Saturday, August 19, 2017

Police Officer Killed, 3 Wounded in Florida


6 Police Officers Shot in Florida and Pennsylvania, 2 Killed and 4 Wounded

NBC News

Six police officers were shot, two fatally, in three separate incidents in Florida and Pennsylvania late Friday, officials said.
Two officers were shot in Kissimmee around 9:30 p.m., just south of the theme park hub of Orlando, central Florida. They both later died from their wounds.
In Jacksonville, two officers were critically wounded in a shoot-out, while two state troopers were also shot in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

Officers Matthew Baxter, left, and Sam Howard, right, who were both shot and killed in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Kissimmee Police Department

read more here

1 police officer killed, 5 others injured in 3 shootings in Florida and Pennsylvania

CBS News
August 19, 2017
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- One police officer was killed and three wounded in nighttime shootings in two Florida cities where the officers were responding to suspected drug activity and reports of a suicide attempt, police said Saturday.
In Pennsylvania, two state troopers were shot outside a small-town store in Fairchance, south of Pittsburgh. State police say the troopers, both taken to hospitals after the Friday night shooting in Fairchance, were in stable condition. 
One officer was killed and another gravely injured late Friday night in Kissimmee in central Florida just south of the theme park hub of Orlando. Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell said at a news conference Saturday that a suspect, Everett Miller, was arrested several hours after the shootings.
He faces a first-degree murder charge. Authorities originally said they believed there were four suspects, but the chief said no other arrests are anticipated.
The other two officers were injured a couple of hours later in Jacksonville, one of them shot in both hands and the other in the stomach. The shooter in Jacksonville was shot and killed when police returned fire.

Comfort Cats Roam VA Hospital in Massachusetts

Cats offer comfort to veterans in final moments at VA hospital in Western Massachusetts
Michelle Williams
August 18, 2017

At the VAMC, staff have noticed quality of life improvements in some veterans, thanks to the cats. 

From a hospital bed on the second floor of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Leeds, a hushed meow could be heard. 

Michelle Williams | Michelle.Williams@MassLive.comTherapy cats of Veterans Administration Medical Center in LeedsMadison and Zoe are therapy cats at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Leeds. The pair roam the halls seeking attention from staff and offer comfort to patients, often at the end of their lives.

People were talking outside the room Madison, a sandy blonde cat, was sleeping within. 
This bed and most others on the floor are where she and fellow feline Zoe enjoy taking naps and seeking attention from patients and staff. 
The pair are therapy cats, offering comfort to veterans receiving long-term care at the hospital. 
Madison and Zoe were adopted four years ago when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs relaxed its stance on comfort animals. 
Soon after hearing the news, officials at the Western Massachusetts hospital began researching their options. 

Infection Alert for Over 500 Buffalo VA Patients

Higgins, Collins call infection risk notice to Buffalo VA patients 'troubling'

Buffalo News
Henry I. Davis
August 17, 2017

Rep. Brian Higgins says he is posing questions to Veterans Affairs officials about an alert to more than 500 patients at the Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center who underwent procedures with medical scopes.

"Anything that compromises the health and safety of those who so bravely served is extremely troubling," Higgins, D-Buffalo, said in a statement.
"We will ask for more details, await the results of the ongoing investigation, and will work with the Buffalo VA to see that our nation's duty to properly care for our veterans is met," he said.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, also called the revelation "troubling." He encouraged veterans in his district who may be concerned to contact his district office for assistance.
"It is completely unacceptable that proper protocols were not being followed, but I applaud the actions taken to relieve the employee at fault from their duties," he said in a statement.
The hospital acknowledged this week that it is notifying 526 patients that the use of an improperly cleaned medical scope may have put them at risk of infection.

