Saturday, December 29, 2007

There's No Holiday From War

December 28, 2007
Ken Bode

For the holiday season, the American media suspended most of the bad news from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, we're given reports on refugees returning, Christmas at Camp Liberty and Baghdad churches crowded for the holiday. In the presidential campaign, the candidates in both parties now tailor their themes to new polls showing that immigration, health care, taxes, foreclosures, even toys from China top the public's concerns. America seems ready to give the war in Iraq a rest.

John Rutherford toils in a different precinct. Rutherford is a Vietnam vet, wounded in that war and decorated for his service. Now he is an NBC News producer who writes a blog each Friday on, in which he tracks the casualties still rolling in from the war in Iraq. After his regular reporting duties for the network, Rutherford examines official reports from the Pentagon and scours hometown newspaper accounts about soldiers who have died in the war to build profiles for his blog, which is called "Fallen But Not Forgotten."

Last week he reported on Army Spc. Jonathan Lahmann, 21, of Richmond, Ind., who was killed 15 days before Christmas in a roadside bombing in Bayji, Iraq. Among other things, back home Lahmann mowed his neighbor's lawn. Little details enrich Rutherford's reviews. The dead are mostly young. This one loved skateboarding and paint ball; another loved to hunt and fish; one dreamed of pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rutherford reported on Army Staff Sgt. Michael Gabel, from Crawley, La., who once told a newspaper that some guys think that being in Iraq is like sitting at a PlayStation, only for real. "But the thing about a PlayStation is, when you die, you can hit the reset button," Gabel said. Sgt. Gabel died on Dec. 12, in the lead vehicle of a convoy, when a roadside bomb exploded, destroying his truck.

A year ago this Christmas, support for the war was so low that President Bush finally said he would seek a new Iraq plan. At that time, 21 percent approved of the way he was handling the war. The last time he had majority support was just at the turn of the year in 2004.
Reports on the changed security situation in Iraq may have driven the war out of the headlines and off the top of the presidential candidates' campaign agendas, but there is much to remember and think about as we turn our calendars to 2008.

Our Army is suffering. When the scandals erupted at Walter Reed, more than 50,000 soldiers had returned from Iraq with serious injuries. It wasn't until March of this year that President Bush bestirred himself even to name a bipartisan commission to look into the problems of military and veterans hospitals. Five years into this war, he has used his bully pulpit to advertise his concern but none of his political capital to fix the problem.

Recruitment to the all-volunteer army is a constant problem. The Army is offering bonuses of $20,000 to enlist, $35,000 and higher for junior officers to re-up, and still it is hemorrhaging captains. It is accepting more recruits without high school diplomas, and more with waivers for criminal offenses.

The war may be going well in the American media, but nearly 5,000 American soldiers defected in 2007, a 42 percent increase from 2006. Then there is the stress on soldiers and their families. Increasing combat tours to 15 months, and then repeating them two and three times, has caused a serious lapse in morale, especially in the lower ranks.

National Public Radio recently reported on Pentagon statistics showing that among those in their third deployment, only 15 percent say their morale is high. One-third of privates and corporals say they intend to divorce.

Soldiers with mental health problems are often considered by their superiors to be laggards, and reports abound of the Army ignoring and punishing the mental anguish that comes with extended combat tours. Returning veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome are underserved and often forgotten.

This week, NBC's Rutherford reported that Army Sgt. Austin Pratt, 22, of Cadet, Mo., died in a noncombat incident. The Army assured his family that Pratt did not take his own life. But many have, and many others think about it. Suicide is on the rise, to the point that the Army is now sending suicide prevention teams to Iraq.

It is a troubled Army that celebrated Christmas at Camp Liberty. John Rutherford helps us remember. Mr Bode, a former senior political analyst for CNN, is the Pulliam professor of journalism at DePauw University.

Contact him at

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

VA Begins New Suicide Prevention Program

Listen to the Archived "Veterans Forum" Shows at E. Everett McFall, Host

Remember: 120 Vets per Week!!!

New Suicide Prevention Program within the VA
By Derek Meurer, The Daily Courier

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 "The biggest myth about suicide is that people should not talk about it," according to Ali Cassidy.
"People think that talking about suicide with someone will 'put the idea in their head,' and that's just not true," said Cassidy, the Mental Health Clinic Suicide Prevention Coordinator working at the Bob Stump VA Medical Center. "People who are dealing with suicidal thoughts are begging for someone to notice. We make sure there's always someone available to talk to who is knowledgeable, and who will listen."Cassidy, a former employee of the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, is heading up the local effort to enhance suicide prevention measures for veterans as part of a nationwide cooperative effort of VA hospitals

Veterans are a special risk group for suicide," said Cassidy. "There's a number of reasons for that, but mainly due to the experience of trauma in battle, post traumatic stress disorder and their familiarity with guns. That makes it more likely if they attempt a suicide, it'll likely be fatal."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (1-800-273-8255), a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hotline, now has a prompt of, "if you are a U.S. military veteran ... please press 1 now." The call will then route to Canandaigua, N.Y., where a staff of specially trained suicide counselors wait to help veterans through their time of crisis.

"It does require some special knowledge of what a veteran goes through to counsel a veteran, and they have that knowledge," said Cassidy. "Just as important, it immediately enters them into the VA Medical System, if they weren't already, and cross references their location to find the closest appropriate facilities to help them." (1-800-273-TALK)-8255

The Department of Veterans Affairs has established several new programs to combat the
threat of suicide among veterans. Cassidy estimates more than 100 life-saving emergency interventions, "where they were literally going to do immediate harm to themselves," since the beginning of the suicide prevention effort less than a year ago.

"Just last week I got a call from the suicide hotline about an Iraqi war veteran in California who was suicidal," said Cassidy. "I spoke with the young man for over an hour. He had returned from active duty and had a cascade of problems not unusual for a young man returning from war; numerous personal losses.

"With the help of the new information networking system, VA personnel were able to enter the veteran into the VA medical system and arrange for emergency care through a local community hospital.

"He was later transferred to a hospital in Phoenix, where I saw him at the end of the week," said Cassidy. "He looked at me and said, ''I was really going to kill myself.'' I thought, thank God for that hotline. It would have been so needless, such a waste if he'd taken his life. He was just a kid.

"In addition to the veteran-specific hotline and the information network, the suicide prevention program involves educating VA hospital staff and the Prescott community in how to look for the signs of suicide and what measures to take to prevent it.

"There are definite, tangible signs to look for, with suicide. It's another myth that suicide happens without warning," said Cassidy. "When trained to look for the signs, you can intervene and avoid a senseless death. Suicide is the permanent solution to a temporary problem. More people die every year by suicide than by HIV, or murder, things that are always on people's minds. People need to take notice. It's the only way we can make this change.

