On this day in history, Nov. 11, 1921, Tomb of Unknown Soldier dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery

Kerry Byrne

The United States Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery — following a reverential selection process that spanned the Atlantic Ocean — on this day in history, Nov. 11, 1921. 

The remains of the American hero buried beneath the tomb was chosen from thousands of unidentified doughboys killed in World War I and buried in France. 

“Here rests in honored glory an American Soldier, Known but to God,” reads the inscription on the marble tomb.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, NOV. 10, 1928, NOTRE DAME SHOCKS ARMY TO ‘WIN ONE FOR THE GIPPER’ AT YANKEE STADIUM

Crypts for Unknown Soldiers from World War II and Korea were added in 1958. 

“The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is Arlington National Cemetery’s most iconic memorial,” according to the U.S. Army’s online cemetery education program. 

“It has stood at the heart of the cemetery, serving as a site for reflection on service, valor and sacrifice … The Unknowns represent all unidentified service members who gave their lives for the United States.”

Guarded Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery, Virginia.

Guarded Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery, Virginia. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Among the purposes of the tomb: to help give comfort to the thousands of American families who never knew the fate of their loved ones lost overseas. Instead, they can know that their loved ones’ sacrifices are remembered by the nation. 

Over 60,000 American service members are still listed as Missing in Action from World War II alone, according to the federal government’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

It’s a somber reminder of the human devastation of that conflict. 

“Here rests in honored glory an American Soldier, Known but to God.”  — Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

About 20,000 other Americans were lost and remain missing in conflicts that followed, including Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, Gulf War and War on Terror. The government no longer keeps or offers a number of missing from World War I.

Impressed by efforts by France to honor a “Soldat Inconnu” — an unknown soldier — U.S. Army Brigadier G. William D. Connor proposed a similar American project to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peyton C March, on Oct. 29, 1919.

U.S. troops march during a joint full honors procession evoking the original 1921 funeral procession of a World War I unknown soldier, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day in Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 11, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. 

U.S. troops march during a joint full honors procession evoking the original 1921 funeral procession of a World War I unknown soldier, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day in Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 11, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.  (Photo by Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images)

Congress approved a resolution to fund the U.S. Tomb of the Unknown Solider on March 4, 1921, to be dedicated on Armistice Day — now Veterans Day — of that year. 

The bodies of four unknown US soldiers were exhumed that autumn, one each from four different American cemeteries in France: Aisne-Maine, Meuse-Argonne, Somme and St. Mihiel.

VETERANS DAY: 5 THINGS TO DO AND SAY TO HONOR AMERICA’S HEROES

Arlington National Cemetery describes in rich and powerful details the elaborate process that brought the first Unknown Soldier back to the United States.

“Early on the morning of October 24, 1921, Maj. Robert P. Harbold of the Quartermaster Corps, aided by French and American soldiers, rearranged the [four] caskets so that each rested on a shipping case other than the one in which it had arrived.”

The Changing of The Guard ceremony is seen at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Nov. 10, 2015, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. 

The Changing of The Guard ceremony is seen at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Nov. 10, 2015, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Sgt. Edward F. Younger of Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 50th Infantry, American Forces in Germany, was given the honor of choosing the Unknown Soldier, which he did by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets.

The Unknown Soldier was transported by caisson to the port of Le Havre and then by cruiser USS Olympia back to the United States. 

AMERICAN SOLDIERS KILLED IN WWI REMEMBERED FOREVER IN NYC ALE HOUSE

“The Unknown arrived at the Washington Navy Yard on Nov. 9, 1921 … [and] lay in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. About 90,000 visitors paid their respects during the public visiting period on Nov. 10, 1921,” according to Arlington National Cemetery.

“The Unknown lay in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Nov. 10; 90,000 visitors paid their respects.”

“On November 11, 1921, the Unknown was placed on a horse-drawn caisson and carried in a procession through Washington, D.C., and across the Potomac River. A state funeral ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery’s new Memorial Amphitheater, and the Unknown was interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”

President Warren G. Harding placed the Medal of Honor on the casket while foreign dignitaries offered their nations’ highest awards. President Harding led the nation in a two-minute moment of silence.

The tomb today is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by elite volunteer members of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquartered in nearby Fort Myer, Virginia.

It is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the U.S. Army, defending the nation since 1784 and protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier since 1948. 

Soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as "The Old Guard," move flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 10, 2021.

Soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” move flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 10, 2021. (Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images)

Their changing of the guard ceremony is a popular yet reverential tourist attraction, witnessed each day by visitors from across the United States and from all over the world.

“The Tomb Guards, also called Sentinels, are chosen for this prestigious and highly selective post only after rigorous training and a demanding series of examinations,” the cemetery reports. 

The guards are guided by The Creed of the Sentinels.

“My dedication to this sacred duty is total and wholehearted,” the Creed begins.

It ends: “Surrounded by well-meaning crowds by day, alone in the thoughtful peace of night/This soldier will in honored Glory rest under my eternal vigilance.” 

Kerry J. Byrne is a lifestyle reporter with Fox News Digital.

https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/this-day-history-nov-11-21-tomb-unknown-soldier-dedicated-arlington-national-cemetery?intcmp=tw_fnc

Meet a Marine veteran on a personal mission against suicide

Marine veteran Jeremy Knauff has counseled thousands of fellow vets after overcoming his own post-service challenges.

Marine veteran Jeremy Knauff has counseled thousands of fellow vets after overcoming his own post-service challenges. (Jeremy Knauff)

www.foxnews.com

Breck Dumas

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

On Veteran’s Day, America honors its former military members for their service to the nation. 

Some sacrificed their lives fighting for their country. Many others are still with us, fighting battles brought on by their service or post-service that civilians cannot understand.

But Jeremy Knauff understands.

The Marine veteran had a health crisis that began nearly a decade ago that ruined his business, left him and his wife deep in debt, and almost killed him.

ALVIN C. YORK OVERCAME RELIGIOUS OPPOSITION TO EARN WWI MEDAL OF HONOR

Knauff went from being a high-flying publicist to losing nearly all his clients and racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt trying to survive while paying for countless medical treatments in an effort to beat his illness.

He endured debilitating physical pain that took a toll not only on his body, but his mind. That coupled with financial stress led him to the point that he was concerned about the thoughts he was having: considering suicide. 

One day, the thoughts became so intense that he unloaded and disassembled all his firearms, put them in a duffel bag, and alerted a buddy that the friend might need to take his guns from him at some point.

ACTOR GARY SINISE AND VETERAN TRAVIS MILLS DISCUSS DONATION FOR WELLNESS RETREAT THAT CATERS TO WOUNDED SERVICE MEMBERS

Then, while he was still in that mindset, he received a call with horrific news he will never forget.

“One of the toughest guys I ever served with ended up taking his life,” Knauff told FOX News Digital. 

It was a wake-up call.

After that, Knauff started sharing with others what was going on with him. Not only people in his own everyday life, but he became very transparent on social media about what was happening. Word got around.

Jeremy Knauff has built back his business after going through a health crisis, and continues to counsel fellow veterans who face suicidal thoughts like he did.

Jeremy Knauff has built back his business after going through a health crisis, and continues to counsel fellow veterans who face suicidal thoughts like he did.

Soon, he started getting a lot of private messages, and began counseling other veterans who reached out to talk to him because they were having similar thoughts of suicide.

“It got to the point where everybody knew that they could give out my cell phone number or my email to literally anyone who was struggling like that,” he said.

Knauff estimates that over the years he has counseled thousands of veterans. 

VETERANS ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF A US OPIOID CRISIS THAT CONTINUES TO WORSEN

“I don’t know exactly how many people we’ve impacted as a result of this,” he says. “But I know there’s a certain number of people who I have pulled back from suicide.”

Knauff says helping others overcome thoughts of suicide has become a mission bigger than himself, that helps him carry on.

