Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Military medicine works on better prosthetics for young, active, disabled combat veterans

Gregory Bull/AP Photo

Gregory Bull/AP Photo

NY Daily News: The blood is not the most jarring part of the photograph taken shortly after the bomb blew off Marine Gunnery Sgt. Brian Meyer’s leg and hand. It’s his smile.

The bomb technician had asked a team member to take the picture. He knew his defiance in the face of death would keep his comrades going and ease the torment caused by what they had witnessed.

His attitude set the tone for the long journey the double amputee is taking along with nearly 2,000 troops who lost one or more limbs from combat injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s also pushing military medicine to find better ways to accommodate such a large population of young, severely disabled combat veterans who want to maintain an active lifestyle. Many wear out their prosthetic limbs in a matter of months doing everything from mountain climbing to running marathons.

With survival rates reaching historic highs during the two wars, the Naval Health Research Center is launching a major, six-year study on wounded warriors to track their quality of life and better understand the road to recovery.

So far, 1,500 people have signed up for the Wounded Warrior Recovery Project study. The Navy aims to recruit 10,000.

About 50,000 military personnel have been injured in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with 16,000 hurt so severely that they likely would not have survived previous conflicts.

Doctors say a positive attitude is key to recovery, so the study will also examine mental resilience and why some troops have it and others don’t. It will rely on Web-based, telephone and mailed surveys conducted every six months about mobility, ability to function and social activity. Researchers will also analyze military databases detailing clinical encounters with each service member injured while deployed.

Eric Lunson/AP Photo

Eric Lunson/AP Photo

The study aims to provide one of the broadest reviews yet of how post 9-11 veterans with a variety of combat injuries are coping and enjoying life, and how much their quality of life impacts their long-term care.

Meyer is not yet part of the study but intends to participate. His case was featured in the New England Journal of Medicine in May to demonstrate the success of battlefield trauma care over the past decade.

The retired Marine has benefited from a host of new medical strategies used by the military, including laser treatments.

Cmdr. Peter Shumaker, chief of dermatology at Naval Medical Center San Diego, helped pioneer the use of an ablative laser — commonly used to smooth wrinkled or acne-scarred skin — to ease Meyer’s scar tissue, dramatically improving the range of motion in his fingers, among other things.

“It’s a privilege to work with soldiers and Marines, like Brian, because they’re young and motivated and healthy and they can go farther than we ever thought,” Shumaker said. “They don’t want to just walk, they want to do things that their colleagues are doing, their friends are doing.”

Meyer was hospitalized for a month after the 2011 bomb blast in Afghanistan. He lost his right leg above the knee, and his right hand above the wrist. Only his pinky and ring finger remained intact on his left hand.

After multiple surgeries, he was outfitted for prosthetics and learned to walk again. But Meyer, 29 at the time, wanted full independence.

He turned down offers to install wheelchair ramps in his home. He debated before accepting a handicap parking permit. He did not want to avoid the struggle to reintegrate. He wanted to go anywhere. “I focus on what I have left, not what I lost,” Meyer said.

His prosthetic arm has a flashlight so at night he can see where he plants his prosthetic foot. His prosthetic arm has the knobs and battery pack positioned to one side so he can shoot a bow and arrow.

Thanks to the laser treatments on his scar tissue, he can now hold a toothbrush, write with a pen, dial his phone, and pull the trigger of a hunting rifle. Laser treatments also removed a sore, allowing him to withstand his prosthetic leg for 18 hours a day.

Shumaker and Dr. Chad Hivnor, who recently retired from Lackland Air Force Base, helped pioneer the method. Hivnor also discovered botulinum toxin A injections decrease perspiration where the prosthetic limb attaches, helping stop it from slipping off while the person is exercising or in hot climates.

The findings were recently presented to the American Academy of Dermatology to promote the treatment for severely scarred people in the general population.

“These are not special, scar lasers or special, wounded warrior lasers,” Shumaker said. “We’ve taken these techniques that are primarily used for cosmetic purposes and altered them a bit to apply to trauma rehabilitation.”

Such unconventional treatments make a big difference in daily life, veterans and their doctors say. One soldier’s scar tissue has softened so he can grasp his daughter’s hand; another can now type.

