Sunday, October 08, 2017
The online exchange store is one of the few benefits post active duty that I truly love and I think it's awesome that it now being extended to all honorably discharged veterans.
I am a firm believer than information dissemination for this benefit is surely lacking. So this is my 2 cents and I hope it finds my brothers and sisters well.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Here's the link for my new coffee mug.
My military career is obviously the main theme here and there. I mean after 20 and half years that takes up almost half my life. I can't complain too much. I have some awesome pictures and experiences that definitely worth sharing.
My wife and I have been tinkering with the off-grid living idea for some time now. It looks like within the year it will be completed, without any major obstacles. Keep your fingers crossed.
Well, off grid means less internet, right? If everything goes as planned maybe not. And maybe not for a very high cost. Currently we spend about 70 bucks and receive about 100 megabytes download and 15 megabytes upload with the occasional drop in the evening without any cords. Awesome, right? Once everything is in place and every aspect of the internet goes into effect I'll update you guys and blab about my methods.
Now as my main point, being invisible isn't the same as not being heard. That's what I plan on doing. I want to get back into writing* more often. I want to get back to interacting within the community again. It was fun, especially when I was in a not fun place. My free time most likely will increase by default, maybe not in the first few months but shortly there after. Plus, my memoir has been slow going.
*I use a system under the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program . Use the first link to see simular devices that I use to see and use this link to see how I write.
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
HELP US FIGHT CANCER
Monday, May 01, 2017
Because of scholarships, my wife and I are going this June. We hope this will continue not just for us but for more veterans. I'll have a report when we're back.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
We are needing help fund a vehicle that support our needs, which are: transport me (disabled), my wife (driver), an electrical (motorized) wheelchair (325 pounds (#)), my PTSD (Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder) GSD (German Shepherd Dog) "Gunny", my Jack-Russell Terrier dog "Major", and all the rest of my support equipment(for trips more than 2 hours) which is in 3 large duffel bags.
We kind of settled on the Transit Connect, it's fairly cheap, gas miles per gallon isn't horrible( plus can be converted to ethanol), and it can hold everything I mentioned above comfortably. Sounds awesome right? (Update, we don't care really what kind of vehicle we get. Aug 2017)
Well here's the snag, we're poor. My retirement roughly figures out to 18 thousand a year. I've been turned down by Social Security 3 times, and the VA keeps rearranging the numbers so I have no guarantee if I'll get anything from them. Plus, since I can't do anything for myself, my wife does it all; which means she can't have a job and take care of me at the same time. So our only income is my retirement from the Marine Corps.
Here's the other thing, we're about a quarter of a million in debt. Our home is upside down, so we owe more than we could ever sell it for, like a hundred grand or more. So if we sell, we still owe and the only thing that changed is we have no shelter but still pay as if we did.
I'm done ranting, if you want to help, scroll down to the PayPal icon. It's defaulted to one dollar.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
I'm sorry it has been modified since I posted this. I hope this editted version will help in its stead.
(Edited August 2017)
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Stop Unsolicited Mail, Phone Calls, & Email
Cell Phones and The Do Not Call Registry
- The government is not releasing cell phone numbers to telemarketers.
- There is no deadline for registering a cell phone number on the Do Not Call Registry.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers without prior consent. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers are barred from calling consumers' cell phones without their consent.
- There is only one Do Not Call Registry, operated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with information available at donotcall.gov. There is no separate registry for cell phones.
- The Do Not Call Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines. To register by telephone, call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236). You must call from the phone number that you want to register. To register online (donotcall.gov), you will have to respond to a confirmation email.
- If you have registered a mobile or other telephone number already, you don't need to re-register. Once registered, a telephone number stays on the Do Not Call Registry until the registration is canceled or service for the number is discontinued.
Saturday, March 05, 2016
I am medically retired and made it to about 246 months, give or take a day or two. That should mean something in the veteran world, at least,! don't you think?
I can't complain too much about Tricare that was a big winner for all that time in service, but they haven't lived up to there part of the deal either.
The DAV actually has helped me more while I was active duty than retired thus far and I'm a paid in full life member. There are 2 organizations that helped us out big time that first month, the Semper Fi Fund and SALUTE, Inc.
Then there is the VA, if you've just got a glimpse of my handicap issues then you'd know I need the healthcare part. Just a quick side note, where did all that money go that Congress gave them a few years ago?
We thought that at least the dental part would be helped, since I have TMD, grinding and clenching, and tooth and gum problems. The last time I had dental work I had to have it in the Operating Room at a hospital, just to make sure I didn't die during the dental work, and I still went info the ICU and was kept overnight. So in short, I need massive dental "insurance".
