The Top 5 Funniest Gifts for Any White Elephant Celebration

White Elephant is my favorite holiday gift exchange. Parties and get-togethers all over the world gather for one common goal—trade and steal junk. White Elephant is also a great way to celebrate diversity at the office.

White Elephant will be sent downrange to Afghanistan this year through the 10th Mountain Division adopt-a-platoon at Madison College thanks to the Clarion. Let’s take a journey through:

“The Top 5 Funniest Gifts for Any White Elephant Celebration.”

Rules of Engagement. First things first, let’s get something straight—there are rules—you just can’t do whatever you want. Please click on the link below to follow along and enjoy your holiday cheer with a little American democratic structure. We can’t have holidays without it! You know that! This is America! We don’t settle for gift exchange without a little Robert’s Rules of White Elephant Order.

White Elephant Things To Know

The Top 5 Funniest Gifts for Any White Elephant Celebration.

Number Five— A used toilet plunger. Be sure to let the toilet paper dry onto the plunger before gifting.

Used Plunger

Number Four—Bowling Shoes. The sole purpose of the White Elephant is to steal your gift. Bowling shoes are rarely stolen so the joke is on you! HAHA!

Bowling Shoes.jpg

Number Three—Grandpa’s False Teeth. Thrift stores oftentimes sell false teeth. The look on your guest’s faces is priceless. Showing up to the party with the funniest gift gets you a special reward. False teeth are a guaranteed crowd favorite.

False Teeth.jpg

Number Two—Used Gift Cards with Zero Balance The best way to impress your boss is to be the employee who spent the entire balance of their gift card on yourself! Be sure to include receipts and selfies to turn their gears even more.

Used Gift Cards.jpg

The Number One White Elephant Gift—Gag Winning Lottery Tickets.
I have witnessed employees tell their bosses off at company parties and quit. Family members become truthful as well. Fake lottery tickets usually lead to siblings letting mom know what their other siblings really think of them. Mom often responds by telling siblings they are not getting any of their inheritance.

The funniest fake lottery ticket White Elephant prank of all-time I have ever witnessed was watching a cashier at a gas station reveal the bad news. The gift was watching the attendant’s reaction after telling the ecstatic soon-to-be-loser the lottery tickets were bunk. The attendant pointed their index finger declaring they would be calling the police if they try cashing the tickets again.

Disclaimer: Never get your hopes up going into a White Elephant Gift Exchange. You are the punchline the minute you open your gift. Stealing is the name of the game and being a good sport is the best part of holiday cheer. Got a brilliant idea for a White Elephant gift? Leave a comment.




Madison College Clarion Broadcast Group Needs Your Help With Requested Items at FOB Fenty

by Centaur Five Delta ’95-’97

FOB Fenty.jpg

What you can do:
Donate to our troops: 10th Mountain Adopt-a-platoon mission

Madison College Clarion Broadcast Group hosts the FOB Fenty 10th Mountain Adopt-a-platoon through the Outpost 422 mission. Your donations will be spent on the following items:

Most Requested Care Package Items

Batteries (AA, AAA, C, and D)
Boot socks: black, tan, or olive green
Letters of support (letters from you, from children, or from your
business, office, school, or other organization in support of our troops)
Liquid body wash (no pump dispensers please)
Pre-sweetened flavored beverage mixes (smaller sizes please)
Sandwich sized zipper lock baggies
Single-serving size snacks and non-perishable food items, particularly tuna kits, beef jerky, canned fruit (small containers, pop-top lid), dried fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks
Undershirts (olive green, short sleeve)

