Battling the Storm Within

Thursday, December 29, 2016

PTSD- You’re Not Crazy!

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  “PTSD, it isn’t about what’s wrong with you! It’s about what happened to you.”

It’s only natural to be affected by trauma, if you aren’t affected, you may already be suffering from PTSD. Nearly 20%(31.3 million) of the American population is diagnosed with PTSD. Yeah, that’s actually a lot of people. You do not have to have been a soldier to live a life with severe PTSD, in fact rape survivors are 94% likely to suffer from PTSD.


Veteran Once Denied Free Meal, Now Feeds A Million Veterans!

(photo credit: Black American News)

Ernest Walker, a veteran who was refused a free meal at the Chili’s Bar and Grill in Cedar Hill, Texas, during Veterans Day observances has turned the horrific and embarrassing situation into something awesome. He’s now using the experience to help feed hungry and homeless veterans in the north Texas area.

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Pentagon releases plan to prevent sexual assaults against military men

Defense Department officials announced today the release of the “DoD Plan to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Assault of Military Men,” designed to enhance outreach to military men and increase efforts to help them recover.

Army Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols, director of the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said sexual assault destroys unit cohesion and threatens force readiness by eroding bonds of trust that make the military strong and effective. The DoD plan, she added, outlines the need to help all service members better understand the unique aspects of assaults against men and how to prevent them.


War’s effects still being felt 25 years later

Six weeks of relentless bombing. A ground war lasting all of 100 hours. Victory declared.
The blitzkrieg-style Persian Gulf War in 1991 liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation with fewer than 300 coalition combat deaths against the world’s fourth largest army. It also banished the ghosts of the Vietnam War and restored the reputation of America’s military.


Army: Number of sexual misconduct allegations against senior leaders increases

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December 15, 2016 (Photo Credit: Army)
WASHINGTON — Sexual misconduct and harassment allegations against senior Army leaders increased this year and more were substantiated than in 2015, according to a closely held report by the Army Inspector General.

The memo obtained by The Associated Press also said the most frequent charge lodged against senior officers on active duty, in the National Guard, Reserves and senior executive service in the past budget year was reprisal, with nearly 50 such allegations as of Sept. 30.


The Children of Agent Orange

For decades, Vietnam veterans have suspected that the defoliant harmed their children. But the VA hasn’t studied its own data for clues.

A new ProPublica analysis has found that the odds of having a child born with birth defects were more than a third higher for veterans exposed to Agent Orange than for those who weren’t.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Four Marines charged in boot camp abuse scandal; more cases expected


PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- The training of Marine recruits at Parris Island is supposed to be tough. But investigations have found it to be downright cruel. Drill instructors abusing, humiliating and hazing recruits -- none of it permitted, according to Commanding Gen. Austin Renforth.
“You put your hands on a young man or woman you have crossed the line and we are not going to tolerate it,” Renforth said.

But investigations show that behavior was tolerated until last spring, when the abuses came to light.


American Heroes: Women Veterans Face Mental Health Crisis

American Heroes: Women Veterans Face Mental Health Crisis
In the rough-and-ready, male-dominated world of military pilots, Olivia Chavez held her ground.
Chavez was 5 feet tall and 140 pounds when she became one of the first women, and first Latinas, to fly an CH-47D Chinook helicopter in a combat situation.

In fact, for more than two decades, in three separate branches of the military, Chavez was a pioneer and served among her mostly male counterparts with great distinction and pride.


Veterans with PTSD or TBI May Be Eligible for Military Discharge Upgrade

Military Discharge Upgrade for PTSD or TBI

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are serious and often misunderstood afflictions. Unfortunately, it is all too common among combat veterans. It is only in recent years that PTSD and TBI have received the recognition they deserve from the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Due to this late recognition, there is an entire generation of veterans who suffer from PTSD or TBI who have been forgotten, ignored, or even discriminated against (often simply because PTSD and TBI weren’t as well understood as it is today).

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Dingell, Walberg want answers on Detroit's VA center

WASHINGTON – A USA TODAY/Free Press report last week revealing a low quality rating at Detroit’s John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center led two members of Congress today to ask the agency for assurances that veterans are “being properly cared for and are not in danger.”

