{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

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, March 9, 2015

HONORING THE FALLEN: After OEF/OIF - February 2015

This is the longest period without a U.S. military combat-zone death since 9/11
Feb. 26, 2015 - At the end of an hour-long panel discussion in Washington on Wednesday, a middle-aged man raised his hand. Fred J. Boenig, the father of a U.S. airman who died in Afghanistan, had a question for Rep. Adam D. Kinzinger, who called himself “hawkish” on using U.S. military power against the Islamic State.

“This is no disrespect, but when you said that, the only thing I can hear is a knock on my door again,” said Boenig, dressed in a red tie and blue blazer with a Gold Star pin on it. “I have one question: Do know how many days it has been since the last U.S. casualty? The last military casualty?”

Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said that he wasn’t sure, and estimated that it had been a month or so. Boenig interrupted, and said it had been 75 days — the longest since 2001.

“When you talk about being a hawk, maybe that is something that you’d really want to keep track of, because 75 days does seem like a long time,” Boenig said, as the room around him sat silently.

Watch the exchange here: read more & watch>>>

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

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

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!

* * * Operation United Assistance * * *

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

Most DoD Personnel to Return From West Africa
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory Nowak, left, senior enlisted advisor for Joint Forces Command - United Assistance and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, commander of JFC-UA and the 101st, case their unit colors during a ceremony held at the Barclay Training Center, Monrovia, Liberia, Feb. 26, 2015. U.S Army photo by Spc. Rashene Mincy

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2015 – Most Defense Department personnel who deployed to West Africa to support the U.S. Agency for International Development and international partners in fighting Ebola at its source already have returned to their home stations, and nearly all will return home over the next two months, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said last night.

In a statement, Kirby said DoD will identify 100 personnel who will maintain a continued presence in the region, working to strengthen the disease preparedness and surveillance capacity of the national governments.

“DoD personnel will build on a strong military partnership with the armed forces of Liberia to enhance their Ebola response efforts and provide disaster response training to the government of Liberia,” the admiral said.

Life-saving Resources 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

"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

“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

Coming home
Scott Pelley revisits men who served in a Marine company that took especially high casualties in Afghanistan; a group he first met five years ago

Mar 08 2015 - Two and a half million Americans served in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we wondered what's become of them long after they cut down the yellow ribbons and the camo went into hiding in the back of the closet. What do they think of their war? Was coming home the homecoming they hoped for?

Recently, we joined an annual reunion of men that we first met five years ago. It was back in 2009, Golf Company, 2nd Battalion of the 8th Marines, was taking the highest casualties on Afghanistan's most lethal battlefield. When we met them again last summer in Washington we found that their searing experience had made them brothers in war and peace.

We caught up with them on a field trip, part of their Washington reunion. They fell in without uniforms, weapons or the passing of years. They're mostly civilians now gathered in one place they could be together, the place they could say things that had been left unsaid or deliver news of the last five years. Golf Company's Lance Corporal Burrow and Lieutenant Bourgeois were enlisted in the ranks of Arlington National Cemetery. Each stone arch, a gateway through time. 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

VA Continues to Move Into the 21st Century in These Six Years and On

Health care for veterans goes high tech
March 8 2015 - When Barbara Van Dahlen was brainstorming ways to address veterans’ mental-health needs 10 years ago, she was inspired by Craigslist and the way the site made it easy for buyers to find sellers.

“I thought — I should be able to use technology to connect mental-health professionals all over the country with veterans and their families,” said Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist and president of nonprofit group Give an Hour. The organization gives troops and their families access to free mental-health services through video sessions with a network of volunteers.

Give an Hour was founded in 2005 — when few had heard of “telehealth” and the iPhone did not exist yet.

Fast forward to 2015: The charity now teams up regularly with technology firms to help veterans. It has worked with the likes of Google to reach more veterans through a series of video chats. It paired with Booz Allen Hamilton to analyze program data to better deliver services. And it is exploring a partnership with Doctor on Demand, an app that gives users 15-minute appointments with doctors, virtually.

