Friday, September 30, 2011

Family Matters Blog: Keeping Relationships Healthy

By Dr. Kate McGraw 
Defense Centers of Excellence

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2011 - If you could have the ideal loving relationship, what would that look like? For some couples, it would involve a lot of time together and shared interests, and for others, it may include more space and time spent separately. There are many ways to be a loving partner, and the key is discovering what your partner needs from you, rather than what they aren't giving to you.
Often, loving your partner means putting yourself in their place and imagining what would bring them happiness.
Military couples face incredibly challenging stressors together. Those couples who remain resilient often find themselves with stronger relationships when the dust settles. However, many of the unique stressors imposed on military couples may chip away at the fabric of safety and peace within the relationship. What can you and your partner do to help protect your relationship from the stress of military life?
Here are some ideas to enrich your relationship so it serves as a vessel of comfort for both of you:
-- Ask your partner what he (or she) needs. Also, you should be able to identify what you need and how your needs can be met. If you both develop empathy for each other's needs, than you both will be satisfied with what you can create together in your relationship.
-- Eliminate all sarcasm, name calling, belittling or other types of verbal and emotional abuse, and make a pact not to tolerate displays of temper such as slamming objects or doors. These behaviors cause significant damage to the trust and safety between you and may lead to physical abuse. If you're able to say at least five positive comments to every negative comment, your relationship will feel much more loving and supportive.
-- Nurture the bond between you. One way is to foster and keep open, regular communication about the important things in your life, as well as the small daily matters.
-- Develop a homecoming ritual upon your partner's return from deployment. This ritual can serve as a line of demarcation -- a dividing point from their being away at war, to being here, at peace.
-- Often service members returning from deployment need a period of readjustment to their old lifestyle and familiar surroundings. They may want to talk but are unable to find words to express their experiences or feelings about what they've been through. They may need time to themselves, which you should respect. Nonmilitary partners also can play an important role in the relationship's stress management by lovingly encouraging their military loved one to seek help for severe post-deployment problems.
-- Service members should remember that their partners want to help and reconnect with them, and should have compassion for the stresses their partners experienced during their time away. It's OK to share your feelings about your deployment experiences without sharing details about what you saw or did. In this way you can reconnect emotionally, lean on your partner for support, and feel less isolated while protecting them from the harsh realities of what you experienced.
Be alert for signs of traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you find yourself unable to cope, talk to your partner about it and seek professional help. If you have suicidal thoughts, always seek professional help, as you may be experiencing depression, which resolves with proper treatment.
In the end, our relationships reflect the amount of energy and devotion we put into them. If you give your relationship the gifts of compassion and empathy, regardless of what the external world heaps upon you, you will reap the rewards of contentment and love within your relationship.
Are you familiar with some of the risk factors for suicide, which include relationship issues? Find out more about suicide prevention information and resources on the DCoE website.
(This post was reprinted from the Defense Centers of Excellence Blog.)
Related Sites:
Family Matters Blog
Family Matters on Facebook

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta greets U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona before a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, 
Sept. 22, 2011. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley 

Monday, September 26, 2011

More than 250 cases of deformity successfully operated

Since May 2010, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana has been involved in operating Children who are physically challenged under the Project Sarva Siksha Abhayan (SSA). Dr. Santhosh Mathangi, Head of Department, Physical Medical and Rehabilitation (PMR) has successfully operated more than 250 cases of deformity correction and tendon releases.
Children with disability are coming from various parts of Punjab. Their complete assessment is done by a team of professionals which include an Orthopaedician, a Physiatrist (PMR), a Physiotherapist and a Rehab nurse. After which patients with deformities, contractures are admitted in Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana for operation.
Physiatrist (PMR) helps in goal setting of disabled patients and with the help of the whole team, patients benefit better.
There are only two PMR specialists in whole of Punjab. Dr. Santhosh is leading the PMR unit in CMC & Hospital, Ludhiana.

