Battling the Storm Within

Monday, January 8, 2018

Military retirement is about to get a lot more complex-VIDEO







More than 1 million members of the military will start 2018 needing to make an important financial decision, as the government rolls out the biggest change to military retirement since World War II.


Members of the US Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard with fewer than 12 years of service will have to choose whether to stay on an all-or-nothing path toward a traditional pension after 20 years of service or to opt for a new "blended" retirement system that Congress approved as part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.


Read more,.,
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/military-retirement-plan/

San Antonio Veteran Named Chairwoman Of National VA Advisory Committee








The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday that Octavia Harris, a San Antonio-area veteran, is the new chairwoman of the National Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, a panel that advises the VA secretary on issues important to women veterans, their families and their caregivers.




Read more...
http://tpr.org/post/san-antonio-veteran-named-chairwoman-national-va-advisory-committee

ARMY VETERAN FREEZES TO DEATH AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM VA HOSPITAL




MADISON, Wis. -- An Atlanta family says it was negligence that led to the death of their father, an Army veteran.
Vance Perry was found dead on New Year's Eve in a freezing-cold parking garage in Madison, Wis.
Erika Perry hasn't seen her father in five years. Now, she and her siblings are trying to figure out how to see him one last time --- for his funeral.


Read more...
http://www.wcnc.com/mobile/article/news/army-veteran-freezes-to-death-after-being-released-from-va-hospital/504935936

Michigan woman becomes first black female commander of VFW post

Kimberly A. Napoleon, the first female Commander in the Wallace C. Schultz/Dwight A Mcinney Jr. Post 9931 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars poses for a portrait on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. In her hands, Napoleon, an army veteran of Operation Just Cause, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm, holds the memorial flag presented to her for her husband, Terrill Napoleon. Her husband also served in the army at the DMZ in Korea, where he picked up the bacterial brain infection that he would eventually pass away from in 1995.


SAGINAW, MI -- A national veterans organization that has been around for more than 100 years installed the first black woman commander in Michigan over the weekend.


On Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Wallace C. Schultz/Dwight A. McKinney Jr. Post 9931, Kimberly Napoleon was installed as a commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Bridgeport. Some describe Napoleon's accomplishment as historic and a trailblazer for other women.




Read more...
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2017/12/saginaw_veteran_becomes_first.html

Air Force Raises Enlistee Age Limit From 27 to 39

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. David S. Fadok delivers the oath of enlistment to new Air Force enlistees during Military Appreciation night at Riverwalk Stadiumin Montgomery, Ala., June 2, 2012.  (Bud Hancock/U.S. Air Force)




WASHINGTON — Thanks to a new Air Force policy announced Tuesday, enlisted recruits can now experience the joys of basic training in their late 30s.


The Air Force raised the maximum age for enlisted accession from 27 to 39, meaning it may now be the best choice for those who feel the call to military service later in life.




Read more...
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/06/25/air-force-raises-enlistee-age-limit-from-27-to-39.html

Men can be victims of rape too


Men can be victims of rape too


A young man who was brutally raped by two men after a guys’ night out has revealed he was left traumatized and “wanted to jump off a bridge.”


Sam Thompson was subjected to a horrific attack which lasted several hours after a night partying with a friend in Manchester, England in September 2016.


Read more...
https://nypost.com/2017/07/25/what-its-like-to-be-a-male-victim-of-rape/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPFacebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow&sr_share=facebook

4 Things I Learned During My First Appointment At The VA




Airman Ear




Just before Veterans Day, and slightly over seven years after leaving the service, I finally had my first doctor’s appointment with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Like most vets, I’d heard both positive and negative stories about VA health care and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’d have to say my experience was somewhere in the middle and, perhaps most importantly, very informative.


Read more...
http://taskandpurpose.com/4-things-learned-first-appointment-va/?utm_content=hp-facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

New FDA warnings on Cipro may tie into Gulf War illness







During the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, then-Navy corpsman David Ridenhour often browbeat troops in 1st Battalion, 5th Marines to take their medications — the anti-nerve agent pyridostigmine bromide and another pill, new to the market, to prevent anthrax.


