Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Man Convicted of Killing Fort Stewart Soldier for Insurance Money

Jasper man convicted of beating soldier to death for insurance money 
The Associated Press
March 27, 2015

A federal jury took less than an hour to convict an Alabama man of murder in the 2013 baseball bat slaying of a Fort Stewart soldier found beaten on government property near the southeast Georgia Army post.

The U.S. District Court jury returned its guilty verdict Thursday against 43-year-old Carl Evan Swain of Jasper, Alabama. Prosecutors say Swain killed his brother-in-law, 29-year-old Army Spc. John Eubank, in a plot with the defendant's sister to collect $500,000 in life insurance and benefit payments from the soldier's death.

"He is penniless. He is desperate, and he is willing to kill her husband if she'll pay him," Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Rafferty told jurors in his closing argument.

Swain didn't testify at during his trial, the Savannah Morning News reported. His defense attorney, Edward Tolley, asked jurors to consider Swain's statement to FBI agents after he was arrested in December 2013. read more here

Utah Remembers Vietnam Veterans Day

Utah Vietnam Veterans Day: Remembering and honoring those who have served 
Daily Herald
Cathy Alfred
March 27, 2015
When we came home, nobody said nothing, and they made all kinds of foul remarks about it,” Robinette said of his military service. “Even my friends made derogatory remarks."
HIGHLAND -- Dennis Callanta is a Vietnam veteran. He knows how to fight in the hot, humid jungle, has felt the effects of Agent Orange, has seen the horrors of battle, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. “I like to call it PTSI for post-traumatic stress injury,” Callanta said.

On Monday, the state of Utah will observe its first Vietnam Veterans Day, a tribute to those who fought and served in the Vietnam War.

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Vietnam Veterans Day on April 23, 1976.

Since then, several states have declared their own Vietnam Veterans Day, usually on March 29 because it is the date the last American combat troops left Vietnam in 1973.
read more here

Ex-Marine and Wife Found in Burning Car

Ex-Marine, wife dead in car; cops suspect suicide 
IOHUD
Thane Grauel
March 27, 2015
"No way it could be suicide," said Arendt, now a civilian. "He had his whole life planned out ahead of him, investments, he was going to make a business with his wife."
Elijah and Shannon Woodson, both 22, were found about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.

YONKERS A former Marine and his wife found dead late Tuesday in a car at The Mall at Cross County likely committed suicide, police said.

Elijah and Shannon Woodson, both 22, were found about 11:45 p.m. in a car with burning charcoal briquettes according to the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office. 

The cause of death was asphyxiation. Lt. Patrick McCormack, a police spokesman, said Thursday that the department was not confirming their identities because it was still trying to locate relatives of the two.

"We feel, based on what we found inside the vehicle, that it was a suicide," said Lt. Patrick McCormack, a police spokesman.
read more here

USO Honors Medal of Honor Recipients

Joint Chiefs of Staff, USO Salute Medal of Honor Recipients 
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2015 – On the eve of National Medal of Honor Day, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff partnered with the United Service Organizations Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore to salute the nation’s Medal of Honor recipients here yesterday.
Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Mary, speak before an audience of about 600 during the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore’s 33rd awards dinner in Arlington, Va., March 24, 2015. The Winnefelds and the Joint Chiefs of Staff honored the nation's Medal of Honor recipients on the eve of National Medal of Honor Day. DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Nathan Gallaha

The USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore held its 33rd annual awards dinner, where it paid special tribute to nearly 30 recipients of the nation’s highest military honor, as well as yearly accolades to those who serve America’s troops.

Following a video presentation, Army Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, began the Medal of Honor recipient tributes.

Heroism ‘Thrust Upon Them’
“Our veterans have forged the story of American patriots,” he said. The fabric of our society continues to be built upon the foundation of these patriots who display extraordinary heroism, courage and selfless sacrifice for our nation, Grass said. “They do not go out seeking to become heroes; it’s thrust upon them,” he said.

Grass quoted a fifth-century writer who once said, “‘the purpose of all wars is lasting peace.’”
read more here

TEAM RUBICON Run to End Veteran Suicides

Memorial run on Saturday to raise veteran suicide awareness
KOCO News
By Rob Hughes
Mar 27, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY —A 5K memorial run to raise veteran suicide awareness will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Earlywine Park in Oklahoma City.

Team Rubicon, Team Red, White and Blue and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have partnered to lead the fourth annual "Suicide and Prevention and Awareness Run as One."