"The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information, visit

Contact the reporter at:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Battle On The Homefront

Listen to the Archived "Veterans Forum" Shows
Http:// E. Everett McFall, Host

By Jon Seidel Post-Tribune staff writer(Northwest Indiana)

Sgt. Jacob Blaylock won't be counted among the casualties of the Iraq war.
But he, like many soldiers, was haunted by its ghosts. (PTSD)
Blaylock, 26, was a fun-loving man when he went to Iraq, his family said. In photographs, he tends to be the one giving a thumbs-up to the camera. When he came home from war, though, his family said he wanted a beer, he wanted a cigarette, and he never wanted to go back to battle. Blaylock, who grew up in Calumet City, shot himself this month.

He left a note behind in his glove box for his family. "I'm sorry I let everybody down," Blaylock wrote. Blaylock was living in Houston, but his father, Ricky Blaylock, lives in Lowell. Ricky Blaylock said his son's depression medication, from doctors who were treating his son for post-traumatic stress disorder, arrived the day after the suicide.

"The military actually dropped the ball right there," Mr. Blaylock said.
-->According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, between 12 and 20 percent of Iraq war veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder.

Much of it has to do with guilt. Days after he died, Blaylock's family members said they were still learning more about how bothered he was about what happened overseas. Rob Wisniewski, Blaylock's uncle, lives in Highland. He said his nephew saw two of his friends die in Iraq when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

Originally, Blaylock told his family he was told not to ride in that vehicle. It was the lead vehicle in a military convoy, and he was scheduled to go home in two weeks, Wisniewski said. Wednesday, Wisniewski said they learned that Blaylock asked not to ride in the vehicle. "He was supposed to be in that Humvee," Wisniewski said. Instead, Blaylock came home to his fiance, Heidi, and their 8-year-old daughter, Lilly. He also continued singing in his band, Nine Volt. The band was scheduled to play at the House of Blues in Chicago, his father, Ricky Blaylock said. Wisniewski said the lyrics in Blaylock's latest music were a sign that he was bothered by what went on in Iraq.

"There's no hope/There's no doubt/Keep it up, kid, you're doing fine," Blaylock wrote in his song, "Like Peter Pan and His Shadow." Blaylock was buried last week with full military honors in Houston National Cemetery, at the request of his daughter. Ricky Blaylock said it is ultimately everyone's duty(especially the Veterans Administration), to make sure soldiers are taken care of when they come home from war. It's a task, he said, that the military can't handle alone. "If you've got somebody coming back from there," Blaylock said, "you've got to stay on them."

A memorial service for Blaylock has been scheduled for 10 a.m.,
Dec. 29 at St. James Parish, 9640 Kennedy Ave., Highland, IN .

Contact Jon Seidel at 881-3148 or
E. Everett McFall, Vietnam Veteran,PTSD Internet Radio Host, Author of
(I Can Still Hear their Cries, Even In My Sleep),

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Singing for Heroes

By TK Rosevear
December 17, 2007 09:49 PM EST

Unsung heroes of time and eternity gone by,
upon eagles wings please hear harmony's cry;
I know of the courage in your brave, purple hearts,
the valor that runs deep through all body parts;

No medals or ribbons could suffice true zeal
of facing the Devil, declaring, "NO Deal!"
Senses denatured to the ills of humankind,
focusing on 'cause' without losing one's mind;

War, we were taught, is freedoms price tag,
for waving or planting the colors of our flag;
Laying claim to faith and dignity to rites
for victim nations, to empower from plights;

A noble choice to risk one's life and limb,
while ignorance decides whether to sink or swim;
My promise to you from this moment on,
your memories heard in epiphenomenon;

With love and honor, respectfully I'll close -
each dawn 'sound the bugle', each eve with a rose.

TK Rosevear's website is

Listen to E. Everett McFall's weekly podcast,
"The Veterans Forum" Archived on

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Highest Army Suicide Rate in 26 Years

Paul Rieckhoff
Posted August 16, 2007 06:31 PM (EST)

Read More: Iraq, Afghanistan, United States, Washington, Persian Gulf, The Pentagon, James Joyner, Jimmy Carter, Vietnam, US Department of Defense , Breaking Politics News

I've talked before about troops' and veterans' suicides and the looming mental health crisis facing those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The numbers in today's new military report are a bleak reminder that this problem isn't going away.

In fact, it is growing. According to the Army Suicide Event Report (ASER), 2006 marks the highest rate of military suicides in 26 years, and more than a quarter of those troops killed themselves while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. A total of ninety-nine U.S. soldiers killed themselves last year.

This new report only confirms what we veterans have been saying for years:
Our troops are facing serious mental health problems, and they aren't getting the treatment they need. At least one-in-three Iraq veterans and one-in-nine Afghanistan veterans will face a mental health issue like depression, anxiety, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). About 25% of those who committed suicide had "a history of at least one psychiatric disorder."

Longer, repeated tours are increasing the risks. Soldiers and Marines who have deployed to Iraq more than once have a 50% higher rate of combat stress. This new study reports that suicide is closely linked to long combat deployments, and that multiple deployments may also be a risk factor.

The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs aren't ready to cope with the problem. 90% of military psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers reported no formal training or supervision in the recommended PTSD therapies, and there is a general shortage of trained mental health professionals in the military. And even VA officials have admitted that waiting lists render mental health and substance abuse care "virtually inaccessible."

And this report does not even include the unknown number of military personnel that have committed suicide after they have left the military's payrolls. People like CPL Jefferey Lucey are not even counted in this report. The number of veterans in that category is not even counted by the military or the VA--and is probably much higher.

Anyone who remembers the post-Vietnam era knows that these numbers, scary as they are, are just the tip of the iceberg. But we can learn from history, and we can prevent another generation of veterans from suffering as the Vietnam generation did.

The president knows what must be done. The recent report from the Dole-Shalala Commission laid it all out for him. The Commission delivered six clear recommendations that should be implemented immediately. There should be no more excuses.

Every day that the president delays, more troops will die as a result of a flawed military and veterans healthcare system.

This report shows us all that mental health care is literally a matter of life and death. If ninety-nine troops died in 2006 as the result of a new enemy mortar or roadside bomb, congress and the president would be rushing to find a new vehicle or piece of armor to deal with the problem. But for some reason, mental health related deaths are pushed off as something Congress and the president can get to later--after their summer vacations.

