Veterans' News


Wounded Times

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Wisconsin Iraq Veteran Hero Firefighter Killed in Car Crash

Eagle firefighter, veteran killed in crash
By Mike Anderson
July 24, 2014

WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. —Two communities are mourning an Iraq veteran and an Eagle Fire Department hero.

The Eagle Fire Department is draped with black and purple bunting, and its flags are lowered to half staff. It's a symbol of mourning for the family of Lt. Jed Ellenson who died Tuesday night.

"Jed was hired in 2009. It was shortly after he got out of the U. S. Marine Corps. He served two tours in Iraq, and he really found his niche and his calling once he joined our organization," Eagle Fire Department Chief Justin Heim said.

Ellenson was on the job about a year when the town was hit by a 125-130 mph tornado. His Iraq training was a lifesaver in the community.

"He was out there helping folks and doing what needed to be done and even since then," Heim said.

Ellenson's pickup truck slammed into a tree in his hometown of Mukwonago.
read more here

Vietnam Veteran once paralyzed walks to wed

Love’s ‘double delight’
Longtime couple weds at rehabilitation center that aided groom
Boston Globe
By Derek J. Anderson
JULY 25, 2014
When Dennis O’Brien was admitted to a rehabilitation center in Roslindale six weeks ago, he was caught in a nightmare: diagnosed with a rare disorder and paralyzed from the neck down.

But on Thursday afternoon, life took a dramatic turn for the 66-year-old Vietnam veteran. O’Brien, able to walk now and standing with only a cane in the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, married his longtime girlfriend Dorothy K. Smith in front of family, friends, and staff.

“It was a double delight,” said O’Brien, who was discharged the same day. “We had a marriage today, and I got to walk out the door when we were finished.”

O’Brien was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the nerves.
read more here

Sequestration Continues to Shrink Armed Forces

What is happening with our military?
Some Army captains prepping to leave, majors to be alerted
Fort Hood Sentinel
By Dave Larsen, Chief, Command Information
JULY 24, 2014

As the Army looks to reduce its force to 490,000 by the end of fiscal year 2015 and 450,000 by the end of FY ’17, a military personnel official from Fort Hood said Tuesday that 213 captains within III Corps were recently identified by the Army Officer Separation Board to transition from the service in the coming months.

At Fort Hood, 91 captains were affected by the OSB, according to Jay Whitaker, the senior military personnel officer, or G1, with Fort Hood’s Mission Support Element.
Why is it happening?
As noted repeatedly over the past several months by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, force reductions are based on the Army’s budget.

If sequestration continues, however, there is a possibility that the Armywide personnel end-strength could go as low at 420,000, to include additional reductions in brigade combat teams.

Enough said!

Inspirational Double Amputee Iraq Veteran Up for Cover for Men's Health

Local veteran in the running to grace the cover of Men's Health magazine
MyFOX Alabama
By Vanessa Araiza
Posted: Jul 24, 2014
To his three children, Noah Galloway is just Dad. But soon the Iraq veteran and double amputee may be the very first reader to ever grace the cover of Men's Health Magazine.

In the past, athletes and celebrities have only been the ones to draw readers' attention.

When asked what his children thought of the coveted spot Galloway said they don't see it as a big deal.

"As long as I take them to the park that's all that really matters," said Galloway. "I've tried explaining it to them and they're like, 'Yeah, OK.'"

If you didn't know him or his story you wouldn't know the struggles he's overcome since being injured in 2003 when an IED struck the humvee he was riding in.

"In 2007-2008 if you would have said I was even in the running to be on the cover of Men's Health magazine I would have said you're crazy, there's no way," said Galloway.

Galloway said he's always wanted to be in the magazine he's read for years but it wasn't until the loss of his arm and leg he felt he truly had a story to tell.

"After I was injured and then I got back in shape I always felt like I had a legitimate reason to be on Men's Health because I designed all my workouts. Everything I've done I've done on my own, " said Galloway.

