Recreationists Helping Veterans with Wheelchair Games

Thanks to all of you who have been joining me here. We help bring change to lives. The response has been wonderful.  

WE HAVE A WINNER!! An email has been sent to our winner! New prizes for the 5,000th subscriber. We now have 4,972! We are getting close!!

Help us make it to 5,000 by subscribing today if you haven’t already. This shows you care for veterans. Just click on the icon right after the title of this post and click on FEEDBLITZ , and the posts will come straight to your inbox.                            ____________________________________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of the blog, Signs of Hope, which is at www.dailysignsofhope.com, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics.  

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This is a new social network just for veterans. I joined it and made instant friendships with veterans who want to talk about what I want to talk about. Please check it out. You will be glad you did. 

https://www.rallypoint.com/join/spc-douglas-bolton

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The National Veterans Wheelchair Games are coming to Seattle.

The year was 1987. Seriously injured in a car accident while on active duty with the U.S. Army, then 18-year-old Veteran Jimmy Green was paralyzed from the waist down and thought his life was over.

Nine years later, he would find new life when he was introduced to the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Seattle, Wash., by a Paralyzed Veterans of America National Service Officer. He says the experience redefined him and gave his life purpose.

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Here are some articles that are helping veterans

 

Recreational therapists play an important role in providing service to Veteran patients in a variety of ways.

“Helping Veterans take part in the things they enjoy is crucial for, not just their physical health, but their mental health,” said Lin Hales, Lead Recreation Therapist, Bay Pines VAHCS

“When someone is unable to physically take part in meaningful leisure pursuits, it can lead them to questioning their purpose and abilities in other aspects of life. Our program focusses on helping Veterans realize what they can do, instead of what they can’t,” she continued.

One of the ways in which recreation therapy helps Veterans realize their potential is through patient education.

“We provide Veterans with resources to a variety of materials and equipment, showing them that adaptations can be made to the activities they enjoy,” Hales said.

Fencing is great therapy and rehabilitation for Hayes. She credits her recent success to practicing the sport two to four times per week.

Recreational therapists play an important role in providing service to Veteran patients in a variety of ways.

“Helping Veterans take part in the things they enjoy is crucial for, not just their physical health, but their mental health,” said Lin Hales, Lead Recreation Therapist, Bay Pines VAHCS

“When someone is unable to physically take part in meaningful leisure pursuits, it can lead them to questioning their purpose and abilities in other aspects of life. Our program focusses on helping Veterans realize what they can do, instead of what they can’t,” she continued.

One of the ways in which recreation therapy helps Veterans realize their potential is through patient education.

“We provide Veterans with resources to a variety of materials and equipment, showing them that adaptations can be made to the activities they enjoy,” Hales said.

Fencing is great therapy and rehabilitation for Hayes. She credits her recent success to practicing the sport two to four times per week.

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VA’s top 5 tips for a successful job interview

When it comes to interviews, planning is essential to success. Not only does it demonstrate professionalism, it also puts you in a position to be prepared and at your best. So when you have your next interview scheduled, follow these tips and be ready to impress:

1. Be Prepared. Before walking into the interview, review your resume and the job requirements to align yourself on your strengths, weaknesses, skills and experiences. Be ready to speak to what you can bring to the position, as well as what you hope to learn on the job.

2. Know the Organization. Use sites like Glassdoor to do some research on the organization, visit the company’s social pages and talk to others about their personal experiences before going in for an interview.

3. Look Your Best. Making a good first impression is crucial when interviewing for a job. Using what you know about the organization, get a feel for the office environment and dress appropriately. When in doubt, being overdressed is better than underdressed.

4. Be Enthusiastic. Speak clearly when making introductions and answering questions, and listen closely to the interviewer. Nerves can sometimes get in the way, but the best way to show you are interested in a role is to be engaged and excited.

5. Be Honest and Be Yourself. This one is key. Make sure the job is the right fit for you by simply being yourself and being honest about your intentions and goals.

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I hope every one of you doing well. You  are special. If you are a veteran, or a family member of a veteran THANK YOU!

