Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Man charged with shooting on Kansas City highway is not a veteran

BREAKING NEWS
Man charged with shooting on Kansas City highway is not a veteran

Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings
KANSAS CITY, Mo.
Associated Press
By MARIA SUDEKUM
April 18, 2014 (AP)

After nearly a month of reports of gunshots being fired at vehicles and more than 100 tips, authorities announced charges Friday against a Kansas City-area man suspected in connection with about a dozen highway shootings that wounded three people.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said at a news conference that 27-year-old Mohammed Whitaker, of Grandview, has been charged with 18 felony counts and was being held on $1 million cash bail. Baker said Whitaker, who had been under surveillance by police for about a week before his arrest, was charged with two counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and injuring a person, seven counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and nine counts of armed criminal action.

"This has impacted all of us, each side of State Line, each side of the river," Baker said. "It's been something that's been at the hearts and thoughts of all us since the day this case first broke."

Police Chief Darryl Forte declined to discuss a possible motive for the shootings, and the probable cause affidavit released Friday also does not address the issue. Baker's office said it was unclear whether Whitaker had a lawyer.

Whitaker's mother, Maria Dunn, 55, said she doesn't believe any of the charges against her son, who she said has always been "happy" and a "good kid."
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VA drink refill cost veteran $525

SC man fined $525 for not paying for drink refill
WBTW
Posted: Apr 17, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C.
An 89 cent drink refill that went unpaid is costing a South Carolina man $525. It happened at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Charleston. The Medical Center has signs posted saying drink refills are not free.

Christopher Lewis of North Charleston refilled his drink Wednesday, but neglected to pay. A federal police officer gave him a ticket that carries a fine of $525. Lewis said he tried to pay for it right then and there, but wasn't allowed to. Instead he was given the ticket and reportedly told not to return to the property.
read more here

UPDATE
"In reviewing the case, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center has determined a warning in lieu of a citation is sufficient in this case," hospital spokeswoman Tonya Lobbestael said. "The individual is not banned from the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center."

Jail time for woman after stealing money meant for homeless veterans

Woman gets 2 years for misusing $364K for homeless vets
The Tennessean
Maranda Faris
April 18, 2014

A Nashville woman was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to two years in prison for defrauding the Veterans Administration of more than $364,000 over three years.

Birdie Anderson, 55, received a $80,600 grant from the VA in April 2007 in conjunction with a program to house homeless military veterans. Anderson used the grant to buy a house on Kirk Avenue in East Nashville, but the house was foreclosed upon in 2009.
read more here