Ridenhour took them. And while he doesn't completely blame his Gulf War illness symptoms on the drugs, he was interested to learn that last summer the Food and Drug Administration toughened its warnings for Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, saying the potent antibiotic can cause severe and sometimes permanent nerve damage.


Read more...
https://www.militarytimes.com/2013/11/01/new-fda-warnings-on-cipro-may-tie-into-gulf-war-illness/

Soldier home for the holidays died rescuing neighbors from fire-VIDEO


New York (CNN)Private Emmanuel Mensah went off to serve in the Army National Guard, but it was back home where he made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mensah died trying to rescue people from his burning apartment building this week in the Bronx, New York, in the city's deadliest fire in more than 25 years, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
As Mensah's father tells it, he went back into the building twice to rescue neighbors. But he did not make it out alive.




Read more...
http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/30/us/emmanuel-mensah-bronx-fire/index.html?sr=fbCNN123117emmanuel-mensah-bronx-fire1150AMVODtop

"Veterans have a very different view of service. If you can do it, you just do it."






A fifth generation military veteran, Vonetta Daniels 02C completed her time in the United States Air Force and headed to Emory to complete her undergraduate degree. In late 2001, Daniels, a senior at the time, accidentally crashed the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni (CEBA) holiday party at Justin’s downtown. She was a non-traditional student, just out to celebrate her birthday. But soon after, Daniels went to a CEBA meeting, was pegged to be the service chair, and that is where it all began.


Read more...
http://www.alumni.emory.edu/emorywire/news/news-articles/2017/12/vonetta-daniels.html

Researchers cite new findings on Gulf War Illness



WASHINGTON – Researchers have discovered two areas of brain atrophy in Gulf War veterans who responded differently to a heart-rate test, leading scientists to believe that even those with the same Gulf War Illness symptoms may need different kinds of treatments.

"It was shocking to us," said Rakib Rayhan, lead author of the study and a researcher at Georgetown University Medical Center. "We were just floored."


Read more...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/06/14/gulf-war-illness-study/2417677/

Life-Size Bronze Statues Honoring Women Veterans Installed In Las Cruces



The much-anticipated life-size, one-of-a-kind bronze statues representing women veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have served since WWI were installed at the newly-constructed Women Veterans Monument at Veterans Memorial Park


The much-anticipated life-size, one-of-a-kind bronze statues representing women veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have served since WWI were installed at the newly-constructed Women Veterans Monument at Veterans Memorial Park in Las Cruces, NM on Dec. 20, 2017.


The realistic figures, which took more than one-year to create, represent branches of the military during various eras and are the focal point of the monument. The Women Veterans Monument will be officially unveiled at a formal dedication tentatively scheduled for March 10, 2018. 


Read more...
http://krwg.org/post/life-size-bronze-statues-honoring-women-veterans-installed-las-cruces

Top general tells Marines to be prepared for a big fight














The Marine Corps commandant told about 300 Marines in Norway this week that they should be prepared for a “bigass fight” to come, remarks his spokesman later said were not in reference to any specific adversary but rather intended to inspire the troops.


“I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,” Gen. Robert Neller told the Marines on Thursday, according to Military.com. “You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence.”

Read more...

New VA Rules Allow Docs to Talk About Medical Marijuana






Doctors and pharmacists at the Veterans Affairs Department have been cleared to talk about the pluses and minuses of medical marijuana use with vets who ask about the drug.


The doctors will still be barred from recommending or prescribing marijuana, but under a new VA directive they will be able to "discuss with the veteran marijuana use, due to its clinical relevance to patient care, and discuss marijuana use with any veterans requesting information about marijuana."


Read more...
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/12/20/new-va-rules-allow-docs-talk-about-medical-marijuana.html

VA struggling to manage $543M contract for medical equipment tracking system



Department of Veterans Affairs IT contract is riddled with “uncertainty” after it failed to provide adequate oversight and properly manage information security risks, a watchdog reported.


VA’s inspector general found in a recent audit that the department obligated $431 million to HP Enterprise Services — which since merged with CSC to become DXC Technology in April — since 2013 for development of the Real Time Location System “without a Government acceptance of a functional RTLS solution.” The system is supposed digitally track medical equipment and devices so that “medical staff have optimal equipment and supplies to treat Veterans” in a safe manner, according to the VA.
Read more...


https://www.fedscoop.com/va-struggling-manage-543m-contract-medical-equipment-tracking-system/

Trump signs bill opening VA to more investigations






WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed legislation allowing for more and faster investigations of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities by permitting nongovernment groups to inspect them.