A week after a recent treatment, Meyers rode on his motorcycle through a shopping district in Murrieta, 60 miles northeast of San Diego. His pinky and ring finger operated the throttle that has been put on the left side because he only has a left wrist. It has a side car that can carry another amputee, wheelchair or his dog.

Meyer and two others have started the nonprofit organization, Warfighter Made, which modified his motorcycle. It also customizes sports cars, off-road vehicles and other transportation for veterans, who can join in the work.

“What we want is for a guy in the coolest car to drive into a handicap spot and have people be like, ‘What’s this guy doing?’ Then they see him get out with his prosthetic legs,” said Meyer, whose prosthetic leg sports a sticker of Bill Murray and the word “Laugh.”

Meyer works for the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, counseling fellow combat veterans. He loves the photograph taken after he was injured because “it’s the exact opposite of what somebody expects you to do. So when I show it to people and they are inspired by it, instead of being shocked, I know they get it.”

Hooah!

DCG

Ryan Pitts to receive Medal of Honor for combat actions in Afghanistan

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US Army: The White House announced today that former Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts will receive the Medal of Honor for his combat actions during an enemy engagement in Wanat in the Waygal Valley of northeastern Afghanistan, July 13, 2008.  President Barack Obama will place the Medal of Honor around Pitts’ neck during a ceremony at the White House, July 21, 2014.

Pitts will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. The White House says Pitts and his family will join the president at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

Pitts served with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade.

The White House notes that Pitts’ personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal w/ “V” Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/ three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Clasp and two Loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral “4”, NATO Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Parachutist Badge.

In the summer of 2008, Pitts, then a sergeant, and his team were part of Operation “Rock Move,” meant to transfer remaining forces and capability from Combat Outpost Bella to a new location on the outskirts of a village called Wanat. The new position was Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler. COP Bella was to be closed.

The mission was expected to be the last for the Soldiers before returning home — they’d been in Afghanistan for 14 months.

On the morning of July 13, at about 4 a.m., Pitts was manning Observation Post Topside, which was positioned east of the main base, and east of a bazaar and hotel complex in Wanat.

Shortly after, Soldiers conducting surveillance identified potential insurgents. They put together a request for fire. But before that could happen, at about 4:20 a.m, Soldiers heard machine-gun fire from the north. After that, the valley erupted in enemy fire.

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Soldiers at OP Topside were hit with small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades. Pitts and six other paratroopers at OP Topside were injured in the initial volley of enemy fire. Two paratroopers were killed. Pitts took grenade shrapnel in both legs and his left arm.

For more than an hour after, Pitts continued to fight and defend his position and his teammates, despite his injuries.

Throughout the battle, despite the loss of blood and severity of his wounds, Pitts’ incredible toughness, determination, and ability to communicate with leadership while under fire allowed U.S. forces to hold the observation post and turn the tide of the battle.

Without his ability to stay alert and fight while critically wounded, the enemy would have gained a foothold on high ground and inflicted significantly greater causalities onto the vehicle patrol base, and the enemy could have been in possession of the fallen Soldiers at the observation post.

Nine Soldiers — Spc. Sergio Abad, Cpl. Jonathan Ayers, Cpl. Jason Bogar, 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom, Sgt. Israel Garcia, Cpl. Jason Hovater, Cpl. Matthew Phillips, Cpl. Pruitt Rainey, and Cpl. Gunnar Zwilling — were killed in the battle.

DCG

Bowe-Bergdahl “He Willingly Deserted”

Folks this POS and the one in the White House make me want to puke. For good measure let’s puke on the father too. I’m done. 

On top of releasing 5 high level taliban for a traitor they also made his unit sign a Non Disclosure  Agreement when it first happened. Can you say

Another Cover Up?

PS. There is a theory that skippy chose to do this now to get the V.A. Scandal off the front pages. While it seems to have worked in theory, umm I think he has a much bigger problem with the Military now than he bargained for.

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By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR and DANIEL BATES

‘He willingly deserted': Freed POW’s former platoon-mates call for him to face COURT-MARTIAL as they reveal how he left post. Army made comrades sign gagging orders

P.O.S. Deserter

P.O.S. Deserter 

Two former comrades of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have confirmed to MailOnline that their former platoon-mate walked away from his post in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009 with the intention of reneging on his military oath.