The event is in honor and memory of Clay Hunt, a Marine Corps veteran who lost his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2011. The nationwide event also raises awareness of PTSD.
read more here

Team Rubicon mourns the loss of a veteran, volunteer, and brother. Neil Landsberg, a former Combat Controller in the United States Air Force, was an active Region 3 team member. As an Air Force Special Operator, Neil completed multiple overseas combat deployments. When he took off the uniform he volunteered at Walter Reed and served as a role model for many TR volunteers around the Washington, DC area. Neil is remembered by his teammates and fellow volunteers as a “total stud”.

Heart Problems and PTSD Connection Linked Years Ago

When will they do a study to find out how stressful it is to keep funding these studies?

This is a study of PTSD and hearts
MUNICH, Germany, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Patients with cardiac defibrillators may have a higher death risk if they have post-traumatic stress disorder, German researchers said.
It was reported by UPI PTSD linked to increased heart death risk and is still an active page showing;
"Our findings provide direct evidence for an independent influence of PTSD symptoms on fatal outcome in these patients," the study authors said in a statement.

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found those experiencing PTSD symptoms conferred a 2.4-fold long-term age- and sex-adjusted mortality -- death -- risk for patients with implantable cardiac defibrillators.
But if you already checked the links, then you know this report was from 2008.

For years there has been more research on this but we're not talking a decade. We're talking about decades. Now unless the human body has been changed, unless the human mind has been totally rewired and war has changed so much that it caused PTSD to morph into something else, not much results came out of all these repeated research projects.

So here's the latest headline everyone is talking about as if it is something totally new. It ain't new and it hasn't improved for veterans. Gee wonder why that is?
Study adds evidence on link between PTSD, heart disease
In a study of more than 8,000 veterans living in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, those with posttraumatic stress disorder had a nearly 50 percent greater risk of developing heart failure over about a seven-year follow-up period, compared with their non-PTSD peers.

The findings appear in the April 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence linking PTSD and heart disease. The research to date—including these latest findings—doesn't show a clear cause-and-effect relationship. But most experts believe PTSD, like other forms of chronic stress or anxiety, can damage the heart over time.

"There are many theories as to how exactly PTSD contributes to heart disease," says Dr. Alyssa Mansfield, one of the study authors. "Overall, the evidence to date seems to point in the direction of a causal relationship."

Everything in the human body is connected. Get under stress and it causes heart problems. What is more stressful than combat? Easy. Living the rest of your life with PTSD and then getting a load of stuff instead of help. This was reported on the UK Daily Mail about a study done in Massachusetts.
Proof that stress really does cause heart attacks
Adrenaline can increase white blood cell production which can cause ruptures

Extra white blood cells can cause inflammation in people whose arteries are already thickened with plaque

These inflammations can lead to ruptures which can cause heart attack in minutes

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vietnam Veteran Gets Dying Wish To Go Back to Pearl Harbor

Vietnam War Veteran Gets Dying Wish to Visit Pearl Harbor
Associated Press
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii
Mar 25, 2015

When a Vietnam veteran briefly stopped in Hawaii on his way home from war, he vowed to return one day to honor the people who perished during the attack on Pearl Harbor. With just less than two months to live, Joseph Hooker realized his longtime dream on Wednesday.

The Marine Corps veteran, who has heart disease and cancer, traveled from his home in Essex, Maryland, to Honolulu to visit the site of the Japanese attack that pushed the United States into World War II. The Dream Foundation, which grants wishes for those who have life expectancies of a year or less, arranged for the journey.

Hooker's brother and sister-in-law, who are his caregivers, took turns pushing him in a wheelchair as they went on a private tour of the battleship USS Missouri.

The Hawaii dream stems from a 20-minute stop in the islands in 1971 as Hooker headed home from Vietnam, Hooker said from his Waikiki hotel room Tuesday. He was let off the ship just long enough to make a phone call to his family and eat some ice cream. He promised to come back someday "to honor the men and women that gave their life at Pearl Harbor."

More than four decades later, Hooker visited the spot where Japan surrendered on the deck of the USS Missouri and got a rare peek inside the captain's cabin. "I've never seen a battleship like this before," he said.

