{This blog is not affiliated with the VA. Though a Veteran, four yrs. all shore in Navy last year In-Country Vietnam, I don't work for the VA}
**USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**

The Countries Responsibility is to Fully Fund the Agency Charged With Fulfilling the Obligations Promised to Those That Served Said Country! But those served, some veterans as well, find it easier to follow the started attacks, conservative ideology, on the agencies dedicated personal, while ignoring the many costly issues especially from our wars! Gen Shinseki had finally started addressing those issues and building the agency the Country promised but ignores and uses as a political pawn, Poser Patriotism, while addressing the Veterans issues of the present and two more long wars! Political ideologies and personal greed should never cross the doorways of Veterans Facilities nor Veterans Issues!!

Ask yourself: If the Veterans Administration is so corrupt and mismanaged, as the conservative ideology, under which the seeds of are planted when they control, wants everyone to buy into as they obstruct the budgets and do extremely little after they charge same, then why does the Private sector, many problems within rarely heard about, adopt so many practices and advanced technologies developed within the VA, for free?! The VA, DoD, and in partnership with Universities and Colleges, not just Health Care are constantly in R&D and that developed that works is quickly moved into the private, for profit, sector, even as the VA is long under funded, decades, and especially during and after our wars that the few are sent into!

* * * * *
President Obama 26 August 2014

Fact: "This is not just a job of government. It’s not just a job of the veterans’ organizations. Every American needs to join us in taking care of those who've taken care of us. Because only 1 percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but 100 percent of Americans benefit from that 1 percent. A hundred percent need to be supporting our troops. A hundred percent need to be supporting our veterans. A hundred percent need to be supporting our military families."

Fact:
"We’ve been able to accomplish historic increases to veterans funding. We’ve protected veterans health care from Washington politics with advanced appropriations. We’ve been able to make VA benefits available to more than 2 million veterans who didn't have them before, including more Vietnam vets who were exposed to Agent Orange. We’ve dedicated major new resources for mental health care. We’ve helped more than 1 million veterans and their families pursue their education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill."

August 26, 2014 - Secretary Robert A. McDonald's Remarks for the American Legion's 96th Annual Convention, Charlotte, NC
Fact: "Unlike, P&G, VA may not be concerned about quarterly profit and loss statements or shareholder value, but it does have a bottom line—Veterans. "
{which is why No Government agency should be turned into a private corporate entity feeding for profit off the Countries duty and responsibility, especially the VA}
* * * * *

Fact: “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars."
26 September 2014

Fact: "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

Fact: "12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility
{two tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again from the previous decades and wars from! Ignore the many issues, by those served, no need to fund!}

Fact: Sen. Bernie Sanders told Republicans: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

Fact: 25 June 2014 U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller: Veterans' Affairs issue an 'all too similar' scene

Fact: How We Could Do More For Our Vets: "We need to go into debt to pay our debt to U.S. veterans to make sure they get the care and services we owe them."

Fact: “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

WHY? GOOD QUESTION THOSE SERVED SHOULD ANSWER!


Bob Herbert Losing Our Way : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

Presidential Proclamation -- Veterans Day, 2013: "As we pay tribute to our veterans, we are mindful that no ceremony or parade can fully repay that debt." read more>>>


Under two previous Executive administrations and wars from, father and son. With son and conservative congresses leading the extremely quick abandoning of the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11:

ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
"DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War."


Part Two: A Son Lost in Iraq, but Where Is the Casualty Report?


Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort

Add in the issues of finally recognizing in War Theater and more Veterans, by the Shinseki Veterans Administration and the Executive Administrations Cabinet, what the Country choose to ignore from our previous decades and wars of: The devastating effects on Test Vets and from PTS, Agent Orange, Homelessness, more recent the Desert Storm troops Gulf War Illnesses, Gulf War Exposures with the very recent affects from In-Theater Burn Pits and oh so so much more! Tens of Thousands of Veterans' that have been long ignored and maligned by previous VA's and the whole Country and through their representatives!

How does a Country HONOR It's Fallen, by Their Own 'Sacrifice' in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!!


