The American Legion and National Guard Reaches out to Help

Glad to be back today. I have an update on subscribers that you may not believe , but it is true. Five days ago there were 8,601 subscribers. Today there are 8,682. That is an increase of 81 in just five days. AMAZING AND WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU!

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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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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It has been a long haul for me. Since March I have been in lock down. I have underlying problems with my health, and I would be dead meat if I was to catch the virus. I am way past the staring at the walls stage. I am watching a couple movies on TV everyday. Most aren’t very good, but I am doing something. I am able to get out and walk, so the one blessing is that I have lost a lot of weight. I feel better because of that.

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I am very high on the American Legion. They truly care for veterans. Here are some examples:

  1. Buddy Checks Help Veterans

Post 18 in Weehawken, N. J., has a buddy plan that really reaches out to other veterans. They especially check on older veterans. They connected with a recently widowed WWII veteran and helped him with outdoor chores he is no longer able to do on his own.

Blood Drive

  1. Post 199 of Harrison, Ohio had a blood drive that attracted more than 60 donors to help with the shortage caused by the Pandemic. The post also provided a free drive through hamburger lunch that fed 200.

60,000 Dollars raised

  1. At least $60,000 dollars was raised by the Department of Florida American Legion Riders in a virtual Unity Ride for the project, Vetrelief suicide Prevention Initiative.

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The National Guard has stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun recently.

  1. They have been testing for the virus. 2.4 million people have been tested or screened.
  2. They have been on 7,000 missions supporting testing and screening.
  3. They have made 149 million meals packaged or delivered to those in need.
  4. The have delivered 88 thousand tons of food.
  5. They have driven 1.6 million miles delivering food and essential supplies.
  6. They have made 18 million masks.

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Let’s talk about you my friend. How are you doing? I know there is a struggle just transitioning out of the military into the private sector for some of you. I know there are some who are battling PTSD, TBI, Depression, and war wounds. I know that some of you are being chased by memory demons who haunt you.

Don’t let that happen one day longer. GET HELP!

There is a toll free number to call that has qualified counselors to help you. They are very good and they will help you out.

Here is that number:

1-800-273-8255

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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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

This Pandemic is causing Havoc with Our Veterans

Since I last posted we have had 36 new subscribers. Welcome to all of you. We are now averaging over 15 new subscribers a day. I am proud to be your blogger, that wants the very best for each of you as veterans, or family members of veterans.

It has been a nightmare for those who are locked up and not able to get out to do things because of the virus. My State of Oregon is getting hit hard. The county I live in is a red hot spot for the virus. Second highest in the state.

As a veteran, who has underlining problems with my health, I have no choice. My wife and I go on walks. We get in our car and drive to no where just to get out. We do our grocery shopping online and go to the store, and they bring out what we ordered.

I fear that this Pandemic is causing havoc with those veterans who have their own battles of PTSD, TBI, Depression, Anxiety, etc. They are fighting their own, war only to have the enemy coming to their door.

Here are some suggestions to get your mind off of what is happening in the world.

  1. Do not turn the TV on and read. There are millions of great books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many smaller book stores online, like Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon.
  2. Write! This is a wonderful way to get “away.” I wrote my first book,Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, just from some journals I had written, and it won a National Award from the Reader’s Favorite Awards. WRITE!
  3. Some have taken up art. You can draw or paint. I am not good at either, but you may have just what you need to relieve yourself of stress.
  4. Hand select movies on your TV that are uplifting and makes you laugh. We have a free movie section on our TV. I have watched a ton of them the last three months.
  5. Use Zoom, Skype, or any other connection, to talk to your buddies, or family. I have been doing this and it gives me hope and helps me smile.

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Seriously, how are YOU doing? Are you having a bad time adjusting to all this mess around us? Do you have times of depression, and anxiety? I know how you feel, because I have been there.

If it is getting far too overwhelming, get Help!

You are not a sissy for getting help. I know that some people thing that since we are veterans, that we should be able to handle anything. Total lie!

If you are hurting look for help. Here is a 24/7 toll free free number to get immediate help .

1-800-273-8255 (option # 1)

Just do it!!

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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 feel this site is valuable and helpful for you, please subscribe. When you do all future posts will delivered directly to your inbox. Just go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” It will guide you. Also, if you know of some veterans who are hurting or could benefit from this site please let them know about it.


Boredom and Loneliness Haunt Veterans

Thanks to all of you who have been joining me here. We help bring change to lives. The response has been wonderful.  

We have reached our goal of 4,000!  We will now be giving a prize to the person who is our 4,500th person to subscribe. 

WE HAVE A WINNER!! An email has been sent to our winner! New prizes for the 5,000th subscriber. We now have 4,854!

Help us make it to 5,000 by subscribing today if you haven’t already. This shows you care for veterans. Just click on the icon right after the title of this post and click on FEEDBLITZ , and the posts will come straight to your inbox.                            ____________________________________________________________

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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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. 

https://www.rallypoint.com/join/spc-douglas-bolton

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One of the hardest problems veterans face is what happens after transition. This article may help you survive. 

