Sunday, December 30, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas. I know I am ready for a nap after all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Holiday. Enjoy your day with family and friends but also take a little time to unwind from all the excitement. Merry Christmas.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
I won't be home for Christmas... .
I am among the thousands of Americans who served in uniform in
I am among the millions of Americans who served in uniform during WWII who are now gone... and it is estimated that less than eleven percent of the men and women who served during WWII are alive today, with more than a thousand passing away each day.
I am among the tens of thousands of Americans who served in uniform in Korea who are now gone... and it is estimated that less than four percent of the men and women who served in Korea are alive today, with more than seven hundred passing away each day.
I am among the hundreds of thousands of Americans who served in uniform in Vietnam who are now gone... and it is estimated that less than one-third of the men and women who served in Vietnam are alive today, with more than a two hundred passing away each day.
I and those with me won't be home for Christmas. Please always remember us... and those who will join us before next Christmas...
The Unforgotten Soldier
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Okay, maybe by now you have realized that I suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from combat in
Many Vets feel the symptoms right away after coming back from the war zone. Some of the Vets in my therapy group have had multi-marriages, multi-jobs and addictions to drugs or alcohol. Their lives were affected as soon as they got back.
That is why I say that I was lucky because I lived a normal life for many years. I started having flashbacks about 1995 but they did not totally engulf me. The big problem with my flashbacks was because they started occurring while I was driving. As it turned out, certain songs on the radio would trigger the flashback. Luckily, I was able to get the car off the road before causing an accident. Even at this point, I did not really comprehend what was happening and continued with my normal life.
There were many changes at work that caused undue stress in my life and may have contributed to the old memories breaking through the wall that I had created. I did not associate with Veterans or even talk about
About this time, I also became a little more negative about things at work. The administration of my area began to force things on us that I felt were not in the best interest of our department and the institution. An example was a new computer system that a department head was pushing for us to use. They did not want me involved with the main part of the development of this program even though I was the Manager of the area. Therefore, I assisted the accounting side of the program. When it came time to implement the program, old Mr. Negative stood up and said the program would not work the way it was set up. How did I know that? Because I had run, what I call “What If” scenarios repeatedly using different parameters and discovered they failed to include a "deliver to" location in the programming.
Of course, this created an uproar and I was the outcast, which upset me even more. However, when I explained that they had failed to create in the program a method to tell the Receiving Department where the material was to be delivered they listened to me very carefully. We receive over 40,000 line items daily so the Receiving Department would back up very quickly if they could not deliver the material. Accounting and I never liked this particular program anyway and talked administration into going with another program. Millions spent for nothing.
It was things such as this that started to upset me and the flashbacks started becoming more frequent. About the same time, a power struggle started taking place within the department and my boss and I decided to leave the area and stay out of the politics that was brewing. I began helping the Nursing Department create a bar code ordering system and a system for next day delivery of supplies for Nursing.
About this same time, another power struggle was going on by a VP who wanted control of my old department. He won that battle and got rid of the director and managers. At this point, my problems were getting worse but I was dealing with it by trying to ignore the problem. Even my wife could feel that something was not right. She was afraid that I might be having an affair. Guess I was starting to shut down socially and did not want to do things that we normally would do.
One day I attended an informational meeting that I thought was going to tell us the new structure of Purchasing. This VP laid out his plan for the future and informed the group that I (Stanley) was going to be the Manager again. Bad move on his part. You do not tell some one that they will be in charge of an area without first talking to them. I wanted to turn it down because of my problems. A couple people I talked to about it said that was a career-ending move if I did turn it down. Guess it did not really matter at that point because PTSD was ending my career anyway.
I did quickly turn the department around and speeded up the process for ordering via the new computer system. What was a 5 to 7 day cycle was reduced to 2.5 days and I felt that I could get that below 2 days. This was a large department and we processed one million dollars per day in orders. By now, I was experiencing about two flashbacks per day. Not a good thing. I was afraid I might hurt someone if I had a bad flashback.
