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NOTE: Voting for this will conclude Tuesday, March 12 at 21:00 PT (9 PM civilian time ;)

This is the BFD about this vote.

We are offering six free booths in this year’s Netroots Nation Community and Exhibit Hall. The top three vote-getters in this online contest will automatically get a booth in the Hall. The rest of the entrants will go through a second round where a panel of judges will decide, based on merit, which three entrants will receive the last three spots.
DaNang65 is asking our help to get a booth for the Purple Mountain Institute which runs the Mindful Veterans Project. He lays it out better than anyone in his 2/28 diary A Shameless Solicitation for Votes. This is just the nutshell. The rest is informative and downright awesome.
The heart of our program is the classes we offer in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction(MBSR) absolutely free to veterans, active duty, guard, reserve, their spouses and dependents who suffer from PTSD or MST or live with someone who does.

The votes at this point are for positions 4 -6. Being Liberal, American Atheists and Move to Amend are so far ahead they will get the three guaranteed boths. PMI is 20 votes from # 6. 63 from # 5.  311 from # 4. From getting exposure, donations, volunteers they need to help vets.

Voting has to be through a Facebook account, a lot of Kossacks don't have one and can't vote.

YOU can fight this voter suppression!

Vote here Click, scroll down to PMI (order is alphabetical, 16 in que) Hit the FB Like button.

Now, if you have some time and interest, read on for what drives me to support our vets.

Over the years since I became an RN in '77, a lot of vets have been in my care. For the first 25 years they were all WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and Gulf War vets. Being a boomer, the VN vets are always the hardest. I became very familiar with the facts of PTSD, the reality of the hell so many had come home to live in. Many were also fighting untreated chronic pain. The VA could not get it's act together with the funding Congress could be forced to appropriate. I got as far as talking to Edwards at a rope line in '04.

I began to insist that the first debt we pay must be to our vets.

When George came into our national disorder, there were actually a lot of people in the streets with me. Trying to get the rest of the nation to remember the lesson of Viet Nam, to grasp the cruel consequences of his absurd war. He ignored large protests here and abroad.

Over these years I came to recognize my own symptoms. Nursing, especially 16 years in critical care, has some really bad moments. Almost two years ago a preliminary study found support for PTSD problems in nurses. When I finally hooked up with a really good counselor, the tests were positive. Not surprisingly far milder than what vets, fire fighters, paramedics, cops and ED caregivers experience. It adds to the understanding of what those people go through. I estimate about 50% of the contributing experiences were from working with specific vets. Now including an OIF vet.

That counselor started me on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I couldn't afford to maintain the treatments. I will be able to resume under Medicaid. The last year would have been much worse if I hadn't had some of those strategies to use. I had also experienced severe depression from SAD every fall and winter of the 11 years I lived in Anchorage. Almost killed both kids and me one day. Living with PTSD and depression is impossible to grasp. Now, add this number.
212,000 U.S. Veterans Have Traumatic Brain Injuries   I come down to:

“Hell is losing your mind.”

Vote here Click, scroll down to PMI, it's alphabetical. Hit the FB Like button.

We are all overwhelmed with facts, statistics and new information. If you need to, skip to the last section on results. It is from the PMI website.

