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September 11th 2001, I woke up and went to the living room and asked my mother what movie she was watching. She turned with tears in her eyes and said it's not a movie it's the news. I was going to St Pete Community College to enter the military as an officer. I continue to get ready for the day and went to school. When I arrived the first class we turned on the TV and continued to watch. They then cancelled classes for the rest of the day. I left and immediately went to my recruiter. I told him I no longer want to finish this as an officer application but I want to go in as enlisted now. He processed my paper as fast as he could and next thing I know I was on my way to basic training. I had signed on as a uh60 helicopter repair with the possibility of going flight and being a crew chief door gunner. My first Duty station was Camp Stanley Korea with 2nd Infantry Division. When we arrived we went straight to the sergeant majors office. He asked the five of us "who would like to go into maintenance?". Three of them raise their hands and he said perfect, that's just what I needed, you two are going flight. I then reported to my company and was sent to Green platoon to learn how to be a non-rated crew member. I spent my tour in Korea doing air assault resupply missions Etc. I was then transferred to the general officer platoon due to my ability as a crew chief. I then was the personal crew chief for the assistant division Commander maneuver assistant division Commander support and the division Commander under VIP missions. When I left Korea I was sent to Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras. The main missions were humanitarian Aid and Counter Narcotics. In 2004 we had a major deployment to Haiti for "Operation Secure Tomorrow". The mission was to overthrow and oust Aristide. After 3 months we had completed our mission and preparing to redeploy back to Honduras. We then got word to stand down one week before we were going to leave due to a major incoming storm. We then provided humanitarian Aid throughout the country as it was devastated by said storm. We delivered rice water cooking supplies Etc. This is where I first truly experienced death. Bodies floating in flood waters along with bodies crushed underneath landslides with arms and legs sticking out just to name two things. We then redeployed to Honduras and I continued my missions until I I went to my next Duty station. I then was stationed with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. In 2006 we deployed to FOB Speicher, Iraq. We did resupply missions for troop movement missions and air assaults and air coverage for ground assaults Etc. On October 26th 2006 we had a mission to bring VIPs to determine how to repair and guard an oil pipeline that was blown up. We dropped off the VIPs and loitered in the area. Well wheel ordered the wind shifted 180 degrees and our new Landing Zone was in the area of Fallout from the fire. We were approximately 40 ft above ground level when the dust kicked up and stuck to the windows due to the oil in the talcum powder dust. The new pilot that was flying next to the instructor pilot panicked and dumped the collective instead of transitioning to instruments. I was standing up outside the crew window to ensure we didn't contact the pipeline. When we hit the ground I crumpled into the window frame on the side of the butterfly grips of my machine gun and the lower window sill. We then rotated on to the right landing gear and somehow managed to land back on the left. I don't understand how this happened as we were past the point of dynamic rollover. This is when the aircraft is past a certain degree that will not be able to recover and continue and roll. They denied what happened due to not wanting it on record. After about a month I went to my platoon later and told him I cannot fly anymore as I was hurt too bad. I was denied medical care or medical evacuation and immediately transferred to the support battalion. While I was there the same aircraft came in for phase maintenance. I immediately told them not to touch the aircraft and we need to perform a hard Landing inspection due to what happened. they then went to my unit and asked where the records of this hard landing were. I don't know what was said but it was recorded somewhere and when we redeployed I was able to get checked out by the doctors. That's when they found out my neck back hips knees ankles feet and wrists were injured. I was then transferred to the Wounded Warrior Battalion where I received treatment and was in the process of medical retirement. Unfortunately I had a suicide attempt and was inpatient at Tripler Medical Center. If you miss two appointments during your Retirement Board they cancel it and send you back to your unit. I had already been back to my unit as I was told that's where I had to be to finish my paperwork. My unit had already deployed to Afghanistan so I was placed on the rear detachment. The persons in charge were the ones that they didn't trust to deploy or hold a weapon or lead troops. While I was in the hospital the acting platoon Sergeant illegally made appointments for me knowing I couldn't make them due to being inpatient. When I saw the acting Commander he threatened me with a bat and acts, as well as another Soldier to shoot him when we go to the range next time. a short time later my wife who was pregnant with her second child and was having a complicated pregnancy was in the emergency medical care unit on base. I was told to return to my unit and I replied with "I cannot as my wife is here with serious issues". They then sent other NCO's to escort me back. I said under my breath if he threatens me again I will throw them out the window. At the time I was so medicated that I was literally drooling on myself. I was then given uniform code of military Justice punishment. they stripped me of my rank and placed me on extra Duty and as soon as that was finished I was discharged on a personality disorder. I have spent the last seven and a half years fighting the VA to receive treatment and care that was appropriate and to receive my disability. I am still fighting with the Army to receive my medical retirement and that is where I currently stand. I was approved for Social Security disability and now currently waiting on my back pay and check but they have yet to make a decision on how much it should be. Hopefully it is what it should be as this will bring us out of the hole as I support a family of 5 solely on VA disability and a small caregiver check that my wife receives to take care of me. I personally think this is a ridiculous hell veterans! We can provide all sorts of things to illegal immigrants Etc but yet we cannot help homeless veterans and we make it extremely difficult for injured veterans to receive benefits. And that is just a brief summary of what happened during my Enlistment in the army.
