{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!!


On this Executive Administration, it's Cabinet and those directly around same, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer National Military Family Association - Dec. 30, 2011, and plenty more of similar since Joyce, others, spoke and continues!

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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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vets Are Amazing Artists

2014 NVCAF 1st Place Artwork

Spread the word! Vets are amazing artists. Check out this gallery of work from this year’s Creative Arts Festival


Long Term 'Support the Troops' - Not in America, nor Britain, Canada Too

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

DeJa-Vu, all over again!! And who do the people served and their hired representatives blame, why the agencies of course, for their failures!!

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans deprived of long-term support, say MPs
Cross-party group’s report says armed forces need more help to combat post-traumatic stress and alcohol problems

30 October 2014 - Britain’s armed forces are deprived of the help they need to combat post-traumatic stress, domestic violence, and “hazardous levels of alcohol consumption”, a cross-party group of MPs warn in a report released on Thursday.

They say veterans are faced with a “shocking” backlog in their claims for war pensions and compensation payments, and express concern about the long-term impact on troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been injured, either physically or psychologically.

They say they are worried, as military operations there fade from the public eye, that long-term support for the injured will diminish, despite assurances from the MoD and the Department of Health. Leading charities have made clear they shared the MPs’ concerns.

The report, by the Commons defence committee, comes a day after leading professors in psychology and orthopaedics say the healthcare system is not providing veterans with the service they have been promised and that the government is failing to abide by the military covenant. read more>>>

“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

The lid has been lifted on poor veteran care — now we need to improve it
October 29 2014 - Accusations are being made that the UK government is failing to meet the very standards it set for itself when it comes to veterans. Medical experts say former military personnel are not being given the priority NHS treatment they were promised in the military covenant that was signed into law in 2011.

Orthopaedic surgeon Tim Biggs and psychiatry specialist Neil Greenberg have both been quoted as saying that promises being made about veteran care are not being realised. Former soldiers say they are facing difficulties in getting NHS treatment and shadow ministers say the government of failing in its duty.

But this problem is not just about missing out on treatment. When veterans do get help, it is often not the help they need. Services still target veterans as a group, rather than as individuals with very individual needs.

The trauma and stress that service in war zones can cause mean that what happens to personnel after they leave is actually one of the most important aspects of military service. They suddenly find themselves away from what has been a life of strict discipline and intense pressure and can struggle to cope with the transition. Services are available to help but they often fail to recognise that each veteran is different. Services need to be more tailored to reflect the different problems faced by former military personnel, be they old or young. read more>>>

"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

Veterans Affairs, Feds Accused Of 'Inaction' And 'Inability'
06/08/2014 - Veterans of bureaucratic battles over the treatment of ex-soldiers unleashed a scathing critique Tuesday of the Harper government's record.

Outspoken advocate Sean Bruyea, at the centre of a privacy scandal when his personal medical information was leaked, testified to a parliamentary committee that MPs have failed to hold the department of veterans affairs accountable and to demand recommendations from previous studies be implemented.

The House of Commons veterans committee is reviewing the Conservative government's signature legislation, which governs the benefits and entitlements of those who've served. read more>>>

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!


DoD Statements on Monitoring for Military Personnel Returning from Operation United Assistance

Secretary of Defense Hagel: During an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum here, Hagel said the policy he signed this morning was “discussed in great detail by the communities, by the families of our military men and women,” who very much wanted a “safety valve” in place. 29 October 2014

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Controlled Monitoring for Personnel Returning from Operation United Assistance
October 29, 2014 - This morning, Secretary Hagel signed an order that validated a recommendation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to place all U.S. military service members returning from Ebola response efforts in West Africa into a 21-day controlled monitoring regimen. This order will apply to all military services that are contributing personnel to the fight against Ebola at its source.

The secretary has also directed that the Joint Chiefs develop, for his review within 15 days, a detailed implementation plan for how this controlled monitoring will be applied across the force that takes into account the size and scope of the logistics required for this effort.

In addition, the secretary directed that the Joint Chiefs conduct a review of this new regimen within 45 days from now. This review will offer a recommendation on whether or not such controlled monitoring should continue based on what we learn and observe from the initial waves of personnel returning from Operation United Assistance.

The secretary believes these initial steps are prudent given the large number of military personnel transiting from their home base and West Africa and the unique logistical demands and impact this deployment has on the force. The secretary's highest priority is the safety and security of our men and women in uniform and their families.