Food Items
Please do not send bags of chips. They will not make the transition.
Beef jerky, beef summer sausage (non-perishable, USDA Beef)
Canned cheese dips (NO glass please)
Canned sardines, smoked oysters
Chicken or tuna lunch kits (includes foil pouch of tuna, crackers, and condiments in each single-serving kit)
Fruit: single serving size cans
Gum, Lifesavers®, mints (blister pack gum is best because of the intense heat)
Hard candy (single-wrapped)
Jalapeno Velveeta® and crackers
Nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, trail mix, dried fruit
Pop Tarts®, cereal bars, granola bars, Popcorn
Power bars, protein bars, nutritional bars
Ramen noodles
Ravioli and other canned ready-to-eat meals (single serving) with pop-top
Seasoning salts, flavoring salts
Single-serving bags of snacks, crackers
Taco Bell® sauce packets

Beverage Items
Crystal Light® (or other brand) “On the Go” flavor packets
Ground coffee
Hot cocoa
Instant coffee
Lemonade mix, Kool-Aid® mix, Tang®, Iced Tea mix
Sports drink mix (powdered and tablet only)
Sugar and creamer packets for coffee (No artificial sweetener)
Recreation Items

Gently used magazines less than three months old
Hacky sacks, tennis balls
Movie DVDs (new or used; original only)
New decks of cards
Small hand-held games
Soft cover books

Clothing Items

Black or white cotton socks
Boot bands
Boot socks: black, tan, or olive green
Fingerless gloves
Long underwear (during winter months)
Men’s and women’s underwear (try military surplus stores)
Stocking caps (plain or black)
Tactical scarves
T-shirts (olive drab or white)

Communication Items

Pens and unsharpened pencils
Small, blank journals
Small pads of paper

Personal Supply Items

72″ bootlaces (brown or tan preferred)
Batteries (AA are most requested, then AAA)
Disposable, instant hand warmers (during the winter months only)
Electrical tape
Leatherman all-in-one tool
Snack, sandwich, quart-size Ziploc plastic bags
Super glue
Tactical duct tape: military green, tan, or black
Foot Care Items

DO NOT send baby powder
Anti-fungal treatments
Band-Aids® (sweat/water resistant)
Boot liners/insoles
Lotrimin AF® or Tinactin® for athletes’ foot (Ointment or cream, no aerosol)
Medicated foot powder, medicated foot swabs (Gold Bond® preferable)
Moleskin (provides padding on sore feet, you’ll find it with Dr. Scholl’s® type things at Wal-Mart or drug stores)
Odor Eaters® for boots

Personal Care Items

Baby wipes for personal hygiene (alcohol-free)
Disposable hand sanitizing wipes
Eye drops (to relieve dry eye, not redness), Eyeglass wipes
Insect repellent
Lip balm (Blistex®, Chapstick®, Carmex®) in stick-tubes rather than tubs, not tinted
Liquid hand sanitizers (no pump-style dispensers)
Pain relievers (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol®, Midol®) in small containers
Saline spray/drops for sensitive nasal passages
Sunblock (travel size or stick preferable, no aerosol, SPF 30+)
Throat lozenges
Travel size packages of Q-tips
Women’s feminine wipes

Toiletry Items

Dental floss
Disposable multi-blade razors (no single-blade razors please)
Kleenex (travel-size packets)
Liquid body wash soap, liquid anti-bacterial soap (no bar soap or pump-style dispensers)
Lotion, unscented, for dry skin (no pump-style dispensers)
Men’s and women’s deodorant
Nail clippers
Oral B Brush-Ups™
Razors and replacement blades
Toothpaste (in hard-side tubes rather than traditional tubes

Forward Operating Base Fenty Christmas Gift Drive Deadline is Dec.8 for The Clarion Broadcast Group 10th Mountain Adopt-a-Platoon

The Clarion Broadcast Group is raising funds to support FOB Fenty in Afghanistan and we need your help.

What you can do:

Donate to our troops: 10th Mountain Adopt-a-platoon mission

Our Dec. 8 deadline is fast approaching. We are looking to donate items to our Bravo Troop of 6-6 CAV who is newly deployed to Afghanistan. We have adopted 10th Aviation as our platoon at Madison College through the Clarion Broadcast Group. Outpost 422 is their place to connect to let us know how they are doing, to write features about their mission, to raise awareness about the current state of crisis in America to connect with veterans, to assist with crisis management solutions distributed through the Outpost 422 mission.

