Do not Forget our Paralyzed Men and Women in the Military

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Just checked the mail, and I got a letter from the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

These wounded men and women deserve our praise.

While serving on active duty in Iraq, Navy Seabee Peter Herrick was paralyzed from the neck down from shrapnel from a mortar attack. After returning home, Peter wondered how he could recover his life.

With hands on help from the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Peter and his wife Diana got the assistance their family needed for Peter’s recovery.

This is just one story of thousands of veterans who are paralyzed.

Although returning home from the battlefield is generally thought to be one of the cheerful experiences possible, it is a nightmare for the paralyzed veteran.

Just imagine what runs through their minds as they recover from their injuries: Will I ever be able to work again? What will my family think? How will I be able to travel? Will I have enough money to pay for all the unknown medical expenses?

Paralyzed veterans will face these and many other hurdles as they search for a job; as they face lifelong discrimination due to their disability; as they attempt to rejoin families and loved one, and as they struggle to simply stay alive.

I am not telling you to support. I am Asking you to share what you can to help your brothers and sisters in need.

You can mail a check to Paralyzed Veterans of America, 801 Eighteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20006.

Their website is: www.PVA.org/Supportveterans

I will be sending a check today.

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Yesterday was my birthday. (I finally turn 21! ) Actually 81, but who’s counting.

Today we had lunch in my backyard with my two sons and their spouses, plus one beautiful little granddaughter. We had the backyard all set up for social distancing, and the sun was shining.

As I sat there feeling blessed, I thought about my one son who served two tours in Iraq as a hospital administrator. He saw things he has a hard time sharing. He shared he has physical problems connected to the military, and is drawing compensation for it. I could see his shoulder was giving him pain. My son retired as a full Colonel, but I remind him that even though I was only a specialist I am still his father. LOL

My son is an example of the thousands of service men and women who served their country and was deployed into harm’s way. We owe them so much.

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How are you doing my friend? Were you wounded? Do you have war wounds that are giving you fits? You are not alone! There are over 8, 900 veterans here who may have been through the same things you have. Lean on them. Just make a comment of the bottom of this page, I will read it and get back to you.

If you life is overwhelming right now. GET HELP!! Do not let the darks side overcome you. There are trained counselors to help at the toll free number I am about to give you:

1-800-273=8255.

Please call it if you need help.

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

Soldier Had to Watch Two of His Buddies Die

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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I told you on Monday’s post that I would be sharing a chapter from my time at Ft. Bragg, and also an interview I had with a veteran, from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. Here they are:

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Ft Bragg

Sitting on a Military Plane Ready to Fly to the Bay of Pigs

I know of some of the fears you face or have faced as a soldier. I have had my share of scary times while in uniform for my country.

I had put in three years of active duty, and was very near to my discharge date while at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. As a matter of fact the discharge date was just days away.

It seemed like a normal day of “putting in your time,” but then there came a sound that I never want to hear again. It was the intercom in our section of the company I was stationed with saying, “This is an alert.” This is not a drill, all personnel report to headquarters for a briefing right away.”

I couldn’t think of why there would be any problems that serious happening, and still thought it was a drill as I ran towards the headquarters building.

When we all assembled, the commander went to the podium and spoke.

“I am here to inform you that all leaves and weekend passes are canceled. We have received a message from the commanding General of the Army to stand by for a possible mission to the Bay of Pigs. This is a very serious mission, which will put you in combat and in harm’s way. Our unit is being deployed, to help monitor the security of the communications while there. We will serve in the field headquarters of the mission. You have about two hours to pack your full field clothes and equipment. Dismissed!”

That was it. No more explanations or chances to ask questions.

I drove home quickly, packed all my gear in a duffel bag.

I got back to the headquarters, and it looked like pandemonium and chaos had sat in, with soldiers running everywhere.  

A few minutes later everyone had made it there and we were all in formation. The commander then told us to come to attention.

We all headed to buses that were waiting to take us to the military airport on base. When we got there, we unloaded and marched to the area of several planes. They had us board the planes with full gear and field uniforms on. The pilot came on to tell us that we will be in a combat area when we land at the Bay of Pigs.

I sat down in my area, and was holding my weapon (M-1 rifle) between my legs. I was numb with fear and anxiety. I had never thought I would actually be in a conflict where I could die.

The plane started its engines. The plane shook as the engines roared to get up to the speed they needed to get off the ground. It taxied to the runway and stopped.

Then we waited for the pilot to push the throttle. We sat there for what seemed like hours. I could see the fear, in the eyes in the soldiers around me. I was only about twenty years old then, and began to see my life unfold before me. I had thoughts of not coming back. I had thoughts of my loved ones I would never see again.

