UPDATE: One $250 grand prize package has been claimed (19 April 14, 2100 hours app.). However, Mike is up to do one more, and so am I. So, be the next person to donate $250 and the books are yours.
Update: One book is claimed; another has been put back for another to claim; and, the grand prize package still is not claimed. Could it be yours? Think about it, for a $250 donation you get books signed by Mad Mike, John Ringo, and even myself. Several books in the package, check it out. Putting full text of the FB post below.
NOTE: Donations now are not tax deductible per the IRS. If the 501(c)(3) is approved your donations may be deductible. The IRS likes us to note that you should contact a tax professional for advice.
MIKE"S POST: Help Mission: Valor raise their 501(c)(3) fees. I have TWO of the limited edition copies of Freehold - Fiction signed, and I will personalize and inscribe to the first two people to donate $50 and send me a copy of their receipt. They'll even be dated before the official release date of 6 May. Plus from the comments: At $250 I'll add in The Hero - Fiction signed by me and John Ringo and Clan of the Claw signed by us both, too, in hardcover, and a copy of Tour of Duty. Further Note: at $250 I put in an autographed and personalized copy of my second book of photography from Iraq, not a fuzzy/blurry shot of the moon to be found in it anywhere.
Recently, I invited any of you in or near NYC to join myself and Army Week for a special screening of Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 at HBO (who hosted the event). More than sixty people did show up, and enjoyed a nice reception, the screening, and a panel discussion on the crisis that is veteran suicide. The panelists included the producer of the documentary, Dana Perry; the chairman of the NYC chapter of The Soldiers Project, Jason Walter, LMSW; the founder of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, BG Loree Sutton (ret); and, suicide prevention program manager of the 99th Regional Support Command, Dr. Paul Wade. Most importantly, we had the audience.
Leaving aside my thoughts on several topics, I want to focus on the key point: doing something about veteran suicide. I will admit, the film brought out some conflicting emotions. It was good to see behind the scenes at the hotline center, and to know that they were able to talk some people down and get them help. It was good to know that they could, in some cases, cut through the BS at the VA and get people in to the right programs and people. I cringed at some of the questions they have to ask, especially those involving weapons -- and was somewhere between understanding and furious at a delay in treatment/intervention for a vet caused when paramedics had to wait for the police since there were weapons in the house. I do understand the need to see to the safety of responders, but...
The documentary was good, make no mistake. The panel discussion that followed, along with the audience participation, was amazing. The short version is that the panelists and the audience agreed that more needs to be done. The lack of trust in the system was understood by all, as was the need to find ways to restore that trust. Further, the fact that the current outlook by the DoD that robs troops of being involved and a contributor to their unit and the DoD if they admit to having a problem -- now and forever -- needs to be eliminated as it does prevent people from seeking help. Having a soldier in the audience stand up and talk about how he almost became a statistic because of the system, and having a panelist talk about losing their spouse to suicide because they trusted the system, hit home.
Two key points came out that I want to share. One, the current mindset within DoD sucks. As the soldier in the audience pointed out, troops are sent to the dentist twice a year but there is nothing done to deal with preparation for or treatment of combat stress and related issues. Two, the national hotline is the current frontline, and that sucks too. BG Sutton is right, the frontline needs to be in the community, both the military community and the local community where our troops live. If you truly want to make a difference, the only place it can and will be made -- and made well -- is local.
If you lived in the area and didn't come out, you missed out. If you want to learn more about Army Week, then come out to this event on Wednesday. Sorry for the FB link, but TypePad has been having issues from an attack and I still can't post images.
Airborne Sergeant Kyle White to Receive the M.O.H.
Posted By Blackfive
You might have seen the announcement or even read the citation that will be presented with the Medal to Sergeant White. But you should go here to read about Kyle White's actions from someone who witnessed his uncommon valor under extreme conditions over at From Cow Pastures to Kosovo. Five paratroopers and one Marine lost their lives that day...it's certain that that count would be higher if it had not been for the actions of the platoon RTO.
