Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #481 on: Dec 25th, 2016, 05:31am »
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, that we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #482 on: Dec 25th, 2016, 10:28am »
My Christmas message. Many of you have seen the video of our local boy and his dog.
Viral Christmas: Vet 'saw life' in puppy present
Ryan Dailey, Democrat staff writer December 24, 2016
(Photo: Courtesy of Dena Coukoulis)
The video has been circling everywhere on the internet, already amassing millions of views: A Marine Corps veteran is gifted a beagle puppy no bigger than his hand and begins to cry at the sight of his new companion.
As the puppy wriggles in his hands, the broad-shouldered Marine betrays emotion that has tugged at the heartstrings of those who have seen the video.
But the star of the viral video is unlikely to appear on a TV talk show sharing his account of the moment, at once heartbreaking and heartwarming.
Cpl. Peter Coukoulis, 26, returned to the States in 2011 after being deployed in Afghanistan; he enlisted in the Marines straight out of Leon High School. Now an electrician in civilian life, he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Large crowds and stressful situations — like the media attention following the circulation of his video — cause Peter to withdraw from people.
“Peter did ROTC at Leon High School, but was a typical teen who got in normal trouble,” said Peter’s mother, Dena Coukoulis.
Peter decided he wanted to join the Marines the day of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was just 11 years old.
“I had my hands full with him, but the one thing he followed through on was, he joined the Marines,” she said.
When he first returned home, hundreds from the community came out to greet him and thank him for his service. His story even landed on the cover of the Tallahassee Democrat.
Peter Coukoulis waves to well wishers as his mom, Dena Coukoulis and John Coukoulis escort their newly arrived Marine home. Dena Coukoulis hosted a surprise party for her son, Marine Lance Corporal Peter Coukoulis who returned home from Afghanistan on Sunday, June 5, 2011. The Patriot Guard escorted Peter home from I-10 and hundreds turned out to support Peter at the Ox Bottom roundabout with cheers, flags and well wishes. Ę Contact name: (Photo: Democrat files)
Yet for all the fanfare, Coukoulis’ mother says, he began to shy away from the public eye. Sometimes, he even stopped spending time with the family.
“In the beginning, it was kind of like he was isolating himself. I mean he would hang out with us but spent a lot of time alone on the back porch," his mother said. "I started to notice him withdrawing. Just not socializing, not talking, not sharing and not being able to sleep.” ‘He saw life’ When Peter was nine years old, the Coukoulis family adopted a beagle named Jackie. It became his childhood companion.
Willa, Peter Coukoulis' new beagle, pictured in Peter's boot the night he got her as a gift. (Photo: Courtesy of Dena Coukoulis)
On his return home from Afghanistan, Peter learned Jackie had died.
Jackie’s death was particularly tough for Peter to digest. While he was overseas, one of his fellow Marines in a different unit was killed in an explosion — along with his IED-sniffing dog.
“When we had to break that news to him when he got back, and then he told us about the fatality, it was really very difficult,” Dena said.
Things at home didn’t get any easier. Going through a divorce since his return added emotional stress even as Peter tried to sort through everything else.
For those reasons, Dena explained, receiving his new puppy — a girl named Willa — has brought Peter profound comfort.
“I think that emotion came from him experiencing all the loss, and when he saw that puppy’s face, he saw life,” Dena said.
“I think when he was over there and he saw how hard kids had it, kids who really were not going to have any kind of bright future — that was hard for him.”
Beginning of a good thing As the mother of a Marine, Dena Coukoulis, of course, knows the statistics: 22 veterans die by suicide each day. Those who struggle with PTSD can feel hopeless, debilitated.
Willa, the beagle puppy (Photo: Courtesy of Dena Coukoulis)
The family has rallied around him. After Peter’s brother, George, got out of the Navy, he made a point of moving home to spend time with his older brother before going away to attend college in Colorado.