Technology is critical in overcoming the stigma around mental health issues, said Van Dahlen, who launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the topic in Washington last week. read more>>>

Rising Costs {mostly borrowed} of Caring for Veterans

VA Chief Warns of Rising Cost of Caring for Younger Veterans

The people served actually think that when legislation is passed, poser patriotic enhancing political points for their reps and themselves, it's actually paid for! As to our wars and the long term results after, policy blowback, for the Veterans of, well not since WWII have the people served actually Sacrificed, mostly willingly and across the Nation including veterans depending on political ideologies, thus not building and maintaining, and thus saving in many ways because of, the Responsibility they hold to those very few that served them! Why in these modern times they don't even pay for their flag waving, poser, patriotic wars and think nothing of it, while speaking full support, and who's more patriotic to country, of the few that served, blame the next elected Executive branch leader especially if of opposite political party or if same just ignore!

... two instigated wars whose costs were so inhibitive they were kept off the books, ... The Obama Administration brought this into the open ...

"as well as two ongoing foreign wars, which his predecessor never even tried to pay for. Of course the president is running large deficits; trying to eliminate them now would make an economic catastrophe even worse."

Neither OEF/OIF and the continuing blowback from the policies implemented and supported are yet to be paid for!!

Mar 04, 2015 - Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald told lawmakers on Wednesday that the department is on track to meet two lofty goals set by his predecessor: End the disability claims backlog and veteran homelessness.

But McDonald, in testimony before the veterans' affairs panel of the House Appropriations Committee, offered a laundry list of figures and some projections indicating that whatever victories the VA may achieve in the next year or so, the pieces already are set for the making of another one.

"The cost of fulfilling our obligations to veterans grows over time because veterans demand for service and benefits continues to grow as wars end," he said. "While it's true that the total number of veterans is declining, the number of those seeking care and benefits is increasing dramatically."

The last 14 years of war have seen increasing numbers of today's veterans applying for VA care, which is already striving to meet the care demands of the larger and aging Vietnam veteran population, McDonald said. In 2014, for example, 22 percent of Vietnam veterans received service-connected disability benefits, but that figure is expected to increase. 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

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

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

And what else do those served get away with, through the representatives they hire, to avoid their Responsibility? Why they choose the easy ways out, just like they do in arguing their, poser, patriotism,, they either just totally ignore the Veterans during and after on an ever growing list of issues or they follow the written and spoken so called experts, usually politically motivated while getting comfortable return in wealth from the denial these issues even exist and that link is just about PTS. The homefront battles continue for Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome, OEF/OIF Burn Pits and oh so many more reaching back to surviving WWII Veterans right up to today. Many were Finally being addressed when Gen Shinseki came onboard, with the still extremely limited budget funding, and with extended help by the Executive administration and it's Cabinet where their charges could be integrated on long standing Veterans issues, that continues under Sec. McDonald but so does the Congressional obstructions and attacks, even from those served, as it continues causing costly problems that create other costly problems. Those problems are extremely helpful for political enhancing points of the people served representatives and given eager media backing as new{?} 'scandals' that have been seen before over and over and not corrected after, attack, hearings on!

Speaking of the politics and those served support of same but ignoring so they don't have to Sacrifice:

ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - * Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans *
While under both bushes:
"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 *

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

New webpage allows vets with PTSD to apply for discharge upgrade
December 17, 2014 - Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who were discharged under “other than honorable” conditions can apply on a new webpage to have their discharge upgraded if it was due to PTSD.

Veterans can go to the site to get information about applying for a change in status through the Army Review Boards Agency.

The Army says it is committed to making sure the veterans receive fair consideration of their service and the conditions that may have mitigated the misconduct that led to their discharge, he said. The Army launched the site in accordance with a Department of Defense memorandum from September. According to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, PTSD was not recognized as a diagnosis at the time of service in past conflicts such as the Vietnam War. read more>>>

* * * 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

U.S. Veterans Training For Solar Installation Army
February 18, 2015 - U.S. military veterans are being urged to join the ranks of America’s solar army by signing up to a new Energy Department solar job training pilot program.

The initiative has been designed to help members transition from active service into new careers as installation specialists, electricians and sales consultants.

