Showing posts with label Disabled American Veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disabled American Veterans. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2019

Vietnam veteran from Orlando inspiring all generations

Triple amputee Vietnam War veteran from Rochester shares testimony; inspires thousands

FOX 47 News
“I think if you have a passion and a drive and a courage and a willingness to live and move forward. I think that’s my message to everybody out there is don’t let anything stand in your way of a burning desire that you’ve got to accomplish something. Mine was just to live life.” Jim Sursely
ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) – Triple amputee Vietnam veteran Jim Sursely is shared his story of perseverance, courage and hope Thursday.

Sursely, a native of Rochester, is a former National Commander for the 1.3 million members of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

After graduating from Lourdes High School, Sursely joined the army in 1966. Two years later, he was sent to Vietnam assigned to the Americal Division’s 17th Armored Cavalry.

During a combat mission in January of 1969, Sursely’s life changed forever when he stepped on an enemy landmine during a perimeter check.

“At like 6:15 in the evening, bang. And you know blew me about 20-25 feet in the air, tramatically amputated all three of my limbs just because of the force of the explosion. ” Said Sursely.

“The thing that actually saved my life was it went up in a gigantic ball of flame. It was not shrapnel. It was not a metallic landmine. And that gigantic ball of flame helped cauterize my arteries, keep me from bleeding to death.”

Sursely says 3-4 weeks after the explosion, in a Japanese hospital, is when he fully comprehended the trauma he experienced. He credits sharing experiences and physically training with other amputees as a major help to his recovery.

After returning to the country and recovering from his injuries, Sursely met and married his wife. They have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.

Now Jim spends much of his time sharing his story in hopes of helping others overcome their challenges.
read more here

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Alive Day 50 years later Vietnam Veteran met Medic

50 years later, Orlando Vietnam veteran meets medic who saved him: 'Thank you! Thank you!'

Orlando Sentinel
Kate Santich
March 15, 2019
“All this time, we were living just a couple of counties apart,” said Joyner, shaking his head at the man across the table. “All this time, I just wanted to thank him for saving my life.”
Longwood’s Dennis Joyner had to wait 50 years to thank the man who saved his life in Vietnam.

Joyner, now 70, was a 20-year-old infantryman with a wife and newborn son on June 26, 1969, when he tripped a landmine while on patrol. The explosion blew off one of his legs and shredded the other so badly it had to be amputated. It took off his left arm below the elbow.
He might easily have bled to death or died of shock or infection. But a young medic with a Tennessee accent sprinted to his side, helping to tie a series of tourniquets around his limbs, administering morphine and ferrying him to a medevac helicopter.

On Friday, at the Old Florida Grill and Oyster House near Cocoa, one of Dewey “Doc” Hayes’ favorite haunts, Joyner finally got the chance he’d wanted for half a century.

The words rushed out in a torrent.

“Thank you! Thank you!” he said, his body shaking with emotion as Hayes, now 70 too, embraced him.

“I’ve been trying to find you for so damn long,” Joyner said. “You been hiding?”

After five surgeries and five months in various hospitals, Joyner had gone back to college before working as a court administrator in Pennsylvania and as a volunteer for the Disabled American Veterans, the organization created by Congress to help wounded vets and their families. In 1977, he was named the nation's “Handicapped American of the Year,” and he served as national commander of the DAV in 1983 and ’84, work he continues to this day.
read more here

Vet Community Is About to Change

With Historic Number of Women in Uniform, the Vet Community Is About to Change
By Mary Dever
11 Mar 2019
In 2018, the DAV released a comprehensive new report, Women Veterans: The Journey Ahead, based on the quality of programs and services currently available to female veterans, as well as recommendations for shaping the VA culture and system to better serve this population.

Army Pfc. Keylin Perez stands in front of the formation bearing the unit guidon during a field training exercise at Fort Meade, Md., Jan. 13, 2019. Perez is assigned to the 200th Military Police Command’s Headquarters Company. (U.S. Army/Army Master Sgt. Michel Sauret)

When former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women in combat roles in 2013, he gave the military two years to complete integration.

