Stories From Our veterans Who Have Been there

I am back with some more interviews with veterans for my book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.”

I would like to share some current military news first. I will call this Facing the Tasks of Life. It will have stories from all over the world where our veterans are, and some stories from those who are now transitioned into civilian life. Hope it is interesting to you.

  1. A Iraq Veteran is now an astronaut for NASA. Lt. Colonel Anne McClain, blasted off from Kazakhstan December 3rd for a six month stay at a space station. She is only 39. She was a helicopter pilot in Iraq.
  2. Thank a Vietnam veteran on March 29th. It is Vietnam Veteran’s Day.
  3. A new law signed by Congress will “create jobs,” for veteran owned businesses. It will allow veteran owners to have access to military equipment that the military has no more use for.
  4. Senators question the VA on unused suicide prevention funds. Congress OKed 6.2 billion dollars to the military and yet only $57,000 of it has been used for suicide prevention. (What’s wrong with this picture!!)

Now I will share one interview I have done recently for the book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” This is only excerpts from the interview. You will have to buy the book to get “the rest of the story.”

I was able to talk to a vietnam veteran a while back. It was very hard to get him to answer anything about his actual combat. I did find out he has a purple heart, because of a serious injury. He is battling PTSD, and battled alcohol addiction for several years after he got out. He however said he would like to tell a uplifting story about his time there.

His group of men had settled down in the jungle to make camp. It turned out they stayed there for a long time. One day my soldier was sitting with a buddy and he looked up into the trees. There were monkeys everywhere. He told his buddy that he wanted one of those monkeys as a pet. His buddy said “No sweat!” He got a coconut and cut a hole in it. He cleaned it out and put a quarter in it. He tied a rope to it and put it out in a clearing.

Soon several monkeys came up to it because of curiosity. One reach in to get the quarter he tried to pull he hand out and couldn’t The buddy slowly pulled the monkey over to the soldier and said, “Here ya go!”

My soldier loved that monkey. He took very good care of him. He even built a cage to let him sleep in. Made a bed out of ferns etc. The monkey got very attached to the soldier. They were real buddies.

However, some of the other soldiers didn’t like the monkey because he was coming to their tents and stealing food. One soldier got so angry he made a parachute for the monkey and threw him over a cliff.

This made my soldier very angry. He was depressed and missed his monkey. Then one day coming through the tents came that same monkey with the parachute still attached to him. He didn’t give up , and found his way back to his master.

This is just one interview of many I have done for the book , Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” The rest of the book are stories from my time in the military, and how I survived. Each chapter will talk about survival, especially for those who struggle with PTSD, TMI, Depression, Anxiety, War wounds, etc.

Check back here often to read more stories from veterans like yourself.

You can get these posts delivered to your email box by subscribing to the blog. Just click on the “Subscribe” icon at the top and go from there.

Are you are a veteran and wonder why things are happening to you that you aren’t pleased with? You certainly are not alone. I was there. Millions of other veterans were there. The important thing is to realize you need help. Too many of our brothers and sisters hide their feelings and become part of the 22 veteran suicides EVERY day. Do not let that happen. Get help!! The 24/7 help line is 1-800-273-8255 Press 1.

You need to also remember.

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…Never, ever, give up!

They Will Allow Recruits in Even if they Smoke Marijuana

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 5665.  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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They will Fight

If Russia moves against NATO  in the Baltic states or Poland, NATO will stand and fight, a key NATO commander said. This evokes thoughts of a cold war.

The “cold war” has become a problem in that there may be a major conflict causing increasing tensions.

They will stand united against any aggressor.

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The Deregulation President

The Federal Register, which contains all Federal rules, notices and regulations, topped 97,330 pages under President Obama. Under President Trump it has been shaved down to 45,678 pages.

The number of new rules for Trump was 65, way below the average of 213 rules from the last six presidents.

The cost for regulation soared from $68 billion under Bush, to $122 billion under Obama.

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The Army Relaxes Rules on Recruits and Marijuana

In an effort to boost its ranks and hot new targets for enlistees, the Army is relaxing its rules on granting waivers for marijuana use.

The catch is that the new recruits have to pledge to never use marijuana again. (Really?)

IN 2017 the Army granted 506 waivers-up from 191 in 2016.

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Could be a serious problems with a couple of the stories above. Allowing recruits to agree to not smoke marijuana again is pushing it. In the Vietnam days it was common for many of the soldiers to smoke.

Now they will be punished if they start again? Good luck with that.

The fact that NATO is willing to back us 100% is reassuring, but pray they never need to.

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Good evening fellow veterans. How are you doing? Have you had some struggles? Do you battle demons when you try to sleep? You are not alone. There are thousands just like you. We want you to be well, so if you are struggling seek help. If you are considering suicide, seek help.

There is a 24/7 helpline for just you. Call:

(877-247-4645)

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!!

Teacher Blasts the Military; Rebuttal Here

Thanks to all of you who have been joining me here. We help bring change to lives. The response has been wonderful.  We just past 4,000 new subscribers. That was a huge increase in 2017. We only had 1,000 two years ago. The year 2017 helped us to make it to 4,000.

