Posted by: dohgonuniversity | October 28, 2009


The Start of a Serious Solution is the Initiation of Innate Intelligence

In order to truly HEAL TRAUMA, we must initiate a different manner of Thinking, an Alternative Intelligence that opens All the Mental and physical blockages that trap the dis-eases that transform into debilitating TRAUMA.

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | October 4, 2009


The exigence of the issue is clear

Time spent engendering collective awareness is causing disproportional suffering to personal time spent implementing progressively creative processes.

In other words, in loyalty to the CAUSE– to heal Our Veterans– Time must be allotted to other projects.
Please feel free to contact us:

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | October 2, 2009


Family fears Circle Pines Marine won’t get treatment after being whisked to N.C.

By Tad Vezner

Military mother Jamie Hafterson has one thought about her U.S. Marine son getting treatment at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I don’t think they’re going to treat him,” said Hafterson, a member of the Minnesota Patriot Guard. “Civilian is civilian, and military is military — especially with the few and the proud.”
Pvt. Travis Hafterson, of Circle Pines, who had been AWOL for roughly a month and a half — which, after 30 days, officially made him a deserter — turned himself in at Fort Snelling on Monday. The hope of his family and attorney was that he would receive psychiatric treatment in Minnesota and then be sent to Camp Lejeune for punishment, which he accepted.
Instead, Hafterson, 21, was released to the military from Ramsey County Jail on Thursday morning and taken to Camp Lejeune. Read More…

Also in the news:
Marine gets loss of rank in shooting
Except for the loss of a couple of stripes, Marine Sgt. Jermaine Nelson won’t suffer further punishment for his execution-style slaying of a detainee during the November 2004 battle of Fallujah, Iraq.
A military judge yesterday sentenced Nelson to 150 days in the brig and reduced his rank to lance corporal, but the prison term was suspended because of a pretrial agreement. In that arrangement, Nelson pleaded guilty to two charges of dereliction of duty and prosecutors dropped a charge of murder.
Nelson, 28, doesn’t have to leave the Marine Corps. During the trial, he had apologized for killing the detainee but said he was simply following a superior’s orders.
He cried at the defense table after the sentencing and later said he was satisfied with the result.

Soldiers telling PTSD stories will decrease treatment stigma
It will take Soldiers telling about their successful treatment of post traumatic stress disorder to begin breaking down the stigma that prevents other troops from seeking care, said Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire.

PTSD: New War on an Old Foe
Big changes underway at the VA could mean better treatment for thousands of vets. A bureaucracy in transition.

Ret. Chaplain: PTSD across military & civilian communities
A chaplain in the heart of military country is tackling one of the biggest problems facing service men and women: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The problem stretches equally across the military and civilian populations.
When it comes to PTSD, Lt. Col (Ret.) Chaplain Charles Smith of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Havelock wants to dispel a myth. He says you don’t have to go to war to have a problem.

PTSD does not meet criteria for occupational disease
Ruling: The Washington Court of Appeals ruled that the worker’s claim was properly denied, as his mental condition did not meet the criteria for an occupational disease which would extend the deadline for filing a claim.

Sedatives may slow recovery from trauma
GIVING sleeping pills to soldiers and earthquake victims is common practice, yet it could be doing more harm than good. That’s the suggestion from a study of traumatised rats, which seemed to show that the drugs suppressed the rodent’s natural mechanisms for coping with trauma.

No Purple Heart for PTSD
The Pentagon recently decided not to award the Purple Heart to military personnel who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of combat. This has been an issue of significant contention within the military community due to there being a variety of opinions on the issue. One side believes that soldiers deserve recognition for their wounds, be they physical or mental. The other side argues that the venerability of this award would be eroded by the influx of recipients who do not necessarily suffer as a direct result of the actions of the enemy.

Unemployment Rate at 90%
The nationwide unemployment rate among people with a mental illness is 90 percent. Unlike the nation’s overall unemployment rate, this rate will most likely not improve significant as the economy rebounds.