Upcoming Central Florida Veterans Events

CENTRAL FLORIDA VETERANS EVENTS
April #2 list - Veterans, military and patriotic events in Central FL
This list includes additional events that have been added since the previous email of April 8.
If you wish to be removed from the email list, just let me know.
Please share these events with your friends and interested others and attend.  Post where appropriate.
Memorial Day - Groups are starting to think about planning ceremonies for Memorial Day.  Please consider coordinating them together or staggering event times.  Many people are interested in attending more than one and cannot because of time overlaps.  More people would be able to attend – strength in numbers.  Communicate your event info with your city and county veterans’ councils.
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Iron Pigs Nemour Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cancer Run – Sat. April 19 – Registration 10am with escorted motorcycles and all vehicles departing 12 noon.  Starting at Nemours Hospital, 13535 Nemours Pkwy, Orlando, 32827 and ending at Johnny’s Fillin’ Station, 2631 South Ferncreek Ave., Orlando, 32806.  Fine raffle items include leather recliner, 42” flat screen TV, and more.  Info:  ipmc.ezregister.com   ipmc@earthlink.net  321-230-1960.  (Sponsors include Orlando Harley-Davidson, The Fran Haasch Law Group, Metro-State Vehicle Protection Unit, Saxon-Clark Interiors, Fasen Arts.)
Children's Spring Festival – Sat April 19 – sponsored by American Legion Pine Castle Memorial Post 286 Family. 12 pm - 2 pm.  529 E Fairlane Ave. Orlando,  32809.  The public is invited to attend.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  We look forward to having local children and youth attend for a free day of fun activities, treats and prizes.  The American Legion Post 286 Family "working together as one" is dedicated in our Mission to support community, active duty service personnel and veterans families in the local Orlando area. 407-859-1460 
4th Annual VFW District 18 Golf Tournament – Sat. April 19 – All are welcome to play which provides financial resources for the valuable Youth, Educational and Patriotic programs.  $100 hole sponsorships available.  District 18 covers 9 posts in Orange and Seminole Counties and Clermont.  The cost is $55/player, 4 per team, shotgun start at 8am at Sweetwater Country Club, 2700 Sweetwater Country Club Dr, Apopka, 32712.  A steak lunch is included and will follow at the Longwood VFW Post that 1.5 miles away.  Also included are prizes and good times!  Contact OIF Iraq veteran Terry Guthrie at 407-473-2507 or  dist18cmdr@flvfw.org
Dinner honoring recent Congressional Medal of Honor Award Recipient Melvin Morris – Sat. April 19 - Melbourne Regional Chamber and Veterans Resource Committee host this dinner to salute Congressional Medal of Honor Award Recipient  Melvin Morris, retired Sgt. 1st Class, U.S. Army.  This resident of Port St. John in Brevard County was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor - the country’s highest military honor – awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. More than four decades ago, Morris received the Distinguished Service Cross (the Army’s second-highest  commendation) for courageous actions on Sept. 17, 1969, while a staff sergeant during combat operations in South Vietnam. After a 2002 congressionally mandated review to ensure that eligible recipients were not bypassed due to prejudice, President Barack Obama awarded the Florida resident, now 72 yrs old, and 23 others including 2 other living warriors, the Medal of Honor at a special White House ceremony on Tuesday, March 18.  6-9 PM at Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, 200 Rialto Place, Melbourne, 32901.  $35 to Active Duty, Retired and Veterans with ID card or DD214;  $40 All Others.  Please RSVP ONLINE under the Events Tab at:www.MelbourneRegionalChamber.com   For Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Justin Anderson at (321) 724-5400 x233 orjustin@melbourneregionalchamber.com.
Job Fair by Hilton Worldwide - Mon April 21 - 11:30am-2:30pm hiring fair by Hilton Worldwide family of properties for local Guard and Reservist, veterans and military spouses.  Hilton Worldwide kicks off this heightened effort to fill actual job positions locally.  Hilton Lake Buena Vista at 1751 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, 32830.  (Southwest Orlando – Disney Village area.) Free parking/validation. Info: Melissa Stirling, PMP Director, Military Programs Human Resources at (w) 703 883 5650 , (c) 703 819 4623 ormelissa.stirling@hilton.com
