Monday, July 31, 2017

Vietnam War Donut Dollie Remembered

Brookfield honors Vietnam War Donut Dollie who never came home

State Route 7 in Brookfield was named after Ginny Kirsch, who died in Vietnam in 1970 while serving as a Donut Dollie 
WKBN News Ohio
By Tyler Trill 
Published: July 30, 2017

BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – State Route 7 in Brookfield was named after a local Donut Dollie on Sunday who never made it home from the Vietnam War.
During the war, the American Red Cross sent groups of women overseas called Donut Dollies. They would serve coffee and doughnuts, as well as participate in other programs, to boost the morale of the soldiers.
Brookfield High School graduate Ginny Kirsch was a Dollie in 1970 — and she was honored Sunday.
“It means the world to the Kirsch family to have all of you here today,” Ginny’s sister Ann Kirsch-Keag said.
The Kirsch family and dozens of people recited what they call Ginny’s Prayer on Brookfield’s center green.
Four of Ginny sisters shared stories of the Vietnam veteran.

101st Remember Fallen Soldiers While The Rest of the Country Forgets

Close-knit military community feels pain of deaths in wars the nation has forgotten

Published: July 30, 2017
The procession crossed the base that straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee border, past training grounds where members of the 101st Airborne Division prepare for war, past buildings where they reunite with loved ones when they return and past the headquarters where a long corridor bears the names of the thousands of “Screaming Eagle” soldiers who didn’t make it home. In wars that most have forgotten about, troops are still dying from hostile fire.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Rain came in a deluge on the Friday of Sgt. William Bays’ funeral.
A 101st Airborne Division soldier prays at the memorial service for Sgt. William Bays, who was killed in action in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan on June 10, 2017. MICHAEL S. DARNELL/STARS AND STRIPES
“He was a friend, a peer, a husband,” Sgt. Lucas Schultze, a fellow soldier of the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, cried as he spoke of the more senior comrade who taught him to lead. “A father, a son and a brother.”
read more here

Vietnam Veteran Combat Medic Finally Receives The Medal of Honor

No one seems willing to say why he had to wait all this time after it was approved by Congress
In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter recommended McCloughan for the Medal of Honor. But since the medal must be awarded within five years of the recipient’s actions, Congress needed to pass a bill waiving the time limit. President Barack Obama signed the measure in late 2016, but he didn’t get the opportunity to recognize McCloughan with the medal before his term ended this year.

A soldier survived 48 hours of terror in Vietnam. Today, he received the Medal of Honor.
Washington Post
By Andrew deGrandpre
July 31, 2017

It is difficult to assess which of James McCloughan’s near-death encounters in Vietnam was the most harrowing. There were so many. From the moment his infantry unit hit the field March 9, 1969, they encountered a ferocious enemy determined to repulse the Americans at all costs.
“I got initiated the very first day,” McCloughan, 71, recalled in a recent interview with Army biographers. “We hit our first ambush. We had a man die. Had a few people to patch up. And I shot a man. That’s a lot to digest in your first day.

“But I didn’t know I was going to face anything like Tam Ky,” he added, alluding to the location of a vicious 48-hour battle, three months after he arrived in Vietnam, during which the 23-year-old combat medic risked his life at least nine times to save wounded or stranded comrades — 10 men in all — and prevented a much larger North Vietnamese force from overrunning them entirely.
read more here

Sunday, July 30, 2017

If Helping Veterans Doesn't Hurt You, You're Doing It Wrong

Simple and Easy for You, Not Helping Them
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 30, 2017
If working with veterans does not hurt you, then you are doing it wrong and for the wrong reasons. Simple as that. 

It is one thing that I have dealt with for 35 years. My heart breaks when they are suffering. It shatters when they will not believe that they can heal. My blood pressure rises when they hit their emotional lows, but what consumes my days is knowing what they are like on the other side of their darkest days and trying to get others out of their way.

