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What are Veteran Treatment Courts and how do they help?

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What are Veteran Treatment Courts and how do they help?

I host a radio weekly internet radio show on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel called Life Altering Events (https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3902/life-altering-events). People often ask me what exactly is a life altering event? I tell them this – It can be something we choose or something that is thrust upon us that dramatically alters the trajectory of our life.

On September 10, 2019 we will have a discussion about the Veterans Treatment Court program. My guests will be the Honorable David Abbott, presiding justice over the Sacramento, CA Veterans Treatment Court and Cindy Baldwin, a consultant with the California State Senate on Veterans Affairs Committee.

The choice to enter the military is a major life altering events. Most men and women enter the service between the ages of 18 to 22. At this young age, they have not had many life experiences. For many it is their first time away from home.  The military gives them a sense of purpose, a mission and provides self-esteem as they serve an important role within an organization. Some will stay and make the military their career. Most will not.

Given that the United States have been involved in war(s) or police actions or peace keeping missions, (call it whatever you like), for most of the 21st century these young service men and women have been exposed to many horrendous situations. They have seen and/or done things that no one should ever see let alone 18 to 22 year olds.

When their time of service is over, they go from being part of something bigger than themselves, something that give them a purpose as a warrior back  to civilian life as an unemployed and often hard to employ individual with no real purpose. The vast majority of our service men and women come home very different than when they joined. Many are physically disabled. A large number come home with some type of addiction. Almost all have suffered a major trauma such as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Sebastian Junger writes in his book “Tribe,” Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. This is particularly true for returning veterans. Their homecoming is better than it was for Vietnam veterans. Most people are quick to say “Thank you for your service,” which makes most veterans feel good for a moment, but what they really need is a job, a purpose, and to become part of a new community.

So our heroes try to assimilate back into a society where, at least initially, the cards are stacked against them. Many need help and treatment for their physical, mental, emotional, psychological, chemical and neurological disabilities/disorders. This further delays their successful re-entry process. They are told they must change, that the civilian world does not necessarily value their skills. Mark Balzer writes in his book “The People Principles,” Most people don’t hate change; however, people do hate being changed. What people want is to feel valued for who they are and what they do. Too many of our returning veterans do not feel valued.

As their frustration, anger and often depression increases some veterans become increasingly dependent on substances such drugs or alcohol to help them cope. Some are arrested for non-violent crimes such as DUI’s, or possession of a weapon or drug. They are not criminals they just need help. Treatment not punitive action is by far the best course of action. Fortunately Judge Robert Russell from my home town of Buffalo NY launched the first of the nation’s roughly 260 Veterans Treatments Courts in 2008.

What is a Veterans Treatment Court (VTC)?        With slight modifications, it follows the essential tenets of the 1997 U.S. Department of Justice publication, “Defining Drug Courts” a VTC is as follows:

  • The VTC model requires regular court appearances, as well as mandatory attendance at treatment sessions, and frequent and random testing for drug and alcohol use.
  • Veterans respond favorably to this structured environment, given their past experiences in the Armed Forces. However, a few will struggle, and it is exactly those veterans who need a VTC program the most. Without this structure, these veterans will reoffend and remain in the criminal justice system.
  • The VTC is able to ensure they meet their obligations to themselves, the court, and their community.

In short, the VTC says to our veterans, since you served our nation with honor and during your service you suffered a disorder or disability, you now have the ability to seek the treatment that will help you address the underlying reasons for many of your challenges. The VTC is a challenging program and the vast majority of veterans that have enrolled in the VTC successfully complete the intensive program and are able to take the next step toward a productive life.

While very helpful, VTC alone is not the end of the journey. Once the veteran has a better handle on the underlying issues, they still need to develop the transformational skills to secure a job, or career and a fulfilling life.

A new organization that helps our VTC graduates and other veterans develop transformational skills is Awakening Wholeness Inc., https://awakeningwholeness.org/ a charitable organization. Awakening Wholeness, Inc. (AWI), mission is to positively impact the lives of the people we serve by providing transformational educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices. Our goal is to equip the people we serve with all the tools they need to become physically, mentally, and spiritually ready to live productive, fulfilling, and sustainable lives.