If you  are feeling down, and the dark side seems to be pulling you down, never, ever, give up! Get help. There is a helpline for you 42/7:

1-800-273-8255

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!!

 

Boredom and Loneliness Haunt Veterans

Thanks to all of you who have been joining me here. We help bring change to lives. The response has been wonderful.  

We have reached our goal of 4,000!  We will now be giving a prize to the person who is our 4,500th person to subscribe. 

WE HAVE A WINNER!! An email has been sent to our winner! New prizes for the 5,000th subscriber. We now have 4,854!

Help us make it to 5,000 by subscribing today if you haven’t already. This shows you care for veterans. Just click on the icon right after the title of this post and click on FEEDBLITZ , and the posts will come straight to your inbox.                            ____________________________________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of the blog, Signs of Hope, which is at www.dailysignsofhope.com, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics.  

______________________________________________________________

This is a new social network just for veterans. I joined it and made instant friendships with veterans who want to talk about what I want to talk about. Please check it out. You will be glad you did. 

https://www.rallypoint.com/join/spc-douglas-bolton

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One of the hardest problems veterans face is what happens after transition. This article may help you survive. 

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Veterans face a variety of problems once they leave the service. Whether it’s accurate or not, many veterans feel life is a little harder for them than for most people. But what if a big part of the problem wasn’t so much PTSD or poor transition assistance — at least not directly — but rather loneliness and boredom?

From being under a microscope to being unseen

The best and worst thing about being in the military is that it is all-consuming. It provides you with a place to be and a time to be there, pretty much 24/7/365.

You spend several months at a time deployed. When you get home, you work long hours, so that takes care of a good part of your day. Then you’ve got frost calls at the club on Fridays after work. Another weekend that month you have duty. The next there’s a mandatory fun event of some kind. Your next door neighbors are military too, so they invite you over for dinner every so often.

For better or worse, while you’re in the military, you’re always busy and rarely alone.

In the civilian world, after you walk out the glass doors, no one cares what you do. Outside of blatant misconduct that might discredit your employer, they generally don’t care much about how you live your life. They sure aren’t going to have you sit in an auditorium for eight hours on a workday to talk about why you should wear more sunscreen.

Shot gunning into civilian life is lonely in the best of times

Once you have that DD-214 in hand, your social network changes. Chances are you’ll get a job in a whole new city. Once you’re there, you’re no longer in that protective military cocoon. Your neighbors come and go silently to wherever it is they go. On one side, you have a college student whose parents pay his rent and who apparently commutes by skateboard. On the other, who the hell knows, because you’ve never seen anyone enter or leave — just vague signs of occupancy. You think there might be a serial killer with a torture dungeon living there.

It’s definitely not like the barracks, or even a typical neighborhood street in a military town.

If you do stay around your old duty station, your military friends will still have the demanding schedule you just left — plus you’re probably a sellout contractor, with the logoed polo shirt to prove it. Even if you decide to go back to your old hometown, you aren’t the same person as when you left. Unless you’re picking up that dead-end job right where you left off, you no longer fit in there, either.

Your new coworkers generally scatter to the winds after work. Unlike your previous semi-homogeneous band of mostly young male brothers, now you have a diverse group with lives as different as their backgrounds.

If you’re single or divorced, it’s even worse. You can’t party with the Friday night crowd unless you want to be the sad old guy in the club. If you don’t have children or they don’t usually live with you, you probably aren’t plugged into the whole kids soccer scene (and it would be a little disturbing if you were). Most of your peers are married, so if you aren’t, you probably aren’t going to be hanging out much. No one likes a third wheel. As far as meeting other middle-aged single folks, that guy who spotted you on the bench press at the gym was really cool, but it seemed weird to ask him to hang out after staring up at his crotch for 10 reps.

Falling into a cycle of self-isolation

When you get home you usually have nothing to do. At first, that fills you with sublime joy, but after awhile, having nothing and no one to fill the off-time becomes old. Some people handle that better than others.

Unfortunately, charming old-fashioned solitary pursuits such as painting, solitaire, and playing soulful jazz piano at dirty gin joints are far less common pursuits than things like excessive drinking and internet use. Both of those things are addictive, but they do temporarily relieve boredom and loneliness.