The program is part of the DoE’s SunShot Solar Instructor Training Network, which aims to add 50,000 photovoltaic installers, building inspectors and other solar workers to the industry by 2020.

Three military bases have answered the call through a SkillsBridge initiative, which offers no-cost training for serving personnel during their final six months of duty.

Trainees will be drilled in the sizing and installation of solar power systems and developing other related solar skills.

“As more homes and businesses across America choose solar power for their electricity needs, the solar industry is growing rapidly, and demand for highly skilled solar workers is on the rise,” said Minh Le, director, SunShot Initiative. read more>>>

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

Oscar and 'Veterans Press 1'

Suicide in not new! Many issues in human life can bring on someone to take that route of self destruction! Veterans suicides aren't new, but are helped towards, especially in war theater veterans, by the ease in which those they served ignored the issues like Post Traumatic Stress {PTS} of war theaters, along with ignoring so many other issues, finally being addressed through the VA under Sec. Shinseki and continuing under Sec. McDonald with the continued help from an entire Executive Administration and it's Cabinet. So many of our brothers from Vietnam and Korea choose that route, not only suffering from PTS but the other issues as well, as the Country served ran from their responsibilities in fully funding the Agency they promised to the few who serve them, so they cope not cure from issues like PTS! That decades long, and wars from, under funding brings about constant costly problems that are turned into 'scandals', for the media political hype and the peoples representatives, who control the Countries purse strings of funding it's needs, own political enhancement as they attack the mostly Dedicated VA personal, thank god for the constant flow of young to old volunteer's! A few, so called experts, in their health care fields enriched themselves, in a number of ways, by feeding the needed 'proof' that these issues, like PTS, didn't even exist so the people and through their representatives needn't Sacrifice themselves! Talk of Veterans Suicides have come to light with these two recent long conflicts, once again, like so many other issues the VA and DoD taking the blame, from the people served and through their representatives who in turn feed the, very wealthy and extremely low taxed, media meme's, none looking in their mirrors at the real problems and who's actually creating the oft repeated and returned to 'scandals' so brazenly hyped!

My Congratulations to the Producers of and the voters who not only Nominated but blessed them with the 'WIN' on this Documentary not many will probably see, doesn't fit the political FOX speak meme's, after all they're getting 'American Sniper' also nominated all wrong in the message that should be learned in their poser patriotism, nor has there been much reporting, local and national, about. Just the same on who wore what and attacks or praise on who said what, from an apathetic society, unwilling to Sacrifice!

Neal Simon: 'Veterans Press 1'
“Veterans Press 1” takes viewers into the responders’ cubicles as they connect with veterans coping with everything from depression and divorce, to anger and anxiety. Often, the callers are teetering along the twin cliff edges of disillusionment and destruction. Many calls are routine, if that word is app...

Feb. 22, 2015 - Sometime tonight, tucked into the glitzy and glamorous celebration of all things movies, presenters will announce the Academy Award winner for Best Short Documentary film of 2014. And then, amidst the starlets in designer gowns, the leading men in tuxes, the acclaimed directors with shelves full of trophies in Malibu mansions and the Tinseltown blockbusters like “American Sniper,” a small film with a wide heart may take center stage for a few minutes. If that happens, if “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” wins the best short documentary Oscar, Hollywood’s bright lights will shine on a Hornell High School graduate and her 250 Veterans Administration colleagues who are employed at the national VA suicide hotline in Canandaigua.

The HBO film captures the crucial work of the highly-trained VA staff as they field some 1,000 calls a day from veterans, active service personnel and military family members.

The film — which was produced by Dana Perry and directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent — was shot over about nine months in 2012. The filmmakers were embedded, a couple days at a time, in the non-descript government building in Ontario County. Their camera lens documents with unflinching honesty the heartbreak, the tensions and the triumphs at the crisis hotline center.

“Veterans Press 1” takes viewers into the responders’ cubicles as they connect with veterans coping with everything from depression and divorce, to anger and anxiety. read more>>>

Oscars 2015: Who Dana Perry Is and Why She Want Us to Pay Attention to Suicide
Feb 23, 2015 - While accepting the Oscar for best documentary short subject, producer Dana Perry said suicide should be talked about "out loud," dedicating the award to her son.