Our fundraising efforts interact with those who are in crisis.  You are their overwatch and support.

If you are a veteran who is in crisis at the moment, please reach out to any of the listed Facebook pages located on our menu for help worldwide. We are a global fundraising and combat radio transmitting overwatch to connect you with services in the time of crisis. We also hope to connect all who are currently serving the military with veterans who are available with the click of a mouse. Our mission is to entertain, educate, reach out to all who are in need by offering a portal to other veterans who have been in your position including me.

My name is Specialist Bradley Jason Burt of the 3rd Battalion 6th Field Artillery 1st Brigade 10th Mountain Division who served during the embassy overthrow in Port au Prince, Haiti as a QRF member for the airport and 10 MP LIC. I let my trauma go untreated for far too long, that was until I found help at Building 22 at the Madison VA. We are the VITAL veterans who have survived and lived to tell the story of success after finding services to help us survive. Keep checking in and help us raise funds for our adopted platoon.


What Makes the 10th Mountain Division the Toughest Division in the Military

What Makes the 10th Mountain Division the Toughest Division in the Military
By Bradley J. Burt


The cold weather and subzero elements make for a miserable nine months per year at Fort Drum, N.Y., the home of the 10th Mountain Division. The toughest division in the military is located at the basin of record snowfall dumps of lake effect snow. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division and their 12-mile runs around Riva Ridge Loop endure temperatures ranging from -20 to sometimes -60 below. Never-the-less, they suit up, they show up, they gear up, their frozen eyes tear up to embrace the suck for the duration of their service to America while stationed at Drum.

So, what makes the 10th Mountain Division so tough?

They are the most deployed division in the United States military who spends most of their time training for war through programs like the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La. They never forget those who are deployed who use programs to adopt platoons at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan. Their gallantry above the call and their guts are met by their dedication to wear the mountain tab. They carry their American colors on their right shoulder, who carry warrior honor with them for the rest of their lives. Their dedication to democracy and freedom in Afghanistan extends the warrior threshold unmet by any other division. Those who have served at Fort Drum know full well the level of sacrifice and dedication it takes to serve the 10th Mountain Division. They earn the right to share their equity of honor and integrity in America who should be recognized as the toughest division.

The 10th Mountain Division motto: “Climb to Glory.”

Their determination and guts are like no other division. They train cadets at Gen. George Washington’s elite West Point United States Military Academy. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division who share the honor of being cadre build 100,000 sandbag fortified positions. Their instruction is of the highest quality and standard formulated under intense scrutiny carried out by the heritage of their West Point commanders. Their standards must meet the highest inspection through the Department of Defense to meet this criterion. While all the other divisions sleep at night, they eat, breathe, carry and present the torch of the truest of all virtues not found on any other base. They are the 10th Mountain Division. They do not waiver. They hold their virtues they swear at Reveille to leave no warrior behind. They are brave. They never surrender.

The forging of a 10th Mountain Division warrior requires high standards. The only way through the gauntlet of becoming a 10th Mountain warrior is by setting the physical fitness standard. The 10th Mountain Division hosts “Fit to Fight” that will not settle for the minimal U.S. Army wimp standard of a 180 P.T. score. All those who serve the frontlines must hold a 240 P.T. score, which sets the 10th Mountain Division’s combat-ready standard high above the regular Army garrison standard. Those who earn the mountain tab never miss a day at the gym.

