Thursday, September 22, 2016

So here I am, years after my first post. My body hurts. It just hurts. Do I regret anything? No.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. 

George William Curtis 

These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor - and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror. 

Michael N. Castle

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

How Not to Lead

How many toxic leaders have you been exposed to throughout your career?

I've experienced destructive leaders in both my military and civilian careers. It's a constant psychological battle when you encounter one on a daily basis and have to meet their insane and ever changing expectations. I first started reading about this topic after I worked under someone in the military who was borderline "toxic". And then I experienced another, and another. I most recently left a job where I worked for an individual who exemplified many of the traits of toxic leadership. They, and their habits, became easier to recognize over time. I'm happy to learn that the army is interested in this topic and is taking measures to stop this abusive form of leadership.

I highly recommend the book, "The Allure of Toxic Leaders" if you're struggling with this problem.

According to Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, "Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations, and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization, and mission performance. This leader lacks concern for others and the climate of the organization, which leads to short- and long-term negative effects. The toxic leader operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest. Toxic leaders consistently use dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce, or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves. The negative leader completes short-term requirements by operating at the bottom of the continuum of commitment, where followers respond to the positional power of their leader to fulfill requests. This may achieve results in the short term, but ignores the other leader competency categories of leads and develops. Prolonged use of negative leadership to influence followers undermines the followers' will, initiative, and potential and destroys unit morale." Read more...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Health Problems in Veterans Exposed to Toxic Environments

In 1991, as part of Operation Desert Storm, former U.S. Army Spc. Candy Lovett arrived in Kuwait a healthy 29-year-old eager to serve her country. Two decades later, she's accumulated a stack of medical records over five feet high -- none of which relates to injuries inflicted by bullets or shrapnel. "It's just been one thing after another," said the veteran, who now resides in Miami and whose ailments run the gamut from lung disease and sleep apnea to, most recently, terminal breast cancer. "At one point," she said, "I was on over 50 pills." Former Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tim Wymore, who was deployed to Iraq in 2004, suffers from an array of health problems that mirror Lovett's. "Everyone has the same things," said Wymore, who has inexplicably shed 40 pounds in the last few months. "It's just weird." Wymore and Lovett -- and countless others who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the desert region over the past three decades -- have struggled to understand this, but they share one nagging conviction: These ailments are tied to service in a war zone. Read More

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

TEApublican Senator From Georgia Says Military Rapes Are Caused By ‘Hormones’

"In a stunning statement that sounded like it came straight from the Todd Akin School of Biology, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said that military rapes are caused by “the hormone level created by nature." Source: Georgia Sen.: 'Hormones' Cause Military Rape

Friday, January 18, 2013

How a Bronze Star-winning Army doctor saved his troops in Iraq, but couldn't save himself |

Dr. Peter Linnerooth spent nearly five years wearing an Army uniform, including the bloodiest 12 months in Iraq at the height of the surge. As a mental-health professional, his top mission was to keep troops from killing themselves. After he returned home, he spent another two years trying to save the vets he loved, working for the VA in California and Nevada.

Read more: How a Bronze Star-winning Army doctor saved his troops in Iraq, but couldn't save himself |

Friday, December 14, 2012

Slowly, Toxic Vets Get Recognition

"Some two million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since the wars began in 2001. Little did these individuals know that surviving the improvised explosive devices and insurgent gunfire wouldn't necessarily guarantee their health or survival once they got home." Slowly, Toxic Vets Get Recognition. Read more.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant- Helmand Province Edition | Rhino Den

..."As female soldier, the only thing that pisses me off more than when another female gets knocked up to get out of deployment, is when they get pregnant on deployment."... I couldn't agree more.

Read More: I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant- Helmand Province Edition | Rhino Den :

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Shape of our Forces from Rhino Den - Ranger Up!

"....Then it hits me- the Body Mass Index (BMI) of this group is pretty significant! I mean, there are some chunky monkeys anchoring this team, but if they can handle their business and put Hell fire on the enemy, who really gives a shit? If the Air Force thinks they’re ready for war, then I have no say in it. In the big scheme if things, they are all here to complete a mission."

Read more: The Shape of our Forces

Friday, August 24, 2012

“The End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” edited by J. Ford Huffman and TammyS. Schultz

Marine Corp University's book on the end of DADT presents an argument for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. 

"'The End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell' is a timely and necessary book...and goes far beyond to articulate and make fully human the toll of DADT on many military service members and their loved ones." 

Read More:  Opinion on The End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Arkansas Women Veterans Summit 2012

Arkansas’s Second Women Veterans Summit!

Saturday, August 25, 2012
9am – 3:00pm

Pulaski Technical College Campus Center
3000 West Scenic Drive
North Little Rock, AR  72118

(next to the Ft. Roots VA Hospital)

The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System, Veterans Affairs Regional Office, and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services in cooperation with Pulaski Technical College will present Arkansas’s Second Women Veterans Summit Saturday, August 25, 2012 at the Pulaski Technical College Campus Center in North Little Rock.

The summit’s goal is to reach out to these veterans in order to inform, educate, and ensure that they have the knowledge of services available to them and hopefully become involved in outreach for other women veterans who may be in need of help.

The summit will include speakers discussing various topics of interest to women veterans including health care and benefits.  Additionally, exhibitor booths will provide free health screenings, information, resources, and giveaways.  A FREE lunch will be provided by Golden Corral for pre-registrants.  Those attending will have an opportunity to meet, mingle and network with other women veterans.

We encourage those interested to pre-register for this event.  Space is limited for lunch and speaker sessions to the first 200 registrants. Exhibitor booths may be visited at any time and do not require registration. Child care will not be available.

Register here: Arkansas Women Veterans Summit Registration Form

Friday, August 17, 2012

Natalie Dell: VA Researcher and Olympian

"VA Employee and Medal Winning Olympian Natalie Dell on Veterans and Never Giving Up:

The Olympics are filled with inspirational stories that bring the country together in celebration of exceptional accomplishment and national pride. And we at VA are very proud to share an inspiring story from one of our own, Natalie Dell—a Bronze Medal winner at the Summer Olympics."

Read more: Natalie Dell: VA Researcher and Olympian

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Shot, One Kill | Carl Prine

One Shot, One Kill | Carl Prine

"It blew to the right, 2 o’clock from the gun, and I’d just taken out the plug to listen to the patrol leader below, twisting the turret and me away from the steel shavings rising like black fireflies from the shoulder of Route Michigan.

Hours later I held a throbbing skull and my left ear felt like someone jabbed a broken chopstick through the drum."
Read more:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rules of Disengagement

An excellent article,