The Dream Foundation's new program, Dreams for Veterans, made Hooker's wish possible. In applying, Hooker wrote a letter saying that he longed to visit Pearl Harbor to "learn, touch and understand what happened there."
read more here

Marine Hit and Killed By Plane in Yuma Arizona

Marine Killed in Plane Crash Was Escorting Construction Crew 
Associated Press
YUMA, Ariz.
Mar 25, 2015
A U.S. Marine who was killed when a civilian plane struck his government truck was serving as an escort to a construction crew when the crash happened at an Arizona military base, federal investigators say.

The construction crew was working near a runway at the base March 11, and the Marine was in a truck about 140 feet from the runway, according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report into the plane crash at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and Yuma International Airport.

The Marine Corps has identified the Marine who died as Lance Cpl. Anthony T. DuBeau, 23, a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

The pilot and a passenger were not injured. During takeoff, the plane banked to the left and then to the right, despite the pilot's attempts to regain control, the NTSB said. read more here

Yet Again Congress Puts Lives in Danger

Bureaucrats Block Special Ops Intel Requests 
Associated Press
by Ken Dilanian
March 26, 3015
Email messages and other military records obtained by The Associated Press show that Army and special operations command bureaucrats have been pressing troops to use an in-house system built and maintained by traditional defense contractors. The Distributed Common Ground System, or DCGS, has consistently failed independent tests and earned the ire of soldiers in the field for its poor performance.
WASHINGTON— Military bureaucrats have been trying to force an unpopular government-built intelligence system on special operations units deploying to war zones while blocking soldiers from using the commercial alternative they say they need, according to government records and interviews.

Over the last four months, six Army special operations units about to be deployed into Afghanistan, Iraq and other hostile environments have requested software made by Palantir, a Silicon Valley company that has synthesized data for the CIA, the Navy SEALs and the country's largest banks, among other government and private entities. But the Army has approved just two of the requests after members of Congress intervened with senior military leaders.

Four requests pending with U.S. Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Tampa, Florida-based Special Operations Command have not been granted.
read more here

Stellate Ganglion Block No Better Than Placebo for PTSD

The VA has been spending millions on useless PTSD research It isn't as if they just discovered the price being paid by servicemen and women. They discovered it about 100 years ago and all hands on deck were called in the 70's.

Stellate ganglion block offers hope for PTSD treatments was one of those "projects" that was supposed to take care of servicemembers but as reported today, it didn't work.
Stellate Ganglion Block No Better Than Placebo for PTSD
MEDSCAPE
Nancy A. Melville
March 26, 2015

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD — While promising preliminary research has shown some benefits of stellate ganglion block (SGB) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new randomized controlled trial shows the treatment is not superior to sham injection.

An increasing number of case reports showing benefits from SGB for PTSD for several months after treatment has generated much buzz in the popular press, and the treatment has recently been featured on various TV programs.

One of the largest studies of the treatment to date was a case series involving 166 patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in which 70% of military service members with PTSD reported significant improvement of their PTSD symptoms, with benefits persisting beyond 3 and 6 months after the procedure.

Robert N. McLay, MD, PhD, lead author of the new study, said such improvements were seen even in a small case series of patients with PTSD at his center, prompting the placebo-controlled study.

"We were hoping for a benefit," Dr McLay, of the Naval Medical Center, in San Diego, California, told Medscape Medical News.

"We tried this out informally in our clinic and did see some benefit in about half of patients, but in this more formal study we were not able to reproduce those results."
read more here

This is from Eyewitness News 2010
Dr. Lipov says when a traumatic event is experienced, nerves in the brain sprout like flowers. By applying the local anesthetic, the nerve growth factor returns to normal.

In a recent study at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, doctors found the shot provided "immediate, significant and durable relief" for two soldiers who didn't respond to pills. Other doctors say more safety studies need to be done before the treatment is widely used.

The real questions we should be asking is, "If any of this worked, then why didn't it work? If it didn't work then why did we still have to pay for it? When do we get the tax funds back so we can invest in what does work? Who is being held accountable for all this wasted time and money? The biggest question I have is, who is going to bring back the lives lost after all these years?

Army Will Give Purple Heart to Chemical Weapons Wounded

Veterans Hurt by Chemical Weapons in Iraq Get Apology 
New York Times
By C. J. CHIVERS
MARCH 25, 2015
The Army has approved a Purple Heart for former Specialist Richard T. Beasley, who was burned by sulfur mustard agent while dismantling a bomb in Iraq.
Credit via Richard T. Beasley

WASHINGTON — The under secretary of the Army on Wednesday apologized for the military’s treatment of American service members exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq, and he announced new steps to provide medical support to those with lingering health effects and to recognize veterans who had been denied awards.

