Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Military Sexual Trauma – The New Face of PTSD (2007):

The Other PTSD – Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military -NBC Nightly News (May 4, 2007)

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Featured ‘The Other PTSD: Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military’ (May 4, 2007)

Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act (2007):

The House debates the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, which directs the VA to develop and implement a comprehensive program to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans. The bill is named for an Iraq veteran who took his own life, and recognizes the special needs of veterans suffering from PTSD and elderly veterans who are at high risk for depression and experience high rates of suicide. -Rep Leonard Boswell (October 23, 2007)

President George W. Bush Signed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act Into Law (November 5, 2007)

The Number One Problem Combat Vets Will Face is Mental Health (2007):

Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense tells Armen Keteyian that the No. 1 problem facing vets of Afghanistan and Iraq will be mental health. -CBS News (November 13, 2007)

Eye to Eye with Katie Couric on CBS News: Veterans and Suicide (November 13, 2007)

Veterans Who Get Help at VA Are Still at Risk of Suicide (2008):

CBS News first reported on the staggering number of veteran suicides in a report last year. Now, newly-released data shows that vets who get help from the VA are still at risk. -CBS (March 20, 2008)

CBS News: Veteran Suicides An Epidemic (March 20, 2008)

Seven Vets Under VA’s Care Died by Suicide in Washington (2008):

They served their country honorably but after risking their life in combat abroad, coping with coming home was too much. In the last three months seven servicemen being treated by Spokane’s VA Hospital have committed suicide. -4 News Now (April 29, 2008)

Army National Guardsman Spc. Timothy Juneman Died by Suicide; Family Shares Imminent Redeployment to Iraq ‘Major Stressor’ (March 5, 2008)

Senator Patty Murray Alleges VA Cover-up of Veteran Suicide (2008):

Despite recent efforts by the Veterans Administration to prevent veteran suicide, seven have committed suicide in the Inland Northwest in the last four months and US Senator Patty Murray is calling the situation unacceptable. -4 News Now (May 1, 2008)

Senator Patty Murray Calls for Changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Wake of Suicides (May 1, 2008)

“The Betrayal Issues Are Really Deep” (2009):

Katie Couric investigates an alarming trend in the U.S. military, as more and more female soldiers have come forward with tales of sexual abuse at the hands of male soldiers and superior officers. -CBS (March 17, 2009)

Sexual Assault Permeates U.S. Armed Forces (CBS News, March 17, 2009)

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Simple Kindness: Easy Ways to Repay Our Veterans for Their Service (July 31, 2019)

DeployOrg.com.png

(Image courtesy of Pexels)

Guest post by Kelli Brewer, DeployCare.org

Simple Kindness: Easy Ways to Repay Our Veterans for Their Service 

It can be very difficult for the average American, especially those with no military experience, to appreciate the mental, physical, and financial impact that years of military service can have. The situation comes into focus when you consider that there are more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 800,000 in the country’s reserve forces.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, family problems, and lack of employment opportunities can place a huge obstacle in the way of returning service members who just want things to return to normal. Unfortunately, it’s often not that easy, especially for those who return with debilitating injuries. If you’re looking for a way to help out, here are a few ideas.

Say ‘Thank You’

The Vietnam War experience taught Americans that returning service members can be seriously affected by the nature of their return. If it’s critical or indifferent, veterans may feel unsupported and unappreciated. And while today’s military personnel typically don’t face the kind of harsh criticism that confronted Vietnam-era servicemen and servicewomen, they can still be powerfully impacted by a lack of support and understanding. If you want to help a veteran, acknowledge their service by shaking their hand or offering a sincere “Thank you.”

The Health Care They Need

Veterans, particularly seniors, need to understand how their health insurance works. For those enrolled in Medicare Part A or B, there are several out-of-pocket costs, and to complicate matters further, plans often change from year to year. Fortunately, you can enroll in a Medigap plan, which may provide more of the benefits you need. For example, Plan F covers the deductible that comes with Medicare Part B, though certain changes to this particular benefit will go into effect beginning in 2020. Knowing your coverage and understanding how Medicare functions is essential for getting the most out of your coverage.

Help Veterans Reintegrate Socially

A soldier who returns home without a job or without access to social services may feel lost and alone. Consider organizing an event for returning service members, perhaps schedule an evening at the movies, an informal dinner setting, or get together every week at a nearby coffee shop. Make it a venue where everyone can talk about their experiences, hopes, and frustrations.