If you have been a reader of Combat PTSD Wounded Times, you know I have no patience for all these stunts raising awareness that veterans are committing suicide. That "effort" does no good for anyone other than the ones seeking attention for what they know nothing about.

Helping them heal, changing the outcome, requires dedication to those in need of a reason to stay here.

I had to learn the hard way and for selfish reasons because when I fell in love with my veteran, I had to go to the library to learn why he was so different from the veterans in my family. That was back in 1982. Yep, I'm old but I was in my early 20's back then. 

Without the internet, we knew that healing PTSD had to come with an approach of the trinity-mind-body-spirit and we were right. It also requires a great deal of compassion for those working with these veterans but, to tell you the truth, it is all too often coming with a tremendous price we pay. There is no way to do this without getting "air support" through prayer and asking for guidance. To find the right words to use comes with being quiet and listening. To find the will to stop grieving for losses comes with being able to forgive ourselves. 

That is something I had to do after my husband's nephew committed suicide after I tried to get him to listen. It still haunts me after all these years, running the attempts through my head and the "would have, could have, should have" questions there will never be any answers to.

Oh, but I can assure you that there is not a day that goes by when I think this is not worth every moment of heartache or floods of tears that flow reading about one more that never seems to be the "one too many" folks keep talking about.

That one too many is the member of a family. He/she is a brother, sister, friend, and they lost their battle while others judge them and those who loved them judge themselves far too harshly.

So, take about half an hour and listen to an Iraq veteran talking about putting the gun to his head one day and the other day when he discovered he was not just forgiven, he had a new mission to save more lives after war.

The VA is paying attention to this aspect of healing. 
Treating veterans’ ‘inner wounds’: The role of spirituality 

Center of Excellence at the Canandaigua VA making strides in mission to prevent suicide Daily Messanger 
By Julie Sherwood 
Posted Jul 29, 2017
It’s no surprise that helping veterans find meaning in their lives after military service is crucial. Wounds of war, mental and physical, take their toll — not to mention separation from community and loved ones.
Last month, Gulf war veteran Ken Bardo of Phelps talked about the struggle. So did Vietnam veteran Gene Simes of Walworth. Both men have been in counseling for years, among other treatments, and expect they will need help for the rest of their lives.
“Sometimes we cry because it hurts,” said Simes.
What is surprising to some is how powerful a new treatment — based on an age-old philosophy that spirituality is good for you — could be in helping vets find meaning in their lives and thus help prevent veteran suicide.
For many veterans “self-image has just plummeted,” said Canandaigua VA Chaplain Robert Searle, who is behind a research study at the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center. The study is about the effect of spiritual care on preventing suicide. Veterans feel guilt, they have “inner wounds,” Searle said. When a person is broken and bruised inside as many veterans are, they need to feel forgiveness and that their life has meaning, he said.
read more here

In other words, you fought for those you loved and were willing to die for them. Fight again for those you love and be willing to live for them.
If you are working with a group that is not working for the right reasons, then consider what Jesus told his disciples as He sent them on their way to do God's work,
Matthew 10:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

Fake Two Tour Vietnam Veteran Nurse--Not So Much

Confession, when I wrote Women Don't Fake it I was actually out to show it was a male thing, but shockingly I discovered a lot more females claiming service than I thought I would. Well, looks like there is yet one more to add to the list.

This Ain't Hell was on a link in this following story. If you want a reminder of how it is so much easier to claim valor, than actually do it, you need to go to this page and read some more stories just like the following. 