Five Finger Death Punch Taking Care of PTSD Veterans

Five Finger Death Punch frontman vows to perform at Illinois State Fair

The State Journal Register
Steven Spearle
August 18, 2017

Members of FFDP have long-supported U.S. military and veterans issues. In addition to doing USO tours, the band set up a website ( that sells merchandise to raise money and awareness for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
Zoltan is also a founding board member of the Las Vegas-based veterans non-profit organization Home Deployment Project, which also assists combat veterans with PTSD.

What version of Five Finger Death Punch shows up at the Illinois State Fair is anyone’s guess.
Mercurial frontman Ivan Moody didn’t make it past the band’s first show during a June tour of Europe. After threatening to leave the group during a brief and chaotic onstage performance in Tilburg, Netherlands, Moody announced afterwards that he had “fallen off the wagon again” and was headed for another rehab stint with the support of band members.
Spokespersons from 10th Street Entertainment, who handle Five Finger Death Punch’s (FFDP) publicity, wouldn’t say whether Moody would be back for the Springfield show, the band’s first since the European tour ended June 24.
FFDP management told Illinois State Fair that there is “no reason to believe the concert will be canceled.”
Then in July, Moody released a statement thanking his fans and his bandmates for standing by him during his rehab stint.
“At this point, I am on track to return to the band with a vengeance in Springfield, Illinois, when we begin the next leg of our North American tour dates,” he said in the statement. “It’s my intention to sing at each and every future show we are committed to, in North America and in Europe. I can’t wait to put all of this behind me and move forward."

Harry Colmery Left More Than a Legacy For Veterans

Editorial: Colmery’s legacy of serving veterans

Topeka Capital Journal
Editorial Board
August 18, 2017

Last summer, the Harry Colmery Plaza was dedicated in downtown Topeka exactly 72 years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 — legislation more commonly known as the GI Bill.

Harry Colmery’s niece, Jean Roberts, left, and granddaughter, Mina Steen, inspect the statue of their family member after it’s unveiling Tuesday afternoon in downtown Topeka. The new plaza is dedicated to Harry Colmery, a Topekan who is responsible for the creation of the GI Bill. (2016 file photograph/The Capital-Journal)

After serving in World War I, Colmery became a tireless advocate for veterans, and his involvement with the American Legion culminated in his appointment as national commander in 1936. He was also a member of the organization’s national legislative committee, and during World War II, he wrote a draft that eventually became the GI Bill.

Colmery witnessed the awful treatment of American veterans when they returned from World War I. After enduring unimaginable horrors on the battlefield, they were thanked with abject poverty, a lack of basic health care, no job prospects and no chance to pursue an education. Many of them suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder — a condition that wasn’t well-understand and for which treatments were still in the early stages of development — and other devastating war wounds. This made finding a job, paying for a home and caring for a family even more difficult. Then the Great Depression came.
read more here

Harry Colmery also left a history report of how Congress has failed veterans ever since.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Private Doctor Charge VA For Care Never Delivered?

Somerset Doctor Defrauded Veterans Affairs 350 Times: U.S. Attorney

The Somerset doctor fraudulently received $238,230 from Veterans Affairs for procedures he never performed, according to a U.S. Attorney. 
By Alexis Tarrazi (Patch Staff) 
August 17, 2017

SOMERSET, NJ — A cardiologist from Somerset admitted Thursday to defrauding the Veterans Affairs program by billing for services he had not actually performed, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Apostolos Voudouris, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to information charging him with health care fraud. Voudouris must also pay $476,460 to resolve the government’s claims under the False Claims Act as part of a civil settlement agreement.
Voudouris, a physician specializing in cardiology and electrophysiology, began providing services to eligible veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange, pursuant to his contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2006.
On more than 350 occasions between 2011 and 2015, Voudouris claimed he performed procedures he had not actually performed. By doing so, Voudouris fraudulently received $238,230 from the VA, he admitted.

