Help with PTSD Sleep Problems, Trauma Reminders, Etc

VAntage Blog

VAntage Blog

The following is part of an entry by Cybele Merrick on the VA Blog VAntage

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up,” legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said. When you think about it, Coach Lombardi was really talking about coping skills and resilience. Trauma can knock you down; yet there are now online tools to help you develop valuable coping and problem-solving skills following trauma.

With the release of PTSD Coach Online, you can now go to your desktop or laptop computer anytime to work on skills that can be helpful following trauma. You can use its tools in the privacy and comfort of your own home—or anywhere with Internet access. These are the same type of skills you learn in professional therapy.

PTSD Coach Online extends the reach of the PTSD Coach mobile app’s groundbreaking symptom management tools to those who do not have access to smartphones. The PTSD Coach mobile app has already been downloaded more than 100,000 times in 74 countries around the world.

PTSD Coach Online is a free, online suite of tools designed to help people cope with sleep problems, trauma reminders, anxiety and other problems that can develop after trauma. It includes versions of many of the tools that are found in the PTSD Coach mobile app, plus more. One of its unique features is the inclusion of videos from coaches who provide video introductions and help throughout each tool.

You can read the full blog entry here.


Free Help with End-of-Life Legal Issues for Low-Income Vets


Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport campus. Photo courtesy Stetson University

Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport campus. Photo courtesy Stetson University

Legal experts from Stetson University College of Law, the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation and the Community Law Program are offering free assistance with simple wills and advanced directives to veterans of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and their spouses in the Tampa Bay area.

To be eligible, veterans must have limited assets and low incomes and must make an appointment by Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. There will be no walk-ins allowed. To schedule an appointment, call 727-562-7800 x 7315 or 727-562-7393.

The day-long event is scheduled Nov. 5, next Tuesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Great Hall, Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st St. S., Gulfport, FL.

The volunteer attorneys are coming from the Community Law Program as well as Stetson’s Center for Excellence in Elder Law and the Veterans Law Institute.

UPDATE: FBI Identifies Veteran Shot at Bay Pines VA

BayPinesBannerThe FBI has released the name of the veteran killed by Bay Pines VA Police after he threatened them with a knife and said he was carrying a bomb.

“The victim involved in the shooting incident at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center on Friday, October 25, 2013, was identified as Vincent L. Young, 68, 9261 48th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Florida. The next of kin notification was completed today,” is the FBI statement released Saturday afternoon by Dave Couvertier, Special Agent.

Details of Young’s military background and family are not yet available. But his neighbor, George “Gunny” Kenny, at the Harbor Lights Club mobile home park told the Tampa Bay Times Young was wasting away.

Kenny and other neighbors received the news that Young had threatened officers in Bay Pines with a knife and bomb with disbelief. It wasn’t until after Young died, shot by police in the emergency room, that his deteriorating condition and his final act made sense.

“You can’t judge what another man does unless you know his mind,” Kenny said, pulling on a cigarette while sitting in his motorized wheelchair.

His neighbors are remembering Young for his willingness to help others with their computers and mechanical problems. You can read more about Young in the Tampa Bay Times.

Bay Pines VA Police Kill Knife Wielding Veteran

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

Police officers with the Bay Pines VA Medical Center shot and killed a 68-year-old veteran who entered the emergency room Friday evening and said he had a bomb according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.

Authorities have yet to establish a motive for his threat or to identify the veteran – who was carrying a backpack that was later found to hold a “hoax device.”

When officers with the Bay Pines VA Police Department arrived, the man brandished a knife and threatened the officers, (FBI spokesman Dave) Couvertier said. “He lunged and the officers took action,” he said.

… Bay Pines officials evacuated parts of the first floor of the center while bomb experts inspected the pipe. They determined it was a “hoax device,” Couvertier said.

Law enforcement officers searched the facility for other devices but didn’t find any. Investigators believe the incident is isolated but remained unsure of the man’s motives late Friday. His next of kin had not yet been notified of his death.

The FBI is leading the investigation because the shooting took place at federal facility.

Free Veterans Entrepreneurship Symposium in Tampa

entrepreneurship_banner-new_500x333A free event designed for veterans, active-duty military and their families who are interested in starting a business is set Saturday, Oct. 26.

Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus, 4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd, Tampa, is hosting the Veterans Entrepreneurship Symposium from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the HCC Student Services Auditorium.

There will be opportunities to build skills, check out available community resources and network with other entrepreneurs.

