Showing posts with label California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Firefighter killed by another firefighter


California fire crews attend graduation to support daughter of slain firefighter

read the story here

2 firefighters shot, 1 killed by off-duty colleague at LA County Fire Station 81; suspect dead

FOX 11 News
By Mary Stringini
June 1, 2021
Firefighter specialist Tory Carlon, 44, was killed in the shooting. He was a twenty-year veteran of the department, Osby said.
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - An off-duty firefighter opened fire Tuesday at Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Station 81 in the Agua Dulce area, killing a fellow firefighter and injuring another. The suspect then fled to his home in nearby Acton, barricaded himself inside, and set the house on fire before he was believed to have been found dead.

"I never thought one of our firefighters would face danger at one of our own community fire stations," said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby.
read more here

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

"Please don't kill me" Navy veteran Angelo Quinto last words

Navy veteran died after police knelt on his neck for nearly 5 minutes, family says
Associated Press
FEBRUARY 24, 2021

A Navy veteran who was going through an episode of paranoia died after a Northern California police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, his family said Tuesday. The family of Angelo Quinto called police on December 23 because the 30-year-old was suffering a mental health crisis and needed help.
This Nov. 30, 2017 photo provided by Isabella Collins shows Navy veteran Angelo Quinto in Moffett Field in Mountainview, Calif. CASSANDRA QUINTO-COLLINS / AP
His family says a responding officer knelt on Quinto's neck for nearly five minutes while another officer restrained his legs. Quinto lost consciousness and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died three days later.

"He said 'Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me,' as they were putting him on the ground. They handcuffed him and one officer put his knee on the back of his neck the whole time I was in the room," said Quinto's mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins

"I trusted the police because I thought they knew what they were doing but he was actually passive and visibly not dangerous or a threat so, it was absolutely unnecessary what they did to him," she said.

A video recorded by Quinto-Collins shows her son listless, with a bloodied face and his hands cuffed behind his back. She said she began recording after seeing her son's eyes were rolled up in his head.

The family filed a legal claim against the Antioch Police Department last week, which gives the department 45 days to respond. After that time has elapsed, the family will file a federal lawsuit, said John Burris, the Quintos' attorney.
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

"Meatball" wanted to become a Marine...lost 186 pounds to do it!

Marine infantry recruit drops 186 pounds to make it to boot camp

Published: May 28, 2020

Gabriel Ramirez spent his childhood dreaming of being a Marine, but that dream seemed unattainable as a 365-pound teen nicknamed “Meatball.”
Gabriel Mendez Ramirez lost 186 pounds on his way to becoming a Marine recruit. Ramirez, from Oceanside, Calif., graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School last year and recently headed to boot camp.

This week, Ramirez, 18, was on his way to boot camp, 186 pounds lighter.

At the end of Ramirez’s sophomore year at Rancho Buena Vista High School in California, Marine recruiter Staff Sgt. Anna Rodrigues spoke to his class and later asked him about his interests.

“The kids I talk to, one thing I look for is heart,” Rodrigues said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I am looking for someone that won’t quit and will accept the challenge.”
read it here

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

California Veterans Home with 800 has no COVID-19 cases because of early actions taken

Veterans Home of California with almost 800 aging residents, has had no COVID-19 cases

By Debora Villalon
May 7, 2020

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. - Across the country, nursing homes and Veterans Affairs facilities are being overwhelmed by COVID-19.
California’s oldest and largest veteran’s home is COVID-19 free
A veteran's home in Yountville has nearly 800 aging residents, but zero cases of COVID-19. KTVU's Debora Villalon reports stringent steps are being taken at the nursing home and it seems to be paying off.

In the Bay Area, one institution stands out.
The Veterans Home of California in Yountville, with almost 800 aging residents, has had no cases.
"Fingers crossed we keep it that way," said Director Lisa Peake, while acknowledging an aggressive response.
"We got on it early, it's nothing to mess around with," said Peak. "Our campus and CalVet were probably a week to two weeks ahead of everyone else."

