Just try and shut me up!

Just try and shut me up!

Recently, I was sharing with a friend and veteran about my efforts to get the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office to look into ongoing problems at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Camp Lejeune, NC. I explained my frustration with the length of time it had been as we awaited the release of the report, and my [...]

DoD IG’s report on Camp Lejeune’s Wounded Warrior Battalion

DoD IG’s report on Camp Lejeune’s Wounded Warrior Battalion

It’s been 19 months since the Department of Defense Inspector General’s  (DoD IG) team came to my home for three days, and for each day of those 19 long months, I’ve been waiting for the release of their report on Wounded Warrior Battalion-East (WWBN-E), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It took four months to get their [...]

A Mother’s Heart on Veterans Day

A Mother’s Heart on Veterans Day

I wonder how different our lives would be if someone wasn’t always willing to serve.  Since the birth of our nation, there have always been brave men and women standing in the gap to protect our nation and ensure our freedoms. I spent the first 40 some years of my life enjoying all the sacrifices [...]

Supporting our troops can sometimes mean taking a stand

Supporting our troops can sometimes mean taking a stand

October 18, 2011 ~ Please don’t mistake my disinterest in allowing another child to enter the Corps as a lack of support for our military. Our family will continue to serve and support our military, their families, and our veterans by giving our time and our talents to meet the needs here on the homefront.  [...]

Reflections of my Post 9.11 World

Reflections of my Post 9.11 World

September 9, 2011 ~ We all live in a Post 9/11 world where life will never be the same for any of us.  We all remember what we were doing ten years ago on that fateful day, at the very moment when we first heard the news of the planes hitting the Twin Towers and [...]

Memorial Day – It’s not just another mattress close-out sale

Memorial Day – It’s not just another mattress close-out sale

May 27, 2011 ~ It’s Friday and the kickoff for Memorial Day Weekend 2011 is in full force.  While I was drinking my coffee and clearing the fog from my brain early this morning, I turned on the television and checked in on the news.  Within the first twenty minutes I heard all about how [...]

When Military Suicide Becomes Personal

When Military Suicide Becomes Personal

September 13, 2011 ~ You may think that military suicide has not affected you personally, but if the truth be told, we are all going to be affected by this epidemic if we don’t do something about it. Thousands of returning combat veterans are living in our hometowns.  They work in our businesses.  They attend [...]

Get to know the new guy

Get to know the new guy

August 11, 2011 ~ I’m a casualty of war, but I’ve been far too focused on that fact for the past two and half years.  I’ve allowed Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress to steal my oldest son, and steal my joy. For the longest time we have been trudging through the stages of [...]

Luke Jensen: Another Face of PTSD

Luke Jensen: Another Face of PTSD

July 17, 2011 ~ The article, Serving in Afghanistan turned a tough guy into a nervous wreck, is just one of the many stories out there sharing the reality of PTSD.  Luke Jensen was described as a bull of a man, a former undercover cop, a lover of motorcycles and weightlifting, the person you’d pick to handle [...]

Literally dying to get some sleep: The accidental death of a US Marine

Literally dying to get some sleep: The accidental death of a US Marine

July 8, 2011 ~ Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of LCPL Adam Thomas Puckett.  At the time of his death, just 25 years old, Adam had just returned from his second combat deployment with the United States Marine Corps.  He was home on leave. For the past year, the lives of [...]

Diffusing the IED ~ When the caregiver lives with PTSD

Diffusing the IED ~ When the caregiver lives with PTSD

May 16, 2011 ~ I’ve heard it described.  The moment the soldier looks down and sees the trip wire that is going to set off the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) he freezes.  His blood runs cold.  His gut has an instant reaction. He breaks out in a cold sweat. Thoughts run through his mind faster [...]

Military Deaths and Questions We Should All Be Asking

Military Deaths and Questions We Should All Be Asking

May 10, 2010 ~ USA Today has released a tool to help us better understand the cause for military deaths during OIF and OEF.  (Behind the Numbers – American casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond). This presentation allows us to take a closer look at the American servicemembers who have died in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in other related [...]

Could PTSD caregivers be inflicting secondary wounds?

Could PTSD caregivers be inflicting secondary wounds?

May 6, 2011 ~ Secondary Wounding occurs during the “healing process”.  Some of the treatments currently available for PTSD are doing more harm than good.  There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to understanding PTSD, therefore we must be carefully consider treatment options. Improper treatment can lead to further problems with devastating [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]