Take A Hard Look At The Bloody Reality of Suicide

Take A Hard Look At The Bloody Reality of Suicide

We’re Not Meeting the Real Challenge of Postvention

It getting more and more obvious, thinking and acting on Veteran suicide prevention is more than just the right thing to do. It’s the easiest thing to do. Focusing on the living and trying to reverse the rising rates of suicide makes everyone feel better. But the truth is, suicide rates are rising among Veterans. And that means that more and more Veteran families are stuck with cleaning up the aftermath. We have to look at what happens right after a Veteran suicide and help them. It’s not easy to look at: Dad killing himself in the living room with his service revolver, but we must.

magic mental health mushroom

Often, families are right there when the Veteran kills himself. PTSD kills one, and in this Veteran home, infects 3 more in one shot.

Suicides in Front of Family Are Common

On March 9, 2021, a 12-year Veteran with PTSD rampaged in the living room of their rented house. Flashing back to his days on the battlefield, this Veteran belived his wife and eldest daughter, 15, were attacking him. He fought back. They fought back. No one can be too sure how long this went on for. Somehow, it ended and the Veteran drifted back into reality. He had just tried to kill his wife and one of his five kids.

Stuffing a revolver into his mouth, both this wife and daughter watched as he blew out the back of his head. His one and only son was also aware of the madness. Luckily, he was on the other side of the door and was spared the hard and ugly death of his father. But that doesn’t mean we should look away.

We have to put ourselves in the same position as the family in the setting above. This sort of thing happens 22 times a day, probably more as the numbers are on the rise. Prevention comes in a myriad of forms, from dogs to horses to pills. Postvention only comes in one varitey. It’s a hard knock for a family that didn’t deserve to have their service committment end in a bloody mess in their own home.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

Links for More Information:

 

Postvention Veteran Suicide To-Do Checklist

Postvention Veteran Suicide To-Do Checklist

How To Manage the Minutes and Hours After a Veteran Suicide

Postvention is what called after veteran suicide prevention fails. This failure is usually discovered by a family member. Natural reactions such as shock and the fight or flight response kick in. Once the initial shock simmers, other less natural reactions take over. The urge to call the police, the EMTs and then a funeral home. But what is really happening in those calls will set the course for the rest of the burial process. And they may not be in your best interest. This checklist for what to do after a veteran suicide is one of our most effective tools in limiting the scars of a veteran suicide. See why we’ve chosen this as our mission.

Coroner or Medical Examiner  – make sure you tell them that your loved one was a Veteran. The VA Report on Military Suicides needs better information next time they update it. This will help.

Did they have a PTSD or depression diagnosis? Request that they put that on the death certificate.

Don’t Rush to a Funeral Home – Coroners or Medical Examiners will hold the body for up to 2 months. Once you pick a funeral home and whether to cremate or not, you’re locked into their service or pay a large transfer fee. We have experience in negotiation on your behalf.

Funeral Homes – Not a good fit for families we talk to. Professional but expensive. They’re also cash and carry – some won’t let you see your loved one until their bill is paid-in-full.

Life Insurance Payouts – Most funeral homes will offer to act as a holding/transfer agent for you with the insurance company. They will subtract their fees for your service out of yourmoney. Ask if they charge for that. Don’t like their answer? Contact your agent directly. Their response times can vary significantly.

Biohazard Clean Up – Homeowners insurance may be able to pay or repay the biohazard clean up costs. Landlords or management companies may also have this insurance.

Funeral Homes – Can be helpful, but they are in business to make as much money as possible no matter the circumstances. They should be able to connect with a crematorium if they don’t have one on-site or locally. Many don’t offer that service on-site

Direct Cremations – “A direct cremation all included” is exactly what you should ask for. It is the most affordable service with ashes delivered in one or more urns. Urns start at $75.

Other Financial Resources

County Social Services – Every county in America has a social services office. Call them. They often can help with reasonable funerals, psychadelic.

Local Military Nonprofits – Start with the branch related to your Veteran served. 

Local Faith-Based Outreach Groups

TD Foundation
www.TDFoundation.org

They grant modest financial aid like us, and they focus on children’s needs, so reaching out to them if you have kids may turn out good. Check out their website and you want to talk to Tom Deierlein – Co-Founder.

Military Aid Society offers grants and loans interest free to retired Veterans. There are two main MASs.

Army Emergency Relief (AER)
7117 Baltzell Ave. Bldg. 7
Ft. Benning, GA
(706) 545-4043 

Contact: Lionel Grant – Military Aid Society

Navy and Marines
There is an equivalent and that information is coming soon.