Access to the sprawling Napa Valley campus tightened in early March.

Staff wearing PPE screened arrivals then, and the precautions have only become more stringent since.
read it here

Thursday, May 7, 2020

93 year old Air Force veteran picked up hitchhiking to get Hershey bar to split with girlfriend!

Air Force veteran, 93, hitchhikes to store for Hershey bars, says he and girlfriend split one ‘every night’

MAY 7, 2020

Mike, a retired Air Force veteran, also told Farmer that he met his girlfriend Doris — or ‘Do,’ as he calls her — at a senior dance about 20 years ago. He added that Doris didn’t know he was doing this, and “probably hasn’t even started looking for me” yet.

Rich Farmer said he picked up Mike, 93, after he saw the elderly gentleman hitchhiking in the road near a senior living community. (Rich Farmer)

LAKE SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A 93-year-old Air Force veteran in California was so intent on procuring Hershey bars for his girlfriend that he sneaked away from their senior community and hitchhiked to the local 99-cent store.

The man, identified only as Mike, said he splits a Hershey bar with his girlfriend Doris every night, but he’s been having trouble getting to the store amid the coronavirus health crisis. On Monday, April 27, however, he tried his luck with hitchhiking, only for local resident Rich Farmer to stop and pick him up.

“I was going home for lunch at about 12:30 or 1:00 in the afternoon,” said Farmer, a real estate broker in Lake San Marcos, in an interview with Fox News. “When I turned a corner to go up the hill to my house, I saw an elderly gentleman about four feet into the street.”

Farmer said he couldn’t ignore Mike, who quickly stuck his thumb out as Farmer drove by. Farmer swung a U-turn and rolled down his window to ask if the elderly gentleman needed any help.
read it here

Friday, March 27, 2020

Hoarding hurting veterans' charity helping them heal!

Hoarding Hits Local Veterans Struggling For Supplies

CBS News Sacramento
By Marlee Ginter
March 26, 2020
“It’s been complicated, to say the least. I know at Sam’s Club we’re not allowed to buy more than two items, and two packs of laundry pods for 57 people just isn’t going to cut it,” said Residential Programs Manager Amy Childers.

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As people continue stockpiling, facilities that help veterans in need are scrambling for the basics.

Jared Dannenberger, an Iraq War veteran, signed up to serve and protect. Now veterans like him at the Sacramento Veterans Resource Center of America need their own protection in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19. Facilities are running low on hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and basic hygiene items.
“I mean donations are always welcome, hand sanitizer, hygiene,” said Dannenberger.

”Soaps, towels things like that you know, we’d be very grateful,” said Vietnam-era veteran Vincent Craft.

Employees keep hitting empty shelves from store to store and have even tried getting things online.

Most of the vets are recovering from PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, and homelessness and need any support they can get. Add tight quarters and a COVID-19 lockdown, and that can take a toll on an already vulnerable population.
read it here and watch the video

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Victory Ensured Through Service, or V.E.T.S. ordered to cease-and-desist

California charity raised millions for veterans. Almost none of it helped the needy

The Sacramento Bee
FEBRUARY 03, 2020
Becerra’s office late last week issued a cease-and-desist order to V.E.T.S. saying the charity’s registration had been delinquent for three years, even while Zagar and Associates continued soliciting donations. Prosecutors also said the charity knowingly filed false statements about its revenues for much of the past decade.
Each year, Fred Salanti receives a check in the mail for a few thousand dollars.
Salanti, a 72-year-old Vietnam veteran, uses the money to keep his small Redding-based charity afloat. It buys a few wheelchairs for veterans, covers student scholarships and sometimes funds a monument at the cemetery, he said.