Was Banning school trustee a nurse in Vietnam? 
She will resign as some question her claim 
The Press-Enterprise 
PUBLISHED: July 24, 2017
Banning school board member Jan Spann said she will be resigning her seat amid questions over her claims she served as a nurse in Vietnam. 
In a May 24, 2015 Facebook post, and later in a newspaper interview, Spann talked about serving two tours in Vietnam as a medevac nurse between 1968 and 1971. 
But a website run by combat veterans printed records showing that Spann was attending classes at Long Beach State at the time and a letter from the National Personnel Records Center states that the organization could not find records of her service. read more here

Gene Hackman Out of Retirement for "We The Marines"

Raw Emotion, Gripping Visuals in New 'We, the Marines' Film
by Hope Hodge Seck
28 Jul 2017 

These scenes are narrated with warmth, and often wry humor, by Gene Hackman, a Marine veteran who came out of retirement at age 87 to participate in the project.

The biggest challenge in filming a documentary about Marines for the giant screen wasn't getting the breathless aerial shots of troops jumping from the back of aircraft or rappelling from mountainsides.

It was learning to work with leathernecks and their capricious and unpredictable training schedules, said Brad Ohlund, director of photography for the film.

Last week, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, christened its new giant-screen Medal of Honor Theater with the debut of "We, the Marines," a 40-minute journey from boot camp to the Corps' most rigorous and dynamic training locations across the country.

Shot almost entirely digitally, the film is visually sumptuous and constantly entertaining, with wide vistas and up-close views of the dirt, sweat, tears and snot that go into the making of a Marine.

The film was the result of years of work and proved a daunting task, Ohlund told at its premiere Saturday.

read more here

We, The Marines - Official IMAX Trailer - UHD

Amputee Afghanistan Veteran No Longer Disabled According to Social Security?

For disabled vet, battle rages on as feds deny disability payments

Rapid City Journal
Tom Griffith Journal staff
7 min ago
“Somehow I was deemed no longer disabled by Social Security, and it’s been an absolute hellish nightmare. I wish I wasn’t disabled and that my leg grew back, and that my arm functioned, and that my gonads hadn’t been blown off and I no longer needed testosterone shots, and I could hear, and I didn’t have PTSD, and that I didn’t have a traumatic brain injury." 
Wayne Swier
Hannah Hunsinger Journal Staff
For 31-year-old Wayne Swier, a U.S. Army combat veteran who suffered devastating injuries from an improvised explosive device seven years ago in Afghanistan, this summer should have been a season of solace and celebration.

But fate and a federal agency seemed to have conspired to turn it into a nightmare.

Swier is set to marry his sweetheart in a week, and the couple plans to move into a new home near Johnson Siding built by the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops later in August.

By any account, it should be a summer of love for the Stephens High School graduate who spent the better part of two tours with the 101st Airborne’s “Band of Brothers” unit fighting the Taliban in the remote mountainous regions of Afghanistan.

Instead, in May the Social Security Administration deemed him no longer disabled and cut off his monthly disability checks, in a manner as harsh as the way that IED blew off his leg in a small Afghan village in November 2010.
read more here

Bigass Crawfish Bash Catches 92K For Veterans Fighting PTSD at Camp Hope

Local charity donates $92K towards treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD

Staff Posted: 7:50 PM, July 29, 2017

HOUSTON - At Stubbs Harley Davidson, on Telephone Road, a motorcycle ride for charity roared to life.
The local charity, called the Bigass Crawfish Bash Foundation wanted to boost their donation to a camp that serves veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. The charity was headed to Camp Hope in Northwest Houston with a donation of nearly $100,000.
For a camp that runs on donations, these kinds of checks are a special delivery.

“It basically allows us to not charge anybody a dime for our services,” said David Maulsby, the executive director of Camp Hope. Camp Hope allows veterans who suffer from PTSD to come with their families for six months and get treatment at no cost to the veterans. 

