{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!!


Thousands of people across America don’t just talk about honoring Veterans; they walk the walk. Dedicated Volunteers Serve Veterans for Decades

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

3/27/15 - U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq
"During and immediately after the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today."
"When Brown and others tried to obtain their medical records to prove their illnesses were service-related, they learned that the records had disappeared."


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

She wrote that she's proud of her service but added this: "That doesn't change the fact that I contributed - however indirectly - to human beings vanishing from the earth in a moment of sheer agony."







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







They are a coalition of leading Veterans, mostly of OEF and OIF, and national security organizations who recognize that climate change is a major threat, and support fast, bold action. It is time for Americans to rise to the challenge, and we’re taking on the fight.





Their Mission: Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Learn More




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Monday, April 6, 2015

HONORING THE FALLEN: After OEF/OIF - March 2015


Gulf Wars Exposures: Gulf War (August 2, 1990 to present), includes Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm

Gulf War Veterans may have been exposed to a variety of environmental and chemical hazards that carried potential health risks. Join the Gulf War Registry and the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry to document your exposures and health concerns. find out more>>>

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."

U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq
3/27/15 - During and immediately after the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today.

A quarter of a century later, the troops nearest the explosions are dying of brain cancer at two to three times the rate of those who were farther away. Others have lung cancer or debilitating chronic diseases, and pain.

More complications lie ahead.

snip

As Alan Friedman wrote in "The Spider Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq", the Reagan and Bush administrations, which backed Iraq in its 1980-1988 war with Iran, approved of U.S. companies selling chemical agents and equipment to Iraq, including “a huge petrochemicals complex called PC2. Western intelligence also knew that PC2 was capable of generating chemical compounds to make mustard and nerve gas.”

Donald Riegle, a Democratic U.S. Senator from Michigan, held hearings about the veterans illnesses in 1993 and 1994. He told me the decision by Reagan and Bush “to secretly help Saddam Hussein build his biological and chemical weapons was a monstrous strategic error that eventually led to the tragedy of Gulf War Syndrome, which killed and disabled so many unprotected American troops.”

snip

When Brown and others tried to obtain their medical records to prove their illnesses were service-related, they learned that the records had disappeared. In a 2007 letter, Dr. Gary Trogdon, chief of the Public Inquiries Section at the Army’s Historical Resources Branch, informed Brown that Army units were told to destroy the “after action” reports, since “there was no space to ship the paper back to the States.” But, Trogdon said, records were kept at the brigade level. When Brown asked Senator Mark Warner to help, he, too, came up empty-handed. read more>>>

The above ProPublica/Seattle report, what was done under both Bushes, continued:

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

Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort

Military Service-Related Exposures

Depleted uranium, chemical and biological agents, anthrax, mefloquine —get info on these service-related exposures.

Finally started getting addressed, though limited because of the congressional budgets, for decades and wars of, by the Shinseki VA administration and now continuing with the McDonald administration, and for the first time in my lifetime, while conservative ideology continues obstructing and cutting which isn't a first, as a vet with the Executive branch and it's Cabinet aiding where it can, the only Government branch actively addressing the real issue problems and has since coming in, while being either ignored or out right denied the issues exist, so those served need not Sacrifice while they wave their, poser, patriotic flags and flash the same in words and symbols!!!

Military Exposures
Veterans may have been exposed to a range of chemical, physical, and environmental hazards during military service. read more>>>

NATO holds ceremony closing Afghan mission
Event carried out in secret due to threat of Taliban strikes in Afghan capital, which has been hit by repeated bombings

28 Dec 2014 - NATO has held a ceremony in Kabul formally ending its war in Afghanistan, officials said, after 13 years of conflict and gradual troop withdrawals that have left the country in the grip of worsening conflicts with armed groups. read more>>>