Warrior Aviation making Arlington Cemetery Fly over – Tues. April 22.  Warrior Flight Team flyover at 1pm in Washington DC area will consist of 4 Tactical Jets and 4 Historic Warbirds of the WW-II, Korean War Era flying in 2 four airplane divisions. All the airplanes have been donated by the owners with the flying pilots (all veterans themselves) donating their time as well.  Proper waivers, flight plans, and clearances have been obtained from the Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service and FAA to perform this most honorable mission in this highly controlled airspace.  Budget cuts now require this honor to be performed by public instead of military resources.  Donations gratefully accepted to defray costs.  This event in particular honors the interment of USMC fighter pilot, Lt. Bruce A. Guetzloe, a warrior from WWII and Korea and father of local Orlando resident Doug Guetzloe.  www.warrioraviation.org    Also see:  fundly.com/warrior-aviation-arlington-flyover  Info: guetzloe@aol.com
FAVOB meeting – Wed. April 23 – Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses (FAVOB) at 4:30-6:30pm at Doc’s Streetside Grille, 1315 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, 32806 – across from ORMC hospital.  Director’s meeting begins at 3:30pm – all are welcome, only directors may participate.  General meeting begins at 4:30 in upstairs/private dining room.  Networking, information.  Info:  Annie Artis,Secretary@FAVOB.org
United States Navy Construction Battalion (CB) State wide Convention - April 23 to 27 - Seabees gather from all over Florida at the Park Inn by the Radisson, at Orlando Celebration, 3011 Maingate Drive, Kissimmee, 34747.  The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing a myriad of other construction projects in a wide variety of military theaters dating back to World War II. Find a WWII, Korean War, or any CB and invite them to attend. “Can do…Have done...Will do”   For registration and schedule see: www.florida-seabees.com   Also see the national group of Navy Seabee Veterans of America at  www.nsva.org 
RAFMAN Annual Fish & Chicken fry – Sat, April 26 - 12 noon - 5:30 pm. Retired Air Force, Marines, Army and Navy group holds this famously delicious fund raiser for scholarships at the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center, 1723 Bruton Blvd, Orlando, 32805.  (North of I-4, exit 79 on John Young Pkwy, west of Columbia, south on Bruton.) $10 per person.  Donations appreciated!  Contact George Jordan at 407-841-8378.    www.rafmanclub@bellsouth.org 
Honor Flight Central Florida wants the following stated:
Honor Flight Central Florida Hero's Welcome Home – Sat. April 26 – “Come join us at Orlando Sanford Airport, 1200 Red Cleveland Blvd, Sanford, 32773 for a very special welcome home to a very special group of honorees. After a day spent in Washington DC, 72 WWII Veterans along with several Veterans that defended our nation in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Afghanistan will be returning home from their Honor Flight to our Nation's capital after viewing and reflecting at the memorials erected to them and visiting the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The Honored Veterans and their Guardians are scheduled to return at 10:15 PM and members of the public are encouraged to assemble in the domestic terminal beginning at 9:45 PM. Bring your flags, banners and signs and show them your appreciation for their service to our Country. A 26 piece VFW band will be on hand to play patriotic music and 40's era swing music to entertain the crowd and play part in the welcome.
This is a chartered flight thru Allegiant Airline assigned flight number 4606. We encourage the public to call (702) 505-8888 to confirm arrival time.”
(Note from Cathy:  Or check the Allegiant Airlines website for arrival time.  There currently are no provisions for free parking.  Carpool if possible.)
Escort of Vietnam Memorial Wall – Sun. April 27 – Hundreds of motorcycles and other vehicles will escort the traveling wall of tribute to the fallen from service in Vietnam.  Starting at Brevard College, Cocoa Campus to Wickham Park, Melbourne.   8am gathering;  Hundreds of people lining the route of US1 with flags, horns and banners.  Wickham Park will be the site of the Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion - the nations’ largest veterans’ reunion.  Starting on May 1 – 4 - military displays, military vendors, POW-MIA ceremonies.  Wickham Park in Brevard Co, Melbourne.  Take I-95 to Exit 191 or old Exit 73.  Check on line for schedule of events.  Info: floridaveteransreunion.com  321-501-6896 or 321-427-2843 