Why do we need Veterans Treatment Courts and organizations like Awakening Wholeness? Let me give you some facts:

Most veterans are strengthened by their military service, but the combat experience has unfortunately left a growing number of veterans with issue such as PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

  • One in five veterans has symptoms of a mental health disorder or cognitive impairment.
  • One in six veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom suffer from a substance use issue. Research continues to draw a link between substance use and combat-related mental illness.
  • Left untreated, mental health disorders common among veterans can directly lead to involvement in the criminal justice system.

Let me give you some frightening statistics:

Suicide – Between 20 and 22 veterans commit suicide daily.

Homeless

  • Over 630,000 homeless people in America. 67,495 are veterans.
  • Over 1 in 10 homeless people in America are veterans. Source Military Wallet April 10, 2019
  • Over 968,000 veterans lived in poverty in the last year.
  • 20,000 veterans with government sponsored mortgages lost their homes in 2010.
  • 76% of homeless veterans experience alcohol, drug, or mental health issues.
  • 2% of veterans ages 18-24 are unemployed.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions, but we shouldn’t. Here is some surprising information about homeless veterans:

  • 89% received an honorable discharge.
  • 67% served 3 years or more.
  • 47% are Vietnam veterans
  • 15% served before Vietnam
  • 5% are Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Incarcerations:

  • An estimated 181,500 veterans are incarcerated, including 131,500 in prison and 50,000 in jails
  • 8% percent of all federal and state inmates are veterans
  • 55 percent, of imprisoned veterans told department researchers they’d been told they had a mental health disorder

As Judge Russell stated when he formed the first Veterans Treatment Court, “Treatment not punitive action is by far the best course of action.” The VTC’s are good first step. Organizations like Awakening Wholeness provide that next critical step for successful re-entry.

Don’t miss this enlightening discussion on September 10 at 8:00 AM PST – https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3902/life-altering-events

 

Harbor Site Foundation on The American Heroes Network

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Harbor Site Foundation on The American Heroes Network

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Harbor Site Foundation’s  goal is to give veterans in Law Enforcement and their families a place to go in order to get the most current information on benefits afforded to them as well as providing an accessible  support network they can utilize in a completely confidential manner. Read our guests biography below. 

Joseph Kauper

Founder of Harbor Site Foundation . He was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp 1997-2001.

Upon leaving the Marines he worked as an information security contractor for the Army in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Returning stateside in 2003 he began working as a uniformed officer for the US Dept of State Diplomatic Security Service. He took a leave of absence from 2005-2006 where he was working as a contractor in Afghanistan on a communications project in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Shortly after his return back at the Department of State he was hired on as a police officer for Port Authority Police Department.

In late 2010 a fellow police officer and former Marine who had served two tours in Iraq took his own life. This prompted some of the veterans on our job to begin to ask some important questions that many returning veterans ask themselves: Where is the support network for police officers returning from hazardous duty tours in areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan?  Due to the strict requirements in their line of work, Will a police officer who sustained the “invisible” injuries of combat such as post traumatic stress and Traumatic Brain Injury be placing their job in jeopardy in order to seek assistance?

Where is the transition assistance for a soldier, sailor or Marine returning from combat to getting back to patrol on the streets here in the US?

These are questions that many police departments in the United States have yet to address. Joseph Kauper, Police Officer Mike Stoia and Jersey City Police officer Collin Congleton (all former Marines) started the Harbor Site Foundation to bring these issues to light and remove the stigma that goes hand in hand with these diagnoses’. 

 

Agostino von Hassell

Who spent his formative years in the United States, studying European History at Columbia University graduating with a B.A. in 1974. He then attended Columbia Journalism School, graduating with a M.S. and with honors in 1975.

His is now the president of The Repton Group LLC, a New York City consulting group that deals global trade issues, national security, corporate due diligence and litigation support. He has extensive expertise in international policy and trade issues and works for government entities such as the Government of Japan and the Government of Portugal. He works with government-held financial firms in Dubai and across the globe. His firm – www.thereptongroup.- has extensive lobby, financial and due diligence expertise.