Operated children are undergoing Physiotherapy in Christian Medical College and Hospital by Tanu Arora (Physiotherapist) after which they are able to walk independently with or without orthosis and perform activities of daily living in order to make life better for both patients and parents.
Rehabilitation main aim is to help these children with special needs with their disabilities to be able to make them independent in life which is achieved with 6-8 weeks of rehabilitation programme and ultimately help these children to go to school. Mr. Deepak, Govt. Officer for the Surgical Correction Project, SSA, Punjab says that he is quite satisfied with the kind of services Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana is providing.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Panetta Cites Progress, Challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2011 - The United States and Iraq are in talks to chart military assistance Iraq needs after the pull-out of U.S. troops at the end of the year, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said today.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, Sept. 22, 2011. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley 
Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he discussed the Afghan and Iraq strategies, the progress made and challenges that remain.About 45,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq. All will be out of the country by the end of the year. Iraqi leaders said they need an on-going training relationship with the United States. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Jim Jeffrey are negotiating with Iraqi leaders to determine their needs and how the U.S. military can help meet those needs.
"We are seriously considering this request, and I want to make clear that no final decisions have been made," Panetta said. "We'll continue to consult extensively with the Iraqis, but we will also consult with the Congress before such decisions are made as to what a post-2011 training presence will look like."
Panetta wants to normalize the security relationship between the countries.
"The United States wants a normal, productive relationship and a close strategic partnership with a sovereign Iraq and with other countries -- similar, frankly, to the partnerships we have with other countries in the region and around the world," he said.
Iraqi leaders still have challenges, including dealing with Shia extremists allied with Iran and contending with the remnants of al-Qaida in the country.
U.S. military attention has shifted to Afghanistan where there are now about 100,000 U.S. service members.
"Because of the hard work and the sacrifices of Afghan and coalition forces, we've established conditions that are putting Afghans on the path to assume lead responsibility for security nationwide by the end of 2014," the secretary said.
The Taliban insurgency has lost ground in much of the country, especially in the south.
"Afghan national security forces are increasingly strong and capable," Panetta said. "We have made significant progress with regards to our primary mission of disrupting, dismantling and ultimately defeating al-Qaida, particularly with the operations that took down bin Laden and that continue to take down the key leadership of al-Qaida and their affiliates."
This progress has allowed the transition to Afghan security control to begin, Panetta said.
"We've done that in seven areas of the country since July," he said. "As this transition commenced, we began implementing a gradual and responsible drawdown that is essential to the success of that transition process and lasting security and stability in Afghanistan."
Yet, tremendous challenges remain in Afghanistan, Panetta said, noting the Taliban have shifted strategies to launch headline-grabbing attacks.
"We are concerned that these attacks, because of the loss of life and because they represent an effort to disrupt the process we have made, must be confronted and cannot be allowed to continue," the secretary said. "Overall, we judge this change in tactics to be a result in a shift in momentum in our favor, and a sign of weakness of the insurgency."
Overall violence in Afghanistan is down, especially in areas where the surge was concentrated -- Kandahar and Helmand province. But Afghans still perceive the Taliban network is still effective and the coalition must work with the Afghan government to provide security to destroy those perceptions, the secretary said.
A second challenge is in the east, where "the topography, the cultural geography and the continuing presence of safe havens in Pakistan give the insurgents advantages they have lost elsewhere in the country," Panetta said.
"We cannot allow terrorists to have safe havens from which they launch attacks and kill our forces," he said. "We cannot allow that to happen, and we have to bring pressure on the Pakistanis to do their part to confront that issue."
Developing governance in Afghanistan is a third challenge, the secretary said, and the United States and its coalition allies must aid the effort.
The United States and the coalition must retain their focus and dedication to the fight, Panetta said.
"This is a heavy burden that I feel personally now as secretary of defense every time I write a condolence letter," he said. "Since taking this office, I've been to Dover to receive the remains of those who were killed in the Chinook helicopter crash last month. I've been to Arlington, and I've been to Bethesda.
"In spending time with the families of those who have died or have been seriously wounded in the service of this country -- there isn't a family member who hasn't come up to me and said if you really care about what happened to my loved one, you will carry on the mission that they gave their life for or were seriously wounded for," Panetta added.
"We owe it to those who've paid this price to continue the hard work of doing this right and protecting our country," he said.
Leon E. Panetta
Related Sites:
Photo Essay: Panetta, Mullen Testify Before Senate Armed Services Committee

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alzheimer is a degenerative disease of the brain

Exhibition on World Alzheimer's Day
Courtesy: Alzheimers info.
Students of M.Sc. (N) 1st year, College of Nursing, Christian  Medical College, Ludhiana, celebrated World Alzheimer’s Day on 21st September 2011, in Medical OPD. They had displayed large number of posters which covered all information regarding disease.
Chief Guest, Dr. Kim j. Mammen, Associate Director, appreciated the efforts of the students and explained about Alzheimer’s disease and told that there is a need to conduct more such programs to spread awareness.
Prof (Mrs)Triza Jiwan introduced the theme of the day ‘Faces of Dementia’ and explained that it is a degenerative disease of the brain in which there is memory loss and loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activity. 
Elderly people 60 years and above are affected. She emphasized on prevention of it, mentioning about having hobbies of art and music etc.
Principal and Coordinator Prof (Mrs) Ponnamma R. singh also shared her experiences. Dr. mamta, Associate Professor of Psychiatric department highlighted on importance of routine for such patients.
Prof (Mrs) Triveni Rajappa, Nursing Superintendent also marked her presence. Dr. kamal Masih, Medical Superintendent inaugurated the exhibition and released the pamphlets on Alzheimer’s disease and its care.
The program attracted the attention of more people as students of B.Sc. (N) 3rd year put up a role play on care of patients. Nearly 260 patients and their relative became aware of this disorder through the exhibition.: Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Schwartz: Air Force Will Preserve 'Core Contributions'