After sinking to his lowest in 2007 and 2008, Galloway took a different approach on life. That new outlook not only put him in great shape but it pushed him and inspired others.
read more here

Montel Williams and Others Meeting For Veterans New Battleground, Being Home

Montel Williams to Keynote “The New Battleground: Veterans”
Joint Event from Defense One and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Critical Veterans Issues

Wednesday, July 30

Soledad O’Brien’s Documentary, “The War Comes Home” to Premiere Iraq Vets Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to Speak

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 30, 2014) – As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grapples with one of the largest scandals in its history, Defense One and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America will present "The New Battleground: Veterans."

Scheduled for next Wednesday, July 30, in Washington, the day-long event will convene lawmakers, journalists and defense industry specialists for the first of three cornerstone events focusing on critical veteran issues.

Veterans advocate and former TV host and Navy and Marine veteran Montel Williams will keynote the forum.

The program will also feature Iraq veterans Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Sen. John Walsh(D-MT), and Chairman of House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Rep. Jeff Miller(R-FL) on how the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to adapt to the 21st century, the growing unemployment rate among veterans, and how to train and employ veterans.

Additionally, the event will serve as the Washington premiere of award-winning journalist and CEO of Starfish Media Group Soledad O'Brien's documentary, "The War Comes Home," which follows the journeys of two young men who return home and the personal battles they must face to recover from the emotional effects of war.

“The New Battleground: Veterans” will convene at 7:45 AM at the National Press Club (529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045), with registration and networking starting at 7:15 AM.
get more details here

Orlando Harley Davidson Veterans Appreciation Weekend

Veteran's Appreciation Weekend - Defend Freedom Tour

FridayJuly 252014

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM EDT

On Friday evening, July 25th, The Concerned Veterans for America Defend Freedom National Tour is rolling in to Orlando Harley for a patriotic event featuring live music from rock band Madison Rising, complimentary BBQ & beer, plus special guest speakers to honor our veterans for the sacrifices they give to defend freedom and liberty for all. All are welcome. RSVP online today:
On Saturday, July 26, we are hosting a Veterans Appreciation Ride to benefit Operation Giveback. 
Ride Time: 8am Registration | 9:30am Safety briefing, Kickstands up 
Starting Locations: East Orlando Harley-Davidson OR Orlando Harley-Davidson South 
Destination: Orlando Harley-Davidson Historic Factory 
Registration Fee: $10 per person
Take a scenic ride to the Historic Factory Dealership to enjoy a patriotic performance from the Orlando Harley-Davidson Drill Team, followed by complimentary lunch, military displays and vendors, live music, a Parts Swap Meet and 50/50 raffle.
During both events, guests will be able to explore an interactive exhibit from the Museum of Military History and meet representatives from military support groups including OPERATION GIVEBACK, the USO, the American Legion and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
Event proceeds benefit Operation Giveback, a local 501C3 organization dedicated to helping our servicemen and women and their families in times of need.
Learn more about the Museum of Military History in Kissimmee:

Central Florida Veterans Events for July and August

July/August+ – veterans, military and patriotic events in Central FL from Cathy Haynes
Please share these events with your friends and interested others and attend.  Post where appropriate.
Don’t miss the “Extras” section at the bottom.
If you wish to be removed from the email list, just let me know.
Defend Freedom Tour– Fri. July 25 – Sponsored by Concerned Veterans for America (CVA)  The tour features a variety of nationally syndicated military speakers (Past events included New York Times Bestselling Author and Army Ranger, Captain Sean Parnell; Gold Star Mother, Karen Vaughn; Former CIA Directorate of Operations, Gary Berntsen; and CVA CEO & Fox News Contributor, Pete Hegseth.) The tour will also feature complimentary food, drink, and beer in addition to live music from America's most patriotic rock band, Madison Rising! At 6:30-9pm, Orlando Harley Davidson, 3770 37th Street, Orlando, 32805 (South Orlando - West of John Young Parkway along I-4, Exit 79) FREE EVENT - RSVP requested at   Info relayed by Dave Matthews.
Honoring our Military – Now thru Sat. July 26 - Lake Mary Historical Museum - 158 N. Country Club Road, Lake Mary. 10 am to 3 pm Tuesday and Saturday. Noon to 8 pm Wednesday and Thursday, through July 26. Numerous military artifacts are included in the display. Free; 407-585-1481.  Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Harley-Davidson's Veteran Appreciation Ride and Rally – Sat July 26
Operation Giveback fundraiser – Sat July 26 - Rick Brumby (of the Museum of Military History) will be conducting a 15 mile/50 lb. Ruck in boots and fatigues to raise money for Operation Giveback. Rick will start at Orlando Harley East at 7am and walk to Orlando Harley Historic with the goal to make the trip in four hours.  Fun events are planned and donations will be accepted at Orlando Harley Historic.  Orlando Harley Davidson, 3770 37th Street, Orlando, 32805 (South Orlando - West of John Young Parkway along I-4, Exit 79)  Museum:  407-507-3894
Korean War Remembrance - Sat July 26 – Tampa.  The Korean War Veterans Association, Lt Baldomero Lopez, M.O.H.Chapter 175, Inc., Tampa, FL in conjunction with the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Museum and Parks Committee, Inc. will conduct a Korean War Remembrance.  The Patriot Guard Riders has been invited to stand a flag line at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 3602 US Highway 301 North, Tampa, 33619.  The 11am ceremony will honor all of those Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard service men and women who served during the Korean War and United Nations personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice or were missing in action and/or unaccounted for.  Bring your 3’x5’ American Flag to stand with them.
Yellow Ribbon Program event – Sun July 27 - The Hyatt Regency Orlando (old Peabody Hotel), 9801 International Drive, Orlando, 32819. The US Air Force has invited the Patriot Guard Riders to participate in their Yellow Ribbon Program event with a Flag Line. Bring your 3 x 5 flags to this awesome event, as this is an opportunity for us to honor and support several hundred patriots and their families at one time.  Staging: 11am, Briefing: 11:15 by ride Captain David (Flyboy) Shelton.  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 getting ready to deploy within the next 120 days and those just returning from deployment.  Ride Captain David (Flyboy) Shelton -  (c) 321-689-4699   Come learn about Patriot Guard and Riders and you can join with us!
Note:  For parking, from I-Drive, go East on Convention Way which is to the right side of the Hyatt as your facing it from the road, go to the back of the hotel and parking will be on your left. A Flag Bike will be parked at the entrance to parking to help guide you.
Coast Guard Family Day Picnic - Sat Aug 2 – Volunteering opportunity and sponsors needed to honor Port Canaveral Coast Guard/families.  Not open to the public.  Static Displays, food donations (burgers, hotdogs, fresh fruit/veggies/chips), entertainment services and gift Items welcomed.  Contact Kim before July 25 at 321-373-7046  Memo: Coast Guard   AVET Project is 501(c)3 not-for-profit.
Back to School Back Pack Party – Sat. Aug 2 – 12-2 pm. Sponsored by the American Legion Family (Legionnaires, Auxiliary Unit and Sons of American Legion squadron) at Post 286,  529 E. Fairlane Ave., in Pine Castle area of south Orlando, 32809. (Half block west of Orange Ave.) Over 100 back packs with school supplies to be provided to students made possible thru member donations.   Also: games, lunch and school safety tips by the City of Orlando Police Department. Each child must be accompanied by an adult and register by July 26th by calling 407-859-1460.  RSVP’s please!!!   “The American Legion Post 286 Pine Castle Memorial Family  place high importance on preserving our American traditions and values, improving the quality of life for our Nation's children, caring for veterans and their families, and perhaps most importantly, teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship.”  
