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Tuesday, February 20 2018 @ 09:27 am PST

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis Weeks Post Was Suggested By Toni
Stephen Cochran

Stephen Cochran 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force

U.S. Marines

Stephen Cochran had it all in front of him. Collage, a fiancée and an offer for a professional recording contract. But life had other plans for him. The day was September 11, 2001. "It was just so horrific," Cochran said. "It's like I'd been called. I'd never been pulled so hard to do something."

It may have been the audacity of the attacks, but more likely it was his family's long history of military service that drew him to enlist, he said. Both grandfathers served, as did an uncle and several other relatives.

So he dropped out of college, walked away from the record deal and joined the United States Marine Corps. "I've always been raised very, very patriotic. It's just what I had to do."

After serving in Iraq, he and his entire battalion volunteered to go to Afghanistan with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit where Cochran was injured in an ambush. 20 yards inside Kandahar, the vehicle he was riding in hit an anti-tank mine and he was thrown from the vehicle and broke the five vertebrae in his lower back.

Read The Rest Of The Story

stephencochranmusic.com @stephen_cochran facebook.com/stephen.cochran1

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero. We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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PJ Pics

PJ StuffA 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron Pararescueman watches over a patient during a rescue mission in Afghanistan, June 26, 2009. (USAF photo)

A 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron Pararescueman monitors a patient's vital signs during a rescue mission in Afghanistan, June 27, 2009.(USAF photo)

Capt. Mary Jennings, an HH-60G Pave Hawk co-pilot with the 129th Rescue Wing, Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif., stands with Tech. Sgt. Aaron Butler, a Pararescueman from the 23rd Wing, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Sergeant Butler treated Captain Jennings for shrapnel wounds sustained during a July 29, 2009 rescue mission in Afghanistan. (photo courtesy of Capt. Mary Jennings)

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PJ Pics

PJ StuffAn Air Force Pararescueman practices combat insertion and extraction exercise from a Marine CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter in Djibouti, Africa, Jan. 5, 2010. The helicopter is attached to Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 464, and the two units are deployed to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jeremiah Erickson)

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Fear, respect and vulnerability

The PTSD DiariesI'm watching a friend celebrate her son's arrival stateside from Iraq. And I'm trying to keep my mouth shut. Yes, he made it out of Iraq safely, and that does merit tremendous celebration. No matter what.

But she hasn't seen him yet, and I can't help but wonder how he is inside. Is he still the boy she remembers?

It's a question of degree, but I doubt it.

One of the hardest things for me right now is figuring out just the right amount to talk about PTSD. No one wants to hear about it during the grand celebration of, "he's home," or in the leadup to deployment.

But there are far too many suicides, divorces, lives destroyed by this.


I'm a fan of NCIS (the TV show) and they've done a lot of great work on PTSD type issues. But one of my favorite scenes wasn't directly about PTSD, but it was so applicable... a Marine is losing control of himself and he doesn't know why. He's tearing up the place, and the female Mossad officer jumps in to take him on. His strength versus her training, and both of them with plenty of inner demons... until they make eye contact, and it's a mixture of fear, respect and vulnerability. And everything changes.

Too often I think our rreaction to PTSD rage is, "don't hurt me." That's ultimately destructive; it perpetuates the fear that PTSD has created a monster.

I'd rather see confrontation, an attitude that says, "I'm strong enough to take what you dish out so that we can get past this and let you remember the good person you still are inside."

Caveat: this isn't about women "taking" abuse. That's another topic entirely. This is about voluntarily confronting behavior that has to change, this is about respecting the person with PTSD enough to treat them as an equal.

And if you're reading this and wishing someone would do this for you, I'm here. And a good percentage of the readers are available to you too. Write an email, write a guest post... we'll go toe to toe with you and challenge you to get on the road you need to be on.

We're here. Where are you?
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Anyone want to top this skydiving story?

General NewsUncle Jimbo on, "How Not to Do Your First Jump"

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Wednesday Hero

General News

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Tremayne Brown

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Tremayne Brown, from Tulsa, Okla., receives stores for the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). John S. McCain is one of seven ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and is permanently forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

Photo By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mike Mulcare Courtesy of Navy.mil

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero. We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go to http://rightwingrightminded.blogspot.com/2006/08/wednesday-hero-blogroll.html.

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Splat

General NewsI just got word that I've been turned down for a local position.

Utterly discouraged... I'm visiting every organizational webpage I can think of and the jobs just aren't here. I saw one GS-5 in the Portland area that I might be qualified for, but they were still wanting something I didn't have experience in.

I'm on the verge of playing the "will work for free" game just to get in the door somewhere.
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Tuesday Scramble

ScramblesBouhammer: From the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Scouts Find Ring While Recycling Christmas Trees

Spooked: The Troubles of American Intelligence

Major Hasan and Holy War (especially interesting, coming before the airline security mess)

SEAL 3 Lawyer on CNN

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New PJ Reserve Video

PJ StuffMSgt Biddle sent the link to the new PJ Reserve video. Sorry I can't embed it yet (we're still tweaking what the site can and cannot do) but here's the link: PJ Reserve
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Recurring Dream

SheepdogsI've had other recurring dreams in the past but this one is really getting annoying.

I keep dreaming of being back in school, and discovering that I have one or two major problems:

1) There's a science class I was supposed to be attending (and wasn't) and it's now halfway through the term, too late to just drop the class.
and/or
2) I haven't checked my mail for ages and can no longer remember the box combination.

The two usually go together although there are variations of which one dominates. Last night's dream was primarily #1. It was especially frustrating because I dreamed that the instructor was dear old Dr. B from college, one of those guys whose class you'd attend just to make sure you don't hurt his feelings. In the dream I tried so hard to explain to him that I wanted to be there, but something kept standing in my way. Either I'd get lost on the way or all my attempts to remember that I had class in that time slot would fail.

Hmmm. I think I see where this is going.

I want my piece of the security pie. And I'm despising myself for not having it. The excuses don't seem like enough, but no matter how hard I try...

I woke up just as the dream gave me a "mentor," a TA who was supposed to help me figure out how to make sure I got there.

Hmmm.

Maybe it had something to do with last night's conversation where Mr. WatchCat said he'd support me if I wanted to do X? We shall see...