The bill, titled the Enhancing Veteran Care Act, would allow regional VA officials to enter into contracts with accredited nonprofits to identify and report deficiencies at VA hospitals. It’s the latest move this year in a larger effort by the VA and Congress to bring accountability to VA workers


Read more..
https://www.stripes.com/news/trump-signs-bill-opening-va-to-more-investigations-1.503414

Gulf War Syndrome: US Veterans Suffering from Multiple Debilitating Symptoms







After their service in the Gulf War conflict from 1990-1991, hundreds of thousands of our country’s veterans began suffering from multiple and diverse debilitating symptoms including neurological and respiratory disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychological problems, skin conditions and gastrointestinal issues.


This cluster of symptoms came to be known as Gulf War syndrome. Independent investigations, including those conducted by many of the Gulf War veterans themselves, showed multiple causes behind Gulf War syndrome, including experimental vaccines and medications; exposure to depleted uranium (DU); toxicity from biological and chemical weapons, oil fires, and other environmental contaminants.




Read more...
https://www.globalresearch.ca/gulf-war-syndrome-us-veterans-suffering-from-multiple-debilitating-symptoms/5508825/amp

Friday, December 22, 2017

VA Make the Connection Video - Sgt Stephanie Shannon - Video














“If you’re brave enough to serve, you’re brave enough to heal.”
That’s Stephanie’s message to her fellow #Veterans. You can find support and move forward like she did.




Read more...
https://maketheconnection.net/stories/693

VA specialty clinic opens in Ann Arbor





Opened late last month, the 10,000-square-foot Green Road Outpatient Clinic, 2500 Green Road, is managed by the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The VA Ann Arbor operates several major outpatient community clinics, including ones in Flint, Toledo and Jackson.


Read more...
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20171221/news/648311/va-specialty-clinic-opens-in-ann-arbor

Veterans face health care crisis Jan. 2 as key program is set to lose funding







Funding for the Veterans Choice Program could run out as early as Jan. 2, 2018, and as late as Jan. 16, 2018, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) notice.


Read more...
https://americanmilitarynews.com/2017/12/veterans-face-health-care-crisis-jan-2-as-key-program-is-set-to-lose-funding/?utm_source=dvf&utm_campaign=alt&utm_medium=facebook

Program Seeks To Serve Female Veterans Who Feel Uncomfortable At The VA

Clinical psychologist Miatta Snetter (right) speaks to Marine Corps veteran Sherry Pope at the Fullerton College Veterans Resource Center. Snetter says woman sometimes feel uncomfortable around male veterans at the VA.


A new program in Los Angeles is trying to provide female veterans with health care outside the VA, which some consider a male dominated environment.


Libby Denkmann reports on a new effort to provide services to female veterans


Read more...
http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/program-seeks-serve-female-veterans-who-feel-uncomfortable-va-0

VA Rolls Out New Medical Marijuana Policy For Vets


VA Rolls Out New Medical Marijuana Policy For Vets


There has always been some disconnect between veterans and medical marijuana.
Although there has been plenty of evidence to suggest cannabis would be beneficial to veterans for a wide array of ailments, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been reluctant to allow their doctors to formally recommend it as a treatment option. However, as the VA rolls out a new medical marijuana policy tor vets, it appears doctors are now permitted to at least discuss potential use with their patients.






Read more...
https://hightimes.com/news/va-new-medical-marijuana-policy-vets/

Proposed bill would provide child care for veterans receiving mental health care





Legislation pending in Congress would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide short term child care for veterans receiving mental health care at its medical facilities.


The bill, the Veterans Access to Child Care Act, passed the House but is awaiting action in the Senate Armed Services Committee.


Read more...
http://www.theday.com/article/20171217/NWS09/171219473

Veterans groups sue the military for sexual assault records





Two veterans groups have filed a lawsuit against the Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security, alleging that the government is illegally denying records requests involving sexual assault and harassment cases.


The two veterans advocate groups — Protect Our Defenders and the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center — filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court Wednesday.




