"The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday."---Navy Seals
Act of Valor
I'm always hesitant about military films put out by the Hollywood crowd. They have a tendency to portray American troops as either crazy, sinister, guilt-ridden, mistreating civilians or gun toting murderers. But it appears Hollywood got Act of Valor right if we're to believe the early reviews and the trailer. In fact, the movie originally was intended to be used for recruitment. According to publicists, the film actually used active Navy SEALS in the film. The film is about a SEAL Team sent to rescue a CIA operative. The operation leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the United States. The film opens Feb. 17, 2012.
Hope4PTSDVETS is a non-profit organization founded and developed by veterans for veterans who have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). They've recently announced plans to open up a residential treatment facility that would serve 12 veterans and their families for a 9 day program. Their approach is holistic offering programs in individual and family counseling, meditation, Acupuncture, Equine Therapy and other approaches to treatment. Their main office is located in The Woodlands, Texas. If you are interested in more information, contact: http://www.hope4ptsdvets.org/ or call 832.231.6690. They also accept donations.
Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS)
TAPS provides ongoing emotional help, hope and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America. TAPS provides peer-based support, crisis care, casualty casework assistance and grief and trauma resources. For more information contact http://www.taps.org/ or call: 800.959.8277.
Veteran Career Fair and Expo: Hire A Hero
The VA is holding a Career Fair and Expo at The Washington D.C. Convention Center on January 18, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. They are requesting that you bring your proof of military service. These include a DD-214, Guard/Reserve Retirement Orders, Military ID or VIC Card. Go to http://www.vaforvets.com/ for more information.
Remembering Our Female Veterans
Did you know there are almost 2 million female veterans today? Many are counted as combat veterans. The VA estimates approximately 40-50,000 women will enlist in the armed services over the next five years. Women, of course, have served with great distinction, honor and heroism for many years. Now many women veterans have returned home with devastating injuries including traumatic brain injuries. They are also returning home with Post Traumatic Stress issues and concerns. Service women, like men, have also sacrificed time with their families. Upon their return, they pick up their lives as wives and mothers. Also, growing numbers of young, female veterans remain jobless. Almost 22% of female veterans who served during both wars were unemployed in December. We must advocate for female veterans as we do for male veterans. And the fact is the Veterans Administration is trying to cope with new demands placed on the system by returning female veterans. For the VA and other support agencies, this is a relatively new phenomena and the numbers are increasing. Female veterans need the same commitment and energy we offer male veterans. It is up to us to honor our returning female veterans and thank them for their service (Untold Story of Female Veterans; USA Today)
Firefighter Saves 4 Year Old Boy From Burning Car
As a volunteer firefighter, Chris Pratt of Odin, Ill, did what he was trained to do. On his way to work in mid-December of last year, he drove up on a fiery auto crash. He knew he had to act fast and immediately jumped into action. Using a billy club he kept in his SUV, he broke out the windows of the burning vehicle and tried to grab the boy. As he tried to release the boy from his seat belt, Pratt found the the buckle of the child's restraint seat had already melted. He immediately took out a knife he always carries, cut the safety belt and pulled the child out of the car window. The child's pajamas were on fire. Pratt quickly extinguished the flames. Unfortunately, the intense heat from the fire resulted in the vehicle's gas tank to explode and Pratt was unable to save the child's mother. She died at the scene.
Pratt was also injured. "I have a couple of second degree burns and lost a patch of hair---nothing big," said Pratt who was also treated for smoke inhalation. In 2008, he was honored as Rookie of the Year.
"I didn't do anything that anyone else wouldn't have done," said Pratt playing down his heroism.
So what did you do on your way to work today?