When Congress is back in session in September, IAVA will be out in front to ensure that new legislation is passed to get troops and veterans the counseling and treatment they need. We'll need to act fast to get legislation passed before the end of the year - and we'll need your help. Our troops are dying, and we need to do something about it.
Even if the president won't.
Listen to E. Everett McFall's weekly podcast, "The Veterans Forum" Archived on

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Personal Impact Of War

December 12, 2007

A Review of "I Can Still Hear their Cries, Even In My Sleep"

Rated by Marc Leepson (Loudoun County, Virginia, USA)
Book Reviewer Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine

"This book shows starkly that the impact of a war does not end when the shooting stops. This was especially true among the 2.8 million Americans who took part in the Vietnam War, only to come home to a nation that was bitterly divided over the war. The nation as a whole (including the VA, the Congress and the old line veterans' organizations) treated Vietnam veterans shamefully, blaming them for the war and making the adjustment to coming home even more difficult.

Those facts are rendered starkly in this moving book that describes one man's difficult readjustment after serving in the Vietnam War. Doc McFall saw war at its worst during his year in Vietnam. His story is deeply moving and one that should be widely read."


"A RAW Education on the Effects of PTSD !"
Anna Turner, Family Historian

The Author Slowly Educates the reader on the Mental Conflicts that come with the day to day stresses of being in a war zone. His words produce vividly painted pictures that enable you to understand what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is.

I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep,...A Journey into PTSD! It Entertains and Informs. Its an easy read,a Natural Page Turner. Ideal for ALL RETURNING VETERANS and THEIR FAMILIES !!!

Thank You "Doc" E. Everett McFall. His story is deeply moving and one that should be widely read.''

Listen to E. Everett McFall's weekly podcast, "The Veterans Forum"
Archived on Http://InternetVoicesRadio.Com

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Valley of Despair, aka PTSD

(c) 2007 E. Everett McFall

During one of my depressing low ebb tide moments I wrote:
Death is my best buddy, my constant companion, my thoughts, the memories, the flashbacks.

As I dwell in the recesses of the valley of despair, by choice, I have slumbered in the dark caverns of depression, hiding, withdrawn from reality, seeking pity and reparations because I had internalized that the world owed me something.

Steeped in alcohol and drugs and confined within my self-induced, self-fulfilling prophetic hellish condition and saturated with a constant illusion of hopelessness, I sought to end the anguish, the frustration, the mental torment. My thoughts were focused on freeing my suffering tormented soul by taking own life. Why? Because I felt that my wretched life had no positive direction, no meaning or purpose.

So I kissed steel, and suckled on a cold blue tube, waiting, anticipating and preparing to welcome the unforgiving flaming messengers of death. My gun barrel became a lollipop without a sugar coating or a fruit flavored topping; it was however, just an obedient servant poised to release its power and deadly force. The trigger reluctantly maneuvered with resistance as I anticipated the explosive deadly projectile invading my body, searing and burning as it traveled upward to my brain.

Again, ‘Time Stood Still’ as my life flashed by and replayed within my mind. My mind was weak, my spirit was muddled, my odor challenged body was soaked with alcohol and perspiration, my hands shook as the gun barrel irritated my tongue, forcing me to gag. As I withdrew the four inch 357 Colt Python revolver from my mouth, my tongue managed to ‘French’ the barrel tip momentarily as it exited.

My heart attempted to escape from it’s imprisoned cage, and the ringing in my ears became almost deafening. So I slowly repositioned the 357 directly under my chin and angled it backwards for maximum penetration and effectiveness. Agonizing thoughts intruded as I blinked my moistened eyes in an effort to continue without succumbing to my fear. Knowing that some gun shot head wounds liquefy the contact area into chunks and/or a bloody, flakey, oatmeal type paste, I didn’t want to think too long about pulling that trigger.

So I smiled, as I had visions of others cleaning up the chunks of my brain and the massive pool of jellied congealed blood.” HA – HA HA –HA aaah. How morbid is that? I snickered. My head throbbed, my soul was in pain. Then I bowed my head and called out for help.

A Plea From the Valley
O my God, I seek refuse in you Father
Against Satin the devil, spawn of evil.
O Lord of the worlds, I call unto thee
For guidance and discerning wisdom.

Father protect me from harm, as only
You can, from the enemy within & without.
Devine Creator; please grant unto me health,
Peace of mind, happiness and prosperity.

Most Merciful, Most Beneficent God, Lord
Bless me with enduring strength as I struggle
To find my way back to sanity and salvation
Within All your Books, and from Geneses to Revelation.
Thank You, Thank you Lord for giving me one more day. . .

Feedback wanted!!
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"Archives", E. Everett McFall

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Let Freedom Ring

America , America so beautiful, from sea to shinning sea!

We fully support and are truly "Thankful and Grateful" for our troops on the fields of battle.

Having once worn the uniform and left a deposit of blood on a foreign soil, I know what it means to hear a friendly word of gratitude form the folks back home.

So take a moment to reflect in retrospect, upon those who defend our Freedom.
THANK YOU and GOD BLESS EACH ONE OF YOU, Past, Present and Future!!!

Turn your speakers up as you "Click Here...."
(c) Jacquie Lawson 2007

Doc E. Everett McFall USN/USMC Corpsman
Vietnam, Class of 1966-1967

(Thanks "Doc" Ken Coleman)

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

E. Everett McFall's Book Demands Attention!

McFall's Book Demands Attention!
by Glenda Bixler
December 04, 2007 04:55 PM EST

I Can Still Hear Their Cries: Even In My Sleep!
By E. Everett McFall

I’ve just finished reading a short book by E. Everett McFall—short in volume but not short in message! I Can Still Hear Their Cries: Even in My Sleep is a very personal story. If you read nothing else, but the two pages, “The Valley of Despair, aka PTSD,” you will come face to face with a man’s deepest despair! “So I kissed steel and suckled on a cold blue tube, waiting, anticipating and preparing to welcome the unforgiving flaming messengers of death.” (p. 37)

When you have considered suicide, as Everett McFall has, you may realize that there is only one solution and bow your head to call out for help, “Bless me with enduring strength as I struggle to find my way back to sanity...” (p. 38)
This is a portion of Everett’s personal walk through the valley of despair and depression called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He never knew what he would face when, prior to joining the service, he believed as some others that, “a man ain’t a real man until he’s been tested under fire in combat.” (p. 1)

Unfortunately, the war at that time was the one in Vietnam—the longest war ever and the one that many refuse to discuss! Those who do, like Everett, are selective because “most of us have locked those traumatic events deep within the recesses of our minds for safe-keeping and well-being, OUR OWN.” (p. 40) Even as he says this, he mentions that his novel, ''Dancing with Death—All Gave Some, Some Gave All'', reveals much more, but not all—he can’t tell it all!