Read more.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2017/12/16/veterans-groups-sue-the-military-for-sexual-assault-records/

Gulf War Syndrome: US Veterans Suffering from Multiple Debilitating Symptoms







After their service in the Gulf War conflict from 1990-1991, hundreds of thousands of our country’s veterans began suffering from multiple and diverse debilitating symptoms including neurological and respiratory disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychological problems, skin conditions and gastrointestinal issues




Read more...
https://www.globalresearch.ca/gulf-war-syndrome-us-veterans-suffering-from-multiple-debilitating-symptoms/5508825/amp

Toxic Command: US Army Ignores Nurse’s Yearlong Pleas for Help; 1LT Survives Attempted Murder by Deranged Civilian





At approximately 5:10 p.m. on September 7, 2016, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, heard screaming from an office adjacent to hers at Munson Army Health Center. The civilian NP ran into the hallway and found 26-year-old 1LT Katie Ann Blanchard, an active duty Registered Nurse (RN) and mother of three, on fire from the waist up. (Details of the attack from the FBI Criminal Complaint, dated 8SEP16 can be found here.)




Read more...
https://www.armywtfmoments.com/2017/08/toxic-command-us-army-ignores-nurses-yearlong-pleas-help/

Why Military Women Are Missing from the #MeToo Moment






For military women, before #MeToo there was #NotInvisible, our attempt to draw attention to the epidemic of sexual assault in the military which continues to be largely ignored by the American public. Now as the #MeToo reckoning sweeps other industries, from Hollywood to politics, America is once again leaving service women behind




Read more...
http://time.com/5060570/military-women-sexual-assault/

False reports outpace sex assaults in the military





False complaints of sexual abuse in the military are rising at a faster rate than overall reports of sexual assault, a trend that could harm combat readiness, analysts say.


Virtually all media attention on a Pentagon report last week focused on an increase in service members’ claims of sexual abuse in an anonymous survey, but unmentioned were statistics showing that a significant percentage of such actually investigated cases were baseless.


Read more...
https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/12/false-reports-outpace-sex-assaults-in-the-military/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

VA: More alternative therapy options available to fight PTSD







WASHINGTON — Pressurized oxygen chambers, light-emitting helmets and neck injections are all treatments the Department of Veterans Affairs is using to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.


Following an announcement last week that the VA would offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy to some veterans with PTSD, the agency said Thursday that the move is part of an effort to explore alternatives to the traditional therapies for PTSD and TBI, VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a statement.


Read more...
https://www.stripes.com/va-more-alternative-therapy-options-available-to-fight-ptsd-1.501406?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

3 Ways PTSD Has Made My Life Difficult



man looking away


My post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) requires so much energy and planning to manage on a daily basis. But who am I kidding? It’s often hourly and sometimes minute by minute. For me, it’s basically a full-time job with no benefits, lousy hours and no overtime pay — but plenty of overtime, and an asshole for a boss.


Read more...
https://themighty.com/2017/06/ptsd-ways-life-is-difficult/

Military toxins are becoming more harmful to our veterans


Military toxins are becoming more harmful to our veterans


Imagine surviving two deployments in Iraq, constantly dodging bombs and enemy gunfire, only to realize that the air you were once thankful to be able to breathe was making you sick. This is what happened to Sergeant Major Rob Bowman, who passed away from cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of bile duct cancer, at the age of 44.


Unfortunately, as many military families know all too well, Sergeant Major Bowman’s situation is not unique. “Of the 30 men in Rob’s platoon who returned home, nearly one-third of them developed uncommon cancers and medical conditions,” said Coleen Bowman, Rob’s surviving spouse, “and the first doctor we saw confirmed immediately that the cause of Rob’s cancer was environmental, not genetic.”










Read more...
http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/363903-military-toxins-are-becoming-more-harmful-to-our-veterans

Pentagon prepares to accept transgender recruits beginning in January, as Trump’s ban hangs in the balance












The U.S. military is preparing to accept transgender recruits for the first time beginning in January, the Pentagon said Wednesday, the latest signal that President Trump’s desired ban may not materialize after all.

