VETERANS AND CIVILIAN PATIENTS AT RISK OF ICU-RELATED PTSD UP TO A YEAR FOLLOWING HOSPITAL DISCHARGE
Credit Newswise — One in ten patients is at risk of having new post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to their ICU experience up to a year post-discharge. This was the finding from a multicenter, prospective cohort research study of veterans and civilians. The research was published online ahead of print in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In the study “Incidence and Risk Factors for ICU-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans and Civilians,” researchers led by Mayur Patel, MD, MPH, FACS, Assistant Professor of Surgery & Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Staff Surgeon and Surgical Intensivist at the Nashville VA Medical Center, analyze data from a cohort of medical and surgical ICU survivors enrolled in studies from three Veterans Affairs hospitals (MIND-ICU Study, NCT00400062) and one civilian hospital (BRAIN-ICU Study, NCT00392795). Using the PTSD Checklist for the DSM-IV to determine PTSD for this study, among PTSD measurements listed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Center for PTSD, a total of 181 patients were assessed at three months and 160 were further assessed at 12 months. The cumulative incidence of PTSD was 6 percent to 12 percent within one year following hospitalization. “Although lower than prior research and public perception suggests, the rate of ICU-related PTSD is very comparable to the 8 percent PTSD rates seen in current and former service members deployed to the recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts,” Patel said. “It is important to understand more about PTSD following the traumatizing events of a critical illness so we can better support the growing number of ICU survivors.” PTSD can occur in patients after the traumatizing events of critical illness, and this study provides estimates on new cases of PTSD stemming specifically from the ICU experience. Pre-existing PTSD has rarely been systematically assessed in prior cohorts, and this study took extra effort to distinguish pre-existing PTSD from new PTSD cases. Civilian populations have dominated the literature of PTSD after critical illness, and this study is the first to also include the expanding and aging Veteran population. Assessing risk factors for ICU-related PTSD, the researchers found that pre-existing PTSD as well as prior depression were strong risk factors associated with ICU-related PTSD at three and 12 months post-discharge. Being a veteran did not increase risk of ICU-related PTSD, nor did duration of delirium, amount of pain medication, or amount of sedative. “Currently, the international psychological aftercare for ICU survivors is not organized proactively; rather, it is largely reactive in response to disabling reports from survivors, caregivers, and primary care providers. The Institute of Medicine in the United States has recommended a systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of data assessing the quality of post-conflict PTSD care in the military and veteran populations. We suggest that the same should apply to the large civilian and veteran populations of critically ill survivors,” the authors advised.
Credit Newswise — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – As the daughter of a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and herself an intensive care nurse for more than 20 years, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Professor Jacqueline Moss, Ph.D., is familiar with the U.S. military and caring for its veterans. In a research partnership with the Veterans Health Administration, Moss has sought to understand veterans’ struggles and to help find ways to address their issues. As an educator of nurses, she has worked to teach others that they must be specially attuned to recognizing and caring for this group. To improve awareness of veterans’ health care needs, Moss collaborated with colleagues, Associate Dean for Clinical and Global Partnership and Professor Cynthia Selleck, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Randy Moore, R.N., to develop a set of competencies designed to help new nurses be better prepared to identify and assist veterans and their families across the health care continuum. The resulting research paper, “Veteran Competencies for Undergraduate Nursing Education,” was published in the October/December 2015 issue of Advances in Nursing Science and is featured as an “Editor’s Pick” on the journal’s website. “There are 23 million military veterans living in the United States, and more than 16 percent have service-connected disabilities, yet only about 38 percent of those receive any portion of their health care at a VA facility,” Moss said. “That means 62 percent are receiving care at community hospitals, university medicals centers, local clinics and the like. So any nurse anywhere can encounter a veteran.” In clinical settings outside the VA, Moss says, a veteran’s prior military service often is not recognized — or even mentioned — so a nurse can be unaware of potential issues related to a patient’s military service that can arise. “Veterans come with unique backgrounds and needs, and it is imperative that nurses are adequately prepared to care for veteran patients and their families, regardless of the setting in which they practice,” Moss added. Using the Quality and Safety Education for Nursing Competencies as a framework, Moss and her colleagues developed a set of 10 competencies and