Stand Up America U.S. Foundation Supports Equine Therapy for Veterans

 

Stand Up America U.S. Foundation and The Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund are now supporting The Valor Equine Therapy Service Herd 2 Human Program for our veterans and first responders.

Equine Assisted Therapy has shown to be very effective in treating patients, including combat veterans and first responders, with PTSD, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, as well as behavior disorders.

 

Valor Equine Therapy Services, Inc. (V.E.T.S.) is a Montana based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established to help veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Statistics show that horses calm the nerves, lower blood pressure and, in general, relieve stress.  Our veterans and first responders will be under the watchful eyes of trained equine professionals.

The goal for VETS is to establish a peaceful, serene atmosphere on a bucolic ranch situated in Northwestern Montana.  This will enable the veterans and first responders to “get away from it all” and relax in a rural setting, enjoying the benefits of a one-on-one relationship with a special horse.  Veterans and first responders will be housed on the ranch for a period of time to allow them to “de-stress” from all of life’s challenges.  VETS will offer programs such as, but not limited to, woodworking, furniture making, ornamental welding, photography, gardening, cooking, and financial counseling.

Mission Statement

To provide a resource for the ever-growing demand for professional assistance in mitigating the damaging effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered by military veterans, law enforcers, firefighters and EMT responders.  Equine Therapeutic Programs (ETPs) are supervised by professional equestrian instructors who teach wounded veterans and first responders how to interact, react, and care for a horse.

NONPROFIT TAPS INTO HEALING POWER OF HORSES

For more than five years, Valor Equine Therapy Service Inc., a nonprofit based in Columbia Falls, has used the healing power of horses to help active duty members, veterans and first-responders manage and mitigate the side effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that occurs when someone struggles to recover mentally from a traumatic experience.

Some estimate more 13 million people in the United States struggle with PTSD and among the most susceptible are veterans and first-responders.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD affects about 30 percent of Vietnam veterans during their lifetimes, about 12 percent from the Gulf War and about 15 percent from operations in Iraq.

Valor’s founder, Lynn Murray, said that although she is not a veteran herself, her countless friends who served in Desert Storm and Vietnam inspired her to start the organization.

“I wanted to try and help my friends who seemed to not be receiving any help from the VA,” Murray said. “I noticed other animals like dogs were being used to heal people so I thought, why not horses?”

Those who choose to go through Valor’s program participate in various “talking circles” with mental-health professionals and are individually paired with a horse to interact with and care for alongside staff. Considering experiences with PTSD are often difficult to discuss openly, groups usually don’t consist of more than six participants at a time, Murray said.

To describe the benefits of human and horse interaction, Jeff Patterson, co-founder of Herd 2 Human, often turns to a tried-and-true Winston Churchill adage: “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

According to Patterson, interacting with horses can lower blood pressure and slow heart rates. Horses also read and often mirror the emotions and behaviors of their owners and caretakers.

Common side-effects of PTSD include bouts of anxiety and mood swings — emotions that, should they arise, are difficult for those who are suffering to notice. So when the horse begins mirroring their behaviors, participants are then able to recognize and monitor their side-effects, said Valor’s operations manager, Wayne Appl.

“Horses are like a 1,200-pound lie detector,” Appl said. “You can’t hide anything from them.”

And program participants are not the only ones to benefit from equine therapy.

Some of the horses used in Valor’s program are rescues brought in from the Hiatt Equestrian Rescue and Recreation center in Bigfork. The horses are sometimes saved from slaughterhouses and abusive living conditions and are fighting mental problems of their own.

“Those horses need human touch as much as the humans need to touch them,” Murray said. “The animals sometimes finish the program just as healed as the people are.”

Murray said Valor has grown significantly over the years and she hopes to expand their facilities soon. In February, Skijor USA is coming to Columbia Falls and will donate a portion of proceeds from the event to Valor.

Reporter Kianna Gardner may be reached at 758-4439 or kgardner@dailyinterlake.com.

