Wounded Times


Friday, September 4, 2015

Kansas City Veteran's Death Behind VA National Review

Death of Iraq veteran from Kansas City leads the VA to a nationwide review of wait times
Kansas City Star
September 3, 2015
After two tours in Iraq, Issac Sims was determined to be 70 percent disabled from PTSD from his military service. He also had hearing loss and traumatic brain injury, possibly the results of an improvised explosive device that detonated. On the day he died, he’d spent the morning taking his father’s Hummer to nearby fields, bouncing over the terrain, acting as if he were patrolling for IEDs.

For the first since her son’s death in what is often termed “suicide by cop,” Patricia Sims said she felt joy.

“This is for the next soldier,” Sims said Thursday.

Her son, Issac Shawn Sims, was an Iraq veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he practically goaded police to shoot him over Memorial Day weekend 2014. Sims held Kansas City officers at bay for five hours at his family’s East Side home. He died of multiple gunshot wounds, police accounts said, after pointing a rifle at officers.

Sims was 26.

Now the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will conduct a nationwide review of wait times and occupancy rates for relevant inpatient and other programs, as recommended by the Office of Inspector General. The report assessed Sims’ treatment and was released Wednesday. The report labeled Sims’ care as “inadequate.” The review came after a request by Rep. Kevin Yoder.

That Patricia Sims’ son’s case could possibly lead to substantial action is “one small step.”

Sims’ parents said they had tried in vain to get him help for his PTSD at the VA, a mere 2 miles from their home.

The family said Sims had been told he’d have to wait 30 days for inpatient treatment for PTSD.
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Just a reminder we were told the same thing BACK IN THE 90's and Congress blamed the VA back then too instead of fixing anything!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Former Navy SEAL Puts Bible Verse on "The Crusader" Rifle

Apopka gunmaker catching heat over assault rifle featuring cross, bible verse
WFTV 9 News
September 3, 2015
"It's just a piece of the Christian bible and a Christian cross and it's my product and you don't have to buy it," Thomas said.
APOPKA, Fla. — An Apopka firearms manufacturer is catching heat over its new assault rifle, called The Crusader, which bears a Christian cross and a psalm from the bible.

Some members of the Islamic community have taken offense at what Spike's Tactical says is behind the religious features.

The company's spokesman said it has to do with discouraging extremist Muslims from using the rifles.

Former Navy SEAL Ben Thomas said guns he trained Iraqi police to use have ended up in Islamic extremists' hands.

He said he came up with the idea of putting the Christian cross and a prayer of war on an assault rifle, believing these guns would be rejected by the extremists.

Thomas that with the help of his pastor, he chose Psalm 144:1, about the Lord training hands for war and fingers for battle, for the weapon.
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Among Clusta___ of Dead Veterans Claims, Veteran Died in 1993

More than 300,000 dead vets still on VA’s active health care enrollment list
The Washington Times
By Anjali Shastry
September 2, 2015
Veterans Affairs workers appear to have deleted another 10,000 benefit applications without ever processing them, and 13 percent on the rolls have been awaiting a decision for more than five years, the department’s inspector general said.

More than 300,000 dead veterans are still listed in VA computers as actively trying to sign up for health care — part of a massive 860,000-claim backlog that hasn’t been cleared up, according to an audit Wednesday that portrayed a department struggling with the basics of tracking benefits.
The system was set up in 2009 and incorporated all existing records at that time, but workers never checked to make sure those records were still active — putting dead veterans on the rolls. In one case, a veteran who died in 1993 still has a pending claim from that 2009 transition.
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2 Fort Carson Soldiers Injured After Black Hawk Helicopter Hard Landing

2 Soldiers Injured after Black Hawk Helicopter Hard Landing 
Associated Press
Sep 03, 2015
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Fort Carson says a Black Hawk helicopter landed hard in a suburban Denver forest in Douglas County, injuring two soldiers onboard.

The military says it's investigating how the accident happened about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. Forest Service land. Officials say four soldiers were in the helicopter during a routine training mission. Fort Carson spokeswoman Danny Johnson described the incident as a hard landing.

The military said in a news conference that the injuries are not life-threatening. read more here

Camp Lejeune Helicopter "Hard Landing" Leaves Marine Dead and 11 Others Injured

Marine dead, 11 hurt after hard landing at Camp Lejeune 
WXII 12 News
UPDATED 2:57 PM EDT Sep 03, 2015

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. —One Marine has been killed and 11 others were hurt when a helicopter made a hard landing at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Camp Lejeune officials said in a statement that he CH-53E helicopter came down hard during a training exercise around 9 p.m. Wednesday.
"Of the 11 injured Marines, six were treated at the naval hospital and released, while one was admitted in stable condition. Four were taken to a civilian hospital in nearby Jacksonville, where they are scheduled to be released. One Marine is being taken to a Greenville hospital and is reported to be in stable condition."
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Air Force Veteran Reunited with Child He Rescued After Hurricane Katrina

''Katrina Girl' Found: Air Force Vet to Reunite With Child He Rescued
NBC New York
September 3, 2015

It has been 10 years since former Air Force pararescuer Mike Maroney rescued a then three-year-old girl from the despair of Hurricane Katrina. A military photographer captured the little girl in a pink shirt smiling and hugging Maroney in a widely shared 2005 image.