Iraq Veteran back  in Connecticut after Arrest at G-20 Summit
An Iraq veteran-turned-protester was back in Connecticut Wednesday after agreeing to a deal in a Pennsylvania courtroom that could lead to the dismissal of charges from his arrest at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh last week.
Former Army Sgt. Jeff Bartos, a Central Connecticut State University student who co-founded Iraq Veterans Against the War, was one of almost 200 people arrested during the two-day meeting of world leaders.

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | October 1, 2009


US veterans groups seek trauma treatment model from Israeli experts


American military veterans’ groups recently traveled to Israel to study different models developed by NATAL, Israel’s Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War, for treating discharged soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
NATAL was established 12 years ago and became the first organization to provide multi-disciplinary counseling and support for discharged soldiers and former prisoners of war. Interest in NATAL’s services dramatically increased during the second intifada, to help treat victims of terror attacks and their families.
According to NATAL CEO Orly Gal, three groups of American veterans recently visited NATAL’s clinics in Israel to examine the different models the organization uses to treat Israelis suffering from trauma.
“The groups came here to learn more about how to treat soldiers who return from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Gal said. Read More…

Also in the news:
Three Strikes & You’re Sidelined
The U.S. Department of Defense wants to limit troops to only three incidents of concussion, from roadside bombs, per combat tour. Troops that reach this limit, are given a non-combat job for the rest of their tour. But the marines have been using a similar policy, for over a year, in Afghanistan, and are satisfied with it. The marine criteria is more complex, taking into account all sources of concussion. However, most of the troops exposed to combat injury are army.
What spurred this idea is the discovery that physical injuries (to the brain) can now be detected (with more precise instruments like MRI), and often treated. In the last few years, it has become clear that there are several sources of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and concussions from explosions is more of a factor than previously thought. Many troops, because of exposure to roadside bombs, and battlefield explosions in general, have developed minor concussions that, like sports injuries, could turn into long term medical problems. Often these concussions were accompanied by some PTSD. Medical experts believe that the proposed policy would have long term benefits, in that it would prevent permanent brain injuries and PTSD, including cases that could require a soldier or marine to be retired early on medical disability.

How the brain reacts to fear: new science makes study possible
It’s common knowledge that the human brain features billions of neurons, all connected with each other via synapses and other channels. These connections are all related to everyday feelings, including one of the most powerful, fear. Studies on neural fear have usually focused on fear-conditioning experiments, but advancements in science have now made it possible to look deeper into the underlying mechanisms that dictate the feeling. For example, a new study focuses on using computational models of the brain to pinpoint how it reacts to fear, experts from the University of Missouri-Columbia report.
Their report implies that the new type of investigation could be of great use for people suffering from the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as other similar conditions. In charge of the UMC team was electrical and computer engineering doctoral student Guoshi Li. Before this approach was taken, the expert argued that computer models were far more effective at studying brain connections than any other method.

Two programs help people cope with trauma
Ready 4 the Return is a program designed to help soldiers returning from the war in the Middle East deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or any trauma they may have experienced in the line of duty. Two healers who are also registered nurses created this program in Lafayette. They are hoping to include and expand the use of body-based approaches, combining energy medicine with allopathic medicine to treat body, mind and spirit and help re-regulate the nervous system.

VA’s Inspector General Finds Major Weaknesses at Two Regional Offices
Although the problems found at these two VAROs were somewhat different, the VAOIG solution is the same:
We recommended that the VARO provide refresher training on claims processing and improve management oversight and controls over operations.
What am I missing here?
This tells us that the VARO managers are putting untrained personnel on the “front lines” and having them process claims when, obviously, they don’t know how.
VAOIG should have recommended some management changes as well.

Military Mental Health a Focus of Mental Illness Awareness Week
In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 4 – 10, the American Psychiatric Association is holding its annual symposium on Capitol Hill this Wednesday, September 30, with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise public awareness of and reduce the stigma of mental illnesses.
This year the symposium will focus on military mental health and is titled “Supporting Our Troops: New Research on Suicide and Substance Use Disorder.”

