Showing posts with label AMVETS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AMVETS. Show all posts

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Jan Brown of Boardman, AMVETS first female National Commander told congress the truth!

National leader of AMVETS from Boardman appeals to Congress for help

The Vindicator
March 1, 2020
In her remarks to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Brown said: “If we had spent $9 billion this year showing veterans how to live lives worth living, our veterans would be in a lot better position. Instead, we have built a hard to manage mental health conglomerate, with associations and unions who put their needs first.

WASHINGTON — Jan Brown of Boardman, AMVETS first female national commander, told members of Congress about failures in addressing veterans’ mental health and suicides, and urged money be spent on alternative programs.

Brown said she spoke to the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee last week, and felt her message was well-received.

“This was my one opportunity to tell Congress what I thought and have it on record. A couple of them came up and actually thanked me,” said Brown. “The questions and comments I got apparently hit home.”

Veteran service organizations testify annually before both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees, notifying Congress of their veteran-related priorities.

These organizations urged action to prevent more suicide deaths, to care for increasing veterans ill and dying of toxic exposure and traumatic brain injuries, and to provide equal care for a growing number of women veterans.

AMVETS last summer elected Brown, a retired Air Force senior master sergeant, to serve as the organization’s 2019-2020 national commander.
read it here

Exactly what we have been saying all along and so glad someone like her is saying it!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Real Numbers on Veteran Suicides Getting Closer to Know

California tracking suicides ending the lives of veterans will bring us closer to knowing how many, but the truth is, we will never really know for sure.

Traffic deaths, overdoses, suicide by cop, the list goes on. None of them are counted as suicides perfectly. Too often it is simply not known for sure if they did not leave behind a note to the family they left behind.

When we use numbers like "22" or "20" it paints a rosier picture of what this "grateful nation" finds acceptable. If no one knows how many and they push all the "awareness" propaganda when the veterans they miss are only missed by their families.

Veteran deaths won’t go uncounted now, thanks to bill by 2 Fresno legislators

Fresno Bee
Barbara Anderson
September 22, 2017
Once California begins counting veteran suicides, the VA’s estimate of 22 deaths a day could likely double, said Tom Donwen, state and national chairman of suicide prevention for AMVETS. “This bill is critical to suicide prevention and awareness for veterans,” he said.
A new law requiring California to track veteran suicides was applauded Friday by the two Fresno legislators who authored the bill, the brother of a fallen Marine and a Visalia assemblyman and veteran who had a personal reason to support it.
“This is the first step in the right direction,” said Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, a former sergeant in the Army National Guard who served two tours in Iraq.
Mathis said one of his fellow veterans, who welcomed him home after his second tour in Iraq, died by suicide a few months ago. “He was the happiest-go-luckiest guy I’d ever met,” he said.
His death can now be counted, Mathis said. “This allows us to track this so my brothers and sisters in arms and their families don’t fall through the cracks.”

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Community Cares for PTSD Veteran's Widow and Expanded Family

Help through the storm: AMVETS assist Clinton family after loss of father, addition of children
Clinton Herald
By Jake Mosbach
July 14, 2017
"The community support, the school support, has all been so great. To me, getting chosen to receive the donation was completely out of the blue, but all the support isn't out of the blue. The community has been amazing." 
Krista Fradette
Rachel Keathing Clinton Herald
CLINTON — In its time of need, a Clinton family is receiving a generous donation from Clinton AMVETS Post 28.

It was one year ago when Krista Fradette's husband, Bob, took his own life in the family's home after struggling with post-war, post-traumatic stress disorder. Krista was left to raise the couple's two children as a single mother. But this April, Krista's load would get even heavier.

It was then that she was contacted by Kentucky human services officials notifying her that she would be taking custody of her niece and nephew. Now taking care of four young children mostly on her own but with the help of friends and family, Krista and the Fradette family are receiving a donation of more than $3,000 from the AMVETS post.