“We’re down here scrabbling with shoestrings,” Salanti said of his charity, Victory Ensured Through Service, or V.E.T.S. Salanti said he tries to not question much in life.
V.E.T.S. is scrabbling because the money Salanti receives is a small fraction of the amount actually raised in the name of his charity. Most of the money that people donate to V.E.T.S. goes to a West Sacramento telemarketing firm 160 miles away. Veterans get little benefit from the money.
read it here

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Navy Flight Surgeon James Mazzuchelli continued to save lives after he died

Their Son’s Heart Saved His Life. So He Rode 1,426 Miles to Meet Them.
Jan 24, 2020

What she did not yet know was the way those heavy words would ripple outward like a stone dropping into a still pond: allowing a man to return to work, a veteran to get his health back, and an ailing cyclist to get back on his bike. And how those little waves would slowly smooth out the edges of her own grief.

Lt. James Mazzuchelli in an undated photograph. Courtesy U.S. Navy
It took several drafts to get the letters right. To capture her boy who, just a few short months before, had been so full of life, energy, and love. To distill him into the two dimensionality of words on paper.

Three weeks earlier, the thread that held Christine Cheers’s world together had been ripped clean away, sending her whole life spinning like an off-balance top. On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, someone on the other end of the phone had said the words that bring any parent to their knees: “There’s been an accident.”

Her son, 32-year-old Navy flight surgeon James Mazzuchelli had been injured in a helicopter training mission at Camp Pendleton. If she wanted to see him while he was still alive, she needed to get on the next flight from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Diego—and she needed to pray.

James was still breathing when Christine and her husband, David, arrived at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, the next morning. But it soon became clear that his condition would not improve. Machines were keeping him alive, and the doctors told Christine that what she was seeing was likely his future—that her scuba-diving, world-traveling, over-achiever of a son was never going to wake up.
read it here

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Lowlife jerks caught ripping off veterans and troops and sexual assaults

Businessman indicted in $510 million Tricare fraud scheme

By: The Associated Press
September 27, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. — Federal prosecutors say a Mississippi businessman has been indicted in one of the nation’s largest health care fraud investigations.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced that 52-year-old Wade Ashley Walters of Hattiesburg is charged for his alleged role in a scheme involving fraudulent prescriptions.

Prosecutors say the fraud led to TRICARE and other health care benefit programs reimbursing various companies more than $510 million.

The scheme targeted people insured by TRICARE, which covers military members, their families, retirees and some National Guard members and reservists. read it here

Doctor pleads guilty to sexually exploiting VA patients

By: The Associated Press
September 27, 2019

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A California doctor has pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting five women — several of them veterans — while doing work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Edgar Manzanera pleaded guilty Wednesday as trial was to begin on more serious charges of sexual assault. Instead of potentially facing more than a dozen years in prison, Manzanera will be sentenced to three years of probation. He also must surrender his medical license and register as a sex offender.
read it here

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

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.
read it here

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

While you were sleeping, Coast Guard was pulling bodies from the water

25 Victims Found, 9 People Missing After Diving Boat Catches Fire In California

Vanessa Romo and Merrit Kennedy
September 2, 2019

"This is probably the worst case scenario you could possibly have. You have a vessel that's on the open sea ... in the middle of the night." Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown
Updated at 1:31 a.m. ET Tuesday
Twenty-five people are confirmed to have died in the weekend dive boat disaster, according to The Associated Press, citing the Coast Guard. Nine people remain missing. A total of 39 people were on board the boat.
In this photo provided by the Ventura County Fire Department, firefighters respond to a boat fire off the coast of Southern California on Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard said it launched several boats to help over two dozen people "in distress." Ventura County Fire Department via AP

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll told The AP that at least 25 people died in the accident. Kroll said five victims have been found but their bodies have not yet been recovered due to unsafe conditions under the boat. He said authorities will continue to search overnight for the nine people still missing.

Five crew members were rescued, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The vessel was identified as the Conception, based out of Santa Barbara Harbor, and was on a three-day dive trip to the Channel Islands. It was operated by Truth Aquatics. Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester told a news conference Monday that the company has been in full compliance with regulatory standards.
read it here

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Hazmat crews clear air at Fairmont San Jose after chemicals used for suicide

Chemicals used in apparent suicide at San Jose hotel force evacuations

ABC 7 News
By Anser Hassan
September 1, 2019

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Fairmont San Jose reopened late Saturday afternoon after four floors of the high-end hotel were evacuated that morning.