One day I met with the VP and he informed me that he wanted me to get rid of one of my best buyers. Good buyers are trained to question things and to find the best solution to a problem. He did not like her questioning his authority. This is when I went ballistic. I called him an ‘asshole’ and felt that I was ready to pound the shit out of him. He must have sensed that he was in big trouble and made a quick exit.
We had a department called EAP (Employee Assistance Program) which helps employees with work or home problems. I went down to them, told them I have a problem, and needed help. They sent me to the Psychiatrist and she said at the end of our session that I had classic PTSD.
I immediately went on Long Term Disability and finally decided to take early retirement. I did not want to hurt any of the wonderful employees that I had hired and had dealt with for many years. I was able to get Social Security Disability and the judge that heard my case told me to go to the VA and apply for benefits.
If you are already familiar with the VA, you know that process is a long drawn out one. Mine did not take as long as some that I have heard about. I did have an advantage in that I already was rated at 30% disability due to my mangled foot. After talking with the VA Psych department, I was awarded 100%. So now, you know that part of the story.
If you feel you are having problems adjusting after combat, please seek help from the VA and do not wait for 30 years as I did. I hope our little talk helps someone and good luck.
Monday, December 17, 2007
As long as we are on a patriotic theme, I have to include this great song by Diamond Rio. Our country was founded on religious freedom and a few are trying to eliminate God from the National Anthem and from our currency. Let the majority stand up and be heard that "In God we still trust".
Welcome Home. If you were like me, you flew in by military charter from Okinawa or the
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Some miscellaneous things that I dug up related to
I dug up some old pictures from my military days and scanned them for the blog. If you recognize yourself or anyone in the pictures, please attach a comment and let me know. The only name that I can remember is an old friend from both boot camp and
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I do not remember what this picture was about other then I was getting a medal for something I did in Nam. It might have been my official presentation for the Purple Heart. Thought I would include this picture for old Navy or Marine buddies that might recognize me and send a note off. Of course, in Nam, I had a big handlebar moustache but could not wear it stateside. Click pictures for larger views.
Please forgive me but I am going to do a lot of rambling on this post. So many things have popped into my head that I will attempt to put them down on paper. If you are looking for horrible war stories, those will remain tucked as far back in my brain as I can put them. They only come forth during flashbacks and I would just as soon forget about them.
I started my four-year military career at boot camp in
Before going to
We learned how to treat soldiers wounds under combat situations, how to care for jungle rot and to take care of snake bits. Did I tell you that I never saw a snake in
My aunt Blanche (my Mom’s sister) was dying of cancer and that was the last time I would get to see her just before going to
Guess I did not get very far with this post but I am sure more junk will pop back into an old brain of mine. Have to save some stuff for a later post. Take care.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Joanne’s brother is
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Okay, this took place back in September, but I have not talked about our grandkids yet in the blog. Therefore, here goes. We have three lovely grandkids named Joshua (call me Josh)(12), Allison (call me Allie)(10) and Lauren (call her wild)(7). They are our pride and joy and we love them so much. They are great kids that love sports (Josh and Lauren) and singing and dancing (Allie). Allie was into sports but now has become more girly girly.
Joanne (Nana) is a collector of Wizard of Oz so we had to attend the Chesterton Oz Festival in September. That same weekend, we also had the kids so they were able to go with us to the festival. The pictures above are of the kids at the festival and at the Wizard of Oz museum. The last picture is of our Son (Mike) and daughter-in-law (Kelly) with the kids.
Aren’t they just special. I believe that you can click on the picture to get a larger image.
Monday, December 3, 2007
My mind was drawing a blank today. Usually, the more I write about
“Toys for Tots” is a wonderful charity run by the Marine Corps. Help them with toys, gifts or money. In addition, there is a nice website that you can send a card to a service man or woman overseas. LetsSayThanks.com gives you the opportunity to send a FREE pre-printed postcard greeting card to military personnel overseas to say Thank You for their service. What better time than Christmas to send some cheer? http://www.letssaythanks.com/Home1024.html Remember, Christmas is a time of giving and volunteering and do not forget those protecting our Freedoms.