Haley VA Making Strides for Paralyzed Veterans


Originally posted on Off The Base:

 (April 2014) Lead therapist Michael Firestone adjusts the Exoskeleton computer backpack for veteran Josh Baker, paralyzed after a motorcycle accident. Credit Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media
(April 2014) Lead therapist Michael Firestone adjusts the Exoskeleton computer backpack for veteran Josh Baker, paralyzed after a motorcycle accident.
Credit Bobbie O’Brien / WUSF Public Media

Tampa’s James A. Haley VA Hospital is using cutting edge technology to help injured veterans rehabilitate.

One of the devices, at the Spinal Cord Injury Center, helping paralyzed veterans stand and walk again is the Exoskeleton.

Using a computer backpack, robotic leg braces and a walker, veteran Josh Baker demonstrated the Exoskeleton during the April 2014 ceremonial opening of Haley’s new Polytrauma Center.

Baker said it didn’t require much effort on his part.

“If you get a good rhythm and you’re good upright, you can actually walk right along and the machine simulates it,” Baker said.

His VA therapists were impressed by how quickly Baker advanced after just two weeks of practice. Baker was on the device’s most advanced setting, where the device…

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Why I like blogging


Sullivan"s Sanctuary:

So true, thankyou

Originally posted on Life, the Universe and Lani:

Making new friends, Cuenca, Ecuador 2010 [Making new friends, Cuenca, Ecuador 2010] Blogging is like becoming an expat, you get to meet folks from all around the world, but you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s brilliant. Of course, just like traveling, you meet some great and not-so-great folks on the road. Sometimes the connection last only the strength of the holiday and other times something more long lasting is built.

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Parents of Children Who Are Mentally Ill Who Do Not Work, Do Not Give Them Cars, or Money To Buy Weapons or Make Bombs!!!


Yes there are pity for parents of the mentally ill.  Please do not give them money to buy things. Do not buy them cars or let them use yours.  I know you feel guilty but doing these things may save a life and that life may be yours or another family member of the child you want to help.

Father of Isla Vista victim Christopher Martinez says he will work to stop future tragedies

Richard Martinez says he wants his son’s death to ‘mean something’

jlavelle@thetribunenews.comMay 26, 2014

 

 

 

I Drive Your Truck Sung By Lee Brice, Parents Say In Interiew About Their Son Killed Afghanistan


November 7th, 2013

06:52 PM ET

Heartbreaking story behind CMA’s Song of the Year, ‘I Drive Your Truck’

(CNN) – The Country Music Association Awards’ Song of the Year has a simple name – “I Drive Your Truck.” But it’s the deep emotion, the inconceivable feeling of loss behind the song that helped earn it the honor.

“Thank you so much Jared, for what you did for this country,” songwriter Jimmy Yeary said in his CMA acceptance speech.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was killed in Afghanistan while trying to save a fellow soldier. The song is about the absence of Jared, the deep longing for him felt by his father, Paul.

“Very humble kid, very hard working kid, extremely adventurous kid. There was no hill too high, no tree too tall for Jared,” Monti told CNN.

In 2011, Paul Monti told a reporter with Boston Public Radio about his operation Flags for Vets, his mission to place American flags on the graves of service members on Memorial Day.

“Do you still drive Jared’s truck?” a Boston radio reporter asked.

“Yes, I do,” he said. “I just love driving it because it reminds me of him. Though I don’t need the truck to remind me of him, I think about him every hour of every day.”

A songwriter from Nashville, Connie Harrington, was on her way home from work the day of the broadcast. She wasn’t in the mood for music, which she’d been listening to all day, so she tuned into NPR, and caught Monti’s interview.

She “heard the interviewer ask how I keep Jared close, and I said well, ‘I drive his truck.’ It struck her immediately, and she wrote it down on a notepad she had in the car,” Monti said.

CNN caught up with him in Brockton, Massachusetts, where he is still living out his son’s message of strength and duty, and, yes, still driving Jared’s black Dodge Ram pickup. He was pleased to hear about the award.

“It was very uplifting. It was a song that’s touched the hearts of Gold Star Families (immediate families of fallen service members) throughout the country, as well as other families that have lost their child. It’s fitting that we have something out there that honors them that they can hold on to,” said Paul.