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 30, 2009


Standoff Highlights Need For Soldier Help

Ind. Guard Has Crisis Intervention Team

INDIANAPOLIS — A police standoff involving an Iraq war veteran in Indianapolis highlights the need for programs to help soldiers deal with combat stress, Indiana National Guard leaders said Tuesday.National Guard Sgt. Jason Carrera, 26, who served two tours in Iraq, eventually surrendered peacefully to police after barricading himself in his apartment for seven hours Tuesday. Read More…
& more
& 1 more

Also in the news:
A Brutal Crime, One Veteran’s Story, And A Growing Mental Health Crisis Among Vets
We’ve got a profound public health crisis on our hands. And while of course Bowen represents an extraordinarily extreme manifestation of this crisis everything that Bowen experienced (alcohol and drug abuse, abusive relationships, untreated PTSD, even homelessness) is unfortunately far, far too common among our veterans.

War Creates PTSD Tragedies at Home
This story has hit close to home for so many people in this area, and it serves as a perfect example of why we MUST end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring the troops home NOW, pay reparations to the peoples and nations we’ve harmed, and DEMAND that returning troops and veterans of all wars receive needed medical care and ALL of the other benefits that they are entitled to. We MUST do this even if it means increasing taxes on the wealthiest people and on the wealthiest corporations.
We must.

Veterans need help defeating mental illness
While mental illness transcends race and culture, African-American veterans encounter additional obstacles in tackling and defeating it. Cultural barriers and stigmas associated with mental health in the African-American community make it more difficult for them to seek support to overcome mental illnesses.
Upon returning home, African-American service men and women face several problems regarding mental health: (1) They do not have the access to proper mental health care; (2) they choose not to seek treatment due to the stigmas associated with it; or (3) they do not realize they are affected by a mental illness that requires medical attention.

Despite symptoms of PTSD, soldier sees his calling in the Army
Spc. William Medlin found a sort of relief in Iraq. It was so much simpler, he said, than dealing with the complications in his other life, the one in which his marriage of three years was falling apart.
He loved the buzz of being on point, he said, driving the lead Humvee in the company commander’s security detail. And he liked garrison life. So Medlin re-enlisted, before his first tour was up and before his divorce was final, with a big $10,000 bonus and a guaranteed spot in air assault school, part of his plan to make sergeant and join Special Forces.
There was just one hitch. Medlin couldn’t sleep. He had flashbacks. He felt angry a lot of the time.

Operation Open Arms: taking on the VA’s work?
Its job is to help veterans get the medical care they need, but a local non-profit says the VA is passing its work onto volunteers.
Since March Operation Open Arms has branched out from providing free vacations to veterans to something much more important — getting free care for soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Founder John Bunch says word is spreading so fast that now the VA is calling on him for help.

Researchers develop integrative treatment for post traumatic stress
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers have developed an integrated treatment program for veterans with comorbid chronic pain and PTSD.

“Virtual Iraq” mod treating post-traumatic war vets
Scientists are making progress thanks to a video game mod based on Pandemic’s Full Spectrium Warrior. Entitled Virtual Iraq, it allows the therapist in question to better work with the patient, as they know what’s presented to them is a simulation. Going into it with that knowledge, the patient can be slowly comfortable with things that remind them of war — a certain smell or sound, for example —  in day to day life, or even brought to the point where they no longer do.

Stress Management Program Helps Soldiers with PTSD
The APEX program trains participants to better manage stress and anger and increase their concentration. Bauer says he’s proof of the program’s power, saying it has helped him recover his positive outlook on life.

Veterans Waiting on Federal Aid to Help Pay for College
Of the 50,000 veterans who qualified for tuition, housing, and textbook payments under the new bill, only half of them have received their checks. That leaves about 25,000 veterans on the hook for living and education expenses until they receive their money.

