Troops At Border, Home by Christmas?

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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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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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Mission Accomplished: Troops At US-Mexico Border Should Be Home By Christmas

 

It seems like only yesterday that 5,800 active-duty service members were racing to the Southwest border to stop a migrant caravan from entering the United States, but it was about three weeks ago, right before the midterm elections.

Now, their mission presumably on the verge of being accomplished, the troops are finally coming home — and just in time for Christmas.

That’s according to Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the commander of U.S. Army North, who is helming the operation from San Antonio, Texas. “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” Buchanan told Politico on Nov. 19.

San Antonio is a fitting locale for mission headquarters. In 1836, the city saw Mexican forces under the command of President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna lay waste to a ragtag outfit of Texians in the infamous Battle of the Alamo.

Fortunately, this time it didn’t come to that. Instead, the invading force — approximately 7,000 refugees advancing by foot from the depths of Central America — opted for one of the oldest plays in the book: the switcharoo.

No sooner had the bulk of Buchanan’s army arrived in Texas to bolster the Border Patrol agents and National Guard units holding the line along the Rio Grande Valley than the caravan changed course, swerving toward the California border.

Thousands of Immigrants already at border. 

Thousands of asylum-seekers have already started to arrive in Tijuana, prompting hundreds of locals to spill into the streets with chants of “Mexico first!” One 62-year-old protester told National Public Radio, “We want the caravan to go; they are invading us.”

Tijuana borders San Diego, where many of the refugees hope to go. However, of the 5,800 active duty soldiers and Marines currently deployed to the border, only 1,300 are in California. And based on Buchanan’s comments, it seems they, too, may be preparing to decamp soon.

According to Politico, the general explained that “the troop deployment should start falling rapidly as engineer and logistics troops … wind down their mission of building base camps and fortifying ports of entry for the Border Patrol.”

Buchanan also clarified why the Pentagon had declined a request from the Department of Homeland Security to back up its personnel if shit went down at the border.

“That is a law enforcement task, and the secretary of defense does not have the authority to approve that inside the homeland,” he said.

U.S. Army North and the Office of the Secretary of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

Chaplain Saves a Life; Veteran Women Are Homeless

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

We Made it to 5,000! Never dreamed we would do that. Thank you so much for the support. It also excites us that you are supporting veterans. That is our theme here right now. 

Help us make it to 6,000 by subscribing today if you haven’t already. As Of today we have 5,550.  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.  

______________________________________________________________

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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Military articles to read that make you feel good:

1. Chaplain Saves Stranger’s Life

CH.(CAPT.) Michael Harari went the extra mile help save a stranger’s life.

Harari was driving with another man when they spotted a man near a guard rail and close to an overpass. He told his friend to call 911, and Harari took the next exit and back tracked until he found the man.

Harari started talking to the man. The man shared he was a veteran. The man talked about his service, but he was hard to understand. Harai was certainly able to save this man’s life through talking to him.

Lt Col John B. Davis said, “His small amount of compassion saved that man’s life. ”

Harari will not receive a Medal of Honor, but his unselfish act to save another man is just as heroic.

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2. Betsy Ross Hall Provides a Home for Women Veterans who are Homeless.

You have to agree that even one veteran who is struggling so much that he/she is homeless is one too many.

The numbers are going up at an alarming rate.

Betsy Ross Hall is providing a home just for women. Something that is much needed. May women veterans are reunited with their families and start new careers.

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This is a Monday. A day that many dread. It is back to work for another week, and people are already wishing it was Friday. Do you feel that way? Do the days stretch out into what seems like 10 hours instead of a normal working day of 8 hours?

The point is that you have a job! Veterans who are struggling and are homeless, do not have much hope left. They sit in the parks and sleep under bridges.

The man in the first story was about to take his own life because he felt lost and alone. The women in the second story have found help, and maybe, just maybe they will be able to get back into society, and lead a normal life.

If you are a veteran, and feel alone and lost, and you are even on the edge of homelessness, get help. There are many nonprofits in your area who will reach out to help.

If you are struggling with PTSD, TBI, anxiety, depression, get help and do it now. There is a 24/7 connection for you to call at:

(877-247-4645)

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…..Never, ever, give up!!

 

 

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.  

______________________________________________________________

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!