Battling the Storm Within

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Two Marine commanders fired this year for behavior toward women

Nearly half of the Marine commanders who have been fired this year were relieved in part due to their attitude toward women, said Assistant Commandant Gen. Glenn Walters.

“We have relieved commanders this year,” Walters said on Tuesday. “Two out of those five that have been relieved I can directly attribute to an awareness of this issue and the fact that they didn’t have the correct command climate, and what they did. To me, that’s progress.”

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Vets hurt by school shutdowns would get benefits restored under new ‘Forever GI Bill’ law

Jason Nyikos was working a high-paying, high-stress job at an Indiana machinery company when he decided to quit for what he thought would be a more laid back life as a college student, pursuing a degree that would eventually land him his dream job.


VA chief: Time to rethink disability system; current setup 'not sustainable'

It's time to rethink a veteran disability system that "incentivizes disability," Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said during a Friday forum in Washington, the same day President Trump signed new VA accountability legislation.   

"Our current disability system that is designed from 50, 60 or 70 years ago….. I would suggest it's not sustainable and it may not be achieving the results of well-being for our veterans," Shulkin said at an event organized by the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative. 

"Our system incentivizes disability, when our system should be incentivizing health and well-being." 


US Puts Boots on the Ground in Yemen


The Pentagon won’t rule out more troops being sent to Yemen in the coming weeks.

(ANTIWAR.COM) — A day after the US was reported to have participated in an anti al-Qaeda offensive in southern Shabwa Province of Yemen, the Pentagon is confirming that a “small number” of US ground troops have been deployed into Yemen for an ongoing operation against the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) force.


Military chaplains help traumatized soldiers, but who helps them?

Army chaplain. Credit: Defence Images via Flickr (CC-BY-NC 2.0).

.- As military veterans and victims of violence are treated for psychological trauma, the emotional wounds of missionaries and military chaplains might be overlooked, but are just as present.


Presumptive Service Connection - Gulf War Illness

Presumptive Service Connection for Diseases Associated With Service in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations During the Persian Gulf War: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders


Army veteran becomes first woman to lead big three veterans service organization

Delphine Metcalf-Foster

NEW ORLEANS – Retired Army veteran Delphine Metcalf-Foster was elected National Commander of the nearly 1.3 million-member DAV (Disabled American Veterans) today at the organization’s 96th National Convention.


VA opens mental health services to veterans with 'other than honorable' status

For the first time, veterans with an other than honorable discharge can access mental health services at VA centers. Veterans with this kind of status served in the military but have not been eligible for benefits until now.


JOIN US!! For the NEW MVF-MWVE Coalition

Join Us!! For The New MVF-WVEC - Michigan Veterans Foundation - Women Veterans Empowerment Coalition every 3rd Tuesday of the month @ 5:30 pm at "The Pentagon" 4626 Grand River Ave Detroit MI. Working together to build the women veterans and military family members community. Meetings open to women veterans and military family members only. For more info 810-373-5744

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Inside the painful memory of PTSD- VIDEO

Inside PTSD: We followed a vet through his ‘triggers'

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New deal reached to fix VA budget crisis after vets protest

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress reached agreement Thursday on a $3.9 billion emergency spending package to fill a shortfall in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ program of private-sector care, seeking to avert a disruption to medical care for thousands of veterans.


Gulf War Illness Claims- VIDEO

Two House Veterans' Affairs subcommittees held a joint hearing examining how the Veterans Affairs Department reviews Gulf War illness claims. A report released by the Government Accountability Office found that the VA denies more than 80% of claims for benefits in Gulf War associated illnesses. The report also found that ninety percent of VA medical examiners have no training on how to conduct Gulf War illness exams.


Shortchanging Gulf Vets

The federal government has been using the delayed onset of undiagnosed illnesses in Gulf War veterans to cast doubt on some battlefield cause and effect justifications for benefit claims.

It is reminiscent of the government in the 1990s’ trying to cut costs by initially rejecting Vietnam veterans’ illness claims. Those vets sought compensation for sicknesses alleged to have resulted from exposure years earlier to the toxic battlefield defoliant, Agent Orange. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials were slow to recognize any connection between servicemen’s exposure to the herbicide and the subsequent emergence of a broad array of diseases ranging from cancers to respiratory ailments.


Veteran commits suicide at VA medical center

AMARILLO (KVII) - Wednesday morning, a veteran committed suicide in front of the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center.

The Amarillo Police Department was dispatched to the VA hospital just after 7:00 am Wednesday morning for a call of a man suffering from a self inflicted gunshot wound. APD has confirmed the man was dead when officers arrived.


