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Reposted from Community Quilt Project by JaxDem

TrueBlueMajority's quilt

It breaks my heart that this quilt is needed -- yet it is needed, urgently.

UPDATE: The situation is dire.  CelticLassie's brother and sister-in-law are on their way.  When they arrive and all the tests are back, hospice will be consulted and decisions made.  We will pull out all the stops to get this quilt done and will need the messages ASAP.
A little backstory: CelticLassie survived cancer as an infant.  Otteray Scribe and his wife (a nurse) adopted her from St. Jude's, determined to save her life.  They lovingly nursed her to health with great success.  Up until now, she's had a very active and happy life.  But the monster (cancer) appears to be back.  Since Christmas, CelticLassie has had some trouble walking and has been in pain.  A few days ago, she fell and broke her hip.   When the hip was imaged, a huge pelvic mass was found.  The doctors think the mass has weakened her bones, thus the fracture.  It is also pressing on other parts.  Long story short, CelticLassie is in agony and is likely to be in the hospital for an extended period.  We are going to make a community quilt to support her spirit through this ordeal and would welcome loving messages from you for her.

Clinic 1989
CelticLassie with her new big sister and mama

1st day B&W
CelticLassie's first day home, here with her father

As you will see below, she grew into a strong and lovely young woman with an infectious smile, a spirit for adventure, and a deep love of her family's Scottish heritage.  She is an accomplished piper, too -- not easy!  Some more photos below the orange cloud...

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Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 09:38 AM PDT

Corporal Lindsey C Lockett Comes Home

by DrillSgtK

Reposted from Drill Sgt K by Joy of Fishes

In 1950, 24-year-old Army Corporal Lindsey C. Lockett was captured by Chinese troops in Korea. Word came that he died in captivity. Now, 65 years later, the Department of Defense informed his family that his remains have been identified.

His Grandson had this to say: “Being a soldier, and my father is a Marine, there’s great pride for us because he’s a fallen comrade but he’s also a father and a grandfather,” said Leonardo Lockett, the grandson. “Through all this time, 65 years, the army never gave up on my grandfather. That just bestows upon what the military is all about,” he said.

Link to the news story:

Over 73,000 US personnel remain unaccounted for from World War II; over 7,800 US personnel remain unaccounted for from the Korean War; and over 1,600 remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia (SEA).  Comparison of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from recovered remains against mtDNA from a matrilineal descendant can assist in providing a positive ID for those recovered remains.

Unfortunately, JPAC has recently reorganized their web site; they no longer seems to provide by-name lists of the MIAs for whom there is a need for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) samples to assist in possible identification of remains.  So if you have a relative that is still MIA from World War II, Korea, or SEA – please consider reading this link FAQ section "Who is eligible to donate mtDNA samples?"

If you qualify to submit a mtDNA sample and have a relative from World War II, Korea, or SEA who is still MIA, please contact JPAC (there is an 866 number and see if they already have a mtDNA sample for your missing relative.  If not, please arrange to submit a sample.  By submitting a mtDNA sample, you may be able to help identify US remains that have been recovered and repatriated but not yet positively identified.

Everybody deserves a proper burial.  That’s especially true for those who gave their all while serving this nation.

Reposted from Village Vet by Joy of Fishes

I would have written this yesterday, but the Internet service to our town has been down for three days (thanks to First World infrastructure).

On April 1, 1968, my father was killed when the P-3 Orion he was an aircrewman aboard was shot down over a disputed island between South Vietnam and Cambodia, by the Cambodian Army.

It was the only P-3 ever lost in combat.

It has taken a long time for me to get past that. More below the orange barbed wire.

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Reposted from vzfk3s by llbear

On March 10 during a training exercise off the coast of Florida in heavy fog a Black hawk helio crashed into the gulf. All 11 on board perished in the crash, 7 Marines of an elite unit, 4 Army aircrew.

3 of the Marines were from Michigan, each was a combat Vet. Governor Snyder has decline to order the US flag be lowered in Honor of these Men because they were not oversea in active combat. This is the same Gov that 2 weeks ago ordered flags lowered for the passing of a retired State legislator.

As a Peace time Army vet my reply to the Gov is FU. MY flag will fly at half mast until the final Funeral Service has been held. They each deserve the Honor.

If You live in Michigan and agree please do likewise.


Thu Mar 19, 2015 at 05:28 PM PDT

Let's help llbear Stay Connected

by Sara R

Reposted from Sara R by Ekaterin

llbear at a Koscadia meet up, foreground

The computer of our friend, llbear, is about to give up the ghost.  It is an eight year old PC tower.  The "blue screen of death" is frequent now and sometimes the computer will not boot at all.  He has been advised that it is too old to bother fixing.  As llbear has started a  project dear to his heart (getting the Portland VA Hospital renamed after Gen. Shinseki), he is very anxious to have a reliable computer.  He's got a lot of time sensitive emailing to do.  Plus, he needs to keep up to date on Daily Kos!

llbear is in bankruptcy and has received permission from the court to get the computer replaced by any means necessary.  He has found one that will do for $700.  So that is the sum we are seeking to raise and no more.  To donate, send PayPal to bearonkingsgate AT gmail DOT com or message me for an address should you prefer a check.  He will pay you back in small monthly increments if you desire.