Honor Flight Welcome Home – Sun April 27 – After a day spent in Washington DC, a large group of 50 veterans of WWII, Korea and other service eras return home thru Orlando Int’l Airport.   The single day will be spent visiting the WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War Memorials, Marine Corps Iwo Jima and the Air Force Monuments, and witnessing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.  The veterans and their assistants will return at about 9:00 pm.  Come welcome these former warriors home!  Bring your flags, banners and signs! Southwest Airlines #4092 from Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Terminal A, Airside 2 (hotel area in front of Starbucks.) Free parking has been arranged at an off airport property with free shuttle to airport - Contact Cathy Haynes for those details NLT 7pm  -  407-239-8468   chaynes11629@yahoo.com 
USO Supporters Meeting – Mon April 28– 5-6:30 pm.  Continued updates on the new USO facility to be at Orlando Int’l Airport.  Opening is scheduled for this October 1.  These meetings discuss fund raising and the significance of USO.  Meeting at 851 Celebration Ave, Celebration 34747.
Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion – May 1 – 4 – The nations’ largest veterans’ reunion.  Military displays, military vendors, POW-MIA ceremonies, Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.  Wickham Park in Brevard Co, Melbourne.  Take I-95 to Exit 191 or old Exit 73.  Check on line for schedule of events.  Info: floridaveteransreunion.com  321-501-6896 or 321-427-2843
Medal of Honor Recipient Recognition – Fri. May 2 – Sponsorships Welcomed!  WWII Marine veteran Hershel Williams and recipient of Medal of Honor will be recognized in our community. He was involved in the battle on Iwo Jima that earned him the MOH – he is the last surviving recipient from the service on that island.  In addition, he is one of only 2 WW2 MOH Marines living.  The other noble Marine is in very frail health.  Plans for the day include a law enforcement escort from Orlando Int’l Airport to a Meet and Greet at the Museum of Military History. 12 noon – 1pm at 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, 34746.  The evening highlights with a fundraising dinner (6pm – 10pm) and 40 minutes of Mr. Williams speaking.  Other MOH recipients are attending.  Cocktails, live entertainment and catered dinner at The Pines in Windermere.  Special commemorative cigars to be made on site.  $150 per plate; Discounted cost to $99 per plate if the person wears their military uniform to the event!  Proceeds going to several organizations - including the Hershel "Woody" Williams Foundation that will build a monument in honor of Gold Star Families.  (FYI - Before his enlistment, at age 15 Mr. Williams drove a taxi that also delivered telegrams from the War Department to casualty families.  It left him touched with what happens on the porches of the home front.)  Tables/sponsorships for the dinner are available.  Event flyer is available.  Contact Ron Mathis  407.894.5740   rdmcms001@gmail.com
West Orange Habitat for Humanity 5K run – Sat. May 3 – starts 8am at Oakland Presbyterian Church, 218 E. Oakland Ave., Oakland, 34760 (just west of Winter Garden.)  $30 by April 27 then $35 thru race day.  Event flyer available.  www.westorangehabitat.org  Sponsorship info: Alberto Herran at 407-592-1244.  (The West Orange Habitat for Humanity special project of Home At Last builds specially adapted homes for wounded military service members.) 
Caretakers M E 7th Annual Poker Run – Sat. May 3 – Motorcycle and other vehicles are invited.  Proceeds are given to various military groups:  Honor Flights, KISS (Kids In Support of Soldiers), JOSH (Just Our Soldiers helpers), Sentinels of Freedom and others.  Run starts and ends at American Legion Post 183, 2706 Wells Ave. Fern Park, 32730.   Raffle of an AR15 style 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle - comes with one (1) 30 round magazine and a 6x32 scope by UTG or $500 cash.  Tickets are $10 each with only 1000 tickets sold.  Registration begins at 8:30, Blessing of the Bikes at 9:30.  First Bike out at 10:00.  Last bike in at 3:00.  Poker Hands $10 for rider and $5 for passenger. (includes lunch) Info: Magi at 407.340.9780 or email magi@caretakersme.com
USMC Combat Correspondent's Association Florida Chapter Golf Tournament  – Fri. May 9 - This national organization with a foundation provides assistance to Marines who are in the public affairs field and other benefits to both active duty Marines, Reserve Marines, and Marine Veterans.  Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club in Davenport, near I-4 and Hwy 27.  Ceremonies begin at 8 am. Tournament fee of $65 entitles you to golf, cart, lunch and all the free Heineken product you can handle. Info:  www.usmcccaonline.com   email James “Red” Carpenter atJCar1@tampabay.rr.com.
Nam Knights of America and Semper Fidelis of America 3rd Annual Fund Raising Dinner – Sat May 10 – A 3 course dinner professionally catered by Le Cordon Bleu with live music. $100 per couple.  1451 N. County Rd 13, Orlando/Bithlo, 32820. (East side)  Proceeds go to Homes For Our Troops – this year for USMC Sgt Anthony McDaniel  www.nkorlando.org and www.semperfidelisamerica.org 