Article

Valor Equine Therapy Program

Equine Assisted Therapy Research Abstract



Hey Donald…I am thinking of a number…A gain…

 

‘Dignity intact’: Mexico celebrates deal in Tijuana rally

– Associated Press – Sunday, June 9, 2019

 

TIJUANAMexico — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he was reluctantly prepared to slap retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods if negotiators in Washington had failed to strike a deal, addressing a boisterous celebratory rally Saturday in the border city of Tijuana.

The president’s comments came shortly after his foreign minister and chief negotiator, Marcelo Ebrard, told the rally the country had emerged from the high-stakes talks that avoided U.S. tariffs on Mexico’s exports with its “dignity intact.”

López Obrador said that as an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, he opposes retaliation but had been prepared to impose tariffs on U.S. goods. “As chief representative of the Mexican state I cannot permit that anyone attacks our economy or accept an unjust asymmetry unworthy of our government.”

The rally in Tijuana, a short walk from the border, was originally scheduled as an act of solidarity in the face of President Donald Trump’s threat to impose a 5% tariff on Mexico’s exports if it did not stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing its territory toward the U.S.

But after Mexican and U.S. officials reached an accord late Friday that calls on Mexico to crackdown on migrants in exchange for Trump backing off his threat, officials here converted the rally into a celebration.

brard, who helped negotiate the deal, said when he gave the president his report, he told López Obrador: “There are no tariffs, Mr. President, we emerged with our dignity intact.”

López Obrador has said consistently that Mexico’s immigration policy will be guided by respect for

human rights. How that is integrated with the more proactive enforcement Mexico has promised Trump is yet to be seen.

“We take advantage of being here in Tijuana to say to the people of the United States once more that we do not harbor any intention nor will we harbor any intention to harm them, and we are resolved to collaborate with them in all areas, especially on the concern spurred by the growth of the migratory flow to their country,” he said.

“At the same time, we ask for their understanding because the migratory phenomenon doesn’t come from nowhere, it comes from the material needs and the insecurity in the Central American countries and in marginalized sectors and regions of Mexico, where there are human beings who need to set out on a pilgrimage to mitigate their hunger and their poverty or to save their lives.”

A series of speakers at the government-organized gathering spoke of the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship and applauded Mexico’s negotiating team. The rally had the feeling of a campaign event with paraphernalia from López Obrador’s ruling Morena party spread throughout the crowd.

The event was held in an intersection of Tijuana’s gritty downtown surrounded by pharmacies and currency exchange shops. Prostitutes lined the street a block away from the stage filled with dignitaries.

Lopez Obrador spoke of the long and intertwined histories of the two countries, noting that they “are protagonists in the largest demographic exchange in the world.”

Tijuana residents at the rally said they supported the terms of the agreement. But residents just a block away expressed concern the deal could mean more asylum seekers having to wait in Tijuana and other Mexican border cities for the resolution of their cases in the U.S. That process can take months or even years.

Angelica López, 41, has worked at a U.S. assembly plant in Tijuana that makes motors of all kinds for more than 20 years. The threatened tariffs would have directly impacted her family’s well-being, she said.

“Honestly, we were worried,” she said. “That’s how we eat, how we provide for the family, our home.”

As for the possibility that it means more Central American migrants have to wait out their asylum process in Tijuana, López noted that she had arrived in Tijuana as an economic migrant from another part of Mexico.

“The opportunities are for everyone, we simply support one another as human beings.”

But a block away, masseuse Omar Luna, said he believed many of the Central American migrants waiting in Tijuana were not there to work and were causing problems.

“This part affects us a little,” he said. “A lot of them don’t come to work, they’re criminals, (but) not all of them.”

Critics of the deal in Mexico say that other than a vague reiteration of a joint commitment to promote development, security and growth in Central America, the agreement focuses almost exclusively on enforcement and says little about the root causes driving the surge in migrants seen in recent months.

The deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops appears to be the key commitment in what was described as “unprecedented steps” by Mexico to ramp up enforcement, though Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero said that had already been planned and was not a result of external pressure.

Another key element of the deal is that the United States will expand a program known as the Migrant Protection Protocol, or MPP. According to Mexican immigration authorities, since January there have been 10,393 returns by migrants to Mexico while their cases wend their way through U.S. courts.

Observers said a concern is that if the MPP rolls out on a mass scale along the United States’ entire southern border, it could overwhelm Mexican border cities.

Article

 

 

The Shape of Things to Come: South of the Border: ISIS and Hezbollah

 

 

MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.), SUA, our Legacy National Security Group, our friends Michael Cutler and Tom Trento, and others have warned and provided intel for years. Now being reported by Fox News and The Daily Telegraph. And the traitors and saboteurs in Congress still do nothing but block President Trump from increasing our security to counter the terrorist threat that has already plagued Europe and other areas of the world.

What is the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA, the Intel Community, the Department of State, and Congress hiding?

SUA has proprietary intel concerning the greatest crimes ever committed against the American people.

ISIS plotted to send westerners to U.S through Mexico border: report

A chilling confession from a captured ISIS fighter has shed light on how the terrorist group intended to exploit the vulnerabilities of the U.S. border with Mexico, using English speakers and westerners to take advantage of smuggling routes and target financial institutions.

Seized ISIS fighter Abu Henricki, a Canadian citizen with dual citizenship with Trinidad, last month said that he was sought out by the violent insurgency’s leadership to attack the U.S from a route starting in Central America, according to a study by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and published in Homeland Security Today.

“ISIS has organized plots in Europe with returnees so it seems entirely plausible that they wanted to send guys out to attack. The issue that makes a North American attack harder is the travel is more difficult from Syria,” Anne Speckhard, who co-conducted the study as the director of ICSVE and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University, told Fox News. “So the idea that they would instead use people who were not known to their own governments as having joined ISIS might make it possible for them to board airplanes.”

Henricki allegedly traveled to Syria with the intention of serving as an ISIS fighter, but was later told he could not take on soldier duties due to a chronic illness. At the end of 2016, he claimed to have been “invited” by the ISIS intelligence wing – known as the emni – to join other Trinidadians and launch financial attacks on the U.S.

The attacks were described to Henricki as designed to “cripple the U.S. economy,” and he was said to have been informed that he would be issued false identification and passports and would be maneuvered from Puerto Rico to Mexico and then to the United States.

“The plan came from someone from the New Jersey state of America. I was going to take the boat from Puerto Rico into Mexico. He was going to smuggle me in,” the ISIS cadre continued.

He further elaborated that he believed the scheme was aimed at New York financial targets.

“They wanted to use these people (to attack inside the U.S.) because they were from these areas,” Henricki told the scholars, indicating that they were either from North America or were English speakers.

Central American migrants ride atop a freight train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, Oaxaca State, Mexico (AP)

He underscored that other Trinidadians, many of whom have been killed in the protracted mayhem over the past several years, were also approached to “do the same thing.”

However, Henricki then claimed he refused the mission and was subsequently thrown into an ISIS prison in Manbij and brutally tortured. His wife, also a Canadian, was also imprisoned in a women’s department and endured psychological torture.

“This plot is likely dead as those who were pressured to join it are according to Abu Henricki now all dead and ISIS is in retreat as we know,” Speckhard said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t disregard that it was a plot.  We should take thoughtful steps to prevent.

“We often hear about terrorists trying to enter the southern border in political debate, but I rarely have come across a real case.  It surprised me to hear this was a real plot by ISIS to exploit our southern border.  That’s concerning of course.”

Henricki surrendered to the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the final assault to take back Baghouz earlier this year. He remains behind bars in the SDF-controlled region of Syria, with their futures in legal limbo as many foreign governments are not willing to take back accused ISIS operatives.