Jared Monti was killed during an intense firefight with as many as 50 insurgents on Hill 2610, in a remote area of Afghanistan in 2006. When one of the soldiers was severely wounded and pinned down under a barrage of gunfire, Monti tried to reach him three times.

On his last attempt, he was hit by an RPG. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.

“Said his patrol leader, ‘It was the bravest thing I had ever seen a soldier do,’” President Barack Obama said during the award ceremony.

Working with two other songwriters, Harrington found inspiration in Paul’s words. After Brice recorded it, the song soon hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

Though Monti had no idea.

Cheryl Lee Patrick, the mother of one of the four soldiers killed that day on Hill 2610, sent the song to him. She, too, drives her late son Patrick Lybert’s truck. Neither had any idea that Monti was the song’s inspiration.

“It was only after the song reached number one, two years later, really that I contacted with Connie Harrington and the songwriters,” said Paul.

The truck gets bad mileage. It doesn’t matter to Paul.

“I’m alone, in the truck with him, it’s just, it’s a very special, peaceful feeling,” Paul said.

Peace is hard to come by.

“I’m day-to-day … as are all the Gold Star parents, Gold Star families,” said Paul. “It’s a pain that never goes away, it’s always there. People say time heals all, but in this case it doesn’t.”

“Losing a parent, that’s one thing, that’s your past, but losing a child, you’ve lost your future,” said Paul. “You don’t have those grandkids to look forward to, and those special days of going to the ballpark together, or going fishing. All of that that you envisioned is gone.”

Monti says his hope is that those who enjoy the song learn about Gold Star Families, and what they go through. Listeners have to learn, he says, that freedom isn’t free. It’s all paid for by the blood of our young men and women.

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Filed under: National Lead

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. dakota
    i love this song cause reminds me of my dad he passed away when i was in the military so sad to think about him every time i hear this song

    March 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Reply

  2. Cara
    Sad but rip Jared

    February 26, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply

  3. Cara
    That is sad but it is very nice he would write. That song that other can connect to

    February 26, 2014 at 10:25 am | Reply

  4. Katelynn
    As an army wife, this hit hard with me. The second time I got to see my husband this year, we got married. The day after we got married we went to a Lee Brice concert, and he performed this song. I can’t tell you the emotion that ran through that crowd, or the tears I cried knowing that could have been, or could be, my husband. Not a song I can listen to and hold myself together over. Thank God for all the men and women that serve. Bless the troops, and thank Heaven for this song.

    December 4, 2013 at 9:22 am | Reply

  5. sarah357
    I too drive his truck. My husband was a vietnam vet. He passed away last year from the complications of Agent Orange exposure and I miss him very much. I have kept his truck even though it is a gas hog. I can’t part with it as it seems like he is still in it with me.I am so sorry for your loss. They say that time eases the pain but it hasn’t yet.

    November 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply

  6. Cathy G.
    The song hit home because I drive my dad’s truck for the same reasons. Thank you Mr. Monti for inspiring this song that has touched so many lives. My sincere condolences this Veteran’s Day on your tremendous loss. I believe you have another angel looking out for you from above.

    November 11, 2013 at 8:36 am | Reply

    • Suzanne
      My thoughts exactly, I drive my Dad’s truck too. Always feel him riding along with me.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply

  7. Chad Cuomo
    CTG! Climb to Glory. RIP Brother Chad Cuomo

    November 10, 2013 at 1:31 am | Reply

  8. Kim
    As a member of the gold star family I relate to this song. Everytime I hear tears stream down my face. My brother was killed in Afghanistan on February 8, 2009. My cousin still drives my brothers truck. RIP my hero SSG JASON E. BURKHOLDER.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Reply

  9. Josh
    show some respect. this is one of the men that literally died for mine and YOUR freedom – how would there be any negative comments following this story? it doesnt matter wether you think our troops should be over there or not – they are. and they are making sacrifices for us that me and you are not making. so stop talking about what music they are listening to or if they passed away in vain or not. and thanks to lee brice for putting his heart into this song and giving the family the respect they deserve.

