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Veterans Ask Court to Reinstate Lawsuits over Open Burn Pits

Veterans Ask Court to Reinstate Lawsuits over Open Burn Pits

 

Veterans Ask Court to Reinstate Lawsuits over Open Burn Pits

By Debbie Gregory

During the OEF and OIF wars, government contractors burned up to 227 metric tons of hazardous waste at forward operating bases using jet fuel in large ground pits. Now veterans and their families have asked a federal appeals court to reinstate more than 60 lawsuits against KBR, Inc, a former Halliburton subsidiary, for health issues caused by the toxic burn pits.

The case, which dates back to 2008, consolidated dozens of lawsuits by hundreds of veterans and their families seeking to recover damages

Previously dismissed by U.S. District Judge Roger Titus, his 2017 ruling stated the burn pits were a military decision, not one made by KBR, Inc. He added that federal courts have no power to second-guess the executive branch’s wartime decisions, a precedent known as the political-question doctrine. Titus also held that “sovereign immunity,” which generally shields the federal government from being sued, extends to private contractors supporting the military in a combat zone.

Attorney Susan Burke, representing the servicemembers and families, has asked the 4th Circuit court to reverse Titus’s ruling, allowing the cases to move forward.

Items burned included: batteries, medical waste, amputated body parts, plastics, ammunition, human waste, animal carcasses, rubber, chemicals, & more.

Burke said KBR operated burn pits at 119 locations when it only had permission to use the pits at 18 sites. Warren Harris, KBR’s attorney, said that KBR operated only 31 burn pits, and the remainder of them were operated by the military.

The health issues include lung diseases such as life-threatening constrictive bronchiolitis and cancer, as well as a range of diseases including gastrointestinal disorders and neurological problems. It is believed that at least 12 service members have died from illnesses caused by the burn pits.

For years, veterans’ advocates have been pushing the Veterans Administration (VA) to adopt burn-pit exposure as a presumptive-service connected disability. The VA has denied many of their claims, concluding there is not enough evidence to link burn pits to their illnesses.

 

Military Connection: Study ties Veteran Suicide to Early Separations

military suicide

By Debbie Gregory.

A recent study found that there is no link between military/Veteran suicides and deployments, but surprisingly, connects high suicide rates to early separation.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Defense’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2). The researchers collected data on the 3.9 million men and women who served in the U.S. military between October, 2001, through December, 2009, during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The research found that even though the suicide rate among these service members had increased, the rate for those among them who deployed to a combat zone were not much different than those who did not deploy.

For the study, researchers reviewed the records of all personnel who served from Oct. 7, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2007, using materials obtained from the Defense Manpower Data Center, as well as death records from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner system and the National Death Index.

The research found that 3,945,099 individuals served during this time period. They also found that of the 31,962 of these individuals who have died during the six-year study, 5,041 of them were documented suicides. Of the suicides, 3,879 of them were committed by individuals who did not deploy.

The study found that service members who were at the highest risk for suicide were those who served for less than their full enlistment in the military. There was apparently an extremely high suicide rate among those who served for less than three years. The T2 research also found that the suicide rate among those who served less than a year, between 2001 and 2009, was two and half times greater than those who complete a full enlistment.

The research was designed to determine why these individuals were more prone to suicide. But the researchers do speculate, based on combining their data with previous research, that secondary problems (such as legal matters, injuries, substance abuse or mental health conditions) may have led to their early separation from the military and could have also contributed to their suicidal tendencies.

But for some, it could have been the transition itself that led them to take their own life. With separation from the military comes the loss of identity, loss of social support network, trouble finding meaningful and sustainable employment, or feeling like they don’t fit or are a burden to their loved ones or on society.

For more about the study visit the T2 website.

For more information on Veteran suicides or to seek help for yourself or a Veteran in crisis visit www.veteranscrisisline.net or call 1(800) 273- 8255 [then press 1] or text 838255.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Great News for Veterans Suffering from TBI

TBI Rehab

By Debbie Gregory.

On April 13, 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the contract recipients for the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (AL-TBI) program.

The AL-TBI program was originally slated to end in 2014. But provisions in the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 extended this program through October, 2017. Through the AL-TBI program, Veterans who meet the eligibility criteria are placed in private sector residential care facilities that specialize in neurobehavioral rehabilitation. Veterans in the program are provided with team-based care and assistance in many cognitive areas, including mobility, speech and memory.

To date, approximately 202 Veterans have participated in the AL-TBI program at 47 different facilities located in 22 different states. As of April, 2015, there are 101 Veterans enrolled in the AL-TBI program. And thanks to the extension through the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability act of 2014, the VA continues to accept new Veterans into the program.

