Opioid Pain Medication recently came under scrutiny by President Trump. Based on the fact that millions of people have misused prescription pain pills containing opioids, the drug is now unavailable to those who need it the most. This decision affects people with different levels of chronic pain, and have been taking the drug as prescribed by their doctor. United States veterans are feeling this decision in the worst way. These men and women are struggling with damages to their bodies from the perils of war, and other related reasons. When they go to their doctors, mostly at the V.A. Hospitals, they are given medication that is less effective for their particular ailment.
It is more difficult for them now with the new legislation. They were only given a certain amount of opioid drugs, but now they are only allowed a small dosage of the drug. This does very little for the pain that some of them experience. They live with this pain daily, and are now suffering more because of the President’s decision. They also have been treated like drug addicts because many of them requests this drug as the only medication that will relieve their pain. It appears that the government is not considering the needs of the people in this issue. It is difficult to say whether or not the drug is the major cause of many addictions, but for those living with chronic pain, it was pain reliever that worked.
13 homeless veterans are moving into their new houses in Kansas City. These “tiny homes” were specially designed with homeless and disabled veterans in mind. All 13 of the men were able to see their almost completed homes recently and all 13 are said to be ecstatic about the development.
Christ Stout, who is the current President of the Veterans Community Project estimates the cost per year of housing these veterans at 15,000 dollars each. In addition to each individual home there will be a large community area which will be populated with many of the services and professionals that these veterans will need to get back on their feet.
These tiny homes were originally developed on the west coast of the United States where soaring property prices have been a major driver of the homeless population. Many cities such as Oakland and San Jose have built similar communities and most of them hope to be up and running sometime in early 2018.
The Veterans Community Project currently has plans to house 37 more veterans in 37 additional tiny homes. These homes are meant to be semi temporary- basically enabling veterans to get back on their feet. Once a member of the program moves to new accommodations the cycles starts over and other veterans take their spots.
The goal is to end the revolving door problem of veteran homeless with a place to call their own. Being around other military veterans can also help with aspects of therapy and treatment programs.
Bernard Darty, an 83 year old holocaust victim has declared that he will be donating 1 million US dollars to wounded veterans. He is making this donation to thank them for their sacrifice in World War 2 and other wars. Darty was rescued from a concentration camp by US veterans and he wants to repay the favor to a younger generation of vets. While this donation comes many decades after his rescue he wants to show people that it is never too late to say thank you- especially to veterans who put their lives on the line for complete strangers.
The million dollar donation will go to the Wounded Warrior Foundation- one of the premiere veterans charities in the United States. Mr. Darty was quoted as hoping that his donation will inspire other generous Americans to donate what they can. Although his rescue from certain death was more than 70 years ago- he still remembers the day vividly. He hopes to show that procrastinating about helping people does not mean you cannot help at all.
He originally lived in Poland with his family when the Germans invaded in 1939. After leaving Poland for France the family was again put in peril when the Nazi forces invaded France in 1940. His family and tens of thousands of other Jews were rounded up from their neighborhood and sent to camps. While many were not as lucky as him- the American troops that saved his life have left an indelible memory on him.
The state of Wisconsin will soon become the first in the country to implement a “Green Alert” system that will assist families and law enforcement officials in locating at-risk military veterans that become missing.
Advocates of the program are hoping that other states will soon follow the lead of Wisconsin and implement the Green Alert system that works in a similar way to the Silver Alert and Amber Alert systems that have been utilized to in the cases of missing elderly persons or children.
The idea for the program came from Gwen Adams and her husband Johnnie whose son, Corey Adams, a 45-year-old Air Force veteran went missing last year. Adams had served the country in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Afghanistan and was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Police informed the Adams’ that they were unable to assist them in locating their son because he was an adult and his situation did not meet necessary criteria.
Gwen Adams urges officials to implement the system nationwide and said during a phone interview that she did not want to see any other family endure what her family was forced to endure. Adams explained that there are no laws on the books to allow for police officials to look for at-risk missing veterans.
Nationwide, 20 United States veterans commit suicide each day according to a study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is quite likely that these numbers are quite a bit higher as some states are not willing to share this information.
In an an article article published on the Huffington Post by Shad Meshad, President of the National Veterans Foundation, an 84-year-old World War II veteran from Finland summed up his experience by stating, “War changes you, there’s no denying that. It’s useless say it doesn’t or that you’ll get over it. You don’t.”
I remember being in high school and one of my classmates decided to dedicate the next years of his life to the United States Marine Corps and go to Afghanistan. It was something I’d never heard before. Everyone else was deciding what college they wanted to go to or what car they might get as a graduation present. Years later, on the eve of college graduation, my roommate announced he had also joined the Marine Corp and would be deploying for training on Parris Island that summer. We all talked about it. We were scared for him, but mostly I was scared for his family. I knew his parents, and his sister was in a few of my classes. I read a lot about war that summer and I realized that soldiers become faceless, a huddled mass in a foreign land fighting small battles for the massive freedoms we often take for granted, but they’re people, too. They put their lives on hold and leave families behind so we can live with and love ours fully. So next time you see a veteran, take a moment, think about your family, and ask him how his is doing.
President Trump has ordered members of his cabinet to devise a plan to improve and expand mental health care for U.S. veterans.
The president signed an executive order last week “supporting our Veterans during their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.” The order instructs the secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs to coordinate efforts to reach the goal of greater care for those who have served in the military.
“We will not rest until all of America’s great veterans receive the care they’ve earned through their incredible service and sacrifice to our country,” Trump said.
