Battling the Storm Within

Thursday, January 17, 2019

REGISTER NOW! The Psychology of Money - March 30, 2019

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For our Money Smart Week Michigan Seminar on Saturday March 30th 2019 12 to 2 pm in Southfield MI “The Psychology of Money” presented by US Marine & US Army Ranger veterans professional financial advisors.

This FREE event is open to ALL veterans and military service members and the Public. There will be networking, door prizes and light refreshments. Hope to see you there ❤️✌🏾🇱🇷

To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.
Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

Abandoning the tribe: The psychology behind why veterans struggle to transition to civilian life

Abandoning the tribe: The psychology behind why veterans struggle to transition to civilian life
I had seen the cliff coming for six months before I eventually fell off it, and I thought I had prepared myself well for the fall. I was wrong. Having spent the preceding 14 years in the army, the last five with special operations, I was looking forward to a slower-paced and simpler life with my young family. As a doctor, job prospects post-army were good and promised wages significantly higher than what I had been earning during my military service. We would be moving back to a newly built house in my wife’s hometown, which meant more social support for the family. I had accumulated a significant amount of leave, which would allow me to ease back into civilian life without the pressure of needing to immediately find work.

Veterans: Women Are Already In Combat, So Stop Saying They Shouldn't Be In Combat Units

Heather Mac Donald, of the conservative Manhattan Institute think tank, wrote that putting male and female service members together for long periods of time, "Guarantees sexual liaisons, rivalries and breakups, all of which undermine the bonding essential to a unified fighting force."

She cites an unnamed Marine commander, who said that during his unit's Afghanistan deployment, things went downhill when a female team assigned with interacting with local women arrived at their forward operating base.


$20 million donated to viral border wall GoFundMe set to be refunded

WASHINGTON – The $20 million that have been donated to a GoFundMe page to help fund President Donald Trump's wall along the southern border are going to be refunded. 
Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage Jr., who started the campaign, announced on Friday he had formed a non-profit in Florida to receive money from GoFundMe contributions to build the wall himself with a team of officials without the help of the federal government.

Six veterans' groups unite, rip shutdown: 'Get your act together' - VIDEO

WASHINGTON – Several prominent veterans’ groups held a rare, joint news  conference Tuesday calling for an end to the government shutdown, saying tens of thousands of veterans in the federal workforce are facing increasingly difficult financial hardships as they continue to go without pay.

USAA donates $15 million to Coast Guard families

In a letter recognizing the anxiety among Coast Guard members who missed paychecks Tuesday because of the partial federal government shutdown, Adm. Karl L. Schultz announced a $15 million donation to support servicemembers.
The donation to the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, a nonprofit charity that aids members of the Coast Guard, from USAA, a financial services and insurance company, will help the military and civilian workforce in need, said Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guar

CBO Suggests Raising Tricare Fees, Cutting Veteran Benefits to Slash Deficit

Senior Airman Gabrielle Oaxaca takes retired veteran Barry Silva's blood pressure during his dialysis treatment Oct. 13, 2010, at the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

With the federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion this year, the Congressional Budget Office in December published a list of options for reducing the imbalance over the next 10 years, including three suggestions on Tricare and six that address veterans benefits.

The Trauma of War Reflected Inside the Cars of Veterans

Photographer M L Casteel’s new book American Interiors begins with a stark page of facts that illustrate how the United States has failed its returning veterans, whether in the low wages and poor healthcare, or the rates of homelessness and suicide. What follows are not portraits of the people he got to know over the years working in the valet parking of a Veterans Affairs hospital in North Carolina, but photographs inside their cars. In their assemblies of mundane and highly personal objects, they give a quiet insight into veterans’ trauma and attempts to move forward.

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs could let vets see private doctors

Department of Veterans Affairs sign

The Department of Veterans Affairs is considering new rules that would give vets more freedom to see private doctors outside the federal system, potentially shifting billions of dollars of federal funding out of the VA’s own hospital network.
The guidelines are meant to eliminate long waiting times that have plagued many VA hospitals, but the plan could starve VA hospitals of funds if patients choose other options, critics say, and potentially force some facilities to close.

First woman to command shipyard will do so at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Capt. Dianna Wolfson, currently the operations officer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia, was picked by Naval Sea Systems Command last month to take command of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

YES, the VA has to reimburse you for emergency medical costs — despite what they say

Three lawsuits later, the VA is still making it unnecessarily difficult for veterans to get reimbursement for emergency medical costs from non-VA facilities. The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is working — for the third time in as many years — to fix that.
Round 1: Staab v. Shulkin, 2016

Richard Staab incurred a $48,000 medical bill for emergency open heart surgery at a non-VA facility, and the VA refused to reimburse him because his secondary insurance covered part of the emergency bill. Under the Emergency Care Fairness Act of 2010 (ECFA), this is illegal. NVLSP and Mr. Staab won this lawsuit — the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ruled that, yes, the VA was meant to step in as a secondary payer where other health care insurers covered only a portion of the cost at non-VA facilities.

New year, new push to get dental care for veterans

With 2018 now gone, and with it the 115th Congress, federal lawmakers left a lot on the table that would help veterans nationwide. One such bill would require the VA to provide dental care. 

The legislation, which was reintroduced by Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) on Jan. 3, require the VA to provide dental care to veterans, just as they provide medical care. 

Stolen Valor Will Now Get You Up To A Year In The Slammer, And Other Major UCMJ Changes That Took Effect This Year

Congress passed its most sweeping reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice in decades in 2016, but it didn't take effect until Jan. 1 of this year. Other changes to the military process and offenses, such as domestic violence, were included in the recently passed 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Patricia Babb, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, said she is unaware of anyone who has already been charged with any new crimes so far this year because they're so new. She said the Navy has spent a lot of time educating its attorneys and other officers who can administer punishment about the updates. All new recruits also are taught about the UCMJ once they enter the service.

VA finally takes a look at long-term effects of malaria drugs

If you’ve traveled to countries where mosquitoes run rampant, chances are, you've taken Malaria pills. While the Federal Drug Administration has acknowledged the potential side effects of these drugs, a new committee is now conducting a review of the long-term effects it has on U.S. service members.

Beginning on January 28, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee will kick-start an 18-month study on the health effects of Mefloquine and other antimalarial medications.

DNA damage found in veterans with Gulf War illness

Yang Chen, with the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center at the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System, was first author on a study that found mitochondrial DNA damage in Veterans with Gulf War illness.
Credit: Mitch Mirkin
Researchers say they have found the "first direct biological evidence" of damage in veterans with Gulf War illness to DNA within cellular structures that produce energy in the body.

Despite nationwide push, fewer veterans in Congress

The 116th Congress was sworn in late last week— and with it came a decrease in veterans and military experience.

“We had more veterans lose than win. So, we went backward,” Congressman Don Bacon, former commander of Offutt Air Force Base told The Associated Press.  "The veterans tend to be more team players. Even when they disagree, they do it in a collegial way and I think that we need more of that in the House and in Washington in general.”

First Female Air Force F-35 Test Pilot Marks Mission Milestone

Maj. Rachael Winiecki, 461st Flight Test Squadron F-35 test pilot, and Airman 1st Class Heather Rice, 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, pose for a photo after Winiecki’s first test mission flight in the fifth-generation fighter Dec. 14, 2018. (U.S. Air Force/Kenji Thuloweit)
Another woman has completed a major milestone in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Maj. Rachael Winiecki, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron, recently became the first female test pilot to lead an F-35 mission at Edwards Air Force Base, California, according to the s

First female Marine graduates from Winter Mountain Leaders Course

The first female Marine graduated Tuesday from the Corps’ arduous and physically demanding Winter Mountain Leaders Course.
Sgt. Tara-Lyn Baker, a heavy equipment mechanic, graduated from the nearly six-week school based out of the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California.

‘All veterans have PTSD’ and other myths — debunked

ORLANDO, Fla. — Here’s something everyone can agree on: The way the public views veterans isn’t always accurate.
Take the assumption that all veterans have served in combat and have post-traumatic stress disorder, for example. Or that people only go into the military because they can’t get into college.

VA ‘completely abandoned’ suicide prevention efforts last year due to frequent changes in leadership

VA 'completely abandoned' suicide prevention efforts last year due to frequent changes in leadership

Officials at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are now blaming the agency’s lack of consistent leadership for a substantial drop off in suicide prevention efforts throughout 2017 and 2018, despite suicide rates climbing dramatically among some veteran demographics just one year prior.

16 Discounts Veterans and Members of the Military Did Not Know They Could Get

Servicemen and women deserve more than a salute for their contribution—wouldn't you agree? Plenty of companies do and they are showing their gratitude in the form of discounts and even federal programs that are specificially for those in the military.
There are many retailers which offer military discounts, but what about discounts available online? There are a wide variety of companies who offer year-round special discounts to soldiers and military members. Whether you're interested in adding a little extra to savings or federal programs that offer thousands in rebates and savings, we've created a list of the 16 best discounts and rebates available to those who have served or are serving our country.

Senators Want Answers on Unspent VA Suicide Prevention Funds

September is Suicide Prevention Month. During the month, organizations provide information about identifying warning signs of suicide, increase the understanding of what leads to suicide and promote helpful resources. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)
A group of 21 Senate Democrats has asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain why it spent just $57,000 of $6.2 million budgeted for paid media advertising campaigns directed at suicide prevention in fiscal 2018, a deficiency they called "appalling" for its lack of oversight.
The lawmakers, led by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee ranking member Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, demanded a full accounting of the $17.7 million budgeted by VA for suicide prevention outreach, which includes both paid advertising such as radio spots, billboards and digital ads, as well as unpaid outreach such as public service announcements, social media and the VA's own Crisis Line website.

Disabled Veterans Can Now Fly Space-A

Recent legislation makes it possible for many disabled veterans to fly Space-A on military aircraft.

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act allows veterans with a permanent and total service-connected Department of Veterans Affairs disability rating to travel space available on military aircraft.

Veterans will be assigned a travel priority of Category 6, the lowest priority available, along with retirees and their dependents.

Dependents of disabled veterans are not eligible for Space-A travel.