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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    Quality of Life implications for disabled veterans For the potential to create expedited reviews for veterans medically retired from the military and already service connected by the VA so they should not have to wait four or more years to receive SSDI To understand the possible underutilization rates of SSDI by veterans The motion passed by a vote of 11 2 The two dissenting votes came arguably from opposite poles Commissioner Joe Wynn who endorsed the argument made by the VSOs that the commission is sending the wrong message by unnecessarily studying SSDI and Commissioner John Grady the only non veteran on the commission who seemed to argue that all government income received by disabled veterans should be considered as part of the equation It should be noted that five commissioners Nick Bacon Larry Brown Jennifer Carroll Butch Joeckel and Rick Surratt disseminated a position paper opposing any expansion of the commission s mandate to include considering a recommendation for an offset between veterans disability compensation and SSDI Other highlights of the two day meeting Richard Erdmann of the Institute of Medicine IOM announced the names of those who had agreed to serve on different IOM panels including one to study the schedule of rating disabilities another to study presumptive disability decision making a third to study compensation for Post traumatic Stress Disorder and a fourth to study the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD A listing of the panels and their members including biographical sketches can be found at www nationalacademies org cp VVA intends to have a Government Affairs staffer attend all public meetings of the IOM that discuss and debate these issues Commissioners Don Cassiday and Rick Surratt reported on commission town hall meetings in Chicago and St Louis There were 65 attendees in the Windy City with 34 presenters and 74 attendees in St Louis with 27 presenters Several commissioners expressed disappointment at the turnout Commissioner Butch Joeckel called attendance mediocre Commissioner John Grady wondered how do we get input on public attitudes about veterans benefits from the tax paying public Commission Chair General James Terry Scott announced the dates and locations of the next four field hearings June 5 7 San Diego July 19 21 Seattle August 2 4 Boston and September 5 7 Atlanta General Scott also expressed surprise at the seeming lack of interest from elected and public officials Commissioner Nick Bacon opined A lot of people have got it confused what we re trying to do Commissioner Joe Wynn stressed that the commission needs feedback from survivors dependents and spouses as well as from disabled veterans Commission Executive Director Ray Wilburn noted that staff would be preparing written reports on the findings from each of the eight field visits Throughout the discussion two commissioners consistently reinforced the obligation of our nation to care for those our leaders send into battle Nick Bacon noted that the United States is the wealthiest nation and that we police the world for others Butch Joeckel said If we can afford to send young men and women to war we can afford to take care of them Joeckel also said we need to dispel the notion that some veterans are being enriched by SSDI The four VSO representatives Jerry Manar of VFW speaking also for The American Legion Blinded Veterans of America Disabled American Veterans and Military Order of the Purple Heart Jim Doran of AMVETS Carl Blake from Paralyzed Veterans of America and Rick Weidman praised the honesty and integrity of the commissioners while at the same time making impassioned arguments about the perception in the veterans community about the role and purpose of the commission in seeking to look into SSDI In his remarks Weidman asked the commission to consider what he called the null hypotheses that there is essentially nothing wrong with veterans benefits laws as written into public law rather the problems lie in the implementation of the law by VA personnel many of whom are not properly trained or supervised Finally Commissioner Joeckel expressed hope that the VSOs report what we did here today accurately National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study Government Affairs staff have been making the rounds of congressional offices meeting with key senators and representatives in the hope of convincing them of the need to conduct the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study The NVVLS would follow up on the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study done almost twenty years ago going back to exactly the same people There are three groupings included in the sample group of 2 500 selected by the George Gallup organization at a cost of more than 1 million in 1984 dollars those who served in Vietnam those who served in the American military but who did not serve in Southeast Asia and a comparable group of non veterans our age This is the last best chance we have to get a handle on the health status of Vietnam veterans VVA National President John Rowan has said Line item funding for this study and strong explicit report language are needed to compel the VA to fulfill its responsibility to comply with the mandate set by Congress in Public Law 106 419 The Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 VVA testified again on the need for this study on June 8 before the House Veterans Affairs Committee The VA said at that hearing that they could not proceed with the study because the Inspector General of the VA stopped it This is an inaccurate statement as the IG does not have the authority to do any such thing The Secretary and the current Undersecretary for Health canceled the study using rather flimsy reasons that do not hold up under scrutiny as justification In fact the main criticism of the IG was of the previous Undersecretary for Health and the Veterans Health Administration VHA for extremely poor contract management It was VHA that violated the VA s own procurement and contract management guidelines Incidentally the previous Undersecretary