In October, 2014, the VA issued a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to all vendors (in this instance to care facilities) who wished to participate in the AL-TBI program. The VA awarded 20 contracts, effective April 1, 2015, to companies and organizations that have facilities in a total of 27 different states.

“We are pleased to extend this valuable program and provide specialized assisted living services to eligible Veterans with traumatic brain injury that will enhance their rehabilitation, quality of life and community integration,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health, “TBI is one of the prevalent wounds of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and VA remains committed to taking care of those Veterans suffering from TBI.”

Veterans suffering from TBI as a result of injuries sustained through service to their country deserve the best care that we can provide. The continuation of the Al-TBI program and the awarding of these 20 contracts reaffirms our support to those Veterans and their families.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Great News for Veterans Suffering from TBI: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: DOD Awards $2 Million Grant for PTSD Research

SGB

By Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded a $2 million grant to RTI International, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.

The DOD grant will allow RTI International to lead the first randomized, controlled trials of a procedure to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms by injecting an anesthetic into the nerve tissue at the base of the patient’s neck. Initial research has found basis to believe that the procedure, called Stellate Ganglion Block, has the potential to relieve PTSD symptoms. The procedure is intended to block the sympathetic nerve system in order to relieve the physical stress that is associated with instances of PTSD symptoms. In other words, this procedure combats the “fight or flight” feeling that is associated with PTSD.

Stellate Ganglion Block has been in use for about 100 years, mostly for treating chronic pain of the limbs. Only in the last few years has the procedure been used as a treatment for PTSD symptoms. The use of Stellate Ganglion Block is not being proposed as a cure for PTSD; raher, a way to alleviate symptoms. The traumatic experiences that caused the disorder will not be erased from the PTSD sufferer’s mind. But the procedure will help relieve the anxiety that the memories of those traumatic experiences cause.

As part of RTI International’s three year study, three military hospitals were chosen: Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany; Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, in California. The three facilities were chosen because they had previously used Stellate Ganglion Block to treat PTSD, on a limited basis. The study will enroll 250 active duty service members who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

For the study, participants will receive two injections, two weeks apart. The injections will be followed by mental health assessments that will be conducted at weeks 4, 6 and 8. The assessments will include a qualitative component to gather impressions of the procedure from the patients, their families, behavioral therapists and psychiatrists. The study will also use a placebo control group that will receive injections of saline.

Unfortunately, PTSD is an affliction that is rampant in the military community. It has been estimated that as many as 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans suffer from the disorder. For the most part, prescribed treatments for PTSD included a lot of prescription drugs. The heavy use of drugs does little to treat the patient, and more often than not leads to other mental and physical health problems, including substance abuse of these very same prescribed drugs.

Proponents of Stellate Ganglion Block claim that the procedure is a low-risk injection that has very few negative side effects.

Our service members and Veterans deserve the very best treatment for whatever ails them. If any new procedure or method of care arises that could improve the lives of those who serve, then those procedures and methods should be given a chance.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: DOD Awards $2 Million Grant for PTSD Research: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Embracing Your Veteran Culture

Veterans

By Joe Silva

So many Veterans today are suffering– alone. Veterans from all eras are struggling from afflictions such as PTSD or a service-connected disability, or from unemployment, underemployment, lack of fulfillment in their civilian lives, and just the general pressures of life.

Military conditioning teaches service members not to share personal problems, to keep things inside, and deal with them on their own. But once they separate, too many Veterans carry on that mentality. While putting aside your problems for the sake of your unit was a necessary sacrifice of your service, it is unhealthy for Veterans to continue to go it alone. That is why Veterans are encouraged to congregate with fellow Vets as much as they can.

U.S. Military Veterans have a suicide rate of 22 per day. In many cases, suicide is seen as the only option for those who feel alone in their struggle. But why feel alone, when your comrades are there, and are probably experiencing many of the same challenges?

Veterans are encouraged to seek community in any way that suits their comfortzone. There are Veteran Service Organizations that offer a sense of Veteran comradery, patriotism, and social belonging. These organizations also exist to assist Veterans with obtaining their benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other government entities. This assistance is free, and does not require the Veteran in need to be a member of their organization. These organizations include: The American Legion, AMVets, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Membership in these organizations can require dues, volunteer work and social commitment. And not every Veteran is willing to dedicate their time energy or money to a club, which is fine. These Veterans are encouraged to still seek out Veteran community in other ways.

One of the most convenient ways to connect with other Veterans is through social media groups. There are dozens of Veteran and service member groups that are both paid member websites or free groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites. Some groups are general, while others can be branch or even command specific. But these groups are a great way to connect with other Veterans who have been through what you’ve been through. Whether you are interested in catching up with your old service buddies to reminisce about the glory days, seeking advice from comrades, or professionally networking, these groups are great for Veterans who don’t want to feel alone.

