When I realized that what I [...]

Blindsided by a Panic Attack

Blindsided by a Panic Attack

June 7, 2011 ~ In the midst of a panic attack that blindsided me, I came to wonder if I have PTSD. You ask how this is possible knowing I’ve never been deployed to war.  What you don’t know is that I live in the middle of one. This war began almost three years ago [...]

Striving to Live a New Normal

Striving to Live a New Normal

May 2, 2011 ~ Post Traumatic Stress – It’s spreading like an epidemic in our society.  If it hasn’t affected you yet, it won’t be long.  With so many of our combat veterans returning from multiple deployments, it should come as no surprise that there is a high percentage of Post Traumatic Stress, commonly referred [...]

Counterfeit Patriotism

Counterfeit Patriotism

April 16, 2011 Please note – the names have been changed to protect the guilty. There is a local Lexington restaurant, which we will call “Swindler’s” that might have a few good meals on the menu, but I’d rather eat a lousy tasting meal in a place where integrity guides the business.  To think that [...]

Move over Claudia Joy!

Move over Claudia Joy!

April 14, 2011 ~ Yesterday, forty expectant military moms received a “well-deserved” baby shower through the combined efforts of Operation Shower, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Second Lady Jill Biden.  Martha Stewart was on hand to teach the art of preserving memories through scrapbooking.  Each of the forty moms received donated gifts totaling $1000 for [...]

Pay Congress What We Pay the Troops

Pay Congress What We Pay the Troops

April 8, 2011 ~ While we are all discussing the possible government shutdown and the affected government paychecks, I’d like to point out that freshmen lawmakers earn five times the amount of first year military officers.  Lawmakers salaries are ten times the amount paid to first year enlisted service members. Though some lawmakers have pledged to return their paychecks to [...]

The Cost of Playing Politics

The Cost of Playing Politics

An open letter to the leaders and lawmakers of this land: Rumor has it that those who serve in our military will continue to work if the government shuts down at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, but they won’t be paid.  Apparently all “nonessential” government employees will be sent home until Congress passes the budget for [...]

Purple Hearts, TBIs and No Brainers

Purple Hearts, TBIs and No Brainers

The Marine Corps Times is asking for opinions.  Reporters are interested in finding out how Marines feel about a possible criteria change for awarding the Purple Heart to those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Thousands of troops would be eligible to receive the Purple Heart if the criteria is changed to include those who have suffered [...]

Stigma of TBI replaced with Honor of Purple Heart

Stigma of TBI replaced with Honor of Purple Heart

March 15, 2011 ~ Better late than never!  Could it be that officials may have finally come to their senses?  Senior military leaders are actually considering changing the guidelines for awarding the Purple Heart. There are many troops who have sustained combat-related injuries, some of whom are now disabled veterans, who have been stamped with [...]

How to be a …. duh…. winner

How to be a …. duh…. winner

March 8, 2010 - No matter how hard I try, I can’t get away from Charlie Sheen.  Every time I turn on the television someone is talking about him.  Even the major news networks are giving Charlie incredible amounts of prime time.  Not only are they reporting about his dire situation, they are granting him lengthy [...]

Could procrastination be the smoking gun?

Could procrastination be the smoking gun?

March 4, 2010 ~ Apparently mental health providers treating our deployed troops are too busy to do their paperwork.  Bob Brewin of Nextgov obtained an internal message dated January 11, 2011, from the Army Office of the Surgeon General which stated that “Army units…..have become “saturated” with paper behavioral health records because mental health providers who treat these [...]

Do your homework, Fox News!

Do your homework, Fox News!

February 23, 2011 – Fox News brought prescription drug abuse to our attention today, focusing on drug abuse by the military.  Unfortunately, Fox News failed to mention that the Department of Defense and the VA Medical Centers are the ones handing the drugs out like candy.  Shame on you, Fox News, for making it look [...]

It’s finally time to tell the truth!

It’s finally time to tell the truth!

February 16, 2011 ~ Carl Prine, a staff writer for the Pittsburg Tribune-Review, has recently published a number of articles on Wounded Warrior care.  In addition to the series of articles on the subject, the Pittsburg Tribune Review has made available a number of reports from the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy.  [...]

