Liberty’s Legacy

Liberty was Combat Marine Eric Calley’s PTSD Service Dog. Liberty was Eric’s lifeline.
“Even after countless types of therapy and numerous drugs to help control the hyper-vigilance, paranoia, flash backs, anxiety attacks and reoccurring night terrors, the best people afflicted by PTSD are able to typically feel is “numb”. All of the above challenges still occur daily. What has changed is their ability to care, feel or connect with their families or communities. This in itself causes a spiral of depression and dissociative behaviors further compounding their issues”. For some Veterans the introduction of a Service Dog changes their patterns and help them to better navigate through their new lives together.”
Eric’s lifeline, Liberty, died from cancer in February of this year.
It is our goal through Liberty’s Legacy to raise funds to get him a new PSTD Service Dog. Please consider a donation no matter the amount to help Combat Marine Eric Calley. He has served our country proudly and still continues to serve through his own organization, The Fight Continues, by helping other veterans suffering from the unseen wounds of war.
- To See more and donate go to Liberty’s Legacy at http://tinyurl.com/lxedl4j 936006_3526461616884_452849657_n


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Marine Corps Trials Help Wounded Warriors Focus on Abilities

Warrior Odyssey/ Semper Fi Odyssey

The pictures below are from our last successful trip to Warrior Odyssey/ Semper Fi Odyssey. The Fight Continues was able to get nine veterans to join the other twenty Active Duty Wounded Transitioning Marines up on the mountain in Pennsylvania. TFC had two volunteers that took a week off of work to drive four veterans to the retreat and back in white out weather conditions. In that one week one of those volunteers put more then 3,500 miles on his car. The pictures below are when the Veterans get to visit Flight 93 Memorial. Also a couple of the Mountain Retreat. This is what your Donations go towards. VETERANS HELPING VETERANS. We volunteer our time and do not get paid. Please help us get more Vets help.1076959_600854786669991_1477476610_o 1798497_600856570003146_776947199_n 1890469_600853220003481_1132848207_o 1901643_600853390003464_1515638484_n 1901874_600853350003468_1404831954_n 1959934_600856466669823_107718459_n 10003980_600854926669977_80490983_n

The Life of Liberty

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6 years ago Liberty a 6 week old puppy who turned out to be the best thing for a combat Marine who was having issues with transitioning into civilian life. And before I knew it, Liberty and I were connected in a way I’ve never connected with a dog. She lifted my spirits, slept next to me and watched over me like a guardian angel. As our bond grew, I grew, and as I grew, our bond deepened. She could tell my emotions, when I was happy or sad, and knew exactly what to do and when to do it. The unconditional love and companionship helped mold me into who I am today. For a Veteran, a companion like Liberty can only be described as a comrade in arms, a brother, someone to help feel more comfortable in their surroundings and essentially your soul mate. Liberty helped guide me through 6 years of anger, emotion, ups and downs, the good times and the bad times. Once liberty was certified by This Able Veteran in Carbondale, Illinois, I traveled down to train with her, which when I first saw her, I was so proud of what she had accomplished. When we came back together, she lit the fire underneath my feet, how attentive and loving she was, (It was a long 6 months). But as I realized after I arrived back to Michigan and began using liberty to help me outreach to other Veterans did I see her outreach to other Veterans that had some of the same tendencies as I. It dawned on me; God put her in my life to not only help me, but to open the doors for others to get help. Many times as I was speaking to VFW’s or American Legions, Liberty would key in on a few Veterans and I would let them pet her, she’d lick them and 9 out of 10 that Veteran would thank me for Liberty making their night better. I think back at how many Veterans where affected by Liberty, and I am saddened on how many didn’t get to meet her. That day in Pennsylvania when Liberty slipped and fell on the ice, we didn’t think anything of it for an hour until we could tell something was wrong. Liberty loved Semper Fi Odyssey, thirty combat Veterans to nurture and love on, to help those Veterans and Marines gain the courage to take strength in what they’ve accomplished. It was Liberty’s third time and last time, after testing at the Animal hospital, turns out Liberty’s liver was two times the size it was supposed to be and when she fell, the cancerous nodes in her liver ruptured. Out of all of this, the positive side was finding out this way insured my family could say good bye and I could say good bye. I transported her home and after careful consideration and the fact I wanted her to die at home we decided to do the inevitable. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I thought about it like I was pulling the plug on my companion or soul-mate. The doctor came up to my room where Liberty and I were sitting on the floor, started filling up the needle. I turned on the Marine Corps Hymn as he injected her. She died a war hero, my war hero. She helped me fight the demons created in war (ptsd) and showed me a better path to take in life. I like to think she is now up guarding Heavens Gates with my buddy Zach waiting for me to cross a long time from now. She will never be forgotten and will live on in my heart forever.