By Mitch Gettle
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Sept. 21, 2011 - Air Force leaders are focused on managing potential budget constraints so that the service can continue to provide its unique contributions to national security, the Air Force chief of staff said yesterday.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz speaks to attendees Sept. 20, 2011, at the Air Force Association's 2011 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at National Harbor, Md. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melissa Goslin 
Speaking before hundreds of attendees at the Air Force Association's 2011 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition here, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz said service leaders will not allow budget pressures to create a future force that "merely appears on paper to be effective, but in reality is reduced substantially in depth and breadth."Schwartz said the Air Force's core contributions reside in four main areas: control and exploitation of the air and space domains, as well as mission assurance in cyberspace; global strike; rapid global mobility; and worldwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
These four contributions are enhanced by the Air Force's superior command and control networks, Schwartz said.
"In any budget scenario, we will be required to continue providing capabilities that offer the nation's leaders a wide range of strategic options for rapid and flexible power projection," Schwartz said. "Our core contributions enable America's global perspective and result in appropriately tailored effects at times and places of our choosing."
The Air Force's unique capabilities are essential for the nation's strategic interests, economic prosperity and military readiness, Schwartz said, describing the United States as an "air and space nation."
"So as we may have to carefully consider reduced capacities in some areas while maintaining, and perhaps increasing investment in others, we must carefully consider and calibrate our acceptance of risk, manifested in a force that's smaller in size and scale," he said.
Such "difficult choices," will extend into the Air Force's procurement programs, the general said. Future development efforts will have to be less ambitious, and government and industry must appraise and adhere to genuine operational requirements and evaluate manufacturability early.
"We require straight talk from everybody," Schwartz said. "Government must ensure stable requirements and reliable funding streams, while industry must bid according to realistic estimates, and resist offering to sell more than what is operationally required."
The Air Force's acquisition corps is ready for such challenges, given the progress it has made over the last three years, he said.
"Although we will always be accountable for responsibly expending hard-earned and precious taxpayer dollars, we can regard our acquisition processes and procedures as having achieved a notable restoration of effective control and oversight," Schwartz said.
Another area the Air Force has made similar progress in since 2008 is the nuclear enterprise. "Without resting on our laurels, we can be proud of the result: a nuclear enterprise that is renewed and focused on its commitment to avoiding critical performance shortfalls," he said. "Our work in this critical area remains worthy, valued and essential to our nation's security."
To maintain such excellence across the Air Force, the general said the service will intensify its efforts to develop airmen, "arming them with intellectual and experiential strength that is on par with the advanced capabilities that our weapon systems provide."
Schwartz acknowledged the excellence displayed by all airmen by recognizing the achievements of Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez Jr., a joint terminal attack controller who, despite suffering serious wounds, helped save his Special Forces team in Afghanistan during a Taliban attack by expertly calling in air strikes.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley recently approved the awarding of the Air Force Cross, the service's highest military honor, to Gutierrez, Schwartz announced during his remarks.
While airmen face a future of fiscal and operational challenges, Schwartz said he remains confident that the Air Force will remain ready to defend the nation and its freedoms.
"The U.S. Air Force will be prepared for whatever the nation requires of us," he said. "We will provide the many utilities of airpower, as only airmen can provide it: vital in the national context and indispensable in the proud pursuit of our nation's interests.
"We will be there for our joint teammates and for the nation," he continued. "We will do it, or we'll die trying."
Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Protest against Indian Govt.on September 24th


Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) announced that a "Justice Rally" will be held during PM Manmohan Singh's address to the UN General Assembly on September 24th from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Sikhs are protesting against PM's Singh's Government's policy of impunity towards Congress (I) leaders who organized and participated in the killing of Sikhs during November 1984.
In November 1984, thousands of Sikhs were massacred, their properties looted and burnt, all across India, with the active connivance of law enforcement and on behest of leaders of Congress Party Leaders. Kamal Nath, Amitabh Bachchan, Arun Nehru, Vasant Sathe, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, were seen instigating and leading the killer mobs that attacked Sikhs in November 1984. Twenty Seven (27) years after the massacre, PM Singh has failed to prosecute those responsible and instead have rewarded the killers of Sikhs with seats in the parliament and positions in the Cabinet.
According to attorney Gurpatwant S. Pannun legal advisor to SFJ, PM Singh is not only protecting Kamal Nath in India but is also actively working to get him immunity from prosecution before U.S. Federal Court where he is being tried for his role in November 1984 Sikh Genocide. PM Singh's Government has been sending Démarches to the U.S. Department of State seeking immunity from prosecution for Kamal Nath added attorney Pannun. While Indian Governments claims of democracy, human rights, justice and equality grow louder, bolder and loftier; its actions of shielding the human rights abusers defy the same.
SFJ along with victims of November 1984 have filed a class action law suit against Indian National Congress (Congress I) and Kamal Nath (SFJ v. INC. & Nath SDNY (10 CV 2940)) under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) for their role in the killing of Sikhs in November 1984. US Court issued summons against Kamal Nath on April 06, 2010 while summons against Congress Party were issued in March 2011.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fire at targets

U.S. Marines assigned to the 2D Marine Division fire at targets from various distances at Fort Pickett, Va., Sept. 14, 2011. More than 900 Marines and Sailors took part in the Deployment for Training exercise at Fort Pickett, Sept. 6-23 and were scheduled to attach to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (DoD photo by Pfc. Cesar N. Contreras, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