Indeed, I am not sure that any caring individual is ready to know all that takes place when a loved one is sent into war. However, as with most of us, we do need to share with others and Everett has written or gathered from friends many beautiful but relevant poems that reflect upon the Vietnam War. One of the most heartbreaking is one in which he writes, “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you” to beloved members of his family who died while he was overseas. (p. 5)

I think the ones that struck me the hardest were related to the title of this book. “I Can Still Heard Their Cries” speaks out of the horrors of so much death that comes into his dreams—nightmares—at night! “Little Tiny Faces” talks about the children ravaged by the war. Then there is “Purple Heart,” which expresses how the wounds for which they gave him the ribbon are now long healed... “except the scars in my mind called PTSD.” (p. 15)

The concluding message, however, struck me from a totally different perspective. Everett McFall is writing to his sons, his brothers, his friends’ children and he’s saying “Gang Bangers that wage war...are like young children playing nursery games...” He wants them to realize that life and death is not a game and he wants them to realize that before they find themselves caught in a war where losing your life is a second-by-second probability.

The author has also provided an excellent Veterans Resource Guide and Directory as the last part of his book. While this book may not be for everybody, it is definitely a must-read for individuals that may or have been affected through a war, PTSD or other disability directly attributable to participation in the military service.

Thank you, Everett McFall, for opening your wounds and your heart and allowing us to share them with you! God Bless you and your family!

Glenda Bixler
IP Book Reviewer

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Are They Really Supporting the Troops?

Saturday, December 1
For all the talk about "supporting the troops" that we hear from the Bush administration, we keep seeing more and more evidence that the men and women who serve in the military are nothing more than campaign props to be trotted out whenever convenient.
A few stories from the past couple of weeks illustrate this:

* The Pentagon has been offering huge bonuses, up to $20,000 in some cases, to get service members to re-enlist. But there is one big catch. If you are seriously wounded and unable to complete your term of service, the Defense Department requires you to pay back a pro-rated amount of the bonus.
So if you've lost a limb or two, or your eyesight and hearing, or suffer from a traumatic brain injury and can no longer serve, the Pentagon will be at your door, looking for its money.
Apparently, wounded veterans, many of whom have no money, are being dunned by the government because of a policy that makes no sense and has no heart. Thanks Mr. President!

* The Veterans Administration remains overwhelmed by the demands of taking care of hundreds of thousands of new veterans. Despite the attention focused this spring on the deficiencies of the military's medical system, little has changed. According to the VA, it takes an average of 183 days to process a claim, and the backlog of pending claims to be processed is more than 391,000. Staff shortages plague the VA system and there seems to be little chance there will be more money and manpower available to remedy the problem.

* CBS News recently contacted the governments of all 50 states requesting official records of death by suicide going back 12 years. They heard from 45 states, and sifted through the information to find how many Americans who served in the military have taken their own lives. They found that in 2005 alone, more than 6,200 veterans committed suicide. That's an average of about 120 a week, or 17 a day.

It's not just people who've just returned from Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam are also taking their lives.
Since post traumatic stress injuries can sometimes takes decades to manifest themselves, the stories and images from our current wars are awakening traumas from past wars.
The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn't track this data. Neither does the Defense Department. Both deny there is an epidemic. Despite figures showing that more than 20 percent of active duty soldiers and more than 40 percent of reservists are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with serious mental health issues, the military is doing little to help these men and women.

* According to the VA, one in three homeless Americans -- about 200,000 in all -- are veterans. And the U.S. Justice Department estimates that about 12 percent of the seven million people in the nation's corrections system -- either in prison, parole or probation -- have served in the military.
Taken together, these snapshots of how our veterans are being treated shows us just how high a physical and mental toll they have paid. It also shows us how little medical and financial assistance is available to them. It also shows how "support the troops" have become the most hollow words in the modern political lexicon.

The social burden of this war is being carried by a small part of our population. Unless a member of the family is in the service, most Americans are untouched by what is becoming a growing crisis in this country. Quite simply, our military is stretched to the breaking point, and our leaders don't seem to care that there are men and women being crushed by the burdens of this war.
The next time you hear any politician say that they support the troops, ask them what have they have done to ensure that the VA gets enough money to deal with the flood of new patients. Ask them what they've done to help veterans get the mental health treatment they need. Ask them what they've done to keep the Pentagon from trying to pick the pockets of wounded veterans. Ask them what they've done to fund programs to help combat veterans readjust to civilian life.

Until we see Congress and the White House take action on these issues and end the shameful treatment of the men and women who gave their all for the country, all talk about supporting the troops is just that -- talk.

"A teenage US Marine Corps Corpsman left the U.S. for a tour in Southeast Asia in 1966 with dreams and goals of someday becoming a doctor. Those 364 days in Vietnam forever changed his life as well as those whom he would come in contact with. Forty years later, at age sixty one, he is still fighting through depression, nightmares, and recurring flashbacks with intrusive thoughts- known as PTSD. "
Writing his first two books has given E. Everett McFall rays of hope, as he continues to struggle with his inner demons that he painfully relates, "I can still hear their cries, even in my sleep."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

While Giving Thanks...Consider This!!!

Why is this administration persecuting these valiant warriors?

The Pentagon has sent out thousands of Collection Notices recently to mutilated, maimed, and psychologically traumatized Iraq War Veterans. Why would they do this, you might ask. It is because these soldiers had the misfortune of not being able to complete their tours in Iraq because of traumatic wounds received there, and the Pentagon thinks they should return all or at least a portion of their Enlistment Signing Bonuses due to Non-Completion of Iraq Tour of Duty.

Why does this NOT surprise me? Think about this while enjoying Thanksgiving with the knowledge that civilian operatives like members of Blackwater are receiving 10 times what our troops receive in monetary compensation.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who have suffered so much in this stupid war of opportunity.

Let's see...under ChimpyMcFlightSuit's reign co-payments for prescriptions at VA Hospitals have doubled (I think that's called a back door or hidden tax the general public is NOT aware of), Virtually nothing has been done at Walter Reed (out of sight, out of mind!), billions are being paid to mercenaries, and now this! At the same time Chimpy is asking for MORE money...