The plane was shaking from the vibrations of the motors. I said a prayer because it looked like we were going to take off. The plane was moving. However, it was not going down the runway. It was heading back to the area where we boarded.

The pilot came on the intercom and said that the mission had been aborted, and we were going back to our companies.

I felt such relief along with men and women around me who were yelling for joy. We were safe and heading back to our homes.

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I only shared this story because I know some of you have gone through the same thing. You also have been sent into combat, and faced the fear of not coming back. I was very lucky, but many of you actually left the ground in your plane, and headed into harm’s way.

Fear is something that is hard to control. Even the most-brave face it. We all have been there in some capacity.

It could be the doctor’s appointment that has information on your health. It also could be the times when you have to leave your loved ones for any mission. It may be the crises of your marriage when your spouse is tired of going through the pain of wondering if you will come back alive.

Did you know that Jesus faced fear? He even asked God to take away the fear by relieving Him of the cup of the responsibility God had placed on Him. He sweated blood during that prayer. God heard the prayer, but let Jesus go through the fear, pain and agony of going to the cross and dying for you and me. 

I am not making it sound like we shouldn’t be afraid. I know we are quite often. I am not saying you are a bad person if you are afraid of something. We all have our spots where we fear the unknown.

I think that is the key. It is the “unknown.” It’s not knowing what will happen next.

What I have learned from so many times of facing fear that 99% of what we fear never happens. We just need to give the other 01% over to God.

Is it that simple? I can honestly tell you that it is. God has big shoulders. He wants to take the burdens of our day away from us. We just need to depend on Him to keep His promises and know that He will never put us in a situation that we can’t handle with His help.

IWILL

Facing the unknown in life can be very hard. We aren’t built to take on such scary things at times. We just need to rely on God to see us through the dark clouds we face. He knows which way we need to go to avoid harm.

Think on this

Isn’t it interesting that having fear is what we really need to fear?   

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SGT Michael Thorin

U.S. Army

I had the honor to talk to Michael Thorin about his experiences. Like all interviews his had some horrific moments and some good times.

Michael was an acting platoon SGT for convoy security. He was attached to A Co. 31st FSB. Watched over convoys during transition.

SOH

What did you think of other soldiers you were with?

Michael

You think others deserve more praise.

SOH

What about the bad times you had?

Michael

I was in a reconnaissance leader, and we had a group of vehicles that protected the convoys. One day we were traveling in a group, and the vehicle ahead of us suddenly caught on fire. It was intense immediately. We all got out of our rigs and ran toward the vehicle, but it was too late. The men inside had already burned to death. There was nothing to do, but make sure everyone else was safe. They were very good men.

You never leave the bad times behind you. They are always with you. Your mind is always full of military times.

SOH

Let’s switch to your transition time. When did you get home and how did you feel when you got out?

Michael

I got home on September 11, 2006.

SOH

Let me interrupt you and share that was the same day as the 9-11 attack.

Michael

Yes, we all knew it, and it was very emotional.

SOH

What was it like coming through the terminals when you landed?

Michael

People were applauding and shaking our hands.

SOH

When you first got home with your family what was it like?

Michael

I didn’t think I was worthy of love and I struck back at my wife. Whatever I thought of her wasn’t true, but it takes time to sort things out.

SOH

That must have been depressing for you. How did you handle it?

Michael

Four times I had a gun pointing at my head. It wasn’t until I knew I needed help that I got help.

SOH

So, what did you do for a job once you got out?

Michael

I was a fire fighter. Best job I could have had. It related to military in some ways. The city treated me with great respect. They knew my aliments I had, and they did everything they could to help. I eventually had to leave the dept because the physicals were getting too hard for me. I left in 2014.

SOH

You have dealt with a lot of pain. What do you think of that? How have you made this far through all your pain and anguish.

Michael

It is a gift that keeps on giving.

SOH

You are now retired. What have you moved on to?

Michael

I reach out to other veterans as much as I can. I have a Thursday night conference call that has many veterans calling in for help. It is a faith-based conference call. Many of those calling in have PTSD, and TBI. They talk about their hardships and seek help.

SOH

You are also a national board member for the Victory for Veterans Foundation. Tell us about that, and why did you become a board member?

Michael

I can reach out and help my fellow veterans through the programs that VFV has.

SOH

How do you feel about how you have made it this far through all your pain and anguish?

Michael

I wouldn’t be able to make it if I wasn’t a Christian. I wake up every morning saying what’s next Lord.

Michael Thorn came home from Afghanistan with many hidden aliments and pain. The list that follows are some of the ailments that he received while on duty. He is very ill and needs double lung transplants. He labored through this interview.