Go Fund Me – Consider starting a Go Fund Me page. Other families have had success here. Hit or miss but definitely worth the time invested.

Emotional Healing

Your emotional healing may never be complete, but on our site we offer free and drug-free ways to clear your mind and find some peace. Here are some links below to get you started and feel free to roam our blog and the rest of our site for anything that may help.

Click here for PTSD and depression options.

David Lynch Foundation Resilient Warrior Program for learning Transcendental Meditation. 4 in-person lesson. They are currently revising this program during the pandemic.

TAPS.ORG – they are the largest in the nation and it may take a while to hear back from them.

The WATCH Program at 22 Kill – this is a newer program that is similar to Taps’ networking opportunities.

Please feel free to stay in touch in any way that makes you feel better. 

May you find the peace you deserve.

Can One Single Dose Of Magic Mushrooms Be A PTSD-Killer?

Can One Single Dose Of Magic Mushrooms Be A PTSD-Killer?

More Research Findings in Favor of Magic Mushrooms

They didn’t have PTSD and they are not Veterans, but Native American tribes and Mexican tribes have known the secret of how to kill PTSD for years. Small groups online, and in real life, also know. Once A Soldier advocates that it is time to shine a bright and clear light on this hidden gem of a secret. Magic mushrooms grow naturally all around us and has “magical” effects on rewiring your brain. It’s not secret that current PTSD and veteran suicide prevention methods are working. Magic mushrooms are extremely effective in treated those with mental health issues.

Veterans with PTSD who are killing themselves need fast-tracked access and locally-supplied sources. Once A Soldier believes that magic mushrooms, when microdosed, can kill PTSD. Many Veterans agree as our recent blog post confirms.

magic mental health mushroom

Psilocybin — the active component in so-called “magic” mushrooms — has been shown to have profound and long-lasting effects on personality and mood. But the mechanisms behind these effects remain unclear. Researchers at Copenhagen University were interested in whether changes in neuroplasticity in brain regions associated with emotional processing could help explain psilocybin’s antidepressant effects.

Here is the abstract from their published research findings. No, I don’t understand much of it either, that’s why we include the link to the research paper itself, as well as a link to the more consumer-friendly online article. 

“A single dose of psilocybin, a psychedelic and serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) agonist, may be associated with antidepressant effects. The mechanism behind its antidepressive action is unknown but could be linked to increased synaptogenesis and down-regulation of cerebral 5-HT2AR. Here, we investigate if a single psychedelic dose of psilocybin changes synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) and 5-HT2AR density in the pig brain. Twenty-four awake pigs received either 0.08 mg/kg psilocybin or saline intravenously. Twelve pigs (n = 6/intervention) were euthanized one day post-injection, while the remaining twelve pigs were euthanized seven days post-injection (n = 6/intervention). We performed autoradiography on hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) sections with [3H]UCB-J (SV2A), [3H]MDL100907 (5-HT2AR antagonist) and [3H]Cimbi-36 (5-HT2AR agonist). One day post psilocybin injection, we observed 4.42% higher hippocampal SV2A density and lowered hippocampal and PFC 5-HT2AR density (−15.21% to −50.19%). These differences were statistically significant in the hippocampus for all radioligands and in the PFC for [3H]Cimbi-36 only. Seven days post-intervention, there was still significantly higher SV2A density in the hippocampus (+9.24%) and the PFC (+6.10%), whereas there were no longer any differences in 5-HT2AR density. Our findings suggest that psilocybin causes increased persistent synaptogenesis and an acute decrease in 5-HT2AR density, which may play a role in psilocybin’s antidepressive effects.”

What Veterans Say About Magic Mushrooms 

“I actually use CBD gummies to help me sleep and CBD lotion on my shoulder where I was wounded. It works so damn well. The gummies are amazing. I don’t have to take my Prazosin anymore and the massage oils and lotion I use works wonders on my shoulder and my ankle I broke 6 years ago. I’m not a pothead by any means but marijuana as a whole has changed my life and bettered it. I don’t have to eat opiates like I used to and I don’t have to get fucked up to make it work. I do smoke a bit but just when I need a boost to help me eat when I’m having a bad day. It is literally a medicine to me. Fuck big pharma.”

“Mushrooms saved my life.”

“People have this misconception that trips are all about having fun, giggling and laughing, etc. It can be. Personally, I hate tripping. It’s uncomfortable, I feel like shit, I get sick, and it’s terrifying. That being said, I’m able to work some shit out that I otherwise couldn’t have. I only touch that shit when I’m not doing great emotionally and need a reset.”

