Scars Can Show Veterans Where They’ve Been, But They Don’t Show Where They’re Going

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Military news…

Goodbye Bragg and Benning: These are the potential names for Army bases honoring Confederates

Make way for ‘Fort Eisenhower,’ ‘Fort Cavazos,’ and ‘Fort Barfoot.’

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US deal with Taliban panicked Afghan military and hastened collapse, investigation finds

A watchdog report outlines how US actions during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, often done without communication to Afghan allies, fueled mistrust and paranoia, which led to mass surrenders. 

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Addition of Finland and Sweden to NATO would strengthen Arctic security, improve US training, military officials say

Navy and Marine Corps officials said Wednesday that the potential inclusion of Finland and Sweden in the NATO alliance would boost U.S. military activity in the Arctic and the Baltic Sea.

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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby to switch podiums for White House job

Chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby is stepping down from his position to switch podiums for a senior communications job at the White House, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday.

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US, South Korea to discuss expanded joint military exercises Citing the threat posed by North Korea, Presidents Joe Biden and Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea agreed Saturday to reinforce their defensive posture on the Korean Peninsula.

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20 countries in US-led Ukraine Contact Group offer new military aid packages to help Ukrainians beat back invading Russians
Some 20 countries in the U.S.-led Ukraine Contact Group agreed to contribute new military aid packages to help Ukrainian troops fight off the Russian forces that have been attacking their country for the last three months, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Monday.

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On Asia trip, Biden says he would be willing to use force if China invades Taiwan

President Joe Biden signaled an apparent end to the US policy of strategic ambiguity by saying the United States would defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion.

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Here is one of my best excerpts, according to readers, from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the trenches of Life.

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Scars Can Show Where We’ve Been, But They Don’t Show Where We Are Going

One of the hardest things for us as veterans and current soldiers is dealing with the scars we have had from the past. It may be a physical scar, or it may be mental or emotional. We can’t keep living in the past. Much of it is too painful to relive again. Yes, the present isn’t exactly rosy sometimes either, but it is here, and we need to deal with it. The one-day-at-a-time thought works for me. I just do what I need to do to make it through each day, and I am thankful when I have made it.

The future is something we can’t always control, but we can help shape it by being eager to take it on and conquering it with our determination and guts.

I feel deeply of those of you who have physical scars. I also feel deeply for those of you who have mental and emotional scars. I have been to the mountain with these kinds of scars.

Strive to never give in to the dark side thought of doom and gloom. Look for the bright side, and share it with others around you who need it as well.

This reminds me of Kris Kyle the sniper who was famous for his accuracy, and how many lives he saved by eliminating the enemy who was about to kill our soldiers. He was a tough and no nonsense kind of guy, and yet he lost his live trying to help a fellow soldier who was battling his own demons. Kris was trying to help others even though he had his own dark times.

Never give up! There may be walls in your way, but you will overcome them with perseverance.

Let someone pile expectations on and then exceed them. Your biggest goals in life become your biggest achievements. If you have discipline and drive, you don’t lose. You cannot lose. New ideas are sometimes scary, but can end up something special. Walls: They separate, divide, and isolate. But walls can always fall.

What we have to remember is that we have to go through the pains of life to achieve the joys. Pains actually inspire growth. 

I saw those words recently and at first I thought, Easy for you to say! Most people don’t know what real pain is. My neighbor recently complained she had double abscessed teeth. Knowing how painful that is, since I have had abscessed teeth myself, I thought about those military servicemen and women have lost their legs, arms, or are going to be in a wheelchair the rest of their lives. The level of pain is relevant to only what you are really going through.

We must always remember: With God on Our Side, who can be against us? No one!

IWILL

It is hard enough to exist in this cruel world without adding pain and mental strain to our lives. We need to battle the elements that attack us with vigor and valor, just like we would on the front lines, in the trenches, as we face the enemy. Stand strong and be brave.

Think about this

Isn’t it interesting how it takes bravery to face this world, but it takes even more bravery to give it all up to God?

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Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,910 veterans on this site who have your back.

Here is what I am asking you to do…please share this site with as many other veterans as you can. It has helped so many.

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If you are battling mentally, but you are losing, GET HELP!!