"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

"To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan" - President Lincoln



Homeless Veterans/Stand Downs

Are You Concerned About a Veteran? The Veterans Crisis Line Can Help>>>

For our sisters: National Women Veterans Hotline, call 1-855-VA-WOMEN1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-66361-855-829-6636) New Hotline now up and running

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

VA’s Highly Rural Transportation Program

Free Rides for Vets Living in Highly Rural Areas
October 20, 2014 - Thousands of Veterans who live in highly rural and remote areas will now have free transportation to their VA medical appointments to receive the health care they need and have earned through service to our country.

The free transportation is made possible through VA’s Highly Rural Transportation Grants program.

The program enables State Veterans Service Agencies and Veteran Service Organizations to use innovative approaches to provide transportation services that help to expand access to VA health care for Veterans.

In August, VA awarded six grants and in September awarded another five grants to organizations that will receive up to $50,000 per highly-rural area to help operate or contract for free transportation services for Veterans to-and-from VA medical facilities and when authorized to non-VA facilities.

For example, the grants will assist 2,000 Veterans in Texas by providing $931,006 to fund transportation services. read more>>>


FOX Sets Veterans Issues Policy 'chickhawk' GOPer's Run With It

Known as FOX speak for the GOPer's to then parrot far and wide and the pols of to use in Policy issues!!

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!

GOP Congressional Candidate’s Veterans Health Care Plan Plagiarized From Fox News Article
Oct. 21, 2014 - A Republican congressional candidate in Oregon appears to have plagiarized her plan for veterans from a Fox News article about proposed changes to the troubled Veterans Affairs health care.

Tootie Smith, a Republican running against Oregon Democrat Rep. Kurt Schrader in the state’s 5th Congressional veteran’s medical care plan uses nearly-identical language to a Fox News article from July on action taken by House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees.

The campaign for Smith, who currently serves as Clackamas County Commissioner, didn’t return emails or phone calls about the similar text.

Here’s the Fox News article: read more>>>

Meanwhile across the Country:

* * Refrains From Treating His Heroic Military Service as a Campaign Gimmick * *

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Well Deserved Rare Air Force Medal for Bravery Awarded

Nev. teacher slain in school shooting gets rare military honor
Middle school teacher has posthumously been awarded a rare Air Force medal for bravery, a year after he was killed while trying to protect children

October 20, 2014 - A Nevada middle school teacher has posthumously been awarded a rare Air Force medal for bravery, a year after he was killed while trying to protect children during a schoolyard shooting.

Nevada Air National Guard Brig. Gen. William Burks and Col. David Clark presented the Air Force Airman's Medal on Sunday to Sharon Landsberry, the widow of Sparks Middle School teacher Michael Landsberry. More than 500 people gathered for the ceremony at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

"He was a very brave man," said Clark, vice commander of the Nevada Guard's 152nd airlift wing. "He had a lot of integrity and was one teacher who would put his life on the line for his kids, absolutely."

Michael Landsberry, 45, was shot and killed by a seventh grader who wounded two fellow students before killing himself on the asphalt basketball court outside the middle school just east of Sparks on Oct. 21, 2013. read more>>>


Veterans' Administration Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Program

Public Contact Representatives and the FDC Program

Oct 17, 2014

This video provides information for VA public contact representatives (PCRs) to help in assisting callers with the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program. The first section is about the FDC program and how it benefits claimants. Section two explains how to use this knowledge while assisting callers with filing claims. Finally, suggested answers to frequently asked questions about the FDC program are provided.


Refrains From Treating His Heroic Military Service as a Campaign Gimmick

Seth Moulton underplays military service
October 18, 2014 - The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.

In 2003 and 2004, during weeks-long battles with Iraqi insurgents, then-Lieutenant Moulton “fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire” while leading his platoon during pitched battles for control of Nasiriyah and Najaf south of Baghdad, according to citations for the medals that the Globe requested from the campaign.

The Globe learned of the awards — the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for valor — after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service, in which they were noted in military argot.

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

Moulton, who is facing off against Republican Richard Tisei in the Sixth Congressional District race, has been so close-mouthed about the medals that in his campaign, only his campaign manager – a former Marine – knew of the awards before the Globe asked for the citations on Wednesday. Even his parents did not know, and were told just this week, according to Scott Ferson, a campaign spokesman. read more>>>

10/20/14 Veteran reporter exposes candidate’s secret: Valor
Rachel Maddow reports on the humility of congressional candidate Seth Moulton, who was so modest about his highly honored military service that he didn’t even tell his parents, and has refrained from treating his service as a campaign gimmick.