If you have a relationship with a veteran, offer to help out in specific ways. For example, if your friend has trouble scheduling a medical or therapy appointment, reach out by offering to babysit or offer to give them a ride if they lack transportation. There are many ways to volunteer, just by making efforts of simple goodwill.

Finding Work

Veterans often find that the skills they learned in the military don’t translate well into steady employment once they’re discharged. That can be especially true of veterans who lack a degree or some form of higher education. If you’re a business owner or have access to human resources personnel at work, why not put in a good word for a veteran who’s having trouble latching on somewhere? Your company will earn tax credits for hiring veterans. Sometimes, a foot in the door is all a veteran needs to impress a prospective employer.

Be a Willing Listener

You don’t have to be close friends with a service member who just needs a sympathetic ear. Give a veteran an opportunity to share their experiences. You really don’t need to say much, just be present in the moment and listen without judging or criticizing. It’s a simple but important gesture because many have no one to talk to, no outlet for their frustrations and anxieties.

Simple gestures are sometimes the best way to help veterans, service members, and their families. Be willing to provide the kind of support and assistance you’d offer to anyone. It’ll make you feel great and it’s a great way to thank our military heroes for their service. 

Primal Instinct Premiered ‘Catfish Killer’ on Investigation Discovery: Jenelle, Barbara & Marvin Potter Serving Two Life Sentences for Facebook Murders (July 5, 2018)

ID Go: In a small Tennessee town, Jenelle Potter has few friends. When her attraction to one of them isn’t mutual, she is ostracized and feels threatened. Then a shadowy figure guides her family into a dark plot with a twisted ending no one saw coming. -Catfish Killer, Primal Instinct (S1, E4)

Date: January 31, 2012
Victims: Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne
Offenders: Jenelle Potter, Barbara Potter, Marvin Potter, Marine Corp veteran
Location: Mountain City, Tennessee
Circumstances: Jenelle Potter catfished her parents Barbara and Marvin and led them to believe she was in danger, she posed as a CIA agent and manipulated Marvin Potter to kill Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne after they unfriended her on Facebook
Disposition: Jenelle and Barbara Potter were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and given two life sentences; Marvin Potter plead guilty to murder and was given two life sentences

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

In the News:

Part 1: Living at home with her parents, Jenelle Potter spent most of her adult life on social media. -ABC News

Part 2: A friend found Bille Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne dead with single gunshot wounds to their faces. -ABC News

5 Dark & Twisted Catfish Stories. -FactFaction

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: A young couple is found murdered, execution style, their infant still alive in the mother’s arms. As police investigate, the story takes a shocking turn when the admitted shooter claims this was a sanctioned hit ordered by a rogue CIA agent. -To Pretty to Live, Investigation Discovery (S1, E1)

USA Network:

In Tennessee, a family is driven to despair when their daughter Jenelle becomes the target of social media bullying. When two of Jenelle’s tormentors are found dead, the police uncover a bizarre web of assumed identities and mental manipulation. -The Sinner

Oxygen:

Jenelle Potter’s attorney, her sister, and others discuss the case after the verdict. -Killer Post, Oxygen

Jenelle Potter claimed that her Facebook account was hacked. -Criminal Confessions, Oxygen

Podcasts:

A young mother is shot to death while she clutches her 7-month old baby. Her husband lies executed in the next room. This isn’t the story of a Hollywood drama, but the tragic end to an average Tennessee working class family. Billie Jean Hayworth and her husband Billy Payne were going about their normal weekday morning routine when they were senselessly and violently murdered. The events that led to that morning are inexplicable, fueled by the petty ignorance of a woman who used social media to manipulate and hurt people. We’re taking a look at the catfishing murders of East Tennessee in this episode of True Crime Brewery: Unfriended. Settle in for a twisted tale of senseless murder, jealousy, and cruelty beyond what most of us could ever imagine. -True Crime Brewery

