Thursday, April 16, 2009


Don't Miss the USS Inchon Association's 5th Reunion! April 22-26 2009, Washington DC

On Christmas 1982, I had the honor of going to Beirut, Lebanon to visit our troops for the USO. I went with Johnny Grant and singer Kellee Patterson. Shortly after I left, over 250 Marines of the 24th MAU were blown up by a suicide bomber. I have such wild tales of my time in Beirut. The Marines picked us up at midnight from the airport in a blackout, driving the jeep through mine fields. We stayed in the partially bombed out Beirut Carlton hotel, where we sat up all night drinking whiskey with Capt. Dale Dye. The next day we were picked up by helicopter and flown to the decks of the USS INCHON and USS SHREVEPORT where I met these amazing men, one of whom is David Fix. David found me on Facebook and invited me to Washington D.C. for the 5th Inchon reunion, which starts tomorrow.

Talk about a strip search! As we left Beirut we were strip searched by the Lebanese... (just the women were!)

I am still trying to figure out a way to fly in on the weekend and surprise them. I had a work-related conflict and couldn't make it as of last week. If by Friday, I am back in town I would love to be there!

The 5th Reunion for former shipmates of the USS Inchon will be held in Washington, DC From April 22-26, 2009. We will be meeting for hospitality, tours, dining and friendship at the Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Dulles Airport.
Host Hotel:

Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts

ReservationWeb Site: Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts

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But first, an important word from

"War is the thread that binds, even as it unravels." - Scott Kesterson, veteran and war reporter

Today we'd like to tell you about an important new project that has the potential to both change the way veterans communicate and to revolutionize the treatment of combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It's called Not Alone, and this is what it's all about:

Mike Jones was back home for almost a year when he started to wonder why the problems weren't going away. He wondered why he couldn't drive down the road without his heart racing, why he could still hear the echo of chatter on the tactical radio in his head, and why the dreams wouldn't stop. "I can do this," Mike said to himself. "I survived war. I can defeat this."

Yet there he was, angry and bitter a year after his second tour. He was alone. For the first time in his life, something was defeating him. Mike's body and his mind were still on patrol. He just wasn't deployed anymore.

It doesn't have to be like that.

"Not Alone" is a community, by warriors and spouses and for warriors and spouses, created to help find the new normal after the war. It lets warriors and spouses anonymously talk about their problems through forums, social networking and blogs. Here you can find others that have gone through exactly what you have gone through. And soon you will be able to find expert help here too.

You can help and find help at Not Alone in three ways...

1. Listen to stories of other members such as Brandon Friedman and Kayla Williams, as they discuss what war is like and what they faced in coming home. Hear how they've begun to rebuild their lives after the devastation of war. Or hear how spouses like Michelle Briggs and Marshele Waddell picked up the pieces after their husbands returned with deep wounds, visible and not.
2. Sign up now! Join the community. Find support and be supported in the forums.
3. Donate either time or money to tackle the issues that combat stress are placing on our warriors and families today. Rand, in their groundbreaking 2007 study, estimates that over 300,000 families are dealing with combat stress and post-traumatic stress.

Most importantly, you can spread the word. Tell others about Not Alone.

Sincerely, Brandon Friedman
Vice Chairman,
Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

I really feel badly for these women. If there are any psychiatrists in the house, please tell us where phobias like these come from. What causes this kind of thing? Is it a brain disorder or did someone the kid to eat cotton candy early in life? And to viewers, would you please share your own phobias? You can do it anonymously, as I turned on "anonymous comments" here in the comment section. Thank you.