    November 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply

  10. Briana
    My brother, USMC Sgt. Elisha Parker, was KIA in Iraq on 4 May 2006. My youngest brother Andrew drives his truck. I think it makes the family feel a little closer to Eli :-) The day we have to get rid of it will be sad.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:00 am | Reply

  11. farside6262
    My daughter is in the Army National Guard. Part of her unit is soon being deployed stateside, the other portion to Afghanistan. Not sure where she is going and (as a liberal pacifist) wish to he** none of these wars were started by our “fearless leaders”…can’t help but note that their kids never serve!
    They all deserve our support and while not a country music fan, I appreciate the acknowledgement of the sacrifices these young people make for their country…even though I DO NOT agree with the reasons they are there.
    Dingdong, pull your head out of your derriere; did you learn nothing from Vietnam? The war and the politicians who got us involved are the enemies, our troops are just doing what their job forces them to.

    November 8, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Reply

  12. maria
    R. I. P. Jared , what a touchy story …

    November 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Reply

  13. jon
    Having read Tapper’s book “The Outpost” in which I read the story of hill 2610 (in the book) and having worked in Jalalabad, all Americans can know that something good has come out of the losses I hope the families can keep driving the trucks or vehicles of their loved ones until they arrive at a place and time of peace and reunion with the departed.

    November 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Reply

  14. Maureen
    When I hear this song I think of my brother who was killed in Vietnam 45 yrs. ago, and yes, I cry everytime.
    Nothing replaces the loss. I found it interesting to learn that the inspiration for this song began with Jared Monti’s father; since I had previously learned of Jared’s sacrifice in the local media. I will now think of Jared and his family, too, when I hear this song.

    November 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Reply

  15. Sarah
    The first time i heard this song as a Gold Star Mom/Blue Star Mom a flat bed truck had just pulled into my driveway with my sons jeep. I remember someone had sent me a message and told me i needed to listen to it. Once my sons jeep was unloaded and i signed the necessary paperwork from the military releasing it i climbed in the drivers seat grabbed hold of the steering wheel and cried . I drive his jeep now and EVERY TIME I Pull up to my sons grave this song never fails to come on the radio even if i haven’t heard it played in days. My son loved playing pranks on me so of course he always seems to turn it up as loud as it will go when it comes on :) Awesome song that so many GS families can relate to.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply

  16. Sha
    Dingdong11 ~ what an appropriate name.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply

  17. Sha
    I love this song. While my son was in Iraq, I drove his truck and cried.
    So wonderful that some people get this song. So sad that some try to tell others
    what to listen to ~ pathetic. People should stop taking ownership of other people’s space.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply

  18. DingDong111
    Oh and more vets have died from suicide upon returning home than in combat. Fact. I say it has mostly been in vain unfortunately.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Reply

    • You should be ashamed…
      of making a comment such as that on this page. The song is in memory of all the soldiers who have been lost in the war we’ve been fighting for the past several years, it not only touches home with those families but to anyone else who has lost a loved one in any other tragic accident. It hits home for me just having friends in the military and knowing what could happen to them. If it wasn’t for these military men and women you wouldn’t even have the freedom to make such a rude and ignorant comment!!!

      November 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply

  19. DingDong111
    Its nice and all, but I actually think it is kind of cheap. A little easy to pander to people’s emotions on this subject. Que the obligatory clips of the troops getting off the plane coming home to tearful family members, and there is your music video. You think the troops are listening to this garbage? No. They are listening to Drowning Pool, and ganster rap.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Reply

    • Deebes
      Your an idiot, and must not know many veterans. Sure we listen to what you think we do, but the majority of the soldiers I know listen to country, and prefer country over gangster rap and drowning pool. I’m talking about infantry soldiers too. Sure we listen to Five Finger Death Punch and such, mostly to get pumped up. That doesn’t mean we don’t listen to country.

      November 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Reply

  20. Justin Brazeal
    I actually knew this man and served with him up until the day he died im glad to see he is not forgotten. Everyone with 3-71 Cav 10th Mountain Division still honors him till this day.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply

    • Nova
      Thank you for your service.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply

    • ksd
      Thank you for YOUR service. It is fitting to have this story shared leading into this Veterens Day.

      November 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply

    • ancv1992
      Thank you for your service!

      November 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Reply

  21. BobFromPA
    I am so sorry for these and all families of those who have been killed or injured in defense of our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan combat theaters, and hope that their sacrifice was not in vain!