Her hug "recharged me and gave me a little bit of a silver lining and some hope…that kept me going through rough times," Maroney told People magazine of the moment. But after the rescue, the two never saw each other.
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Special Forces Soldier Calls Out Fake SF At Rhode Island Airport

Special Forces Soldier Calls Out Fake SF 

At T.F Green Airport, Stolen Valor This was filmed at the T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island by an active member of the Special Forces.

Texas Resort Opens Door to Vietnam Veterans For Special Weekend

Mitchell Resort opening its doors, facilities free to Vietnam veterans for 9/11 weekend
Mineral Wells Index
September 2, 2015
Vietnam vet James Hotopp Vietnam veteran James Hotopp took part in an Independence Day parade at Mitchell Resort and RV Park. The resort is offering a free 9/11 weekend for Vietnam veterans.
PERRIN – A “thank you” to Vietnam War veterans is being hosted by Mitchell Resort the weekend of Sept. 11-13.

The resort is located two miles east of Perrin on FM Road 2210. The resort has offered all of its 46 cottages and 112 RV sites free to those who served our country during the Vietnam War.

Vietnam veterans, their spouses/significant others will be in attendance. Attendance is expected to be around 225. That weekend, there will be no charge for any of the resorts amenities.

Weekend events include Bingo, miniature golf, fishing and as many rounds on the nine-hole golf course as possible. The resort’s four swimming pools will be open and, with some favorable weather, all should give them a try.

The resort has also arranged for live entertainment for both Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as catered meals for the weekend.

Doris Reed and Kevin McGrath, owners of Mitchell Resort, have been asked, “Why are you doing this?” Their response was:

“This is our generation of soldiers and they were treated so poorly and with total disrespect when they returned home. It is about time they were thanked for their service. We have been fortunate enough to own this facility and giving back on 9/11 weekend, 2015, is the least we can do.” 
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Orange County Veteran Court Needs Mentor Veterans

Programs designed to help vets who landed on wrong side of the law
WESH 2 News Orlando
By Michelle Meredith
UPDATED 6:21 PM EDT May 07, 2015 
"This is as beneficial to me as it is to them because we all left the military with issues,” said Orange County Judge Jerry Brewer, who is a former U.S. Marine.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —Florida has the second highest number of veterans in the United States, and when those service members return home, many find themselves fighting different battles, like homelessness, unemployment and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Orange County has created two specialized programs that are designed to address the needs of veterans within the criminal justice system. 

Clyde Walker went from serving his country to serving time. He said he came home from Vietnam a changed man. 

“Vietnam was hell,” Walker said. “Sometimes you see your brothers with an arm gone or a leg gone. Life is totally different … for a long, long time I didn't have control of me." 

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, up to 20 percent of veterans who recently returned home have PTSD. 

The National Center for PTSD said 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans dealt with the disorder in their lifetime. 

Whether they’re dealing with addiction or anger management, many veterans with PTSD act out in ways that land them behind bars. 

“We all make mistakes. There is opportunity for recovery. I am a big believer in second chances, if you genuinely want a second chance,” Orange County Jail Chief Cornita A. Riley said. 

The Orange County jail not provides dorms reserved exclusively for veterans. 

The dorms house up to 30 inmates and run like the military.
click link to learn more

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Minnesota and Wisconsin Veterans VA Co-Pay Bills Included Dead Veterans?

Minnesota and Wisconsin veterans are facing thousands of dollars in old co-payments from the VA
Star Tribune
By Mark Brunswick
The VA identified 1,482 veterans in Minnesota and Wisconsin who would have been affected by the retroactive charges, including 26 who have been deceased for more than six months.
Minnesota’s congressional delegation, led by Rep. John Kline, is fighting a Veterans Affairs directive that found veterans suddenly being billed for co-payments that were as much as five years old.

Recently, members of Congress were notified that the VA discovered unbilled copay amounts for inpatient care provided to veterans over a five-year period. Veterans were going to be assessed copays ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 because the VA erred in not charging them at the time of the care.

Veterans in Minnesota and Wisconsin were to be affected, prompting members of Minnesota’s and Wisconsin’s congressional delegations to sign a letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald asking to delay attempting to collect the payments from the vets, many of whom are on fixed incomes and might not be able to pay.

“Our veterans sought care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in good faith and should not be suddenly saddled with thousands of dollars in bills years later due to the VA’s inability to properly track, record, and bill for services,” the letter said.
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Cpl. Allan "AJ" DeVillena II Death Settlement "Business Decision"

Palm Springs settles Marine shooting lawsuit for $2.6M
The Desert Sun
Brett Kelman
September 1, 2015

Palm Springs has agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of Cpl. Allan "AJ" DeVillena II, a Marine who was shot by a police officer who dove through the window of DeVillena’s moving car in 2012.