A representative from Canada’s Global Affairs was not immediately able to respond to a request for comment.

Alex Hamerstone, the governance, risk, and practice lead at global security firm TrustedSec, told Fox News that it is not uncommon at all for criminal groups to use Americans to help facilitate their crimes and that it is far easier to do once inside the country of target.

“Even better, however, is to get someone inside the actual company to attack its network from behind the firewall. That is much easier to carry out than a cyber attack from outside of the network, and this type of ‘insider threat’ is a major problem already for US companies,” he explained. “An employee knows everything about his or her company, and what its strengths and weaknesses are. This type of person would be very effective at exploiting a corporate network and causing massive amounts of damage. What is really surprising is that terrorist groups have not already used US employees to attack their own companies.”

Hamerstone pointed out that terrorist groups like ISIS have been able to recruit Americans and people in the U.K. to go to their training camps, “so it wouldn’t be a huge stretch for them to get an American to get a job at a bank and then sabotage it.”

“Think about what an insider in IT aligned with terrorists could do,” he noted. “What’s really scary to think about is that an insider can do almost anything to a company. There are very few limits on the type of damage a rogue employee could cause.”

Moreover, the authors of the report underscored that it serves to demonstrate that ISIS has discussed and operationalized ways in which their operatives could infiltrate our borders and cause harm to our citizens, and downplay the potential terrorist threats from the border areas would be harmful to the safety of Americans.

“This account is not a warning bulletin for an imminent attack against our country, nor is it a fear-mongering attempt to suggest a wave of ISIS terrorists are waiting to cross our southern border,” the authors added. “But a reminder to diligently consider leads and sources that confirm terrorists’ intentions to exploit one of the weakest links in our national security – our borders.”

Now over to Congress: The traitors and nitwits celebrate at our expense. And there is more. Dante never had it so good.


Now back to Agent Terry and the third gun was planted fore a reason.


Memorial Day 2019: Remembering All of Ours and All the Days when Being American was Everything

Memorial Day 2019: Remembering All of Ours and All the Days when Being American was Everything.

May 27, 2019

By MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army Ret.

We pause this day in America to remember our fallen heroes, the men and women who answered the call of freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice. We lament our losses, the losses of our friends, the losses from our communities and our nation as a whole – we bow our heads in silent sorrow, but our hearts are also filled with pride for their service to each and every American – to the longevity of our nation and way of life.

Let us remember and thank them for the nights they slept freezing in a tent, or sweating in the desert, for the lonely days they spent fighting boredom and missing loved ones, for the hours they spent sick in pain from battle and without someone holding their hand other than their fellow soldiers, for the moments of sheer fright in the heat of battle, for the wounds suffered fighting evil, for the endless days in hospitals undergoing painful surgeries, for the precious occasions missed at home with family and friends.

For all of these sacrifices, we need to thank them on behalf of millions of Americans who are so grateful. We truly appreciate their dedication to duty, living up to their oaths, honoring those who came before them, and defending our Constitution.

I wish a special thank you to all the families and friends as well. I want to thank the parents who raised them, stood by them, and made them honorable men and woman. Most especially, we thank the wives, husbands, and loved ones who stood by them and supported them with their love as well.

May their legacy be honored for generations to come, may the tears shed over their coffins fertilize the fields of patriotism in our nation. The new generations to come must be built on strength, duty, honor and country, willing and able to follow in their Warrior footsteps when duty calls to defend America. May their blood not have been shed in vain. May we prove worthy of their sacrifice.

You who have served and are serving as our brave ones, our heroes, are our national treasures. You are the pride of our nation, our strength and our foundation.

Thanks to you, millions have been freed around the world. Those who criticize our country, burn our precious flag, and speak ill of you, are able to do so because their freedom is built upon your blood and your sacrifice.

Our son speaks from his resting place. He speaks to me each day from his hallowed space with beautiful skies and mountains majestic white with snow. God bless his soul and the others and I thank him for his wonderful contribution to our life.