    November 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Reply

    • jon
      Actually, a lot of war deaths are in vain. Except perhaps for World War II, most of the other deaths and injuries in all of the other subsequent “wars” were just not necessary – except to make money for the “industrial/ary” complex. Great.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply

    • adibese
      Unfortunately, invading a country, with boots on the ground, will cause more long term conflict and bloodshed. Al Qaeda gets stronger every day, and innocents are seeing their lives torn apart. I feel bad for everyone who died for… essentially nothing. It’s not their fault.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Reply

  22. scdimaur
    Very humbling story. As far as the song: I made it up to the part with the cemetary…..had to pull over. I couldnt see the road anymore and my steering wheel was just soaked.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Reply

  23. R.T
    There’s something about driving a truck and listening to country music… songs like this really bring back memories of my son Rick who was killed in action in Afghanistan..

    The song makes you swear they are right next to you, and who knows perhaps they are…

    November 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply

    • dac
      R.T. they always are. I really believe our loved ones are always with us. The bond is too strong for even death to break.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply

  24. mike
    What’s with the blurry video game image? That’s no photo.

    November 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Reply

    • sherissephamCNN
      That is an image we pulled from the Army’s profile of Jared Monti. But you’re right, it does appear blurry, and we are trying to fix it.
      http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/monti/profile.html

      November 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Reply

    • hMan360
      It’s a story about a song memorializing a brave soldier who died fighting for things he felt important enough to put his life on the line for and you’re going to complain about a blurry picture taken it what appears to Afghanistan. Wow. You obviously missed the point.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply

    • Brett
      Thank God for all of our veterans and the sacrifices they make for their fellow man. Blurry image or no, my heart goes out to the families of those lost.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply

    • Terri
      The blurry photo was taken just a few weeks before Jared died by another soldier. In my humble opinion, it’s an awesome photo. It is cherished by those who know and love him. The scarf he wears around his neck was a gift from an Afghanistan citizen. It was given to him as a sign of respect. Respect is an attribute that I and many others value.

      November 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Reply

  25. Marnie Peters
    This song touches my heart, my brother was lost in an ATV accident in 2011, he loved his truck and when i hear this song I smile and cry

    November 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply

    • Jimmy
      My brother was also killed in a atv accident in 2011. My Step-dad still drives his truck. I remember hearing that song for the first time and thing how cool it was.

      November 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply

  26. Kaneohe357
    A beautiful tribute, hard to not feel a lump in your throat while watching this story. God bless this family, and all Goldstar families.

    November 8, 2013 at 8:58 am | Reply

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Wordless Wednesday: The Happiest ConeHead


Originally posted on dogdaz:

Sofie Cone

Allergies – Itchy ears – Ear infection

Happiest conehead I have ever seen though.

 Happy Wednesday.

wordless-wednesday-badge1

This is a Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop. Thanks to BlogPaws for the hop. Head over there and see what they are blogging about.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo <3

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Help our Military heroes – PLEASE!


Originally posted on ShaunyNews - You are here now, why not comment?:

help-for-heroes My son’s partner, Leza has a friend who is doing “Help for Heroes” Heroes are our Troops who have come home wounded. Many have served their country, came home with a limb missing or worse. The Government’s of our World don’t help, so we MUST! These people put life on the line. Here is one Story I please ask you read and donate to if you can. These people keep us safe
This will be waxed..!!!!
Page owner Andy Hill

Link to donate/help: http://www.justgiving.com/Andy-Hill17

Andy’s Having his very hairy chest waxed….ouch !

I’m going to wax my chest to raise £250 for Help for Heroes because I beleive in the help for heroes charity

Raised: Andy has got to 29% of his target, please help, £1 to £100, ANYTHING! 29%

 

£74.00 raised of  £250.00 target

Screenshot_2014-04-23-22-16-16

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SELF MAGAZINE Shame On You- Making Fun Of Marathon Runner’s Outfit! The Runner is Fighting Brain Cancer Monika Allen

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 BY Carol Kuruvilla Derek Burke/Courtesty Glam Runners Monika Allen (right), cancer survivor and co-founder of Glam Runners, ran the L.A. Marathon wearing a Wonder Woman costume. She was upset to learn that ‘Self’ magazine used her photo to make fun of the fitness trend of wearing tutus.

http://nydn.us/1jzG1EX

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