He wrote numerous political and historical articles for publications as diverse as The Marine Corps Gazette, Die Zeit (Germany), Naval Proceedings, Defense News, The Navy Times and others. He is the author of two major military histories (published by Howell Press, Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia): Warriors: The United States Marine Corps (published first in 1988); Strike Force: Marine Corps Special Operations. Strike Force provided a concept for a major Dale Brown novel. Warriors was also translated into Italian.

He is the author – along with former Marine Herman J. Dillon – of West Point: the Bicentennial Book published in March 2002 by Howell Press. In 2003 he published a pictorial portrait of the United States: In Honor of America. In 2006 he published Military Highlife. This is the first major book published on elegant military food in decades.

St. Martin’s Press, New York, published in the fall of 2006 An Alliance of Enemies, a book on the untold story on the secret contacts between Germany’s resistance the Abwehr and the OSS in World War II.

Hassell has contributed chapters to the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement (Sage Publications, 2005). He has taught as adjunct professor in the graduate program of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, teaching members of the New York City Police Department in subjects such as counter-terrorism and leadership.

He is a life member of the United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents, the National Defense Industry Association, the OSS Society, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, the American Society of Media Photographers, and the Authors’ Guild.

Hassell is fluent in French, Portuguese, Italian, German, and moderately fluent in Russian, Arabic (Lebanese dialect), and Dutch.

Agostino von Hassell was born in 1953 into a German diplomatic family. His father served at German Embassies in Rome and at the European Community in Brussels, completing his career as the first German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. The Hassell family has served both in the civil service and the military: immediate ancestors include Blücher, and Generals Clausewitz and Gneisenau. His great-grandfather was Admiral von Tirpitz “whose very name makes Englishman shudder to this day.1 His grandfather Ulrich von Hassell was executed after acting as a leader in the failed attempt to kill Hitler in July 1944.

Other Activities

Adjunct Professor, John Jay College for Criminal Justice, New York City. Taught for three years in the Graduate Program for the New York Police Department. Taught counter-terrorism for law enforcement and leadership

Assisted training the National Police of the Dominican Republic and the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey. Trained FBI leadership on counter-terrorism

Global Training: Singapore Police, Turkish National Police, Portuguese Police

Publications:

Books:

  • Warriors: The United States Marine Corps, 1989, Howell Press, Virginia –
  • Strike Force: Marine Corps Special Operations, 1993, Howell Press, Virginia –
  • West Point, 2003, Howell Press, Virginia
  • In Honor of America, 2004, Howell Press, Virginia
  • Military High Life: Elegant Military Food, Fall 2006
  • Alliance of Enemies, fall 2006, St. Martin’s Press, New York.
  • Alliance of Enemies – also translated into Polish and Spanish
  • Counter-Terrorism Case Studies, 2009, Sage Publications
  • Modern Piracy, Kendall-Hunt, 2009
  • Ulrich von Hassell Diaries (Revised Edition), 2012
  • War Horse Heaven
  • Modern Piracy, Kendall-Hunt, 2013 Second Revised edition
  • Counter-Terrorism Case Studies, 2014 , Sage Publications – in preparation – revised

Articles: Published in Die Zeit, Interviu (Spain), Marine Corps Gazette, Proceedings, Amphibious Warfare Review.

1The Times of London, Obituary for Ilse von Hassell, née Tirpitz, March 1999

 

It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition.

American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes.

This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference. American Heroes Network airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety.

 

Fahim Speaks on The American Heroes Network

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Fahim Speaks on The American Heroes Network

A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back. Tune in on The American Heroes Network for their newest episode “Fahim Speaks

MichaelMoffett

Michael Moffet

A native Granite Stater, Michael Moffett has taught history and management courses on the high school, community college, and university levels. Moffett also served on active duty with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment from 1983-85. He returned to active duty in 1990 as commanding officer for the Marine Reserve Detachment out of Topsham, Maine, later designated as A-Company of the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines. Captain Moffett led these Marines to the Persian Gulf where they were attached to the 1st Marine Division for Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait. LtCol Moffett again returned to active duty after the 9/11 attacks, serving on General Tommy Franks’ Operations Staff at Central Command. LtCol Moffett later served as Director of the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program’s (MECEP) Prep School from 2003-2008. He joined Marine Corps University’s History Division in 2008, where he co-authored a monograph on the history of the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center with Major General Orlo Steele (USMC, retired). In January 2010, LtCol Moffett received one-year orders to serve as a field historian in Afghanistan. After retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2011, Professor Moffett returned to Concord, N.H., where he teaches at the New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI-Concord).