Military Experience Tough to Translate on Resumes
“I came home and I didn’t know where I fit,’’ said Robinson, who was a sergeant in the infantry. “It almost felt like my purposefulness had run its course.’’

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 28, 2009


More cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are diagnosed as two wars continue

by Kim Lamb Gregory

It became a sixth sense. When he and fellow Marines were patrolling a village in Iraq, Victor Manzano always had a feeling when something was about to explode. “It’s indescribable. The adrenaline is pumping. It’s like this weird intuition,” said Manzano, 28. The explosives might be under a piece of trash or a dead animal; anything or anyone could kill you. This hyper-vigilance that helped Manzano survive a tour of duty in Afghanistan and two tours of duty in Iraq, was destructive when he returned home to Los Angeles in 2004.
His sleep was tortured. He was irritable with his fiancée, and when they had a son in 2006 and another in 2008, he was impatient with them.
“I saw a lot of kids on the ground. People smashed,” Manzano said. “It’s hard to paint a picture for anybody who hasn’t served.”
Manzano is among thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. According to a study this year from UC San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the incidence of PTSD increased four to seven times since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Read More…

Also in the news:
Untreated Mental Illness: a human tragedy it’s time we addressed

The announcement of yet another task force is usually about as exciting as egg salad.
But then most announcements aren’t punctuated with gunfire.
Earlier this month, Dallas County commissioners announced a new task force on improving mental-health services here.
At almost the same moment across town, in a tragic but telling coincidence, a man opened fire on his neighborhood.

VA Program Trains Officer for Mental Health Conflicts
Responding to calls about mental patients is often loaded with tricky decisions that have to be made quickly, the two men said. And a major concern has to be the safety of the patient, the public and the officer involved.
The new course is designed to give officers tools to address and, if needed, defuse situations in which people with mental health problems become dangers to themselves or others.

Walter Reed uses practice to treat PTSD
Instructor Mary Ellen Rose leads students through such acute body and breath awareness to induce full-body relaxation. It’s all part of Integrative Restoration, a guided meditation based on the ancient Eastern practice yoga nidra, or “sleep of the yogis.”
“It teaches how you can learn to be more in touch with yourself and teaches you how to quiet your mind,” says Mary Ellen Rose, who teaches Integrative Restoration, or iRest, at the Synergy Studio.

Veterans abandoned to private hells
What plays most on his mind is that since returning from Iraq in 2006, when he crashed into a depression that has seen him attempt suicide more than 10 times — including by trying to hang himself in full uniform — no one from the army has ever rung him.
No one — not from his unit, not from the command — has ever called to say: “How are you going, mate?”
He does not feel part of the brotherhood. He does not feel he can talk to veterans his own age.
The army has washed its hands of him. He is seen as a head case. And those who have taken an interest in this young man — namely, veterans from earlier conflicts — are now seeing great numbers of Iraq and
Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic trauma syndrome and major depression.

1st Sgt Grisham interviewed about PTSD
Senior NCO and You Served Radio co-host CJ Grisham was recently interviewed by a local news station about this recent decision to “come out” about the issues he is dealing with from his tour in Iraq and how he is trying to seek help.

160 Veterans get medical care, meal
More than 160 homeless veterans received long overdue medical care and housing help at the Cherry Hill National Guard Armory on Friday.
Volunteer escorts accompanied veterans as they made their way across a variety of health screening and paperwork stations. VA hospital workers recorded medical histories, counselors discussed treatment options for mental illness, and social workers provided information on resources available to the jobless and homeless veterans.

Politician Wastes Veterans Money
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Most of a $10 million program aimed at helping returning National Guard soldiers has been spent on salaries and consultants, with little help for the people it was supposed to serve, a newspaper reported Friday.

Forcing the VA to Follow the Law
One consequence of war, we make victims of veterans. Honoring them requires more than waving a flag or slapping a bumpersticker on our cars.
In our country honoring veterans means following the law mandating veterans care.
Putting aside the horror of war victims abroad, those serving in the armed forces come home physically and psychologically mangled, many never to live the same again. The U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is charged with delivering aid and support.