“There are a few places we wind up, in jail, in a coffin or in the streets,” said Zack Alexander, a veteran who came back from Iraq with PTSD and substance-abuse problems. “They helped me to get sober. They helped to deal with the issues I had, that I didn't know I had. If it wasn't for Camp Hope, I wouldn't be here today.” read more here

Veterans Remember Forgotten War

Korean War not forgotten by veterans
Winona Daily News
Kilat Fitzgerald
3 hours ago
With the Korean War overshadowed by World War II beforehand, and the Vietnam War coming shortly after, many failed to see the Korean War's impact. People were sick of war, and the conflict on the small Asian peninsula faded from public memory.
WINONA -- Veterans of the Korean War recognized the 64th anniversary of the armistice that brought about the ceasefire on Thursday.

Often cited as the Forgotten War, the conflict still casts a long shadow over current international politics.

Winona native Neil Hinkley was among the first to be deployed when war broke out in late June 1950.

“We got right in the thick of it right from the start,” Hinkley said. He was among the first three divisions to be deployed at the outbreak of war.

Hinkley’s unit, the 10th Infantry Division, was en route to Japan from Alaska, halfway across the Pacific, when North Korea “started that ruckus” in late June of 1950.

The North Korean blitz across the border was supported by the Soviet Union with weaponry and equipment, pushing back United Nations forces into the Busan (pronounced Pusan) Perimeter.
read more here

How Korean War Started

The forgotten war

Homeland Heroes Providing Comfort When They Come Home


Organization provides comforts of home to those who serve the country

Eagle Tribune

Breanna Edelstein
July 30, 2017

"We meet the vet wherever they are in life. Whatever we can do, we do. And if we can't, we find someone who can." Julie Weymouth
Ryan Hutton/Staff photo
Homeland Heroes Foundation Executive Director Julie Weymouth sits at her desk in Hudson warehouse.
"Weymouth in 2012 started her effort with a trip to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where she sat down with a chaplain and asked for some direction."

SALEM, N.H. — The Royer family watched the black faux-leather couch in their Rochester living room slowly dip and sag for a decade without being able to afford a new one.
Several weeks ago, they finally lugged it out of their home when they were given a new one, along with other free housewares, thanks to widespread community support for a local organization dedicated to helping active-duty military personnel, veterans and their loved ones.
Julie Weymouth, executive director of the Homeland Heroes Foundation of Salem, has seen the scenario play out hundreds of times since she helped start the nonprofit back in 2012. For a variety of reasons including financial hardship, emotional struggles and other circumstances, many who have served their country find themselves in need after returning home. So, too, do families while a loved one is deployed. 
Several tours to Afghanistan had taken a toll on Jeremy Royer, 37, a U.S. Army Veteran. The father and husband spent significant time on the aging living-room sofa, struggling with the residual effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, night terrors and unshakably aching joints.
Finances already were tight when his 37-year-old wife, Miranda, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last fall. Doctors said the football-sized mass in her chest was encroaching quickly on her heart, and she'd need to fight for her life.
read more here

Saturday, July 29, 2017

UK Amputee Soldier Can't Get Treated...Because He's Scottish?

Soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan can't receive hospital treatment in England 'because he's Scottish'

‘I am sitting here without my legs because I fought for this country’ 
The Independent 
Narjas Zatat 
July 28, 2017 

A Scottish soldier who lost both his legs while serving for the British Army in Afghanistan has been told he can no longer continue to receive specialist treatment in England. 

Lance Corporal Callum Brown said staff at the Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Trust hospital, which houses experts in amputee and veteran care, said NHS England could no longer provide funding. 

The 28-year-old, from the west coast Scottish town of Ayr, was injured by a bomb blast during a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011 and airlifted home. 
read more here

Hundreds of Motorcycles Showed Up For Dying Vietnam Veteran's Ride


Vietnam veteran dies days after bikers honor him with 'last ride' motorcycle event

Wish comes true for dying Vietnam Veteran
Phil Dawson
July 28, 2017

MUSKEGON, MICH. - Before he dies, Muskegon Vietnam veteran and hospice patient Wayne Whisler wanted to ride a motorcycle one last time.

And Friday afternoon his wish came true.
“It was great,” he says.