Fewer rapes in the military, but retaliation still a problem, survey shows

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02:  Former U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Annie Kendzior (R), testifies before the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Military Personnel with fellow sexual assault survivors (2nd R-L) former U.S. Military Academy cadets Stephanie Gross andAriana Bullard and Naval Academy Midshipman Second Class Shiela Craine in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill May 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Recruited as a student athelete, Kendzior was twice raped after enrolling at the Naval Academy in 2008. After reporting the crime she said the superintendent at the time told her to "grow up." The academy superintendents were called to testify following the release of a survey last month by the Pentagon that said 12.2 percent of academy women and 1.7 percent of academy men reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact during the 2015-16 academic year. The number of reports at West Point increased from 17 to 26, while reports at the Naval Academy ticked up from 25 to 28 over the last academic year.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Staff / Getty Images / 2017 Getty Images

The number of sexual assaults in the military continued its steady decrease last year, and victims are more willing to report the crimes, the Pentagon’s latest survey shows.

But nearly 60 percent of victims who did tell authorities about being raped said they faced some form of retaliation and the conviction rate for prosecutions remains low, according to the Pentagon’s Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, released this week.


Transgender airman: ‘I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military’

After President Trump’s surprise announcement Wednesday barring transgender people from serving “in any capacity“ in the military, one prominent transgender airman said he’s more determined than ever to continue serving in the Air Force.

“I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,” Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland said in an interview with Air Force Times. “You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.”


Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana Hinges on Monday Vote

(Photo courtesy of National Institute on Drug Abuse)

A measure allowing veterans easier access to medical marijuana garnered bipartisan support in Congress last year and nearly became law. A vote on Monday could be the end of the line this year in another attempt to pass it.

The House Rules Committee will soon decide whether to allow Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to offer an amendment to the Department of Veterans Affairs budget on the House floor. His "Veterans Equal Access" amendment would allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients in states where the drug is legal. VA providers would also be able to complete veterans' paperwork required by some states to purchase marijuana.


What military recruiters aren't telling women: You'll face disproportionate health risks

Jennifer Hunt
Recently, 18 brave women graduated from the U.S. Army Infantry School, pioneers headed for fully gender-integrated “ground close-combat” units. Women have long served valiantly and effectively in almost every military role, but now they are tackling extremely physical combat jobs that, until recently, were designated men-only.


House approves expanded GI Bill benefits and several other veterans-related bills

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers on Monday unanimously passed a host of changes to veterans’ education benefits that boost aid, expand who’s eligible for benefits and eliminate the expiration date for veterans to use them.

The 405-0 vote came just nine days after Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and a bipartisan group of cosponsors introduced the bill, H.R. 3218.


As administration wages war on legal marijuana, military veterans side with pot

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) -- The Trump administration's attack on legal marijuana, already stymied by large states determined not to roll back the clock, is increasingly confronting an even more politically potent adversary: military veterans.

Frustrated by federal laws restricting their access to a drug many already rely on to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and opioid addiction, veterans have become an influential lobbying force in the marijuana debate after sitting on the sidelines for years.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Register Now - Sealing LImited 2017 MIWVE Conference - Sat Nov 18 2017 9 to 2pm

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REGISTER NOW SEATING LIMITED! Women veterans attendees receive special Gift!

The Impact of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on CPAP Adherence in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Man experiencing sleep apnea. Close-up of the man using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common comorbid condition in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); insufficiently treated OSA may adversely impact outcomes. Sleep fragmentation and insomnia are common in PTSD and may impair CPAP adherence. We sought to determine the impact of combat-related PTSD on CPAP adherence in soldiers.


Air Force Academy has a distorted view of sexual assault says former employee

Teresa Beasley, who worked with victims of sexual assault at the Academy, says false reports are very rare. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL

Beasley says simply that when she and others started speaking up about punitive tactics the Academy used against alleged victims, the Academy lowered the boom.


It's not just service men and women traumatized by Military Sexual Assault. Their families, too, pay the price

Arlene Parker recalls the exact moment her military career went south.
It was the late 1970s, and Parker was an Air Force senior airman stationed at Scott Air Force Base, just outside Belleville, Illinois. Parker was a passenger service specialist, helping military and civilian passengers on and off the jetliners that touched down at Scott. It was a job she loved.


Michigan Women Veterans Empwerment Love Peace and Healing Garden

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: plant, tree, flower, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: plant, outdoor and nature

It's been since weeks since we planted the 1st MIWVE love peace and healing garden its thriving in Genesee County, MI

PTSD Might Have A Physical Effect On The Brain, As Well As Psychological

A new study has suggested that in some cases, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might not just have a psychological effect on the brain, but could also have a physical one.

Brain analysis of 89 military servicemen, all of whom had survived traumatic brain injuries and 29 who were diagnosed with significant PTSD, showed that the part of the brain that helps control emotion may be larger in people who develop PTSD


Marines Share Photo of Nude Unconscious Woman in New Revenge Porn Leak

Five months after the Marines United nude-photo scandal broke, there is a new group of victims, including an unconscious woman who was photographed naked.

Explicit videos and photos of female servicemembers were posted last week in a Dropbox drive called “Girls of MU” and were shared in a closed Facebook group called Mike Uniform. (“Mike Uniform” is the U.S. military’s phonetic alphabet for M.U., the abbreviation for “Marines United.”)