Veteran Jesse Bird Pleaded For Help From Australia VA--Before Suicide

Jesse Bird warned Veterans' Affairs he could become suicide statistic days before his death

ABC News Australia
Michael Atkin
August 18, 2017

Combat veteran Jesse Bird pleaded with the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) to urgently help him, warning he was suicidal just days before his death, according to official records.
But the Department did not budge and in June, after losing his 18-month battle for compensation for war-related injuries, Jesse took his own life.
Disturbingly, money from Veterans' Affairs finally came through after his death and his parents have asked the department for an explanation.
His devastated family is campaigning for an urgent overhaul to how DVA handles compensation claims to prevent more veteran suicides.
His mother, Karen Bird, told 7.30 her son's file shows his concerns were not taken seriously.
"It triggers a really emotional response, to realise my boy was in so much pain," Ms Bird said.
"He obviously felt that he couldn't contact us for more money and he was really just pushed into the corner and he didn't see any other way out."

Staff Sgt. David Tupper was presented with an all-terrain track chair

Local wounded veteran receives $18,000 all-terrain track wheelchair

Camp Lejeune Globe
Ena Sellers
August 17, 2017

Wounded veteran Staff Sgt. David Tupper was presented with an all-terrain track chair back stage prior to a Florida Georgia Line concert, Aug. 3 at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte.

The gift was made possible thanks to The Independence Fund, a non-profit veteran organization, which provided the Action Trackstander chair and teamed up with super star duo Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard to make the presentation.

“We are thrilled to team up with Florida Georgia Line to change the life of a wounded veteran,” said Sarah Verardo, executive director for The Independence Fund. “As the wife of a catastrophically wounded war veteran, I know firsthand how much these track chairs can change a family’s life.”
read more here

AP Reports On Homeless Iraq Veteran With PTSD Finding A Home

Homeless Iraq Veteran Gets Place to Call Home 
Associated Press

A homeless Iraq war veteran in California has a unique place to finally call home. Vernon Poling moved into an apartment made of shipping containers. The complex built for homeless veterans is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. (Aug. 18)

Central Florida Veterans Events

As mentioned below, September is Suicide Prevention Month. While few mention it, the majority of our veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50. As a matter of fact, they are 65% of the veterans losing their battle after war our wars.

From Cathy Haynes
MID-AUGUST list of veteran, military and patriotic events in Central FL
*Send me your events – people cannot attend an event if they don’t know about it!

