Archive for ptsd

Houston Police & DA's Office Break The Law - Toss 26 Year Military Veteran Into Street


veteran   Aryeh Ohayon and his dog Bandit

A veteran who has a trained and licensed service dog was recently denied service in a Houston, TX restaurant. That could be just a bit of confusion on the part of the restaurant as to the law. So the disabled Army and Navy veteran, who served his country for 26 years, did what he thought he should do to rectify the situation. He called the police.

Sadly they came. Why sadly? Because they didn't know the law in their state. According to The Raw Story:

Last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that made it a misdemeanor to refuse entry to service dogs, irrespective of the disability of their owners.

So this seems quite clear. The vet, Aryeh Ohayon, was within his rights to be served and his being accompanied by a service dog should not have been cause for his embarrassing and unceremonious removal.

But the police officer wasn't the only one ignorant in Houston that day.

Houston Police claim that the officer who responded to the call contacted the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and was told that Thai Spice Buffet II was allowed to bar the door to Ohayon because it is a private establishment.

Ah, the old, "private establishment" excuse. That and the right to religious practices are the two catch phrases hate groups use to discriminate. Fortunately with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a discriminatory bill yesterday, a signal went out loud and clear that being a private establishment doesn't exempt you from discrimination laws.

Kudos to Governor Brewer (R - Arizona). Also kudos to Gov. Rick Perry (R -  Texas) for signing the bill which would allow the military veteran or anyone else with a service dog to enter and be served in any establishment.

But a big "Boo," "hiss" and "up yours" to the Houston police and the Harris County DA's office for not knowing the law they're sworn to uphold. They should at the very least apologize to this brave man who served us all in the military for over a quarter of a century.

Oh, and if you think this is an isolated event, Raw Story adds this:

This is but the latest in a string of refusals to allow service dogs to accompany veterans with mental disabilities like depression or PTSD. Last August, police in New Jersey kicked Jared Goering and his service dog, Gator, off the boardwalk, mockingly asking him if “all veterans get service dogs.”

Later that month, a Massachusetts establishment kicked James Glaser and his dog, Jack, out, claiming that his reason for having him wasn’t “legitimate.”

More on the KHOU-TV website.


Video Overnight Thread- Iraq War Veteran says K9s for Warriors program saved his life


Just heartwarming. Something in my eye. Via.


Video Overnight Thread- Wags 4 Warriors


The liver and white pit bull you see a few times in the vid is a rescue that my brother and sis in law saved from euthanasia for no other reason that he is a pit bull. Only four months old. Now he's providing love and assistance to a wounded soldier. Here is the Wags 4 Warriors website, check them out. Two more Ohio Pit Rescue groups- Muttly Crue and Rowdy to the Rescue. Here is my original post about Wiley (now Radar).


Enlisted troops in Army, Marines back from deployment more likely to cause auto accidents


When I first read the L.A. Times headline, I couldn't imagine why troops who returned home would be particularly poor drivers. Are they more prone to driving under the influence? Are they suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, maybe having flashbacks? Have they given up caring? Or do they feel invincible?

Some of the above:

Members of the U.S. military — especially enlisted troops in the Army and Marines — were significantly more likely to cause auto accidents within six months of returning from deployment, according to a study by USAA Property and & Casualty Insurance Group, a major insurer for military families.

These veterans probably are engaging in survival driving habits for a war zone, such as not stopping in traffic, driving fast and making sudden, unpredictable turns, experts said. But those same driving practices create havoc back in the United States. [...]

Officers had far lower accident rates than enlisted troops, and drivers younger than 22 were more prone to crashes than older members of the military.

The good news is that there wasn't a rise in fatal accidents.

Bradley Hammond, who left the Army after serving in Iraq in 2006:

"I want to drive as close to the middle as I can because subconsciously if I see a box or some trash on the side of the road I am thinking it will explode," said Hammond of Lakewood, Colo. "Sometimes I get a feeling someone is following me and I just turn. Something will set me off."

Wars, and in this case IEDs, have taken such a heavy toll on lives and on psyches.

Interestingly, none of the non-deployed service members surveyed reported anxiety while driving.

More here.


VIDEO- Torture's Other Victims: US Soldiers


My dear friend and top notch investigative reporter, Jason Leopold, has a post up at that he has invited me to share. Here's a portion of what he wrote, and the video. Please go here for the rest:

In this compelling and heartrending on-camera interview, Phillips, who spent more than five years researching and writing "None of Us Were Like This Before," discusses his investigation into the 2004 death of Army Sgt. Adam Gray, and how it led him to uncover a tragic story about torture's other victims.

I can personally attest to the pain and suffering military families endure, even when their loved ones haven't been "officially" tortured or abused, and Jason nailed it when he referred to soldiers who "turn to alcohol and drugs to ease their mental injuries."

One of my dearest students suffered greatly herself, first because her father was on the battlefield, involved in some of the most dangerous missions, as she was growing up. She was in constant, real fear that he'd be injured or worse, and turned to drugs herself. Then, once he finally returned home, he fell into alcoholism, had major bouts of PTSD, and became violent, ripping the family apart.

He tried to get help from the various groups available to veterans, but it wasn't enough.

Even those who haven't undergone intentional physical or mental abuse have felt tortured, and have the "deep psychological scars" that Jason Leopold refers to, that much is obvious.

Thank you, Jason, for staying on this topic while so many others either choose to ignore it, or have simply lost interest.


Leon Panetta: Bush's fraudulent war was worth the cost in blood and dollars


So there I was, minding my own morning business, when I heard Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta making a speech on my Tee Vee Box saying that BushCo's fraudulent war, the invasion of a sovereign country that did not attack us, that did not have "weapons of mass destruction," that did not provide any evidence of a looming "mushroom cloud," was worth it. "Shock and awe-ing" Iraq to smithereens was worth it.


That's right, Panetta thinks that nearly nine years, 4,500 dead Americans, 100,000 dead Iraqis, 32,000 wounded Americans wounded (don't get me started on the post traumatic stress and suicides, the alcoholism, the unemployment, the homelessness, the gut-wrenching despair that so many veterans suffer), and more than $800 billion... all that was "worth it" to Panetta.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has arrived in Baghdad to formally end the nearly nine-year war in Iraq.

He says it was worth the cost in blood and dollars, as it set Iraq on a path to democracy. [...]

During several stops in Afghanistan this week, Panetta made it clear that the US can be proud of its accomplishments in Iraq, and that the cost of the bitterly divisive war was worth it.

"We spilled a lot of blood there," Panetta said. "But all of that has not been in vain. It's been to achieve a mission making that country sovereign and independent and able to govern and secure itself."



Video- President's Weekly Address: Help for Vets with PTSD