The plan will include providing men and women who have left active duty with 12 months of mental health benefits, a 24-hour veteran hotline, and suicide prevention services.
Suicide among returned servicemen and women has increased since the American invasion and intervention in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2013, a study conducted by the US Department of Veteran Affairs showed that between 1999 and 2010, 22 veterans were committing suicide daily. That is nearly one suicide every 65 minutes.
Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shuklin said that decreasing the suicide rate among veterans is on the top of his list of priorities.
Suicide rates among military veterans vary from state to state. Montana, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico have the highest suicide rates among veterans, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs report released in September. The frequency of Post Traumatic Syndrome, proximity to VA centers, and opioid painkiller usage were all variables in the statistical study.
The report estimated that currently, about 20 veterans commit suicide daily.
United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will provide more support to military veterans transitioning to life as civilians. The order is a specific attempt on the part of the president to positively affect suicide rates for veterans.
One in five returning veterans that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been shown to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome and are 2-3 times as likely to make an attempt on their own lives that active duty service members.
The President’s order makes the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and Defense all responsible for a workable plan to provide the resources needed to support veterans with treatment for mental health and suicide prevention. The deadline for submitting these plans is 60 days.
The Presidents states that the goal is for veterans to receive a level of care that they “richly deserve.”
The Veterans Administration responded immediately with Secretary David Shulkin promising that the VA will be prepared to provide a full year of mental health to returning service members by the President’s deadline. Shulkin also noted that returning veterans will be able to sign up for these services before returning home from active duty.
The Department of Defense has also expressed that they will have a plan in place but have been much less specific.
The order by the President is another sign that he intends to honor campaign promises to improve services available to veterans and to be a catalyst for improving the crisis-ridden VA.
It is always refreshing to read some positive, heart-warming news on the Internet. A recent news story from U.S. News & World Report tells of a disabled Vietnam veteran whose life was transformed by being introduced to a guide dog.
After becoming a double amputee in the Vietnam War in 1970, former Marine Bob Calderon experienced a host of obstacles, but also became quite accomplished in several different fields.
Showing that he wouldn’t be stopped by his disability, Bob Calderon learned to walk on prosthetic limbs and went to school to learn drafting. Although he consistently dealt with pain from his injuries, Mr. Calderon worked as a mechanical draftsman, was married several times and fathered two children.
Additionally, Bob Calderon played wheelchair basketball, became a champion nine-ball billiards champion and participated in wheelchair bowling. Because of prolonged pain from the prosthetic limbs, however, he switched to a wheelchair, which he still utilizes today.
An important factor in Mr. Calderon’s life has been his attendance at a veterans’ peer-support group, where he was able to start the process of acquiring a guide dog.
Ever since he received his guide dog, Mae, Bob Calderon’s life has improved in many ways. Mae can do all sorts of basic commands, as well as open doors and even pull Mr. Calderon’s lightweight wheelchair in a crisis situation.
Another very important thing that Mae has done for Bob Calderon is allow him to be able to give and receive love again, which is a beautiful thing.
According to an article recently published by The Huffington Post, President Donald Trump is due to have his annual physical on Friday, January 12th. The question is, will be have the recommended screening for cognitive impairment?
Thus far, the only information America has received about Trump’s state of health was that which was provided by his doctor, Harold Bornstein, in 2016. Bornstein has been Trump’s personal doctor for substantial period of time, and stated that Trump was in “excellent physical health”.
However, in the opinion of Brandy Lee who is a professor of psychiatry at Yale University, we are “seeing signs of impairment”. A psychiatrist and mental health expert, Lee was also the author of the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. The book entails doubts of Trump’s mental health and Lee is seemingly worried about his behavior and the increasing severity of his lashing out and impulsive actions. She states that “it’s been markedly getting worse. All the signs have been getting worse”.
The current administration recommends those aged 65 and older have a cognitive impairment screening performed. Trump, now aged 71 years old, certainly meets the criteria. The National Institute on Aging explains that “physicians were unaware of cognitive impairment in more than 40 percent of their cognitively impaired patients”, due to failure of being screened.
Though psychiatrist Brandy Lee will not have any part in Trump’s exam, she expresses that she would perform an even more extensive exam in Trump’s case. “If I were his private psychiatrist, I would recommend a full neuropsychiatric evaluation.”
In comparison to past President’s, Trump is far from being considered to be “in shape”. As of now, we as American’s have no idea what information we will receive after the exam is conducted, nor when we will receive it.
A raid by U.S. forces that ended in the deaths of five U.S. service members several weeks ago prompted VoteVets to file a law suit against the Trump administration. The group has filed for information about the lethal mishap, under the Freedom of Information Act, demanding answers for the misleading public response to the failed operations and deaths of the U.S. soldiers in Yemen and Niger. The group wants clear answers to if and how the raids were necessary. There is the general feeling that the operations were purely political.
The body of one of the soldiers killed in the seemingly blotched action was not recovered until a full two days after the ambush by ISIS troops near the Nigerian border. The law suit filed by the Veterans of VoteVet state that local villagers who first discovered the missing soldier’s body said it appeared as if the man had been captured and executed verses being killed in the alleged ambush and fire fight. When questioned about the whole mess, Trump throw responsibility to the wind and told the victims family that the fallen soldier “knew what he signed up for.”
VoteVets, The voice of America’s 21st century patriots, was founded in 2006 as a registered non-profit 501(c) by U.S. Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are currently around a quarter of a million members affiliated with the group. The main focus of VoteVets is to educate the American public on military issues, and “hold politicians accountable.” The non-profit has spent nearly $2 million dollars trying to do just that over the past decade.