Senate Finally Passes PACT Act, Clearing the Way for Care for Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits.

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Military news…

Senate finally passes PACT Act, clearing the way for care for veterans exposed to burn pits.

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‘Oh shit that’s my house’ — Iraq vet realizes Al Qaeda chief was killed while living in his old home
“And it’s like, ‘He died on the balcony.’ Well, understandable, it’s a nice balcony.”

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US to send another $550M in ammunition for rocket systems, howitzers to Ukraine
The aid will include 75,000 rounds of ammunition for 155mm howitzers and an unspecified number of additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, also known as HIMARS, the U.S. has recently sent Ukraine.

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North Korea’s missiles to blame for upscaled US-South Korean military drills, South says

North Korea has conducted 17 rounds of missile tests so far this year in addition to several artillery drills, which has strengthened the U.S.-South Korea alliance, according to officials.

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1st ship carrying Ukrainian grain leaves the port of Odesa

The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain set off from the port of Odesa on Monday under an internationally brokered deal that is expected to release large stores of Ukrainian crops to foreign markets and ease a growing hunger crisis.

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US ‘will not abandon’ its commitment to Taiwan, Pelosi says in Taipei
Chinese ships and aircraft were ramping up their military activity in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday in Taipei, according to news reports.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland arrives in Ukraine for talks on Russia war crimes
The top U.S. law enforcement official made the unannounced trip to the war-ravaged country to discuss efforts hold Russia accountable for the unprovoked invasion of its neighbor.


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I have been run through the ringer. I caught COVID on July 3rd. I got over that, but then I have what they call, Post COVID. I have been struggling with that up today. It feels like it is almost over. However, there has been some damage. My Iron count on the last blood was 766 the high allowable is 306. That is more than double the maximum. Also I have had sudden loss of hearing in my left ear. Both are connected to the COVID virus. I see my primary doctor today for the iron problem. I will also do a follow-up with my ENT doctor in a month.
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This took a heavy toll on me completing my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. I have been too exhausted and weak, to do much. But keep coming back to check on the progress. I hope to have it out the end of summer.
Better yet, go to the top of this page and click on subscribe. When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.
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Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you fighting back memories?
FEAR NOT!
There are over 15,219 Veterans on this site who have your back.
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.
+Now there is an easier way to get help. Just dial 988, and you will have help ready for you.
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Too Many Veterans are Harassed Once They Get Into Civilian Jobs

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Military news…

A British paratrooper made himself at home in Atascadero, California on Wednesday when he crashed through the roof of a suburban kitchen during a training jump. The soldier hit the tile roof and fell right through, prompting a neighbor to call 9-1-1. Miraculously, the paratrooper suffered only minor injuries.

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Army Gen. Austin ‘Scott’ Miller, the longest-serving U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has stepped down from his post.  Miller’s exit marks another symbolic milestone as the U.S. prepares to wrap up its part in the decades-long conflict.

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Veterans Suffer Hearing Loss at a Higher Rate Than Their Peers
The American Academy of Audiology estimates that more than one million U.S. military veterans receive disability compensation for service-connected hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the number one service-connected disability amongst veterans, with former military members experiencing 30% greater hearing loss than the general population.

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Show us all the amazingly awful tattoos you got in the military. There was a call for images of readers’ fantastically trashy hats that they may or may not have gotten after a bender with the last of the money left in their wallets. There’s no shame or judgment here, and whether the ink is of a zombie Hello Kitty wearing a flak jacket or a Teletubby riding a tank, we are here to applaud it.

Read more about this proud military tradition, and find out how to submit your own, by checking out James’ entertaining piece here.Veterans Suffer Hearing Loss at a Higher Rate Than Their Peers
The American Academy of Audiology estimates that more than one million U.S. military veterans receive disability compensation for service-connected hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the number one service-connected disability amongst veterans, with former military members experiencing 30% greater hearing loss than the general population.