A World We Once Knew

A World We Once Knew

I think back of the world I once knew, a world filled with Americanism and sense of belonging. As I watch the place where my friends bled fall into the enemies hands after a decade, I know within my heart, the lives lost and injured in and around the Sunni Triangle, Ramadi, and Fallujah died to protect our way of life, freedom and every aspect for what it means to be American.

We are reminded of it every day in America, as you drive down the road and see the Red, White, and Blue flying high, waving its pried through the air. The American Flag which flies high and stands for all those who died protecting our way of life, all those who volunteered to protect our Nation at any cost, wounded, whether mental or physical, We remember you, We’ll always remember you, and we will never let anyone tatter the Memory of those who fell or were wounded protecting our Nation.

For every Veteran stand tall and be proud of your accomplishments, defending our Nation in a time of need, volunteering to put your life on the line to protect our freedom. Be proud of the battles you fought and never let anyone take that pride away, for you are 1% of America and we know freedom isn’t free. I ask that America stand with The Fight Continues and assist us as we try to help our Nations proud Servicemen and Women as they transition out of the Military. Only with everyone’s help will we succeed.

Semper Fidelis, Eric Calley

Gofundme: Combat Veterans Need Help Transitioning

gofundme

Please visit this website to consider donating for this gofundme project.

http://www.gofundme.com/5tp06w

Created by James Sperry on December 18, 2013
LEBANON, IL

This is a video of myself from when I was wounded for the last time in Fallujah. I hope this gives everyone a glimpse as to what all of our Men and Women of the Armed Forces go through. This video does not show the after effects of this tour or the injuries. I have spent in total 18 months in the hospital and had PTSD. The next 7 years after this I was lost: constantly in pain, never slept, had nightmares, flashbacks, deep depression and a suicide attempt. My life changed when the Marine Corps came and knocked on my door to see how I was coping with civilian life. If this one single action did not occur, I doubt I would be here today. They got me the help I needed to cope with my injuries.

I began to travel with the USMC to visit homes of other Wounded Marines throughout the Midwest. I connected with them by letting them know I had been where they are right now a year ago and let them know how I made my way out of the mine field. I also learned that no other Military branches were following up with their wounded soldiers after they retired out. This motivated me to form a Non-Profit Organization to fill this huge gap in care for our wounded service members. I named the organization “The Fight Continues” (The-Fight-Continues.org)

We now go out and find struggling Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans to check on their transition back to civilian life. If they are in need of help, we send them to Veteran Run 7 Day Transitional Programs. The programs are called “FOCUS Program” in Missouri and “Warriors Odyssey” in Pennsylvania, also known as “Semper Fi Odyssey.” After completing these retreats, we give them long aftercare by helping with any and all transitional help that a Veteran may need. We also give them a place to serve their country by helping them become a certified Peer Mentor. They get the opportunity to join our Disaster Response Teams as well.

This is where we NEED HELP FROM YOU! It costs us money to get to these Veterans and to get them to the Transitional Retreats. Our next retreat is January 26- Feb 1 at Warrior Odyssey. That amounts to 30 Veterans from across the nation that need to get to and from Pennsylvania. We have been waiting for 2 years for our 501(c)3 number, so you may need to amend your 2013 Taxes if you are wanting to get a tax write off. Due to this delay from the IRS, I have spent well over 40k of my own money getting my fellow brothers and sisters to these retreats. PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN ARMS FROM CHOOSING SUICIDE.