VA 2/1/13 Report on Suicide Data

In the past, data on veterans who died by suicide was only available for those who had sought VA health care services. Today’s report also includes state data for veterans who had not received health care services from VA. Department officials say the additional information will help VA strengthen its aggressive suicide prevention activities.
The report indicates that the percentage of veterans who die by suicide has fallen slightly since 1999, while the estimated total number of veterans who have died by suicide has increased.
Active duty suicides exceeded KIA for 2012. Military suicide rate hit record high in 2012
Kristina Kaufmann, executive director of Code of Support Foundation, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit that advocates for needs of those in the military community, including military families.
“We have a lot of organizations both within the government and within the nonprofit sector that are trying (to curb the military-suicide rate) and people are really, intensively — finally — looking at this. But there’s a lot of damage in the pipeline and that’s the part we haven’t dealt with effectively,”
Both active duty and veterans have pipelines feeding into the whole problem. On top of that, sometimes the ones who get into treatment have their eligibility reversed. 3/8/13 Report details flaws in Army's handling of PTSD
The review came under pressure from Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington, who was upset to learn that hundreds of soldiers at Madigan Army Medical Center south of Seattle had had their PTSD diagnoses reversed by a forensic psychiatry team.
Since September 2001, ... 4.1 percent of all soldiers deployed wound up in the disability system with a behavioral health diagnosis such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury.
Nationwide, the report said, 6,400 soldiers had behavioral health diagnoses "adjusted" by medical evaluation boards, with approximately equal numbers having PTSD added as a diagnosis and removed as a diagnosis.
Are you wondering what all this costs?
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did a recent study that examined costs for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which provides health care after service members return from deployment, for the treatment of PTSD and TBI. The findings indicated the VHA spent about $2 billion in fiscal year 2010 to treat combat veterans. The medical costs per veteran during the first year of treatment averaged $8, 300.00 for PTSD; $11, 700.00 for TBI; $13, 800.00 for PTSD and TBI combined; and $2,400.00 for recent veterans with neither condition.
The official VA is not supposed to have any sequester cuts. There are other agencies that provide a myriad of services to vets. Also, the DoD is not exempt, and vets are eligible for public housing programs, homeless assistance, unemployment insurance, etc. etc. This is IAVA
What Sequestration and the Fiscal Cliff Could Mean to Veterans This is WaPo.
Moreover, many Defense Department programs that support veterans, wounded service members and their families are not exempt. The numbers of mental health counselors assisting service members returning from combat zones with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder may be cut, Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told Congress last month.

Forty percent of the Defense Department’s medical providers working at military hospitals and clinics are civilians subject to furlough.{Emphasis added}
VA dodges budget cuts, but veterans will still feel effects of the sequester

The military brass and specialists support the MBSR programs. They get results.
"If we are to protect the freedom of our nation, we must move beyond simply having a sound body to a holistic view of health and fitness that includes both mind and body. Such a shift is essential, perhaps even for our very survival."
Admiral Michael Mullen
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

"With MBSR, we may have the ability to teach our returning soldiers the skill to control their reaction to those painful memories without the use of medication, and before the stress from the memories causes further damage."
Doug Bremner, MD
Director, Mental Health Research, Atlanta VA Medical Center

"Mindfulness is a learnable set of skills, involving ongoing, moment-by-moment focused awareness and openness to the here-and-now, without judgment and with acceptance. It is, in some sense, the polar opposite of avoidance."
John Briere, PhD
Director, Psychological Trauma Program, LA County-USC Medical Center

Research has support as well.
Abstract, J Clin Psychol. Jan,2012  The results showed "significant improvements in" PTSD symptoms, depression, behavioral activation, acceptance and mindfulness. Specifically "47.7% of veterans had clinically significant improvements in PTSD symptoms."

As always, it is the testimony of those who have been to hell and are finding a way back that really count.

"It's like the thoughts lost their hook. Before they were just ripping me.
With mindfulness, it opens up the blinders and you realize (those thoughts) are not the totality of your existence forever."
OIF/OEF graduate of an MBSR class

"Military training often teaches us to react quickly with learned, automatic responses. While that is useful in many combat or police situations, it can be counterproductive in other areas of our lives. MBSR makes you aware of the benefits of response vs reaction. It increased my awareness of many things and reduced my tension. I am confident that I will continue to see improvements if I continue the practices I learned in the program. The facilitators are very experienced and knowledgeable - they create an environment that made it easy for me to learn and share."
graduate of a Mindful Veterans Project MBSR class

"I am a 17 year, military minded E-6. I thought I could deal with things myself since I had been for a very long time. With help I found out I was broken even though I thought I had it together. I did break fully and this program has helped me handle my stresses in a new way that the other stress relievers could not. I recommend giving this program a try. Good luck."
graduate of a Mindful Veterans Project MBSR class

So, how about helping them on that trip back?

Vote here Click, scroll down to PMI (it's alphabetical, 16 in the que) Hit the FB Like button.


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