Maj. Gen. Robert Castellvi has been fired as the Inspector General of the Marine Corps for failing to fully prepare his Marines and sailors ahead of a training exercise last July in which nine service members drowned when their amphibious assault vehicle sank.
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But Castellvi may be only the first of several general officers to be disciplined over the sinking. Learn more by reading Jeff’s first-rate story here.“I looked back and saw that the rear end of my right wing was all in flames. ‘Oh, man, I’m hit!’ I yelled.” That’s from Lt. Col. Rob Sweet, the Air Force’s last serving prisoner of war, who retired on Saturday after 33 years of service. In this story by yours truly, I write about the time the A-10 attack plane pilot was shot down over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Sweet was then held captive for 19 days, released and went on to mentor countless young airmen during his long career.
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Another Excerpt from, Signs of Hope for the Military. In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

There is Never a Time When You Don’t Have a choice

In the military you are faced with many orders. Go here, Do this. You expect that in the military and since you decided to enlist, you should live the life that has been given to you there.

However, out in civilian life it is a different story, People will also be barking at you to do this and that.

I have hear people say, “I had to do it because I didn’t have a choice.”

There is always a choice! We never have to accept our fate because we feel we have no choice.

We need to acknowledge that we have the same rights of others around us.

Have you had a boss threaten you if you didn’t do what he asked? It is OK to give out directions, but never OK to threaten. The people in the private sector need to realize that they are all working together just like a unit in the military. They need to respect each employee, and have their back when they need it.

When I first came out I was treated pretty badly by a boss who didn’t like any “youngsters,” trying to infiltrate his group of workers he loved to work with. He did whatever he could to make my day miserable.

When there was a job that was somewhat dangerous, he would make me do it. When it was time for a break, he wouldn’t let me sit with the rest of the men. I let it happen by my own choice, because I didn’t have any other way to find a job quick enough to provide for my family That was with me at the college I was going to.

So I fell for the trap, “I didn’t have a choice.”

Today, you have choices, You have your rights. You can respectfully disagree and not fear of losing your job.

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There is much more to this excerpt so keep coming back to check the site out. BETTER YET! Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe,” When you do all future posts will directly to you inbox.

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Wellness check… How are you doing? Have you had a boss have no mercy for you?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 12,480 fellow veterans here who have your back.

But if it is still happening to you and you are overwhelmed, 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 the know you are OK.

Never be pushed around anymore.

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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Pain and Suffering Visit you Like long Lost Relatives

 

God Promises a Safe Landing,

Not a Calm Passage

 

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25–26

 

This earth is a wonderful place to be. God has provided breath-taking beauty and the opportunity to live an abundant life.

I often look in wonder when I see the Cascade Mountains from my home in Oregon. Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters, all still covered with snow, are all in view on clear days. Every time I see them, I think of the awesome power of God, and yet I also see His fine-tuning of our earth for us to enjoy.

He wants us to love our earth and to enjoy our days, but He does not promise us a rose garden. Sometimes we have to face trials and afflictions that put us on the edge of questioning God’s love.

Suffering and pain are everywhere is this world. Why would a loving God allow this? Are we doing something wrong? Are we being punished for some sin we’ve committed? After all, He allowed millions of His own chosen people to be put through torture and death during Hitler’s time. Why would He allow all that to happen?

Pain is no stranger to me. I have faced numerous times when pain and suffering tried to control my life. Let me briefly explain some of the pain God has allowed me to have:

 

  1. A double ruptured hamstring with internal bleeding causing pain down my entire left leg.
  2. Double mumps as a child so bad that at one point I could hardly breathe.
  3. Apnea, so I sleep with a mask that helps me sleep more deeply.
  4. An ulcer that kept me on baby food for a month.
  5. Pneumonia that had me down for long time.
  6. Both ankles badly sprained, severely damaging tendons.
  7. Hearing loss that requires hearing aids in both ears.
  8. Throat constriction so severe that I wear a medical alert bracelet to warn doctors about putting tubes down my throat.
  9. Neck surgery to relieve severe and constant pain in my right arm.
  10. Quadruple cardiac bypass surgery.
  11.  Gall bladder surgery, prompted by severe abdominal pain.
  12.  Back surgery because my spine had narrowed (stenosis) so badly that I had numbness down both legs, including my feet.
  13.  Achilles tendon surgery.
  14.  Skin cancer surgery.
  15. The embedding of a pacemaker to keep my heart beating properly.
  16. I had a kidney stone rip through last week.
  17.  Three other minor surgeries.

