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My name is Erik. I need as much help as I can get to pay for my surgery for my back. I have a pars injury in my lower spine. I don’t have insurance and have been paying for all my appointments, medications, lab work, and physical therapy out of my pocket.

Normally I wouldn’t even ask for help but after having a little mental breakdown before Christmas, I spent 17 days in the VA hospital to only get told they can’t help me because of my discharge. While in the hospital my boss called me to let me know he had hired someone to replace me.

I spent everything I had in the bank to get my self ahead in rent and other bills along with paying all my medical expenses. I suppose I’ll get to WHY I need help. Well with my PTSD and now back problem I can’t lift anything over 5lbs, can’t sit for more than 20 minutes at a time, and to top it off I can’t get a job because no one wants to hire someone that can’t even sit through the interview.

I’m trying to raise the money so I can pay for a fusion of the L5 disc and the S1. It truly sucks not being able to leave the house without being in tremendous pain. For the past 4 days or so I haven’t been able to even get out of bed it hurts so much. I’m at a point of complete desperation that if I could get up I’d be outside with a sign trying to raise the money. I’ve posted the link below. Thank you to whoever sees this and decides to help a veteran who has fallen through the cracks. Please reblog this even if you can’t donate.

http://www.gofundme.com/imrz9g

Food Banks/Soup Kitchens - Blessings in Ordinary Life

The first time I visited a Soup Kitchen, I was a little girl in Australia; my father brought us there each national holiday as a reminder of what our country’s soldiers had sacrificed for us, how some of those veterans were now living, and what simple thing we had in our power to do to give back. I didn’t understand why, but I saw the years of battle, defeat & melancholy etched on their faces. I gradually learned that while it’s important to be empathic to each and every person’s daily troubles, and to never minimize anyone’s verbalized pains, there was also someone out there who suffered devastating injuries, grief and loss, and silently endured struggles beyond comprehension.

The first time I needed a Food Bank/Soup Kitchen, I was a relatively new immigrant here in the USA, void of family, working minimum wage, barely earning enough to pay for a roof over my head, but not nearly enough food. Pride and fear prevented me from entering one, for weren’t these only for homeless and veterans? If I accepted this help, it would be admitting defeat.

The first time I worked in a Soup Kitchen, I was flabbergasted by the diversity of people entering the hall. My viewpoint was embarrassingly narrow minded as I grew older. There were homeless, there were veterans, there were unemployed, there were babies, and children, but there were also folks who looked just like you, and they looked just like me. Employed, but no matter how hard they tried, they were unable to make ends meet with bills, so they gratefully accepted the help to feed themselves, as well as their families. All meals very nutritious, well prepared and plentiful. But what really stood out was the unlimited support and empathy.

I go now, not for validation of self, but for the original intent, when life gets seemingly overwhelming - and I’m offered a shift in viewpoint of what life’s priorities are, a childhood perspective; What really matters to us on a basic level instead of complaints or demands, and where the daily struggles fit in on the grand scale of life - how we treat those who barely make minimum wage, beyond the ridicule of kids who only eat “boring bread and butter” for lunch every day because their parents can’t afford to deviate, the assumptions we make about the unemployed and uneducated, the assumptions we make about people who are employed but harbor secrets of dire financial situations, or people we brand “too cheap,” without knowing their story, and our country’s veterans who have lost their way. In the forefront of my mind, I am aware that the need for a Soup Kitchen may pop up again, for it is a fool that assumes that there are any financial guarantees in this life, or that they will never need the assist of this valuable community service. If I’m a fool once, I won’t be so again, and would appreciate the kind community assist. If we can’t take a moment to be grateful for the basics in life, or act on the compassion of which we speak for others, then maybe it’s time to reconsider our objectives in life.

FEEDING AMERICA - Impact of hunger/Find your local Food Bank; http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/
A Sniper’s Look At ‘American Sniper’

Former Marine Scout Sniper Chris Mark says that the film helps to counter the perception that “we’re lonely men that hide in the shadows and kill for a living.”

 “You’re not out there indiscriminately shooting at people, you’re selectively taking out targets to protect your brothers in arms.” ~Chris Mark

Hear more of our talk with Chris Mark.

Sabaton - To Hell And Back

This is the story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated US soldier in WW2. There are simply too many stories about his deeds to even try to cover them in such a short text, but among his fellow soldiers he was truly a hero and a great inspiration. When he returned from the war he suffered heavily from post-traumatic stress (back then called shell shock) and after a long time on medicines he finally locked himself into a motel for 1 week to cure his addiction of the drugs. After this he became a very famous movie star and even acted in the movie about himself.

Crosses grow on Anzio
Where no soldier sleeps
And where hell is six feet deep
That death does wait
There’s no debate
So charge and attack
Going to hell and back

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Chris Kyle: April 8, 1974- February 2, 2013

An American Hero, a humble man, and a true patriot. He killed 160 enemy insurgents and was lauded as our nations most prolific sniper “the Devil of Ramadi.” He did not consider that accomplishment as having made himself more or less of a man.