The last ride was arranged after Whisler told a care Hillcrest Nursing and Rehab Center care giver Theresa Flynn how much he liked her Harley, and how much he would like to hang out with some bikers and go for a ride.

She sent a message to Muskegon Motorcycle Club member Vic Martin.

“Spend a little time with him, let him look at the motorcycles and enjoy himself for a few hours,” says Martin.

“And we needed to get as many bikes out here as we could,” adds motorcycle rider David Edwards.

Friday afternoon, a convoy of several hundred motorcycles streamed into the Hillcrest parking lot. Whisler was loaded onto a sidecar and taken for a road trip.
read more here

God and Country, Homeless Veteran Thankful For Kindness

BIG HEARTS: Abilene couple pays for homeless veteran's hotel stay
Big Country
By: Brittany Pelletz
Posted: Jul 27, 2017

ABILENE,Texas (KTAB) - "You get to meet all kinds of people working in this industry," says Veronica Fisher, the manager at Super 8 in Abilene.
It's one of the reasons why Veronica Fisher and her husband, Jason Timms got into the hotel business. Each time someone checks in, a new adventure awaits.

"I believe God sent us here. God sends you where you need to be to get help," says Joseph Stewart, a guest at the Super 8.

Joseph Stewart, served in the United States Marine Corps and has lived a life of service, ministering to others.

Jason Timms, an employee of the hotel says, "He was having a rough time."

Stewart adds, "After we got here, I got low on funds."

"When I heard his story, and with him being a veteran, I feel like if you fought for my country, you need the help," Timms adds.
read more here

Veteran Found the Tree to Hang Himself, But Wrote Book Instead

He Found the Tree to Hang Himself; Instead, Marc Raciti, Wife Now Help Other Vets

Phoenix New Times
Lindsay Moore
July 28, 2017

Marc enlisted in the military as a private at 25 and retired 24 years later as an Army major. He was deployed five times and “frequently provided good medicine in bad places” as an orthopedic physician assistant.

Among all the lush Hawaiian greenery stood a bare, gray trunk with roots shooting out in all directions. It was easy to miss and even easier to forget. Birds wouldn’t even perch on the bony branches.
Marc and Sonja Raciti wrote, edited, and published a book on how PTSD affects veterans and their families.
Marc Raciti said that he and the tree shared a connection. This was the tree he chose to hang himself on.

“We’re both strong and had this greatness about us, but we’re both broken,” he said.

He wrote the notes, he brought a rope, and he was prepared to go. But instead, he fell asleep leaning on the long roots that formed a natural armchair. He dreamed of the drop from the tree branch and waited for whatever version of the afterlife would present itself.

He woke up and decided to seek help.

Marc is shy to talk about how he met his wife, Sonja, at Schofield Barracks army base in Hawaii. He lets her do most of the talking about how they were set up by a mutual friend and waited a whole year to meet to each other.

But when it comes to the mental health of veterans, Marc is quick to speak up. He’s written and published a book on the subject, specifically centered on his own journey.

His self-published novel, I Just Want to See Trees, was recently named a finalist in the International Book Awards for two categories, Health: Psychology/Mental Health and History: Military, earning the book a small golden sticker on the front cover.

The title and cover are a tribute to the large, dead tree Marc considered hanging himself on. He named the tree, and the poem it inspired, "Unforgiven."
read more here

Iraq Veteran Meets His Family Through MyHeritageDNA

NJ Iraq War veteran meets his birth family

ABC 6 News
Jeff Chirico
July 29, 2017

After years of searching Kyle learned about Melissa in November through MyHeritageDNA dot com. Their DNA matched and so did their personalities.
A New Jersey veteran who was adopted got the thrill of a lifetime when he was reunited with his birth family.

It took years of searching, but this brother and sister finally met for the first time Friday in Burlington.

"I feel like I'm standing outside my body looking at someone else's story unfolding," Melissa Galatas of Arizona said.