associated knowledge, skills and attitudes new nurses need to be able to adequately care for veteran patients and their families. The QSEN Competencies are guidelines that have been developed as part of a national project to prepare future nurses with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to continuously improve the quality and safety of the health care systems in which they work, and provide the best care possible for the patients they serve. The overall competencies are: • Military and veteran culture• Post-traumatic stress disorder• Amputation and assistive devices• Environmental and chemical exposures• Substance use disorder• Military sexual trauma• Traumatic brain injury• Suicide• Homelessness• Serious illness at end of life At their core, the competencies are the basic tools nurses need to help them recognize veterans, recognize whether they have a problem, and determine whether they can address it themselves or need to refer it to someone else. “Wherever you practice, you are going to encounter veterans,” Moss said. “Understanding their experiences and knowing what to look for, how to intervene and when to refer are extremely important skills for nurses, and we want to do our best to make sure they have these skills.” The UAB School of Nursing and its faculty are uniquely positioned for this and other veteran health care research. The school has a strong working relationship with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which since 2009 has included the VA Nursing Academic Partnership in conjunction with the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. This partnership — which won the 2015 American Association of Colleges of Nursing Exemplary Academic-Partnership Award — is part of an initiative to facilitate stronger and mutually beneficial ties between schools of nursing and VA Medical Centers across the country, and it has provided unique insights that shaped the competencies. This is something Moss hopes other schools of nursing and health care institutions hiring new graduates will note as they consider implementing the work. “We hope schools of nursing will take these competencies and knowledge, skills and attitudes and see where they might be able to implement either some or all of these suggestions into their curriculum,” Moss said. “We also hope institutions that are hiring new graduates may also look and see where they might be able to incorporate them into their new-hire orientations.”
Back in 2005, Kristofer Goldsmith thought he was prepared for war. Then just 19-years-old, the Army sergeant deployed to Iraq with the Third Infantry Division. It was a moment that he had been waiting years for. “I wanted nothing more but to be in the military my entire life, from the time that I was a little kid,” he says. Goldsmith’s assignment was to act as a documentarian and intelligence collector for his platoon. He wound up photographing mass graves, and dead Iraqi police officers and children. “It was something that I wasn’t prepared to deal with,” he says. “Even when I got home, PTSD was little more than an acronym to me—I didn’t understand what it meant. I didn’t understand the way that it would haunt me for years, and possibly the rest of my life.” In 2014, more than 530,000 service members received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at facilities run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Before he even left the military, Goldsmith says that PTSD began to affect his life. He was written up in 2007 for missing his flight to Baghdad for his second deployment. The reason why Goldsmith wasn't on that plane? He was in a hospital after attempting suicide the night before. Goldsmith was hit with a misconduct charge for missing that flight, and he was subsequently forced out of the military with a general discharge—one rung below the honorable discharge that entitles veterans to full benefits. Because of his discharge status, he’s been denied access to healthcare services from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “The Army knew why I missed my flight—when I survived my suicide attempt it was at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and I was found by military police,” he says. “I struggled for a year and a half, getting almost no help at all from the Army when I was asking for it, desperately.” But Goldsmith’s case is not unique. Though 85 percent of the more than 2.5 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been released from their service with honorable discharges, 300,000 have been forced out of the military with less-than-honorable discharges. The U.S. government has acknowledged that some of these discharges were the result of PTSD. Goldsmith says that the military could have prevented his suicide attempt but failed to act when his cries grew louder. “Even when I told an Army psychiatrist that I was thinking about suicide, she told me that I had three choices,” he says. “She told me that I could one, suck it up, be a man, and I could deploy; two, I could go AWOL and live like a convicted felon for the rest of my life; or three, I could give up and commit suicide. Those were the suggestions that an Army psychiatrist offered me when I told her how I was feeling after struggling for so long with nightmares from Iraq.” When Goldsmith approached the U.S. military and asked that his discharge status be changed because of his untreated PTSD, the Army reject his appeal. He has spent the last eight years trying to get Washington to recognize that PTSD is often the source