Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Master Sergeant: Research and Do Not Give Up on Getting Help for Invisible Wounds

Master Sergeant Aaron Tippett’s wife, a soldier herself, told her husband he needed help as he ex exhibiting the classic symptoms of PTSD – agitation, sleep issues, anger, outbursts, headaches.

He tried in 2005 but didn’t get the help he needed.

In 2008, after another deployment with cumulative effects, he did get the help he needed. Now he is taking part in the Real Warriors’ campaign of encouraging service members to get help for “invisible wounds.”

In a DoD’s Bloggers Roundtable discussion, when I asked about advice the master sergeant would give others, he said:

“Research and do not give up. I gave up [the first time]. But why give up when you don’t give up in other things? It is only going to get worse.”

The master sergeant also said, “Getting help is stronger than not getting help. It is a much stronger thing to do to reach out.”

And he added that there are service members and veterans who know him and have heard that he got help who have now gotten help themselves.

Also taking part in the roundtable was Nancy St. Claire, Chief Operating Officer of Real Warriors’ campaign partner Give an Hour, an organization founded by Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.

Thanks to Give an Hour, psych professionals donate their time to service members and their loved ones in total anonymity with no records kept. At this point there are 7,000 clinicians donating their time, and a conservative estimate is of 110,000 hours of free counseling service already provided.

At www.giveanhour.org you can search for providers near you, and if you cannot find one, email info@giveanhour.org for help.

For the stories of other service members who have gotten help for invisible wounds, go to www.realwarriors.net

And if you are exhibiting signs of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, do get help. As Master Sergeant Tippett said, he is telling his story to help break the stigma about getting help.


P.S. For more info about PTSD see my site www.SolomonsJustice.com

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Friday, June 20, 2014

Starting October 1 in Connecticut Patients Will Be Asked Veteran Status

Finally, something that makes so much sense in order to give veterans better medical care that, once heard, it is obvious that all medical facilities need to do this.

The June 19, 2014, article by Peggy McCarthy in The Courant titled "To Improve Patient Care, CT Hospitals Will Ask: Are You a Veteran?" begins:

Connecticut hospitals will be required to ask all patients if they are veterans, under a new state law that takes effect Oct. 1.

The law is part of a nationwide effort conceived by the State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz to make private health providers aware that they are treating veterans, since most veterans don't go to federal Veterans Health Administration facilities. The goal is to improve veterans' diagnoses and health care because military experiences are linked to certain illnesses, she said.

Schwartz said veterans don't always know about health risks connected to their military service and that health providers need to become educated about them.

The article also states:

In addition to the state law, Schwartz convinced the American Academy of Nursing to undertake a national awareness campaign informing health providers of illnesses connected to military service. Called "Have You Ever Served," nurses are distributing pocket cards and posters to doctors and hospitals where they work. They provide detailed information about physical and mental illnesses linked to eras and locations of military service, suggested questions to ask patients, and resources for veterans.

Let's hope this question becomes routine at medical facilities across the U.S. and that, if the answer is yes, the medical staff takes this into consideration.

Read the entire article now.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Friday, June 6, 2014

In Honor of the Anniversary of D-Day: Excerpt From Cold War Memoir

Chapter 27 of my Cold War memoir TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY begins with a visit to the D-Day beaches of Normandy in April 1972:


Mitch and I stood at the site of the Allied D-Day invasion during World War II — the audacious landing in Normandy that began on June 6, 1944, and eventually led to the end of the war.

We were the only ones here on this windswept French landscape, the five landing beaches spread below us as Mitch explained the invasion to me.

When we reached Pointe du Hoc, a 100-foot cliff with Nazi concrete gun batteries still visible at the top, I gasped.

“To get off the landing boats and face this cliff, they had to know they would die,” I said.

Mitch nodded. “Tremendous casualties here.”

Then he added, “By the time my father landed in France, Normandy was already secured.”

The enormity of this military operation was almost too much to imagine, especially as the surrounding landscape was now so barren.

Equally disquieting was the thought that the success of the invasion did not immediately end the war. The Allied forces had to fight the Nazis for 11 more months after D-Day.

And the ultimate victory was not soon enough to save Anne Frank, whose hiding place in a secret annex Mitch and I had just visited in Amsterdam.

Betrayed by an informer, Anne and the others had been arrested two months after the D-Day invasion, on August 4, 1944. Then Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, weeks before the British liberated the camp and two months before the Nazi surrender.

Mitch and I turned away from the desolate landscape.

Click here to read the entire Cold War memoir for free on Wattpad now.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Honoring Our Troops Today and Every Day: Military Films for Memorial Day


Here is my recommended listing of film documentaries, feature films and TV documentaries supportive of our troops. The shows have been vetted by me before being placed on my site InSupportOfOurTroops.com


Click on the name of each film to see a video clip if available along with information about the film:

Film Documentaries

"American Widow Project" Documentary

“Brats: Our Journey Home” Documentary

“Brothers at War” Documentary

“Fighting for Life” Documentary

“Hallowed Grounds” Documentary

"Restrepo" Documentary

"Striking a Chord" Documentary

"The Invisible War" Documentary

"The Way We Get By" Documentary

“War Dogs of the Pacific” Documentary

"Wartorn 1861-2010" Documentary

Feature Films

"Everyman's War" Feature Film

"Lifted" Feature Film

"Taking Chance" Feature Film

"The Dry Land" Feature Film

“The Hurt Locker” Feature Film

"The Messenger" Feature Film

"The Landscaper's Daughter" Short Feature Film

Television Documentaries

"The Real World Presents: Return to Duty" Documentary

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Friday, May 2, 2014

Veterans Groups File Suit to Help Sexual-Assault Victims

In the “U.S. Watch” column of the May 1, 2014, Wall Street Journal, in a brief article headlined “Veterans Groups Sue to Aid Sex-Assault Victims,” Ben Kesling writes:

Veterans groups filed suit in a federal court Wednesday to help sexual-assault victims more easily receive benefits for trauma suffered during military service.