Hazmat units were sent to clear out the 19th floor due to toxic chemicals used in apparent death by suicide.

"Initial reports were saying that somebody had attempted suicide by using chemicals," explains San Jose Fire Captain Mitch Matlow.

San Jose police later confirmed the death by suicide in an email to ABC7 News.

Captain Matlow described the victim only as an adult female. He says the chemicals were found in her room.

"We determined that there were chemicals in the room, what those chemicals are or how many there were, I don't know," says Matlow, adding that, "The hazard was contained to that one room."

He says some guest may still notice an usual odor, but stresses that the air inside the hotel and the surrounding area is not toxic.

"The only issue is a bad odor, that is not dangerous, and the hotel is working very diligently to get rid of the odor by putting fresh air into the building," he says.
read it here

Monday, August 26, 2019

Memorial Cross made its way back to widow of Marine veteran

Memorial cross returned to Marine Veteran's widow

ABC 10 News
Author: Giacomo Luca
August 24, 2019

A memorial cross at-risk of being removed due to construction has been returned to the widow of a U.S. Marine veteran through the help of a community member.

ANTELOPE, Calif. — A patriotically painted red, white, and blue cross with both stars and stripes was placed alongside Don Julio Boulevard in Antelope, California following the 2014 shooting death of Marine veteran Ryan Matthew Shannon.

Gina Schaeffer, who lives nearby, drove past it for the five years that it’s been there. She’d always pay respects as she drove past but says she never stopped.

“I always noticed that cross, and I’ve always wondered who it belonged to and what it was associated with,” Schaeffer said.

Recently, a construction project in that area grew close to where the cross was standing. Afraid it would be removed or bulldozed, she stopped and asked construction crews if she could bring it home, and they allowed her to do so. Afterward, she took to community pages on Facebook to seek out why the cross was there and who she should return it to.

“The minute I picked it up and felt the solidness and the heaviness of it and the well builtness (sic) of it, I just felt a really big emotional feeling that you know this was bigger than just finding the family. It needed to go back home,” Schaeffer said.
read it here

Thursday, July 25, 2019

What is going on with Marines and Navy SEALS

SEAL shenanigans in the spotlight (again)

Navy Times
By: Carl Prine
July 24, 2019
Officials at Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, are calling it “a perceived deteriorating of good order and discipline during non-operational periods."

U.S. Navy Sea, Air, and Land team members conduct military field operations during exercise Trident 18-4 at Hurlburt Field, Florida, on July 11th, 2018. (Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg/Air Force)
The commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve has booted a SEAL Team 7 platoon from Iraq due to a booze-fueled July 4th party, Navy Times has learned.

Officials at Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, are calling it “a perceived deteriorating of good order and discipline during non-operational periods."

In a prepared statement released Wednesday evening, SOCOM said that the joint task force commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission and the SEALs are now on a “deliberate redeployment” to Naval Amphibious Base Coronado near San Diego.

“All Department of Defense personnel are expected to uphold proven standards and to comply with laws and regulations,” the statement read. “Alleged violations are thoroughly investigated.”
read it here

'Mass Arrest' of US Marines on Camp Pendleton

NBC 7 News San Diego
By Bridget Naso and R. Stickney
July 25, 2019

The Marines were arrested based on information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation, military officials said

Sixteen Marines were arrested during battalion formation at Camp Pendleton Thursday, accused of illegal activities ranging from drug-related offenses to human smuggling, officials said.

Officials with the 1st Marine Division of the U.S. Marine Corps said representatives with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) were also involved in what they called the “mass arrests.”

The Marines - all E-2 to E-4 in rank - were arrested based on information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation, military officials said.