Krista was surprised by the announcement, but certainly not surprised by the support she's received from area residents.
read more here

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Major Veterans Groups Fighting for Veterans Against More Cuts

Major veterans' groups voice concern over Senate health bill
Jun 27, 2017
"What will become of these veterans as they face higher insurance costs?" Carl Blake, associate executive director of Paralyzed Veterans, wrote in a letter sent to all 100 senators. He pointed to more than 1.7 million veterans now on Medicaid — nearly 1 in 10 — as well as veterans ages 45 to 64 who have benefited from tax credits offered under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin arrives at the wedding of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Scottish actress Louise Linton, at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Major veterans' organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate GOP bill to repeal the nation's health care law, fearing the impact of rising insurance costs and worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won't be able to fill the coverage gap.

While there are more than 21 million veterans in the U.S., only about 8 million receive health care from the VA. The others rely on Medicaid, purchase insurance on state or federal exchanges, have employer-provided insurance or have no coverage at all.

In a letter Tuesday to senators, Paralyzed Veterans of America, one of the six biggest nonpartisan veterans' groups, criticized an "opaque and closed" legislative process and proposed cuts to Medicaid that could lead to hundreds of thousands of lower-income veterans losing their insurance.

It joins a Democratic-leaning group, VoteVets, in opposing the bill. VoteVets launched a six-figure ad campaign in two states, mostly to pressure moderate Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who faces a tough 2018 re-election race. Heller, who indicated his opposition to the bill last Friday, says he's worried that too many people will lose coverage.

Two other major groups, Disabled American Veterans and AMVETS, also are expressing concern about the Senate legislation backed by President Donald Trump. They are worried the beleaguered VA — already facing an emergency $1 billion shortfall — won't have enough money to provide federally paid health care to more patients and say VA must be better funded.
read more here

Saturday, March 18, 2017

President Trump Had Meeting with Veterans Groups

It looks like Politico doesn't read Military Times.....

Trump's 'major meeting' on veterans affairs doesn't happen

Trump meets with veteran leaders, promises VA reforms
Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
March 17, 2017
Along with Got Your 6, the meeting included Student Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the “big six” veterans groups — American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, PVA, Vietnam Veterans of America and AMVETS.
(Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP)
WASHINGTON — President Trump held his first face-to-face meeting with representatives from prominent veterans groups on Friday, a step that community advocates called a productive and critical step in advancing the White House’s promises to veterans.

The hour-long meeting with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and senior White House staff covered issues including medical care access for veterans, accountability for VA employees, veterans caregiver programs and the president’s campaign pledges to make veterans services more efficient.

It included top officials from 10 veterans groups and was billed as a listening session for the president, with no policy or legislative proposals presented to the community leaders.

But individuals at the event said Trump was involved in the conversation throughout the meeting, questioning the groups on their priorities and ways the White House can help.
read more here

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Family Caregivers of All Severely Injured and Ill Veterans

Family Caregivers of All Severely Injured and Ill Veterans
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 9, 2014

Memorial Day is the day we remember all generations of war fighters we credit with obtaining the freedom of this nation and retaining it since 1775. We do not honor one generation over another. Veterans Day is the day we honor all our veterans no matter when they served.

If we can really say we support our veterans then it is vital to insure that all veterans are treated equally.

Independent Budget is a joint effort by AMVETS, DAV, VFW and PVA
"Our veterans have always stepped forward when we needed them to do the tough jobs, often in the worst conditions imaginable, and while making numerous personal sacrifices and enduring physical and emotional pain. Veterans have paid their dues in full. It is time that those sacrifices be repaid in kind."

Notice how this statement from those organizations do not separate generations but include all together equally? That has been the mission of most veterans groups. The problem is it isn't in the interest of all veterans groups.
Summary: H.R.2342 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.
Shown Here:
Introduced in House (05/11/2009)

Wounded Warrior Project Family Caregiver Act of 2009 - Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as part of authorized Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home health care services for veterans, to furnish to a family member or other designated individual advanced instruction and training and certification as a family caregiver for a veteran who incurred serious wounds on active duty during, or in training for, Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom and is determined to be in need of personal care services.