FahimFazili

Fahim Fazli

Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Fahim Fazli came to the United States as a refugee in his teens. He enjoyed a privileged childhood until the Russians invaded Afghanistan. As a young adult he supported the resistance and when he and his remaining family saw the opportunity they fled to Pakistan and then eventually to the United States. Forced to support his family Fahim was not able to pursue his passion, acting until many years later. Having the good fortune to meet someone from a local production company who mentioned his resemblance to Andy Garcia and also asked if he was interested in going to a casting call, he got his big break. It had been years since he had given any serious thought to acting, but he got the job. Fahim currently lives in Orange CountyCalifornia and has continued working in television and movies. Fahim’s memoir, Fahim Speaks, was released in 2012. More recently, Fahim had a small speaking role in Ben Affleck’s movie “Argo,” which received five Golden Globe Award nominations, including one for “Best Picture.”

AHN

It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition.

American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes.

This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference. American Heroes Network airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety.

Eagles Rest / American Heroes Apparel

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Eagles Rest / American Heroes Apparel

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Adrien Neely President and Director Eagle’s Rest of Georgia, Inc. (“Eagle’s Rest”) is a Georgia non-profit corporation founded to provide a sanctuary and retreat for Military Chaplains and their spouses

Chaplain (ordained, non-military)

Atlanta International Airport

The Interfaith Chaplaincy program provides multifaceted ministry in the world’s busiest airport, providing a sanctuary for returning military, passengers, visitors, airport employees of all faiths for prayer and meditation. Chaplain services include: prayer, counseling, meal assistance, travel assistance, Military Honor Guard Escort, and grief crisis assistance, etc.

Emory University Hospital Mid-Town

Hospital Chaplain (on-call)

Responded to all Code situations and made routine visits to patients, their family members, and Hospital Staff as requested.

Supervisor of Counseling Center

In Touch Ministries, Inc. (with Dr. Charles Stanley)

Provided individual counseling by phone and in-person as needed.

Answered Dr. Stanley’s calls and letters, often from other pastors.

Founder and President

Grace Mountain Ministries

Provided one-on-one counseling with pastors and their wives.

Founder and President

New Creation Counseling Services, Inc.

Provided marriage & family counseling, and crisis intervention services.

Responsible for fund-raising, PR, and training & supervision of Volunteers.

Introducing our guest: Chris Morrissey

Owner American Heroes Apparel

Owner and President of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a nationally recognized, award winning promotional marketing company. As a third generation owner of the family business started in 1955, Chris has guided the company into the modern marketing world by adding print, exhibition and mobile marketing services to the company’s full line of capabilities and offerings. Most recently, Chris served as a Legislative Chairperson for the Promotional Products Association International and was a PPAI Gold Pyramid Award winner in 2013. Prior to joining the family business in 1998, Chris spent 8 years in the corporate criminal investigations world and led multiple teams in the investigation of large theft rings and corporate embezzlement cases.

 

 

American Heroes Network

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American Heroes Network

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It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition.

American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes. American Heroes Network presents two guests Maj. Ed Pulido and Brett Dick as they talk about their experiences in the military, programs for helping fallen warriors and their background.

Maj. Ed Pulido (Ret.) is the Vice President of the Folds of Honor Foundation, a Veteran’s charity which provides the spouses and children of the fallen and wounded educational scholarships.  Additionally, he is the Board President and Founder of Warriors for Freedom Foundation, a leadership institute focused on the mental, physical and holistic recovery of our wounded warriors and their families. Major Pulido has a degree in Military Science, Marketing, and Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Logistics Management/ Human Relations. He attained the Rank of Major in his 19-year military career and on May 16, 2005, he was medically retired from the United States Army.

