No review ever written will ever mean as much to me about my book as this one. Voo Doo was an amazing man! A Marine, and a Civilian Medic. God rest your soul. Until we meet again.

Something I normally don’t do is written reviews on anything. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever written a review. As the page creator I have been offered a lot of products to try out on the street from multiple companies. Each time I have respectfully declined. It’s just not my thing.

Recently just by pure luck I came across a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AWarriorsGarden . I skimmed over it and clicked “like.” Very shortly after I received a private message from Ralph “Malachias” Gaskin thanking me for liking the page, telling me I was number 500 and I won a free signed copy of his book ‘ A Warriors Garden.’(A Therapeutic Guide to Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)is a documentation of my journey with PTSD. Things I have tried and what has worked for me. What works for one person won’t work for everyone, but if we are going to heal we have to start somewhere.) Paperback (www.awarriorsgarden.com) or for kindle on Amazon(http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H5WDWWE)

I thanked him, but offered to pay for it which he respectfully declined. So I gave him my shipping info. I asked him to send me a friend request. Since then we have chatted a lot and became e-friends. We chat a lot, and have quite a bit in common. I received the book in the mail yesterday. I began and finished reading it today. It is an amazing book dealing with PTSD. Many of you know I personally struggle with PTSD. I don’t talk about it a lot, and I have never talked with a Dr. or a “professional” about it. I have done what I personally chose to do, and that is deal with it on my own, mostly through alcohol abuse for a long period of time, and even still at times turn to the bottle when I start going downhill. The main reason why I have never went looking for help is because I refuse to talk about my experiences with someone who “hasn’t been there.”

This book is a real eye-opener. It has a lot of information packed into a book under 100 pages. Ralph talks about things which have helped him out. He puts a lot of things into perspective. He talks about small things that have helped him and gives insights on how you can help yourself multiple ways. Everything from how to help deal with triggers to help save your family life with very simple steps. The best part is although his (along with my) PTSD stems from Military service, the book can be understood by anyone with PTSD no matter what profession you come from. I know many EMT’s, Paramedics, Cops, Dispatchers, along with a whole list of other professions which deal with PTSD that this book would be extremely useful for. If you are seeking help or know someone who desperately needs help, I highly recommend that you check this book out.

So for my first ever review of anything I give this a 5 star rating. No, I was not offered anything to do a review for the book. In fact I have now purchased a few for friends (non-military) who I know need the help. – Voo Doo

 

voodoo

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How will this country recover? How will we come back from all the hatred that is and has been instilled over the last few years? ANTIFA, NEO-NATZIs, BLM, KKK, and need I go on? Oh wait, this has been going on for generations. Think about it. Black Panthers, KKK and all the others. The President of the United States whether it’s Obama, Trump, or whoever is an indirect influence. As a member of the United States Army we learn that you have to respect the position of authority, not necessarily the person in that position.  I’m by no means a “Trump” guy. I was pulling for Ben Carson the entire time and honestly had no clue who I was going to vote for or if I was even going to vote this cycle until the day I went in to cast my vote.

Being an “indirect influence” no matter who it is comes with the fact that everyone under that authority will try to “read in between the lines” and impose their own psychological understanding of what was said or not said, trying to interpret body language, all of that. Watching my twitter feed is amazingly infuriating. It’s literally Trump is saving the world to Trump is a racist , misogynist , xenophobic and so are all of his followers. God forbid you try to input some sanity into a conversation you immediately get labeled all that as well plus a bigot. As soon as you label someone a bigot you have become one.

I have to straight here. Most of the U.S. had no idea what half of these words were before the most recent election cycle. Now they use them to label anyone who has a differing opinion or view. Look as a veteran of the U.S. Army I can tell you this, for the mass majority of us we could care less what or who you are. Respect us we respect you. The minute you give us a reason to not it’s over. Doesn’t mean we don’t forgive you for it. You just don’t get a chance to do it again.

I’m not left or right, republican or democrat, I am an American. I believe we as one nation of citizens need to support and defend each other. All this antifa going after the alt-right. Violence by any group to stem their beliefs because they are deemed inappropriate in a modern society does nothing but deepen their beliefs. If I go out and find an Antifa Member and kick their ass all I do is add duel to their fire. Same goes for kicking the crap out of anyone from the Alt-right. Understand my point, Sometimes violence is the answer. It’s already proven here that it’s not. I feel like I’m watching the Outsiders  and the Greasers and Socs are going at it.

