military

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I have been in screaming and crying mode since this morning.  When I got started, I wanted to look up more info about veterans to help out my beloved veterans who have told me that they are having hard times getting enough benefits to survive.  I’m sure you read or have heard of by now about the story from the LA Times. Trying to figure out what happened is tough.  But it seems that about a decade ago, someone offered the California National Guard monetary rewards of ten thousand dollars and up for re-enlisting, which they took. I don’t think anyone can blame them for that. Read more on Can being a veteran (or soldier) get any worse?…

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The more I look the more I find.  In reliable sources.  More ways that my beloved veterans are getting screwed over that nobody knows about. I know what I am doing and I collect facts–of science and of history — and I find myself too often in crying mode. Not that the controversies are necessarily new ones.  Sigmund Freud said a long time ago that a lot of psychiatry seemed to be the neurology you did not yet know. I have been treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for a long time.  I was incredulous, shocked to my limits, when I first tried to take care of these wonderful, brave, and once fearless men, who would have crying meltdowns and end up in my arms. The best thing I did was to learn Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and to decide I was professional enough to do it “my way,” not according to verbatim directions, but adapting it to folks’ needs. Using EFT has put me on the spot plenty of times; with the VA, even prisons, where I have been told more than once that it robs people of “free will,” which is of course, complete and total rubbish.  Patients are awake, alert, and voluntarily tap on their own acupuncture meridians.  I have heard at least one hypnotherapist tell me it is “kind of like a light trance,” but patients could not, in my estimation, be more awake and alert. Read more on Another way veterans are getting screwed — crying time again….

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As a proud veteran of the US Army, I fought tears as I read how the pain of our combat veterans has been manipulated by war profiteers. I put on that green uniform and I swore to put my life on the line.  I became a lifetime member of the Jewish War Veterans and the co-surgeon general for the Jewish war veterans and I tried, really tried, to make things better for the troops.

Read more on Veterans are getting screwed more than you or I knew….

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Fifteen years after.  That means there are sentient, living teenagers who are (I hope) somewhere in school learning about this devastating event in some kind of secondary school curriculum, or perhaps witnessing public patriotic events. — But they don’t remember it, because they weren’t born yet.

Read more on 9-11 15th Anniversary…

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There are rich stories of human suffering all around us couched in terms of financial crisis – stories we encounter in our news media, in the streets and even in our own families.

Nevertheless things are getting worse all the time and I have been in the middle of the battle on the same losing side as the mental health patients.

I have been in the middle of mass human suffering which nobody seems to have the power to alleviate.  For many years, as the situation worsens, I have done what I could.  I have been on every front of the battle known to me and accessible to me – in community mental health centers, the VA, state prisons and private, for-profit, insurance-driven treatment centers. Read more on The Cost Of Not Caring…

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We don’t learn from history.  America sounds like it is starving with several stories on food bank cuts that have just started.  A lot of people seem to skimp and save to be able to eat.  Some of my marijuana patients tell me it is the only medical care they can afford.  One asked me where the nearest food bank was, and if I knew any good ones.

Vintage Veterans PostMy Grandmother-Of-Blessed-Memory had a couple of raspberry bushes in the back yard, and some very aggressive strawberries that sent runners under the sidewalk to the garbage can, pushing up the already fragile cracked concrete. This infuriated my Mother-Of-Blessed-Memory who always had to do such repairs, as my father of blessed memory had “such delicate hands.” At least that is what his mother would lament as she stroked them.  He had an honored place in our household for being a composer and choir director and music teacher and supporting the lot of us. Read more on Is This How We Thank Our Veterans?…

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I worked in prison situations, where inmates complained about everything and sometimes I even agreed with them.  Invariably, some older world-weary inmate would say:  “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” When spoken by a muscled, or at least strong and/or angry looking inmate, I have seen that shut people up.  Let’s try this one when it’s time for troops to deploy:  “Don’t appear, if they ain’t got the gear.” Read more on Look Mom, No Gear…

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“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”  “It is sweet and right to die for your country.”  The line, in Latin, is from Horace’s Odes, 3.2.13.  It is a memory from Miss Lovering’s 8th grade Latin class at the Beaver Country Day School.  Everyone said Miss Lovering was a truly great Latin teacher, mostly because she was old enough that she was surely there in Rome when it happened.  She was one of the older living Radcliffe College alumnae and had, it was said, found marriage a pale alternative to the glories that were Rome.  I remember the above quote as the moment I started thinking Romans were simply not very nice guys. The “lie,” apparently often quoted to soldiers at the beginning of World War I — ostensibly to give them courage — was nicely incorporated into a poem by Wilfred Owen that expresses what yucky stuff war really is.  People die of a lot of horrible things, and anyone who has seen combat veterans or lost family has probably figured out that death is just as ugly, if not more so, when it is for your country.

In the poem, he cites, “vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues.”  Our friends at the Center for Disease Control show — avoid this page if you are faint of heart — a syphilis sore on a tongue, which is what this sounds like.  An attempt to get sexy prior to combat is my guess.  Soldiers have tried to use the “I could be in combat and die tomorrow” line on me; it never worked, obviously.  Opening combat to women might be good in some ways.  Good for military rank climbing or professional climbing.  If a woman feels compelled to do this, I guess she should be allowed to. Read more on Women in Combat…

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A few days ago one of my patients called me “Dr. Pollyanna.”  He told me this was a reference to the fact that I would not validate that his pain, from old injuries, would be lifelong and without useful treatment.  This is what his primary doctor had told him. “Dr. Pollyanna” was not wrong; but maybe, not quite subtle enough.  I try to sneak ever so gently into patient’s thought patterns and convince them there is a way out of their problems.  There always is, especially since I have been dishing out marijuana permissions. Read more on A Positive Message for Veterans…

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Thank Veterans WWII Poster AviatorsTurns out, while most veterans appreciate a stranger saying “thank you” for their service, it can also be a bit uncomfortable. I wonder how these same guys feel about the “Have you thanked a veteran today?” bumper stickers.

I’ve been thanking veterans for a long time.  Sometimes, not as consistently as I’d like to because this doctor gig really means that I have to remember a large number of things.  Since I began working in the medical marijuana field, where the veterans I meet are paying for a

Read more on Thanking Veterans…

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