Thank you for your help in keeping our llbear online!

UPDATE: We have reached the goal!  Hooray!  And thank you, everyone!

Reposted from llbear by JaxDem

One thing you will never get away with as a Veteran is lying about your accomplishments while in service. That means lying about your rank, lying about your training, lying about what you did, and lying about your injuries. The moment someone challenges your claim you become suspect. Let them prove it, and your cred is shot to hell. Then this happened:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized again Tuesday for falsely stating that he served in Special Forces, saying that he made the error when trying to make a connection with a homeless veteran.

"In an attempt to connect with that veteran to make him feel comfortable, I incorrectly stated that I too had been in Special Forces," he said at a press conference outside the Department of Veterans Affairs. "That was wrong and I have no excuse."

McDonald emphasized that he had never previously claimed to have served in Special Forces and that he is focused on addressing the concerns of veterans.

NBC News

Veterans Administration Secretary Bob McDonald did the right thing when he said to a homeless veteran that he had been with Special Forces. While he trained with Special Forces, he was never assigned to a Special Forces unit. So why are so many Veterans like me are giving Bob a pass?

If a reporter misses the reason why Bob McDonald said what he did to that homeless man, what does that tell you about the reporter?

3%1 votes
21%7 votes
75%24 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Feb 05, 2015 at 02:55 AM PST

Community Quilt for TrueBlueMajority

by Sara R

Reposted from Sara R by JaxDem

Detail from Yasuragi's quilt

UPDATE: We are doing well on messages but are behind $261 for the number we currently have.

If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting TrueBlueMajority in person, you know that she has about her a vibrant aura of pure, unconditional love.  Her smile has the warmth of a beautiful summer day, and her voice is soft and sweet, drawing you in to listen.  She is a minister by profession, a perfect vocation for someone who projects such nurturing love along with humility and grace.  Immediately upon meeting her, one is struck with the fact that she is a radiantly beautiful human being.  Knowing this is how she is, it seems so sad, so wrong, so upside-down and in-side-out that TrueBlueMajority carries within her a deep, abiding grief that has held her in a tight grip for over eight years, ever since her mother died.  And it hurts her terribly, this grief, to the point of sobbing.  She writes about this pain often in The Grieving Room on Monday nights.  This past Monday, she wrote this:

I have been struggling mightily.  After going quite a while without one, I have had three crying spells in the last nine days.  I know that's not very often compared to the people whose grief is new.  But I was honestly beginning to feel like I was getting past the gut-wrenching tears stage, so this feels like a real backslide.  I am embarrassed to still be crying like this after this many years.  Even though I would never say this to anyone else about their grief, I feel like mine being so stretched out is a sign of my essential brokenness.

I fear my whole life is being defined by grief.  By what I lost.  By what I don't have.  By what I only had for a short time before illness took her from me.  By all the years of estrangement from my mom that I still blame myself for, even though my reasons at the time made sense.

In recent days my heart has been feeling very tender.  Triggers I used to be able to brush off are cutting more deeply all of a sudden.  A casual word.  A song on the radio.  A scene from a movie.  Glimpsing my face in a mirror.

People talk a lot about their immune systems during cold and flu season.  I wonder if there is an emotional immune system, and I have depleted it by shutting myself up in my apartment during this string of cold and stormy days.

If we, as a community, put our arms around this remarkable woman and tell her how much we love her, it cannot but help her heal.  Part of the pain she suffers is a feeling of being alone in this persistent grief.  Perhaps we can beef up her "emotional immune system" and give her heart the space and support it needs to heal.  We can put our loving words in a community quilt that will be a constant reminder of how much TBM is loved and appreciated.  Any time she wraps up in it, she will know we care deeply about her and wish her deep comfort and inner peace.
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Reposted from DKos Military Veterans by WakeUpNeo Editor's Note: “It was easier to do than not to do...” -- WakeUpNeo

Within the, people served responsibility not upheld, Veterans Administration Agency and it's Dedicated Staff!!

Nurse at Salisbury VA hospital gives veteran the shoes off his feet
Jan. 27, 2015 -  One quality that makes Chuck Maulden a caring emergency department nurse is his ability to put himself in someone else’s shoes.

Recently, he’s been lauded for putting someone else in his.

Maulden, 33, had been working in the emergency department at the Salisbury Veterans Affairs Medical Center for a just a couple of months when a patient came in near the end of his shift one night in November.

The man appeared to be in his mid-60s, Maulden said, and he was there because his feet were causing him such pain he could hardly walk.