Obama, Hagel Mark End of Operation Enduring Freedom

December 28, 2014 - Obama marks end of combat in Afghanistan

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom's Sentinel

Memorial at the New JPED facility at Dover Air Force Base, Del..OEF: Afghanistan - Pakistan!! There have been 3,485 coalition deaths -- 2,356 Americans, 41 Australians, 453 Britons, 1 Belgian, 158 Canadians, 10 Czech, 43 Denmark, 25 Netherlands, 9 Estonians, 2 Finn, 86 French, 54 Germans, 7 Hungarian, 48 Italians, 2 Jordan, 3 Latvian, 1 Lithuanian, 10 Norwegians, 40 Poland, 2 Portuguese, 21 Romanians, 1 South Korean, 34 Spaniards, 5 Swedes, 14 Turks, 11 New Zealand, 27 Georgian and 14 NATO/ISAF -- in the war on terror as of November 3 2014, according to a CNN and iCasulties count. Below are the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors whose deaths have been reported by their country's governments. The troops died in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or were part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. At least 20,067 U.S. troops had been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon.. In addition to the military deaths, 11 U.S. intelligence operatives have died in Afghanistan.

icasualties.org OEF - Operation Enduring Freedom

CNN Map U.S./Canada and Coalition Afghanistan Casualties

CNN-Iraq/Afghanistan War Casualties

NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan
"Resolute Support will serve as the bedrock of an enduring partnership" between NATO and Afghanistan, Campbell told an audience of Afghan and international military officers and officials, as well as diplomats and journalists.


Operation Resolute Support

The post-2014 mission in Afghanistan will be known as Operation Resolute Support. Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan will come to an end. The detailed operation plan for Resolute Support was approved by NATO Foreign Ministers at the end of June 2014.
The U.S. military component of RSM will be Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

'A new chapter': United States shuts down Iraq war
Nine years of conflict saw 4,488 Americans killed, 32,230 U.S. wounded and more than $800 billion spent

By the Numbers: 1.5 Million

Iraq Veterans: ‘National Day of Honor’ 19 March

OIF: Iraq, from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn on Sept 1, 2010

December 20 2011 - Ceremony to Retire Iraq Mission Colors on U.S. Soil

There had been 4,804 coalition deaths 4,488 Americans
2 Australians, 1 Azerbaijani, 179 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, 1 Czech, 7 Danes, 2 Dutch, 2 Estonians, 1 Fijian, 5 Georgians, 1 Hungarian, 33 Italians, 1 Kazakh, 1 South Korean, 3 Latvian, 22 Poles, 3 Romanians, 5 Salvadoran, 4 Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, 2 Thai and 18 Ukrainians -- in the war in Iraq as of January 2, 2012, according to a CNN and iCasulties count.
Graphical breakdown of casualties. At least 32,230 U.S. troops had been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon.

icasualties.org Operation Iraqi Freedom

Iraq war ends with a $4 trillion IOU: 15 December 2011 - Veterans’ health care costs to rise sharply over the next 40 years

CNN Map U.S. and Coalition Iraq Casualties

CNN-Iraq/Afghanistan War Casualties

Brown University - Iraq: 10 Years After Costs of War - Research Papers

Costs of War Project

The British Iraq War Inquiry


Click on banner to visit the DoD Special Report page on In-Theater Operations

Back Into Iraq - Lured Back in the Continuing Blowback From the Previous Failed Policies of Quickly Abandoning the Missions and Those Sent to Accomplish After 9/11! That Created the Growth and Spread, and Now This ISIL or Islamic State, the Criminal Terror in That Region and Beyond of Many Groups Following the al Qaeda Terror Mold and even More Extreme:

‘Operation Inherent Resolve’
Pentagon chose the name to "reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S."

Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

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

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

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!

"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

"We got a huge round of tax cuts in this country a few weeks before9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway. How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was free?"

"Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about it, civilians. Go about your business." Rachel Maddow - 23 May 2013

Soldiers - Veterans - Families Of

Veterans Administration into the 21st Century

“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

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Backlog Reduced 67 Percent Under New Automation and Process Improvements
Washington – 30 March 2015 - The federal initiative to provide timely decisions on disability payments to Veterans has crossed a major milestone in its final sprint to eliminate the backlog of Veterans’ benefits claims.