“I do microdose on occasion. Nothing more than 0.3 of a gram. Maybe once a month. I cannot notice any effects except that my aggression seems to be mitigated. People that use them to trip are just out for a good time and all this negative press of them have severely hampered the acceptance and research of hallucinogens as a medication.”

“Yeah, I did that for a while as well. Really helped with my anxiety, but when I went in on a few grams, I stopped having anxiety and panic attacks completely after the fact.

It’s worth mentioning that that particular experience was terrifying as fuck, extremely uncomfortable, and exhausting and I haven’t touched them since simply because I haven’t needed to.”

“That’s how you know they work and are non-addictive. There’s this great natural organism we can consume to help us, but it’s also illegal. If one dose can cure you and you never feel the need to take it again, where’s the money?”

Psychelics Glossary

Psychedelics, also known as psychedelic drugs, hallucinogens, or hallucinogenic drugs are chemical substances that induce hallucinations and other sensory disturbances.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

Links for More Information:

 

VSOs Ask 2021 Congress To Fast Track Hallucinogenics

VSOs Ask 2021 Congress To Fast Track Hallucinogenics

Research and Results Power Their Requests

Over the course of two days, March 3-4, both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees convened a joint session over whether veterans should utilize psychedelics in their mental health treatment. Consisting of written testimony backing a policy change to expand access to or increase research on medical cannabis, multiple veteran service organizations, or VSOs, urged both committees to move faster on loosening restrictions. Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers. 22 and more a day. Enabling veterans to utilize psychedelics in their mental health treatment is a concept whose time has come.

With Congress recently killing a late 2020 bill to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, both houses are moving too slow for VSOs when it comes to psychedelics. Psychedelics, also known as psychedelic drugs, hallucinogens, or hallucinogenic drugs are chemical substances that induce hallucinations and other sensory disturbances.

soldier rests

At Thursday’s hearing, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) said she believes marijuana’s Schedule I status needs to be changed, and she asked the veterans group representatives to share their views on the issue.

Miller-Meeks won her seat by the slim margin of 6 votes.

The written testimony was from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Disabled American Veteran (DAV), Minority Veterans of America (MVA), Wounded Warriros and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA), remarked on how Rep. Miller-Meeks speaking out in favor of this idea was a big deal As a Republican and a doctor, her position will hopefully be a stepping stone towards a bipartisan agreement on this issue.

“For years, IAVA members have sounded off in support of researching and legalizing medical cannabis use for treating the wounds of war,” it saidciting member surveys on the issue. “Veterans consistently and passionately have communicated that cannabis offers effective help in tackling some of the most pressing injuries we face when returning from war.”

“Across party lines, medicinal cannabis has been rapidly increasing in support,” it continued. “Yet our national policies are outdated, research is lacking, and stigma persists.”

Disabled American Veteran (DAV) added “VA research into the efficacy of cannabis for treatment of service-connected veterans.”

After Takano’s panel voted last year to approved the research expansion bill and another piece of legislation to allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where it’s legal, the proposals died without a vote on the House floor.

In January, Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) filed a new bill to codify that VA doctors can discuss the risks and therapeutic potential of cannabis with their patients and to shield veterans from losing their government benefits over marijuana use. It has not yet been scheduled for any hearings or votes.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

Hallucinogens Beating PTSD Veterans Say

Hallucinogens Beating PTSD Veterans Say

Magic Mushrooms, Marijuana and More Used Successfully By Vets

Joints, gummies, CBD oil, ‘shrooms and stellate ganglion blocks (SGBs). In a recent discussion online, Veterans are reporting amazing results from these DIY meds. They’re beating their PTSD with them. Non-pharma options are working.

With Congress recently killing a late 2020 bill to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, Congress is moving too slow and out of touch of these hippy drugs. White men in their 60s and 70s are still laboring under the Nixon-era non-pharma drug attitudes. Recreational drugs have been a part of active duty mental health since the hell of Vietnam. With the ravages of PTSD hitting them every day, they’re taking matters into their own hands. Here’s a slice of their lives tripping out to save their own lives.

Psychedelics, also known as psychedelic drugs, hallucinogens, or hallucinogenic drugs are chemical substances that induce hallucinations and other sensory disturbances.

soldier rests

"Between weed and a stellate ganglion block, I don't suffer from PTSD hardly at all. Some breakthroughs, but I don't have to take the 8 medications the VA wants me on."

“I actually use CBD gummies to help me sleep and CBD lotion on my shoulder where I was wounded. It works so damn well. The gummies are amazing. I don’t have to take my Prazosin anymore and the massage oils and lotion I use works wonders on my shoulder and my ankle I broke 6 years ago. I’m not a pothead by any means but marijuana as a whole has changed my life and bettered it. I don’t have to eat opiates like I used to and I don’t have to get fucked up to make it work. I do smoke a bit but just when I need a boost to help me eat when I’m having a bad day. It is literally a medicine to me. Fuck big pharma.”

