Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Downturn in Afghanistan: 40,000 Troops To Leave by 2012; Make The Connection With Other Veterans; PTSD And The Holidays; VA Plans More Permanent & Transitional Housing Nationwide; Black Sunday FDNY Firefighter Dies At 40; Do You Need A Vest?

"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid."---General and President Dwight Eisenhower

40,000 Troops To Leave Afghanistan By 2012

AP reported today that 40,000 troops will be leaving Afghanistan by the end of 2012. The U.S. will be pulling out 33,000. The remaining 49-country coalition also announced plans to withdraw but many have not set any definite date. In fact, many other nations plan on keeping their troops in country after 2014. They plan to continue training Afghan forces and police.

The U.S. plans to withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of December this year. Canada plans on sending approximately 3,000 troops home this coming summer. France and Britain will be recalling 400 troops while Poland intends to send home 200.

Troop cutbacks will be steeper next year among many coalition countries with approximately 26,000 including 23,000 American troops.

Make The Connection With Other Veterans

Make The Connection allows veterans to make connections with other veterans. This website offers veterans the opportunity to explore life events or experiences in the areas of family and relationships, transitioning from the service, jobs and employment and much more. Their website can be visited by accessing http://maketheconnection.net/

PTSD And The Holidays

Holidays can be a stressful time for most people. But for individuals with PTSD, the holidays can be more challenging. Below are tips that can help those with PTSD better manage the stress of the holiday period:

  • Stay in the moment; Don't Think Ahead: Thinking about future events like "what the heck will I be doing for Christmas" could result in a lot of anxiety. Try to keep your mind straddled around the president not the future.
  • Strategize the Holidays. Planning is always a good way to help reduce anxiety.
  • Have An Escape Plan. We can't always anticipate how we will feel. Have an escape plan should you feel the need to get away from it all.
  • Incorporate Alone Time:  Think about carving up some time to be alone should you need to decompress. For example, if holiday shopping brings on anxiety, know you can walk out of the store or mall.
  • Do What Makes You Feel Comfortable. There is no reason to place yourself in situations that make you feel uncomfortable. It's okay to say "no." You pick and choose what or where you want to be.
  • Pace Yourself. The pace of the holidays can be overwhelming for anyone. Don't over commit yourself. Move at a pace that makes you feel more comfortable and less stressful.
  • Maintain Your Privacy.  Your challenge in managing your PTSD during the holidays is no one else's business with the exception of the people you trust and love.
The bottom line: Do what is right and comfortable for you.
(Source: The Survivors Club).

VA Reports It Plans More Transitional Housing

The VA plans on providing more than 1,000 additional permanent and transitional housing for veterans at various nation wide VA medical centers. More information is available at http://www.va.gov/.

Retired "Black Sunday" FDNY Firefighter Dead At 40

Retired NYC Firefighter Lt. Joseph DiBernardo died at age 40.

Lt. DiBernardo was one of six firefighters while fighting a fire in an illegally partitioned building in Bronx, NY, in January 2005. Lt. Dibernardo was severely injured after jumping out of the 4th floor of the burning building. He spent weeks in a coma.

He eventually recovered but was forced to retire from the FDNY.

Two other firefighters---Curtis Meyran and John Bellew---died that day. Fire escapes were illegal blocked. They, too, were forced to jump from the 4th floor to escape the raging inferno. Firefighters Jeff Cool, Brendan Cawley and Eugene Stolowski survived. They stood with the honor guard at Lt. Dibernardo's funeral.
(Source: NY 1 and PIX 11).

Are You Law Enforcement Who Needs A Vest?

If you're law enforcement and need a free vest, visit http://www.fallenofficersremembered.org. where you can request one. This site has an online vest application page including measurement forms.

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