‘I’m positive that he’s a deserter, and that it was all premeditated,’ said Gerald Sutton, a 31-year-old Michigan college student who left the military in September 2012 and said he was ‘a good friend’ of Bergdahl when they were deployed to the Middle East.

A Pentagon investigation established in 2010 that on that Tuesday, Bergdahl abandoned his platoon in a war zone near the Pakistan border while serving with the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

The Idaho native’s disappearance led to an all-hands-on-deck manhunt in Afghanistan’s Paktika Province, as thousands of troops were diverted to rescue a man who left the safety of his outpost with his eyes open.

‘He wasn’t out on some patrol one day and got captured by the Taliban, and nobody smuggled him off of the base,’ explained Cody Full, a 25-year-old former infantryman who spoke with MailOnline from Houston, Texas.

Full, too, was in Bergdahl’s unit. And he’s anguished at the thought that at least six soldiers died on missions to find him in the early, frantic months after he went missing.

‘This soldier knew what he was doing,’ Full said. ‘He left us. He willingly and premeditatedly deserted his comrades. And he put his team, his squad, his platoon, his company, and thousands of other American soldiers in Afghanistan at a very high risk trying to find him.’

‘If he didn’t desert, and he was still in the platoon, those soldiers would not have been in the locations where they were killed … because they wouldn’t have been out there looking for him.’

Sutton said he ‘felt like I was in immediate danger all the time’ after Bergdahl left. ‘All of us did. We were sent out for about 30 to 35 days straight looking for him.’

Rest Of Daily Mail Story Here

Here are a Bunch of links from Drudge. Pick a link and make ya puke. I thought we shot traitors and deserters. Just saying.

~Steve~

 

War vet reunites with K9 partner: ‘He was my best friend’

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KOMO: After five tours in Afghanistan, a retired marine flew home Thursday to a rousing reunion with his very first partner. There was tail wagging, ball throwing and big, sloppy, wet kisses.

“I’m really nervous,” former Marine Sgt. Deano Miller said as he waited at Sea-Tac Airport.

He’s been waiting four years. Four years to be re-united with Thor, the friend that kept him and his colleagues safe every day of their 2010 tour in Afghanistan.

“I’m just so excited,” Miller said. “I didn’t think this was ever going to happen.”

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Thor is an explosives sniffing expert and Miller was his very first handler. Together they led patrols through Afghanistan, usually on point, searching for improvised explosive devices, IEDs.  The pair ate together, slept together, patrolled together. 

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“I love that dog,” Miller said.

After they completed that first tour in Afghanistan, Miller came home, but Thor had to go back. “He was my best friend, he was my everything, I didn’t go anywhere without him, and then when I had to leave him I felt like I abandoned him,” Miller said.

Thor has done five tours and has had four more handlers after Miller.  Now Thor is retired — he left Afghanistan in October, and flew home Thursday from North Carolina to be re-united with his first partner.

Miller was nearly speechless as Thor walked off the escalator with a volunteer from Mission K9 Rescue, Kathileene Anderson, who brought Thor home.  A mass of cameras, people, and the long flight left Thor unable to settle. But after Miller took him for a quick walk outside to a dog-friendly area at the airport he was ready to chase a ball, mouth his favorite stuffed animal and pay attention to his first friend and last home.

Miller and his fiance live in Tacoma with their two other dogs, Tevin, a Siberian Husky and Doug, a yellow lab/golden retriever mix like Thor.  Miller’s fiancee Tomi Gallegos says they’re all ready for him.

“He has his own kennel and food bowl, water bowl, we’re not worried about dog beds because they all sleep in our bed anyway,” she said.

Volunteer Anderson was tearful at having to leave Thor behind, saying it was an honor to help two heroes reunite.  “I feel like it’s a miracle,” Anderson said.

The American Humane Association paid for Thor’s flight home. The organization estimates that each military working dog saves the lives of approximately 150 to 200 service members.

Hooah!

DCG

Obama administration refuses to tell Congress with whom U.S. is at war

Dr. Eowyn:

A year ago on May 23, Obama declared in a speech to National Defense University that he intends “to engage Congress” about the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that resulted from 9-11, “to determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.”