Fallen Floridians Memorial Cross Tribute – Fri May 16 - 385 crosses, one for every military member from Florida who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, will arrive on the grounds of the Lawton House  in Oviedo.  Larger crosses will collectively honor those who gave their lives in previous conflicts.  Each cross will hold a wreath created in 2013 by Eagle Scout 17-year-old Conner MacFarlane and refurbished by his 14-year-old sister, Chloe.  One of the crosses is in honor of their father who died in Afghanistan in 2012.  Chloe and fellow Girl Scouts from the Oviedo area will lay the wreaths.  There will be a special flag raising, wreath laying ceremony and prayer vigil that evening to honor our fallen military members.  The event starts at 6:30 PM and will be held at the Lawton House, 200 West Broadway, Oviedo, 32765.  From May 17 - May 27 the public is invited to walk the grounds of the Lawton House from 10AM to 8PM daily to see the crosses and pay tribute to these brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Armed Forces Day – Sat. May 17.  Fly your American and service flags proudly!  And thank an active serving regular, reservist, or guardsman!
The Military Edge Inaugural "Armed Forces Day" Golf Tournament – Sat. May 17, Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Club, 9939 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 Fundraising event to benefit scholarship program, job expos, youth programs, and veteran projects .  Please contact Nik Patterson for additional details 513-898-9097  npatterson@themilitaryedge.com;   www.themilitaryedge.com
Armed Forces Day Golf Tournament – Sat. May 17 – 8am start at Wekiva Golf Club, 4100 Wekiva Club Golf Drive, Longwood, 32779.  $65 entry, lunch included.  Entry deadline May 13; send payment and list of players to Orlando VA Medical Center, Attn: Christine Breeze, 5201 Raymond St., Orlando, 32803. (Note: this event is not sponsored nor endorsed by Dept. of Veteran Affairs.)  321-397-6068
7th Annual Memorial/National Armed Forces Ride and Event – Sat. May 17 – Motorcycle/vehicle ride starts by Police escort at American Legion Post 101 and goes to the National Cemetery in Bushnell in commemoration of Armed Forces Day.  9am Registration ($15Driver or Non-rider, $10 Passenger.) Legion breakfast available. Ride ends at Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson, 2480 S Hwy 17, Clermont.  Activities, Big engine, Food, entertainment and more!  Everyone is welcome to the event!  Proceeds benefit Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and First 200 registerd receive “Freedom Isn’t Free” event T-shirt, lunch ticket, event bag, and raffle ticket.  Registration online at www.stormyhillharley.com  Sponsors , Vendors, or Info POC: Peggy 352-787-8050 x 21   gatorharleyevents@gmail.com
3rd Annual Hero Fest – Sun. May 18 – Military and first responders will be honored with multiple events at Old Town, 5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, 34746.  www.myoldtownusa.com 
Memorial Day (Mon. May 26) and weekend event notices are pending.
4th Annual Pars & Stripes Forever Golf Tournament - Fri, May 30, at Orange County National.  Camaraderie Foundation organizes this fund raising event to assist military personnel and their families with counseling needs and transition.   Marriages, families and lives are saved. Sponsorships welcomed.  www.camaraderiefoundation.com    407-841-0071.
Honor Flight Welcome Home – Sat. May 31– After a day spent in Washington DC, 25 veterans of WWII and Korea return home thru Orlando Int’l Airport.   The single day will be spent visiting the WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War Memorials, Marine Corps Iwo Jima and the Air Force Monuments, and witnessing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.  The veterans and their assistants will return at about 9:45pm.  Come welcome these former warriors home!  Bring your flags, banners and signs! Southwest Airlines #1205 from Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Terminal A, Airside 2 (hotel area in front of Starbucks.) Free parking has been arranged at an off airport property with free shuttle to airport - Contact Cathy Haynes for those details NLT 7pm   chaynes11629@yahoo.com   407-239-8468.
American Legion, Dept of FL Annual Convention – June 12-15 at The Renaissance Orlando at Sea World.  Info: members.floridalegion.org/convention   Mary at 407-295-2631 x232
Flag Day – Sat. June 14.  Fly your American flags proudly.  Retire your faded, torn, or tattered flags, and replace them with flags made in the U.S.A. 
Flag Retirement ceremony – Sat. June 14 at the Orlando Scottish Rite Center.  Info pending.  Gather your neighborhood retired flags and bring them for proper disposal.
Caring and sharing,
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL
407-239-8468