Borinqueneers Florida Honor Ceremony – Tues. Aug 5 – with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.  9:15am – 9:45am - Registration/Welcome Reception.  Ceremony from 10am – 11:30am.  Location:  Iglesia Fuente de Agua Viva (Church), 12250 South John Young Parkway (North of Hunter’s Creek), South Orlando, 32837.  The Borinqueneers (originally from Puerto Rico) have been recognized for their military achievements in WWI, WW2, and Korean, and, at a later, will receive the Congressional Gold Medal-highest honor that US Congress can bestow.  If appropriate, please, bring photos of fallen and departed Borinqueneers to be placed at a special Honor table. Please, provide names of Borinqueneers attending to Carolyn Vega (Staff Organizer) at  or 407.375.2071  Open to the public.  Info provided by Dennis Freytes.
Orlando Veterans Stand Down Organizing meeting – Tues. Aug 5, 2pm.  Members of Veterans Service organizations, Members of Veterans Service Providers, Volunteers, non-Veterans. Basically, anyone who wants to help us make this year's event even better than last year's. It's a good opportunity to become actively involved in helping our homeless or financially challenged Veterans.  Stand Downs (this year on Sat. Sep 27) provide services to veterans and their families. Services included showers, haircuts, Veterans benefits counseling, medical exams, employment counseling, rent and utility assistance, legal assistance, a warm meal, and Veteran camaraderie. Meeting location:  VAMC Orlando, 5201 Raymond St, Orlando, 32803,  Room C100 in building 503.  (Old CLC at the Lake Baldwin Campus.) POC:  Sean Gibbs, Veteran Services Coordinator, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida.  (407) 893-0133 x 212 
National Purple Heart Day –Thurs  Aug 7 – Thank a wounded warrior today – and every day!  Check out  to learn about the Military Order of the Purple Heart which has history back to George Washington and the American Revolution.  There are local chapters of the MOPH.
Cornerstone Hospice Seeking Veteran Volunteers – Sat. Aug 9 - Cornerstone will offer a concentrated volunteer training class (9 am – 5 pm) for new veteran volunteers in Orlando.   The 8 hour training will offer a comprehensive orientation to Cornerstone Hospice and our specialized Cornerstone SALUTES! volunteer role.:  Cornerstone Hospice is currently seeking military veterans who would like to volunteer to help other vets with their end-of-life care, recognizing that veterans have the unique shared experience and understanding of what other veterans went through.  Lunch and materials will be provided at the training class.  For more information on the training or to receive a volunteer application:  407-206-2273 X2604.  POC is Diane Klebanow.
The World's Largest Golf Outing - Mon. Aug 11 – Golf Courses across the country will be participating in this great day of golf. They will be supporting fundraising for Wounded Warrior Project for injured service members through participation in the event.  All events will be a four person team, 18 hole or 9 hole (depending on course) scramble format. Registration fees based on team size (Foursome, Twosome or  Single, if applicable) will include a $10 per player donation to WWP, green fees, shared cart, warm up bucket (if applicable), lunch, WLGO logo’d hat, golf ball and bag tag (if applicable), local prizes and awards ceremony following play.  This event is about having a great day of golf with friends, family or colleagues while benefiting WWP.  There are 17 courses in Florida – Dubsdread in Orlando, Fairways Golf Club in East Orlando, Sanctuary Ridge in Clermont, Willowbrook in Winter Haven are the closest around Orlando.  Check online for other locations.  Register and info at   Info received from GolfNow Orlando.
VA Benefits Seminar – Sat. Aug 16 – 9am-2pm at Double Tree Hilton in Cocoa Beach. Free assistance provided by AVET Project for you to get your DD214, service medical records and awards. Hotel at 2080 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach, 32931.  321-373-7046
Wills and Directives legal assistance  - Sat. Aug 16 –Free help for veterans in preparing wills and advanced directives provided by various Brevard County legal resources.  Death is inevitable but you can have some control.  10am – 2pm; Double Tree Hilton in Cocoa Beach.  Pre-register at 321-631-2500 x14.  Info:
Teen Challenge, Commander’s Call - Sat. Aug 16 - Museum of Military History -  9am – 3pm.  Skills offered in a combination of class room and field training for ages 12 to 17.  Presented by veterans knowledgeable in both fundamentals and application.   A five block series of skills includes Basic First Aid/CPR; Compass/Map reading; Health/Physical Fitness/Basic Self-Defense (no hitting, sparing, contact); Field skills and Knot tying; US Military History.  $20 fee includes 1 MRE (lunch) and dogtag with double chain and silencer. Limited enrollment.  Call 407-507-3894 for further information.  5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy., Kissimmee, 34746.  Commander’s Call is a continuing education and sharing project provided by the Museum.
FAVOB – Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses – Mon Aug 18 – 11am-1pm.  Meeting at Doc’s Streetside Grille, 1315 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, 32806 (Across from ORMC Hospital)  Association developed as a 'chamber of commerce' and voice for Veteran Owned and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses in the Great State of Florida. Small businesses run by Veterans don't have the same status when competing against other small businesses in regards to bidding and vendor status. Visit to learn more.
Honor Flights have paused until August 23.  It is too hot and humid for senior veterans and guardians to comfortably visit the memorials in Washington DC.  Mark your calendars to resume the “Welcome Home” receptions at the airports for Sat. Aug 23; Thurs. Sept 4; Two local hubs on Sat. Sep 27 at two airports; Sat. Oct 18; and Sun. Nov 2.  (Dates subject to change) Information will be upcoming.  The WW2 and Korean War veterans truly appreciate the flags and patriotic signs – It makes a difference!
Ocoee Military History show – Sat. Aug 30 – (Labor Day Weekend) - A “show and tell” of artifacts and interests from Seminole War to present.  8am – 5pm at the Tom Ison Center, 1701 Adair Street, Ocoee, 34761.  Military History buffs:  Come share your items and knowledge!  Space is limited but there are still tables available inside.  No sales – just displays.  There is ample room outside for vehicle displays and tents. Admission will be free, donations gladly accepted.  Event POC: Glen Richardson at 407-877-7472  
TEACHERS – Schools start again in mid-August.  Please consider extra credit for student attendance at this History event!
On the Horizon – Mark your Calendar – more info to come
Sep 6, Sat - Stick Marsh Veterans Bass Challenge - Fishing teams of up to 3 (1 military veteran or active, 1 Municipal Leader, plus 1 Boat Captain) at The Stick Marsh, 6,500-acre reservoir near Fellsmere, west of Vero Beach.  Bragging rights and prizes will be awarded afterwards at the Bass Challenge BBQ hosted
at Bass Pro Shops. Sponsorship opportunities at multiple levels are available.  Contact Justin at 321-724-5400 ext. 233
Sep 6, Sat -  Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk –– Cranes Roost in Altamonte Springs.  Commemorative 9/11 run/walk.  More info to come.  Contact Race Director Kyle Albano at  (c) 407-383-1992    Event info relayed by Mark Owens.
Sep 11, Thurs. - 3rd Annual 9/11 Tribute in Avalon Park.  Free vendor spaces and for affiliated non-profit organizations.  Contact Laura Burk, Game Plan Media  at 407-900-1915.
Sep 13, Sat - 10th Annual Jason Burnett Memorial USO Benefit Ride – honoring Osceola Co. Marine LCpl who died in Iraq. Sponsorships and early registrations welcomed.
Sep 19, Fri. - POW/MIA Day – see Sept 26 event.
Sep 19, Fri  - Central Florida Building Homes for Heroes Golf Outing, Reunion Resort, Kissimmee.  Flyer available upon request. Sponsorships welcomed.  Contact Kim at 407-803-5398
Sep 26, Fri - Orlando City Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council will host a POW-MIA recognition ceremony in Orlando City Hall Rotunda, 10am.  Local WW2 and Vietnam POW’s will attend.
Sep 27, Sat - Orlando Veterans Stand Down – providing services to veterans, especially homeless vets. Volunteers, sponsors and supporters welcomed.  Sean Gibbs at 407-893-0133  
Oct 3, Fri – Central FL Navy League Golf Tournament fundraiser – open to all.  See website for participation and sponsorship info. Proceeds go to scholarships and support of area youth groups.
Oct 4, Sat – Navy Ball – sponsored by Central FL Navy League.  Open to all interested persons.  See website for ticket info and sponsorships.
Nov 1, Sat – Battle of the Branches – Satellite Beach.  Sponsors welcomed. Planning by Melbourne Regional Chamber and AVET Project.  Info: 
Nov 7, Fri –The UCF College of Business Administration, Wells Fargo, and will host the second annual Central Florida Veterans Job Fair.   Matching motivated veteran job seekers with top employers from around the region.  Join us now in our efforts to register 100 legitimately hiring employers (no scammers) to meet more than 1,000 job seekers to achieve our goal of raising $25,000 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit veterans-service organization. 
Nov 8, Sat. – Orlando Veterans Day Parade in downtown Orlando.  Applications for parade entries can be submitted NOW online at
Nov 8, Sat. – Veteran’s Day Parade in St.Cloud, 10am.  Contact TJ Palmer at
