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  • The VVA Veteran: GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
    vets who are having to wait too long to have their benefits cases reviewed this bill means over 1 100 new VA case workers that will reduce the unacceptable delays in receiving earned benefits This bill also increases the VA s maintenance and repair budget to prevent a Walter Reed scandal from occurring in the VA system This all sounds fine But finding 1 100 fresh faces will not happen overnight and it will take some time to train them to do their jobs Hence the 400 000 figure will likely not diminish significantly for some time One step that the braintrust at the Veterans Benefits Administration VBA can take is to better define what too long really is Just as corpsmen and medics nurses and doctors must do triage when heavy casualties come in from the field of battle so too should the honchos at the VBA revamp the way they work They can triage claims Simple claims with properly filled out paperwork should not take more than 60 days More complex multi part claims that require a lot of supporting documents might need four or five months to adjudicate They also can have squads of raters who specialize in say claims for mental health issues such as PTSD The VBA isn t doing something right because the persistence of the problem spans administrations Additionally should the VBA bother to think seriously about the definition of what s too long they might want to bring in the VSOs from the giddy up rather than spring new nomenclature on the veterans community Under duress the Undersecretary for Veterans Benefits convened a meeting with the VSOs last December but not a single one of our collective VSO recommendations has been implemented The House bill also provides 21 4 billion for military construction family housing and base realignment and closing process BRAC which is fully funded with 8 2 billion The total for military construction is an increase of 207 million over the President s request and 8 2 billion over 2007 which should mean better barracks housing and training facilities when troops return from combat The bill supports the relocation of 70 000 troops from bases in Korea and Europe to the U S and provides funds to increase our military forces beginning the process of adding 65 000 Army 27 000 Marine and 9 000 National Guard and Reserve troops In the Senate an amendment introduced by Sen Claire McCaskill D Mo requires the VA to create a mechanism on its web site for whistleblowers to report waste fraud or abuse anonymously to the department s Inspector General The goal is to strengthen oversight of federal agencies The freshman senator attached the same measure to the Homeland Security spending bill in July and promised to offer similar amendments to ten other pending appropriations bills MEDICAL MANAGEMENT When the scandal broke at Walter Reed Army Medical Center last February the powers that be stepped all over themselves to create commissions and

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/govt_affairs.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: MEMBERSHIPAFFAIRS COMMITTEEREPORT
    Our Office Publications The VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Site Map Join VVA Agent Orange Other Toxic Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2007 The Veteran Departments Featured Stories President s Message Government Affairs Membership Affairs AVVA Report Arizona AVVA AVVA Elections AVVA Scholarship Arts of War Book Review Letters The Locator Membership Notes Reunions Substance Abuse Committee Taps Veterans Incarcerated VVAF 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 MEMBERSHIP AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT Approaching One Thousand BY BILL MEEKS JR CHAIR Phoney soldiers and wannabes are in the news once again VVA will continue to police our ranks to look for individuals who discredit our service during the Vietnam War All reports brought to our attention are investigated immediately The committee presented the VVA Chapter Membership Development Plan to the Conference of State Council Presidents and the VVA Board of Directors at the October meetings and the plan was approved as a new membership tool Look for it soon on the VVA web site Or you may contact me at bmeeks vva org for a copy The 2008 VVA Membership Directory publication process has begun Harris Connect once again will be contacting all VVA and AVVA members for information to be published in the directory If you choose not to contribute information your wish will be honored If you wish to purchase a directory the costs are 79 for a soft cover 89 for a hard cover and

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/member_affairs.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: AVVA
    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 Together Always BY MARY MILLER PRESIDENT Congratulations to Cherie Steers treasurer of the New York State AVVA Association for being awarded the prestigious AVVA Member of the Year Award VVA President John Rowan made the presentation during the 2007 VVA National Convention in Springfield Cherie has a long history of dedication to veterans and their families and is very deserving of this honor The creation of the Policy and Procedures Manual that will govern AVVA chapters is still in process Attention is being focused on such things as the system that will be used to number chapters We ve had many requests from AVVA members to have the same number as their affiliated VVA chapters There are several legal issues and software programming details dealing with the Membership Department that are being investigated AVVA has learned well from our adjunct organization VVA about the importance a single word can carry in legal documents words such as shall will or may that can completely change the interpretation and management of a document In the last issue of The VVA Veteran we spoke about the ongoing problems that have been encountered with the Chapel of Four Chaplains which resulted in the cancellation of this year s induction ceremony at Cape May New Jersey I am pleased to announce that AVVA has been contacted by the Chapel of Four Chaplains and a meeting is being scheduled to resolve the contentious issues It is my hope that I will soon be in a position to announce