This is the third time the city has settled a lawsuit involving police Officer Chad Nordman.

Attorneys negotiated the settlement during an eleventh-hour conference on Monday. If the deal had not been brokered, the lawsuit would have gone to trial next week.

City Attorney Patrick Desmond described the settlement as a "business decision," made by the city's insurance company. Desmond said the city "stands behind" the officers who killed DeVillena, and blamed the Marine for the shooting.

“Given the actions of Mr. DeVillena, it was reasonable for both officers to respond with deadly force to defend themselves,” Desmond said in a prepared statement “This was a tragic event that could have been avoided had Mr. DeVillena not placed the officers’ lives in danger.”
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Illinois Veterans Home Deaths Climbs to 7 With At Least 39 Sickened

7 Dead From Legionnaires' Disease at Quincy Veterans Home
NBC 5 News
By Alan Scher Zagier
September 2, 2015

The death toll from a Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a western Illinois veterans home climbed to seven Tuesday, with the state's public health director suggesting more fatalities are likely.

Officials with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the state Department of Public Health said that each of the victims at the 129-year-old Quincy facility had underlying medical conditions, with an average age of 86.

Thirty-nine residents have been sickened so far, and test results for others remain pending. The outbreak was first identified late last week; its source remains undetermined.

"Unfortunately, we expect to see additional cases and possibly additional deaths because the incubation period for Legionnaires' disease can be up to two weeks," said Dr. Nirav Shah, Illinois' public health director.
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Ronda Rousey Said Yes To Marine

Ronda Rousey accepts Marine's invitation to Marine Corps Ball
USA Today
By: Mike Foss
September 1, 2015
“He’s cute,” Rousey said. “He’s gotta be a gentleman, though, I’m not a first date kind of girl. But, I dunno, we’ll see when I meet him.”

Last week, U.S. Marine Jarrod Haschert asked Ronda Rousey to accompany him to the Marine Corps Ball in December. At the time of Haschert’s proposal, Rousey was planning to fight Holly Holm in January and so she’d be too busy to attend. However, the fight was rescheduled to Nov. 14 in Australia, which means Rousey is available.

When asked by TMZ what she planned to do with the invitation, Rousey’s answer was emphatic.

“I would go for sure,” Rousey said but added that she didn’t know how to contact Haschert. “Do I call him? Or do I set up a time and place like Never Been Kissed and wait until the clock runs out and be like ‘I’m here!'”
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Iraq Veteran Made Sure Vietnam Veteran's Last Days Spent Loved

Veteran's final days of life at VA hospice prompt efforts to ensure dignity
The Daily Courier
Nanci Hutson
September 2, 2015
"Without a doubt, if it wasn't for that young man (Keith), the service would not have had the same complexion as it did," said Phil Whitehead, the coordinating ride captain. "He, singlehandedly, was responsible for making sure that veteran received the level of respect and recognition that he received.
Courtesy photo
John Keith poses for a photo with Richard Miller in his wheelchair at the VA hospice. Inset: Keith clasps Miller’s hand in his hospice room.
PRESCOTT - In the last five days of Vietnam veteran Richard Miller's life, his bedside companion was a two-tour Iraq veteran some 20 years his junior who wanted to be sure the Army soldier did not die alone.

Without formal permission from anyone, the former U.S. Navy sailor John Keith, 37, of Pine, opted to stand vigil with Miller, a patient in the Northern Arizona Veteran Affairs Health Care System' hospice. Miller died on the Fourth of July.

"I promised him that we would be brothers till the end," Keith said of the promise he made to the former U.S. Army combat medic.

The two became acquainted some four years ago when Miller connected with Keith through the online Facebook veteran community, OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) Veteran Community, he founded in 2009.
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FBI and Texas Rangers Investigate After Police Officer Found Dead

Police: Homicide suspected in off-duty Texas officer's death
By Catherine E. Shoichet
September 2, 2015
Story highlights
Police say Abilene Officer Don Allen's death is being treated as a homicide
They've described the manner of death as "suspicious," but haven't released details
There's no indication that "random law enforcement personnel are being targeted," chief says
(CNN)The death of an off-duty officer in Texas is being treated as a homicide, police said Tuesday.

Abilene Officer Don Allen was found dead Monday inside his home in Clyde. Investigators haven't released details about the manner of death, but have described it as "clearly suspicious."

"The circumstances behind his death indicate that the probable cause is homicide," police Chief Stan Standridge told reporters. "Aside from that, I'm not going to comment any further. ... I don't want to say anything today that would compromise our ability to hold these people accountable."

Texas Rangers are leading the investigation, with assistance from local police and the FBI.

Investigators haven't yet pinpointed a motive, and are pursuing numerous leads as they try to track down suspects, Standridge said.
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