Officials are “taking steps to be prepared” to bring in the first transgender recruits on Jan. 1, as required by a federal court order issued recently, said Army Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman. He declined to comment further, citing open litigation, but said that the Defense Department and Justice Department are consulting on the issue.




Read more...
https://www.armywtfmoments.com/2017/12/pentagon-prepares-accept-transgender-recruits-beginning-january-trumps-ban-hangs-balance/

The Navy and Army fail to report violent offenders at rates higher than the Air Force and Marine Corps




From left: Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, and Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 19, 2017.


WASHINGTON - A Defense Department review released Tuesday found significant failures throughout the military to report violent offenders to federal law enforcement, a breakdown that allowed Air Force veteran Devin Kelley to purchase the firearms he used to commit a massacre in Texas last month.


Yet while the focus in that case has been the Air Force’s failure to submit Kelley’s criminal history to the FBI’s background-check database, the other military services mostly performed far worse.


Read more...
http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2017/12/05/The-Navy-and-Army-fail-to-report-violent-offenders-at-rates-higher-than-the-Air-Force-and-Marine-Corps/stories/201712050271

Trump ends homeless vets program as their numbers rise for first time in 7 years







Donald Trump, from the outset, cast himself as a champion of veterans, and promised that he would improve veterans care as president.
But the toxic right-wing ideology of Trump and his administration has nonetheless seeped into the way they take care of and prioritize veterans.
According to Politico, a popular program to house homeless veterans is on the chopping block — and at the worst possible moment:






Read more...
https://shareblue.com/trump-ends-homeless-vets-program-as-their-numbers-rise-for-first-time-in-7-years/

Gulf War Compensation


Southwest Asia theatre of military operations: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E., Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea




Gulf War



Veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable who served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, which includes the areas specified by regulation, but not Afghanistan, may be entitled to disability compensation for certain undiagnosed illnesses, certain diagnosable chronic disability patterns, and certain presumptive diseases ( as described below) even though these disorders did not become manifest during qualifying service. Veterans who served in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001, may be entitled to disability compensation for certain presumptive diseases.




Read more...
https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-postservice-gulfwar.asp

VA reverses plan to cut homeless veteran housing program after outrage







The Department of Veterans Affairs has reversed course on a plan to essentially end a $460 million program that helps provide housing to homeless veterans after facing blowback when news of the decision broke.


VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a statement that “there will be absolutely no change in the funding to support our homeless programs,” and the department “will not be shifting any homeless program money to the Choice program,” which allows veterans to seek health care at facilities outside the VA


Read more...
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/363803-va-reverses-decision-to-cut-homeless-veteran-housing-program-after#.WinEDNzwKmo.facebook

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Base Rates: U.S. Military Bases by Rates of Sexual Assault Reports Filed




The Friday before Thanksgiving, the Pentagon quietly and for the first time released raw figures on the number of reports of sexual assault across all U.S. military installations at home and abroad, by base. The release of this data generated a certain momentary buzz in headlines across the U.S., but failed to provide context in terms of rates by population.


Large bases with greater numbers of personnel could be expected to generate larger numbers of reports; but without a sense of rate by population size of the base it continues to be impossible to compare bases with one another. But never fear, not-so-gentle Internet. Those missing context-providing rates can be generated from verified population figures, and we’ve done that work.




Read more...
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/base-rates-us-military-bases-by-rates-of-sexual_us_5a25bd58e4b0b1dc3502ab10

How Desert Storm Destroyed the US Military




The US military that won Desert Storm or Gulf War I in 1991 was a spectacular military, a gargantuan industrial age military with high tech weaponry and well trained personnel, that when called upon, achieved victory with the speed of Patton and the elan of Teddy Roosevelt.


Overlooking the vast eight mile carnage on the Highway of Death in Kuwait, destruction that was caused by a US Air Force and Navy that bore almost no resemblance to the two services now, a sergeant in the 7th US Cavalry remarked, “America sure got its money’s worth from those Joes.”


Read more...
http://usdefensewatch.com/2017/04/how-desert-storm-destroyed-the-us-military/

USA TODAY Investigation: VA knowingly hires doctors with past malpractice claims, discipline for poor care





Neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider racked up more than a dozen malpractice claims and settlements in two states, including cases alleging he made surgical mistakes that left patients maimed, paralyzed or dead.


