Battling the Storm Within

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....

Vets say millage money being misused

FLINT, Mich. – A petition is being circulated asking the Genesee County Board of Commissioners to reverse a decision involving taxpayer money.

The petition's author claims the commission is misusing funds that are supposed to go towards veterans.

Read more....

Studies point to gene-based brain glitches in ill Gulf War vets

Veterans Affairs researchers have found that certain forms, or alleles, of a gene known to play a key role in the immune system appear to offer protection from Gulf War illness (GWI). Further, they discovered how such protection is manifested in the brain.


As many as 11,800 military families face deportation issues, group says

As many as 11,800 currently serving in the U.S. military are dealing with a spouse or family member who is facing deportation, a national immigration advocacy group announced Friday.
No previous estimate, official or unofficial, has been available on just how many of the 1 million married military members currently on active duty, National Guard or Reserve status may be dealing with the stress of having a spouse, dependent or parent deported.

Read more....

David J. Shulkin: Privatizing the V.A. Will Hurt Veterans

It has been my greatest professional honor to serve our country’s more than 20 million veterans. Almost three years ago, I left my private sector job running hospitals and came to Washington to repay my gratitude to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.

Read more....

Deported Army veteran wins fight for US citizenship

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A deported U.S. Army veteran has been granted U.S. citizenship, a move made possible by California Gov. Jerry Brown’s pardon of a criminal offense last year.

Lawyers for Hector Barajas said the government informed them Thursday their client should attend a naturalization ceremony on April 13 in San Diego. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed the decision.

Read more....

93-Yr-Old D-Day Vet Dies With No One To Carry Casket. Then 6 Teens Arrive In Uniform

Our veterans deserve our utmost praise and respect. They have sacrificed so much for us, that is the least we can do for them.

Unfortunately, as veterans get older, many of them get forgotten and the respect starts to fade away. People move on with their lives and forget just what it was these brave men and women did to ensure we are able to live the lives we have.

That’s why we love hearing stories like this one.

Read more....

Study: Magnesium Found to Treat Depression Better Than Antidepressant Drugs


A breakthrough nutritional study conducted at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and published in PLoS ONE has found that just 248mg of magnesium per day leads to an astounding reversal of depression symptoms in study subjects.

“New clinical research results show magnesium is effective at addressing symptoms and is safer and easier on the wallet than prescription therapies,” reports Science Daily, echoing the reporting of Natural News from over a decade ago. Today, even mainstream science is now confirming that magnesium is a safe, affordable and effective treatment for depression.


13 Characteristics of People Who Have True Integrity

Integrity, for those who are not familiar, is quite important. It is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

People who have a strong sense of integrity are sadly a rare breed. However, there are still some people left in this world with integrity, and usually, they share the following 13 traits.


Vet suffering from PTSD fights for medical marijuana use after arrest


- A Web M.D. study shows 69 percent of doctors in America believe marijuana can help certain treatments and conditions. Many states allow medical marijuana, but neither North nor South Carolina.

Perry Parks, 74, is a marijuana user. His backyard is a place of peace.
“This, as opposed to taking a handful of pills every day, makes a lot more sense to me,” he said.

Read more....

New court ruling jeopardizes military’s ability to pursue old rape cases

A ruling by a U.S. military appeals court jeopardizes the Pentagon’s ability to prosecute sexual assaults committed before 2006, just as more people are coming forward with years-old allegations as part of the #MeToo movement.

The ruling involves the case of Air Force Lt. Col. Edzel D. Mangahas, who in 2015 was accused of assaulting a woman in 1997, when they were both cadets at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces dismissed a rape charge against Mangahas this month, saying a five-year statute of limitations applied in the case.