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Powerful Whispers reveal the tragic reality many veterans face when they return home from war 

The news: A new report from Human Rights Watch says that up to half a million of our returning veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other wars are suffering from substance abuse disorders — with some of the biggest offenders including opioids and alcohol.

A stunning 1 million use prescription opioids for pain, and nearly half of those use them “chronically,” or for more than 90 days.

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Meet Captain Bolesław Ejsmonta.

He served in the army of the Polish General Władysław Anders in the Division III Carpathian rifle under the command of Gen. Bronislaw spirit. He participated in the battles for the liberation of Monte Casino, Loreto, Ancona and Bologna. Currently captain at rest. Bolesław Ejsmont 96 year-old war veteran who fought with the German invaders. Since 1947 he lives in Sińcu in Srokowo. In 1978 he was awarded the gold cross of merit, and in 1983, Knight’s revival of Polish. In Italy he was awarded, among others. With Its Monte Casino and the cross of Valour for his participation in battles against the Nazi invader.
In 2013, the President of the Republic of Poland gave him the officer’s cross order of Polish.

Photo: Dariusz Bres http://foto.quaint.pl/

End Of An Era: Last World War II Vets To Leave Congress

The next Congress will be the first in 70 years without a veteran of World War II serving in it. The class of greatest generation vets had a profound effect on the institution, beginning in 1944 when the first veteran of the conflict was elected to the House. The House Class of 1946 alone produced two future presidents — John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon (above) — and a future House Speaker in Carl Albert.

Below are two Senate giants who overcame severe war injuries on the road to Congress: Daniel Inouye of Hawaii (shown here arriving in Washington in 1959) and Bob Dole (shown here recuperating in 1945 at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Mich.) 

Don Gonyea will have more on the departure of the last World War II vets from Congress on All Things Considered today. You’ll be glad you listened.

Melissa Stockwell:

Was the first female American soldier in history to lose a limb in active combat and was the first Iraq War veteran to compete in the Paralympic Games as a swimmer in 2008 • Was one of four athletes featured in a documentary called “Warrior Champions” • Completed her residency in prosthetics where she fit other amputees with prosthetic devices.

Secrets They Forgot To Put In Your History Books~

America’s Civil War Soldiers Suffered From PTSD-

Put On Train Cars, Names Pinned To Their Clothing, They Were Left To Wonder The Countryside Dying From Exposure- Photo Library of Congress

Military docs were barely able to discharge the most severe cases of psychological breakdown during the first few years of the Civil War. “They were put on trains with no supervision, the name of their home town or state pinned to their shirts, others were left to wander about the countryside until they died from exposure or starvation,” - Richard A. Gabriel, a consultant to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees and one of the foremost chroniclers of PTSD.

The number of these wayward veterans was sufficient to prompt a public outcry that led to the establishment of the first American military hospital for the insane in 1863, where patients were expected to remain until they could be claimed by a family member. It was reportedly surprising to some Civil War physicians that soldiers on normal leave often collapsed with emotional illness at home, even when they had shown no symptoms of mental debilitation before they had left the fighting.

Jacob Mendes Da Costa first described “disorderly action of the heart” during a lecture on cardiac strain in 1874. His original explanation of the condition was based on his observations of soldiers during the Civil War. Physicians were merely trying to explain in etiological terms what they were observing in veterans: increased pulse rate and blood pressure, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness, and fatigue. This led to the condition becoming colloquially known as “soldier’s heart.”

http://www.military1.com/air-force/article/405058-a-brief-history-of-ptsd-the-evolution-of-our-understandingphoto library of congress.

http://www.vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/feature_HistoryPTSD.htm

Want to be rich and famous? Don’t become a veterinarian. Want to have a career where you can wear designer clothes that stay pressed and clean all day? Don’t become a veterinarian. Want to eat a big fat slice of humble pie on a regular basis? THIS IS THE CAREER FOR YOU!!

Seriously…the veterinary profession tends to keep you humble. You’ll make a tricky diagnosis and start strutting around like you are the next Dr. House one day, and then miss a case of ear mites the next. You’ll be a kick ass surgeon and rework a cat’s intestinal tract on Monday, and then on Wednesday you’ll puncture a bladder while performing a routine spay. One week you will be the golden child, the one that clients absolutely love and adore, and the next week you’ll be getting nastygrams, or letters from the Better Business Bureau.

Make no mistake…this career will humble you. When I graduated from vet school, I was on top of the world. I was going to be the best veterinarian ever…clients would adore me, animals would calm in my magnificent presence. They would write books one day about my awesomeness.

(In reality, I was fairly terrified my first year out and oftentimes had no idea what I was doing. Of course, I couldn’t let clients or my technicians see that, so I learned to fake it pretty well. I was sort of like the little weeny Chihuahua that barks really loud at a passing Rottweiler…I sounded tough but often felt like running away with my tail between my legs)

A few months out of school, a 5 month old pit bull presented to the clinic with a two day history of vomiting and not wanting to eat. It did not have diarrhea. Those of you that are experienced vets probably know already what the diagnosis is. I had no clue.