I have slew of other issues that I haven't even been seen by an initial doctor. Big one is orthopedics, if I could get a hip replacement, then maybe just maybe I could walk with a "walker". But the longer VA waits the more my legs aprotree(sp.) and walking may never happen.
Really I could go on and on, but using this software I have to type for me is fucking difficult, and the punctuation is a bitch. Plus I slur my words alot after seizures and right after I get up in the morning.
I'll say this if care doesn't improve real soon my caregivers' and I will probably have depression as our or your main worry.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
When I joined the Marine Corps I was pretty skinny. I didn't feel skinny, but people (especially older women) kept telling me to eat more. And that my friends was the problem, I did eat and I ate everything. I never needed to eat healthy, not that I wanted to eat healthy mind you. Healthy for some reason seems to mean "not taste good." I'm sure some of must taste good and there is probably some it the maybe will fill up, but for me it's never been on the table.
As life progressed for me it seemed that the only part of me that grew consistently was my shoulders and my ego. It seemed that every few months I had to keep getting my dress and service jackets re tailored for my shoulders. I went 17 years in the Marine Corps until I had to get my waist tailored. SEVENTEEN YEARS!
So basically I was 35ish went my waist went passed the 29 inch mark. That really pisses people off. I mean like it's the end of the fucking world, pisses people off like state. I would hear crap like I don't know how to appreciate such a thing or life is not fair. I never did figure out why it's my fault my parents had sex and "poof" I get these genetics. [ Not part of this story: I also got this odd internal body health gene where stuff like blood pressure and heart rate is always "good/great no matter what.]
Well the good part is now, this part of my life (after the Corps) it doesn't matter anymore. I'm still below my max weight, which is also a sore subject with people, but doesn't really matter anymore. Yea!
If you haven't guessed my health is now a priority, my maybe I sinned against the healthy fairy or killed the angel of good health, but my health like weight, physical ability, mental, and spiritual health has gone to fucking shit.
Back to the thesis, I've grown and I don't remember how it happened. I am no longer that skinny kid from nowhere-ville. Now I'm the skinny kid with a small "ladies" basketball inside my stomach who has been to 37 countries (2 that don't exist anymore). I guess I'm cultured.
Does anyone remember how they got here? No one started off "here" but somehow we all got here.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
One score ago and an over confident young boy, entered the United States Marine Corps. I entered the Marine Corps for a change. That was not one of the tablets presented to me by my recruiter. In fact, he made me pick 3 and after much debate I picked three. I have no idea what picked, I just remember it was stupid. I mean why pick reasons to join, I drove myself to the recruiters station. I was in Milwaukee going to University Wisconsin - Milwaukee and was enrolled in the school of architecture. I partied alot, not like what is glamored in stupid movies you see, I had "call the cops and the fire department" parties. I actually got kicked out of the dorms twice for my behavior and the behavior I inctied. Just after my 19th birthday and some time spent in the drunk tank in the Milwaukee County jail, I realized that if I didn't do something different I was going to be dead before I reach 30. I also knew I needed help.
So after sobering up a little(the Wisconsin version) I opened up the Greater Milwaukee phone book, found the closest recruiting station and drove down to it. I was forced to take a 10 question test and Aced it, then they wanted me to take a longer 50 question test and Aced it as well. I guess they thought I was either lying about my educational background or just thought I was cheating some how. I was asked when I took my ASVAB and like everyone else I knew it was my junior year in high school. They looked up my results and said I could pick any job I wanted but had join before my 2 year anniversary of the test. I told them I could do better, I just was happy to not be in class and didn't take it seriously, but they we adamant that I didnt. They must have thought I was going to do worse, now looking back, I wish I did take it over. So thinking about future job placement I picked Aviation Electrician which I was told I couldn't be that exact so it was going to be a 59 hundred or 64 hundred field or MOS (military occupational specialty) and I got it in writing.
I know many people that told me that their recruiter fucked them over or didn't tell them how it was going to be. I didnt have that problem and chock that up to people not listening and not reading their contract and then asking for it to be fixed. My recruiter told me exactly how it was going to be. A good example, a friend of mine was going to join the reserves and wanted to join after his birthday on the 25th. Supposedly he was to ship out on the 31st, but since he didn't read it or ask it to be fixed he shipped out on the 13th. I laughed my ass off then and still do everytime I think about it.