Over the years, Knauff has built back his business, Spartan Media, but he still has physical pain. Constant systemic inflation makes him feel like he’s being electrocuted and burned at the same time.

Jeremy Knauff has built back his business, and continues to counsel fellow veterans in what he says is a calling bigger than himself.

Jeremy Knauff has built back his business, and continues to counsel fellow veterans in what he says is a calling bigger than himself.

“If you had asked me nine years ago, ‘how long can you withstand this sh*t?’ There’s no way my answer would have been nine years,” he told FOX News Digital. But he says people don’t realize what they’re capable of or able to overcome until they’re pushed into a situation where they’re forced to do it.

“I knew I was tough back then,” Knauff said. “I know I’ve gone through things that most people couldn’t get through. But having been forced into this, it’s really forced me into a much higher level of mental toughness.”

VETERANS DAY: 5 THINGS TO DO AND SAY TO HONOR AMERICA’S HEROES

“I can’t fold because if I do all those people I helped… that was the thing that got them through,” he says, and he fears it would let those veterans down and could cause them to compromise their own will to live. “Like, boom down like dominoes at that point.”

Overdose and suicide rates among those who have served in the military is somewhere between 2 to 3 times higher than the civilian population, according to American’s Warrior Partnership

Jeremy Knauff with fellow Marines during his time in service.

Jeremy Knauff with fellow Marines during his time in service.

Knauff says that shows not enough is being done to address the mental health needs of current and former service members. But the answer might be in rallying veterans, who are able to help each other.

“I think it’s really just a matter of mobilizing veterans because a lot of veterans don’t realize that this is a thing, because we’ve been conditioned to just push everything down and continue on with the mission,” he says. “Mobilizing other veterans to basically look out for each other, I think, is probably going to be the most effective solution to this thing.”

“Like you’re in the field,” Knauff explained. “You’re on deployment, you’re doing whatever you’re doing, you’re looking out for the guy to your left and to your right. The same thing applies here.”

https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/meet-marine-veteran-personal-mission-against-suicide?intcmp=tw_fnc#

On This Veterans Day

Tunnel to Towers embarks on bold new effort for America’s homeless veterans

www.foxnews.com

Deirdre Reilly

Veterans who have served our nation by putting their lives on the line through their military service too often find themselves facing the tragic circumstance of homelessness.

Now, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit, has committed itself to addressing this situation through a major new initiative: providing homes for homeless veterans. 

“We owe so much to America’s veterans. These brave servicemen and women have made incredible sacrifices in order to protect this country,” Frank Siller, chairman and SEO of Tunnel to Towers, told Fox News Digital on Friday morning. 

FRANK SILLER’S TUNNEL TO TOWERS ANNOUNCES GIFT TO FAMILY OF FALLEN SEAL TEAM 8 COMMANDER

“At Tunnel to Towers, we knew we had an obligation to make sure they weren’t left struggling on the streets. We’re looking forward to the future and the progress we will make through our Veteran Homelessness Program,” he also said.

It will be nothing short of “life-changing,” added Bradley Blakeman, a senior adviser to Tunnel to Towers and to Frank Siller, who shared further details with Fox News Digital in a phone interview this week.

Frank Siller founded Tunnel to Towers (t2t.org) in honor of his heroic brother, Stephen Siller, who lost his life during 9/11 as he saved others. The group has a new initiative to provide housing for all American veterans who need it. 

Frank Siller founded Tunnel to Towers (t2t.org) in honor of his heroic brother, Stephen Siller, who lost his life during 9/11 as he saved others. The group has a new initiative to provide housing for all American veterans who need it.  (Fox News)

“There are now three legs to the stool,” said Blakeman of the group’s expanding mission. “Previously, our mission was to pay off mortgages for fallen first responders and military killed in the line of duty leaving a family behind.” 

The second “leg of the stool,” he said, is to provide smart homes for critically injured military and first responders injured in the line of duty.

“[Frank] Siller and the board recently said, ‘We have to do more — what are we missing?’” said Blakeman. 

They soon came up with the third “leg of the stool”: eradicating homelessness among America’s veterans.

The nonprofit goes where the need is greatest: “If you build it, they won’t come — we have to go be where they are.”

“There are 40,000 veterans on our streets — it’s unacceptable,” said Blakeman.

Tunnel to Towers has already invested millions of dollars into this new mission just 120 days in, Blakeman noted. 

The nonprofit, headquartered in Staten Island, N.Y., is now active in Riverside, Calif., and West Los Angeles, Calif. — as well as in Phoenix, Houston and Washington, D.C. 

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has a new alliance with U.S. VETS to provide both quality housing and important services for America's homeless veterans.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has a new alliance with U.S. VETS to provide both quality housing and important services for America’s homeless veterans. (Tunnel to Towers Foundation)

They’re looking to expand soon into Florida, New York and Georgia, too, Blakeman said.

The need for dignity

He shared additional details about the progress already made on the new initiative. 

Blakeman said they are “housing people in Riverside, California, renovating property in Phoenix, closing on property in Houston, looking for property in Florida and in negotiations on property in D.C.”

He underscored the importance of dignity when it comes to assisting our veterans.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation is now working with U.S. VETS to provide housing and services for all America vets who are homeless. 

Tunnel to Towers Foundation is now working with U.S. VETS to provide housing and services for all America vets who are homeless.  (Tunnel to Towers Foundation)

“It’s just not enough to provide a home and a roof,” he said. “We want to house folks in need in comfort and dignity, and we can do that — but we also need to provide services,” he said. 

“Without services, we’re not providing the help these people need to either get back on their feet and rejoin their communities, or to live out the rest of their days in dignity and comfort.”

This new alliance ensures that Tunnel to Towers is providing “the best quality of housing complemented with the best quality of services available.” 

To provide the crucial housing as well as much-needed services, Tunnel to Towers (t2t.org) has built an alliance with the nonprofit group U.S. VETS, headquartered in Los Angeles.

 The group provides an array of programs and services, including physical and mental health services, job training and alcohol and drug therapies, said Blakeman.

America's homeless veterans are not forgotten by Tunnel to Towers and U.S. VETS. The two groups are working together to provide housing plus quality services for veterans all across the nation. 

America’s homeless veterans are not forgotten by Tunnel to Towers and U.S. VETS. The two groups are working together to provide housing plus quality services for veterans all across the nation.  (Tunnel to Towers Foundation)

Nearly 38,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness — making up roughly 9% of all homeless adults, according to the U.S. VETS website.

“We know what we do well,” said Blakeman of Tunnel to Towers. “We build and help provide infrastructure — we have the capital. And we know what we don’t do — and that is the servicing. So, we got the best in the business.”

This new alliance ensures that Tunnel to Towers is providing “the best quality of housing complemented with the best quality of services available,” he said.

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“Eventually we hope to totally eradicate veteran homelessness.”

Veteran in need of homes don’t have to find them, said Blakeman. Instead, the nonprofit goes where the need is greatest.

“If you build it, they won’t come — we have to go be where they are,” he explained.

“Homeless vets tend to congregate in the Sun Belt, where it’s easier to live, and in urban areas. We are not going to uproot them and take them from their familiar surroundings.”

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has bold goals to help eradicate veteran homelessness across America. 

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has bold goals to help eradicate veteran homelessness across America. 

Tunnel to Towers’ research, along with data from U.S. Census reports, indicates that the help is needed first in the states in which they’re now actively working — but their goals are big.

“Eventually we hope to totally eradicate veteran homelessness,” said Blakeman.

‘Determined to carry out his duty’

Tunnel to Towers has a dramatic and personal backstory, as many people know.

Frank Siller founded the nonprofit to honor and remember his brother, the late Stephen Siller — one of the many heroes of 9/11. 

Stephen Siller was a firefighter with the F.D.N.Y. who turned around on 9/11 after his shift was over and ran back to help those in need. He died in service to his fellow Americans. Frank Siller founded Tunnel to Towers in his honor.