“Mushrooms saved my life.”

“People have this misconception that trips are all about having fun, giggling and laughing, etc. It can be. Personally, I hate tripping. It’s uncomfortable, I feel like shit, I get sick, and it’s terrifying. That being said, I’m able to work some shit out that I otherwise couldn’t have. I only touch that shit when I’m not doing great emotionally and need a reset.”

“I do microdose on occasion. Nothing more than 0.3 of a gram. Maybe once a month. I cannot notice any effects except that my aggression seems to be mitigated. People that use them to trip are just out for a good time and all this negative press of them have severely hampered the acceptance and research of hallucinogens as a medication.”

“Yeah, I did that for a while as well. Really helped with my anxiety, but when I went in on a few grams, I stopped having anxiety and panic attacks completely after the fact.

This Back and Forth:

It’s worth mentioning that that particular experience was terrifying as fuck, extremely uncomfortable, and exhausting and I haven’t touched them since simply because I haven’t needed to.”

“That’s how you know they work and are non-addictive. There’s this great natural organism we can consume to help us, but it’s also illegal. If one dose can cure you and you never feel the need to take it again, where’s the money?”

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

Rutherford Reintroduces PAWS Act

Rutherford Reintroduces PAWS Act

Congress Out of Ideas To Deal With PTSD and Veteran Suicide

On the heels of the 2020 Moran Act appropriating funds anew for PTSD veteran services organizations, Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL-04) announced the reintroduction of H.R. 1022, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2021, which will increase access to Service Dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Rutherford’s PAWS Act, previously killed because there is not evidence from the VA research that shows they stop PTSD, establishes a competitive grant program through the Department of Veterans Affairs for organizations to pair service dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD. Instead of dealing with the harsher reality of postvention and the causes of PTSD, Rutherford and Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Michael Waltz (R-FL-06), Al Lawson (D-FL-05), and Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) continue to push forward feel-good legislation with strictly limited success and reach. Our Veterans and their families living and dying with PTSD deserve greater vision and action from Washington.

soldier rests

Service dogs skirt the real problems with PTSD - rising Veterans suicide rates.

Service Dogs Are Cute and Expensive

The average cost to breed, train, house, feed and transfer a PTSD service dog runs between $20,000 to $60,000. The veteran who will receive the dog also needs to be screened for a match and then trained once he is “given” his service dog. Once they become an owner, they have to budget for the annual costs that any dog owner must expect. 

Once A Soldier’s stand remains the same as it was in the past. Hearing veteran suicide stories from the survivors motivates us to say that anything stopping a Veteran from throwing his family into the downward spiral after a suicide is great. More of it at any cost. We can afford wars and companies profit from it, so we can afford whatever it takes for Veterans. However, reintroducing the PAWS Act falls into the category of lazy legislation. We wish it a speedy journey from bill into law, but don’t support it. Prevention is not working with the weapons  we have now. More of the same if not enough. 

Congressional Bills Don’t Speed Up Waiting Lists

And while we’d like to see a new postvention bill versus another one of hundreds introduced for prevention, Veterans have been waiting long enough. Veterans wait for years to get a service dog from those places that will benefit most from PAWS such as K9s for Warriors, Pawsitivity, Retrieving Freedom

Postvention needs to get the same attention and funding as prevention. That said, we also feel that with all the support and preventative services for veterans, there is a complete lack of reality when we talk about the 20 or so veteran suicides that happen every day.

The fact is that there aren’t enough service dogs available. Not only is the cost too high and their effectiveness of PTSD is poor at best. Dogs can stop a veteran suicide as they are sometimes the ony thing between the gun and the vet’s mouth. They are a band-aid approach that makes Congress feel good that they’re doing something for the same men and women they throw into hostile, PTSD-inducing environments.

As recent as 2019, with the backing of Laura Trump, the PAWS Act got fresh life breathed into it, but it faced stiff resistance from V.A. officials who said the bill could “result in unintended and negative consequences” for veterans entrusting their well-being to “this unsubstantiated treatment regime.” From that time, the VA only paid for 19 service dogs. The VA falls short on many agenda items, but even they can’t miss the truth on this sad fact: service dogs pay off best for the nonprofits that train them.

https://onceasoldier.org/tag/therapy-dogs/

Sources:

https://rutherford.house.gov/media/press-releases/rutherford-pappas-waltz-lawson-stivers-reintroduce-paws-act

https://www.bankrate.com/loans/personal-loans/how-to-afford-a-service-dog/

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.