That’s because, the POS said, “The Afghan war is coming to an end. Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States.” To avoid being “drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers,” Obama said “I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate.”

A year later, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convened a hearing to do just that — to review the AUMF and determine whether it should be repealed. The committee’s member senators took seriously their charge, but not the two lawyers sent to represent the White House. To get a simple “yes” or “no” answer from those two was like pulling teeth.

In this post, you’ll read for yourselves just how pointless the hearing was, how empty Obama’s grand words were in that National Defense University speech, and how meaningless are this man’s promises.

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

On May 22, 2014, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing entitled “Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) After Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Washington’s Blogreports that according to Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU and director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, representatives of the Obama administration repeatedly refused to answer the question of which groups the U.S. is at war with. Jeffer tweets:

There were four individuals testifying before the committee, including two lawyers representing the Obama administration:

  • Stephen W. Preston, General Counsel, Dept. of Defense
  • Mary McLeod, Deputy Legal Adviser, Department of State

The other two expert testimonies were from:

  • Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor International Law, Yale Law School
  • Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States

The purpose of the hearing, in the…

View original 1,122 more words

Amputee Soldier set to attend Ranger School

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US Army: When 1st Lt. David Brunett lost his leg after an improvised explosive device explosion in Afghanistan three years ago it permanently changed his physical appearance, but never changed his mind about going to Ranger School.

As he prepares to begin the intense 61-day course, which begins Sunday, Brunett said his only goal is to give it his very best.

“Rangers are the best Soldiers in the Army, and I think every guy wants to test himself in that way,” he said. “I’m glad to have the opportunity to do this and push myself past the limit.”

In April 2011, Brunett deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, with 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, from Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He was returning from a dismounted patrol when a roadside improvised explosive device exploded, severely injuring his left leg. After doctors told him his injuries would prevent him from living an active lifestyle, Brunett agreed to have his leg amputated, in July 2012. He was reassigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and received five months of rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid.

I was blessed to survive the injury with none of my Soldiers injured in the blast, and go through my rehab with no complications,” Brunett said. “I was lucky to have those five months to try to save my foot … I had time to think about the fact this is going to significantly change my life.”

Brunett said he was fortunate to have family in his hometown of Troy, Montana, and Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, offering encouragement to continue through his recovery.

“Having a support system was vital in me saying ‘this isn’t done,'” Brunett said. “The injury doesn’t stop you from being the type of Soldier you want to be. It’s dangerous to think of yourself as just an amputee or a wounded warrior instead of saying ‘I am a Soldier.‘”

Brunett worked as an operations officer for U.S. Army South in San Antonio before joining the Maneuver Captains Career Course, in September. Brunett said he was inspired by Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Kapacziewski, who continued to serve and deploy as a Ranger after losing his leg after a grenade explosion, in October 2005, in northern Iraq. After talking to several Ranger mentors, Brunett said he felt he could take on any challenge.

“I can imagine that it is physically demanding, but the biggest challenge would probably be mentally refusing to quit and not letting the Soldiers to my left and right down,” Brunett said. “I’m blessed just to have the opportunity to go through a course. I’ve never wanted special treatment and every school in the Army is all about meeting standards.

Brunett said his doctors in Texas approved of his ambitions and provided him with alternate prosthetic legs in case of malfunctions under stress and continuous weight throughout the course. He will also wear a sweat liner and a hygiene suspension sleeve around his leg to withstand swampy conditions during the Florida phase of Ranger School.

“The doctors and medical professionals in Texas are excited to see someone who uses a prosthesis do this just to see how far it can be pushed,” Brunett said. “It’s a great opportunity to show others, even if I can make it through just one phase.”

Brunett said he hopes to leave Ranger School with a tab, and take a command during his next assignment at Fort Drum, New York.

“If I can make it through Ranger School, I will give all glory to God for how far I made it,” Brunett said. “For those who may have just been injured and going through recovery, I want to be an inspiration and let them know that if I can do it, so can they. There’s never an excuse to quit. If you want something, you have to go get it.”

Hooah!

DCG

Military Suicides. This Is A Very Sad/Grim Statistic.

All I can do is shake my head. I’m in a fog friends after reading the numbers in this story. On top of all these brave souls go through, it sounds like it is a living hell to a LOT of them when they return. Please pray for them.

