Onward and Upward



My, my, my! I have not written or posted a single thing on this blog in two years. I have been contemplating deleting this bog seeing how I turned my school project into a marketing arm of the company I previously worked for. Then, as I was going through each piece I have written over the last five years I began to realize that I put a lot of handwork into this and in a way this was the beginning of my career in marketing! How could I delete this?!?!

Instead I took time to read each piece I had written and delete the pieces associated with my former employer. (I sure hope they kept a copy.) Now, this blog will become a documentary of some sorts of what I am building for myself. A life, a family, a whole new company, a new degree. I have always been a motivated person, and I have a drive to make a name for myself. Not one that I bought or was handed to me based on a feeling of entitlement.  Oh and let’s not get me started on people who feel entitled! Goodness, have they ever struggled once in their life? No, everything handed to them… Yuck, I’d rather struggle everyday of my life.

A fair warning to those who have followed my blogging in the past, I am changing things up, this will become way more personal, but if you want to hear about a topic, just let me know.

Anyhow… HUGS and KISSES!



Post 9/11 2.0

The New GI Bill: Post 9/11 2.0

Both the House and Senate ratified amendments to the Post 9/11 GI Bill on December 16th 2010, it is now awaiting the Presidents signature.

S. 3447 would enable the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to process GI Bill claims in a timely manner. S. 3447, which we have come to call the “New GI Bill 2.0,” is a comprehensive effort to address the concerns of tens of thousands of student veterans and their families by:

• Offering valuable job training for students studying at vocational schools

• Granting National Guardsmen who respond to national disasters full GI Bill credit

• Providing living allowances for veterans in distance learning programs

• Simplifying and expanding the tuition benefit

• Including a book stipend for active duty students

For more information go to IAVA

So what does this mean for Veterans looking to attend a Vocational trade school? If that school is approved for the Montgomery GI Bill you will be able to use your Post 9/11 GI bill benefits there! Here at ESI we are currently approved for the Montgomery GI Bill, so starting August 1st 2011 we will begin accepting the Post 9/11 GI Bill! The details of how you can use your Post 9/11 2.0 GI Bill will be unveiled as soon as we have more information.

A Battle that Never Ends

A Personal Interview With a Veteran, Click to Listen

For many veterans the transition to civilian life is never-ending. It is a constant battle to return to living a normal life. Some find that they completely disassociate themselves from society, withdrawing from family and friends. Many have nightmares, some sleep with their guns under their pillows, and others just return home and commit suicide.

There is help available, turn to your friends and family, if you find that is not good enough visit your local VA Center. I have enclosed  map with VA locations throughout the United States. You may also call the national toll-free number at 800-874-0888


Treatment for PTSD generally takes 18-24 months, although some cases may take longer. The first six months of treatment are often “fairly intense” and can include education, group and one-to-one counseling, and medication evaluations. It is the continuity of care, which can be difficult for soldiers being deployed or moved from place to place by the military. A break in care often leads to almost a regression — you’re almost back to where you were before you started counseling. Twin Cities

In Omaha, a new non-government treatment facility At Ease has began to attempt new treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD. The tiny nonprofit treatment center is finding outsize success in treating military-related post-traumatic stress disorder, which increasingly is being recognized in troops and in family members who never stepped into a war zone. At Ease, the brainchild of an Omaha-advertising executive treats stereotypical cases of combat-related PTSD, helping men and women who shot an enemy soldier or survived an IED attack and now sleep fitfully with guns tucked under their pillows. However, the program also reaches out to new kinds of patients who won’t or can’t seek treatment from traditional government programs such as a veteran’s hospital. Omaha.com

High Unemployment Rates Among Veterans

The high unemployment rate is affecting the veteran population. As they return from their tours of duty and return there are little to no job prospects. Lubbock Online

The job market tends to be even tougher on the younger veterans than the other ones.  For all veterans the unemployment rate is at 8.6 percent and for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is 10.6 percent.  The current unemployment rate is 9.6 percent.

