Sunday, July 31, 2011

IAVA on Debt Debate Effecting Veterans

Dear Sean,

Reports out of Washington on the debt debate continue to be conflicted as negotiations go down to the wire.

Some IAVA members have told us their VA checks for August have arrived. Meanwhile, Admiral Mullen told troops in Afghanistan yesterday that August 15th would be the first DoD payday jeopardized. But we have yet to get assurances from Washington that troops and veterans are a top priority in the debt talks, or real answers about how a potential default will ultimately affect military pay, GI Bill benefits, disability payments and more.

Last week, IAVA sat down with the White House to voice the concerns of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. We also testified before Congress and met with both Republican and Democratic leaders, urging them to find a solution that would protect our troops and vets.

We've also taken your calls and read your emails -- we know this situation is causing anxiety and anger throughout our community. No service member on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan should have to worry about a paycheck to support their family back home. And no vet or caregiver should have to worry about suddenly losing disability benefits.

So with the debt deadline looming, IAVA is continuing to push the White House, Congress, the Pentagon and VA to ensure our troops and vets aren't used as a political prop in Washington.

We're committed to making sure you get the most up-to-date information too. For the latest news on the situation and links to contingency resources, click here to follow IAVA on Facebook and Twitter.

Like most Americans, IAVA members have been disappointed by the lack of real leadership on both sides of the aisle during this debate. Our troops and veterans have sacrificed enough during these two wars. They shouldn't have to sacrifice more because Washington can't work together to get the job done.



Paul Rieckhoff
Founder and Executive Director
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

P.S. Make sure to watch my testimony before the Senate last week on the lifetime costs of care for veterans and the impact of default for our community.

Friday, July 29, 2011


An old idea is emerging with supporters in both Congress and the Administration to establish a Chained-CPI as the new COLA Standard replacing the current CPI formula for annual cost of living adjustments in federal programs.   The index revision is a consideration to reduce the National Debt by reducing federal entitlements and changing the tax code.  The Chained-CPI grows slower than the current CPI by an average of 0.3% points a year over the past decade.  Adoption would eliminate NOT ONLY the first COLA increase in more than 2 years but produce future military retiree loss of substantial lifetime retirement income.   Some estimate the cumulative potential loss of income of a Master Sergeant (E-7) retiring today to be $100,000 after 20 years.                         

Others impacted by a Chained CPI and its reduced cost of living adjustment include:  Every person receiving entitlements from the Department of Veteran Affairs but most notably, Wounded Warriors, and all who receive Disability Compensation, Pensions, Survivor DIC; America's citizens who receive Social Security benefits.   Arbitrarily depressing the annual inflation rate by different criteria in a proposed Chained CPI will limit or eliminate the annual cost of living adjustment.  This action on former members of this Nation's Armed Forces, their survivors, and all Social Security recipients should be rejected.  It's potential harm to those who have worked and supported America in both the short- and long- term is unacceptable. 

This call to action is for you, your family, your neighbors. Spread the word.  Be an active part in this ALERT!

Here Is A Easy Way to Write Your Lawmakers[capwiz:queue_id]

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hiring Vets Makes Positive Investment, General Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 - Hiring military reservists and veterans is a positive investment for America, the deputy director of U.S. Army Reserve Command told federal hiring officials yesterday.

Reservists and veterans have a "vast resource of capabilities" that provides a distinct hiring pool for federal civilian jobs, Army Maj. Gen. Jon J. Miller said at the Veterans Employment Symposium, held here by the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor and Homeland Security, and the Office of Personnel Management. The purpose of the symposium was to help federal hiring officials improve practices for hiring veterans.

Miller highlighted the Employer Partnership of the Armed Services, which the Defense Department created last year to help separating service members, veterans and reservists find jobs.

"The Employer Partnership career portal is like a, but tailored for the military," Miller said. "Not only can job seekers find positions they are looking for, but employers can also reach in and find the quality candidates they need."

The general said it makes sense to hire veterans and reservists, since the military has spent so much effort to grow them into leaders. "And not just leaders in the field, while in uniform," he added. "We've taught them to be leaders in whatever they do."

The Army Reserve has adopted the idea of transitioning soldiers from active duty to reserve duty, while keeping the door open to shift between statuses until the soldier retires, Miller said. "Although we want them to continue to serve in America's army in uniform, we are nonetheless doubly gratified when they answer another call to public service," he said.

Service members are trained in a wide spectrum of disciplines, Miller noted, including health care, transportation, logistics, public safety, engineering, construction and many others.

Navy Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, told symposium participants about the command's focus on hiring wounded warriors. The command began its efforts two years ago, hiring 84 wounded warriors in fiscal 2009. Last year, the command hired 283 wounded warriors, and has hired 337 so far this year, he said.

McCoy has called hiring wounded warriors "a moral imperative." On July 22, he signed an agreement, along with Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commander of U.S. Army Materiel Command, to partner in hiring veterans with service-connected disability ratings of 30 percent or more.

"It is not about what we can do for them, but what they can contribute to making our missions successful for the warfighter," he said. "These wounded warriors will be able to translate their battlefield experience into our work, which is supporting the warfighter -- a job they know well."

Existing civilian hiring procedures do not connect wounded warriors to jobs, McCoy said, and it is not enough to pull from a list of qualified names. Rather, he said, hiring officials "have to be where warfighters are, rather than waiting for them to come to you."

Army Maj. Gen. Jon J. Miller
Navy Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy
Related Sites:
Employer Partnership of the Armed Services

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

DAV Virtual March on Washington to Protect Veterans’ Compensation and Benefits

found at the following event page ~

I am virtually marching on Washington today to express my disappointment in the management of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This federal agency has not addressed the most dire issues, nor do they have a plan to address issues veterans face today. Leadership of the VA - needs to lead, and stop hiding behind technology to fix veterans issues. I know that the current administration is ONLY interested in helping veterans from current conflicts, and they are ONLY interested in helping their friends in the Tech sector. But nothing will replace the human interaction that veterans need, when they seek help at the VA.

1) Adjudication of Claims Claims have dramatically increased from 600,000 in 2008 to over 1 million. It's probably twice that, but VA played a shell game, denied veterans simply to move them to a different status: instead of new claim, they are now appeal claims. Some veterans have been waiting over 6 - 10 years to get their claim finished. Forcing a veteran to a DRO, who denies and then on to Appeal. This system is kiilling veterans. Even in light of the new PTSD rules, veterans are still having to prove stressors and have buddy statements, which leads me to...

2) Mental Health In May 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that "unchecked incompetence" by the Department of Veterans Affairs had led to poor mental health care and slow processing of disability claims for veterans. All VA has done is create an APPLICATION for PTSD for iphones, which most veterans do NOT have. Their second line of defense is a useless hotline, medication. 18 a day are killing themselves, just to avoid interaction with Veterans Affairs. Your program is not working. Tool up with a better plan.

3) 25% of our homeless in this country are VETERANS The VA has thrown good money after bad to charities to rectify this, to the tune of 55 million last year, and only helping 6000 of the over 100,000+ homeless veterans. A useless homeless hotline that goes no where, that finally tells a veteran to lie at a commercial hospital and have a bed for a night. Vets are homeless right now in Texas and they are living day by day to try to survive the heat. There is no money here in Texas according to the VA's charities, they gave it all away by last February.

4) Poor infection control standards MRSA, HIV and Hepatiitus are spreading rampantly in the VA. Dirty instruments incidents happen time and again, all over the country. Publishing guidelines does not make it so. Get on the stick and educated your workforce and fire those who do not comply.

5) VA CULTURE With 79% of the workforce never having worn a uniform, there is a tendency of those at the hospitals and VBA to mistreat our veterans and be very nasty and off-putting. The time has come to clean house. I mean from the top of the food chain to the bottom rungs. Re-education programs, basic military history courses. I have literally heard a psych DOC say that She hates the military, it's traditions, it's customs and laughs...- I OWN THE VETERAN. As if they were dogs. She was hell bent on ensuring they never got the help they needed. She still works in Fort Worth. The VBA undersecretary never served one day in combat or overseas. She had 15 years in DC. She, and her entire staff at the VBA will never understand the vernacular of a disabled veteran. She needs to go. We need a leadership that has combat experience. We cannot help the disabled veteran if we cannot understand them.

6) KOREA If the VHA will not give a simple coarse to their employees about where the military is, they will continue to embarrass themselves to veterans. To tell a Korea DMZ veteran that he is a "peacetime veteran" is wrong. A treaty was never ratified by South Korea. Those veterans who served post Korean war were in a similar theatre of operation as those in Afghanistan is today.These veterans are aging and need medical attention, and are being pushed away and denied based on their status as PEACETIME. If this is not combat, why do so many of the DMZ veterans have CIB's and paid hazardous duty pay?? They faced daily hand to hand combat, infiltrators, and forced to lay in Agent Orange, which may of been sprayed in 1968, but has a 15 year shelf life. To deny their claims, as the VA has continued to do, and disrespect their honorable service is a travesty. General Shinseki served in Korea and should know this, and educate his workforce.

7) Jobs for Vets Stop trying to cure all veterans joblessness with education. Not every returning veteran from OEF/OIF is in thier 20's and wants to go to college. Not every jobless veteran served in OEF or OIF. Many are not retrainable, and you need to address this, or they will fall into the homeless ranks.

Veterans and Veteran supporters, please feel free to share this note...


Lisa Holmes, Admin

Vets Helping Vets


You sure laid it out there. Unless one has experienced you cannot comprehend what a bureaucratic nightmare the VA is. I have seen some improvements but you are right they need to do better much better. Way to go I support your efforts 100 percent.

"Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honor them."

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Obama, Thurman Commemorate Korean Armistice Anniversary

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2011 - As President Barack Obama commemorated the anniversary of the armistice agreement that established a demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and brought an end to fighting there, the top U.S. officer in Korea emphasized today the need for international cooperation to curb the North Korean aggression the armistice was drafted to prevent.

Speaking during armistice anniversary ceremonies along the demilitarized zone, Army Gen. James D. Thurman echoed the message Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Navy Adm. Mike Mullen delivered earlier this month in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

"We ask the global community to assist in convincing North Korea that its path to security and prosperity lies in the cessation of its provocative behavior, better relations with its neighbors and complete, irreversible denuclearization," Thurman said.

Thurman offered his comments as a top North Korean diplomat visits New York at Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's invitation for talks aimed at restarting the stalled Six-Party Talks.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-gwan was slated to meet today with Stephen Bosworth, the Obama administration's envoy for North Korea, at the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Obama marked the armistice anniversary recognizing the service members who fought for South Korea's freedom in that conflict and continue to help protect it today.

The president declared today National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, marking 58 years since the signing of what was thought to be a temporary measure to end open hostilities on the Korean peninsula until a peace treaty could be signed.

No peace treaty has ever been agreed to, however, leaving a tentative peace between North and South Korea that sometimes has erupted into conflict.

North Korea launched a torpedo attack in March 2010 that sunk the South Korean navy ship Cheonan and killed 46 sailors. In November, a North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island killed four, including two South Korean service members.

Today, Obama took the opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of those who sacrificed after the Korean peninsula erupted in conflict on June 25, 1950, and continue to defend South Korea today.

"Today, we express our unending gratitude to all who fought and died in pursuit of freedom and democracy for the Korean peninsula," he said in his proclamation.

"For three years, our armed forces fought to help keep Korea free, suffering bitter reversals and winning stunning victories before the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjon secured the border near the 38th Parallel," he said. "Together, American service members and allied forces were part of a generation that, in the words inscribed at their memorial in Washington, defended 'a country they never knew and a people they never met.'"

The veterans' courage and sacrifice enabled South Korea to flourish, and the U.S.-South Korean alliance remains "stronger than ever" today, Obama said.

Together, the United States and South Korea continue to advance freedom and stability not only on the peninsula, but across East Asia and around the world, he said.

Obama paid special tribute to the tens of thousands of troops who died protecting South Korea and recognized those who have continued to guard the border since hostilities officially concluded. "Their selfless sacrifices have had a profound impact on the promotion of freedom across the globe," he said.

The president emphasized the nation's responsibility to care for these veterans and their families.

"On National Korean War Armistice Day, we recommit to supporting our venerable warriors and their families, and we pay our deepest respects to those who laid down their lives," he said.

Army Gen. James D. Thurman
Related Sites:
Presidential Proclamation

VA Earns Recognition for Workforce Diversity

VA Earns Recognition for Workforce Diversity

Student intern Program Averages 58 Participants Every Summer

WASHINGTON -The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been selected by
the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to receive
the Outstanding HACU Public Partner Award in recognition of the
Department's efforts to bring Hispanics into its workforce.  The award
will be presented at HACU's 25th Annual Conference this October in San
Antonio, Texas.

"This award demonstrates VA's commitment to a diverse workforce," said
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "These young people are
given a unique opportunity to learn about the Department of Veterans
Affairs and Federal Government through the HACU internships.  Many will
return to VA as fulltime employees."

The program's objective is to provide professional work experience that
will enable Hispanic students to make more informed career choices and
supplements their academic study with practical experience. VA's
Veterans Health Administration alone has averaged 58 interns every
summer for the last five years.

"Veterans Affairs has been an active and long-term partner in HACU's
National Internship Program," said HACU President and CEO Antonio
Flores.  "By its active participation, VA has increased its
opportunities to hire well-qualified Latino graduates, thereby
diversifying its workforce. At the same time, the internship has raised
awareness of young Hispanics about employment opportunities in public
service generally, and the VA in particular."

Nancy Carrillo, a 21-year-old psychology major at the University of
Texas at El Paso, is interning at VA's Readjustment Counseling Service
in Washington, D.C.  "I'm very interested in counseling as a career,
especially counseling Veterans," she said.  "I appreciate the sacrifice
they've made for our country. Counseling and helping them reintegrate
into civilian life is my way of thanking them."

Ivan Jimenez, 23, is majoring in architecture and environmental design
at the University of Houston.  This summer he's interning in the
Facilities Management Office at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans.
"This is fun, and I'm learning a lot," Jimenez said.  "Right now I'm
helping them design the new fitness center here.  I get to go to
meetings with the architects and consultants."

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is a national
association of nonprofit higher education institutions. Established in
1986, the association represents more than 350 colleges and universities
in the United States and Puerto Rico. The HACU National Internship
Program has become the Nation's largest Hispanic college internship
program. HACU represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions where Hispanic
Americans constitute as least 25 percent of the total enrollment at
either the undergraduate or graduate level.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Veterans United Connect Launches New Facebook App

Veterans United Connect is launching a new application that will help network a already tight-knit internet veteran community.

Anything that helps vets reunite and band together as a political force sounds like a great idea to me. I for one cannot wait to give it a try. Vets finally will now have a app to harness the networking potential of FB. Below is a guest post from veterans united that will give you a more detailed run down of what to look forward too. I will run some screen shots of it ASAP.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

For many service members, a permanent change of station feels can feel like a permanent change in friends.

Quick goodbyes and the promises to keep in touch sometimes fade as the busy military lifestyle picks up in a new location.

In more recent years, social media have made it easier to keep in touch with friends over long distances. But, unfortunately, finding old friends after the fact still proves to be difficult for scores of veterans and military spouses.

A new, free Facebook application was created to change that and make reconnecting and communication with old military friends easier than ever.

The new app, Veterans United Connect, aims to solve the problem by connecting veterans and their families with other service members based on when and where they served together.

Reconnect With Old Friends

Traditional social media makes tracking down veterans with common names living in big cities incredibly difficult.

By imputing information such as branch, base, service span and separation date, the Veterans United Connect app generates friend suggestions for veterans and families who served at the same time and place as the user.

A simple interface makes it easier than ever to reconnect, share stories and photos and get active in the military community even after you've left the base.

Community Connections

Veterans United Connect is not just for reconnecting with old friends. Active duty service members and their families are also using it to forge new connections at future bases.

If you're faced with a PCS to a base you've never visited before, use the app to ask questions about housing, schools and lifestyle and get answers from people already living there.

This opportunity to recognize a friendly face or two on moving day will make the bonds in the military community even stronger and long lasting.

A pilot version released in 2009 attracted a large following and was featured in Stars & Stripes. The new version of Veterans United Connect has received a significant makeover, which means it more matches service members and their families.

The app is completely free thanks to a sponsorship from Veterans United, the nation's leading dedicated VA lender. It takes just two minutes to sign up.

Veterans United Connect officially re-launches July 25. App developers expect it to have more than 500,000 users by the end of the year.

Sean P Eagan Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Save Ewa Field Update

Ewa Field MCAS Preservation Resolution PASSED by Hawaii Legislature

Aloha Rear Admiral Smith,

The will of the Ewa-West Oahu Community SUPPORTS full Ewa Field
preservation, not PV panels with a high security fence around it for 20+
years. That is not preservation.

The Ewa Field Resolution 49 was passed by the Hawaii State Legislative
session on Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The State Legislature got behind the Preservation of the MCAS Ewa Field with
the goal to expedite the listing of the December 7, 1941 battlefield as a
National Monument, National Landmark and recognized National American

Nearly identical resolutions were also passed in 2009 on Oahu by three
Neighborhood Boards- Ewa Beach NB, Waipahu NB and Kailua-Windward NB.

This is the expressed will of the Ewa-West Oahu community. It couldn't be
stated any clearer what the Ewa West Oahu Community wants to see at Ewa
Field and why we have had such broad support for this goal for over three

Here's what the State Legislature resolution actually said-

Many Thanks to those who sent in or delivered testimony for this bill:

HCR49_TESTIMONY_EDT_05_04_09 Testimony

HCR49_TESTIMONY_EBM_03-03-09_ Testimony

John Bond
Save Ewa Field

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Presidential Proclamation--National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2011

On June 25, 1950, the Korean peninsula erupted in conflict, becoming the front line of an intensifying Cold War.  For 3 years, our Armed Forces fought to help keep Korea free, suffering bitter reversals and winning stunning victories before the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjom secured the border near the 38th parallel.  Together, American service members and allied forces were part of a generation that, in the words inscribed at their memorial in Washington, defended "a country they never knew and a people they never met."  Today, we express our unending gratitude to all who fought and died in pursuit of freedom and democracy for the Korean peninsula.

Our veterans' courage and sacrifice have enabled the Republic of Korea to flourish as a strong and prosperous nation for over half a century.  In the decades following the Armistice, the American and South Korean people have maintained a warm friendship, and our alliance is stronger than ever.  We remember our common values and shared suffering during the Korean War, and we continue to work together towards advancing the cause of freedom and stability in East Asia and around the world.

Today, we honor the tens of thousands of service members who gave their last full measure of devotion to protect the people of the Republic of Korea.  We also pay tribute to the generations of Americans who have guarded the border since hostilities concluded.  It is our sacred duty as a grateful Nation to care for all those who have served, and to provide for our veterans and their families.

We will never forget that America owes its liberty, security, and prosperity to the heroic acts of our service members.  We must also remember that their selfless sacrifices have had a profound impact on the promotion of freedom across the globe.  On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we recommit to supporting our venerable warriors and their families, and we pay our deepest respects to those who laid down their lives.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2011, as National Korean War

Veterans Armistice Day.  I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our distinguished Korean War Veterans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty sixth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Cold War : AF Survival Manual

Checkout this Pub

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Recently Declassified AF Documents

tabConflicts (War and Police Actions) 

 Air Defense Alert 7 Dec 1950
 Damage Assessment of Hiroshima 8 Aug 45
 Defense Against Atomic Bomb 18 Sep 46
 FEAF Intelligence Roundup- Korean Armistice
 Gen MacArther est in Japan and Proj A movement 4 Sept 45
 Intel for Use of Second A-Bomb Against Japan 8 Aug 45
 Korean War Propaganda
 LeMay Recommend use of A-bombs on Japanese Fleet 14 Sep 46
 LeMay SM-1201-59 AF Cold War activities
 Little Boy Prep and Mission 20 July 45
 Passive Defense Against Atomic Bomb 18 Sep 46
 Postwar A-Bomb Program LeMay 30 Aug 45
 Recon of Nagaski 9 Aug 45
 SAC Dispersal & Alert Concepts 1961
 US Press quoting Japanese re- Hiroshima 5 Sept 45

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Monday, July 25, 2011

VA Preparing to Open Small Business Conference

Government Leaders and Procurement Specialists Lining Up for Largest
Nationwide Conference of Its Kind

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2011) - The upcoming National Veterans Small
Business Conference and Expo, Aug.15-18 in New Orleans is taking shape.
Hosted by VA for the first time, it will be the largest nationwide
conference of its kind focused on helping Veteran-owned and
service-disabled Veteran-owned businesses succeed in winning federal
contracts and expanding their businesses.

"This conference offers a new approach to providing Veteran-owned
businesses and service-disabled Veteran-owned businesses the access and
tools they need to thrive in the Federal marketplace," said Eric K.
Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "Our primary goal is to help
more Veterans start and grow their own businesses."

In addition to Secretary Shinseki and other senior VA leaders,
conference speakers will also include Jane Lute, Deputy Secretary for
the Department of Homeland Security, and Frank Kendall, Principal Deputy
Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.

The conference will offer valuable insight to assist both new and
seasoned Veteran-owned and service-disabled Veteran-owned small
businesses to succeed.  More than 100 sessions will address a range of
topics, including branding, marketing, management, financing and
business opportunities within the federal government as well as how to
secure loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its new
Express & Pilot Programs, which offer streamlined and expedited loan
procedures for certain borrowers such as Veterans.

Participants will also have an exceptional opportunity to network via
the VetGovPartner platform that will enable them to view extensive
business profiles of all participants at the conference as well as to
identify business opportunities associated with the more than 200
government procurement decision makers in attendance.

The conference will also offer on-site assistance to Veterans and
Veteran business owners on how to become eligible for VA's Vets First
Contracting Program.

For those Veterans or Veterans-owned businesses new to the process, the
conference will provide a learning session that explains current
requirements to become verified accompanied by lessons learned and tips
to help applicants navigate the process.  In addition, VA staff will be
on-site to assist firms to initiate verification applications, and to
provide updates on status of applications in process.

The conference learning sessions will be targeted at a variety of
businesses--from new business owners to well-established Veteran-owned
businesses looking to expand opportunities or increase market share.

Additionally, the state directors of VA from 10 states will attend to
share their 'best practices' on Veterans-owned business development with
conference attendees.

The National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo is open to both
government and non-government personnel.  For more information and to
register for the conference, go to

Navy Veteran Devotes Life to Aiding Homeless Female Vets

By Elaine Sanchez American Forces Press Service

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., July 25, 2011 – When Barbara Marshall first set eyes on her new 5,000-square foot home here that would enable her to take in more homeless female veterans than ever before, a sense of relief washed over her and the word "astounding" came to mind. The home was living proof that help finally had arrived.

Barbara Marshall talks to members of a local veterans service organization in front of her new home July 22, 2011, in Fayetteville, N.C. Marshall created the Jubilee House to provide shelter and resources to homeless female veterans. DOD photo by Elaine Sanchez 

That help came in the form of more than 3,000 volunteers and the ABC reality show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Thanks to both, the Navy veteran's modest 1,500-square-foot home -- which serves as a shelter and information center for homeless female veterans -- received a massive overhaul last week.

Marshall received the keys to the new and improved "Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House" July 22. First Lady Michelle Obama was there to help unveil the two-story, cabin-style home, which features a large resource center, dining hall, common areas and a greenhouse.

"When I saw Mrs. Obama and the new home, all I could think of was 'Yay,'" she said. "I know that's not that profound, but I said it in my heart and my mind and my spirit, and then I said, 'Astounding. Help is here -- tremendous help.'"

This help comes in the wake of years of selfless assistance to countless others. Marshall established the Jubilee House with her own funds in August to offer shelter and to pass on information and resources to homeless female veterans -- the same information she felt she could have used when she fell on some tough times of her own.

Marshall left the Navy in 2001, and, four years later entered a time of crisis, she said, with financial, health and personal issues taking their toll.

"I was facing many of the issues that women who come to my door face," she said. Marshall reached out to the community for help and sought resources aimed at helping female veterans, but came up short.

"Some parts of it were just a bit uncertain," she said. "I saw a need to have a place where women veterans could actually get access to the types of resources and information they need."

Marshall eventually found her way through her own crises, and, with her own struggles in mind, turned her attention to helping others.

"It came from my own desire to see women make a successful transition," she said. "A homeless woman has children -- brings with her homeless children. I think that our nation is not prepared for that kind of legacy. We need to leave a good, positive legacy for our women vets and for their children."

Marshall began to visit libraries and other areas frequented by homeless women and offered her help with everything from VA claims and transportation to food and shelter.

"The top of my vehicle became my office," she said.

Marshall took women into her own home, offering them food and shelter while caring for her own two children. She eventually saved enough money to purchase a foreclosure on Langdon Street here last summer.

"We do an assessment and see what they're most in need of," she said of the veterans, "what services we can assist with directly and indirectly. At all costs we stay in touch with that women veteran until her life and her children's lives are stabilized."
The Jubilee House has assisted female veterans from all eras and conflicts, with a recent, and disturbing, onslaught of veterans from recent wars, she noted.

"A lot of these women veterans are coming back with post-traumatic stress, with family changes and situations that are uncertain, and many are ending up homeless," she said.

The small, 1,500-square-foot home housed up to five veterans and their families, but Marshall struggled to meet the demand as word spread of her services. The Veterans Affairs Department basically had her on their speed dial, she said, and frequently referred women to her.

As the Jubilee House's popularity grew, Marshall found herself in a tough spot -- having to turn homeless veterans away.

Meanwhile, word of her dedication to veterans had spread. Producers from "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" heard of Marshall's work and came knocking on her door two weeks ago with some good news. She would be the recipient of a new and improved Jubilee House.

Marshall accepted the new home July 21 with several of the home's residents at her side, including Judy Hilburn.

Hilburn was left homeless several years ago after her husband's death and an illness that left her without a job and with massive medical and personal bills to pay. For two years, Hilburn, a six-year Army veteran, lived in her truck.

"Just when you think everything is going so great, you get sideswiped," she said.

With no end to her troubles in sight, Hilburn resigned herself to a difficult fate -- that is, she said, until she found her miracle: the Jubilee House.

Hilburn met Marshall at a center that provides meals to the homeless, and she moved into the Jubilee House the next morning. "It's been a miracle for me," she said. "Barbara helped me get my VA disability approved; my first check is in my purse.

"If I'd known I was eligible for VA benefits then, I wouldn't have gone broke paying doctor bills," she added. "That's what this place is all about: knowledge."

The first lady expressed her admiration for Marshall and the work she's doing to aid veterans during her visit here last week. "She is a strong, courageous woman," Obama said of Marshall.

"It's a powerful story of how veterans are continuing to serve this country even when they are no longer in uniform," she added. "The fact that this woman has opened her home -- which she didn't have much -- to other women who are struggling, is just a powerful statement of the courage and the strength that our veterans show."

Marshall's new Hollywood connection hasn't altered the course of her local mission in aiding female veterans. But the new home will allow for a few major improvements. "I will not have to turn women veterans away, ever, as I've done this past week, this past month, and even at the beginning of this year," she said.

Marshall said she won't rest until female veteran homelessness is eradicated.

"My daughter is active-duty Army," she said. "What's happening to these women could happen to my daughter. We need to join forces as a community -- as agencies, the various five [service] branches, veteran service organizations, faith groups -- we need to join hands and make a difference in the lives of homeless veterans.

"I see this organization, this agency, being part of this fight all the way to the end," she added.

The episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" featuring Marshall is scheduled to air in October.
New York State Senate Member
Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
15th District

Satellite District Office
66-85 73rd Place
Middle Village, NY 11379

Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Judy Close



Photo Caption: Senator Addabbo thanks a Vietnam veteran for his service at last year's Veterans' BBQ held outside the senator's Howard Beach office.

Queens, NY, July 25, 2010
– Before the summer passes all too quickly, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), a member of the Senate's Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee, wants to invite all local veterans and their families to his 3nd Annual Veterans' Barbeque, outside his Howard Beach office. Save the date:

Saturday, August 20 – Veterans' BBQ

160th Avenue & 102nd Street, Howard Beach

Noon to 3 PM

The Senator and his staff reached out to the various Queens chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, Catholic and Jewish War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans, to be their special guests, so they can cook and serve them BBQ fare and host a fun, relaxing neighborhood event outdoors. Important: in order to know how many are expected, those planning to attend must R.S.V.P. by calling Senator Addabbo's Howard Beach district office at 718-738-1111 no later than August 18, for preparation purposes.

"This is just our small way of saying 'Thank you for your service' -- not only to our local veterans but also to their families. All nobly served our country in years past and of course, many brave volunteers are currently doing so in Afghanistan and Iraq. We should show our veterans that we appreciate their dedication and commitment not just on Veterans Day, but every day of the year," explained Addabbo.

# # #

Judy Close, Press Secretary
NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
15th Senate District - Satellite Office
66-85 73rd Place
Middle Village, NY 11379
Ph: 718-497-1630
Fax: 718-497-1761

Friday, July 22, 2011

Paul Rieckhoff On Veteran Unemployment

Dear Sean,

Across the country, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans came home to record unemployment levels in 2010 – as high as 30 percent in some states.

How does your state stack up? Click on the map to find out.

Earlier this year, IAVA launched our Combat to Career campaign to lower new veteran unemployment by Veterans Day 2011. The campaign has two parts:

  1. A public sector effort to work with Congress and local governments to build the right conditions for job creation;
  2. A private sector effort to create programs with companies to hire veterans.

This week, two critical bipartisan bills are making their way through Congress to open doors for vets. On the Senate side, the Hiring Heroes Act is ready for a floor vote. And in the House, the VOW Act is also moving fast. We're pushing both parties to work together to score a big win for vets. And both bills will make a huge impact on combating veteran unemployment.

But big name private companies are stepping up in a big way too. IAVA is aligning with companies nationwide to help them train and hire vets. We've partnered with Google to host resume workshops for vets. We've signed a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host five smart job fairs in the next year, connecting thousands of IAVA members with jobs. IAVA and Schwab have also partnered together to connect veterans with financial literacy resources and skills-building workshops.

Continue to track our progress at our Combat to Career HQ.

The fight has really just begun. Together, we can help America understand a key message: if you want to support our vets, hire them!

Thank you for having our backs.



Paul Rieckhoff
Founder and Executive Director
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Odierno Testifies on Capitol Hill

Odierno Testifies on Capitol Hill
Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:30:00 -0500

General Raymond Odierno outlined his priorities Thursday should he be confirmed as the Army's next Chief of Staff.

Iraq Vets For Congress

Iraq Veterans


Tim Griffin (AK-2):Tim is currently serving in his 13th year as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps and holds the rank of major.  In May 2006, Tim was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and sent to serve in Iraq. He served in Mosul, Iraq, as a member of the 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team Brigade Operational Law Team, for which he was awarded the Combat Action Badge. From 2006-2007, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He is the founder of the Griffin Law Firm, PLLC.


Dr. Joe Heck (NV-3):Dr. Joe Heck has passionately served the residents of Nevada as a physician, Army Reservist, and community volunteer.  He continues to serve as a tactical physician with the LVMPD SWAT team. Joe serves in the United States Army Reserve having recently returned from a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He currently holds the rank of Colonel and commands a U.S. Army Hospital.  In his civilian life Dr. Heck is the President of a company dedicated to providing quality medical training, consulting, and operational support to Law Enforcement, EMS and Military Special Operations. 


Patrick Murray (VA-8): Patrick is a retired U.S. Army Colonel with 24-years of active service.  He spent over a decade in numerous positions abroad including tours in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia and Russia.  After commanding tank units for seven years, Patrick went on to become a Foreign Area Officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has extensive operational, analytical and policy experience. A Russian speaker, Patrick has worked in various bilateral and multilateral international relations venues, foreign policy, political military affairs, arms control and military-to-military relations.  His final tour of duty was at the United Nations in New York as a member of the U.S. Military Staff Committee.


Steve Stivers (OH-15):Steve served in the Ohio Senate from 2003 until 2008. He has been in the Ohio National Guard since 1985 and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Steve was called to active duty while serving in the Ohio Senate in October 2004. It was then that Steve served in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, and Djibouti as Battalion Commander until December 2005. He was awarded the Bronze Star. Today Steve works in the private sector, working with companies to improve operations, explore new opportunities, and create and retain jobs.


Allen West (FL-22): Allen served in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was battalion commander for the Army's 4th Infantry Division.  Allen's honors include a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor). He was also the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year in 1993. Upon retiring from the army he taught high school for one year before serving in Afghanistan as an advisor. 


Afghanistan Veteran


Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski (MI-9): Rocky enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve at the age of 17, serving four years as an infantryman and reaching the rank of Sergeant.  In 1990, Rocky attended Officer Candidate School, where he received his commission and became a 2nd Lieutenant in the infantry.  He has served in many leadership and command positions and is currently a Major.  Rocky is also a paratrooper and certified Pathfinder.  Rocky is Chairman and CEO of Star Tickets, a Michigan corporation serving the ticketing and entertainment industry all across North America. 


Veterans of Other Eras


Rick Crawford (AK-1): Rick served in the United States Army as a bomb disposal technician. He completed four years of service, advanced to the rank of Sergeant in under three years, and earned numerous medals for service in the U.S. and Southwest Asia.  During his term of service, he also had the privilege of serving on numerous U.S. Secret Service security details supporting presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush among other U.S. and foreign dignitaries.  He has been a news anchor and agri-reporter.  He now owns and operates the AgWatch Network - a farm news network heard on 39 radio stations.


John Loughlin (RI-1):John spent 10 years on flight status as a helicopter pilot flying missions in a variety of Army helicopters including the UH-1 Huey, the OH-6 Cayuse and the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior. In 1986, John went to work full-time for the Rhode Island National Guard as the Adjutant General's Public Affairs Officer. He also served in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid-1990s. John currently owns and operates Media-Rite LLC, a television, radio and film production company.


Mike Pompeo (KS-4): Mike Pompeo attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and graduated first in his class. Mike served with distinction as a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army, leading troops as they patrolled the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin wall. After leaving the army, Mike attended Harvard Law School where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating with honors, Mike practiced law before beginning a career as an entrepreneur.






Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC (IVC) is a federally registered political action committee supporting the congressional campaigns of conservative Republican veterans. IVC looks for conservative Republican veterans who are determined to become a voice for our troops, military families, and hardworking patriotic Americans who believe that our country, our Constitution and our way of life are worth fighting for.  IVC has raised more than $100,000 from over 10,000 donors in all fifty states and has made major contributions to more than a dozen campaigns throughout the country.  IVC was started in 2008 by Kieran Michael Lalor, an attorney and Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

ivc logo 

"This we'll defend."

-          Motto of the US Army


Thank You! Last week's email featuring the biographies of 7 Iraq Veterans for Congress (IVC) supported Marine Corps vets running for the US House raised $875. 


Below are the biographies of 9 stellar conservative Army vets also running for the US House. 


If just 50 IVC supporters give $20 today it would go a long way toward helping our candidates get to Washington to defend our Constitution and our pocketbooks.