The Bigotry of the Myth of the Ticking Vet
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.
Running A 5K
Those of you who have been following over at LaughingWolf and Facebook know that I made a major lifestyle change just about a year ago. The result is that I have dropped more than a few inches off the waist (have no idea on weight as that is, frankly, a meaningless measure), enjoyed the best health I've had in years, and have picked up doing things I've not done in far too long.
One such is running, as in cross-country/long-distance running. I'm a plodder more than a runner, always have been, but it is one of the things I really want to do. So, I will be taking part in Hope For The Warrior's 5th Annual Big Apple Run For The Warriors, which is also starts events for Army Week . What does that have to do with you? Well, there are two things.
I want to invite all our readers to join me in walking/running/rolling/loping/whatever the 5k. It isn't about how fast we do it, but rather that we do it.
Second, I want to use this to raise funds for Mission: VALOR as well as Hope for the Warriors. So, I've set a goal to raise $500 which will cover expenses (registration and new shoes, literally nothing fits anymore) with everything over expenses going to Mission: VALOR. I've got some free coaching and such lined up, and plan to start building for this as quickly as possible. You can donate through my GoFundMe (http://www.gofundme.com/2wwguw), or the PayPal link at LaughingWolf. Just want to donate to Mission: VALOR? The best way is via the Square Marketplace. Reminder, we are not yet at 501(c)(3), but working on it. Want to just put it to HftW? Well, that info coming soon once I get registered.
Crisis Hotline: Will You Be There?
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.
Cyber Security Employment
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.
A Toast: To The Fifty!
Seventy years ago, 200 (plus) Allied airmen made a bid for freedom from a German prisoner of war camp. Seventy-three made it out, and only 3 got away. Seventy were recaptured, and fifty were murdered by the Gestapo. There's a small movie about it , and it is worth seeing though it is a movie and not a documentary. Take a moment today, to honor all those who were part of The Great Escape.
Ladies and gentlemen, officers and enlisted: The Fifty!
Big Boys Don't Cry
Confession time: I've always enjoyed Keith Laumer's Retief/BOLO universe. My thoughts on Jame Retief versus the (stereo)typical member of the lace panty brigade should come as no surprise. Bolos struck a chord with me early on (Honor of the Regiment) and the idea of someone (something) striving to do the job no matter what (and the incompetents) with honor and integrity was comforting (particularly in the Carter era).
For all that, there were some things about that universe that bugged me. Nevermind that it would take thousands of Retiefs to keep things above water and moving along. Never mind that the incompetents won way too often and no one ever, EVER, followed up on the example of the heroic BOLO. There was something more to it that bugged the bleep out of me deep down.
Thanks to Tom Kratman, I now have a better idea of why that is and you have a great story to go read. Big Boys Don't Cry is a novella, and for me a quick read -- but keep in mind that I can even polish off something of Weberian size rather quickly. For all that it is a novella, and a good read, it is not necessarily an easy read and Tom gleefully uses a flamethrower (and I imagine was laughing maniacly as he did so) to remove the curtains and expose what has been bugging me about the Bolo universe.
who reminds you that you still have time to go order the Freehold Signed Limited Edition by Michael Z. Williamson. Trust me, you want to and you need to.
You Are Invited!
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!
Want A Special Book?
Many of you here know Mad Mike. Well, his first novel, "Freehold," is being re-released in a signed, hardcover edition. First released in 2004, this is a one-time run and only about 1,000 will be printed. If interested in this very special edition, order today to ensure you get a copy.
A Request For Assistance
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.
Mark Your Calendar
Veteran (un)employment is a crisis. There are a number of issues, and while the system is not broken, there are gaps that need to be plugged. One of those gaps is in getting people practical experience for entrepreneurship. RangerUp has a unique solution for that, and is looking to give one lucky veteran an unprecedented hands-on opprotunity. Go check it out and do what you can to help.
The Netherlands Remembers: Il Silenzio
Amidst the chaos that is the world, we need to take a moment to reflect on the good and the profound. We need, I need, to call out some of the good even as I call out that which is not.
In the Netherlands, on "Liberation Day" there are memorial services across the country for the Allied troops who died in that liberation. Families still adopt graves of those troops, and maintain them in honor. At these memorial services, since 1965, the service concludes with the playing of "Il Silenzio". Beverly Perlson shared with me this amazing, no, astounding performance by a then 13-year-old Melissa Venema backed by the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands. As someone who played trumpet in high school, I tell you that what you are about to hear is the voice of an angel rendered through brass. Dust Alert.
A small bit of beauty and good to share with you today.
I haven't posted here in a while, and today I share one of the reasons. Those following me via Facebook and Twitter know that I've been working on a "secret" project. Today, the curtain goes up on that "secret" and we begin the reveal of Mission: VALOR.
Just as the name is not your typical acronym, Mission: VALOR is not your typical approach to veteran employment. The focus is intensely practical, and designed to integrate with efforts by others so that some critical gaps are filled. It is new, so new we don't have the website up and running yet. We do have our domains and other critical things done, but our focus is on getting the practical and critical done -- which means the website and more will wait.
I also want to thank the United War Veterans Council, Army Week Association, Hope for the Warriors, and Carl Churchill of Lock-N-Load Java for their support, help, and encouragement. I particularly want to thank and commend the members of the Executive Leadership Committee for their time and invaluable contributions as we investigated if this project was needed, viable, and how best to move forward when that decision was made. To the newer members of that group, my thanks for your patience when I forget to explain some of what went into various decisions because I forget that you weren't there all along...
Also, expect to see more about activities of the United War Veterans Council (so much more than the parade!) and Army Week here in the days ahead. I have the honor of working with both groups, and will be sharing more about them at my site and some here. The Army Birthday is coming soon, and I am heavily involved with those activities -- especially the Birthday Gala.
And, of course, there will be more about Mission: VALOR as we move ahead. Screw the official goals, I think we can do an order of magnitude more this year with a small pinch of luck and the right support.
How Do We Fix The Problem?
On Facebook this morning, I asked for people to put forward ideas on how we fix the problem of the troops being treated as infants. In my previous post here you (our readers) posted comments discussing all the ways this was being done -- and the problems created by the practice. Deebow had a comment that included a suggestion I liked, which was to get Gen. Mattis involved in the reform.
So, sound off! What suggestions do you have to fix the problem?
I ran this back on 1 March, but think I am going to be posting it every six months instead of once a year.
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C. Blake Powers
aka Laughing Wolf, LW, etc.
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