I did take a history and performed a physical exam. The owner assured me that the dog was “totally vaccinated.” The dog was dehydrated, lethargic and actually vomited during the exam. I was certain it was a foreign body or some kind of toxicity. I recommended taking x-rays of the abdomen.

As I was confidently walking the dog back to the x-ray room, one of my technicians asked me why I wasn’t testing the dog for Parvovirus. I glared at her a bit, puffed myself up and told her that it couldn’tpossibly be parvo, because the dog didn’t have diarrhea! DUH. Also, the owner said it was fully vaccinated. DOUBLE DUH. The technician stated that a lot of times Parvo dogs came in initially vomiting. I rolled my eyes and told her to get the x-rays.

As they were x-raying the dog, it puked a few more times. As they were developing the x-rays it sprayed bloody diarrhea over every surface of the x-ray room. I would later find some on the ceiling.

Well, as it turns out the x-rays were normal other than showing very angry looking small intestines. I muttered under my breath that there was NO WAY it was Parvo, but reluctantly allowed the technician to run a Parvo test. Low and behold, it most definitely was Parvo. I had just paraded a dog with a VERY contagious disease all around the hospital. The dog had sprayed Parvo infested diarrhea all over the imaging room.

I learned from that episode to A) Never trust an owner when they say their dog is “vaccinated.” B) Parvo dogs can present initially with just vomiting. C) Listen to your technicians.

Another time my head got pretty swollen because a client actually requested me to change her dog’s splint. It was a little Chihuahua with a broken radius that my boss had been treating by splinting. The splints he put on kept falling off, which annoyed the client. I happened to put on a splint that stayed, and she was singing my praises in the lobby.

I took the dog to the back, hemmed and hawed to my staff about my vastly superior bandaging technique, and even managed to put two little red hearts made out of vet wrap on the splint. The client loved it! I was awesome! I walked on water! As she was bowing down to my immense greatness the Chihuahua shook its leg a little bit and the splint came flying off. Oops. The client didn’t really care so much about the vet wrap hearts at that point.

I have tried to spay a neutered male cat. I’ve accidentally cut into a bladder during a spay. I’ve raved to clients about how AWESOME they are doing with weight loss on their fat cat only to find out that the cat is a diabetic. I once did a physical exam on a newly adopted Boxer, and told the owners it was in great health and there were no abnormalities. They called the next day, pretty upset because overnight their “normal” dog gave birth to 12 puppies.

On a more somber note, I’ve made mistakes that have resulted in the death of my patients. A little Labrador puppy was bitten pretty badly by a neighbor dog. I saw some deep puncture wounds, but not much else. I cleaned her wounds and put her on antibiotics. I missed the hole that had been torn in her intestines, and she died a few days later of a raging abdominal infection. I misdiagnosed a cat with asthma, when it had heart failure. That night when the owner attempted to give him medication for the asthma, the cat died of heart failure, most likely secondary to the stress of medication. I missed that a dog I put on Rimadyl was also on steroids, and ended up causing the dog to suffer a perforated stomach ulcer.

I even had a cat die after I neutered it. I still to this day am not sure what happened, but I know that he was very little, and I was “fairly” sure I was cutting a testicle. Whatever it was that I cut wouldn’t stop bleeding and he died a few days later. A cat neuter is considered to be one of the simplest surgeries we do as veterinarians.

Now, I know you are all thinking that after knowing all this there is no way in heck you would use me as a veterinarian. Here’s the thing though….we all have messed up. We have all missed diagnoses, screwed up a surgery, given a wrong medication. My grandma always says that is why they call it the “Practice” of medicine.

As horrible as some of the mistakes I’ve made have been, I have learned from every single one. Today, I would not miss that Parvo diagnosis. I treat dog bite wounds very seriously and always look for deeper injuries. I am careful to try and differentiate a cat with asthma and a cat with heart disease. Every time I neuter a cat I think of my neuter that went horribly wrong, and I remind myself to not treat it lightly even though it is such a straight forward surgery.

I also don’t let myself get too cocky or confident. I’ll smile when I make a tricky diagnosis or do a tough surgery, but I don’t strut. I know that probably within a day or so I’m going to do something that will knock me back down to earth. When I hear of mistakes other veterinarians have made, instead of feeling superior, I nod with sympathy and think back on the mess ups I have had.

Phyllis Theroux, in Night Lights states that “Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.” If you are a new veterinarian or technician, give up on the idea that you are going to be perfect. You will make mistakes. You will harm a patient because of those mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t blame others, or incessantly beat up on yourself. Take a deep breath, file it away in your memory, and keep carrying on.

“‘The response of the vast majority of conservatives to the Chris Kyle movie and controversy shows beyond doubt that they are incorrigible warmongers. The GOP and the conservative movement are lost causes. Libertarians are wasting their time trying to infiltrate them,’ says Laurence Vance.”

