CIB Badge

Of all the Medals Upon our Chest From the Battles and War we knew, The one admired as THE VERY BEST
Is the one of Infantry Blue. It is only a rifle upon a wreath,
So why should it mean so much?
It is WHAT IT TOOK TO EARN IT
That gives it that Magic Touch. To earn this special accolade
You faced the enemy's fire
Whether you survived or not
God dialed that one desired.
For those of us who served the cause
It is the
COMBAT INFANTRYMAN'S BADGE...
THAT REALLY TELLS THE STORY

CIB Badge

Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

33- Seeking ways to help Combat Veterans with Experiential Treatment

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

In this episode of the Southern Branch, H21, Austin Chapter, of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we bring you an excerpt from an interview that we had with Gayle Temkin, who has over 30 years experience in treatment of physical and cognitive issues.

In this informal discussion, Gayle seeks for ways to help the Combat Veteran with experiential treatment–either by trying to get a funding grant that would support the combat veteran audience, or by recommending to organizations (such as the VA) the type of treatments needed for veterans still suffering from the aftermath of combat.

From this audio episode, it is interesting to note that many people — even the professionals who provide healing treatment for others — have a difficult time in trying to understand the plight, the suffering, the symptoms and the actual episodes that the veterans suffer. The textbook-type treatments have proven somewhat ineffective when dealing with actual Vietnam Combat Veterans.

How true is that addage: “if you haven’t been in combat, then you can’t be expected to really understand.”

Gayle’s practice has given her a wealth of experience from which to draw, and her recommendations are such that the VA should note.

In addition to her therapy practice for over 30 years, she is also trying to advance her Coalition for Emotional Literacy.

Coalition for Emotional Literacy web site

However, unless the formal organizations receive either grant funding from this administration; or unless the VA seeks to really help the Vietnam Veterans (and not just “set them aside” because they have to make room for those returning from SouthWest Asia during this present conflict), then these types of treatment alteranatives that can really help veterans may fall on deaf ears.

However, it is great to realize that there are those individuals who really do care about the appropriate treatment that should be given to the veterans who are suffering from PTSD and other symptoms, so that they can have a chance to improve their constant adjustment to the “World” upon their return from their tours of combat or improve their quality of life after suffering for over 30 to 40 years.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

15- Tony Martinez- Vietnam CIB Vet who avoided near tragedy

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

In this episode of the Austin, Texas, Chapter – H21 Southern Branch of the Combat Infantryment’s Association podcast series, we continue the interviews with CIB veterans from all the wars and campaigns since World War II. Here, we interview a combat infantryman during the Vietnam War who served as a member of a six-man SRRP (Short-Range Reconnaissance Patrol)  team with the 11th Light Infantry Brigade of  23rd Infantry Division-Americal.

Tony Martinez was only 19 years old when he was in Vietnam. In a candid moment, he was captured in a photo by his buddy as Tony was ready to guide in the resupply helicopter during a mission, and he was ready to “pop-smoke.”

Tony Martinez on the LZ in Vietnam

As you will hear in this podcast audio episode, Tony returned to an ungrateful American public that rejected the Vietnam Combat Infantryman.

After withdrawing from everyone and everything and being what he called a “vagabond,” Tony was saved from near tragedy by the patience, understanding and dedication of his beloved wife (to whom he is still married after 35 years). It is important to note that she did not harass Tony with the same expressions as most wives did to returning Vietnam vets suffering from PTSD and other disorders:  “Get over it” or “the war’s over” or “what’s wrong with you?” or “you’re crazy,” etc. Instead, she helped him through his adversities and helped to guide Tony to set his foot on a road to success — after 38 years of struggling with the post-Vietnam “demons.”

Tony reached a milestone recently by attending a reunion of his combat outfit and seeing his company after all these years at this event.

Tony Martinez today at his combat unit's Reunion

What is interesting is Tony’s perspective of the wonderful help offered to him by the Mental Health clinic of the VA today–but also, the overburdened system that does not offer the right treatment in other departments.

Tony now sees his direction as a “giving back” to the returning CIB veterans from their Middle East tours-of-duty, so he can (in his own way) ensure that they do not suffer for 35 years the plight of the “Vietnam Veteran Syndrome” of anguish, suffering and misery due to the neglect and rejection of the American public.

As Tony says in his departing words, “Welcome Home, guys. . .We love you, and we’re here for you.”

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

14- Combat Infantrymen from Vietnam- plagued by PTSD triggers

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

In this episode of the H21 Austin, Texas, Chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we share with you the complete and unabridged article about the current problems of the resurrection of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms for the Vietnam Veterans– especially for the combat infantrymen. Thanks to the VFW Magazine for their article in the November, 2007, issue.

'Ghosts and Demons'-Vietnam Vets Coping with PTSD

As you will see when you investigate this article, even some of the officers of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) organization are still haunted by the symptoms of PTSD, especially with the triggers caused by today’s environment, as well as the time they have on their hands as they retire.

However, as you will see, the VA does have recognition of the problem and treatment available for Vietnam Veterans. And for the Combat Infantrymen who earned their CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge) during this conflict, that badge is recognized as a “stressor” in the qualification and administrative requirements section for getting into the VA system for assistance.

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation. Copyright (c) 2007, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and VFW Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

03-Interview with Chapter Commander and XO- part 2- Mental Health closure and a Book

Monday, May 19th, 2008

In this podcast episode for this post of the Austin, Texas, Chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we deliver the second part an interview with the Chapter Commander (Bobby Briscoe) and the Executive Officer or XO (John Torres). This interview took place on 25 April 2008 and was conducted by Fred Castaneda, the Public Affairs Officer for the chapter, which is one of many and belongs to the National organization of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association.

(Below: John Torres discusses the value of a “Welcome Home” to the Combat Infantryman with Fred C.)

Fred C and John Torres

As we continue this discussion, we examine the motivation and dedication of the individuals who earned the CIB to start the Combat Infantrymen’s Association Chapter in Austin, Texas. We finish our discussion of the problems that plague the Combat Infantryman upon returning from the overseas campaign. From PTSD to anxiety and panic disorders to the broken marriages and the lack of understanding and communication with the spouses and the family — these are real issues that are burning into the heart and spirit of all combat infantrymen.

The final part of this interview describes the book written by Bobby Briscoe of his experience in Vietnam. This book is called The Jungle Warriors- A True Story. As said by John Torres during this interview, this book has provided closure to some of the infantrymen, while at the same time providing understanding to the spouses.

However, Bobby Briscoe ends the interview by explaining how a great deal of the funds obtained from the sale of the book (either via audio podcast or the paperback version) will be used for programs by the CIB Association chapter for outreach to disadvantaged veterans, as well as different types of assistance to the families and children of the veterans. The idea is certainly to “give back to the community.”

The final part of this episode gives you an excerpt from the audio version of the book, The Jungle Warriors (the beginning of Chapter Six- Big Bloody, Big Red).

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation and Bobby Briscoe. All Rights Reserved (Podcast music licensed from www.MichaelandMike.com)