PTSD Can Pull you Down Into the Muck and Mire Like a Huge Magnate

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The White House is trying to get our minds off of Afghanistan, and on spending trillions of dollors on bills that are full of pork.

Presidnet Biden seems to be doing what ever he can to trash the military. I am hearing rumors he doesn’t like the military.

Presdient Trump loves the military. He did what ever he could to get higher funding, and praised the soldiers for their dedication.

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I am going to start sharing excerpts from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. This is against my publishers wishes.

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This chapter will be rather Long, but I want to show you the great information it has:

People Don’t Understand Me

We all know that great, and satisfying marriages are possible, But what about those who face PTSD (Post Tramimatic Stress Dosorder, ) in their marraige?

People with PTSD may affect many more than just their spouses. It could be the parents, children, siblngs, friends, or co-workers.

PTSD is an exposure to a severe trauma.

The Mayo clinic says:

“PTSD is a mental condition that is triggered by a terrifying event.”

People who struggle with it are not crazy, weak, a failure, or even a bad person. They are looking for help just like the rest of us.

Some of the symptoms of PTSD are:

  1. Reliving the event.

A. Memories of the tramatic event can come back often and at any time. You may feel the some fear and horror like you did when the event took place. For example:

+ You may have nightmares.

+ You may feel like you are going through the event again. This is called flashback.

+ You may see, hear, and smell something that causes you to relive the event. This is called a trigger. News reports, seeing an accident, or hearing a car backfire are examples of triggers.

2. You may try to avoid situations that remind you of the event.

+ You may also try to avoid situations or people that trigger the memories, You may even avoid talking about the event. For example:

+ You may avoid crowds, because they may make you feel uncomfortable.

+You may avoid driving if your miitary convoy was bombed.

+ You may keep busy or even avoid seeking help because it keeps you from thinking ot talking about the event. (You should never let this happen. You need to verbalize your feelings to let your helpers know how they can really help you. )

3. Negative changes in beliefs and feelings.

+ The way you think about yourself and others may change. There are many symptoms including the following:

+ You may not have positive or loving feelings towards other people, and may stay away from relationships.

+ You may forget about parts of the tramatic event, or not be able to talk about them. (Again, please share your thoughts. It will not only relieve your mind, but you can get the proper help that you dearly need.)

4. Feeling keyed up

+ You may always be alert and on the lookout for danger. You might suddnely become angry or irritable. For example:

+ You may have a hard time sleeping.

+ You may have trouble concentrating.

+ You may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.

+ You may want to have your back to a wall in a restaurant, or waiting room.

The spouses of a veteran with PTSD have many of their own emotions such as:

+Sleeping probems.

+ Depression.

+Wanting to run away.

+ Feeling trapped.

+Feeling hopeless.

+ Feeling exhausted.

+They may even question their faith.

There could be a possiblity of getting PTSD themselves. like getting cancer from second hand smoke.

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I read an article in Guide Posts Magazine about a wife who started having the same symptoms as her husband who was battling PTSD. A family with PTSD in it can be pulled into the muck and mire like a family who have one of their own battling durgs or alcochol.

Wouldn’t it be great to be abe to say, “Take two aspirin and see me in the morning,” and the PTSD would be all gone? The truth is that the veteran with PTSD may never totally get over it. But the people involved can learn agreat deal from it; to handle it better. They can do this and still have a good marriage

The trauma they face may never go away, but the trauma can be reduced to the point it doesn’t control the person.

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There is much more to this chapter, but I didn’t want you to give up, because you thought it was too long.

I highly suggest you aquire this book if you are struggling with PTSD. There is another chapter dealing with the same subject.

You can read that chapter in the near future right here. Better yet… Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your in box.

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Checking in with you brothers and sisters….How are you doing?

Do you suffer with PTSD? Do you dread the nights for fear of nightmares?

FEAR NOT!!!

There are over 13,135 fellow veterans here on this site who have your back.

If the world is just too crazy for you, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number to cal 24/7. There are highy qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

!-800-273-8255…texting838255.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Military Spouses Are Very Vital to Helping Their Loved Ones

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Military News…


Russia.” That’s what one former teammate of Peter Debbins said in court documents about the former Green Beret. Debbins, 46, was sentenced last week to more than 15 years in federal prison after admitting he passed secrets to Moscow for years. It sounds made-up, but unfortunately for Debbins’ former teammates, who now feel like they have to spend their whole lives looking over their shoulders, it’s all too real.

