Battling the Storm Within

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Launching DIRT THERAPY: Veterans Agriculture & Agribusiness Bootcamp Series 2018-2019

Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment is launching our NEW Program Dirt Therapy: Veterans Agriculture & Agribusiness 2018-2019 Bootcamp Series this fall.

This is a partnership between MIWVE, MIFFS-Michigan Food & Farming Systems  and MSU Extension Services

Details will be released soon... so stay tuned! ❤️✌🏾🙏🏾🇱🇷

Sgt Stephanie Shannon - Honored as Associate Fellow for PuLSE Institute

Sgt Stephanie J Shannon was chosen by Author Bankole Thompson the incoming chief analyst and executive editor of The PuLSE Institute, Detroit's first anti-poverty think tank. I will serve in a honorary role as an Associate Fellow representing the veteran population.

The Institute believes her life's work reflects their mission as the Voice of America's Anti-Poverty. Sgt. Shannon will  be submitting articles regarding how poverty impacts the veteran population that'll be widely shared in the media and discussed.

An unique opportunity to be a voice for the veteran population as a whole. 

"The curse of poverty has no justification in our age." Martin Luther King Jr.

Read more....

U.S. Senate Votes 86 to 5 to Allow Medical Marijuana for Veterans

Image result for medical marijuanas

The full United States Senate has passed a bill that allows physicians at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend medical marijuana to veterans living in states where the medicine is legal.

The Senate voted 86 to 5 on a spending bill that includes a provision to finally allow veterans living in medical marijuana states to receive recommendations from their physicians at the VA.


BREAKING: U.S. Senate Grants Veterans the Right To Use Medical Marijuana

Under a provision included in a budget bill which funds the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through Fiscal Year 2019, U.S. government doctors will be allowed to recommend medical marijuana to veterans. The provision prevents feds from interfering with the ability of a veteran to participate in a state-approved medical marijuana program or from denying any VA services to veterans who do so.


Why are they moving up faster?: Women in the Corps are doing better than you think

Female enlisted Marines are promoting at faster rates than men — on average picking up E-6 almost a half year more quickly than male Marines, Defense ­Department data shows.

The unexpected trend is unique to the Marine Corps; a Military Times analysis of forcewide promotion data from 2016 and 2017 shows no similar gap among soldiers, sailors or airmen.
The surprising numbers indicate that the trend may start early in a Marine’s career and persists nearly until retirement.

Click here to Read

The 7 everyday struggles of women in the military

Being in the military means keeping up with grooming standards. Being a woman in the military means keeping up with grooming standards of the military and society. While there is a lot of press around sexual harassment and assault in the military, and it is a real problem, there are plenty of other aspects to being a female in uniform. It also means plenty of trash talk, confusion, and humorous adventures dealing with men in the line of duty.


Veteran who set himself on fire outside Georgia Capitol identified

ATLANTA - A disgruntled veteran set himself on fire in protest Tuesday outside the Georgia Capitol in downtown Atlanta, according to the Georgia State Patrol.


An Alarming Share of Americans Think Women Are Making False #MeToo Claims

The #MeToo movement is now an undeniable force in American culture—but a new poll is a reminder that not everyone thinks it’s entirely a force for good.

According to a new poll of 6,251 adults released by the Pew Research Center on Wednesday, 31% of respondents say that women making false claims about being sexually harassed or assaulted is a major problem in today’s workplace. Another 45% think baseless allegations are a minor problem.


Veterans Sustain Two Serious Defeats From Trump And The House To VA Health Care

Veterans face two separate challenges to the VA that have come to a boil this week – one from Trump, one from the Republican House.

One concerns Trump and the makeup of a commission focused on closing VA facilities.  The other concerns transferring funding of veterans’ healthcare from VA facilities to private entities.

Click here to read article

This Is The Military Base Water Contamination Study The White House Didn’t Want You To See

water contamination military bases

Toxic breast milk. Contaminated umbilical cords. Testicular cancer. Organ failure.

These are just some of the side effects of the chemical compounds that have poisoned drinking and groundwater sources at dozens of military bases across the country, according to a major government study that the White House and Environmental Protection Agency sought to keep from the American public.


