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January 18, 2012     Portola Reporter
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8B Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter VET TP.hX MIKE McLOD Division Director, Veterans Services Some time ago I wrote about illnesses and conditions vets might have encountered while serving in the Persian Gulf. As the conflicts overseas continue and the veterans re- turn, the Veterans Adminis- tration is realizing that it is not adequately prepared to deal with the aftermath. How- ever, the VA is stating that veterans of the Persian Gulf War with undiagnosed ill- nesses have an additional five years to qualify for benefits. for benefits ana post-trc:ur,00,g :ic s Secretary of Veterans Af- fairs Eric K. Shinseki is quot- ed as saying, "Not all the wounds of war are fully un- derstood. When there is un- certainty about the connec- tion between a medical prob- lem and military service, vet- erans are entitled to the bene- fit of the doubt." A change in VA regulations affects vets and their time in Southwest Asia. Many have at- tributed a range of undiag- nosed or poorly understood medical problems to their mili- tary services possibly caused by chemical weapons, environ- mental hazards and vaccina- tions. Based on the current VA rules, any undiagnosed illness- es used to establish eligibility for VA benefits must have be- come apparent by Dec. 31, 2011. The new change pushes the date back to Dec. 31, 2016.. This is an excellent opportu- nity for vets to tell their friends and others who might be affect- ed of the change, and to encour- age vets to talk to their local vet- erans services representatives at the county or state level. Post-traumatic stress disor: der (PTSD) -- I've written about this issue in the past, but now more of the destruc- tive effects of PTSD have come to light, even though the information has not widely been publicized in the media. It is believed that one of every five veterans serving in Afghanistan or Iraq suffers from PTSD. Sadly, many cases go unreported or unrecog- nized. This figure doesn't in- clude members of the general population who can also suffer from PTSD -- it's attributed to L, rl  v more than just combat! I've also mentioned some information about the corn- mitment of our service per- sonnel. Their impact is felt personally and locally. PTSD and its aftermath bear similar characteristics -- more than the person directly affected are impacted. ]:n what is referred to as sec- ondary post-traumatic stress disorder, and now sometimes compassion fatigue, many who provide services, treat- ment or simply live with an individual suffering from PTSD also experience similar symptoms and the fallout. Those who have been recog- nized as suffering secondary trauma include wives, chil- dren, friends of children, brothers, sisters and care- givers. Many of those dealing with PTSD sufferers include family members, therapists, social workers, emergency personnel and law enforce- mentpersonnel. All of these can also be affected. The bottom line -- caring too much can hurt. The top of the list of symptoms includes apa- thy, isolation, bottled up or un- controllable emotions and sub- stance abuse. However, just like PTSD, there are also other symptoms and destructive be- haviors. Information now avail- able shows how the empathy, bonding and interaction with those traumatized frequently causes a harmful reaction in those subjects trying to help. Recognizing the symptoms can assist a caregiver or com- panion from becoming part of the cycle or adopting their own detrimental behavior. s di, s()00'aer Family members and care- givers have some of the same symptoms as those diagnosed with PTSD. With so many returning from conflict and being diag- nosed with PTSD, the mental health system finds itself over- whelmed, and now the true impact is being felt through- out the community. Many sup- port groups and facilities exist to help those who have been diagnosed or feel they have PTSD or secondary PTSD. It is about time to be fully aware of the impact on our veterans and caregivers. Trying to rec- ognize the symptoms-can help in avoiding the wrong choice and destructive behavior. For more information, con- tact Mike McLeod, your Vet- erans Services representa- tive, today at 283-6275. LETTERS, from page 7B receive messages, for in- stance, ensures there is no way to see facial expressions or read body language that provide context. Internet trips into cyberspace may be dangerous with expo- sure to images and stories that kids aren't ready for. I'm espe- cially concerned about sites that depict acts of violence,-that promote racism and pornogra- phy, anti-Semitism and hatred towards various groups. Other sites advocate the use of alco- hol, tobacco and illegal drugs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, doc- tors and parents need to wake up to how modern social me- dia affects children: "Kids can be insecure in general and Facebook can heighten those anxieties to a huge degree." Along with cyberbullying, Facebook depression arises when children have their "friend requests" rejected and see photos of classmates hav- ing fun without them. Sixty million Americans suffer from loneliness that is chronic. Today our youth are pretty much left on their own, subject to the consumer and advertising predations of cor- porations. Onto this landscape, Face- book, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn erupted, exerting an influence more powerful than some people might think. When online connections sub- stitute for face-to-face ones, users become lonelier and more depressed. The young people of today know only a world of rampant technologies and are not con- necting fully to family, commu- nity or nature. If you don't feel connected, valued or supported, of course you'll be depressed. The