Freedom Isn't Free

Freedom Isn't Free

16 March 2015

Time On Target

   Time on Target (TOT) is a military term used by artillery and mortars.  It is basically the coordinated fire of numerous units of artillery "cannons" (a unit of "cannons" is usually comprised of 4-6 guns and are called a battery) I use the parenthesis because the artillery doesn't actually use cannons anymore, they are pretty much all self propelled weapon systems now. Well, anyway TOT is when a number of batteries fire rounds at the same target, with the timing taken in to account so that all rounds (say 20 or so 155mm shells) land at the same time on the same target. It's as close to vaporization of a target as the Army gets.
   Well, for this TOT I want to emphasize the "time" part.  Basically because it is time that is against all Veterans.  You see, a while back I wrote a post called Fruit Salad.  It was a blog about why we needed the Clay Hunt SAV Act to become law.  Since then, it has become law.  But, during my preparation for writing the blog, I came across a link on the VA website that didn't work.  That was back in January.  Well, just last week I finally got a response.  It has been referred to "the appropriate personnel" according to the email I received.  That post was published 28 JAN 15.  So, about a month later I get a response that it has been handled.  The link in question doesn't even exist now.  I'm guessing they are fixing it? But, basically a month and a couple days.  How is that for Time on Target?  It reminds me of the phrase "Close enough for government work".  In reality, a military TOT mission is considered a success if all rounds reach the target within seconds of each other.  Seconds! Not months! And, of course, President Obama finally visited the Phoenix VAMC, how is that for Time on Target?  He drove right by it a couple weeks ago.  But, I know he really cares about Veterans, just cuz he says he does!  Because campaign promises are made to be broken, especially when it involves the care of Veterans! 
   Getting back to the email from the VA, probably the only good part of the email was I was given a toll free phone number for the VA's Health Resource Center.  the number is 877-222-8287.  I would suggest that if you have a question about anything on the VA's medical website, that you call that number which is open from 0700 -1900 hours Central time Monday through Friday and 0900-1530 hrs. on Saturdays, central time.  Hopefully, it'll take them less time to answer your question.  Hopefully.


   A Light of Hope.  I sometimes think I am too negative.  kinda like a drill sergeant doling out push ups like one of those Mardi Gras or St. Patty's Day floats throwing candy to children.  Well, in all actuality, I like to be positive.  Through this blog I have found numerous groups that are helping our Veterans.  These are private groups, not associated with the VA or, in most cases, any government entity at all.
   One of these groups is Operation Light of Hope.  Monica, who runs Op Light of Hope, started the organization in October.  She's based out of the Louisiana area and her "lights" of hope focus on "alternative medicine" therapies.  The daughter of a Vietnam USMC Veteran (and husband to a Marine Veteran of the Gulf War) Monica says she started the Light of Hope network because "It's always in my heart." 
   Light of Hope concentrates on proven therapies like stress management and counseling services, as well as reiki, yoga, art/music therapy, and even EMDR/biofeedback.  While Monica has some names of providers who she has worked with, when she gets a call or message from a Vet that is out of her area, she finds new people who are always willing to help.  "We call people up and we say 'we have a Veteran in your area'."  The treatments are usually free or at reduced cost to the Veteran. 
   Monica will find out what types of services the Veteran is looking for and then she will call alternative medicine providers local to the Veteran in need.  Monica says the response from the alternative medicine community has been fantastic.  "It's an easy reach out," Monica says, noting a lot of people are really willing to go that extra mile to help our Veteran community.  And once she does reach out, her mission becomes about making the Veteran feel comfortable.  "It's about making that initial contact," Monica explains, "so when they show up somewhere, someone already knows their name."
   Aside from the wellness support opportunities for Veterans, Operation Light of Hope also offers enrichment opportunities to help Veterans with PTSD or TBI actively engage in their communities.  These opportunities help open the door for Veterans to feel valued and supported while, at the same time, benefitting their local communities.  Some examples of the enrichment opportunities include museums, non film theatres and sport events.  Along with volunteer outreach, the groups Monica calls on are always willing to help Veterans feel safe and, perhaps best of all, valued in their own area. 
   Additionally, Light of Hope also educates people about Veteran suicide and Veteran homelessness. 
If you are a Veteran who is looking for help with PTSD, TBI, or other areas please feel free to reach Operation Light of Hope:

phone:  (985)705-8900
twitter: OperationLOH
instagram: Operation_LOH


   Justice for Kody.  Finally, this isn't really related to the U.S. Military or our Veterans.  This is about justice.  Justice for the killer of Kody Quinn Williams.  Kody was a 19-year-old who was killed by an as yet unnamed hit and run driver near Cloverdale, CA.  The driver/murderer has never come forward.  This happened in February of 2009.  For six years, his family and friends have dealt with this.  Its time to find the killer.  Please check the link to the blog and, if you know anything (ANY thing) please contact the authorities.  I'm a father myself.  I cannot imagine the pain this family feels.  I just want it to end, in some part, by the killer having their day in court. 
That is all.


  1. Glad about Clay Hunt act..surely it's being fine tuned.
    What Monica does is awesome.
    I am still finding my own journey through pain, but my pain pushes me to help ANY way I can. Whether it be speeches, radio, interviews , picture stories on twitter. Any way to get awareness out. It was NOT THERE for my active duty soldier BFF daughter. If I don't know an answer, I find one.
    Keep up the writing. My poems are creative journaling. My pictures are from my heart as Art therapy. God Bless you!

  2. Just an FYI (from a retired career Paratrooper): TOT is used extensively by the Airborne (with the same definition). "When is TOT?" means "What time will we hit the DZ (Drop Zone)?"