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    Vietnam Veterans of America has long held that thousands of Vietnam veterans suffering from Post traumatic Stress Disorder were wrongfully discharged with bad paper said John Rowan VVA National President The overwhelming majority of them were not malingerers They were not cowards They served honorably and well and did what was asked of them But they were suffering from what is now known as PTSD at a time when PTSD was not an accepted mental health diagnosis This settlement will help veterans and the public ensure that the record correction boards faithfully implement Secretary Hagel s instruction and enable many of these veterans to get a modicum of the justice denied them for so long Nearly two years ago NVCLR and my brother Conley Monk helped bring a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defense to hold its record correction boards accountable said Garry Monk Executive Director for the National Veterans Council for Legal Redress For decades these boards denied upgrades to veterans with less than honorable discharges when these men and women had service related PTSD We welcomed the Hagel Memo and believe this settlement will allow the public to monitor the military s compliance with its command We now need the Department of Defense to make a serious and coordinated effort to reach out to veterans to make sure our troops know where they can find help to apply for an upgrade and remove the lifelong stigma of a bad paper discharge The court order approving this settlement requires DOD to disclose on a quarterly basis and for the next two years the number of PTSD applications received by each Army Navy and Air Force record correction or discharge review board as well as the number of applications approved and denied and their docket numbers said Prof

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2016/pr16-001.html (2016-02-15)
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    three years Furthermore eighty percent of our cases brought before the Board of Veterans Appeals are won outright or returned to the Veterans Benefits Administration to be corrected As a result the veteran can wait for over five years for an accurate decision To address the appeals backlog it is imperative that the VA hire additional Decision Review Officers whose exclusive duties are to resolve appealed rating decisions at the VA s Regional Benefits Offices said Rowan Clearly the pressure put on the VA claims raters to complete claims within the current 125 day standard has increased the VA s error rate resulting in more veterans appealing their claims decisions than ever before noted Rowan This error rate has been confirmed by recent VA IG reports As a result the backlog has shifted from the claims process to the appeals process More veterans are now trapped in the archaic and broken appeals system facing a five year wait to have their claims accurately adjudicated and their appeal resolved at the Board of Veterans Appeals Additionally the VA has a policy that limits veterans organizations service officers to a 16 business hour window in which to sign off on rating decisions When an error is discovered in the draft rating decision the service officer s only recourse is to contact the rater s coach And if the rater s coach doesn t get back to the service officer within the 16 business hour time limit so that the error can be corrected it is too late to resolve the error informally It is wrong to penalize veterans because a rater s coach does not respond to the service officer within the VA s defined time limit Service officers ought to be able to stop the clock in those instances so that

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2015/pr15-021.html (2016-02-15)
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    Board of Directors and as president of VVA s New York State Council He served as a linguist in the U S Air Force s 6990 Security Squadron in Vietnam and at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa providing the Strategic Air Command with intelligence on North Vietnam s SAM sites to protect their bombing missions Rowan was a founding member and the first president of VVA Chapter 32 in Queens New York He retired from city service as an investigator with the City of New York s Comptroller s Office He lives in Middle Village New York with his wife Mariann Marsha Four of Springfield Pennsylvania was reelected to serve as Vice President Bill Meeks Jr of The Woodlands Texas was reelected as Secretary and Wayne Reynolds of Athens Alabama was reelected as VVA s Treasurer In addition 19 National Board of Directors were elected Ten At Large and nine Regional The At Large directors are Dottie Barickman IA Richard C DeLong LA Charlie Hobbs TN Joe Kristek NC Felix Peterson OK Dave Simmons WV Dan Stenvold ND Kerwin Stone TX Sandie Wilson MI and Jerry Yamamoto CA The nine Regional directors elected to serve a 2015 2017 term are