On the 17th of August, 2004, Major Pulido hit an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D) or roadside bomb while serving with the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team under the command of General David Petraeus. Due to the extensive injuries to his left knee, doctors had to amputate his left leg on October 1, 2004. For his heroism and valor on that August day, the President of the United States along with General David Petraeus awarded him the Bronze Star with valor, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and Joint Service Commendation and Achievement Medals.

Major Pulido’s story of courage and sacrifice has been featured in Time Magazine, PGA Magazine, Fox News, CNN and many national and local Oklahoma City television stations and print media. Since, his amputation, Major Pulido has been a staunch advocate for veterans with disabilities, specifically focusing on advocacy efforts to promote prosthetic technologies with Ortho Care Innovations, peer visiting with fellow amputees at Brooke and Walter Reed Medical Centers, and raising awareness on the needs of veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries (T.B.I) on behalf of the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign.

He has received countless awards including the prestigious Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, the Hero’s award from the American Red Cross, the Reaching our City Award, OKC Thunder/Devon Energy Community Hero Award, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Veteran Patient Award. Additionally, he has received the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation Award for national and state level service and the Tuskahoma Brown Miller Award for outstanding leadership.

On a personal note, Major Pulido during his time in the hospital experienced the inner darkness of depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation that would cripple his positive spirit. This inner darkness he describes as a “deep wounding of a soldiers spirit”. It was at that time that he understood that as a Warrior he could not walk alone in this journey. In that moment, he asked for help from his God, Country, his family and the American people. The result of this intervention would put his life on the road to recovery. It would also be the building block for his understanding the inner wounds of war and making sure that mental health is a focus of the Department of Defense and the VA.

Major Pulido currently serves on the boards of the Mental Health Association, Pros 4 Vets, Oklahoma 211 and Operation Homefront. He is a national and global spokesperson for the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign and he chairs the Oklahoma Veterans Policy Academy a partnership with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services with a mission to address the mental health needs of returning service members, Veterans and their families. Ed Pulido has been married to Karen Pulido for 19 years. He has a daughter Kaitlin and a daughter Kinsley. He and his family reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Brett Dick is one of the Warriors for Freedom founders and is responsible for the day-to-day activities including fundraising, program management, marketing, budget management and relationship cultivation. He has worked with many charitable groups that assist with raising awareness in the veteran community. He served on the Board of Directors fir the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma and currently serves as the Board of Director for the Aaron Alley Memorial Scholarship Fund. He is also  a member of the Coordinating Council of Oklahoma and a member of the MHACO Veterans Advisory Committee. Brett’s goal is to make Warriors for Freedom meet the needs of our physically and mentally wounded veterans unlike any other organization by introducing them to their peers in an activity and environment that is comfortable to them.

This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference. American Heroes Network airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety. Tune in every Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.

American Heroes Network

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American Heroes Network

ArmyPlatoon

Tune in for The American Heroes Network new episode featuring two amazing guests Tom Voss and Peter Forbes on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel airs live every Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time.

Peter Forbes served with the Australian Army in the Republic of South Vietnam with the 3rd Battalion,  Royal Australian Regiment (Old Faithful) on their second tour during 1971 he was  a combat medic with Charlie Company, 7Platoon.

  • During the mid 80’s he was searching for a Veterans Organization that had as its main direction the welfare of Veterans and their families and to embrace the brotherhood of all Veterans. “People Who Care”
  • In 1989 he decided to become involved with the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc., a dedicated Veterans brotherhood organization. Their Motto: “People Who Care”

Today his credentials speak for themselves. He is the National  Commander  and Australian Commander for the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. and The Veterans Coalition. President – Veterans Fund of the United States. 501C3 A Life Member of Clan Forbes Society