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/govt_relations.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    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 VVA Rules BY MIKE SWIFT CHAIR Got a question about rules Ask Mike Swift He s VVA s parliamentarian Answers are based on VVA s parliamentary authority Robert s Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th edition Q Can an office such as one of the vice presidents be eliminated while a member is in office A By amending the bylaws an office can be eliminated provided the method of amendment prescribed in the bylaws is followed An amendment to the bylaws goes into effect immediately upon its adoption but while the amendment is pending an incidental motion can be adopted that it shall not take effect until the completion of the current term Robert s page 579 line 23 Q Is a motion adopted by a committee valid if an adviser proposed it A In committees motions need not be seconded and sometimes when a proposal is perfectly clear to all present a vote can be taken without a motion s having been introduced This is addressed by Robert s page 483 line 10 referring to page 470 line 17 Q Sometimes I hear members say they want to make a friendly amendment Then they say if the maker and seconder accept the amendment it is adopted Is this correct A Regardless of whether or not the maker of the main motion accepts the amendment it must be opened to debate and voted on formally It is handled under the same rules as amendments generally Robert s page 154 line 30 Q Someone told me a motion couldn t be referred to a committee until it is perfected

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/ask_parliment.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    the time and effort to fill me in on the background and history of the committee In reviewing the 2005 Convention Resolutions it s clear that the Public Affairs Committee due to its scope interacts and supports the effort of all committees in the organization In its truest form the PA Committee helps shape and communicate the image goals and initiatives of the organization The Public Affairs Committee works directly with the Communications and the newly formed IT Departments Committee members come from all levels of VVA including National Board of Directors members State Council presidents AVVA officers and chapter members Subcommittees of the Public Affairs Committee include Education Tom Hall chair Awards Charlie Montgomery chair Press Club Jim Boyd chair Talklist Dick Southern chair and SPOC John Miner chair The focus of the committee has changed to a more concentrated effort on marketing and branding The new marketing efforts include improved communication with our current members The contracts to redesign the web site have been issued and the committee presented the first sample of the redesigned VVA org web site to the Board of Directors in April We are almost done building an e mail opt in page and membership e mail database that will allow members to receive e mails from the national office We are working on a new membership on line application page and an on line renewal page for current members and lost or old membership renewals We re planning on adding a blog offering chapters and state councils a standardized domain name for their web sites and adding the bios of officers and the Board of Directors To help the members communicate with the press we are adding an on line press release form A web based marketing research and positioning effort which is critical in helping our outreach efforts for new membership is under way The intent is to generate new members increase donations and find new sources of revenue An entirely new source of revenue is available through the web site and the PA Committee is aggressively pursuing it We have identified potential vendors to help us with the buying and selling of Internet based advertising Advertising revenue from the new site will come from various sized banner ads selling streaming video ads selling banner ads as a plus up or add on to The VVA Veteran buy and by putting The VVA Veteran on line as a PDF or e zine format making it readable searchable and generating more revenue for the ads Marketing of VVA on the web includes planting articles known as white papers on various search engines and other web sites On the web content is king and we know that there is not one leading site for Vietnam veteran content VVA will become the content king of all things related to our Vietnam War experiences RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS Some recent accomplishments include Created three brochures Prostrate and Diabetes for the Health Care Committee and a new brochure for

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/pubaff1.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    Task Force Report Arts of War Book Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions Homeless Veterans Task Force Report 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 Region 9 REPORT Lively Interactive And Enlightening BY DARROL BROWN Greetings from sunny western Nevada On March 30 VVA members from throughout the west met in beautiful Albuquerque New Mexico to refresh our reasons for joining VVA and hatch ideas that will keep us focused on who we are and why we do what we do as veterans Led by New Mexico State Council President Ken Daby and Albuquerque Chapter 318 President Bob Ulibarri we had a great time After most everyone arrived on Friday night and enjoyed some of the local hospitality we met on Saturday to get reacquainted and down to business Each state except Colorado was there including both chapters from Utah and two members from Hawaii California sent its State Council officers as did Arizona Nevada had a distinguished delegate the Nevada Veteran Service Officer P J Cantrell Angeles City Chapter 887 s delegate was there at the front of the room Dick Southern and I were really pleased at the turn out which included three BOD members and three national Committee chairs Region 9 has four BOD members and four national Committee chairs To say the meeting was lively interactive and enlightening would be a tremendous understatement We ran the gamut of topics from health care to legislation to bylaws to benefits and back to our favorite topic raggin on the VA It was a great six