During her acceptance speech on behalf of "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1," the music abruptly cut off when Perry mentioned her son, Evan Scott Perry, who committed suicide at age 15 in 2005.

"I lost my son," Perry told reporters after the speech. "We need to talk about suicide out loud to try to work against the stigma and silence around suicide because the best prevention for suicide is awareness and discussion and not trying sweep it under the rug."

Perry also mentioned veteran suicide in her Oscar speech, which she called "a crisis." Tonight's Oscar-winning HBO documentary, directed by Perry and Ellen Goosenberg Kent, is about the Department of Veterans Affairs' 24-hour call center for veterans. read more>>>

Filmmakers put veterans and suicide in spotlight
February 23, 2015 - Two filmmakers who won an Oscar for their documentary on a suicide hotline used their acceptance speech to urge troubled veterans to receive help.

Dana Perry and Ellen Goosenberg Kent spent months at the Department of Veterans Affairs' suicide hotline headquarters filming Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, which showed the dedicated efforts staffers make to prevent veterans from killing themselves. Their Oscar on Sunday night was for best documentary short subject.

Perry mentioned her 15-year-old son, who had killed himself. "We should talk about suicide out loud," Perry said.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald praised the HBO documentary for highlighting "the challenges our veterans can face and the work of our dedicated Veterans Crisis Line staff." read more>>>

February 23, 2015 - Statement from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald on Oscar Win for HBO Documentary Highlighting Life-Saving Work of Veterans Crisis Line

America's longest war ended, fyi; but shared sacrifice wasn't part of it

VA's Veterans Crisis Line Saves Lives Every Day
February 19, 2015 - Caring, Confidential Responders Always There

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 1,625,000 calls.

That’s more than a million-and-a-half times a Veteran has felt suicidal or depressed or lost and decided to call for help…and the Crisis Line was there.

It’s a crisis too many of our wounded warriors face.

The Crisis Line has sent over 45,000 rescues to assist callers with emergency services. That means that when our trained responders know the caller is in a serious crisis and they can’t calm them down or convince them to go to a VA hospital and see a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, they call the closest local emergency personnel to go to that Veteran’s home and help them.

And that has happened 45,000 times. read more>>>

Veterans Courts, Unique Brand of Justice

In Veterans Courts, prosecutors become social workers for the accused
February 24, 2015 - Since the main job of district attorneys is to indict and prosecute criminals, you might find it odd that many of those prosecutors are whole-hearted supporters of a system that acts to treat — not to punish — the problems of one class of offenders: veterans. I recently spent a few weeks looking into special courts for veterans, courts that have been set up in 220 communities around the nation both as a kind of payback for the sacrifices of vets, and as a center where those vets arrested for various offences can get help. The surprising thing I found was that DAs have gone along with public defenders, veterans organizations, judges, probation officers and a variety of social workers in supporting this unique brand of justice.

In San Francisco, the DA is former police chief George Gascon, a Cuban-born American who served in the U.S Army. He says: “These are people that have put their life on the line, many die … And I think when our veterans come back, and they are harmed in the process, then we as a society, as a nation, we owe them that support, and that includes the criminal justice system.”

snip

After appearing in veterans court they are studied by a bevy of workers; they are evaluated by social workers and psychiatrists, they are examined by medical professionals and counseled by Veterans Affairs workers. Many show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder; many abuse drugs and alcohol; large numbers are homeless. Using federal and local money, the gang of helpers tries to attack these problems in each individual, who in turn must check in with the court on a weekly basis. From what I could see in court, and in the VA center where much of the “help” occurs, most of the vets themselves are enthusiastic to get a new chance to clean up. read more>>>

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>>>

C-123 AO Exposed Vets Issue Could Finally Be Resolved Soon

Another part of the of the, so many other issues as well that are ignored or out right denied, including recent war theater issues, by those served and through their Representatives, Agent Orange issue. Finally had started to be addressed, budgets still grossly under funded and mostly borrowed, under Sec. Shinseki, with help from the Executive Branch and it's Cabinet agencies where applicable on many ignored issues, continues under Sec. McDonald. Will conservatives in Congress, as they continue seeking privatization for corporate profit of the peoples responsibility, go along or continue obstructing as they have for decades and wars from! So many brothers, and sisters, have passed on from the issues long ignored by those they served, RIP now!!