In 2015, two women successfully completed Army Ranger School, leading to a Pentagon decision calling for combat specialties to be opened to women. The following year, one of those women -- Army Capt. Kristen Griest -- became the first female infantry officer in American history.

With this change, and as the role of women in the military continues to expand, Women's History Month is the perfect time to recognize the thousands of women who fight to protect our country and how this new modern-day warrior is forcing changes in the services, programs and culture facing our veterans.

In fact, the number of women in the armed services -- and subsequent veteran population -- is rapidly increasing. According to the Defense Department, women now make up 20 percent of the Air Force, 19 percent of the Navy, 15 percent of the Army and almost 9 percent of the Marine Corps.

Women now make up approximately 10 percent of the current veteran population, the fastest-growing demographic. The number of female veterans treated at the VA almost tripled between 2000 and 2015. As a result of this rapid growth, the VA experienced difficulty meeting the clinical needs of female veterans at all sites of care.
read more here

Reminder: My husband and I are lifetime members of the DAV...because we believe in their mission to care for all generations AND GENDERS

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Did you know that bankruptcy can cost you VA benefits too?

Bankrupt vets can lose their disability benefits. This new effort would protect them.

Reboot Camp
By: Joshua Axelrod
March 7, 2019

Two senators just introduced a bill designed to shield veterans’ disability benefits from debt collectors.

When a disabled vet declares bankruptcy currently, the law allows debtors to count a veteran’s disability benefits as disposable income, allowing them to seize the benefits.

Yet Social Security disability benefits are exempted by law from being lumped into a person’s disposable income in bankruptcy filings, and disability benefits in any form aren’t taxable and therefore generally not considered disposable income.

This state gives vets and their families free college tuition — without touching their GI Bill benefits The Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act seeks to create the same immunity in bankruptcy cases for benefits provided by the VA and Department of Defense to disabled veterans and their surviving spouses.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced the bill, which has already been endorsed by 10 Republican and 10 Democratic senators. It has also earned the support of organizations like the American Legion, Disabled Veterans of America and the American Bankruptcy Institute, among others.

“Right now, veterans and their families are forced to dip into their disability-related benefits to pay off bankruptcy creditors,” said Baldwin during an unveiling event for HAVEN in her Senate office. “And that’s not right. This reform will protect veterans’ disability benefits when they fall on hard times.”
read more here

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Business rips off Disabled Veterans Of America!

DAV, their name got stolen...again!

"I call myself the Disabled Veterans of America instead of David's Advertising so I don't get hung up on," he explained.

Is Valley veteran business really doing charitable work?

Make a lot of money all while helping veterans? Sounds like a great job, but it's not a charity. So is this local business doing a good thing or is it a misleading way to make money?

An alluring ad you may have seen on Craigslist promises up to $8,000 a month for salespeople. And you'd be able to help veterans by working for the Disabled Veterans of Arizona.

For $199, businesses would get a disabled vet sticker for their window, an advertising tax deduction, and their name listed on a website showing they support vets.

But it was another part of the ad that we really questioned; it said that salespeople get to keep 60% of what they take in.
read more here

Here are a few more that ripped off veterans recently!

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - A Thompsontown man has admitted in court that he defrauded a disabled veteran of more than $300,000.Jason Ehrhart, 48, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to health care fraud. He also agreed to make full restitution to the veteran’s estate, U.S. Attorney David Freed said.A sentencing hearing was not immediately scheduled.Prosecutors say Ehrhart in October 2006 successfully applied to serve as the legal custodian of a former Perry County resident who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while serving in the U.S. Army.The veteran received $476,260 in federal disability benefits from October 2006 to August 2016.
Legal News Line
SAN DIEGO — A California jury handed the state a legal victory by rendering an $8.8 million award in the state's lawsuit against operators of a veteran's charity scam who used donated funds for personal expenses. 
In a lawsuit filed last year, the California Attorney General's Office alleged Matthew and Danella Gregory, along with their adult children who served as directors for the Wounded Warriors Support Group and Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement, used donations earmarked for wounded veterans for personal use. According to the Attorney General's Office, the defendants used donated funds for shopping trips, personal credit card debt and traveling.
“These unscrupulous con artists exploited the generosity of Americans by falsely claiming to help our country’s wounded warriors and their families," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "Instead, they used our charitable donations for personal gain. A jury of their peers has justly slapped down the Gregory family and their corrupt enterprise. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hit and Run driver destroyed DAV Van

Hit and run driver wipes out hospital transportation for area disabled veterans
ABC 8 News
By: Kristin Smith
Posted: Aug 15, 2018

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (WRIC) -- A hit and run driver wiped out transportation for sick and disabled veterans near Fredericksburg.