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/region9.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    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 From The National Secretary Veterans Beware BY BARRY HAGGE Originally I planned a short article to congratulate the newly elected or re elected leadership of our chapters and State Councils The same old dry stuff reminding our Secretaries about one of the most important duties they are saddled with getting those Election and Financial Reports into the National Office I ll go into this more in the next issue but that message was relegated to the back burner by a little matter of misplacing our personal information by the VA As nearly everyone knows the home of a VA analyst was burglarized and a laptop containing 26 5 million records with information on veterans National Guard Reserves and active duty military personnel was stolen The precise breakdown of information on veterans versus Reserves versus active duty is not the important issue What is important is that personal information was potentially compromised and we need to be aware and remain vigilant As a result of this information loss VVA joined other organizations and filed suit against the VA and Secretary Nicholson in his official capacity The circumstances surrounding the information loss are still being investigated by law enforcement agencies as is a precise inventory of what information was compromised We should assume that our personal information was compromised and remain aware During times of stress the good and bad of our fellow citizens surfaces The good try to help and the bad attempt to take advantage of the situation Businesses with lax ethical standards are trying to sell products to protect us The phishers pharmers and scam artists are

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/secrept1.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    to meet the needs of returning veterans according to Dr Hoge Information for the new study was drawn from the three page Post Deployment Health Assessment PDHA given to all service members upon their return from any deployment The researchers followed 303 905 Army soldiers and Marines for up to one year or until they left the service That figure represents 82 percent of all returning troops Active duty Marines were slightly over represented among the 18 percent without a PDHA The PDHA includes questions about depression Post traumatic Stress Disorder suicidal ideation interpersonal relationships and interest in receiving care Troops also are interviewed immediately after filling out the PDHA by a physician nurse or physician assistant who decides whether they should be referred for further evaluation or treatment Service in Iraq was more hazardous to soldiers mental health than serving in Afghanistan or elsewhere the researchers found Overall 19 1 percent of soldiers and Marines who returned from Iraq met the risk criteria for a mental health concern compared with 11 3 percent for Afghanistan and 8 5 percent for other locations they said The latter rate is close to baseline levels from soldiers surveyed before initial service in Iraq and Afghanistan Soldiers and Marines returning from Iraq were twice as likely to screen positive for PTSD as were those who had served in Afghanistan 9 8 percent versus 4 7 percent and were twice as likely to be referred for mental health care 4 3 percent versus 2 0 percent There were only minor differences in mental health issues when comparing active service troops with National Guard or Reserve members but there were some gender differences Overall 28 4 percent of Iraq veterans and 16 0 percent of Afghanistan veterans were referred for medical follow up Veterans of Iraq were hospitalized more often during deployment 6 6 percent than Afghanistan veterans 3 6 percent which may serve as a marker for injury The need for mental health services is a function of combat experience and ground service in Iraq entailed a greater exposure to combat according to the PDHA data Compared with troops in Afghanistan troops in Iraq more frequently saw comrades killed or wounded and were three times more likely to have fired their weapons Half the soldiers and Marines in Iraq had felt in great danger of being killed twice the rate of those who served in Afghanistan According to an article in Psychiatric News the nature of the war and deployment practices may account for differences in mental health outcomes in the two theaters There are no safe zones in Iraq Col Elspeth Cameron Ritchie a psychiatry consultant to the U S Army surgeon general said Danger can come from any direction and it s hard to tell friend from foe The multiple year long deployments to the war zone are tough on troops and their families During World War II soldiers sailors and Marines knew they were in for the duration of the war

