A Man is Shot by a Sniper and Survives

I have a full post today. It will be long, but I think you will find lots of interesting information.

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This story is about a soldier who was shot by a sniper. It is an amazing story of survival.

On January 18, 2008, a bullet pierced Russell “Russ” Kaufmann’s neck while he was on patrol in Iraq. It was the only place on this body not covered by a helmet or armor.

“I wasn’t scared. I was thinking, ‘This is it, I’m going to die.’”

While the bullet tore his flesh, it was the massive blood loss that did the most damage. It caused two strokes. Russ credits his survival to the excellent care he received in Germany and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He also credits his determination to live. But his life changed forever.

After multiple surgeries and strokes, he is a man unable to talk and has several physical limitations. Those limitations include aphasia, weakness on the right side of his body and difficulty with his vision. Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read and write.

Suddenly, Russ became a man who can see and understand the world, but no longer fully engage with it.

Finding alternative ways of communicating

Russ receives treatment at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital Speech Language clinic in Tampa. Russ is working with a VHA speech language pathologist to restore as much speech and language as possible. He also is finding alternative ways to communicate.

“Oh… he’s amazing for sure. He has a memory like a steel trap. He also has knowledge for days and phenomenal mental flexibility and use of communication strategies,” said Karyn Pingel, his speech pathologist.

“If I don’t understand what he’s trying to convey, he immediately uses his smart phone to communicate through pictures or draws his own picture,” Pingel said. “Russ will also gesture or pantomime to get his message across. I have been blessed with his presence in Tampa. I love every opportunity to work with him.” Learning and using different nonverbal ways to communicate has enabled Russ to continue his path to recovery. He now lives independently and volunteers

What an amazing hero!


White House, VA launch REACH — a call to action to engage the nation in preventing suicide

WASHINGTON – The White House and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today launched the REACH national public health campaign aimed at empowering all Americans to play a critical role in preventing suicide. 

The goal of REACH, which was established by the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS), is to change the conversation around suicide by urging people to recognize their own risk and protective factors — as well as the risk and protective factors of their loved ones. 

“REACH will empower our nation’s Veterans to seek and receive help and it will encourage them to reach out to their brothers and sisters in need who may be vulnerable,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “The power of this campaign will change how we talk about mental health and suicide in our nation. It will ensure that those in need, especially the men and women who have served our great nation, will receive the care and support they deserve.” 

“The REACH campaign will inspire and educate all Americans — encouraging them to share their own struggles and to reach out to those who are hurting. It will engage our Veterans to help lead the way as we change how we think about, talk about and address suicide,” said PREVENTS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen. “I urge everyone to go to wearewithinreach.net and take the PREVENTS Pledge to REACH and be part of the solution. Together, we will prevent suicide.” 


I am now switching gears to share some endorsements for my new upcoming book called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

These aren’t friends or family endorsements. These are from powerful military leaders who have looked at the book:

Although ‘Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life wasn’t written for men only, it brings honesty and openness to veterans, and military personnel about feeling ok to express fears and emotional challenges in a difficult world.  US Army Retired Veteran, Mr. Douglas Bolton brings his personal stories to life in a way we all can relate to and gives a big “you’re ok” for revealing our shortcomings and encourages us to open up and talk.  A must read for those seeking healing and forgiveness from ourselves and those wanting a fresh look on life. 

Steve Durgin, Founder & CEO with Victory For Veterans Foundation. 

Huntington, Beach California


Most of us are fortunate not to have experienced the stress of combat.  Words cannot adequately define the grinding daily pressure of knowing that every time you step outside the gate the enemy will try to kill you and your buddies.  You are constantly alert, on point; but how can you protect your team from the instantaneous blast of the IED?  You are part of a highly-trained team poised to execute, but what has prepared you for the mental toll of being on edge every moment.  The skills that helped you survive….have taken a toll and are now working against you when you return home.  What do you do now; where do you turn?  Whether you are dealing with PTSD, TBI, depression, homelessness, or recovering from wounds; Doug Bolton has answers…..this book has answers!

Jim Jaeger

Brigadier General, USAF, ret

San Antonio, TX

Member of the Board, Victory for Veterans


+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.



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

A National Guard Soldier Became a Hero During the Riots

What a wild weekend with no end in sight. Protesters are causing much damage and injury. It is senseless, because it isn’t about the death of someone any more. It is just plain anarchy.


A story I saw today on TV was that a SUV was racing towards a crowd of protesters. The National Guard tried to get him to stop. He kept coming. They tried other methods to try to stop him. He kept coming.

A hero is born.

A Lone National Guard soldier fired three shots at the vehicle, because the driver was also heading toward some police officers who were right behind him .

All three bullets hit the SUV. The driver panicked and drove away.

That National Guardsman, saved many lives with his courage. He didn’t want to kill. He just shot at the rig and not at the windows.

You probably won’t hear much about this in the Fake news, but he is my hero.


I thought I would share another interview with you today. This one may make you cry, or be angry:

Sgt Michael Thorin, was in charge of a group of vehicles, which was to guard the carvens that move from place to place. Their job was to fight off any agressers when they attack.

On one of the days they were ride along with a convoy, when the rig right in front of Sgt Thorn caught on fire with two men in it. Sgt Thorin jumped out of his rig and raced to the scene. It was too late. There was a massive fire immediately. He had to watch while his buddies burned to death.

He is still dealing with that today.

There is a much longer story and interview about this hero in my up coming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.

I have many such interviews. Many very sad. Some very funny. I will try to let you see them as time goes by.


How are you doing?

Have you lost buddies in battles? Have you been injured?

It is hard at best to face life, when things happen you can’t control.

I want you to know right here and now that I am here for you. I have your six. Please use the comment section to let me know any problems you are battling. Your comments will not be published unless you agree to let that happen.


*If you like what you are reading, subscribe to this site by clicking on the subscribe button at the top of this page. When you do, you will receive all future posts right in your inbox. Please let others know about this site. Especially if they are veterans.



You are not alone.

You are not forsaken.

You are not unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!