Stephen Siller was a firefighter with the F.D.N.Y. who turned around on 9/11 after his shift was over and ran back to help those in need. He died in service to his fellow Americans. Frank Siller founded Tunnel to Towers in his honor. (Frank Siller/Tunnel to Towers)

On that day in 2001, Stephen Siller, a husband, father of five and firefighter with Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf when he heard a plane had hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, according to the Tunnels to Towers website.

Stephen turned around and drove to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel — only to find it closed already for security purposes. 

“The Sillers have turned their family’s tragedy into a blessing.”

“Determined to carry out his duty,” as the Tunnel to Towers website explains, Stephen “strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers” — where he “gave up his life while saving others.”

Stephen Siller, who lost his life on 9/11, is shown in his F.D.N.Y. department uniform. 

Stephen Siller, who lost his life on 9/11, is shown in his F.D.N.Y. department uniform.  (Frank Siller/Tunnel to Towers)

Blakeman’s own personal backstory echoes Siller’s. 

Serving President George Bush on 9/11 as his gatekeeper and scheduler, Blakeman was in the West Wing when the White House had to be evacuated. 

On that terrible day, Blakeman lost his nephew, a first responder who was in the South Tower. 

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Blakeman said it is “his honor” to help veterans. 

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“The Sillers have turned their family’s tragedy into a blessing,” he said. Stephen Siller is “living on” through all the people that the nonprofit has helped. 

Blakeman said that Frank Siller likens life and those who sacrifice to “an hourglass,” noting, “You never get the sand back. And every grain is a life.”

Deirdre Reilly is a senior editor, lifestyle, with Fox News Digital. 

https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/tunnel-towers-america-homeless-veterans?intcmp=tw_fnc

“Protest group targets wreaths placed on veterans’ gravesites”

Honoring Our Veterans

In memory of my brother 





ACTIVE-DUTY ​MILITARY SUICIDE DEATHS IN 2ND QUARTER 2021 HAVE TAKEN MORE MILITARY LIVES THAN COVID DURING ENTIRE PANDEMIC​

thedcpatriot.com

More soldiers in the U.S. military’s active-duty, National Guard, and reserve forces died from suicide in the second quarter of this year than soldiers in the entire U.S. military died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, a new Pentagon report shows.

This shocking news reveals that active-duty suicide deaths in the 2nd quarter of 2021, versus the 2nd quarter of 2020, had an increase of 46%.

Titled “The Department of Defense (DOD) Quarterly Suicide Report (QSR),” the document reveals that from April 1 to June 30, a total of 139 troops took their lives, with 99 classified as “active component,” 14 as “reserve” members, and 26 as National Guard. Broken down among service branches, the active component deaths include 60 from the Army, eight from the Marine Corps, 17 from the Navy, and 14 from the Air Force.

The newly released numbers are more than double the total number of U.S. service members that have died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, with the Military Times reporting 67 COVID-related deaths in the U.S. military to date.

Following an August directive from the Biden administration, all members of the U.S. military are required to receive the COVID jab in order to continue service, with the deadline for vaccination varying among each branch.

“After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people,” wrote Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in an August 25 memo. “To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force.”

Only 65 % of U.S. military members, including all National Guard, Army Reserve and active-duty forces, have been fully vaccinated for the respiratory virus to date, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

“I can tell you that active-duty personnel with at least one dose now stands at 96.7% and active-duty personnel that are fully vaccinated stands today at 83.7%,” he said at a recent press conference. “So, we continue to make progress on this and the total force, at least one dose [is] 80%. And fully vaccinated again across the total force is about 65%.”

Our appreciation to The Federalist for contents in this article.

https://thedcpatriot.com/active-duty-%e2%80%8bmilitary-suicide-deaths-in-2nd-quarter-2021-have-taken-more-military-lives-than-covid-during-entire-pandemic%e2%80%8b/

Love Coffee ☕

All money goes to help veterans

Petition · Mr. Anthony Klopfer: Director VA of Eastern Kansas: Support Eastern/Central Kansas Veterans · Change.org

www.change.org

Dear Veterans and Community,

As the daughter of a Kansas veteran, I would like to inform veterans, their family and friends and the rest of the community of some proposed changes that I believe will negatively impact veterans who utilize services at the Topeka Veteran Affairs Medical Center and what we can do to stop it.

Recently, Anthony Rudy Klopfer, Director of the Eastern Kansas VA System, which includes both the Topeka and Leavenworth campuses, communicated with KSNT news about his proposal of changes to the Eastern Kansas VA System. This consists of consolidating services to Leavenworth and downsizing the Topeka VA Medical Center. These changes are supposed to benefit Kansas veterans. He states the changes better meet the needs of veterans by reaching out and providing more services. You can view his brief outline video here (VA Eastern Kansas 2021 Strategic Plan-Video 2-Goals, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p17uFDPMaHM on YouTube.

On November 25, 2019, KSNT reported the Topeka VA having the best patient satisfaction rate of any VA in the country. Currently, approximately 65% of the 35,000 veterans of the Eastern Kansas VA System use services at the Topeka VA. This leaves the remaining approximate 35% of Eastern Kansas veterans using services at the Leavenworth VA. Topeka has a population of ~126,000 while Leavenworth has a population of ~36,000 and is also a part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which already has a large VA. The Leavenworth VA is only 36 miles from the KC VA. The Kansas City VA includes an Emergency Department, ICU, and Surgery Services, has more specialists available, and is able to see a wide complexity of patients. If the Topeka VA is downsized, veterans would have to travel either an additional 63 miles to Leavenworth or 72 miles to the KC VA for care.

Despite these facts, Director Klopfer plans to consolidate and move many resources and services from the Topeka VA to the Leavenworth VA. What benefit is there to Kansas veterans for consolidating and moving services from Topeka to the NE corner of KS, which already has these services through the KC VA? This consolidation would force all the veterans who utilize the Topeka VA to travel even further for their services.

The proposal also discusses closing down the Topeka VA Emergency Department, which is currently open 24/7, and replacing it with an Urgent Care that will not be open 24/7 and will not accept ambulances. Instead, it will be a walk-in clinic, open M-F 8am-8pm and 8am-4:30pm on weekends. For any medical emergency in the future, a veteran will have to drive to the Leavenworth, KC or Wichita VA’s or downtown Topeka to Stormont Vail or St Francis. Additionally, the proposal also discusses consolidating the Topeka VA ICU and General Surgery to Leavenworth.

At one time, the Topeka VA had the best PTSD Program in the country. That program has recently been closed. In the proposal, there is consideration for not reopening this program. In the video mentioned above, Director Klopfer discussed the possibility of keeping the Fresh Start Program at Topeka, moving it to the Leavenworth VA or closing it down completely. The proposal also discusses improving services and veteran care at the CBOCs by consolidating all of the Southeast Kansas CBOCs into one clinic. At this time, the Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Emporia has already been closed.

When the consolidation is complete, there will be 2 ICU’s, 2 Surgical Centers and 2 Emergency Departments in close proximity in the northeast corner of the state (Leavenworth and KC). This leaves the veterans in the greater Topeka area, including those from Sabetha to Emporia, Lawrence to Salina, and the surrounding areas that currently utilize the Topeka VA, without an Emergency Department, General Surgery and ICU, and possibly will lose the Fresh Start Program and PTSD Program, as well. All of these services will no longer be offered through the Topeka VA. If these changes occur, those services will be lost permanently.

Director Klopfer wants to take away these services from the Topeka VA, that veterans in both Topeka and rural areas utilize. If services were increased at the Topeka VA vs the Leavenworth VA, it would benefit a higher number of veterans in the state of Kansas. In the video, Director Klopfer states: “I’ll tell you why we really need this. Because if we don’t, someone else will come here and say what Eastern Kansas is going to be like.” We believe services should stay where the veterans need them the most.