Believe it or not, Veterans are members of an American culture all their own. This culture has its own values, belief systems language and experiences. Veterans are encouraged not to shrug off their culture, but embrace it. Just like how people feel more at ease with others who share their religion or ethnicity, many Veterans feel more at ease with members of their own Veteran culture.

If you are a Veteran, make sure that you are embracing your culture and connecting with other Veterans.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Embracing Your Veteran Culture: By Joe Silva

Military Connection: Study Finds that Veterans Need Support to Cope

veteran_family

By Debbie Gregory.

A recent study has revealed that Veteran students have a difficult time overcoming the use of avoidance coping strategies, often linked to anxiety and depression. Using avoidance coping strategies means that one minimizes or completely ignores negative thoughts or emotions. But with the support of their families and friends, they increase their probability for success.

The study was conducted by the Veterans Experiencing the Transition to Students (VETS) project, which is directed by Dr. Shelley Riggs, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Texas (UNT). For the study, 165 Veterans, from every military branch, who are currently attending one of three universities in Texas were surveyed. Of these students, 117 of them had been deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Veteran participants were surveyed about psychological symptoms, including PTSD, depression and anxiety. The Veteran students were also asked questions in regards to other aspects of their lives, including questions about their adjustment to college life, their sense of connection to their college communities, their coping styles, personal and romantic relationships, and their support networks.

The findings of the data collected through the survey showed that Veterans had a tendency to rely on avoidance coping strategies for stress. This type of coping strategy is prevalent (and, at times, is necessary) for service members who have missions to accomplish. But for those who have separated, the continued use of this type of coping strategy is often tied with anxiety and depression, and tends to interfere with a Veteran’s successful adaptation and psychological functioning in a school setting.

The study also found that Veterans who used problem-focused coping strategies, such as identifying problematic stress, and then took the necessary measures to resolve or overcome it, reported significantly lower levels of depression and generalized anxiety symptoms. But this was only successful in the cases who reported high levels of emotional support from family members.

Having a healthy support network has been found to be a vital component to the success of transitioning Veterans, in school, in the workplace and in their homes. Veterans need to make sure that they keep the lines of communication with their family and close friends open.

Like the message found in the popular song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Veterans should remind themselves that they, too, can get by with a little help from their friends… and family.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Study Finds that Veterans Need Support to Cope: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Bill to Improve Mental Health in the US Military

Mental Health

By Debbie Gregory.

In April, 2014, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers (MEPS) Act, S. 2231, into the U.S. Senate. The bill was read twice and then referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services. From there, the bill never gained traction and has remained buried within the committee.

On March 4, 2015 Sen. Portman teamed up with Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) to introduce the MEPS Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill that aims to improve mental health services for service members from the start of their enlistment.

The MEPS Act would call for the secretaries for each branch of the military to develop and maintain programs that would provide potential recruits with a mental health assessment before they join through enlistment or commission. The result of this initial assessment is to be used solely as a baseline for any mental health treatment that arises as result of their service. It is not intended to be used to disqualify recruits from joining, being promoting, or approved for military assignments.

If approved, the bill would also require the DOD to provide another mental health screening to each service member within 180 days of their separation from active duty. The DOD would be required to report the results to Congress. The DOD would also be required to give each service member an electronic copy of their entire treatment record at the time of separation.

Between 2000 and 2014, more than 300,000 service members, from every branch, were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. As many as twenty percent of Veterans from this same time period have been estimated to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Too many of our men and women in uniform still suffer from the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and behavioral health conditions,” Sen. Portman said in a statement. “While we’ve made great strides in the way we treat these invisible wounds of war, the steady persistence of this problem demonstrates the need for more action.”

The MEPS Act is reportedly being endorsed by many Veterans organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Reserve Officers Association, National Military Family Association, Association of the U.S. Navy, the National Guard Association of the United States, and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Bill to Improve Mental Health in the US Military: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: New Funding for Medical Marijuana PTSD Study

medical marijuana

On December 17, 2014, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment approved a $7.6 million measure to provide for eight medical marijuana studies.

Included in the eight studies is a $2 million grant to research the effectiveness of marijuana to treat Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which was co-sponsored by the California-based nonprofit, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

The founder/executive director of MAPS, Rick Doblin, called the award a “big step forward for cannabis science and medicine.”

The research for a PTSD marijuana treatment study initially received approval last March from the federal Health and Human Services Department. The study was scheduled to get underway at the University of Arizona and other locations within a year. But the program was delayed after the school terminated the contract of the primary researcher, Dr. Sue Sisley, in July. Sisley and MAPS have worked for over four years to develop and win federal approval for the study.