Related Links:
Web of Death!
Accused Facebook killer has local ties
Stolen Valor Marine charged with double FACEBOOK murder in my hometown
Murdered over a Facebook snub: Dad guns down couple who deleted his daughter on social network
Tennessee father murders couple after pair had deleted his adult daughter as friend on Facebook, authorities say
Facebook “defriending” led to double murder, police say
Motive in double murder centers around de-friending on Facebook
Facebook Defriending Leads to Double Murder: Cops
What Does The Facebook Double Homicide Say About The Dark Side Of Social Media?
Murder investigation continues, court documents reveal tumultuous history
State closes in on Potter women
Tenn. father charged with murdering couple who”unfriended” daughter on Facebook
Woman posing as CIA agent convinces parents to kill Facebook friends
Testimony begins in Facebook ‘unfriending’ murder trial
Testimony begins in Facebook ‘unfriending’ murder trial
Testimony begins in Facebook ‘unfriending’ murder trial
Witness for the prosecution: Woman testifies against mother, sister in ‘Facebook murders’ trial
‘I never wished them dead’: Weeping killer begs for forgiveness over elaborate ‘catfish’ where she posed as a male CIA agent and encouraged the murder of a young couple
East Tennessee jury convicts women in Facebook slayings
East Tenn. mom, daughter convicted in slaying over Facebook unfriending
Guilty on all counts in Potter double-murder trial
Mother, daughter serve 2 life sentences in Tenn. Facebook murders
TN women convicted in Facebook slayings want new trial
Potter women to serve two life sentences; third person pleads guilty to role in Facebook murders
Marvin Potter sentenced to two life sentences for double murder
Potter guilty on two counts of First Degree Murder
Court of Criminal Appeals grants stay of appeal for Jenelle Potter
State of Tennessee vs. Marvin Potter, Jr. (2016)
Prosecutor writes book on Mountain City Facebook murders
Facebook murders documented in true crime book written by prosecutor
Story of Mountain City Facebook murders reaches national audience in book, tv special
Mountain City slayings case gets new prosecutor, new judge, new court date
Lawyer’s book about ‘Facebook Murders’ earns censure from TN Supreme Court
Prosecutor Censured for Book About Facebook Slayings
TDOC employee accused of meddling with Facebook murders case
Prison guard fired for letter on behalf of women convicted in ‘Facebook murders’
Convicted Tennessee Woman Denies Wanting Couple Dead After Social Media Feud
How a Social Media Feud Led to the Murder of a Young Tennessee Couple
‘Too pretty to live’: How a woman convinced her parents and boyfriend to kill ‘Facebook bullies’
Woman Impersonates CIA Agent to Convince Boyfriend, Parents to Murder Couple
Evil daughter tricked parents into murder
Prosecutor Censured for Book About Facebook Slayings
Facebook De-Friending Results in Double Murder
The Catfishing Murders of East Tennessee: Woman Poses as Male CIA Operative
Couple Murdered for ‘Unfriending’ Woman On Facebook
Jenelle Potter: ABC ’20/20′ Takes Look At Facebook Murder Of Mountain City, Tennessee Couple Who Unfriended Woman
Social Media Feuds That Escalated To Offline Murders
6 Murderers That Posted Their Kills On Facebook

YouTube:
Defense attorneys for women at center of “Facebook murders” ask for new trial
Defense attorneys in “Facebook murders” say new evidence revealed in prosecutor’s book warrants new trial
TDOC employee accused of meddling with Facebook murders case
Sullivan County District Attorney taking over “Facebook murders” case
TN appeals court upholds Marvin Potter’s conviction in Facebook killings
Tennessee Woman Claims She’s Victim of Online Threats to Her Life
Young Couple Found Murdered With Baby Alive, Covered in Blood
Unfriended: The Catfish Murders of Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne
Episode 23: Jenelle Potter | Moms and Murder | A Podcast
Episode 23: Jenelle Potter | Moms and Murder | A Podcast
Jenelle Potter | Sword and Scale Episode 62 | Podcast
10: Jenelle Potter and the Facebook of Lies and Creepy Carl’s Corpse | Darkest Corners Podcast
The Sinner | Famous Murders Bizarre Motives: Jenelle Potter | USA Network
Criminal Confessions: Was Jenelle Potter Hacked? – Preview (Season 2, Episode 1) | Oxygen
#killerpost: After the Verdict Episode 1 – Payne and Potter | Oxygen
To Pretty to Live | Investigation Discovery (S1, E1)
Catfish Killer | Primal Instinct | Investigation Discovery (S1, E4)
Catfish Killer | Primal Instinct | Investigation Discovery (website)
5 Dark & Twisted Catfish Stories

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)

June 2018

Missing:
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Friends, family of missing UMass nursing student Maura Murray hope funds will lead to answers

