Some Gave All to join North Texas VFW Post 2772 for Oktoberfest

On September 24th, 2016 Some Gave All will join VFW Post 2772 in North Texas to celebrate Oktoberfest and raise funds for homeless Veterans and Veterans activities in the area.

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The Oktoberfest event is open to the general public and will feature raffles -including a quilt from our Quilting for a Cause Charity Project, live auctions, games and great German food! Hope to see you all there! 

 

Quilting for a Cause

Some Gave All, in conjunction with Grand Old Quilt Co., is working on a special project to create military quilts for Veterans this winter.

We are asking for help in the way of donations of any old military uniforms (especially shirts as they have more useable material), tshirts, patches, etc.

This is a non profit project that provides an avenue for current and former military to support some of their own by donating uniforms and other items that they no longer wear or need.

While we will be selling some of the quilts to cover supply costs, the objective of this project is to provide quilts to Veterans in need this winter. Over 10% of the homeless population in our area are Veterans so there are plenty of men and women who will benefit from this aid.

Donations can be mailed to:

Some Gave All
PO Box 3253
Sherman, TX 75091

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(left – this is all of the left over material that was unable to be recycled from a set of BDU’s that were donated to the project. It is mostly just the seams!)

Grand Old Quilt Company has generously offered their quilting experience to help Some Gave All in this endevor.

UPDATE (11/3/16): Thank you to the community for your support of this project. Because of your efforts, we have registered our non-profit with the state of Texas and are working towards 501c3 status. This change will allow us to expand our role in serving our service men and women, providing social services to active and former military members and their families. We look forward to your continued support!  
For questions regarding this or any Some Gave All charity projects please email us directly at:
info@somegaveallblog.com

Sustainable Renewable Earth Day

Earth Day has historically been commemorated either in school or as part of a community service group, usually centered on teaching children the importance of protecting the ecosystem and creating a sustainable lifestyle for the future; this year however, it has become evident that Earth Day is no longer just for the kids, nor is it limited to a signal day event. The DoD along with individual branches of our armed forces are making serious efforts to make our military efforts more eco-friendly while improving on our current abilities and readiness.

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A major focus of these organizations has been put on providing clean, renewable energy, a goal stressed by the partnership between the Air Force Office of Energy Assurance and the Army the Office of Energy Initiatives. The Navy has also made strides in renewable energy by improving efficiency when it comes to their buildings and fuel use, including the use of drop in alternative fuels. They have also started building a state of the art solar panel facility at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South.

Earth Day hasn’t been completely forgotten in the activity plans though; military installations across the country are taking part in community events from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam participating in the Ahua Reef cleanup to Fort Hood hosting local students for a tree planting ceremony

Medal of Honor Week 2016

In April, the city of Gainesville, a small town north of Dallas that has been recognized as America’s most patriotic city, once again welcomed Medal of Honor Recipients from across the country. Each year Gainesville celebrates the brave service members who have received the nation’s top award for valor in combat against the enemy above and beyond the call of duty.

MedalofHonorFactThis year 18 Medal of Honor recipients in attendance included: Gary Beikirch, Harvey Barnum, Gary G. Wetzel, Melvin Morris, Bob Modrzejewski, Bennie Adkins, Hiroshi Miyamura, Joe Marm, Bob Patterson, James Taylor, Allen Lynch, Mike Thornton, Kenny Stumpf, Clint Romesha, Woody Williams, Clarence Sasser, and Don “Doc” Ballard.

Since the Medal of Honor host city program’s inception in 2001, the host city program, along with volunteers from across the community, have created a personal and interactive, platform in which ordinary citizens and especially children can interact with distinguished members of the military and veteran communities. As the program has grown, it has become a symbol of community pride having had over half of the
nation’s surviving medal of honor recipients take part.

The 2016 festivities which began on Wednesday, April 6th, with an escorting motorcade of first responders, veterans, and other supporters, stretching over 8 miles in length. The recipients were further honored on Thursday and Friday night at two sold out community dinner events. The recipients also made individual appearances during the week to local classrooms to meet with students on a personal level, sharing both their stories and their encouragement.

The culmination of these activities is the annual parade and book signing which were held from Saturday morning until late afternoon on April 9th in downtown Gainesville. Photos from the motorcade, Thursday’s Patriot dinner, and the parade can be found on the Some Gave All Blog Facebook page.

I would like to personally thank the Medal of Honor recipients, our veterans, and the supporters who made this event possible. For more information on this and future Medal of Honor events please visit www.medalofhonorhostcity.com

All the Wrong Reasons

Usually I’m happy when our Marines make the news, because such stories typically highlight their bravery and commitment to our country or their extraordinary honor and compassion for others. Unfortunately, I have just learned of a story that is anything but typical for the heroes of our nation.

Marine Cpl. Eric Jamal Johnson has been arrested under suspicion of murdering Sara Mutschlechner, a 20 year old UNT student in Denton, Texas as a result of a road rage incident. According to this article by Todd L. Davis and Jaime Stengle, U.S. Marshals Johnson on Tuesday morning in Yuma, Arizona where he is assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1.

Our love and condolences go out to Sara’s family as well as those in Johnson’s unit who must now come to terms with such a disdainful act. 