We still have a chance for our voices to be heard but we need your help. It is urgent that everyone: veterans, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and local businesses consider signing and sharing this petition. If you would like to know more ways to help, please consider either writing, emailing and/or calling the Kansas Senators and Congressman plus Kansas VA officials and inform them of how important the Topeka Veteran Affairs Medical Center is for Kansas Veterans. Please help us keep these life-saving services, that Kansas Veterans have earned and deserve, at the Topeka VA.

Thank you,

https://www.change.org/p/mr-anthony-klopfer-director-va-of-eastern-kansas-support-eastern-central-kansas-veterans?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=28660090&grid_position=8&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAOSdsQEAAAAAYI4hILbyY5phODNiNWUxMA%3D%3D

Very good question… why is that DemocRATS?!!!!

If you’re a coffee lover and collect mugs like me, this is a great one to add to your collection

Petition · UK Parliament: Re-open empty Army Barracks for Homeless Ex Serviceman · Change.org

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Re-open empty Army Barracks for Homeless Ex Serviceman
Annabelle Johnson started this petition to UK Parliament

Please everyone sign this. There are ex servicemen on our streets. The Army Barracks are sitting empty not being used! If they open them, they will have a roof over there head somewhere safe to sleep, they can maintain the up keep and anyone suffering with stress disorder can help eachother. No one who served for our country deserves to be failed by the system

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-re-open-empty-army-barracks-for-homeless-ex-serviceman?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=15593514&grid_position=1&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAPw5uwAAAAAAXf%2Bd%2FWt0owc5MmZlYmFjNQ%3D%3D

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Petition · Donald J. Trump: Award Gary Sinise the Presidential Medal of Freedom · Change.org

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Gerry Denardi started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and 2 others

Gary Sinise is an American actor who has played many household characters over the years including Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump. What is less known is that he has dedicated most of his time, and money, off the big screen to supporting our military, it’s veterans, and it’s family members.The Gary Sinise Foundation has provided millions in philanthropic endeavors to our nation’s military and first responders. On our military bases across the world, Gary Sinise and his band have put on hundreds of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation concerts. Furthermore, Gary has visited our troops down range on USO tours more than any other person, let alone celebrity.

I cannot list every good deed he has done for our military and their families, and also to our nation. Please visit his foundation website, his Wikipedia page, or read the countless number of articles attesting to his wonderful work for further proof of the character of this man.

According to Whitehouse.gov, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor bestowed upon an United States citizen and is awarded for, “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.

I believe Gary meets and exceeds this criteria. I hope you do to and sign, share this petition.

Thank you.

https://www.change.org/p/donald-j-trump-award-gary-sinise-the-presidential-medal-of-freedom-a15e2af5-801f-4ad2-9dd0-8ffe028fb49c/sign?cs_tk=AmZ2MrF0AQ-jAi0BAl4AAXicyyvNyQEABF8BvBbxONVQY0rUUsEmmGmufzU%3D&utm_campaign=db5d111b257b4dd5ad29b310c55d4e63&utm_content=initial_v0_0_2&utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_ask&utm_term=cs

© 2019, Change.org, PBCCertified B Corporation

Man seeks veteran’s family to return lost WWII regalia, including Bronze Star

 

ROY, Utah — A Utah man is searching for the family of a World War II hero.

Jim Thorpe has held onto a casket flag and war medals for nearly a year. He’s hoping he can finally return them to Thomas D. Walker’s family.

Walker was a World War II hero, a brave soldier in the Pacific Theater. He was honored for his conduct in the military and heroism in battle.

“He was obviously someone special that did something to earn those medals,” Thorpe told KSTU sitting on his porch on Memorial Day.

A Purple Heart and Bronze Star engraved with his name are among the five medals in a shadow box. Above them, a folded flag once draped over a casket. In front, a black and white picture of a helmeted young man holding a mortar.

“I feel it belongs with the family,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe never knew Thomas D. Walker. He doesn’t know where he lived or even which branch of the military he served. But in his possession, symbols of Walker’s courage and character.

“I can’t imagine this isn’t missed,” Thorpe said. “Somebody knows this is missing.”

It was found dirty and forgotten, in the back of the closet of a 31st Street Ogden apartment. Thorpe’s friend discovered it and gave it to him last summer.

The grandson of two WWII veterans contacted the US military and searched online for the soldier’s family.

“Honestly, I figured somebody would claim it right away. I didn’t think that I’d be holding onto it for so long,” Thorpe said.

The common name of Thomas Walker overwhelmed Thorpe while searching among 16 million WWII American soldiers.

In the middle of cancer treatment himself, Thorpe discovered two possible connections: one in Oregon, and another in Illinois. While nothing is concrete yet, Thorpe’s not giving up.

“I’d like to learn more about him. He’s been with me for a minute but I would like to get him back to his family. That’s the ultimate goal,” he said.

If you have information on Thomas D. Walker, Thorpe can be contacted through britneythorpe34@gmail.com.

https://fox13now.com/2019/05/27/roy-man-seeks-veterans-family-to-return-lost-wwii-regalia/

Image

He belongs to a dying veteran and Mr. Morris would like to see him one last time

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SIGN OUR PETITION: Save the Bladensburg Peace Cross Veterans Memorial Honoring Our Brave Veterans!

traditionalvalues.us
Save the Cross

Does the radical Left have the right to destroy Veterans’ Memorials and Monuments?

Absolutely not!

That’s why Public Advocate is joining with 30 U.S. states to say
NO

and stop the Left’s plan to tear down the Bladensburg Peace Cross.

Our Amicus Brief (Friend of the Court) is being filed in defense of the Peace Cross and all memorials that use Christian symbols in their design.

But there’s no telling how the Court will rule, so we need to petition President Trump and Congress to take action as well.

They must act to Save the Baldensburg Peace Cross.

The Radical Left is desperately trying to destroy this Veterans’ Monument — all because it was designed in the shape of the Cross.

They can’t stand the fact that most of our veterans actually were Christian.

Or that the Bladensburg community was strongly Christian 100 years ago when they approved this marker to honor 49 men who died in World War I.

And if the Left is successful in destroying the Peace Cross, it won’t stop there.

Who knows how many veterans’ memorials around the country incorporated the Cross into their designs?

Every Monument will be a target if this happens.

Soon we’ll see crazed activists skipping through Arlington Cemetery looking for markers with the “offendive” symbol on them — so they can rip them out!

And you can kiss historic military awards like the Navy Cross goodbye.

The Left doesn’t care one bit about honoring the 49 veterans killed in World War I — all of whom are remembered on the Peace Cross.

Lower courts have already ruled against the Peace Cross — which is why Public Advocate and many others have appealed this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is a nationwide fight of the most critical importance.

And it’s your chance to have your voice heard in Washington, D.C.
Sign our petition to President Trump and Congress right now

Let Washington know that you believe the Bladensburg Peace Cross should be DEFENDED under the First Amendment!

Sign now to defend the memory of our nation’s veterans.

For the Family,

HON. EUGENE DELGAUDIO
President, Public Advocate of the U.S.

http://www.traditionalvalues.us/Save_Peace_Cross-PS.aspx?pid=GCPc2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIteaa3cDG4AIVAjhPCh0ojwWTEAEYASAAEgI8SvD_BwE

Rescued Birds Are Helping Veterans Manage PTSD | Care2 Causes

PTSD can be a terrible and insidious health problem and a hard one to treat because of the many layers of trauma that can underpin the condition.

But animal companions, and recently birds, like parrots, have proved to be a powerful source of

joy and wellness for people dealing post traumatic stress. To understand why birds are particularly good companion animals for people with PTSD, it’s first worth learning a bit about the health problem.

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually caused by a significantly traumatic event or prolonged exposure to trauma that may span months to many years. PTSD usually occurs right after the event itself, but in some cases it may show up several months or even years after the catalyst event.