In the case of drinking, without anyone else to watch what you’re doing, that couple of beers after coming home from work easily becomes 3 or 4, maybe even 5 or 6. You aren’t trying to get shitfaced. You’re just hanging out, watching Netflix or playing video games, while sipping a beer. But sipping beers for several hours quickly adds up, even if you’re not trying. Vets have much greater rates of alcohol abuse than the general public.

Then there’s the internet, that great time-suck. It’s the refuge of the lonely, offering instant connections with people around the world. But that virtual companionship can destabilize your remaining relationships in real life.

For vets in particular, there’s a temptation to rekindle camaraderie on any number of vicious and misogynistic social media pages. An online life devoted to mocking civilians and treating women poorly is even more isolating — after shitting on every non-vet, and even vets who don’t live up to your standard (oh good, another POG hatefest), are you really going to go out, be friendly, and find new friends in real life?

Though I’ve wasted too many hours on social media, I’ve never thrown in with the vitriolic Facebook groups. But I see enough reposts of those groups from many of my old colleagues to know that it’s clearly a thing.

As far as alcohol, I’ve had more than my share of beers in a sitting enough times to know that I need to keep an eye on that, if for no other reason than my waistline. Along those lines, there are many other unhealthy time-killers, like overeatingsmoking, and dipping that vets are especially prone to.

Admit you’re lonely. But you’re not alone

The plural of anecdote isn’t data. But it’s indisputable that loneliness and boredom have profound effects on health and wellbeing. I can’t help but wonder if a large portion of the acute mental illness and substance abuse problems among vets might really be just the long-term products of poor social networks after leaving the military.

Some of the military’s and VA’s organizational efforts would be well spent in finding earlier interventions on that front, instead of waiting until vets’ lives go completely sideways.

And on the individual level, it’s just another good reminder to take care of each other. Taking an interest in each other’s lives isn’t a cure-all for our issues, but it does help remind us: We’re not as alone as we think.

If you are struggling with life after the military. You are never alone. We have your six. Get help. Here is a toll free number you can always go to to get help:

1-800-273-8255

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

Tom Hanks is Making Another War Movie


Thanks to all of you who have been joining me here. We help bring change to lives. The response has been wonderful.  We just past 4,000 new subscribers. That was a huge increase in 2017. We only had 1,000 two years ago. The year 2017 helped us to make it to 4,000.

We have reached our goal.  We will now be giving a prize to the person who is our 4,500th person to subscribe. We just passed 4, 506.

WE HAVE A WINNER!! An email has been sent to our winner! New prizes for the 5,000th subscriber.

Help us make it to 5,000 by subscribing today if you haven’t already. This shows you care for veterans. Just click on the icon right after the title of this post and click on FEEDBLITZ , and the posts will come straight to your inbox.                            ____________________________________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of the blog, Signs of Hope, which is at www.dailysignsofhope.com, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics.  

______________________________________________________________

This is a new social network just for veterans. I joined it and made instant friendships with veterans who want to talk about what I want to talk about. Please check it out. You will be glad you did. 

https://www.rallypoint.com/join/spc-douglas-bolton

____________________________________________________

Tom Hanks has been in many movies, but he has also been in military movies, that are outstanding. Tom Hanks discusses his new movie, No Better Place to Die. 

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Tom Hanks Is Teaming Up With Vet Filmmaker Dale Dye to Make A Veteran-Powered WWII Drama

Tom Hanks has signed on to both act in and executive-produce No Better Place To Die, an upcoming World War II drama about the airborne Normandy landings on D-Day, written and directed by Marine vet and seasoned technical adviser Dale Dye.

The news of Hanks’ addition is good for U.S. military veterans, and not just for World War II film buffs: Dye is looking to cast up 50 veterans as actors, including as many as 35 speaking roles, with department heads giving vets priority for support positions on set.

“When I say department heads, I’m talking about set design, costumes, props, armory, hair and makeup, and all the other support elements that will engineer making a movie,” Dye told Task & Purpose. “I’m going to tell all those department heads that veterans get priority, so folks who want to be technicians in the film industry.”