Read more...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/03/usa-today-investigation-va-knowingly-hires-doctors-past-malpractice-claims-discipline-poor-care/909170001/

US Dept. VA - Make the Connection Video - Sexually assaulted Woman Vet - Healing Story


While serving in the Army, Stephanie was sexually assaulted. She carried her pain home with her and had trouble finding emotional, financial, and familial support. After finding the courage to reach out to VA and open up to treatment, she uncovered the tools to empower herself and her son.


Watch VIDEO more...
https://maketheconnection.net/stories/693

VA too 'male-centric,' female vets tell legislators




GARFIELD — Not enough doctors focused on their needs. Poor access to mammograms. A hospital that feels more like a strip club than a medical center.

These were just some of the concerns shared by female veterans Friday, when they spoke at a round table hosted by Rep. Bill Pascrell and Sen. Cory Booker, both Democrats, at Garfield VFW Post 2867.


Read more...
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/garfield/2017/11/10/va-too-malecentric-female-vets-tell-legislators/853090001/

For suicidal veterans, loneliness is the deadliest enemy

A photo of a soldier's boots in front of the American flag.


About 20 veterans commit suicide every day. The primary enemy most veterans face after service is not war-related trauma but loneliness, according to a new study by researchers at Yale and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


The study, scheduled to be published Oct. 1 in the journal World Psychiatry, followed 2,000 veterans over a period of four years to help explain why studies have shown that vets are more than twice as likely to kill themselves as their civilian counterparts.  At enrollment, the participants never had suicidal thoughts and were representative of U.S. military veterans as a whole: They were predominantly older, with an average age of 62, and two-thirds had never seen combat.


Read more...


https://news.yale.edu/2017/09/28/suicidal-veterans-loneliness-deadliest-enemy

Gillibrand Reintroduces Military Justice Improvement Act





There were an estimated 15,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. military last year.


New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has reintroduced her Military Justice Improvement Act that would put military sex assault prosecutions in the hands of trained prosecutors. She spoke on CBS This Morning.


Read more...
http://www.wwnytv.com/story/36864074/gillibrand-reintroduces-military-justice-improvement-act

Over 70,000 military sexual assaults took place last year -- Congress must take action






Congress should act swiftly to approve long overdue legislation introduced Thursday to strengthen the prosecution of sexual assault in the military.

The Defense Department estimates that about 8,600 women and 6,300 men were sexually assaulted in our armed forces last year. Most victims were attacked more than once, resulting in over 70,000 sexual assaults in 2016 alone.


Read more...
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/16/over-70000-military-sexual-assaults-took-place-last-year-congress-must-take-action.html

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Preserving the past: 9 tips on obtaining missing military records (and awards) for you or a loved one




Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, it’s expected that about a half-million will be alive at the end of 2017.


Many veterans of this and other conflicts will take with them stories of service that can’t be replaced. Some will have earned commendations they mentioned only in passing, or ignored out of modesty, or locked away alongside painful memories.


Read more...
https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/salute-veterans/2017/11/14/preserving-the-past-9-tips-on-obtaining-military-records-medals-for-you-or-a-loved-one/

Vet set himself on fire after long VA waits, appointment cancellation, investigation finds



WASHINGTON — A veteran committed suicide by setting himself on fire in front of a New Jersey VA clinic after staff at the clinic repeatedly failed to ensure he received adequate mental health care, an investigation of the death found.

Department of Veterans Affairs staff canceled an appointment Charles Ingram had in fall 2015 because a provider was unavailable, didn’t follow up to reschedule, and when he walked into the clinic to ask for an appointment, they didn’t schedule it until three months later, the VA inspector general found.






Read more...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/15/vet-set-himself-fire-after-long-va-waits-appointment-cancellation-investigation-finds/866834001/

Army To Provide Medical Care For Thousands Of Veterans Who Were Test Subjects




Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET Wednesday
After thousands of U.S. veterans won a class action suit against the military over being used in chemical and biological testing, the Army says it will pay for their medical care. But the group's attorneys say the service is falling short of meeting its obligations and that it's withholding details veterans are seeking about what agents they were exposed to.


The Army says veterans can be treated for any injuries or diseases caused after the service used the soldiers as research subjects in the period from 1942 to 1975.