The major transformation effort to apply new technology and process solutions has paid off at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It reduced its inventory of backlogged claims from a high of 611,000 claims in March of 2013 to fewer than 200,000 this week, while at the same time improving decision quality.

“Make no mistake, we’re not slowing down short of the finish line,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey. “Our goal is to eliminate the claims backlog by the end of 2015 – meaning all Veterans will receive timely and accurate decisions on their disability claims.” read more>>>

Chris Hayes: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican, long ago lost as the party of Lincoln and not just as to us Veterans, opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Data methods used by VA portray actual Veterans experience
April 2, 2015 - VA is committed to providing high quality, proactive, personalized, patient-driven care to Veterans and strives to improve our services. We are determined to rebuild the trust of Veterans and stakeholders and improve service delivery by focusing on Veteran outcomes.

Some Veterans are still waiting longer than they desire for their appointments, and we are working hard to try to get them the care they have earned where and when they need it.

We realize appointment wait-time data, and how it gets calculated in a system that schedules over 80 million encounters a year, can be complicated and hard to understand—so we want to take this opportunity to explain our methods. We are working in good faith to be as transparent and open as possible with our data, and the way it’s calculated.

VA began publicly posting patient access data online in June 2014. You can find that data here. Back in October, VA made clear that, as directed by Congress, it was establishing new wait-time standards that more accurately reflect whether or not a veteran has been waiting too long for an appointment. VA has done just that, and has been fully transparent about it all along. We began reporting average appointment wait times in two categories: completed and pending. Both of these measures are determined based on the Veteran’s preferred date. The preferred date method is based on a clinician’s specified date for the patient to be seen, or 30 days from a date that the patient prefers to be seen in the absence of a clinical recommendation.

We report this completed appointment average wait time data monthly. VA also regularly advises and updates Veterans service organizations and congressional stakeholders on our patient access data and wait time methods. 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

Homeless Vets Are The 'Conscience Of America,' Retired General Says In Fort Worth
25 March 2015 - Some 50,000 military veterans are homeless each night in the United States. In parts of North Texas, that number is declining. The latest census shows the homeless vet count in Fort Worth has dropped by one-third compared to last year. Seventy vets in that city currently call the Presbyterian Night Shelter home. On Tuesday, at a fundraiser for a vets program, a retired Marine general told vets he's got their backs.

Outside the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, small American flags lined flower beds to welcome 15 homeless veterans. Inside, the smell of fresh biscuits, scrambled eggs and bacon filled a church hall, where 150 people gathered for the second annual Freedom Breakfast.

“I really believe that veterans are the conscience of America,” says retired Marine General Terrence Dake. read more>>>

Listen to Report

Special Report: Traumatic Brain Injury
03/17/2015 - Traumatic brain injury is one of the invisible wounds of war and one of the signature injuries of troops wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. This Defense.gov special report highlights the Defense Department's efforts to care for wounded warriors suffering from this condition while promoting research to improve diagnosis and treatment.

New Tool Helps Intrepid Center Collect Electronic TBI Data

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence received special recognition from Government Computer News for successful innovation of a continuity management tool that enables clinicians to electronically collect thousands of data points per patient, electronically, and that also pulls additional sets of information to form a robust repository of TBI-related health data.

DARPA Developing Implants to Help With TBI Memory Loss

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working to develop wireless, implantable brain prostheses for service members and veterans who suffer memory loss from traumatic brain injury.

More Stories>>>

Veterans Hurt by Chemical Weapons in Iraq Get Apology
MARCH 25, 2015 - The under secretary of the Army on Wednesday apologized for the military’s treatment of American service members exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq, and he announced new steps to provide medical support to those with lingering health effects and to recognize veterans who had been denied awards.

Under Secretary Brad R. Carson acknowledged that the military had not followed its own policies for caring for troops exposed to old and abandoned chemical munitions that had been scattered around Iraq, and he vowed improvement.

He also said that the Army had reversed a previous decision and approved a Purple Heart medal for a soldier burned by sulfur mustard agent, and that he expected more medals to be issued to other veterans after further review.

