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Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

Is CBD Oil Right For Me?

Saturday, February 20th, 2021

I’m going to preface this article with a short introduction. Over the past few years, the national dialogue on marijuana has shifted significantly and particularly for CBD. While still banned for use with DoD and by many other agencies, CBD has offered relief for several complaints such as PTSD.

Some swear by its properties while others brush it off as a placebo. Let’s use this testimony by my friend and former SEAL Will Branum to open a respectful dialogue. And yes, Will believes CBD so much, he founded a company.

-Eric Graves

The transition from military to civilian life was the toughest military mission I had ever been on. I went from being surrounded by a TEAM of World Class Professionals who challenged me every day to NO TEAM, NO PURPOSE, and NO MISSION.

I’ve spent my entire adult life in the military and 23 of those 26 years as a Navy SEAL.  As a SEAL, every morning I woke up, knew what I was going to do and with whom I would do it. I was surrounded by a badass team with a badass mission. And then in the summer of 2018,  it was gone.

My nightly routine consisted of just one glass of Vodka on the rocks to turn off the noise in my head. One glass turned into another, and another and so on. Eventually the noise would reduce enough for me to go to sleep.  This habit started before my retirement, but had definitely intensified after I retired. I had to drink myself into a drunken stupor to quiet my mind, slow down, and be able to rest.

I had heard of CBD Oil while I was on active duty but wasn’t about to risk putting my final years in the military or my Top Secret Security Clearance in jeopardy.  I am also a child of Nancy Reagan’s War on Drugs, “Just Say No!” Campaign, so I was hesitant to try it.  A year after my retirement, I was in Virginia and had lunch with a former SEAL Team mentor.  I told him about my interest in CBD and discussed purchasing it while I was in town.  I was still unfamiliar with its benefits but was curious to know more. Coincidentally he owned some and gave me a bottle.

That night I noticed that I slept a little better and woke up a little pissed off as I had in the previous months. Over the next 30 days, with continued use of the CBD Oil, I felt small increments of improvement in my attitude as well as unexpected improvements in pain management.  Some of the sharp stabbing pain I had been experiencing began to decrease in intensity and become more dull.  Additionally, when I ran out of CBD Oil, much of the pain and ailments and my internal anger started to resurface. 

CBD helped me turn off the anxiety and noise. To illustrate, we know that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and, likewise, I often felt like I was living at 210, just under my boiling point.  Taking CBD helped bring down that internal emotional temperature; 208, 205, 200.  It helped me get out of the RED ZONE that I was living in and moved me into something closer to ORANGE or YELLOW, a much more relaxed mental and emotional state.  That new headspace allowed me to practice better self-talk so I could work on myself, and simultaneously start to quiet the noise in my head without the need for alcohol.  CBD isn’t a magical cure-all, but it is an essential tool in my tool box.

CBD had such a life changing effect on me that I started my own CBD Company to share the highest quality CBD available to Veterans and First Responders.  Naked Warrior Recovery’s mission is to help you recover from Mental and Physical Trauma, no matter how big or small.

How CBD works: CBD is a non-psychoactive (you don’t get high) molecule from the Hemp Plant.  It has been shown to have many medicinal effects on all mammals.  CBD supports the Endocannabinoid System, a giant neuro receptor connected to every other system in the body (ie. Central Nerves System, Digestive System, Immune System, Respiratory System, etc.).

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is supported by endogenous cannabinoids that all mammals create.  Sometimes the body does not produce enough natural cannabinoids to support the ECS.  CBD works like a multivitamin to support the ECS to help bring it back into balance.  When the ECS is in balance, it helps bring the other systems into balance.  A few other benefits that have been observed from CBD use are reduced chronic inflammation, elliptic seizures, pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, acne, and Parkinson’s.

There is still a lot that to be learned about this natural remedy, but the future looks bright! There are studies coming out daily on PUBMED about CBD and the Endocannabinoid System.

For more information on CBD go to www.nw-recovery.com.

Federal Ammunition’s Support of Injured Veterans Approaches $250,000

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

ANOKA, Minnesota – February 3, 2021 – Federal Ammunition is committed to empowering our nation’s injured veterans. Since 2011, Federal Ammunition has supported Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and the nonprofit’s free programs and services with an annual contribution to the Minnesota Wounded Warrior Charity Golf event. To date, the total contribution is just shy of $248,000 dollars.

Wounded veterans face significant challenges when they return to civilian life, and through the generous support of donors and corporate partners, WWP provides support during their recoveries, wherever they are in that journey.

“I’m proud of this program,” said Rick Stoeckel, Federal Ammunition’s Shotshell Product Director. “When our wounded heroes return, the needs are great and Federal is proud to assist in any way that we can, and the consumers have responded by purchasing the product that supports Wounded Warrior Project in our backyard of Minnesota and throughout the United States.”

Through our financial contribution, Federal Ammunition is directly supporting the programs and services that give warriors access to independence, mental and physical health, career counseling, peer support and connections to other veterans, and family support—free of charge.