NOBODY in our Congress is asking, What the hell happened to the money we've already given you! NOBODY is holding this administration accountable for ANYTHING!
Spartan (When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent)*, Nov 21, 2007, 7:47pm EST

The shrinking military has had to offer reenlistment bonuses to retain troops. Those bonuses can run from 20,000 to well over 100,000 for senior enlisted Special Forces. Those who are injured, wounded or suffer psychological symptoms that make them ineligible for active duty receive invoices to repay the government on a prorated scale depending on how much time they had left to serve. For all its support the troops rhetoric, and a miniature American flag (made in China) stuck in every jacket lapel, Washington does not give a damn about GIs or funding anything beyond a phony war on terrorism.
Ron B., Nov 21, 2007, 7:49pm ES

From the Washington Post:"The underlying problem is an antiquated computer system for paying and tracking members of the military. Pay records are not integrated with personnel records, creating numerous errors. When soldiers leave the battlefield, for example, they lose a pay differential, but the system can take time to lower their pay.The government then tries to recoup over payments, docking pay for active-duty troops and sending debt notices to those who have left the military. Eventually, the government sends private agencies to collect debts and notifies credit bureaus.The computer system is so broken that 400 soldiers killed in action were listed as owing money to the government, although no debt notices were sent, the report said.

A total of $1.5 million in debts has been linked to the 400 fallen soldiers and 900 wounded troops. Of the total, $124,000 has been repaid. The government has waived $959,000, and the remainder of $420,000 is still owed."
Debra W, Nov 21, 2007, 7:49pm EST

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Survivor’s Guilt

(c) 2007 E. Everett McFall

LORD, What Did I Do To Deserve To Survive?

Why Am I Still Here? Am I Worthy LORD?

I was instructed to try to re-assemble the dismembered body parts collected in the two rows of newly arrived “bloated body bags” lying on the ground. After about 90 minutes of intense humid heat, blood, other body fluids and the smells of decaying flesh, my team had put the remains of (8) Men together as humanely as possible.

It felt like trying to assemble a human puzzle, only these pieces were from fallen fellow Americans, humans, that were once full of LIFE, breathing, walking, talking, and doing the same things that I had done. Most were, as best as I could tell, my age or a little older. War is a youthful activity.

Today, forty years later, I’m still constantly overwhelmed by thoughts of whether or not I put the right head with the right body parts. These recurring thoughts have forced me to live with those ‘Heads’ for over 40 years. Those ‘HEADS,’ they continue to HAUNT ME, as I relive that experience, day after day after day, 24/7. This is only part of my PTSD!!!

YES, I can still hear their cries, even in my sleep!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Albert Snyder vs WBC-It Was NOT A Matter of Free Speech!

Please let me clear up some false misconceptions that some folks have about the Federal Law Suit that a Slain US Marine's family successfully argued and Won, Nov. 2nd 2007.

Contrary to a popular belief, this was not a case of attempting to deny the disbarred Kansas Attorney, turned Preacher of a 'hate spurring' assembly known as the Westboro Baptist Church, his "right of Free Speech." This suit was filed by the family of LCpl Mathew Snyder due to an Invasion of Privacy by Fred Phelps.

Demonstrators from Fred Phelps's Westboro Baptist Church huddled together with their signs. "God Hates Fags," "Fags Doom Nations," and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," among other signs. Some of the demonstrators smiled as they spat on or STEPPED on the American flag while they chanted obscenities and hurled derogatory, defaming insults as marched around the graveside, in close proximity of the grieving family...and the News Media that the WBC pre-notified in advance of their intent to protest and picket.

Yes, Fred Phelps is the one who always notifies the print and TV media, Thus He TURNS A PRIVATE SOLEMN FUNERAL INTO A DISRESPECTFUL "MEDIA CIRCUS." "They turned this funeral into a media circus, and they wanted to hurt my family," Snyder testified, according to the Associated Press. "They wanted their message heard, and they didn't care who they stepped over. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside," Mr Snyder said.


*Mr. Albert Snyder took this recourse due to an Invasion of Privacy by Fred Phelps,
not to deny his 1st Amendment Rights.
**This was a private civil lawsuit separate from any actions being pursued by states or the federal government against Mr. Phelps. While those cases involve Government action and potential 1st Amendment issues, this case is distinct. This case simply alleges that one does not have the right to conspire to use lies in order to inflict intentional harm upon persons who are grieving the death of their children.
"WBC engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth. We display large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments, including:


It's sad some folks believe they speak for God when their message is so full of blatant HATRED and hostility. If anything, I'd expect them to rejoice, for at last the folks they HATE will sit in judgment of the Lord. I'm not sure what their point is other than to be noticed. They aren't accomplishing anything constructive. Fred Phelps is behaving like a narcissist who loves the media attention.
Rachel Brooks Posadas, Nov 15, 2007, 2:16pm EST

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "IS THIS THE WAY TO HONOR OUR DEAD?":

God forgive me, but if someone would furnish me with a sniper rifle, give me a brief lesson on how to use it, and I could scare up some support on getting to where these horrid stains on Christianity are going to be, I would take as many of them out as I could, starting with their supposed leader. And I am not a violent person. I am also blessed to have never had to fire a shot in anger or at another human being. Of course, as I told Doc, I don't consider these creatures human.

My PTSD Won't Let Me Comment for the Fear That I Might Incriminate Myself...
Doc E. Everett McFall

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Rain Upon the Battlefield"

(A Poem by Jean F.) (c) 2007

All is quiet now...
Wifts of smoke rise up
Wafting through air,
Until only moments ago,
Filled with the roar of battle...

Their guns, now silent,
Lie beside the fallen,
Their suffering done
Ended for all eternity…

Now falls a gentle rain,
Warm and bittersweet,
Mixing with life's blood
Upon the ground...

Embraces overflowing,
With innocent flowers --
Reaching out arms
That once held their loves --
Women dressed in black…

I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep...A Journey Into PTSD

Honor and Dignity, Not HATE!

In regards to those who openly desecrate the gravesites of our fallen warriors, where all that hate came from, only God knows. If it is aimed at the government because they were about to disbar all seven lawyers in the Fred Phelps cult, (so he cut a deal, giving up his license if his family could keep theirs), shouldn't that hate be aimed at the Government? Go to the Senate, protest the Congress.> They are too powerful, besides the law makers would retaliate. If this anger is solely at homosexuals, wouldn't Fred and the WBC been better off continue to bash gays? They would lose "Gay Bashing" cases based on "gay rights laws being violated".

Why did they start to focus on those who could no longer speak for themselves? Those who had Paid the Ultimate Price with their service and blood . Why have those sanctimonious, Biblical perverting, Cowardly mass of protoplasm's disguised as human HOMO-sapiens focused on the brave men and women slain while providing a platform of freedom?

Oh you low life excuse for humanity. Defamation of the living will bring litigation, So you have chosen to ATTACK OUR DEAD HERO'S. Someone commented that, "Hatred is based on ignorance". Dare I add, "The vine yards and the graveyards are full of ignorant folks, waiting their turn in HELL."