With his brother home, Peter began going out on the weekends, becoming more comfortable socially. George, who at 24 is two years younger than his brother, said the two were only able to talk sparingly when they were both in the military.
“How it is with brothers; you might spend time apart but when you get back together it’s like you never skipped a beat.” Still, George said, he did not know the full extent to which Peter was struggling until he returned to Tallahassee.
“I didn’t even realize it, but my brother probably went through the worst five years of his life,” he said.
George said Peter, at first, was apprehensive about seeking help for his PTSD, but George encouraged him to do some reaching out.
“He told me, ‘Hey you were right, I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise if you didn’t help me realize that,’ ” George said. He needed that little boost to have the realization, and honestly, it’s like he’s a different person.”
Peter began throwing himself into projects, most of which involve fishing. George said his brother has been talking about taking other veterans fishing as a means of providing a helping hand to others.
“Even in the video, he’s doing something with a fishing lure,” Dena said. “That’s actually been a good form of therapy for him.”
Peter received a fishing boat as a gift from one of his fellow Marine veterans, with whom he has maintained close relationships.
“I started seeing consistency with Peter that I just felt he was moving forward and he would be ready for a dog,” Dena said.
She refuses to see her son become a statistic and encourages other veterans who are suffering from PTSD to reach out to those who care about them.
“If I had any advice for veterans, it would be to take advantage of the resources that are available to you,” she said. “We had to encourage Peter to get the help he needed.”
Taking down a planeload of Musicians is the last straw and If I were Snowden ..I would be on Highest Alert..He still has more unreleased info that would include the small pvt circle in the NSA that most staff don't even interact with..True puppet masters as it were.
« Last Edit: Dec 26th, 2016, 9:00pm by Sys_Config »
Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #491 on: Dec 27th, 2016, 02:28am »
Band that died in T 154 Crash
Vadim Ananyev, a soloist who stayed home with his family, said he was devastated.
“I have lost my friends and colleagues, all killed, all five soloists,” Ananyev told The Associated Press. “I have known these people for 30 years. I know their wives and children. I feel terrible for the children and for all that I have lost.”
Ananyev said he had received condolences from all over Russia and from abroad.
“We were loved all over the world, never mind the political situation,” he said.
In Rome, Pope Francis led thousands of faithful in silent prayer for the plane crash victims and noted that the Russian army choir had performed in 2004 at the Vatican.
« Last Edit: Dec 27th, 2016, 03:44am by Sys_Config »
One of the most striking aspects to the testimonials one hears is how often the dogs are credited with literally saving people’s lives. The dog is often the catalyst that liberates them from self-destructive drug or alcohol addictions, or suppresses the suicide impulse, or alleviates depression, or creates a determination to stabilize and improve their lives. Professor Irvine told me, “This is the redemptive value of the relationship, which one hears over and over as you talk to the homeless.”
How can a relationship with a dog achieve such monumental successes where psychology, medicine, and standalone human desire so often fail? One explanation is that the responsibility to care for another living creature provides purpose, focus and thus self-esteem — all vital human needs. Another is the validation and self-worth that comes from the love a dog provides. Irvine put it this way: “We construct dogs as ideal beings — they love unconditionally, they don’t lie, they don’t judge people — so if a being this noble loves us, then there must be something OK with us.”
The non-judgmental quality of the dog is central. To live on the street is to endure constant, implicit condemnation. The homeless know exactly what society thinks of them. They see it embedded in every effort of avoidance, every expression of police suspicion, every gesture of condescension and discomfort even from those who stop to give them money. They’re sometimes told that they’re not worthy even of having pets.
Dogs think none of those things, harbor none of those judgments. Dogs strip away the extraneous and artificial metrics: They simply love and adore and protect those who treat them well. As Birdie puts it in the film: “If the other is more beautiful or uglier, richer or poorer, people always talk about each other. Dogs don’t.” For people living on the street, being showered with love, affection and appreciation can fundamentally alter the world, and many get that only from their dogs.