The driver plowed into the only van those local veterans use to go back and forth to Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center.

"I was devastated," says veteran Roy Murphy.

After he learned the van was destroyed, Murphy realized getting to Richmond would be a struggle. The disabled marine is legally blind.

"Basically I'll have to rely on friends or somebody to get me to the VA so that you know I can actually go through my appointments," added Murphy.

The Fredericksburg Disabled American Veterans van transported about 90 veterans a month. It takes them on the hour-long trek to and from McGuire.

DAV transportation coordinator Kristi Corbett explained to 8News, "This is their way to get there. This is their only way to get there."

But now the van is ruined and there's no backup vehicle to replace it. So many veterans won't get the medical care they need.

"I have patients who go 40 days straight due to radiation," said Corbett "And they must go every day or they have to start their whole thing over again, so it's a hardship on them a lot."
read more here

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Twins born simultaneously, served in Vietnam the same way

Twins in Vietnam
The Mountaineer
Mike Schoeffel
July 20, 2018
What he and his twin brother, Fred, both 71, did was serve in the Vietnam War, one of the most divisive and brutal military engagements in United States history. What's more is their deployments overlapped, making them – to Ted's knowledge – one of just seven sets of twins to serve in Vietnam simultaneously.
VIETNAM VETS — Fred Underwood, left, and his twin brother, Ted, are one of the few sets of twins to have served in Vietnam simultaneously. The brothers are active in a number of veteran organizations, including DAV Chapter 89 (Keith Mehaffey), of which Fred is the commander.
Ted Underwood likes to whittle. It helps him relax.

He mostly makes small wooden soldiers. One of them is a boy – or, rather, a young man – clutching a duffel bag and a discharge notice. A wide grin is etched on his face.

"That's me [leaving Vietnam,]" he says.

Another of Ted's creations is a soldier wearing a flak jacket, carrying a toolbox and a rifle. As Ted explains, this little guy is about to be helicoptered into the middle of the jungle to fix a tank.

That's him, too.

"It seems to calm me," says Ted of his newfound hobby. "It gets your mind off all this mess. I say mess, but it's an honor to do what we done."
read more here

Another interesting story is about six brothers who served during the Vietnam War
During the 1960s and early 1970s, a time when many young men of draft age were trying to avoid military service, six brothers from Montgomery County volunteered to serve in the U.S. armed forces.Terry, Bill, Max and Jim Graybill were in the Army, Bob in the Navy and Joe in the Marines. They didn’t wait to get drafted. Every one of them volunteered.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Ret. Air Force Col Saw Disability Check Fly Away?

Local veterans report that their disability payments have been hijacked
John McCarthy
April 27, 2018

Bill Grooten was surprised to receive a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs last month confirming the change he made to banking information where his monthly VA disability check would be deposited.

The reason he was surprised was that he had made no such change.

Grooten, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, immediately contacted the VA. But by then, his $3,500 monthly disability check had already been deposited in Bank of Internet USA, an online bank headquartered in San Diego.

The VA told Grooten that his bank might have been the site of the breach. But the Bank of America said it found no evidence of unauthorized activity with Grooten's account.

Chip Hanson, who is active in the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans, said that he has heard of as many as 75 veterans in Central Florida having had similar problems.
read more here

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New Freedom Medal Award Celebrates Service After Service

New Freedom Medal Award winners feted at gala

Delaware County News Network
Leslie Krowchenko
November 18, 2017

Kinney, of Middletown, delayed his college education to enlist in the Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam in 1966-1967. Upon his return he joined the VFW, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans and has assisted in performing more than 1,000 military funerals. He was inducted into the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 2016.