Merry Christmas

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Thank you to all of those serving this holiday season. We love & miss ya’ll back home. As a nation we are so blessed to have such brave, honorable, and dedicated men and women serving and protecting us, regardless of the personal sacrifices. We wish you and your families a wonderful and safe Christmas. God Bless each and every one of ya’ll and…

God Bless America!

Fort Hood Possible Home to Illegal Immigrants

Fort Hood - TexasWhen it comes to military bases, Fort Hood has seen its share of headlines; today it added yet another to the growing list with this article featured on AirForce Times. Fort Hood, which serves as a home to around 50,000 military and civilian residents in Killeen, Texas,  could be facing a new threat as officials consider plans to use the base to house unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors. Texas Congressmen have already issued strong statements against this plan asking the Obama administration to make other arrangements for hosing illegal immigrants. As Congressman Roger Williams so quaintly put it in this article published by Fox News:

[Fort Hood] is a military base, not a daycare center.

We must remember that the purpose of these institutions are to serve our Military and their families while they prepare, train, and actively participate in safety and security measures in defense of our great nation. While I understand the need to find temporary housing until these minors can be reunited with their families, it could not be any clearer that the optimum location for such housing is not a military training facility. 

Intellectual, Sexual, PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD has been an ongoing problem for combat vets for many years. Although we do not know the specific causes or why one veteran suffers from PTSD while another does not, it is clear from the 22 veteran suicides a day that more research into the causes and symptoms of this disease is critical to the health and safety of our men and women in uniform.

One symptom of PTSD is reduced sexual function or desire, which can affect the overall self esteem and well being of Veterans. Studies have been started to better understand sexual desire and sexual dysfunction in veterans with and without PTSD in order to determine the best ways to correct the symptom. One such study, “Sexual Dysfunction in Combat Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” by Daniel J. Cosgrove, Zachary Gordon, Jonathan E. Bernie, Shanda Hami, Daniel Montoya, Murray B. Stein, and Manoj Monga, measures the difference between sexual function in combat veterans with and without PTSD using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and a health questionnaire.

In this study, veterans medically diagnosed with PTSD were compared with non diagnosed veterans, “obtained by interviewing male patients receiving outpatient general medical or surgical care at the same outpatient Veterans Affairs Medical Center medical facility or at the Veterans Affairs Hospital.” For this study, the control group, was of like-aged males from 30-78 years of age, with similar partner status, and medical heath including high blood pressure, diabetes, and use of tobacco.

The only major variance between PTSD and non PTSD combat veterans was the use of Psychotropic drugs, often used in the treatment of PTSD. Both groups of participants “were asked to complete a packet of questionnaires at a scheduled clinic visit. The packet included a demographic and health questionnaire and the IIEF,” which were used to compare the levels of sexual function, and desire between the two groups.

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The results of this study confirmed previous studies, showing that combat veterans who are PTSD sufferers have a lower IIFE score and thus lower sexual function than non PTSD sufferers who are also combat veterans. One interesting outcome of this study was in the area of sexual desire; it showed that while combat veterans with PTSD have decreased erectile and orgasmic function, that their sexual desire remained unaffected.

Further study in this area may however determine, that this is in part due to the self assessing nature of the IIFE, and that the expectation of desire in men, may have skewed this result. For now this study points to the possibility that Sexual Dysfunction in combat veterans with PTSD may be linked to the very medications intended to make them feel better.

Despite the importance of this research to the health and well being of veterans, very little on this topic is addressed in the media. With specific accounts of sexual dysfunction related to PTSD and the side effects of PTSD medications a rare subject, possibly due to the personal nature of the topic. PTSD its self on the other hand, is a topic that is often discussed in things such as web blogs, and in informational media, be it YouTube videos, or even films, such as Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, or the upcoming Burden of Freedom; unfortunately, mass media sources such as TV and radio have yet to focus on PTSD in a major spotlight, leaving veterans feeling forgotten in their struggles.

As a nation we must bring awareness not only to PTSD as an illness, but to the brave men and women continuing to fight for their lives right here at home. Together, we can save lives. 

A Patriot A Day

The video above shows uncut film of 6 different news feeds leading up to and covering the 9/11 World Trade center attacks in 2001.

While September 11th marks arguably the greatest tragedy in American history, it also serves as a grand example of the strength, unity, and resilience of the American people. It is a day of heroes and patriots. Although Webster defines a patriot as, “a person who loves and strongly supports or fights for his or her country,” but patriots are so much more than that.

According to SFC. Roy, being a patriot means:

Loving your country and doing what it takes to secure the safety and welfare of its citizens and those you love.

While for me the word patriot represents those that hear the call of this nation and band together to proudly defend, protect, and love her and each other. Being a patriot is about reverence of the past, hope for the future, and the selfless determination and effort to make America the greatest nation on earth.

It is in this spirit that in the Presidential Proclamation issued September 10, 2015, President Obama “call[ed] on all Americans to observe this National Day of Service and Remembrance (9/11/15) with acts of selflessness and charity.”

So today we will remember, we will morn, and we will serve, we will show our respect and our love, not only for those who fell that tragic day, but for those who ran towards the danger, the firemen, the police, the brave men and women of our armed forces, who even now stand ready to give their lives in the ultimate act of selflessness for our country. Your nation is forever grateful. 

In memory of those who have proudly served, and sacrificed, our nation’s heroes and patriots, I issue a challenge: Reply to this or use #APatriotADay on twitter to share the name of someone who defines patriotism in your life; let’s collect 365 patriots, a patriot for every day.