Requires the Secretary to provide to such caregiver: (1) appropriate support services; and (2) a monthly family caregiver allowance. Authorizes the Secretary to provide medical care to such caregiver.
While Vietnam veterans families have endured and suffered longer, just as Korean War and WWII veterans had, all generations were fought for by the Vietnam veterans and their families.

We have been pushed out of the way for far too long. Let congress know they should never, ever support one generation of veterans over another.
Family Caregivers of Severely Injured and Ill Veterans

Many family members serve as lifelong caregivers to severely injured veterans. To respond, Congress enacted Public Law 111-163, the “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act.” More than 10,000 families of veterans are now enrolled in this support program.

Over our objection, the law limits eligibility for full benefits and services to families of veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. This comprehensive support program should apply to all service-disabled veterans on the basis of medical and other pertinent needs, not based solely on the period of military service involved. To make the benefit more effective, we urge Congress to authorize expansion of the comprehensive program to cover family caregivers of all service- disabled veterans, irrespective of a veteran’s period of service.

Our families do not deserve less from the Congress. We have waiting longer for the same issues the OEF and OIF families face. We have to take care of our disabled veterans the same as they do. Did members of Congress ever stop to think about how the Caregiver Act made us feel when we were excluded?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ohio AG probe: Veteran service groups misused $10M

Ohio AG probe: Veteran service groups misused $10M
Associated Press
March 27, 2013

CINCINNATI (AP) — A state investigation alleging more than $10 million in charitable funds held by veterans services organizations for job training and other services was misused also found that some veterans posts in Ohio set up fake career centers instead of using the money to help unemployed veterans.

The Ohio attorney general's office said an agreement between the state and the Columbus-based AMVETS Department of Ohio, Ohio AMVETS Career Center and AMVETS Department of Ohio Service Foundation requires reforms that include revamped accounting and reporting practices, written financial policies and the removal of personnel in various AMVETS offices and boards.

The probe found some of the 59 AMVETS posts in Ohio set up satellite career centers that were only "facades," amounting to little more than an "outdated computer in a corner," according to court documents filed Tuesday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus. Some used the money intended for centers to reimburse themselves for items such as "rent" for the centers and to pay a member as a "career center coach," who often did little more than register veterans for an online course, the documents state.

Investigators who posed as veterans in need of job help said that they were often told a computer wasn't working or that a post had no career center.
read more here

Friday, August 10, 2012

Disabled American Veterans among groups VA taps to help with claims

Now this is a smart thing to do. Administrations come and go but these groups have been around through many of them, no matter what party was in charge.
VA taps vets groups to help fast track claims
Published: August 10, 2012
WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials hosted a workshop last week to brief 10 veterans service organizations on plans to fast track certain veterans benefits claims, and how they can help in the process.
The VSOs involved in the process were the
American Legion
Disabled American Veterans
Marine Corps League
Military Order of the Purple Heart
National Association of County Veterans Service Officers
National Organization for Veterans Advocates
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Vietnam Veterans of America
read more here

Monday, August 6, 2012

Army Reserve Major General Thurgood speaking at AMVETS Convemtion

Media Advisory

Army Reserve Major General to Talk Veteran Support at AMVETS Annual Convention

Major General Keith Thurgood will highlight the Army Reserve’s support programs for veterans and service members, transition from active to reserve, and opportunities in the Army Reserve.

Daytona Beach, FL – This Thursday, Major General Keith Thurgood, Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of the Army Reserve, will speak at the AMVETS 68th National Convention, focusing on the Army Reserve’s support Veterans, soldiers and their families, transitioning from Active to Reserve service, and opportunities available to Veterans and Soldiers in the Army Reserve. In addition to speaking at 11:45 am on Thursday, August 9, 2012, he will be reaching out to local government and community organizations to explore partnerships to support Veterans, soldiers and their families.

