Are PTSD and TBI simply red herrings?

Are PTSD and TBI simply red herrings?

I’ve been screaming about military and veteran suicide for several years now. I know it’s been a fact of life for centuries, but when it became personal, I started paying attention.  After attending three funerals for Marines who took their lives, and living through my own son’s battle with suicidal ideations, it’s no longer just [...]

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 [...]

Preventing Suicide Starts with YOU!

Preventing Suicide Starts with YOU!

Suicide prevention is everybody’s business!  Many of us have been touched by suicide, and with suicide rates rising in the military and veteran communities, we all need to pay attention to those around us. Did you know that the person who is most likely to prevent someone from taking their own life is someone that [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

May I have a moment, Admiral Mullen?

May I have a moment, Admiral Mullen?

June 2, 2010 Dear Admiral Mullen, It has just been brought to my attention that you are visiting Fort Bragg today. I understand that you will include a visit to the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) while you are on base. I am very pleased to hear that you are taking the time to visit this [...]

Military Suicide…by the numbers

Military Suicide…by the numbers

May 26, 2010 ** More than 2 million have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan ** 40% served at least two tours ** 300,000 troops have served three, four, or more tours ** The number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are being treated as PTSD patients by the VA has increased from 134,000 in [...]

Thank You Sgt Bagosy. Your Sacrifice Will Not Go Unnoticed

Thank You Sgt Bagosy. Your Sacrifice Will Not Go Unnoticed

May 20, 2010 – Thank you Sgt. Bagosy!  Your sacrifice will not go unnoticed.  I never had the privilege of meeting you, but it would have been a true honor.  From what I’ve heard you were an outstanding Marine who served with pride and honor.  I’ve been told that you were a loving husband and a [...]