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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The one answer to PTSD

The one answer to PTSD

June 4, 2010 – If you have checked out our website at www.fellednot.com you may have landed on the “Survival” page by now. A couple of days ago, I changed the name of the page to what I consider to be a more appropriate title -“Survival and Hope”. We are all surviving something, but it’s those of [...]

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 [...]

The Broken Heart of a Wounded Warrior’s Mother

The Broken Heart of a Wounded Warrior’s Mother

On July 16, 2009, my life came crashing down around me.  Three days later on July 19, 2009, I wrote the following, my own version of Jonah, Chapter 2, and sent it to a pastor at my church.  For many months, I have kept this issue very private, fearing the judgment of stigma, however, I now know [...]

What time is the barbecue, Vice President Biden?

What time is the barbecue, Vice President Biden?

May 29, 2010 Dear Vice President Biden, On May 25, 2010, you and your wife held a poolside barbecue to honor and thank wounded warriors and their families.  During the event, you said to these families,“We have one truly sacred obligation: to prepare and equip those in harm’s way and to care for them when they come [...]

Is propaganda creating POW’s?

Is propaganda creating POW’s?

May 26, 2010 – Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position.  Propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience.  Propaganda is sweeping across our country and we are buying into it.  There will be a high [...]

How open is the invitation to the WTU?

How open is the invitation to the WTU?

May 11, 2010 – As mentioned in a previous blog entry, I am addressing issues raised in the New York Times article published on April 25, 2010, “Feeling Warehoused in Army Trauma Care Units”, written by James Dao and Dan Frosch. Issues were addressed in an Army Roundtable Discussion on April 26, 2010. Comments made here in [...]

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 [...]

Are we entitled to our own opinion?

Are we entitled to our own opinion?

May 4, 2010 – If you haven’t read the New York Times article published on April 25, 2010, “Feeling Warehoused in Army Trauma Care Units”, written by James Dao and Dan Frosch, please take 5 minutes to read it. This blog will make a lot more sense over the next few days if we are on the [...]

Lessons We Could Have Learned from Vietnam

Lessons We Could Have Learned from Vietnam

May 3, 2010 – Back in February of 2007, the scandal of neglectat Walter Reed Army Medical Center found its way into our living rooms. We were all outraged and it wasn’t long before the Army created Warrior Transition Units (WTU’s) and the Marine Corps established the Wounded Warrior Regiment. Also created were the USAF program Palace HART that takes care of wounded airmen, [...]