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Your story is a treasure...
The Veterans Site is a meeting place for people who support veterans, our troops, and one another. We encourage you to share your story with a community that cares. It might be about your own homecoming, your family's experience, or even the story your great-grandfather told that's been passed down the generations.
Your story is one of those rare treasures that increases in value every time it is shared. Help us build our community.
· Please do not post solicitations. Any story containing a solicitation, personal contact information, or an attempt to link to a website will be removed.
Last week, maybe Thurs, Aug 25th, the story about a brother/sister both military met after 35 yrs.
The story would not come up when clicked on.
Could that story be found & ran again? Would enjoy reading about their reunion!
Growing up, I heard stories of my Uncle Raymond Marsh, because no one shared my hair color, except my Uncle Raymond,a Purple Heart Medal Hero, combat fatality just days before end of WWII, shared my red hair. And mama Shared his letters even last one (as letters always took awhile to arrive you see). Letters described how he walked for miles to hear a sermon, about his wet feet and need for "galoshes," and of how much he missed his bride, Julia, who he married just before he left.
Back in that era,since he was the only male of 5 children with older father of poor health, it could have been requested that Uncle Raymond not serve when drafted, but remain home, but he and his father thought he should serve.
Mama shared the last letter, the Christmas before he was killed by a sniper in Luxembourg, tearfully, Mama had a bullet proof New Testament on lay away, making payments on it, and was to make the last payment and send it for its arrival by Christmas and then a letter came asking if she could please send him "galoshes" for his cold wet feet as a Christmas present. My mama didn't have the money to afford both and the store allowed her to place the lay away money from the bullet proof New Testament onto the galoshes to send.
Upon death, personal items returned included his New Testament with a bullet hole in it. Mama was unsure then if he had even received the Christmas galoshes and then the last letter arrived describing how much he appreciated the galoshes and how they were keeping his feet dry. Then, she knew the bulletproof New Testament would have arrived before his death and could have saved him, She would explain to me God has a plan for everyone, and not God's plan for Uncle Raymond to return, but remember him.
Therefore, I searched out his Arlington cemetery grave, share his story proudly, serve veterans, and have a red headed son that I imagine looks like my Uncle Raymond, the war hero.
I have many stories to share being a Career Marine Vietnam Widow but am choosing today to relate one of my father-in-law that is surely representative of most Veterans. My father-in-law was an Army CWO5 of 27 years when he was medically retired with terminal cancer. His wife (2nd), was a Major with 20 years as a nurse retired at the same time to take of him. The two of them had been best friends with another Army Officer for many years and had served together during Korea and Vietnam. He was the only one still in but they kept in frequent touch with him.
A few months after being home, my father-in-law received a middle of the night phone call telling him to prepare his gear for both cold and hot conditions as he was being called back in for a very important assignment. Someone be there to pick him up within minutes. He immediately started packing his gear (that he, of course, hadn't disposed of) and his wife helped him. No questions asked.
When he was in his uniform, he sat in their foyer with bags ready to go.
There was a knock at the door and when opened, there was their good friend. He had pulled one last prank on my father-in-law....it was just something they had always done all the years they knew each other. He passed a few months later.
To me, it was sheer dedication and sacrifice for my father-in-law to raise up from his sick bed to be ready because his country needed him.
R.I.P. CWO5 Robert E. Tully Sr.
When called to serve my country I answered the call and not only in the U.S. Army I later served our country as a contractor in Afghanistan, Iraq and Republic of Kyrgyzstan and while my job did not require me to go outside the wire, the bases I was signed to (FOB Salerno, Rustamayah and Stryker) I and everyone assigned to them endured hardships and countless attacks, but it was not until returning home did I see the heartlessness of not the Taliban or other terrorist groups, but that of my fellow Americans, as we were caught up in a serious financial hardship that in the end saw us lose our home and vehicle, but now without a vehicle we are seeing our situation go from bad to worse and our attempts to free ourselves from our financial have failed.
So I am here seeking the help of anyone who would like to help us even in a small way, as all we really need is a dependable used vehicle to use to seek employment.
On Valentine’s Day, 2006, I was deployed to Iraq, during my 10-year tour as a Military Police Officer in the US Army, when my vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. My leg was instantly severed, and I suffered a movement disorder, traumatic brain injury, 3rd-degree burns, multiple back injuries, and PTSD. Recovery from my injuries was a long and dark road, and I fell into a severe depression. During recovery, my occupational therapist suggested that I find a hobby that used my fine motor skills. In the beginning, my motor skills were incredibly compromised, and stringing a large wooden bead with a leather rope proved near impossible. My grit and tenacity kept me moving, and I learned everything I could about the craft while practicing every day. Jewelry-making became my glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Amazingly, within a year, my movement disorder had almost disappeared! My new hobby turned into an insatiable passion, and now, a business. I'm so grateful for the opportunities I have to tell my story. I've been featured on the CNN Morning Show, Dr. Oz Show, Cosmopolitan and Glamour and Woman's World magazines among others. I am a member of Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA), as well as the South Texas BBB and the Women's Jewelry Association (WJA). I am also the recipient of the 2016 Veteran's Grant from the WJA.
I encourage sharing my testimony with as many media outlets as humanly possible, because the word has to get out that the Men and Women who have or are protecting our way of life are truly hurting and need help now NOT tomorrow, because for 22 veterans it will be too late.