Monday, September 19, 2011

MSEU leaders arrested

PUDR,PUCR,Citizens'front condemned
New Delhi, 19 September. People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi, People's Union for Civil Rights, Haryana and Citizens' Front in Support of Maruti Suzuki Workers' Struggle condemn the arrest of leaders of the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union last night even while the negotiations were going on.
MSEU President Sonu Kumar, General Secretary Shiv Kumar and Ravinder were arrested by the Gurgaon police around 10.30 PM on 18 September, as soon as they came out of the meeting with Maruti Suzuki officials. Talks were on since 16 September between the union, management of Maruti Suzuki and the labour department to end the lockout forced by the company since 29 August. Talks broke down late last night when the management refused to take back the dismissed and suspended workers. Apparently, the police were prepared for this and the union leaders were arrested immediately after that.
The police had filed an FIR against Ravinder alleging his involvement in a case of scuffle with some supervisors. But there was no case against Sonu Kumar and Shiv Kumar and they were leading the negotiations with the management. It is clear that the Gurgaon police and the Haryana government are acting at the behest of the company to crush the workers' struggle for fully justified demands.
We demand that the arrested leaders be released immediately and talks should be restarted. The state government must stop acting as an agent of the company and intervene to ensure that workers get justice. 

People's Union for Democratic Rights, DELHI
People's Union for Civil Rights, HARYANA
Citizens' Front in Support of Maruti Suzuki Workers' Struggle

Mother's heart stopped while baby's heart kept beating

Rare Heart Surgery Saves Life of Mother and Child
Ludhiana, 19th September, 2011:(Shalu Arora) Mrs Gurpreet Kaur – a 25 y lady - w/o Mr Manmeet Singh r/o Kidwai Nagar Ludhiana was in a dire condition. The whole family had been overjoyed when Gurpreet had got pregnant . Then at the 28th week of pregnancy she started getting extremely short of breath. On examination it was found that one of her valves (the mitral valve) had got very tight. She was referred to Dr Harinder Singh Bedi – Head of Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital , Ludhiana. Dr Bedi realized that due to the pregnancy Gurpreet’s blood volume had increased and so the valve which was already too small due to the disease was now functionally smaller as more blood had to pass through it. The blood was getting trapped in the lungs and so she was unable to breathe . Dr Bedi explained that this is like pulmonary edema where a patient basically drowns in her own blood . An intervention  procedure had been tried at another hospital but had failed . On admission to the CMC her condition was quite critical. She was also seen by the Head of Obstetrics Dr K Awasthi and Dr A Kellogg and a joint decision taken to perform an open heart surgery to save the mother and to let the baby continue growth in the womb. Dr Bedi told that any open heart surgery in a pregnant mother carries a high risk of miscarriage – but the surgery was essential to save the mother. With utmost care and continuous monitoring of the baby with special equipment - the delicate open heart surgery was done on 6th July 2011 . At surgery the mother’s heart was stopped – but the baby’s heart was allowed to beat normally and was monitored by a fetal monitor. Dr Bedi said that it was quite an eerie and spiritual moment to see the flat ECG of the mother and the normal beat of the baby . Anesthesia for this delicate case was given by Cardiac Anesthetist Dr Arun Gupta  . The heart lung machine was managed by Mr Jairus and Mr William who are among the senior most experts in this field . The other members of the team are Dr Allen, Dr Viju Abraham, Dr Paul, Dr Neharika, Dr Susan, Dr Miria and Dr Arjin  .
Gurpreet then recovered well and delivered a healthy baby boy on 9th Sep 2011 in the CMC by Dr Tapsaya Dhar Maseeh  who said that both mother and child are in the pink of health. Dr Bedi said that such cases are relatively rare . The first priority is to save the mother and also aim to have a normal baby. The whole CMC team was very happy that both mother and baby were well. Dr Abraham G Thomas – Director of CMC & H – told that a multi speciality care was essential for the appropriate management of such complex cases.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marine Controller Sends Sky Support

By Marine Corps Pfc. Sean Dennison
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward)

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Sept. 14, 2011 - A Marine Corps pilot switched his workplace from the air to the ground to coordinate sky-launched assaults against the enemy here.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Fiust, who'd flown AV-8B Harrier aircraft with Marine Attack Squadron 513, now serves as a forward air controller in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Sean Dennison 
Capt. Daniel Fiust had flown missions with other AV-8B Harrier jet pilots assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 513. Now he's helping to provide close-air support from the sky to Marines fighting on the ground."We look at what type of support the Marines need, and update our tactics based on what we're seeing of the enemy from the air," said Fiust, who hails from San Carlos, Calif.
In his role as air officer and a forward air controller for 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Fiust serves as the coordinator between the battalion and the fixed- and rotary-wing assets of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward). A battalion air officer serves as a liaison for aviation squadrons supporting ground Marines, directing and dispersing air assets across the battalion's area of operations.
Fiust said he's responsible for coordinating flight times and routes for dozens of combat aircraft dedicated to protecting Marines on the ground.
"We integrate all functions of aviation with ground combat missions," he said. "Basically, anything aerial, we have a role in."
A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fiust had spent more than three years with flying squadrons, when he reported to the air officer's course, part of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1's Weapons and Tactics Instructor course.
"I really wanted to work with infantry units," Fiust explained. "As a [close-air support] pilot, I wanted to see what things were like on the ground and do my part to contribute."
The air officer is the senior forward air controller in a battalion, supervising the unit's forward air controllers and enlisted joint terminal attack controllers, who patrol with their squads and protect them by calling in airstrikes.
Fiust said he believes the relationship between air officers on the ground and the squadrons is an example of military teamwork that saves lives.
And�his new responsibilities on the ground provide a different perspective about fighting the war, Fiust said.
"As a pilot, I sometimes felt detached from the situation," he said. "As an air officer, you're more emotionally invested."
Related Sites:
NATO International Security Assistance Force
U.S. Forces Afghanistan

