The Time Spent Deployed, Can be Frightening. Here’s a Story That Isn’t

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What a week I have had.

My back went belly up on me last Saturday, and I have been suffering ever since. I am taking Tylenol to help.

Today I went to have a blood test done. I turned to go into the parking lot, and I was amazed to see at least a hundred cars lined up to get tested for the virus. There is panic here. In my county there have been many people coming down with the virus. The blood test came out great, and I got out of there as fast as I could.

There are other problems, but I am through whining for now.


Did you take advantage of all the free things for Veteran’s Day?

I hope you did. You certainly deserve it. I told you in a previous post that my Veteran’s Day day was being at the Oregon Coast. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the little town I went to was having a Veteran’s Day event. They were right across the street where I was getting a haircut.

I so wanted to join them. I could see all the American Legion hats, and they were hugging and really enjoying themselves. My haircut took too long and the event was over. However, it felt good to see such a small town gathering to honor our veterans.


I will share another excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

I have chosen one about a Vietnam veteran that is from the same town that I got my heair cut at. It is the town of Waldport, Oregon.

He shared with me a story that was very positive and hard to find from soldiers of the ERA.

He said:

” I was sitting on the ground with a buddy, when I looked up into the trees. There were a bunch of monkeys up there playing around. I told him I would love to have one of those monkeys as a pet. ” His buddy said he would take care of that. He cut a hole in a coconut, drained all the milk out of it, and place a quarter inside it.

The Veteran then told me, “My buddy put the coconut out in the middle of an opening with a string attached to it. Sure enough the monkey’s saw the glittering of the quarter on the inside of the coconut and soon there were several nearing the coconut. One monkey reached inside to try to get the quarter out and my buddy yanked on the string catching the monkey with his arm stuck in to coconut. He pulled the monkey next to me and I got ahold of him..”

That started a long friendship with the monkey. The veteran even made a home for him to live in. It had a grass bed, food and drink there for him, and things were going great. The monkey really bonded with him to the point that he could let the monkey out and sit with him. He didn’t run away.

Well, some odd things started happening.

The other men were complaining that things had been stolen from their personal stash of food. Yes, it was the monkey. One soldier threatened to get rid of the monkey if he didn’t keep control of it. The monkey kept stealing food.

Then the other soldier had enough. He grabbed the money. He made a miniature parachute for him and threw him over a cliff.

The veteran was very upset that this had happened. He became depressed.

It was a couple days later, and as the whole group was gathered, this brave little monkey came strolling into the camp with the parachute still attached to him.

The veteran was ecstatic.

He had gotten his monkey back. I couldn’t get much more out of this brave veteran. This rest of his story was too sad for him to tell. I did find out that he was severely wounded, and received the Purple Heart. He ended up with a drinking problem, but overcame that with the help of his wife.


Checking in..

How are your doing my friend? The times are difficult at best. The pandemic, and rioting. Not knowing who will be our next president, and much more.

The days like we have been having can drag you down . It can push you to the edge. I know, I was on the edge way back in 2001. I was ready to check out of this hotel called earth. I came to my senses and got help. I am still here to be able to write to you.

If you are overwhelmed, GET HELP!!

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

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

Please call if you need it.



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!


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

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Doug Bolton, the founder of the blog, Signs of Hope, which is at, 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.


‘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.


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.
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:
You are never alone.
You are never forsaken.
You are never unloved.
And above all…never, ever, give up!

Transcending from the military is Often Tough

Today I am just going to talk to you. I have been sharing military news, and now I am sharing with you directly.

What is happening in your life? Do you have times that you are depressed.? Are there times you wish you could just stay in bed all day? How about your daily routine? Do you avoid projects, because you fear failure?

There is much more of course, but I think you get the picture.

When we transcend from military life to civilian life, things can be very tough. People don’t understand you. They think you are still a soldier and some fear you. Finding work is a challenge. Your training does not fit most jobs.

If you are there I hear you.

When I first go out, I got a job as a grocery clerk. Not a job you really want to brag about, but my cousin got me the job and I was grateful. It was with Pigglly Wiggly, the grocery change with a funny name.

I decided I needed to get back to college, and get a degree. I had one term at George Fox College, and even played on the college football team. I was feeling good again.

The drive from Salem, Oregon to Newberg, Oregon was about a 40 mile drive each way.

One day early in the morning I was driving to school. It was cold and slippery and there was black ice. (Ice you can’t see.) I hit a patch of the ice and I was out of control. I hit a deep ditch that had water in it. I rolled several times. When the car stopped I was just above water. I was in pain, but I crawled out to safety.

My car was totaled and I had to quit college because I couldn’t afford getting a new car and paying for college at the same time.

I felt defeated, alone, and depressed.

I finally packed my family up and moved to California. I was told that Safeway, a huge grocery chain, was looking for new people. I got there and they put me through a training school and hired me.

Long story short….. I worked for them for eight years, and advanced quickly to being the “third,” man in one of the huge stores.

I still wasn’t happy!

We had added two more children, and I was working crazy hours. I never got to be with my family much. I decided to go back to college again in a Junior college. I did really well there. Had several terms of a 4.0 GPA.

I was feeling good again. However. Safeway asked me the important question: “Are you using your college training to advance with us or are you going elsewhere.”

Being honest I said I was planning to be a teacher. BOOM! They put me in the basement, and had me marking prices on cans. They didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

I transferred to Oregon State University, and got my degree in education. I had reached my dream, and the rest is history. I spent 22 years of joy working with children.

Finally, I made it to what I really wanted to do, but I hit a lot of walls, and disappointments to get there.

That may be how you will have to struggle once you get into civilian life. Many ups a downs, but a huge reward in the end. Let me share some suggestions to help you transcend into civilian life:

  1. There is always sunshine somewhere.
  2. The path may be rough but it leads to a smooth ending.
  3. Throw out the negative thoughts, and keep the positive ones.
  4. Perseverance should be your main word for life.
  5. Take one day at a time, and make them count.
  6. Above all…never, ever, give up!


You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.


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