The Sacred Sanctity of the Grave Site is the very last place to protest. Veterans world wide feel betrayed at such debauchery. Any morally upright human being would fear the wrath of the Creator if they knowingly DESECRATED a Funeral, the final resting place, and the grieving family.

The highest degree of pressure should be applied to ALL Those who are running for President of the United States, and our Governmental bodies to ensure that the unrighteous rev Fred Phelps and his gang cease and desist.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Church group Desecrates Funeral of Slain Veteran

The Westboro Baptist Church, founded by, Fred Phelps, has protested across the country at the funerals of numerous soldiers, marines and sailors, alleging that their deaths were God’s retribution for America’s toleration of homosexuality. Displaying "God Hates Fags," posters at the graveside of our fallen warriors, is Sick, Demented, Evil and very much Un-Godly!This sick, so called church spreads its hate through picketing in our streets, and at grave sites of our fallen heroes, provoking attacks, with abusive vulgar language.

This Westboro Baptist church hates the Gay-Community, African-Americans, Canada, Sweden, the Fire Department of NY, victims of 911, Christian Churches, The Pope, Judaism, America, Our American Troops, and the list goes on and on. Many of the groups they despise are specifically named on their hate propaganda, picket signs, and their many websites. They not only hate, but wish death on all that they abhor. To make maters worst, this sick demented group of so-called Christians, are legally supported by The ACLU under the guise of defending their 1st Amendment Rights. (Freedom of Speech)

Check out their website of Hate

Disgusting Group Turns U.S. Marine's Funeral Into a “Circus”
Filed under ACLU, 1st Amendment, News, Fallen Hero's

The most ignorant and disrespectful things a person can do is desecrate a grave and hold a protest at a funeral, especially the funeral of a military member that has given their life for our country.

Yet time and time again we see graves and veterans memorials vandalized (even the Vietnam Veterans WALL) and protests held at funerals by anti-American hatemongers that wouldn’t know what the word respect meant if it kicked them in the face.
The father of a Marine killed in Iraq took the stand in his invasion of privacy suit against a fundamentalist church that pickets soldiers’ funerals, saying that the protesters carrying signs at his son’s burial made him sick to his stomach.

Albert Snyder said he had hoped for a private funeral for his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder.
“They turned his funeral into a media circus and they wanted to hurt my family,” Snyder testified. “They wanted their message heard and they didn’t care who they stepped over. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside.”
Ignorant. Disrespectful. Classless.
These pathetic excuses for human beings are worse than the crap I wipe off my shoe after stepping in dog crap.<[edited] Snyder sued the Westboro Baptist Church, whose members have picketed the funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming the deaths are punishment for the country’s tolerance of homosexuality.

On Nov. 2nd, 2007, Mr. Snyder won and Westboro Baptist Church must pay almost $11 million dollars. However, Phelps immediately filed an appeal.
The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.

Video: Cult Loses Suit, Leader Goes Bonkers

America, We Must Not Continue to Allow Racist, Bigoted, Neo-Nazi type wanna-be's poison our culture such blatant acts of evil perpetrated by disciples of Satan.
Doc E. Everett McFall, Corpsman, USMC
Purple Heart Recipient, Vietnam Class of 1966-1967

Saturday, November 10, 2007

U.S. Marine Corps Birthday

November 10th 1775

Happy 232nd Birthday United States Marine Corps

To All that have worn the Eagle-Globe and Anchor, past and present, we say "Semper Fidelis" - Always Faithful(Semper Fi for short). We Thank you for your SERVICE and we shall forever HONOR your commitment to God, Counrty and the Corps. Doc E. Everett McFall

United States Marine Corps Birthday message, ALMAR 044/07MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC Washington DCSUBJ/United States Marine Corps Birthday Message - 10 November 2007POC/Sgt M. Bell/Admin Chief/CMC Staff GroupTel:(703) 614-2326// GENTEXT/

Since the birth of our nation, our liberty has been purchased by valiant men and women of deep conviction, great courage, and bold action; the cost has often been in blood and tremendous sacrifice. As America's sentinels of freedom, United States Marines are counted among the finest legions in the chronicles of war. Since 1775, Marines have marched boldly to the sounds of the guns and have fought fiercely and honorably to defeat the scourge of tyranny and terror. We are Marines - that is what we do.

In the words of President John F. Kennedy: "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger." Magnificent heroes fought in the wheat fields of Belleau Wood, in the snows of the Chosin, and on the streets of Hue City. Your generation bears this obligation now, and it is borne on mighty and capable shoulders. Just like the Marines at Belleau Wood - we are once again engaged in sustained operations ashore. Just like at Belleau Wood - the Marines have beengiven the toughest sector and have prevailed over a resilient and determined enemy - who has made us pay for our gains. Once again, as in any struggle, the road ahead is far from certain, but as Marines, we are not dissuaded by the challenges of war or the tough conditions of a warrior's life. Indeed, we don't just accept our destiny - we shape it.

On our 232nd Birthday, to every Marine - those still in uniform and those who have served honorably in the past - be proud of who you are and what you do. Know that your citizenship dues have been paid in full; you are part of this nation's elite warrior class. Cherish our families who offer marvelous support, abiding resolve, and steadfast patience. Remember those who have served and those who have fallen - their names are chiseled on the roll call of America's heroes. Those who have carried the battle colors of our Corps have forged our heritage, and today's generation of Leathernecks chart our future. Carry the colors with pride; carry them with honor. Happy Birthday, Marines!
Semper Fidelis,

James T. Conway, General, U.S. Marine Corps,
Commandant of the Marine Corps

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Combat PTSD: In Simple Terms

Improvised Explosive Device Amputation!

DoYou Know the How the Term PTSD came about?
People exposed to a life-threatening traumatic event, such as combat, genocide, rape, assault, or a serious accident will have physical and emotional reactions to their experience. For some, the effects of the event, and their reactions to it, will be short-lived. For others, the trauma will continue to disturb them and influence their actions and feelings for years.

The long-term emotional response to a traumatic event is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This anxiety-related disorder was officially identified after the Vietnam War. Although not fully understood or recognized until after Vietnam, the emotional effects of war have been with us throughout the ages. Many classic stories of war and its effect on warriors are a part of our culture and literature.

During the Civil War, what is now recognized as PTSD was commonly called “melancholy.” In World War I, the condition was referred to as “shell shock.” Then, World War II and Korea gave us the terminology “combat fatigue.” However, it was not until after Vietnam that the long-term effects of combat trauma were fully understood and began to be effectively treated.
For most of us, even though we may not have known it then and may continue to deny it now, serving in combat was a turning point in our lives. In ways most of our civilian brethren can never understand, we experienced losses during our military service that can endure a lifetime.