Hagel: Monitoring Returning Troops Provides ‘Safety Valve’
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2014 – A 21-day monitoring period for U.S. service members returning from areas affected by Ebola in West Africa provides a margin of safety that troops and their families wanted, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said here today.

During an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum here, Hagel said the policy he signed this morning was “discussed in great detail by the communities, by the families of our military men and women,” who very much wanted a “safety valve” in place. read more>>>


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Veterans Creative Arts Festival

National Veterans Creative Arts Festival begins today
October 29, 2014 - More than 100 Veterans from across the country are in Milwaukee today through Sunday for the 2014 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.

The Festival, presented by VA and the American Legion Auxiliary, showcases the artistic achievements of Veterans from across the country who placed first in national art, music, dance, drama and creative writing division competitions. The Veterans will participate in workshops, rehearsals and artistic interaction sessions, culminating in an art exhibit and stage show performance, open to the public.

Among many other therapeutic benefits, the Festival encourages artistic expression to help Veterans dealing with PTSD and other psychological issues. More than 3,500 Veterans participated in regional competitions which culminate in the annual national event. read more>>>


Target on Gen Shinseki Shifted to McDonald, Not Surprised

“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

Well that didn't take long, and some of the usual representatives of the 99%plus people served leading the attacks!

Long time target on Shinseki, after speaking military truth to the bushco and it's free wars and results from, seems to have shifted, not surprised at all! The VA is yet to be completely privatized for, conservative long term congressional created 'scandals' ideology, corporate profit!!

GOP unhappy with new VA chief
10/28/14 - Republican senators are having some buyer’s remorse when it comes to new Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, who was confirmed unanimously this summer.

Three GOP senators publicly blasted McDonald on Tuesday for not moving to dismiss Phoenix VA Health Care System Director Sharon Helman, who, along with two other staffers, was put on paid leave in May when revelations about patient backlogs, records falsification and long wait times for appointments swamped former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona and Richard Burr of North Carolina, the Senate GOP’s top man on veterans issues, said McDonald has not followed through on cleaning out senior executives such as Helman — even though a new VA law allows the swift dismissal of top officials deemed responsible for mismanagement. read more>>>

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

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!

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


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ebola: U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

Medical Research Institute Develops Ebola Diagnostics
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2014 – The Ebola crisis in West Africa seized global attention in March, but scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have worked for years on diagnostics, vaccines and drugs for Ebola and other lethal pathogens that adversaries might use in bioweapons targeting troops on the battlefield.

USAMRIID, based in Frederick, Maryland, has pioneered research since 1969 to develop such medical countermeasures, and its work has contributed to critically needed help in the current outbreak.

On Oct. 25, the World Health Organization reported 10,141 cases of confirmed and suspected Ebola virus disease in six affected countries -- Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States -- and in the previously affected countries of Nigeria and Senegal, and 4,922 deaths, all as of Oct. 23.

During a DoD News interview last week, a USAMRIID scientist discussed the institute’s work on Ebola diagnostics, a critical tool that allows medical workers in West Africa, and now around the world, to determine whether someone is infected with the Ebola Zaire virus.

The Ebola Zaire strain, one of four known strains of Ebola virus, is the one that has caused the current outbreak.

Diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutic drugs needed

In Africa today, some of the most-needed medical products are diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat Ebola virus disease. USAMRIID and others are working on vaccines and therapeutics for Ebola, but none has been approved yet for use in patients. read more>>>

* * The Fight Against Ebola Is in West Africa, Not the US, Officials Warn * *

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

Navy Physician Provides Ebola Treatment Expertise to DoD Team
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 27, 2014 – The Defense Department’s unprecedented mission of establishing a 30-member team to rapidly and effectively respond to any potential Ebola virus outbreak in the U.S. has brought some of the U.S. military health system’s best medical professionals together.

One member of the joint team brings real-world experience treating Ebola patients to the DoD training course that will assist in advancing the group’s proficiency. Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) James Lawler, chief of the clinical research department of the bio-defense research directorate, Naval Medical Research Center, Fort Detrick, Maryland, discussed his role on the DoD team serving as a subject-matter expert on Ebola treatment.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work in a couple of isolation treatment units in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said, “and recently, in May, I was at the Ebola treatment unit in Conakry, Guinea, as a consultant for the World Health Organization. He also worked with the local health ministry and with Doctors Without Borders, which runs the Ebola treatment unit in Conakry.