The 10th Mountain Division always picks up its wounded. What separates a member of the 10th Mountain Division above all the other divisions is their distinguished character. They do not stop until every piece of equipment, members of their platoons and squads, all who have perished and their families are accounted for.  Their family may leave the military with the burden of grief, but the 10th Mountain Division always finds ways to support them long after they return home. They build their legacy from the ground up by adopting platoons in Afghanistan who write about their accomplishments long after they leave the military. They never stop training and protecting their communities. They become American Legion, DAV and VFW National Commanders to continuously search for all of those who are lost. They are the founders of Outpost 422. They never stop making their nation’s safety the highest standard as veterans. They are the 10th Mountain Division—the Toughest Division in the Military. They earned this title being thee most deployed division. They meet each day with the call above and beyond their duty. They Climb to Glory.

Eagle Six Kicks Off Veterans Day at the Baird Patriot Veterans Career Forum

US Bank

MILWAUKEE, Wis.—Gray Colton, Chairperson for the Robert W. Baird & Co. Patriot Veteran Hiring Program invited veterans of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater to attend the Baird Patriot Veteran Career Forum on Friday, November 1st, 2019. Gray Colton is the Senior Vice President of Private Wealth and Management for the Robert W. Baird & Co.

Colton arranged to have the 101st Airborne Commander share his mission with members of the Patriot program and veterans. Colton was pleased to see so many veterans turned out to support the Patriot mission, who gave a cordial introduction to Major General Brian Winski.

“We are honored to have Eagle Six with us today,” said Colton.

Colton introduced Major General Brian Winski, Milwaukee, WI native and graduate from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee as “Eagle Six,” which is the 101st Airborne Commander’s call sign in the field and in combat. Major General Winski began his speech addressing the need to hire veterans who shared the value of having veterans in the workplace.

“Every man and woman who wears America’s uniform is a part of a long unbroken line of achievement and honor. No single military power in history has done greater good, shown greater courage, liberated more people or upheld higher standards of decency and valor than the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” said Winski.


Major General Brian Winksi, Post Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division left the impression Wisconsin holds an ironclad lineage with his division who dates all the way back to the Civil War through the 8th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Eagle Six shared the story of how the 101st modeled the efforts of those who served with the 8th in the Civil War and their mascot “Old Abe,” which is the icon for the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle patch.

Wisconsin 101st Airborne Heritage Speaks

Maj. Gen. Winski closed his address to the Baird Patriot Hiring Program members by reiterating to employers the level of dedication a veteran commits to their country also follows them into their prospective careers. Maj. Gen. Winski extended his appreciation to veterans by taking an opportunity after his presentation to answer questions regarding Syria, Afghanistan and Africa. Winski closed with his expression of gratitude extended to all who serve. Robert W. Baird, the Baird Patriot Veteran Hiring Program and the message shared by Major General Brian Winski shared one thing in common—all appreciate the efforts by all who have served.




The American Legion Post Service Officer’s Role and How They Can Help Veterans Navigate Claims at

American Legion Post Service Officers are a veteran’s first line of communication when inquiring about filing a claim for disability services through the Veterans Administration. Veterans who seek assistance who are seeking information regarding the Veterans Administration can reach out first to a Post Service Officer. Help begins at the post level who will assist with sorting out information. One thing a Veteran can expect is to always have members at American Legion posts to greet them. Service Officers are there to open the door for new members who also meet prospecting members in the community. Service Officers are their advocates. You do not need to be a member to speak with a Post Service Officer.

American Legion website link:

American Legion Service Officerr

Service Officers are community ushers for veterans who may be confused about where to turn when filing or opening a claim. As a Service Officer to Post 501 of Madison, WI, I would like to invite all who are discouraged about their future with claiming VA benefits to take a moment and tour the website, but first, you will need to register. The First Step to exploring is to click on the link below.

Please take a minute to register for access to VA claim information:

Please take a minute to review website first. Take your time and survey the great rewards the Veterans Administration provides for your service. It is my pleasure to serve all of you who have served. Please leave comments or go to our American Legion Post 501 Madison, WI, link on our homepage to reach out to our Service Officer on our website or Facebook links.