Captain America
October 20, 2014 - This is the most remarkable story of the midterm cycle, and I can't tell it to you without talking about the man who told the story in the first place. Walter Robinson of the Boston Globe is one of those investigative reporters whose names you do not want to see on your call sheet when you come back from lunch. Robinson is also a Vietnam veteran, and one of the conspicuous bugs in his ear are people who embroider their military records for political purposes.

(Full Disclosure: as it happens, when I was a young reporter at the Boston Phoenix, there was this fresh-faced millionnaire named John Lakian who was on his way to self-financing the Republican nomination for governor. Walter caught him making up his service and that was the end of him. Lakian sued and I got called as a witness to how widely Lakian had been peddling his bullshit, and because my earlier piece for the Phoenix had intimated that something was hinky about this guy. I hated being a witness, by the way. Avoid it if you can.)

Anyway, there's this guy named Seth Moulton, who is running for Congress as the Democratic candidate from the Sixth District up here in the Commonwealth (God save it!) Moulton already has done our republic great good service by ending the career of Democratic incumbent John Tierney by squashing Tierney in the primary. read more>>>


Monday, October 20, 2014

Expansion of Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits is part of Veterans Choice Act Legislation

VA Expands Fry Scholarship to Surviving Spouses of Servicemembers Who Died on Active Duty
Washington, DC – October 20, 2014 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will begin accepting applications by mail on Monday, November 3, 2014, for the Fry Scholarship under newly expanded eligibility criteria to include surviving spouses. The expanded criteria for the Fry Scholarship is the latest in a series of VA actions to implement provisions of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”).

Specifically, Section 701 of the Choice Act expands the Fry Scholarship to include the surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. Prior to this expansion, only children of those who died in the line of duty were eligible for this benefit.

“We can never fully repay the debt we owe to these families who have lost a loved one,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “It is a privilege to provide educational benefits that will make a positive difference in their lives.” read more>>>


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pentagon Rapid Response Ebola Team Announced

Pentagon orders rapid-response team to tackle Ebola in US

Leadership!! Not FOX speak Conservative Fear, with blame everyone but themselves, as well as extreme failure by their private sector for profit hospital, Congressional Hearings, while on Vacation till after the Elections!! No Help At All From Conservative Congressional Representatives!!

19 October 2014 - The US Department of Defense has announced it is preparing a 30-person rapid-response team that will provide quick medical support to civilian healthcare workers in the US, as the Ebola hysteria sweeps the country.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered US “Northern Command Commander Gen. Chuck Jacoby to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement issued on Sunday.

According to Kirby, the team is in response to a request by the Department of Health and Human Services.

He added that the team, which will be ready to "respond quickly, effectively, and safely" in the event of more Ebola cases in the country, will include 20 critical care nurses, five doctors who specialize in infectious disease, and five specialists in infectious disease protocol training. read more>>>

* * * Operation United Assistance * * *

* * * DoD Helps Fight EBOLA in West Africa * * *

Ebola: 'Operation United Assistance'

Military Health Updates on Ebola Crisis


An Infamous Friendly Fire Incident

That the Politics, at the time, tried to build into the needed flag waving, poser, patriotism propaganda, not the only one if you have memory of the realities, in continued justifying their extremely quick abandonment of the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11!!

How a Friendly Fire Incident Ruined a Soldier's Life
18 October 2014 - Steven Elliot talks about the battle with PTSD that ensued after he accepted responsibility for the friendly fire that may have killed former NFL player Pat Tillman.

And those who served with both, mentioned at the end of this report clip, played a big roll in the initial propaganda spin which kept the truth from coming out so long, yet they disrespect this brother for him trying to find the ability to move on as he takes the full blame on his shoulders for the rest of his life!!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Military Health Updates on Ebola Crisis

Once upon a time, it does seem now like a fairy tail in these recent years, and not long ago Americans mostly supported Humanitarian responses to World problems and not with empty, Poser, patriotic words and symbols. The World watched as we joined together, mostly, to give aid and comfort as well as leadership. That's now long gone as we've erased the lines and crossed over to extremism in the name of politics. But I digress into the now reality, now an update:

The Military Health System published two new documents about the Ebola crisis:

- Fact sheet for families of Service members deploying to West Africa -
- Frequently Asked Questions about Ebola -

Ebola
Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebolavirus species, four of which have caused disease in humans: Zaire ebolavirus; Sudan ebolavirus; Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus; and Bundibugyo ebolavirus. The fifth, Reston ebolavirus, has caused disease in nonhuman primates but not in humans.