Under Secretary Brad R. Carson acknowledged that the military had not followed its own policies for caring for troops exposed to old and abandoned chemical munitions that had been scattered around Iraq, and he vowed improvement.

He also said that the Army had reversed a previous decision and approved a Purple Heart medal for a soldier burned by sulfur mustard agent, and that he expected more medals to be issued to other veterans after further review.

“To me, the scandal is that we had protocols in place and the medical community knew what they were, and yet we failed in some cases to implement this across the theater,” he said. “That was a mistake, and I apologize for that. I apologize for past actions and am going to fix it going forward.”
read more here

"Admiral" Learns Rank Has Limits

Sestak's use of rank violates military's code of ethics 
TribLive
By Salena Zito
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
Democrat Joe Sestak talks to supporters at Carol and Dave's Roadhouse in Ligonier on March 23, 2015 during a stop on a symbolic walking tour across Pennsylvania on the first anniversary of Obamacare. Sestak is running for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Joe Sestak retired from the Navy in 2005, but he still prefers the title “Admiral” in his campaign literature.

And that could be a problem, experts say.

Sestak's website emphasizes his military career, pointing out that he served 31 years in the Navy. But in many sections, it refers to him as “Admiral Sestak,” as do his campaign news releases.

Department of Defense ethics guidelines say retirees not on active duty can mention their military rank or service affiliation when campaigning for federal office but must clearly indicate their retired or reserve status. The rules were designed to prevent any implication of official endorsement or approval of military members' participation in political activity.

Neither the Navy nor the Pentagon would discuss Sestak's campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, who beat him by 2 percentage points in 2010.

At an event in Latrobe on Tuesday, titled “Admiral Sestak for Senior Citizens and People with Alzheimer's Disease,” Sestak refused to address questions about why his campaign literature doesn't prominently indicate he retired as a two-star rear admiral.

“I don't know what you are talking about,” said Sestak, who rose to the rank of three-star admiral but wasn't in that position long enough to retire as such. He said he could not answer the question and referred it to campaign spokeswoman Danielle Lynch, who refused comment.
Retired Army Gen. Tony Cucolo, a former commandant of the Army War College in Carlisle, believes retired military officers make good public servants “because their natural inclination is to the serve the nation.”

“But you cannot run using your military title, and a true professional soldier would not do that,” Cucolo said.
read more here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Alway Something for Veterans To-Do List in Florida

March #2 notice of veteran, military or patriotic events in Central Florida from Cathy Haynes
 
Send me your events – people cannot attend an event if they don’t know about it!   I didn’t attend nor share some recent info:   I wasn’t aware of the events that dedicated portions of highways to Central FL fallen warriors; or the home that was given to a wounded warrior in Sanford.   Not knowing means reduced attendance by caring communities…
Please share this information and events with your friends and interested others and attend.   Post where appropriate.

 
 
Tonight - Greeters needed!  Honor Flight Welcome Home –WED. Mar 25 – Orlando Int’l Airport –After a day spent in Washington DC, 35 veterans of WWII and Korean War veterans return home thru Orlando Int’l Airport.   The nation-wide organization has three local hubs that take veterans on a single day trip to our nation’s capital where they visit the WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War Memorials, Marine Corps Iwo Jima and the Air Force Monuments, and witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.   This group will return at about 9:30 pm and enter the terminal area at about 10:30pm.   Come welcome these former warriors home!   “Welcome Home” receptions at the airports makes a difference!   Bring your flags, banners and signs! – Southwest Airlines #1341 from Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Terminal A, Airside 2 (hotel area in front of Starbucks.) Before leaving home, check online to see if the flight is on time because there may be delays due to weather, mechanical or medical issues.   Free parking has been arranged at an off airport property – FastPark and Relax – who has been very generous to Honor Flights with free parking and shuttles to the airport - Contact Cathy Haynes for those details NLT 7pm     chaynes11629@yahoo.com    407-239-8468.
OR  Recent info - Three hour parking vouchers at the Airport for tonight only.   Do not use your SunPass transponder – pick up a paper ticket.   Parking Vouchers will be available at this event from GOAA.
 
FREE military admission to Rodeo – Fri. Mar 27 only – Ram National Circuit Finals, one of the largest rodeo events in the country, will be at the Kissimmee Silver Spurs Arena from Wed Mar 25 to Sat. Mar 28.   Lee Greenwood performs Fri. – Patriot Night - at 7pm.  $7 parking. Free admission for retired and active duty with military ID.   Other ticket prices vary.   See   ohpark.com  or prorodeo.com
Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee, 34744.
 
Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society fundraiser – Fri. Mar 27 – Sun. Mar 29 – All persons who are eligible to shop at the NEX can assist with making a $5 donation now thru Sun. Mar. 29.   In return, you will be given a coupon that entitles you to a 10% discount on NEX storewide merchandise (excluding the usual items – ie: liquor, cigarettes, Rolex, Cartier, Pandora, etc.)   The coupon is valid only from Fri Mar 27 thru Sun. Mar 29.   The Relief Society is nationally recognized for providing assistance in hardship situations.   The Navy Exchange (NEX) still exists in Orlando for all branches of active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents.   It is located west of Orlando Int’l Airport, about 1 mile south of the Beachline Expy/528 on Tradeport Dr.   Competitive pricing and programs.  Say “Hi and Welcome to Orlando!” to new manager Beth Munoz, recently transferred from Charleston.    7151 Earhart Dr., Orlando, 32827.     www.mynavyexchange.com   407-857-3550
 
Military Retiree Appreciation Day – Sat. Mar 28 – 9am – 4pm  Sponsored by Army/Fort Stewart but ALL military services are welcomed to this great event which will provide retired Soldiers and their families the latest information on the current state of the military, benefits and entitlements, and the future outlook for defense programs supporting retirees and pay. TRICARE/Delta Dental, Public Health, American Legion/VFW; briefings from:   Defense Accounting and Finance Service (DFAS) VA State Veterans Office, AAFES/Commissary, ID cards, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) /ROA.    University of Central Florida (UCF) campus at The Venue Auditorium , CFE Arena. 12777 Gemini Boulevard, Orlando, 32816-8041.   Info:   912-767-5013 or 912-767-3326 or email the Ft Stewart RSO at usarmy.stewart.usag or MacDill AFB Army Retirement Services Office at 813-828-0163 or emailarmy.rso@amc.af.mil 
 
American Heritage Weekend – Sat. Mar 28 – Orlando Scottish Rite Masonic Center sponsors this historical military time line display.  10am – 4pm.   Featuring early American to modern military living history encampments from the Civil War to Modern Day, weapons demonstrations, uniform collections, collectibles and vintage and active duty military vehicles.   1485 Grand Road, Winter Park.  Admission is free, parking is $5.   321-239-2467.
 
Tribute to World War II, Korea and Vietnam Veterans – Sat. Mar 28 - 11:30am - 3:30pm.   Hosted by AMVETS Post 2006 -Leesburg, held offsite at   Rural King, 1715 Citrus Blvd (Hwy 441),   Leesburg.   Special guests, speakers, recognition presented by our State, County Representatives, live music, food, beverages, activities vendors, prizes, raffles , Club challenge award, Event t-shirts, and lots more.     Invitations have been extended to the Governor, several Senators and Congressman, local representations, Mayor of Leesburg, Former Senator Carey Baker, Navy Band, ROTC, Boys and Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, and several more.    amvets2006.com  352-323-8750    Peggy c 407 484 2159   Sponsors and vendors welcomed!
 
Easter Children’s Party – Sat. Mar 28 - Easter Egg hunts, lunch and prizes for the children starting at 12 pm.   Sponsored by The American Legion Family at Post 286 Pine Castle. Make your child's reservations to attend this military and family friendly fun filled afternoon.   Space is limited and each child must be accompanied by an adult and register by calling 407-859-1460 by March 21st. Post address:   529 E. Fairlane Ave. Orlando, 32809 (south Orlando area, north of Sand Lake Road.)    alaunit286pinecastlefl@ gmail.com - An active and friendly post for men and women!
 
Wounded Officer Initiative (WOI) Fundraiser – Sat. Mar 28 - 6-11 pm Wounded law enforcement officers (LEO) will be assisted with this evening of dinner, dancing, and a Vegas-style magic show by Jeff Caprann, at Windermere Hall, 520 Main Street, Windermere, 34786. (southwest Orlando area.)   $50/pp or $90/couple.   Info: woundedofficersinitiative. org   Tickets/info:   Peter at 407-758-8526; Rick at 407-766-0125; or Scott at 407-408-3623.   (Thank you for the notice, Jimmy Brown!)
 