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

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

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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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There Are Actually Happy Stories Coming From Vietnam Veterans

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Military news…

Army’s top civilian defends Russian deterrence program, predicts more US troops could deploy to Europe
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told House lawmakers that the European Deterrence Initiative might not have stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin from ordering a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, but it positioned the U.S. military to respond quickly to it.

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US soldiers model river crossing in contrast to Russians’ Donbas disaster

Days after dozens of Russian armored vehicles were obliterated during an attempted river crossing in eastern Ukraine, US and allied soldiers launched a training version of a similar maneuver.

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Air Force successfully fires hypersonic weapon after multiple failures last year

The service said the weapon traveled five times faster than the speed of sound.

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US Navy ship makes $39 million meth bust in Middle East waters

A Navy destroyer patrolling in the Gulf of Oman this week seized $39 million in methamphetamine from a fishing ship in waters used to smuggle people, weapons and narcotics, U.S. 5th Fleet said Tuesday.

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A Lesser-Known Group At Risk of Suicide—Children of Servicemembers

Military kids can suffer from emotional stressors, that left unaddressed, can increase their risk of taking their own lives.

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US Left Behind $7 Billion of Military Equipment in Afghanistan After 2021 Withdrawal, Pentagon Report Says

About $7 billion of military equipment the U.S. government provided to the Afghan government over the course of 16 years was left behind in Afghanistan after the military withdrew from the country in August.

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Western Artillery Surging Into Ukraine Will Reshape War With Russia

Ukraine is receiving artillery and training from Western allies that will likely set off a deadly battle of long-range weapons as fighting intensifies in the Donbas.

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Here is another interview with combat veterans. This is a rare one with a Vietnam veteran. It was extremely hard to get Vietnam veterans to talk.

I know you are not willing to say too much about your experiences in Nam, what can you Share?

I will share a happy time while I was there. Me and a buddy were sitting in an opening in the jungle. I looked up and saw hundreds of monkeys playing in the trees. I told my buddy if I could just have one of those guys for a pet, I would be very happy.

He said he knew what to do to make that happen. He got a coconut and cut a whole in it. He put a shiny quarter in there and sat it the middle of the opening. He said, “Now Watch.”

Sure enough the monkeys started gathering around the coconut. They were curious about the shiny thing in the coconut. One finally put his hand in there to try to pull the quarter out. His hand got stuck and we went and picked up the monkey.

I loved the little guy. I even made a home for him. It had an area to sleep. Food readily available, and limbs to climb on.

The monkey loved his new home. I didn’t keep good track of what he was doing in the cage, and he dug a hole big enough for him to get out.

He went into the other soldiers tents and stole goodies from them. One of the soldiers caught him doing it and complained to me. I tried to find how the monkey could get out, but apparently the hole was so small I couldn’t find it.

This went on for a few days. The monkey would be in his cage with new goodies he had stolen for the guys.

One soldier had enough. He made a miniature parachute; caught the money and attached to him. He then took the monkey to a near cliff and threw him over it.

I couldn’t find my monkey and got very upset. The soldier finally told me what he had done. I was very mad at him.

Then a couple days later I looked at a path that went through the jungle and here comes my monkey with the chut still attached to him. He came right up to me. We had many months of joy with my monkey.

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It made me feel so good to interview someone from the Vietnam war that had some happy moments. Come back often to read some more interviews. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on Subscribe. When you do all future posts will come directly to you inbox.

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My next interview will be with another Vietnam veteran that was not such a happy story. Don’t miss it.

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Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,745 veterans on this site who have your back.

Here is what I am asking you to do…please share this site with as many other veterans as you can. It has helped so many.

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If you are battling mentally, but you are losing, GET HELP!!

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

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

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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.

Several Interviews With WWII Veterans Who Are Struggling Today.

+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.

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Military news…

New electronic records system crashes at VA hospitals as lawmakers question officials about earlier system outages

House lawmakers told officials of the Department of Veterans Affairs this week to halt their launch of the agency’s new electronic health records system at any other facilities until the problems that caused outages at the first two medical centers to use the new system are fixed.

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Naval Submarine Base New London honors Gold Star families

The Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Conn., held a flag dedication event Tuesday afternoon in honor of Navy Gold Star Awareness Month.