Military Religious Freedom Foundation wants to take right away?

Why do they forget this part of the First Amendment?
Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If no one is forced, then they should not try to take rights away from people. The only time I think this group is right is when the military forces anyone in matters of their faith.
Group calls for DoD to withdraw from Prayer Day event
Army Times
By Leo Shane III
Staff writer
April 17, 2014
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Mikey Weinstein said senior Pentagon civilians and officers have complained to his group about military participation in a National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill.
(Courtesy of Mikey Weinstein)
Longtime critics of Christian conservatives’ influence in military culture are demanding the Pentagon back away from involvement in a National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill next month, saying it’s a thinly veiled rally for far-right fundamentalists.

In a letter to military leaders and the White House, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is asking officials not to provide speakers or ceremonial support for the event, which they argue would show favoritism and endorsement of evangelical Christians.

“The planned participation by uniformed U.S. military personnel in this private fundamentalist Christian religious event, run by a non-federal entity, is an unequivocally clear violation of [a] plethora of DoD regulations and instructions,” the letter states. “The U.S. military absolutely cannot endorse these searingly sectarian events by its public participation in them.”
read more here

Soldiers and Saddles helping veterans with PTSD

Bond between veteran, stable owner forms new program
WBNG
By Erika Mahoney
Updated Apr 18, 2014

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The gentle movement of a horse's stride and fresh air can be relaxing and therapeutic, making it a healing activity for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries.

After years of helping children with special needs and disabilities, the owner of Stable Movement founded the program "Soldiers and Saddles."

"I have a brother who has PTSD," Pedroso said. "So that was a reason why I decided to really get the ball rolling on the program Soldiers and Saddles."

Another reason -- a Vietnam veteran, Tom Wiser, who stumbled upon her stable four years ago. "I came up the hill here and I saw Theresa had horses here," Wiser said. "I stopped and said, 'do you need any help?'"

Wiser suffered a stroke from the chemical use of Agent Orange.
read more here

Minnesota veterans avoiding Veterans Service Centers

Veterans forgoing use of county services centers across Minnesota
Star Tribune
Article by: PAUL LEVY
Updated: April 17, 2014

Across Minnesota, county veterans services officials have struggled with getting visitors.

Minnesota veterans who were deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan have returned to their families, friends, jobs or school. But rarely do they visit county veterans services offices — not even those vets with post-traumatic stress disorder.

County officials have tried to lure young veterans into these service offices through billboard and newspaper advertisements, brochures and word-of-mouth — usually with little success. In Fillmore County, center director Jason Marquardt alerted young vets to his officewhile telling them about a new veterans cemetery under construction in southeastern Minnesota — anything to get their attention.

Pride, resistance to government programs and a preference to use the Internet are among the reasons some avoid the services offices, officials say. And there is the simple matter of age.

“Let’s say you’ve just been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan,” said Milt Schoen, Hennepin County veterans services officer. “You are invincible. You’re always going to be strong. You don’t need to go to an office where somebody can tell you about benefits if you have PTSD.”

The centers provide an array of services, from helping vets complete forms for government-paid medical assistance to providing financial and mortgage advice to directing people to resources on health and other issues. And while younger veterans’ absence is more noticeable, it’s not only they who have eschewed the offices.

“The older veterans don’t want to come in because they think they’re taking away something from younger veterans,” Marquardt said. “The Vietnam, Korea or World War II guys either don’t want anything to do with government or don’t want to take anything.”
read more here

Operation Red Dragonfly Veteran Health Outreach Mission

American Legion Post #1 Supports Veteran Health Motorcycle Outreach Mission
Salem-News.com
Portland Veterans support our annual ride to help educate Veterans.

(PORTLAND) - The American Legion Post #1 in Portland made a generous donation to Operation Red Dragonfly, Salem-News.com's Veteran Health Outreach Mission that is taking place for the second year in a row.