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/ptsd.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    birds are singing puffy clouds waft through the sky But splashed across the paper and on every news outlet blared the warning that hurricane season starts today It is projected to be another wild ride with 17 named storms anticipated VVA has demonstrated a desire to help those stricken and has actually come through with that pledge Those of us in the Gulf States and on the Southeastern Seaboard have been peppered over the past few months with questions about hurricane preparedness We have been getting tracking maps preparing our hurricane kits and attending seminars throughout the region If we as an organization want to continue to help what can VVA members do We hope that the first responders are getting their acts together FEMA the Red Cross Salvation Army and affected states and communities will benefit from lessons learned in the last two years We too should benefit from lessons learned Despite their best intentions the first responders will be slow to get into some areas There also are some tasks we can perform that others just can t State councils and chapters across the country can meet at least some of these needs Those of us in the strike zone need to prepare by assembling phone lists to be able to contact our members and respond to their needs At the state level assemble multiple contacts at the chapter level to reach out to those chapters in need At the CSCP level keep your Presidents roster handy and assemble a secondary contact list of representatives in at risk states Nothing is more frustrating than the inability to reach someone in an impacted area The more contacts the better the chance of success What else can we do Certainly sending supplies into impacted areas is a good thing The key however is to send appropriate supplies The TV and press accounts will tout the need for water but FEMA the Red Cross and the states have gotten much better at getting water and MREs into most areas quickly It is discouraging to arrive at a little burg in the middle of nowhere with a load of water only to add your supply to the pallets already on the ground Unless you are ready to go into a stricken area within a day or two of the strike you are better suited to assemble secondary items that often are missed These include diapers and paper goods such as paper towels and toilet paper canned goods requiring little preparation and cleaning supplies especially waterless antibacterial soaps Another task the first responders do not address that we can help with is assembling work crews Don t plan on coming down to clear roads and provide access State and utility crews jump right on those tasks There will be some need to clear drives and remove trees from homes but a very real need that extends for weeks after the storm is installing tarps On a trek into post Katrina Louisiana a FEMA

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/disaster.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    and my grandfather would regale us with tales about my great grandfather s experiences as an infantry corporal from Nebraska My musings traveled on to the Project 112 SHAD program that many of us participated in and was an important part of the Cold War The personnel with whom I served were outstanding We took pride in doing our jobs and in our safety record We knew that the United States and the Soviet Union had nuclear parity and that the 112 SHAD program was ordered by President Kennedy to bring us back into parity with other weapons systems What have we got to show for our efforts Not much We were ordered in used and discarded with the admonition that if any of us were to mention these operations we would spend the rest of our lives in Leavenworth We could not even tell our closest family members about these top secret tests We were treated with far more callousness than consideration In this case the Soviet Union took better care of its people Yes 112 SHAD veterans do qualify for Combat Related Special Compensation CRSC But 112 SHAD veterans atomic veterans and veterans who participated in other secret tests should be acknowledged for our contributions during the Cold War This may occur after passage of H R 4259 the Veterans Right to Know Act and H R 2962 the Atomic Veterans Relief Act H R 4259 is making progress and we welcome the new co sponsors now totaling 38 They are Reps Neil Abercrombie D Hawaii Marion Berry D Ark Madeline Bordallo D Guam Allen Boyd D Fla Robert Brady D Pa Sherrod Brown D Ohio Ed Case D Hawaii Donna Christensen D Vt Bob Filner D Calif and Mark Foley R Fla Also Reps Luis Fortuño R P R Bart Gordon D Tenn Jane Harman D Calif Brian Higgins D N Y Rush Holt D N J Sheila Jackson Lee D Texas Walter Jones R N C Dennis Kucinich D Ohio Jim Marshall D Ga Jim Matheson D Utah Also Reps Jim McDermott D Wash Cynthia McKinney D Ga Michael Michaud D Maine Jeff Miller R Fla Dennis Moore D Kansas Jerry Moran R Kansas Solomon Ortiz D Texas Ron Paul R Texas Collin Peterson R Minn Adam Putnam R Fla Also Reps Denny Rehberg R Mont Silvestre Reyes D Texas Bernard Sanders I Vt Joe Schwarz R Mich Ted Strickland D Ohio Chris Van Hollen D Md Robert Wexler D Fla and Lynn Woolsey D Calif If your Representative is not listed please call e mail or fax him or her and ask for support The work by Reps Mike Thompson D Calif and Denny Rehberg R Mont and their staffs is very much appreciated The Hawaii Legislature unanimously passed a joint resolution in support of H R 4259 Guam followed with a similar resolution Guam also set up a group to monitor how the SHAD tests may have affected Guam which they hope will be

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0606/shad_task.html (2016-02-15)
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