He was coughing and wheezing towards the end. I asked him if he wanted to stop several times, and he insisted that we continue so he could help other veterans. 

He spends many hours in the emergency trying to stay alive. Here are his conformed ailments.

  • PTSD
  • TBI
  • IFP
  • Chronic backpain
  • Tracheobronomalacia (TBM)
  • Constrictive Bronchiolitis Syndrome
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Dyputrins Contranctures
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Degenerative Bone Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Chronic Nausea

In Michael’s profile he warns soldiers about not getting help soon enough. That was his mistake. He said learn about all your benefits, and how to start using them for assistance.

Michael spent two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

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This will be all the excerpts I will share with you at this time. If you want to see my first two excerpts they will be the post below this one.

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Checking in on you my friend. How are you doing.? I know it is hard to go through transition from the Military to civilian life. I have been there. How about your physical and mental health? Are you battling PTSD. TBI, depression, war wounds, etc?

You are not alone! There are close to 9,000 fellow veterans here on this site. They have your six!

If it is too overwhelming, get help like Michael Thorin pleaded for you to do. You are not a sissy if you get help. Many people may try to tell you that, but they are wrong. Here is a toll free number that is 24/7 to help you if you need it:

1-800-273-8255

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

_______________________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!


Man Claims He was a Vet, Cuts off His Hand to Get a role

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

We Made it to 8,727! Never dreamed we would do that. Thank you so much for the support. It also excites us that you are supporting veterans. That is our theme here right now. 

Help us make it to 9,000 by subscribing today if you haven’t already.  This shows you care for veterans. Just click on the subscribe button  right after the title of this post,  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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‘Better Call Saul’ Actor Cut Off His Own Arm So He Could Pass As A Wounded Vet And Land Roles

There’s a lot of “out there” news these days, but this one takes the MRE pound cake for being straight-up bonkers.

Actor Todd Lawson LaTourrette — whose credits include brief roles on TV shows Better Call Saul and Longmire plus a bit part in The Men Who Stare At Goats — publicly outed himself as faking military service to get his big break during an Oct. 29 interview with KOB4 news.

But the story gets more bizarre, because of the lengths he went to do it: LaTourrette said that 17 years ago, he cut off his own arm, cauterized the wound, then made his own prosthetic, all so he could pass himself off as a war-wounded veteran.

Here’s how he explained it to KOB4:

“I severed my hand with a skill saw,” Latourette, who said he is bipolar and was off his medication at the time, told the local Albuquerque, New Mexico outlet. “The state of my mind was a psychotic episode.”

Following the DIY operation, Latourette began landing several television roles, including his recent part in Season 4 of Better Call Saul in September, after claiming he was wounded overseas.

“The film industry obviously took a different angle,” Latourette said in the interview. “That I was different. And they liked that.”

But Latourette said the lie has been hard to live with and hinted that it’s because he stole the limelight by claiming to be a veteran, when he wasn’t. He decided to come forward to make amends.

“I was dishonorable. I’m killing my career by doing this, if anyone thinks this was for personal edification, that’s not the case,” Latourette said. “I’m ousting myself from the New Mexico Film Industry. And gladly so, just to say what I’ve said.”

The actor told KOB4 that he’s not seeking forgiveness, just a chance to close this chapter in his life, and hopes his, uh, experience, may help others dealing with mental health challenges.

If nothing else, it’s a cautionary tale that there are limits to what you should do to land your big break in a cut-throat industry — like cutting off a limb to score a role that may have gone to a wounded military veteran looking for his or her big break.

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Military Retirees And VA Disability Recipients Are Getting Their Biggest Pay Raise Since 2012

Military retirees and those who receive disability checks and some other types of pay from the Department of Veterans Affairs will see a 2% pay raise in their monthly paychecks in 2018.

It is the biggest cost of living (COLA) increase since 2012, equaling as much as $310 a month for those at the top of the retirement pay charts.

Many monthly benefits going up

Thanks to the increase, the average military retirement check for an E-7 with 20 years of service will go up by $46 a month, while an O-5 with the same time in uniform will see an $88 monthly increase.

Disabled veterans will also see a bump, with the average VA disability check going up about $3 per month for those with a 10 percent rating, and $58 for those rated at 100 percent.
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How are you doing?
Are there too many days you would rather stay in bed than face the world? Have you had times you felt depressed from thinking about your deployment?
Be strong and know that we have your six. We care about you. If you need someone to talk to leave a comment and we will do whatever we can to help.
You must remember that you are not a sissy for getting help. I know, many people think that because you are a veteran that you should be tough. They are totally wrong.
If you need professional help you can call 24/7:
1-800273-8255
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Remember
You are never alone.
You are never forsaken.
You are never unloved.
And above all…never, ever, give up!