{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**

In 2003 some 72% of Americans fully supported the Abandoning of the Missions and those Sent to Accomplish so extremely Quickly after 9/11!!
At least some 95%, if not more as less then 1% serve them, not only still support the, just below, total lack of Sacrifice, they ran from any and all Accountability and left everything still on the table to be continually used if the political/military want was still in play in future executive/legislative wants!!
DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11", Decades and War From, All Over Again!!
Especially for the Corporate and Wealthy Community, investors in Defense Industries, and for these, Afghanistan and Iraq, came Two Huge Tax Cuts, with more sweetheart deals to same from states and the fed!!

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."

"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


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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Sunday, August 4, 2013

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan - July 2013

'Freedom is Free' when a Country doesn't Sacrifice for their Wars and the Results Of!!
How does a Country HONOR It's Fallen, by Their Own 'Sacrifice' in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!!

VA Grants up to One Year Retroactive Benefits for Veterans Filing Fully Developed Claims to Help Reduce the Backlog
WASHINGTON – August 1, 2013 - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that Veterans filing an original Fully Developed Claim (FDC) for service-connected disability compensation may be entitled to up to one-year of retroactive disability benefits. The retroactive benefits, which are in effect Aug. 6, 2013, through Aug. 5, 2015, are a result of a comprehensive legislative package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last year.

“VA strongly encourages Veterans to work with Veterans Service Organizations to file Fully Developed Claims and participate in this initiative, since it means more money in eligible Veterans’ pockets simply by providing VA the information it needs up front,” said Allison A. Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits. “At the same time, it helps reduce the inventory of pending claims by speeding the process.” read more>>>

Continues Meeting the Mental Health Care Needs of Veterans and Their Families

White House, VA Launch Nationwide Community Mental Health Summits
July 11, 2013 - At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and in communities across our grateful nation, we are all committed to the health and well-being of the men and women who have served in uniform and their families. The invisible wounds of war follow our Veterans as they return, and it is our responsibility to proactively engage Veterans and promote their recovery. We at VA don’t just treat post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression, or substance abuse. We treat complex human beings, and we help them reintegrate into a life of family and community. In Fiscal Year 2012, more than 1.3 million Veterans received specialized mental health care from the VA.

On June 3, VA announced it had hired more than 1,600 additional mental health clinical providers to expand Veterans’ access to high quality mental health services and meet the goal outlined in the President’s Aug. 31, 2012, Executive Order. While VA has been expanding its mental health resources, we recognize that we cannot meet all the needs and challenges alone — we must collaborate and partner with other federal agencies, community based organizations, health care providers, Veteran Service Organizations, and local governments.

Last month, President Obama directed all 152 VA medical centers nationwide to host Community Mental Health Summits. These summits will promote awareness and utilization of VA mental health resources, help Veterans gain access to community services, and build healthy communities for Veterans and their families. I’m pleased to report that our Summits will begin this month and our facilities are eager to host these summits in ways that will be meaningful for the participants. read more>>>

Mental Health Summits
Meeting the mental health care needs of Veterans and their families is among one of the highest priorities for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). While VA continues to expand mental health resources to meet the needs of Veterans, truly Veteran-centric, recovery-oriented care requires active collaboration and coordination with partners in the community. Through collaboration, VA can promote awareness and utilization of VA mental health resources, help Veterans gain access to community services, and build healthy communities for Veterans and their families. In the interest of promoting community collaboration, each facility is hosting a Mental Health Summit. These Mental Health Summits are expected to help build or sustain collaborative efforts with community providers to enhance mental health and well-being for Veterans and their families. To learn about Mental Health Summits in your area, please use the map below. Click on your state for a list of summits in your area. Map and Much More>>>

So Our Veterans Know They're Not Alone
July 11, 2013 - Today, I joined Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and Director of the Domestic Council Cecilia Munoz for our Veterans and Military Family Mental Health Conference.

Mental health professionals, members of Veterans Service Organizations, Military Service Organizations, military family organizations, and representatives from the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs came together to discuss how we can better serve our veterans and military in regards to mental health.

The facts are sobering: Every day, we lose 22 veterans to suicide. Twenty two. read more>>>

View all Veterans and Military related White House blog posts>>>

"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

R. M.: "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." 23 May 2013

"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


'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

Though many still haven't come home from our previous wars, Iraq is Really Now Officially Over,All are out, All are home!!

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.

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

click on graphic for larger view

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

Costs of War Project

The British Iraq War Inquiry

POW/MIA: Afghanistan & Iraq

One U.S. soldier is currently listed as captured or Duty Status -- Whereabouts Unknown as of March 3 2012. The information below reflects the name as Prisoner of War or Duty Status -- Whereabouts Unknown by the Pentagon.