Vet to Vet Peer T-Shirts…

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Sara Reynolds designed this image for Vet to Vet Peers. Please visit the following site if you’re interested in purchasing t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.

http://www.zazzle.com/studiorey

tshirts

Community Assists Veterans Wife… Thanks To All Volunteers

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To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Calvin Murphy from Bear Lake, Michigan. I am a 66 year old 100% disable Viet Nam Veteran. I served in the United states Army from 1965 to 1967. In 1966 and 1967 I served in Viet Nam and served with the “”C”" Btry. 1st bn. 44th Arty. and we came under the command of the 1st Calvary Division. We served on the DMZ with the 3rd marine Division. One of the men that I served with that was from Lansing, Michigan was Spec. Arthur Wright. On Feb. 21st 1967 Arthur was captured by enemy forces and never found and is presumed dead. Over the years I found Arthur Wrights family and got to know them very well. Arthurs wife Uvah Wright is 82 years old and lives alone. It was brought to my attntion that her health is not good and she needed a handicap ramp built on her home. I started to try find some kind of help to get this ramp and all I found was close doors on local, state and federal outlets. Then my State Representatives Ray Franz”s office called and gave me a number for Habitat For Humanity in Lansing and in three days they were out there and built the ramp for Uvah Wright. Then I was told see had very bad leaks in her roof and I was back to square one. Went to Habitat For humanity again and they were low on funding and could not do the roof. Then the story takes a turn!!!!!!!

On Sept. 28th I was at a Memorial service with Rolling Thunder Honor Guard in Kingsley, Michigan for a Viet Nam veterans whose remains were found in Cambodia. He died in helicopter in 1970 and his remains returned to the U.S. . At this service I meant Col. Bruce Peterson (Ret.) who was also a Viet Nam veteran. I told him that I was so glad for the Burgess family that they were getting closure for there loved on after all these years. Then I said I served with a man whose family that has not gotten that closure yet and proceeded to tell him about Arthur Wright’s wife Uvah. He gave me his card and said call me Monday. I did and he said he belonged to the Allen J. Lynch Medal Of Honor Veterans Foundation and he talked with the board of Directors and they said it was OK to purchase materials to fix Mrs. Wright’s roof. My prayers were answered. I put out a call to other veterans to help me achieve this mission and some showed up.

One of these veterans was Eric Calley of Lansing, Michigan. Eric made the contact with MO-JO and the team from Q106 FM radio in Lansing. They heard what we were doing and called us right in to the station and put us on the air. They put the call out to veterans that we needed help to complete this project. The phones started ringing immediately. Then one of the team of Q106 said they knew a person with the Home Builders Association of Lansing and made the call. One Local One contractor was told about what we were doing from this phone call and he came out. We ran into some tough areas of this roof and for two days he donated his time and this job was completed with a high degree of quality. His name is Benjamin Cohoon of Lansing, Michigan. This would not have been completed the way it was if it had not been for this young man stepping up to the plate like he did. I am just in “AWE” of him. He owns the company of COHOON BUILDERS & ROOFERS. He was the only contractor to step up and would love to have people know about him. This man is a “TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT”! He is truly grateful to those who have served.

For us Veterans we were just helping the family of a brother and it was nothing short of what we know Arthur Wright would have done if it was one of us. So we say HOO-AH mission complete. So for me to see people like MO-JO and the team from Q-106 FM Radio and a man who has never served in the military to step up to help like he did makes a veteran like me proud to say I served the people of America. When I see people like Mr.Ben Cohoon who is grateful for our service it also makes me proud. People like MO-JO and the Q106 team and Ben make you want to shout from the highest roof I am “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN” and show what we can do when we work together. I salute MO-JO and the team of Q-106 and Ben Cohoon. God Bless You!!!

Sincerely,
Calvin Murphy

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Recent VA News

To view and download VA news release, please visit the following Internet address:

http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel

One Million Now Benefit from Post-9/11 GI Bill

Over $30 Billion in Benefits for Veterans, Servicemembers, Families

WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2013) – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that 1 million Veterans, Servicemembers, and family members have benefited from the Post-9/11 GI Bill since the program’s inception in August 2009.

The Veterans Benefits Administration, which administers the program, has distributed over $30 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families; and to the universities, colleges, and trade schools they attend.

“This is one of the most important programs helping our Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans reach their educational goals and find a good job,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We’re proud this important benefit is making such a big difference in the lives of so many Veterans and their families.”

“Over the next few years, as more than a million service men and women end their military careers and return to civilian life, education will be at the forefront of that transition,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “As a community college teacher, I have seen firsthand the qualities our veterans bring to the classroom – dedication, a sense of teamwork, and a commitment to their work. Helping our veterans succeed in the classroom so they can go on to find good jobs to support their families is one important way we can thank them for their service.”

Today, VA announced that Steven Ferraro, who is currently attending Middlesex County College, a public community college in Edison, N.J., has been identified as the 1 millionth Post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary. Ferraro served in the Army from 2003-2013 and deployed to Iraq in 2008 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the father of three and is majoring in communications.