Even the most challenging targets are no match for consistent, hard-hitting Federal Top Gun target loads. High-quality lead shot produces even patterns that crush clays. These loads also feature consistent, reliable Federal primer; an eight-segment crimp; and an unique wad column for consistent patterns.

Federal ammunition can be found at dealers nationwide or purchased online direct from Federal. For more information on all products from Federal or to shop online, visit www.federalpremium.com.

Support the Gideon’s 300 Fundraiser Raffle

Monday, February 1st, 2021

An old squadron mate, Ish V, who recently retired sent me this fundraiser for Gideon’s 300, a Veteran’s 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization charity he is involved with. The more they raise, the more Vets they can take on hunts.


To raise money for military veterans across this nation we are raffling off this amazing Glock 19 customized by 903 Tactical Arms Co. Tickets are only $10 a piece or 6 for $50. Ticket will be drawn in April at our annual turkey hunt. You can buy a ticket by making a donation on our website g300veterans.org/donate or you can send money though CashApp to $G300Vets. Just make sure you include your name and phone number.

Cash app is under our current presidents name, Daniel Ritchie. Just let him know Ish V. sent ya.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Clint Emerson Debuts Fourth 100 Deadly Skills Book

Saturday, January 30th, 2021

DALLAS, TX (January 26, 2021) – Retired Navy SEAL and New York Times best-selling author, Clint Emerson, released his newest book, 100 Deadly Skills: COMBAT EDITION this week for physical sale. The book has already topped the charts in several categories for digital download ahead of this launch. His sixth book overall and fourth in the 100 Deadly Skills series, COMBAT EDITION is Emerson’s guide to defeating your enemy, fighting for your life, and embracing your inner badass.

With more than 20 years of service conducting special ops all over the world, Emerson continues to serve by empowering good people with safety and security skills at home, at work and abroad. His experience attached to his time serving on SEAL Team Three, the National Security Agency (NSA), and a Special Mission Unit provides a unique perspective to professional and civilian protection.

“The first volume in the 100 Deadly Skills series delivered clandestine hacks designed to allow readers to escape and evade threats at home and abroad. The second book, my Survival Edition, provided a blueprint to surviving chaos, misadventures, and fatal disasters.” Emerson continues, “Now, with the Combat Edition, I’ve created the most comprehensive on-the-ground combatives manual ever assembled—traveling the country to learn the most effective combat techniques from some of the deadliest characters on Earth. The goal remains the same: allowing good people to defeat evil, fight for their lives, and survive another day.”

This is the first-ever three-dimensional self-defense book. All tactics and techniques provided are presented in the narrative, with engaging illustrations and action-packed videos QR coded to each skill. The techniques rely on no-nonsense combative techniques, including weaponizing your non-violent posture, delivering damaging body strikes, accurately throwing a knife, quick drawing and shooting a handgun, tactically deceiving your enemy, surviving a multi-threat ambush and understanding non-lethal and lethal options.

There’s an old saying that you can’t learn to fight from a book, 100 Deadly Skills: COMBAT EDITION challenges that statement. 100 Deadly Skills: COMBAT EDITION is available for sale now and can purchased on Amazon.

For a behind the scenes look at Emerson and what went into the creation of 100 Deadly Skills: COMBAT EDITION, watch: youtu.be/JudClZds9IE. For updates from Clint and 100 Deadly Skills, follow the story on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Celtic Shield Wallet

Saturday, January 9th, 2021

Founded by an Air Force Veteran, Celtic Shield makes really cool minimalistic wallets.

It is assembled with eight special machined screws and two mil-spec elastic bands.

There are five basic configurations:
• Clip / Slick – Featuring one slick plate and one clip plate
• Coin / Clip – Featuring one 1.5″ coin holder and a money/belt clip with enough space for your small custom image
• Slick / Slick – Featuring two large slick plates, perfect for displaying two large custom images, one on each side of your wallet
• Slick / Clip – Featuring one large slick plate for that perfect for that large custom image and a money/belt clip with enough space for your small custom image

They can do laser engraving and have been purchased as going away gifts as well as reenlistment incentives.

Made from aluminum, the front and rear panels can be had in different colors, in many combinations. There are also several options like integration of a challenge coin or pocket clips, so go check them out.


Take Me Home Huey: Honoring American Heroes Through Art

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

Take Me Home Huey: Honoring American Heroes Through Art

By Steve Maloney and Clare Nolan
The arts can be a bridge to healing, as multimedia artist Steve Maloney discovered when he conceived a sculpture to honor the 2.7 million Americans who served during the Vietnam War. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, Maloney transformed the fuselage of a boneyard Medevac helicopter, to create what has become the multimedia project, Take Me Home Huey. The progression of Maloney’s brainchild, from artistic concept to a cross-country mission of healing for veterans living with post-traumatic stress, has now been captured in a stunning book. TAKE ME HOME HUEY: Honoring American Heroes Through Art by Steve Maloney and Clare Nolan will be released on National Vietnam War Veterans Day—March 29, 2021.