Veterans fear Brooklyn VA hospital may soon shut down

Brooklyn Veterans Hospital

Shuttered clinics and transferred doctors have veterans fearful the Brooklyn VA hospital is on its way to closing.


Veteran dies outside emergency room at Leavenworth VA hospital

A Veterans Affairs official says a Vietnam-era veteran died Wednesday outside the emergency room of the Leavenworth VA medical center.

Joseph Burks, a regional spokesman for the VA, said Michael Douglas, 69, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 4 p.m. in the parking lot outside the ER.


Trump signs $55 billion bill to give vets more healthcare options, VA overhaul and more

President Trump on Wednesday signed the VA Mission Act, a new bill that seeks to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide more healthcare options to veterans.

The $55 billion bill will change how the VA pays for private care, expand a VA caregiver program for pre-9/11 vets and start the process of reviewing the overall infrastructure of the VA itself.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Women Veterans Empowerment - Dirt Therapy - Garden Planted in Detroit MI - June 13th 2018

We FINALLY had good enough weather and the resources to plant the 2nd Women Veterans Love, Peace and Healing Community Garden in Detroit, MI

Our garden is dedicated to the 2 million women veterans and the 22 veterans we lose to suicide daily.
We put in over 8 hours of hard work and sweat equity and are looking forward to seeing life grow right before our eyes.  

Unstoppable Paralyzed Veteran Walks Again

Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck is a super-mom, a woman who laid down her life for her country and a self proclaimed “adrenaline junkie.” But looking at her you wouldn’t know that she’s also a 22-time national wheelchair veterans gold medalist!

But that’s not the amazing thing about Ce-Ce. She is a survivor and defied all odd against her to walk again.


More Vets Who Are Coping With PTSD From Sexual Assaults Get Honorable Discharges

Sexual assault is still a major issue for the military. Reports rose by 10 percent last year, though there is some discussion about whether that is an increase in the number of assaults or an increased willingness of troops to come forward and report them. That would be an improvement because victims of rape in the military often face retaliation, sometimes even a less than honorable discharge from the military.


Veterans’ gravestones vandalized on memorial day: ‘More than 200 gravestones were sprayed with swastikas’

More than 200 headstones were spray-painted with swastikas overnight on Friday at a cemetery in Illinois, KMOV reports.

The vandalism occurred heading into Memorial Day weekend at a Glen Carbon, Ill., cemetery which houses the graves of more than 1,300 veterans, officials said.


Arlington memorial highlights sacrifices made by women veterans - VIDEO.

Watch Video...

3 VA programs for National Guard and Reserves

For the most part, members of the National Guard and Reserves are eligible for VA benefits as long as they are released under conditions that weren’t dishonorable. There are some eligibility requirements for some benefits that require a specific amount of time of active duty, and here they are.

Home Loans
VA’s Home Loan Guarantee Program works by the VA guaranteeing a portion of the loan which lets lenders offer things like no down payment or lower mortgage insurance programs. To qualify for this benefit, Reserve and National Guards members must have an honorable discharge and meet at least one of the following conditions:


Court ruling: VA now considers pain to be a disability

From Agent Orange to burn pits, members of the Armed Forces are exposed to harsh environments and chemical toxins. Some of these hazards are known, while other hazards remain unknown. Even after decades of research, diseases associated with Agent Orange are still being added to the list of presumptive conditions recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Yet, many diseases are still unknown. Gulf War Illness, for example, impacts many veterans who return from the Middle East. It may cause various symptoms, such as joint pain. Other environmental hazards that are yet unknown, that could also cause veterans to have pain that is undetectable by medical tests.


Senate passes major VA overhaul; Trump expected to sign into law within days

WASHINGTON —The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation paving the way for a major overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the way veterans access health care in the private sector at government expense.

The measure’s passage by vote of 92-5 represents a significant bipartisan legislative victory for President Trump, who is expected to sign the bill into law within days


Psychologist Accused of Raping Female Military Veterans Seeking Treatment for Previous Sex Assaults

David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base

A clinical psychologist is facing charges after allegedly raping female veterans who had come to him as survivors of sexual assault seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at a California military base, PEOPLE confirms.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations launched its review of Dr. Heath J. Sommer in 2016 after some of his patients raised concerns that led them to request another physician, a spokesperson for the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base said in a statement.


