Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shelter Dogs and Veterans

Earlier this week I interviewed Dr. Rebecca Johnson, she runs a pilot program that pairs recent veterans (Desert Storm to present) with shelter dogs.  Hang in there through the slow start, it's worth listening.  Currently eleven veterans in the program in Columbia, Missouri with slots available for fifty.  Next year a program will open in Springfield, Missouri for another fifty veterans.  Seeking veterans of the War on Terror, that includes Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Their website is  For information about the program, call 573-882-2266.

Preventing suicide among veterans article.

From last November, but a great video clip featuring the crew from the View.  Note that Hasselbeck needs no cue cards as she talks about the numbers of women and others serving (unlike her co-host).

RLTW  Karl

Useful and interesting this week:


·       Trauma expert says common PTSD treatments may not be the best: (KOAA-TV, COLORADO SPRINGS) --- "I'm very concerned that the treatments that are being taught may not be the best treatment for the soldiers that are being seen," says Dr. Van der Kolk. "I think there is too much emphasis on talking in treatment often times, and not enough emphasis on making people feel safe." 


·       Army Released February Suicide Data: (DOD NEWS) --- The Army released suicide data today for the month of February.  Among active-duty soldiers, there were eight potential suicides:  none have been confirmed as suicide, and eight remain under investigation. 


·       Ray of hope for disfigured heroes: (BOSTON HERALD) --- “This is why this is so important,” Harris said yesterday of the $3.4 million grant awarded Brigham and Women’s to help fund face transplants for both civilians and veterans.  Right now, such a procedure is still considered experimental. More research, more surgeries and more studies are needed before face transplants can become a mainstream procedure. 

·       Clinical trials seek to improve warriors' burn care: (ARMY NEWS) --- New hope is on the horizon for wounded warriors suffering debilitating burns as the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine and its partners at leading medical research centers launch three promising clinical trials.


·       Researchers seek to tap bartenders at VFW canteens: (USA TODAY) --- "Bartenders have naturally been thought of as these de facto counselors over time. So people often tell their troubles to bartenders," says Keith Anderson, lead author and an assistant professor of social work at Ohio State. "What we found, as anticipated, was that (VFW) bartenders were very close to the veterans, often referring to them as similar to family."

·       Segways Changing Lives Of Injured Vets: (KGTV-TV, SDGO) --- "We started by giving three away to deserving veterans," Kerr said. "In five years, we've been able to give 500 away."  Army Sgt. Armando Mejia, who was wounded in Iraq, has never been on one before but took to it immediately.  "You don't remember you have your injuries. You just whoosh and I always wanted to be this tall, too," said Mejia.

·       Canine companions misunderstood often: (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE) --- Mosley has been on an apartment complex's waiting list for six years and was recently notified that there was an opening. During the paperwork process, though, Mosley disclosed that he had a service dog that weighed more than 40 pounds and the deal was suddenly off.   It was a shock for Mosley and his wife, Ginny, because they've never run into problems in public places before. "What are you going to tell a blind person? That they can't have a dog that weighs over 40 pounds?" David Mosley said. 


·       Wounded Soldier has Big Plans: (KULR-TV, BILLINGS, MT) --- Five months later, Williams is improving by leaps and bounds. "I was held at a high standard in the army," Williams said. "When I got injured my goal was to be the best injured soldier. My wounds are something I'm proud of. I gave my limbs for this country and I wouldn't take them back for a second." 


·       New program to give homeless female veterans a Welcome Home: (HERALD-MAIL, FREDERICK, MD) --- Way Station Inc. of Frederick, Md., parent organization of Turning Point of Washington County, plans to start work this summer on a 27-bed facility on East North Avenue in Hagerstown that will serve as a home for homeless female veterans in the state. 


·       Military widow dismayed by limits on new Va. tax break: (VIRGINIA PILOT, NORFOLK) --- The enacting legislation adopted by the Assembly last month limits the spousal exemption to spouses of veterans who die on or after Jan. 1 of this year.  That means Padilla is out of luck. Her husband, Albert Padilla, a Navy veteran, died at 66 in May of a progressive neurological disease.

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