The way PTSD manifests can be different for every person dealing with this condition and can depend on the trauma that person endured. However, common symptoms can include flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic event itself or stress responses such as pain, sweating, feeling sick and trembling, to name just a few. These may occur as a result of stimuli that “trigger” the memory or may come on without warning.

PTSD is perhaps most widely understood by the general public as a condition effecting combat veterans, whose prolonged exposure to scenes of war and combat have had an impact on their mental wellbeing. However, PTSD can occur among almost all demographics. Women—for example those who have been in an abusive relationship—or children who have undergone prolonged stress or suffered the loss of a parent can also suffer from PTSD

PTSD can manifest through persistent negative self-talk that reinforces the person’s feelings of anguish surrounding the event. It can also lead to a state known as “hyper arousal” which might best be explained in this context as someone always being on edge. This can lead to sufferers having short tempers or being quick to anger or upset. In some extreme cases, PTSD can cause angry or even violent outbursts, though the actual number of PTSD sufferers who are violent is much smaller than media portrayals lead us to believe, and there is surprisingly little evidence to specifically link PTSD with violence.

Other problems that can manifest because of PTSD include an inability to concentrate, a “mental fog” state and an avoidance problem where sufferers will attempt to minimize their negative feelings. This can lead to sufferers not seeking treatment, avoiding responsibilities or stressful situations like employment, or attempting to medicate themselves in a variety of ways. Self-medication can manifest as obsessive behaviors, like over-exercise, through to alcohol and drug use, casual sexual encounters and more.

How is PTSD treated?

It is possible to successfully treat PTSD, but it is among the more complex class of mental health disorders. PTSD is distinct from panic disorders and depression, but the conditions can overlap, meaning that treatment has to take in some or many of these factors.

Treatment often involves therapy of some kind, sometimes underpinned by various medications designed to give the emotional breathing room for that therapy to take effect. These can include:

CBT, where patients learn to challenge negative thought patterns and introduce new thoughts to replace those old systems
eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, where eye movements are used during the recounting of past traumas as a means of helping a patient walk through the trauma while distracted (though exactly why this works isn’t fully understood)
group therapy medications specifically used for PTSD, like paroxetine and sertraline.

However, PTSD sufferers can find it hard to undergo therapy precisely, because it’s difficult to relive or deal with the past trauma that they have struggled with. This is where support animals can be effective.

Support animals don’t magically make PTSD symptoms go away, but they do offer love and support that can anchor people dealing with PTSD. Dogs and other support animals are also good at picking up when their human companions are in distress and lend support without their human needing to specifically communicate their distress, something that PTSD sufferers can find very difficult.

In addition, the very act of having to care for an animal can help bring a focus to the lives of PTSD sufferers that is outside of their own distress, thus helping to break the negative thought patterns or at the very least offering distraction.

Why Birds are so Helpful for People Dealing with PTSD

Some birds, such as ravens and parrots are incredibly intelligent and can learn to understand or even mirror basic language skills. Birds also display some surprisingly “human-like” behaviors, but at the same time have particularized and often demanding needs to which a human companion will have to attend. This creates a new dimension of interactivity for PTSD sufferers.

While there is a lack of specific wide-scale research on birds as animal companions for PTSD sufferers, there is growing anecdotal support for their abilities to help. So much so, in fact, that a number of groups, including Parrots for Patriots, have launched with the specific aim of matching abandoned birds with veterans who may be in need of an animal friend to care for and from whom they can take support. These birds don’t just help PTSD sufferers, but they may be particularly well-served by this scheme.

Below is a video from Serenity Park Sanctuary that demonstrates what a difference various schemes like this can have for veterans and people dealing with PTSD:

It’s worth noting that service birds which help with diagnosed mental health conditions have a complex status under the Americans with Disabilities Act and may not be protected in all spheres like other service animals are. It is important to know your rights, if you are thinking about adopting a rescued bird as a service animal, and the facility from which you are receiving your animal will likely be able to give you all the information you will need.

https://www.care2.com/causes/rescued-birds-are-helping-veterans-manage-ptsd.html

Photo credit: Getty Images.

Sign the Petition: Equal Health Benefits for Federal Employees who Served in the National Guard and Reserves

BEN BANCHS started this petition to U.S. Senate and 1 other

TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) provides members of the National Guard and Reserves access to quality, low-cost, health insurance. However, since Federal employees who are also Reservists are eligible for health coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) Program, they are prohibited from purchasing TRS. In other words, these employees are subject to all the requirements of being a Reservist, including combat deployments and emergency response duty as members of the Guard, but are prevented from taking full advantage of the benefits available to them as Reservists due to a legal technicality.

From an employee-perspective, TRS is a much more affordable program. The average FEHB monthly employee premium for family coverage in 2017 (of all fee-for-service nationwide plans combined) wss approximately $380 per month, compared to $218 for TRS. This means that, on average, an employee is ‘penalized’ $2,000 more per year for health coverage than their part-time counterparts. The ‘penalty’ reaches $4,000 more per year when you compare TRS to the $551/mo. for Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Standard plan (the most popular FEHB plan since 1990). That difference increases every year as FEHB premiums go up.

We urge Congress to fix this inequity by amending Federal law to allow Federal employees who are members of the Guard and Reserve access to TRS.

https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-equal-health-benefits-for-federal-employees-who-serve-in-the-national-guard-and-reserves?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=13856721&grid_position=8&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uADTy1wAAAAAAXDzB8oHpbLEyNjM3MzZkMw%3D%3D

Sign the Petition: require the VA to provide service dogs to veterans in need.

Hannah M started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and 7 others

Our military veterans are heroes. They face struggles that we couldn’t imagine, and they do it selflessly to protect our great country. However, their transition home can often be just as difficult because of mental and physical ailments from their service. The waitlist for the VA is far too long to quickly handle the care of every returning veteran, but their medical needs are urgent. Some of these needs can only be treated through direct medical care, but other needs can be met through a service dog.

Service dogs can be trained to care for people with PTSD, visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility impairments, and many other conditions. Furthermore, these dogs can ensure that the veteran is never alone while dealing with these conditions.

Currently, the VA offers service dogs to those with hearing/sight loss and mobility impairments. However, they do not offer dogs to veterans with psychological issues, such as PTSD. I am advocating that, as part of the VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) evaluation process, the VA offer dogs to all veterans diagnosed with psychological or physical conditions.

This small step would make a massive difference in the lives of these men and women. They’ve given everything for us. Let’s give back to them.

https://www.change.org/p/require-the-va-to-provide-service-dogs-to-veterans-in-need?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=13123180&grid_position=6&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uABKH0QAAAAAAXDyzS%2FDxV7tlMTRmMjliZA%3D%3D

Petition · Senate Armed Services Committee: Stop Penalizing Veterans Retired from the Military Due to Service‑Incurred Disabilities · Change.org

Stop Penalizing Veterans Retired from the Military Due to Service‑Incurred Disabilities
Kevin Reinholz started this petition to U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services Senate Armed Services Committee and 1 other

Until recently, military retirees who were also rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs as being at least 50% disabled as a result of their military service were forced to choose between receiving either their military pension OR disability compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Congress partially corrected this injustice, recognizing that a military pension is earned compensation for a service member’s faithful service to our nation and a promised benefit for his or her military service (10 USC, Chapters 61-67), and disability compensation is an entirely separate benefit, administered through a separate government agency, to compensate all veterans (not just retirees) for service-connected injuries or illnesses, provided the injury is connected to the veteran’s military service and the veteran was not dishonorably discharged. (38 USC §§ 1110, 1131).

Military retirees were being unjustly penalized for suffering incurable injuries or diseases in the service of our nation by being denied a benefit (disability compensation) available to any veteran who served any length of time in uniform, lest they be required to surrender their earned military retirement/pension in order to avoid receiving “dual compensation.” This situation was particularly cruel when one considers that injured retirees, unlike perfectly healthy retirees, have fewer opportunities to obtain and maintain meaningful employment due to their service‑connected injuries or illnesses. They sacrificed their health and wellness to serve our country, and we denied them either their earned military pension OR the disability compensation they were entitled to, in spite of their being otherwise eligible for both, in the name of saving money.