The lawsuit, filed in U.S. Circuit Court in Washington, alleges the Department of Veterans Affairs hasn't acted on a petition to reduce victims' burden of proof of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by military sexual trauma in claims for benefits.
As many of you know, I often write about PTSD. And on my site www.insupportofourtroops.com I have included the documentary “The Invisible War” about rape in the U.S. military.

Kesling goes on to write:
"Post-traumatic stress is post-traumatic stress, it shouldn't matter the cause," said Anu Bhagwati, executive director of the Service Women's Action Network, one of the groups bringing the suit. The Vietnam Veterans of America also is a plaintiff in the legal action.


Veterans generally must prove that a disability was the result of a particular service-related injury, such as being wounded in combat. Some diseases, however, are presumed to be service-connected and don't require such specific proof.
In my PTSD short story SOLOMON'S JUSTICE a female vet realizes she is suffering from PTSD from the time she was raped as a teen when her father was in the military and two more times when she was on active military duty herself. (You can now read SOLOMON'S JUSTICE for free on Wattpad at http://budurl.com/SJWattpad)

It will be interesting to see what happens with this lawsuit. And meanwhile, you might want to read my recent blog post “Reality and Fictional Topic of Sexual Assault in the Military.”


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reality and Fictional Topic of Sexual Assault in the Military

On April 10, 2014, I took part as a member of the Department of Defense's Bloggers Roundtable in a discussion by General Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about sexual assault in the military. (At the end of this blog post is the link to the entire transcript of that discussion.)


I asked two questions that my husband Mitch Miller, who follows military affairs very closely, has pondered for some time. Unfortunately, I did not get what I consider satisfactory answers to my two questions.

In addition, Mitch and I deal with sexual assault on a female Navy officer in our thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS, which is on Amazon at www.amzn.com/B005CD5OH4

Thus it was with deep interest that Mitch and I watched the April 15, 2014, episode of TV show NCIS titled “Alleged.”

The episode dealt with sexual assault in the Navy — the psychological trauma to the female junior officer who had been drugged and raped, the reaction of her male junior officer friends, and her reasons for not reporting the incident.

While, as we suspected, excessive drinking was involved, the episode went deeper to point out that higher-ranking officers might turn a blind eye or worse — spoiler alert — even commit these heinous acts.

Thus the question of how to stop sexual assault — which the female Navy investigator in the episode said the Navy is intent on “eradicating” — is a very complex societal issue.

(In a compelling scene in the NCIS episode, the director of NCIS reveals that his teenage daughter has expressed an interest in joining the Navy when she is an adult. The director says that he doesn't want these problems to exist when his daughter joins.)

The young women (and young men are also the target of sexual assault in the military) who serve our nation to protect us from harm deserve to be themselves protected from harm. Not to mention how many quality and qualified women leave the service each year because of sexual assault.

What do we as a society going forward need to do to prevent these sexual assaults in the military?

In a mil-fi novel that Mitch read, an officer committed a different but equally heinous offense. The narrator said, “In any army but ours, he’d be given a pistol and told to do the right thing.” Maybe we need to adopt that custom.

Or maybe fiction gets information across stronger than lectures about appropriate sexual behavior in the military.

Could General Dempsey require that every current and incoming military member regardless of rank or branch of service watch the entire NCIS episode “Alleged”? This poignant episode might actually help change the current environment that is tacitly allowing these attacks to happen and to go under-reported and under-investigated.

Click here to read the entire transcript of General Dempsey's statements to members of the DoD's Bloggers Roundtable, including my two questions.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Career Planning Tool to Help Military Spouses

On a Department of Defense's Bloggers Roundtable on January 28, 2014, a new feature of the SECO (Spouse Education and Career Opportunities) site was demonstrated by program manager Meg O'Grady.

MyICP (My Individual Career Plan) is a new self-service career planing tool available for military spouses and also available for 180 days after the military spouse's active duty member has separated from the military.

(The logon for this site is a military spouse's DS logon or a DS logon can be created on the site itself.)

With this new career planning tool, a military spouse can create as many individual career plans as he or she wants. In this way the military spouse is able to consider the recommended steps of different career paths.

Here is the purpose of the MySECO site:

The MySECO website ensures military spouses have 24-7 access to online education and career information, resources, tools and assessments. Using the tools and assessments, spouses can begin to explore their interests, skills, passions and personality type to determine the best fit for education and career choices.

If you are a military spouse, click here to visit the site now at myseco.militaryonesource.mil and try out the new career planning tool.


And if you know military spouses, please share with them the link to this site.

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com