I had many contracts by that time in my life, rental, university related, gas, electric, phone, well you get the idea. Now when I entered the Marine Corps there were computers but not like the ones have today. Most were used for accounting or some other number based idea. Before you yell at your screen with Comadore or Atari, that was not what someone today was a computer. We had typewriters (tap, tap, tap, ding!) and if you wanted copies you used carbon paper or you typed alot more. The more expensive ones had a write out feature but that didn't work every time and contacts had to be white out free. There was a gunny (Gunnery Sergeant or GySgt) that did the typing and every time I asked for a correction he got a darker shade of red. I thought it was funny and I giggled a little which did not help things. I had three complete rewrites. Then I was satisfied. My ship out date was supposed to be February 5th, I picked that time period because I wanted to finish out my semester in college and I had NIN (Nine Inch Nails) tickets in January and wasn't going to miss that.
February 4th rolls around and I get picked up from my recruiter and had to have some more processing. Paperwork, drug tests stuff like that. I got a couple of tickets since then and that had to be cleared first. That took a couple of days, then my first day became February 7th, 1995.
My story from there turned into a wild ride. Many ups and many downs, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. The Marine Corps helped me understand national pride, how the system really works, and teamwork. I get choked up when I here the National Anthem or Marine Corps Hymn. And I get it and want you to get it too.
Monday, December 15, 2014
The world for me has changed dramaticly from when I started writing this blog. After many injuries and many times I toughed it out (for some macho idea) without seeing a doctor when getting injured at the time. Some advice to the younger alpha males, there is no shame seeing help when injured. Even if someone insists you are only "hurt" not injured. Putting mud on it or using duct tape never works.
I do not cry wolf, in fact, I was literally dragged in to see a doctor. I have many injuries ranging from loss of dexterity to seeing things that no one else sees. At the VA's count 40 plus injuries, 14 for the Marine Corps. What I have cried for is help. The hope was my brothers would take care of me if it gets bad, that is not the truth. But that is another story, I'll tell it some other day.
I need AACs, Augmented and Alternative Communication devices. I'm using a voice to text currently, but it sucks. It takes me 5 to 10 minutes to "write" a sentence they way I just said it, and don't get me started on punctuation. My wife types most of my things for me nowadays.
I need work done to my home and I don't need to tell you that the money fairy doesn't visit me and my wife. I can't work, she can't leave me for long periods to work. She does my ADLs, activities of daily living. For those layman's out there, eating, bathing, peeing, number 2s, brushing my teeth, shaving my face, I think you get the idea( I hope.).
We live in a home built in the 40s, so we have old home problems. I can only using my motorized wheelchair in half the house, in the rest my wife transfers me to a small stool with wheels and hope for the best. Doesn't always work as planned. We have roof that should have been replaced 8 or so years ago, we have electrical problems in two rooms, we have plumbing issues, and many others. I listed the big ones for your reading pleasure.
Now, getting help. It would easier if (these are all and/or situations, I listed this way for ease) we made less than 20 grand, not white, civilian, lived on a farm, bought the house after 2009 but before 2011, lived in a crappy neighborhood, blind, deaf, missing (visible) limbs, have parents that are dead, came from a broken home or couldn't pay the mortgage. Again, those are the big ones.
Now let's say my long lost uncle died and gave me 10 large ones. Do we spend it on a new roof or get a new wheelchair (which we need also)? Or save it because hoping for the best has not worked out for us either. Getting someone else to do a job, that could have done prior to injury, is horribly expensive. And my wife could probably do most of it, if she didn't have care for me. On to itself is a double edged sword, if she is injured then we're both screwed twice as hard.
Now here is the kicker, everytime we have asked for help it backfired on us. I have been threatened several times, my wife has been threatened and I have been warned if I keep asking for help I may lose my rank or worse administratively separated. Everytime I think I we should go to the IG (inspector general) we are reminded of the incident in my last unit, nothing happened to the bad guys and we were sent away to this unit with no result.
The only good part of my unit is the Wounded Warriors. Not the staff or the officers or the civilian horde. Only the injured Marines. We have recieved more help and heart via my injured brothers. Got to think that's funny, if you weren't injured.
As far as Organizations go, the Semper Fi Fund has been awesome! The DAV has helped! That's it.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a Ponzi scheme. As much money that is funneled to them, you would think they would help, NOPE, got a T-shirt and once a year we get stickers. Not that we haven't asked. And if they do return our call it'll be an email 6 months later, but no help just lip service. If you look at their Financials you can see the top 6 get millions a year, and the top 20 get hundreds of thousands. Not a one of them are in a wheelchair or missing an arm or missing a lung. It pisses me off!