Bump/UPDATE: Paul Szoldra at Business Insider takes on the "scaremongering" and the execrable story done by HuffPo (no linky love for that ****). Read and shae.
Over at Mission: VALOR, I have a plea up for all reasonable beings to go read some good words on PTS from some very good men; and, a small bit of discussion on the bigoted Myth of the Ticking Vet, which harms our veterans and veteran employment. It deserves a fuller treatment with proper cites, but it is a start and hopefully may get some people to think a bit.
Army Week Association and HBO are putting on a special screening and panel discussion about the real issues facing our veterans when it comes to mental health and suicide prevention. If you are interested in reality and not media/agenda fantasies, you really want to be there. This is first-come/first-served so RSVP now.
Click on the image to enlarge and get the RSVP information.
At an event last night, I talked with a gentleman who is seeking to hire veterns with experience in cyber security. If you have military experience in this area; or, are a veteran who has since moved into the field, and are interested in a challenging position in the financial industry, drop me a line via Mission: VALOR.
...Tonight I will be leaving everyone and everything I love and begin another journey to Afghanistan. It's much more difficult to leave this time now that I have a family and have been out of the fight for a few years, but my situation is no different than the vast majority of the other soldiers who are deployed.
Despite the fact that the news rarely brings it up, we are still actively at war in Afghanistan. Men and women are still taking the fight to the enemy every single day. Once I get my platoon, I will be responsible for kids who were as young as 6 or 7 when 9/11 happened. This is not their war, but yet they still chose the honorable route of joining the Army. I will also have soldiers who are on their 4th or 5th deployment. They've embraced the suck time and time again and been through more misery than any civilian could ever imagine or truly appreciate, yet they'll be there willingly fighting side by side with me one more time.
My point is this: The one thing I do not want to hear about my service(and I hate even calling it that) is sympathy. Sympathy is exactly what I received from the cashier at Best Buy last week when I bought my new camera for deployment and she asked what it was for. When I told her, she made a sad face and said "oh I'm so sorry".
<...> All I am asking from anyone who reads this is their prayers. My soldiers and I will need them every day. I'll do what I can to keep this updated while I'm overseas, and if my guys are needing anything important I'll be sure to post it on here.
Thanks in advance to those who still read this despite these past couple years of boredom. Hopefully things will pick up soon.
Mission: VALOR has formally incorporated, and we are preparing our 501(c)(3) filing. We have actually been working to help veterans and other VSOs even before this, and look forward to doing what we can to help even more in the days ahead.
Meantime, the wonderful folks at The Baroness are hosting a launch party for us from 7-9 pm (1900-2100 hours) on Thursday 27 March. There will be door prizes, with the grand prize being a lesson on how to use a sword to open a bottle of champagne, and getting to put theory to practice right then. While the tickets are not (yet) tax deductible, the general tickets ($10 each) include a free beer courtesy of The Baroness, and you can by extra tickets ($5 each or 6 for $20) without the free beer to increase your chances of winning a door prize. Tickets will be available at the door; you can purchase in advance via Square; if you are in NYC, I will be glad to meet you so you can purchase tickets in advance; and, you can use PayPal via our site. Remember, these tickets are not (yet) tax deductible, but are going to help us try to fix that and do some good.
First, if you would be so kind as to check out the brand-new Mission: VALOR website, it would be appreciated. The content is still a bit rough, but it gives you an idea of what we want to put in place. Those of you who like This Ain't Hell (liking the snazzy new look!) might enjoy one particular policy we are putting in place. Constructive suggestions for improvements, features you want, etc. are VERY much appreciated.
Second, we have already been asked to take part in two events this month and do other work that can help address the crisis in veteran employment. So, I'm trying to raise funds to help with start-up costs since everyone from the IRS on down has their hand out, er, fees and such. You can donate via my GoFundMe, or hit the tip jar in the upper right at Laughing Wolf and select second best to use PayPal. I'm glad to tell you exactly where the money goes/how it is spent too.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.