Sunday, October 28, 2018

Veterans in other news October 28, 2018

Motorcycle shop provides custom bike for local disabled veteran

KTVL 10 News
by Jennevieve Fong
October 27th 2018

MEDFORD, Ore. — Central Point veteran Jed Morgan is finding meaning through motorcycles. As a double amputee, Morgan is not letting his disability stop him from taking a ride.

Morgan served in Afghanistan and was hit with an improvised explosive device in 2012, damaging his right hand and forcing surgeons to amputate both his legs.

With the help of Thunderstruck Custom Bike, he was fitted for a custom-fit motorcycle on Saturday, which will allow him to drive with his prosthetics.

“They help us in so many ways we can’t even imagine, so if we can give freedom or anything back to a veteran...some piece of mind...a little bit of mobility whatever it may be...we’re all into doing it," shop owner Mark Daley said.

Organized by Combat Hero Bike Build, the motorcycle will be given to Morgan for free as a thank you for his service. Daley said a custom bike like this ranges from $20,000 to $30,000.
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Elgin funeral director goes above and beyond for Vietnam War veteran

Daily Herald
Doug T. Graham
October 25, 2018
Daniel Symonds, pictured here on tour in the Middle East, is a member of the Army Reserve and an Elgin funeral home director. courtesy of Joy Symonds
Daniel Symonds' unique opportunity to help a fellow veteran came last year when he received a phone call from Kane County Coroner Rob Russell.

The body of a homeless man, who had served in the Vietnam War, had been brought to the coroner's office. The man's background made a funded military funeral impossible: He had gone AWOL and was charged and convicted.

"He came home and he just walked away one day," said Symonds, who has been a funeral director for 23 years and a member of the army reserves for 16 years. "He was done."

The man, whose name Symonds declined to disclose, was eventually pardoned, along with many other AWOL Vietnam veterans, by President Gerald Ford. But the man had lost his military benefits.

"I knew absolutely I had to help him, even if I have to reach into my pocket," Symonds said. "The whole leave-no-man-behind-thing is important to me."
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Discussing the impacts of Agent Orange

October 27, 2018
“I’ve got a charcoal foot now because of it which went crooked. I had open heart surgery a little less than two years ago because of it,” said Jeron Hendricks, a Vietnam War Veteran.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A chemical sprayed on troops by the US military during the Vietnam War is continuing to impact the lives of veterans and their families. One Michigan Vietnam veteran is teaming up with the group Vietnam Veterans of America to do something about it.

Philip Smith conducts meetings like this one Saturday in Grand Rapids throughout Michigan to warn veterans about a silent killer many of them are unaware of Agent Orange.

Smith serves as the director for Vietnam Veterans of America.

“When Admiral Zumwalt was alive and he was the Admiral of the Navy.” “’He says don’t spray that stuff ‘well guess what we did and the ultimate factor is the disease that came down with it afterward,” he said.
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Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Dorchester damaged by vandal

Boston Globe
OCTOBER 26, 2018

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Dorchester was vandalized this week, and State Police are searching for those responsible for the defacement, which left the stone memorial damaged and an American flag cut in half.

State Police said a woman passing the memorial, a neighborhood landmark on Morrissey Boulevard, on Thursday noticed the damage and alerted State Police.

Bricks had been thrown at the memorial, leaving marks on the stone, an American flag was cut up, and a Massachusetts flag was taken off its pole and found near trees with trash littered on top of it, State Police said Friday in a statement.

A POW/MIA flag was also missing from the memorial, and vegetation in the area was uprooted, said State Police Lieutenant Tom Ryan.
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