Bands, Brew & BBQ – Mar 28-29 (the last weekend) - USO Central Florida has partnered with Sea World Orlando for military and veteran appreciation. Event proceeds will support our local USO Central Florida.   Special discounts and offers for all actives, reservists, retirees and veterans from the military.   Live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, the tastiest BBQ from the area's best local smokehouses.   7007 SeaWorld Dr., Orlando, 32821.
 
Yellow Ribbon Event – Sun Mar 29 – 10:30 am gathering;  Join the Patriot Guard as they honor some Air Force members.   The Yellow Ribbon Program is a cooperative network of military services, veteran service organizations, state and local government departments and other agencies that provide information, resources, referral and proactive outreach to service members and their families throughout all phases of the deployment cycle. Each event has members that are deploying within the next 120 days and those just returning from deployment.
The events focus on members and their family concerns in preparation for deployment and providing military and community resource information workshops and stress management. For those members that have returned from deployment, the event focuses on reconnecting with family, community and employers.   10:30 am for after 11am presentation at The Hyatt Regency Orlando (old Peabody Hotel), 9801 International Drive, Orlando, 32819.   Bring your 3ft x 5ft patriotic flags and meet on the back side (north east corner) of the hotel.   Info:   David (Flyboy) Shelton, Dshelton01@aol.com or  321-689-4699.
 
Orlando Predators - Free Tickets for Veterans – Sun Mar 29 only - Partnering with the USO Central Florida, the Orlando Predators (Indoor football) are giving away 1,000 free pairs of tickets to military veterans in recognition of the bravery and dedication of the valiant men and women who are serving or have served in the U.S. Military. Predators vs. Philadelphia.   Tickets are good for the first home game of the team's 2015 season at the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando at 7 p.m.   Go to:   orlandopredators.com,   call 407-355-2200.
 
Orlando VA Medical Center Town Hall Meeting – Mon Mar 30 – Come share your VA healthcare experiences.   Speak directly with the leadership and providers about how we can make those experiences better.   VA resources will be available.   2:30pm – 4:30pm at the Viera Outpatient Clinic (Brevard County), 2900 Veterans Way, Viera, 32940.   Info:   407-599-1301.
 
Job Hiring event – Wed. Apr 1 – No fooling!   1pm -4pm at the Orlando VA Medical Center, Lake Baldwin site, 5201 Raymond St., Orlando, 32803 in Auditoriums A and B.   Business attire recommended.   Info:   800-922-7521 x1846.   Businesses include Loew’s, Home Depot, Florida Hospital, and more.   (This is NOT an event for hiring for VA jobs – the job fair is only located AT the VA facility.)
 
6th Annual CFNL Wounded Warrior Lone Sailor 5K & 10K – Sat. April 4 - 7:30am   Blue Jacket Park, 2501 General Rees Ave, Orlando, 32814.   Join us for a run on the former grounds of Naval Training Center Orlando to honor the city's rich military heritage and support our wounded service men and women.   Visit cfnl5k.org for details and to register online.   Sponsorships welcomed.
 
Veteran Town Hall Meeting and Information Seminar – Sat. Apr 4 – Sponsored by Commissioner Samuel Ings (Distr. 6) the RAFMAN Club (Retired Air Force, Marines, Army and Navy) and Dept. of Veterans Affairs.   10am until complete at Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center, 1723 Bruton Blvd, Orlando, 32805.   Info:   Contact Edwin Johnson at 407-599-1487 or  edwin.johnson2@va.gov.
 
ON THE HORIZON – mark your calendar
 
Orlando VA Annual Golf Scramble – Sat. Apr 11 – North Shore Golf Club, 11507 N. Shore Golf Club Blvd, Orlando, 32832.   $60 pkg includes cart, green fees, BBQ lunch.   Contact Edwin Johnson at 407-599-1487 or  edwin.johnson2@va.gov  (This event is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.)
 
Florida Women Veterans Conference – Apr 17-19 - a first ever weekend conference open to ALL women veterans of ALL eras.  Noted speakers.   Sandcastle Resort in Sarasota (1540 Benjamin Franklin Dr., Sarasota, 34236)   The website provides full information including the agenda, registration and hotel:   flwvc.org  
 
Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses mtg (FAVOB) – Tues Apr 21 – 10am at the American Legion Florida Department bldg., 1912A Lee Road, Orlando, FL 32810.  
 
Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion – Apr 23 – 26, Wickham Park in Melbourne.   The nation’s largest veteran reunion is very well attended; military displays, reenactments and ceremonies, old and new friends.   Additionally, the Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall will be onsite from Apr.19 – 26.   The escorted arrival is always exciting with hundreds of motorcycles and First Responder vehicles.
 