of the behavior that gets many vets pushed out. Congress has tried to put a stop to this practice—Section 512 of the 2009-2010 National Defense Authorization Act says that the Defense Department may not issue a discharge other than honorable if the service member has been diagnosed with PTSD or a traumatic brain injury. But since 2009, over 20,000 soldiers with mental health problems have been dismissed for misconduct. Without an honorable discharge, veterans cannot receive VA healthcare benefits. "I think it's damn near criminal that you could take a person, send them to war, they come home sick, and then you don't even provide them healthcare once they get home," Goldsmith says. In 2014, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took things a step further and attempted to amend the rules regarding PTSD and discharge status. But Goldsmith says Hagel’s memo primarily focused on Vietnam-era veterans. “Secretary Hagel’s memorandum was too narrow—it doesn’t effect my generation at all,” he says. “Today, the discharge review boards, they’re still not recognizing PTSD the way Secretary Hagel intended.” Goldsmith says lawmakers in the House and Senate are signing on to the Fairness For Veterans Act, which he says will be formally introduced at the end of this week. He hopes to get others to sign on on to the bill, and is trying raise awareness among the public. “We could use all the help in the world,” he says. Click Here to see full story Credit The Take Away
Credit WSB-TV Atlanta A Gordon County veteran said he spent six months and $1,000 building a handmade memorial honoring the armed services and emergency workers on his own property. He told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson that he couldn’t imagine his surprise and heartache when he says his patriotic flags were stolen from him. Richard Rogers has nothing but kind words for his country and his fellow veterans. “They protect us and this is a great nation,” Rogers said. And now he has nothing but disgust for whoever he says stole the flags from his homemade memorial. “A low life. That's all I can say, they’re just sorry and low,” Rogers told Johnson. Rogers spent six months and about $1,000 building the memorial on his property off of Highway 136 in Gordon County. When he looked at it Monday morning, he noticed the American flag and the others for the military, law enforcement and first responders, were all gone. “It just breaks your heart, especially something like that, it honored so many and everything,” Rogers said. The flags were gone but he says the perpetrator left behind a clue for the Gordon County Sheriff's Office. “There was a knife left behind. They had cut them down,” Rogers said. Rogers told Johnson he has no doubts that he will put new flags back up where they belong. “I’m going to try and get a camera to go out here before I put anything back up,” Rogers said. Still, he says this is a personal crime that he won't soon forget. “It was the disrespect that they were showing for the people that protect us,” Rogers said. The Sheriff's Office told Johnson when the sheriff found out about what happened he had volunteers organize and cover the costs of replacement flags. Rogers told Johnson he appreciates the gesture but says he would rather see that money spent on charity.
WHITMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDING TO EXPAND ENTREPRENEURSHIP OUTREACH THROUGH A VETERANS BUSINESS OUTREACH CENTER
Credit Newswise — The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship atSyracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management has received funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support the expansion of services for veterans through its newly established Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). The funding, which is approximately $330,000 for the first year, will enable Whitman’s VBOC to provide counseling, training, assistance, comprehensive business assessment and mentoring to veteran and service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. It also will help Reserve Component, National Guard and transitioning service members who are interested in starting or expanding a small business.“This is a tremendous opportunity to expand Syracuse University’s service to our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us,” said Terry Brown, executive director of Whitman’s Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship. “A key responsibility of Whitman’s VBOC is to support transitioning service members as they embark on post military service careers that often include small business ownership and other forms of self-employment. We’re proud to be able to offer the valuable support our veterans need to be successful.”A portion of the funding will be used to cover costs associated with coordinating, delivering and conducting outreach to increase participation in the entrepreneurship track of the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Transition Assistance Program (TAP), known as Boots to Business, on military installations in the continental United States and its territories. VBOCs are directed by the Small Business Act to participate in the DOD’s Transition Assistance Program. Initiated as a pilot in 2012 and expanded nationally in 2013, Boots to Business leverages SBA resource partners including VBOCs, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Centers (WBC), SCORE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to deliver entrepreneurship education and training to transitioning service members, Reservists and National Guard members as well as their spouses or caregivers who are exploring or pursuing small business ownership. “In 2014, Boots to Business and Boots to Business: Reboot were delivered to more than 18,000 veterans and family members by SBA resource partners, including VBOCs, SBDCs, Women Business Outreach Centers, SCORE, and others, as well as IVMF instructors,” said James Schmeling, IVMF managing director for programming. “The Whitman School has provided instructors from its world-class entrepreneurship faculty, both in the two-day courses, and the eight-week online courses, and we’re thrilled to extend our work with Whitman to include the new VBOC.