The fix to this injustice is codified at 10 USC § 1414. That law states that military retirees who are eligible for both a military pension (retired pay) AND who are rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs as being at least 50% disabled as a result of their military service need not choose between receiving their full pension or receiving disability compensation, but may finally receive both.

As positive a step as this law and subsequent amendments to it were, there is still a group of disabled military retirees who are left out and penalized financially for becoming injured or ill in the service of our nation: military retirees who were retired with less than 20 years of qualified service due to a service-connected disability.

While one might argue that having served less than 20 years, those military retirees who were retired due to a military service-connected disability may justly be forced to choose between pension benefits and VA disability compensation, this particular class of military retirees actually has a greater need to receive both benefits. For starters, military service members involuntarily retired due to a service‑connected disability prior to completing 20 years of service have already incurred a significant financial penalty in the form of a greatly reduced pension, as military pension amounts are calculated according to the member’s highest 36 months of basic pay multiplied by either their service disabling disability percentage (which is NOT the same as their VA disability rating, and is normally far less) or a calculation involving their length of service, whichever method is more beneficial to the service member. A career cut short due to disability incurred in the line of duty is a career with a significantly lower final pay (or last 36 months) than a career allowed to continue to 20 years’ fruition.

Changing the law to ease this restriction would not “open the floodgates” to all disabled veterans. But for an injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, that is, disability due to the member’s military service, the service member will not be retired from the military for disability but will simply be discharged as unsuited for further military service. Members retired for disability must already face significant scrutiny over their injuries or illness, and a painful, protracted review process that routinely exceeds 2 years, before a decision in favor of military retirement for disability might possibly be reached.

A military member forcibly retired due to an injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, and rated as 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs, has little to no hope of ever securing meaningful employment once forcibly retired from the military. In contrast, a 20-year retiree with a 50% VA disability rating might thrive in a sedentary (e.g. office) job and secure significant earnings in addition to his or her dual military pension and VA disability compensation. Thus, the 100% disabled retiree should not be penalized for having his or her military career cut short due to a severe service‑connected disability. On the contrary, his or her sacrifice should be honored and dual compensation allowed just as it is for the 20 year retiree with a 50% disability rating.

Therefore, I propose to amend 10 USC § 1414 by deleting subparagraph (b) in its entirety, or in the alternative to amend subparagraph (b)(2) to read as follows:

(2) Disability retirees with less than 20 years of service.-Subsection (a) does not apply to a member retired under chapter 61 of this title with less than 20 years of service otherwise creditable under section 1405 of this title, or with less than 20 years of service computed under section 12732 of this title, at the time of the member’s retirement, unless the disability retiree has at least 10 years of service or is eligible for veterans’ disability compensation for a qualifying service-connected disability or disabilities rated either individually or cumulatively at 100 percent.

The longest enlistment length is 6 years, so by serving at least 10 years, a service member has essentially indicated his/her intent to make a career of military service. Being forcibly retired early due to a service-connected disability is a traumatic and heartbreaking occurrence for many disability retirees, who would have continued serving until 20 years but for becoming injured or ill in the line of duty. Likewise, a retiree rated as 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs is in a dire situation, and unlikely to be able to obtain or maintain meaningful employment. Adding either or both categories of disability retirees to 10 USC § 1414(a)’s allowance of both retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation not only further corrects the injustice partially remedied by 10 USC § 1414, but assists our most vulnerable military retirees in maintaining some semblance of a decent standard of living.

If any group of Americans is deserving of a financial benefit (or in this case, removal of an unjust financial penalty codified in law), it is military retirees who became injured or ill in the service of our nation. Therefore, I urge Congress to amend 10 USC § 1414 by either deleting subparagraph (b) in its entirety, or in the alternative by amending subparagraph (b)(2) as indicated above. To do so would make a world of difference in the lives of many military retirees who answered their nation’s call and were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of all that this country stands for, and indeed have sacrificed their health and future employability serving our nation.

https://www.change.org/p/senate-armed-services-committee-stop-penalizing-veterans-retired-from-the-military-due-to-service-incurred-disabilities/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=475031&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=HN59zdK007tLL%2bIgCs05ZdYBir1fXGt0zEvm6ggQdWEtBrxgzQM7v1lJjaKe3vnv&j=475031&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=66137565&mid=7233053&jb=415

© 2019, Change.org, PBCCertified B Corporation

Petition · Department of Veterans Affairs: Help Veteran with Cancer Caused by Serving our Country Receive VA Benefits · Change.org

Help Veteran with Cancer Caused by Serving our Country Receive VA Benefits
Stacy Philllips started this petition to Department of Veterans Affairs

Here we are in 2019 and I had to reopen the petition for Dan Parks, because yet again the VA has failed this Veteran. Dan went through the appeal process in the Summer of 2018. However, at the end of 2018 Dan received a letter from the VA that stated they couldn’t find the transcript from his appeal. This means he has to start over again for his disability benefits.

News story on Dan’s appeal transcripts being lost


Our family friend, Dan Parks, is a U.S. Navy veteran that fought throat cancer. He was discharged from the military, partially, to end his exposure to ionizing radiation during his work in a weapons and ammunition facility. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is denying his claim for disability benefits – despite letters from the VA’s own doctors stating that Dan’s exposure likely caused his cancer. Dan needs your help to get the VA to change their decision before it’s too late.

Dan was stationed at Naval Submarine Base New London, where he worked with ordinance. During his time at the base, he was also exposed to ionized radiation. Fast-forward a few decades later and has Dan suffered from throat cancer. He now has to plug a hole in his throat to talk; a side effect of the cancer.

Dan’s discharge paperwork from the Navy includes a stamp saying he was being discharged, in part, due to the radiation exposure.

Multiple doctors with the VA have written letters saying there is a better than even chance that the cancer was caused by Dan’s radiation exposure during his time in the Navy. But the VA has denied his disability claim. The reason? They say there’s no proof he was exposed to radiation in the Navy.

As Dan says, “If the VA won’t accept their own doctors, where does a veteran turn?”

Dan’s been fighting for benefits for three years. He filed an appeal, but the VA won’t review it for another 18 months. Time is running out. He needs access to life-saving treatment before it’s too late.

Please sign this petition calling on the VA to accept their own doctors’ assessments and grant Dan Parks needed health benefits due to the radiation exposure he endured while serving our country.

https://www.change.org/p/department-of-veterans-affairs-help-veteran-with-cancer-caused-by-serving-our-country-receive-va-benefits/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=475980&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=HN59zdK007tLL%2bIgCs05ZWBWnZmDNV3FPmibtLjsM5WMrK2S%2bByBRRM7efINncB1&j=475980&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=66158859&mid=7233053&jb=358

© 2019, Change.org, PBCCertified B Corporation

Sign the Petition: Increase Disabled Veterans Benefits

Mo Moumné started this petition to Department of Veterans Affairs and 2 others

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs website as of November 8th 2018. Disabled veterans are paid on a disability scale that starts from 10% to 100% service connected disability. When the veteran is paid for their disability, it is a certain amount and currently the minimum for a 10% Disabled Veteran with No Dependents is 137$ monthly. The maximum amount is for a 100% Disabled Veteran with spouse, two parents and child at $3,527.22 monthly.

This amount is too little and needs to be addressed properly by our government officials.

For anyone who lives in any major city in the good old USA knows that the National Average of an unfurnished apartment is $1,500+ and climbing. For example, in most popular cities such as Los Angeles and New York City the average rate of housing is well over $2,500+ for two bedroom unfurnished apartments.