“To me, the scandal is that we had protocols in place and the medical community knew what they were, and yet we failed in some cases to implement this across the theater,” he said. “That was a mistake, and I apologize for that. I apologize for past actions and am going to fix it going forward.”

snip

In a sign that steps were being taken, Mr. Carson said, the Army on Tuesday approved a Purple Heart for an explosive-ordnance disposal technician burned by sulfur mustard agent while dismantling a roadside bomb in 2007. The veteran, former Specialist Richard T. Beasley, had previously been denied the medal.

snip

That standard did not conceive of the insurgents’ practice in Iraq of occasionally using old chemical shells in roadside bombs — essentially traps in which the chemical agents inside might be released by an unsuspecting soldier tasked with destroying the weapon or handling its broken remains.

Mr. Carson said the four services now agree that wounds caused by such makeshift bombs would qualify for the award. read more>>>

While under both Bush CiC commands:

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

* * * Joining Forces * * *

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

Jobless Veterans to Employers: We're a very smart and innovative investment!

Today’s military: A well-educated force

As Congress continues obstructing, conservative ideology, especially as to Military personal and Veterans, the only Government Branch consistent, six plus years, on the issues, the Executive and it's Cabinet, continues actually doing what the Country Served should be! Wars, and the continuing blowback from the policies, still unpaid for as well as VA obstructed budgets still mostly borrowed, which bring about the conservative wanted, and country served, FOX speak media hyped 'scandals'!!

From the battlefield to the workforce
April 3, 2015 - As part of a program to help military members land jobs, the skill of precision welding is being taught to a select number of U.S. Marines at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. CBS News visited the base where we saw active duty Marines attending class.

They've been allowed under a Pentagon program called SkillBridge to spend the last four months of their enlistments in full-time job training. Every one of the 15 Marines has a guaranteed job, thanks to a national shortage of skilled welders.

"It's a dream job for me really," said Sgt. Damien Gilbert.

He said acceptance into the program was a huge weight off his shoulders.

"I'm an infantryman by trade, so there's not very many jobs out in the civilian world that transfer that skill over," said Sgt. Gilbert.

The Pentagon now allows 15 private employers access to 16 military bases nationwide. Microsoft is one of those companies and is looking for internet technology (IT) technicians. read more>>>

Obama: Solar Program to Train Troops for Civilian Careers

Many of those taking these courses are further advanced in the alternative energy development already, having used the advanced technologies on bases and especially in these war theaters, then those taking courses in in the private sector. Ignored by that private sector when leaving the Military they're just legitimizing that training and advanced knowledge, already experienced in!!

February 21, 2015 - The first set of transitioning military service members graduated last week from the solar job training pilot program at Camp Pendleton in California. Minh Le, SunShot Initiative director, spoke at the ceremony. The pilot program provides participating military service members with four to six weeks of intensive solar training courses at no cost. Participants learn how to size and install solar energy systems and develop other related solar job skills. SunShot also announced two additional military bases that will host the solar job training pilot program – Fort Carson in Colorado and Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia. The Camp Pendleton graduates have all been offered interviews with five prominent U.S. solar companies. Read more and see photos of the program’s first graduation ceremony.

U.S. To Train Veterans To Install Solar Panels, White House Announces
The proposals are modest compared with what President Barack Obama has asked Congress to do through legislation to promote clean energy, invest in infrastructure projects and force reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. But with lawmakers unwilling to consider any major climate legislation, Obama has sought to maximize what presidential authority he does hold.

09/18/2014 - The U.S. is planning to train veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years, the White House said Thursday.

The jobs training program is among a host of initiatives the White House says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 300 million tons through 2030, plus save billions of dollars on energy bills for homeowners and businesses. It will launch this fall at one or more military bases and train a total of at least 50,000, including veterans.

The Agriculture Department will also spend nearly $70 million to fund 540 solar and renewable energy projects, focused on rural and farming areas. And the Energy Department will propose stricter efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners, a move the department said could cut emissions more than any other efficiency standard it has issued to date.