AMVETS is the nation's largest all-inclusive congressionally chartered veteran service organization. Members include active duty service men and women and all honorably discharged veterans from any of the armed forces (including Reserve and National Guard) since WWII. The purpose of the AMVETS Annual Convention is to review internal policies, establish a legislative policy and elect National Officers for the next fiscal year. Members from across the country attend each year to learn and engage in discussion on ways to improve the quality of life for their fellow veterans and their families.

The Army Reserve recognizes the importance of support programs for maintaining the resilience of Army Reserve soldiers and their families and ensuring military readiness. Through programs such as the Yellow Ribbon Program, Army Strong Bonds, Army Reserve Community Centers and the Employer Partnership program the Army Reserve works to help Veterans, soldiers and their families cope with the unique pressures of military life.

Maj. Gen. Keith Thurgood has over 28 years of Army service, both Active and Reserve. He has been mobilized for two active duty tours since September 11, 2001 in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his civilian capacity, he is the President and CEO of Overseas Military Sales and Corporation. Maj. Gen. Thurgood has commanded at the brigade and division level. Prior to his current assignment he served as the Deputy Chief, United States Army Reserve; and the Commander, Army Air Force Exchange Service. He also serves on the Army Staff as member of the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee.

WHAT: AMVETS 68th National Convention and EXPO
WHEN: August 9, 2012
WHERE:Hilton Daytona Beach Ocean Front 100 North Atlantic Ave. Daytona Beach, FL 32118

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Iraq war veteran says some older vets don't like change

Iraq war veteran says some older vets don't like change

Posted: Nov 18, 2011
By Elizabeth Donatelli

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 investigated why veterans' organizations across the country are losing numbers and found the younger vets aren't joining. This prompted older members to call on younger members to participate. An Iraq war veteran contacted WAVE 3 after the story aired and said it's partly because a lot of the posts don't want to change.

The folks at local AMVETS #9 invited us over on a busy Saturday afternoon filled with football and horse racing. There were veterans of several wars, but few, if any, from Iraq and Afghanistan.
read more here

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hundreds Ride in Honor of Fallen Soldiers in Lancaster County PA

Hundreds Ride in Honor of Fallen Soldiers in Lancaster County
Eric Gemmell
5:26 p.m. EDT, May 15, 2011

Lancaster, (Lancaster County)

Sunday started off solemn at AM-VETS Post 19 in Lancaster.
Service men and women from every branch of the United States Military participated in the first ever Fallen Soldier Memorial Ride.

Bill Brinkman, an organizer of the ride said "We don't want to forget the people that have fallen."

Brinkman worked in corroboration with Randy Axe who together worked on the project for five months to remember fallen soldiers who died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.

"it's nothing for Randy and I to do this. What they've [soldiers] given us is multiple times what we're giving back," said Brinkman.

Axe added, "We are here for a reason." He added, "If it wasn't for the soldiers here fighting overseas we wouldn't be here today."

While the day started off on a patriotic note, including a 21 gun salute, the afternoon set a different tone.

Hundreds of motorcycle riders got on their bikes to ride 33 miles throughout Lancaster County to pay tribute to those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
read more here
Hundreds Ride in Honor of Fallen Soldiers in Lancaster County

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Staten Islanders offer heartfelt salute to wounded warriors

Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel
Motrorcyclists, 200 strong, escort wounded soldiers visiting from Water Reed Hospital in Washington along Korean War Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Staten Islanders offer heartfelt salute to wounded warriors
By Jeff Harrell
May 14, 2010, 10:48PM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- It was impossible to miss the wounded war heroes today.

Behind an advance guard of 200 deafening choppers, their motorcade wended its way along Richmond Avenue past the Staten Island Mall, attended by fluttering flags and chants of "America rocks!"

It was a fitting New York City welcome for nine severely wounded veterans who ventured from Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., to visit the Island as guests of the Tamburri Post, American Veterans (AMVETS).

"It's very exciting. I got goosebumps," said Tamburri Post member Dennis McLoone of Westerleigh.