Nov 8, Sat – Central Florida Marine Corps Ball (Marine Corps birthday is Nov 10, 1775.)  Open to all interested persons.  Ticket info to be provided in future.
Nov 9, Sun - Mount Dora Patriot Cruise and Salute.  Sponsors and volunteers welcomed.  More info to come. Event Awareness from Rozann Abato.
Nov 9, Sun - Veterans Concert –- at Trinity Prep School auditorium in Winter Park.  Portion of the proceeds go to Pets for Vets – which helps heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a shelter animal that is specially selected to match his or her personality. Professional animal trainers rehabilitate the animals and teach them good manners to fit into the veteran’s lifestyle.  As seen in People magazine, CNN, NPR, etc.  Timacua White House.  407-595-2713.  More info to come.   Event awareness from Wendy Wallenberg.
Nov 11, Tues – Veterans Day Luncheon –Double Tree Hilton in Cocoa Beach.  Sponsors welcomed.  Proceeds assist the Not-for-profit 501(c)3 AVET Project with continuing help for community vets and military events.  321-373-7046
Nov 22, Sat. - Villages Honor Flight Golf Tournament - This fun event is their major fundraising undertaking of the year.  Sponsorships welcomed.  Event awareness from John Driscoll.
Veteran Owned Businesses - The Orlando Business Journal has weekly lists of businesses that are compiled annually into a Book of Lists.  It provides a reliable and reputable source of business information and contacts. Fill out a survey and allow your business to be included.  Larger businesses, including cities, counties, utilities, etc., are sometimes making provisions of contracting specifically to Veteran Owned Businesses.  We hope you will help us update this important reference resource.  Please complete the brief survey no later than 8/1/2014.  Contact Denise Hicks (herself a Marine Corps vet!) of Orlando Business Journal at  407.241.2893  or contact me (Cathy) and I will forward the link of the survey to you.
Burn Pit Exposure Registry – veterans with service listed below should register their exposure for future possible lung and other health conditions.  Research may find airborne hazards and you will want to be notified.  Contact your local county or vet organization Veteran Service Officer.
Eligible Veterans include those who served in:
Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn
Djibouti, Africa on or after September 11, 2001
Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm
Southwest Asia theater of operations on or after August 2, 1990
Modern waste contains significant amounts of plastic and other material which may emit toxic aerosol compounds and particulates when burned. In Iraq and Afghanistan the U.S. military, or its contractors such as KBR, operated large burn pits for long periods of time burning many tons of assorted waste. Active duty personnel reported respiratory difficulties and headaches in some cases and some veterans have made disability claims based on respiratory system symptoms. 
Local military, veterans, patriotic and associated organizations – Please send me information about your groups. (No political groups please.)   I would like to provide a future list of groups that will allow interested persons to contact you and perhaps become a new member/supporter!  We get new people moving to the area all the time and existing residents sometimes want to get involved.  Retirees also want to volunteer!  This may be your opportunity to find new members! 
Seminole County Veterans Service Officer Ed Burford shares: 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Europe at Normandy, the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War and the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq.
And I will add:  Sept 14 is the 200th Anniversary of the writing of the poem that later became our national anthem.  Francis Scott Key wrote “Defence of Fort McHenry” after witnessing the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. When renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” it later became the national anthem of the United States of America by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931, which was then signed by President Herbert Hoover.
JUST FOR FUN:  August, this year, will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens only once every 823 years. The Chinese call it 'Silver pockets full'.
Then seriously:
The journey after military service can be a difficult one.
If you are a Veteran or warrior in crisis or know of one who is,
Please call the VA’s 24/7 Suicide Prevention Line at
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
To speak with a trained counselor - It’s Confidential.
Or find a Crisis Center near you at
A strong person will realize that help is needed,
That reaching out can and will make a difference,
And is NOT ashamed to ask for it…
Caring and sharing,
Cathy Haynes
Member/supporter of numerous veteran and military organizations in Central Florida