Malaria drug causes brain damage that mimics PTSD: case study

The case of a service member diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but found instead to have brain damage caused by a malaria drug raises questions about the origin of similar symptoms in other post-9/11 veterans.

According to the case study published online in Drug Safety Case Reports in June, a U.S. military member sought treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, for uncontrolled anger, insomnia, nightmares and memory loss.


DoD admits water at U.S. military bases contains cancer causing chemicals

If you live on a military base and only drink bottled water, you’ve probably made a good call.
A recently released report from the Department of Defense shows that a number of military installations are plagued with unsafe drinking water that can cause illness and fertility issues- and the government tried to cover it up.

The water (be it drinking water or groundwater) appears to be contaminated with Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), which can be traced to everything from hamburger wrappers to firefighting equipment and waterproofing agents.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sweeping veterans policy bill passed overwhelmingly in the House

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers advanced a $52 billion veterans legislative package on Wednesday that would overhaul outside medical care options for Department of Veterans Affairs patients, expand stipends for veteran caregivers and launch a review of the bureaucracy’s national footprint.

Despite the cost of the plan, the measure easily passed the chamber by a vote of 347-70 and has the blessing of the White House, which said the legislation “will help to ensure that veterans choose the VA by getting them the right care at the right time with the right provider.”


Join MIWVE Summer Yard Sales & Dirt Therapy Fun

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VA Expanding New Holistic Health Programs

meditation yoga

According the the VA's website, the Whole Health Initiative is a new program that they say creates a personalized health plan that considers the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental needs of veterans. The VA says the Whole Health System "acknowledges that health care involves more than the physical human body."


Scientists Have Identified The Physical Source of Anxiety in The Brain

main article image

We're not wired to feel safe all the time, but maybe one day we could be.
A recent study investigating the neurological basis of anxiety in the brain has identified 'anxiety cells' located in the hippocampus – which not only regulate anxious behaviour but can be controlled by a beam of light.

The findings, so far demonstrated in experiments with lab mice, could offer a ray of hope for the millions of people worldwide who experience anxiety disorders (including almost one in five adults in the US), by leading to new drugs that silence these anxiety-controlling neurons.


York Habitat for Humanity searching for veteran to fill vacant home

NEWBERRY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, P.A. --- York Habitat for Humanity officials are sending out a plea for veterans or anyone who may know a veteran family in York County to contact them.

A home volunteers built on the 900 block of Conewago Avenue has been empty for more than a year.
"The process has taken a lot longer than we had hoped that it would," said Mark Mattern, associate director of York Habitat for Humanity.


How A 25-Year-Old Drug For Nerve Pain Called Gabapentin Showed Up In Opioid Overdoses

As the opioid crisis rages on in America, users who want to get high are now taking a drug that has been traditionally prescribed for nerve pain.

The Problem With The Drug

Gabapentin is a generic drug that is typically used to treat nerve pain and seizures. The 25-year-old drug was one of the most prescribed medications in 2017.


Care at VA Hospitals as Good or Better Than Elsewhere in U.S.: Report

FRIDAY, May 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The overall quality of care provided by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration is equal to or better than that provided by other health care systems in the United States, a new report says.

The Rand Corporation study did find significant variation in quality among individual VA hospitals -- but less variation than was seen among non-VA facilities.


Betrayed by her own corporal: Foul-mouthed Army instructor faces court martial

  • Footage posted to Facebook shows the distraught female recruit crying uncontrollably as her British Army instructor subjects her to a torrent of abuse during a bayonet exercise
  • The footage posted to Facebook has been liked and shared thousands of times
  • It shows the distraught woman sobbing as her instructor shouts abuse at her
  • She cries uncontrollably and is reduced to a quivering wreck in disturbing clip 
  • British Army is now trying to track down the abusive corporal who could be fired

  •

    Sunday, April 29, 2018

    VA Now Offers IVF Treatment to Veterans

    In vitro fertilization. Source: Centers for Disease Control

    A new medical benefits rule allows some veterans to receive in vitro fertilization reproductive help through the Department of Veterans Affairs starting Thursday.

    The interim rule, published today in the Federal Register, is the final step in a law change passed late last year to clear the way for veterans who sustained reproductive injuries to receive the expensive fertility help through the VA.