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wounded Warrior to Star in Reality Show

By Elaine Sanchez 
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2011 - A few weeks ago, I was browsing the Web, filling my insatiable appetite for pop culture trivia, when I saw a familiar face among the new cast of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army veteran J.R. Martinez, a wounded warrior turned motivational speaker and actor, will appear on the new season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." 
Among a line of reality and pop stars was Army veteran J.R. Martinez, a wounded warrior turned motivational speaker and actor. I smiled as I recalled meeting the former soldier three years ago.At the time, I was the post newspaper editor at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and had volunteered to write about a special camp for military teens whose parents were wounded or deployed.
The camp took place at the middle school, and when I arrived, the teens already had split into small groups to share their stories. One table in particular caught my eye. A group of 16- and 17-year-olds was intently listening to a wounded warrior as he shared his wartime experiences.
I approached the table, camera in hand, and first noticed his face was heavily scarred. But after a few seconds, I saw only a young man with a ready smile, at ease with the teens around him. He laughed and joked with them as he talked about his experiences and shared his message of resilience and hope, qualities he had acquired in spades several years ago.
In March 2003, Martinez was less than a month into his deployment when the Humvee he was driving struck a landmine. Three soldiers were thrown from the burning vehicle, but Martinez was trapped inside. He suffered severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body.
He spent 34 months in recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, and underwent 33 surgeries.
While in recovery, Martinez began to share his story with other burn patients, which eventually led him to become a highly sought-after motivational speaker. He now travels the country, spreading a message of resilience and optimism. He also pursued an acting career, and plays a combat veteran on ABC's "All My Children."
That day in San Antonio, Martinez shared his story with me and his desire to help others. He hoped the teens would be able to relate to him, he said, and gain inspiration from his story.
I met many wounded warriors in my time at Fort Sam, but Martinez left a lasting impression. He could have withdrawn after such a terrible tragedy. But instead, he has stepped into the spotlight with an indelible message of hope.
I'm excited about his upcoming appearance on the new season of "Dancing with the Stars." While people may tune in to see the sambas and cha chas, I hope they also are reminded of the immense sacrifices our service members are making each day, and their astonishing ability to soar even after the greatest adversity.
Related Sites:
AFPS Family Matters Blog
Family Matters on Facebook 
Family Matters on Twitter

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Now there can be no more excuses for inaction or delays

Amnesty International Urges Human Rights Council to Take Opportunity for Action in Sri Lanka

Washington, DC: In reaction to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s transmission of the findings of his expert panel’s report on Sri Lanka to the Human Rights Council, Amnesty International said:

"For months we have been waiting for the report’s findings to be presented to the Human Rights Council. Now there can be no more excuses for inaction or delays," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director.

The panel of experts report, made public in April 2011, found "credible allegations" of war crimes and crimes against humanity by all sides to the Sri Lankan conflict.

"The panel of experts produced a strong, credible report - for the first time an international body acknowledged the extent of human rights abuses committed in the last days of Sri Lanka’s brutal conflict, when at least 10,000 civilians were killed," said Zarifi. "It’s time for the Human Rights Council to act on the panel of expert’s findings and hold those responsible for massive atrocities in Sri Lanka to account. The thousands of victims have waited long enough."

Amnesty International also reminded the Human Rights Council of ongoing human rights abuses the organization has documented in Sri Lanka since the conflict ended in 2009. These include lack of humanitarian access to displaced communities, lack of consultation with communities in the resettlement process, and threats to media freedoms.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. 

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nursing conference attended by more than 300 delegates

Ludhiana, 10th September,  Haematology, Oncology and Bone marrow transplantation services are at a turning point in our country with increasing number of patients requiring the need for these services.  With a projected increase in chronic diseases in India and increasing life span, patients with these diseases are on the rise.
The caregiver at the bedside has a very important role in the outcome of cancer patients. On this behalf Christian Medical College, Ludhiana conducted a unique national conference for the nurses and physician assistants working in the field of cancer and bone marrow transplantation. This is the first time in this region such a conference is held on the theme ‘Importance of Nursing care’focusing on ‘Quality, Competency and Research’.
This was attended by more than 300  delegates from 10 different states of the country and 25 different institutions.
The meeting was inaugurated by the Chief guest Dr Kim.J.Mammen and Dr Kunal Jain gave the welcome speech.
While Mrs Abanti Gopan from Kolkota spoke about quality in nursing care, Ms Swapna Joshi from TMH Mumbai, detailed on how to go about research in nursing care and Dr M Joseph John from CMC Ludhiana mentioned clinician’s view point on nursing care and emphasized that Indian nurses can be as good or better than nurses from abroad by giving adequate training more responsibility.
Ms Jyoti Sahni from PGI, Chandigarh talked about the infection control in specialized units and Ms Joylen Jonahs from Pune explained the details of managing central lines.  Mrs Selva Titus from Vellore expounded on the importance of filtration technology in Haematology-Oncology and transplant units to reduce the incidence of infections.
Ms Anita Desouza from Mumbai gave the details of maintaining a clean environment for BMT and leukemia units and Ms Margaret from Vellore gave the details of stem cell handling. Ms Deepshika Gupta from Ludhiana mentioned about the ways to prevent and manage extravasations.
Post lunch there were panel discussions on training avenues for nurses and physician assistants, attrition among nurses, optimal manpower in a specialized unit and maintaining interpersonal relationships in a unit. This was followed by quiz for the audience and organizing secretary Dr M Joseph John gave the vote of thanks.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Theatre Workshop For Working Proffessionals tomorrow