NBC 7 first reported the news that two Camp Pendleton-based Marines were arrested earlier this month and accused of transporting undocumented immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border near Tecate.
read it here

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Veteran ran into other patrol car he crashed into

CHP vehicle rammed; catches fire during high-speed chase

KTVL News 10
by Brian Schnee
June 28th 2019
"Deputy Stewart established rapport with the man by pointing to a miniature Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB) he is authorized to wear on his Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) uniform and he related to Mr. Devivo that he too was a combat veteran," Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey told News 10. "Mr. Devivo surrendered to Deputy Stewart and was no longer resistant to on-scene CHP or SCSO personnel. 
Near HORNBROOK, Calif. — A male who had been driving over 130 miles per hour on Interstate 5 in Northern California was taken into custody by law enforcement on Friday afternoon after ramming his vehicle into a CHP patrol vehicle.

According to California Highway Patrol, around 12:30 p.m., officers were advised of a possible reckless vehicle driven by a United States Military Veteran, northbound on I-5 at a high rate of speed and possibly experiencing a mental health crisis.

The driver of the vehicle, 28-year-old Jesse Michael Devivo exceeded 130 mph with an officer in pursuit. According to CHP, Devivo made a U-turn on I-5 just north of the Henley Hornbrook and Copco Road overpass. Devivo was now facing the opposite direction and accelerated towards the northbound lanes. When a CHP officer attempted to block the suspect from re-entering the northbound lanes, Devivo rammed into the CHP patrol car causing it to catch fire. A witness helped extinguish the fire.

Deputy Stewart is a combat infantry veteran and former Army Paratrooper. He served with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Rob’s partner at the time was Deputy Michael Johnson, a retired U.S. Navy Chief and former Navy diver."

read it here

Friday, July 19, 2019

Marine Corps tells Duncan Hunter to stop using emblem

Duncan Hunter ordered to stop using Marine Corps emblem in campaign

NBC News
By Mosheh Gains
July 17, 2019

He currently faces federal charges of wire fraud, campaign finance violations, falsifying records and conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and has argued the charges are politically motivated. In June, federal prosecutors alleged in court documents that Hunter had used campaign funds to pursue extramarital affairs with five women while in Congress.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., arrives for a hearing for his upcoming campaign finance trial at federal court in San Diego on July 8, 2019.Mike Blake / Reuters file
The California Republican used the Marine Corps emblem in a campaign mailer that tied his Democratic opponent and two Democratic congresswomen to terror.

WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., for using the official Corps emblem and phrase on campaign mailers that link his likely 2020 opponent and two Democratic congresswomen to terror.

In a letter to Hunter obtained by NBC News, the Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office tells the congressman, "It has come to our attention that your campaign is using the official USMC Eagle, Globe and Anchor (Emblem) and the phrase 'No Better Friend, NO Worse Enemy' (Phrase) as an integral part of your political campaign, namely, on at least one fundraising mailer to your constituents."

The letter, dated Tuesday, demands that Hunter's campaign "immediately remove the Emblem and the Phrase from its mailers, and, without limitation, from all other campaign materials including websites and other instances where the Emblem or the Phrase are being used. We also request that you provide us with a timetable as to your compliance with our requests."
read it here 👿

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Did Rep. Duncan Hunter use campaign funds for affairs with 5 women?

Rep. Duncan Hunter accused of using campaign money to finance affairs with 5 women

Task and Purpose
Jeff Schogol
June 25, 2019
In one case, Hunter was supposed to stay with his wife for three nights in a hotel, but Margaret Hunter arrived a day later than expected because she had to rebook her flight, court documents say. Hunter allegedly kept his room reservation for the first night and spent it with his mistress.

The Justice Department has accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of illegally using campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with five women.

Hunter, who fought in the Iraq War as a Marine artillery officer, and his wife Margaret were indicated by a federal jury on Aug. 21, 2018 for allegedly using up to $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses involved with his affairs, ranging from a $1,008 hotel bill to $7 for a Sam Adams beer.

