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  • The VVA Veteran: Homeward Bound: The Repatriation of Lewis Clark Walton, Sr.
    LZ These signals were monitored for about fifteen minutes and then they stopped Recovery helicopters were launched that day but could not be inserted because of weather An SAR team arrived May 14 but left the same day without finding any trace of the missing patrol Walton and his team members were listed as missing in action on May 10 1971 For the family of the 37 year old Green Beret however the nightmare had just begun Clark s wife Virginia knew that patriotism ran deep in her husband s blood After serving a tour in Korea he was anxious for Vietnam It meant a lot to him Virginia Walton said He had a great sense of pride in it He loved being a trooper She said that her lifelines were her children Jacke six years old when her father was listed as MIA and Lew Jr three years and her faith I wasn t alone she said If I hadn t had the kids it would have been much worse Virginia Walton made certain that her children grew up in a home filled with love for their father Jacke Walton Williams said I don t know if I could have done what my mother did She s a survivor She and her brother always were reminded that whatever their sacrifices were their father was going through bigger trials Jacke remembers her father s good bye I ll be back Be a good girl make me proud respect your mom and love her dearly She speaks of how fortunate she is to have those memories unlike her brother Lewis Clark Walton Jr whose recollections are blurry at best and more likely the product of photographs and home movies I remember some of his uniform paraphalia being around his jump boots Lew Walton said Jacke and I would take turns wearing them As the boy grew up a need grew to fill in the blanks of his father s career Lew Walton discovered that his father and namesake wasn t just any soldier and that the Special Forces were the elite of the elite The term missing in action confused him When you re missing people look for you He credits his mother for tackling her role of MIA wife and mother with grace My mom did a wonderful job handling it all trying to explain it to two young kids he said I think that s where my sister and I get a lot of our strength from going through the experiences we saw our mom going through Difficult times were inevitable for Jacke and Lew Walton Jacke recalls Operation Homecoming in April 1973 Shortly after the announcement the gleeful seven year old packed for California When her mother tried to explain that her father s name was not on the list of returning POWs Jacke became agitated and decided he was planning a surprise You don t understand she told them Dad s coming home But when Saigon fell

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1208/homeward.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    Report Arts of War Books In Review Membership Notes Reunions Taps Locator PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec PRESIDENT S MESSAGE A Sad Ending And A New Beginning BY JOHN ROWAN We ended 2006 with the sad loss of one of our most active members and senior member of the Board of Directors Randy Barnes The obituary in this issue will give you some details of Randy s life and his efforts on behalf of veterans I prefer to remember him as my friend Everyone who knew Randy knows he had a loquacious streak But this was just an outgrowth of his passion However even after a hard fought discussion he would always revert to his jolly self and his infectious happy go lucky grin would return VVA will miss the staunch warrior but I will miss the buddy Despite this grievous loss I hope that your holidays were joyous and the New Year bright As we begin this year we are operating in a new environment Thanks to the efforts of political activists like Randy Barnes the Democrats control the new Congress Rep Bob Filner of California is the new chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Sen Daniel Akaka of Hawaii chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee We look forward to working with the new leadership When they were in the minority the Democrats made many promises to veterans particularly with regard to assured funding for the VA We intend to hold them to those promises Meanwhile we will continue to work

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0207/pres_message.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    know about their and our past the better prepared our country will be This view does not count politicians since many of them are willing to sell their souls to stay in office as evidenced by the Iraq War As a Vietnam veteran I feel that the lessons from that war must have been lost because there are so many similarities of intent escalation and probable outcome It s always amazing to me that politicians and world leaders attempt to re invent the wheel expecting a different outcome Keep the history lessons coming I m using them to educate my grandchildren John Grogg Via e mail THE CHINA QUESTION This is written in response to your excellent article on the Chinese role in the Vietnam War in the September October issue At that time we were told among other things that we had to fight them there or else we would be fighting them here We were told again and again that there was a light at the end of the tunnel In essence we had to stay and die for the good of our country China was among those responsible for the deaths of over 58 000 of my brothers And now the current administration and those before are handing our economy our technology and our futures over to the still communist atheist Chinese government Will we in one generation see our former enemies as valued trade partners like the Chinese who use virtual slave labor to further undermine our economy I urge you for the sake of our deceased heroes from both Vietnam and Iraq not to surrender to the propaganda of those who care nothing for the American people but only for further enriching their already obscene estates By the way I would serve voluntarily again as I did almost 40 years ago because my brothers and sisters deserve my support In that I am unlike the current leaders of our country with a few notable exceptions who when our nation called said no Bob Branton Barnwell South Carolina LET US FORGIVE Diane Carlson Evans should be given a medal for being such a forgiving person I was so proud of her statement concerning Dusty Dana Shuster on her being a fraud giving her compassion If only the world could be a quarter that nice I hope the veterans community will see it the same way How did we get treated when our time was up in Vietnam Really badly It made us bitter So after all these years I hope we have learned something be compassionate and forgiving I say Don t condemn forgive It has taken me many years to do this completely C H Boss Jr Via e mail WORD CHOICE Regarding the President s Message in the September October issue of The VVA Veteran I think President John Rowan s title Summer Camp was a poor choice of words And I m not the only one to question his words Calling a very