According to American Legion Post Service Officer Guide, “an effective Post Service Officer understands benefits afforded to veterans and dependants; however, the PSO is not allowed to file claims on behalf of the claimant. PSOs serve as valuable resources to veterans in local posts to ensure that our veterans and their dependents receive their earned benefits.”

What Service Officers can do: 

  •  Assist veterans with rideshare information available for their appointments.
  •  Contact Department Service Officer at intake.
  •  Share literature available at the local post.
  •  Visit with members at VA hospitals or assist members with making appointments.
  •  Research community programs available like Dryhootch and reach out for assistance.
  •  A handshake for your service to the United States Military

What Service Officers cannot do:

  •  Offer legal advice.
  •  Speculate the outcome of any claim.
  •  Assist with filling out paperwork.
  •  Order prescriptions.
  •  Share sensitive information covered under the Privacy Act of 1974.

Information regarding the Privacy Act of 1974 website can be viewed at

How to begin filing a claim by registering at

Please go here to register for access to VA claim information:

Registering at starts by clicking on the “sign-in” feature at the home page in the upper right corner.
Go to the next page and click on “DS Logon.” This will take you to the sign-in page.
Click on “need an account?”
Follow instructions for creating a DS Logon account.
Once you click on the DS Logon sign-in feature you must read the disclaimer.
Scroll down and enter the DS Logon username and DS Logon password.

Note: Ebenefits has moved to the website. You can still access Ebenefits, but will need to use the website to review and track claims. The VA is currently in the process of transferring from Ebenefits to The registry.  There will be times the website will instruct the user to revert back to Ebenefits, which is confusing. Do not be alarmed. Follow procedures until the VA develops its online interface.

Navigating the website starts by clicking on programs and links. Feel free to explore services and locate claims information. Claims information will help the patient navigate past VA appointments and offer premium access to explore federal programs available once registered with an approved service-connected claim. Service Officers assist with confusing navigation of VA programs on the web.

If you or a loved one need assistance, please leave a comment and our administrators will reach out as soon as we can. Thank you for your service to the United States military and welcome to the VA claims system. Good luck with your future and reach out on our American Legion Post 501 Madison, WI, page Facebook link to connect with a Madison area Service Officer when visiting the Madison VA Hospital.



The Veterans Administration Pain Management 11th Hour Reality

Photo by Todd Trapani on

The 11th Hour was the hour I lost hope in America. The Veterans Administration’s solution to treating those of us who have served in America’s outposts is to over medicate with opiates. I started my “pain management” program early on in life prior to 9/11 and made several attempts to treat my service-connected condition through physical therapy that failed.

I was offered Hydrocodone two tablets of 2000 mg twice per day for over two years along with muscle relaxers and Gabapentin. I was up to a total of 15,000 mgs of mixed pharmaceuticals to include VA prescribed Ibuprofen per day.

In 2008, the VA introduced its “Pharmaceutical Pain Management Program,” which led me into a near-death experience. The VA refers to opiates as a “pain management program,” which really translates to being a Veteran test subject who will be subjected to a long and slow death through a journey of taking and becoming addicted to pharmaceutical Heroin.

My 11th hour was in August of 2010 when the VA took me off opioids’ cold turkey without treatment. My blood pressure was 220/190 and had come in ten days early for my prescription refill in hopes of avoiding certain death. I paid a visit to the VA for a refill after dropping my prescription in the toilet from the shakes. I would come to know the feeling of overwhelming dread being cut off by the VA forever. Being cut off forever changed my life as my prescription suddenly ran out after the Pharmacist said, “Get lost! You are not getting a refill!” What I was about to experience would take me through a journey that would leave me all alone.

My 11th hour was the minute I went into cardiac arrest and passed out in my living room without help. My phone was shut off after running out of minutes and had no way to call for help. I lost consciousness due to tremors I was experiencing as a result of painkiller over-prescription. I knew I was done. America finally gave up on me.