“He kept talking about being in bad water in Vietnam,” Maulden said, though Maulden doesn’t know if the man served there during the war. Many soldiers who did suffered from trench foot, caused by long exposure to cold, damp conditions.

The man took off his tattered tennis shoes, and Maulden could see the soles were worn through and coming unglued. The balls of his feet were covered in huge blisters, and his compression stockings had matted to the skin where the blisters had drained. A doctor instructed Maulden to bandage his feet and give him fresh stockings.  read more>>>

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Reposted from llbear by Pam from Calif

Vet63 published a compelling diary in which he describes a friend of his who is an older Veteran still suffering from the psychological pain inflicted during the War in Viet Nam.

Over the last 3 decades I lost count of the number of Veterans I've encountered who had PTSD. Usually I had no prior contact. Sometimes a family member or friend would contact me through a mutual friend. A couple of times I met the Veteran in a store, a restaurant, a bar, or at an airport. The Veterans Administration Hospitals to which I've taken these Veterans include Jesse Brown and Hines in Chicago, The Madison VA Hospital in Wisconsin, The Iowa City VA Hospital in Iowa, The Westside Los Angeles VA Hospital in California, and the Portland VA Hospital in Oregon.

As many of us who are Daily Kos Veterans or spouses of Veterans have stressed there are 153 VA medical centers (hospitals) and approaching 2,000 Community Based Out Patient Clinics. Emergency Mental Health is offered only at VA Hospitals. The VA covers WHERE to get help. This diary covers each step in HOW you can get Veterans help.

Many currently are being run like individual fiefdoms with their own rules and regulations - some of which conflict with laws governing their operation. When you are trying to help a Veteran in the middle of a mental health crisis ignore all that.

You have to deal with the reality you face to get the Veteran the care they need. The following has worked at all of those hospitals mentioned above.

To get immediate help for a Veteran fighting PTSD, call the following number:

1-800-273-8255 then press #1

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Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 10:04 AM PST

Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori


Reposted from DKos Military Veterans by Joy of Fishes

As we prepare for the onslaught of patriotic fervor this November 11th with all the flag waving, jets flying over, taps at the cemetery and discount sales, it is well that we remind ourselves that all to often the reasons we have so many veterans is because they believed:

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
"It is sweet and right to die for your country."
Many did not die but came back changed forever. I buried one last month and will bury another one on Monday. Neither one believed in the end that their service was worth it or that the cause was just.
"When you discover the truth through the
door of betrayal, and become a global
citizen, it is as if you acquired a quantum
leap in intelligence. The world you once
lived in is no longer your primary residence."

Mike Hastie
Army Medic Viet Nam


Repentant ex member of Murder Inc.
Southeast Asia Division
Our motto, "Kill Anything That Moves"

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Sun Nov 02, 2014 at 01:11 PM PST

Some Thoughts From Omaha Beach

by mftalbot

Reposted from mftalbot by Joy of Fishes

Part of a series I've been doing on my travels in Europe.

ON THE MORNING of our last full day in France, we took an intercity train from Paris out to Normandy. For this journey, we were not on the TGV, France’s futuristic high-speed train system. We were on an intercity express train, which, despite not being a proper bullet train, still moved with dispatch out of Paris and into the sylvan and achingly beautiful French countryside.

We arrived in Caen about two hours after we started, and rented a car for the day. We drove out to the site of Omaha Beach, and parked in a little town called Vierville-sur-Mer situated on the bluffs directly above the sector of the beach portrayed in the opening minutes of Steven Spielberg’s landmark 1998 film, “Saving Private Ryan.”

We walked out onto the sand, and after examining a few remnant bunkers and other structures, we walked out to the edge of the surf. Then I turned around and looked up at what the first waves of men ashore saw on that terrible June morning just over 70 years ago.

Stunned by what I saw, I turned to my travel companion and said, “My God — those poor men.”

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Reposted from Scout Finch by Joy of Fishes
Roscoe Cassidy
Roscoe Cassidy passed away on October 21, 2014. He was Kentucky's oldest living WWII veteran:
At the age of 107, Cassidy's family said he was the second oldest WWII veteran in the entire country.

Cassidy spent his entire life in Preston, a small town in Bath County, with the exception of the four years he spent in the army.

Cassidy's son Mike said he was a combat engineer and was awarded four Bronze Star Medals.

Sadly, Roscoe died worrying nobody would attend his funeral because he'd outlived all of his friends:
Cassidy's family says he always worried that because he had outlived so many of his friends, no one would come to his funeral. That's why his family has invited anyone to attend his funeral this Saturday, October 25.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Richardson Funeral Home in Owingsville. Visitation is Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

So, if you find yourself in the area of Owingsville, Kentucky on Saturday, stop by and give Roscoe Cassidy the send-off he deserves!

See the local news report about Roscoe Cassidy below the fold.

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