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VOL. 2/ISSUE 15 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 201435 cents Drug treatment courts have been around a while. Many may be familiar with the TV show Last Shot with Judge Gunn Drug Court, where those falling afoul of the law via drug abuse can get treatment, and thus become productive citizens. But for returning veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq, those courts wont work at least, not very well, according to a Brevard County judge. Why? Two things: PTSD and traumatic brain injury, or TBI. All too often, troops come home and commit crimes, because of under lying problems. Judge John Murphy is a highly decorated, 30-plus-year Army veteran who served in special operations, retiring at the rank of colonel from the 3rd Special Forces Group. He oversees Brevard Countys Veterans Treatment Court, a new concept in helping vets avoid the stigma of criminal records. Murphy is a graying, bespectacled, well-dressed man in his 60s well-spoken and matterof-fact, as youd expect of a judge. Before being elected to the bench in 2006, he practiced law in the in Melbourne, of which his father is a partner. pect from a former Special Forces Indeed, in his military career, he was known as the special-ops judge. And when he speaks about the Veterans Treatment Court, he makes his case directly and to the point. The judge explained the program and how it works at a meeting of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerces Veterans Resource Committee last week in Viera. At tendees included not only press, but also advocate groups, like Volunteers of America. Everyone wanted to know more about the Veterans Treatment Court and how they could help. In many ways, crimes committed by vets are unique in their causes. Murphy said the problem is big, and getting bigger. Tens of thousands of (returning) veterans suffer from PTSD, family strife and other problems, Murphy said. All too often, Veterans have own court in Brevard Mary KemperSTAFF WRITERmkemper@veteranvoiceweekly.comSee COURT page 4 Source: Wikimedia Commons 9028How are you coping with PTSD, either yourself, or your family?Send your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 FEBRUARY 14, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE County Veterans Service OfficersSt. Lucie County, Wayne Teegardin Phone: (772) 337-5670 Fax: (772) 337-5678 email@example.comDorothy J. Conrad Building(formerly the Walton Road Annex Bldg.) 1664 S.E. Walton Road, Suite 205 Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 By appointmentMon., Tues, Thurs, Fri 8:30 am-4:30 pmWed 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. St. Lucie County Community Services Bldg.(Corner of Avenue D and 7th Street) 437 N. Seventh St., Fort Pierce, FL 34950 Walk-ins Mon. and Fri. 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Brevard Veterans Services Office2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Bldg. B, Suite 102, Viera, FL 32940 Office: (321) 633-2012 Fax: (321) 637-5432 Mon., Tues. and Thurs., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed. and Fri, 8 a.m.-noon Manager: Glenn McGuffieIndian River CountyJoel Herman Vero Beach 2525 St. Lucie Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960 Ph: (772) 226-1499 Fax: (772) 770-5038Sebastian Square 11602 U.S. 1, Sebastian, FL 32958 Ph: (772) 589-6597 Fax: (772) 581-4988Martin CountyTony Reese, Veterans Service Office Supervisor Nick Ciotti, Veterans Service Officer (772) 288-5448Veterans Services OfficeMartin County Community Services 435 S.E. Flagler Ave., Stuart, FL 34994 Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.VA Life Insurance Ctr., Phil., PA 1-800-669-8477 VA Regional Office 1-800-827-1000 VA Medical Ctr, W. Palm Beach 1-800-972-8262 Pharmacy, VA Medical Center 1-800-317-8387 Military Retired Pay Activities, Cleveland, OH (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force ONLY) 1-800-321-1080 Military Retired Pay Activities, Topeka, KS (Coast Guard ONLY) 1-800-772-8724 Survivor Benefits (SBP), Denver, CO 1-800-435-3396 Stuart VA Clinic (772) 288-0304 Okeechobee CountyVeterans Services office (863) 763-6441, Ext 5. Fax: (863) 763-0118.Orlando VA Medical Cente5201 Raymond St., Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 629-1599 or (800) 922-7521Telephone Care(407) 599-1404 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon. Fri. (800) 645-6895 8 a.m. 4 p.m. Mon Fri (321) 637-3625 Viera patients8 a.m. 4 p.m. Mon. Fri. (877) 741-3400 Weekends, holidays, evenings and nightsWest Palm Beach Department of Veterans Affair s Medical Center7305 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33410 (561) 422-8262 or (800) 972-8262 Telephone Care(561) 422-6838 (866) 383-9036 Open 24 hours 7 daysViera VA Outpatient Clinic2900 Veterans Way, Viera, FL 32940 Phone: (321) 637-3788 1 (877) 878-8387 Mon. Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.St Lucie County PTSD Clinical Team (PCT) Outpatient Program 126 S.W. Chamber Court, Port St Lucie, FL 34986 Phone: (772) 878-7876Fort Pierce Community Based Outpatient Clinic1901 South 28th Street., Fort Pierce, FL 34947 Phone: (772) 595-5150 Fax: (772) 595-6560St Lucie Community Based Outpatient Clinic128 S.W. Chamber Court, Port Saint Lucie, FL 34986 Phone: (772) 344-9288Stuart Community Based Outpatient Clinic 3501 S E Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart, FL 34997 Phone: (772) 288-0304 Fax: (772) 288-1371Vero Beach Community Based Outpatient Clinic372 17th St., Vero Beach, FL 32960 Phone: (772) 299-4623 Fax: (772) 299-4632IMPORTANT NUMBERS ... Veteran Voice is a weekly publication designed to provide information to and about veterans to veterans and to the broader community. Veterans are an integral part of their