The funding provided by the state of Colorado will help support the study, consisting of 76 Veteran volunteers, at two different sites. One site will be in Arizona with Dr. Sisley, although the exact location has not yet been determined. The other will take place at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, under the direction of Ryan Vandrey. The coordination and scientific integrity of the study will be managed by Dr. Paula Riggs from the  University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Marcel Bonn-Miller from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

The protocol for the study calls for Veterans with PTSD to be divided into groups, and receive the equivalent of two joints a day to either smoke or inhale by vaporization. Each participant will then submit weekly observations, and confirm that he or she had followed protocols.

As part of the federal government’s requirements for the study, MAPS must buy Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)-licensed marijuana, which is controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and that the marijuanais of the correct potency of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol needed for the research. Also, MAPS will need DEA approval, once it receives a delivery date for the marijuana.

The approval of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use has been a staple of political debates for decades. There have been strong opinions and points made for both sides of the argument. But the use of marijuana as a treatment for PTSD could sway those who were previously opposed to its use, as the alternative, use of opioids, have done little to nothing to combat the disorder. Much like drinking whiskey for a toothache, the opioids just numb the pain temporarily and don’t fix the problem. Medical marijuana may, or may not, be the answer. But Veterans who suffer from the service-connected disorder deserve the chance to determine whether it is or not.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: New Funding for Medical Marijuana PTSD Study: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: New Navy/USMC Health Website: By Debbie Gregory

WII Website

Early in December, the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) announced the launch of its revamped Wounded, Ill, and Injured (WII) website as part of its ongoing Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) program.

The newly designed WII website is intended to support the Department of the Navy’s commitment to care for Sailors and Marines recovering from wounds, illnesses, or injuries, regardless of where and when they were sustained.

The website provides Sailors and Marines with information, links to resources, and helpful tools that offer support through their healing, rehabilitation and recovery. The site offers its users direct, one-click access to links that provide the following resources: Active Living for WII, Caregiver Support, Case Management, Healthy Eating for WII, Integrative and Complementary Medicine, Injury & Violence Free Living for WII, Life After an Amputation, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychological & Emotional Well-Being for WII, Relationships & Intimacy, Sleep for WII, Substance Use & Misuse, Tobacco Free Living for WII, Traumatic Brain Injury, Weight Management for WII, and a Will Toolbox.

The health and wellness topics provided on the site go along with the priorities outlined in the National Prevention Strategy, including healthier living, holistic care, weight management and substance abuse.

Many of the site’s resources also focus on helping health educators, providers, and case managers reach the WII audience, while the practical tools aim at equipping WII service members in their daily battle for healing and recovery. The tools span six key topics: nutrition, relationships and intimacy, caregiver support, depression, sleep and integrative and complementary medicine.

But the WII site is available for anyone. If you or someone you know is wounded, ill or injured, be sure to refer them to the WII website at http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/wounded-ill-and-injured/Pages/wii.aspx and link them to information they might need to know about resources that they didn’t know were available to them.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: New Navy/USMC Health Website: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Medical Marijuana for PTSD? By Debbie Gregory

Medical Marijuana

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contends that approximately 20% of the 2.8 million American Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan now suffer from ailments such as PTSD and depression. Through their VA medical and psychological care, nearly one million Veterans have been prescribed opioids to treat their conditions. More than half of these Veterans continue to use their prescribed medications beyond 90 days. Currently, there is legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that could allow marijuana to be prescribed as medication for anxiety and stress disorders.

The Veterans Equal Access Act of 2014 H.R. 5762 was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and is intended to challenge the VA’s current policy regarding the use of marijuana, even if recreational or medical marijuana is legal in a particular state.

Currently, the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the same as LSD and heroin, and deems that the drug has no accepted medical use, and has a high potential for abuse. This stance makes it impossible for the VA, a federal department that runs the largest network of hospitals and health clinics in the country, to prescribe marijuana as a treatment. The VA, abiding in accordance with current federal law, maintains that its physicians and chronic-pain specialists “are prohibited from recommending and prescribing medical marijuana for PTSD or other pain-related issues.”

Meanwhile, researchers in the United States and several other countries have found evidence that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, pain and anxiety. Currently, 23 states permit medical marijuana use, including Oregon and California. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C. have all passed legislation legalizing recreational use, thus legalizing marijuana, with restrictions that vary state to state.

The Veterans Equal Access Act was referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on November 20th, and then referred to the Subcommittee on Health on November 25th.

The long and short of the matter is that there are a lot of Veterans suffering from service-connected ailments and disorders. No matter what an individual’s personal belief about a substance is, it should be universally agreed upon that Veterans deserve access to any and all procedures, treatments and medications that will make them well, or have the potential to improve their conditions.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Medical Marijuana for PTSD? By Debbie Gregory