Advances in Ebola treatment

Lawler, an 18-year Navy veteran, said he thinks the treatment of Ebola has “evolved significantly” due to the outbreak in West Africa.

“We’re really rewriting the textbook on Ebola virus disease, because we’ve seen so many more cases in this outbreak,” he said. “I think we’ve tried to capture a lot of the lessons that have been learned from West Africa, and also from the repatriated patients who have been treated here in the United States. We’ve learned a lot about effective treatment and how important aggressive supportive care can be, and we’ve tried to impart those lessons to the team here.” read more>>>

DoD News Broadcast Channel Plans Ebola Special
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2014 – Defense Department leaders discuss mission, policy and protection of troops participating in the department’s Ebola response in a special program scheduled to air at 9 a.m. EDT Oct. 30 on the DoD News Broadcast Channel, Defense Media Activity officials announced today.

“Ebola Defense: A DoD News Special Report” also takes an in-depth look at the specialized training for service members deploying to West Africa, and the program also will present the latest information on the Army’s research on potential Ebola vaccines and treatments. helpful links found under report>>>

The Military’s Ebola Screening Machine Just Got Approved for US Hospitals
October 27, 2014 - Rapidly screening for Ebola at U.S. hospitals has just gotten easier thanks to military-funded technology. Salt Lake City-based BioFire announced over the weekend that they had received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for hospital workers to use their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening machine, the FilmArray, to screen for Ebola.

It’s the same machine that the U.S. military is using to fight the disease in Africa. But until Saturday, the FDA approved FilmArray for Ebola screening for research purposes only in U.S. hospitals.

The Dallas hospital that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who became the first individual to die of Ebola in the United States, but was not authorized to use it to test patients showing symptoms of Ebola. read more>>>


Monday, October 27, 2014

Running For Congress: "I waterboard people"

“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

GOP candidate in Montana congressional race uses military service as a calling card
October 26, 2014 - Backstage before a debate between the two main candidates vying for Montana's lone seat in the U.S. House, the moderator joked with John Lewis, the Democrat, asking whether he had brought his guitar to perform.

The Republican, Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, chimed in with his own brand of humor.

"John plays guitar," he said. "I waterboard people."

The comment was simply a joke, Zinke said in an email, though he acknowledged that waterboarding was part of his training. Still, the remark captures how he has tried to frame the race: a tough, decorated Navy officer versus a Washington, D.C., errand boy.

As military experience has become rarer, politicians who've served have elevated it to the top of their biographies. Zinke, one of four dozen Iraq or Afghanistan veterans running for the House or Senate, has gone further than most, making it the centerpiece of his campaign. read more>>>

Meanwhile - Reality in a Law, Laws we helped to create Internationally and Domestically and enforce as we condemn others who break same, Abiding Civil Society:

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>>>

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!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Marines Wrap-Up Afghan Combat Operations, Coming Home

Finally after the Missions, if there ever were any, for it took a new Executive Administration's DoD to take out bin Laden as just one of many, and those sent to Accomplish were so quickly abandoned after 9/11! Setting the stage for what quickly followed and has grown into even more extremist criminal terror and not only in that region!

U.S. Marines end Afghan operations, prepare to come home

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - October 26, 2014 - In a ceremony Sunday morning in dusty desert sunlight, U.S. Marines and British combat troops officially marked the end of their operations in Afghanistan, transferring Camps Leatherneck and Bastion to Afghan control. As national anthems from the three countries played, service members from all three countries stood at attention. The Marine flags were ceremoniously furled and cased, in recognition of the end of mission.

"This transfer is a sign of progress," said Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, Commander of Regional Command South West. "It's not about the coalition, it's really about the Afghans and what they've achieved over the last 13 years. What they have done here is truly significant."

Every single combat Marine and British troop will soon board planes to head home - the exact date has been withheld for security reasons. It's a milestone in Helmand, the deadliest province for coalition forces throughout the war, with more than 940 troops killed, including 360 Marines. Five have died this year. read more>>>

Fact: 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! 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!