Our losses during combat ranged from the intangible loss of innocence and years of our life devoted to military service, to the very real and devastating loss of friends. Never again will the world seem as safe and secure for us as it had before our time in combat. At a very young age, we learned that bad things do happen to good people and that we can do very bad things as well.

"I am part of all that I have met." — Tennyson, Ulysses

© Richard E. O’Dell, 2005

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What Effect Did 9/11 Have on You?

This was an ACT of WAR!

What Effect Did 9/11 Have on You?
by E. Everett McFall (c)
November 04, 2007 01:45 AM EST

That day was a day of birth for me. Watching that second tower being struck and then the immediate explosive projection of fire, caused me to mentally reflect back to the "Rolling Thunder" of B52's, the White Sparks of the Super heated acid chemical- "White Phosphorus" and the rolling saturation of fireballs of Gasoline & liquid soap know as NAPALM.

Yes, I was frozen and transported backward (40 years) in time. Within two weeks I was in the Veterans Administration Hospital Mental Health Unit /PTSD. They identified my 40 year struggle with the inner demons that plagued me. It was a mild victory to finally learn that I wasn't alone and that I was NOT CRAZY. Well I knew that all the time. You see, Everybody else, that's right, EVERYBODY ELSE had the Problem- Not Me! Anyway, Those memories tormented my soul so often and intensely, That my first book evolved, "I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep...A Journey Into PTSD".

"A teenage US Marine Corps Corpsman left the U.S. for a tour in Southeast Asia in 1966...
Forty years later, at age sixty one , he is still fighting through depression, nightmares, and recurring flashbacks with intrusive thoughts. When he speaks of his inner demons today
he states, "I Can Still hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep".

After living in a bottle for 16+ years (I lost count), over 44 JOBS, three failed marriages and years of psychological therapy and medication... At last I am starting to turn my life around. My forth wife (she says "THE LAST"), and I are both students at University of Indiana Northwest.

E. Everett McFall is a high energy public speaker with a driving passion to help other Veterans. He is a active member of several non-profit Veterans service organizations.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

PTSD on the RISE

©2007 Minnesota Public Radio

Jesus Bocanegra, 24, talks during a therapy session at a Veterans Administration clinic in McAllen, Texas. Bocanegra has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a result of his service in Iraq in 2003-04. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

A recent study from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows that the number of Iraq and Afghanistan vets diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder is rising rapidly, and some say the VA is failing to meet the mental health needs of returning soldiers.

Matthew Friedman, MD: Executive director of the VA's National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He's a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Dartmouth University.
Ilona Meagher: Author of "Moving a Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America's Returning Troops."

Paul Sullivan: Director of Veterans for Common Sense. He is a veteran of the Gulf War and worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2000-2006.

Late veteran of Iraq war honored in launch of foundation (08/30/2007)
Minnesota Guard troops subject of war trauma study (07/22/2007)
Number of homeless vets is small, but growing (03/14/2007)
About Dr. Friedman
National Center for PTSD
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans for Common Sense
About Ilona Meagher

I was homeless for five (5) years, sleeping in cars, storefronts, garages, basements, shelters, anyplace that would offer a few moments of undisturbed shuteye. E. Everett McFall

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Web-Based Treatment for PTSDAm J Psychiatry (subscription) - USAReductions in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among military service members were greater with an 8-week program of cognitive behavior ...See all stories on this topic

Depressed Vets Have Seven-Fold Higher Suicide RateMedPage Today - Little Falls,NJ,USAPosttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was associated with a lower risk for suicide, but only in older veterans who had been diagnosed with depression, ...See all stories on this topic
Failure of Extinction of Fear Responses in Posttraumatic Stress ...Am J Psychiatry (subscription) - USAOBJECTIVES: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by the re-experiencing of a traumatic event, although the trauma itself occurred in the ...See all stories on this topic

New Waco VA center director has broad research missionWaco Tribune Herald - Waco,TX,USAChet Edwards, D-Waco, who has secured $3 million for Young's study on the root causes of PTSD, also played a role. Having a nationally respected researcher ...See all stories on this topic

A Randomized, Controlled Proof-of-Concept Trial of an Internet ...Am J Psychiatry (subscription) - USAMETHOD: Service members with PTSD from the attack on the Pentagon on September 11th or the Iraq War were randomly assigned to self-management cognitive ...See all stories on this topic

Complex Adaptations to Traumatic Stress: From Neurobiological to ...Am J Psychiatry (subscription) - USAHowever, it was not until 1980 that APA first included posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ...See all stories on this topic

How do you feel about todays post?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PTSD, What is it?

PTSD, What is it? Vol 1

by Chaotic Ramblings
December 07, 2006 10:24 AM EST (Updated: December 09, 2006 11:13 AM EST)
comments: 11

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a panic disorder caused by experiencing something traumatic. Some examples of trauma are: rape, WAR, car wrecks, 9/11, abuse and much more. For some people, this trauma takes over their lives; waking and sleeping. Suddenly, their lives change because they smell a certain scent, hear someone's voice or find themselves in an environment similar to the one where they experienced the trauma. These experiences then set off a chain of events: flashbacks, actual reliving of the trauma, overwhelming feelings of danger and panic attacks. People that suffer from PTSD never really know what will set it off; it could be anything and happen anywhere. Little by little, PTSD sufferers start to cut themselves off from persons, places and things that might cause a flashback and before they know it, they have cut themselves off from everyone and everything.

National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder definition of PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop Severe PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person's ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

Special Thanks To: Chaotic Ramblings
WAMarine---Semper Fi

What's Your Take On This?
Do You Know Someone With PTSD?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Postwar Psychological Trauma Insight

A Long time ago in a land far away, I went to war for LBJ. Nearly three million of us served in that country Vietnam. We returned with a lot of broken parts and Purple Hearts. For those who have not seen, No explanation is possible. For those who have seen, No explanation is necessary.
I’m very proud of “Doc” McFall; he was able to reveal with plain, graphic words, ‘combat conditions,’ as they were. He has laid it out for even nonmilitary folk to understand, especially for those not touched by the Vietnam War. More importantly, he provides an insight into the plight of those of us who suffer from PTSD.

Thank you my Brother for sharing your story, the misery of war as well as its aftermath—the mental hardship of death and destruction, the nightmares and flashbacks with vivid intrusive and suicidal thoughts. You opened up your soul, exposing your human feelings, the agony of postwar psychological trauma. We pray for you, your recovery, your loving and caring wife Jessica, and your renewed relationship with God (“Big Ernie”, to us ‘Nam Vets).

