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  • Richard Pimentel to Deliver Keynote at the Vietnam Veterans of America 15th National Convention
    Viet Cong rocket attack in 1968 was one of the main advocates responsible for congressional passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities ADA Act His remarkable life story was the subject of the Hollywood film Music Within Richard Pimentel gave the Keynote at our National Leadership Conference last year and he was memorably inspiring and moving VVA National President John Rowan said We are very pleased that he ll be back with us to jump start our biennial National Convention in Reno The Convention will be held August 17 20 at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno Nevada Some eight hundred delegates from VVA chapters across the country are expected to join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Reno The delegates will set the organization s course for the next two years hear from an array of speakers attend information sessions and take part in special events That includes the Awards Banquet which honors Vietnam veterans and others in the arts on Saturday evening August 20 Other special guests scheduled to take part in the Convention include Vietnam veteran Homer Hickam the author of the acclaimed memoir Rocket Boys and many other books and the actress comedienne and

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-011.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Untitled Document
    100 years ago It was supposed to be used only for the benefit of wounded warriors and veterans said John Rowan National President of VVA Because this VA campus sits on prime Los Angeles real estate it has become a tempting target for developers Rowan said The Department of Veterans Affairs has played fast and loose with its stewardship of this land leasing nearly one third of the campus to car rental companies hotels oil companies and private schools This is an outrage and an injustice Rowan said Los Angeles has a significant number of homeless veterans many of whom are still dealing with demons from their wartime experiences Instead of providing a place of refuge for these veterans and instead of converting buildings on the campus to supportive housing and providing a continuum of care for these men and women VA officials have for decades violated the terms under which this land was deeded to the government Under four presidential administrations VA has abdicated its responsibility to veterans in the Los Angeles community It is time to end this poor behavior by VA This is why VVA has joined with four currently homeless and disabled veterans suffering from Post

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-010.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Institute of Medicine Study Acknowledges Plausible Routes for Agent Orange Exposure in Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans; VA Should Grant Presumptive Status, VVA Argues
    exposure could lead to an increased risk of long term adverse health outcomes While there is purported to be no positive findings for the Blue Water veterans this is not the case said John Rowan National President of Vietnam Veterans of America VVA The committee verified an Australian study showing a plausible means of exposure through desalination of the ships water supplies The committee was able to verify that dioxin was made ten times more toxic during the desalination process While it will likely never be determined how much and how far out Agent Orange drifted or wafted or how much of this deadly toxin compromised the distillation process converting marine water into potable water Rowan said science has yet to reveal how much of an exposure might not be safe or might lead to health problems years later the same health conditions that afflict boots on the ground veterans of the Vietnam War The committee also concluded that it could not state with certainty that exposures to Blue Water Navy personnel taken as a group were qualitatively different from their Brown Water Navy and ground troop counterparts Nor could the committee find enough data to determine whether or not particular Blue Water Navy personnel were exposed to Agent Orange associated dioxin At the same time the committee could not clearly delineate whether there were overlapping exposures between personnel categories Said Rowan We believe that the conclusions of the IOM panel recognize that Blue Water veterans had the same presumptive exposure to Agent Orange herbicides and dioxin as their in country and Brown Water Navy comrades These Blue Water Navy veterans deserve the same presumptive eligibility for health care and disability compensation as their land based brethren and we call upon VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to change the current policy

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-009.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The Time Is Now for the VA To Fix Its Mental-Health System
    of a three judge panel Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit Appeals Court in Pasadena California wrote Veterans should not be compelled to agonize or perish while the government fails to fulfill its obligations Although the VA is obligated to provide veterans mental health services many veterans with severe depression or Post traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD are forced to wait weeks for mental health referrals For those who commit suicide in the interim care does not come soon enough We could not agree more with Judge Reinhardt Rowan said Despite what excuses have been proffered by the VA and DoD we maintain that veterans in need deserve better While the VA and the Department of Defense have delayed for years on the so called seamless transition from active duty to veteran status far too many veterans have fallen through the cracks or rather the gaping holes in the system that is supposed to help them Even staunch defenders of the Pentagon are displeased with the treatment afforded our veterans Rowan added After the hearing on the Federal Recovery Coordination Program last week the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Health of the House Veterans Affairs Committee decried thedisservice to our