The Asmita weekend theatre workshop, conceptualised by Mr Arvind Gaur Director Asmita theatre group, is the first of its kind. This workshop provides working professionals a platform to pursue theatre on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The uniqunes of this workshop lies in the selection of its content, chosen to study contemporary acting. Socio-political issues become a subject of discussions, improvisations and script reading.Voice and speech work, quintessential in acting are taught by means of physical exercises, street plays and monolouges.
15 years of knowledge and experience of Asmita Theatre Group is carefully filtered into the minds of students by the senior most actors of Asmita, under the critical guidance of Mr. Arvind Gaur.
Finally the three month workshop culminates in a public production.
"Kharashe" a play based on short stories by Gulzar was performed by the second batch of Asmita Weekend Theatre Workshop at I.H.C on the 26th and 27th of july.A comprehensive documentation of this play is available at the Asmita Weekend Theatre Group on Facebook.

For More Details Contact: Shiv Chauhan-9958793683,Shilpi Marwaha-9540656537, Arvind Gaur-9899650509

CMC Hospital successfully organized 8th Ophthalmic quiz

Ludhiana, 9th September: The Department of OphthalmologyChristian Medical College and Hospital successfully organized the 8th Ophthalmic quiz for undergraduate medical students in the hospital auditorium on 9th September 2011. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Dr.A.G.Thomas, Director, CMC and Hospital. He encouraged the participating teams and appreciated the efforts of the department in making this academic venture a much awaited annual feature of the institution.
Among the 30 undergraduate teams, 5 teams qualified for the quiz following the preliminary round. Dr.Nitin Batra and Dr.Gurvinder Kaur conducted the finals. Anjali B Susan and Anu Sara Philip (Batch of 2008) were the winner & Nayana Sebastian and Dona George (Batch of 2006) were the 1st runner up.
Dr.S.M.Bhatti, Principal CMC, was the guest of Honour and presented a special Award of Merit to an outstanding student, Geetika Gera (Batch of 2007). Gayatri Bhatia (Batch of 2008) presented an interesting talk titled ‘Hall of Fame’, which gave a brief history of legendary ophthalmologists.

First Responder: 9/11 Transformed National Guard

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., Sept. 7, 2011 - On Sept. 11, 2001, Army Spc. Qiyu "Steve" Luo was fresh off active duty and preparing for his first weekend drill with the New York Army National Guard.
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Army Sgt. 1st Class Qiyu "Steve" Luo, a member of the New York Army National Guard who was among the first responders to the 9/11 attack in New York, said the event changed him, his unit, and the National Guard as an organization. Courtesy photo
Hired as a full-time administrative specialist, Luo had some preconceived notions at the time about what he considered to be a club of weekend warriors.The focus of the upcoming weekend drill was to be civil disturbance training.
What Luo and his fellow 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment soldiers didn't realize was that they were about to embark on what he called "the ultimate civil disturbance training" as first responders to the 9/11 attack just 40 blocks from their armory.
"I hadn't seen my first drill yet, but then I guess I had the biggest drill of my life," he said.
Reflecting back a decade later, Luo said the experience forever changed him, his unit and the National Guard he continues to serve today.
News of the 9/11 attack swept quickly across the unit, with members arriving for duty that morning even before they were called, Luo recalled. Even a couple of the soldiers who had been away without leave appeared, ready to do whatever was needed.
"Just out of nowhere, everyone showed up," Luo said. "This is where everyone knew they needed to be."
By the following morning, the guardsmen were on the scene at ground zero, Luo said, setting up a security perimeter around the site and supporting the rescue and recovery effort.
The unit members, many personally affected by the attack, worked tirelessly as they helped fire and police department officials search for victims and doing whatever tasks were required to support the effort.
"Every day we were doing different things," Luo said. "The first day, I was helping dig out. The next day, I was guarding the mortuary or escorting people who lived in the area" so they could retrieve essentials from their homes.
After the first week, Luo began rotating in and out of the area over the next six months. When not physically on the scene, his focus was on ensuring Guard members who had been called to active duty were getting paid.
Morale was high, Luo recalled, higher than he'd ever anticipated. "Everyone was doing their job, what they had joined to do," he said. "People felt a calling."
That calling, the Guard members realized, would extend long beyond the 9/11 response mission. Ultimately, almost all would deploy to combat, either to Afghanistan or, like Luo, to Iraq, from November 2004 to August 2005.
Now a sergeant first class still serving with the 42nd Infantry Division, Luo said 9/11 changed the National Guard in ways he never imagined possible.
"It triggered a dramatic change in the Guard," he said. "It went from being a 'frat boy organization' to a professional fighting force. We went from being a strategic reserve to an operational reserve."
Since 9/11, the New York Army National Guard has sent almost 8,000 soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan, noted Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Murphy, New York's adjutant general. Among those who have deployed are members of the 42nd Infantry Division headquarters, the first Guard division headquarters to deploy to combat since the Korean War.
Today, the New York Guard is preparing to send more than 2,000 soldiers overseas in 2012 and 2013, Murphy said. These include the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team -- the same unit that deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and will return there next year.
"The 8,000 soldiers and airmen who've joined the New York National Guard since the events of Sept. 11, 2001 probably wouldn't recognize the National Guard that existed on Sept. 10, 2001," Murphy said in a message to his command. "The National Guard today is a more demanding organization to belong to," with greater expectations on it from the state and nation.
Luo said his personal role as a 9/11 first responder, and as a soldier in that operational National Guard force has changed his view of the world.
"I went from being there at ground zero picking up body parts to actively engaging in combat in the war on terror," he said. "For me, being there to witness all that in person, up close and personal, has definitely been a life-changing experience."
Related Sites:
Special Report: Remembering 9/11