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2015/pr15-018.html (2016-02-15)
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    6th and Adams Streets The ceremony is open to the public It s traditional for VVA to honor local War dead before we get on to the business of our National Leadership Conferences and National Conventions said VVA President John Rowan It is something we take very solemnly and seriously It is our honor to recognize those Americans from the Springfield area who paid the ultimate price in service to our nation And we will honor our Prisoners of War and those still Missing in Action Rowan will also be joined by Sharon Hobbs National President of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America The Convention Opening Ceremonies which are also open to the public will take place on Wednesday morning July 22 at 9 00 am in the Main Hall of the Prairie Capital Convention Center located at 1 Convention Center Plaza in Springfield More than 850 delegates from VVA local chapters across the nation will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield for the National Convention Following the opening ceremonies the delegates will meet in convention to debate national resolutions and Constitutional Amendments Later in the week they will vote for VVA s national leaders officers

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2015/pr15-017.html (2016-02-15)
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    from 1965 66 is an emeritus professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Chief Surgeon of Operation Mend a pioneering partnership between the Brooke Army Medical Center and the UCLA Health System Not only did Tim Miller serve his country in the Vietnam War but he is now giving his time and expertise to Operation Mend which works with veterans who have suffered severely disfiguring facial wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan said VVA National President John Rowan I can t think of anyone else more deserving of this award The former director of the American Society of Plastic Surgery Dr Miller headed the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center from 1973 2006 He and his team have performed some 230 reconstructive plastic surgeries for Operation Mend patients at no charge since 2007 More than 850 delegates from VVA chapters across the country will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield along with members of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America AVVA which also will be holding its National Convention Former Prisoner of War William Robinson will deliver the Keynote

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2015/pr15-016.html (2016-02-15)
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    Capital Convention Center in Springfield Illinois The event is free and open to the public While serving as a crew chief aboard a U S Air Force Rescue helicopter Airman First Class Robinson was shot down and captured in North Vietnam on September 20 1965 After a brief time in the Hanoi Hilton he was held until 1973 in a series of other brutal North Vietnamese POW camps He is the longest held enlisted POW in American military history Bill Robinson is an engaging speaker and has an amazing and inspiring story to tell said VVA National President John Rowan I am sure his Keynote will be one of the most memorable events of the Convention and will get off to a rousing start More than eight hundred delegates from VVA chapters across the country will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield along with members of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America AVVA which will also be holding its National Convention In addition to Bill Robinson other special guests who will take part in the Convention include Vietnam veterans Duery Felton the former curator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection Walter Anderson the writer playwright

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2015/pr15-015.html (2016-02-15)
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    appellate panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had affirmed an injunction ordering the U S Army to provide all former test subjects with any newly acquired information about the substances to which they were exposed and which might impact their health The panel also concluded that the military still has an obligation to provide the test subjects with medical care We are heartened by the court s affirmation of our position Rowan said Agencies of government can no longer ignore the complaints and questions of veterans who may have been harmed after having participated in the testing of more than 400 chemical and biological substances including hazardous agents such as sarin and mustard gas and mind altering drugs including LSD The testing program which was centered in Maryland at Edgewood Arsenal and at Fort Detrick was conducted at military installations throughout the nation from Natick Laboratories in Massachusetts to Fort Ord in California The highly secretive program which involved the CIA and the Department of Defense along with other branches of the military spanned more than five decades The late Gordon Erspamer then a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Morrison Foerster explained why his firm

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2015/pr15-014.html (2016-02-15)
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    is the author of five books including his memoir Meant To Be and a Vietnam War themed play Almost Home He served in the Corps from 1961 1966 with a tour in Vietnam 1965 attaining the rank of sergeant Anderson earned his GED diploma during his enlistment He has been a long time literacy advocate and national spokesman for the GED program Walter Anderson rose from a rough childhood and a tour of duty in Vietnam to become one of the most accomplished magazine editors and executives in the nation said VVA President John Rowan But he didn t stop there We are honoring Walter Anderson for his career long successes in the arts as well as his selfless work on behalf of literacy in the United States which fits squarely in with VVA s motto In Service to America More than eight hundred delegates from VVA chapters across the country will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield along with members of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America AVVA which will also be holding its National Convention Former Prisoner of War William Robinson will deliver the Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday morning

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2015/pr15-013.html (2016-02-15)
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