Read more...
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/14/563095946/army-to-provide-medical-care-for-thousands-of-veterans-who-were-test-subjects

Veteran says women's military service deserves more recognition






In recent years, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been taken a lot more seriously. But, the general public is often not aware of the struggles returning veterans have with the disorder.


Stephanie Shannon is a veteran of Desert Storm and Desert Shield operations during the first Gulf War. She’s the founder and CEO of Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment and she joined Stateside to talk about how women who fight for our country deserve more recognition for their service.


Read more...
http://michiganradio.org/post/veteran-says-womens-military-service-deserves-more-recognition

2017 Health of Women who have served findings


This report provides a national baseline and comparative portrait of the health of women who have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and those who have not. Findings highlight the positive health experiences as well as health challenges affecting women who have served. In particular, key findings from the most recent period, 2014-2015, indicate that as compared to women who have not served, those who have served have:
  • Significantly higher overall rates of mental illness including lifetime depression, any mental illness in the past year, and suicidal thoughts in the past year.
  • Better overall self-reported health status, yet significantly higher rates of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, COPD, cancer, and arthritis.
  • Significantly higher overall rates of health insurance coverage, access to primary care, and utilization of preventive services such as cancer screenings.
  • Significantly lower overall rates of physical inactivity and obesity, yet higher rates of insufficient sleep.
Read more...
https://www.americashealthrankings.org/learn/reports/2017-health-of-women-who-have-served/findings

Army lifts ban on waivers for recruits with history of some mental health issues




WASHINGTON – People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.

The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year's goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.


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https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/12/army-lifts-ban-recruits-history-self-mutilation-other-mental-health-issues/853131001/?utm_content=tp-facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Patients with Gulf War Illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Show Distinct Molecular Changes After Exercise


Patients with Gulf War Illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Show Distinct Molecular Changes After Exercise


A new study reveals distinct molecular mechanisms underlying two long-misunderstood brain disorders: chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI). These two illnesses, which were long thought to be psychological in nature, share significant commonalities such as pain, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and exhaustion after exercise.


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https://psychcentral.com/news/2017/11/12/patients-with-gulf-war-illness-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-show-distinct-molecular-changes-after-exercise/128630.html

Studies Yield Clues to Roots of Gulf War Illness






































Combat in the Gulf War of 1990-91 lasted less than two months, but it’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of the troops who served in the Middle East during that time may still experience symptoms of Gulf War Illness (GWI). Thought to be caused by exposure to chemical and biological weapons or other hazardous chemicals, GWI’s symptoms include difficulties with memory and speech, mood swings, and chronic pain.


Two studies presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting on November 11 and 14 provide some clues to GWI’s biological basis. The first, described by Anika Patil of Drexel University College of Medicine, treated cultured rat neurons with a sarin gas analogue, and found it led to the deacetylation—and destabilization—of the cells’ microtubules, which are needed to transport mitochondria and other cellular components. Pretreating the cells with corticosterone to mimic the effects of stress exacerbated the effect. For deployed service members, “there is an ongoing stress from the moment you leave until the moment you return,” commented Col. Deborah Whitmer of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, who moderated a press conference about the findings.








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https://mobile.the-scientist.com/article/50930/studies-yield-clues-to-roots-of-gulf-war-illness

Time for America's military to face its own problem of sexual assault



Time for America's military to face its own problem of sexual assault


While the Harvey Weinstein scandal has focused the attention of the public on sexual assault in the workplace, it is important to note that one highly regarded American institution, the U.S. military, has been struggling with the issue for more than 25 years.


Each time new scandals involving the services become public, the uniformed military leaders force some service members to retire early, promise to increase training and announce a zero tolerance policy. But what they and their supporters will not do is remove the cases from the chain of command, that is, place sexual assault accusations in the hands of military lawyers free of influence or impact by the commanders where sexual assault incidents are alleged to have occurred.


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http://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/358659-time-for-americas-military-to-face-its-own-problem-of-sexual-assault#.Wfz4jUO0e3g.facebook

Why More Veterans Should Run for Office

U.S. Capitol building in Washington DC.


Are America’s best days behind us? And if so, what can we do about it?
For years, Americans have been losing faith in our institutions, and many are asking questions like this about our country’s future.