Air Force Times

Veterans… The Life After War

I would say as far as transition goes, it was hard because I was use to a rank structure. A structure you dont get in civilian life. And if you try to implement one, then you are too hard. I started going to College after 6 years in the Army. That is how I got into Security. It was the closest thing I could relate too. Then in 2004, I started with BW and majority of everyone was prior service. It was almost like being back in again. Now I am back int he Federal System as a Federal Officer, so it is like coming full circle. . E Bodhi Pea

I served in the U.S. Navy as a Corpsman I spent time on both the Blue side and the Green side. I was one of the lucky ones and used my time serving my country getting a education to better my life as a civilian. As anyone who served in the armed forces will tell you is that the transition back into civilian life is more difficult than one would think. Some of us embraced the change and moved on with our lives, some of us struggled to find their place in the civilian sector. Some, like myself turned what they had learned or if you will what they were trained to do into a career. While others served and returned to civilian life with little more than life experience. Either way I believe having served in the armed forces I and all of my brothers and sisters are better people for doing so. Squid


Matt Jee
It was a change from a structure I knew how to understand and respond to without drastic action. For example the challenging departure from normal behavior in the military would be what we called “Mandatory Fun” days. (Unit gatherings to celebrate holidays and what-not)

Returning to the non-structured life of the civilian side was a little disconcerting as I had very little in the way of life experience. I could respond to emergencies of; life, limb and extreme danger but knew nothing of getting an apartment, going to school, finding a doctor or dentist. Paying bills and not having a stable income was troubling at first, more so was getting acquainted with receiving care at the local VA clinic.

Putting my troubles aside I had to re-learn how to communicate with non-military personnel and not look for things that were going to explode. I eventually settled on a career path that made the most sense in my known skill sets and abilities. I chose to pursue education in that direction and gained education tuition support and graduated with Honors as a Certified Protection Specialist from one of the three professional academies in the US.

The future isn’t an unknown and insurmountable obstacle as it once seemed when I got out. It’s not easy or pretty but hard work and effort, the things I had no experience in became just another bump in the road. Matt

Veteran’s Sought for Study

Almost 40% of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seek treatment for PTSD and other mental health issues.  Veterans today seek help early after the return to civilian life, unlike their predecessors, who are now coming to the realization that they needed treatment for what they saw and did during their service. Behavioral Health Central


Veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being sought for a new post traumatic stress disorder study. This study is being conducted at The University of Connecticut Health Center and the study will compare two treatments for post traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Julian Ford with the health center’s Department of Psychiatry says the first type of treatment involves working through troubling memories of war. The other does not involve delving into those memories; it focuses on learning skills to manage those emotions associated with painful events and memories. For more information call 860-679-2214. Ozarks First




Veteran’s Lost Seats in Congress

With this year’s midterm election we now have fewer veterans in congress. Only 27 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans ran for office this mid-term.   18 were Republicans; 9 were Democrats.  NPR

In these midterm elections the first Iraq veteran elected to congress lost his seat. This may not be of benefit to veterans, the less support in congress, the less people they have to fight for them here at home. Veteran’s Today

The Gender Difference

According to recent study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center of 330,000 veterans who served between 2002 and 2008 there is a clear divergence between male and female mental health diagnoses.  Female veterans are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, while men are more prone to post traumatic stress disorder And/or alcohol abuse.  MedicineNet

It is an era where more women are enlisting in the military. It is expected that the military will be 14% female by 2014. Women still see less combat then men which may account for fewer reports of mental illness.  The military is still struggling to effectively prevent and treat PTSD and other mental health related issues and address the differences in symptoms and vulnerability between men and women. AolNews

The authors also said it was important to understand how differences between men and women might affect mental health outcomes. “Gender differences are important to consider as the Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense continue to expand and strengthen programs to evaluate and provide care for a new generation of returning veterans,” they added. Businessweek

Making the Grade

Does your Senator or Representative support our troops?  Who in Washington get’s an A when it comes to veterans issues? The IAVA or rather The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America can answer that question for you.

94 sitting officials receive an A and out of those 94, 91 are democrats and only 3 were Republican.  Of the 154 officials who receive a D or an F, 142 were Republican and 12 were democrat. The Examiner

The IAVA has designed a scoring system for both the house and the senate. Each member receives one point when they vote in line with the IAVA and the issues that are important to this political action committee.  If you would like to see how your representative or senator rates just check in with the IAVA .

During this election season we should take action and vote for those who have protected and served our country diligently. They fight with honor, now let’s honor them by supporting the Washington Officials that support veterans issues.