Fort Drum Soldier Accused Of Double Murder Had A Dark Past The Army Didn’t Catch

Staff Sgt. Justin Walters has been charged with two counts of murder.

On July 9, Army Staff Sgt. Justin Walters allegedly shot his wife, Nichole, and a state trooper named Joel Davis after a domestic dispute at their double-wide trailer in Theresa, New York.

While the killing has brought shock and grief to the military community, Walters, an infantryman who was stationed at Fort Drum, had a troubled childhood and a juvenile record despite serving in the Army for 10 years — something the Army either excused or missed, according to local New York news site


Gulf War veterans face more, longer delays at VA, government report says

The VA is "aggressively" trying to get hundreds of vacant facilities off its inventory logs that cost the agency millions each year to maintain. It will try to re-use some of the facilities as housing for homeless veterans, and others will be sold or demolished. Jake Lowary/USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee

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Report: VA claims for Gulf War illness denied 80 percent of the time

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs denies more than 80 percent of veterans’ claims for benefits for Gulf War-associated illnesses -- an approval rating three times lower than all other types of claims, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.


VA denies claims for Gulf War illness more often, study finds

This June 21, 2013, file photo shows the seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Veterans claiming “Gulf War illness” are about three times less likely than other veterans to have their disability claims approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a new watchdog report Monday that recommended the agency beef up its response to the illness.

The Government Accountability Office said the VA handled about 11,400 claims for Gulf War illness (GWI) in fiscal 2015, more than double the number of claims filed in 2010. But approval rates for GWI were about three times lower than all other veterans’ claimed disabilities, GAO said.


140 Valley veterans lose home care services, put on wait list- VIDEO

Someone comes to Jim Bibik's home in Surprise three times a week for an hour to help him with bathing and general housekeeping. But Thursday, he got a call that that's going away. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)


Cuts to VA Programs


WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s budget released Tuesday proposes cutting monthly stipends to some disabled, unemployed veterans and reducing veterans’ cost-of-living adjustments as offsets to continue a program that allows veterans to seek care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Transgender Men in Women’s Showers Must Get ‘Dignity and Respect,’ Says U.S. Army


Female soldiers must give “dignity and respect” to transsexual men who join them in their shared shower rooms, according to training manuals leaked by soldiers in a mandatory class.


Hundreds of VA officials fired since Trump's inauguration

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that more than 500 officials have been fired for misconduct since President Trump took office earlier this year, according to data posted online.

In an effort for more transparency and accountability within the VA, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin announced that a public list of employee "accountability actions" will be posted online and updated weekly.


VA Choice funding problem looms for Congress

WASHINGTON — When they return from legislative recess next week, lawmakers will have only a few days to address financial problems with the Veterans Affairs Choice program before users start to see significant problems.

Last month, in testimony before the Senate, VA Secretary David Shulkin warned lawmakers that money in the Choice program funds was being spent at a faster rate than officials expected, threatening to bankrupt the program before the end of the fiscal year. Available funds dropped from about $2 billion to less than $850 million in three months.


10 Vagus Nerve Symptoms and How To Treat Them

The proper functioning of the vagus nerve is vital to both physical and mental well being.
That post-prandial fatigue you get after eating a large meal? You can chalk that up to the vagus nerve (in part).

The vagus nerve provides a bidirectional link between gut and brain and connects all major organs (excluding the thyroid and adrenal glands). Believe it or not, the vagus nerve even plays a role in neurogenesis or the birth of new neurons. Gebhardt N. et al.9 showed that vagus nerve stimulation promotes neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of animals after 48 hours of treatment


5 Reasons Why I Identify As a Rape Victim, Not a Rape Survivor

A person with a stressed expression covers their ears with their hands.

You’re not a victim. You’re a survivor.”
This is a common refrain in activist and feminist communities. Activists often use the term survivor as a blanket term for everyone who’s been sexually assaulted.
Up until recently, I did, too.
But here’s the thing: Not everyone who’s been sexually assaulted identifies as a survivor. Why is this? And how can we ensure those people are included in our activism?


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Veterans Innovation Partnership allows eligible Veterans to serve as foreign affairs officers

Image: Christine “CJ” Johnson with others

The U.S. Department of State launched the Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP) in October 2013, a public-private alliance that serves America’s returned service members by preparing them for meaningful diplomacy and development careers. VIP enhances America’s global leadership and provides education, employment resources, and expertise to returned Veterans. The program is highly competitive and open only to Veterans who have received a master’s degree within the last two years (except for Veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who have up to six years after master’s degree completion to apply).

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Pentagon Says Gulf War Data Seem to Be Lost

Military logs for an eight-day period in which thousands of American troops might have been exposed to nerve gas and other Iraqi chemical weapons shortly after the Persian Gulf war in 1991 appear to have been removed or lost and cannot be located despite an exhaustive search, Pentagon officials said today.

The logs were maintained for Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf and his senior staff at their wartime headquarters in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital, and were supposed to record any incident in which chemical or biological agents had been detected.