Thursday, September 08, 2011

9/11 Teen Recalls Father With Pride

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2011 - Nine-year-old Zachary Laychak walked into his house after school one day to a house full of family and friends.
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Zachary Laychak is pictured here with his father, David Laychak, who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Laychak is now a 19-year-old college student. Courtesy photo 
A fire had broken out at the Pentagon, they told him calmly, and they were waiting to hear from his father, who worked there as a civilian budget analyst for the Army. He felt a twinge of concern, but quickly dismissed the thought that something bad had happened."He'll be fine," Laychak thought. "He always is."
Two days later, two men came to deliver the devastating news: 40-year-old David Laychak was one of the 184 people who had died Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. It was nearly a decade ago, he said, but the moment remains vivid.
His mother sat him and his 7-year-old sister down and told them their father had been killed. They screamed and sobbed as the news sunk in.
"I remember my mom saying it was the hardest thing she'd ever had to tell," said Laychak, now a 19-year-old college student. "For me, at least initially, I felt disbelief. I couldn't understand how it could happen."
As Laychak struggled to come to terms with his loss, Americans struggled to comprehend the extent of damage to the nation. Terrorists had taken nearly 3,000 innocent lives here and in New York and Pennsylvania. They destroyed and damaged buildings and shook the nation's sense of security to its core.
But to a 9-year-old who had just lost his dad, the attacks weren't a national incident; they were a personal affront.
"I couldn't understand what would make someone want to do this to my dad," Laychak said. "I was just angry, so mad." The attacks, he added, changed the course of his life forever.
He lost, not only his father, he said, but also his best friend. Bonded by a love of sports, his father, a former college football player, would rush home each day so they could toss a football out in the front yard. His dad coached every sport he played, he added, whether it was basketball, baseball or lacrosse.
Laychak could hardly believe his strong, capable father was gone, he said. He recalled leaving his house that afternoon and heading over to a friend's house across the street for a sleepover. He woke up at around 6 a.m. and peeked out the window at his house. Relief washed over him when he saw his dad's car parked in the driveway. He later found out his aunt had driven his dad's car home.
In the wake of his dad's death, Laychak tucked his feelings aside to focus on his family. He assumed the "man of the house" role to take care of his mother and sister, he said.
"It definitely made me mature a lot quicker," he said. "I figured things out on my own and tried to just be there for my mom and sister."
But along with this maturity came a growing sense of isolation. He felt like an oddity at school and was flooded with questions upon his return. Close friends shielded him, he said, in a surprising show of maturity for a group of 4th graders he had met less than a year earlier.
As time passed, his initial anger evolved into a deep sense of patriotism -- born of resentment against those who dared to attack his nation and his family.
"I became a fan of us fighting these battles overseas," Laychak said. "It made me proud that America didn't just let the attacks happen [without responding]."
He also focused on keeping his father's memory alive. He bought a silver bracelet engraved with his father's name, which he rarely takes off. And whatever sport he plays, he wears the No. 4 in honor of his father, who wore that number when he played football at Brown University.
His house is strewn with pictures of his dad in his college uniform, along with a framed No. 4 jersey given to him from his dad's alma mater.
Laychak now is establishing college memories of his own. He's studying communications at the University of Arizona and plans to pursue a job with a sports organization. He even chose the college in memory of his father, he said, who took him to sports events when they lived in the area.
He's also heavily involved with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an organization for military families of the fallen, as well as Tuesday's Children, an organization that provides support for children of 9/11 and others impacted by global terrorism.
Laychak's uncle, Jim Laychak, also is intent on keeping alive the memory of his brother, as well as all victims of the Pentagon attack. He spearheaded the fundraising and creation of the Pentagon Memorial, a serene spot next to the Pentagon that features an engraved bench for each of the 184 people killed there.
The years have soothed much of his anger related to that day, Zach Laychak said. Still, he rejoices in each victory in the war on terrorism.
One of the happiest moments he's had since his father's death, he said, was when Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was killed in May.
"I felt pure joy and happiness," he said. "I had friends from high school calling me. Even they knew it was something important to me."
As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 draws near, Laycheck said he'll remember his father with love and pride.
"As terrible as this whole situation was, I know he was a very patriotic person and that he died serving his country," he said. "That's a way he would have been proud to go."