My defining moment began the morning of August 13, 2010, when I woke up in a stream of cold sweat that left me confined to my bed. My body began to go into detox.

Photo by Snapwire on

I began to develop thoughts of despair that ravaged my mind like a driving force of a hundred horses in a stampede. All I could think about was finding a safe place to die. I knew I would not be able to make it to the closet where I knew my kids would not find me.

The struggle to maintain my pain manifested into throwing up from the pit of my soul. Detoxing from VA pain prescriptions is nothing short of demonic possession. As I attempted to take each step towards the door, I felt my body give out and went into convulsions.

My Veterans Administration pain medication had me for keeps. Thoughts raced through my head about my mother who would find me lying face-down on the floor. I began to weep over missing my children’s birthdays and especially their graduation. I began to see the room grow dim and the light of the doorway shine under the threshold. Shards of glass from broken bottles covered the kitchen floor due to scrambling to find my pills.

Photo by Pixabay on

I crawled over to the linoleum to cool myself down. I began to vomit once again and had accidentally inhaled shards of glass in my mouth that cut my tongue. The taste of opiate withdrawal mixed with shards of glass took a once standing tall soldier and threw them in the gutter.

Vomit soaked teeth from the dry heaves started me down the path into the Valley of the Shadow of VA Opiate death. I laid on the floor crying for help and nobody heard a word as I went into cardiac arrest. I had called my sister the week before in a fit to say mean things to her. She was my only hope. She was all I had left. My brothers gave up on me and told me I was hopeless.

I could not possibly trouble my mother after living in her basement and overstaying my welcome.

My heart raced and I passed out. Not a single person at the Tayco Street Apartments in Menasha, WI, heard a word I said. I did not know what to do and began to slip into a coma. I did not know how I could possibly live one more minute.

Photo by Pixabay on

The benevolent light led me through the maze back into life as I vowed to do anything for just one more chance. The hand of life shoved me back into my body and awoke to a massive head contusion. I was alive and that was all that mattered. Whatever the higher power was that saved my life, I have dedicated my life to it. Today I am nine years opiate free and have returned to school as a result.

Surviving the 11th Hour—Download the PTSD Coach app. That’s an Order.

by Bradley J. Burt

The 11th Hour—Navigating Your Way Out.

The 11th Hour is the Last Hour Prior to the Veteran Ending their Life. I Stood in the Doorway of Desperation With Only One Choice. I Chose to Make the Call. The Veterans Crisis Line Saved My Life and Will Save Yours Too.
1-800-273-8255 Press 1

August of 2017, was my first experience surviving from the 11th hour of hopelessness and despair that opened my mind to try to live my life. Freedom and release quickly built my confidence after downloading the PTSD Coach app. I had begun my Cognitive Processing Therapy at the Madison VA and was journaling my intrusive thoughts. Thoughts manifested into moments of hopelessness that would not go away. “What will I do for work? I will I feed my kid? What will become of me five years from now?”

After receiving a referral for outpatient treatment through the Veterans Crisis Line, I was able to step on the path to seek help.

I had come to realize how quick and easy taking the time to call the Veterans Crisis Line was, but I needed something more. I needed to navigate my way out. I was in Las Vegas, NV, where I had started to develop signs of my first panic attack. After reaching into my pocket to grab my phone to call the Veterans Crisis Line, I noticed a sign in the casino that guided me to download the PTSD Coach app and did.

Survival is the Key to Ending Veteran Suicide. Download the PTSD Coach app.

“Ok, I am having a panic attack, now what?”

Take two minutes to collect yourself and practice a simple breathing technique I learned from John Tesh. Inhale and hold for fourteen seconds—exhale for fourteen seconds slowly—Take a deep breath and let it out. Do this as many times as it takes to survive being overwhelmed. Think of a happy moment. Mine is the night I won a triple-double seven-jackpot at the Monte Carlo Casino after seeing Cher. Las Vegas, NV has many magical moments. Find your Las Vegas.

