SOTG 199 - Veterans as Victims

SOTG 199 – Veterans as Victims

The campaign to paint and portray U.S. Military veterans as victims is yet another sick and twisted product of the progressive left. Sadly, far too many veterans are playing into the trap. A combat veteran himself, Paul has much to say on the subject.

Gary the Enforcer and Little Rahmy will be pleased to call for more gun control after the residents of the People’s Republik of Illinois went on yet another shooting spree last weekend. We are sure that the NRA and the Tea Party must have had a hand in all of it.


The Story of the USS Helena:


Three people have been killed and at least 13 others injured in shootings across Chicago since Friday evening.
The most recent fatal shooting happened at about 2:10 p.m. Sunday in the 9900 block of South State Street on the Far South Side. A 22-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was shot multiple times and pronounced dead on the scene.
Chicago Burger Named Best in U.S.
Another fatal shooting took place at about 7 p.m. Saturday in the 7300 block of South Dorchester in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. Eric Turner, 21, was standing outside near a home when someone walked out of a gangway and fired shots before running off, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Turner, who lived on the same block where he was shot, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died at 7:43 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.
Firefighters “Pay It Forward” After Shopper Buys Their Groceries
Early Saturday, a 32-year-old man was shot and killed in a Back of the Yards neighborhood drive-by. At about 3:40 a.m., he was riding as passenger in a car in the 4500 block of South Hermitage when an SUV pulled alongside and someone opened fire, striking him in the side, police said.
The man showed up at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where later he was pronounced dead, police said. The medical examiner’s office has yet to confirm the fatality.

4 Chicago Areas Have Had No Homicides in 3-Plus Years.
At least 13 others have been injured in shootings this weekend.


A medically retired Army staff sergeant is preparing for the Fourth of July differently than many Americans.

He’ll start off by celebrating with his wife and two children. But as the sun begins to set and the fireworks begin to go off, you won’t find Russell Cook Jr. outside anymore.

“When things start to get a little bit hairy, I’ll probably put on some headphones and listen to some music,” he said.

That’s the cruel irony for someone suffering from post-traumatic stress: the day we celebrate our freedom is a nightmare for Cook and other combat veterans like him.

“It brings back some of the — what I like to call — the parts of hell for me, things I don’t really like to remember but I tend to think about each day because it’s hard to keep them suppressed,” Cook told FOX 13.

During Cook’s nine years in the Army, his unit was attacked more times than he can remember. They were also hit by four separate roadside bombs.

The first one, in 2004, could have killed him.

“There was an explosion, maybe five, ten feet from me,” he said. “It was a well-coordinated attack by the enemy and I think we were really lucky to get out of there.”

Cook’s said his experiences include “seeing things that I don’t wish anyone else to see.”

Some of his worst memories flood back when he hears the explosions of fireworks during Independence Day and the days surrounding it.

“They just fire off fireworks at all times during the day and night, so it’s just for that week and week after, it is hell for me,” he said.

Cook is trying to make his community aware. He posted a sign in his front yard that reads, “Please be courteous with fireworks.”

The organization that makes the signs, called Military with PTSD, has sent out about 2,500 this year, including roughly 100 to people in Florida.

Dr. Ashley Vigil-Otero, a Clinical psychologist in Tampa, said some not everyone realizes how devastating fireworks can be to veterans with PTSD.

“It can be significantly anxiety-provoking. It can be something where they can have a full-blown panic. It can even really feel like they’re back in that moment and re-experiencing the trauma,” Vigil-Otero said. “Some people might just be increasingly anxious or hyper-vigilant, on alert, whereas others can really be triggered into a flashback or panic.”

Cook doesn’t want anyone to put off their celebration, but would rather they think about the veterans with PTSD who might be living nearby.

“I’m not asking anybody to stop celebrating but it’s senseless, I think, to fire fireworks for two, three weeks straight,” he said. “Try to keep it to the Fourth of July.


The first time I experienced what I now understand to be post-traumatic stress disorder, I was in a subway station in New York City, where I live. It was almost a year before the attacks of 9/11, and I’d just come back from two months in Afghanistan with Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance. I was on assignment to write a profile of Massoud, who fought a desperate resistance against the Taliban until they assassinated him two days before 9/11. At one point during my trip we were on a frontline position that his forces had just taken over from the Taliban, and the inevitable counterattack started with an hour-long rocket barrage. All we could do was curl up in the trenches and hope. I felt deranged for days afterward, as if I’d lived through the end of the world.

By the time I got home, though, I wasn’t thinking about that or any of the other horrific things we’d seen; I mentally buried all of it until one day, a few months later, when I went into the subway at rush hour to catch the C train downtown. Suddenly I found myself backed up against a metal support column, absolutely convinced I was going to die. There were too many people on the platform, the trains were coming into the station too fast, the lights were too bright, the world was too loud. I couldn’t quite explain what was wrong, but I was far more scared than I’d ever been in Afghanistan.

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Paul Markel: Host of Student of the Gun Radio

Paul Markel: Host of Student of the Gun Radio

Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a United States Marine, police officer, professional bodyguard, and small arms and tactics instructor. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly 20 years, and has hundreds of articles in print. A regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows, Markel is a subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students, young and old, for decades and has also worked actively with 4H Shooting Sports programs. Markel holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines; nonetheless, he is, and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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Jarrad Markel: Co-Host and Producer of Student of the Gun Radio

Jarrad Markel: Co-Host and Producer of Student of the Gun Radio

Not just another pretty face, Jarrad Markel has experience and training beyond his years. Jarrad has been training to be a fighter since elementary school when he first learned the art of collegiate wrestling. Now skilled in Jujitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Sambo, the Way of the Fighting Pistol and Fighting Rifle, Jarrad is a well-rounded, tactical athlete with several professional MMA fights under his belt. More than a brute, Jarrad has brains as well. He is the lead editor and videographer for Student of the Gun and works directly for Think On! Productions creating a wide variety of video material. In addition, Markel is a skilled web & blog designer, building material for the Internet side of the house.


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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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