Salem-News.com editor Tim King will traverse the nation, giving talks about critical life and death issues affecting Veterans, their families, and all Americans.

In the video below, recorded Wednesday night in Portland at the American Legion Hall on SE 122nd, Tim gives examples of what his talks are about.
read more here

Apr 17, 2014
The American Legion Post #1 in Portland made a generous donation to Operation Red Dragonfly, Salem-News.com's Veteran Health Outreach Mission that is taking place for the second year in a row. Salem-News.com editor Tim King will traverse the nation, giving talks about critical life and death issues affecting Veterans, their families, and all Americans.

In the video below, recorded Wednesday night in Portland at the American Legion Hall on SE 122nd, Tim gives examples of what his talks are about, the objectives including sharing information about deadly toxic base contamination, raising awareness of existing and developing answers for those who suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, with an emphasis on lowering the rate of Veteran suicide, and other issues that have heavy impacts on the Veteran population in America, including Agent Orange, and the effects that toxin has on the children of Vietnam Veterans.

Camp Lejeune Marine saved couple in Nigeria

Marine awarded for saving couple
WNCT News
By Angela Green
Posted: Apr 14, 2014

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Sergeant Stephen Lowe, an armory custodian with 2nd Marine Division has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.

This honor comes nearly a year after he swam through waves nearly six feet tall to help rescue a couple in distress at a beach on Snake Island, Nigeria.
Lowe said he risked his life in such conditions because he believes that everybody's life is more important than your own. "That’s the way I was raised that if someone needed help you helped them, even if it was giving them the shirt off of your back. So you should never get or expect a prize for saving someone’s life.

That’s a prize in itself,” he said.
read more here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

20th deployment to Afghanistan Army Rangers

Rangers train for 20th deployment to Afghanistan at Fort Knox
WDRB
By Lindsay Allen
Posted: Apr 16, 2014

FORT KNOX, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Rangers are the Army's most elite soldiers who are put into some of the most dangerous situations in Afghanistan.

It's just training, but in real life this is what the Army Rangers do best.

"The most intense is the constant tempo that we do it," said First Sgt. Nathan Dunn.

In Afghanistan they do special operations, ambush attacks -- taking out high-level members of Al-Qaeda.

"We have a lot of focus on working on those enemy networks," explained Lt. Col. Patrick Ellis, 3rd Ranger Battalion Commander.

It's a job for the most elite and mentalLY tough. In fact, some of the equipment the Rangers use can't be shown because it's classified.

So why is this happening At Fort Knox? At Fort Benning, the Rangers share training facilities with other more conventional units.

"It can get crowded at times with a lot of the elements there as you know the armor school used to be here but moved to Fort Benning," explained Ellis.
read more here

What is the story on 22 million veterans?

How many Veteran in the USA?

21,973,000 Veterans in the USA

7.3 Million of them are Vietnam Era Veterans, the highest group.

The VA only pays 3.79 million veterans disability compensation.

Less than 9 million veterans are being taken care of for one thing or another.

How many served in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Since the U.S. went to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, about 2.5 million members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and related Reserve and National Guard units have been deployed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, according to Department of Defense data. Of those, more than a third were deployed more than once.

How many have PTSD? By the last percentage used it is one out of five. For Vietnam veterans it was one out of three. Now go back and look at the number of veterans. Seems pretty high but then think of this.

Considering how many veterans we have in this country the news accounts of veterans in trouble are out of line with what the facts are. The number of PTSD veterans involved in any type of crime is also out of line when you consider how many of them we're talking about.

So enough with the stupid headlines.

That is what reporters should honestly remind readers about and if they do not, then it means their have another agenda to achieve. Like destroying the rest of the veterans.

At least 22 veterans commit suicide everyday but the headline should be about the 1,000 more attempting suicide every month. Why? Because those are just the veteran in the VA system.

More veteran are doing more to make sure they help other veterans than hurt anyone. More are serving their communities as first responders, firefighters and police officers but why talk about them? More do more and more do whatever they can whenever they can but hey, why report on them since doing good is what the majority of them always do?