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Come to help & save Pema

Pema is 30-year old lady from Leh, Ladakh, with four children, who recently underwent a urinary bladder reconstruction operation in the Department of Urology, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana. She had a diseased urinary bladder which was small in capacity and could not store urine due to tuberculosis of the kidney and bladder. Her left kidney was also diseased and non-functioning due to tuberculosisHer right kidney was also obstructed due to tuberculosis and this was also set right surgically.

Pema had urinary incontinence and she was always wet and stinking with the smell of urine. Her clothes were always wet due to dribbling of urine without her knowledge. It was an embarrassment for Pema to meet her friends & family, and she could not move out of her home. She then decided to come to CMCH for further treatment. Dr Kim Mammen, Professor & Head, Department of Urology, CMCH
, and his team of doctors and Nurses performed reconstruction of the urinary bladder using an intestinal segment and increased its capacity to store more volume of urine for curing her urinary incontinence. As she was recovering from this major surgical procedure, she developed weakness of all her four limbs due to tuberculosis affecting a portion of her brain, making her unable to walk and use her hands. She is on treatment for her TB and on rigorous physiotherapy and rehabilitation therapy to get the function of her limbs back to near normal. Doctors, Nurses and Physiotherapists at the CMCH are working very hard to get Mrs Pema back to normal. Her husband went back to Leh, Ladakh, to sell all the jewelry and household assets to bring some more money for Pema’s treatment. The hospital authorities have subsidized her treatment and given her a lot of financial assistance, writing off a significant portion of her escalating treatment bill.

Her total cost of treatment would come to Rs 2.5 LakhsPema and her husband had come to CMCH from Leh with only Rs 30000.00
 and nothing more. This was the maximum amount they could collect from contributions from their family and friends. Kind hearted philanthropists and well-wishers can help this poor and truly deserving lady by sending in their contribution to the Medical Superintendent, CMCH, by a crossed cheque in favor of “CMC Ludhiana Society” with PEMA’s name and C/O Urology Department mentioned at the back of the cheque, along with a covering letter. All contributions are exempt from income tax under Section 80 G of the Income Tax act. 

Dr Kim Mammen,
Professor & Head, Department of Urology,
Christian Medical College & Hospital,
Ludhiana-141008, Punjab.
Mobile: +91 9814034185.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Airman Enters Space Camp Hall of Fame

By Air Force Maj.Vanessa Hillman 
U.S. Air Force Space Command
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Aug. 29, 2011 - An Air Force officer recently became the first U.S. Air Force space and missile operator inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame.
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Air Force Lt. Col. William Burke Hare III recently was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame. Courtesy photo 
Lt. Col. William Burke Hare III, the chief of operations for the Flight Test Execution Directorate at the Missile Defense Agency at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., was selected as one of three inductees out of 60 nominees for the 2011 Space Camp Hall of Fame.Hare said the honor came as a surprise.
"I am truly humbled that my career accomplishments met the standards of the [Space Camp] Hall of Fame," he said. "I really was shocked I was selected."
According to the Space Camp website, the Space Camp Hall of Fame was established to honor outstanding members of the Space Camp family, including graduates and former employees who have distinguished themselves in their respective careers or friends who have made considerable contributions of personal time, effort or resources to further the goals of the Space Camp programs.
Hare, originally from Atlanta, graduated from Auburn University in 1992 where he received his commission from ROTC Detachment 005. Having studied political science there, he earned his master's degree in space studies from the University of North Dakota.
However, Hare said his interest in the space program started much earlier.
"Since I was very young, 5 or 6 years old, I thought the idea of going into space as an astronaut would be the greatest adventure anyone could have," he said. "I wanted to try it out firsthand and see if space was a line of work for me. My Space Camp and Aviation Challenge experiences set the stage in guiding me toward Air Force space and missiles as the career for me."
Hare attended Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., in 1984 and 1986 as a camper, and also worked there from 1992 to 1993 in the Aviation Challenge program as a Space Camp counselor.
"My Space Camp and Aviation Challenge experiences reinforced my desire and drive for a career in the Air Force and in Air Force space missions," he said. "I have great memories from my time as a participant and counselor in the programs. They provided inspiration for what the future might hold. Those programs still do to this very day."

As much as Hare was shocked at his selection, it came as no surprise to his previous leaders.
"Lieutenant Colonel Hare has always been an airman that gave 100 percent to the military space mission and 100 percent to the civilian side in educating all comers on space as a whole," said Air Force Col. William Burton, Hare's former supervisor at Air Force Space Command and the chief of staff of 24th Air Force.
"Burke spearheaded the relationship that AFSPC developed with Space Camp and many civilians and military members alike prospered," Burton said. "This honor is well deserved and should solidify future military-civilian education efforts in the future."
Hare gave words of encouragement to young space enthusiasts who are looking to work in space as a career.
"There is a way," he said. "If you really want to be in the space business, you can get there. You may have to take alternative routes along the way, but if you stay true to your main goals, you will get there. Have faith and never, ever give up."
The Hall of Fame was instituted seven years ago. Its inductees include Dr. Werner von Braun, who is considered the father of manned space flight, as well as Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen and Oscar Holderer, two of the original members of the von Braun rocket team.