700 U.S. Service Members are Now Deployed to West Africa

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on the Change of Responsibility for Operation United Assistance

* * * Operation United Assistance * * *

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

October 25, 2014 - Today in Monrovia, Liberia, Major General Gary Volesky of the U.S. Army 101st Division assumed command of Joint Forces Command - Operation United Assistance and the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

Just 38 days ago, Major General Darryl Williams arrived in Liberia to form an advance detachment in his capacity as Commanding General, U.S. Army Africa prior to the formal establishment of this Joint Forces Command.

In this short period, our service members, under his leadership, have made great advances in establishing command and control capabilities for this effort including lines of communication over very rough terrain.

Over 1,500 samples from patients have been tested in three labs, two of which were established earlier this month. These labs can now provide 24-hour turn-around results, and are capable of processing up to 100 samples from clinics and healthcare providers each day. read more>>>


Saturday, October 25, 2014

The U.S. Secret Army in Laos During the Vietnam War

Vietnam Veterans of U.S. Secret Army in Laos Urge Congress to Act
October 24, 2014 - The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and Lao- and Hmong-American leaders are meeting with key members of the U.S. Congress, and Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill, urging the passage of legislation to grant burial honors, and benefits, to veterans who served in the U.S. Secret Army in Laos during the Vietnam War.

Meetings are being held with the offices of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Carl Levin (D-Michigan), Bernard Sanders (I-Vermont), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Diane Feinstein (D-California), Barbara Boxer (D-California), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Al Franken (D-Minnesota), who support the bill, “The Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act” (S. 200; S. 2337). In the House, Lao- and Hmong-American leaders are slated to meet with Congressmen Jim Costa (D), Devin Nunes (R), Paul Cook (R), and Jeff Denham (R) of California, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and others.

“The Lao- and Hmong-American veterans and their families seek to educate policymakers and Congress about the unique and historic role of the veterans in covert support of the U.S. Special Forces, CIA, and clandestine U.S. Air Force units in Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA. “It is important to honor these extraordinary veterans with burial honors.” read more>>>


Friday, October 24, 2014

VA is Critical to Medicine and Vets - and Full Responsibility of Those Served

It's also those 99%plus served Responsibility they have shirked for decades and wars of now!! Not only ignoring but in many cases denying the issues, especially from those wars, so they needn't Sacrifice as they Demand those of us who've served, and the families of, do!!

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

Secretary McDonald Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun: VA is critical to medicine and vets
October 24, 2014 - During preparation for my confirmation as secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), I was repeatedly asked, "Why doesn't VA just hand out vouchers allowing veterans to get care wherever they want?" For a department recovering from serious issues involving health care access and scheduling of appointments, that was a legitimate question.

After nine weeks at VA, travel to 31 VA facilities in 15 cities, discussions with hundreds of veterans and VA clinicians, meetings with 75 Members of Congress, two hearings before the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs committees and dozens of meetings with Veterans Service Organizations and other stakeholders, I can answer that question.

Veterans need VA, and many more Americans benefit from VA.

Almost 9 million veterans are enrolled to receive health care from VA — a unique, fully-integrated health care system, the largest in the nation. The VA stands atop a critical triad of support — three pillars that enable holistic health care for our patients: research, leading to advances in medical care; training that's essential to build and maintain proficiency of care; and delivery of clinical care to help those in need.

VA's accomplishments on all three pillars and contributions to the practice of medicine are as broad, historically significant and profound as they are generally unrecognized. read more>>>

Fact: 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

Following the long want to privatize for corporate profit conservative blame game, especially led by those hired to represent, that the long running problems, which mushroom out to cause others, are all because of the mostly dedicated VA workforce and not caused by the gross under funding by conservatives to cause those 'scandals'!! Ask yourselves what develops in policy from the many, attack the VA personal, hearings held as long as Rep Miller has been majority leader of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and Sen Burr is the minority leader in the Senate Veterans Committee! And what little policy that happens how much is actually funded and not just used to attack VA personal because it hasn't, and can't be, been fully implemented, exactly what their goal was!!

Fact: 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! 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!

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

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

Facts: 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


VA Health Benefits for Families at Camp Lejeune 1957-87

Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination

24 October 2014 - Camp Lejeune Families of Veterans: Did you live on the U.S. Marine Corps base between 1957 and 1987 for 30 or more days? You may be eligible for reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses for 15 conditions. Apply online or call 1-866-372-1144 for help.

Lejeune Vets Get Extension on Contamination Compensation