Ebola is found in several African countries. The first Ebola species was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.

The natural reservoir host of Ebola remains unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne with bats being the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa.

Learn more about Ebola: read more>>>

Earlier Post On Ebola: 'Operation United Assistance'

Face of Defense: Soldiers to Support Operation United Assistance

Guard, Reserves Available for Ebola Response
Oct 17, 2014 - The Commander in Chief OKs calling up Guardsmen and Reservists to assist in the West Africa Ebola response.

Oct. 17, 2014 - Obama Activates Reserves for Operation United Assistance

Oct. 17, 2014 – Transcom Widens Logistics Pipeline in Ebola Fight


Friday, October 17, 2014

So Them Extremely Expensive 'higher education industry' Skills Trump Military Skills

Reminds me of a couple of Medics, and more, in 'Nam and in at time I was.

Grenade accident rescue marked by bravery
10/16/14 Rachel Maddow tells the harrowing story of the rescue efforts that went into removing what was believed to be a live grenade from a man’s leg, involving paramedics, military members, and a doctor who put themselves at great personal risk.

Soldier pulls grenade from man's leg
An explosive ordnance disposal soldier removed a grenade from a man's leg in an ambulance outside of the University of Alabama Hospital

Army Staff Sgt. David Mensink removed a grenade from a man's leg in an ambulance outside of the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 11, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Defense.gov)

Oct. 15, 2014 – An explosive ordnance disposal soldier removed a grenade from a man's leg in an ambulance outside of the University of Alabama Hospital here Oct. 11.

Army Staff Sgt. David Mensink from the 789th EOD Company, based at Fort Benning, Georgia, received a call from the Birmingham Police Department bomb squad around 1 a.m.

The police sought Mensink's advice to determine what kind of explosive item was stuck in the man's leg.

"From the initial X-ray, it looked like a 40mm grenade," said Mensink, a 27-year-old Iraq and Afghanistan veteran from Seale, Alabama.

Explosive was a military round read more>>>

Loved what they were doing and knew when they discharged it would cost plenty to get educated in exactly same, especially what they had to do and learn to in the field, still is like that!!

And they bring much more to the private sector, yet same calls them unskilled or just skilled labor, changing with the help of this Executive Administration and it's Cabinet somewhat but still with push back from the private sector, not 'highly educated'!!


Ebola: 'Operation United Assistance'

* * * Operation United Assistance * * *

* * * DoD Helps Fight EBOLA in West Africa * * *

The U.S. Africa Command, through U.S. Army Africa, provides coordination of logistics, training, and engineering support to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in West Africa to assist in the overall U.S. Government Foreign Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus/Disease, as part of the international assistance effort supporting the Governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.


“US Army Africa is establishing a Joint Force Headquarters in Monrovia at the direction of the President of the United States, to coordinate military support for the United States Agency for International Development-led comprehensive U.S. Government response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. As the designated Joint Force Commander planning military support to this broad international effort to support the Government of Liberia, I am currently working here in Liberia with an assessment team to determine how to provide command and control, logistics expertise, training, and engineering support under Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE.” –Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, Commander, U.S. Army Africa

Ebola Information for Personnel read more with backlinks>>>

Pentagon Spokesman Notes Operation United Assistance Progress

U.S. Troops Help Fight Ebola In Liberia

Soldiers Prepare to Support Ebola Response

U.S. Military Stands Up Labs, Hospital in Liberia
Liberia 10/16/2014 - Operation United Assistance Joint Force Commander MG Darryl Williams updates reporters on the military members supporting the fight against Ebola in Africa.

Military Teams Building Up Infrastructure to Combat Ebola
10.16.2014 - General heading effort in Liberia speaks on challenges facing his troops.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

American Military Impact on the Ebola Epidemic


Obama Acknowledges Military Impact on the Ebola Epidemic

10.15.2014 - President Obama acknowledged the strides made by United Assistance after meeting with military leaders from more than 20 countries.