Cold Cases:
Family wants justice for Army vet found shot to death in driveway
Authorities Have Cracked a Bizarre Cold Case That Could Have Ties to the Zodiac Killer
48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (June 17, 2017)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

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Army Veteran Shawn Bryce McVea Died by Suicide; Death Prompts Mom to Educate Others of Warning Signs After Deployment (September 4, 2017)

Shawn Bryce McVea KING 5

Shawn Bryce McVea, U.S. Army Veteran (Photo: Screenshot KING 5)

Suicide prompts mother to warn others. -KING 5 (November 29, 2018)

A military mom is trying to make a difference after her son killed himself after returning from deployment in Iraq. -KING 5 (November 29, 2018)

Related Links:
Shawn Bryce McVea | Find A Grave
Suicide prompts mother to warn others
Extended: Veteran’s suicide prompts mother to warn others
Veteran’s suicide prompts seminar for deploying JBLM airmen
Veteran’s Suicide Prompts Seminar for Deploying JBLM Airmen 2
Channeling grief into resiliency | The United States Army
Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Disappeared: Disabled Army Veteran Joseph Weber IV Missing from San Francisco, California Since November 24, 2014

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Joseph Weber IV, US Army Veteran (photo credit: Missing Veterans)

Disabled Army veteran Joseph Weber IV, 28, disappeared near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California on November 24, 2014. Joseph is an Iraq war veteran who struggled with both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). If you have any information, please contact the Sunnyvale Police Department at (408) 730-7100.

Related Links:
Find Joseph Weber
Find Joseph Weber on Facebook
Missing Veterans: Joseph Weber
The Charley Project: Joseph Weber IV
Joseph Weber missing Army veteran from California
Iraq War veteran disappeared near Golden Gate Bridge
Sunnyvale: Veteran killed in officer shooting, but not missing vet with same name


Joesph Weber an Iraqi combat veteran walks on to the Golden Gate bridge and disappears. -Missing and Tattooed

Marine Corps Veteran Justin Eldridge Died by Suicide in Connecticut Home; Battled PTSD & TBI After Deployment to Afghanistan (October 29, 2013)

Justin Eldridge

Justin Eldridge, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran (Photo: Obituary)

Marine Corps veteran Justin Eldridge was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Waterford, Connecticut home on October 29, 2013. Justin served in the Marine Corps for 8 1/2 years. After a deployment to Afghanistan he battled with both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. As a result he was medically retired from the Marine Corps in 2008. Justin was married with four children at the time of his death. Justin’s wife Joanna has continued the fight for our soldiers and veterans. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) honored Justin Eldridge on the Senate Floor and co-sponsored a veteran suicide prevention bill in his name. Joanna attended the 2015 State of the Union and a bipartisan suicide prevention bill was signed into law in March 2015.

His final message, posted on his Facebook Page at about 9 p.m., “theres only so much bashing someone can take before they react………” –Waterford Patch (October 29, 2013)

Senator Richard Blumenthal Honors US Marine Justin Eldridge:

In a Senator Floor speech today, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal honors the heroism of United States Marine Justin Eldridge of Waterford, tragic victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who took his own life two days ago. (October 30, 2013)

Related Links:
Justin Eldridge Obituary
Justin Eldridge’s Battle With PTSD Ended In Tragedy Last Night
For Waterford veteran, battling PTSD was too tough a fight
Man who killed himself in Waterford was ex-Marine
Former Marine’s suicide in Waterford standoff shocks friends
Marine’s Family Decides To Talk Openly About His Suicide
PTSD cases in veterans on the rise
Why One Man’s Death Is A National Tragedy
U.S. Marine’s Suicide Magnifies Veterans Needs, Says Acclaimed Cowboy Singer R.W. Hampton
In Senate Floor Speech, Blumenthal Honors Heroism Of U.S. Marine Justin Eldridge Of Waterford
Senator Blumenthal honors US Marine Justin Eldridge
Widow continues Marine veteran’s fight
Study: Younger vets have higher suicide risk
Blumenthal wins on veteran suicide prevention bill
Blumenthal-backed veterans suicide prevention bill wins approval
Senate approves Blumenthal’s veteran suicide prevention bill
New Generation Of Veterans Has Higher Suicide Risk, Study Finds
Widow of Connecticut Marine to Attend State of the Union Address
Preventing suicide to save veterans’ lives
Bipartisan veterans suicide prevention act signed into law