Seated from left, Freedom Medal Award winners Sean Sweeney, Marty Costello, Jennifer Jones, Dr. Tina Kane, Jerry Sweeley and Bill Kinney Jr. are flanked by members of Delaware County Council and the Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association board.
SPRINGFIELD  Honoring America’s veterans should not be limited to the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association and Delaware County Council insure that respect is year-round.
More than 500 local residents joined Thursday night for the fourth annual Freedom Medal Award dinner. The event at Springfield Country Club provided an Olympic-style podium to congratulate dedication to country recipients Marty Costello, Jennifer Jones, Bill Kinney Jr., Jerry Sweeley and Sean Sweeney, Dr. Tina Kane (dedication to education), the Videon family (dedication to community) and Delaware County Councilman David White (president’s award).
“This is an opportunity to honor our heroes for their service and sacrifice,” said Army veteran and association board President Guy Fizzano. “It is also a chance to thank our donors, who support the memorial’s upkeep and its educational programs.”
This year’s honorees represent the best of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Costello, of Radnor, enlisted in the Navy in 1976 and served as an aircraft mechanic with Attack Squadron 82. He has dedicated numerous hours to local veterans’ organizations and their causes, including as commander of the Delaware County American Legion committee, and worked to rebuild and rededicate the war memorial in his home town.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Gary Sinise honors military in Melbourne

Actor Gary Sinise honors military in Melbourne -- with music 
Florida Today 
Jennifer Sangalang 
October 1, 2017
"Lieutenant Dan, certainly, when I played that I got more involved with our wounded through the Disabled American Veterans Organization and started supporting them," he told FLORIDA TODAY. The group contacted Sinise three weeks after the movie opened in 1994, inviting him to a convention.
Actor Gary Sinise, left, met some fans before his Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band performance, in conjunction with the USO, at the King Center in Melbourne. Sinise is best known for his role as Lieutenant Dan in "Forrest Gump" and Detective Mac Taylor in "CSI: NY." (Photo: PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEX PREISSER)
"I was so fortunate to be able to go and attend this event," she added.

"It was awesome, beyond any expectations I had," John Carrigan of Melbourne said of the show. "The band was great, they covered lots of different music genres, but made it their own."

He was especially moved "when Gary talked to the audience and shared his family story and how he came to appreciate veterans. It was moving when he gave a shout-out to Vietnam vets and asked them to stand up."

In "Forrest Gump," Sinise wowed audiences with his portrayal of Lieutenant Dan Taylor. In the film, his character becomes a disabled veteran. Sinise's work led to an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.
read more here

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DAV Veteran of the Year, Iraq Veteran-Doctor With PTSD

Brookfield doctor Kenneth Lee honored as Disabled Veteran of the Year
Brookfield Elm Grove Now
Geoff Bruce
August 8, 2017

CITY OF BROOKFIELD – Veteran, doctor, proud father of two and now the 2017 Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year.

The lifetime accomplishments of Dr. Kenneth K. Lee continue to accumulate. The longtime city of Brookfield resident was recognized in New Orleans by Disabled American Veterans with the award July 29.
(Photo: Submitted photo by Emily Kask/DAV)

“The Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year has been around for many years here at DAV and each year we select the most deserving veteran,” DAV National Voluntary Services Director John Kleindienst said. “What we’re looking for is individuals who have overcome a severe obstacle in their lives from military service.”

Lee, a native of South Korea, was deployed to Iraq as the commander of the Army’s Company B, 118th Area Support Medical Battalion, but was injured in 2004 by a suicide car bomber. Lee suffered an open head traumatic brain injury and severe shrapnel wounds to his legs. He was evacuated back to the U.S. and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Everyone kind of works towards a certain goal in their life to make a difference in what you do,” Lee said. “You don’t do it to get an award, but you do it to make things happen.”

Prior to his deployment, Lee worked as a rehabilitation specialist at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. Despite that experience, his own recovery was much harder than he expected.

“Coming back from Iraq, it was more difficult than I imagined," Lee said. "As a physician, I thought I could handle a lot of stuff, but it turned out to be not. There were a lot of challenges at home both dealing with family and everything else.”