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Healing the ‘Invisible Wound’

Feature: Veterans Honor Military Suicide Victims on National Mall
March 28, 2014 12:00 pm

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dar Place was two feet away when his friend and fellow soldier took his own life during the Gulf War. Two decades later, like so many other veterans, Place is still haunted by the plague of suicide in the military.

“I personally saw my driver after Desert Storm in his tank put a gun underneath his mouth and pull the trigger, while I was no further away from him than I am from you right now,” Place told the Washington Free Beacon at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. He was one of the dozens of activists with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) who planted thousands of flags to honor veterans who had killed themselves.

By noon, 1,892 American flags graced the Mall, representing the number of veterans who have taken their life this year alone since January 1st—an average of 22 per day.

Former soldiers and survivors gathered to raise awareness about the epidemic, and lobby Capitol Hill to pass a bill addressing gaps in mental health.

The message of the campaign is “We’ve Got Your Back,” and for Place, serving in the Army is a “family business.”

“My son is still in active duty, he’s been an infantryman,” he said. “I was in the 101st Airborne Division, he was in the 82nd Airborne Division, and just like his old man was when I was a young enlisted man, he kind of followed in my footsteps.”

“I served in the 82nd in Desert Storm,” Place said. “So twice, I was on the initial invasion into Iraq, and then later on he came in to Iraq as I was coming out. And then he went on to the 82nd Airborne, and he went into Afghanistan as my unit prepared to relieve his unit in place in Afghanistan.”

Place retired in November. He is working with IAVA to help his fellow veterans get the help they need.

“My son has had three of his close friends who have lost the fight to suicide,” he said. “I have several friends who have either attempted or lost the fight to suicide. As a Battalion Commander, I had—for two years in command—multiple ideations, and a couple of attempts.”

Nearly 50 percent of IAVA members know someone who served in Iraq or Afghanistan who has either committed or attempted suicide.

“I’m in that 50 percent number,” said Derek Bennett, who served two tours in Iraq before leaving the Army in 2007. “This is an aspect of the war we feel has not received the awareness that is due.”

The number of suicides among active-duty military personnel eclipsed the number of casualties in the War on Terror in 2012. The number of young veterans taking their own life has increased dramatically since 2009, and a record 349 active-duty service members committed suicide last year.

IAVA honored veterans from all wars who have died from suicide on Thursday. One of the groups’ allies in Congress is Sen. John Walsh (D., Mont.), the first Iraq war combat veteran to serve in the Senate.

“This is a personal issue to me,” Walsh said after the flags were placed. “I commanded an infantry battalion in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, where I took, what I like to say, over 700 of Montana’s finest young men and women into combat in Iraq for over a year. When we returned home, one of my young Sergeants died by suicide.”

Walsh introduced the Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act, which would allow veterans to receive mental health care for up to 15 years following active-duty service. Currently, soldiers can only get care from Veterans Affairs for 5 years.

The legislation would also modernize the way the VA prescribes medication, and attempt to make mental health jobs at the agency more competitive with the private sector.

Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and executive director of IAVA, said his group has held over 100 meetings in Washington this week, including with the Department of Defense, White House, and Capitol Hill, to raise awareness and lobby for Walsh’s bill.

“It’s a personal issue for all of us,” he said. Rieckhoff mentioned Clay Hunt, a former Marine corporal, who received the Purple Heart after being shot by a sniper in Afghanistan.

After leaving the service in 2009, Hunt worked with Rieckhoff and IAVA’s “Storm the Hill” suicide prevention campaign, and helped build bikes for “Ride 2 Recovery,” which holds bike races to help wounded combat heroes.

But in 2011, Hunt took his own life, shooting himself in his apartment.

“The flags we’re planting today are in memory of Clay Hunt and so many others,” Rieckhoff said. “We know that Clay’s with us here, I spoke to his mother last night, and she’s behind us, and so many other families are behind us.”

Another family stricken by military suicide are the Ruocco’s. Major John Ruocco, U.S. Marine Corps, was a decorated Cobra gunship pilot and father of two sons.

“He flew his last 75 missions in Iraq on his last tour, his wife Kim said on Thursday. “Upon his return, he suffered from post-traumatic stress, depression, and was suffering quite a bit.”