‘Stop the social experiment’ is one of several biased views that women face in Army special operations, according to an internal survey sent to Haley Britzky. Forty percent of women in Army special operations say they’ve faced gender bias in the workplace, Haley writes, and many said that, unlike men, they are assumed to be worthless as soon as they walk in the door. On top of that, they also have to deal with issues like ill-fitting body armor, inadequate childcare and the false impression that they get an easier time through the selection process than men.

Constant mobilizations may be pushing the National Guard to the brink
More mobilizations. More time away from jobs and families. More strain on the Guard.
The Air Force wants to ‘enhance’ and ‘augment’ its ‘draft beer capabilities’

The Air Force is calling for additional self-serve beer taps at its on-base bar and grille at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.


 Ranger training battalion commander relieved for making ‘derogatory’ comments about subordinatesA Ranger Training Battalion commander was relieved last month after making “derogatory comments” about soldiers training to become Army Ranger.
The Air Force has deployed its drone-killing microwave weapon to Africa

The Air Force is currently testing a prototype of its new drone-killing microwave weapon “in a real-world setting” in Africa, Breaking Defense reports, a major step forward for the service’s directed energy efforts.
Military spouses are the backbone of the military
The United States military is the finest fighting force in the world, ready to deploy anywhere within 48-hour notice. A combat-ready unit cannot operate without logistics, communications, and of course, family support. While they don’t wear uniforms, military spouses are fundamental in keeping our forces domestic and abroad focused, supported, and ready to go.
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The last aritice is special to me. I feel that spouses are vital to the military. In my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life, I have a whole chapter on the subject.

I talk about my own daughter-in-law being a spouse to my son KC. He spent close to thirty years in the service and she was by his side the whole way.
As many of you already know, when your spouse is deployed, you are it. You have to make all the decision, pay all the bills.

My son was deployed to Iraq two time and he was gone for two years total. My daughter-in-law was wonderful spouse during all of this. She never wavered.
I want to also mention that not all spouses are women as far as staying home. Many men are spouses to women soldiers.

It is tougher for them to survive, because they do not have the massive support groups like the women have.
When they need help it is hard to know where to go.

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One of my favorite moments of all time was when I able to be at FT Lewis when the plane carrying my son landed from Iraq.

We were in a hanger waiting them to march into view. You could hear them coming because they were doing cadence.

Then the head of the group started coming into the hanger. I could see my son amongst them.

He didn’t know I was there. That made it even more special. He was very excited to see me and his wife.

These stories and much more are in the book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the trenches of life.

+ Keep coming back to read updates on how the book is doing. Better yet, subscribe right now by clicking on the subscribe button at the top of this page. When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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Were you deployed and was away from family? Did you cherish the reunion when you came home? No? Did your spouse leave you? Did people not even come to meet you?

Fear not!

There are over 12,000 fellow subscribed to the site, and they have your back.

However, if you life is spinning out of control, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK. This is all free!

Never be alone if you are hurting.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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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 from this site, please let them know about it.

Suicide is One of the Highest Risks for Service Members in the Military

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What follows is a very long article about suicide. I am sorry it is so long, but I am not sorry that I am asking you to read it to the end.

One of my priorities as a veteran has been to reach out to those who are suffering with depression, anxiety, and have suicidal thoughts.

This article is from the Task and Purpose organization. They have great reads about the military. You can look it up through Google and have it delivered to you inbox everyday.

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Years ago this soldier almost died by suicide. Now, he’s telling his story in hopes of saving someone else.

James McGuffey was 30 years old when he found himself lying in bed, half drunk, with a pistol in his mouth. 

That night in June 2008 was the culmination of years of trauma and stress that had gone unaddressed, and it wasn’t the first time he’d had thoughts about self-harm. A month prior in May, the Army Ranger, who was a sergeant first class at the time, chased “a bunch of pills” with Wild Turkey bourbon. Luckily some of his friends took him to the hospital where he got his stomach pumped. They told him they wouldn’t say anything. They begged him to get help.