Veterans slam New York Times

Dumb gets dumber. None of what is happening in the press is new. Absolutely none of it. They report what people tell them especially military brass and never know enough basic information to begin to know who is full of BS and who is telling the truth.

It happened last week, last month, last year, last decade and throughout the history of this country. Up until Vietnam veterans came home, the reports were more respectful of service folks. Even if it was a terrible story they at least tried to respect the fact the person was a veteran. After that, respect went out and headline grabbing was in.

This is nothing new. You read it all the time right here. The really deplorable-disgusting-disgraceful-reporting going on is what they are not reporting on. Who has been held accountable for the rise in suicides? Who has been held accountable for the money spent while producing more suicides all these years later? Who had been held accountable for being in leadership and blaming the soldiers for suicides along with their families? For calling soldiers committing suicides as being "selfish" then ended up being rewarded for reducing suicides after discharges? Any clue? Nope because they don't want to do their jobs. It is just too easy to attack veterans than to put veteran status in proper perspective to the story matter.
Veterans slam New York Times piece linking vets to hate groups
Military Times
By Jeff Schogol
Staff Writer
Apr. 16, 2014

Veterans advocates are denouncing an opinion piece in the New York Times that draws links between veterans and white supremacist groups in attempting to explain the actions of the suspected gunman in a recent and deadly shooting outside a Kansas Jewish center.

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people outside a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community on April 13, according to media reports. The Fayetteville Observer reported that Miller is a former Ku Klux Klan leader as well as a retired master sergeant who served in Army Special Forces. He was forced to retire in 1979 for distributing racist materials.

In the opinion piece published in the New York Times, Kathleen Belew wrote that while the majority of veterans are neither violent nor mentally ill, veterans have a history of joining right-wing extremist groups. She cites a 2009 Department of Homeland Security Report linking the return of combat veterans to Ku Klux Klan membership.

“During Mr. Miller’s long membership in the white power movement, its leaders have robbed armored cars, engaged in counterfeiting and the large-scale theft of military weapons, and carried out or planned killings,” wrote Belew, a postdoctoral fellow in history at Northwestern University.
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Camp Lejeune Marines and Sailors Run for 24 Hours to Save Lives

Marines, sailors run for 24 hours to raise suicide prevention awareness
WCTI
By Alison Parker
Apr 16 2014

CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY
Marines and sailors aboard Camp Lejeune are running for 24 hours to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

"They're our brothers, so we need them right beside of us and care for them as our own family," said Sgt. Dequane Smith.

It's a R.A.C.E. that could save lives.

"Recognize Marines and sailors that are in distress," said Capt. Jimmy Lindemann. "Ask them if they're having thoughts of harming themselves, show that compassion and the Care, and Escort them to the appropriate outlet whether that's the chaplain or a counseling service."

Groups of 10 are running in relays. The units that run the most laps in 24 hours wins.

"We have higher incidents and higher instances of suicide and I think it's from the experiences that the service members have had," said SSgt. Matthew Jones.

Smith says he's lost several fellow service members in his own company.
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OEF OIF Veterans Riding for Vietnam Veterans

Veterans bike through Vietnam to help heal wounds of war
McClatchy News
BY CHARLIE REED AND DREW BROWN
McClatchy Foreign Staff
April 16, 2014

HUE, Vietnam — Whenever Army Maj. Yancy Baer deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan _ and when he came home the last time in 2009 to face the amputation of a leg _ Vietnam veterans were always there to greet him and lend their support.

Baer is now returning the favor. He and six other cyclists, including three other wounded Afghanistan and Iraq war vets, completed a 320-mile journey earlier this month through the former battlefields of central Vietnam.

Their mission: to raise money for Vietnam veterans who want to return to this southeast Asian country for the first time since the war but can’t afford to make the trip.

“If it wasn’t for Vietnam vets standing up and lobbying for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, I truly believe we wouldn’t have the care or the warm homecoming that most of us have experienced,” said Baer, 42, of Choctaw, Okla. “It’s a shame their generation didn’t support them the same way.”
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