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 26, 2009


U.S. seeing more female homeless veterans

By Thom Patterson

When Iraq war veteran Angela Peacock is in the shower, she sometimes closes her eyes and can’t help reliving the day in Baghdad in 2003 that pushed her closer to the edge.
While pulling security detail for an Army convoy stuck in gridlocked traffic, Peacock’s vehicle came alongside a van full of Iraqi men who “began shouting that they were going to kill us,” she said.
One man in the vehicle was particularly threatening. “I can remember his eyes looking at me,” she said. “I put my finger on the trigger and aimed my weapon at the guy, and my driver is screaming at me to stop.”
“I was really close to shooting at them, but I didn’t.”
Now back home in Missouri, Peacock, 30, is unemployed — squatting without a lease in a tiny house in a North St. Louis County neighborhood. Read More…

Also in the news:
Stricken boys turn to crime
More than twenty thousand armed services veterans are serving sentences for criminal offenses.
Shock figures show there are currently 12,000 vets on probation or parole and a further 8,500 in custody.
That is twice as many as the number of British troops presently in Afghanistan.

We all have a duty to our troops
Many soldiers are vulnerable, damaged or deprived people given purpose by the army. It’s not surprising some collapse without it.

PTSD: The invisible disorder
Our nation needs a better understanding of PTSD. A recent article by Google News stated, “[U.S. senators] grilled Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) officials over an e-mail that urged staff to make fewer diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and branded troubled soldiers seeking help as ‘compensation-seekers.’” It is absurd that officials would accuse our soldiers of trying to take advantage of medical benefits after what they’ve risked their lives for. Our veterans are only rightfully seeking help for their illness. Such accusations stem from a lack of education and understanding.

Eternal Struggle with PTSD
Not many people who have not experienced Combat, too include the doctors, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and poly trauma specialists can truly understand how it can and does affect an individuals life. It usually takes 1 year for a Soldier to even accept the fact that they have PTSD or Major depression. By the time they do realize it, it is usually too late when it comes to relationships, friendships, family or just being out in the general public. I have yet to see any VA doctor of any kind be able to connect with what it’s going on in my mind.

Deployed Soldier Uses Salsa Dancing to Help Cope with Combat Environment
Rhythmic beats infused with lively trumpets and bells blaring from multiple speakers gave the crowd at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation center’s Salsa Night the motivation to dance the anxieties of deployment away.
For one Soldier in attendance… the passionate and lively Salsa night serve more to relieve stress and increase confidence.

Outreach brings services to veterans
“We found out there were veterans, especially in the rural areas, who were not aware they were eligible for benefits.” Dan Paupp, veterans benefits representative, said benefits extend beyond education and resources. Medical problems should be identified as early as possible and evaluated to see if a veteran is eligible for compensation or assistance.
“The longer you wait it’s just more money you’re losing,” Mr. Paupp said.

Event take look at PTSD, fights stigma
“It’s a stigma, it’s still a stigma, it’s always going to be a stigma,” Milton said. “But we’re trying to open the doors up. We have a lot of Soldiers that are seeking help today. A lot of Soldiers have identified with the conditions they have and a lot of Soldiers want to be treated.”

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 25, 2009


Revealed: the hidden army in UK prisons

More veterans in justice system than soldiers serving in Afghanistan, By Alan Travis

The number of former servicemen in prison or on probation or parole is now more than double the total British deployment in Afghanistan, according to a new survey. An estimated 20,000 veterans are in the criminal justice system, with 8,500 behind bars, almost one in 10 of the prison population.
The proportion of those in prison who are veterans has risen by more than 30% in the last five years.
The study by the probation officers’ union Napo uncovers the hidden cost of recent conflicts. The snapshot survey of 90 probation case histories of convicted veterans shows a majority with chronic alcohol or drug problems, and nearly half suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression as a result of their wartime experiences on active service.
Those involved had served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. They are most likely to have been convicted of a violent offence, particularly domestic violence.
The study provides the strongest evidence yet of a direct link between the mental health of those returning from combat zones, chronic alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence.
In many cases the symptoms of depression or stress did not become apparent for many years and included persistent flashbacks and nightmares. Read More…