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/avva.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Arizona AVVA
    foot high razor wire fence that surrounds the Home for Women and Children This is the shelter in Shiprock New Mexico for homeless Navajo women and their children who are victims of domestic violence This facility is for victims abused women and children yet it looks like a prison By the time the lump in my throat cleared and the tears in my eyes dried the three truckloads of VVA and AVVA members had parked and we approached the door of the trailer office We were met by happy strangers The female workers at the shelter greeted us with much kindness They introduced themselves while the men unloaded the trucks Then these women helped us separate and allocate hundreds of gift items The gifts were placed in large plastic bags on each bag was written the name of one of the children then the bags were hidden in a side office Next the personal hygiene bags and laundry baskets were filled with extra donations then they too were hidden We stuffed all of the backpacks with crayons colored pencils writing tablets and other supplies appropriate for pre school and early school aged children these also joined the secret presents Had it not been for the help of the shelter workers we would have spent hours just separating the many gifts I regretted not having gifts for the staff to show them how much they were appreciated Two women had ordered ten pizzas for lunch I caught Les Ryan at the door handing them a 100 bill his own money I stopped him Reluctantly he allowed AVVA Chapter 106 to pay for half of the pizzas A group of adorable smiling children walked into the room Each greeted us with a hello and a handshake Some shared hugs with us Real tight glad to meet you hugs After everything they had been through in their young lives they seemed untouched by the abuse that had brought them into this high security shelter We watched the seven mothers lead their little ones to the table loaded with pizza salad and desserts Plates filled quickly Just before they began to eat Grandma Klara offered a Navajo prayer I didn t understand a word but I knew we all favored the same God The children ate at a large round table We noticed that two mothers holding infants didn t have plates I asked if they would allow us to hold their babies They quickly handed the babies to us filled their plates and went to another area to eat so they could have a real lunch break After lunch the table was cleared The women of the shelter sat with their infants at the table and the eleven little ones sat on the carpet waiting not knowing what was next I ve been helping people all of my life and I can t recall ever helping so many children at once One of the advocates at the shelter brought out the large bags

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/arizona_avva.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: AVVA Election Report
    Publications Current Press Releases Public Service Announcements Logos Media Request Sign Up Events National Convention Leadership Conference Other National Events State Council Meetings E Room Reservations Directions To Our Office Publications The VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Site Map Join VVA Agent Orange Other Toxic Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2007 The Veteran Departments Featured Stories President s Message Government Affairs Membership Affairs AVVA Report Arizona AVVA AVVA Elections AVVA Scholarship Arts of War Book Review Letters The Locator Membership Notes Reunions Substance Abuse Committee Taps Veterans Incarcerated VVAF 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 AVVA Election Report BY KATHY ANDRAS AVVA elections for national officers and regional directors will be held in Greenville South Carolina The AVVA Convention will be held at the same time as the VVA Leadership Conference in July Election packets will

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/avva_election.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: AVVA Better Chance Scholarship
    Locate Your Local Chapter Membership Services Benefits Locate A Service Officer Benefits Update Benefits Guides Government Affairs Legislative Agenda VVA Testimony Legislative Action Center Government Affairs Update Public Relations VVA Publications Current Press Releases Public Service Announcements Logos Media Request Sign Up Events National Convention Leadership Conference Other National Events State Council Meetings E Room Reservations Directions To Our Office Publications The VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Site Map Join VVA Agent Orange Other Toxic Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2007 The Veteran Departments Featured Stories President s Message Government Affairs Membership Affairs AVVA Report Arizona AVVA AVVA Elections AVVA Scholarship Arts of War Book Review Letters The Locator Membership Notes Reunions Substance Abuse Committee Taps Veterans Incarcerated VVAF 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 AVVA Better Chance Scholarship By Kathy Andras and Linda Haberkorn Co