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US Army in Germany resumes training Ukrainian forces, with focus on Western weaponry

The resumption of the Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine mission has Ukrainian soldiers working with 155 mm howitzers, radars and other gear.

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Rebuilding US relationship with Russia will require ouster of Putin, senator says
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not fit to serve, said Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and any opportunity to restore ties with Russia will need to be predicated on the next leader of the country.

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Denmark and prospective NATO member Sweden say Russia flew into their airspace

A Russian spy plane violated NATO airspace in recent days, prompting the Kremlin’s ambassador to Denmark to be summoned over the incident, the top Danish diplomat announced.

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Biden seeks to rob Putin of his top scientists with visa lure

The Biden administration has a plan to rob Russian President Vladimir Putin of some of his best innovators by waiving some visa requirements for highly educated Russians who want to come to the U.S., according to people familiar with the strategy.

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On the battlefield, Ukraine uses Soviet-era weapons against Russia

In a town near the front with Russia in eastern Ukraine, grease-stained Ukrainian soldiers huddled over the engine hatch of a battle-damaged T-64BV battle tank. They had been working for three days straight.

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What follows are several combined interviews for my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. with veterans who are at the Trinka Assisted Living Facility for veterans.

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Interviews with Veterans from The Trinka Assisted Living Facility

The following interviews will not have names. I just used the initials of the men who fought mostly in WWII. Others were in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. I am honoring their wishes to not name them, but they are still heroes. They are all residents of the Trinka Davis Assisted Living Facility in Carrolton, Georgia. Their stories may make you sad and yet give you hope.

My first interview is with WJ. He passed away recently. He was almost 97.

Tell us why you enlisted since you were married and had a small child?

WJ– I felt it was my duty just like the many other men and women who enlisted. I joined the Navy in 1942. I became a Petty Officer. I served in many navel stations during my career.

Then what happened?

WJ- I became seriously ill in 1945. I was granted total disability, and received an honorable discharge.

What happen in the private sector?

WJ- I worked for a lumber company, and later for a plastic company. I eventually started a lumber company that I operated until I retired.

+WJ and his wife received the coveted, “The Book of Golden Deeds Award,” for consistently serving their fellow man, and for their kindness and compassion for others.

WJ- Had his own garden where he raised tomatoes, and okra. He also fed the local birds with his bird feeder, which he could see right out of his window. The birds really flocked there and he had to reload the feeders several times a day.

WJ- was a heavy supporter of the local Masonic Lodge, which he had been a part of for over 65 years. He also was an avid recruiter for the American Legion Post in Carrollton, Georgia.

+ This kind of interview does not show you the guts and gore that war brings, but it shows you that WWII veterans are just like you and I. They are no different, and deserve equal treatment in all phases of life. I was very honored to write about WJ and his service to his country.

CB- is another member of the same assisted living facility that houses only military veterans. I will be sharing more about this facility here.

CB- At 19 years old CB sat bravely on a halftrack behind a .50 caliber machine gun firing steadily at the attacking German troops. Because of what he did he is almost totally deaf now. He was wounded in the leg with shrapnel and was sent back into the battle again. He was wounded the second time and received two Purple Hearts. (Maybe he should have received some other medals.)

When did you get into the Army?

CB- I was drafted into the Army in June of 1943. I started basic training, but I wasn’t able to finish because of a birth defect in my feet.

So what did they do with you?

CB-They assigned me to a work detail on the base. From there I was transferred to Company A of the 48th infantry Battalion and sent to Europe. I spent my time in Europe manning a .50 caliber machine gun. The noise ruined my hearing, and I have still had a heavy loss today. I am 90 years old. I was discharged and started my own funeral home.

As of this writing CB is still at Trinka Davis Assisted Living in Georgia. He is receiving intensive care for the many wounds and hearing loss he faced while serving our country.

CH- is a young thirty something Army veteran who served in Iraq during the war. He cannot tell you his story personally, because his disability has taken away his capacity to verbalize anything much beyond some grunting sounds.

He has to be fed through a tube in his stomach. What ever happened to him also caused a muscular disorder causing him to not be able to use his hands. In order to communicate his needs to others, he has a small letter board letter board and he has to force in his hands to point to one letter at a time.