"I'm just proud, proud, proud of our guys doing a job nobody else would want," proclaimed Kathryn Fixsen of Eltingville. "It makes America what it is."
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Staten Islanders offer heartfelt salute to wounded warriors

Saturday, December 5, 2009

AMVETS launches new stolen valor Web site

AMVETS launches new stolen valor Web site

By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Dec 4, 2009 18:30:38 EST

A leading veterans group has launched a special Web site aimed at raising awareness about the growing number of false claims of military service, medals and awards, and helping the general public report such claims to authorities and the media.

“We’ve seen the news stories, and we have a lot of anecdotal evidence — people calling us and asking us about the issue,” said Jay Agg, national communications director for AMVETS. “ ‘What is it? How do I report it? What are the punishments? What constitutes a violation of the Stolen Valor Act?’ That is really … the genesis of this project.”

“Veterans have a special place in American society,” said Duane Miskulin, AMVETS national commander. “The brave men and women who answered our nation’s call to serve are revered for their tremendous self-sacrifice and courage in the face of daunting odds. Stolen valor is a serious offense — one that cuts into the core of what it means to be a veteran.”

Miskulin said the 2005 Stolen Valor Act, which makes even false claims of an undeserved medal a federal misdemeanor punishable by up to year in prison and a $100,000 fine, has not stemmed what he said is a rise, even in recent months, of such false claims.
read more here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

AMVETS makes bid to reach area veterans

AMVETS makes bid to reach area veterans
Journal Star
Posted Jul 22, 2009 @ 10:53 PM

PEORIA — The AMVETS Department of Illinois wants local military veterans to know there is help available in dealing with veterans’ issues, and they’re taking that message to the people.

At a town hall meeting in the Peoria Public Library on Wednesday evening, representatives from the statewide veteran services organization explained to a group of local veterans just what kind of help it provides, including advice and advocacy on everything from health care to job training.

“Everybody needs some help sometimes,” said AMVETS service officer George Sebastian. “Knowing the system helps. Getting frustrated doesn’t help.”

The national, state and local chapters of AMVETS primarily assist veterans in dealing with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, attempting to secure veterans’ benefits and services like medical cost assistance, veterans’ insurance, pension issues and more.
read more here
AMVETS makes bid to reach area veterans

Friday, February 6, 2009

$3.6 billion hike urged for VA health care

$3.6 billion hike urged for VA health care
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 6, 2009 15:11:06 EST

Four leading veterans groups called Friday for a $4.5 billion increase in veterans programs, including $3.6 billion for health care.

This is an even bigger increase than the groups asked for a year ago, and puts added pressure on President Barack Obama to keep campaign promises for full funding of Veterans Affairs Department programs.

The increase, which would result in a $54.6 billion discretionary VA budget, comes in the so-called “independent budget” prepared each year by AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The $54.6 billion budget includes health care, administrative and construction funds and some costs related to the administration of benefits, but not the costs of the benefits themselves.

Recommendations made in the independent budget often become a benchmark used by members of Congress to judge the adequacy of administration budget requests. Its timing — before the Obama administration makes its first budget submission — sets the stage for criticism if Obama asks for an increase of less than $3.6 billion.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Old soldiers never die — they just move to Florida

Military veterans are marching to Florida
Darryl E. Owens | Sentinel Staff Writer
November 9, 2008

Old soldiers never die — they just move to Florida.

It is a durable trend reflected in great numbers after World War II, recently reinforced by the military men and women who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and who are again marching home to the state.

Florida's intrinsic amenities and expanded veterans' services are magnets that have boosted the state past Texas for the second-largest veteran population at 1.75 million, according to the latest tally. Only California is home to more veterans, with 2.1 million. But the Sunshine State is the hot draw. Even as the nation's veteran population withered 16.5 percent since 1980, Florida increased its ranks by nearly 400,000.

Forecasters predict the state will surpass California within 20 years.

"The Southeast, and Florida in particular, is an attractive region for military veterans and retirees," said Jay Agg, national communications director for AMVETS, noting that the state has one of the organization's fastest-growing and most active departments.

