Losing a Buddy in the Military is hard, at best, to Accept

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A day late again. Sorry about that. I am still struggling with pain after my surgery. I see the doctor tomorrow.

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I see some interesting things developing in our country. This weekend Donald Trump will be speaking at a huge gathering. This is his first public speech since he left office. Should be extremely insightive.

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Today I am going to share an excerpt of my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

I am leaping ahead here to my time deployed to South Korea. I have many stories about there in my book.

One of the pluses of joining the military was that I was able to sign up under the buddy plan. There were two other guys I enlisted with. We all went to high school together.

We had basic training together. We had Signal Corp training, and we were sent to Korea together. When we got there we were scattered to three different locations. Our training was needed at several spots.

Did I face the loss of a friend while deployed? Yes I did. One of the other friends never made it back to the states alive. He contracted some ugly virus, and died in Korea.

I took it very hard, but not to the point of PTSD. Back then they never heard of PTSD. They labeled mental stress as “Shell Shock.”

I did lose another buddy while in Korea. He got extremely drunk one night. As he came back to Camp Red Cloud from the village, he was wavering and struggling to stay on his feet. He accidently feel into a “Honey Bucket,” and suffocated. (A honey bucket in Korea is the name of a waste ditch that human waste is dropped into to fertilize their crops.)

It was a horrible death. I that was also very hard on me.

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I will be sharing excerpts from, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life, from time to time, to let you get the feel of the book.

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Checking in on you now my friend. Did you lose a buddy in the military? Was it extremely hard to accept it. Did it cause you to have PTSD?

You are not alone!! There are over 11,570 fellow veterans here on this site, that have you back.

Many have been where you have been.

If there is no way you are able to handle things right now, 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.

DO NOT take in this not so friendly world alone.

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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So Many Unsung Heroes in the MIlitary That we Need to Honor

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I wasn’t able to post on Friday. I had surgery on that day. It was to replace a battery in my defibrillator. Still slowly recovering today.

I can see you weren’t too excited about my post last Wednesday. It was a report about sexual harassment and rape. Sorry if it offended you, but we have to face it and follow through in helping those afflicted.

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Times are not exactly fun right now. Our country is in turmoil. Lots of verbal fighting. Seems there a division right down the middle of our country as to beliefs.

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There are many reports of heroic feats by the military. That tells me that people in the military are special people. Here is a story about another hero:

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Marine awarded for saving drowning couple from rough waters in California.

When Cpl. Jordan Perez heard a couple calling for help, he ripped off his boots and sprang into action. The Marine saw two civilian kayakers, their vessel capsized in the waters of 21 Area Boat Basin, a training section for amphibious vehicles at Camp Pendleton, California that opens up onto the Pacific Ocean.

It was around 1 p.m. on Feb. 15, and large, sharp boulders in the basin had caused strong waves that flipped the kayak, leaving the kayakers struggling in the water.

“That’s when I took action,” said Perez in a recent press release. A combat engineer with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, Perez was working at a nearby construction project when another Marine noticed the drowning couple. “I took my boots off and just started swimming.”

The Marine swam 250 meters through the choppy waves to reach the kayakers. He grabbed the woman’s hand, pulled her back on the kayak and started pushing the boat back to the rocks. The woman’s husband could swim, but he started panicking halfway to the shore. Perez swam back to the man, put a life jacket on him, and continued pushing the woman to safety.

Perez was in the right spot at the right time: while other Marines also noticed the drowning couple, he happened to be training with a retired reconnaissance Marine to prepare for assessment and selection with the Marine Raiders. Part of that training includes swimming two hours every day.

“That [training] takes away any hesitation that comes with putting your own life at risk,” Perez said. “Since I had been training, I was confident that I could get myself out there and get those people back.”

Perez was awarded a challenge coin from Brig. Gen. Dan Conley, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, on Feb. 19th. Though Perez technically does not fall under Conley’s command, the general wanted to personally thank him for what he did. A challenge coin is presented to Marines who go above and beyond, and any further awards will be processed by his chain of command, the press release explained.

“I’d like to believe a lot of people would do what you did, but I know they wouldn’t,” Conley told him. “So, to hear it actually happen is just amazing. That was really gutsy of you.”

But it’s just par for the Corps, as far as Perez is concerned.

“It’s what Marines are expected to do,” he said.

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His instinct saved lives, and left yet another reminder how special our military is.

Do you have a story about a hero? Share it in the comments below. I would love to post it.

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Time to talk about you. How are you doing? Is everything going in the right direction, or has your path been altered?

You are not alone. There are over 11,550 fellow veterans here who have your back.

Of course if your struggling is too hard for you right now, GET HELP!

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

Never take on this crazy world alone!

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.

Sexual Harassment and Rape Should Not be Allowed in the mIlitary at All

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Current news, and some real heroes…

The Marine Corps’s new battlewagon is a better tank-killer than the service’s tanks, general says.

Special Forces doctor awarded for saving lives despite his own injuries following a motorcycle accident.

