Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive

Disabilities: Georgian advocates for returning military

Last column, I began featuring Retired Army Sgt. First Class Michael Schlitz, of Forston, Ga., who experienced third-degree burns over 85 percent of his body and has had roughly 85 medical operations since 2007, the year an Iraqi insurgent roadside bomb exploded near him. Three soldiers died. Today, Schlitz uses mechanical claws for hands and is blind in one eye.

In a telephone interview, 38-year-old Schlitz said, “I’m a veterans’ advocate now. I’ve done all kinds of work, including speaking in front of Congress about military benefits. But now I’ve moved to the nonprofit world working with (veterans and doing) suicide prevention, social transition, homelessness, and unemployment issues. The two organizations I’ve worked with most are the Gary Sinise Foundation and GallantFew, where I’m special adviser to the board. I advise (GallantFew) on new programs to veterans and on the disabled veteran perspective of what they need when transitioning out of the military.”

The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded by actor/director Gary Sinise (Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump), which has a mission of serving our country by “honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.” It offers unique programs. GallantFew has a mission of facilitating a “peaceful, successful transition from military service to a civilian life filled with hope and purpose.”

In his work with GallantFew, for example, Schlitz said, “I’ve helped a lot (of veterans) by taking suicide prevention calls. Sometimes I get those calls at three in the morning. Sometimes I just listen to them or go to their home to sit with them. It’s tough work, especially helping them socially or in finding a job. There is a lot of need out there, and it’s underrated.” One time he talked over the telephone with a troubled veteran, only to learn later the veteran committed suicide.

He advised veterans: “You don’t have to do it on your own. Most of us coming from the military like the challenge of doing things on our own and not asking for help. Whether it’s an injury, not having the network to find a new job or socially putting yourself into a new environment—you have to reach out to others. It’s very humbling for most of us to ask for help, but at some point you have to suck it up and do it anyway. For most veterans that’s the hardest thing to do.”

Facebook: Disabilities by Daniel J. Vance. [Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod and Palmer Bus Service.]

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Daniel Vance, MS,, LPCC

Contributing Columnist

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