Tom Voss

  • President and Co-Founder of Veterans Trek, Inc. Tom served on active duty in the United States Army for three years, from 2003 to 2006. After initial infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia, Tom was ordered to Fort Lewis Washington to serve with the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, an element of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, one of the Army’s first Stryker Infantry Brigades.
  •  In May of 2013, Tom teamed up with Anthony Anderson to create Veterans Trek, Inc. Tom and Anthony developed, organized and executed a 2,700-mile trek from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Los Angeles, California. While trekking across the country Tom and Anthony fostered community awareness on veterans’ issues through formal media outlets, conducted peer-to-peer support for veterans’ and their families in all seven states, and raised over $100,000 for Dryhootch of America, Inc. Tom is devoted to helping veterans and their families overcome the struggles of returning from war. He currently volunteers his time by acting as a veteran consultant on the “Save the Solders Home” project by serving on the Community Advisory Council and local work group. He is also involved with educating medical students on the veteran experience at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and currently sits on the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center Consumer Council on mental health.

It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition. American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes. This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference.

An Ordinary Man Who Has Lived Through Extraordinary Circumstances

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An Ordinary Man Who Has Lived Through Extraordinary Circumstances

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Recipient of 3-Purple Hearts for combat wounds in Vietnam. There are only a few 3-time Purple Heart recipients living today in the entire USA.

Guest Bio: Patriot Frederick A. Taylor, Jr.

Military: Team leader of an infantry group in Vietnam and lead his team on several combat missions. Recipient of 3-Purple Hearts for combat wounds in Vietnam. There are only a few 3-time Purple Heart recipients living today in the entire USA. He served with the First Cavalry Division [Airmobile] and received the Air Medal for combat flight missions. Awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for combat engagements. Retired from the U.S. Army due to extensive combat wounds. National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart organization 2000-01.

*Over 20 years as a public speaking and health care management consultant.
*Licensed health care administrator and hospital administrator.
*Convention speeches, company retreats, and training lectures specialist.
*Consulting and speaking on leadership and management performance topics since 1980.
*Interim executive for companies that need a short-term administrator, executive director, RVP, or executive.
*Specializing in reviving and redirecting organizations that have slipped away from generally accepted management principles.

Specialties: Retreat organizer and facilitator for companies and organizations; Speaker at banquets and/or company dinners; Facilitator at business training sessions. Managing companies or businesses on an interim basis as the organization seeks a full-time executive. Author of published leadership articles.

Tune in for the newest episode “An Ordinary Man Who Has Lived Through Extraordinary Circumstances Guest Patriot Frederick A. Taylor, Jr.” on The American Heroes Network which airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety.

About The American Heroes Network

It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition. American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes. This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference.

Understanding the Difference – PTS, PTSD and TBI on The American Heroes Network

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Understanding the Difference – PTS, PTSD and TBI on The American Heroes Network

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Bart Billings, PH.D. Was a guest on HBO’s Vice News, ABC’s Night Line and US News And World Report. He has been in national & international documentaries, TV news shows and extensive radio shows discussing Combat Stress. He has given testimony to Congressional and at State Legislative Hearings on the need for better Mental Health Treatment Programs for military personnel and their families.

Dr. Bart P Billings has been working in the fields of Human Services and Management for over forty-seven years.  He possesses licenses in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy and has past expertise as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Feb.2014 received Human Rights Award from CCHR international.

He also has an extensive background in Management and Program Development, which include, but is not limited to, Chief of Professional Services/Assistant Director at the University of California, Davis Teaching Hospital’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, and Commanding Officer for a General Hospital Section & has served a total of 34 years in the US Army in reserve and active status. Highest military rank was Colonel (SCNG-SC). He has founded and directed: The Annual International Military and Civilian Combat Stress Conferences (20 yrs.), National Tri-Service Prisoner of War Conference and the military wide Human Assistance Rapid Response Team (HARRT) which was accepted at the Pentagon in 1997 as a readiness protocol to be implemented military wide. He was a guest on HBO’s Vice News, ABC’s Night Line and US News And World Report.