Florida communities, which currently have individual organizations of their own, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Vietnam Veterans of America and many other groups with a narrow focus, but no convenient way to connect to a wider population of veterans and to the community in general within a limited geographic area, their community. The mission of Veteran Voice is to publish a weekly source of information that will provide, in one place, a listing of resources available to veterans, articles about changes in policies or organizations affecting veterans and events of interest to veterans as well as articles about veterans of interest to the general public. Veteran Voice LLC is organized as a partnership of experienced newspaper executives with an interest in veterans and in the communities of Florida veterans and friends. Veteran Voice is a start-up intended to address a perceived lack of information readily available to veterans on programs and policies affecting them and objective reporting of veteran affairs to the public. To our knowledge, and based on comments from lead ers of local veterans organizations, there was no media or website currently meeting this need until the launch of Veteran Voice. We hope you agree, and will support this publica tion with your subscription. Without subscriptions there will be a limited number of people we can help, without which this mission will not be realized. As part of our commitment to supporting local veteran communities, readers and subscribers. Please let us know what you think by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing your comments to us at 1919 S.W. South Macedo Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984.OUR MISSION STATEMENTAND OUR OBJECTIVE9029 SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!! 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VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE FEBRUARY 14, 2014 3 For once, youre on the other side of the story, joked one Viet nam veteran to Patrick Paddy McCallister. Thats because McCallister, 46, a staff writer for Veteran Voice, was the story. He was inducted into Viet Nam Veterans of America Chapter 1041, Martin County, Tuesday (Feb. 4) as an honorary member an event he considers a tre mendous honor, and the culmination of many years of closeness with Vietnam veterans. Though not a veteran himself, his ties with Vietnam veterans began with a terrible injury in his younger years. (Editors note: Please see McCallisters column, Page 4 of this edition.) In accepting his induction, he told a very tragic story calmly and the assembled veterans gave him a standing ovation, and McCallis ter was visibly moved. Born in Georgia and raised in central Florida, he is a tall man, with short, curly hair and keen blue eyes. Normally talkative, with a dry wit, he was subdued at the meeting. Later, he admitted to feeling very strong emotions for words. On hand to help welcome McCallister into the chapter was Ben L. Humphries, president of the Viet Nam Veterans of America Florida is in Vero Beach. As much as he (McCallister) has been doing for the vets hes so close to this chapter were just trying to give recognition where its due, Humphries said. George Mittler, president of Chapter 1041, kept teasing McCallister off and on as Mittler went around the room greeting members. Its about time you got here, Mr. McCallister! he said. Its Paddy! McCallister shot back. Joking aside, the way Mittler and other vets spoke with him made it clear McCallister is extremely well-liked and appreci ated by what are now his broth ers, as he said. What I didnt say in my column was that my heart had actually Writer becomes honorary Vietnam vet Mary KemperSTAFF WRITERmkemper@veteranvoiceweekly.comSee HONORARY page 8 www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com/USmilitary Indian River Colony Club Toll free: 877-484-6178 www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com/usmilitary www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com/usmilitaryThe Place Patriots Call Home Maintenance Free Living in Single 2-4 BR Single Family Homes Take a tour! Call Today!Although we don't play golf or tennis, IRCC is the ideal place for us. Maintenance free living (someone else does it, not me) is a dream come true. Retired military with over 12 moves, we've nally found the place that we can call home. ~Karen & Robert WasReady to start your next adventure? Enjoy the lifestyle you deserve with the time to do everything you always wanted to do.Active, Friendly, Military Retirement Community 8998
4 FEBRUARY 14, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE they self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, which manifests in DUI charges and family stress. Of course, the longer it is untreated, the worse it will be. With TBI, many vets dont know they have it. Brain injuries include cognitive problems and self-control issues, leading them to commit crimes, he said. Some sobering numbers: There are 22 million veterans in the United States, Murphy said. Of those, 1.6 million are from Florida. There are 229,000 vets in jails and 400,000 on probation. And 10 percent of the entire prison population is veterans. One in four vets has substance abuse issues, or 1.8 million, he said. Suicide is one of the worst re sults for suffering vets, Murphy said. There is one suicide per day in the active services, he said. He pointed out that women veterans commit more suicides than men. And heres the major reason why: Up to 33 percent of all veterans are at risk for PTSD or depres sion, Murphy said. Up to 320,000 have TBI. One in disorder. Clearly, we have a big problem looming. A big part of that big problem: downsizing of troops units taking place while they have been deployed. The