May is Mental Health Month. Before addressing the issues of Mental Health amid a Pandemic, I would like to take a moment and recognize all “Essential Frontline Workers.” I particularly want to acknowledge my “Warrior Angels” at the Alzheimer’s Community Care Centers (ACC) where for years I have volunteered providing Music Therapy.
The Internal Revenue Service, working in partnership with the Treasury Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced today that recipients of VA benefits will automatically receive automatic Economic Impact Payments. Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA will receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment with no further action needed on their part. Timing on the payments is still being determined.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) AKA “The Coronavirus” is undoubtedly stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. There is evidence that coping with stress will make you, your loved ones, and our community stronger. For Veterans, this crisis can be doubly challenging.
New Year’s Resolutions are a waste of time. At least, that’s what a majority of psychologists maintain. After all, if there was something that could significantly improve your life, you’d have already done it right? Indeed, New Year’s resolutions are almost useless. In fact, by some studies the percentage of Americans who keep their New Year’s resolutions are in the single digits.
We all know and love her. There’s nothing not to love about Greshun De Bouse. Her positive track record across the globe, helping to improve conditions for disabled veterans and other groups in need is irrefutable. Greshun has received recognition for her efforts from mayors, governors, celebrities, and other notables across the globe.
It’s now time for a Christmas Tradition. Here’s an unedited reprint of The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas.
Before I do, I like to take a moment for reflection. I am always amazed at how important a veteran’s military service is to an individual, long after his or her discharge or retirement from Active Duty, Reserves or the National Guard. It doesn’t matter what age we are or how long we served, it’s the fact that we served that binds us. We proudly wear our affiliations on jackets, hats, shirts, bumper stickers and license plates.
Veterans Day is difficult for me every year. This year, Veterans Day will be particularly challenging. Normally, I either keep myself busy with mundane tasks or submerge myself in some monumental project. To be sure, I am never idle. Some years I participated in Veterans Day ceremonies. Sometimes, I have the honor as a keynote speaker or as a performer singing our national anthem. Some years, I have avoided all contact.
CTE in veterans shows the military has it’s own “concussion crisis” and is not limited to the NFL. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a dangerous neurodegenerative disease linked with repeated concussions or brain trauma. It causes severe depression, memory loss, behavioral issues, and problems with extreme anger.
Women have played an important role in our nation’s military history. They set the stage for future generations who wanted to serve their country, and proved that women could be as resilient and inspiring as men in times of conflict.
Women have actually been in every crisis and every war the United States has ever been in. But only recently have their contributions been recognized and appreciated.
Music is not only enjoyable, but can be extremely therapeutic as well. Thousands of war Veterans suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, more soldiers have committed suicide since the Vietnam War than have died in actual battle.
More than half of the 2.6 million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars struggle with both physical and mental challenges as a result of their service. Unfortunately, 22 veterans commit suicide everyday, but many are finding hope in the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar. The healing power of music helps soldiers cope.
On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. May the examples of their sacrifice inspire us to selfless love. Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with Your strength and peace.
Recently, I received a Memorial Day newsletter called “Army Echoes.” It is a publication for Army Retirees. In it was an article entitled “The Problem with Being Humble.” This prompted a discussion with my Retired Ranger Buddy Lieutenant Colonel Chad Walker on Humility. Chad sponsors a Gofundme page under RANGER Walker walk for Veterans.
Suicide Prevention is a societal mission of prime importance. We can all help prevent suicide. Every year, the Lifeline, other mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world strive to raise awareness of suicide prevention. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide reporting to suicide prevention, i.e.to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope.
Recently, I have the honor of being invited to speak and perform at a Center for a group of veterans. The Center was specially designed for seniors of all capabilities and walks of life. The Center also provided services for families and caregivers of Seniors in a secure, comfortable atmosphere.
Veterans may soon be provided free child care while undergoing treatment for mental health and other medical issues. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the possibility of this benefit in hopes that it will make it easier for veterans to get help. A House of Representatives Bill (H.R. 840) would extend and seek to make permanent a 2011 pilot program Veterans Child Care benefits program.
The Mantra for 2019 is “Serving Those Who Serve.” I am making it a personal mission and challenging my readership to adopt this mantra as well.
When I say “Serving Those Who Serve,” I mean all who serve in any and every capacity to make us safer, healthier and happier. In short, the backbone of “Keeping America Great!” Over the holidays, I received a T-Shirt from a dear friend that had the American Flag on it and the words “No One Fights Alone.”
- Nike disappointed Wall Street by not raising its full-year forecast following a sales boost from its Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.
- NFL Football TV Viewership is down 8%. Nike’s decided to promote Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem, the face of its new campaign. President Trump linked the controversy surrounding NFL protests to its falling TV viewership. It may not be that simple.
- Nike has been rocked by allegations of bullying and sexual discrimination to women. In response, Nike has shown a number of senior executives and managers the door.
- Is Nike’s retreat into tribalism a sign of Trouble? Veterans feel that the flag, the nation they fought to protect and defend, is under attack by entertainers.
- Nike Hot Product: Odell Beckham Jr. Special Edition.