The proposals are modest compared with what President Barack Obama has asked Congress to do through legislation to promote clean energy, invest in infrastructure projects and force reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. But with lawmakers unwilling to consider any major climate legislation, Obama has sought to maximize what presidential authority he does hold. read more>>>

While coming in with the two long wars still ongoing and a near total collapse of the economy the Veterans of weren't overlooked, except by the people served and through their direct representatives, and not only as to employment, and issue that comes with all Veterans especially after our wars and the private sector shies away from hiring or rehiring those that served them!!

President’s Council Announces Increase in Veteran Hires
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 – In the more than five years since President Barack Obama established the Veterans Employment Initiative, a steadily increasing annual percentage of veterans have entered federal civilian service.

In fiscal year 2014, according to an Office of Personnel Management news release issued today, the percentage of veteran new hires hit a new high of 33.2 percent, surpassing the previous mark set in FY 2013, when 31 percent of all new Federal civilian hires were veterans.

Fiscal 2014 also marked the first time since the president established the Veterans Employment Initiative that new veteran hires increased in a year when overall new employee hires also increased.

‘Ongoing and Sustainable’ Progress for Veterans read more>>>

Veterans' Administration Continues Move Into 21st Century

Online Tools, Standardized Forms, and More

Effective March 24th, 2015, VA is implementing improvements to make it easier for you to apply for benefits.

Online application tools, standardized forms, and a new intent to file process will create faster and more accurate decisions on your claims and appeals.

What does it all mean?

As part of the VA’s full-scale transformation in 2015, these new changes will:

* Streamline the benefits process, making it faster and easier
* Use standardized forms to file disability claims and compensation appeals
* Establish a new intent to file a claim process

Learn more about these important changes:

So Many Wars, So Many War Debts Unpaid

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

150 yrs. ago: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle”

"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

150th anniversary of President Lincoln's second Inaugural address

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

March 4, 2015 - I first came to VA’s central office 22 years ago to interview for an opening in the public affairs office. I was tense and nervous, as it was yet another of many interviews in a five-month-long job search.

Then, as if it was meant to happen, as I walked in front of VA headquarters, President Lincoln gave me the boost I needed.

Right there on the front of the building at eye level was our 16th president’s famous charge to all Americans – “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”

Even then, I marveled at the fact that in 1865 President Lincoln wrote one of the shortest and most perfect mission statements in history, for a federal agency that would not begin to exist until 65 years later. read more>>>

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Veteran Information

U.S. Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS)

U.S. Department of Justice Strengthening Our Military Families & Veteran Recruitment

Homeless Veterans': ‘stain on the soul of the nation’ - AMEN!

Highlighting Veteran Homelessness… “Wrong Side of Heaven”

Or this:

Veterans Administration: 'Facts' Are For Media To 'Report'

It is important that we openly and willingly discuss our mistakes and how we intend to improve. As we acknowledge areas where more work is needed, we also need to set the record straight when our work is unfairly mischaracterized.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development – VA Supportive Housing {HUD-VASH}

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

Homeless Veterans - Conferences - Stand Downs

Veterans Courts, Unique Brand of Justice

In Veterans Courts, prosecutors become social workers for the accused
Veterans Treatment Courts {two page pdf fact sheet}

Justice for Vets

Veterans Court Resource Guide

Mental Health Service Utilization by OIF and OEF Veterans
Commentary: War costs last forever
March 29, 2013 - The past is never dead, as William Faulkner might have written if he were analyzing the federal budget, it’s not even paid for. Did you realize that World War II still costs U.S. taxpayers $5 billion a year? Or that we haven’t closed the financial books on the Civil War yet? read more>>>

Defense Department Releases Crisis Support Guide for Families

Supporting Military Families in Crisis

A Great Resource for Family Caregivers

'The Country You Destroyed': A Letter to George W. Bush

Afghanistan & Iraq Civilian Casualties - War Refugee's

Recording Casualties: Victims of Armed Conflict Worldwide

Every Casualty.org: New Org Website Launched On Casualty Recording The one-stop source for information on conflict's casualties worldwide and the organisations that record them

Film Highlights Perils Faced By Iraqis Who Helped U.S.