technological revolution of the past three decades is pri- marily a means for creating wealth for corporate America. Socially, it's an experiment which is doomed to fail, hope- fully before it negatively im- pacts too many young lives. Don Dailey Quincy ...... SudOku Pu; 1 2 3 4 6 7 3 7 5 4 8 1 9 6 9 2 2 8 3 7 Interesting twist I wonder how many Ameri- cans are aware of the fact that while our Occupiers were be- ing brutally treated, arrested and evicted from their protesting encampments, the Russian protestors that occu- pied Moscow by the thou- sands on Dec. 10 were being treated with kid gloves. In fact, the mayor of Moscow even provided free bus rides for protestors who had ar- rived at the wrong location. Russian TV had a wonder- ful time showing film clips contrasting our treatment of our protestors to their treat- ment of their protestors. In an interesting twist, the Russians have taken us to task for our violation of hu- man rights. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Assault on democracy Two years ago, our conserv- ative Supreme Court took it upon itself to declare that "corporations are people" and "money is speech." This is the 6 5 4 Difficult 3 8 9 1 iiiiiiiiiiiiiii!ii!ii U N S C O _&_.R TA E'M II u N I,IE IEI N IRIS Sudoku Solution #2410-D 61 8923754 74958126,3 ,3 2 5 4 6 7 9 81 1 96348527 4326751 98 85721 9436 2831 94675 971 856342 56473281 9 i i iiiiiii!i:!!!ii iiii:/il ii:iiiii ii!!ii i iiiiii!ili!i]iiii!ii iii!ili ii ilili: !i:ili infamous case. The Supreme Court ar- gued that the First Amend- ment protects corporations and labor unions in the same way as people to spend money to influence elections. The corporatist Supreme Court mandated that the orig- inal complaint be expanded so that they could rule on corpo- rate free speech. Congress has never approved a bill giving corporations personhood and no such law exists. Yet, the activist Supreme Court liter- ally laid down law to further the rule by corporations. You don't have to be a con- stitutional scholar to know how absurd this ruling is. Common sense tells us that only "people are people." Cor- porations and other such enti- ties' existence are derived from law. And the Constitu- tion gives only Congress the authority to regulate com- merce. The purpose of the ruling was to give even more power to the rich and corporations. Corporations can use their Citizens United vast cash reserves to sway elections for or against a candidate. A Las Vegas bil- lionaire donated $5 million to Gingrich. If Gingrich were to become president, do you think your $50 donation has any weight compared to $5 million? This was just one example --substitute your candidate of choice. Who do you think they care about -- you or the million dollar donors? This is an assault on our democracy that every- one must fight. This adverse- ly affects Democrats, Inde- pendents and Republicans equally. The only means to overtui-n this decision is through a con- stitutional amendment. Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced such an amendment. Move- toamend.org has organized a one-day Occupy the Courts event. Come join us on Jan. 20, from 3 p.m. to dark, for a nonpartisan, peaceful show of solidarity at Dame Shirley Park in Quincy. Mark Mihevc Graeagle Lost craft I read with great interest your article on Kest Porter of Indian Valley and his arc welding craft. My father, Bill Wattenburg Sr., better known as Pop, was an arc welder and a logger in Greenville for many years. Your photo of Kest at work in his shop with his helmet on brought back so many memories of my pop outside in his shop at all hours with sparks flying and metal blending. The difference was, Pop was keeping his equipment repaired while doing some amazing work with heavy pieces of metal. People came from far and wide to have him weld something that oth- erwise would not be re- pairable. Arc welding is almost a lost craft, but one of the most in- tricate and time consuming because it takes the patience of a saint and the hand of a sculptor. Great article! Nansi Bohne Quincy ACROSS 1. Guy's partner 4. Blue-haired Simpson 9. Sci-fi villain _ Vader 14. Regret bitterly 15. Winning, for the moment 16. Kind of acid in protein 17. Prepare for war 18. Did a 440 or a 5K 19. Chophouse selection 20. "The Liberator" of South America 23. Close call 24. "Of course!" 25. Workplace watchdog org. 29. Belgian songsmith Jacques 31. Singer Sheena 33. Moldavia or Azerbaijan, once: Abbr. 36. Hair-care purchases 39. Something tasty 40. The Beaver, formally 44, _ bird special 45. Peau de  (silk cloth) 46. Language suffix 47. Artful dodger 49. Maneuver carefully 52. Phnom , Cambodia 53. Blissful state 56. Antipasto morsel 60. "Future Shock" author 63. He was Ben in "Bonanza" 66. Country singer Black 67. Discount rack abbr. Chipmunk-y Business I ! I 14 17 .0 !I .3 ! American Profile Homelown Content 68. Where you live 69. Supporter of the ads? 70. Press into service 71. Capital of Belarus 72. Scatterbrained 73. Club DOWN I. Hula skirt material 2. Containing gold 3. Auxiliary theorem 4. Eliot's Silas 5. Melville's whaler 6. Pistols, when fired 7. Some Celts 8. Ace Rickenbacker 9. Flash drive filler 10. Food of the gods 11. South American cruise stop 12. Network that's now Spike 13. Weeder's need 21. Regalia item 22. Churchillian gesture 26. Barrel piece 27. Puts an edge on 28. Conductor Previn 30. Freudian topic 32. Hadrian's "Hail!" 33. Tough to climb, perhaps 34. Excise the stubble 35. Aired again 37. Name of 13 popes 38. Fahrenheit or Faraday 41. Seasoned pros 42. Batiking need 43. Pastoral spot 1t8/2012 48. Ministerial nickname 50. p, to a pianist 51. Arctic drudge 54. Cut into cubes 55. China's Zhou __ 57. Pelvic bone 58. Chapter's partner 59. Blew it 61. Chive kin 62. Vending machine input 63. Hasty escape 64. Kimono accessory 65. '90s Secretary of Commerce Brown lal