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Veterans face a variety of problems once they leave the service. Whether it’s accurate or not, many veterans feel life is a little harder for them than for most people. But what if a big part of the problem wasn’t so much PTSD or poor transition assistance — at least not directly — but rather loneliness and boredom?

From being under a microscope to being unseen

The best and worst thing about being in the military is that it is all-consuming. It provides you with a place to be and a time to be there, pretty much 24/7/365.

You spend several months at a time deployed. When you get home, you work long hours, so that takes care of a good part of your day. Then you’ve got frost calls at the club on Fridays after work. Another weekend that month you have duty. The next there’s a mandatory fun event of some kind. Your next door neighbors are military too, so they invite you over for dinner every so often.

For better or worse, while you’re in the military, you’re always busy and rarely alone.

In the civilian world, after you walk out the glass doors, no one cares what you do. Outside of blatant misconduct that might discredit your employer, they generally don’t care much about how you live your life. They sure aren’t going to have you sit in an auditorium for eight hours on a workday to talk about why you should wear more sunscreen.

Shot gunning into civilian life is lonely in the best of times

Once you have that DD-214 in hand, your social network changes. Chances are you’ll get a job in a whole new city. Once you’re there, you’re no longer in that protective military cocoon. Your neighbors come and go silently to wherever it is they go. On one side, you have a college student whose parents pay his rent and who apparently commutes by skateboard. On the other, who the hell knows, because you’ve never seen anyone enter or leave — just vague signs of occupancy. You think there might be a serial killer with a torture dungeon living there.

It’s definitely not like the barracks, or even a typical neighborhood street in a military town.

If you do stay around your old duty station, your military friends will still have the demanding schedule you just left — plus you’re probably a sellout contractor, with the logoed polo shirt to prove it. Even if you decide to go back to your old hometown, you aren’t the same person as when you left. Unless you’re picking up that dead-end job right where you left off, you no longer fit in there, either.

Your new coworkers generally scatter to the winds after work. Unlike your previous semi-homogeneous band of mostly young male brothers, now you have a diverse group with lives as different as their backgrounds.

If you’re single or divorced, it’s even worse. You can’t party with the Friday night crowd unless you want to be the sad old guy in the club. If you don’t have children or they don’t usually live with you, you probably aren’t plugged into the whole kids soccer scene (and it would be a little disturbing if you were). Most of your peers are married, so if you aren’t, you probably aren’t going to be hanging out much. No one likes a third wheel. As far as meeting other middle-aged single folks, that guy who spotted you on the bench press at the gym was really cool, but it seemed weird to ask him to hang out after staring up at his crotch for 10 reps.

Falling into a cycle of self-isolation

When you get home you usually have nothing to do. At first, that fills you with sublime joy, but after awhile, having nothing and no one to fill the off-time becomes old. Some people handle that better than others.

Unfortunately, charming old-fashioned solitary pursuits such as painting, solitaire, and playing soulful jazz piano at dirty gin joints are far less common pursuits than things like excessive drinking and internet use. Both of those things are addictive, but they do temporarily relieve boredom and loneliness.

In the case of drinking, without anyone else to watch what you’re doing, that couple of beers after coming home from work easily becomes 3 or 4, maybe even 5 or 6. You aren’t trying to get shitfaced. You’re just hanging out, watching Netflix or playing video games, while sipping a beer. But sipping beers for several hours quickly adds up, even if you’re not trying. Vets have much greater rates of alcohol abuse than the general public.

Then there’s the internet, that great time-suck. It’s the refuge of the lonely, offering instant connections with people around the world. But that virtual companionship can destabilize your remaining relationships in real life.

For vets in particular, there’s a temptation to rekindle camaraderie on any number of vicious and misogynistic social media pages. An online life devoted to mocking civilians and treating women poorly is even more isolating — after shitting on every non-vet, and even vets who don’t live up to your standard (oh good, another POG hatefest), are you really going to go out, be friendly, and find new friends in real life?

Though I’ve wasted too many hours on social media, I’ve never thrown in with the vitriolic Facebook groups. But I see enough reposts of those groups from many of my old colleagues to know that it’s clearly a thing.

As far as alcohol, I’ve had more than my share of beers in a sitting enough times to know that I need to keep an eye on that, if for no other reason than my waistline. Along those lines, there are many other unhealthy time-killers, like overeatingsmoking, and dipping that vets are especially prone to.

Admit you’re lonely. But you’re not alone

The plural of anecdote isn’t data. But it’s indisputable that loneliness and boredom have profound effects on health and wellbeing. I can’t help but wonder if a large portion of the acute mental illness and substance abuse problems among vets might really be just the long-term products of poor social networks after leaving the military.

Some of the military’s and VA’s organizational efforts would be well spent in finding earlier interventions on that front, instead of waiting until vets’ lives go completely sideways.

And on the individual level, it’s just another good reminder to take care of each other. Taking an interest in each other’s lives isn’t a cure-all for our issues, but it does help remind us: We’re not as alone as we think.

If you are struggling with life after the military. You are never alone. We have your six. Get help. Here is a toll free number you can always go to to get help:

1-800-273-8255

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!