Action News was there with Melissa as she waits to meet the brother she only recently learned she had.

"I hope I don't cry, but it's definitely a possibility," Melissa said.

The emotional hug, years in the making for Kyle Gulden,from Pemberton who's never met his father despite years of searching.

The Iraq War veteran is married and has two daughters. His wife says the not-knowing weighed on him.

Dwight “Maddog” Maness Veteran Assistance Motorcycle Ride

Residents prepare for Dwight 'Maddog' Maness Veteran Assistance Motorcycle Ride 
Northwest Herald 
Jordyn Reiland 
July 29, 2017
Before his nearly eight-year stint with the sheriff’s office, Dwight Maness spent 20 years with the U.S. Army and saw combat in Iraq from 1990 to 1991. He retired with the rank of sergeant first class.
WONDER LAKE – McHenry County motorcyclists are ready to put up their kickstands and ride in honor of McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Maness at a charity event this weekend. 

The second Dwight “Maddog” Maness Veteran Assistance Motorcycle Ride will kick off at 11 a.m. Sunday at Horizontals Saloon, 7620 Hancock Drive, Wonder Lake, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. Once riders leave the saloon, they will head to The Bunker in Waterford, Wisconsin, for drinks. 

Participants then will ride back to Horizontals between 2 and 2:30 p.m. for food, live music and the chance to win several raffle prizes. read more here

RED SOX FOUNDATION Looking for People Like Me...And You!


The Home Base Program is seeking a dynamic and entrepreneurial warrior to identify, motivate and guide into care veterans and families struggling with the invisible wounds of war. The Home Base Veterans Outreach Coordinator will be part of a vital team of professionals and will serve as a critical "boots on the ground" liaison between The Home Base Program and the veterans community.

The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Home Base Program is an initiative supported by philanthropy that serves New England by identifying, motivating, and treating veterans and families impacted by the invisible wounds of war. Having served over 1000 veterans and families in clinical care alone through 2015, the Home Base Program is recruiting a qualified candidate to help significantly expand its impact in 2016 and beyond.

Through the Intensive Clinical Program, Home Base serves the nation as a successful private-public partnership and as a source of communication and educational resource to health and community providers seeking to support our veterans. In addition, the Home Base program serves as a leader in research, identifying and implementing new treatments for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other deployment-related mental health challenges.

General Job Description

The Home Base Programs Veterans Outreach Coordinator for the Intensive Clinical Program serves as a point of contact for veterans and their families seeking care and/or education regarding Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other post 911 combat-related stress. When not assigned to the Intensive Clinical Program, the Veterans Outreach Coordinator role changes to educate and provide outreach to New England-based veterans and their families about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and encourages the community to take advantage of services available through the Home Base Program. The Coordinator is an employee of MGH and works alongside a team of world class medical professionals to help educate veterans, their families, social workers, employers, community service providers, veterans groups and others as to how to recognize symptoms of PTSD/TBI and the ways in which they or their loved ones can seek help. The Veterans Outreach Coordinator guides veterans through the treatment evaluation process in the Home Base Clinic and works closely with the Clinical staff in the Home Base Program around patient case management and ongoing monitoring of patient needs. The Coordinator provides active patient outreach, including phone, email, in-person meetings and text messaging.

Responsibilities Of The Home Base Veterans Outreach Coordinator Include

The Veteran Outreach Coordinator for the Intensive Clinical Program is New England based. The Home Base Clinic and the National Intensive Clinical Program is located at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, but the Veterans Outreach Coordinator for the Intensive Clinical Program will work both in the Intensive Clinical Program and travel throughout New England in fulfillment of other Outreach responsibilities when not assigned to the Intensive Clinical Program.

Massachusetts General Hospital is an Equal Opportunity Employer. By embracing diverse skills, perspectives and ideas, we choose to lead. Applications from protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged. Employer's Job# 3040325

Please visit job URL for more information about this opening and to view EOE statement.

