Thursday, June 22, 2017

Vietnam Veterans: Finally Justice After Burch Pleads Guilty

Head of Vietnam veteran charity pleads guilty to embezzling $150,000
Washington Post
By Justin Wm. Moyer
June 21

The former head of D.C. charity meant to benefit Vietnam veterans pleaded guilty to wire fraud after embezzling about $150,000, federal prosecutors said.

John Thomas Burch, 75, of Alexandria was the president of the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation until last year, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said in a statement. 

He misappropriated about $150,000 of donations marked for veterans’ family members with small children in poverty, the statement said, giving the money to women he was involved with and claiming reimbursements for visits to clubs, meals and hotel stays that were not related to the charity.
read more here


Iraq Marine Veteran Became Police Officer...After Amputation

Marine veteran amputee to become Chula Vista police officer
FOX 5 San Diego
JUNE 21, 2017

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Chris Lawrence is about to realize his dream of becoming a police officer. He's been hired by the Chula Vista Police Department.
His journey has been long and painful.

At 20 years of age, he found himself in Iraq serving with fellow Marines. An improvised explosive device was set off as he crossed a bridge, critically damaging his feet and left arm.

It would be months before he started walking again, but when he did, his right leg wasn't responding and was ultimately amputated.

"I always looked up to them and thought about becoming an officer after I got out of the Marine Corps, that's something I would do," Lawrence said.
read more here

Afghanistan Marine Veteran Killed During Standoff

5 things to know about man fatally shot by Butler County deputy
Journal News
Lauren Pack Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Jason Faulkner said Jacob, a New Miami graduate, served in the Marines in Afghanistan. He had been back in the U.S. for about six years.
A Butler County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man after being dispatched on a report of an active shooter on Jackson Road at 5:23 p.m. Tuesday night.

“He seemed OK at first,” Jason Faulkner said of his brother, who went by Jake.

Jake had been taking classes at Xavier University and had a job at GE, according to his brother.

“Probably a couple years ago we noticed a change in his attitude,” Jason Faulkner said.
Jason Faulkner said he does not blame officers for his brother’s death.

Jake planned the shooting, knowing police would show up when he started firing at the moving train, according to Jason Faulkner

Jason Faulkner said he heard deputies yell, “Put it down. Don’t make me shoot you.” Then he said he heard three shots.
read more here
So exactly when does all of these awareness efforts actually save veterans like Jake?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Vietnam Veterans Need to Feel Their Power or Be Forgotten Again

I'm going to keep this really simple for a change since it has all been covered before. After the "Vietnam Veterans Day" speeches and Welcome Homes are done, what happens when you go back home? Still feel along? Feel as if no one really cares? Gee, you may even feel as if you got forgotten all over again. Well buddy, time to think again!
In the 60's, you faced the draft and protestors. You faced many deciding to do whatever possible, use whatever connections they had to avoid joining you.

In the 70's Forgotten Warrior Project was how researchers began to understand what combat was doing to those we sent to fight our battles. This is when the term was changed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
At least among researchers while it took the VA and Congress a little longer to address it. None of it would have happened if Vietnam veterans didn't fight for the research, treatment and compensation.
In 1982, the Vietnam Memorial Wall was going up, along with the wall within your own head.

The fact is, while you are forgotten, you need to notice one very important fact in all of this.

You are the majority of veterans in this country so if you come up on a charity only interested in OEF and OIF veterans, a politician only interested in what they need, remember that very powerful fact.
Gary Sinise: Why The Vietnam War Still Matters

While no wound, no outcome is different than any other war, it seems that this country has yet again forgotten about the majority of the veterans, which is the group you belong to.

Vietnam War
Casualty CategoryNumber of Records
Total Records

Almost 21,000 major amputations were documented in the Union Army during the Civil War. Over 4,000 amputations were performed on U.S. service personnel during World War I and almost 15,000 service members had major amputations during World War II. During the Korean War, over 1,000 Army personnel suffered traumatic amputations, while others lost body parts due to frostbite and other cold injuries. An estimated 6,000 amputations occurred during the Vietnam War and 15 were documented during the Gulf War. Even during peacetime, an estimated 20 members of the Army per year experience traumatic amputations. Clearly the VA has a special obligation to ensure that individuals with service-related traumatic amputations receive high-quality care at our facilities. 
It is in large font because I went to the eye doctor the other day and I need stronger glasses. I know what it like to read tiny print AND THEN WONDER WHAT YOU MISSED! Hope you got that message loud and clear. 

You acted and kept them from taking away your unemployable comp and now you have to act again so that your families actually discover that they do matter too. Contact Congress about expanding the Caregivers coverage. We waited longer doing all the same things the other families are doing only we did it a lot longer.

Veteran Marine-Ex-Police Officer Going Through Veterans Court

Former officer, ex-Marine pleads guilty to domestic violence 
by Associated Press 
June 21st 2017
XXXXXXX pleaded guilty June 12 to aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, as he was admitted into Veteran's Court in Provo.
PROVO, Utah (AP) — A former police officer and ex-Marine has pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and was admitted to a specialty treatment program for veterans. 

Deseret News reports the prosecutor says the resolution will prevent 30-year-old former West Jordan Police officer XXXXXXXX from ever again wearing a uniform and will ensure he gets help for his post-traumatic stress disorder. read more here

Veteran Navy SEAL Arrested, Press Doesn't Wonder Why?

"Former Navy SEAL arrested for drug smuggling"

James Dennis "JD" Smith Jr. was arrested Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. He's charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute at least 700 kilograms (over 1,540 pounds) of marijuana, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday. 
Smith, who served 16 years as a Navy SEAL, was awarded a bronze star during his tour in Iraq and a Special Operations Medic of the Year Award, according to the website of a global security and crisis management consulting firm where he was listed as a Principal Associate of Security Operations. A company official told CBS News that the firm had not heard from or employed Smith for the past five years.   read more here
So, you got the headline, now ask yourself what CBS should have asked. How does this happen to a Navy SEAL who served all those years, risked his life to save others, end up doing this? 

Air Force Al Udeid Air Base Hep and HIV Exposure?

Air Force: 135 Patients May Have Been Exposed to HIV, Hepatitis
by Oriana Pawlyk
20 Jun 2017
The Air Force said patients with questions or concerns may reach out to their healthcare resolution specialist at the following contacts: U.S. Eastern Daylight time zone or outside the continental U.S.: (937) 656-3818; U.S. Pacific or Mountain time zone, Hawaii, or Alaska: (707) 423-3443; and Central time zone: (228) 376-5603.
FILE -- Air Force doctors perform a diagnostic procedure on a patient. (Air Force File Image)
The U.S. Air Force is notifying 135 patients who received colonoscopy or endoscopy procedures at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar that they may have been exposed to blood-borne diseases such as HIV or hepatitis.

Air Force Medical Services announced Tuesday that scopes used for the upper and lower gastrointestinal procedures over an eight-year-period from April 2008 and April 2016 at the base clinic were not properly cleaned in accordance with Food and Drug Administration guidelines, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General spokeswoman Larine Barr told on Wednesday.

As a result, patients could have been exposed to possible viral infections that include human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV, "and two kinds of Hepatitis (B and C)," Barr said. "The risk of infection is very small, particularly in a deployed environment, but we recommend that patients receive diagnostic testing," she said in an email.
read more here

Oops! Texas Politician "Duped" or Confused?

State Rep. Matt Schaefer said his office was "grossly misled" about white nationalist rally
Tyler Morning Telegraph
Written by ROY MAYNARD
20 June 2017

State Rep. Matt Schaefer says his office was duped by a group portraying itself as a veteran’s organization, but was later found to have ties to the “alt-right” and racist views.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” said Schaefer on Tuesday. “My office was contacted by a man who wanted some logistical help in getting approval and a microphone set up on the Capitol steps for a rally. My staff did what it is there to do - help constituents. But as soon as we found out what this group is, we withdrew the request.”
State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, on the House floor on Jan. 11, 2017. Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera
“We were asked, with rather short notice, to accommodate a party to be hosted Sat June 17,” the post reads. “The group represented themselves to our staff as ‘TBT’ and that they were a ‘Veterans group.’ While we searched for information on ‘TBT Veterans’ we found nothing good or bad and confirmed the booking. There was no mention of participating in a march or their actual name. Based on today’s events we now understand they misrepresented themselves and misled our Scholz events team, management and staff. Please rest assured we would never give any group on the side of hate a platform for any reason.”
Jim Brennan with the Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations said this is a distressingly common problem.
“We represent about 600,000 Texas veterans,” Brennan said. “The challenge, over the years, has been people claiming their group is representing veterans. Now they may have individual members who had served in the military, but that doesn’t mean the group is legit, or that it’s doing anything at all on behalf of veterans.”

He said his own organization serves as a clearinghouse for information on legitimate veterans groups.

“If you have a question about a group, come to us,” he said. “We make an effort to check out every organization, to make sure they’re helping veterans.”
read more here

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ex-Special Forces Soldier Captures on Video Saving Child

Video shows ex-Special Forces soldier-turned-aid worker dodge ISIS sniper fire to save little girl during battle for Mosul
FOX News 
By Maryse Godden
Published June 19, 2017
A former U.S. Special Forces soldier has been captured on camera braving ISIS gunshots to rescue a young Iraqi girl from the line of fire.

David Eubank, who works as an aid worker, was in the worn-torn northern Iraq city of Mosul when he saved the youngster’s life.

The 56-year-old, who founded the Free Burma Rangers, told the Los Angeles Times he spotted the small child among bodies of dozens of civilians killed by ISIS snipers as they tried to flee.
read more here

Staff Sergeant Travis Mills Opens Retreat for Other Wounded Veterans

Quadruple amputee soldier transforms an old Maine country estate into a vacation destination which will give 56 veterans and their families FREE holidays this summer
Daily Mail
By Darren Boyle for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 12:16 EDT, 20 June 2017
Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was blown up on April 10, 2012 in Afghanistan While on patrol, Mills placed his backpack on the IED which exploded He is one of only five solders in Iraq or Afghanistan to survive losing four limbs. His retreat for wounded veterans in Maine will open on Sunday afternoon
According to Mills, the property will open this Sunday following its extensive makeover
Quadruple amputee soldier Travis Mills will open his transformed Maine estate this weekend which will allow 56 veteran families to have free holidays this summer.

Mills, who was a Staff Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne was critically wounded by an improvised explosive device while on patrol on his third tour of Afghanistan on April 10, 2012.

The 16-bedroom mansion in Readfield, Maine will be officially opened by the retired veteran this Sunday.
In 2014, he created the Travis Mills foundation to help fellow veterans and the project was made possible by an incredible fundraising drive. He told People magazine he managed to raise the $2.75 million to restore the historic 11,000 square-foot house.
read more here