But it wasn’t that easy. It rarely is. 

McGuffey, now a command sergeant major with the 3rd Infantry Division Artillery, voiced the same fears a lot of service members mention when talking about behavioral health: How will it impact my career? What about my security clearance? How will I be perceived by my command, and by my peers?  But in a conversation at 3rd ID’s headquarters at Fort Stewart, Georgia, last week, he explained how getting the help he needed saved his life and his career, putting him on a path towards healing that before had felt out of reach. Now he shares his story with other soldiers in the hopes it will encourage them to take action and get the help they need — and prompt leaders to listen to their soldiers. It’s not a suicide prevention brief, he made sure to clarify; it’s about how to get through life.

The underlying theme is similar to another soldier in the unit, Capt. Chelsea Kay who lost her older brother, also a soldier, to suicide when she was a cadet at West Point, New York. Kay now gives presentations to help other soldiers recognize signs that someone may need help, so they can intervene and potentially save a life. 

Suicide prevention is one of the primary focuses of the Army’s This is My Squad initiative, which encourages leaders to get to know their soldiers, and soldiers to get to know their teammates. The goal is to build a culture where soldiers feel comfortable speaking up about challenges they might be facing, whether in the Army or in their personal lives. Frankly, it can’t happen soon enough; suicides had a reported increase of 30% among active-duty soldiers last year, with a 41% increase in the Army Reserve. 

“One thing I’ve learned is steel sharpens steel,” McGuffey explained. “I don’t want to talk to the chaplain or I would’ve gone to the chaplain — I want to talk to you, because you know, you’ve been in longer than me, you’ve experienced more than me. So part of this is, if you’re a leader, stop looking at situations through your lense. Look at it through different lenses, and listen to your soldiers. Let them tell you their story.” 

McGuffey’s story didn’t end the night his friends urged him to get help. In fact, it only got worse. After his attempted overdose in May, he said all he could think about was, “Oh my God, all my buddies have seen me vulnerable.” In the weeks that followed he was getting “drunk every night” until that night in June when he was renting a room from one of his Ranger buddies and getting even closer to ending his life. 

But as he laid there with a gun in his hand, his mom called. McGuffey, a self-proclaimed “mama’s boy,” answered the phone.

“My mom, in tears, she’s like ‘Something told me I had to call you,’” McGuffey said, nearly in tears himself. “So I broke down and started telling her everything I was dealing with.” 

She saved his life that night, and McGuffey said he’s made sure she knows it. But still, he couldn’t bring himself to get the help he needed until days later. He was at work at Fort Benning “just seeing red, everything was agitating me.” All it took was a joke from his boss that finally pushed him over the edge. 

“It was literally a joke … and I lost it. I blacked out, and by the time I came to I’ve got four Rangers, they literally had to hold me down and take me to our regimental psych at the time,” he said. “They forced me in there.” 

It wasn’t just one thing that had pushed McGuffey to that point, but a slow burn over many years and many deployments downrange. Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, he was deploying “all the time.” Some of those deployments were “really, really good,” he said, and others were “really, really bad.” All in all, McGuffey has a total of 11 deployments to Afghanistan and two to Iraq under his belt. He’d also been through two divorces by that point — the first because his wife had “skipped town with my gunner at the time, which was cool,” and the second because of the demands of the Army, which kept him on the road more often than not.

“We were just two separate people,” he said of his second marriage. 

Despite the strain he was under, he couldn’t bring himself to ask for help. He said the stigma around post traumatic stress disorder was “at an all-time high.” He was worried about his career and his security clearance. But that day in June when his friends sat him down in the psychiatrist’s office, he “just broke down.” 

“I was a younger, faster, hotter model then,” McGuffey laughed. “So you’ve got this 265 pound Ranger, 8% body fat — totally bragging — hugging a pillow, just alligator tears.” 

The doctor didn’t say a word, just stayed on his computer and let him get it all out, McGuffey said, until finally he gave him the game plan: McGuffey was going to change into a set of civilian clothes in the office, go out the back door, and someone was going to drive him to see a psychologist named Dr. Rose in Columbus, Georgia.

That first session was “one of the greatest conversations” McGuffey said he ever had. He talked with Dr. Rose for two hours, and was ultimately put on some medication. But the second meeting was when he finally “started having hope.” 