Here's my application! I'll even move from Florida!

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Woman with PTSD Kicked Out of Walmart Because of Service Dog?

Walmart needs to stop making own rules on service dogs.
A woman with a PTSD service dog was told to leave the store. She is a civilian but that shouldn't matter to any of us because if they are still disregarding the law on service dogs, they disregard all the disabled with with these dogs. 

The goal of a service dog is to get people out of their houses and into the community. All the training these dogs go through cannot prevent the extra stress of being treated like a criminal because of them.

Despite following rules, asked to leave
Billy Ludt
July 29, 2017

“No Pets Allowed” is common signage found outside businesses, but not all domesticated animals are pets. Some are service animals.

Ann Gott, 67, Austintown, was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after her husband died. Not long after, she received Barney, a Maltese service dog that helps detect and calm her symptoms.
"An employee from Walmart customer service told The Vindicator service animals 12 pounds or less are allowed in the shopping cart, as along as the dog is atop a cover in the cart."

"The U.S. Department of Justice requires any private business that serves the public to permit service animals anywhere customers are allowed. A physical or mental impairment that may limit a person’s ability to function is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That includes PTSD."
click link for more 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Why Did POTUS Lie to Veterans?

AP FACT CHECK: President Trump’s phantom VA reform claims
The Associated Press
July 27, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump paints a rosy picture of an improved Department of Veterans Affairs under his watch where accessing electronic medical records is “so easy and so good” and health care is freely available without any delays. The problem: It’s not true.
President Donald Trump speaks at the Covelli Centre, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in Youngstown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
At a campaign-style event in Ohio this week, Trump’s claims of progress were so overstated that even his own VA secretary, David Shulkin — who stood right next to him — would have to disagree.

“Since my first day in office, we’ve taken one action after another to make sure that our veterans get the care they so richly deserve,” Trump said.

But the multibillion-dollar IT initiative Trump cites has yet to be even budgeted, and an alternative program of private-sector care he describes is running out of money and needs reauthorization by Congress. Government auditors and whistleblowers say problems of long wait times and shoddy care persist. Some VA improvements happened before Trump took office.
read more here

Add this

Wait times at Colorado VA facilities 

among worst in the nation, new data 


Two years after scandal broke, Denver is worse off than Phoenix was

Wait times for medical appointments at veterans facilities in eastern Colorado and the Denver area are among the worst in the nation, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data show. Front Range veterans have seen little improvement in the three years since a national scandal erupted over the problem.
The average wait for a primary care appointment at just the Denver VA Medical Center has grown to more than 18 days as of July 1 — three times higher than those at the main VA facility in Phoenix, where the problem was first exposed in 2014, and nearly four times the national average.
The waiting period in Denver had been half of what it was in Phoenix, according to VA data released earlier this month.

Veteran: VA home care will be cut by July 31

In June, the VA announced that cuts to home care would be on hold, but Rosenstock said his family was notified Wednesday that his care would be cut by Monday. 

"This is the only thing I ever asked for," Rosenstock said.
Rosenstock says he needs help cooking, showering and even walking at times.
"Not only have I been receiving it, but I need it. I'm not in a stage of production or getting money or anything else," Rosenstock said. "I mean what I have received, I feel I've earned and what's more, I'm proud to have served."

WWII Veteran Back in the Navy

96-year-old vet gets his wish of visiting US Navy station
The Associated Press
By: Jennifer Mcdermott
July 27, 2017

WWII veteran Edmund DelBarone, second from right, makes the U.S. Navy crossed anchors symbol with his arms while posing for a photograph at Naval Station Newport, in Newport, R.I., Thursday July 27, 2017. DelBarone, a 96-year-old World War II veteran, once dreamed of returning to a Navy installation to reminisce about his naval career, and help of a nonprofit it has become a reality.
(Jennifer McDermott/AP)
NEWPORT, R.I. — A 96-year-old World War II veteran who dreamed of returning to a Navy installation to reminisce about his more than 20-year naval career got his wish on Thursday.