His condition is irreversible, and the price he paid for his service should never be forgotten.

The “story,” is about HY- He was a highly decorated WWII veteran. He spent eighteen months as a prisoner of war in Germany. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, and two Purple Hearts.

HY- entered the Air force in 1942. (I was only three years old then.) He was nineteen years old. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant while serving with the 376th Bomber group, which was a part of the 514th Squadron.

He was a turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber. His plane was shot down over Italy on December 28th 1943. During the war the average life span of a turret gunner was approximately three missions.

HY- was wounded and had to parachute to survive. He was quickly spotted by the Germans and captured. He was taken from Italy to Austria. HY spent eighteen difficult months in Stalag 17 as a prisoner of war.

HY- was tortured, but often treated pretty well. HY went from 160 pounds to 118 pounds. He was liberated three days after the war ended.

HY- was discharged for the Army with 100% disability. He had to live with the memories from Stalag 17.

PA-served in the military from 2008 to 2010. While serving in Iraq PA contracted an airborne virus that went through his nose and into his brain. This caused tremendous irreversible damage. Despite several brain surgeries PA had serious short term memory, and some long term memory problems. This made it extremely hard to function in a normal matter.

PA was a “gentle giant,” to his friends. Because of the many surgeries PA functioned more like a child. He was one of the most gut wrenching cases at Trinka Davis.

+As you can see I didn’t interview many of the veterans at Trinka Davis Assisted Living, but I was able to share their stories of their life in the military, and after. Their privacy is of the utmost importance.

The next veteran is not a WWII veteran, but he served in Korea and Vietnam. He was a Master Sergeant who was in the Air Force. He Enlisted in 1949. He had a top secret clearance as a Flight Engineer on a C-124 Globemaster. He flew out of Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, and several other bases.

Where did you do most of your flying?

FL We did most of our flights over Vietnam. We were exposed to Agent Orange, and we had a few bullets holes in our plane from time to time.

So that is about all I learned personally from FL, but he went on to start his own deli business. He also worked on maintenance for the U.S. Postal Service, and crafted glass. Eventually his health worsened to where he was sent to Trinka Davis Assisted Living along with many other veterans. While there he has become famous for his paintings, and model airplanes that he built. He was 85 years old as of this writing.

JG retired from the Army as a Sergeant First Class on December 21, 1992 after serving twenty-two years.

His training was at Fort Gordon Georgia, where I was trained. He went to the same Signal school I went to. I feel especially close to this hero. He had the usual top secret clearance routine, and even went to the Pentagon to take a polygraph test.

(I didn’t go that far, but my mom was shocked when the FBI came knocking at her door to ask questions.)

JG was then assigned the elite United States Special Security Group. They worked several bases to support the Commanding General, and the Chief of Staff at those bases.

JG Served in many countries like Korea, Germany, South East Asia, Thailand, and Turkey. This was all going on while he was apart from his family. Deployments can be very hard on a family.

Toward the end of his service JG started have some health issues. He was unable to find a job because of it. The VA gave him a 40% disability rating. His condition grew much worse and he was given 100% disability.

+As you can see I didn’t get interviews with many of the veterans at Trinka Davis Assisted Living, but I was able to share their life in the military, and after. Their privacy is of the utmost importance to me.

LB enlisted on the Army at the age of 19 just as the Vietnam war began. He served in the Army for 17 years. Six of those years were in Germany and two years near the dangerous DMZ (Demilitarized Zone,) in Korea. (I was also deployed to Korea. I went to see the DMZ Zone. I was a radio man just like LB. Small world.)

LB Developed high blood pressure and was discharged from the military in 1986. After his discharge he became an eighteen wheeler truck driver. That didn’t last long because of his progressing health problems. He had two strokes, which made it impossible for him to continue working. LB is extremely quiet about his own life. We do know he paid a high price for his dedication to his country.

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Some of the interviews and information was very difficult for me. Keep coming back to see more interviews. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on Subscribe. When you all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

______________________________________________________________

Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,572 veterans on this site who have your back.

Here is what I am asking you to do…please share this site with as many other veterans as you can. It has helped so many.

______________________________________________________________

If you are battling mentally, but you are losing, GET HELP!!

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

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

______________________________________________________________

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.