    Pentagon chief calls sexual assault a cancer in military

    WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has ordered all members of the Defense Department to re-double their efforts to aggressively work to prevent and respond to sexual assaults across the military.

    In a memo released Thursday, Mattis said that officers and commanders must act as substitute parents for their young troops, charging leaders to “use their authority and force of personality to prevent and eliminate sexual assault from our ranks.” His memo comes amid revelations that reports of sexual assaults across the military jumped by nearly 10 percent in 2017.


    DoD: At least 126 bases report water contaminants linked to cancer, birth defects

    The water at or around 126 military installations contains potentially harmful levels of perfluorinated compounds, which have been linked to cancers and developmental delays for fetuses and infants, the Pentagon has found.


    When the Effects of Sexual Trauma Persist

    Veterans' Stories of Overcoming MST
    It was years after he had experienced sexual trauma in the military; years after he had left the Army, wrestled with drug problems, and lost a job.

    “I realized that the problem with me all along was what was going on inside of me, how I felt about stuff,” Tony says, tapping his chest. “I had to figure out a way to do something. … And I found out that I had to talk about it.”


    Airborne units getting new vehicle this year; legs will have to wait

    The Army’s five airborne infantry brigade combat teams are slated to begin fielding 300 Ground Mobility Vehicles in use by special operations forces troops this year.
    The legs? They’ll get theirs next year, if the funding request is approved.
    Thirty non-airborne Army IBCTS are slated to receive 1,700 GMVs, beginning in 2019.


    Federal Circuit Court Rules Veterans Can Get Disability Benefits for Pain

    Federal Circuit Court Rules Veterans Can Get Disability Benefits for Pain

    April 11, 2018 – The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held VA must award disability benefits for pain due to military service. Prior to this Court decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims had held that pain alone without an underlying diagnosis was not compensable.

    What Does This Mean?

    The Federal Circuit’s decision means that if a veteran has pain related to their time in service, but does not have an underlying medical diagnosis, they can receive VA disability benefits. Many veterans experience pain stemming from their time in service, but do not have a diagnosis that serves as a cause for the pain.



    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids restaurant owner Johnny Brann says he will not take down flags and a sign honoring police officers and military personnel killed in the line of duty.

    “The flags and the names of the fallen heroes on the building are not coming down," he told us.
    City leaders say the display on the Leonard St. restaurant is a violation of zoning ordinances. It has nothing to do with the content they say, but the quantity.


    The Inconvenience of Being a Woman Veteran

    I happen to be a woman. This is often inconvenient. It was inconvenient for the military and, now that I’m out of the military, it’s still inconvenient. In multiple surveys and anecdotes, both women who are serving and women who have served repeatedly list gender bias as an issue, though the way it manifests itself differs during and after their time in the military.

    Read more....

    The US Army Saved Me From Life As A Child Prostitute

    Amber Causey, now 29, has revealed her past as a child prostitute who was raped hundreds of times after being pimped out by a man she met at her local mall

    The US Army saved me from life as a child prostitute: Artillery soldier tells how she was forced to sleep with ten men a day before a recruiter rescued her

    • Amber Causey, from Chicago, Illinois, was just 16 when she was first trafficked 
    • Her ‘boyfriend’ ordered her to sell sex on the streets and threatened to beat her  
    • Her life was changed when a U.S. Army recruiter responded to an interest card
    • She served in the 2nd Battalion of the 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment in Iraq
    • The mother-of-two now tours high schools to fight against sexual exploitation 

    Army unit retracts memo touting VA benefits for soldiers due to bad anthrax vaccines

    In the past week, a memo has been circulating online about possible 100 percent VA disability benefits for a particular group of soldiers.

    The April 10 tasking order called on the unit to identify which of its soldiers had deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, or Fort Drum, New York, between 2001 and 2007, in case they had been exposed to a bad batch of anthrax vaccine.


    Pentagon warns female service members not to wear dinosaur hand puppets while being sexually assaulted


    THE PENTAGON — The Department of Defense is warning female service members that they could face harsh punishment if they are caught wearing dinosaur hand puppets while being sexually assaulted by male colleagues, sources confirmed today.
    Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters in a press briefing Wednesday that women in uniform are to be held “to a higher standard” of behavior, meaning that they should not disgrace the dignity of their uniforms at any time male troops may be cat-calling them, tapping their ass, or retaliating against them should they report anything, ever.