Sgt Bowe R. Bergdahl 23 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Ketchum, Idaho Captured in Paktika province in Afghanistan, on June 30, 2009. The Pentagon declared him Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown on July 1 2009 and his status was changed to Missing-Captured on July 3 2009.

Memorial at the New JPED facility at Dover Air Force Base, Del..OEF: Afghanistan - Pakistan!! There have been 3,358 coalition deaths -- 2,259 Americans, 40 Australians, 444 Britons, 1 Belgian, 158 Canadians, 5 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, 37 Poles, 2 Portuguese, 19 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 August 3, 2013, 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 19,032 {18,851 up to July 1, 2013} U.S. personnel have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. In addition to the military deaths, 11 U.S. intelligence operatives have died in Afghanistan.

Spc.Nicholas B. Burley 22 Red Bluff, California, USA 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Died of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire in Pul-e Alam, Afghanistan, on July 30, 2013

Sgt.Stephen M. New 29 Bartlett, Tennessee, USA 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, Army Reserve New died in Bagram, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small-arms fire in the Sarobi district of Kabul province, Afghanistan, on July 28, 2013

Sgt.Caryn Elaine Nouv 29 Newport News, Virginia, USA 359th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade One of two soldiers killed when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with a roadside bomb and small-arms fire in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on July 27, 2013

Staff Sgt.Eric Timothy Lawson 30 Stockbridge, Georgia, USA 359th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade One of two soldiers killed when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with a roadside bomb and small-arms fire in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on July 27, 2013

Spc. Rob Lee Nichols 24 Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Company B, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division One of three soldiers killed when enemy forces attacked their unit with a roadside bomb in Soltan Kheyl, Afghanistan, on July 23, 2013

Sgt.Stefan Marc Smith 24 Glennville, Georgia, USA Company B, , 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division One of three soldiers killed when enemy forces attacked their unit with a roadside bomb in Soltan Kheyl, Afghanistan, on July 23, 2013

1st Lt.Jonam Josue Russell 25 Cornville, Arizona, USA Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division One of three soldiers killed when enemy forces attacked their unit with a roadside bomb in Soltan Kheyl, Afghanistan, on July 23, 2013

Spc.Anthony Ranel Maddox 22 Port Arthur, New York, Fort Drum Company F, 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Maddox died on July 22, 2013, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, of a non-combat related incident that occurred in Andar, Ghazni province, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt.Sonny Christopher Zimmerman 25 Waynesfield, Ohio, USA Company A, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Died of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Mushaka, Paktia province, Afghanistan, on July 16, 2013

Lance Cpl.Benjamin Wayne Tuttle 18 Gentry, Arkansas, USA Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force Tuttle died on July 14, 2013, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, after he was medically evacuated from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz during a scheduled port visit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Sgt.Daniel Kavuliak 35 Turzovka, Slovakia 11 Mechanizovana Prapor, 1 Mechanizovana Brigada (11th Mechanized Battalion, 1st Mechanized Brigade) Killed when a uniformed Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of Slovak soldiers on guard duty at Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on July 9, 2013

Pfc.Errol Duran Aster Milliard 18 Birmingham, Alabama, USA 595th Engineer Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade Killed when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket-propelled grenade while on dismounted patrol in Shewan, Farah province, Afghanistan, on July 4, 2013

1st Sgt.Tracy Lane Stapley 44 Clearfield, Utah, USA 308th Medical Logistics Company, 172nd Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 139th Medical Brigade, Army Reserve Died in a non-combat related incident at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, on July 3, 2013

Spc.Hilda Ivelis Clayton 22 Augusta, Georgia, USA 55th Signal Company, 114th Signal Battalion, 21st Signal Brigade Died in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when a mortar weapon system failed, causing a catastrophic explosion, during an Afghan National Army training exercise in Qarghahi, Afghanistan, on July 2, 2013

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

Soldiers - Veterans - Families Of

* * * Joining Forces * * *

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

More than 14,000 veterans to be helped by almost $29 million in grants awarded to 121 organizations by the US Department of Labor
WASHINGTON — 06/27/2013 - The U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service today announced the award of 121 grants, totaling almost $29 million, to provide more than 14,000 veterans across the nation with job training, job placement, housing and other services. The grants were awarded through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

"Military service members and their families have been asked to make tremendous sacrifices for this nation. Although homelessness among veterans has fallen, too many of our heroes cannot find jobs or homes," said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. "These grants will provide those who have served our nation with the means to find meaningful civilian employment and chart new directions for their lives."

The HVRP grants will help homeless veterans reintegrate into society and the labor force while providing effective services aimed at addressing the complex challenges that homeless veterans often confront. The services provided by grantees will include job placement, on-the-job training, career counseling, life skills and money management mentoring, as well as help in finding housing. read more>>>

From the DoL Newsletter 27 June 2013
VA Grants Will Expand Transportation in Highly Rural Areas
WASHINGTON – July 10, 2013 - Veterans will have improved access to health care under a Department of Veterans Affairs initiative that supports new transportation services for those living in highly rural areas.

VA began accepting applications this month for grants to help state Veterans Service Agencies and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) operate or contract for transportation services to transport Veterans to VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care. A new regulation establishes the program that will administer these grants. Transportation will be provided at no cost to Veterans.

“VA wants to be sure that all Veterans, including those who live in rural and remote areas, can receive the health care they have earned through service to our country,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “State Veterans Agencies and VSOs will now be able to employ innovative approaches to transportation services for Veterans in our highly rural areas. The end results will include better service and better health care for Veterans.” read more>>>

New VA Grants Target Homeless, At-risk Veterans, Families
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2013 – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki today announced the award of nearly $300 million in grants that will help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.

The grants have been awarded to 319 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

“With these grants, we are strengthening our partnership with community non-profits across the country to provide veterans and their families with hope, a home, and a future,” Shinseki said. read more>>>

Experts Recover Military Personnel Records 40 Years After Fire
A devastating July 12, 1973, fire at the National Personnel Records Center in suburban St. Louis, shown in this file photo, destroyed some 16 million to 18 million military personnel records. Today, a special team at the center continues working to piece together the remnants, sometimes literally, to ensure veterans and their descendants have the documentation they need to qualify for service-related benefits. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2013 – Forty years ago today, an enormous fire erupted at the National Personnel Records Center in suburban St. Louis. Burning uncontrollably for almost 24 hours, it destroyed some 16 million to 18 million military personnel records including official documents veterans need to apply for the benefits they’ve earned.

Today, a team of about 30 people continues to put the pieces back together. They use the latest restoration techniques so reference technicians can gleam details from charred and water-damaged documents.

“It’s like a MASH [Mobile Army Surgical Hospital] unit,” Marta O’Neill, who heads the National Personnel Records Center’s Preservation Lab, said during a telephone interview. “There may be 15 different routes that a record could take so we can still preserve the information and get the benefits to the veteran.”

The July 12, 1973, fire destroyed up to 80 percent of the 22 million records of veterans of the Army, Army Air Force and Air Force who served between 1912 and 1963, reported William Seibert, senior archivist and chief of archival operations at the National Archives in St. Louis. read more>>>

Senate committee advances military spouses, veterans benefits bills
24 July 2013 - The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Wednesday approved a package of bills to improve benefits and health care services for veterans and their families, including the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act.

The Charlie Morgan Act, named for New Hampshire National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan who died in February after a long battle with breast cancer, would make additional benefits available to all military spouses and families, regardless of sexual orientation.

According to the committee Chair, Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), the package of bills would bring the Department of Veterans Affairs in line with a Supreme Court ruling on that stuck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages. read more>>>

Strain on military families affects young children, report says
July 22, 2013 - At a time when the U.S. military has the highest number of parents among its active-duty service members and is engaged in the longest sustained military conflict in history, in Iraq and Afghanistan, new research is showing that the strain on military families is being felt acutely by even its youngest members, children under the age of 6.

Young children can exhibit the same anxiety, depression, stress and aggression that some older children and adults experience after living with multiple deployments, long separations, and often tense and awkward reunions with parents returning from war, particularly when the parent has been physically or mentally traumatized.


Unlike during the Vietnam War, when only 15 percent of active-duty troops were parents and most of them were men, today, nearly half of all active-duty service members have children, and 14 percent of those service members are single parents. Mothers make up 16 percent of the active-duty force. Two million children under the age of 18 have an active-duty parent, and 500,000 of those children are under the age of 6.

The report, “Home Front Alert: The Risks Facing Young Children in Military Families,” a survey of scientific literature over the past decade, notes that stress levels for military families are unprecedented. read more>>>

Home Front Alert: The Risks Facing Young Children in Military Families
Publication number: 2013-31

Author(s): David Murphey

Publication date: Jul 2013

Doc type: Research Brief

This brief examines the special circumstances that characterize the lives of children in military families, and highlights what we know and don’t know about how military life affects their well-being

Child Trends: The Risks Facing Young Children in Military Families

From Department of Labor Newsletter of August 1 2013

Gold Card Program Helps Delaware Veteran Land Energy Job
Air Force Master Sergeant David Wise taught members of the Afghanistan army how to store and handle petroleum fuel products for aircraft. But when he left the service and returned home to Delaware, he was uncertain about how to find a civilian job in his area of expertise. That's when Local Veterans Employment Representative Clifford Rumph stepped in to help. Rumph enrolled Wise in the department's Gold Card program, which provides post-9/11-era veterans with guaranteed access to six months of intensive re-employment and case management services at thousands of American Job Centers. Wise said that Rumph "was a big help" in updating the veteran's resume, finding job openings, and sending him on multiple interviews. Rumph noted that "there is a hidden job market out there" made accessible only through continuous networking. Wise eventually was offered an energy industry job analyzing fuel samples at refineries along the East Coast.

Employment Initiatives for Veterans
The Gold Card provides unemployed post-9/11 era veterans with the intensive and follow-up services they need to succeed in today's job market. The Gold Card initiative is a joint effort of the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).

Image of Gold Card - Services for post 9/11 era veteransAn eligible veteran can present the Gold Card at his/her local One-Stop Career Center to receive enhanced intensive services including up to six months of follow-up. The enhanced in-person services available for Gold Card holders at local One-Stop Career Centers may include: read more>>>

Today’s military: A well-educated force

Joining Forces

HUD-VASH vouchers to build on 17 percent decline in veteran homelessness since 2009

WASHINGTON – 29 May 2013 - Approximately 9,000 homeless veterans living on the streets and in the nation’s shelter system will soon find a permanent place to call home. U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide $60 million to local public housing agencies across the country to provide permanent supportive housing to homeless veterans, many of whom are living with chronic disabling conditions.

The supportive housing assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. Since 2008, a total of 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH. read more>>>

Helping female veterans with jobs, housing, counseling
26 June 2013 - For many women in the military, life isn’t easy. And Casey Larkin and Heather Miles, who each served two tours in Iraq in support roles in Balad, know this firsthand.

“They blew up one of our signal trucks. You would constantly hear alarms and mortars whiz by, and then explosions. It was really rough,” Miles said.

But what Miles didn’t expect was how tough life would be when she got out.

“I was homeless. I didn’t have a family or a husband anymore, so I went straight from Iraq to trying to find a job,” she said.

While they served our country, at first these women said they didn’t feel like vets. read more>>>

Homeless Veterans 'Stand Down' Events 2013

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

The American Veteran - August 2013

08.13.2013 - A video news magazine designed to inform veterans, their families and their communities about the services and benefits they have earned through their service to America.

Learn Your Benefits: VA’s 2013 Benefits Book Now Available
August 1, 2013 - Navigating the road to benefits, health care and other services offered by VA and the federal government can be difficult, frustrating and often confusing. Add that to the fact that each Veteran is different can increase the difficulty of trying to figure out what a person qualifies for or is eligible to receive.

Fortunately, VA has a product that covers it all in one easy-to-read reference – the 2013 Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents and Survivors handbook. The 206-page book is inclusive to all Veterans and their family members despite their type of service or the era in which they served. From the Mexican Border War period beginning May 9, 1916 through today, the book offers information on education assistance, disability compensation, pension, home loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation, life insurance, burial assistance as well as complete listing of VA facilities, addresses, phone numbers and important websites.

Need help adapting a car due to a service-connected disability? You can find that information on page 37. Having problems securing a loan to buy a home? Chapter 6, beginning on page 59, is dedicated to the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program. Read it, know it, and share it with your realtor.

For those still serving and not yet a Veteran, now is the time to read the book and prepare for your transition to civilian life. While Chapter 11 focuses on leaving active duty, numerous other portions of the book dive deeper into the specifics – very helpful things to know before your ETS date. A little time spent reading now could save a lot of frustration later. read more>>>

The 2013 version of the Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents and Survivors

Desert Storm Gulf War Service

Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses:
Certain illnesses are associated with Gulf War service

Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry
OEF/OIF/OND and 1990–91 Gulf War Veterans: Submit your comments through August 20, 2013 about the proposed questionnaire (PDF) for the planned Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.

Please don't complete the proposed questionnaire instead provide your comments about it. Learn more.

Visit Publichealth Exposures to learn about military exposures and VA benefits.

Veterans may have been exposed to a range of chemical, physical, and environmental hazards during military service.

Reports on Veterans' Health Care Use

What are the most common diagnoses given to recent Veterans (OEF/OIF/OND) in VA health care facilities? Find out by checking the latest reports released in March 2013.

Moving Forward: Overcoming Life's Challenges

Are you struggling with relationships, finances, finding a job, confusion about your future, dealing with loneliness, or adjusting to the challenges of civilian life?

A new web program, called Moving Forward, can help you start making steps toward positive change. Learn More...

Obamacare and Agent Orange
31 July 2013 - If you are enrolled in one of the following VA health care programs, you have coverage under the standards of the health care law: Veterans health care program, Civilian Health and Medical program (CHAMPVA), Spina Bifida Health Care Program. If you are enrolled in VA health care, you don’t need to take additional steps to meet the health care law coverage standard. The health care law does not change VA health benefits or veterans’ out-of-pocket costs. If you are not enrolled in VA health care, you can apply at any time.

Bottom line is: If you are enrolled in one of these programs, you are already covered under the requirements of the law. If you are not covered under these programs and need insurance to be covered, get in gear and apply for your veteran benefits before the taxes hit you for non-compliance. Need help to apply? Visit Fred or Ted at the clinic. Simple fix.

Now, for those of you who are concerned about Agent Orange exposure, and need information, or maybe those who have not checked in on it lately, I have something to get you started. read more>>>

Honor our living brothers and sisters as they return from our wars, especially the wounded, physically and mentally, all the time! Fully Fund the Veterans Administration, no questions asked, as we fund the Department of Defense, no questions asked.

CNN-Iraq and Afghanistan War Casulties

In Remembrance - Moving Tributes

"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 are dealing with veterans, not procedure; with their problems, not ours." General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

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?


In the 1960s, it often seemed that the Vietnam war would never end — and for government accountants, it hasn’t. They issue checks for $22 billion each year (nearly triple the annual cost of the Transportation Safety Administration) and have already paid $270 billion to vets and their families. And the Middle Eastern wars of the past two decades may prove to be the most costly of all.

Compensation to those veterans and their family members already costs $12 billion a year. Not only are they filing disability claims at what the AP calls “historic rates” — nearly half of the soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are asking for compensation — but the Veterans Administration has steadily expanded its definition of war-related ailments. Vietnam vets with diabetes and heart disease, for instance, can collect extra payments.


And, of course, the real bottom line is the dollars are only a marker for the incalculable physical and emotional costs of war: The boys (and, these days, girls) who don’t come home. The kids who grow up missing a parent, the parents who outlive their children. The scarred limbs and broken hearts. How do you write a check for those? Both our major parties seemed increasingly inclined to play cop in the endless, byzantine Mideast power struggles. They ought to take a look at the books first. read more>>>

Afghanistan & Iraq Civilian Casualties - War Refugee's

Recording Casualties: Victims of Armed Conflict Worldwide

This programme draws on the principles of human security to develop and enhance the technical and institutional capacity, identify and consolidate the legal requirements, and build the political will to record details of every single victim of armed conflict worldwide. The programme incorporates research into emerging good practice and existing legal frameworks, the development and promotion of clearer legal and more effective regulatory instruments, and the creation and support of advocacy networks. visit site for updated reports

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

Mid Year - Afghanistan Annual Report 2012: Protections Of Civilians in Armed Conflict {67page pdf}

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

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

Soldier Missing from Korean War Identified

July 18, 2013 - The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Bernard J. Fisher of Wilkes Barre, Pa., was buried July 16, in Arlington National Cemetery. In January 1951, Fisher and elements of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (IR), 24th Infantry Division (ID), were deployed northeast of Seoul, South Korea, where they were attacked by enemy forces. During the 19th IR attempt to delay the enemy forces from advancing, Fisher and his unit moved towards a more defensible position, when the unit suffered heavy losses. It was during this attack, that Fisher was reported missing. read more>>>

Sailor Missing from Vietnam War Identified

July 18, 2013 - The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael B. Judd of Cleveland was buried on July 15, in Arlington National Cemetery. On June 30, 1967, Judd was aboard a CH-46A Sea Knight helicopter that was attempting to insert a U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance team into hostile territory in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam. As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was struck by enemy fire from the surrounding tree line, causing the aircraft to catch fire. The aircraft crashed landed. Although most of the reconnaissance team to survived, Judd and four other crew members of the team, died in the crash. read more>>>

Remains of Korean War Soldier Back on US Soil
07.31.2013 - Korean War Veteran, Army Sergeant First Class Joseph Steinberg will be buried Thursday near San Francisco with full military honors.

08.5.2013 - Missing World War II Airman Honored -- Remains of an airman missing since World War II have been returned to New York.

Aug 5, 2013 - For decades, Sgt. Dominick Licari, of Frankfort was thought missing in action during World War II

Done "In Our Names"!

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military and Coalition Forces Killed in Action, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan from 2001 to January 2013 - 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

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