You are never hopeless. Your Battle Buddy is only one app away. Download and explore.

Research Your Condition.

Do not ever hesitate to explore the internet for the means to end social and environmental panic attacks. My condition and diagnosis did not allow much information other than my situation was treatable but permanent. Navigating the maze of mental health must be fought minute by minute. Taking a break is critical before becoming too overwhelmed.

The sole mission here at Outpost 422 is to help talk you down from following through with thoughts of suicide. We are all Battle Buddies in the war at home. You are valuable. You are valor. You are worthy to hold on one more day. Reach out on Facebook at Outpost 422 and we will be there to offer blogs and tips to help you see this through. We want you to know you can make it with the help of all of us who are the survivors of the 22.

Dryhootch Supports Veterans of Dane County

by Bradley J. Burt

This Week’s Feature: Dryhootch

Madison, WI—Dryhootch is a facility designed to meet with the Veteran who is developing into a crisis. Sometimes Veterans fall through transition into civilian life. Dryhootch is a community outreach designed to meet the Veteran who may be uncertain what the future may hold. Dryhootch opens the portal of hope to share strategies with the Veteran that comforts the individual as a safe shelter when the 11th hour rears its ugly head.

On average, 22 Veterans Per Day Commit Suicide. Download PTSD Coach App and Talk to the Professionals who can help. 1-800-273-8255 Press 1. the Veterans Crisis Line is only one call away.

Dryhootch is a Safe Place in Crisis.

Address: 2825 University Ave #2, Madison, WI 53705



Phone: (608) 250-2540

Outpost 422 Communicates with Dryhootch and Capitol Law Enforcement.

If you are a Veteran who has been recently discharged from the Madison VA and have nowhere to go or are homeless, you can meet us at Peace Park by reaching out to our Watchdog Quick Reactionary Force on our Outpost 422 Facebook page. We are UW Veterans who have survived the 11th hour by using PTSD Coach app and the Veterans Crisis Line who attend the Tuesday crisis support group at 12 p.m. in Madison, WI. Look for us under the sign at Peace Park on the 400 block of State Street.

Dryhootch has been a game-changer that offers assistance with academics as well. Our goal through our Outpost 422 outreach is to enlist as many Watchdogs as we can to support Dryhootch with their upcoming Valor building groundbreaking find a place for our Battle Buddies to call home. Dryhootch will not judge your situation. Reach out anytime.

Capstone—the Essence of Military Strength Through Endurance —the Jessica Dean Trauma Transition Story

by Bradley J. Burt

Meet Jessica Dean—Marine Corps Veteran and Dedicated Scholar.

Name: Jessica Dean

MOS: 2846 Ground Radio Intermediate Repairer

Branch: Marine Corps

Current Status: Military Sexual Trauma and Military Victimization Outreach Advocate

Hi, name is Jessica Dean. Here is my Veteran story:

Whitewater, Wis.—UW Whitewater Veterans Servicemembers Organization hosted a cookout at Starin Park to kick off Fall Semester Sept. 14, 2019. After becoming acquainted with members of the group, Jessica Dean was introduced by her husband who is the Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5470 in Whitewater, Wis. The Deans met while they were in service. Jessica Dean offered to share her story for UW Capstone outreach feature writing piloted at Outpost 422. Dean supports the idea of writing mechanisms to overcome grief. Dean indicated she was interested in sharing her story to answer the question,

“What was your defining moment?”

Jessica Dean offered to share her experience, strength and hope from an occurrence that happened while she was in service. Dean’s story is one that has happened to many that goes unpunished, gets discarded due to weighing of merits due to the weighing of evidence from eye witness accounts.

