Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sgt. David Bellavia. On June 25, 2019, the President of the United States, President Donald Trump, presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Staff Sargent David Bellavia (United States Army). SSgt Bellavia became the first living recipient from OIF to receive this honor. This distinguished honor is the highest honor given to anyone serving in the U.S. military for actions that go above and beyond their call of duty.
White House Staff and chefs carry the gingerbread house through the North Portico entrance Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, en route to State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)White House Pastry Chef Susan “Susie” Morrison, joined by White House chefs and volunteers, prepares the gingerbread house Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in the China Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)First Lady Melania Trump looks at the gingerbread house Sunday, Nov.
Veteran Josh Walker of 101st Airborne questioned PTSD existence for six years before seeking treatment
Article by Ken Budd, courtesy of HumanAnimalBond.org
Before his dog Baxter changed his life, Josh Walker was suffering from night terrors. In 2005, Walker was deployed to Iraq as a cavalry scout in the 101st Airborne, enduring ambushes and firefights. The nightmares started when he returned home, along with hallucinations, fits of anger, and fear. He’d slam on the brakes when he was driving, thinking a roadside object was an IED. It took him six years to accept that he was suffering from PTSD, despite the concerns of his fiancé and family. But denial, he says, is common for many combat veterans.“If somebody I respect could accept it, maybe there was some truth to this PTSD thing.”
“If you’re suffering from PTSD, it means you weren’t strong enough.”
“You’re trained that if something is wrong with you—physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally—then you’re worthless to the unit,” says Walker, 34. “So if you’re suffering from PTSD, your mentality is that you can’t admit it because it means you weren’t strong enough.”The well-meaning reactions of people at home can also be problematic. “People buy you drinks and pat you on the back and thank you for your service,” he says. “So for you to say, ‘I’m actually struggling really bad, I’m not sleeping, I’ve got anger issues, stress, depression’—it feels like it would devalue your contribution and sacrifice.”
His attitude finally changed when he read a blog by a Special Forces combat veteran about his service dog and his experiences with PTSD. “I thought, ‘If somebody I respect could accept it, maybe there was some truth to this PTSD thing.’” He eventually entered a pilot program at West Virginia University—where he was taking classes—for PTSD service dog training. That’s how he met Baxter, the Golden Retriever who changed his life.
West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee & Jerry Wood (Director, The Center for Veteran, Military & Family Programs at WVU) hosted the grand opening of the new WVU Veteran & Military Family Support Headquarters. The ribbon cutting event took place December 7th, 2018 inside the university’s student union, The Mountainlair.
The headquarters is located inside The Mountainlair, and has been nicknamed: The Mountaineer Bunker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30qdkFI8K4A&feature=youtu.be
The Mountaineer Bunker will serve as a welcoming area & support center for student veterans, armed forces personnel and dependents of current & former military service members.
The facility will be offering a variety of programs & services for veterans & military families. Helping to ensuring veterans achieve academic success, career development, promoting overall well-being, while supporting their transition into college life. Available: Veterans certification services, success coaching, on-site counseling, tutoring, study areas. Lounge area featuring video game, snack/coffee bar & more.