In summation, it was very difficult to put my troubled past in ink for all to read. That particular period in my life was by far the most painful, depressing, and psychological damaging time of my life, but I felt the need to share my story to let my fellow Comrades know death is not the only option. If you do not trust me that’s ok but please trust in the LORD. It is my belief that if you truly do, your life will turn around for you. I will be praying for you…
I am not going to lie to you and say it was an easy recovery, because it was not. It was instead a very long and at times painful process, but once I was able to regain my self confidence and dignity there was no mountain high enough to stop my conquest to succeed in life. Thankfully once recovered, no matter how hard times became in my life, I never experienced that gloom, doom and fearful feeling again. Over the course of the past twenty years, I have achieved a level of success both personally and professionally that at one time in my life I only dreamed of. I eventually found love again and have four healthy loving children and to date have been blessed with three wonderful grandchildren. I am a retired Air Force Veteran, Author, Cross Domain Solutions Analyst, and Speaker who tries his absolute best to help others.
Reflecting back, if my neighbor did not walk in on me at that exact moment in my life, I would have been remembered as a troubled Air Force airman who left behind two innocent children by committing suicide. I would have missed out on so many wonderful moments in my life. Please believe me when I say there is not a day that goes by that I do not thank the LORD for sparing my life on that dreaded day back in 1996. I am asking you now my beloved Brother and Sister, to reconsider your decision to end your life and instead join me with helping others like us who so desperately need a fresh start in life.
I knew my Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) would call my house once I did not report for duty and would eventually drive to my house to check on me. Once he arrived at my residence, he would find my front door wide open and hear the very loud music I had playing in an attempt to drown out the gun shot. I was certain he would (NOT my children) find my lifeless body lying in a pool of blood with my face blown off. Everything was going as planned on that fateful day, I kissed my children goodbye for what I thought would be the last time. Tears ran uncontrollably down my face which did not overly concern my kids, because they were growing cold to all the drama and turmoil a divorce inflicts on a family. I remember watching them both walk down the street until they eventually disappeared from sight. The feelings I was experiencing at that exact moment was immense shame, guilt, hurt, and a haunting loneliness. I remember walking away from the front door and heading downstairs in a complete haze. I cranked the volume up on my Kenwood system and then entered the guest bedroom. I remember loading my shotgun chamber and inserting the barrel into my mouth. I began shaking uncontrollably and just when I was about to pull the trigger I heard a very loud voice shouting “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” I looked up and saw my neighbor running frantically in my direction. I dropped my shotgun at that exact moment and began to cry as my neighbor wrapped his arms around my trembling body. I had never been so ashamed and embarrassed in my life. I really cannot explain what happened to my thought process during that ordeal but I realized I wanted to live and not die. I called my NCOIC and told him I needed help, so he immediately made arrangements with the base hospital that same day for me to get some much needed professional help. To be continued...
This testimony is for my twenty two veteran brothers and sisters who have decided to end their life by committing suicide today. I wish there was some magical gift of love, I could send your way to make you change your mind but all I can do is share my own very personal story in hopes it just might make a positive difference. I too was once in your shoes. The year was 1996 and I was in the middle of a very bitter and ugly divorce. My life was totally turned upside down. My career in the Air Force was in jeopardy, because I could not focus on anything but the negatives in my life. It seemed as if I was losing everything important to me to include my two young children. I knew in the state of Illinois the chances of me gaining custody of them was slim at best. I was also aware that I was on the short list of being tagged with a 3 year overseas assignment which would result in me hardly ever getting to see my kids. At the time, I would have rather been dead than to face a life without them in it. These thoughts and fears consumed me every day and night. I could not envision a life without my children, so after a very long battle with severe depression, which by the way I tried very hard to hide from everyone in fear it would further destroy my military career, I made the decision to end my life. I thought, I had everything planned to the finest detail. I would wait until my children departed for school and then proceed to the guest bedroom located in our basement, insert a shot gun shell into my gun chamber, pull the trigger and escape all the madness. To be continued...
We are in the midst of setting out to create a powerful and motivational event in Washington, DC July 2016!
Fred Rivera is a Vietnam combat veteran who spent many of his post-war years flat on his back, recovering from the consequences of war. Confined to bed for three years, he began to read voraciously. He read every major Russian author, and when he ran out of reads, he read every work of every major American and Latino novelist.
When it could be contained no longer, Fred maneuvered his keyboard as if it were the sticks of the track that he relentlessly drove into battle in Vietnam, and laid siege to the demons of PTSD to write his lightly-novelized narrative. (“Twenty-seven years after I got on the flight home, I saw that Nam War was just Raw Man spelled backwards…I’m pretty raw today.”)
The very first copy of Raw Man was signed to active Army Sergeant John Marek, who, as a sign of appreciation for Fred’s efforts in working with Veterans With PTSD, decided to surprise Fred with an etching of Herman Johnson’s name from the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC.
Herman Johnson was found, alive, and living in Warren, MI. Herman remembers waking up the day following the battle with a yellow tag on his toe. Separated for 47 years, the two comrades will be reunited at the Wall on July 10th. Retired Lieutenant General Guy C. Swan III will personally present Herman Johnson the Purple Heart paid for in blood, but never redeemed . A film crew has been hired to document the event, and your contribution to the costs will help perpetuate the details of this amazing story. Here is a link with more of the story, and to accept your support to be part of this: www.rawmanthebook.com
For Fred Rivera and Herman Johnson, this is not a hypothetical metaphor; this is the reality that writing Raw Man made manifest. Here is the link that tells you a bit more and shows you how to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/23zqxwyc
The Friends of Fred and Herman