"Carrying out all these affairs did not come cheap—Hunter spent thousands of dollars treating women to meals, drinks, and vacations, and traveling to and from their homes," according to a June 24 motion to admit evidence of Hunter using campaign funds for personal relationships. "Given the pronounced financial difficulties the Hunters were facing, his use of campaign funds to pursue these relationships was necessary for Hunter to satisfy his desire for intimacy."
read more here

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Rep. Duncan Hunter's wife pleads guilty to corruption charges

This is why there is so much corruption in Washington. Too many vote for the party instead of the person and refuse to hold them accountable!

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s legal fight tougher as wife pleads guilty in corruption case

The Associated Press
By: Julie Watson
June 14, 2019
She said other expenses charged on the card included $399 for zip lining for Rep. Hunter and two of his three children; $500 in airline travel expenses for their pet bunny, Eggburt; and $351 for a family lunch in connection with a child's Irish dance competition.
SAN DIEGO — Indicted six-term GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter has held steadfast to his contention that a corruption case against him is the result of a political witch hunt.
Margaret Hunter, left, wife of indicted Republican U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, arrives at federal courthouse in downtown San Diego on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

But that argument got tougher Thursday for the former Marine and close ally of President Donald Trump after his wife, who worked as his campaign manager, pleaded guilty to a single corruption count and acknowledged being a co-conspirator with her husband in spending more than $200,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses.

Margaret Hunter accepted a plea deal that calls for 59 charges to be dismissed in exchange for her testimony, full cooperation with prosecutors and other concessions. The conspiracy charge to which she pleaded includes all the allegations contained in the 60-count indictment.

"The walls were closing in on him before, now this just makes it more claustrophobic," said Jason Forge, a former federal attorney who prosecuted California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in 2005 for one of the worst bribery scandals to ever bring down a federal lawmaker.

Rep. Hunter "has fewer and fewer options. It's not just his campaign manager. It's his campaign manager and his wife," Forge said.
read more here

Friday, June 14, 2019

What is going on with VA police?

Veteran 'literally body-slammed' by VA police: Lawmakers grill VA on use of force

Donovan Slack
June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON – One described a Veterans Affairs police officer throwing a New York veteran seeking therapy to the ground. Another said a California veteran died after receiving similar treatment at the hands of VA police there. 
A third noted that a VA officer training to be an instructor at the national VA police academy threatened employees with a gun at a Massachusetts car dealership.

The underlying question from lawmakers to VA officials Tuesday: What is going on with VA police?

“I mean really what are they doing over there?” asked Rep. Gilbert Cisneros, Jr, D-Calif., who questioned training in particular. “Why are we having these situations where individuals are being injured or hurt or killed?”

An investigation of the VA police force by the agency’s inspector general concluded in December that systemic management failures had resulted in short-staffing and millions in overtime charged to taxpayers, as well as missed opportunities to ensure staff and veteran patients were protected.

USA TODAY reported in December on a case in Missouri where a veteran died after being tackled and detained by VA police in Kansas City.
read more here

Thursday, May 16, 2019

90 year old Mom of Vietnam veteran got to see her son welcomed home this time

90-year-old mother watches Vietnam veteran son get proper welcome at Fresno airport

Fresno Bee
MAY 16, 2019
“I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was to be able to hug him,” the older Walker said. “They were so mistreated when they came home, and to have them now, watch all these people who are thanking their veterans, it’s really amazing.”

As the bright light on the screen grew, a 90-year-old mother leaned on a silver pillar inside Fresno Yosemite International Airport and peered over to watch the airplane prepare to land.

“They’re here,” Carolyn Walker thought to herself in that moment.

Among the 68 former military men returning on the 19th Central Valley Honor Flight trip from Washington D.C., was Walker’s son.
She’s remains so proud of him.

Her son, 68-year-old John Walker, served as a crew chief during the Vietnam War in 1970 and ‘71.

And this time, Carolyn Walker had plenty of company to help welcome these veterans home with a long tunnel of family and friends waiting.
read more here