“We were able to deliver the SBA program for TAP in 175 locations in the continental U.S. with our partners at 431 trainings, and overseas at 65 trainings in eight countries. Our Whitman colleagues were instrumental in reaching this number of people and locations, and designing the curricula delivered worldwide.”“VBOCs play a significant role in the veteran community,” said Barbara Carson, acting associate administrator, SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development (OVBD). “We look forward to working closely with these centers to provide resources to enhance entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans as they continue to serve our country by contributing to the local economy and creating jobs in their communities.“The brave men and women who served our country deserve access to every available resource when they return home,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I fought to get the Veterans Business Outreach Center this federal funding so that Central New York veteran entrepreneurs can get the assistance and guidance they need to start successful businesses, create new jobs and grow our economy.”The nationwide VBOC competition was open to all eligible institutions of higher learning, private organizations or businesses, veterans’ nonprofit community-based organizations, state, local or tribal governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations. Each award is made for a base project period of 12 months, with up to two renewal option periods of 12 months each. “I’m proud to support funding to help Syracuse University remain a critical leader in veterans’ higher education and post-service outreach,” said Rep. John Katko (NY-24). “We owe it to our veterans to provide quality education opportunities – and with our rich history of service to veterans and burgeoning entrepreneurial culture, Central New York is the ideal location for this program. The Veterans Business Outreach Center will deliver small business mentorship and entrepreneurship training for our veterans while boosting our regional economic development.”About the Whitman School’s Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises ProgramThe Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) program is a flagship program at the Whitman School at Syracuse University. Consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the nation, Whitman’s entrepreneurship program helps undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. students discover their innate entrepreneurial potential, giving them a set of tools and perspective to capitalize on that potential and help launch their careers.The Whitman School heavily emphasizes experiential learning, and the entrepreneurship department is committed to providing a myriad of opportunities for students to gain and apply real-world perspective and skills. The Falcone Center of Entrepreneurship at Whitman makes connections with the community and supports the entrepreneurship program’s outreach efforts. Through outreach programs at Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) Symposium, WISE Women's Business Center and South Side Innovation Center, Whitman’s Falcone Center serves more than 2,000 clients annually who have grossed over $10 million in revenue.The EEE program is also the originator of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities(EBV), which is now offered at seven other institutions around the United States. The EBV program, and its partner programs, provides the skills, resources and infrastructure for entrepreneurship and small business management for service-connected disabilities and military family members who serve in a caregiver role to a veteran with a service-connected disability. More than 700 veterans have graduated from EBV universities since 2007.The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University was established as the College of Business Administration in 1919. In 1920, it was only the 16th collegiate business school in the nation to be accredited by the AACSB. Today, the Whitman School of Management includes programs in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, real estate, retail management and supply chain management. In any given year, the Whitman School is home to nearly 2,000 doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students.About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families.About Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military AffairsThe Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) serves as Syracuse University’s single point of entry for all veteran and military related programs and initiatives. It collaborates and coordinates with all stakeholders to best serve veterans, military connected students, and military family members who are students or employees at Syracuse University.