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-008.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America to Hold 15th National Convention Vietnam Veterans of America to Hold 15th National Convention
    information sessions and take part in special events That includes the Awards Banquet which honors Vietnam veterans and others in the arts on Saturday evening August 20 VVA National Conventions are unique special and exciting events said VVA President John Rowan Our leaders get together every two years to decide on our priorities and to elect our national leaders We re the only national veterans service organization that operates this way and it has proven to be a very successful formula since our founding National Convention in 1983 We have come a long way since our humble beginnings in 1978 Rowan said VVA today is a highly effective force on the national state and local levels acting on behalf of Vietnam veterans their families and all veterans We re proud of our accomplishments over the last 33 years and we ll celebrate the past as we work for the future in Reno Richard Pimentel the disabled Vietnam veteran who is one of the nation s foremost disability rights advocates will give the Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday morning August 17 Other special guests scheduled to take part in the Convention include Vietnam veteran Homer Hickam the author

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-007.html (2016-02-15)
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  • On the Death of Osama bin Laden: VVA Offers Its Congratulations on a Job Well Done
    served On behalf of a grateful nation we offer our heartfelt gratitude for the courage and commitment of those men and women of our intelligence community our armed forces and our allies those who have spent years tracking bin Laden and who set him up for the kill those who conduct our special Ops missions especially our SEALS all who worked ceaselessly in bringing bin Laden to justice said Rowan

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-006.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Ten Years Ago Today: Remembering Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice While in Pursuit of the Fullest Possible Accounting
    Americans lost during the Vietnam War said VVA President John Rowan VVA s Veterans Initiative delegation led by VVA Vice President Jack Devine attended today s memorial ceremony in Quang Binh Province Since 1994 VVA through the Veterans Initiative Program has supported the efforts of the Joint POW MIA Accounting Command in its mission to account for Americans listed as POWs and MIAs By returning artifacts taken during the war and helping locate Vietnamese grave sites of missing Vietnamese soldiers VVA s Veterans Initiative Program encourages Vietnamese witnesses to assist in the location and recovery of Americans still listed as unaccounted Lost in the fatal crash were U S Army Lt Col Rennie M Cory Jr U S Army Lt Col George D Martin III U S Air Force Maj Charles E Lewis U S Air Force Master Sgt Steven L Moser U S Navy Chief Petty Officer Pedro J Gonzales U S Army Sgt 1st Class Tommy J Murphy U S Air Force Tech Sgt Robert M Flynn Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons VNOSMP SR COL Tran Van Bien Mr Nguyen Than Ha VNOSMP Lt Col Nguyen Van Ha Lt Col Nguyen Thanh Son Maj Nguyen Huu Nham

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-005.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA President Warns: Don't Balance the Budget on Veterans, But Do Focus on How the VA Spends the Funding It Gets
    life and limb in service of our country is unacceptable At the same time Rowan said at a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees A very bright light ought to be shined on the operations of the Department of Veterans Affairs to probe for redundant or duplicative services poor acquisition management and staffing inefficiencies This synchs with one of VVA s overarching priorities accountability The other top priorities for VVA Rowan said are expanding and enhancing the VA s outreach efforts to inform veterans and their families not only of the benefits they have earned by virtue of their military service but also of the potential long term health effects of toxic exposures the addition of questions about a veteran s military medical history in all electronic health records and the creation of a Veterans Economic Opportunities Administration in the VA to consolidate various currently separate yet interrelated programs whose mission is to assist veterans obtain and sustain meaningful work or training or education that will lead to a decent job at a living wage and will enable veterans to achieve their American dream Of particular concern Rowan said is the lingering legacy of Agent Orange

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-004.html (2016-02-15)
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