So long story short, don't give in to the peer pressure and give to an organization that doesn't really help. You don't have to take my word, do your own research. That's what Google is for. My advice is to go to Charity Navigator. Lots of information, lots of reviews and lots of insight.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
In the beginning was God, and all else was darkness and void, and without form. So God created the heavens and the Earth. He created the sun, and the moon, and the stars, so that light might pierce the darkness. The Earth, God divided between the land and the sea, and these he filled with many assorted creatures.
And the dark, salty, slimy creatures that inhabited the murky depths of the oceans, God called sailors. And He dressed them accordingly. They had little trousers that looked like bells at the bottom. And their shirts had cute little flaps on them to hide the hickeys on their necks. He also gave them long sideburns and shabby looking beards. God nicknamed them "squids" and banished them to a lifetime at sea, so that normal folks would not have to associate with them. To further identify these unloved creatures, He called them "petty" and "commodore" instead of titles worthy of red-blooded men.
And the flaky creatures of the land, God called soldiers. And with a twinkle in His eye, and a sense of humor that only He could have, God made their trousers too short and their covers too large. He also made their pockets oversized, so that they may warm their hands. And to adorn their uniforms, God gave them badges in quantities that only a dime store owner could appreciate. And He gave them emblems and crests... and all sorts of shiny things that glittered... and devices that dangled. (When you are God you tend to get carried away.)
On the 6th day, He thought about creating some air creatures for which he designed a Greyhound bus driver's uniform, especially for Air Force flyboys. But He discarded the idea during the first week, and it was not until years later that some apostles resurrected this theme and established what we now know as the "Wild-Blue-Yonder Wonders."
And on the 7th day, as you know, God rested.
But on the 8th day, at 0730, God looked down upon the earth and was not happy. No, God was not happy! So He thought about His labors, and in His divine wisdom God created a divine creature. And this He called Marine. And these Marines, who God had created in His own image, were to be of the air, and of the land, and of the sea. And these He gave many wonderful uniforms. Some were green; some were blue with red trim. And in the early days, some were even a beautiful tan. He gave them practical fighting uniforms, so that they could wage war against the forces of Satan and evil. He gave them service uniforms for their daily work and training. And He gave them evening and dress uniforms...sharp and stylish, handsome things…so that they might promenade with their ladies on Saturday night and impress the hell out of everybody! He even gave them swords, so that people who were not impressed could be dealt with accordingly.
And at the end of the 8th day, God looked down upon the Earth and saw that it was good. But was God happy? No! God was still not happy! Because in the course of His labors, He had forgotten one thing: He did not have a Marine uniform for Himself. He thought about it, and thought about it, and finally God satisfied Himself in knowing that, well....
Not everybody can be a Marine!
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
He writes quite fluently with his military topics and is "top on" with his audience. Here is a copy of what he worte on May 2, 2011:
Sunday, May 01, 2011
So I am starting a leaf by using the blogger's version and I hope that this will still be an enjoyable website with comments.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
(The authors are unknown, these have been passed by word of mouth for many generations.)
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The following is what I have learned so far:
During the VA appointment process each member will be assigned a code that is part of the VASRD and the reference for that is 38 CFR part 4. The codes will later translate into the VA's disability rating and has nothing to do with the military's rating. The military rating comes from the unfit condition that is preventing the member from doing his/her job. There can be multiple issues but after the initial is submitted, an addendum for each other unfit condition must be submitted otherwise it doesn't count. Of course the magic number for permanently disability retirement listing (PDRL) is 30 percent or higher. Anything less than that and the member is under 20 years will get a severance package. The math for that is 2 x base pay x # years, if combat related the number of years is 6. Obviously that doesn't help the more senior Marines.
(The unfit condition is anything that stops the Marine from performing ITSS/MOS/PFT/CFT.)
Before a package is sent to MEB the Marine is going to sign it and receive a copy. It was reiterated that the Marine must pay attention for any discrepancies since this will delay the process or give an undesired result from the board.
Right now, I am about halfway through the VA appointment process and have not seen my doctor for my unfitting condition as of yet.
I am going to have to find another theme to right about. Maybe I will write about the squirrels that make my clothes for me and the birds that make my bed.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Whether or not anyone being outside my opinion headquarters, my wife and I, gives me an opinion I really do not care.
After saying that and you are still here reading. Then to me you are either very thick in the head or you know me better than you know yourself.
My wife is trying this thing we call a blog. It would do me well if you have poor opinions to either leave it in your head or write them here on my blog. ( Yes, the armor is still shiny.) Her blog address is: http://inconceivably40.wordpress.com/.
(Those that know me know that it took me 5 times to figure out how it was spelled.)
Happy toolbox hunting.