Wednesday, March 18, 2015

DoD Special Report: TBI

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

New Tool Helps Intrepid Center Collect Electronic TBI Data

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

DARPA Developing Implants to Help With TBI Memory Loss

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

More Stories>>>


Thursday, March 12, 2015

From the Past to OEF and OIF: Why ISIS Exists

From the extremely bad policies of the past, then continued verbal and more attacks on the Countries not allied with in that region, trusting others that shouldn't have had so much trust. Then after 9/11, with many in that region as outraged as most in the World and more then willing to help contain and ferret out those guilty of, Americans decided to quickly buy into that Executive, and Congresses, Administration cheery picked and rewritten intelligence and Extremely Quickly Abandon the Missions and Those sent to Accomplish, while also not building on the want from many Nation States intelligence abilities and knowledge to isolate and destroy al Qaeda, to rid the World of a once very close friend and allie to those wanting him gone!!

In the U.S. war on Iraq, hundreds of thousands died the sort of deaths that, if broadcast in an ISIS video, would have inflamed international opinion
March 5, 2015 - The Middle East is suffering the blowback from rotten U.S. policies, disastrous wars, and cultural turmoil. ISIS and its ilk are one result.

ISIS — or the so-called “Islamic State” — is the latest and most horrifying iteration of the modern terror groups that have plagued the region in recent years. With 20,000 to 30,000 combatants and recruits streaming in from all over the globe, the group is unlikely to be significantly degraded by U.S. air strikes — not when political conditions in the Middle East continue to favor it.

The media often depicts ISIS recruits as lost souls in search of a cause or suffering from mental illness. That may be true in some cases. But these explanations are not sufficient to explain ISIS’s resilience and recruitment capabilities.

No organization, especially a terrorist one, can survive without support. That can range from passive acceptance to active assistance, and it comes from individuals who may view ISIS as either the lesser of many evils or else a righteous group waging a holy war. read more>>>

The Message Behind the Senate GOP’s Letter to Iran
March 11, 2015 - It's official: The Republican establishment in Washington has completely delegated its policy on Iran and Israel to its most hardline factions. read more>>>

Why America Lacks Credibility in the Middle East
March 10, 2015 - The problem isn’t a lack of "resolve." It's a lack of good outcomes and basic moral consistency. read more>>>

"It's a shame Brian Williams will be the only person ever punished for lying about Iraq"

Australians Understand What American Led Iraq War Policies Created

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

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

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

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

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

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

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

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

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

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

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

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

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Learn the basics of VA's Agent Orange benefits and care

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

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Country served has 'failed' to build their Responsibility to those who served and serve them, thus creating the often repeated and expanded costly problems within of which it's representatives hold repeated, for the media and personal political points, hearings and don't fulfill their charged employment duties, instead attacking the VA personal as they continue obstructing the needed costs to actually fix developed problems!! The devastating effects on Test Vets and from PTS, Agent Orange, Homelessness, more recent the Desert Storm troops Gulf War Illnesses, Gulf War Exposures with the very recent affects from In-Theater Burn Pits and oh so so much more! Tens of Thousands of Veterans' that have been long ignored and maligned by previous VA's and the whole Country and through their Representatives including previous Executive Administrations. Let the Veterans fight the Homefront battles for what the Country promises and die off, out of sight out of mind! Conservatives, especially extremists, ideology is to privatize, the Peoples Responsibility, for corporate profit the VA and all of Government!

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


Saturday, March 07, 2015

50 years on, Returning to Vietnam to Help

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

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

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

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

The landing was deceptively quick and peaceful. read more>>>


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

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

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

150th anniversary of President Lincoln's second Inaugural address

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

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

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

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

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

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

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

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, nor the continued blowback from the spread and growth from the policies implemented!
Neither the long term 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, Veterans issues from!
As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded for decades and the wars from now, VA budget is still borrowed, with interest, thus added problem creating costs, with representative who control the purse strings blaming the mostly dedicated VA personal within, that shouldn't exist!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Every Generation of Soldiers has Struggled after Returning Home

Meet the 91-year-old whose wartime PTSD makes him the perfect guide for today’s veterans
Though the wars were different, every generation of soldiers has struggled after returning home.