Credit Newswise — To protect our nation’s Veterans, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) urges extreme caution when considering the “Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act,” S. 2279. As currently drafted, this legislation contains a misguided provision that removes physician anesthesiologists from surgery and replaces them with nurses. Veterans will receive a lower standard of care, jeopardizing their safety and lives, if physician involvement is eliminated from anesthesia care in surgery. Although the purpose of the legislation, introduced Nov. 10 in the U.S. Senate, is admirable, proposing to ease the transition of military health care providers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); it also includes provisions abandoning the physician-nurse team-based model of care for all advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), including nurse anesthetists, in the VA. Senators sponsoring the legislation note the act proposes “common-sense” changes in staffing policies to improve Veterans’ care at health care facilities by addressing the shortfall of medical staff. However, there is no shortage of physician anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists in the VA system. Surgery and anesthesia care inherently contain risk, and this is true even more so for Veterans, who often have complex medical conditions that pose a heightened risk of complications during surgery. Physician involvement when performing surgery on our Veterans is much more critical than providing typical primary care or treating chronic health conditions. The legislation would eliminate the existing and proven model of care where physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists work together as a team to ensure our Veterans receive the highest quality and safest anesthesia care. “Taking physicians out of surgical care is not a common-sense solution for our VA patients who are often sicker, older and have multiple medical conditions that put them at greater risk for complications,” said ASA President Daniel J. Cole, M.D. “The team-based model of care ensures all Veterans have access to a physician anesthesiologist should an emergency or complication occur. This legislation will place our Veterans at increased risk. There can be no compromise on the highest-quality, safest medical care for those who have served our country” Similar dangerous proposals have been considered, and when it comes to the subject of substituting nurses for physicians in anesthesia care, the VA’s own experts on surgical anesthesia care, the Chiefs of Anesthesiology, have told VA leadership that a policy substituting nurses for physicians “would directly compromise patient safety and limit our ability to provide quality care to Veterans.” (Letter from VA Chiefs to Secretary Shinseki, Dr. Petzel, and Dr. Jesse - Oct 1, 2013.) Physician anesthesiologists receive 12 to 14 years of education, including medical school, and 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training to specialize in anesthesia care and pain control, with the necessary knowledge to understand and treat the entire human body. By comparison, nurse anesthetists have only about 1,650 hours of clinical training. The Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act was introduced by Senators Merkley (Oregon) and Rounds (South Dakota). The bill has also been co-sponsored by Senators Tillis (North Carolina), Warner (Virginia), Shaheen (New Hampshire), Wyden (Oregon), Tester (Montana) and Brown (Ohio). ASA strongly urges reconsideration of the provisions that lower the standard of care for Veterans and puts their health and lives at risk in surgery.More information about the proposed legislation and the importance of physician-led, anesthesia care is available at www.asahq.org. THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS®Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA®) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
Credit Newswise — A University of Iowa researcher is working with the Veterans Administration on a pilot program to help female veterans suffering from postpartum depression. MomMoodBooster is an online intervention tool that helps mothers who live in rural areas cope with their depression. “Women in rural areas often don’t seek out or have access to mental health care,” saysMichael O’Hara, professor and Starch Faculty Fellow in the UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “Reaching out in particular to rural veteran women seemed to me like it was just something important to do.” Each year, about 300,000 new mothers in the United States suffer from postpartum depression, experiencing low moods, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, insomnia, appetite disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts—and O’Hara says this estimate is low. So far, about 40 women from across the country have taken part in MomMoodBooster with positive results. Over a six-week period, women participate in six sessions that target managing mood, increasing pleasant activities, managing negative thoughts, increasing positive thoughts, and planning for the future. Phone coaches also call to check in with the women, tracking progress, answering questions, and providing encouragement. O’Hara says it seems possible, given the combat experience of many female veterans, that they may be more at risk for depression, though that has not been quantified. “I was in the Navy for four-and-a-half years, and it’s not an easy life,” O’Hara says. “These are women who have served our country, and we have a way of contacting them. You put that together, and it’s sort of a winning combination.” Treating postpartum depression is important not only for mothers, but also for the well-being of their children. A depressed parent often pays less attention to the baby’s cues, either interacting less and neglecting the child or working so hard to interact that the baby becomes overwhelmed, leading to developmental problems. The self-focus caused by depression can be harmful to children in other ways as well. For example, when parents choose whether to make a meal or drive to a fast food restaurant, depression can influence them to make the easier choice. “Any time a parent is distracted by mental health concerns, this can lead to problems with the children,” O’Hara says. “We know that inconsistent parenting often makes it harder for children to internalize societal rules, a situation that often sets the stage for behavior problems. Having parents who are emotionally stable is quite a benefit to the child.” For some women, postpartum depression represents a recurrence of depression at a stressful time in their lives. For others, it stems from issues surrounding the marriage, finances, or simply the challenge of caring for an infant. Biologically, there is increasing evidence that pregnancy hormones may the set the stage for low mood, which, when combined with environmental factors, may cause postpartum depression. “The most dominant things I see are poor social support systems and conflict with the partner,” O’Hara says. The program will continue at least through the end of September, when the VA will determine whether to continue funding, and O’Hara expects to write a research study based on the results of the pilot. The MomMoodBooster project is funded by the VA Office of Rural Health and the VA Office of Women’s Health Services.
