Friday, June 29, 2007

PTSD-Combat Stress 101

Today I am alive, Yesterday I died, Tomorrow is uncertain, unknown, and unchartered passages of life. No longer do I fear dying, rather it's living that's so painful. Living with the demons of death that plaque my every waking moment. Living is harder than dying- because of the memories, the reflections, the flashbacks with intrusive thoughts. "I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep". "Incoming"- mortars, rockets and searing red hot bullets. "Incoming" those high pitched streams of doom, whistling whining and knifing through the air with an ere Gothic theme accompanying each courier of death.

As I tried to decipher their message, I am frozen in place, a blend of paralysis of analysis and raw fear. Ear drum shattering, elevated decibels explosions far and near. Pardon me whilst I cope with the stress of times gone by. It's been forty years since I treaded that red muddy terrain of South East Asia (South Vietnam).
My blackened reddish tan has faded, replaced by toughen skin with age spots. The thinning grayish black hair encircles the ever widening sea of baldness. Those eagle eyes of yesteryear require bifocaled glasses now. The youthful vim and vigor has evaporated with time, leaving and an angry emotionally charged human shell. The quicken movements are drained from this finely tune, honed sharp killing machine known as a United States Marine.

No more drugs, no more alcohol, just headaches, tears, anger, sleepless nights, and the pain of having walked with death. I suffer from P.T.S.D. ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) formerly known as Combat Fatigue/Shell Shock. I am not part of an Elite Team of Combat Veterans, just one of millions who have P.T.S.D.

These are the basic criteria of P.T.S.D. that afflicts us all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gulf War Benefits, or the Lack of...

Benefits Home
Veterans Health Care

Gulf War Syndrome
Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War are provided with free, comprehensive medical examinations, including laboratory and other diagnostic tests deemed by an examining physician necessary to determine health status. Results of the examinations, which include review of the veteran’s military service and exposure history, are entered into special, computerized databases, called registries. These databases assist the VA in analyzing the types of health conditions being reported by veterans. Registry participants are advised of the results of their examinations in personal consultations. Veterans wishing to participate should contact the nearest VA health care facility for an examination. The VA operates a toll-free hotline at 800-749-8387 to inform Persian Gulf War veterans about VA programs, their benefits and the latest information on Persian Gulf benefits.

Persian Gulf veterans who suffer from chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses may receive disability compensation from VA. The undiagnosed illnesses must have appeared either during active duty in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations during the Persian Gulf War or at any time since, through December 31, 2001. The following symptoms may be manifestations of an undiagnosed illness:

neuropsychological symptoms -AKA


sleep disturbances
skin disorders
muscle pain
joint pain
neurological symptoms
symptoms involving the respiratory system
gastrointestinal symptoms
cardiovascular symptoms
abnormal weight loss
menstrual disorders

While these categories represent the sign and symptoms frequently noted in the VA's experiences to date, other signs and symptoms also could qualify for compensation. A disability is considered chronic if it has existed for at least six months.

The VA operates a toll-free hotline at 800-749-8387 to inform Persian Gulf War veterans about VA programs, their benefits and the latest information on Persian Gulf benefits.

However, returning veterans ( of both Gulf Wars )have only two years from their date of separation to receive medical treatment, file any new medical claims, or apply for continuing VA Benefits. ---Thanks to the present administration.

And that's UN-AMERICAN!!!

So write your State and Federal Congressional Rep's & your Senator, NOW!!!

Got feedback? If you find any information that you believe is incorrect, help us get it right. Send us your feedback.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Red Shirt Fridays

Red Fridays.

Americans who supported our troops used to be called the 'silent majority.' We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing. However, We shall no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday.

Why? Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday, -- and continues each and every Friday until ALL the troops come home, sending a deafening message that every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red. (A shirt, blouse, pants, dress, jacket- just show off your red.)

By word of mouth, press, TV - let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a Soldier or Marine says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is, ''We need your prayers and your support.'' So, let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.

Doc E. Everett McFall
USMC -''Then and Forever''

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

For Those Who Serve, It Is Our HONOR !

For Their Families, It Is A Sacrifice;

For Those of Us Who Benifit, It Is Our Duty....
To Always Support Our Troops!

I saw this soldier kneeling down, for this was the first quiet place he had found. He traveled through jungles, river and mud. His hands were scarred and toil-worn. He had fought for days from night till morn. He folded his hands and looked to the sky. I saw the tears, as they welled in his eyes.

He spoke to his God, and this is what he said: "God bless my men, who now lie dead. I know not what You have in mind, but when You judge, please be kind… when they come before You.

They will be poorly dressed, but will walk proudly, for they have done their best. Their boots will be muddy and their clothes all torn….. but these clothes they have so proudly worn.

Their hearts will be still and cold inside, for they have fought their best and did so with pride.
So please take care of them as they pass Your way…the price of freedom they have already paid."

‘ LEST THEY BE FORGOTTEN ’, Even though they have given so much!!!

Atuomated Slide Show

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

PTSD - What is it ?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Overview
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur following a life-threatening event like 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 have stress reactions that don't go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop Chronic PTSD.

Severe acute or prolonged exposure to trauma may cause relentless long-lasting even life-time emotional effects. People who suffer from PTSD often suffer from nightmares, difficulty sleeping, and feeling emotionally numb, they also have flashbacks with intrusive thoughts. These symptoms can significantly impair a person's daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear physical and psychological symptoms. It often has symptoms like depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other physical and mental health problems. The disorder is also associated with difficulties in social or family life, including spontaneous volatile and intense mood swings, occupational instability, marital problems, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

Click here for related entry.

As an American Veteran, how do I file a claim for disability due to PTSD?

A formal request ("claim") must be filed by the veteran using forms provided by the VA's Veterans Benefits Administration. After the forms are completely submitted, the veteran must complete interviews concerning her or his "social history" (a review of family, work, and educational experiences before, during, and after military service) and "psychiatric status" (a review of past and current psychological symptoms, and of traumatic experiences during military service).

The forms and information about the application process can be obtained from Benefits Officers at any VA Medical Center, Outpatient Clinic, or Regional Office. The process of applying for a VA disability for PTSD can take several months, and can be both complicated and quite stressful. Be patient!!! KEEP The ORIGINAL and a COPY of Every Document from any and ALL Governmental Sources, plus anything that will support your claim.

The Veteran's Service Organizations ( DAV, American Legion, VVA, VFW ) provide "Service Officers" at no cost to help veterans and family members pursue VA disability claims. Service Officers are familiar with every step in the application and interview process, and can provide both technical guidance and moral support. In addition, some Service Officers particularly specialize in assisting veterans with PTSD disability claims.

Even if a veteran has not been a member of a specific Veterans Service Organization(VSOs) , the veteran still can request the assistance of a Service Officer working for that organization. In order to get representation by a qualified and helpful Service Officer, you can directly contact the local office of any Veterans Service Organization -- or ask for recommendations from other veterans who have applied for VA disability, or from a PTSD specialist at a VA PTSD clinic or a Vet Center.

"I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep" ,

by E. Everett McFall is Now Available Exclusively on AMAZON.COM