Lee, 52, credits his own patients, fellow veterans and especially his family with helping him to get through that difficult period.
read more here

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Disabled American Veterans Now Have A Female Commander

Gulf War vet becomes first woman in 25 years to lead a major veterans organization
Navy Times
By: Leo Shane III
4 hours ago
The largest veterans organizations have long been seen as dominated by men, especially before the recent wars dramatically increased the number of women with military and combat service. Army vet Mary Stout served as commander of Vietnam Veterans of America from 1987 to 1991, but none have followed in the last 25 years.
Army veteran Delphine Metcalf-Foster was named national commander of Disabled American Veterans on Aug. 1, 2017. (Courtesy of DAV) Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Vietnam Veterans of America had a female commander in the 1980s.

WASHINGTON — Nine years ago, when Army veteran Delphine Metcalf-Foster went to her local Veterans Affairs hospital for a knee replacement, she asked her doctors if they would use a female-specific prosthesis.

They said they never considered getting any.

“I realized then there needed to be more education,” she said. “Women don’t have the same bone structure as men. But they just always used a unisex knee. Maybe if (the injury) hadn’t happened to me, I would have just assumed that it wasn’t a problem.”

Now Metcalf-Foster is hoping to shine a bigger spotlight on those types of overlooked women veteran issues as the first female commander of Disabled American Veterans. She was sworn into the post on Aug. 1, becoming the first woman to lead one of the major American veterans organizations since 1991.
read more here

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Largest Population of Veterans Live In California, and Suicides Uncounted

While, to some of us, it was just more data to prove the numbers of veterans committing suicide have been false, too many just pushed and pushed for publicity. 

Strange thing is, the one question that never seems to get asked is; What's the point of using a number to tell veterans they are committing suicide? It makes sense for researchers seeking funding to actually change the outcome, but makes no sense for individuals to raise money for simply talking about something they do not understand or have plans to fix anything.

When news came out in March that California does not track veterans committing suicide, none of the folks raising awareness mentioned that when they pushed the false number of "22" a day.

California Legislators Push For Better Tracking of Veterans Who Commit Suicide
Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula authored the bill, and said accurate data will help officials better understand the full scope of the veteran suicide problem in California.
JULY 25, 2017
California does not require a certificate of death filed with the local registrar to include service in the armed forces.
(TNS) -- It’s an attempt to address a stark reality former military service members and their families face: Finding reliable data on veterans who have died from suicide.

A proposal for new state legislation seeks to help confront the issue by requiring certificates of death to show if a deceased person was ever a member of the United States Armed Forces. In addition, it requires the state Department of Health to access death records and compile a report on veteran suicides beginning in 2019.

Richard Sawyer of Marysville, a service officer with Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, said the proposed legislation would be useful.
read more here

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Helping DAV Gives Veteran Reason to Get Up--All Summer Long

Vietnam Veteran spending summer raising $100,000 for disabled Nevada veterans
NBC 4 News
by Ryan Kern
July 4th 2017
"I have a reason to get up," says Greenwood. "I know, somewhere out there, there's a veteran who needs my assistance, that needs my help and I want to be there when the time comes."

RENO, Nev. (News 4 Fox 11) — A local Vietnam veteran spends his summers sitting outside in the hot sun, raising tens of thousands of dollars for disabled Nevada veterans and various veteran organizations across the region.

"Almost 20 years ago, somebody helped me out," says Veteran Frank Greenwood. "Ever since I have been paying it forward."

Frank Greenwood spends eight hours a day, seven days a week for three months out of the year selling raffle tickets in front of the Sportsman's Warehouse in Reno.
Several weapons and a Polaris UTV are available to the winning ticket holders come the end of August.
Greenwood, working with the Disabled American Veterans Reno Chapter #1, has a goal of selling $1,000 worth of raffle tickets a day, leading to a $100,000 total this summer.

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, June 24, 2017

DAV fight for post-9/11 caregiver benefits

Disabled American veterans fight for post-9/11 caregiver benefits 
CBS Radio Connecting Vets 
Jake Hughes 
June 22, 2017 

“It’s bringing to light that a lot of pre-9/11 families, caregivers and veterans like our family, are under served by the VA,” says Jason Courneen, adding that he and their daughters are the only way his wife is able to get through her day.