“I thought it was a great privilege to be the one millionth recipient of the GI Bill,” said Ferraro. “Coming back to college after leaving the military, it was a great stepping stone for me and my family.”

“We are pleased that the Post-9/11 generation of Veterans is taking advantage of this significant benefit program,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “The scope of the program we’ve administered thus far would fund the undergraduate student bodies of Virginia Tech, Ohio State University, West Virginia University, and University of Florida combined – for eight years.”

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008. In general, Veterans and Servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible. On average, VA processes the initial claims for Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits in 23 days.

VA’s new automated processing system, called the Long-Term Solution, uses more than 1,600 business rules to support end-to-end automation of Post-9/11 GI Bill claims, ensuring accurate payments without the need for manual handling, also resulting in quicker processing of education claims.

Servicemembers have the opportunity to transfer the benefit to immediate family members. Legally, GI Bill benefits are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty, giving activated National Guard and Reserve members the same benefits as all other active duty members. These benefits include:

· Up to the full amount of tuition and fees for a state-operated college or university. The Yellow Ribbon Program may provide additional assistance for students attending private institutions or who are charged out-of-state tuition and fees;

· Monthly housing allowance, which is based upon the location of the school; and

· Annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill also provides work-study programs, tutorial assistance and license and certification test reimbursement.

Enacted in 1944, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, known as the “GI Bill of Rights;” recognized that military service was an inherently selfless act which demanded a certain amount of compensation. As a result of the bill, nearly half of the 16 million Veterans of World War II went to school and received an education – helping to rejuvenate the post-war economy and transform not only the lives of Veterans, but the fabric of the nation.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill builds on the same great legacy of the original GI Bill, giving Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families a chance to improve their lives and invest in their future through higher education. For more information on VA education benefits go to http://www.gibill.va.gov/

The Future of “The Fight Continues”

Just wanted to update, everyone on “The Fight Continues” path forward into the future. We have set up a way to get Veterans, who have made a successful transition back into civilian life, nationally certified as a Peer Mentor. Then assist the veterans on setting up their Fire Team of Help/ Volunteers to start finding our struggling veterans. Each Peer Mentor is given the “Fire-Team Plan” to help them form their team. Then they can track down there fellow brother and sister down to get them into a week long Transitional Program at no cost to them. At these programs they find themselves again. The change that occurs to these lucky few veterans that graduate one of the Transitional Programs is something hard to put into words. They have a sense of Hope Again! The lives of our Combat Veterans over the last 10+ years have been one of continued sacrifices. Please Donate Any amount of Money to Help us save our generation of War Heroes!, $5-$10-$1,000,000…….Anything.Donate to “The Fight Continues”

We don’t limit the scope of our help to our fellow Brothers and Sisters. We handle each Veteran’s transitional needs on a case by case basis. This helps us to make sure that we address all aspects in there difficult transition back to civilian life.

We also are having our Mentors going to Veteran Court, to help Mentor the Veterans that have got into legal trouble due to not been taught how to deal with there PTSD, or TBI. Also getting the court system to order the Veteran in legal trouble to attend one of the Transitional Programs. There is an estimated 200,000-240,000 GWOT Veterans in the Justice System. Also an estimated 24,000 GWOT Veterans are currently homeless.

We need your help to make sure that we are able to go save our fellow Brothers and Sisters lives. We are losing 22-26 Brothers and Sisters every single day.

On a Personal Note, I have had six brothers of mine choose suicide and one recently within the last ninety days. We are in desperate need of Donations so we can travel to these Veterans house as soon as we are alerted by the public. In the case of my last brother, who chose suicide to end the suffering he had endured for every American, he reached out to me a couple days before his death. We talked for a couple hours. I knew he was in a bad state, and needed his fellow brothers and sisters in arms to come to his rescue. He did not know any other Combat Veterans in his area, so he isolated himself in his apartment and reached out to me after he had spiraled down into a deep depression. If I would of had the money, to travel the 1,300 miles to pull him out of his suicidal mindset; save his life. I obviously would of done that. That facts are that we desperatly need your Help/Donations so we can save our Nation’s Heroes. Our two Veteran Volunteers/Founders have spent well over $40,000.00 of there own families money because they have faith that the American People will rally around us. Below is our Mission Statement. Thank You for Reading this letter all the way through. God Bless

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