Edmund DelBarone toured Naval Station Newport in a visit arranged by Denver-based nonprofit Wish of a Lifetime. After seeing some of the ships assigned to the base, he said he’d have no trouble taking them out to sea.

“It’s exciting,” he said after. “I didn’t expect to see so much.”
read more here

Caregiver Support Program Resumes Full Operations...For Some Veterans

VA Caregiver Support Program Resumes Full Operations
July 28, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it is resuming full operations of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. The resumption follows an April 17 decision to temporarily suspend certain clinical revocations from the program to conduct a strategic review aimed at strengthening the program.

“VA has taken immediate steps to improve the program’s operations,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. M.D. “Our top focus during the review has been to listen, evaluate and act swiftly to make changes that will better meet the needs of our Veterans and caregivers. This does not mean our work is done. We will continue to refine and improve this important program.”

VA’s three-month review indicated a need for better communication about clinical revocations, improved internal processes and procedures, and additional staff training.

Following the review, VA issued a new directive outlining staff responsibilities, Veteran and caregiver eligibility requirements, available benefits and procedures for revocations from the program.

VA also conducted mandatory staff training on the new directive and implemented standardized communications and outreach materials to educate Veterans and caregivers about the program.

Additionally, the VA will be formalizing additional ways to ensure that the experience of Veterans’ families, caregivers and survivors are understood and that, where needed, new, or additional, assistance is explored. The VA is committed to listening to the voices of those who care for Veterans of all eras and to collaborating to improve services, outreach and awareness.

The caregiver program website has also been redesigned, and now includes a section linking caregivers and Veterans of all ages to resources and home- and community-based services available through VA’s Geriatrics and Extended Care programs.

More information on the program is available at

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Love Story Just Beginning For Newlywed Navy SEAL After Accident

Navy SEAL embraces wife for first time since tragic accident 
FOX News 
Published July 26, 2017 

A touching video of a Navy SEAL standing and embracing his wife four months after a traumatic car accident left him with a severe brain injury has been viewed by more than 3 million people. 

Jonathan Grant, 36, was serving as a combat medic instructor at Fort Bragg at the time of the accident, according to the couple’s GoFundMe page. He suffered a diffuse axonal injury (DAI), and was in a coma for nearly two months as doctors gave him just a 10 percent chance of survival. 

His Pilates instructor wife, Laura, has stood by his side throughout his recovery, which included moving to a Richmond, Virginia, rehabilitation facility where Grant could receive intensive therapy.
read more here

Jimmie Smith, Homeless Veteran Laid to Rest


Hundreds honor homeless vet at Sierra Vista funeral

Hundreds gathered at the Southern Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista to honor the life of a homeless veteran.

Pfc. Jimmie Smith, from Tennessee passed away at the age of 60. He served in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1977. Smith was discharged from Fort Bliss.
According to officials with the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, not much is known about Smith’s background or family.

Dee Foster and Arthur Parson, both Sierra Vista residents, remember Smith as a man with a gentle heart.

Strangers gather to give homeless Arizona veteran proper burial 
The Republic
Cydney Henderson
July 27, 2017
Smith served in the U.S. Army from September 1975 until August 1977 before getting discharged from Fort Bliss in Texas, according to the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services.
A homeless Arizona Army veteran is going to get the funeral he deserves today, after a call for help on Facebook.

Pfc. Jimmie Smith has no family. Despite bravely serving his country, the 60-year-old died alone.

The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services is doing its part to make sure the veteran is not alone during his memorial service in Sierra Vista, near Tucson.

The department asked community members to attend Smith’s Thursday morning funeral in place of his family, to give a man who fought for his country a proper send-off.
read more here