Homeless Veterans Stand Down in Brevard Co. – Sat. Apr 25 – located at National Guard Armory, 308 N. Fiske Ave., Cocoa, 32922.  8am – 2pm providing free services like medical, dental, hearing and eye exams, VA claims services, Legal assistance, haircuts, food, clothing and more.  Donated bicycles to be given away.   Free SCAT bus service.   Contact Bill at 321-431-0364 or Kim at 321-704-6712.
 
USMCCCA Foundation Golf Tournament – Fri. May 1   U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association, Foundation tournament.   The proceeds go to the Semper Fi fund to help wounded Marines and their loved ones.   James “Red” Carpenter at  jcar1@tampabay.rr.com   Sponsorships welcomed.
 
The Jerry Dugan Memorial Charity Golf Tournament – Mon. May 18 - Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)Central Florida at the Heathrow Country Club, a private golf course in Heathrow.   Sponsorships VERY welcomed!   Cost for non-veterans is $125 and $100 for veterans and includes 18 holes of golf, unlimited drinks during play (beer, soda and water), a lunch buffet, a goody bag worth approximately $50 and a 60” golf umbrella. Hole in one prizes, on designated holes, include a 2015 Mercedes Benz, and an EZ GO Golf Cart. Prizes (gift cards for each team member) will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as closest to the pin and a raffle of over 40 different items as well as a silent auction with over 20 items. For more information call PVACF office at 407-328-7041 or emailccentralflorida16@cfl.rr.com
(PVA assists vets with spinal injury and neurological diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.   There are 27 known veterans with ALS in Central FL.)
 
Golf Outing - A Villagers for Veterans Event – Tues. May 19 - Bonifay Country Club, The Villages Fl. Come and meet SSGT. Brian Mast, a true hero. Brian lost both his legs and a finger while clearing for bombs in Afghanistan during one of his tours. Brian recently returned from Israel, where he volunteered for the IDF.
 
The American Legion, Department of Florida, June 25 -28 - 96th Annual Department Convention at Renaissance SeaWorld in Orlando.
 
3rd Annual Bob Bret Memorial Golf Tournament - Mon. July 20. Central Florida Navy League, a large active group composed of civilians and veterans supporting all sea services.   (USN, USMC, USCG, and Merchant Marines.) This golf outing honors a long-time CFNL member, Robert "Bob" Bret - Proceeds go to support NJROTC scholarships and the Welfare & Recreation fund for USCGC Cutter's Vigilant and
Shrike, (based in Port Canaveral) crew & families.   Tournament at The Golden Bear Club, Keene’s Point in Windermere.   Corporate sponsors welcomed.   Contact Brian Holmes at 407.252.3008   bholmes@aegistg.com
 
MISC INFO:
 
Employment Workshops   - sponsored locally by the VA.    Dates and Times vary based upon location at the VA facilities:   Orlando – Fridays, 10am – 11:30 am; Viera – Tuesdays, 1pm – 2:30 pm; Daytona – Thursdays, 10am – 11:30.   Please call to RSVP limited seating or for more information - Ellamay "Annie" Artis, CESP, Veteran Community Employment Coordinator, Orlando, 32803.   407-629-1599 x1846.
 
Spread the word - Seeking members of the World War II 384th Bomb Group to sign a Commemorative wall panel.   ASAP.  During WWII, the 384th Bombardment Group was part of the Eighth Air Force and was assigned to the Grafton Underwood Airfield in England.   Today, the 384th Bomb Group Commemorative Wing Panel Project provides those veterans a chance to sign their names on a genuine wing skin panel from a WWII B-17G.   The panel travels all over the United States for interested 384th veterans to sign.   A volunteer for the group, Keith Ellefson, will be touring Florida later this month with the wing panel.   Email him at B-17WingPanel@384thBombGroup.com, or call Keith Ellefson at (334) 733-4353.
A roster of members of the 384th Bomb Group and a record of their service in the 384th can be found at 384thbombgroup.com  
 