In 1998, a horrible accident befell Alexis Courneen. While serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Courneen was struck by a crane carrying a buoy that caused traumatic brain injury and other injuries, leaving her entirely reliant on her husband and caregiver, Jason Courneen.
Now, she’s fighting to ensure she can get the same benefits as a service member injured after 9/11.
“We spent a good 10 years very frustrated, very isolated, while I was learning that it was okay to speak up to the doctors,” Jason Courneen says.
Currently, the Department of Veteran Affairs has the Post-9/11 Comprehensive Caregiver Program, which offers enhanced support for caregivers of eligible veterans seriously injured in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001.
To qualify, service members must have sustained or aggravated a serious injury — including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder — in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001; and be in need of personal care services to perform one or more activities of daily living and/or need supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or injury.
However, the program leaves out service members injured before 9/11, going as far back as Vietnam Veterans. A study released by Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, highlights the disparity of care and attention given by the VA between pre- and post-9/11 veterans.
“It’s bringing to light that a lot of pre-9/11 families, caregivers and veterans like our family, are under served by the VA,” says Jason Courneen, adding that he and their daughters are the only way his wife is able to get through her day.
Glad someone is thinking about the Forgotten Warrior Generation and families like mine!
Glad my husband and I are life members of the DAV and the Auxiliary!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Vietnam Veteran Went From Hamburger Hill to Facing Homelessness

Veterans in need? They’ve got friends, indeed
East Bay Times
PUBLISHED: January 1, 2017
Metsiou served in the Army’s 101st Airborne “for 366 days in 1968 and ’69,” he said. “I’m one of the lucky ones who made it back from Hamburger Hill,” referring to a battle against the North Vietnamese in May 1969 in which 400 Americans died and which drew criticism from some lawmakers for its questionable strategic value. His landlord consented to give him until New Year’s to find a new place to live.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 154 vice commander Sean Poynter, of Pittsburg, unloads a child’s bicycle at the new home of Vietnam veteran Richard Metsiou, 68, in Antioch on Friday, Dec. 30. Richard Metsiou and his wife, Zitta, were facing eviction from their home in Pittsburg, but with the help of Shelter, Inc. and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 154, the couple were able to move into a new home in Antioch. They are also raising three adopted grandchildren. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
ANTIOCH — Finding a place to live can be an expensive challenge in the Bay Area, and for Richard Metsiou, a Vietnam veteran battling cancer and a bad credit score, an almost impossible one.

So when his longtime landlord died and her family chose to sell the Pittsburg house where he and his family have been living, he had to act fast. Metsiou needed a little help from his friends, and he got it.

Some of them were friends he’d never met before.

“A friend of mine came to me and said Richard was in a bind,” said Sean Poynter, of Pittsburg, who knows Metsiou from the Mount Diablo Disabled American Veterans post in Pittsburg, where he is senior vice commander. “I put it out in an email, that a fellow (veteran) needed some help, and all these guys showed up.”

On Friday, eight members of veterans groups from East Contra Costa County, and from Shelter, Inc. of Contra Costa, a nonprofit whose main mission is fighting homelessness, were unloading trailers in front of a house on West 10th Street in Antioch, where Metsiou, his wife, Zitta, and their three adopted grandchildren will soon live.

But before that, Poynter called Shelter, Inc. for help, and it came though big time, he said. The agency helped find an affordable house with an owner who could deal with Metsiou’s credit issues.

“They’ve been absolutely great,” said 68-year-old Metsiou, who is physically weak and also battling post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

Friday, November 25, 2016

DAV Chapter 1 Delivers Gift Cards to Disabled Veterans

Disabled American Veterans present gift cards to VA Medical Center
Cranston Herald
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2016
DISABLED AMERICAN VETS SUPPORT VA: From left to right are Raymond Denisewich, John S. Hill Sr., Donna Russillo, Kenneth R. DiLeone, Alfred “Gus” Pagel, Charles R. “Chuck” Palumbo Sr., Debra Veasey, Pasco R. “Pat” Rinaldi and Joseph R. Gagner.
Continuing their long standing tradition of supporting Veterans and their families, members of the Giovanni Folcarelli Chapter #1 Disabled American Veterans visited the Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) to make their annual holiday season donation. Meeting with Donna Russillo, Chief of Voluntary Services for the Providence VAMC and Debra Veasey, Program Support Assistant, members of Chapter #1 made a presentation of $1,000.00 in Stop and Shop and $1,000.00 in Best Buy gift cards.

