Freedom Isn't Free

Freedom Isn't Free

17 December 2014

Command and Signal

   Command and Signal.  Every single order prepared by the U.S. Army addresses Command and Signal.  How will an order be carried out? What are the radio frequencies (freqs) that will be used?  Call signs by unit?  All of that is addressed under Command and Signal in an Operations Order.  Later on during this post I will give you the freqs to use.  It's not a full Op Order, but I don't know if anything can be done now and I'm tired of waiting.  As we have all heard so often in the media (and I'm paraphrasing here) lives matter.  Lately, we've heard that only one ethnic groups' lives matter.  Well, I believe all lives matter.  If we have to get specific then #VeteransLivesMatter. 
   Earlier this week, the Clay Hunt SAV Act was blocked from passing through the U.S. Senate by Sen. Tom Coburn.  Sen. Coburn is a longtime watcher of the Federal government's budget.  He is also retiring after this session of Congress ends.  He is also dead wrong.  I could really care about political parties when it comes to how our #Veterans and our #Military is treated.  I, myself am conservative in almost all my views.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.  This has nothing to do about a budget that no politician seems to be able to get right.  The money involved in the Clay Hunt SAV Act amounted to 22 million.  Does anything about that number seem to ring a bell?  Maybe the number 22.  22 Veterans commit suicide every single freaking day.  Every day.  I know 2 of my Brothers-in-Arms who have committed suicide.  It is estimated that if the Clay Hunt Bill doesn't pass until the new Congress starts in 2015 that 1,980 Veterans will have died (needlessly) by their own hands.  I have posted about this before in A Tough Post.  I have asked what would the world do if 22 celebrities committed suicide in a day, how big would the outcry be?  I want you to read that post again.  More importantly, if you know a Veteran who is in a bad place right now, during this Christmas season, please call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. Or you can visit the Veterans Crisis Line here.  Apparently, the politicians DO NOT CARE!  We Veterans have to help each other. Just like on the battlefield.  Just like on the confidence course.  Just like in the barracks. 
   How do I know the politicians don't give a damn?  I've tried to call both of my senators.  I couldn't even talk to a living breathing person to find out if Clay Hunt has a chance yet of passing in this Congress, in this year.  I had to leave a voice mail both times.  So, I figured neither one of them (Pat Toomey, Bobby Casey) have served an hour in the military.  Why not get in touch with a senator who has served.  Well, John McCain came to mind.  A decorated war hero.  A former Prisoner of War.  I actually campaigned for McCain when he ran for president.  So, I called his office.  I can't even leave a damn voice mail.  The mail box is full! So, yeah, if my grammer isn't correct, if it seems like I'm rambling, I AM!  I am pissed off!  Through out the time I have been writing this blog, I have learned and I have even espoused that politicians won't do anything until you get in touch with them and hold their feet to the fire.  Make them know how you feel.  I've said it before and I'll probably say it again.  That is, of course, unless its almost Christmas time and it seems all of the politicians and their staffers really don't give a care.  Not even enough to go through the messages in a voice mail box!
   Earlier, I said I would provide the freqs, the signals to reach out and contact someone.  Well, here they are.  The phone number for every U.S. Senator.  Call them.  Even if you just call your senators.  Call them.  Every day.  Because every day 22 Veterans commit suicide.  Because every day that the Clay Hunt bill isn't passed and signed by the President is another day of wasted lives ending.  I will call them every single day until it is passed.  The last day of Hannukah, Hey, hope you enjoyed the season of lights, pass the Clay Hunt SAV Act.  Christmas day, Hey Merry Christmas senator, pass the Clay Hunt Bill.  New Year's Eve, Have a happy New Year, after you pass the Clay Hunt bill.  They day the new Congress starts, Hey Congrats on winning a political race and landing in a cushy job in our nation's capitol.  Now pass the damn Clay Hunt bill!   So call.  And call again.  And every time that you can, use #VeteransLivesMatter when you are on social media. 
   As a matter of fact, tonight 17 December 2014, at 2000 hrs EST (* p.m. East Coast time) Lets launch a twitter storm.  Tweet about Veteran suicide.  Veteran Homelessness.  Use #VeteransLivesMatter in all your tweets.  Do I care if it trends? Not really.  I just want to get the message out.  I have a readership per post of a little under a thousand views.  So I'm not setting the world on fire in social media.  I don't care about setting the social media world on fire.  I care if I can save 1 Veteran's life.  I care if I can get 1 Veteran under a roof.  I care if I can help to get 1 Veteran seen by a VA doctor in a reasonable amount of time.  I care about getting 1 Veteran suffering with PTSD the help he needs.  There are a lot of us who want this.  I'm just adding my voice.  And I will add that voice to senate voice mails every day.  If I get a response from either of my senators I will let you all know.  I'm not holding my breath.  Not even while I dial another senator's phone number.
That is all.
But that's not all.  The name of the bill( unanimously passed by the House of Representatives) is the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.  This is Clay Hunt

01 December 2014

Warning Order

   Warning Order.  In the military, that is a preliminary decree that your unit is about to do something.  It could be a movement to another station.  It could be your unit is about to participate in an offensive campaign that involves dozens or even hundreds of other units.  Small or big, a warning order is issued to notify the unit to prepare for something.  In this case, its my small effort to help out other Veterans. 
     This post has been a long time in coming.  It has taken me time to actually get the ball rolling.  I'm going to try and help out a Veterans' homeless shelter in my area.  It has taken me weeks to track down who to get in contact about the homeless shelter which is specifically for Veterans who are homeless.  I'm now able to say I am have a contact number.  The shelter is not run by the VA or any government agency.  It's run by a local religious charity.  Up until now I didn't know that charities had about as much red tape as governmental entities.  Now, I do.
     This all started from the post on Veterans Day from @OldMarine1that I referenced in my last post.  The more I thought about it, the more I knew I could do something to help my Brothers and Sisters-In-Arms.  Maybe it's going to be something as simple as providing them with shampoo, toothpaste, etc when they arrive at the shelter.  I know next year I am already planning on a clothing drive for the shelter (one has already been done this year.).  Whatever it is, this is something that any of us can do.  Even if its volunteering at a Veterans homeless shelter, we can all donate some time or money or effort to our Veterans.

     Stats don't lie.  According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, on any given night there are almost 50,000 homeless Veterans all across our country.  They include Veterans of World War II through our current war in Afghanistan.  According to NCHV's statistics, a large number of Veterans that are homeless or at-risk also suffer from PTSD.  That's no surprise as PTSD is the invisible wound that almost all of our Veterans, homeless or not, have. 
     The NCHV also states community based nonprofit organizations are leading the way when it comes to caring for the Veteran homeless.  I can't say I'm surprised, as the VA is still mishandling their homeless efforts. 
     The bottom line is simple.  We all have to do something to help our Veterans.  Since my first blog post I've said Veterans have to take care of Veterans.  You don't leave someone on the battlefield and you don't leave someone on a street corner.  The VA still has to make improvements.  More has to be done in the area of treating PTSD.  It is up to Veterans and those who care about Veterans to do it.  Plain and simple.  The word has to get out about Veterans issues.  PTSD, Veteran homelessness, and the continuing VA scandal (all areas of the VA need to be fixed-the VA hospitals are just one of the heads of the bureaucratic hydra that is failing our Vets). 
     I hope to give you another progress update soon.  As always, if you are a Veteran in a bad place, or if you know a Veteran in crisis, call 1-800-273-8255 or click this link for the Veteran Crisis Line.
That is all.