“My husband was not afraid of combat zones, or flying into fire, but he was afraid of asking for help,” she said. “He was afraid of letting people down, like most of our marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors.”

“His last words to me on the day that he died was, I’m going to get help, but we are going to lose everything because of it,’”

( He flies 75 missions no sweat, yet he believed by going for help his family would lose all. He chose suicide. :(  )

Ruocco said. “He thought that going for treatment for his injuries would forever change the way people viewed him. He died of stigma, and stigma still continues to be one our biggest battles in our [fight] against suicide.”

Ruocco is now the manager for Suicide Outreach and Education Programs at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS helps at least three survivors who call the organization every day, seven days a week.

Bennett said the message he wants to send to his fellow veterans is “you’re not alone.”

“You’re not John Rambo, this country shouldn’t think of you as an outlier,” he said. “We all go through this experience together.”

Place wanted to emphasize that “it’s not weakness” for veterans to seek help.

“We think it is,” he said. “That’s the problem, we’re taught in the military to be strong and be tough, and endure, and when we’re in those dark places we don’t want to reach out for help, because we think it shows weakness.”

“I know there’s a lot of folks out there that might think that suicide is a scapegoat, it’s an escape, and you’re quitting, but when you’re a young person, and you’ve seen the things that we’ve seen, you’ve had to do some of the things that we’ve had to do, it can wear on you,” Place said. “It’s really that invisible wound. And the toughest part is admitting it, admitting that you need help.”

~Steve~

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/healing-the-invisible-wound/

Where’s Waldo? Umm Malaysia Air MH370?

Folks this get’s stranger by the day. They are now saying it was hijacked, steered off-course and could have reached Pakistan. This has got to be hell for the families.  I ask you keep the families in your prayers . I have a feeling they are not telling all they know. My other question is “cell phones” I mean they had to have rounded them up really quick as there has been not one text, call, nothing.

What do you folks think happened? I’m leaning towards..sfun_abduct2 sfun_abduct3

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Satellite data shows hijacked MH370 was last seen flying towards Pakistan OR Indian Ocean as investigators search pilots’ luxury homes and reveal one had home-made flight simulator

  • Officials confirmed missing plane was hijacked by one or several people
  • Could have turned off communication system and steered it off-course
  • Now believed plane could have flown for another seven hours
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm the reports
  • Investigators working to establish motive and where plane was taken
  • Both captain and co-pilot are now said to be under investigation
  • Police raided the pair’s luxury homes in upmarket Kuala Lumpur suburb

By WILLS ROBINSON and RICHARD SHEARS and KIERAN CORCORAN

PUBLISHED: 23:29 EST, 14 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:32 EST, 15 March 2014

Investigators say the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was hijacked, steered off-course and could have reached Pakistan.

A Malaysian government official said people with significant flying experience could have turned off the flight’s communication devices.

The representative said that hijacking theory was now ‘conclusive’, and, as a result, police have raided the luxury homes of both the captain and the co-pilot.

The last known position of MH370 was pinpointed as it headed east over Peninsular Malaysia. Radar pings then suggest the plane could have then taken two paths along 'corridors' which are currently being searched, which are a fixed distance from the radar station in the Indian Ocean (left)

The last known position of MH370 was pinpointed as it headed east over Peninsular Malaysia. Radar pings then suggest the plane could have then taken two paths along ‘corridors’ which are currently being searched, which are a fixed distance from the radar station in the Indian Ocean (left)

More…

The search operation has now been focused on two ‘corridors’, one which extends from  north west from Thailand to the Kazakstan-Turkmenistan border and the other which opens out into the southern Indian Ocean.

article-2581488-1C3744D400000578-968_306x423article-2581488-1C25907D00000578-463_306x423Investigators have now raided the homes of both Capt. Zahari Ahmad Shah (left) and Fariq Abdul Hamid in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur

Countries in the plane’s potential flightpath have now joined a huge diplomatic effort to locate the missing passengers, but China described the revelation as ‘painfully belated’.

While Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm that flight MH370 was taken over, he admitted ‘deliberate action’ on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing connection with ground crews.

The plane’s communication system was switched off as it headed west over the Malaysian seaboard and could have flown for another seven hours on its fuel reserves.