Department of Defense has been looking for ways to cut costs across the board. One way is to cut personnel while they are and cant defend their jobs back home. These troops come back from have disappeared, Murphy said. So this leads to two more things adding to the stress of PTSD and TBI unemployment and homelessness. Up to 18 percent of all veterans, and 21.6 percent of younger veterans, are unemployed, he said. Ive gone out on searches for homeless veterans, he said. Weve found them living in the woods, living in tent communi ties. This is something people arent aware of. Getting smiles from the meet ing attendees, Murphy said, I will say that ordinary homeless peoples communities well, lets just say that youre not supposed to mess with your mess kit, if you know what I mean. The military campsites had no mess kit issues. That just shows you there is plenty of pride worth saving. The existing court treatment programs are not up to the job of treating veterans, he said. Many wont be eligible. So we felt it was up to us to take the issue head-on. If youre a veteran in Brevard County suffering from PTSD or TBI, and youve gotten in trouble, youll be helped by the Veterans Treatment Court but you wont be given a get out of jail free pass, Murphy said. We are here to help vets, but our keyword is accountability, he said. There are 13 Veterans Treatment Courts in Florida, 12 of which are in Brevard County. All operate on the same guidelines of making sure vets do what theyre expected to do under the treatment program. But Murphy emphasized that the court exists because people care about the vets. to them, is ask them about their service where they served, what they did. Then I thank them for their service, he said. Just that one thing makes their eyes light up and brings them pride, and shows me they are ready and willing to turn their lives around. However, he said, vets must do their part, and maintain their treatment schedules. Part of the Veterans Treatment Court program includes random drug testing, and mandatory treatment dates. To help vets achieve this, the Veteran Treatment Courts have one thing other treatments dont: Mentors. Mentors are key to the programs success. Its vets willing to help other vets, Murphy said. We try to match mentors with returning vets by service, war experience, gender and so on, but right now we need more to achieve our oneon-one goal. Mentors help vets in trouble to attend court dates, treatment cope with housing and many other issues. They are the boots on the ground to help suffering veterans at a very confusing and troubled time, Murphy said. A suffering veteran may be over whelmed by his or her problems, and not know where to turn. Someone who shares their service experience may be the difference between drowning in trouble or getting help and getting back to productive life, he said. Mentors are the key difference between VTC and the regular drug courts, he said. Without them, VTC wont work. Creating a judicial treatment program also couldnt be done without the cooperation of the Murphy said. Theyre the most important component, he said. And the cooperation in Brevard has been phenomenal. Also assisting in the effort has been the county Probation Department, and the federal VA. A network has been developed among the various agencies to li ase with each other to make sure vets get the treatment they need, medically, but more importantly, a good resolution of their criminal offenses, he said. Let me tell you this: A great many veterans winding up with charges for crimes get adminis trative discharges, which results in them leaving service with no mental-health issues like PTSD). (The VTC) mission includes making sure their charges get dismissed after treatment, when appropriate, based on the fact that they were misdiagnosed be fore they left service. Obviously, he said, serious fel onies such as murder would not apply. Currently, the Veterans Treatment Courts work with mis demeanors such as drug offenses and DUIs; down the road, Mur phy said, the program will evalu ate whether lower-class felonies can be part of the program. The results of Veterans Treatment Courts are astounding. Up to 75 percent of VTC clients remain arrest-free after treat ment, Murphy said. Weve had 25 graduates with no recidivism. However, 20 veterans were revoked that is, they went to criminal court deciding against treatment but they will wind up with us anyway. How that worked was when those vets went to sentencing for their crimes, the judge or dered them to receive treatment through Veterans Treatment Courts which they could have phy said. So, basically, they cant get away from us, he said, receiving appreciative laughter from the audience. Veterans Treatment Court are clear. We eliminate trials, for one thing, Murphy said. And weve found that for every $1 spent, $4 is saved in court costs. It eliminates lengthy and cost ly trials, and helps prevent vets from showing back up in the system. Once they go through treatment successfully, and charges are dismissed, theyre back on their feet, reconnecting with their families, their friends and their communi ty. Brevard County has taken the lead in successfully transitioning suffering vets back into life. The Brevard VTC has been working well since June of 2011, Murphy said. Since the program Publisher Partner Tammy Raits Managing Editor Mary Kemper Eric Macon Donna Marinak SUBSCRIBE TODAY (772) 204-2409 Veteran Voice is a newspaper for veterans, POSTAL STATEMENT POSTMASTER: e Voice of Experience COURT from page 1There is one suicide per day in the active services, Judge Murphy said. He pointed out that women veterans commit more suicides than men. We eliminate trials, for one thing, Murphy said. And weve found that for every $1 spent, $4 is saved in court costs.
VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE FEBRUARY 14, 2014 5 was initiated, there has been an outpouring of help from many, many community organizations. And its growing. There are a total of 102 drug courts in Florida, only 13 of which are Veterans Treatment Courts. And 12 of those are in Brevard County, mostly due to Murphys efforts. But were lag ging behind, he said. We need many, many more (VTCs). Getting vets back as productive members of society complete with jobs has already been ad dressed at Patrick Air Force Base. Capt. Jarvora Duncan, chief of the military personnel section at Patrick Air Force Bases B45th Force Support Squadron, has the task of connecting veterans with not only job opportunities, but and many other issues. At the meeting, he talked about what is ahead for vets suffering and non-suffering in a changing landscape. Namely, DoD downsizing. Its not an easy job. Duncan has been assigned the task of overseeing job cuts. Ive been referred to as the grim reaper, he said, to rueful laugh ter among the meeting attendees. But his job is, indeed, grim. About 1,700 troops (at Patrick AFB) will be affected in the job cuts. All ranks are being cut, from enlisted on up to highest 500 enlisted members, he said, who would probably be looking to One audience member said it out loud: So whos hiring? Were planning job fairs, and weve been sending mass e-mails out to those affected, Duncan said. Theres also going to be mandatory transition training going on in individual units. Some people will leave volun tarily, he pointed out. We hope to have numbers on how many plan to stay in the community soon. Some will stay in the Re serves, but many others will be at loose ends. Including vets suffering from PTSD or TBI. Its a safe bet that many of the veterans getting ready to transition back into civil ian life in the Melbourne area will be sufferers. Those wishing to learn more about veterans helping other veterans cope with PTSD, TBI and other issues can visit makethe connection.net, and click on the conditions tab. No one knows yet the true scope of how badly combat affects people. The experts on PTSD have correlated veterans with their studies, while studies of TBI are ongoing. The upshot: Until scientists account for the unique problems troops face, veterans are likely to fall under the radar of proper treatment and commit crimes. Brevards VTC is a huge step in the right direction. Todays vets have had to do their jobs under enormous pressure. Murphy noted that too many troops have had at least 10 rota tions of duty in combat areas. Ten, he said. You can imagine how hard that is, what the toll it takes. Would you be willing to become a mentor to help a vet in need? Murphy says that mentors are key to helping vets transition. Right now, we do ask that men tors have already served themselves, he said. We know that military spous es and others can help, and we welcome that, but when being a mentor, there is no substitute for someone who has served. For those interested, Murphy recommends visiting an actual session of VTC. The next scheduled session is Feb. 12, at Courtroom 3C, Bre vard County Court. Thats the best way you can understand what these vets are going through, he said. There will be people there to network with to take the next steps. The Brevard (VTC) has been working well since June 2011, Murphy said. Theres been an outpouring of positive feedback thats just been phenomenal. After what our veterans have gone through, they deserve a helping hand from the court system, rather than being stigma tized for the rest of their lives. For more information on pro grams overseen by the Veterans Resource Committee of the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce, contact Justin Ander son, Veterans Resource Committee liaison, at melbourneregionalchamber.com. After what our veterans have gone through, they deserve a helping hand from the court system, rather than being stigma tized for the rest of their lives. Judge John Murphy FEBRUARY 1 422 Our Agricultural Heritage Ag Education Events & Activities Vi sit the Environmenta l Building CONCERTS G O SPEL MU SIC S un day Febru ary 16 TYLER FARR Mon day Febru ary 17 ERIC PASLAY Thurs day Febru ary 20 ROLL N SOUL Fri day Febru ary 21 LATI N MUSIC NIGHT Satur day Febru ary 22 JOEY DEE & THE STARLIGHTERS DAILY WOLVES OF THE WORLDAn Educational Experience!PETTING ZOOMeet & Greet the Critters MARTIN COUNT Y FAIRGR OUNDS F IND YOUR F U N AT: M artinCountyFair.comSENIORS DAY $ 3 T u esday F e bruary 1 8Special Hours 11am to 3pmGene ral Adm: 4:30-10:00pm $ 5 Seniors after 3 pm $ 5MERRY -GO-ROUND FERRIS WHEELLIVESTOCK SHOWS:POUL TRY SHOWSaturday 2/15 3:00pmRABBIT SHOWSunday 2/16 2:00pmSWINE SHOWMonday 2/17 7:00pmSTEER/HEIFER SHOWTuesday 2/18 7:00pmSHOWMANSHIPSwine Wed 2/19 7:00pmGOAT/LAMB SHOWThursday 2/20 5:30pmSHOWMANSHIPSteer/Heifer Fri 2/21 7:00pmAUCTION NIGHTSaturday 2/22 5:00pmThank You to our Sponsors: MC PROPANE 8950
6 FEBRUARY 14, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE The 2014 spring airshows are The airborne action launches with the annual TICO Warbird AirShow, March 14 to 16. Thatll be at the Space Coast Regional Airport, 355 Golden Knights Blvd., Titusville. One theme, and we have a cou ple, is honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, Ron Davis, public relations mand Warbird Museum, said. The museum hosts the annual airshow. The Tuskegee Airmen are a legendary group of black World War II. The National Museum of the US Air Force has much history about the airmen at its website, www.nationalmuseum.af.mil But theres living history in Titusville: Hiram Mann. He makes frequent appearances at the Warbirds functions, and is the subject of the book, Tuskegee Airman Fight Pilot: A Story of an Original Air shows on runway FOR VETERAN VOICEpatrick.email@example.comSee SHOWS page 7 9057
VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE FEBRUARY 14, 2014 7 Tuskegee Pilot Lt. Col. Hiram E. Mann. Were going to have at least (Mann), and we hope a couple of the Tuskegee Airmen with us, Davis said. As America prepared for the possibility of war in 1940, Congress enacted the Selective Training and Service Act. It par tially eased racial discrimina tion in the military and opened the way for blacks to train for the Army Air Forces. The Tuskegee Institute, founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, got involved with training them. It was the only school where the black pilots trained during the war. Led by (Capt. Benjamin O. Davis Jr.) 1942, the Air Force museums website reads. The 99th Pursuit Squadron added personnel and trained for a year before in the spring of 1943. They were attached to the 33rd Fighter Group at Fordjouna, Tunisia. Flying P-40 Warhawks, the 2, 1943, as the Allies secured the Italian island of Pantellaria. victory against the Luftwaffe on July 2 when Lt. Charles B. Hall shot down a Focke Wulf Fw 190 on his eighth mission. There was much criticism leveled at the black airmen, but they stayed in the skies. Mann will probably have a lot of sto ries for those who want to hear them at the airshow. The airshow will be opened 8:30 to 5 p.m. all days. in the afternoon (all days), Da vis said. This year is the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord, more often called D-Day. The air shows doing a tribute. The other thing were going Belle, a 1942 Douglas C-47 transport, itll open the airshow as always. Were going to drop some air troops dressed in full (World War II) regalia. Shes going to be doing the same mis sion she did on D-Day. The Belle is one of the nearly 12,000 Allied planes in the sky over France on June 6, 1944. The skydivers will do a static line drop, just as the men in her on D-Day did. The idea is in six or seven sec onds to get 15 paratroopers out that door, Davis said. Thats how about 18,000 para troopers arrived in France on D-Day. Also on deck for the show is the GEICO Skytypers. tions, Davis said. They write messages in the sky with engine smoke. Theres lots more. For example A fella named Matt Younkin, Davis said. Younkins claim to fame isnt in a 1943 Beechcraft Breech 18, a plane never made with aero batics in mind. Its sort of like me showing up with a Ford at the drag races, Davis said. Air acts are exactly what you expect at an airshow. Davis said therell be something new on the ground this year. We have a full up carnival for kids, Davis said. The Vero Beach Air Show will take off with the Blue Angels on May 10 and 11. Thatll be at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport, 3400 Cherokee Drive. More about the TICO show is on the web at www.nbbd.com/ festivals/warbird. Information about the Vero Beach Air Show is at www.veroairshow.com .To Angels, visit www.blueangels. navy.mil.SHOWS from page 6 The Korean War Veterans Asso ciation Chapter106 is looking to increase its membership. The current criteria for mem bership in the Korean War Veterans Association for regular members is any person who has honorable service in any of the Armed Forces of the Unit Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, is eligible for membership if: A. Service was within Korea including territorial waters and airspace at any time, Sept. 3, 1945 to present, orKorean vets chapter wants you FOR VETERAN VOICESee KOREAN page 9 8941 9027 OPEN HOUSESun. Feb 16 1pm-4pm1095 Amethyst. Dr. S.W. Vero Beach Call Jason Coley for more infoFor more information and pictures go to:http://grf.me/f8GTeam Coley Real Estate GroupJason Coley/Realtor/CDPE 772-201-5229 Beautiful, custom designed 5 bd. 3.5 bth home, with library lo and oversized game room. Brazilian cherry wood, tile and carpet ooring, custom window treatments, granite, wrought iron railing, crown molding throughout. One of the most beautiful homes on the market and it comes with its own botanical garden-like landscaping Your Own Botanical Paradise and pool home in Vero Beach A $1,000,000 Home For Only $474,900 Open House
8 FEBRUARY 14, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE stopped, McCallister said. The doctor who saved my life was himself a Vietnam medical veteran who had experience with removing shrapnel and treating those kinds of injuries. I owe Vietnam vets my life literally. In addition to writing for Veteran Voice (since November 2012), McCallister also writes for sister publications Your Voice News & Views (since January 2013), as well as for The Veteran, a VVA publication, and Paraplegia News, a publication of the Par alyzed Veterans of America. In addition to writing about VVA Chapter 1041, he has written ex tensively about several other area chapters. Chapter 1041 is an active one. Coming up on March 1 will be its 3rd annual Sporting Clay Fun Shoot, at the South Florida Shooting Club in Palm City. The event, which will feature breakfast and lunch, prizes and Veterans Helping Veterans Leaving No One Behind. In fact, membership in the VVA is growing appreciably, according to Humphries. Weve got 26 chapters now, and by June well have 28 or 29, he said. Over the last year, weve added 800 members. Humphries said he tries to visit each chapter in the state at least once a year and if he cant visit them, one of his vice presidents will. On visiting Chapter 1041, he said he was honored to take part in welcoming McCallister into the VVA fold. For McCallister, becoming an honorary member of Chapter what has been a long relation ship. Now, it is his own band of brothers. For information on Chapter 1041s shooting event, contact Steve Dame, (772) 323-4710, or Michael Lazarus, (772) 631-4706, or visit www.vva1041.org.HONORARY from page 3Accepted as a brother born out of timeYouve seen Death. Were brothers. Remember those words. Theyre important. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Viet nam Veterans of America Chapter 1041, Stuart, gave me one of the greatest tributes of my life: an honorary membership in the VVA. So, whys it important to a guy who was 6 when direct American involvement ended in Vietnam? On June 4, 1983, at about 5:30 p.m., a bomb Id made exploded a couple meters from me. The deto nation warning came too short to do anything but throw the explosive and try to shield my older brother from the coming blast. In a blink, I went from a fool ish, hurting, angry teenager to a Shrapnel to the chest that broke off some rib. In Veteran Voice, thats all the explanation needed. After a deafening thump there was no sound besides a growing ringing. My vision was obscured like looking through an emptied glass soda bottle. It quickly faded altogether. Powder burn to the right side of my face was what probably took it. The shockwave had crushed and twisted three I was dying. At 16, my life was emptying out of me. I was dying in a dark, lonely world with only a loud ring to keep me company. Before I lost my sight, Id seen my body covered in red, my chest I can behold it in my mind with Id seen it with my temporarily unblinded eye. I frequently do. I paid a blessedly small price for survival. My sight returned to ap parent normal. My hearing took a loss, but I can hear well enough to get quotes right. I have enough living. Theres no permanent, debilitating heart damage anyones detected. But I paid a price. At times Ill feel the explosion. Sometimes its a background sensation, barely perceptible. Other times, its like the damned thing is happening. Like one day in 1987. out, I opted to go see a Viet nam War movie. Its not like anyones going to encounter an up-close-and-personal explosion in a Vietnam movie, right? Well, that scene came. It was almost incidental to everything else happening on the screen. A soldier grabbed something booby trapped. Then BOOM! It was 1987 for most everyone else in the theater, but not for me. It was 1983. I was back at my home on the St. Johns River. I was back at the moment when Id meet Death. As far as my mind was concerned, Id just been hit by another explosion. I grunted and vomited into the popcorn box in my hands. I snapped up, rushed for the exit, and tossed my embarrassment a soiled box of popcorn into the trash along the way out. As I crossed the lobby, his voice boomed. Brother! he called. I stopped. Thought to keep going. Then turned to the approach ing footsteps. There stood a guy with the green, yellow and red badge of knowing pain on his hat, or shirt. Somewhere. His age was right on for being a Vietnam War veteran. No, I said. Im way too young to be a Vietnam veteran. He looked deeply into me for a moment. Youve seen Death, he said. Were brothers. Those words thundered in my brain. We were connected, he and I. See MCCALLISTER page 9 Brother! he called. I stopped. Thought to keep going. Then turned to the approach ing footsteps. There stood a guy with the green, yellow and red badge of knowing pain on his hat, or shirt. Somewhere. His age was right on for being a Vietnam War veteran. No, I said. Im way too young to be a Vietnam veteran. He looked deeply into me for a moment. Youve seen Death, he said. Were brothers. Rev. Roszon and Vivian Roberts son and daughter-in-lawWe got everything we needed to keep caring fo Dad at home. TREASURING LIFE My dad had Alzheimers disease for years, and Vivian and I took care of him in our home. A friend told me how Treasure Coast Hospice can help. They provided Dads medications, a wheelchair, a shower chair and oxygen. The RN and hospice aide showed us their love and patience as they helped us give Dad all the care he needed. We suggest calling Treasure Coast Hospice as early as possible.Treasure Coast Hospice provides comfort and guidance for any life-limiting illness, including Alzheimers. To learn more, call us at ( 866 ) 999-4550 or visit tchospice.org. 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VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE FEBRUARY 14, 2014 9 Maybe he was judging by the bright blue spots on my face back then an unmistakable testament to my brush with a pow der-based bomb. Maybe he was judging from my reaction to the movie scene. Maybe those whove narrowly escaped from Deaths ers who can recognize each other when they look for it. Youve seen Death. Were brothers. He threw his arms around me, a young man whod cried only once or twice in the previous seven or eight years. I started balling. I was carrying a life-tak ing pain and didnt even know it. He pulled me close and I nestled against his strong shoulder and sobbed. Was the man an angel sent to help heal a young lad struggling with an event none of his peers could yet grasp? Maybe. Ive wondered. What I know is from that moment Ive felt the greatest had taken a part of my pain to share his strength with me. I dont remember his name, if I ever learned it. He became every Vietnam veteran to me. Ive clowned with leaders in the Vietnam Veterans of America that they should make me an honorary member for all the stories Ive written about them. When George Mittler, president of the VVAs 1041, Stuart, called to tell me I was getting that very honor I dont have words for the emo tions. Id never told any Vietnam veterans this story before the night I was made an honorary member of the VVA. None that I can recall, at least. Its to my shame that Ive never told them about their brother helping a hurting youth whod seen Death. Now I have. Now I have, brothers. And I thank each and every one of you for holding me that night. Patrick Paddy McCallister writes weekly for Veteran Voice. Membership in the VVA is open to all veterans who served in Vietnam from February 1961 to May 1975, and all veterans who served from August 1964 to May Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Theyre held at Sewalls Point Town Hall, 1 S. Sewalls