Central Florida Marine Corps Happy Hour – Fri. Aug. 18 – Join a group of great people – you don’t have to be a Marine! University Buffalo Wild Wings 11400 University Dr., Orlando, 32817. Info: 407-738-8735
Coast Guard Auxiliary meeting – Sat. Aug 19 – The Orlando-Winter Park Flotilla 17-11 meets on the 3rd Sat. of each month, 9am, at the Lake Baldwin VA Clinic, 5201 Raymond St., Orlando, 32803. Auxiliary members are volunteers who support the Coast Guard in all its non-military, and non-law-enforcement missions. Members help to provide maritime safety, security and stewardship; to secure the homeland, save lives and property; and to protect the environment. There are several Flotillas (groups) in Central Florida and membership in the Auxiliary is open to persons 17 years of age and older – some are much older – because the call to serve doesn’t leave easily! Info: Joseph Bonaccorse bonaccorse@ usa .net 407.222.9681. 
Purple Heart Ceremony – Sat. Aug. 19 – The Museum of Military History hosts this ceremony to honor the military service personnel who received the Purple Heart medal/award. This year marks the 235th anniversary of when Gen. George Washington created the “Badge for Military Merit”. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration. 10am – 2pm with a ceremony at 11am, guest speaker to be Dana Gowen, Past Commander of local Chapter 400-FL-4. 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy (192), Kissimmee. 407-507-3894. 
The Patriot Guard Riders will stand a Flag Line. Ask them what they do to honor veterans and how you can join. 
(If you no longer want your military treasures and artifacts, please consider donating them for safekeeping. Keep them out of a future landfill. Stories of the item(s) also appreciated!)
Greeters needed! Honor Flight Welcome Home – Sat. Aug 19 -  Orlando Int’l Airport –After a day spent in Washington DC, 7 veterans of WWII, 13 of the Korean War and 5 Vietnam veterans return home thru Orlando Int’l Airport. This Honor Flight hub is a part of the nation-wide organization that takes veterans on a single day trip to our nation’s capital where they visit the WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War Memorials, Marine Corps Iwo Jima and the Air Force Monuments, and witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. This particular group will return just about 10:20pm and enter the terminal area at (+/-) 10:45pm. Come welcome these former warriors home! “Welcome Home” receptions at the airports makes a difference! Bring your flags, banners and signs! –Southwest Airlines # 2371 from Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Terminal A, Airside 2 (hotel area in front of Starbucks.) Before leaving home, check online to see if the flight is on time because there may be delays due to weather, mechanical or medical issues. 
Free parking has been arranged at an off airport property – FastPark and Relax at 7870 N Frontage Rd, Orlando, 32812 – who has been very generous to Honor Flights with free parking and shuttles to the airport (tips welcomed by drivers!) - Contact Cathy Haynes for those details NLT 7pm  407-239-8468 chaynes11629 @yahoo .com
New: Vouchers are available for airport garage parking from a GOAA rep. in the terminal for this event – maximum of 3 hours – BUT you have to take a paper ticket upon entering the airport garage. The vouchers will NOT work if you use the SunPass/EPass transponders – we cannot credit the charge back.
For the Early Birds - you can wave these veterans off in the morning no later than 5am – same location. They process thru Security early and quickly. Wave them off for a wonderful day!
(While ALL military personnel have important roles and are living history treasures, these are some high lit histories for the flight on Saturday Aug 19: There are 3 women; the eldest veteran is 97 yrs old; a WW2 vet who was a medic on Omaha Beach; a 101st Airborne who parachuted in Normandy; a Seabee on Midway and Phillipines; and an artillery spotter in Korea.
NOTE: The next Honor Flights will be Sept. 6, Sept 9, Sept 16, Oct 14 and Oct 18.
Flag Presentation and Dedication – Wed. Aug. 23 - Congressman Daniel Webster will present a U.S. Flag to AMVETS Post 2006 in Leesburg. This flag was flown over the Capitol by Congressman Webster on Memorial Day 2017. It thanks the Post for their dedication and commitment to assist, salute and Honor our Veterans. 1:15pm – 2pm at AMVETS Post 2006, 500 N Canal St, Leesburg, 34748. Info: 352-323-8750
United States Submarine Veterans mtg – Thurs Aug. 24 – The Central Florida Base meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7pm, at the Casselberry Veteran's Club, 200 Concord Dr., Casselberry, 32707. Fun and networking with membership open to all Navy personnel and veterans who are qualified in submarines. Guests are always welcome at meetings. Info: Jay D Mack 407- 920-9347 jmack349@ gmail .com
FYI: The National Convention of Submarine Veterans will be held in Orlando on September 1-6. Any group/business that would like to post an advertisement in the convention book, contact Jay. 
Bowl for the Troops – Sat. Aug 26 - Join K.I.S.S. (Kids in Support of Soldiers) for this 7th Annual event from 2-5 pm at Aloma Lanes, 2530 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 32792. The cost is $25 per bowler and includes: 3 hrs of bowling, bowling shoes, an event t-shirt (if you pre-pay, you are guaranteed a shirt) and a raffle ticket (gift baskets, gift cards, etc.). 50/50 raffle also available. This is a fun event and is our only fundraiser event for the year, so please come out and support K.I.S.S.   We need bowlers, sponsors (different levels avail.) K.I.S.S. – a 501c3 - provides individual care packages for troops. Info: www. kidsinsupportofsoldiers .com akissfromhome@ yahoo .com  321-279-6092
(Packing events every month, donations of items and monies for postage are always welcomed!)
Central Florida Veterans Inc. mtg – Tues Aug 29 – Meeting of veterans and groups in the Central Florida area. Meeting includes a guest speaker and sharing of information that is important to veterans. This group meets on the LAST Tuesday of every other month. (Even numbered months) in the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Baldwin in the Cafeteria at 5:30pm. 5201 Raymond Street, Orlando, 32803. Info: Greg Smith at 901-438-7734 farside53 @ gmail .com
FAVOB Lunch and Learn – Wed. Aug 30 – Join our fast growing group of Veteran and Veteran Friendly Business owners and entrepreneurs, as we network and learn valuable business related tips and skills. Lunch will be provided. FAVOB (Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses) Members attend for FREE! Guest admission is $10. At the site of Orlando Business Journal, 255 S, Orange Ave., Ste 700, Orlando, 32801 from 12noon to 1pm.  Gary Fischer of Primerica Financial will talk about the successful practices he has employed over the last 30 years in regard to networking! Networking and relationship building is a crucial element in the evolution of any successful business. Learn to be a successful networker and what tactics to avoid!  In addition we will also learn about the services Primerica provides and some of the foundations and principles that families and individuals can follow so they can save and invest for their short-term and long-term goals. See FAVOB’s Facebook or website.
Florida Governor’s Veterans Service Award Presentation – Thurs. Aug 31 – This medal presentation is to honor the Sunshine State’s more than 1.5 million honorably discharged Veterans. National Guard Armory 1889 Stewart Road, Melbourne, FL 32935. Registration is 12noon to 1:30pm. Ceremony begins at 1:30. Governor Rick Scott will be present in Melbourne to present the Veterans Service Award. Any veteran or military personnel from any county may attend but prior registration online is heavily encouraged. Last month there were 300 veteran in Cocoa to attend that ceremony. Veterans must provide some form of identification that validates their veteran status. This would include DD-214, VA ID Card, Retirement ID, Military ID, “V” for Veteran designation on your Florida Driver License, etc... Honorably discharged Veterans of all ages are welcome to attend. Wearing of Veteran-related headgear is encouraged. To pre-register, RSVP to : https:// www.surveymonkey .com/r/GVSA (remove the spaces btwn the slashes and before the .com when you copy and paste the address.)  
Info: www. floridavets .org/gvsa    (727) 518-3202, Ext. 5572 or (850) 487-1533
September is Suicide Prevention Month.  Keep the following information handy…
Veterans in crisis – For you or someone you know - Confidential Hotline: 1-800-273-8255, #1. 
Or: Website at veteranscrisisline  provides 24/7 confidential chat online assistance;
Or: text 838255 for 24/7 confidential assistance. They are there because they care….
It Takes the Strength of a Warrior to Ask for Help…
The journey after military service can be a difficult one. If you are Veteran in crisis or know of one who is, please call the VA’s 24/7 Suicide Prevention Line at 1–800–273–TALK (8255) to speak with a trained counselor, or find a Crisis Center near you.
September 2, 1945 – V-J Day. Thank a Pacific Theater veteran for his/her service! And ask a senior if he/she celebrated the day, and how it was celebrated.
Coast Guard Auxiliary meeting – Wed. Sept. 6 – The Osceola Flotilla 17-10 meets on the 1st Wed. of each month, 7pm, at American Legion Post 10, 205 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, 34741. Auxiliary members are volunteers who support the Coast Guard in all its non-military, and non-law-enforcement missions. Members help to provide maritime safety, security and stewardship; to secure the homeland, save lives and property; and to protect the environment. There are several Flotillas (groups) in Central Florida and membership in the Auxiliary is open to persons 17 years of age and older – some are much older – because the call to serve doesn’t leave easily! Info: Jim Nickles at jimnickles2@ gmail .com 407-390-9611 **Recent CG Aux persons were able to assist local sheriff department and State Fish and Wildlife Dept. personnel with boat safety checks on the Lake Butler, Chain of Lakes. Way to go!
Greeters needed! Honor Flight Welcome Home – Wed. Sept 6 – See info listed on August 19. This Mission will have 40 veterans returning at 9:25pm on Southwest Airlines# 1283.   
AAAA Social – Fri. Sept 8 – After hours social with Quad-A (Army Aviation Association of America) and sponsored by Inter-Coastal Electronics. Start the weekend off well from 4:30 – 7pm at Frogger’s Grill & Bar, 27 Alafaya Woods Blvd, Oviedo, 32765. PRICE $10 per person for wings, beer and soft drinks, 50/50's are $1 a ticket or $5 for 10 tickets. Bring a friend that joins AAAA & you both get in free! The CFL AAAA Chapter has been supporting Army Aviators and their families since 1985 with support to the community, our membership, and to our local military Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilians. This support includes education related to Army aviation, scholarship awards, and growth through well planned social and professional activities. Info: 407-738-8735
VAC Warbird Fly-in Breakfast – Sat. Sept 9 - at 8 AM - 10:30 AM - Valiant Air Command & Tico Warbird Airshow at the Space Coast Regional Airport. 6600 Tico Rd, Titusville, 32780. On the 2nd Saturday of every month: Free breakfast for museum visitors with full paid admission (Cannot be combined with other offers or coupons.) New chef and expanded menu - $12, 8am-10:30am. Free museum admission to fly-in pilots and passengers. Aircraft parking at the museum aircraft ramp. (321) 268-1941 warbirds@ valiantaircommand .com
American Patriot Gala – Sat. Sept. 9 - 4th annual event hosted by Lockheed Martin to support Camaraderie Foundation. One-of-a-kind evening featuring a cocktail reception, special guest speaker, silent and live auctions and entertainment. Hyatt Regency Orlando, 9801 International Dr., Orlando, 32819. A beautiful evening in tribute to the military service members who have so honorably served our country since 9/11. See website for tickets/tables. Camaraderie Foundation 407-841-0071
Greeters needed! Honor Flight Welcome Home – Sat. Sept 9 – See info listed on August 19. This Mission will have 25 veterans returning at 10:20pm on Southwest Airlines# 2371.   
Patriot Day Flag Planting – Mon. Sept 11 - Join Camaraderie Foundation with the local Police and Fire Departments as we Honor the Fallen Military Service Members, Veterans, Law Enforcement and Firefighters in Tribute of the 16th Anniversary of 9/11. On this morning, 13,000 flags will be planted at each of the following locations:  
·       Criminal Justice Center on 17/92 - Seminole County
·       Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Seneff Arts Plaza – downtown Orlando – 6am
·       MacDill Park - Tampa.
We are doing this to symbolize that nearly 13,000 Post-9/11 Veterans are going untreated for invisible wounds of war here in Central Florida. You can sponsor a Memory Flag ($1 ea.) in Remembrance of a Fallen Military Service Member, Veteran, Law Enforcement Member or Firefighter in tribute. Contact Camaraderie Foundation 407-841-0071   See website for more info.
Note: Volunteers also needed for the next morning – Tues. Sep 12 – to remove the flags.
Navy League Social – Tues. Sept. 12 - Join the Central Florida Navy League for food, wine, networking and a great time on at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Waterford Lakes.  Cash bar and appetizers, 5pm-7pm at 529 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, 32828. The Navy League is composed of citizens in support of the United States sea services – Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines, but we welcome Army and Air Force too!. Many members are military veterans but military service is NOT required. www. cfnavyleague .org 
Congressional Breakfast – Fri. Sept 15 – Join FAVOB (Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses) with others and let your voice be heard. Speak with our local Congressional representatives in a Town Hall style breakfast gathering to discuss Veteran Owned Small Business Initiatives. The event includes a sit-down plated breakfast at the exquisite Citrus Club in Downtown Orlando Fl. Parking in the Citrus Club garage will be validated. Representatives attending: Val Demings of District 10, Stephanie Murphy of District 7, Darren Soto of District 9, and Daniel Webster of District 11. 7:30am – 10am at The Citrus Club, 255 S. Orange Ave., #1800, Orlando, 32801. $25 for FAVOB Members and $30 for Non-FAVOB members. Buy tickets online at www.
Greeters needed! Honor Flight Welcome Home – Sat. Sept 16 – See info listed on August 19. This Mission will have 50 veterans returning at 10:20pm on Southwest Airlines# 2371.
Veterans Business Initiative (VBI) – Tues. Sept. 19 - VBI starts at 8:30am and runs for ten weeks through September and November. This is a no cost program for all Military Veterans and spouses who are seeking careers, entrepreneurial and continuing education. Held at the Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce located at the National Entrepreneur Center, 3201 E. Colonial Drive -Suite A-20
Orlando, 32803. Call 407-420-4875 or contact Rogue Gallart at Rogue@ nationalec .org
Mission United – Orlando/Central Florida wants to hear from you! 
Below you will find the link to a survey. The survey will help to provide insight on the topics our local area veterans find most relevant. The information will be used to develop the discussion topics for focus groups to be held in the fall. 
We encourage each and every one of you who has served to fill it out. We also hope everyone will share it with veteran colleagues, friends, family, students, clients, etc. throughout our area. The greater the participation the more accurate the information we receive. Attached is a hard copy for those vets that are not comfortable with the online version. We will gladly arrange pick-up from your office. The survey will be open through September 8th. Feel free to respond with any questions!
http://    (Remove spaces after the slashes when you copy and paste)
Proudly Serving Those Who Have Served
P: 2-1-1 press 5 for MISSION UNITED  
E: missionunited @hfuw .org   www. 211MissionUnited .org
Central Florida Veterans – There are approximately 65,000 military veterans just in Orange County. And only 17,000 are receiving ANY kind of benefits that they are entitled to receive. Enroll in the VA Healthcare system, even if you think you are not eligible. Laws change, rules get updated and you may have some service related situations that appear years after you left service. If you are already enrolled, it will decrease possible delays. Healthcare is not the only benefit of your service to our country. See your County Veterans Service Office. Every Florida county has a VSO, some have multiple offices – they areFREE and very knowledgeable about benefits claims and possible appeals. See floridavets .org for locations.
(Want to know a secret? Many of the attorneys who advertise to assist with veteran benefit claims and appeals actually consult with these same VSO’s! And then charge the client for it!) 
Hepatitis C – It is imperative that veterans get tested! If positive, get treated. The VA will test you, and treat you – for free. Consult your primary care team if you are already enrolled in the VA Healthcare system. If you are not currently enlisted in it, do it. One in 10 Vietnam veterans, and one in 30 baby-boomers, will test positive for this liver problem - a possible “time-bomb” that may lead to liver cancer. Blood Banks already test for this – if Hep C negative, your blood will help save a life. 
(FYI – Hepatitis C was formerly known as Hepatitis Non-A, Non-B until the 1980’s.) 
Veterans in crisis – For you or someone you know. 
Suicide is a medical emergency. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, know that you are not alone and care should be sought immediately by calling 911. Free, confidential resources are instantly available through the Military Crisis Line to aid you if you are in crisis. 
Call 800-273-8255 and press 1,  
OR chat online now for 24/7 access to trained counselors who understand what service members and military families are coping with. Website at veteranscrisisline 
OR: text 838255 for 24/7 confidential assistance. 
They are there because they care…. 
Camaraderie Foundation in Central Florida provides resources for private and confidential Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) counseling for Post 9/11 veterans/warriors and their families. They also have connections in other areas, other states. It works. It HAS saved lives, saved marriages and saved families. camaraderiefoundation .org  Contact 407-841-0071   
Caring and sharing, 
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL
chaynes11629@ yahoo .com