Airman awarded for braving rocket fire to treat wounded troops during Camp Taji attack.

‘I don’t think I’m special’ says Marine who rescued a baby from a burning car.

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What I am going to share with you now is a true story about sexual harassment and rape. It isn’t pretty, but there are far too many situations like this in the military.

I got very serious about this when I interviewed a Va Nurse who told me some stories of rape, and the aftermath, for my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.

An airman who said her complaints of sexual harassment were ignored for months by Misawa Air Base command has finally secured a transfer to another duty station, Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs said in a statement.

“In accordance with her request, Airman First Class Sarah Figueroa was transferred to another duty location,” the statement said. PACAF did not disclose the new location to protect Figueroa’s personal information. PACAF wrote that it had also investigated the male airman who was harassing Airman 1st Class Figueroa, and that the commander took “appropriate action” after consulting with the legal office.

“The Air Force takes all allegation of interpersonal violence, to include bullying and sexual harassment, very seriously,” it added.

That did not appear to be the case in October when Airman 1st Class Figueroa took to Instagram to express her frustration with her command for disregarding complaints that a male airman had been stalking and harassing her for months.  

“Last week, I was followed by the airman who sexually harassed and I feared for my life,” she said in her Oct. 13 post. “I thought I was going to die and I prayed over and over again while I was driving.”

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass commented on the post, asking the airman to send her an email. Figueroa’s mother also spoke about her daughter’s desperate situation in a video interview posted to YouTube on Oct. 21.

Fatima Figueroa said the male airman was issued a no-contact order earlier this year (which is similar to a civilian restraining order), Figueroa said he has ignored the order and continued to follow Figueroa, making her feel scared for her life. 

The chain of command, military police, Equal Opportunity Office, and other authorities had not been helpful in resolving the situation, punishing the male airman, or helping Airman 1st Class Figueroa secure a transfer out of Misawa, Figueroa said at the time.

“This is a nightmare, this is a horror movie,” she said on YouTube in an interview with Kayla Rivera TV. “We shouldn’t be going through this. The only thing we’re asking is to transfer her out. That’s the only thing we want.”

Airman 1st Class Figueroa reported the initial harassment to military police and her chain of command. According to her mother, the Air Force investigated the case, decided it was a case of sexual harassment, and issued a no-contact order to the male airman.

However, since then, the male airman has parked next to Airman 1st Class Figueroa’s car, followed her, made more inappropriate comments towards her, and said hello to her “like nothing has happened,” her mother said.

Airman 1st Class Figueroa and her mother expressed frustration with base leadership. They said the commander claimed it was just a coincidence that the male airmen was following her ‘because it’s such a small base,’ they recalled him saying.

“She needs help. She needs to get out of there,” Fatima Figueroa said about her daughter in the YouTube interview. “Sarah should never have been placed in this predicament. Action should have been taken from the beginning.”

Now their request has finally been granted. On Oct. 29, Airman 1st Class Figueroa wrote on Instagram that she was given emergency orders to be transferred within 24 hours. She said her command expressed remorse for what happened.

“I just can’t believe it took this extreme of a measure for my chain of command to believe me,” she wrote. “On the way to the airport, my leadership shed tears in telling me they couldn’t believe it was true and that everyone felt horrible for thinking I was exaggerating.”

When asked if the Equal Opportunity Office, chain of command or military police at Misawa were being investigated for allegedly disregarding Airman 1st Class Figueroa’s complaints, PACAF wrote that there were no ongoing investigations on the matter.

“The Air Force’s investigative processes thoroughly address all persons and parties involved in incidents to ensure alleged victims and alleged perpetrators are protected under the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” PACAF said. “In this case, helping agencies and the chain-of-command worked diligently to provide a solution for Airman First Class Figueroa.”

On Instagram on Oct. 29, Airman 1st Class Figueroa wrote that her leadership issued her a no-contact order detailing the places the male airman could not walk by, drive by, or be seen in unless he called leadership. The order also said he would have to call leadership any time he came across her and that he could not park his car next to any v “When I got this Order, I was angry and disappointed … I just kept looking at it in disbelief and wondering why this wasn’t given to me earlier,” Airman 1st Class Figueroa said. “I had just been notified that I was going to be transferred so it felt like too little too late until I was told this could last my entire military career to keep me safe.”

Still, she wrote that she saw the male airman’s car in her dormitory’s parking lot that night. She fled and said her leadership picked her up and drove her to the police station.

In one of her Instagram posts on Oct. 29, Airman First Class Figueroa wrote that she was “somewhere safe now,” but there are plenty of women in the military who are not. In her earlier posts, she compared her situation to that of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, a soldier who was sexually harassed and murdered by a fellow soldier in April.

Sorry for the negative story, but these these things need to be addressed.

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So how are you doing? Have you ever been harassed? Did it leave a scar on you?

You are not alone. There are over 11,120 veterans on this site who have your back..

If it is too overwhelming for you still 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 on you until they know you are OK.

Do not take on this not so friendly world alone.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

__________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

____________________________________

+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.