Also in the news:
Too many Vets Disability Claims take too long to Process
Too many veterans’ disability claims take more than a year to process, the Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general said. An audit showed that a year ago, 11,000 veterans had claims pending more than a year. It said the agency awarded retroactive payments totaling about $43 million for about a third of them. Of that total, it says about $14 million was unnecessarily delayed.

Veterans was discharged and jailed suffering from stress disorder
“They didn’t take my PTSD into account,” he said. “The judge said to me, ‘there are thousands who go through the same situation as yourself but they don’t act like you.’”

A Soldier’s Battle with Mental Illness
First Sergeant CJ Grisham was part of the invasion into Baghdad back in 2002.   When he returned home in 2003 he knew something wasn’t right.  “I would just get angry at little things and it started to affect my family,” said Grisham.  For nearly five years Grisham didn’t confront his issues.  “The reason we don’t want to talk about it because we don’t’ want to relive it.  It was bad enough the first time.”

The Battle Back Home
In “Shadow of the Sword” Jeremiah Workman, a Marine staff sergeant who won the Navy Cross for gallantry under fire in Iraq, offers a searing account of his own struggle with the demon now known simply by its acronym, PTSD.

Colleges prepare for an Influx of Veterans
Campuses will need to be prepared to deal with a host of issues returning veterans may face, including post- traumatic stress disorder, other mental health issues and homelessness. They also may need assistance navigating the paperwork and the bureaucracy of the Department of Veterans Affairs and finding housing and childcare.

Less than One-Third of Adults with Mental Illness will get help in 2009
One in four Americans over the age of 18 experience a mental health disorder in any given year, but a significant number go untreated…

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 24, 2009


Veterans suffering from PTSD often end up in jail,
but should they?

By Dave Fehling

Jacobi Montgomery is one of those vets who eventually ended up in jail.
After returning from Iraq last year, he woke up at Fort Hood to the sound of tanks practice-firing their guns. He thought he was back overseas.
“I’m like, God dang they’re in Texas now, too? So they’re coming to get me over here?” Montgomery recalled.
He hit the floor and rolled under his bunk before he realized what was happening.
This summer, he returned to civilian life back home with family, which he found wasn’t easy.
“Arguments, escalation, sometimes a little bit physical,” Montgomery said. “I’m not really a violent person, but sometimes you have emotions you can’t control.”
It eventually got worse, and that’s when his family called the cops.
They took him to jail.
“So that was someplace I never thought I’d be,” he said.
But is jail the place for veterans like Montgomery? Read More…

Also in the news:
Lasting, unseen trauma
Hundreds of uniformed service members, administration leaders, legislators, health professionals, wounded warriors, family members and concerned citizens gathered in Alexandria last week for the Defense Forum Washington to discuss the unseen injuries of war. The topics included post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and progress on various pilot projects designed to improve support for wounded service members.

Soldiers seek a new beginning
“Since the brain is so complicated, it can have thousands of manifestations from an explosion,” said Tom Iselin, executive director of Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, an organization that seeks to improve the lives of people with disabilities through sports and recreation. “The injury the size of a pin can cause you not to see, hear or effect your motor skills.”

Soldier reaches out to Veterans suffering from PTSD
Overwrought with the feeling that he was actually responsible for traumatic events, which he later realized he had no control over, Rhodes was preparing to kill himself in April 2007, he said.
“I’ve got all kinds awards and medals, you name it. You’d think I’m invincible, but I’m human,” Rhodes said.
“I was a walking zombie ready to die.”
Somehow, a single thought of reaching out to a friend interrupted the barrage of thoughts that he had no reason to live. That thought saved his life…

Horse Clinic Helps Soldiers with PTSD
A South Georgia clinic designed to help soldiers cope with post-traumatic stress disorder is now up and running.The Hopes and Dreams Horse Clinic in Brooks County held its first-ever retreat over the weekend. 16 soldiers who suffer from PTSD brought their families to the farm to ride, rope, and groom the horses.
Organizers say the interaction helps rehabilitate the troops.