February 27 2015 - They come into our office at the VA hospital in Montrose, N.Y., hesitantly. Eyes filled with doubt, hands restless. They want us to help them file compensation claims for disabilities resulting from their military service. Some have debilitating physical injuries, but almost every one also displays mannerisms — fidgeting in their seats, knees bobbing up and down during interviews, avoiding eye contact — that indicate that they have PTSD. The symptoms jump out at me because I have lived with PTSD for more than 70 years.

As a 91-year-old World War II veteran, I am not the most obvious choice to help these Iraq and Afghanistan vets, some of them almost four times my junior. In many ways, we fought vastly different wars, and more importantly, we experienced vastly different homecomings. But I can persuade them to talk by being forthright about my own decades-long battle with PTSD.

PTSD is not particularly associated with WWII vets, partly because the term didn’t emerge until after the war in Vietnam, and partly because we downplayed its effects. We’re “the greatest generation,” the ones that lived through the Depression and returned home as heroes. But war is war. read more>>>

"My Private War: Liberated Body, Captive Mind: A World War II POW's Journey


Friday, February 27, 2015

75 Days Since the Last U.S. Combat Fatality!! Hawks, They Don't Keep Track!!

They also don't worry about paying for these wars, nor, DeJa-Vu, demanding those served Sacrifice as to the long term results from! But do help in ignoring or out right denying the issues of the Veterans from!!

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

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

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

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

"It's a shame Brian Williams will be the only person ever punished for lying about Iraq"

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

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

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

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

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

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

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

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

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

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

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

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

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Oscar and 'Veterans Press 1'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.”

February, 26th, 2014 Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, nor the continued blowback from the spread and growth from the policies implemented!
Neither the long term 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, Veterans issues from!
As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded for decades and the wars from now, VA budget is still borrowed, with interest, thus added problem creating costs, with representative who control the purse strings blaming the mostly dedicated VA personal within, that shouldn't exist!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wars: DeJa-Vu, Shared Sacrifice Wasn't Part Of It

America's longest war ended, fyi; but shared sacrifice wasn't part of it
February 21, 2015 - No more food rationing and melting down scrap metal, the war in Afghanistan has officially ended. As Americans went about their lives on Dec. 28, U.S. Army General John Campbell, commander of the International Security Force, participated in a ceremony marking the end of our nation's longest war.

You may have missed it because wars in the Middle East get headlines when they start, smaller or no headlines when they come to an ambiguous end. U.S. soldiers will now transition to a training and support role but will remain in harm's way.

Unfortunately, the divide between military men and women and their families and those sitting out these recent wars could not be wider.

snip

Leaders must be honest with the American public. After the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush asked citizens to support the troops but he failed to outline how, except by urging Americans to get back to their daily lives. Instead, he should have immediately withdrawn his tax cut plans and held fast to the balanced budget he inherited. Placing the cost of two wars on the backs of our children was the opposite of leadership.

snip

Shared sacrifice must happen or we risk continuing a pattern in which our nation's wars are fought by a warrior class almost completely disconnected from the citizens they fight to protect. read more>>>


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Veterans Solar Job Training

One of the huge area's way overlooked and ignored, unless of course conservatives invent or regurgitate anything they and the media can parrot far and wide, often again, as 'scandals' created by them and the great majority served, grossly under funding thus not building the agency promised for decades to the few who serve them, is the constant and continued full support by the Executive administration and it's full Cabinet from the beginning as they entered and bush left!! Totally ignoring all that Gen Shinseki had Finally starting to address so many issues ignored or out right denied existed, with the administrations help and backing, and continuing, thankfully, under McDonald. This is just one more example, oh so many over decades and wars from, with no help from the peoples representatives and the people served themselves, but in their names!!!!!!!!!