It is not yet clear where the plane could have been  taken, however Mr Razak said the most recent satellite data suggests the plane could have headed to one of two possible flight corridors.

Countries in the plane’s potential flightpath have now joined a huge diplomatic effort to locate the missing passengers, but China described the revelation as ‘painfully belated’.

While Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm that flight MH370 was taken over, he admitted ‘deliberate action’ on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing connection with ground crews.

The plane’s communication system was switched off as it headed west over the Malaysian seaboard and could have flown for another seven hours on its fuel reserves.

It is not yet clear where the plane was taken, however Mr Razak said the most recent satellite data suggests the plane could have headed to one of two possible flight corridors.

The last radar contact was made at 8.11am on March 8 along one of the corridors, seven hours and 31 minutes after take off, but the plane could have deviated further from these points.

U.S. investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the passengers are being held at an unknown location and suggest that faint ‘pings’ were being transmitted for several hours after the flight lost contact with the ground.

NASA has also joined the international search operation, analysing satellite data and images that have already been gathered.

Malaysian authorities and others are urgently investigating the two pilots and 10 crew members, along with the 227 passengers on board.

Today, a police van with a large contingent of officers inside passed through a security gate at the entrance to the wealthy compound where father-of-three Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah lives with his wife Faisa.

Four plain-clothed police officers were also, reportedly, seen at the home of the other pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27.

Both pilots live in the upmarket Kuala Lumpur district of Laman Seri, about an hour’s drive from the city centre – and each was visited today by a team of detectives who arrived in a white ‘people mover’ vehicle.

The homes are substantial and are, said one resident, typical of high income earners.

It is believed a team of search specialists entered Shah’s house and spent two hours searching for signs of foul play, before moving into search the co-pilot’s home a short distance away.

The New Straits Times reported last night that before police turned up at Hamid’s home, his two brothers arrived there in a Mini Cooper, believed to belong to a friend.

They hurried into the house and remained there for a short time before hurrying away in the same car, taking with them transparent blue plastic bags containing clothes and toiletries.

Hamid’s father, Abdul Hamid left with them. An hour later, the plain clothed officers left the house carrying two brown bags.

The concentration by police on the homes of the Captain and the co-pilot adds to suspicion that one – or both – of them might have had been responsible for the plight of the aircraft.

However, if it was diverted into the Indian Ocean, the task of the search teams becomes more difficult, as there are hundreds of uninhabited islands and the water reaches depths of around 23,000ft.

The maximum range of the Boeing 777-200ER is 7,725 nautical miles or 14,305 km.

It is not clear how much fuel the aircraft was carrying though it would have been enough to reach its scheduled destination, Beijing, a flight of five hours and 50 minutes, plus some reserve.

Experts have previously said that whoever disabled the plane’s communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience.

In Shah’s house a flight simulator has been set up and is understood to have interested police following up one line of investigation – that he had used the equipment to practice making his real-life Boeing 777 ‘invisible’ by turning off all communications.

Rest of story below.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2581488/It-WAS-hijacked-Malaysian-official-says-CONCLUSIVE-jet-carrying-239-hijacked-35-000-ft-individual-group-significant-flying-experience.html#ixzz2w8TIDbU4

~Steve~

Marine Kyle Carpenter will receive MoH for heroism in Afghanistan

carpenter

MarineCorpsTimes: William Kyle Carpenter, a Marine Corps veteran who was severely wounded during a November 2010 grenade attack in Afghanistan, will receive the nation’s highest combat valor award later this year, Marine Corps Times has learned.

Carpenter, a 24-year-old medically retired corporal, will become the service’s third Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which date back to October 2001. The Marine Corps is finalizing plans with the White House for a ceremony in Washington, officials said.

Marine Corps Times began making inquires about the status of Carpenter’s case because the statute of limitations for Department of Navy Medal of Honor awards requires that a formal recommendation be made within three years of the combat action in question. Carpenter, the subject of two cover stories published by Marine Corps Times in 2012, also recently appeared in the national media. He was the subject of a January feature story in Reader’s Digest and a related appearance Jan. 27 on Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show.

Carpenter declined to comment on reports that he would soon receive the Medal of Honor.

A Marine Corps spokesman referred all comment to the White House. A White House spokesman said he had no scheduling announcements to make regarding the award. However, Medal of Honor presentations are typically announced only a month in advance.

