Monday, March 21, 2011

The New American Veteran Interviews Dan Horkey of GTOPI, Plus

Wow this has been a crazy busy couple of weeks.  Things are coming from all angles and I'm trying to knock down the close in targets, but some of them are getting through.

Last Thursday had the privilege to interview Mr. Dan Horkey, of  GTOPI stands for Global Tattoo Orthotic Prosthetic Limbs.  Think of the highly customized, beautiful fuel tank on a Harley bike and now take that design or chrome treatment to a prosthetic limb.  It's awesome, and Dan has worked with the VA to cover all costs to the veteran.  Visit the GTOPI website, and listen to the interview here.

Article:  One in five Iraq/Afghanistan veterans unemployed.

Article on Bob Dunn, new advisory board member.

Jarrett Edwards is a professional fisherman who we connected with at a trade show in Long Beach last week.  His story of surviving cancer and then his dedication to give back (and he picked veterans) is phenomenal.  Watch for more with GallantFew and Jarrett, and his lovely wife Rebecca.  They currently support the Lone Survivor Foundation.


Great articles from this past week:


·         Mental health treatment for military family members has grown 15 percent annually since 2001: (NEXTGOV.COM) --- Visits by family members of active-duty military personnel to mental health professionals have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent since 2001, the Military Health System disclosed in a report to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 1.

·         For brain injuries, a treatment gap: (USA TODAY) --- The first two doctors who examined Scott Hamilton 's fractured skull told his wife that he wouldn't make it through the night. A third believed he could save Hamilton's life.


·         Malmstrom chaplain shares story of contemplating suicide: (USAF NEWS) --- Chaplain (Capt.) John VanderKaay knows what it is like to contemplate suicide. He also knows what it's like to seek help for his feelings and begin the healing process. He has been there and shares his story with anyone it might help.


·         Report: TBI center leadership ‘unfocused’: (STARS & STRIPES) --- More than three years after its inception, the Pentagon’s premier entity for addressing the invisible injuries of war continues to be plagued by a lack of direction and mismanagement, according to a report released this week.


·         Lt. Gen. John Kelly, who lost son to war, says U.S. largely unaware of sacrifice: (WASHINGTON POST) --- Four days earlier, 2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly , 29, had stepped on a land mine while leading a platoon of Marines in southern Afghanistan. He was killed instantly. Without once referring to his son's death, the general delivered a passionate and at times angry speech about the military's sacrifices and its troops' growing sense of isolation from society.

·         Army family survivors find help through SOS program: (CNN) --- Sudarat Kirby transitioned from wife to widow with two children and too many questions.  Her husband, Staff Sgt. Darian Kirby, died in March 2010. After an unexpected turn in health, he was gone.  “I thought once my husband passed, that's it, we're out of the (Army) system," said Sudarat. "But no, that's not what happened."


·         Worthwhile investments: (PUEBLO CHIEFTAN, CO) ---  As the Army's fourth largest post with nearly 30,000 soldiers, Doty said Fort Carson also is emerging as a leader in programs to help soldiers make a smoother transition to civilian life and is heavily focused on the "wounded warriors" who face even more obstacles in that process.  Programs aimed at identifying soldiers who may be at risk for developing emotional or stress-related problems in the field are targeted for extra resiliency training before deployment. In-field screening has improved to the point that returning soldiers who need help get it from the moment they step off the plane back home, Doty said.


·         Budget cuts may hit homeless vets: (CNN) --- Among the more controversial GOP budget cut proposals is an effort to kill $75 million that's slated to house homeless veterans.


·         Vets panel chairman: protect benefits, cut fat: (MILITARY TIMES) --- The new Republican chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee pledged Tuesday to protect benefits and services for veterans.


·         Unanimously, Supreme Court Backs Veterans In 2 Cases: (NY TIMES) --- In one, the court relaxed a filing deadline that had served to deny benefits to disabled veterans. In the other, it made it easier for military personnel to sue private employers for discriminating against them based on hostility to their service.


·         Pentagon Falls Short In Tackling Sexual Assault In The Ranks – Our View: (USA TODAY) --- Several other nations — Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom — have put decisions of whether to press charges where they belong, in the hands of professional prosecutors. In the USA, Congress would have to change the law, and that's unlikely without a big push from the Defense Department. So far, at least, the Pentagon appears to prefer tough talk and modest change to real reform.

·         'We Clearly Need To Do More' – Opposing View: (USA TODAY) --- Sexual assault has absolutely no place in our military and cannot be tolerated. I say this not just as a senior leader in the Department of Defense and a retired Marine Corps general, but also as the father of a daughter serving in our military.

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