Our Veterans: The Fabric of our Nation

Our Veterans: The Fabric of our Nation

Our veterans have served and sacrificed on our behalf.  They understand the effects of deployment and war.  They are ready and waiting to support our young veterans.  We are grateful for their continued service to our nation.  Here’s a glimpse of our Kentucky Band of Brothers who continue to serve God and Country.  These men [...]

Read between the lines!

Read between the lines!

October 28, 2010 ~ Recently the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) put out a Congressional Report Card to inform us about who in Washington really supports our troops and veterans. I pay attention to everything IAVA puts out as they seem to be spot on when it comes to the issues facing our [...]

God is bigger than the Marine Corps

God is bigger than the Marine Corps

October 15, 2010 – I’ve been blogging about my experiences with wounded warrior health care in recent months. I have found myself in a delicate situation because I want to accomplish some goals I have set, and I also want to protect my privacy and that of my son, the wounded warrior in my life. [...]

Set the Record Straight

Set the Record Straight

October 13, 2010 ~ Author’s Note -This is a long read.  It’s impossible to put two years of life into one or two paragraphs. If you want to understand this story, start at the top.  If you just want to read about the story errors from “Team Surveys Wounded Warrior Battalion as Troubling Reports Mount” then scroll [...]

I Beg to Differ

I Beg to Differ

October 7, 2010 Dear Victor, When you commented on my blog post a month ago, Silence Among the Generals, I couldn’t decide if I should delete it or leave it there.  I can handle a negative comment, but I’ve got to admit – It’s hard to leave a comment sitting on my own personal blog page that [...]

Silence Among the Generals

Silence Among the Generals

August 27, 2010 - It’s been two weeks since my letter was hand delivered to General Amos.  I’m still waiting to hear from him and the silence is deafening.  I’ve been told the letter is too long.  Yes, it is….but not nearly as long as the wait has been for someone in Marine Corps leadership to [...]

Pat Tillman Speaks Out

Pat Tillman Speaks Out

August 16, 2010 – There is a film coming out in theaters this Friday and I’m counting the minutes until I can purchase my ticket and take a front row seat.  It may surprise you to find out that this film is a documentary, and for many, that automatically suggests it will be boring and [...]

A Window View into Afghanistan

A Window View into Afghanistan

August 1, 2010 – For most of us, we make decisions and form opinions about war without having any firsthand experience.  Our point of view is shaped by our experiences, the people with whom we spend our time, what we read, and what we watch on TV.  Many of us don’t even have a personal [...]

The Army’s Clandestine Report on Suicide

The Army’s Clandestine Report on Suicide

July 30, 2010 – The Army just released a report yesterday, entitled “Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention,” which contains the results of a 15-month study on the Army’s growing problem of suicide. Okay, the report is 350 pages long so I will admit that I have only skimmed it at this point.  I’ve been researching [...]

Stop the Stigma! Be the solution, not the problem!

Stop the Stigma! Be the solution, not the problem!

July 2010 ~ The message is simple!  STOP the STIGMA!  Our troops, you know the ones… those who are willing to step up and defend our nation, those who are willing to sacrifice their lives just for me and you…. they need us to get our heads out of the sand and they need us [...]

Military Suicides by the heartbeats, not the numbers

Military Suicides by the heartbeats, not the numbers

July 16, 2010 – This morning, USA Today reported that Army suicides for June were at a record high of 32 for the month. I want to point out that this number reflects only one branch of our Armed Forces.  The Marine Corps has reported only one suicide and nine suicide attempts for the month of June. The Corps would [...]

Father’s Day ~ The New Normal

Father’s Day ~ The New Normal

June 20, 2010 – Father’s Day 2010! After being up for a few minutes this morning, my mind began to run through our plans for the day. My husband is out of town on business. Things will be a bit strange, but we will just give him a call later today. I’ve finalized the plan [...]

You have a fax, Senator Levin!

You have a fax, Senator Levin!

June 12, 2010 – Dear Senator Levin, It has come to my attention that in response to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, you have stated that you would expand a hearing on soldier suicides to include a more extensive discussion of the military’s handling of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is a [...]

Separating Honor and Pain

Separating Honor and Pain

May 2010 ~ It’s Memorial Day, 2010 and I have been struggling for a week with how I am going to spend my day. What I want to do is go to Camp Nelson to attend the Memorial Day Program. Every year I go to a ceremony somewhere to honor those who have served and [...]