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JOIN Michgian Women Veterans Empowerment in ARUBA August 2017

 We are compiling names of those interested in this all inclusive trip. Right now the trip will cost an est. $1,500 per person includes round trip airfare, hotel, food and more, reasonable payment plans are available interested? Contact  Kelli 734.341.0099  Sheryl 734.865.0873 👍🏽

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A Modest Proposal for Military Suicide and Military Sexual Assault


Military suicide and sexual assault remain intractable problems, despite extraordinary efforts by the Department of Defense and Congress. What more can be done in the next administration? A place to start is with better data. This suggestion might not seem that far-reaching, but it is actually nothing short of revolutionary. Better data will allow policymakers to tailor interventions, measure program effectiveness, and establish goals by which to measure success — tasks all but impossible today.

While it seems hard to argue against collecting and publishing better data, the Department of Defense seems loath to do so. After all, opacity is not a bug, but a feature – indeed a central stratagem – in large bureaucracies.


Detroit VA Hospital Ranked Lowest in Country

 The John Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center is the only one in the system that hasn’t shown improvement, according to data.   
Detroit VA Hospital Ranked Lowest in Country
DETROIT, MI — The lowest-rated hospital in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ vast network is in Detroit, according to recently revealed rankings. The John D. Dingell VA Medical Center has gotten worse instead of better after it was included among a handful of VA hospitals that received one-star ratings earlier this year, the usually secret VA scorecard shows.


VA to Let Vets Pre-Select Cemetery Burials Before Death

The Quantico National Cemetery spans 725-acres and was founded in 1983. The facility conducts more than 1,100 funerals annually. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Tiffiney Wertz)

The Quantico National Cemetery spans 725-acres and was founded in 1983. The facility conducts more than 1,100 funerals annually. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Tiffiney Wertz)
A rule change at the Veterans Affairs Department will allow veterans to apply for burial in national cemeteries before their death, rather than requiring family members to apply on their behalf after it.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

JOIN US!!! This Saturday December 3rd from 2 to 5 pm for our 2016 MIWE Conference After Glow event, hope to see you then


The Pentagon Is Now Deploying Reservists Without Granting GI Bill Benefits

Service members, veterans and military retirees have a number of financial aid options they may be qualified for beyond military service-provided tuition assistance, according to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Education Center officials.
By law, reservists involuntarily mobilized under a new and obscure deployment code do not receive credit for the GI Bill while they are activated.

Nearly 300 Marines came home from their seven-month deployment to Central America this week. They have a few things in tow — wood carvings from local artisans and the grit of experience responding to Hurricane Matthew, among the world’s worst recent natural disasters.


America’s First Black Female Prisoner Of War Was Denied PTSD Treatment By U.S. Army

“We lost 11 in the ambush,” Johnson tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”. “Eight of us were taken as prisoners of war; two died in captivity. Jessica was kept in Nasiriyah and five of us

With dreams of being a chef and looking for a way to pay for culinary school, Shoshana Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1998. Then, while serving as a cook in a support unit during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Johnson’s life changed completely.


Women's Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery at Risk of Closing-VIDEO

A women's memorial at Arlington National Cemetery is in jeopardy. Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter David Culver spoke with women who are campaigning to keep the memorial open.

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Female vets and service members say the public fails to recognize their roles, survey finds

Nearly three-quarters of female service members and veterans feel the public fails to recognize or value their service.

That’s according to results of an ongoing survey by the Service Women’s Action Network, a Washington advocacy group.


Why Veterans’ Greatest Resources for Getting Mental Health Help Are One Another

Illustration of two veterans connecting
Two U-M programs connect former service members with one another to improve individual access to mental health resources and much more.

When it comes to getting connected to the mental health help they need, sometimes the best lifeline for military veterans is a fellow veteran.


New CIR study on military sexual assault finds long-term consequences for victims

Victims of military sexual assault experience unique circumstances and require specific treatment compared to civilian sexual trauma victims, according to a new University of Southern California study.