Wounded Troops Muster for Action
“It’s a blast,” said Petersen, 28. “It makes me smile like I’m a little kid.”
She is one of 64 veterans making the rounds of five sports venues in the region this week to try track and field, cycling, kayaking, sailing and surfing. Twenty participants are from San Diego County.
It’s part of a strategy employed in recent years by the military and VA medical systems: Use sports to motivate service members and veterans trying to recover from combat or noncombat wounds.

How Does Stress Of War Affect Military Families?
When the tour of duty is over, some veterans find the battle to regain their normal lives has just begun. The KPBS series “War Comes Home,” focuses on the challenges that face veterans and their families as these former warriors transition into civilian life.

Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 22, 2009


Army draws up plan to send 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan

by Michael Evans and Giles Whittell

British soldiers in Helmand province set off on a mission

Britain is making plans to send up to 1,000 extra troops to Afghanistan to meet the call for reinforcements made by the US commander in Kabul.
The troops would be Britain’s contribution to a military surge called for by General Stanley McChrystal, who commands Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan, some details of which were leaked to an American newspaper yesterday.
An extra 1,000 troops, the equivalent of a battlegroup, would increase Britain’s military presence to about 10,000. Britain’s force is already the second biggest after the US, which has 62,000 troops in Afghanistan and will increase this to 68,000 by the autumn. Read More…

Also in the news:
Initiative Formed to Help Meet Burgeoning Addiction and Mental Health Issues of Returning US Vets
The Veterans Healing Initiative (VHI) has been formed in response to the dramatic increase of Substance Abuse (SA) and co-occurring mental health disorders among U.S. Veterans.  Formed by Margaret Stone and James L. Abernathy, VHI’s core mission is to raise funds for veterans who need treatment for Addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and help them begin to heal the war within. “For veterans suffering from substance abuse and trauma, the war within is ferocious,” said Stone.

Deputies to get PTSD sensitivity training
This is becoming standard practice in many jurisdictions around the country.

PTSD should be called out for exactly what it is: State Induced Trauma– Anyone who is forced to witness, or ordered to commit, such heinous atrocities, and were not traumatized, would have a disorder.

PTSD– An Introspective
Should I talk about my exper­i­ences? My mind was made up when I got home from work to the dread­ful news that old army mate had been found dead. He’d hanged him­self.

Surf Camp Successful for Veterans
Six war veterans suffering from PTSD have hailed a new two day surf camp a success.

Fly Fishing Aids Healing for Disabled Vets
A small group of veterans from several states spent the weekend on Lake Taneycomo. Their trip is part of Project Healing Waters. It’s fly fishing, but that’s not all; for disabled active duty military personnel and veterans, it’s an effective therapy both physically and emotionally. h

Art therapy heals mind, body, and soul
Tim Mayer, founder of Artists for the Humanities, an organization that works to promote the return and recovery of combat veterans from all branches of the United States armed forces, explains: “We recently opened an art studio to help veterans and their families learn about art as a way to improve the functional capabilities of those with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.”

Vets Prevail Launches Clinical Trial to Study Effects of Online Post-Deployment Resiliency Training
Vets Prevail is a cutting edge post-deployment training tool, delivered online, helping veterans readjust to civilian life by teaching resiliency techniques based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The novel solution offers convenient, anonymous training that helps modern warriors navigate the difficult transition back to civilian life upon their return from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine charged for faking war wounds for gain
The Marines say Budwah is a liar, a fraud and a thief. They are court-martialing the 34-year-old Springhill, La., native, alleging he was never in Afghanistan, wasn’t wounded and didn’t earn the combat medals he wore — or the many privileges he enjoyed.

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