C-123 Vets Could Win Changes On Agent Orange Exposure Soon
26 February 2015 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it will make an announcement next week about treatment for Air Force reservists who may have been exposed to Agent Orange after Vietnam. Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has joined the chorus of voices asking for a policy change.

Agent Orange is a defoliate that was used in the Vietnam War which was found to have serious health consequences. Courtesy of U.S. Army

As many as 2,100 people who worked on C-123 cargo planes in the Air Force reserves could have been exposed to Agent Orange residues in the 1970s, after those planes had been used in Vietnam to spray the toxic defoliant. The planes weren’t thoroughly cleaned before being reused in the reserves in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. One C-123 that was finally retired to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force was decontaminated by contractors in the 1990s before going on display inside a hangar.

Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Columbus was one of the sites that flew C-123s for medical and other missions, and a growing group of former reservists has been asking the VA for recognition for health conditions that could be related to dioxin, the toxin in Agent Orange. read more>>>

Just one of the, oh so many, issues of finally recognizing from War Theaters and Veterans of, by the Sec. Shinseki Veterans Administration, continuing under Sec. McDonald, and with needed help from this Executive Administration and Cabinet. Decades long under funded VA budgets, especially during and long after our wars, from Congress and brushed aside in previous Executive Administrations, what the Country choose to ignore or out right deny, and that's just PTS, from our previous decades and wars of!! Adding this long battle of Veterans C-123 Vets Could Win Changes On Agent Orange Exposure Soon, will Congress, they control the purse strings and obligations, and the Country represented go along with, especially of conservative ideologies, or will that battle continue as the brothers die off along with some of their children continue suffering from, as budgets continue being obstructed!

"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

10 things every Veteran should know about Agent Orange
1. Agent Orange was a herbicide and defoliant used in Vietnam read more>>>

2. Any Veteran who served anywhere in Vietnam during the war is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. read more>>>

3. VA has linked several diseases and health conditions to Agent Orange exposure. read more>>>

4. Veterans who want to be considered for disability compensation must file a claim. read more>>>

5. VA offers health care benefits for Veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides during military service. read more>>>

6. Participating in an Agent Orange Registry health exam helps you, other Veterans and VA. read more>>>

7. VA recognizes and offers support for the children of Veterans affected by Agent Orange who have birth defects. read more>>>

8. Vietnam Veterans are not the only Veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange. read more>>>

9. VA continues to conduct research on the long-term health effects of Agent Orange in order to better care for all Veterans. read more>>>

10. VA contracts with an independent, non-governmental organization to review the scientific and medical information on the health effects of Agent Orange. read more about each>>>

The Country served has 'failed' to build their Responsibility to those who served and serve them, thus creating the often repeated and expanded costly problems within of which it's representatives hold repeated, for the media and personal political points, hearings and don't fulfill their charged employment duties, instead attacking the VA personal as they continue obstructing the needed costs to actually fix developed problems!! 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 including previous Executive Administrations. Let the Veterans fight the Homefront battles for what the Country promises and die off, out of sight out of mind! Conservatives, especially extremists, ideology is to privatize, the Peoples Responsibility, for corporate profit the VA and all of Government!

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

50 Years After American Troops Land on 'Nam O Beach', A New Vietnam Flourishes

On the beach where US troops landed 50 years ago, a new Vietnam flourishes
28 February 2015 - A solitary fisherman crouches in the surf, his eyes skimming the surface for signs of movement in the shallows. A conical hat protects him from the afternoon sun. He is alone on the beach, which lies 14km north of the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang. Behind him, flies swarm around rubbish strewn across the sand. To a passerby it wouldn’t occur that anything of significance had ever happened here.