The VA benefits are not staying ahead of the housing cost by much and forcing veterans into Welfare/Food Stamps and supplemental state assistance income as a necessity in order to eat and survive normally. Rather than the government throw $640 Billion dollars and growing into the military, give a little more to those that have already served and deserve to be better taken care of. Give them the support they need. The funding to live a less stressful life after they have been hurt mentally and physically, lost their limbs or have become paralyzed.

Currently, President Trump’s requested budget for veterans for FY2019 is $198 Billion dollars, but this is going to be dispersed upon the service providers and facilities and maybe, just a measly 3.9% actual increase for Veterans Disabilities Benefits. This is not fair. Not right. Not enough.

Take better care of our vets. Sign this petition and let it be heard. Increase the benefits across the board for all Disabled Veterans. Starting from the 10% Disabled up to the 100% Disabled. All Veterans have sacrificed and should be treated and taken care of fairly.

https://www.change.org/p/department-of-veterans-affairs-increase-the-disabled-veteran-benefits

93-year-old war veteran dies with no one to carry casket – then six teens show up in uniform

war-vet775726823.jpg

There is no doubt that if there is anyone who deserves our utmost respect, it is no other than our honorable veteran heroes who risked their life for ours. The admirable courage and inspiring selflessness that the veterans displayed while they were in duty deserves to live on our memories.

Thomas Hunter, a veteran army who served in battlefield from the year 1942-1949, risked his life in the largest amphibious assault in our history. His dedicated his then young life to protect our country during the D-Day invasion of World War II.

After serving in the army by the end of 1949, Mr. Thomas Hunter lead a normal life. However, the war veteran did not get married. It seemed that he was already happy in the company of his 11 siblings.

Sadly, on the 12th day of September, Mr. Thomas Hunter took his last breath. At the ripe age of 93, the World War II veteran passed away, leaving a few nieces behind.

But since Mr. Hunter managed to outlive his 11 siblings, none of his immediate family is left to carry his casket. During the planning of his funeral, his surviving nieces did not know who they could ask to carry Mr. Thomas Hunter’s casket.

Fortunately, the funeral director at Southern Funeral Homes in Winnfield, Louisiana knew what to do. Bryan Price, the director, reached out to the local football coach, Lyn Bankston to ask for help.

The local football coach then asked if any of the young men he knew would be willing to carry the casket of a war veteran. Knowing that these young men do not only possess strong leadership skills but an admirable kind heart as well, he knew they would be more than willing to lend a hand.

He asked Brett Jurek, Justin Lawson, Matthew Harrell, T.J. Homan, Lee Estay, and Christian Evans if they would be willing to help out the deceased war veteran. Not disappointing the expectation of the local coach, they immediately agreed to help knowing about Mr. Thomas Hunter’s story.

“These are all young men who are leaders in our program and our community. They know the sacrifice Mr. Hunter made and it meant something to them.” Lyn Bankston explained.

The young men even asked whether it would be okay for them to wear their football jerseys.
“The kids asked if it was appropriate for them to wear their jerseys, and I said absolutely it was because you and this program stand for exactly what Mr. Hunter stood for when he was serving this country.” Coach Bankston shared.

Photo | USA TODAY

To honor the priceless services Mr. Thomas Hunter rendered to our country during the World War II, the 6 young football men carried his casket with pride. They sent the war veteran on a somber and solemn ceremony.

To acknowledge the efforts of the 6 young athletes, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham praised the kind gesture of the football players during his speech on the House floor.

“They didn’t know this man, but they knew that every veteran deserves to die with dignity and be honoured for the sacrifices he made in defence of this nation.” U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham said. “I think the actions of these young men speak volumes about what’s truly important – country, community, family, God.” The house representative added.

Meanwhile, Coach Bankston could not be even more proud of the kind gesture his players displayed.

“One of the things we try to teach our young people is to value history and to recognize that so many people sacrificed so they could have the life they have.” Coach Bankston proudly shared.

Kudos to the young football players, the war veteran who served our country was not sent off on his own. After all, no war veteran of any generation deserves to be forgotten, because if not for the life they have risked, we wouldn’t be here today.

Watch the heartwarming video below and may their story remind us not to forget about the heroes who stood up for our country.

 

Video | USA TODAY

https://positiveoutlooksblog.com/war-veteran-dies-with-no-one-to-carry-casket-six-teens-uniform/

Belgian Students Commemorate 100 Years By Restoring Graves of WW1 Soldiers «TwistedSifter

twistedsifter.com

Belgian students commemorate 100 years by restoring graves of ww1 soldiers 2 Belgian Students Commemorate 100 Years By Restoring Graves of WW1 Soldiers

© Benny Proot

To commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I; Belgian students cleaned, repainted and restored 250 graves spread over 5 cemeteries in Oostkamp and surrounding municipalities.

The idea was to honour and remember the brave soldiers of World War I, and ensure that their identification and data remains clearly legible for all visitors wishing to pay their respects.

The pupils who volunteered for the effort were art students currently enrolled in painting classes.

picture of the day button Belgian Students Commemorate 100 Years By Restoring Graves of WW1 Soldiers

twistedsifter on facebook Belgian Students Commemorate 100 Years By Restoring Graves of WW1 Soldiers

https://twistedsifter.com/2018/09/belgian-students-restore-graves-of-ww1-soldiers/#like-118311

Categories: ART, BEST OF, HISTORY, PICTURE OF THE DAY
Tags: · belgium, cemetery, painting, restoration, tribute, war, world war 1

Service dog calms veteran with PTSD in the middle of an interview

positiveoutlooksblog.com
Service dog calms veteran with PTSD in the middle of an interview
https://positiveoutlooksblog.com/2018/08/10/service-dog-calms-veteran-with-ptsd-in-the-middle-of-an-interview/

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, is a mental health issue that causes the victim of it to suffer from severe anxiety, unwanted flashbacks, and haunting dreams. According to statistics, the invisible illness, PTSD affects around 7.7 million of American adults. And most of the people who can share how it is like to battle against PTSD are the honorable men of the U.S. army.

One of them is a US veteran who served the army for 16 years, Erick Scott. With Erick Scott’s physical demeanor, you can already tell that he is a strong man. And the ink tattooed on his skin: a skull, an empty combat boots, a memorial of the time he served in Iraq, and a soldier’s cross to remember his fallen comrades, symbolizes how honorable Erick is.

However, what the public eyes fail to see, is his battle against his inner demons triggered by his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Erick recalled about the one advise his father, the person he respected the most, gave him that he cannot forget. “Son, you’ve got eleven guys, he said make sure you bring them all back.”

Sadly, some of his comrades perished in the battlefield, “That’s the last thing he [Erick’s father] told me… and they didn’t all come back.” Until today, Erick feels responsible for the life of his comrades who were not able to come back alive from their service. This is one of the nightmares haunting him at night, making it hard for him to have a good night sleep.

“I woke up numerous times, hitting my wife for her just laying there or just in a cold sweat,” Erick shared. The nightmare he is experiencing at night, often leaves him breaking in cold-sweat.

After years of experiencing other symptoms of PTSD, Erick finally decided to seek help from professionals. However, he was in denial and felt angry when he was, indeed, diagnosed with PTSD.

Erick tried a lot of medicines to help him cope with his PTSD, however, nothing worked for him. Hence, all of his drugs and medications were simply thrown in the trash bin. Feeling helpless, Erick already believed that there is no hope for him to recover from PTSD. Fortunately, he heard about the ‘K9’s For Warriors.’

K9s For Warriors, is a charitable organization that aims to help the veterans get the service dog that they need. Each service dog received formal training to respond to the manifestations of PTSD, making them the perfect companion for those suffering from PTSD. Through the help of K9’s For Warriors, Erick met Gumbo, the gentle black labrador who quickly responds to Erick whenever he is having a PTSD attack.