Researchers with the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families at the examined the physical and psychological health, along with risk-taking behaviors, of men and women who had experienced sexual assault in the military.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Veteran says women's military service deserves more recognition

In recent years, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been taken a lot more seriously. But, the general public is often not aware of the struggles returning veterans have with the disorder.
Stephanie Shannon is a veteran of Desert Storm and Desert Shield operations during the first Gulf War. She’s the founder and CEO of Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment and she joined Stateside to talk about how women who fight for our country deserve more recognition for their service.


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Fox2News - 2016 Tribute to our Troops: veterans who continue to serve

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Since 2003, FOX 2 has honored the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country. Each year, our goal is to pay "Tribute to our Troops" from Michigan and with ties to the Great Lakes State. That tradition continues this year, as we honor our veterans who continue to inspire us, long after their service. We also focus on issues facing our veterans, including homelessness, PTSD and the unique battles for female veterans.  

- Sgt. Stephanie Shannon, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, shares her struggles during and after her service. She founded "Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment", an organization that offers support to female veterans.


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‘Miracle’ PTSD Treatment Study Needs Volunteers

Dr. Jeffrey Tiede, Director of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center's Interdisciplinary Pain Management Center checks and ultrasound during a stellate ganglion block injection.
Dr. Jeffrey Tiede, Director of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center's Interdisciplinary Pain Management Center checks and ultrasound during a stellate ganglion block injection.
U.S. Army photo by Stacy Sanning     

The single injection takes 30 minutes to complete, and patients report almost instant relief.

A treatment involving the injection of a local anesthetic next to a bundle of nerves in the neck has eased post-traumatic stress symptoms in some patients in as little as 30 minutes with dramatic, lasting results.


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Veteran commits suicide in front of church service during police standoff

A suicidal man, being described as an Iraq war veteran, shot himself outside of an Idaho church on Sunday afternoon, Post Falls Police received a 911 call from the man, who said he was suicidal outside the Real Life Ministries church at 9:30 a.m.Upon their arrival, they discovered a man standing under the Church’s cross with a gun to his head, according to 12News.


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Pentagon chief draws fire over 'dangerous' plan to relax military recruiting standards

Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s new proposal to relax the military's recruiting standards for fitness and body composition is fraught with potential problems both politically and practically, observers say.

Carter floated the idea during a speech in New York on Tuesday, suggesting current recruiting standards may be “overly restrictive” and result in the military rejecting people who have vital skills in foreign languages or in fields such as cyber security and intelligence analysis.

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Sgt. Shannon's radio interview with Talk show Host Paul Smith of Detroit's Opportunity Radio Show

Tune into Sgt. Shannon's radio interview with Talk show Host Paul Smith of Detroit's Opportunity Radio Show today @ 11am

Listen to interview

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Direct Order" - Soldiers Ordered To Take Anthrax Vaccine & Got Brain Damaged

DIRECT ORDER” An Award-Winning Documentary Tells the Story of Members of the Military who were Ordered Against their Will to Take the Controversial Anthrax Vaccine.

Federal regulators approved a plan by biotechnology company, VaxGen to test its experimental anthrax vaccine on about 100 people.

The human volunteers were injected with the experimental vaccine to see if it’s safe and produces the desired immune response.

VaxGen was awarded a $13.6 million federal contract to begin work on the anthrax vaccine. The company is applied for two more anthrax vaccine contracts. The contracts were awarded for advanced testing and manufacturing of 25 million doses.

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LAUNCHING: Our Voices United: Women Veterans Break Silence Vol. 1

Our Voices United: Women Veterans Break Silence Vol. 1 book is now available on Amazon check it out!

For more information visit

Purchase book Off Amazon…/…/ref=tmm_pap_title_0…

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Direct Order: Soldiers Ordered to Take Anthrax Vax That Caused Brain Damage- VIDEO

DIRECT ORDER” An Award-Winning Documentary Tells the Story of Members of the Military who were Ordered Against their Will to Take the Controversial Anthrax Vaccine.