It was on this unremarkable stretch of Nam O Beach where, at 9.03am on 8 March 1965, 3,500 US marines disembarked from their landing crafts and waded on to Vietnam’s shores, becoming the first American ground troops to arrive in the country.

At the time, the US-backed government in South Vietnam was suffering from power struggles among its leadership and troops were deserting its army. Communist forces from North Vietnam were taking advantage, advancing down the Ho Chi Minh trail and gaining control in the countryside. Viet Cong guerrillas had attacked a US compound in the Central Highlands in February. Now, they were approaching Da Nang. General William Westmoreland requested two battalions of US marines to provide support, and at this crucial turning point, President Lyndon B Johnson agreed. read more>>>

'Did they survive?': children of the Vietnam war, 50 years on
Just after this picture was taken, these boys were evacuated from their village. Nearly half a century later, would American veterans be able to find them?

Larry Johns was 14, and in a school gym class, when he learned his brother had died. It was September 1969 and President Nixon had recently taken office, swearing to end the hugely unpopular war that was raging in Vietnam. The nation was already fervently polarised, and protesters were leading large rallies on the streets and university campuses of America. Larry’s older brother Jeff had been shipped out to a reconnaissance unit 35 miles north-west of Saigon on a mission to end the war. He’d only been gone five months when he was shipped back home in a sealed casket fastened down with a US flag.

“It was an accident,” says Larry, nearly 50 years on. “But those kinds of accidents happened all the time.”

After serving in the navy and then establishing himself in the book-printing business, Larry began seeking out veterans who had served in the same base camp as his brother. The army had been largely silent on the details behind his death, so Larry dug for photographs and details. Bit by bit he learned the truth: Jeff, then 19, had been in a group of soldiers sent out to the perimeter of their base camp to fit a 40lb shaped charge, an explosive intended to ward off enemy Vietnamese soldiers. But artillery blasts from the camp had caused a heavy static electricity that detonated the charge by accident, killing eight men. Severed fingers, limbs and shreds of uniform had rained down all over the camp. Only two of the eight bodies had remained partially intact, Larry later learned, and one of them was Jeff’s. read more>>>

50 years on, veterans find healing by returning to Vietnam to help
March 6, 2015 - Fifty years since the first major American combat unit was deployed to Vietnam, the lethal legacies of war still haunt generations of civilians in that country. Special correspondent Mike Cerre, who served in that conflict, reports from Danang about some Americans who have returned in hopes of making a difference.

Fifty years ago this week, the U.S. began its Rolling Thunder bombing campaign in what was then North Vietnam. It was followed by the landing of the first major combat units in South Vietnam on March 8, 1965.

Special correspondent Mike Cerre went back to the site of the initial Marine landing in Da Nang, and met a group of American veterans who have returned to the country to fight a very different battle.

MIKE CERRE: As the first major American combat unit deployed to Vietnam in 1965, the Ninth Marine Expeditionary Brigade landed in Da Nang. The Marines landed with only their packs on their backs on a limited mission to protect the strategic air base in Da Nang.

The landing was deceptively quick and peaceful. 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

Airmen Missing From WWII Accounted For

February 24, 2015 - The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced yesterday that the remains of U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been accounted for and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 1st Lts. William D. Bernier of Augusta, Montana; Bryant E. Poulsen of Salt Lake City, Utah; Herbert V. Young Jr. of Clarkdale, Arizona and Tech Sgts. Charles L. Johnston of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Hugh F. Moore of Elkton, Maryland and Staff Sgts. John E. Copeland of Dearing, Kansas; Charles J. Jones of Athens, Georgia; and Sgt. Charles A. Gardner of San Francisco, California, have been accounted for and buried with full military honors. Jones will be buried Feb. 28 in Athens, Georgia and Johnston will be buried March 2 in Arlington National Cemetery. On March 18, there will be a group burial service at Arlington National Cemetery honoring Poulsen, Copeland and the other crew members. Bernier was buried Sept. 19, 2014, in his hometown. Young was buried Oct. 15, 2014, in Prescott, Arizona Moore was buried on Nov. 11, 2014, in his hometown. Gardner was buried on Dec. 4, 2014 in Arlington National Cemetery. read more>>>


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