Point Road. To learn more about the VVA Chapter 1041, visit www. vva1041. MCCALLISTER from page 8 B. Service was outside of Korea, June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955. Our current aim to help all veterans who are in need of assis tance in all types endeavors. We provide funds for the homeless, for transportation of disabled vets to the VA Clinic, education semi nars for our school children, and a prime contributor to the Fisher House Foundation, a network of comfort homes where military and veterans families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. The facility serving the West Palm Beach VA medical center is located at 7305 N. Military Trail, Route 122 in West Palm Beach. We need the help of any concerned citizens with a legitimate interest in the affairs of the Korean War Veterans of America and wishes to support our aims. These persons can be provided an associate membership. Chapter 106 meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Disabled American Veterans building on 11560 S.W. California Blvd. in Port St Lucie. Come join us at 10:30 a.m. Look forward to meeting your fellow veterans and enjoy lunch on us. For more information, call Harold Trieber (561) 568-9347.KOREAN from page 7 8985 Since 1977 FULL SERVICE AUTO REPAIR24 Hr Towing 626 3rd Place, Vero Beach* Excludes Tires Mon-Fri 7:30am 5:30pm 772-569-212010% OFF*To All Vets!PARTS & LABORVeteran Owned Assisted Li v in g Come flourish! 772-463-7133 StuartLodgeLiving.com1301 SE Palm Beach Road Stuart, FL 34994 NOW ACCEPTING RESERVATIONS! Visit our Information Center 1055 East Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL AL License Pending Mary Ann Come visit me to discover a new culture in Assisted Living Ill provide the love, if youll provide the treatswoof! First Resident of Stuart LodgeStuart Lodge is designed around an Atlantic in Assisted Living with the warmth and comfort of home. It is our goal to help you part of Elders changing the World! 9068
10 FEBRUARY 14, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE On Feb. 2, 1943, there were four men, all Army chaplains, on the troop transport ship USAT Dorchester, headed to Greenland, along with 900 others on board. A German U-boat torpedoed the ship, and she sank. When she went down, the four chaplains went with her and into history. Their legacy continues to this day, as can be seen in a memorial in Sebastian that was dedicated Feb. 15, 2012. The legacy also includes an award, called the Legion of Honor, given by the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation. It is given once a year to someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help his or her fellow veterans, without regard to faith, race or creed. This year, on Sunday (Feb. 2), the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor award went to Donna Carlsen of Port St. Lucie. It was presented at St. Lucie Catholic Church, Port St. Lucie. A gathering of at least 100 participated, representing friends, family and representatives of veterans groups from all of the armed forces. The former veteran services coordinator for St. Lucie County, Carlsen served in the Army as a truck driver from 1992 to 1999, including a tour in Somalia. she is outspoken and friendly. She has an energy that is immediately felt restless, focused, on to the next thing. She has held an astonishing number of simultaneous positions, all of which are veteran-oriented. A short list: The WorkForce Board Operation Enduring Freedom Disabled American Veterans (she is the post commander of Chapter 113) Member, American Legion Member, United Veterans of St. Lucie County Participant and organizer, OneStop Job Fair When Carlsen was veteran services coordinator, her job involved connecting veterans with the benknow they were entitled to. At times, she said, it was a tedious task, and she had to be patient with clients who were argumentative at times, and at other times lost and bewildered. Ill tell you why she received this recognition, said Daniel DePagnier, chairman of the United Veterans of St. Lucie County. Its because of all her service to veterans when she was with the county, DePagnier said. It was tremendous. She helped more people than you could ever count. DePagnier said that in order to become eligible for the award, the Four Chaplains organization accepts applications from all organizations, at the regional level, able to put forward a nominee, overseen by a central committee. As many as 25 different veterans organizations send in applications, he said, which can include more than one designee. Donna was our clear designee. Port St. Lucie vet honored with Four Chaplains award Mary KemperSTAFF WRITERmkemper@veteranvoiceweekly.comSee CHAPLAINS page 11 CLUES ACROSS 1. Yearly tonnage (abbr.) 4. Licenses TV stations 7. Brain wave test 8. Rowing fulcrum peg 10. Arabian Gulf 12. 55121 MN 13. Trash & tin 14. Actress Farrow 16. Egg of a louse 17. Lesion 19. A Scottish cap 20. Poi vegetable 21. Illness from neurosis 25. Moving truck 26. Gallivant 27. Millisecond 29. Trigonometric function 30. Pinna 31. Loud noise 32. Small auto accidents 39. Thin wire nail 41. Many subconciousness 42. Rocket scientist Werner Von 43. Albanian currency 44. Sum up 45. Grapefruit & tangerine hybrid 46. SE Asia palm genus 49. Severe & cruel 50. Before 51. It never sleeps 52. Used to be United ___ CLUES DOWN 1. Saucers companion 2. Foot controls 3. Administrative unit 4. Residential mortgage authority 5. High quality French brandy 6. Gilbert OSullivan song 8. Steeped beverage biology 11. Nanosecond (abbr.) 14. Mayan language 15. Create mentally 18. Atomic #45 19. 2000 pounds 20. Oceanic rise or fall 23. Pouch or baglike structure 24. Browning of the skin chaic) Anselmo 29. Cognate 31. Physicians 32. Duplicity 33. Doctor of Education 34. E. Canadian province 35. Beat thoroughly 36. $10 gold coins 37. Monarchs or dictators 38. Duke: The Silver 39. Dull claptrap 40. Showed old movie 47. Reciprocal of a sine CROSSWORD9022 SUDOKU
VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE FEBRUARY 14, 2014 11 No doubt, he said. In order to be nominated, a person has to be judged to have gone above and beyond the call of duty when serving veterans, according to The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation on their website, fourchaplains.org. DePagnier said Carlsen saved many lives, through her efforts at connecting a whole lot of veterans with the vital services they needed. Her efforts to help veterans cope to them in many cases, medical issues that they might not have known about helped save their lives, DePagnier said. The story of the Four Chaplains gives a clue to just how important a mission it is to help fellow vets. In 1943, it was dangerous, to say the least, for troop ships to travel from the United States to Europe. Nearly 2,000 vessels were sunk, with losses of lives in the thousands, and cargo estimated in the tens of millions of dollars. When the German submarine U-223 torpedoed the Dorchester, only 230 of the 904 men aboard the ship were rescued. It was but one incident in so many. In those days, if you lived to cross the Atlantic, you were lucky. What made it different is what the four men chose to do as soon as the Dorchester was hit. The four chaplains were the frightened men and handing out life jackets. When they ran out, they took off their own and placed them on waiting soldiers without regard to faith or race. Approximately 18 minutes from the explosion, the ship went down. They were the last to be seen by witnesses; they were standing arm-in-arm on the hull of the ship, each praying in his own way for the care of the men. immortal chaplains.org. The men were friends from way back they met at the Army Chaplains School at Harvard University, where they prepared for assignments in the European theater, sailing on board USAT Dorchester to report to their new assignments. The four chaplains were: George L. Fox, a Methodist minister, of Lewistown, Pa., who lied about his age to serve in World War I, served in the medical corps and was highly decorated. After he earned his divinity degree in 1942, Fox volunteered to serve as an Army chaplain. He began active duty on Aug. 8, 1942, the same day his son, Wyatt, enlisted in the Marine Corps. Alexander Goode, Jewish, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., a rabbi who had originally applied to become a Navy chaplain in January 1941, but was not accepted. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, he applied to the Army, receiving his appointment as a chaplain on July 21, 1942. Goode went on active duty and was selected for the Chaplains School at Harvard, where he made friends with the other three men. Clark Poling, of Auburndale, Mass., a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, had decided to enter the Army, wanting to face the same danger as others. His father, who had served as a World War I chaplain, told him chaplains risk and give their lives as much as other soldiers and with that knowledge, he applied to serve as an Army chaplain, accepting an appointment as a chaplain with the 131st Quartermaster Truck Regiment, reporting to Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Miss. John P. Washington, Catholic, of Newark, N.J., who entered the priesthood in 1935. Between that year and 1941, he served in three parishes in New Jersey. Shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack, he was appointed a chaplain in the Army. Notable recipients of the Legion of Honor awards include presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Celebrities who received the award include Bob Hope, John Glenn, Mickey Rooney, Martha Raye, James Michener, Marian Anderson, C. Everett Koop, Tommy Lasorda and Shirley Chisholm, as well as deserving military personnel, veterans, and civilians from all walks of life, according to fourchaplains.org. How does it feel to be in such company? Im honored. Humbled. And very grateful, Carlsen said. During her tenure as veteran services coordinator, Carlsen estimated she was able to help more than 12,000 people. When I started, the database had 6,000 people in it. When I left, there were 23,000 and thats just veterans, not their families and children, she said. The award ceremony is mandated by the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation to take place on or near the same date as when the four men went down with the ship. A reading of their story is also required, so that their story will never be lost, according to fourchaplains.org. The name of the recipient is required to be kept secret. Carlsen herself had no idea she was receiving the award until after the reading of the four chaplains story. When her name was called, Carlsen burst into tears, amid loud applause. Master of ceremonies Vince LaValle, chairman of the United Veterans of Port St. Lucie, said, It couldnt have gone to a better person. Carlsen said she will continue doing whatever she can, wherever she is, to help veterans. I will continue to respectfully serve those who have honorably served, she said.CHAPLAINS from page 10 9025 MISCELLANEOUS AT&T U-Verse for just $29/mo! BUNDLE & SAVE with AT&T Internet+Phone+TV and get a FREE pre-paid Visa Card! (Se lect plans). HURRY, CALL NOW! 800-327-5381 DirecTV Over 140 channels only $29.99 a month. Triple savings! $636.00 in Savings, Free upgrade to Genie & 2013 NFL Sunday ticket free for New Customers. Start saving today! 1-800-376-0868 Do you Take Cialis/ Viagra? Theres an Herbal Alterative thats Safe/ Effective. VigorCare For Men the perfect alternative to other products, with similar results. 60 Pills /99.00 plus S &H 1-888-886-1041, herbalrem edieslive.com Every baby deserves a healthy start. 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