Federal regulators approved a plan by biotechnology company, VaxGen to test its experimental anthrax vaccine on about 100 people. The human volunteers were injected with the experimental vaccine to see if it’s safe and produces the desired immune response.

Watch more...

Our Voices United: Women Veterans Break Silence Vol. 1 book is now available on Amazon check it out!


Veterans Can Get All Of These Prescription Drugs To Treat PTSD, But Not Weed- VIDEO

Around the nation, thousands of veterans and active-duty military personnel are waging their own personal battles against post-traumatic stress disorder. Typically triggered by a horrific incident either witnessed or experienced by the person, PTSD comes with a debilitating set of physical and psychological symptoms.


Ten women graduate from the Army's first integrated infantry officer course


Ten of the 12 women who this spring took their first step to becoming infantry officers graduated Wednesday at Fort Benning, Georgia, according to an Army release.

The officers were part of the first gender-integrated class of the 17-week Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course, which takes freshly commissioned lieutenants and prepares them to receive their blue infantry cords.

"This is a process," Lt. Col. Matthew Weber, IBOLC's commander, told reporters Wednesday morning. "The training of an infantry lieutenant is a process until they step in front of that rifle platoon, and this is but the very first step in that process." 

The women were a dozen out of 166 total in the latest class. They will now move on to follow-on training such as Ranger school, Airborne school, the Stryker Leader Course and the Mechanized Leader Course before receiving their first assignments, Weber said. The pipeline takes about a year.


New Study Links Chemical Alarms to Negative Brain Changes

( - Newly released study results suggest that 1991 Gulf War exposures that triggered chemical alarms damaged veterans' brain structure and function.

The study results, published this month in the peer-reviewed Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, looked at 1991 Gulf War veterans' self-reports of hearing chemical alarms going off during the war.  Previous estimates have suggested chemical alarms sounded tens of thousands of times across the Gulf War theater of operations during the six-week war to oust Iraqi military occupying forces from Kuwait.

A pair of studies in 2012 by Dr.'s James Haley and James Tuite provided new evidence that supports that chemical plumes from destroyed Iraqi chemical warfare production and storage facilities drifted down over and exposed large numbers of Gulf War troops to low-levels of sarin, mustard, and other Iraqi chemical warfare agents.

These latest findings were written by cognitive neuroscientist Linda Chao, PhD, who has a long track record of Gulf War-related research and peer-reviewed publication funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).


GAO says Pentagon needs to do more about burn pit exposure


Provided by Julie Tomaska
The burn pit at the air base in Balad, Iraq, burned 24 hours a day, seven days a week and included materials such as Styrofoam, metals, plastics, and medical waste, kept burning with jet fuel.
The Pentagon needs to study the long-term health effects of exposure to the chemicals inhaled from burn pits at its overseas military bases, the Government Accountability Office says in a report.
While the report, released in September, credited the Department of Defense with improving practices to mitigate the risks of exposure to the burn pits, the department still needs to ensure that “research specifically examines the relationship between direct burn pit exposure and long-term health issues.”


11 Things People Don’t Realize You Are Doing Because Of Your Depression

For anyone suffering with this devastating mental illness, know you are not alone and you are stronger than you think. Please seek professional help if you are feeling helpless. There is aways, always hope.
Christopher Campbell

1. You do everything you can to try to hide the fact that you have it.

When you have depression, you try to convince yourself that you are completely fine. You put on a fake smile wherever you go and your friends envy your enthusiasm and energy that you always seem to have. But inside? You feel drained, lost and terribly sad.


More Women Veterans Living on the Streets, Including in Milwaukee

              Rochelle Lopez is an Army veteran who found herself homeless in Milwaukee after serving two tours in Iraq.    
Rochelle Lopez is an Army veteran who found herself homeless in Milwaukee after serving two tours in Iraq.
Rochelle Lopez lived in her car in the Milwaukee area for six months after serving two tours of duty in Iraq. Her story is not unique.  Female veterans are now the fastest-growing segment of America’s homeless population.
On any given night in the United States, nearly 40,000 veterans are homeless. That's according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. A 2014 study from Disabled American Veterans found that eight percent of those homeless veterans are women.