Saturday, September 26, 2009
Posted by Rebecca Neal
President Barack Obama said in August he wanted to hear from Veterans Benefits Administration employees on how to improve the agency, and employees are responding.
In the first week, the survey site for VBA employees was visited 29,000 times by 7,000 employees, who submitted more than 3,000 ideas, said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and VA Chief Technology Peter Levin in a blog post on whitehouse.gov Monday.
Obama said he wants employees to contribute their ideas to solving its claims backlog and improving agency efficiency, and the survey is yielding results, Chopra and Levin wrote. Employees can also vote on the best suggestions on the Web site.
(click here for story)
Friday, September 25, 2009
Chad Davis • Disabled Iraq Vet • September 25, 2009
Not many people who have not experienced Combat, too include the doctors, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and poly trauma specialists can truly understand how it can and does affect an individuals life. It usually takes 1 year for a Soldier to even accept the fact that they have PTSD or Major depression. By the time they do realize it, it is usually too late when it comes to relationships, friendships, family or just being out in the general public. I have yet to see any VA doctor of any kind be able to connect with what it's going on in my mind.
For those who are not familiar with the acronym PTSD it stands for Post Traumatic Syndrome. Everyone suffers from some kind of traumatic incident, but being in a combat zone is in a whole different world. Even though I know consciously that I am in the United States, sitting in my home and talking to friends, subconsciously I'm still fighting the war in Iraq along with the other combat zones I had found myself in since I was 17. I call it being mentally stuck in the past while physically in the future. When those two worlds collide, all that follows is trouble, confusion, disorientation and terror.
(click here to read the article)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
12:50 AM CDT
Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Dave Fehling / 11 News
HOUSTON—Returning to Texas from the war in Iraq, some soldiers seem to bring the violence home with them.
One ex-Marine from Houston allegedly kidnapped his son, who then died when the former soldier crashed his car.
Another Marine was charged after a bar fight in College Station left a young man dead.
In Killeen, a Fort Hood soldier was convicted of killing his wife.
Those are some of the most extreme examples of what has happened to some Texas vets. There are many other examples -- many not nearly so tragic -- but their numbers might surprise you.
The Harris County Jail is full of such examples.
On any given day, the county says some 700 inmates are veterans.
(click here for complete story)
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Stanford Study Finds Staggering Rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
Written by Swords to Plowshares
Monday, 21 September 2009 08:52
San Francisco, CA
A recent study conducted by Stanford University found that rates of PTSD among service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan may be as high as 35%.
With two million troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, we can expect that an astounding 700,000 veterans will suffer from PTSD.
These numbers are double previously projected numbers because unlike other projections, this study factors in delayed onset of PTSD, which is common.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) must increase staff and resources to accommodate the mental health care needs of Iraq and Afghanistan active duty service members and veterans.
The DoD claims that the transition to VA services is a seamless one for veterans, but evidence shows otherwise. Both DoD and VA lack a sufficient number of mental health professionals on staff to diagnose, treat and provide compensation to patients with PTSD.
The staff shortage can be attributed to a lack of funding and a national shortage of mental health professionals, however the shortages continue to cause delays in treatment and compensation.
In California alone there are 59,659 VA claims that are currently pending process and this number will continue to rise as more troops return home.
"The DoD and VA must work together to eliminate the delays in treatment of and compensation for PTSD and co-occurring mental illnesses," said Michael Blecker, Executive Director of Swords to Plowshares.
"With 42% of troops stilled deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan it is crucial that the DoD improve transitional support and that the VA increase the number of mental health staff in order to provide mental health care and compensation in a timely manner. These delays are unacceptable because they create overwhelming stress and health complications for veterans," Blecker said.
click below for complete story:
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Submitted by Keith Williams
March 25, 2009
(I verified this before posting this. Go to snopes or truthorfiction.com if you want, links are below the article.)
He (Louie) was talking about how inconceivably big our God is...how He spoke the universe into being... how He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire... etc. etc. Then He went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God also knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder.
"A couple of days ago I was running on my treadmill watching a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio, and I was blown away. I want to share what I learned, but I fear not being able to convey it as well as I want. I will share anyway.
At this point I am loving it (fascinating from a medical standpoint, you know.) ....and I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during medical school as I learned more and more about God's handiwork.
I remember so many times thinking: "How can anyone deny that a Creator did all of this?"
Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling apart...how our loving Creator is also our sustainer.
And then I lost my breath. And it wasn't because I was running my treadmill either. It was because he started talking about laminin. I knew about laminin. Here is how Wikipedia describes them: "Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue."
You see....laminins are what hold us together.... literally. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. And I knew all this already.
But what I didn't know is what laminin looked like.
But now I do. And I have thought about it a thousand times since (already).... Here is what the structure of laminin looks like...And this is not a "Christian portrayal" of it. If you look up laminin in any scientific/ medical piece of literature, this is what you will see:
The glue that holds us together, all of us, is in the shape of the cross.
Immediately Colossians 1:15-17 comes to mind: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, And in him all things hold together."
Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. The Creator knew exactly what laminin "glue" would look like long before Adam even breathed his first breath!!
And now we see that from a very literal standpoint, we are held together one cell to another....by the cross."