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0207/letters.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS january february 2007 The Veteran Departments Featured Stories President s Message Letters VVAF Report Membership Affairs Committee Report Veterans Benefit Update Ask The Parliamentarian PTSD Substance Abuse Report SHAD Project 112 Task Force Report Government Affairs Committee Report Women Veterans Report Public Affairs Committee Report AVVA Report AVVA Scholarship AVVA Election Convention Resolutions Committee Report Elections Committee Report Homeless Veterans Task Force Report Consitution Committee Report Arts of War Books In Review Membership Notes Reunions Taps Locator PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund Report Continuing The Commitment BY KEITH KING PRESIDENT VIETNAM VETERANS ASSISTANCE FUND Randy Barnes helped shape much of what VVA stands for today His commitment to his fellow veterans was unquestioned As President of the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund he was always asking if the decisions we were making would benefit veterans A staunch supporter of the Service Representative program Randy wanted to insure that we had the best trained advocates working for VVA To keep the Service Representative program growing the VVAF board had begun more aggressive fund raising efforts Broadway to Baghdad was funded by VVAF with the understanding that if the program were successful we would look to expand the concept around the country The good news is that it was a success and the VVAF board scheduled a fund raising brainstorming session in New York Then Randy had his heart attack Although we debated canceling the

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0207/vvaf.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec Membership Affairs COMMITTEE REPORT End Of An Era BY BILL MEEKS JR CHAIR I hope that everyone had a great holiday season As we move forward into 2007 I would like to touch on the use of the term Vietnam Era and provide a little information on why VVA does not use it At the National Convention on August 14 1999 the VVA Constitution was amended to read in Article I National Provisions Section 3 Membership paragraph A Membership in the corporation is open to any veteran of the military service of the United States of America who served on active duty during the dates established by federal law for the Vietnam War This amendment made the membership eligibility dates the dates established by federal law for the Vietnam War Those dates currently are February 28 1961 to May 7 1975 for in country service and August 5 1964 to May 7 1975 for service elsewhere The dates were established by federal law in Title 38 U S C S 101 11 Title 38 C F R 3 2 f 202 which states Vietnam Era August 5 1964 through May 7 1975 However February 28 1961 through May 7 1975 for a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period Since I became chair of VVA Membership Affairs in October 2001 the committee has discouraged the use of the term Era Current VVA membership applications state the following Eligibility Membership is open to U S armed forces veterans who served on active duty for other than training purposes in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28 1961 and May 7 1975 or in any duty location

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0207/member_affairs.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    schedule for rating disabilities based on average impairment of earning capacity Comparable disability benefits provided to individuals by the federal government state governments and the private sector Upon completion of the study the commission will produce a report which will be submitted to the President and Congress Wilburn discussed upcoming surveys and sought assistance from the VSOs in attendance He explained that the VDBC has retained the services of contractors to obtain information for the commission s study One such contractor is the Center for Naval Analysis Corporation CNAC CNAC has been engaged to help the commission determine the ability of benefits to replace lost earnings capacity and to help offset decreased quality of life CNAC also is looking at the structure and operation of the VA benefits system and rating determination process One tool CNAC is using to obtain relevant data is self reporting surveys CNAC will be fielding four different surveys to disabled veterans surviving spouses VBA employees and accredited service representatives Although these surveys are all geared toward different populations they will all have the following in common All surveys are confidential and anonymous Disabled veterans and surviving spouse surveys will be conducted by telephone of a randomly selected representative sample VA raters and service representatives surveys will be conducted electronically over the Internet on the entire population of eligible respondents All analyses will protect and shield individual responses and respondents Only aggregate results will be released Participation is strictly voluntary with informed consent The first survey will poll disabled veterans The objectives of this survey are to determine the impact of service connected disability on perceived quality of life and compare perceived quality of life to the comparison group and to assess labor force participation patterns and factors affecting adherence to treatment This survey is targeting a sample of 21 221 individuals across 60 plus cells formed by crossing systems of primary service connected disabilities with a range of disability ratings The second survey is directed at surviving spouses The objectives of this survey are to determine the impact of veterans service connected disability on their spouses perceived quality of life and life trajectory during the veteran s lifetime and after and understanding the transition experienced by a spouse following a veteran s death and what impact benefits and current employment had The targeting sample of this survey is 1 842 across time since veterans deaths receipt of SBP offset and age The third survey will seek information from VBA raters The objective of this survey is to learn how the VA raters use the rating schedule as well as issues they experience with it and the rating process This survey is based largely on a previous Office of Inspector General survey but has been tweaked to provide research data for the commission The target population is the entire population of VA raters which is approximately 1 800 The fourth survey is directed at accredited service representatives and service officers The objectives of this survey are

