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 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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‘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!

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!

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

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Stories From Our veterans Who Have Been there

I am back with some more interviews with veterans for my book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.”

I would like to share some current military news first. I will call this Facing the Tasks of Life. It will have stories from all over the world where our veterans are, and some stories from those who are now transitioned into civilian life. Hope it is interesting to you.

  1. A Iraq Veteran is now an astronaut for NASA. Lt. Colonel Anne McClain, blasted off from Kazakhstan December 3rd for a six month stay at a space station. She is only 39. She was a helicopter pilot in Iraq.
  2. Thank a Vietnam veteran on March 29th. It is Vietnam Veteran’s Day.
  3. A new law signed by Congress will “create jobs,” for veteran owned businesses. It will allow veteran owners to have access to military equipment that the military has no more use for.
  4. Senators question the VA on unused suicide prevention funds. Congress OKed 6.2 billion dollars to the military and yet only $57,000 of it has been used for suicide prevention. (What’s wrong with this picture!!)

Now I will share one interview I have done recently for the book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” This is only excerpts from the interview. You will have to buy the book to get “the rest of the story.”

I was able to talk to a vietnam veteran a while back. It was very hard to get him to answer anything about his actual combat. I did find out he has a purple heart, because of a serious injury. He is battling PTSD, and battled alcohol addiction for several years after he got out. He however said he would like to tell a uplifting story about his time there.

His group of men had settled down in the jungle to make camp. It turned out they stayed there for a long time. One day my soldier was sitting with a buddy and he looked up into the trees. There were monkeys everywhere. He told his buddy that he wanted one of those monkeys as a pet. His buddy said “No sweat!” He got a coconut and cut a hole in it. He cleaned it out and put a quarter in it. He tied a rope to it and put it out in a clearing.

Soon several monkeys came up to it because of curiosity. One reach in to get the quarter he tried to pull he hand out and couldn’t The buddy slowly pulled the monkey over to the soldier and said, “Here ya go!”

My soldier loved that monkey. He took very good care of him. He even built a cage to let him sleep in. Made a bed out of ferns etc. The monkey got very attached to the soldier. They were real buddies.

However, some of the other soldiers didn’t like the monkey because he was coming to their tents and stealing food. One soldier got so angry he made a parachute for the monkey and threw him over a cliff.

This made my soldier very angry. He was depressed and missed his monkey. Then one day coming through the tents came that same monkey with the parachute still attached to him. He didn’t give up , and found his way back to his master.

This is just one interview of many I have done for the book , Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” The rest of the book are stories from my time in the military, and how I survived. Each chapter will talk about survival, especially for those who struggle with PTSD, TMI, Depression, Anxiety, War wounds, etc.

Check back here often to read more stories from veterans like yourself.

You can get these posts delivered to your email box by subscribing to the blog. Just click on the “Subscribe” icon at the top and go from there.

Are you are a veteran and wonder why things are happening to you that you aren’t pleased with? You certainly are not alone. I was there. Millions of other veterans were there. The important thing is to realize you need help. Too many of our brothers and sisters hide their feelings and become part of the 22 veteran suicides EVERY day. Do not let that happen. Get help!! The 24/7 help line is 1-800-273-8255 Press 1.

You need to also remember.

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…Never, ever, give up!