So here’s the thing, I know that we aren’t all going to get along, but we have to stop labeling people because we don’t agree on things. Disagreeing with anyone’s personal beliefs doesn’t make you an Insertword- phobic. (of which they have changed the definition to that over the last 6 months. It used to simply state ~to have an irrational fear of~) we are as a people going to have disagreements, but just because we disagree and just because we don’t support the same leaders doesn’t mean we care any less about each other. If it does maybe you should look in the mirror and do a personal assessment to what you believe. I don’t hate or think any less of anyone because they supported or voted for Obama once or twice. That is irrelevant to me. Same goes for Trump supporters. We are fighting against the wrong narrative here. We should be focused especially right now on #huricaneharvey and everyone in its path.

 

That’s all I have for now. God bless, STRENGTH AND HONOR

Malachias

I know it’s been a long while since I’ve blogged. Well a lot has happened. So here we go. In March of 2014 I was medically retired from the army for PTSD, mTBI, Arthritis, Bursitis, and tendonitis in my head shoulders knees and toes, Hearing loss, and a few other things. My book “A Warrior’s Garden” released and I wrote and released a workbook that partners with the book. I started and graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Lipscomb University. I applied and was accepted for two Masters Programs, Sustainability, and Counseling. I took a one year deferment in order to complete Sustainability first so that I wouldn’t be taking two degrees programs for a Masters at the same time. The book is doing amazing, for those of you who don’t know it is based on using alternative forms of self-therapy for PTSD. There are three main pillars in my concept, Faith, Music, and Gardening, but it is so much more than that. It has been sold in almost all 50 states as far as I know of as well as seven other countries: Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Australia.

My wife and I finally took the plunge and purchased our first ever home. It is a four bedroom house on twenty-two acres in Columbia, Tennessee. This launched our farm Honor22Farms and we have lots of chickens and we are hoping to have some cattle and hogs in the next year or two.

In December of 2016 I was invited to travel to China to speak on using small scale organic farming principles. After a few days in Chengdu, China I met several Chinese military combat veterans and learned that they have been in a constant state of war since 2012. It changed my entire focus for being their once I learned of their issue with their version of the VA and how they have no homeless veterans. It inspired me to write A Warrior’s Garden the Chinese Way which will hopefully be out this year.

Adding the Workbook has given me the inspiration to write and launch my own seminar program that teaches the concepts laid out in my book. I wrote my Final research paper on how I would treat PTSD with the inclusion of Technology such as the my PTSD coach app from the VA and integrating therapies such as CBT, CPT, CBCT and STAIR. I believe that we as a group of people with PTSD have to stop trying just one simple thing as a way to treat our PTSD. We need to try something a little more in depth and I believe it starts with adding in a family member, like spouse or loved one, into the treatment. It will be the basis of how I officially pattern my seminar once I graduate with my Masters in counseling.

Well that’s the catch up and plan for the future. Thanks again for continuing to be a part of this crazy ride!

 

God Bless, Strength and Honor!

 

Ralph Malachias Gaskin

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David Fagin

 

This is a letter in response to David Fagin who write the article Becoming A Racist: The Unfortunate Side Effect Of Serving Your Country?

 

David, I am a medically retired combat veteran of the United States Army. I am a Musician, and an Author. I wrote a book called A Warrior’s Garden that is based on using alternative methods of Self-therapy for PTSD. I just graduated from Lipscomb University with a Bachelors in Science for Psychology and have been accepted in the Counseling master’s program. I have been called by some people an expert in PTSD. Whether I believe that I am an expert in it is another story. I was retired for PTSD, mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury), hearing loss and arthritis in my head shoulders knees and toes. I recently read your article “Becoming A Racist: The unfortunate Side Effect Of Serving Your Country.”

 

David, David, David. I don’t know you personally and honestly after reading your article I could care less if we ever meet. But the spin you are putting on being a combat veteran radicalizing you into being a racist is a disgusting claim. We as veterans are in generally so far removed from even seeing race that your claim is ludicrous. To even use the sentence in your article which had no place other than to be an eye catching peace of trash is ridiculous.