Carpenter’s Medal of Honor nomination stems from reports that, as a 21-year-old lance corporal, he intentionally covered a grenade to save the life of his friend, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio on Nov. 21, 2010, as the two Marines were standing guard on a rooftop in the Marjah district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Both men survived the blast, but were badly wounded. Carpenter lost his right eye and most of his teeth, his jaw was shattered and his arm was broken in dozens of places.

carpenter3

Eufrazio sustained damage to the frontal lobe of his brain from shrapnel. Until recently, his wounds rendered him unable to speak.

The Marine Corps’ investigation into events surrounding the grenade blast has been complicated by circumstances. First, no one witnessed what took place after that grenade was thrown. Second, Carpenter said he couldn’t remember what happened due to trauma from the blast. Third, Eufrazio has been on a long and intensive road to recovery from his wounds. He only regained his ability to speak in late 2012, when his family reported that he was greeting hospital visitors by name.

Still, troops who served with Carpenter on the Marjah deployment say there’s no doubt in their minds that he absorbed the grenade blast to save his comrade.

Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Kroll, Carpenter’s platoon segreant, told Marine Corps Times that even though nobody knew for sure what happened, “our feeling has always been that Kyle shielded Nick from that blast.”

Hospitalman 3rd Class Christopher Frend, who triaged the injuries of Carpenter and Eufrazio, said the injuries Carpenter sustained, and the evidence at the scene indicated that he had indeed covered the explosive. The blast seat of the grenade — the point of its detonation — was found under Carpenter’s torso.

“Grenade blasts blow up; they don’t blow down;” Frend told Marine Corps Times in 2012. “If he hadn’t done it, what we found would have looked completely different.”

While the Marine Corps continued its investigation, Carpenter attained a level of celebrity as a Marine hero. More than 13,000 people have followed his recovery and his projects following retirement via the Facebook page Operation Kyle.

In 2011, the state senate in Carpenter’s native South Carolina honored him with a resolution that gave him credit for taking the grenade blast, saying he exemplified a hero. A photograph from the senate ceremony, showing Carpenter proud in his dress blues with shrapnel scars creating veins of silver across his face, went viral online.

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Marine Corps Times has followed his progress, too, including a short feature on the Battle Rattle blog that featured video of Carpenter doing pullups, more than 30 surgeries after the 2010 blast.

Carpenter has maintained close ties with the Marine Corps and has been featured as a guest of honor at several command events. In November, he posted a photo on his Facebook page that shows him alongside Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett and Dakota Meyer, who in 2011 became the first Marine Medal of Honor recipient out of the war in Afghanistan. Meyer and Carpenter paid a joint visit to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. the same month.

The Corps’ only other post-9/11 Medal of Honor recipient, Cpl. Jason Dunham, was recognized posthumously for smothering a grenade in Iraq in 2004.

Hooah!

DCG

Adopt A Terrorist -This is BRILLIANT !

Hey it's early and it's the best I can do.

Hey it’s early and it’s the best I can do.

I CAN’T IMAGINE ANYONE IN THE CURRENT USA OR UK CHAIN-OF-COMMAND COMPOSING SUCH A BRILLIANT RESPONSE!!

The Canadians know how to handle complaints. Here is an example.
A Canadian female liberal wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter. She received back the following reply:

National Defense Headquarters
M Gen George R. Pearkes Bldg., 15 NT
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa , ON K1A 0K2
Canada

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa. You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defense, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or L.A.R.K. for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists and place them in homes of concerned citizens such as yourself, around the country, under those citizens personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.
Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome those character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling, however, we strongly recommend that you hire some assistant caretakers.

Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbours or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can reason with him. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion, this might offend him. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills either in your home or wherever you choose to take him while helping him adjust to life in our country.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually, since he views females as a form of property, thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him.

You also should know that he has shown violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of ‘respecting his culture and religious beliefs’ as described in your letter.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember that we will try to have a counselor available to help you over any difficulties you encounter while Ahmed is adjusting to Canadian culture.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man. Good luck and God bless you.

Cordially,
Gordon O’Connor
Minister of National Defense

~Steve~                                                H/T Brother hujonwi