Man Claims He was a Vet, Cuts off His Hand to Get a role

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We Made it to 8,727! 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. 

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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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‘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!

The Fourth of July can be good or Bad for a Veteran

(Sorry this is so long! So much news, and important information.)

Very busy news day. Read to get caught up with the VA, and other news. You can click on the underlined words, and it will take you to more news pertaining to that subject:

Virtual July Fourth Celebrations: Celebrate the Fourth of July with the 40th annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth which will air on PBS on Saturday, July 4, 2020, from 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. ET. This year’s concert performance was pre-taped without live audiences, as the concert will not be held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. You can also celebrate with the National Archives’ first-ever virtual Fourth of July celebration. This year’s festivities will include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, as well as other family-friendly programming.

House Holds Hearing on VA Reproductive Health: On Wednesday, members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee and Women Veterans Task Force conducted a hearing on veterans’ access to reproductive health care. Chief Officer of Women’s Health Services Dr. Patricia Hayes and Deputy Director of Reproductive Health Dr. Alicia Christy responded to questions regarding VA’s policies and procedures on in vitro fertilization, maternity care, contraceptive care, termination of pregnancy under extreme circumstances, and research on the reproductive health of both men and women. In a statement submitted for the record, the VFW cited results from a VFW survey of women veterans on gender-specific services, expanding teleradiology to include mammography, extending newborn care coverage, and ensuring VA prioritizes veterans’ reproductive health. Watch the hearingRead the VFW’s testimony.

 Legislation Introduced to Recognize Early Vietnam Veterans: Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced VFW-supported S. 4086, the Forgotten Vietnam Veterans Act. This important legislation is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 6082, and would allow veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, to receive wartime benefits. “More than 3,000 veterans served in Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, 10 of whom were killed in action,” said VFW National Legislative Service Deputy Director Matthew Doyle. The VFW thanks Sens. Boozman and Tester for their efforts to expand benefits for veterans

VA Simplifies Travel Reimbursement System: VA is implementing a new system for veterans and eligible beneficiaries to submit and track transportation reimbursement claims using VA’s secure web-based portal, Access VA. The Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS), which is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year, will simplify how eligible veterans and beneficiaries claim mileage reimbursement for travel and travel-related expenses. The roll out of this system is scheduled from July through November 2020. While BTSSS will replace the use of kiosks, in-person claims and hard-copy submissions will still be an option.

DPAA Returns Remains of South Korean Service Members:The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) repatriated the remains of 147 South Korean service members who died during the Korean War. The DPAA and South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification worked together in a joint review of the remains. This is the largest repatriation of South Korean service members to date

 VA Launches COVID-19 Screening Tool: On Monday, VA announced the launch of a digital COVID-19 screening tool to streamline veteran access to medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Veterans, their caregivers, and VA health care employees can use this tool on their mobile phones before entering facilities. It takes less than a minute to complete and ideally will help to reduce wait times. “This screening tool emphasizes the ongoing importance of VA’s investment in digital modernization, as it went from initial concept to national availability in less than two weeks,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “In addition to providing a broad range of innovations and improvements that significantly benefit the veterans we serve; our culture of innovation allows us to respond quickly to urgent and evolving needs.”

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With the 4th of July coming up this week end, I urge you to take care and not let the noise bother you. Just last night at 11:39pm, a very loud firecracker went off right by my bedroom window. It was the neighbor behind me. Took me a long time to be able to go back to sleep.

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I want to tell you about a vital phone conference program that is going on right now. It is called Warriors for Life. There is a person in charge who shares the thoughts of the day and then those who want to speak can share. It is a great way to listen and learn. You do not have to talk, just listen to other veterans and how they handle things. Here is the information to join in:

Here are the Warriors for Life (WFL) Meeting days and times.  Veterans, First Responders, Service Members, and Caregivers are welcome to join the private Facebook Page as well by sending me a request a to join the page: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1764479933863763/
Here are the days and meeting times:

WFL Virtual Meetings Line-Up – TIMES Each Night:

4:30 PM PT, 5:30 PM MT, 6:30 PM CT, & 7:30 PM ET

**Saturday Nights – Host & Founder COL (Ret) Mikel Burroughs) – :

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/3266151203

**Sunday Nights – Host Veteran & Therapist PO3 Christopher St. John

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/4357174198

** Monday Nights – Host Reiki Master Kirk Poe

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/9997870573

**Tuesday Nights (Healing Through Faith) – Host Veteran SGT Steve McFarland

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/4623907474

** Wednesday Nights – (Looking for a new Facilitator)

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/5828658553

**Thursday Nights – Host Veteran Derrick Iozzio

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/8273554957

Here is a link to the Victory for Veterans, Inc website and information about the Warriors for Life (WFL) program and through this link they can send me a private message:
https://www.victoryforveterans.org/support

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How are You doing? Do you feel lost and wander around in a fog? You certainly aren’t alone. There are 8,425 fellow veterans here and have your six. If you are overwhelmed, please get help!! Yes, there are those who think that since we are veterans we should tough it out. That is a lie.

Here is the connection for help. It is a 24/7 emergency help line.:

1-800-273-8255

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If you like what you see, and want to keep up, you can subscribe at the top of this page. If you do then all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, let other know about this site that may benefit for what is shared.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Veterans Are 50% More Likely to Commit Suicide

A new record. Two days in a row!

I am afraid today’s topic is very serious. More than 22 veterans take their own lives every day. Yes, I said every day.

The glaring statistic is that those who seek help for the VA are much less likely to commit suicide, because of this I have some statistics and thoughts.

The Va reported that out of 20 veterans that committed suicide 6 had been to the VA for help, but 14 had not. Pretty clear that is vital that you seek help. You will have much more support, and because of that you will a much better chance of survival.

Things we need to ask:

  • Did those 14 veterans private sector care?
  • Were those veterans eligible to use the VA?
  • Were They among those discharged for untreated undiagnosed mental health disorders related to sexual trauma or combat?
  • Did they find the veteran discerned for personality disorder during the era of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell?”

The bottom line is that if you are struggling, get help now!! Below is the helpline to call and get help:

(877-247-4645) Then press 1.

I feel your pain. I have been there. Do not let the dark side overcome you. Seek the light, and tell the darkside he is outta here.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never ever give up!