“The dump truck that was parked on my chest was slowly backing off,” he said. “I was reinflating.” 

went back for appointments twice a week for three months, and then once a week for several more. He was taking his medication and it was actually helping, he said. It wasn’t long before some of those same friends who took him down to the psych’s office were asking him how it was going, how was he feeling? Was it working? 

He told them it was, and soon McGuffey was sharing his story with other soldiers as well. He said three months later, despite his fears that what had happened would hurt his career, he was promoted. He felt a “new sense of purpose” in helping others, which led him to where he is today, telling his story with the hope it helps someone else take that step towards healing. He doesn’t see the same amount of stigma around behavioral health as he did over a decade ago. McGuffey said he wants to encourage soldiers to use the resources available to them, and encourage junior leaders to know what resources to point their soldiers to.

And like so many other parts of the military, suicide prevention is often a team effort. Recognizing the signs that a teammate is under significant strain, could use someone to talk to, or is struggling with something in their personal life can make all the difference. That’s the message that Capt. Kay also emphasizes in her presentation — what to look for, and how to do something about it. 

Kay not only covers suicide prevention, but substance abuse. Her brother, who during her presentation is introduced only as Cpl. Flannery, was suffering from PTSD and bipolar disorder, and was injured in a vehicle roll-over during a deployment to Iraq. He was struggling in his personal life, trying to get custody of his two children and going through a divorce. 

She shows soldiers her brother’s Facebook posts to illustrate warning signs that could have been spotted those six years ago, things like posting about being sober and then posting about drinking again only two weeks later. “What he’s saying here is hey, I have a dependency,” Kay said. Next she showed posts about her brother selling his musical instruments, which as anyone who knew him would know meant the world to him. Then came the Facebook posts about failed relationships where it almost sounds like he’s saying goodbye. 

It’s things that someone who really knew him might have noticed as concerning, Kay said. And though at least one friend did notice something and comment on one of his posts asking Flannery to call him, and his cousin had him on the phone the night of his death, it ultimately hadn’t been enough.

“Feb. 10, 2015, I was in my last year in New York, and I woke up with three missed calls,” Kay explained. “And my Dad when I called him, he said ‘Chelsea, your brother killed himself.’” 

What she found out in the wake of her brother’s death was that he was “on a lot of painkillers” because of his accident, and when she and her family looked into them they found that the drugs he’d been prescribed directly counteracted the bipolar medication he was on. But no one knew, so no one could help. Had his friends and loved ones known about the painkillers and his struggles with alcohol, someone might have been able to intervene, and her brother might still be alive, Kay said.

It’s this level of involvement that Kay wants to encourage in leadership; knowing what their soldiers are going through, knowing what their struggles are so they can look out for them.

“When we consider This is My Squad, this is the level that we need to be at as leaders,” Kay said. “So I encourage all of my soldiers and my junior leaders and my senior leaders; we have to understand the difference between invasive and intrusive leadership versus involved leadership.” 

Knowing about the important relationships in a soldier’s life can be a game changer, Kay said, because those relationships falling apart is “one of the big factors that leads someone to reaching this dark place.”

It’s the same message McGuffey wants to impress on soldiers when he speaks to them: Take care of your teammates, know them enough so they trust you and are able to talk about their “deepest, darkest secrets,” whether that’s a relationship problem or financial issue. Building that trust and having that dialogue, McGuffey said, is paramount.

And ultimately, ask questions. Kay mentioned the Army’s “Ask Care Escort” (ACE) training program which centers around teaching soldiers how to intervene with those that may be at risk of suicide. Sometimes, she said, that includes directly asking: “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”

“That’s a very uncomfortable question. ‘Why would I ever do that?’” Kay said, explaining how soldiers can be hesitant to take that step. “The harder question is, ‘Why did I not?’”

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How are you doing? Have you had suicidal thoughts? I did many years ago, and I am still here to talk to you.

Fear Not!

There are over 11,970 fellow veterans subscribed to this site that have your back.

BUT!! If it is just too overwhelming for you right now, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number you can call 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

DO NOT go through another minute fighting the dark side.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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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 from this site, please let them know about it.