 

http://www.lewrockwell.com

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Boot Campaign: www.bootcampaign.com

American Ex-Prisoners of War: www.axpow.org / (817) 649-2979

American Forces Network: www.myafn.net / (951) 413-2351

American Gulf War Veterans Association: www.gulfwarvets.com / (877) 817-9829

American Legion: www.legion.org / (800) 433-3318

American Veterans for Equal Rights: amer.us / (718) 849-5665

Blinded Veterans Association: bva.org / (800) 669-7079

Call of Duty Endowment: www.callofdutyendowment.org

Code of Support: www.codeofsupport.org / (571) 527-3240

Disabled American Veterans: www.dav.org / (859) 441-7300

Healing Heroes: www.healingheroes.org / (727) 781-4376

Heart Strings for Heroes: www.heartstringsforheroes.com/our-heroes / (727) 686-6887

Helping Hometown Heroes: www.helpinghometownheroes.org / (301) 351-4484

IAVA: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America: iava.org / (212) 982-9699

Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors: homesforwoundedwarriors.com / (952) 474-2234

Lone Survivor Foundation: www.lonesurvivorfoundation.org

Marine for Life Org: www.marineforlife.org / (617) 293-4102

Military Family Assistance Maine National Guard: www.me.ngb.army.mil/family

Military Officers Association of America: www.moaa.org / (703) 549-2311

Military Veterans of Albany — Good Friends & Great Causes / (518) 376-3998

National Association for Black Veterans: www.nabvets.com / (877) NABVETS

National Association of American Veterans: www.naavets.org / (202) 465-3296

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans: www.nchv.org / (202) 546-1969

Nellis Air Force Base: www.nellis.af.mil

New Battle Front: www.newbattlefront.org / (203) 805-8055

Operation Homefront: www.operationhomefront.net/waystogive

Operation Injured Soliders: www.injuredsoldiers.org / (248) 437-1144

Operation Sacred Trust: 411veterans.com / (954) 703-4533 X810

Operation Second Chance: operationsecondchance.org / (301) 972-1080

Operation Stand Down Nashville: www.osdnashville.org / (615) 248-1981

Operation Stand Down Rhode Island: www.osdri.org / (401) 383-4730

Paralyzed Veterans of America: www.pva.org / (800) 424-8200

Real Warriors: www.realwarriors.net

Ride2Recover: ww.ride2recover.com / (818) 888-7091 Ext. 2

Rock4Recovery: www.rock4recovery.net / (910) 977-3734

Rock for the Fallen (Former Navy Seals): www.westcoastseals.org

Semper Fi Fund: www.semperfifund.org

Silver Star Families of America: www.silverstarfamilies.org / (573) 230-7456

Soliders Angels: www.soldiersangels.org / (218) 779-7271

The Battle Buddy Foundation: www.tbbf.org / (844) 822-3674

The Enlisted Association: trea.org / (303) 752-0660

The Raider Project: www.raiderproject.org / (910) 467-1254

US Marines: www.marines.mil / (505) 878-6483 or (440) 243-4010

Veterans Advantage: www.veteransadvantage.com / (203) 422-2526

Veterans Families United: veteransfamiliesunited.org / (405) 535-1925

Veterans for America: dav.org / (877) 426-2838

Veterans Memorial Branson: www.veteransmemorialbranson.com / (417) 336-2300

Veterans of Foreign Wars: www.vfw.org

Wounded Warrior Project: www.woundedwarriorproject.org / (202) 510-5678 or (702) 521-2751

Wounded Warrior Project Las Vegas: www.woundedwarriorproject.org / (202) 510-5679

Wounded Warrior Project Milwaukee: www.woundedwarriorproject.org / (608) 449-1202

Five Finger Death Punch

This is such a great photo of a B-29 Superfortress bomber crew.  A humorous and lighthearted moment during the war.  Tragically, on Jan. 9, 1945, this crew was lost in battle.  Very tragic and heartbreaking. 

Far too often people glamorize war or want to fight without having a stake in the required sacrifice.  War is hell.  Always has been and always will be.  It should always be the last resort, only used after all options are removed. 

Always remember to thank the vets every day.  Every day should be thoughts and remembrances for those who sacrificed their future like these brave men.  These men never had a chance to grow old with their loved ones.  They never had a chance to have families and watch them grow.  Perhaps they were fathers already, but sadly, the children would never live long enough to know their father.  War is not about numbers and pieces on a map.  War is about the men and women who have to sacrifice everything to serve others. 

Taken from the “I Love WWII Planes” Facebook site:

Sad story: The crew of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Waddy’s Wagon”, 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force, posing to duplicate their caricatures in the nose art at Isley Airfield in Saipan, 24th of November 1944.

On the 9th of January 1945 “Waddy’s Wagon” took off from Saipan to bomb the Nakajima Aircraft Factory in Musashino, Japan. Coming off the target as stated in B-29 Hunter’s of the JAAF: “Another victim of a ramming was “Miss Behaving” AC #42-24655 from the 497th Bomb Group, flown by 1st Lt Ben Crowell. Capt Walter Young in “Waddy’s Wagon” tried to cover for his crippled wingmate as they headed out of the target area but eventually lost them. Young’s aircraft had also sustained hits from enemy fighters, and he in turn eventually ditched his aeroplane into the sea. Both crews were lost.” They ditched in the Pacific Ocean near the island of Hachijo Shima. The crew was declared dead on 10 January 1946

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