The Hardship:

Dean is coming forward to share her story as an MST survivor. Dean had been sexually assaulted by an individual while she was stationed at 29 Palms Marine Corps base in California. Her hope is that readers will become aware of the hardship of her situation and her testimonial of triumph will inspire more women to share theirs as a result.

What is MST or Military Sexual Trauma?

Currently, in the United States Military, women are being allowed to join the combat arms fields. Misogyny and brutalization have become an epidemic due to the integration of women on the frontline. Women who serve have been fighting both the enemy and misogyny in the military.

More and more women are being victimized and are coming forward sharing how they are becoming prey to being attacked by servicemembers. The military Courts-Martial enables the predatory behavior to continue due to the current Inspector General investigation system being backlogged. Meanwhile, predators know these odds are in their favor and the brutalizing system of accosting women grows stronger by the day.

Women attempt to speak up and receive backlash. Their stories are going unrecognized and unheard. After interviewing Dean, her story spoke of hurt and emotional pain, along with the weight of marginalization with VA claims, which sends women into appeal who apply for service-connected military sexual trauma.

“Military sexual trauma has been getting overlooked and ignored. Women must speak up,” said Dean.

Misogyny and sexual assault result in military sexual trauma that has led to Dean dealing with untreated conditions. The Veterans Administration downplayed her condition by diagnosing her with “Extreme Anxiety Disorder.” Military Sexual Trauma has been happening to several women in the military and has left women prey to dealing with untreated trauma as a result. After coming forward to the VA for her claim, she noted the lack of support women face leads to marginalization and victim-blaming at the level of the Walworth County Veterans Service Office. Dean also noted when interviewed by Compensation and Pension examiners, she felt cornered by interrogation methods.

“You can’t prove any of this happened,” the VA Compensation and Pension Examiner stated.

Jessica Dean has been through the hardship of trauma transition along with VA Compensation and Pension marginalization.  Walworth County Service Officer gave Dean a method of interrogationtion she was unprepared for.

“The Walworth County Service Officer gave me a blank stare of disbelief when they assisted me with filing claims where I dealt with a Veterans Administration claims decision of a severe anxiety disorder and sent me on my way,” said Dean.

Dean’s Husband Gets Hit by a Drunk Driver:

Jessica Dean got out of the military and pursued her undergraduate degree. Dean and her husband were raising three boys at the time. Not only did Dean suffer at the hands of an attacker, she was left to discover she had to endure yet another life hardship—her husband Jason Dean was hit by a drunk driver. Dean shared her story of determination to help her husband recover. Not only was she dealing from military backlash, but an unexpected traumatic turn in her marriage on top of her working through her own personal trauma.

Dean is a true Marine and a dedicated fighter. Her determination developed her drive to succeed. Even though Jessica Dean was overwhelmed with school and her newly diagnosed condition, she was determined to stay the course. Surviving trauma taught her how to overcome her husband suffering a near fatal incident, which left her to raise the boys for her husband to fully recover. Dean is tough.

Her dedication to the Veterinarian industry was her focus to pull her through. Not only had Dean come to endure one of the hardest moments of her life, she also had to embrace for the news her credits from another school were not transferrable.

None-the-less, Dean fought her way through four-and-a-half years of retaking several classes to eventually be awarded an opportunity to serve an internship as a Wildlife Intern for the Dane County Humane Society. Jessica Dean’s story is one of bravery and guts over moments of defeat.

Jessica Dean’s passion is to end military sexual trauma by speaking up and being heard:

Dean’s is passionately seeking a career to be a Veterinarian who took ten credits of UW schooling while working full-time.

“I took a terrible event and made a good thing out of it—battling misogyny amongst Veterans. There are times where you are really plagued with doubt,” said Dean.

Advocates like Dean who share their grief and angst regarding first-hand experience with MST claim sexual assault is commonplace in the military and it needs to end. If you, or a loved one are harboring keeping your hardship secret, please reach out to 1-800-656-HOPE.

Information regarding MST abuse and symptoms can be also found at: