Theodore Roosevelt, “A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.” 1903
This revealing two hour special explores the important role that Military families play in the lives of today's Service Members.
More than two million men and women serve in America’s all-volunteer military force, and another three million are their husbands, wives, sons and daughters. Yet over the course of two long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the stories — and the service — of these military families have often been overlooked.
In a revealing two-hour documentary special presented by Bob Woodruff, The Homefront will bring the true stories of these military families to a PBS audience.
Watch videos and read more about the film below. read more>>>
"To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan" - President Lincoln
That's the message you get from photographer David Jay's Unknown Soldier series. Jay spent three years taking portraits of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but before that — for nearly 20 years — he was a fashion photographer. His stylish, artful images appeared in magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
"The fashion stuff is beautiful and sexy — and completely untrue," he says.
Truth became the focus of Jay's work for the first time about 10 years ago, when he started The SCAR Project, a series of portraits of women, naked from the waist up, with mastectomy scars. Around the time he was taking those photos, he was also trying to comprehend the news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We hear about 'this number of men were killed' and 'this many were injured,'" Jay says, "and we think of them — maybe they got shot — or we don't really picture what these injured men look like." read more>>>
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>>>
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.
Operation Resolute Support
Operation Freedom's Sentinel - U.S. Wounded In Action: 24
Petty Officer 3rd Class Devon J. Doyle, 21, of Alamosa, Colorado, died May 16, in Manama, Bahrain, of a non-combat related incident while on liberty. The incident is under investigation. May 18, 2015
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan D. Burris, 24, of Lisle, Illinois, died May 21, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, of a non-combat related incident at Zayed Military City. The incident is under investigation. He was temporarily assigned to the Crisis Response Element of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, Special Operations Command Central, U.S. Central Command. May 22, 2015
Sgt. 1st Class Pablo A. Ruiz, 37, of Melbourne, Florida, died May 24, in Bagram, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. May 25, 2015
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.
Operation Inherent Resolve - U.S. Wounded In Action: 1
Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal, 19, of Riverside, California, in Baghdad, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command, whose headquarters element deploys from Camp Pendleton, California. October 23 2014
Tech. Sgt. Anthony E. Salazar, 40, of Hermosa Beach, California, at an air base in southwest Asia in a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to the 577th Expeditionary Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force Squadron, 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group, U.S. Air Forces Central Command. April 13, 2015
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>>>
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."
"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
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>>>
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!
"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
VA’s Gulf War Registry Health Exam alerts Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to environmental exposures during their military service. The registry data helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively.
About the Gulf War Registry health exam
This comprehensive health exam includes an exposure and medical history, laboratory tests, and a physical exam. A VA health professional will discuss the results face-to-face with the Veteran and in a follow-up letter.
Important points about registry health exams read more>>>
Severely wounded at age 21, Johnson was denied even a Purple Heart and refused any disability benefits when he mustered out. He died at 32, a destitute alcoholic.
June 02, 2015 - President Obama will award the Medal of Honor posthumously to Henry Johnson, an African-American soldier whose combat bravery occurred during World War I, but whose actions were ignored for decades.
BOWMAN: That day didn't last. The Army did turn to Johnson to help sell war bonds and recruit black troops, but African-American soldiers were not seen as equals. Johnson received no veterans' benefits, even though he was almost totally disabled by his wounds. When he complained publicly about how African-American veterans were being treated, that was too much for the Army. One memo from military intelligence said Johnson was suffering from a, quote, "case of a swelled head" and concluded Sgt. Johnson's right to wear the uniform should be immediately revoked. With no job, estranged from his family and drinking heavily, Johnson died at age 32 in Washington. His death certificate listed his occupation - ex-soldier.
CAROLINE WEKSELBAUM: It's horrible what happened to him later on in his life. It's disgusting. read more>>>
May 14, 2015 - It was exactly 97 years ago, May 15, 1918, in a front-line World War I outpost near the Tourbe and Aisne Rivers in northeast France, that an American infantryman from Albany, Pvt. Henry Johnson, repelled a German attack.
It wasn’t any ordinary hand-to-hand combat. The Germans struck in the predawn darkness, at least a dozen of them, shooting and throwing grenades and surprising Johnson and fellow doughboy Needham Roberts, wounding them both. As the Germans started dragging Roberts away, Johnson fought back with his gun.
When his bullets were gone, he used his rifle as a club. Then he used a bolo knife, killing Germans left and right and saving Roberts.
It was racism that forced New York to establish a separate, all-black volunteer force. It was racism that forced the 369th to fight under French instead of U.S. command. And it was racism that forced Johnson’s heroics to be forgotten. read more>>>
As Congress continues obstructing, conservative ideology, especially as to Military personal and Veterans, the only Government Branch consistent, six plus years, on the issues, the Executive and it's Cabinet, continues actually doing what the Country Served should be! Wars, and the continuing blowback from the policies, still unpaid for as well as VA obstructed budgets still mostly borrowed, which bring about the conservative wanted, and country served, FOX speak media hyped 'scandals'!!
MAY 9, 2015 - Recently, in the midst of an effort to persuade store managers to hire veterans, I talked to a human resources executive at a major retail chain. She told me she wanted to do the right thing and hire veterans, but added that she was also concerned by reports that many had returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems. She worried that a veteran could possibly pose a threat to customers and other employees.
I mentioned that conversation when talking to hiring officials whose companies I serve as a consultant. None have said they would reject a veteran out of hand, but many acknowledge feeling hesitant when they see a résumé noting deployments to Afghanistan or Iraq.
One hiring manager said that because he had never been in the military, it would be difficult to ask veterans what they had experienced while serving. He added that “if something in their demeanor makes me uneasy, I politely end the interview.” read more>>>
These hires helped create further hires in the communities which created even further hires!!
May 14, 2015 - The 100,000 Jobs Mission announced today that its coalition of private companies has collectively hired 241,833 U.S. military Veterans through the first quarter of 2015, demonstrating that it is well on its way toward reaching its new goal of hiring 300,000.
Founded in 2011 by 11 companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., the coalition now stands at 196 member companies.
“This latest milestone reflects the growing number of private sector companies that place high value on the skills of our nation’s Veterans,” said Ross Brown, director of Military and Veterans Affairs for JPMorgan Chase. “More companies making a commitment to join the coalition reaffirms how important this Mission continues to be to employers.”
Collaboration Among Private Sector Companies read more>>>
“Summer of Service” that seeks the help of citizens across the country to honor that commitment.
“We have made progress over the past year addressing the challenges we face in delivering care and benefits to millions of Veterans and their families,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “While there is more work to do to honor our sacred commitment to Veterans, we also recognize that VA cannot do it alone. We are asking Americans everywhere to join the Summer of Service and help us give back to those who have given so much to our nation.”
In the coming weeks, VA will be working closely with Congressional partners, Veterans Service Organizations, Mayors and local communities, private sector and non-profit organizations, and VA employees to identify new and innovative ways to support VA’s commitment to care for those who “have borne the battle” and their families. read more>>>
Unlike, out of over 300million served, Thousands of people across America don’t just talk about honoring Veterans; they walk the walk. Dedicated Volunteers Serve Veterans for Decades
June 1, 2015 - A survey of nearly 150 U.S. physicians who frequently treat veterans found civilian doctors aren't adequately trained in health issues related to military service, according to research published today in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
More than half of the respondent indicated they were not comfortable discussing health-related exposures and risks that veterans might experience such as depleted uranium, smoke and chemical weapons. Further, the survey indicated doctors needed more training to properly identify, communicate with and treat veterans who have military-related health conditions as more than 70 percent reported that they felt that they were between very uncomfortable and just moderately comfortable in this area.
The survey, which spanned two medical meetings in Ohio, involved 140 civilian physicians serving high levels of veterans, defined as at least one of five patients.
"None of the survey results showed an overall high level of comfort with veteran's health issues," said Todd Fredricks, DO, lead researcher. "Our research suggests civilian physicians need more resources to better understand the health implications of military service, particularly since a large number of these patients have experienced combat and may face long-term physical and mental implications."
It's estimated that PTSD effects 31 percent of Vietnam veterans, 10 percent of Desert Storm veterans and as many as 10 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan. Yet, only 15 percent of physicians reported a high level of understanding of PTSD. read more>>>
Reason they obstruct the people served Responsibility as to VA budgets, especially as to our wars and, for decades! Reason when under Conservative leadership, Executive branches, little is done and Congressional legislation, to wave that, poser, patriotism, is submitted and passed it's rarely funded! Reason the needed media hyped 'scandals' persist, and create even more problems, as those served not only ignore but outright deny many issues even exist, through their representatives, to push that ideology of privatizing, for corporate profit with little regulation, into reality!! And those Served want it that way as they don't even like paying for the wars let alone the long term results from, as they buy into the con of it being cheaper and better, the total opposite is the truth!! It already does cost them plenty more, borrowed with interest as well, to fix the problems their representatives cause, the same over and over and snowball out causing even more!!
Effective March 24th, 2015, VA is implementing improvements to make it easier for you to apply for benefits.
Online application tools, standardized forms, and a new intent to file process will create faster and more accurate decisions on your claims and appeals.
What does it all mean?
As part of the VA’s full-scale transformation in 2015, these new changes will:
* Streamline the benefits process, making it faster and easier
* Use standardized forms to file disability claims and compensation appeals
* Establish a new intent to file a claim process
Learn more about these important changes:
The VA can't help because conservative opponents in Congress 23 years ago passed a law blocking the VA from paying the costs of IVF treatment for veterans.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington has worked for five years to change the law.
June 5, 2015 - Servicemen and women who are wounded in war have to rebuild their lives, and the goal of having a family keeps many of them going. But an act by Congress decades ago is still preventing some veterans from achieving that goal, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.
Some of the stories are heartbreaking; veterans who have sacrificed almost everything for our country, and now have life-changing injuries that prevent them from having children naturally -- and a law from 23-years ago that forces the VA to say, esssentially, you're on your own.
As they looked toward their future, Alex and Holly Dillmann always dreamed it would include children.
But in his second tour in Afghanistan, Alex, an Army Staff Sgt. and squad leader, was critically injured by a roadside bomb. He had 25 surgeries and spent more than a year in the hospital.
What got Alex and Holly through the ordeal were their dreams for the future.
"We would talk about what our life was going to be like when we got out of the hospital," Holly said. "That was getting a house, that was getting our dog -- that was Alex returning back to work, getting a career, and that was having a child one day." read more>>>
Why even these recent long wars have yet to be paid for, nor the long results from!!
But hey, those served, and unwilling to Sacrifice, get off plenty easy by doing the conservative ideology of, many many many of the brothers and sisters have long passed away from same issues, and still are!! Finally being addressed by this Executive administration and with help from it's Cabinet, where their budgets and charges under could help, that started under Sec. Shinseki and continues under Sec. McDonald, still grossly under funded and obstructed budgets, thankfully he wasn't a corporate tool the conservatives wanted for more privatization for corporate profit!!
26 May 2015 - One of the main issues facing the VA health system is aging: an aging population and an aging infrastructure, said VA Secretary Robert McDonald during the dedication ceremony for the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona on Tuesday.
"While the total number of veterans is actually declining, the total number of issues of veterans and the veterans needing help in the VA system is increasing. It's not because of Afghanistan or Iraq. It's because of the aging of the veterans who served during the Vietnam era," he said.
In 1975, there were 2 million veterans over the age of 65. In 2017 there will be more than 10 million veterans over 65, he said.
McDonald, along with more a dozen local and federal lawmakers, spoke at the dedication ceremony, which was held under a large white tent perched outside of the new facility.
They then lined up in front of the building, on little blue crosses marked for them with tape, smiled for the cameras and cut a red ribbon. read more>>>
Greatly expanded with the help of the present Justice Department, but mostly accomplished within the states, as has happened on many other issues and with present Executive branch and other Cabinet agencies, especially the Veteran Administration, whose main charge are those who've served the Nation, starting under Sec. Shinseki and continuing under Sec. McDonald with long ignored or out right denied issues for decades and wars from!
Long time Vietnam, all, vets nemesis and Conservative think tank 'expert?' Sally Satel Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money, and that's just PTS, not Agent Orange or Gulf war Syndrome, to name but only a tiny few the Nation served blockout, but find so easy to follow the conservative political line and lay blame on the mostly dedicated, keeping politics outside the main entrances, VA personal, so no need to Sacrifice, including paying for the flag waving, poser, patriotic wars, these present ones yet have been, especially by the wealthy!!
A FIGHTING CHANCE to make things right is what many veterans in trouble with the law say they want most. And in some cases, they're finding that chance in a special kind of courtroom. Our Cover Story is reported now by Mark Strassmann:
"Everybody coming here for one specific reason, and that's to give a second chance for every veteran."
May 24, 2015 - Staff Sgt. Tommy Rieman is a certified American hero, a recipient of the Silver Star for valor in Iraq. But the bravest thing he ever did was fight to get his life back.
To appreciate the significance of the ceremony held in Harnett County in North Carolina, you first have to learn Rieman's story -- all of it, its remarkable highs and sorrowful lows.
"I think I came out the womb with a uniform on," Rieman laughed. "For me, there was nothing greatest than the honor to put on the uniform and represent this country."
In December of 2003, Rieman was on his first deployment in Iraq when his three-vehicle convoy drove into a death trap.
Rieman had come home a hero, but a haunted one. He was battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD) and alcoholism. "I was drinking two bottles of whiskey a day, and anything else I could get my hands on." He lost his marriage, his house, almost everything that was special to him.
"I was a changed person," he said. "I was full of hatred. I didn't want to communicate. I became the man I never wanted to be."
With his life in freefall, Rieman tried to commit suicide -- first in Iraq, and then after he got home. read more>>>
June 4, 2015 - Five years ago, the Obama Administration set an ambitious goal: to end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. Many scoffed; many continue to scoff. In the face of such skepticism, we remain optimistic and focused, and know this is an historic opportunity we must seize. Veteran homelessness is not a reality we have to accept.
On Monday, the four of us took this message on the road in a three-city swing to connect with communities committed to ending veteran homelessness. In Houston, we joined Mayor Annise Parker at a rally celebrating the creation of a system in her community which ensures that all veterans who need assistance will be quickly linked to the supportive services and permanent housing. The progress made in places like Houston, New Orleans, and Salt Lake City inspires us and provides models and strategies – like “Housing First” – for every community in the nation.
What we have been able to achieve in partnership with each other— joining forces with state and local governments, the business community and non-profits—is nothing short of amazing. In fact, between the 2010 rollout of Opening Doors – the first-ever federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness – and the January 2014 point-in-time homeless count, homelessness among veterans nationwide has been slashed by one-third. This progress is a testament to what our nation can do when we set the bar high, invest resources and effort, and refuse to scale back our vision. It’s unacceptable that men and women who wore the uniform are returning without a safe, stable place to call home.
Now, it’s important to understand this doesn’t mean that no veteran will ever face a housing crisis in the future. But it does mean that communities like Houston, New Orleans and Salt Lake City are leading the way in building systems that will prevent and address homelessness whenever possible. read more>>>
The purpose of the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) is to provide services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.
HVRP was initially authorized under Section 738 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act in July 1987. It is currently authorized under Title 38 U.S.C. Section 2021, as added by Section 5 of Public Law 107-95, the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001. Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to eligible applicants such as: State and local Workforce Investment Boards, public agencies, for-profit/commercial entities, and non-profit organizations, including faith based and community based organizations. read more>>>
Obama Executive Administration and Cabinet continue doing what country served and their reps continue failing to do, for decades and wars from, not only as to Homelessness but the long list of the ignored or outright denied issues being addressed, finally started under Sec. Shinseki and continuing under Sec. McDonald, obstructed still by the peoples, conservative, representation!!
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.
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>>>
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!
The new UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project is thought to be the first of its kind launched by a university to help the Department of Defense
May 20, 2015 - A year after using cutting-edge DNA analysis to identify the remains of an American soldier mistakenly buried with the enemy after World War II, the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Wednesday it will put its expertise in history, archaeology and forensic and genetic analysis behind the U.S. government's tedious efforts to identify and recover other missing service members.
The new UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project is thought to be the first of its kind launched by a university to help the Department of Defense, which spends about $2.5 million per service member identification, and makes an average of 74 identifications per year.
The search for Army Private First Class Lawrence S. Gordon, the American soldier mistakenly buried in a German cemetery, cost a team of civilian researchers about 1% of what the government spends, and required about two years of digging through decades-old military records, according to Middleton filmmaker Jed Henry, who led the civilian team and created a documentary about the effort.
Henry began the search for Gordon after finding out he was the only member of his grandfather's Reconnaissance Company who died in battle but never was identified and given a proper burial.
Recovering and identifying Gordon's remains cost about $25,000 — mostly for travel, Henry said.
"We could probably identify another 3,000 to 4,000 unknowns for half of that — $12,500," Henry said Wednesday, referring to the potential of the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project. read more>>>
Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
May 22, 2015 – The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced today that the remains of a U.S. soldier missing from the Korean War have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors, according to a DoD news release.
Army Cpl. Richard L. Wing, 19, of Toledo, Ohio, will be buried June 5, in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C., according to the release. read more>>>
Missing World War II Soldier Accounted For
May 22, 2015 – The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced today that the remains of a missing World War II U.S. serviceman have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors, according to a DoD news release.
U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Alvin Beethe of Elk Creek, Nebraska, will be buried June 8 in Arlington National Cemetery, the release said. 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