Dear Folks, as is tradition here on The Patriot Woodworker, leading up through the days to Memorial Day, we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice's made by our fallen countrymen and women. We'd like to invite and encourage you to submit your stories, images, and family and friends remembrances, of those in your life who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our nation. Feel free to share anything related to Memorial Day as well, perhaps you have some historical information regarding this very important holiday, or more important facts that are worthy of reading and viewing. Memorial Day, May 29th 2017 A Memorial Day Message by John Morris (Founder of The Patriot Woodworker) Memorial Day, a day of memorializing the men and women who died while in service. This is a solemn day, a day that, in a perfect world we should never have to recognize. But the reality is our country has been the tip of the spear in conflicts around the world since the time of our existence as a nation. And we have lost many Americans. In today's challenging world environment it's even more crucial than ever to give our attention to the service members who have given all to our nation in order to ensure that the citizens of our nation can go about our daily lives, living and enjoying the fruits of labor that our military and the men and women who serve have provided, and continue to provide. All too often many people in our nation will forget what this day is all about, the youth today are losing sight of what it means to give, to sacrifice, to put the person standing beside them first, instead of putting themselves first. As adults, we need to remind our youth constantly that we live in a very exceptional country, and they should take nothing for granted. We should teach them the importance of our military, and we should remind them that if for one day our military stopped working, that would be the day life as they know it would change in an instant. Our enemies would exploit the weakness, and over run our shores. Our military is a great wall, a barrier between us and the bad actors of the world. Sometimes our military has to take the fight to them, instead of letting them come here to our nation. And our men and women have given their lives on some far off piece of land in order to ensure our safety here at home. We need to drive that message home to our own kids, their friends, and even often times, the adults around us. Lets enjoy the day off, lets enjoy being in the company of the ones we love, but the whole while, lets not let the feeling of solemness, and remembrance leave our hearts. We owe those who are no longer with us, that. Just one day is all they are asking. Memorial Day, May 29th 2017. I pray that God will keep in a very special place those who died in service and long after, for they are the ones who gave of themselves selflessly, and they will be "Forever Young". And we'd like to ask all who read this to pray or offer a word of thanks at your barbecue for our troops both past and present, and set out an empty table setting over an empty chair at your dinner table, in memory, and in hope that our men and women serving today will always return home safe, and whole in mind and body. Also may God Bless our great and very special nation, and may He protect those in harms way as they serve our country and its people today, and into the future. Links of interest https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day http://www.usmemorialday.org/ http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history http://www.military.com/memorial-day
John Morris posted a topic in The Veterans Corner and Causes ForumWith the technology the way it is today, and with the support our men and women receive, it's no wonder that anymore a lil ol thing like an amputation isn't going to keep a soldier from serving on the front lines. Who would of thought! These Three Soldiers Fought Their Way Back To The Front Lines After Losing Legs
Craft in America is back at it, one of my most favorite PBS shows is back and they started their series out with "Service". I cannot find an air date yet, or if it has been aired. I was going through our Netflix channel tonight and previewed it. Here is the Craft in America website, they have a new and improved site that is wonderful to look at. And see below for the preview episode of "Service"
Who We Are
We are a woodworking community with an emphasis on sharing and learning the skilled craft of woodworking and all of its related disciplines. Our community is open to everyone who wishes to join us. We support our American veterans and active duty, being a veteran is not a prerequisite to join. Join us now!
Of course just like most online woodworking communities we are centralized in the arts, crafts, and trades that are woodworking. But, we have another focus in our Patriot Woodworker community, we are the only woodworking community that was founded on our care and concern for our disabled veterans.
The Patriot Woodworkers are an all volunteer community, from the staff and hosts who run our online woodworking community to the members who frequent our forums, you'll find volunteers in all of us. We are not on a payroll, unless you consider the spiritual rewards gained from volunteering, as compensation.
One of the many projects we are working on is a wiki for our online community. A wiki is a great way for woodworkers and enthusiasts to share their knowledge to others, and to impart their knowledge for others to learn from, and utilize as well for their own benefit. We hope you'll consider being a wiki contributor.