THE LIST: Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies

A decade after US-led forces toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, IRIN examines the impact of the occupation on basic living standards.

Consistent coverage of the health consequences of Iraq’s conflict by the Lancet medical journal here

The Lancet: lraq's health system yet to heal from ravages of war

Afghanistan: World Report 2013

USCIRF Annual Report 2013 - Tier 2: Afghanistan

Exact Count of Civilian Casualties may never be known, as is the case in every conflict, especially an Invasion by another Country. For it is the Innocent Civilians and those Defending their Countries,of which All would be counted if this country, the U.S., were ever invaded, who suffer the most, during and long after!

All the Deaths, Maimings and Destruction are the Blood on All Our Hands, No One can Escape that Guilt!

Strasbourg judge: “Those who export war ought to see to the parallel export of guarantees against the atrocities of war”

The Rand Corporation Terrorism Report the press release here, you can get the full document here or a summary of the research brief here

America’s Future will Help Define How the Nation Looks at its Veterans

Chairman Makes Case for Support to Veterans

Read New Gulf War Newsletter

Proactive Pain Management: 10 Ways to Manage Your Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can last a long period of time, even if it comes and goes. This is something that many adults suffer from, and it is one of the symptoms often reported by Gulf War Veterans. In fact, nearly all Gulf War Veterans referred to the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) report chronic pain as one of their top complaints.

The Fastest Way to Get a Disability Claim Decision

If you’re a Veteran who needs to file a disability compensation claim for the first time or you need to submit a new claim for a previous service-related condition, there is now a faster, easier way to get a claim decision. With the help of your local Veterans Service Officer, you can file an electronic claim, eClaim, through eBenefits and get a faster VA decision.

Gulf War Registry: Three Reasons to Participate read more w/backlinks>>>

Vietnam War, 50 years later: Giving a voice to Latino veterans
03/21/15 - Growing up, Tomas Summers Sandoval was surrounded by veterans of the Vietnam War: His father and uncle and neighbors served proudly, the survivors returning to start families in the working-class suburbs of Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire.

But outside his social circle, Summers Sandoval was dismayed to find very little has been done to document the impact of the war on Latino communities.

This month, 50 years since U.S. troops set foot in Vietnam, Summers Sandoval has found himself face to face with these men as they tell their stories.

“To understand Latinos in California, how they found their way into the military is a window to understanding the educational inequalities in society of the time,” the soft-spoken Summers Sandoval said.

A history professor at Pomona College, Summers Sandoval is researching the Latino experience in Vietnam and plans to calculate the casualties of Latinos in the war, teaming up with economics professor Fernando Lozano to get those figures. read more>>>

Still Coming Home, Our Brothers of WWII, Korea and Vietnam - Rest in Peace, You're Finally Home

Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command - Until They Are Home

Vietnam veteran comes home to rest after nearly 45 years
Apr 09, 2015 - Army Sergeant Bunyan Durant Price Jr. was declared "Missing In Action" in Cambodia in 1970, and remained that way since. His body was returned to his family in Gastonia Thursday. read more>>>

RIP: Lucy Coffey, the Oldest Female Veteran in the United States

Oldest female veteran in the U.S. dies at 108

19 March 2015 - Lucy Coffey, the oldest female veteran in the United States, died Thursday at her home in Texas. She was 108.

Coffey had been ill for about a week, Quita Marquez, a friend and veterans service officer, told The Associated Press. The Bexar County Veterans Service Office paid tribute to Coffey, saying in a statement that "she was an incredibly lady who will be missed dearly. Her contributions to our country and community will not be forgotten." read more>>>

Oldest woman veteran dies in San Antonio


HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military and Coalition Forces Killed in Action, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan from 2001 to ................. - My Honor Rolls, and more, to Share


National World War II Memorial


National Korean War Memorial


National Vietnam Veterans Memorial - "The Wall"


The Vietnam Women’s Memorial


Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemeteries


Arlington National Cemetery


American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial - Dedicated on Oct 5th 2014