    Army Ranger instructor charged with sexual battery of minor

    An Army Ranger instructor at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida was arrested Monday and charged with sexual battery of a minor.

    Sgt. 1st Class Richard Cruz, a Ranger instructor with the 6th Ranger Training Battalion, was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a child by providing her alcohol.
    On March 29, the 39-year-old took the minor with him to purchase beer, then they went to Navarre Beach, according to the arrest report provided by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

    Read more....

    Immigrant soldier dies waiting for US military to clear him for duty

    A Fort Lee soldier caught in the bureaucratic limbo of the Pentagon’s new “extreme vetting” for non-citizen service members has died while waiting for the military to clear him for duty, Military Times has learned.

    Spc. Nemanja “Yani” Janicijevic, 25, died April 12 during a physical fitness training session at Fort Lee, Virginia, installation officials said in a statement.


    Everybody Involved In That Dino Puppet Reenlistment Video Just Got Fired

    In the worst military overreaction since the Faber College ROTC pledge pin incident of 1962, the Tennessee National Guard’s adjutant general announced Wednesday that everyone involved in a recent viral video of a kooky reenlistment ceremony would have their careers wrecked, because that’s how you honor our military traditions, dammit

    Read more....

    Now Mattis Admits There Was No Evidence Assad Used Poison Gas on His People: Opinion


    Lost in the hyper-politicized hullabaloo surrounding the Nunes Memorandum and the Steele Dossier was the striking statement by Secretary of Defense James Mattis that the U.S. has “no evidence” that the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent Sarin against its own people.

    This assertion flies in the face of the White House (NSC) Memorandum which was rapidly produced and declassified to justify an American Tomahawk missile strike against the Shayrat airbase in Syria.


    Saturday, April 14, 2018

    1st black woman nominated to be Marine brigadier general

    Washington (CNN)Marine Corps Col. Lorna Mahlock has been nominated to serve as the first black female brigadier general, the Marine Corps media office said.
    Mahlock was nominated by President Donald Trump, and Defense Secretary James Mattis announced the nomination on Tuesday.

    According to his announcement, Mahlock is currently the deputy director of the Operations, Plans, Policies, and Operations Directorate at the Marine Corps headquarters in Washington.
    Her nomination was one of several by the President that Mattis announced Tuesday


    Court determines military burn pits caused lung disease in service members

    The thousands of U.S. military personnel and private contractors whose health was compromised by the dense black smoke of burn pits - and who were then denied proper treatment - may finally be vindicated by a recent court ruling.

    A judge under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office for Workers’ Compensation Programs decreed last month that open-air burn pits -- where thousands of chemicals were released into the air after trash and other waste were incinerated at American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are connected to lung disease, Fox News has learned.


    The Army just made it harder to graduate from basic training

    FORT JACKSON, S.C. ― It’s day three of basic training’s culminating field training exercise, and the soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment are lined up along the side of a road on a thickly wooded training range.

    It looks a lot like a scene out of “American Gladiators,” actually — two soldiers at a time are suiting up to whack each other about the head and body with foam-padded pugil sticks. The weapons are stand-ins for rifles, and the soldiers are in round one of a battalion-wide combatives competition on the road to graduation.


    This retired Marine’s book says the Corps has a history of gender bias

    A retired Marine lieutenant colonel who was fired from her job commanding the Corps’ only female recruit training battalion has released a 304-page book outlining deep problems she saw in how the service handles recruiting and training women.

    Read more....

    12 Female Soldiers Have Now Graduated Army Ranger School

    From left, U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, Maj. Lisa Jaster and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver share a moment following Jaster's graduation from Ranger School on Fort Benning, Ga., Oct. 16, 2015. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Alex Manne/ Released)

    The U.S. Army's vice chief of staff praised the achievements of female soldiers Monday, describing how small numbers of women continue to join infantry and armored combat units and graduate from the service's most grueling training course.


    Russia Says it Will Attack U.S. Military if Trump Strikes Syria Again

    Top Russian officials have threatened to retaliate with force if President Donald Trump orders an attack that could endanger the lives of its soldiers stationed there in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's campaign against rebels and jihadis near Damascus.

    Read more....