Sponsored by TECO Energy and the Tampa Bay Rays, the sessions cover legal issues surrounding innovation, marketing inventions and a “idea pitch” competition for prizes at the end of the program.

The CEO of Celestar Corporation, Retired Lt. Col. Gregory Celestan, is the keynote speaker at the morning session. Check out registration at

Final Tribute Congressman Young Made Honorary Marine

US Marines carry the casket of Congressman Bill Young into his memorial service.

US Marines carry the casket of Congressman Bill Young into his memorial service.

He served more than half-century in public office including 43 years in Congress and chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee. So, it’s difficult to measure the scope of Congressman Bill Young contributions to the Bay Area, Florida and the nation.

Young was laid to rest Thursday at Bay Pines National Cemetery – a place he visited often especially for the Veterans’ Day ceremony.

A salute as Congressman Young's casket passes.

A salute as Congressman Young’s casket passes.

On the stage at his funeral service at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, a smiling portrait of Bill Young looked out on the audience of more than 1,000 people. One could almost detect a twinkle in his eye as he was remembered for creating the national bone marrow registry and for his unwavering support for biomedical research.

Yet what was mentioned the most was his dedication and personal support of members of the military – especially the wounded and their families.

“It’s a strange thing to owe your life to somebody,” said Marine CPL Josh Callihan. Listed as a member of the Young family, Callihan credited the congressman and his wife Beverly for his recovery from a spinal injury.

Callihan was one of countless wounded troops visited by the Youngs at Walter Reed and other medical centers in the Tampa Bay region and around the world.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies salute the arrival of Congressman Young's casket.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies salute the arrival of Congressman Young’s casket.

“I know that Bill would want me to say to the military that he loves so much, God Bless to all those who serve especially the wounded and their families and the fallen and all who stand the watch of the day,” said former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.

He then read from a condolence letter sent by former President George W. Bush to Young’s widow that noted the congressman’s devotion to veterans and the military.

One need look no further than MacDill Air Force Base and the joint commands, US Central Command and US Special Operations Command, to measure his influence said State Rep. Ed Hooper of Clearwater.

“Bill Young with what he has done with MacDill Air Force Base to keep that open, putting the world center of national defense. He is clearly that person that we owe that gratitude to,” Hooper said.

There are countless veterans who can personally thank Young and his congressional staff for helping with paperwork snafus at the VA. Vietnam veteran Randall McNabb, a local leader of the Patriot Guard Riders, said Young helped him back in 1977 with a GI Bill snafu.

Dozens of Patriot Guard Riders escorted Congressman Young from the church service to Bay Pines National Cemetery.

Dozens of Patriot Guard Riders escorted Congressman Young from the church service to Bay Pines National Cemetery.

McNabb worries that Young’s replacement will not have the same enthusiastic support for veterans.

“They don’t have the same knowledge,” McNabb said. “They don’t understand a lot of the issues especially of those who have been to war.”

Young served nine years in the Army National Guard and six more years in the Reserves. Yet at his funeral, members of the US Marine Corps are the ones who carried his casket and formed the honor guard.

And Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos made Young an honorary US Marine delivering the news to his widow, Beverly Young, an hour before the funeral service.

“While he was physically absent during my remarks with Beverly and their family he was most assuredly there in spirit,” Amos told the audience. “To the men and women who wear my cloth, this is the absolute very highest honor that we could have bestowed upon this valiant warrior. While his heart was always with his Marines, he is now officially one of us.”

Dozens of motorcycle deputies and Patriot Riders await Congressman Bill Young's escort to Bay Pines National Cemetery.

Dozens of motorcycle deputies and Patriot Riders await Congressman Bill Young’s escort to Bay Pines National Cemetery.

A Push to Rename Bay Pines VA after Bill Young

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

An estimated  100 members of Congress are expected to attend the funeral service Thursday in Largo, Florida for Congressman Bill Young.

He died last week at 82 with the distinction of being the longest serving Republican in Congress.

As a tribute, Congress is considering a bill to rename the Pinellas County Bay Pines VA Medical Center after Young.

On the Senate side, US Sen. Bill Nelson is sponsoring the legislation.

“Of course Bay Pines was something that he (Young) cared about,” Nelson said. “He cared about veterans. He cared about the veterans’ health care system. He was one of the premiere appropriators when it came with anything that had to do with military and veterans. And so, this is a very appropriate naming of a federal facility.”

Nelson expects the House to pass their bill this week adding that the Senate will take up the renaming measure next week.

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