The book follows Maloney’s artistic journey as he, aided by his team of veteran advisors, volunteer mechanics and art assistants, deftly molded the wreckage and reimagined the aircraft that became a therapeutic tool for Vietnam veterans still living with ravages of post-traumatic stress. TAKE ME HOME HUEY documents, through the artist’s narrative and captivating photographs, the story of the chopper, dubbed Huey #174, and originally conceived as an artistic tribute, helped veterans open up, tell their stories and begin the healing process. The cross-country tour of Huey #174 inspired a song and an Emmy Award-winning documentary. All the elements stand alone, but combined they create a powerful message.

Maloney, a widely recognized artist and Vietnam-era National Guard veteran, is justifiably proud of what his sculpture has accomplished. “Once an artist releases a work into the public sphere, it can take on a new purpose. I had initially conceived Take Me Home Huey as a thank you and a welcome home for my contemporaries. But in their eyes, the sculpture became something more — a public acknowledgement that some of them, while physically at home, were mentally and emotionally still on the battlefield. I could not be more proud of what this project has accomplished and the reception it received. It is the proudest thing I’ve ever done.”

TAKE ME HOME HUEYBy Steve Maloney and Clare NolanTake Me Home Huey Publishing; March 29, 202145.00; 216 pagesISBN: 978-0-692-11780-4


Financial Instructions for Survivors of Deceased Veterans

Sunday, December 20th, 2020

If you are retired military (or DoD/USG Civilian), please save this and pass it to your family so they know what to do with your retired pay, SBP, VA, DEERS, VGLI and Social Security when you pass.

Retired pay ends when the retiree dies. Survivors must promptly report a retiree’s death to help avoid delays and possible financial hardship to surviving annuitant beneficiaries, family members or executors who will be required to reimburse any retired pay overpayments.

Please follow the steps below to report the death of a military retiree:

Step 1 – Notify the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Casualty Care Team at 1-800-321-1080. Please have the retiree’s Social Security Number and the date of death when you call.

Upon notification, DFAS will begin to close out the pay account to prevent any overpayments.

Step 2 – Contact your financial institution and inform them of the death of the retiree.

Step 3 – Within 7-10 business days of reporting the death to DFAS, you should receive a condolence letter.

If the member is due arrears of pay you will also receive a Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service (SF 1174).

If the decedent was enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan or the Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan, you should also receive an Annuity Care Package for completion and return.

Step 4 – Complete the SF 1174 you received with your condolence letter and return with a copy of the retiree’s Death Certificate that reflects cause of death to:

DFAS U.S. Military Retired Pay

Defense Finance and Accounting Service

U.S. Military Retired Pay

8899 E 56th Street

Indianapolis IN 46249-1200

If you need assistance completing your claim form please contact the DFAS call center at 800-321-1080.

Contact List: In addition to notifying DFAS, you should also notify the following agencies/departments as soon as possible:

* Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

* Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System at 800-538-9552.

* Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at 800-827-1000 for military retirees receiving disability compensation.

* Office of Personnel Management at 888-767-6738 if the member was a current or retired federal civilian employee.

* VA at 800-669-8477 for retirees enrolled in a VA-sponsored life insurance policy, such as National Service Life Insurance.

* Office of Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance at 800-419-1473 for retirees enrolled in Veteran’s Group Life Insurance.

Information provided by CSM Jeff Mellinger (USA, Ret)

New Book Shares True Stories of Veterans Living with PTSD and the Unwavering Support They Received From Their Service Dogs

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Author Christine Hassing brings awareness to the level of healing service dogs bring to those living with trauma in ‘Hope Has A Cold Nose’

BLOOMINGDALE, Mich. – Statistics show that twenty-two U.S. military veterans commit suicide per day. This alarming issue inspired author, mentor and inspirational speaker Christine Hassing to learn more about the experiences of veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST). She soon discovered the remarkable impact service dogs played in their journey towards healing and recovery. Wanting to share their perspective, she collaborated with twenty-three veterans and compiled their unique stories in her recently published book, “Hope Has A Cold Nose.”  This incredible collection of true tales conveys how service dogs make the difference for those reintegrating themselves into civilian life.

While earning her master’s degree, Hassing’s path intersected with a veteran and his service dog. After listening to their story, she knew that she wanted to spotlight the struggles of fellow veterans like him who are healing from trauma with the support of their furry friend. From sensing a nightmare and waking a veteran before terror takes hold, to placing a comforting paw on someone’s shoulder to ward off a panic attack, these dogs provide immeasurable support day and night.

Each chapter shares the story of a different human-canine pair as they explore their life changing relationship. The compelling testimonies from each and every storyteller in the book reminds readers of the importance of compassion and community during the recovery process for veterans.

“It is my hope that the stories within this book can raise awareness about service dogs as a healing modality for those journeying with PTSD,” says Hassing. “and to inspire those who are struggling to not lose their will to live.”

An inspiring read, “Hope Has A Cold Nose” showcases the holistic healing power of canines. Filled with extraordinary stories of resilience, compassion, survival, hope and recovery, this book is an unforgettable look at how animals can help their human counterparts heal from the deepest emotional wounds.

“Hope Has A Cold Nose”

By Christine Hassing

ISBN: 9781982255282 (softcover); 9781982255305 (hardcover); 9781982255299 (electronic)

Available at the Balboa Press Online Bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble