Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Military.com: Some Vets Should Reapply for Disability


Stars and Stripes reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is beginning a phased mailing of information packets on the Physical Disability Review Board (PDBR) to every qualified veteran with a current home address on file at VA. The Physical Disability Review Board (PDRB) has the authority to reexamine the files and, if appropriate, raise disability ratings of up to 77,000 veterans -- those medically separated with ratings less than 30 percent between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2009. Eligible veterans can apply now to the PDBR to have their ratings reviewed. For more information, visit the Physical Disability Review Board webpage at www.health.mil/pdbr.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the Military.com Benefits Center.



--
Sean P Eagan

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




Family Matters Blog: Military Caregivers to Gain More Support


By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2012 - Caregivers of wounded warriors often make great sacrifices to be at their loved one's side. They quit their jobs, sell their homes and leave family members and friends behind, often for years at a time.

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and other senior leaders gathered to honor the service and sacrifice of these military caregivers. Alongside Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the first lady announced a proposal that would enable more military family members to take the time they need to care for their wounded and ill loved ones.

"We want to recognize the extraordinary dedication, sacrifice and service of our nation's caregivers, not simply with words, but with deeds," the first lady told the audience gathered at the Labor Department in Washington, D.C. "These are men and women and children who will do anything for their loved ones, no matter the cost, no matter the sacrifice, no matter the consequences."

The Labor Department's proposal expands military family leave protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and benefits not only military caregivers, but also military families as a whole.

The proposal would, in part:

-- Extend the 26-week unpaid leave entitlement to family members caring for recent veterans with a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, including conditions that may arise up to five years after leaving the military;

-- Allow family members to take time off from work before, during or after a spouse, child or parent's deployment to tend to service-related matters, such as military briefings or making financial and legal arrangements; and

-- Increase the amount of time an employee may take to spend with a loved one who is on rest or recuperation leave from five days to up to 15 days.

If enacted, the first lady noted, the proposal would give caregivers the flexibility and time they need to care for their wounded military loved ones without fear of job repercussions.

As I listened from the back of the packed auditorium, I thought of the positive impact these measures would have on people like Saralee Trimble, who cares full-time for her triple-amputee son.

Saralee had dropped everything to rush to her soldier son's bedside after he was injured in Afghanistan in September. Her son, Army Pfc. Kevin Trimble, had lost both of his legs above the knee and his left arm above the elbow after a roadside explosion.

Saralee expects to be in San Antonio with him for another two years.

She told me one afternoon about her caregiving journey, which entails round-the-clock care for her son. But the hardest part of it all, she told me with tears in her eyes, is seeing her son in pain.

But Saralee said she'd shoulder that burden and more for as long as it takes. "He's my son. Caring for him ... I couldn't ask for anything more special."

For more on the Labor Department's proposal and other measures under way to aid caregivers, read my American Forces Press Service article, "Proposal Would Expand Support for Military Caregivers."

For more military family-related posts, visit the AFPS' Family Matters blog.
 

Related Sites:
Family Matters Blog

--
Sean P Eagan

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




Alert: House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to Investigate Improper VA Contracting


 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 334 of the Cannon House Office Building, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold an oversight hearing entitled, "Examining VA's Pharmaceutical Prime Vendor Contract." This is the first hearing on this matter since allegations arose that VA has knowingly purchased pharmaceuticals off-contract for years. The Committee will also investigate how pervasive these contracting problems are throughout the VA system.

 

 WHO:             House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

 WHAT:          "Examining VA's Pharmaceutical Prime Vendor Contract"

  WHEN:          10:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 1, 2012, Room 334, Cannon House Office Building

 

WITNESS LIST

Panel 1

The Honorable W. Scott Gould, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Accompanied by:

John R. Gingrich, Chief of Staff

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Philip Matkovsky, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Administrative Operations

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Glenn D. Haggstrom, Executive Director, Office of Acquisitions, Logistics, and Construction

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Jan R. Frye, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Acquisition and Logistics

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Steven A. Thomas, Director, National Contracting Service, National Acquisition Center

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Michael Valentino, Chief Consultant, Pharmacy Benefits Management Services

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Panel 2

Linda Halliday, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audits and Evaluations

Office of Inspector General

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Accompanied by:

Mark Myers, Director, Healthcare Resources Division, Office of Contract Review

Office of Inspector General

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Michael Grivnovics, Director, Federal Supply System Division, Office of Contract Review

Office of Inspector General

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Panel 3

Sharon Longwell, Vice President, Health Systems, National Accounts

McKesson Corporation

 

 

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, please visit:

 

Veterans.House.Gov 

 

Find us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/HouseVetsAffairs or follow us on Twitter at:

 

@HouseVetAffairs

--
Sean P Eagan

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




Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bloomberg : NO NY Vet's Parade

Mayor Bloomberg says there will be no city parade for Iraq War veterans in the foreseeable future because of objections voiced by military officials.

The mayor said officials in Washington "think a parade would be premature while we still have so many troops in harm's way around the world."



--
Sean P Eagan

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




US’s 1st big parade welcoming back veterans since Iraq War’s end draws thousands in St. Louis


ST. LOUIS — Looking around at the tens of thousands of people waving American flags and cheering, Army Maj. Rich Radford was moved that so many braved a cold January wind Saturday in St. Louis to honor people like him: Iraq War veterans.

The parade, borne out of a simple conversation between two St. Louis friends a month ago, was the nation's first big welcome-home for veterans of the war since the last troops were withdrawn from Iraq in December.

"It's not necessarily overdue, it's just the right thing," said Radford, a 23-year Army veteran who walked in the parade alongside his 8-year-old daughter, Aimee, and 12-year-old son, Warren.

Radford was among about 600 veterans, many dressed in camouflage, who walked along downtown streets lined with rows of people clapping and holding signs with messages including "Welcome Home" and "Thanks to our Service Men and Women." Some of the war-tested troops wiped away tears as they acknowledged the support from a crowd that organizers estimated reached 100,000 people.

Fire trucks with aerial ladders hoisted huge American flags in three different places along the route, with politicians, marching bands — even the Budweiser Clydesdales — joining in. But the large crowd was clearly there to salute men and women in the military, and people cheered wildly as groups of veterans walked by.

That was the hope of organizers Craig Schneider and Tom Appelbaum. Neither man has served in the military but came up with the idea after noticing there had been little fanfare for returning Iraq War veterans aside from gatherings at airports and military bases. No ticker-tape parades or large public celebrations.

Appelbaum, an attorney, and Schneider, a school district technical coordinator, decided something needed to be done. So they sought donations, launched a Facebook page, met with the mayor and mapped a route. The grassroots effort resulted in a huge turnout despite raising only about $35,000 and limited marketing.

That marketing included using a photo of Radford being welcomed home from his second tour in Iraq by his then-6-year-old daughter. The girl had reached up, grabbed his hand and said, "I missed you, daddy." Radford's sister caught the moment with her cellphone camera, and the image graced T-shirts and posters for the parade.

Veterans came from around the country, and more than 100 entries — including marching bands, motorcycle groups and military units — signed up ahead of the event, Appelbaum said.

Schneider said he was amazed how everyone, from city officials to military organizations to the media, embraced the parade.

"It was an idea that nobody said no to," he said. "America was ready for this."

All that effort by her hometown was especially touching for Gayla Gibson, a 38-year-old Air Force master sergeant who said she spent four months in Iraq — seeing "amputations, broken bones, severe burns from IEDs" — as a medical technician in 2003.

"I think it's great when people come out to support those who gave their lives and put their lives on the line for this country," Gibson said.

With 91,000 troops still fighting in Afghanistan, many Iraq veterans could be redeployed — suggesting to some that it's premature to celebrate their homecoming. In New York, for example, Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently said there would be no city parade for Iraq War veterans in the foreseeable future because of objections voiced by military officials.

But in St. Louis, there was clearly a mood to thank the troops with something big, even among those opposed to the war.

"Most of us were not in favor of the war in Iraq, but the soldiers who fought did the right thing and we support them," said 72-year-old Susan Cunningham, who attended the parade with the Missouri Progressive Action Group. "I'm glad the war is over and I'm glad they're home."

Don Lange, 60, of nearby Sullivan, held his granddaughter along the parade route. His daughter was a military interrogator in Iraq.

"This is something everyplace should do," Lange said as he watched the parade.

Several veterans of the Vietnam War turned out to show support for the younger troops. Among them was Don Jackson, 63, of Edwardsville, Ill., who said he was thrilled to see the parade honoring Iraq War veterans like his son, Kevin, who joined him at the parade. The 33-year-old Air Force staff sergeant said he'd lost track of how many times he had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a flying mechanic.

"I hope this snowballs," he said of the parade. "I hope it goes all across the country. I only wish my friends who I served with were here to see this."

Looking at all the people around him in camouflage, 29-year-old veteran Matt Wood said he felt honored. He served a year in Iraq with the Illinois National Guard.

"It's extremely humbling, it's amazing, to be part of something like this with all of these people who served their country with such honor," he said.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/nations-1st-big-parade-welcoming-back-veterans-since-end-of-iraq-war-being-held-in-st-louis/2012/01/28/gIQAlaawXQ_print.htmlLink

Friday, January 27, 2012

No Special Operations Bases in Turkey, Pentagon Officials Say

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2012 - The United States will not base more troops in Turkey, Pentagon officials said here today.

"Reports about additional U.S. force presence in Turkey are false," said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman. "We have had no such discussions with the Turkish government."

News reports over the past days have said the United States wanted to base special operations forces in Turkey. This is not true, Pentagon officials said.

The United States has about 5,000 personnel based at Incirlik Air Base, an area shared with Turkish Air Force units. It is the largest U.S. military presence in the country.

Turkey is an important NATO ally. "The United States military deeply values its close relationship with the armed forces of Turkey, one of our closest allies and NATO partners," Kirby said.
 

Biographies:
Navy Capt. John Kirby
Related Sites:
Incirlik Air Base

--
Sean P Eagan

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




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Miller: “I Expect A Full Accounting of All Veterans’ Graves”




WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the recent discovery of numerous mismarked graves and incorrectly interred remains throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration system:

"VA's National Cemetery Administration has only recently disclosed that scores of our veterans were buried under the wrong headstones, and, in some cases, their loved ones may have been buried with a different family.

"Although I am glad these mistakes have been found, this should never have happened in the first place, and I now have questions about the accuracy of the nearly 2 million remaining gravesites that were not part of this recent review.

"The Committee will fully investigate how these problems arose in the first place, and we will take the appropriate steps to ensure VA puts the proper procedures and oversight in place so that this can never happen again. Faulting contractors for this problem is not acceptable. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with VA.

"I expect a full accounting of all veterans' graves in veterans' cemeteries across the nation, as well as a detailed report on VA's findings as each cemetery review is completed. VA must demonstrate absolute transparency to me, our veterans, and all Americans, throughout the process.

"It is unfortunate that this information took so long to come into the open. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to each of the families affected."

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, please visit:

Veterans.House.Gov

Find us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/HouseVetsAffairs or follow us on Twitter at:

@HouseVetAffairs


After the rash of incidents involving Arlington and unmarked graves and that mortuary affairs unit at Dover Air Force Base that desecrated remains sending them to a Va. landfill it is time Rep. Miller and House Veteran's Affairs Committee give these matters maximum oversight. Asleep at the wheel our Govt. has been in these cases and these veterans and their families deserve the highest honor and respect not blatant disregard and criminal negligence.
--
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Mike Miller to have meeting for Queens American Legion and VFW's,

The meeting outlined below is for Queens American Legion and VFW's, etc. They have been receiving many violations from NYC agencies.

WHO:  Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Mike Miller wanted to have this meeting to inform the various posts of how to avoid getting violations.  Speakers from the Dept. of Health, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, FDNY, and the Dept. of Buildings.
 
WHAT:  NYS Senator Joe Addabbo and NYS 
Assemblyman Mike Miller will be there to hear your concerns and help you with violations problems at your posts.  
 
WHEN:     Thursday, February 9 at 7 PM
WHERE : Woohaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps
78-15 Jamaica Avenue, Woodhaven
 
Please help spread the word around to the local posts.
If you have any questions please contact me (in Howard Beach).

Thanks,
 
Peter M. DeLucia Jr.
Director of Special Events
Office of NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
159-53 102nd Street
Howard Beach, NY 11414
P - (718) 738-1111
F - (718) 322-5760



 
--
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
nyssenatejc@gmail.com


--
Sean P Eagan

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




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

VA Disability Ratings Evaluated


 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) held an oversight hearing to evaluate if the current disability rating systems at the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) are best serving America's veterans, or if the systems are outdated and need to be updated to reflect today's veterans' population.

 

The claims backlog and rating system is one of the most common complaints made by veterans about VA. VA currently has a backlog of more than 886,000 claims, with 66 percent of claims facing more than 120 days to process, up from 389,000 in 2009.

 

"Although select portions of the ratings system have been updated throughout the last 20 years, many cite the system as 'outdated,' and note that the system has not been comprehensively revised since the conclusion of World War II," stated Rep. Jon Runyan, Subcommittee Chairman of DAMA.

 

The Subcommittee questioned witnesses on the differences between DoD and VA ratings systems, ratings that are often in direct conflict with each other, causing confusion for the veteran. In addition, the Members of the Subcommittee asked if DoD and VA planned to standardize the ratings system to equalize physical and mental injuries.

 

"The fact of the matter is veterans still don't have a seamless transition. Veterans are getting stuck in the system between the bureaucracy of DoD and VA," Runyan said. "While VA seems to be making some progress in updating the schedule, it will take continued oversight to ensure it is completed. Just as we would not issue World War II equipment and weapons to our current soldiers and Marines and expect them to be successful on the modern battlefield; we should not be satisfied with a World War II era-based system for evaluating and rating their disabilities as a result of their service and sacrifice to this Nation."   

 

The House of Representatives passed legislation last year to begin to reform the system, including moving toward a paperless claim submission process and retraining for claims specialists. Today's hearing is the first of the second session in which the Committee will look at the recommendations of the 2007 Dole Shalala Commission and numerous other reports and studies from the past three decades to determine if the transition from DoD to VA is being conducted in a way that will ensure the greater access for our veterans to the care and benefits with the least red tape and greatest efficiency.

 

 

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, please visit:

Veterans.House.Gov

--
Sean P Eagan

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




Monday, January 23, 2012

Veterans Win PTSD Settlement


A federal judge has approved a settlement that will deliver better benefits to nearly 2,100 veterans who have been medically discharged since 2002 with post-traumatic stress disorder. Under the settlement, affected veterans discharged with PTSD will get lifetime health care and post-exchange privileges. The affected veterans had been discharged with disability ratings that were too low to receive such benefits. The class action lawsuit was Sabo v. United States. Similar legal efforts are currently underway. For more information, visit the National Veterans Legal Services Program website and the ptsdlawsuit.com website.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the Military.com Benefits Center.



--
Sean P Eagan

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




Sunday, January 22, 2012

More Ships Added to VA’s Vietnam Ship List


VA has updated the list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam, adding 47 more vessels and expanding information for others. The list can help Vietnam-era Veterans find out if they qualify for presumption of Agent Orange exposure when seeking VA disability compensation for herbicide-related diseases. Visit the Agent Orange homepage to learn more about Agent Orange: www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange.  
--
Sean P Eagan

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




Friday, January 20, 2012

Army report looks at taking stigma out of behavioral health



01/20/2012 01:43 PM CST

A new Army report examines issues ranging from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to domestic violence.


Rick Santorum Robbed American Veterans

How Rick Santorum Ripped Off American Veterans

A controversial land deal by the presidential candidate robbed a vets' home of tens of millions of dollars.

| Wed Jan. 18, 2012 3:00 AM PST
rick santorum

2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum

Like any good presidential candidate, Rick Santorum heaps praise on America's soldiers and veterans. He's pledged to "make veterans a high priority" if elected president, adding, "This is not a Republican issue, this is not a Democratic issue, it is an American issue." But as a US senator, Santorum engineered a controversial land deal that robbed the military's top veterans' home of tens of millions of dollars and worsened the deteriorating conditions at the facility.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home, which is run by the Department of Defense, bills itself as "premier home for military retirees and veterans." The facility sprawls across 272 acres high on a hill in northern Washington, DC, near the Petworth neighborhood. The nearly 600 veterans who now live there enjoy panoramic views of the city—the Washington monument and US Capitol to the south, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to the east. At its peak, more than 2,000 veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War lived at the Home.

But with the rise of the smaller all-volunteer military, the Home began to run into serious financial problems. It was clear that one of its primary sources of revenue—a 50-cent deduction from the paychecks of active-duty servicemembers—wasn't enough to keep the Home operating fully. In the 1990s, the Home scrambled to find ways to avoid insolvency, trimming its staff by 24 percent and reducing its vet population by 800. Still, the money problems began to show, with its older historic facilities slipping into disrepair and decay. To grapple with its worsening shortfall, officials running the Home eyed a valuable, 49-acre piece of land worth $49 million as a potential financial lifeline.



--
Sean P Eagan

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




Progressive International Motorcycle Show in NYC This Weekend




I am proud to announce that Military, Police, and Fire Men and Women will get free admission to this weekend's Progressive International Motorcycle Show in NYC if they arrive in uniform or with Military ID !

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show is your #1 place to see get the latest Motorcycle news, products, and custom bikes. Already the largest motorcycle show around, this year's New York event is going to be bigger than 2011. More bikes, more products, and more learning opportunities. There are several show features for you to enjoy, such as the Dream Pavilion, Smage Bros Stunt Show, Ultimate Builder Custom Bike show with a $90k prize, and Kawasaki Design-a-Bike.

For more info on upcoming shows
http://www.motorcycleshows.com/

Remaining Schedule :

January 20-22, 2012 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York, NY

January 27-29, 2012 I-X Center Cleveland, OH

February 3-5, 2012 Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, MN

February 10-12, 2012 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Chicago, IL

February 24-26, 2012 Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, NC

March 14-17, 2012 Ocean Center Daytona Beach, FL


Free admission to this show with your military ID. You cannot beat that !!!! Thanks to the folks at Progressive International Motorcycle Shows and socialradius.com
.

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



VFW Washington Weekly

VFW Joins VA to Help Vets Find Jobs
This week, the VFW participated in a veterans' career fair hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Thousands of veterans of all eras, services and ranks converged on the convention center to apply and interview for more than 6,500 jobs across private industry and government, as part of the White House's "Joining Forces" campaign. The VFW was on hand to help inform veterans about their VA benefits, and to help them navigate the complicated VA claims process. To learn more about the event that VFW advocates called "dynamic and instructive," click here

VFW Hosts Libyan Delegation
This week, the VFW Washington Office hosted a six-member delegation from the transitional government of Libya, who specifically sought out the advice of the VFW because of our advocacy work on behalf of veterans, service members and their families. They came to learn how the United States cares for her veterans, with hopes of replicating something similar to our Department of Veterans Affairs in their own country. VFW Executive Director Bob Wallace said he was encouraged by the steps Libya's interim government has taken to quickly address the needs of their war wounded. The delegation said their first action should be to care for those who fought and were wounded in the fight to liberate the country from Muammar Gaddafi. For more detail, visit our blog.

Reading of Names at The Wall
Veterans, military, their families and concerned citizens are encouraged to sign up early for the reading of names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which will occur over the four-day period prior to Veterans Day 2012, not Memorial Day, as was reported in last week's Washington Weekly. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is organizing volunteers to participate in the reading of all 58,272 names to commemorate The Wall's 30th anniversary. Due to the large number of expected participants and planning for other events, VVMF will only accept volunteers through its website. Groups can also be accommodated.

Vietnam Education Center Needs Photos
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is still seeking photos of all 58,272 men and women whose names are inscribed on The Wall in Washington, D.C. The collection will be used to highlight their service and sacrifice inside the new VFW-supported Vietnam Memorial Education Center, which is scheduled to break ground by Veterans Day 2012. More than 30,000 photos have already been submitted by families and fellow comrades-in-arms, but more are still needed. Please submit photos to Jan Scruggs, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, 2600 Virginia Ave., NW, Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037. Include the deceased's name and location, unit and approximate month/year the photo was taken. Digitized photos can be e-mailed directly to jscruggs@vvmf.org.

Korean War MIA Identified
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Sgt. Willie D. Hill, 20, of Catawba, N.C. In late Nov. 1950, the U.S. Army's IX Corps was advancing north to the Yalu River when Chinese forces attacked elements of three U.S. Infantry Divisions. On Nov. 26, Hill and members of G Company 24th Infantry Regiment, were encircled and suffered heavy losses. On Nov. 27, Hill was reported as missing in action near Anju, North Korea. Read more.



--
Sean P Eagan

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




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet swingers in your town looking to hook up.

Meet swingers in your town looking to hook up.

http://gf10.com.br/url/4

-----
If you would like to not be contacted from us in the future please press on the link below:
http://gf10.com.br/url/5

or write to:

P.O. Box 79, 11th St., Vancouver, Canada

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Loosing Support

Online Piracy Act Loses Support

Rubio
After an unprecedented day of Internet-based lobbying, a proposal to clamp down on online piracy lost support Wednesday.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and a Senate companion, the Protect IP Act, were criticized by websites such as Wikipedia and Google as being written too broadly.

Hollywood took a different view, arguing the measure is necessary to stop online pirating of movies, TV shows and other copyrighted material.

But Silicon Valley appears to have won this round, with several lawmakers backing away from the bill.

Read more about SOPA's support in Congress.


Govt has screwed up enough as far as our economy goes this Bill would stifle one of the last area's in our society that is functioning properly. If the Govt kills social media and freedom of information it would be a blow I do not think our country could take.




Sean P Eagan

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




Prosecutor: Extremist Magazine Prompted Order on Detainee Mail

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., Jan. 18, 2012 - A prosecutor in the trial of the alleged mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing divulged today the root of a new order that allows officials to monitor prisoners' legal mail at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: a copy of an extremist magazine found at the detention facility.

Navy Cmdr. Andrea Lockhart, a member of the prosecution team in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, told the court a copy of Inspire magazine "got in" to the facility, although she did not specify exactly where. The English-language magazine is published by the al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula organization, and it includes articles designed to inspire extremists and teach them how to carry out violent acts.

Discovery of the magazine – considered contraband – sparked Navy Rear Adm. David B. Woods, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, to institute a new policy last month that allows government officials to monitor prisoner's legal mail.

Lockhart told the court today the discovery of Inspire magazine demonstrated that previous rules that covered incoming mail at the detention center weren't sufficient.

During testimony yesterday, Woods told Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen C. Reyes of the defense team the new policy allows members of a privilege review team to conduct a "plain-view review" of written communications not marked as protected attorney-client information. This review, Woods testified, is designed to ensure this correspondence does not include physical or information contraband, such as maps of the detention facility.

Woods told the court yesterday the new policy balances his responsibilities to facilitate attorney-client communication while also ensuring security, safety, force protection and good order at the facility. However, the new order has become a major sticking point in Nashiri's pretrial hearing, even though both the defense and prosecution teams acknowledge his mail has never been searched under the new policy.

The issue has dominated discussion during both days of the pretrial hearing that began yesterday to address 10 motions filed by the defense and prosecution teams.

Nashiri's defense team continued its argument today that the new policy compromises the attorney-client privilege because it allows a special review team to examine detainees' legal correspondence. The prosecution proposed that the review team operate as an independent body, "walled off" from the prosecution, and that defense attorneys be able to observe any reviews of their client's legal documents.

The defense conceded that prison officials need to be able to inspect for contraband, but insisted that this should not extend to reading legal mail.

After extensive discussion over the past two days by both teams, Army Col. James Pohl, the judge, deferred a decision on the issue today. He did, however, offer the defense assurance that a new order will come, probably within "a couple of weeks."

Pohl gave the defense team seven days to come up with a complete order it believes meets its requirements. He also directed the prosecution to come up with a clear definition of what "plain view" means, and said the team will have seven days to comment on the defense's proposed order.

Considering another motion, Pohl responded to a defense concern that classified information used by the defense – and summarized with the goal of creating an unclassified document that also omits sensitive material such as sources and collection methods – risks leaving out key information the defense team needs.

Richard Kammen, the lead civilian defense counsel, argued that Pohl's determinations otherwise will be made in a vacuum without consideration for the defense.

Pohl ruled that the defense has until a hearing to be scheduled in April to tell him exactly what kind of material it needs to build its case. That way, he will be able to take that information into consideration when comparing the prosecution's summary to the source material.

The judge will then share any changes he makes to the summary with the prosecution team before approving it. At that point, the document becomes final, not able to be reconsidered except in the event of an appeal, officials explained.

During a post-hearing news conference, Kammen accused the prosecution of trying to get Pohl to make a quick, irrevocable decision that will impact the defense's case, but with no meaningful input from the defense. He commended Pohl for delaying action until April, although indicating that it's still too little time for the defense team to adequately review the mountains of information involved and request needed resources.

"Three months in the context of the demands of this case is a blink of an eye," he said.

Kammen again condemned the military commission process, saying it was designed "solely to provide the fa├žade of justice, but not real justice." He said it is "completely outside the pale of what American justice has stood for for 200 years."

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions, underscored the importance of protecting classified information as well as sensitive information when it is in the public interest during this and other trials.

He emphasized that military commissions – like all criminal trials in the U.S. federal system of criminal justice – must subscribe to rules that balance the accused's right to a fair trial and the need to protect national security and other public interests.
Although Nashiri was in the courtroom during today's proceedings, all the activity revolved around the prosecution and defense teams.

Nashiri, 47, is charged with "perfidy," or treachery; murder in violation of the law of war; attempted murder in violation of the law of war; terrorism; conspiracy; intentionally causing serious bodily injury; attacking civilians; attacking civilian objects; and hazarding a vessel.

The charges arise out of an attempted attack on the USS The Sullivans in January 2000 and an attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, during which 17 U.S. sailors were killed and 37 more wounded. Nashiri also is accused of involvement in an attack on the MV Limburg, a French civilian oil tanker, in October 2002, in which one crew member was killed and about 90,000 barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Aden. If convicted, Nashiri could be sentenced to death.

Nashiri did not enter a plea during his arraignment at Guantanamo Bay in November.

The Guantanamo Bay proceedings are being broadcast via closed circuit television to three sites in the United States. Two of those sites are at Fort Meade, in a theater and training-room facility. Another, at Norfolk Naval Base, Va., is reserved for families of USS Cole victims as well as crew members aboard the vessel during the attack.
 

Related Sites:
Military Commissions
Related Articles:
Pretrial Proceedings Begin for Alleged USS Cole Mastermind

--
Sean P Eagan

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




DAV Newsletter

Dear Sean,

As we enter a new year of hope and tremendous need, I'm so thankful that you're standing with me at the sides of our disabled American veterans.

As our troops face grave danger in Afghanistan — and returning heroes transition from war to civilian life — America's ability to care for the sick and wounded will be put to the test. That's why your choice to support Disabled American Veterans will carry such critical impact in 2012.

For Our Disabled Defenders!
DAV-AWilson (SIGNATURE)
Arthur H. Wilson, National Adjutant
Disabled American Veterans



DAV Reaches Out to Homeless Vets
Jan1.jpg   The DAV recently gave a helping hand to homeless vets, at a stand down where haircuts, showers, food, medical checks, flu shots, clothes, and personal hygiene items were provided at a recent all-day event. DAV experts were also there to provide free benefits assistance. "It's very clear there's need," said Etter Bowers of the DAV. "We're not turning anyone away."
 
Metallica Tribute Band Plays for DAV
Jan2.jpg   After meeting a Vietnam veteran who could no longer do his job because of a service-related injury (he was considered only 10% disabled and received a mere $100 a month), Jamie Amir knew he wanted to help disabled vets in need. So he and his band staged a concert to raise funds for the DAV.

Bridge Honors Disabled American Veterans
Jan3.jpg   Along U.S. Route 72, a bridge has been renamed Disabled American Veterans Memorial Bridge. "Whenever I cross it, I will remember the ones who didn't return home," said Vietnam veteran Danny Joe Wilson. U.S. Navy veteran David White commented, "It means a lot to all of us."

U.S. Soccer Team Raises Over $11,500 for DAV
 Jan4.jpg   The U.S. Men's National Team raised over $11,500 for the DAV by donating soccer jerseys to a "Shirts Off Their Backs" auction. Each jersey attracted at least 10 bids and sold for over $300 dollars. Clint Dempsey's set the record, raising $1,500 for the DAV. In addition, U.S. Soccer wrote a letter of thanks to America's veterans.

Disabled Veteran Gives the DAV a Gift of Gratitude
 jan5.jpg   Bam Rubenstein wrote the DAV into his will as a way of giving back to the organization that always stood by him. Bam had always said that if he "struck it rich," he'd share his riches with the DAV. "And then it occurred to me that even if I never strike it rich, I could still thank them by leaving something after I'm gone."
 
Keep Hope Alive for Disabled Vets in the New Year!
[object Object]   One in three troops returning from war today suffers post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Brain injuries plague one in five, while eye injuries darken the lives of 50,000. By partnering with the DAV, you'll lend vital support to these disabled defenders as you give a gift of $25 … $50 … $100 or more today!


--
Sean P Eagan

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




DAV Newsletter



--
Sean P Eagan

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




VFW’s 2012 Priority Goals

We're taking the fight for veterans' rights into 2012!

Dear Sean,

Last year, VFW helped win many victories for veterans, thanks to the vigilance of members like you!

But we're not giving up the fight in 2012 — NO WAY!

VFW's 2012 Priority Goals were recently released. We want you to be among the first to get informed and help hold our congressional leaders to the promises they made to you — and all veterans!

View VFW's Priority Goals

You can also get timely and urgent legislative updates from the VFW National Legislative Service in Washington, D.C. VFW's Washington Weekly, is a free enewsletter that keeps you in the know about critical veterans' and legislative issues as they're

--
Sean P Eagan

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




Concerning Mr. Panetta's mutterings on Martin Luther King

 
 
What apparently has been lost in the memorializing hype is the fact that during the last year
of Dr. King's life, he was a vehement opponent of the Vietnam war, much to the chagrin of the
establishment Civil Rights community. He also began speaking out against poverty and corporate
power. His popularity was at an all-time low when he was shot down in Memphis.
 
An interesting fact concerning his assasination:  About an hour before King's  death, a roving patrol
of the Memphis police aroung the Lorraine Motel  was suddenly withdrawn without any notice being made
to King and his associates.
 
Dr. King's enemies in the Civil Rights movement and the Democratic party, ( And he had many), subsequently
closed ranks and manufactured a myth which had nothing to do with the real man and the circumstances behind
his murder.
 A post script.
If Dr. King were alive today, he would be the most vehement and vocal critic of Obama, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
and the Wall Street bailout. Most likely, the Government , through the so-called department of "Homeland Security"
would brand him a "terrorist" under the so-called "Patriot Act",
He would subsequently be charged, arrested, and disappeared, if not already being allowed to be done away with
by another "Lone Nut".
 
Apparently, times have not changed much.
 
God bless America,
 
John F. Davies
USMC 1977-1985


--
Sean P Eagan

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




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pretrial Proceedings Begin for Alleged USS Cole Mastermind


By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., Jan. 17, 2012 - The commander of the U.S. detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, defended the new policy that allows government officials to monitor prisoners' mail during the opening day of pretrial proceedings for the alleged mastermind in the USS Cole bombing.

Navy Rear Adm. David Woods, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, testified today in response to a motion by the defense at the military commission hearing for Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed al Nashiri. Army Col. James Pohl ruled during proceedings at Guantanamo Bay that Woods should explain the policy he instituted last month.

Woods, one of the highest-level officials to testify in a military tribunal, said the new policy balances his responsibilities to facilitate attorney-client communication while also ensuring security, safety, force protection and good order at the facility.

Woods told Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen C. Reyes of the defense team the new policy allows members of a team that reviews detainee privileges to conduct a "plain-view review" of written communications not marked as protected attorney-client information. The review, he said, is designed to ensure this correspondence does not include physical or "information contraband" such as maps of the detention facility.

Woods disputed the defense position that the policy violates client-attorney privilege, or that reviewers must read the material in full to make a determination. He also denied that the policy restricts access between detainees and their lawyers.

One of its benefits, he said, is authorizing guards to search the plastic bins reserved for legal paperwork and correspondence in detainee living spaces. Guards reportedly have found contraband stowed in these "legal bins" in the past.

Woods acknowledged that the policy depends on the professionalism of the privileged review team, as well as their contractual commitments, to ensure their review is conducted properly and ethically. He noted that reviewers, all civilian contractors, must sign a non-disclosure agreement that bars them from sharing this information, particularly with prosecuting attorneys associated with the case.

The prosecution called the defense's request for Woods to appear before the court irrelevant to the case because Nashiri hasn't been subject to mail searches.

However, officials said Pohl's decision to call him likely was made because what happens in the Nashiri case – the first to go through a revised military commission system -- is likely to set the precedent for trials to follow. Army Col. John Head, deputy chief of staff for the convening authority, told reporters the defense's request likely is intended to institute an across-the-board process that ensures all detainees receive equal treatment.

Pohl is expected to render a decision tomorrow, the second of two days of a pretrial hearing to consider 10 motions in the case.

Nashiri, 47, is charged with "perfidy," or treachery; murder in violation of the law of war; attempted murder in violation of the law of war; terrorism; conspiracy; intentionally causing serious bodily injury; attacking civilians; attacking civilian objects; and hazarding a vessel.

The charges arise out of an attempted attack on the USS The Sullivans in January 2000 and an attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, during which 17 U.S. sailors were killed and 37 more wounded. Nashiri also is accused of involvement in an attack on the MV Limburg, a French civilian oil tanker, in October 2002 in which one crewmember was killed and about 90,000 barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Aden. If convicted, Nashiri could be sentenced to death.

Nashiri did not enter a plea during his arraignment at Guantanamo Bay in November.
Although the defendant was in the room during today's proceedings – albeit it out of camera view for remote viewers for most of the hearing – all the activity revolved around the prosecution and defense teams.

Pohl rejected two defense motions: one to allow Nashiri to be unrestrained during his meetings with his legal counsel, and one to establish an enclave – a protected network within the larger Defense Department computer network – in an effort to keep DOD from monitoring the defense counsel's computers and electronic communications.

Pohl dismissed civilian defense counsel Richard Kammen's argument that defense counsel should be able to meet with unrestrained detainees in locked-room meetings, as representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross are able to.

The current policy requires detainees to be shackled and in an unlocked room during meetings with their attorneys, enabling guards to enter the room and for attorneys to exit quickly in the event of a disturbance, the prosecution noted.

Anthony W. Mattivi, a member of the prosecution team representing the Justice Department, expressed concern that changing the current policy could put the guards at increased risk and said Woods should be the one to make any changes to the policy, not the court. "That's not his call," Mattivi said of Kammen. "It's the commander's."

Pohl agreed, ruling to keep the current policy intact.

The judge, however, left the door open for a possible request by the defense for an enclave or other security remedy for its electronic communications in the future, while acknowledging that even material in enclaves is subject to monitoring.

Kammen compared the encryption system the defense now uses to protect sensitive materials to putting them in a locked drawer in an office, then handing the government the key to the drawer and leaving the office door open. "It's the appearance of confidentiality without the substance," he told the court.

Lockhart argued that an enclave isn't necessary because encryption already ensures the maximum security possible for the documents. Pentagon computer security expert Adam Bennett, whom she called to the stand, said it's virtually impossible for government officials to access encrypted information or open documents – including those used by the defense team – without the password and encryption software needed to access it.

Both the defense and prosecution, as well as the judge, recognized that all material on DOD networks is subject to routine, noncontent-related screening to prevent viruses and cyber attacks.

In other motions considered today, Pohl granted a motion supporting more public access to court proceedings. Currently the proceedings are broadcast from the court at Guantanamo Bay via closed circuit to just three locations in the United States. Two of those sites are here at Fort Meade in a theater and training-room facility. Another, at Norfolk Naval Base, Va., is reserved for families of USS Cole victims as well as crewmembers aboard the vessel during the attack.

Pohl also moved that unofficial transcripts of the proceedings, posted online while the official transcript remains classified, may be referred to by both legal teams during the trial.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Kammen said the defense considered today "on balance, a very successful day," while acknowledging that some of the motions made could ultimately delay the trial, possibly as far out as 2015.

Kammen called military commissions "at best, a second-class system of justice" and said they are designed to be secretive and provide expedient justice at the expense of transparency and fairness. He added that the defense team today fought for things it wouldn't have had to in federal court, and accused the government of blurring the line between classified and embarrassing information.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions, disputed Kammen's charges, noting that the prosecution team in the commissions operates much like prosecutors in federal courts. They play no part in handling defendant's correspondence or defense attorney's emails, don't communicate with facility personnel about contacts with an accused legal materials and aren't privy to those materials, he said.

Martins said proceedings like today's are designed to ensure legal issues are resolved in a way "consistent with the fair, transparent and accountable administration of justice under the rule of law."

Despite the manpower and expense associated with the commission proceedings, Martins said the United States has a responsibility to follow them through. "Not only must we continue to pursue the truth for the surviving family members of victims who have been rendered silent, but we must also pursue it because that is what justice requires," he said. "A civilized and open society facing very real and modern security threats can demand no less."
 

Related Sites:
Military Commissions Website

--
Sean P Eagan

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