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

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

“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

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, nor the continued blowback from the spread and growth from the policies implemented!
Neither the long term 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, Veterans issues from!
As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded for decades and the wars from now, VA budget is still borrowed, with interest, thus added problem creating costs, with representative who control the purse strings blaming the mostly dedicated VA personal within, that shouldn't exist!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Marine snipers: "It's just not something that we share, sir,"

How Marine snipers are trained
QUANTICO, Virginia - February 18, 2015 - The success of the film "American Sniper" - the story of how Chris Kyle became the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history - has put Kyle's trade into focus.

We went to the scout sniper school at Quantico, Virginia to see how Marines are trained to become deadly weapons. As it turns out, pulling the trigger is only a part of the equation. A sniper's stalking skills are every bit as important as marksmanship, according to Brigadier General Austin Renforth.

He says the snipers must be able to infiltrate through "an unimaginable distance," - going undetected for miles.

"We've had guys that I know, it's been a two day movement for them to get to where their firing position was," said Renforth.

snip

Out on the range we watched snipers hit targets out to 760 yards. They've all been in combat and none of them will talk about it. I asked Gunnery Sergeant Gerald Gavin if he could tell me how many kills he has but he declined to answer.

"It's just not something that we share, sir," Gavin told me. read more>>>


Arlington National Cemetery ‘Walking the Mat’

First African American Tomb Guard Recalls ‘Walking the Mat’
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2015 – Arlington National Cemetery rests on an expanse of rolling hills in northern Virginia. One of the busiest tourist spots in the cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which sits at one of the highest points in the cemetery.

Though there is a spectacular view of Washington, D.C., visitors don’t pay much attention to the scenery. They are focused on the white marble sarcophagus and the lone soldier who guards it, 21 steps at a time. While there has been a 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week military guard at the Tomb since July of 1937, the 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) didn’t assume its watch until 1948. And it wasn’t until 1960 that the Tomb Guard selected its first African American soldier to “walk the mat.”

Drafting and Recruitment

Specialist 4th Class Fred Moore, the first African American posted to the Tomb Guard, was drafted Aug. 13, 1959, and left his home in Cleveland, Ohio, for basic training shortly after. He wasn’t pleased with being selected and spent the first part of his training thinking about how he could go back home.

“When I got my letter from the government telling me that I had been selected, I was upset because I was working, and a lot of the guys, the friends that I knew they weren’t working,” Moore said. “And I had a job, and then when I went into the service, they were still doing what they were doing, and it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way.”

One night, Moore’s platoon sergeant lined up the new recruits and asked how many of them had been drafted. He sympathized, acknowledging that the draftees might have a few complaints about being in the service. And then he reminded everyone, “The Army can do more to you than you can do to it.”

“So, I just said ‘OK, I’m going to straighten up, I’m going to do the best I can, and make the best of it,’ and it worked out real well for me,” Moore said. read more>>>

African-Americans in Military History: Breaking Barriers
Feb 18, 2015 - Features a brief synopsis of African-American firsts throughout U.S. military history.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Moyers Tribute: Revisiting 'Bob Simon on Buying the War in Iraq'

Bill 'Moyers & Company': Bob Simon on Buying the War in Iraq
February 13, 2015 - The sad news about the death of award-winning CBS news correspondent Bob Simon on Wednesday had our team reflecting on an interview he did with Bill for the program Buying the War, investigating big media’s role in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In this clip from the show, which first aired in 2007, Simon, a correspondent for 60 Minutes who was based in the Middle East ahead of the war, questioned the Washington press corps reporting that linked Saddam Hussein with Al Qaeda. Watch:

Simon talks to Bill about his 2002 60 Minutes report investigating the Bush administration’s claims that the lead 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer had a meeting in Prague, proving collusion between the terrorists and the Iraqi government. He also offers “a thousand mea culpas” for not digging deeper into the administration’s justifications for taking America to war. read more>>>

See the Full Show - April 25, 2007: Buying the War: How Big Media Failed Us

Much More Found At: Moyers and Company

"It's a shame Brian Williams will be the only person ever punished for lying about Iraq"

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

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

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

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

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

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

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

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

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

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

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

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

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


"Wounded: The Battle Back Home" to be Aired on Netflix

Wounded Warrior Project® Docu-Series “Wounded: The Battle Back Home” is Headed to Netflix
The Series Available Beginning Sunday, February 15

February 12, 2015 - The Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) produced documentary mini-series “Wounded: The Battle Back Home” will become available on Internet television network Netflix starting Sunday, February 15, 2015. The project, produced in conjunction with Austin-based Flow Nonfiction, was created to commemorate the 10th anniversary of WWP and focuses on issues of critical importance to this generation of injured service members and their families through personal stories of struggle and resiliency.

“Wounded: The Battle Back Home” is a documentary series that brings to life the experiences of this generation of wounded veterans as they battle both the visible and invisible wounds of war. Each episode of the series allows viewers to follow these inspiring individuals as they navigate their post-war lives in a society that struggles to understand them and a system that is failing to support them. In addition to physical injuries, the series highlights the invisible wounds that our nation’s service members battle as they transition from the military to civilian life, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and military sexual trauma (MST).

“With ‘Wounded: The Battle Back Home’ now available on Netflix, a new audience will have access to these inspirational and thought provoking stories, highlighting the challenges facing this generation of injured service members, their caregivers, and families,” said Steve Nardizzi, chief executive officer for Wounded Warrior Project. “These documentaries underscore the need for the programs we offer as part of our vision of fostering the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2015/02/12/6793955_wounded-warrior-project-docu-series.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy read more>>>

Wounded: The Battle Back Home

A Country that calls itself a Representative Democracy of the People Really Really has a Huge Problem in Understanding that the Agencies of are them.

They're Responsibility to fully fund, and the direct Representatives they Elect Responsibility is to make sure they are funded sufficiently and given all the help those who've served are promised. So not to cause major problems that snowball and create other problems, causing the important agency funding, under funded for decades, to shift to costly corrections instead of the intended needs.

The oft repeated political 'scandals', from congress to congress to congress........, made for media coverage and personal political enrichment.

How does a Country served, and through their Representatives, avoid blaming themselves, they either totally ignore, PTS, Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome and plenty more, or for personal individual enrichment and political status create the political talking points by expertly{?} denying the issues, like PTS, even exist. Finally starting to be addressed, even with the gross under funding, by Gen Shinseki, continuing it seems with McDonald, and with the help of the Obama Executive Administration and it's Cabinet when those Agencies can, they don't control the Countries purse strings Congress does. And the Country, they're Representatives and even Veterans, political ideologies of, wraps itself in both, in blaming the Agency and it's personal, so they can escape their own Sacrifices in their Responsibility, the Veterans Administration!

Tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, while making policy of invasions and long occupations from, as well as the blowback from those policies, is not only irresponsible but is not shared sacrifice of those sent to carry out those policies! And this recent history was compounded by a near total collapse of the economy!

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, nor the continued blowback from the spread and growth from the policies implemented!
Neither the long term 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, Veterans issues from!
As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded for decades and the wars from now, VA budget is still borrowed, with interest, thus added problem creating costs, with representative who control the purse strings blaming the mostly dedicated VA personal within, that shouldn't exist!

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


Friday, February 13, 2015

VA Sec. McDonald, Veterans, Discuss Veterans, 'American Sniper'

The message the movie carries but is ignored, once again, by the many rushing to see and talk about, especially by those served, the flag waving poser patriots, and having never sought to serve themselves. Their 'reality' comes from the movies, TV drama's {think torture, hey it worked on 24} as well and in today's world the video games played, that last for an hour or two and are meant as entertainment not propagandized 'reality'!

Kyle had the right idea in coping with his own PTS demons, after at first apparently not but finally recognizing they existed. One was doing what combat theater vets have done, especially since PTS was recognized and thus named, in talking and listening to other veterans of the theaters of operations, young and old, for decades. Talking and listening to each other, with help even from those civilians living with their own often misdiagnosed PTS as well as caring good listeners who were friends or family and knew no judgement would be made if they released their thoughts freely in talking about. As the Country, and Representatives of, served ignored many issues, PTS included, from those wars and as to PTS some made very comfortable livings as 'experts' denying it even existed Feeding the peoples Representatives, especially conservatives, the talking points needed to deny the funding for care for and not demanding those they represent should actually share in the sacrifices!

He became a Veterans Peer Counselor, many vets of Vietnam went into the mental health professions after they returned, wanting to help others cope. Can one get 'cured' of PTS, no. But one, many many many have, can learn to cope with, the total opposite from how they were brought up since infancy, and lesson, or rid themselves of, the triggers that might bring back those demons into their thoughts.

Kyle still had a long way to go in his own coping as apparently he didn't listen to others speak and study better the many triggers that can set off an individual, especially one not yet coping but falling deeper into those nightmares, so soon after returning from theater himself. He should have listened to the Mother who asked for the help for her son about how troubled he was. He should have gotten to know the son better. Instead, apparently he became comfortable enough to return to the gun ranges and his weapons hopefully understanding they could be his own triggers, he thought it was a great idea to do the manly recreation, helping fellow vets, of firing off rounds, weapons used in war, and talk then about what this vet he was helping was going through. The trial of his and his friends shooter, Eddie Ray Routh a veteran of the OEF/OIF era, just started. And in the first day this came out in testimony:

On the way to the outdoor resort where former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was killed, he sent a text message to the friend sitting next to him about the third man in the truck: “This dude is straight-up nuts.”

The friend text-ed Kyle back this response:

Littlefield responded to Kyle’s text message with one of his own indicating he was concerned, too.

“He’s right behind me. Watch my six,” Littlefield wrote, using a military phrase meaning “watch my back.”

Instead of, Kyle the vet peer counselor hadn't thought about apparently, sending one saying they probably should scrap the gun range visit and maybe go for coffee or a sit down someplace else and talk to Routh, get to know him better and what's troubling him, and listen to him, with weapons safely locked away. Hell, this vet Routh might have wondered why both were texting at the same time and if they were doing so about him, he was also in the truck cab, that might have started the direction of what was coming. When they were found, after the shootings, there were a number of semi-automatic weapons found with them!

ICYMI: Sec. Bob McDonald discusses Veterans, American Sniper with Charlie Rose
February 11, 2015 - On Monday, Feb. 9, VA Secretary Bob McDonald joined the Charlie Rose Show on PBS to discuss the attention brought to today’s Veterans by films such as American Sniper. Joining the panel discussion were the film’s screenwriter, Jason Hall, and two Marines: Team Rubicon co-founder Jake Wood and Jacob Schick, a Warrior Relations Specialist with the Brain Performance Institute’s Warrior Training Team.

McDonald was asked about the film American Sniper and said it gave the American public a look at what military Veterans have gone through.

“The obvious injuries and wounds are the ones seen by everyone, but it’s those inconspicuous wounds are the ones we often deal with in the VA. I thought it was great to be able to raise that to the American public,” McDonald said. read more>>>

Watch the Charlie Rose show. The discussion begins at the 10:07 mark.
{You can slide it over to the start time around that ten minute mark}

American Sniper Highlights Veterans' Readjustments
February 12, 2015 - Transitioning to civilian life can be extremely challenging. The current box-office blockbuster American Sniper graphically illustrates just how difficult this transition can be. The movie portrays the true-life story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. For those who haven’t seen the movie, many Servicemembers and Veterans have commented on how accurate the storytelling and acting is. Like Kyle, many of the men and women who serve our country find themselves feeling isolated, angry or conflicted when they return home, making it difficult to move forward and start the next chapter of their lives.

VA has developed, and continues to develop, resources to help Servicemembers and Veterans navigate the readjustment to civilian life. In addition to in-person resources such as Vet Centers and VA Medical Centers, VA also provides online programs and telephone-based services. Some of those resources include: read more>>>

VA Sec. McDonald Delivers Reality to Fellow, Congressional Rep., Vet

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, nor the continued blowback from the spread and growth from the policies implemented!
Neither the long term 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, Veterans issues from!
As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded for decades and the wars from now, VA budget is still borrowed, with interest, thus added problem creating costs, with representative who control the purse strings blaming the mostly dedicated VA personal within, that shouldn't exist!