“By now, we’re all familiar with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and even with proper treatment, the debilitating state it can leave a returning soldier in, sometimes for the rest of their lives.”

 

How is that even relevant to the discussion you are having? Are you trying to say that having PTSD makes you a racist or is the cause of you being radicalized? This is normally where I would make the comment that you are better than this. But I don’t know you well enough to make that assumption.  The security that was there that you called radicalized was provided by organizations such as the III%’s and other local militia groups. These groups aren’t racist. They are groups of veterans that are trying to continue being a part of something bigger than themselves and provide a service to their communities. Don’t get me wrong, I know that we have racist individuals in the military and in the veteran community just like everywhere else. However, it’s so much smaller of a number via population that it’s almost extinct.

 

I myself am a white male. I was an EO NCO (Equal Opportunity Non-commissioned Officer)  Part of my job was to assist in providing diversity training and helping my command team assess the climate in our unit. I pushed to get this job for years until it was finally given to me. And I excelled at it. For seventeen years I stood shoulder to shoulder with my fellow Soldiers and even spent a total of 28 months in Iraq fighting, bleeding, and supporting every one of every race so that a uneducated internet troll who has a blog with the huffpost can write as slanted peace of trash news calling all veterans racist because a group of individuals in Charlottesville took back up their oath and tried to keep the peace while people of opposing views gathered in public.

 

Where racists and racist organizations present at the rally in Virginia? Yes. Are all people who serve their nation “radicalized” simply because they serve? No. Is inserting a one sentence blurb about PTSD even remotely relevant to your story? No. All it does is increase stigma on an already misunderstood condition. You literally linked Racism to PTSD and military service with absolutely nothing more than your opinion and the actions of your Uncle who was a police officer which his situation doesn’t even relate. You want to blame President Trump for the poor treatment of our PTSD and our Veterans but apparently ignore the lack of treatment or care that happened under both Bush and Obama. Let’s also not ignore the fact that the 2012 NDAA  (signed by then President Obama) listed veterans and Evangelical Christians on the Terrorist watch list.

 

I would offer you this advice. Write more without your emotions attached to it and more of your intellect. Nothing you write had even a remote amount of proof or verifiable evidence. Writing about your family and making irrational assumptions on PTSD of which you obviously know nothing about is a waste of time and makes you look ridiculous.

 

Ralph Malachias Gaskin, Retired Combat Veteran

     HI! How are you doing? Sorry it’s been so long since I blogged! I have been slammed. With the release of Traitmarker for PTSD and then trying to finish my own book I have completely lost a lot of my normal thought process telling me what I am supposed to be doing. And for that I am sorry.

     I would like to take a moment and talk to you about my next book release and two book series that I am reading. lets start with my book first seeing as how this is my blog and I am in charge here. lol…. “A Warriors Garden, A Therapeutic Guide to Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” This book started out as just something I felt I had to write, of course the idea was given to me by my Brother, Robbie Grayson of Traitmarker. This book is simply a document of my own methods of self-therapy that I have used for my personal journey with PTSD. Topics ranging from Organic Gardening, Music, my faith in God, Nutrition, the hidden hero of the Military spouse and much more. My hope an prayer for this book is that someone will see it, read it and help them to understand what their veteran is going through or that a fellow veteran will read it and come up with their own ideas for alternative self-treatment of their PTSD. Once I started writing it, it became another form of therapy for me. Check out the Facebook page and follow the progress.
http://www.facebook.com/AWarriorsGarden

     The first series I have started is Dawn Hyperdrive. It is authored by, Sharilyn  Suzette  Smith Grayson. It is for someone like me who is Dyslexic and awesome read. I read the first book in the series “The Galactic Handbag of Death” in only a few days. Understand that the only other book series I have read prior to this is the HP series. This gripped me just as fast and I was amazed at the amount of description and the way I felt tied into the storyline. I was totally roped in! There was no getting away from it! I now am getting ready to purchase the second installment Dawn Hyperdrive and the Golden cufflinks of doom. Trust me, you will love it. By the way do you homeschool? Need a book for you young teens to read for a report. These are really great fantasy books! I give them 5 thumbs up in awesome freakishness. (no one has 5 thumbs). But you get my point right? Sure you do!

http://www.facebook.com/DawnHyperdrive

 