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Seattle Mayor Standing Up For Disabled Vietnam Veteran in Eviction Fight

If you have not heard about what happened when a disabled Vietnam veteran was being forced to leave his home with his wife, here is the story with a video.Protestors put their bodies on the line for wheelchair bound veteran

Topping off these young men putting their bodies on the line for this veteran, the Mayor of Seattle has stepped up as well.
Seattle Mayor Stops Eviction of Disabled Vietnam Veteran
The Scanner
Written by Lisa Loving Of the Skanner News
Published: 23 July 2014

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray set an historic precedent last week by instructing city law enforcement to “stand down” from evicting a stroke-ridden Vietnam veteran from his underwater home.

The Occupy-related group Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction (SAFE) and the Washington Community Action Network had spent weeks of focused organizing in support of the elderly homeowners, Byron and Jean Barton.

Byron Barton, a Vietnam veteran, had suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk and with a severe speech disability; the couple’s property had fallen into the hands of a mortgage trustee corporation – one that has been repeatedly sued for wrongdoing -- and went into foreclosure.

The deed for the Bartons’ West Seattle home had been snapped up at auction by mortgage trustees Quality Loan Service, who sold it to Triangle Property Development, who foreclosed on the couple and filed for the eviction.

The Bartons are currently suing Quality Loan Service as well as JPMorgan Chase, and had asked Triangle to suspend the foreclosure while the case remains in court.

The Bartons say Triangle Property Development responded to the lawsuit by fast-tracking the eviction rather than waiting to see the case’s outcome.

Chris Genese of Washington Can says activists supporting the Bartons have won a battle against foreclosure but the war itself continues.
read more here

A third of OEF OIF veterans thought about suicide

Survey: A third of Iraq, Afghanistan vets have considered suicide
Some 2,000 combat vets surveyed by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America reported 'the crisis with suicide' as their number one concern.
Christian Science Monitor
By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer
JULY 24, 2014

Nearly half of all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan know at least one fellow US troop who has attempted suicide, and 40 percent know someone who has died by suicide, warns a survey released Thursday by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

The largest nongovernmental survey of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans found that much has improved in America’s care of its veterans, says Tom Tarantino, IAVA’s policy director. Yet there are plenty of challenges that remain – and notable gaps in data nationwide. For example, “We still don’t know how many veterans are alive in this country,” notes Mr. Tarantino, a former US Army captain.

The IAVA survey offers a window into the priorities of the veterans of America’s most recent wars. The survey exclusively sought out combat veterans, who were required to provide proof of their deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan – or both – in order to take the survey.
read more here

Tennessee VA told Agent Orange Vietnam Veteran go back to work?

Veteran unable to walk, talk told by VA he should go to work
Reported by Jeremy Finley
Posted: Jul 23, 2014
A Vietnam veteran battling cancer and suffering from heart and lung problems from exposure to Agent Orange was denied full disability benefits from Veterans Affairs and told in a letter they can see no reason he can't go back to work.

Ken Moore's wife, Judy, said because of complications from his health problems, he can't walk or talk.

"He (Ken) read it (the VA Letter) and was like, 'This can't be real. It can't be happening. This is a nightmare,'" Judy Moore said.

When Ken Moore filed for 100 percent disability and unemployability last September, he didn't even have the cancer diagnosis.
read more here

Soldiers reunite with Combat Service Dogs

Soldiers Reunite with Dogs They Served With in Iraq and Afghanistan
ABC News
By Arlette Saenz
Jul 23, 2014

They’re the four-legged veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – military war dogs, doing everything from sniffing out explosive devices on the battlefield to providing companionship to soldiers during wartime.

Three of these dogs traveled to Washington, D.C., Wednesday with the same service members they served with on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, raising awareness about the need to reunite military war dogs with their handlers.

“This is my best friend. This is my partner. This is my battle buddy,” Army Staff Sgt. Jason Bos told ABC News of his dog Cila. The two partners reunited in April after serving together on nearly 100 missions in Iraq.