These cards will be given to Veterans and their families during the holiday season. According to Donna Russillo, many of the cards will find their way to the medical centers annual giving tree. While the Stop and Shop cards are generally focused on the food needs of Veteran families, the Best Buy cards are specifically directed to the holiday needs of the teenage children of Veterans who, according to Donna Russillo, are routinely forgotten during the holiday season. Members conducted fundraising events during this year to raise money for this annual donation and for other programs supporting the needs of Veterans. 

The most recognized fundraising symbol used was the little blue Forget-Me-Not flower, first introduced to the public by the Disabled American Veterans on February 24, 1926 as a symbol commemorating those who had fallen in war. This small flower means simply Please don't forget me. Members of the DAV believe that the blue Forget-Me-Not flower is an appropriate symbol of remembrance and a reminder of the service and sacrifice made by Veterans and their families that make our American way of life possible.
read more here

Friday, July 15, 2016

Orange is The New Black Needed New Villains,,,They Picked Veterans?

'Orange is the New Black' criticized for portrayal of veterans
Associated Press
July 15, 2016

VFW national commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr. said the show's writers and producers chose to offend all veterans because they needed new villains.
Leading veterans' groups are disturbed by the way veterans hired as prison guards are portrayed in the new season of the Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black."

The veterans' groups say they take issue with the way the new guards disparage the inmates throughout season four of the drama that takes place in a women's prison and the way they talk about their combat experiences.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars called the show "offensive." Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America said it will further stigmatize veterans, and Disabled American Veterans said the show is out of the touch with the reality of the veteran experience.

Netflix didn't respond to multiple messages left Thursday and Friday seeking comment.

In one scene in the finale, a guard tells another guard about innocent people he killed in Afghanistan.

After spending so much time chasing bad guys, he said, "you get so mad, tired and bored" that you "just grab a farm kid" and make him juggle live grenades until one blows up.
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Spartan Alliance and Disabled American Veterans Get Pledge From Veterans To Seek Help

Veterans pledge to seek help before suicide
Washington Post
By Susan Svrluga
May 8, 2016

On Sunday, Col. Matt Pawlikowski, a chaplain from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, led a Mothers’ Day service at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial near the Mall honoring women whose children are serving or have died. The ceremony closed with the pledge.
At the Mall, veterans touch a sword and pledge to reach out to military buddies if they start to have thoughts of suicide. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
A couple of years after he left the U.S. Marine Corps, Lyndon Villone kept trying to reach a close friend who had served with him in Iraq. When he didn’t hear back,Villone thought maybe it was best to give him some space.

His friend shot himself in the head.

Within a year, Villone had lost two more Marine Corps brothers to suicide.

And he was beginning to think about it himself.

This weekend, a coalition of nonprofits led a “Spartan Weekend” for hundreds of sick and injured veterans centered on a promise: They would not take their own life without reaching out to someone for help. And they would take that oath with their hands on a sword hammer-forged of steel salvaged from the remains of the World Trade Center.

By one estimate, an average of 22 veterans take their own lives each day. Some people debate that number from the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Steve Danyluk, who worked with wounded service members after returning from a tour in Iraq with the Marines, “but I think anybody that served in a combat unit can run through a list of people that they know that committed suicide.”

And everyone says the same thing when they hear about a suicide, said Danny Prince, a retired New York City firefighter who often visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to thank service members: “’I can’t believe it — I would’ve done something.’ ”

That is why Danyluk helped organize the event for the Spartan Alliance and Disabled American Veterans. “You don’t have to be suicidal to take the pledge,” he said. “It’s finding a mission: Help your buddy. It’s reconnecting, reestablishing those relationships that seem to vanish once you leave the military.”
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Linked from Stars and Stripes

This is the report you have to read if you really want to know what the claim of "22 a day" is all about and it is far more than 22. Here is the link to the VA Suicide Report. Read at least to page 15.