Service members returning from active duty can face many challenges—including finding a new job or even a new career. To help veterans succeed, we’ve worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to make AWS Certification exams eligible for VA reimbursement under the GI Bill’s education provision. About AWS CertificationsAWS Certifications recognize IT professionals with the technical expertise to design, deploy, and operate applications and infrastructure on AWS. Career transitions are never easy, but cloud IT presents one promising path forward—especially when industry surveys show that these skills remain in short supply. Our hope is that easier access to our certification exam, combined with the unique talents veterans already possess, will open up more career possibilities for retired servicemen and servicewomen and help them achieve success in their post-military careers. How it WorksQualifying US veterans covered under a GI Bill with an education provision can now submit a reimbursement request to the Department of Veterans Affairs for exams taken after December 10, 2015 and purchased from Webassessor. The VA will cover exam fees up to $2000 (costs connected with preparing for a certification such as training courses or practice exams are not reimbursable). To read ths full story Click Here Credit Jeff Barr
WASHINGTON (KTRK) --A decorated Marine veteran was attacked in the last place he expected, a McDonald's in Washington D.C. Chris Marquez says a group of rowdy teenagers started taunting him while he was eating. "They asked me if I believe that black lives matter," Marquez says. "I felt threatened and thought they were trying to intimidate me, so I figured I'm just going to keep to my food, eat my food, and hopefully they'll leave me alone." "And because I wasn't responding back to them, they were calling me a racist. "Marquez says he doesn't really remember what happened next. The restaurant manager says the group followed him outside. He was hit in the back of the head and fell to the ground. The teens stole his wallet and credit cards. They have not been caught. Marquez says the attack brought back memories of the war. He hopes the teens are caught before they attack anyone else. Chris Marquez says several teenagers attacked him in Washington D.C. To read full story Click Here Credit ABC News 13
The military is less of a melting pot and more of an awkward stew with liberals thrown in among conservatives, conformists, and the occasional hippie stoner. That sort of diversity doesn’t just vanish once you leave active duty. Just as you changed after leaving the military, the friends you made while you were in have likely gone through the same transformation, and sometimes it’s a bit shocking. Here are the five military buddies that all veterans have, or have had, at one point or another. 1. The one who waits to leave the military to get in shape. Back when you guys were roommates, the farthest distance you ever saw him walk was the seven feet from his sweat-stained La-Z-Boy to the fridge so he could grab another beer and a slice of three-day-old pizza. Now he’s doing Tough Mudder every week, uploading daily sepia-toned gym selfies to instagram, and announcing to his friends when his posts are the top hit on #bodybuilding. You can’t decide what’s more impressive, or irritating: his sudden transformation from fat body to body builder or that his gym selfies always have perfect composition and use the rule of thirds. 2. The guy who suddenly gets all sophisticated. The last time you saw each other in the military, he was passed out on the floor with an empty handle of Sailor Jerry’s rum next to his head, and partially choking on a full horseshoe of Grizzly Wintergreen Long Cut snuff. Now he’s attending an Ivy League school, doing a double major in postcolonial literature and art history, reading Descartes and Derrida for fun, and pronouncing their names correctly. 3. The guy who’s still pretty much in, except now he has a beard. 4. The guy who gets accused of stolen valor when he says he was in the military. 5. The female vet whose military service makes her civilian boyfriend feel emasculated. To read full story Click Here Credit James Clark