Monday, January 20, 2020

Female Native American Veterans Struggle For Same Treatments Male Veterans Receive

Native American veterans still struggling to get the health care they were promised

Cronkite News
By Madeline Ackley
Jan 19, 2020
“It was very hard to get into,” Barnes-Saucedo said of the VA system. “Since I was freshly out of the military, I still had a hard time getting into a clinic down in the Phoenix VA.”

Vanissa Barnes-Saucedo said she hasn't received the same respect and resources as fellow Hopi veterans who are male. She is one of an estimated 133,899 Native American Veterans. Madeline Ackley Photo Cronkite News

KYKOTSMOVI — Vanissa Barnes-Saucedo was 21 when military recruiters stopped her in a shopping mall, waving enlistment papers in front of her. Although she says she wasn’t entirely sure what she was getting herself into, she signed the papers anyway.

For the next six years, Barnes-Saucedo was stationed around the world: Virginia, Colorado, South Korea, Kuwait and Iraq. However, by the time she was honorably discharged in 2014, she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

When she returned home to northeastern Arizona, Barnes-Saucedo had difficulty navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs — the government agency in charge of veterans’ health care. She’s Hopi, born and raised on her tribe’s ancestral lands. The nearest full-service VA center, in Flagstaff, is a two hour drive; the VA campus in Phoenix is a four hour trip.

“It was very hard to get into,” Barnes-Saucedo said of the VA system. “Since I was freshly out of the military, I still had a hard time getting into a clinic down in the Phoenix VA.”

Although she didn’t mind making the trip, she said she was bothered by the treatment she received there.

“They made me feel like . . . I was making up some of the issues I was having,” she said. Barnes-Saucedo also wanted to make in-person doctor appointments but felt pressured by staff members to use the telemedicine service instead.

“I felt helpless . . . It was difficult,” she said. Eventually, she decided to go to her local Indian Health Service center, a government-run agency tasked with caring for Native populations.
read it here

Friday, January 17, 2020

No one knows where Margaret Corbin’s grave is?

The Missing Grave of Margaret Corbin, Revolutionary War Veteran

Atlas Obscura
JANUARY 14, 2020

IN 2016, FIVE DAYS AFTER Thanksgiving, Margaret Corbin’s grave was dug up for the second time since her death in 1800. It began by accident. Contractors were working on a retaining wall near the West Point Cemetery, at the U.S. Military Academy, when a hydraulic excavator got too close and chewed through the grave.

As soon as they noticed bones spilling from the soil, they alerted the military police. The plot was quickly cordoned off, her monument was wrapped in tarp, and rumors started to spread about Corbin’s resting place—that is, if it even was her resting place. When forensic archaeologists arrived at the scene, they were perplexed: The bones seemed oddly large.

On the West Point monument, Corbin wears a long dress and a powder horn, and she operates a cannon while her long hair flies in the wind. SCIENCE HISTORY IMAGES / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
The monument to Margaret Corbin is West Point’s only monument to a woman veteran, and it greets visitors near the main gate, just feet from a neoclassical chapel. It faces Washington Road, where the Academy’s top brass live, and depicts Corbin in a long dress, operating a cannon as her long hair and cape fly in the wind. She wears a powder horn and holds a rammer to load cannonballs; the rest of the rather cramped cemetery sprawls out behind her. The monument portrays the moments before Corbin became a prisoner of war.
WHEN MARGARET CORBIN DIED IN 1800, she was buried in a pauper’s cemetery in Highland Falls, just three miles from West Point. But in 1926, the national society of women known as the Daughters of the American Revolution saw to it that Corbin would earn her vaunted cemetery plot. The society, which is made up of women who can trace their lineage to participants in the American Revolution, was celebrating the sesquicentennial of American independence, and saw Corbin as the consummate symbol of both their organization and the Revolution. A year-long effort convinced the U.S. Military Academy to help them exhume and transport the remains to the prestigious cemetery, to be reburied with a military funeral.
A horse-drawn hearse carried a flag-draped casket that was said to contain Corbin’s remains. DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
The remains in Corbin’s grave actually came from an adult male. DiGangi determined that it was a large man, who could’ve been anywhere from five-foot-seven to six and a half feet tall. The remains of Margaret Corbin were not in Margaret Corbin’s grave.
So where is Margaret Corbin? Since the attempted reburial of Corbin’s remains, in 1926, her original gravesite in Highland Falls has been lost to time. Sometime in the 1970s, the town dropped a sewage plant where many believe it was once located. Yet Minus remains optimistic that Corbin’s remains will one day be found. read it here

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

When "factors behind alarming suicide rate among women veterans" leaves out combat...that is part of the problem!

