Want Some Signed Books?

Posted By Laughing_Wolf

GONE!  Thanks to the donor and to Michael Z. Williamson for his incredible offer and support. 


One last update and bump. The second $250 grand prize packge was to go away today, but because of the site issues, it will stay active until tomorrow.  So, if you want: 

• Limited edition signed copy of Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson

Hero, signed by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo

Clan of the Claw, signed by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo

• a copy of Tour of Duty

• a signed and personalized copy of A Different View: Travels to Al Qa'im and Beyond by yours truly

Make your donation here using T-Bone Level, by 1700 hours tomorrow (23 April 2014) and they are yours.  Mike will ship his and I will ship mine separately. 

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. 

Michael Z. Williamson made an offer to anyone donating to help Mission: VALOR raise funds to defray the cost of the 501(c)(3) application process.  I've added another incentive to that, and may sweeten the pot even more.  If you want books autographed by Mad Mike, John Ringo and/or me, check it out.  

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.  

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An Event, Some Thoughts, An Invitation

Posted By Laughing_Wolf

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.  



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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.

It's worth your time to read.

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The Bigotry of the Myth of the Ticking Vet

Posted By Laughing_Wolf

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.  


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Crisis Hotline: Will You Be There?

Posted By Laughing_Wolf

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. 


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Cyber Security Employment

Posted By Laughing_Wolf

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.

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MilBlogger Heads Back to War

Posted By Blackfive

Former Paratrooper, now Officer and father, is headed somewhere dangerous.  From Tuesday night:

...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.

Keep up with the new LT at Life In the Infantry (although now he's an Armor Officer).

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You Are Invited!

Posted By Laughing_Wolf
Come One, Come All! Click for full size

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. 

Hope to see you there!


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Support Operation Ranger Up!

Posted By Blackfive

Go here to help a Veteran learn about entrepreneurship!

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A Request For Assistance

Posted By Laughing_Wolf

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. 


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