Eighteen incisions—and counting. (Of course, that doesn’t include the unseen scars from my bouts of depression.) The bright side is that there aren’t too many places left to cut for surgery. (OK! I know there are many more places, but I am trying to trick the doctors who may read this.)

Pain comes knocking at my door, lets itself in and stays—sort of like relatives who say they’re just popping in for the weekend and end up staying for more than a month.

People have asked me how I have managed to stay positive during all the times of discomfort.

What they didn’t realize is that not all days have been positive. I have dealt with depression and my own doubt that God loved me during these times. I am like any other person on this earth. I understand the anxiety and depression that can set in during times of pain.

Even Paul had some hard times with trials. He talks about a “thorn in the flesh.” Perhaps it was some kind of physical ailment.

 

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:8–9

 

I have prayed many times for all the pain to go away, but I sense God saying, “Lean on Me and you will survive.”

Another version of the Bible words the above passage, “My power works best in your weakness.” God uses those who are afflicted to help others who are in similar situations. We can relate to their pain and suffering if we have gone through it. And because of that, they will listen.

 

Another person may try to help, but they do not know the pain. They do not know how depressed a person gets during a time like this.

I can truthfully say to them, “I’ve been there and done that.” What a blessing that is. They’re more willing to talk freely and share their deepest feelings, and I can help them by sharing what God has done for me during similar times.

Once I tried to help a friend who was working through issues I had never faced—nothing even close. His response was that I had no idea what he was going through and to back off. He was right. All I can really do for him is continue to pray for him and be there when he wants to talk. And keep my big mouth shut until then.

The all-time winner for having pain—both physical and mental—has to be Job. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 1,000 oxen, 500 donkeys and many servants to take care of them. In one day:

  1. 1.      all of his oxen and donkeys were stolen and all but one of his servants caring for the animals were killed
  2. 2.      his sheep and all but one of the servants herding them were destroyed by fire
  3. 3.      all his camels were stolen and all but one of the servants tending them were killed by the marauders

“Enough,” we would say. But then a messenger came to tell him that all ten of his children had died when the house they were in collapsed in a windstorm.

Most of us would be yelling at God and wondering why He allowed all of this to happen. But in all of what had happened to Job “did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:22).

This infuriated Satan, so he asked God for permission to test Job further by afflicting him physically with “painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head” (Job 2:7). The litany of my pain that I shared in this chapter doesn’t begin to compare to what Job went through.

            Even though his wife suggested he simply curse God and die, Job responded with a question: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2: 10).

Job went through some depressing times, and even questioned God as most of us would do under similar circumstances. But in the end he never turned away from God. Because of this God gave him back much more than he had before, including children.

The key to all of this is what Job said: “Shall we receive only pleasant things from the hand of God, and never anything unpleasant?”

God is powerful. He could destroy everything in an instant. We expect Him to always protect us from harm and hardships. In the case of Job, God allowed him to be tested, and Job became even stronger in the end.

God allows us to be tested. We should look at pain, suffering and hardships as God’s way to make us stronger, like Job. Through trials, we learn to rely more on God. We sometimes move Him out of our thinking process when everything is going smoothly. So He may use pain to get our attention back on Him.

Many of those who survived concentration camps have said their faith in God became even stronger while they were going through the torture. They had only God to cling to. That was the only way they had been able to stay strong from day to day.

 

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5

 

“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”

– M. Kathleen Casey

 

Further adventures

Praise God under the worst situation you are going through, and He will bless you far more than you could ever imagine. Try it and see how He puts His arms around you and holds you through the storm.

 

Something to ponder

Isn’t it funny how God is always there no matter what you’re going through?

* Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.