To many will read the above article and only see the highlighted portion and not read the rest. He killed, often but each kill was an enemy who couldn’t place a bomb or kill an American or ally. He wishes that he had killed more so that we had lost less.

He helped and served fellow veterans until he was fatally shot by one he had been helping at a shooting range. He returned from war (which is hell) to help others piece back their lives. If for no other reason (though they are legion) he is a hero.

IF YOU ARE ANTI-AMERICA, or ANTI-CHRIS KYLE unfollow me now because you lack the perspective of anything beyond your own limited agenda. You know nothing of our sacrifices, or our motivations and I have no need or want of you.

Til Valhalla brother.

New Orleans becomes the first major U.S. city to end veteran homelessness 

In a major accomplishment that will hopefully serve as a model for cities around the country, New Orleans has become the first city in the United States to end homelessness among its veteran population, according to ThinkProgress.

"I am honored and very pleased to report that we have housed 227 veterans, exceeding our goal of 193, thanks to the hard work of our committed partners," Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced. "New Orleans is now the first major city in the nation to answer the president and first lady’s call to end veteran homelessness – and we did so one year earlier than the federal goal.”

When you think of saffron, dark red strands from Spain or Iran may come to mind. But the delicate spice, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive in the world, grows well in another country long plagued by conflict: Afghanistan.

Rumi Spice, a small, enterprising company in Brighton, Mass., is trying to build an Afghan saffron connection for lovers of the spice in the U.S., and cultivate peace through trade.

Behind Rumi Spice is a group of veterans who served in Afghanistan who are now business school students, a lawyer, an Afghan water specialist and farmers the vets met while serving there.

How Afghanistan Vets Are Trying To Cultivate Peace Through Saffron

Photo credit: Cristina Hirschkorn/Courtesy of Rumi Spice

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Warrior Culture : USMC

America’s premier fighting force. The mission of the Marine Corps Rifle Squad is to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy, by fire and maneuver, or repel the enemy assault by fire and close combat. It is something the USMC has proven it excels at. Sharing its tradition of excellence as warfighters with enemies near and far since its inception in 1775.

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LONDON — A veteran of World War II who slipped away from a nursing home in England last year to attend the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day in France has died at the age of 90.

Bernard Jordan, who became known as the “Great Escaper” after his escapade last June, died peacefully at The Pines, a care home in Hove, East Sussex, the hospital said in a statement.

His secret departure from the home to take a cross-Channel ferry to France, wearing his war medals under a gray raincoat, prompted a police search when the staff at the home reported him missing.

Mr. Jordan, who served in the #RoyalNavy, made his own way to Normandy, and his whereabouts was discovered only when a younger veteran telephoned during the night of June 5 to say that he had met Mr. Jordan, who was safe and would return when he was good and ready.

Mr. Jordan later said that he went to Normandy because “my thoughts were with my mates who had been killed. I was going to pay my respects. I was a bit off course, but I got there.” He told the nursing home staff he was going out to take a walk, and headed toward Portsmouth to attend D-Day celebrations there. But on the way, he decided instead to take the overnight ferry to Caen. Although he had no accreditation, he was allowed into the ceremonies and ended up about 100 yards from Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr. Jordan returned home a hero. A former mayor of Hove after the war, he was made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove and was said to have received more than 2,500 birthday cards when he turned 90.

The current mayor, Brian Fitch, said, “I will remember Bernie as a hard-working politician, as a great mayor of the city.” His escapade showed “a determination to achieve one of the things he believed in,” he added.

Amanda Scott, managing director of Gracewell Healthcare, which runs the home, said in a statement: “Bernie caught the world’s imagination last year when he made his surprise trip to France and brought a huge amount of joy to a lot of people. He will be much missed by everyone here and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife.”

“Bernie was always insistent that what he did during the war was nothing unusual, and only what many thousands of others did for their country,” she added.

Mr. Jordan, upon his return from his adventure, said: “There were a lot of other people on the beaches of Normandy that day. This lovely attention is for them, really, not me.”
(N.Y. Times)

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What the media is not talking about in this week’s news:

The lead writer of a contraversial movie being developed known as Gray State, along with his wife and daughter were found dead of an apparent “murder-suicide”. Although there are some local authorities who have commented on the “suspicious” nature of these events. I have followed the progress of this movie for quite some time now. I am Marine veteran myself, and support all artistic projects among the veteran community and I am fierce supporter of free-speech and expression of all, even from those I despise. The only thing further commentary I will submit to you is that this story is getting no attention from major media outlets. If you don’t know much about Gray State, or what happened to its lead writer - please take the time to see how fucked up this is right now.

http://wtfrly.com/2015/01/19/writer-family-fema-camp-movie-gray-state-dead-in-murder-suicide/#.VL3Lhy5KOwI

http://graystatemovie.com/