“Her and I deployed together, the two of us, so we moved from one base to another, and we worked with people every day we didn’t really know, so this is my friend,” Bos explained. “I wanted her back and I did whatever I could to do that.”
read more here

Many military dogs are being left overseas (Photos)
By Randi Martin
July 24, 2014

WASHINGTON -- War-weary veterans look forward to being reunited with their loved ones, whether they stand on two legs or walk on four.

Yet many canine war heroes remain overseas, caught up in a protocol loophole.

"A number of dogs are already brought home once their tour of duty ends," says Scott Sowers of the American Humane Association. "However, some are retired overseas."

The American Humane Association is working to change the practice and is looking to Congress to help. Members of the organization had a briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
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Combat PTSD Vietnam Veteran Turned to Service Dog

Vietnam vet with PTSD says service dog saved his life
Palm Beach Post
By Faran Fagen
Special to The Palm Beach Post

When Jon Gurley has nightmares, Gunner rubs a wet nose on his face to comfort him.

When Gurley wakes up, he says “Gunner, light” and a helpful paw illuminates their Boynton Beach bedroom. As part of their morning routine, Gunner also brings Gurley his cell phone and medication.

Gunner is a service dog, and without him, Gurley – a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder – may not have survived.

“After years of nightmares, trying to cope with everyday life and many in-patient services from the various veteran (VA) facilities, I was reaching my end,” said Gurley, 68. “Then another disabled veteran recommended that I contact Paws 4 Liberty and it changed my life.”

Born in Akron, Ohio, Gurley entered the Marines in 1955. He was a combat field wireman and served in the Vietnam War. He joined the Ohio National Guard as a flying crew chief in 1975 and served until 1981, when he was honorably discharged after being diagnosed with PTSD.
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Senator-Iraq Veteran Blames Plagiarism on Combat PTSD?

Senator John Walsh has turned a unique situation into a scandal. Having managed to become the Montana Senator, after combat and after being hit by PTSD, he was an outstanding example of what is possible for all of our veterans. Now it appears he wants to use having PTSD as an excuse for plagiarism. He should have simply offered a heartfelt apology instead of using it as an excuse. He can still turn this around if he stops listening to his political advisors and starts listening to veterans with PTSD about what he can do for them.
Montana senator says he was being treated for PTSD when he used unattributed work in thesis
Senator says he had PTSD when he wrote thesis
Jul 23, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Sen. John Walsh of Montana said Wednesday his failure to attribute conclusions and verbatim passages lifted from other scholars' work in his thesis to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College was an unintentional mistake caused in part by post-traumatic stress disorder.

The apparent plagiarism first reported by The New York Times was the second potentially damaging issue raised this year involving the Democrat's 33-year military career, which has been a cornerstone of his campaign to keep the seat he was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China.

National Democrats said Wednesday they remained "100 percent behind Sen. Walsh" in his campaign against Republican Rep. Steve Daines.

Walsh told The Associated Press when he wrote the thesis, he had PTSD from his service in Iraq, was on medication and was dealing with the stress of a fellow veteran's recent suicide.

"I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor," the senator said. "My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment."

Walsh submitted his thesis, titled "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy," to earn his Master of Strategic Studies degree in 2007, nearly two years after he returned from Iraq and about a year before he became Montana's adjutant general overseeing the state's National Guard and Department of Military Affairs.

The paper includes a series of unattributed passages taken from the writings of other scholars.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Army Captains deployed to Afghanistan Pink Slipped into becoming Veterans

1 minute ago
Army: Of 1,100 captains pink-slipped, 48 were in Afghanistan
Stars and Stripes
By Chris Carroll
Published: July 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — Of the more than 1,100 Army captains notified last month their military careers would soon end, 87 were deployed worldwide and 48 were serving in Afghanistan at the time, Army officials said Wednesday.

The Army has been talking for months about the need to separate the captains as well as more than 500 majors this summer as part of the broad Army drawdown, but it’s the first time details have emerged about the sobering business of delivering pink slips to troops in harm’s way.

The separations have become an issue on Capitol Hill, with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., questioning ISAF commander Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford about it during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week.

“Obviously that has to have an effect on the morale of our officer corps,” McCain said. “A serious blow, I would think.”
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