He lives forever in our hearts. I fear no evil when I walk with Warriors. We walk in the valley of the shadow of death, but we fear no evil. We are the Masters of our Destiny and the Captains of our souls.

You are the wind beneath my wings, and I will fly with you forever in eternity.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as a tradition of decorating the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers with flags and flowers to show the respect of a grateful nation for their service and sacrifice. This tradition continues today, and our nation now sets aside the last Monday in May to celebrate the courage of the men and women who have worn America’s colors in war and in peace.

I recall as a young man, remembering on Memorial Day that in the morning there was a parade down Main Street, led by a color guard, the high school band, and ranks of veterans from World War I, World War II, and the war of the moment, Korea.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars sold red poppies to raise funds for the disabled. Politicians made speeches and citizens prayed in public.

It was a solemn annual event that taught us reverence for those who served and sacrificed for our country.

It is no longer so in many places in America, especially in our large urban areas.

Sadly, it is now best known to all too many as the beginning of summer, a day for a barbecue, not a day of remembrance.

Begun as a local observance in the aftermath of the Civil War, the first national commemoration took place on May 30, 1868, at the direction of General John A. Logan, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Though his “General Order No. 11” specified “strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion” – meaning only Union soldiers – those who tended the burial sites at Arlington, VA, Gettysburg, PA, and Vicksburg, MS, decided on their own to decorate the graves of both Union and Confederate war dead.

For five decades the holiday remained essentially unchanged. But in 1919, as the bodies of young Americans were being returned to the U.S. from the battlefields of World War I, May 30th became a truly national event. It persisted as such until 1971, during the Vietnam War – the war America wanted to forget – when the Uniform Holiday Act passed by Congress went into effect, and turned Memorial Day into a “three-day weekend.”

Since then, it’s become an occasion for appliance, mattress, and auto sales, a day for picnics, barbecues, and auto races. Thankfully, there are some places besides Arlington National Cemetery, places like Bigfork, Montana, where Memorial Day is still observed as a time to honor America’s war dead.

This Memorial Day we remember those who have served our nation in the past and those who currently serve America today. Although Memorial Day comes only once a year, we must make sure that our service members know how grateful we are every day. This day recognizes the sacrifices made by our courageous men and women who have fallen in defense of our nation’s liberty.

This Memorial Day, please take a moment to remember and honor America’s fallen and our current day warriors who are advancing freedom’s cause and defending us in far away lands, always at the ready.

WE salute you one and all.  WE bow before you in respect and humility. May God bless you and God bless America – the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 

 

 

 

 

What you and Carter Page and Donald Trump have in common.

Any American Citizen File

Who allowed FISA surveillance abuse? New attorney general must find out

BY: FRANCEY HAKES, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR, The Hill

When I worked at the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Department of Justice (DOJ), the procedure for obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant was an object lesson in checks and balances. Given the near-daily revelations about the underpinnings of the various investigations into President Trump and his inner circle, those checks and balances weren’t just ignored — they were thrown permanently out the window in the name of securing his election defeat or later removal from office.

We are privileged to live in a country where the rule of law and our tradition of professional law enforcement protect us from the kind of corruption rife in many other countries. But the conduct of the FBI and the Department of Justice in opening multiple investigations into President Trump and his inner circle calls that professionalism into question in a way that should concern us all, regardless of our political leanings.

In 1975, the Church Committee was formed by Congress to investigate whether the intelligence community was using its various surveillance technologies to target political enemies. Three major agencies — National Security Agency (NSA), CIA, and FBI — were all found to be illegally targeting Americans such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali without court supervision, permission or warrants as required by the Constitution. In response to this shocking finding, Congress in 1978 passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was designed to impose strict controls on the use of clandestine surveillance tools against Americans to ensure they were never again used for political purposes.