Even when Erick was being interviewed with USA Today, Gumbo did not leave his side. As the retired veteran shared how he reacted with his formal diagnosis with PTSD, the dutiful dog, Gumbo sensed a shift in his mood. In a snap, Gumbo nuzzled his head against Erick’s neck, as if he was re-assuring Erick from his agitation and frustration. As a response, Erick pet Gumbo and was able to relax himself.

It is truly amazing how Gumbo quickly sensed that there was already something wrong with Erick. His quick and immediate response to calm Erick down, was delivered in a snap that some people did not even notice that Erick was already experiencing a PTSD attack!

Watch the video below and prepare to be blown away by the quick response a service dog, Gumbo, provided to Erick, a veteran who experienced an actual PTSD attack during his interview.

Photos and Video | USA Today

WAN Exclusive For International Assistance Dog Week with “Dogs Of Service” Founder Saralyn Tartaglia Who Helps Rescue Dogs For Military Veterans – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
August 9, 2018
Air Force veteran Eric Pina with his family which now includes his service dog, Loki. Photos from Dogs of Service.
With so much negative attention focused on service animals as of late, WAN is thrilled to acknowledge International Assistance Dog Week by featuring a unique and much-needed non-profit organization dedicated to providing service dogs and emotional support animals that have been rescued to help military veterans.
International Assistance Dog Week, which was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability related limitations, began on August 5th and runs through August 11th.
Fortunately, Los Angeles-based Dogs of Service makes rescue dogs and veterans in need, a priority every day, as it works to maintain a community of support and resources for all military members and their animals.
“We chose to focus on veterans because there was a great need for innovative solutions to help veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries. Sadly, the average suicide rate of veterans is 22 per day. Veterans and dogs can find a mutual understanding and provide a sense of comfort other humans can’t, and that relationship can be used to bridge further healing and treatment,” Dogs of Service Founder Saralyn Tartaglia told WAN. Further explaining that it is important that the organization, which is authorized to pull animals from city shelters, only pairs veterans with dogs who have been rescued from shelters.
“We love the unspoken understanding and bond that happens when a veteran meets a rescue dog, it’s amazing. We were inspired by the ability of rescue dogs to sense emotions and be compassionate,” continued Tartaglia. “I started this organization because veterans have made many sacrifices, so this is our way to give back to them.”

Most recently, Dogs of Service paired Air Force veteran Eric Pina, who suffers from PTSD, with a new service dog that will be trained to help him. As per Tartaglia, a service dog can provide support and comfort to help its person push through difficult situations to make progress.
“The dogs we were looking at for Eric and his family just were not working out; then this puppy walked into the shelter on her own and literally checked herself in. After a meeting, it was clear she was the dog for them. She was even playing with lil Eric,” Dogs of Service posted on its Facebook page noting they will train the dog, now named Loki, to be a PTSD service dog for Eric.
“Dogs of Service connected me with not only a service dog but a loyal friend that has become my family,” shared Pena.
Having to care for a dog also gives many people a sense of purpose that enables them to “get up every morning to be part of the world,” said Tartaglia who shared that the routine the dog sets can also be helpful to maintain a healthy and consistent lifestyle.
“On the downside, because of all the negative attention and lack of knowledge about service dogs and emotional support animals, it has become a struggle for many veterans to go out in public or travel with their dog,” Tartaglia told WAN. “Veterans are being pressed for details about their dogs, bullied out of housing, being forced to adhere to illegal requirements, and having to deal with untrained fake service dogs in public spaces that may put real service dogs and their handlers at risk.
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) has defined a service dog as one that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.
ADA guidelines in regard to service dogs are written loosely to enable all people to have access to a service dog: it does not discriminate in regard to “finances, location, type of disability, and access to urban areas.
It is important to note, as per Tartaglia, that many people do not understand that the ADA only covers public spaces; it does not cover housing, airports, trains and flights.
Tartaglia also encourages people to be wary of any online registry offering service dog certification and ID Cards, because service dogs and emotional support animals do not need to be registered or certified in any way.
“Having a service dog is a choice to be made with medical and care providers, it is a big responsibility and undertaking, but for some people, it can be life-changing,” continued Tartaglia, noting that service dog costs can range anywhere from $5000.00 to $25,000.00 with owner trained service dogs being on the low-end.
Dogs of Service currently offers weekly service dog training classes in Sherman Oaks, California, and is looking to expand into the Santa Clarita Valley, and possibly the South Bay, with more classes in 2019.
The classes are designed to teach dogs the vital socialization skills they need while also allowing veterans to connect and interact with each other.

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Dogs of Service has an application process so that they can figure out what the veteran needs and find a dog that is the best fit for them and their life.
Tartaglia also often helps veterans navigate the legal side, as well as ensuring that they can have dogs in their residences and assisting them with travel guidelines. To ensure a good pairing, Dogs of Service works with behaviorists and trainers for training to ensure that the veterans can learn how best to work with their dogs.

https://worldanimalnews.com/wan-exclusive-for-international-assistance-dog-week-with-dogs-of-service-founder-saralyn-tartaglia-who-helps-rescue-dogs-for-military-veterans/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Veteran’s service dog has a touching reunion with the inmate who trained him

positiveoutlooksblog.com

It takes a lot of guts to be a part of the military, you have to be physically fit, mentally stable, and emotionally strong. The time that soldiers spend in the battlefield, away from their family, friends and loved ones surely have an adverse effect on our honorable military men.

In the Vietnam war alone, 15 percent of the Vietnam veterans were diagnosed with PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a mental health disorder acquired after experiencing a traumatic, shocking, scary or dangerous event.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are a lot of ways to help one cope up with PTSD. The site advises people with PTSD to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist for professional mental health care. It also encourages people with PTSD to engage in positive activities such as sports to distract themselves with. Another way to overcome PTSD is to surround yourself with a support group and as well as acquiring the help of a service dog.

A 47-year-old veteran named Sgt. Bill Campbell who suffers from PTSD, chose to be assisted by a service dog called Pax. The veteran who also suffers from memory loss, and fear of crowds, was given a yellow Labrador, Pax, to help him cope.
According to the veteran, Pax has been a great help especially when he’s having an episode of PTSD. Without the yellow Labrador, he would have a lot of difficulties. Hence, Sgt. Bill was really interested to meet the trainer who nurtured Pax with the skills he has today.

Wanting to express his gratitude in person, Sgt. Bill reached out to Pax’s trainer, who turned out to be a woman named Laurie Kellog. After learning that Pax used to live at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, taken care of by a number of female inmates, as a part of the service dog training program, Sgt. Bill made his move.

The veteran traveled to meet Laurie, Pax’s trainer, to express his sincere gratitude for nurturing Pax. There, Sgt. Bill learned that Laurie had taken delight in training Pax to be a PTSD service dog. According to the trainer, she too suffered from PTSD after being a victim of domestic violence.

Laurie admitted that even when Pax was still in training, the dutiful dog had brought her back to live in the present when she was having a PTSD attack. She recalled how the service dog made her feel safe around him. Thus, when she found out that Pax would lend his assistance to a soldier who also suffered from PTSD, she was more than happy.

Laurie was not the only one who was thrilled to be reunited with the dog who changed her life. Evident in the way Pax wagged his tails upon seeing his old trainer, the dog was happy and excited as well. Pax, remembering Laurie, wasted no time and ran right up to her, showering her with lots of kisses!

With both of them understanding how it feels like to have a PTSD, Laurie, and Sgt. Bill greeted each other with an embrace. Pax also had the best moment of his life when his former and present owners, bonded with each other.

True enough, any baggage carried by more than one person, gets lighter and easier to carry. Fortunately for us humans, we have our pawed pals to entrust our life and share our problems with! Indeed, dogs are man’s best friend!

Watch the heartwarming reunion between Pax and his inmate trainer Laurie that will surely pull strings to your heart.

 

https://positiveoutlooksblog.com/2018/07/26/veterans-service-dog-has-a-touching-reunion-with-the-inmate-who-trained-him/

Photo and Video l The Ophra Winfrey Show

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