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/avva_scholarship.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Arts of War
    Rudd in New Mexico The scene in which Jones after hopping in his pickup and driving all the way from his home in Tennessee arrives in New Mexico and identifies his son s body is all too bone chillingly realistic On the surface what plays out after the murder is a police procedural complete with jurisdiction disputes between the local cops and the MPs civilian interference from Jones red herrings and flashbacks to incidents in the war zone that may or may not have had a direct impact on the murder Haggis displays many filmic strengths here including an understated but accurate depiction of military life He gets great performances from Jones and from dressed down Charlize Theron as a civilian cop who is a single mom The always great Susan Sarandon has very little to do as Jones s long suffering wife The film quietly illustrates the unintended consequences that have a way of arising after every war consequences related to how warriors fare emotionally after they return to normal everyday life There is a blunt message here taking part in a war is hell and the current war is no exception to that all too true axiom This film which is loosely based on a 2003 incident the death outside of Fort Benning of Army Specialist Richard Davis whose father was a career Army MP who had served in Vietnam is not entertaining in the usual sense When you come out of the theater you won t be in the mood for a festive five course dinner drinks and dancing But you will take home the fact that wars do not end for participants when the shooting stops or after they come home ARTS IN BRIEF The psychiatrist Jonathan Shay who has specialized in studying PTSD in Vietnam veterans in September was one of 24 people selected for the 2007 John D and Katherine T MacArthur Foundation Fellowship the so called genius awards The 500 000 MacArthur grant which you do not apply for is paid out over five years and is designed to help grantees further their work Dr Shay has been working with Vietnam veterans since 1987 when he started counseling at the Vet Center in Boston The veterans simply kidnaped me he told The Boston Globe They saw something in me that I didn t see in myself and they utterly re directed my life That re direction led Shay to look closely at the classical works of Greek epic poetry The Iliad and The Odyssey and to tie them to the real life stories of Vietnam veterans Shay wrote two pioneering books based on those subjects Achilles in Vietnam Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming Shay said he will use the grant to continue his study of how to improve the way the U S military handles PTSD The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center the ambitious museum and education center that is slated

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/arts.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Book Review
    in the entertaining and enlightening Bangkok Tattoo in 2003 brought him back in 2005 s meaty Bangkok 8 and gives him life again amid a cast of over the top characters and a wild plot in another excellent detective thriller Bangkok Haunts Knopf 305 pp 24 95 Like its predecessors the new book hones in on our hero a Buddhist Bangkok cop whose father was an American GI on R R during the Vietnam War and whose mother was a prostitute who becomes the madam of a bawdy house that he helps run Once again Sonchai solves a convoluted murder while doling out lessons in Thai Buddhist culture and social mores along with a strong infusion of religious and other spiritual beliefs The 3 CD set recording Selected Shorts Wartime Lives SymphonySpace 28 contains oral presentations of six works two of which are top drawer pieces dealing with the Vietnam War an excerpt from Tim O Brien s masterful The Things They Carried read by Dylan Baker and War Wounds a portion of Tom Bissell s memoir The Father of All Things read by Oskar Eustis along with Mother in the Trenches read by Kathleen Chalfant a new Robert Olen Butler short story set in the trenches in World War I The stories first were aired on the NPR series Selected Shorts A Celebration of the Short Story The pseudonymous Dean O Shea s Yard Bull On the Mark 350 pp 24 95 is a well done autobiographical novel told in the first person by a railroad detective just back from the Vietnam War For more info go to www theyardbull com Bill Pezza s fast paced Anna s Boys Author House 457 pp 24 95 paper follows the fortunes over the years of a group of working class Baby Boomer guys in Bristol Pa who get enmeshed in the Vietnam War VVA member James Isaiah Gabbe s ambitious and cleverly plotted LaRue s Maneuvers BookSurge 398 pp 17 99 paper centers on a memoir within a novel written by a Vietnam veteran who is haunted by his past especially what happened to him in the war The tenth anniversary edition of Ken Kirkeby s engagingly written The Tournament Black River Books 192 pp 11 95 paper has just been published The story is set in 1978 in the Bahamas and involves a Vietnam veteran and his adventures in the world of sport fishing and much more Former Marine Elliott Storm s These Scars Are Sacred BookSurge 207 pp 24 95 paper tells the war and postwar stories of a Marine who has a rough time on both fronts Charles Sheehan Miles s second novel Republic Cincinnatus Press 332 pp 16 95 paper is a dialogue rich tale centered on an Iraq War veteran fighting on three fronts in the near future Sheehan Miles served in the first Persian Gulf War NONFICTION IN BRIEF Ronald Spector the long time George Washington University history professor and Marine Corps Vietnam veteran has

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1207/books.html (2016-02-15)
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