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0207/vetben.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec ASK THE PARLIAMENTARIAN Divide Exclude And Annotate BY MIKE SWIFT VVA PARLIAMENTARIAN Q Can I move to divide the question if I only want to adopt part of what the motion says A When a motion relating to a single subject contains several parts each of which can stand as a proposition if the others are removed the parts may be separated considered and voted on as if they were distinct questions by adopting the motion Division of a Question The motion to divide must state the manner in which the question is to be divided A motion cannot be divided unless each part presents a proper question for the assembly to act upon if none of the other parts is adopted and unless the effect of adopting all of the parts will be exactly the same as adopting the compound main question Robert s pages 261 63 Q Is a board required to grant permission to non board members who demand attendance at board meetings If so can their attendance be limited by the board A Non board members can be excluded at any time from part or all of a meeting of a board or from all of its meetings Such exclusion can be effected by a ruling of the chair in cases of disorder or by the adoption of a rule on the subject or by an appropriate motion as the need arises A motion to exclude all non board members is often referred to as a motion to go into executive session Robert s page 625 line 11

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0207/parliament.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    and failed to keep track of how some of the money was used The VA launched a plan in 2004 to improve its mental health services for veterans with Post traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse problems To fill gaps in services the department added 100 million for mental health initiatives in 2005 and an additional 200 million in 2006 That money was to be distributed to its regional networks of hospitals medical centers and clinics for new services But the VA fell short of the spending by 12 million in 2005 and about 42 million in fiscal 2006 the GAO report said It distributed 35 million in 2005 to its 21 health care networks but didn t inform the networks that the money was supposed to be used for mental health initiatives VA medical centers returned 46 million to headquarters because they couldn t spend the money in fiscal 2006 In addition the VA cannot determine to what extent about 112 million was spent on mental health services improvements or new services in 2006 In September 2006 the VA said that it had increased funding for mental health services hired 100 additional counselors and was not overwhelmed by the rising demand The money is only a portion of what VA spends on mental health The VA planned to spend about 2 billion on mental health services in FY 2006 But the additional spending from existing funds on what VA dubbed its Mental Health Care Strategic Plan was trumpeted by VA as a way to eliminate gaps in mental health services now and in the future ON THE DRUG FRONT If you were still recovering from your turkey induced coma on the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving and your TV was locked onto CBS you probably saw the 60 Minutes report on Army research that s looking at whether the blood pressure drug propranolol can be used to treat PTSD Propanolol belongs to that class of drugs known as beta blockers that are already being used to treat anxiety disorders such as performance jitters in public speakers Studies funded by the Army will look at whether propranolol can reduce veterans emotional responses to certain memories by cutting down on the accompanying adrenaline rush according to Dr Scott Orr a researcher at the VA Medical Center in Manchester New Hampshire As some of us know stress hormones such as adrenaline play a big role in PTSD A post traumatic stress event amounts to a spectacular breakdown of what is normally a very helpful mechanism in which emotional components are bundled with a memory Threats of any kind especially life threatening ones trigger the release of the fight or flight chemical neurotransmitter acetylcholine Add more stress and the brain s neurons fire faster i e they produce more chemicals and more efficiently In the fight or flight example adrenaline not only helps you escape but strengthens that emotional component to make sure you won t forget But extremely traumatic events can unleash a

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0207/ptsd.html (2016-02-15)
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