There were strict guidelines and procedures in place for obtaining a FISA surveillance warrant when I was on special detail to the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review inside the Department of Justice in 2004 and 2005. Before the FBI brought an application to me as the department attorney who would swear to it and present it to the FISA Court, the application went through a series of reviews inside the FBI. These reviews are designed to ensure that a neutral person agrees there is sufficient evidence that the target of the warrant is an agent of a foreign power engaging in espionage or terrorism.

Generally, these warrants are never intended for use in criminal courts. They largely are used to gather intelligence that will aid in protecting national security. They also mostly are used to target foreign nationals in this country. If the target is a U.S. person, the department attorney must establish in the application for a warrant that the person is acting as the agent of a foreign power and, additionally, that he or she likely engaged in conduct that violates U.S. criminal statutes. As with criminal warrants, the factual assertions made to support the allegation that the target is an agent of a foreign power engaged in possible criminal activity must be reliable. That is, a bare assertion is not enough; it must be supported by reliable information and evidence.

Once the review is complete at the FBI, the agent presents the application to a department attorney for review and submission to the FISA Court. At this stage, the attorney must verify every paragraph of the application. This is done in consultation with the agent. I was trained to ask the agent how he or she knew each “fact” asserted in every paragraph. Importantly, I would be swearing to the application’s accuracy before the court, so I had a critical incentive to ensure the facts were accurately portrayed. My license, my reputation were on the line.

But, I had to rely upon the representation of the agent, and the FBI, CIA or NSA, to give me accurate information. I certainly couldn’t go out and verify the assertions myself. Once I was confident that each paragraph was accurate, and that the requirements of the statute were met, that application then went through several more people above me, supervisors who also were professional DOJ career attorneys, before it reached the final level of approval by the deputy attorney general. Only then, after purportedly neutral review inside the FBI and DOJ, would a FISA application be submitted to the court for approval.

We now know that the unverified allegations in the so-called Steele dossier were asserted as reliable facts in the original FISA warrant and three renewals against former Trump campaign volunteer adviser Carter Page. Former FBI director James Comey admitted as much in testimony long after the FISA warrant was issued. How could this happen? That is what the new attorney general must find out.

How could all the controls in place to protect Americans from clandestine surveillance fail so miserably? It is important to note that many more Americans beyond Carter Page likely were surveilled by the FBI. Every person with whom Page communicated had their emails or text messages captured and reviewed, potentially going back years.

The Obama administration was unveiling the names of Americans captured in FISA surveillance at record rates. This spider web of captures and potential invasion of privacy is exactly why it is so serious to utilize clandestine surveillance tools against Americans. And, it is why there are so many steps required to surveil Americans using those tools. Regular criminal warrants against criminal suspects have disclosure requirements so targets eventually know they have been surveilled. In contrast, clandestine surveillance may go undisclosed forever. So, many Americans may never know — and likely don’t to this day in the case of those with whom Page communicated — that they have been surveilled by government agents.


Why do we care that Page and many other Americans had their emails or other messages intercepted and reviewed based upon unverified allegations? If you think President Trump and his associates are dangerous, evil, stupid, or unqualified, then you might not care. The ends justify the means to you. But what if this supposedly dangerous, evil, stupid, unqualified president uses those same failures to his advantage and against his own enemies?

The new attorney general must investigate how this happened by tracing each person in the chain of the Page FISA warrants. Each must be asked about the factual assertions made under oath.  Someone is accountable. Someone inside the Justice Department must answer for the abuse of our surveillance assets and sworn misrepresentations to the FISA Court. If they don’t, it will happen again. And again.


Francey Hakes was a prosecutor for 16 years and now consults on national security and the protection of children. As a former assistant U.S. attorney, she appeared before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, presenting applications for counterterrorism and counterespionage warrants on a special detail to the Department of Justice Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. She served as the first National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction from January 2010 to March 2012. Follow her on Twitter @FranceyHakes.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/425913-who-allowed-fisa-surveillance-abuse-new-attorney-general-must-find-out