E. Everett is a survivor who keeps on keeping on, a Marine who does not know the how to give up. “I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even in My Sleep” is a Journey out of the Darkness of Hell into the Light of Hope and Recovery. It’s also a Journey of Possibility and Healing from the Horrors of War, to God’s Victory and Peace of Mind.

“Doc McFall,” YOUR BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR ALL! Keep on writing, my Brother!
Keep the Faith, just let the past go, and let God handle it! In the end, “Heaven Will Bless.”
"Love You Brother, Welcome Home…"

Semper Fi
Pfc. Jay E. Keck, Machine Gunner
Vietnam Veteran Class of 1966-67
Echo 2/7 1st Marine Division Aka:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

If You Suffer From PTSD, U_R_Not Alone!

Book Review
By Ed Evans

“I Can Still Hear Their Cries – Even In My Sleep; A Journey Into PTSD," By E. Everett McFall. Published by Outskirts Press, Inc. 60 pages. Softcover.

Having been on the receiving end of the marvels of Naval medicine, by "Corpsman" in the Republic of South Vietnam, the title of “Doc” is sacred to me, as it is to so many Marines.

The first thing you need to know about his book of mixed narrative and poetry... you will know from the subtitle, “Even In My Sleep – A Journey Into PTSD.” For many of us Marines, it’s important you know that before you start reading. As I got into the book, I could feel myself drifting toward the edge of the cliff. It doesn't take much to put many of us right back into yesterday; sights, sounds, the whistle of incoming mortars, the crunch as they hit, the cold sweats.

There’s an old joke about two Marines talking about Vietnam. One asks the other, “When you were you there?” The other responds, “Last night.” Yeah.

This book is Doc McFall’s journey, as the title says, into PTSD. The liner info on him reads, in part, “After 40 years, over 44 jobs, three failed marriages, and five years of psychological therapy, E. Everett McFall is now a full time student at the Indiana University Northwest.”
His book is a series of bread crumbs showing the way back out. With the help of many others, he found a way, and the book shares that. If you suffer from PTSD, if you think you’ve learned how to handle it, if you have friends or family members who are “still on their way home,” this might be the book that lets them know they aren’t alone.

Dr. Regina V. Jones, a professor at Indiana University Northwest, has said of this book, “…a cathartic work that takes a reader into the torment and pain of a Vietnam War veteran who, through poetry and prose, provides a reader with a shocking sensory insight into life as a Marine Corpsman and a surviving veteran.”
What she writes is valid, but civilians will never get to the level of understanding that this book will bring to any Marine who reads it. Below that level you can’t explain it. At that level, you don’t need to. Rated as FiveStars.

Ed Evans served the Marine Corps from 1959 to 1986 as a Marine Combat Correspondent and Photojournalist. At his home in Nashville, Tennessee, he is involved in a number of Marine and veterans organizations. He is also Pastor of Donelson Christian Church.

Ed EvansMGySgt., USMC (Ret.)Not as lean, not as mean, but still a Marine. http://donelsonchristianchurch.orgPUT AMERICA FIRST! Stop being a good Democrat. Stop being a good Republican. Start being a good American.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Does Depression Hurt?

In the Military, Too often it was taught, drilled and instilled in us that 'Real Men Don't Cry.' We can never allow ourselves to be emoitonaly weak. We were trained to be strong, resilient and always tough it out. That's what a real warrior does, is it not? Well, Not always. Sometimes Men who have been subjected to traumatic events under combat conditions have flashbacks of those events.

The mind replays sights and sounds permanently recorded and stored within its memory bank. These intrusive thoughts can occur at night ( as nightmares) or as flashbacks during the waking hours. They can be "Triggered" by any stimuli of our sensory system: certain sounds, visual objects/places, smells and even taste. Most Vietnam Veterans have unfavorable responses to loud noises, crowds, wooded and or forest areas. The Iraqi Veteran also has to deal with desert sand, alley-ways, and house to house urban dwellings.

Depression can occur when the memory of death of a fellow Marine(s) /Soldier(s) returns and haunts us, or lingers for days on end. Sometimes he / or she will wonder why God sparred them...Thus they will feel a mental burden called SURVIVORS GUILT. These depressive states are now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short. Thousands of us have it. We are Burdened by the PAIN. We argue spontaneously, we are temperamental, we sulk/self isolate ourselves, and Yes-WE CRY. Wouldn't You?

What is your opinion?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Stress Management?
This Current War?

Friday, October 19, 2007


By E. Everett McFall

By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
An Amazon Top Ten Reviewer
A Corpsman's Response to The Vietnam War: Sequelae, October 13, 2007

E. Everett McFall offers his own tragedies and illness and gradual recovery from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the result of giving medical aid to the living and the dead during his tour of duty in Vietnam, 1966/1967. Responding to a therapist's advice to commit the unspeakable experiences to a written journal was the impetus to launch his slow and terrifying road to recovery, a journey that in his own words persists to this day.

The results of that initial journal are here in this collection of thoughts, reflections and poems he has appropriately titled I CAN STILL HEAR THEIR CRIES EVEN IN MY SLEEP: A Journey Into PTSD. It is a book that would be well for all of us to read and experience as, despite the horrendous accounts of war's disabling effects on the human mind, it is also one of the books that will be considered a retrospective first in the exploration of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - a 'new' disease state dramatically brought to light by the experiences of Vietnam Vets.

McFall may not be trained as a poet, but he is more than sophisticated as a communicator. Few people who did not serve on a battlefield have an appreciation for the task assigned to Medics or Corpsmen, young lads whose expected life span in country was counted in days rather than in years. These are the 'field docs' who ministered to the wounded, salvaged those they could, and assisted the physicians in assimilating ‘matching’ body parts after mine and grenade and yet larger explosions threw disassembled arms, legs, torsos, feet, etc far from the point of 'enemy engagement', in order to ship the remains to the soldiers' families back home. How any Corpsman could escape psychic damage from such unrelenting trauma is impossible and McFall sensitively expresses the sights, the sounds, the odors, and the tragic aftermath of such an existence.

These poems are raw, difficult to read without a visceral response, but at the same time they demonstrate how at least one survivor, however injured by that experience, was able to revisit that time through poems and mark a path to gradual recovery. McFall generously adds to his book appendices such as 'Tips for Vets and Families Who are Managing Stress' and a 'Veterans Resource Guide and Directory', additions that make this sensitive book as much a gift to the war-experienced reader as it is a gift to the world of poetry. This is a book of courage, survival, and hope - and one well worth the attention of a wide audience.

Grady Harp, October 07