"Florida is already renowned as a friendly and hospitable retiree destination, but it is also a draw for veterans and military retirees because of its significant military community," Agg said.

Adding to that allure, say advocates for veterans, has been the lack of a state income tax, a generally strong economy and mild winters.

Across Central Florida, veteran tallies eclipse 1980 totals:
Orange County, for example, now boasts 77,947 veterans, up from 68,100 in 1980; Seminole has 38,802 veterans, up from 28,670; and
Volusia is home to 57,809 vets, up from 41,139.
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Bush ticks off veterans again with veto threat of what they need

Veterans Groups Appalled at White House Veto Threats

Last update: 10:16 a.m. EDT Aug. 1, 2008
WASHINGTON, Aug 01, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A coalition representing millions of America's veterans today expressed outrage at a White House claim that Congress is overspending on veterans programs and has threatened to veto any of the remaining 11 spending bills that exceed the President's request unless Congress finds $2.9 billion in offsets elsewhere in the federal budget.

Under the fiscal year 2009 Military Construction-VA Appropriations bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs would receive $47.7 billion, which is $4.6 billion above the 2008 funding level and $2.9 billion more than the President requested.

As the House of Representatives prepared to debate the measure, the four Independent Budget veterans service organizations told Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that they "vigorously defend the crucial increases in VA funding" which the Administration has underfunded in its budget requests for the past several years.

In their July 31 letter to Speaker Pelosi, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars said, "This budget, a budget that intends to bind the wounds of war and to care for those who have worn the nation's uniform, should never be used as a political lever to force policies of one branch (of government) on the other."
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Monday, July 7, 2008


Commander John P. "JP" Brown III, signs a memorandum of understanding that solidifies a partneship between the National Alliance on Mental Illness and AMVETS, June 24.


Offer education and guidance for veterans coping with mental illness

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2008—AMVETS, one of the nation’s leading veterans’ service organizations, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) signed a memorandum of understanding this morning at the NAMI National Headquarters in Arlington, Va. The memorandum will allow both AMVETS and NAMI to share resources in assisting veterans and their families to identify and cope with mental illness through more than 1,300 AMVETS Posts and 1,200 NAMI affiliates nationwide.

“When troops come home from war, they just want to go home. They often don’t want to admit that they’re having issues readjusting,” said AMVETS National Commander John P. “JP” Brown III. “By partnering with NAMI, AMVETS will help teach families about some of the warning signs of mental illness and show them where to get help for their loved ones.”

A recent report by the RAND Corporation found that nearly 300,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with 320,000 more potentially suffering from traumatic brain injuries. The VA has also acknowledged gaps in available care for veterans living outside the commuting range VA health care facilities. While the VA is taking steps to fill in these gaps, AMVETS and NAMI are taking steps of their own to provide assistance.

The NAMI partnership, which developed out of AMVETS’ National Symposium on the Needs of Young Veterans, will help families of deployed service members to identify warning signs of potential mental health problems once their loved ones return from combat. AMVETS is uniquely poised to offer assistance to service members and their families through a 2005 memorandum of understanding with the National Guard Bureau, which allows AMVETS posts and departments to work directly with National Guard units across the country.

To date, AMVETS has provided thousands of man hours in support of the National Guard. The new partnership with NAMI will augment the kind of support that AMVETS offers to recently returned veterans facing a potentially difficult transition.

AMVETS will also work with NAMI to dispel the negative stigma surrounding post-combat mental health issues. RAND also suggests that many veterans are afraid to seek treatment for mental health. However, AMVETS is looking to teach that the human reaction to combat experience is natural and can be addressed through proper mental health channels.

Friday, April 4, 2008

AMVETS commander speaks out on murder

Claudia Hoerig photo America's Most Wanted

AMVETS commander speaks out on murder
By STEPHEN ORAVECZ Tribune Chronicle
The AMVETS national commander turned up the heat Thursday to get Brazil to return a murder suspect for trial in Trumbull County.