He has been in national & international documentaries, TV news shows and extensive radio shows discussing Combat Stress. He has given testimony to Congressional and at State Legislative Hearings on the need for better Mental Health Treatment Programs for military personnel and their families. These hearings contributed to the awarding of a multi million dollar Department Of Defense grants for national research on how to improve treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. He has provided Congressional Hearing testimony on the relationship between psychiatric medication and increased suicides in the military, which is available on the Congressional Record. He is responsible for initiating these Congressional Hearings held on Feb. 24, 2010. September 2012 he lectured to faculty at West Point USMC. On June 5th, 2003, he was named as a member of the Governors Advisory Board to Patton State Hospital, California.

He has worked overseeing all psychological services for the San Diego District of the California Department of Rehabilitation. He has developed residential treatment programs in substance abuse and alcoholism, as well as human assistance programs for the civilian and military community. Recently he wrote a chapter in a book for attorneys called” Attorneys Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court”. He is a member of the National Center for Youth Law Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Billings has been senior faculty at the William Glasser, MD Institute for over thirty nine years and has thought classes at the University of San Francisco, University of California Davis, United States International University, etc., as well as workshops on counseling and management throughout the United States. He speaks on Health and Nutrition with the focus on “The Psychology Of Eating, How We Choose To Eat – Alternative Thinking/Healthy Cooking”(title of his upcoming book). As prior owner of a restaurant, he practiced his teachings, having developed an additional special light and healthy menu, as well as specials in addition to the main general menu.

He was the founder and president of a manufacturing company called TBH Productions that produced OmniSonic professional audio speakers. With TBH Productions, he developed a state of the art non-obtrusive professional loud speaker that has the potential to revolutionize the professional sound touring business. He directed factory operations for three and a half years to enable development of injection molds, writing a manufacturing manual and developed manufacturing procedures for future large-scale manufacturing. For over fifteen years he directed all research and development, field-testing and endorsements in preparation for worldwide marketing and sales.

His work with sound and vast experience in the medical field has resulted in him writing an article in the Navy Medicine Journal titled, “The Sound You Feel Can Be Dangerous To Your Health “(Jan-Feb 2002, p.22-26), which deals with vibroacoustic disease. Awarded honorary Chaplain from the Georgia State Defense Force. He has also worked as a performing arts / special events director, producer and writer for over thirty years. He has directed The All American Festival at his prior restaurant, which raised funds for Veterans Scholarships.

From April 2010 until November 17, 2012, he owned this very popular restaurant/bar in La Costa California, drawing a large number of retired and active duty veterans, who spoke to Dr Billings about their own personal issues with combat stress problems. An article in the military section of the North Coast Times (9-17-10) described his work with veterans and their visits to his restaurant.

It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition. American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes. This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference. American Heroes Network airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety

 

Wounded Warriors Project: Call to Congress to Extend VA’s TBI Assisted Living Pilot Program on The American Heroes Network

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Wounded Warriors Project: Call to Congress to Extend VA’s TBI Assisted Living Pilot Program on The American Heroes Network

Veterans

Congressional Inaction Threatens Program for Brain-Damaged Vets. Tune in for the Live Broadcast Show on The American Heroes Network for their new episode “Wounded Warriors Project : Call to Congress to Extend VA’s TBI Assisted Living Pilot Program” Tuesday July 22nd 8am Pacific Time.

WASHINGTON-The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun ousting dozens of brain-damaged veterans from special therapeutic group homes, setting off a scramble for housing and care.

In recent weeks, VA case workers have warned 53 veterans they’ll have to leave the privately run homes by Sept. 15, according to the agency. Ten have already been discharged from the care facilities and sent to nursing homes, state veterans homes or to live with family members. Dozens of other veterans are now in a state of limbo about whether they’ll be able to remain in the rehab facilities for more than a few months.

The VA says it has no choice but to discharge the residents. Despite pressure from veterans, their families and service organizations, Congress hasn’t extended the legal authority for the rehabilitation program, which expires Oct. 6.
“The failure to extend this successful pilot [program] would close a door to recently injured individuals who need these services and risk having to transfer wounded veterans to more costly and inappropriate environments of care,” the Wounded Warrior Project, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and 11 other veterans groups wrote to lawmakers in a joint letter this month.