We have reached our goal.  We will now be giving a prize to the person who is our 4,500th person to subscribe. We just passed 4,270.

Help us make it to 4,500 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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Recently a school teacher went on a rant on how horrible the military people were. His blast on the military has a strong rebuttal by Mark Johnson a California Superior Judge, a retired Army Colonel and a Iraq veteran.

+Sorry about the empty frames, couldn’t get them to download.

+Warning! Strong language is used. 

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“Think about the people you know who are over there. Your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They’re dumb shits. They’re not high-level bankers. They’re not academic people. They’re not intellectual people. … They’re the frickin’ lowest of the low.”

These are the deeply misinformed words of Greg Salcido, a local California city councilman and high-school teacher speaking to a student in a video that has now gone viral.

ADVERTISING

I am one of those dumbshits. On Oct.1, 2013, I retired from the Army after 28 years of active and reserve service.

To Salcido, I have this to say: I had teachers like you, blowhards who spout unchallenged opinions to captive high-school kids. There was one teacher in particular, Mr. Raymore. Like you, he taught history. It was 1974, and I was a sophomore at Westminster High School.

He accused our Vietnam veterans of the oft-repeated atrocities. They were all “murderers” and “baby killers.” If challenged, I suppose Mr. Raymore would have wrapped himself in the flag and said, as you have, that his comments were “free speech.”

But he wasn’t exercising free speech. Neither were you. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech allows people to speak freely so others can decide to accept or reject their words. The founders did not draft it so a teacher could mock a student without repercussions, particularly one dependent on that teacher for a grade. Freedom of speech never gave you the right to call that student’s father and uncle — Iraq War and Desert Storm veterans — the “lowest of the low.”

The students laughed. The student you insulted sat there and said nothing.

I did the same thing in 1974.

Vietnam War Author and retired Army Col. Harry Summers, speaking at a college campus in the post-Vietnam era, was once accused of atrocities in Vietnam by a man in the audience claiming to be a veteran. David Zabecki, a friend of Summers, recounted his response. “Shame on you, you rotten son of a bitch!” Summers said. “I didn’t do those things, and I don’t know anyone who did. I didn’t need the Army to teach me right from wrong — my mother taught me that much.”

I wish I had said that to Mr. Raymore. I wish that student said those words to you.

Today I have a second chance.

I have served with those dumbshits who cannot win a war. They are the men and women who fight and die to allow you the luxury of spouting opinions. You are talking about Americans who died in places most people only read about: Normandy, Omaha Beach, Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Our military is not comprised of the “lowest of the low,” however you define that term. The military screens applicants for intellectual ability using the Armed Forces Qualification Test and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test. The military also evaluates candidates on a variety of areas including physical and mental fitness.

The data does not support what you said.

According to October 2017 findings of the Washington D.C. based Heritage Foundation and the Army Times, only 9.7 of the 33 million Americans between 17 and 24 meet the Army’s enlistment standards. Less than one-third, or 31%, are eligible to enlist. The vast majority of candidates are rejected for reasons such as low test scores, failure to meet weight and fitness standards, mental health and medical issues and substance abuse.

But even if the military was accepting those you judge unworthy, so what? Willingness to serve says a great deal about a man or woman. It speaks of character and a willingness to belong to an organization built on selfless sacrifice.

Your comments imply people of your caliber could do better.

I do not want you. I’ll take a private who scores in the lowest percentile any day to an arrogant councilman who thinks he is better than the rest of us. I would never trust a man like you guarding my flank.

The men and women you callously dismiss are the best of America. I know. I am alive today because of the courage of the young men and women of our military. You do not seem to understand that.

And do you really think the United States military cannot win a war? You said our military has not defeated “guys wearing frickin robes and chaklas” and lost to Vietnamese “throwing rice.”

What you miss is that wars are not won on the battlefield. They are won at home, politically. If the national will is ambivalent, our military personnel find themselves dying to take the same turf over and over depending on the current mood of the civilian leadership. And eventually the politicians and the public lose interest in the fight and most of our soldiers return home. Some do not.

Evan Wright nailed it in Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War: “Five years into this war, I am not always confident most Americans fully appreciate the caliber of the people fighting for them, the sacrifices they have made, and the sacrifices they continue to make. The young troops I profiled in Generation Kill, as well as the other men and women in uniform I’ve encountered in combat zones throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, are among the finest people of their generation. We misuse them at our own peril.”

Councilman Salcido, I certainly hope you will educate yourself then apologize to the student and the public. Somehow I think you won’t. Guys like you never do.

As for Mr. Raymore?

You are a rotten son of a bitch.

M. E. (Mark) Johnson (Mark) Johnson is a California Superior Court Judge. He presided over the Riverside County Veterans Court for five years supervised the recovery of combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other military related mental health issues. He is a retired colonel of the United States Army Reserve, an Iraq War veteran, and a graduate of the United States Army War College.

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I am a veteran, but I am also a retired teacher. This blast of the military by this teacher imbarrases me. Please know he is not the typical teacher. He is a sick and very wrong teacher.

If you are a veteran, and are struggling with PTSD, war wounds, depression, etc. Please know we have your six. If you need immediate help call:

1-800-273-8255

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Doug Bolton