John P. ‘‘JP’’ Brown asked members of the U.S. Senate and House Veterans Affairs committees to support efforts to extradite Claudia Hoerig, who is accused of murdering her husband, Air Force Maj. Karl Hoerig, who was a decorated Iraq war veteran.

‘‘The case has been stalled in light of Mrs. Hoerig returning to Brazil, her native country,’’ Brown, AMVETS national commander, told a joint meeting of the veterans affairs committees.

‘‘I request that each of you support the Department of of Justice in extraditing Mrs. Hoerig so she can stand trial for the crime of which she is accused, and allow the family of an American hero to have some closure in this tragic event.’’

Brown’s statement was the first from a national veterans group.
go here for the rest

Karl Hoerig was a real American hero. The decorated Army reservist piloted nearly 200 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan during his military career.

It Starts Online And Ends In Murder

Claudia Hoerig met her husband -- and alleged victim -- on an online dating site.

View LargerOhio cops are searching for Claudia Hoerig, a woman they say killed her husband Karl on March 12, 2007 in Newton Falls.

Hoerig met her husband online through a dating service. After just a six-week courtship, they were married at a chapel in Las Vegas in June 2005.

Even though the marriage was short, prosecutors say it was plenty rocky. The couple's marital problems were so bad that investigators say Karl spoke to friends and colleagues about how unhappy he was with Claudia, and that he feared what she would do. He even allegedly told a fellow Southwest Airlines pilot that he planned to move out of the house on Monday March 12, and that the marriage had always been bad.

Trumbull County Sheriff's deputies say the union reached its worst point on March 12, when Claudia Hoerig shot her husband three times, killing him. Then, they say that using her privileges as a wife of a pilot, Hoerig flew first to New York on a free airline ticket the very same day and then on to her native Brazil.

Marshals say Hoerig plotted the murder of her husband, who was a decorated hero with the U.S. Armed Forces.

go to America's Most Wanted for the rest

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A soldier's words push a mother to act

A soldier's words push a mother to act
An Iraq veteran's suicide is prompting efforts to get more help for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder.


Last update: January 1, 2008 - 9:29 PM

The people of the Iron Range are not likely to forget Army Specialist Noah C. Pierce.

Cheryl Softich, his mother, said that she lived the Iraq war experience through her son's poetry, and after he died in late July -- killing himself in his truck -- she learned even more when she insisted upon driving the vehicle home.

"I now know what that smell of death is like that he had talked about," Softich said.

In Virginia, Minn., at the Servicemen's Club at 229 Chestnut St., the veterans know of Pierce, as well, and they will for a long time: American Veterans Post 33 has been named in his honor.

AMVETS Commander Shawn Carr said Saturday that while Pierce, 23, did not die in action, he considers the decorated soldier a war-related casualty because of Pierce's battles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
go here for the rest

One by one family members are taking on this enemy killing someone they love as surely as a bullet or bomb. This enemy does not stop trying to kill until the soldier fights back. Once they do, the enemy has no choice but to retreat but it has to be hit hard and early. Although I truly believe it is never too late to seek treatment for PTSD, the longer they wait the more damage done to their lives.

If men and women like my husband had help when they came home from Vietnam, they would not have ended up killing themselves in such massive numbers. Two studies but their suicide deaths between 150,000 and 200,000. They wouldn't have ended up homeless, abandoned by their families and lost to all they loved. Had my husband been helped right away, or even ten years later, he would still be working and wouldn't have suffered all the years without help. I credit God with holding our family together because I couldn't have done this on my own. Yet I fully acknowledge the tremendous burden on the family when hope erodes. I figure it this way. If I had such a hard time living with him before he got help, knowing what I knew about PTSD, how much harder is it on a family who has no clue what it is?

When mothers like Cheryl Softich come out to fight for their son's or daughters, they are heroes in all of this. She is not fighting for her son, but for all the others out there so they won't know how it feels to lose a son like this.