Thursday, September 12, 2019

Even I need some time off!

Unplugged

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 12, 2019

I am unplugged until September 16th! As the single operator of this site...even I need some time off!

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims says veterans get money back for emergency care

Court rules VA must pay for veterans' emergency room care, a decision that may be worth billions


NBC News
By Courtney Kube, Mosheh Gains and Adiel Kaplan
September 10, 2019


"All of this is unacceptable," said an appeals court in a decision that plaintiffs' attorneys say may yield up to $6.5 billion for veterans.
A doctor checks a patients prosthetic arm at the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Diego, Calif., in 2007. Charles Ommanney / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs must reimburse veterans for emergency medical care at non-VA facilities, a federal appeals court ruled Monday — a decision that could be worth billions of dollars to veterans.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims said the VA has been wrongfully denying reimbursement to veterans who sought emergency medical care at non-VA facilities, and struck down an internal VA regulation that blocked those payments.

"All of this is unacceptable," said the ruling, which ordered the VA secretary to "readjudicate these reimbursement claims."

Plaintiffs' lawyers say that based on past estimates by the VA, the department is now on the hook for between $1.8 billion and $6.5 billion in reimbursements to hundreds of thousands of veterans who have filed or will file claims between 2016 and 2025.
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90 Army posts have contaminated drinking water

These 90 Army posts have contaminated drinking water


Military Times
By: Meghann Myers
  September 11, 2019
“Because many PFAS chemicals build up in the body, even very low concentrations in drinking water can increase the risks of serious health problems. What’s more, the lack of regular monitoring suggests that military personnel could have been drinking water with even higher levels of PFAS in the past.” EWG senior scientist Dave Andrews

As a Pentagon task force looks into unsafe drinking water on its installations, a new list of Army posts has been added to the roster of bases where per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been found in ground water as recently as this year.

Ninety active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard posts are on the list, obtained by the Environmental Working Group by Freedom of Information Act request, the findings of which were posted to the organization’s site late Tuesday night. The Army says that despite the confirmed presence of PFAS in the drinking water, no one is taking in unsafe levels of the chemicals, because their filtered water complies with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Still, the EWG remains concerned.
Seventy-three on the list are Guard facilities, including armories, readiness centers and training areas. Of the hundreds of bases known to be contaminated, the Defense Department was required by the EPA to test about 70 following a 2012 rule on contamination monitoring.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Will Antioch California force Vietnam veteran to become homeless again?

Formerly drug-addicted, homeless veteran finds stability in Antioch RV park; now faces eviction


KTVU
By Rob Roth
Posted Sep 10 2019

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KTVU) - Jimmy Gordon is a Vietnam veteran still living with battle scars from shrapnel.

"It's still right here. It's lodged right here," he said pointing to his leg.

Once homeless and drug addicted, Gordon says he's found stability in this informal RV community on private property in northeast Antioch.

"I've got serenity here. It feels like I am living," he says.

But it appears that paradise is about to be lost. Gordon and the rest of the 16 people living here are about to be evicted.

Not because the property owner, Joe Bosman wants to, but because the city of Antioch says he has to.

Code enforcement is requiring all my RV tenants to leave the property by October 1st," says Bosman, who has owned the almost three-acre lot for 19 years.

He's allowed people with RVs to settle here. Many are veterans, disabled seniors and mothers.

"It's close to our work. The tenants are nice and it is affordable," says Veronica Lewis-Ayers who lives in an RV with her husband and nine-month old baby boy.

Rent is $625 a month. The RVs have plumbing and electricity.

Bosman says the city told him his property doesn't meet the standards of a state-licensed RV park.
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Disabled blind veterans heading to unemployment line after VA kills contract

47 workers lose jobs after IFB loses contract appeal


Winston-Salem Journal
By Richard Craver
September 10, 2019
“Already, the VA has cancelled numerous contracts held by AbilityOne qualified nonprofit agencies, which will result in the near-immediate termination of employment of hundreds of blind and severely disabled individuals, many of whom are veterans themselves.
A worker processes lenses after polishing in the optical department at IFB Solutions on Tuesday in Winston-Salem. Walt Unks/Journal
A federal judge has denied a stay request that would have allowed IFB Solutions Inc. to keep one of its three optical contracts with the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, leaving 47 workers without jobs.

The Winston-Salem nonprofit agency said Tuesday that the contract was terminated Sept. 4.

“We are devastated for our employees whose positions have been eliminated with the loss of this VA contract,” David Horton, IFB’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Horton said it appears likely the other contracts will end on Sept. 30 and Oct. 31, affecting an additional combined 90 employees. Of the overall 137 jobs, 76 are held by employees who are blind and 15 by veterans.

IFB has been providing prescription eyewear to the VA since the late 1990s. The Winston-Salem company is the largest employer of the blind in the United States with about 1,000 employees overall and 556 locally.
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Vietnam veteran has PTSD battle buddy with wet nose

'I feel alive inside again': Vietnam veteran gets service dog

KGW8
Author: Ashley Korslien
September 10, 2019
Northwest Battle Buddies is pairing its 100th veteran with a service dog.

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. — The Battle Ground-based nonprofit Northwest Battle Buddies started seven years ago, training dogs to get partnered with veterans. This month it hit a huge milestone: pairing its 100th veteran with a service dog.

“It’s not just 100 service dogs that we’ve provided, we are talking about 100 lives, 100 families, fathers, sons, brothers,” said NWBB President Shannon Walker. "The impact to the community and to the individual is so significant. I’m super excited, it’s a big accomplishment."

The 100th team consists of Vietnam veteran Jim Koch, of Everett, Washington, and his service dog Bomber, an 18-month-old English Cream Golden Retriever.

“Everything feels pretty cool to be honest. I’m just on fire,” Koch said about being the 100th team.

Koch learned about Northwest Battle Buddies through his psychiatrist at the Seattle V.A. hospital, who told him a service animal could greatly help with his PTSD.
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