The factors behind alarming suicide rate among women veterans

By: Renae Skinner
Jan 15, 2020
Guthmiller talked about her struggles with PTSD after she got home from deployment. She says it's a very isolating feeling.
"I would feel alone, it's nerve racking, and little things would make me nervous," Guthmiller said. "It's a really hard thing to explain."

PUEBLO — When you think of the faces of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, usually our brave men in uniform come to mind. However, one group in the military we often forget is women.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs says the suicide rate among women veterans is double that of women who don't serve.

A local veteran and professor spoke to News5 about what factors are contributing to this startling reality.

"Being in the military, we have to be strong because we are around men," Christine Guthmiller said. "We're trying to prove ourselves, and I think it's a stigma."

Guthmiller is a veteran and a financial coordinator at the Veterans Resource Center at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

According to the U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs, the suicide rate is higher among women who report military sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual discrimination and harassment-- all factors that can contribute to PTSD.
read it here

Why did they choose to overlook combat itself?

Women have served this country...including combat operations, since the Revolutionary War. They have been awarded every medal, including the Medal of Honor. They have served in every branch...even before there were branches.

So why do we still assume military women do not get hit by PTSD for all the reasons males do? Is it so hard to acknowledge their service in all respects to that service?

Army Rangers
Since the school was opened to females in 2015, 42 women have earned the coveted Ranger tab.
U.S. Army Sgt. Danielle Farber, Pennsylvania National Guard 166th Regional Training Institute Medical Battalion Training Site instructor, and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jessica Smiley, South Carolina National Guard military police non-commissioned officer currently serving with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, graduate U.S. Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, Dec. 13, 2019, as the first National Guard enlisted females to complete the leadership school. Smiley and Farber completed the mentally and physically challenging school, which focused on squad and platoon operations designed to prepare Soldiers to be better trained, more capable, and more resilient leaders. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Brian Calhoun) DECEMBER 17, 2019 SGT. BRIAN CALHOUN

Navy SEALs perform advanced cold weather training in Kodiak, Alaska.Eric S. Logsdon/U.S. Navy via Getty Images/File
For the first time ever, a woman has successfully completed the rigorous screening stage for the Navy SEAL officer training program, according to an independent publication

Though she was not selected as a SEAL, the fact that she was able to make it past the screening stage is an accomplishment on its own.

Female candidates for these jobs are required to complete the same training as men. There are no special considerations based on an individual’s physical ability.

Marine Corps Recon
Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, conduct combat rubber raiding craft training on Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, on July 16. (Cpl. Josue Marquez/Marine Corps)
The first female Marine has passed the Basic Reconnaissance Course and earned the 0321 reconnaissance Marine military occupational specialty, or MOS, the Marine Corps has confirmed.

Lance Cpl. Alexa Barth graduated from the grueling 12-week course Nov. 7, 1st Lt. Sam Stephenson, Marine Corps spokesman, confirmed to Marine Corps Times Thursday.

Barth still has a few more training schools to go through before joining her unit at 1st Recon Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, said Maj. Kendra Motz, spokeswoman for 1st Marine Division. Barth is expected to arrive at her unit late spring 2020.
It is long past the time when it is OK to dismiss what has been happening to our female veterans, or pass it all off as if PTSD is all about what happened to them as the "weaker" sex. Sure, the list above are part of the reasons female veterans get hit by PTSD, but no one assumes when a male talks about PTSD it has anything other than combat attached to it.

It is time to get this right...if we are ever going to make it right! #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

“I want to show it’s possible to suffer but also to recover."

Former Mansfield soldier who tried to end her life stars on SAS: Who Dares Wins

By Andrew Topping
Tuesday, 14th January 2020
A former soldier from Mansfield who was told she may “never walk again” after trying to end her life has gone on to star in Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins.
“I want to show it’s possible to suffer but also to recover." Donna Watts

Donna Watts, 36, served for eight years in the armed forces, being stationed in Germany for seven – which also included six months in Afghanistan with the Marines.

Donna, who had “always struggled with my sexuality”, came out as gay while in the Army and was named as ‘best recruit’ during her development.

The former Mansfield Town Ladies footballer left the Army in 2010 and went on to work for South Yorkshire Police, putting her Royal Military Police expertise to good use.

But during her time in the police she began to develop post-traumatic stress disorder and had a “mental breakdown” – trying to end her life, which was almost successful.

She has shared her story to raise awareness about mental health and the risks of PTSD.

“I drove to Whitby and jumped 200ft from a cliff to end my life. I was rescued about 10 hours later by helicopter”, she said.
read it here

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Bill was an owl who taught crickets to scream with the truth that empowered the defeat PTSD

Crickets found microphones to share good news you can use. You can heal PTSD!

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 29, 2019

If you think that what you have heard about veterans committing suicide is useful information, think again. The only ones benefiting from it are the people raising funds for doing it. Everyone else is being reminded that others have given up, instead of learning how to fight back.

The help they needed to heal has been available for almost 4 decades, but the noise on social media is all about raising awareness that veterans are committing suicide while passing around a fictions number as if it is supposed to mean something. The only number that really means anything is the ONE who could not be reached in time to save them. 

LADY MACBETH "I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry. Did not you speak?"
Time for more owls to teach crickets how to scream!

With my work on PTSD, it usually comes up at the strangest times. When I was with my family for Christmas, we got into a conversation about when my ex-husband tried to kill me. Not a very pleasant subject for what was supposed to be a joyous day, but it turned out to be a lesson on healing.

When the police took my ex out of the apartment somehow I knew it was just the beginning of a nightmare. Shock wore off and I went into survivor mode fully prepared to fight whatever he had in mind.

I had nightmares and flashbacks, mood swings and everything else that goes with surviving traumatic events like that. The thing that I could not overcome was paranoia.

My ex always drove muscle cars. I used to love that sound but it became torturous.It is the sound I heard when he violated the restraining order. It is the sound I heard when he would follow me on the road. It is the sound that caused panic whenever I heard it coming from another car.

While we lived in the same city, it happened a lot. I got used to the response my body had being fed from primal need to take flight or stand and fight. What I was not prepared for was when my current husband and I moved to Florida, about 1500 miles away from my ex.

No matter where I was, when I heard the sound of a muscle car, it all came back. That spirit crushing sound was a little easier to overcome, but it was still there. It was not until my cousin sent me his obituary notice from the local paper that I started to enjoy the sound of engines again. It all lasted close to 30 years.

Sure, there were many other times when I survived and went through the signs of PTSD, but with work, I overcame them because the "thing" that could have killed me, was fought by a survivor and not a victim, head on with everything I had to fight with. My strongest weapon was my faith in God and what He put within my soul.
" equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:12-16
Life experience is why I understood my veteran husband, even though I never went into combat with the same type of enemy. He understood what events in my life did to me, because we were fighting the same type of battles with totally different outcomes.

It had been over a decade before we met and even longer before he started to get help for his PTSD, but he did and we are living a better quality of life than we could have had we surrendered what could be to what had been before.

The only power anything has over us, is what we allow it to have. No matter what you have done up to this point in time, you have the power to decide what you will do in response to everything. Do you surrender as a victim of something that was not in your control, or do you fight back with everything you have as a victorious survivor?

Begin with changing your attitude toward PTSD. The term itself is empowering. 

Post means AFTER it happened. You are still here, so you are a survivor.

Trauma is Greek for WOUND. You did not to it to yourself but you were injured by it.

Stress comes from surviving it and things change because of what you went through.

Disorder means that things inside of you get messed up for a time, but with work, you put things back in a different order as a survivor. 

With the right help, you can become even stronger than you were before. 

I had to learn with life experience, clinical books and a dictionary while sitting in uncomfortable library chairs written by researchers long before I heard the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that was 38 years ago for me.

Over on the other side of the country, Point Man started in 1984 to address the needs of veterans, along with their families. The kicker here is, it started by a Vietnam veteran...Seattle Police Officer, who understood that healing had to include knowledge of the mind, body and spiritual battles that had to be won.

If you are a member of law enforcement, keep this in mind. Officer Bill Landreth experienced combat, and then risking his life as a police officer, but he also understood what was necessary to heal from experiences as a survivor by addressing his needs as a human. He shared his wisdom willingly and freely, expecting nothing back other than joy of seeing someone overcome their own experiences.

All these years later, others have come forward in quiet ways, working side by side with those in need. Bill was an owl who taught crickets to scream with the truth that empowered the defeat PTSD. 

If you need support call 1-800-877-8387.

Female Native American Veterans Struggle For Same Treatments Male Veterans Receive

Native American veterans still struggling to get the health care they were promised Cronkite News By Madeline Ackley Jan 19, 2020 “It...

PTSD Patrol

PTSD Patrol
It is your life, get in and drive it