     The next series I found while scrolling through my phone and realized I have a Kindle app. So I looked for “free Fantasy” in the search engine. One of the first ones to come up was the lead book to “The Cat’s Eye Chronicles” written by T. L. Shreffler. So let me remind you, I am dyslexic and spell check is my saving grace at times. A book has to be able to grab me within the first two chapters or I loose interest. This first book “Sora’s Quest” grabbed me right away as well. So much I looked up the authors fan page on FB and had to tell her about it. Now I am being blessed with being part of a blog review for here next installment! Booyah for the Hooyah! Sorry, only my military peeps will understand that! But I am stoked.

http://www.facebook.com/tlshreffler

      If you like fantasy with magic and great stories, these two series are for you! Go get them and get hooked! I know you will. I have enjoyed them both as much if not more than the HP series.

 

God Bless you!

Malachias
 

 

The last few weeks have been nothing short of awesome! Let me start with the highlight, I just celebrated my 11 year wedding anniversary with my amazing wife! I would never in a million years believed She would have picked me as here husband let alone stay with me through all the crap I have put her through with my emotional baggage from past relationships and now PTSD from Iraq. So let me just say thank you so much baby! I love you more than words can ever express.

Other things, not as awesome as being with my amazing bride of 11 years have been happening too. My oldest son is coming down from Iowa to Georgia for a visit. I have had multiple conference and three way phone calls. And My book is almost finished. Just looking for some solid information on nutrition and how it affects the brain and mental health. But let me start off with what has happened from my book. I had a lunch meeting with the co-founder of Her War, Her Voice and now am able to finish my chapter of my book spot lighting the achievements and things that our spouses as Soldiers go through. In my book our spouses are our backbone! My wife and I might be guest blogging for them as a He said She said portion every once in a while. I was also asked to blog for another great organization called Not Alone! Life After War. I am very excited about the opportunity! Lets not forget to mention that I might be getting the chance to put together some green houses and community gardens on post for fellow vets and Soldiers to use as a form as therapy. This also has me super stoked! I’m feeling like a kid right before Christmas! Awesome!

And I have been doing a lot of talking with my brother Robbie Grayson of http://www.traitmarker.com and we have written a whole new chapter for his already amazing personal trait assessment program. It launches on the 4th of July. http://www.facebook.com/TraitmarkerPTSD is about how your personality traits (which I will now refer to as TraitMarks) not only define who you are but gives you a tool in your recovery from PTSD. If you know a veteran who deals with PTSD this is a non-evasive way to map out their TraitMarks. Mine for example have actually explained to me why I have such an internal conflict. My Dominate TraitMark and Supportive TraitMark are the Polar opposite from each other. I’m not going to sit here and try and sell it to you. You go do it and it will sell itself.

So not only am I going to publish my first book this year. I am Co-authoring a E-book for TraitMarker for PTSD, and getting to spend time blogging and gardening. Now if I could just get my MED Board finished so I could retire (i’m on day 388 of the army MEB/PEB process) Everything would be almost perfect! So WOW! Yeah I said it! WOW!

 

Thanks for reading! God bless

Malachias

 

 

 

     So today I was having a discussion with my Brother Robbie Grayson. I as some of you know am a high school drop out. I have my GED. I like to call it my Good Enough Diploma. I’ve never been to college, so I never pledged to a frat. However I did join a Fraternity. I am a combat veteran. I am proud of what I have done as a professional Soldier. God has blessed me in abundance with it even through all the adversity I have endured. But right now I want to explain the difference between my frat and yours and to hopefully erase the lines between us.
     In my frat we will do anything we can to help a brother or sister out. You will in yours too! The difference is simply this. We will stand between the barrel of a gun for our brothers and sisters. LITERALLY! We have been trained to move past fear! to not allow it to be a contributing factor in our decision  making process. We have done it, We will do it again. This is the only difference in our fraternities.

     There are a lot of times where we seam as if we don’t trust anyone other than fellow warriors. That’s not honestly the full truth. It’s more of we have become so indoctrinated into the Military life stye that we no longer know how to trust someone who isn’t in the Fraternity with us! Don’t take it personal. Just be patient and give it time, It’s really only two things that we desire from you. Your friendship and patience. We know it will be hard for you to understand. So, we wont ask for that.

So, thanks for reading, and listening to my rant.