“I’m going to try to get them their shot on this film, also,” he added. ”I’m trying to help guys who really want to do this for a living.”

The movie, written and directed by Dye, follows a band of airborne soldiers scattered across Normandy during their drop ahead of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. A mishmash of troops from different units, they folded into a single rifle company to seize and hold La Fière bridge, a crucial causeway which connected the French countryside with the Normandy beachheads, against German reinforcements headed for Omaha and Utah beach. Had that company not held, the beach landings might have been a catastrophic failure.

“What I discovered, writ large, was that this was an example of what happens in our military when all the big plans, laid by all the generals and colonels, become victims of the exigency of war, that is, when they go right in the crapper,” Dye told Task & Purpose. “It’s the sergeants and the young lieutenants, and the PFCs and the corporals, who cobble together, knowing what has to be done, and just go out there and do it against all odds.”

Dye wrote the script in 2011, but has struggled to find backers for the film, until now. In addition to signing Hanks to produce and act, Creative Artists Agency and Gersh, are arranging financing for the film.  (No Better Place To Die should not be confused with Hanks’ other WWII film venture, Greyhound, which is looking to cast vets as extras.)

“The Hollywood procedure for putting a film together, especially an expensive film — and we’re a $30 million picture, that’s a lot like herding cats or trying to get snakes to follow a straight path — it’s a very difficult extended process,” Dye said. “But we’re right in the middle of it and gaining a lot of traction.”

 

Though casting hasn’t started yet, Dye hopes to begin filming this summer, with the goal of a 2019 release date, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day. In total, Dye said he hopes to get 40 to 50 veterans in front of the camera of which, 28 and 35 will be speaking roles. “Once I’m certain that we have the money we need, and we have the main actors that we need …. then we can start the process of auditioning the real veterans for the rest of the roles,” Dye said.

A decorated Marine combat veteran and a three-time Purple Heart recipient, whose career included tours in Vietnam as an infantryman and a combat correspondent, Dye retired from the Marines 1984. And in the years that followed he’s leveraged that experience as a military technical adviser through his company Warriors Inc., bringing authenticity and emotional realism to the projects he’s worked on, which include Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and Platoonamong others.

In terms of realism, getting all the little details right — how to hold a weapon, wear a uniform, or knowing what ribbons go on what side of your service jacket — is important, sure, but it’s “ultimately superficial” Dye said.

While it differs by era, theater, or unit, there’s a way of carrying oneself, of talking, and behaving — an attitude among service members that’s timeless and universal. And that’s what makes the difference between a technically accurate war movie, and a realistic one — or, better yet, a relatable one.

“When I was first motivated to even start as a military adviser to movies and television, that’s part of what I was trying to do, to bring that understanding, that empathy, that intimate knowledge, to actors, who for the most part, especially these days, had absolutely no experience with it,” Dye told Task & Purpose. “I felt if I could do that, if I could make them walk a mile in our boots … their portrayals of who we are, what we are, how we act, how we relate to each other, how we think, how we feel, those things would come across.”

In addition to surrounding the film’s actors with scores of veterans, Dye said he plans to put stars through his standard training regimen: a three week boot camp in austere conditions meant to recreate the setting and environment the service members’ portrayed in the film had to endure

“We’ll do my standard evolution that I do for every film that I work on,” Dye said. “But I’m hoping that in addition to that, that we’ll have a process of osmosis that’s going on the whole time, where you get these real veterans next to the actors, and they can observe now, what they’ve been told, and what they’ve been forced to do in training.”

“They’ll see the reality of it, how these people think, how these people feel, how they talk and how they relate to one another,” he added. “I’m hoping for a big dose of osmosis in that regard.”

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I look forward to this movie because I think it will authentic, and it will help us understand what the soldiers went through.

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If you are a veterans and feel lost and battling PTSD, TBI, depression, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, or many other of the usual suspects, I feel your pain. I have been there. Just know that you are not alone. You are not worthless. You are important.

If you need immediate help call this help line:

 1-800-273-8255 

Don’t do another minute alone.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!