President Donald J. Trump awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 .
Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions of June 1, 2007, in support of IRAQI FREEDOM. SSgt Atkins’ son Trevor Oliver and family will be with the Commander-in-Chief at the White House for the presentation. https://youtu.be/cOl4cmhf37U
The Army YouTube video below is about SSgt Atkins’ Final Mission. https://youtu.be/3O9fCxI0NAA
The White House’s press release with SSgt Atkins’ personal background is provided at the bottom.
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.