Lawmakers from both parties say they support renewing the program. The five-year pilot was designed to test whether veterans with traumatic brain injuries-the kinds of wound that became a signature of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts-improve faster with intensive therapy in a community-based home than at a hospital or rest home.

“It’s shortsighted to let it expire, leaving veterans out in the cold with no similar options,” Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said in a written statement. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R., La.), who has sponsored a bill renewing the program, said “I’m optimistic we’ll pass it on the House side.”

Such measures have been introduced in both chambers, but with Congress deadlocked on a variety of issues, none haven’t made it into law. VA officials say they can’t wait until the last minute to begin discharging patients.

The group-home program featured in a Feb. 20 front-page article in The Wall Street Journal focused on the life of former Marine Cpl. Justin Bunce, who suffered brain damage in a blast in Iraq in 2004 and later lost further brain function in a car accident. Cpl. Bunce lives in a VA-funded group home in Germantown, Md., run by NeuroRestorative, a unit of the Mentor Network, a Boston-based health-care and human-services company.

NeuroRestorative expects that 30 of the 54 veterans in its facilities in 14 states will have to move out within the next two months.
For the moment, the VA isn’t discharging the 50 Iraq and Afghanistan vets now living in the group homes, including Mr. Bunce. The agency is using authority under a separate law to continue funding for the treatment for brain-injured veterans of the post-Sept. 11 wars. Senior VA officials are debating how long that reprieve can last. “We’re awaiting the decision as to a way forward for these particular vets,” said Sharon Benedict, the program’s manager at the VA.

The brain-injury rehabilitation facilities resemble a home or apartment complex only with the addition of full-time attendants and a rigorous schedule of speech, physical, cognitive and occupational therapies. Residents have trainers to help them relearn lost life skills, such as shopping, eating in public and social interaction. They receive medical treatment at local VA medical centers.
“I’m doing great, and they’re going to yank it from me,” said Don Rohm, who has been told he must leave one such VA-funded residence in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. “God only knows what’s going to happen.”

Mr. Rohm weeps when he talks about facing life outside of the assisted-living facility. “It’s only a matter of time before I end up in jail or dead,” he said. Mr. Rohm, 53 years old, suffered brain damage when he was pushed down a marble staircase while stationed with the Army in Germany in 1981. In 1992, while working as a National Guard firefighter, he was hit in the chin by a heavy fire-hose nozzle. A fall from a ladder in 1995 and a car accident four years later-caused by seizures related to his brain injuries, according to his caregivers-worsened his condition.  His injuries cost him his ability to perform basic arithmetic. At the VA-funded facility, he is working on his nine-times multiplication tables.

Congress created the trial program seeking more effective ways to rehabilitate veterans who suffered intractable brain injuries. Among the veterans living in the Germantown home are a pilot left paralyzed and barely able to speak by a helicopter crash in Afghanistan; a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head; and a National Guardsman who suffered several close calls in mortar attacks in Iraq.

The VA has yet to complete a full assessment of the program’s effectiveness, but says anecdotal evidence has been promising. “All indications are that the satisfaction is high among the veterans with the services they’re receiving, and they seem to be making gains,” said Ms. Benedict.

 

VeteranTrek with The American Heroes Network

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VeteranTrek with The American Heroes Network

Amerian Heroes Network

 

Veterans that are bringing awareness to PTSD, TBI, veteran homelessness and veteran suicides. Tune in on The American Heroes Network for their new episode “VeteranTrek Tuesday June 24th at 8 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.

Guest Bio, Anthony Anderson 

Served in the WI National Guard 2002-2008. Volunteered for 2 deployments to Iraq
Served as an Infantryman.  Left the military in 2008. Studied and received his degree from UWM with a BS in Secondary Education-English.  Co-Founder Veterans Trek

Guest Bio Tom Voss  

Served 3 years active duty with 25ID out of Ft. Lewis, WA.  Served as an infantryman assigned to a scout sniper platoon doing recon. Deployed to Iraq.  Left the military in 2006. Studied Social Work at University of WI Milwaukee.  Co-Founder of Veterans Trek

It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition. American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes. This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference. American Heroes Network airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety Channel.

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