No national institution is suffering a crisis of trust more than Congress. Public confidence in Congress hovers slightly above 10%, down 30 points since 1986.


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http://time.com/5014163/veterans-run-for-office/

A new VA motto would signify commitment to culture change for women veterans


A new VA motto would signify commitment to culture change for women veterans


Every single day, one of the 2.2 million women veterans in our country walks into her local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. When she enters the building, she will likely be met with a sign on the door that reads: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and his widow and his orphan,” the motto of the VA.  Perhaps she’ll even think twice about going in.




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http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/359513-a-new-va-motto-would-signify-commitment-to-culture-change-for-women

Brain chemistry study shows chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War illness as unique disorders



brain


Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found distinct molecular signatures in two brain disorders long thought to be psychological in origin—chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI).
            
In addition, the work supports a previous observation by GUMC investigators of two variants of GWI. The disorders share commonalities, such as pain, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and exhaustion after exercise.


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https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-11-brain-chemistry-chronic-fatigue-syndrome.html

Five myths about female veterans









Veterans Day is an occasion to recall the service of our troops. But women’s stories have often been absent from those recollections. Works of fiction and nonfiction, memoirs (such as Mary Jennings Hegar’s), documentaries (including “The Invisible War”) and dramas (such as “Blood Stripe”) have helped show this side of the armed forces.


Still, myths about female veterans endure. Kayla Williams, who wrote a memoir about serving as an Army linguist in Iraq, remembers an infantryman who was “sure that women troops would be flown by helicopter to shower every three days.” Here are some of the most persistent misconceptions.


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https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-female-veterans/2017/11/10/31a6398a-c560-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.ce2ed126a8b6

Veterans Day should serve as a reminder that the military is more diverse than perceived




Dwight Hanson, U.S. Marine Corps Ret., salutes as boy scout Sam Perkins carries out the national fla


On this Veterans Day, let’s take an opportunity to dispel a few misconceptions about veterans.
First off, veterans tend to look different than the “all-American hero” stereotype some people might imagine. Indeed, the military is in many ways as diverse as the rest of the nation.


A full 30% of the active military and selected reserve force identifies as black or Latino, which is about the same as the percentage nationwide.




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http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/opinion/tn-dpt-me-commentary-andrea-20171101-story.html

Leading health organization calls for ending school recruiting


























In 2012 the American Public Health Association, (APHA), one of the country’s foremost health organizations and publisher of the influential American Journal of Public Health, adopted a policy statement calling for the cessation of military recruiting in public elementary and secondary schools.


APHA demands the elimination of the No Child Left Behind Act requirement that high schools both be open to military recruiters and turn over contact information on all students to recruiters and eliminating practices that encourage military recruiters to approach adolescents in US public high schools to enlist in the military services.1


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http://nnomy.org/index.php/en/resources/blog/pat-elder-series/item/734-recruiting-is-psy-ops-at-home.html

New PBS documentary explores the history, problems of the VA system - VIDEO


“Every morning when I wake up, a memory of what happened to me in Iraq lingers in my mind,” retired Marine Sgt. Carlos Villasenor recounts in a new PBS documentary. “They didn't really prepare us on how to feel or how to react coming home.”


And when Villasenor turned to the VA for help, the agency canceled a scheduled appointment with him and promised to call back soon to reschedule.


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https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/salute-veterans/2017/11/06/new-pbs-documentary-explores-the-history-problems-of-the-va-system/

How to Stop Violence - Mentally ill people aren’t killers. Angry people are.

U.S. soldier SPC Ivan Lopez































I n the 1980s, around the time of the massive deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, I was working toward my degree in clinical psychology by training at a psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C. One sweet, diminutive, elderly patient sometimes wandered the halls. She had been committed to the hospital after she stabbed someone in a supermarket. She was what is sometimes referred to as a revolving-door patient: She was schizophrenic and heard frightening voices in her head, and when she became psychotic enough, she would be hospitalized, stabilized on medication, and then released back to the community. There she would soon go off her medication, become psychotic, be rehospitalized, stabilized again on medication, released, etc.




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http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/04/anger_causes_violence_treat_it_rather_than_mental_illness_to_stop_mass_murder.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_fb_top