Mentors needed - Orange County Veterans Court IS succeeding!   Longer term success is possible with community mentors.   Be a “battle buddy” or “foxhole buddy” by assisting someone with life challenges.   No proselytizing – just non-judgmental caring.   Most of the offenders are DUI or possession.   If you have experienced substance abuse – although not required - and came thru it, you may be very helpful to someone else.   If you are interested in participating as a mentor, know someone who is interested, or are a part of an organization where Mentors can be recruited, contact Beatrice Brown, the Coordinator.   She or Judge Brewer have graciously offered to visit various groups and organizations to keep the mentor program in use.   It does make a difference and you can too…..   Contact Beatrice Brown at 407-496-1307   wellsbrownlawgroup@gmail.com  
 
Civil Air Patrol – Wanted:   Youth and adults who have a passion for aviation, space, the military or leadership and want to learn to fly, lead, hike, camp, get in shape and push themselves to new limits.   Details:   407-600-8596.   capsmkin-sey@gmail.com   or fl259.org
 
INFO to keep and share:
 
Veterans in crisis – For you or someone you know - Confidential Hotline:   1-800-273-8255, #1.  
Or:   Website at   veteranscrisisline    provides 24/7 confidential chat online assistance;
Or:   text 838255   for   24/7 confidential assistance.   They are there because they care….
 
Camaraderie Foundation in Central Florida provides resources for private and confidential Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) counseling for warriors and their families.    It works.   It has saved lives, marriages and families.   Contact 407-841-0071
 
Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and financial assistance.     operationhomefront.org
 
Vet Centers are available for combat zone veterans to help with personal and family readjustment counseling and outreach services.   The nearest centers are located in Orlando, Melbourne, Clermont, and Daytona Beach.    And coming soon to Seminole County..      vetcenter.va.gov/    
 
ADDITIONAL of interest:
•              American Warrior Radio Show   from 11am-noon EDT on Saturdays, radio station WMEL - AM
                1300     Nationwide broadcast:   www.1300wmel.com  
•              WoundedTimes.blogspot.com - Veterans News Service covering news that matters to veterans
and their families. Local, state and national news and events – especially with videos involving Central Florida military and veterans. Dedicated to defeating Combat PTS.
•              Shades of Green Resort – Armed Forces Recreation Center on Disney property provides various packages for active duty, reservists, guardmen, 100% service connected disabled, and retired military personnel and their families.   Go towww.shadesofgreen.org   for information.   Special discounts for rooms may be available based on occupancy levels, and special ticket rates.   (407) 824-3400
•              Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to active duty, Guard and Reserve service members, and their families with comprehensive information on every aspect of military life including deployment, relationships, economics, grief, education, parenting and child care, and much more.   www.militaryonesource.mil
 
Caring and sharing,
 
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central FL
407-239-8468

Florida Veterans Hall of Fame Names 5 New Veterans

Five Inducted into 2014 Class of the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame
MARCH 24, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet today inducted five individuals into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The unanimous vote for the Class of 2014 came during the March 24 Cabinet Meeting at the Capitol.

Inductees are:
1. Rear Adm. LeRoy Collins Jr., U.S. Navy Reserve (deceased)
2. Maj. Gen. James L. Dozier, U.S. Army (retired)
3. Col. Frank Farmer, U.S. Army, Florida Army National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve (retired)
4. Chief Master Sgt. Eugene Cecil Johnson, U.S. Air Force (retired)
5. Lt. Gen. Lawrence F. Snowden, U.S. Marine Corps (retired)

The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those military veterans who, through their works and lives during or after military service, have made a significant contribution to the state of Florida through civic, business, public service or other pursuits. It is not a traditional military hall of fame, as it focuses on post-military contributions to the State of Florida.

A link to the Hall of Fame updated site will be added at a later date.

Marine Sergeant Major Relieved of Duty After False Service Claims

Sergeant major relieved after claims he embellished awards
Marine Corps Times
By Hope Hodge Seck, Staff writer
March 24, 2015
Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Lovell III
(Photo: Official service photo)


The top enlisted leader of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines has been relieved after Marines raised disturbing questions about discrepancies in his official biography.

Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Lovell III was removed from his post as the infantry battalion's sergeant major on Monday due to a loss of confidence, said 1st Lt. Luke Kuper, a spokesman for III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Lovell's unit is currently attached to 4th Marines on a Unit Deployment Program rotation to Okinawa, Japan.

"Errors in Lovell's official biography were brought to the Marine Corps' attention in a blog post on March 19, 2015," Kuper said in a statement.

"The official biography has been updated to reflect Lovell's service record. The Marine Corps works to ensure the accuracy of all public information and will correct inaccuracies when present."

Lovell is being sent back to his parent command at 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Kuper said. read more here