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  • The VVA Veteran: Stayin' Alive
    VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS november december 2009 The Veteran Departments REMF Diary of Dying VVA s Service Office Program Stayin Alive Final Resting Place Burying Veterans with Dignity Suits for Vets President s Report Letters Government Affairs TAPS Veterans Benefits Update Agent Orange Dioxin Committee Report Economic Opportunities Committee Report PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report Homeless Veterans Committee Report Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report Region 4 Report Region 9 Report Minority Affairs Committee Report The Faces of Agent Orange POW MIA Affairs Comittee Report Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions Calender 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 STAYIN ALIVE ADIRONDACK CHAPTER 79 Fundraising It s A Picnic BY JAMES BROWN Nine years ago Adirondack Chapter 79 in Queensbury New York north of Albany was looking for a fundraiser that would be unique and not infringe upon the efforts of other local service organizations Since the chapter had a working wood shop obtained through a grant the decision was made to look in that direction The chapter president at that time Gary Murphy came up with an idea picnic tables The rest is Chapter 79 history Most Saturdays in the spring and summer you can find half a dozen chapter members running routers circular saws chop saws and drills on the production line A special jig is used to assemble legs ahead of time Then the 2x6 lumber is attached using outdoor hardware and deck screws Braces are installed and the finishing touches corners cut edges routered are completed At one table an hour three to

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/stayinalive.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Final Resting Place
    abandoned veterans cremains I started calling around he said I found out about cremains found in a storage shed in Idaho and remains turned over for burial in Nevada There were canisters and boxes with unclaimed cremains in funeral homes all over the state of Oregon Something had to be done I realized we needed to incorporate Salanti said Guys were running around all over the country finding and burying fellow vets paying for transportation and costs out of their own pockets We obtained liability coverage for our volunteers We had people crawling into tight spaces to get to stored urns and funeral directors were also concerned about liability issues if privacy regulations were compromised They were a lot more willing to help knowing our people were covered MIAP along with other well intentioned veterans groups found both cooperation and reluctance on the part of funeral directors to help in identifying veterans cremains Aside from liability issues there was the fear of public perception of unclaimed veterans cremains stored in boxes and canisters in cellars and on storage racks for years on end However many funeral directors especially those with military backgrounds were eager to help often absorbing costs themselves John Fitch is the senior vice president of the advocacy division for the National Funeral Directors Association Having served with Special Forces in II Corps in Vietnam in 1969 70 he has an emotional attachment to unclaimed veterans remains Initially we were not going to engage with MIAP Fitch said There were liability issues but our biggest concern was giving up remains to folks we didn t know We advised our state associations that if they were comfortable with the volunteers then it was up to them We take seriously our commitment to treat all remains with respect and dignity Linda Smith is the national operations coordinator for MIAP She started out as the state contact for Missouri and then moved on to the board of directors Smith understands the concerns of Fitch and the funeral directors We work with funeral homes and assure them that the ceremonies will be as private or public as they request she said Our volunteers are fully insured If a funeral director refuses to let us in we move on to the next one We may go back later if the situation changes We ask that all of the funeral directors we work with send registered letters to the last known kin and post it in the paper We go beyond state laws in some cases If a family steps forward we do what they want Identification of cremains as those of a veteran or eligible dependant can be complicated and time consuming Searching through documents some decades old in funeral homes takes dedication and persistence MIAP volunteers as well as unaffiliated veterans who have obtained permission to do searches do so out of a sense of comradeship and kinship to the men and women they have never met Critical to the process is

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/cremains.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Suits for Vets
    systems engineering and information technology He made it his mission to help and immediately set about collecting donations from his coworkers at MITRE to subsidize the purchase of suits shirts ties and accessories for these recovering veterans in need Word of the new program dubbed Suits for Vets spread throughout the company thanks in part to several mentions in the company s internal newsletter MITRE Matters Soon collections were organized at company holiday parties and before Memorial and Veterans Day Such projects are not unusual at MITRE The company always has encouraged employees to participate in civic and community affairs grant ing paid time off to its employees to support involvement in the community The money they collected was used to purchase 500 gift cards that the hospital administration distributed not only to the disabled veterans at both facilities but also to visiting spouses and family members who often needed to attend events and did not pack suits or dresses or could not afford them Men s clothier Jos A Bank has been a vital partner from the very beginning and provides generous discounts Boudi Hayek manager of Jos A Bank s Reston Virginia store was instrumental in the program s development and continued success Most of the recipients are amputees who require a great deal of specialized tailoring because of the nature of their wounds Even the salespeople have been willing to pitch in Lehowicz added Some forfeited their own sales commissions on the suits to provide additional accessories such as shoes and ties to the veterans Recently Bloomingdale s has come on board to help women veterans at Walter Reed in need of clothing Shepherd died in 2005 but his work is carried on in his memory by several of his MITRE colleagues including Theda Parrish and VVA Northern Virginia Chapter 227 member Chuck Harris Parrish served as a government civilian in Saigon from 1966 68 She understands that having the right clothing for job interviews is just one step in the complex transition to civilian life but she contends it is a crucial one Tying yellow ribbons to a tree is fine but these soldiers deserve so much more than that she said They need a chance to show what they can do once they leave the military Harris who served in Vietnam from 1968 69 with the 101st Airborne Division and in 1971 with the 1st Cavalry Division developed a partnership with Chapter 227 in 2008 and serves as the chapter s liaison for the campaign The symbiosis has been extremely beneficial The added manpower now allows for donations of used suits in addition to cash The chapter collects and stores the donated suits and also provides the all important 501 c 19 status that allows contributions to be tax deductible The chapter s administrative support enables 100 percent of all donated funds to go directly to the purchase of gift cards MITRE s desire has always been to avoid having to implement a lengthy application

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/suits.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: President's Report
    Veterans Benefits Update Agent Orange Dioxin Committee Report Economic Opportunities Committee Report PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report Homeless Veterans Committee Report Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report Region 4 Report Region 9 Report Minority Affairs Committee Report The Faces of Agent Orange POW MIA Affairs Comittee Report Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions Calender 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 REPORT Veterans Day Advancements BY JOHN ROWAN Veterans Day will be over by the time you read this The flags will be back in their cases the marchers sore feet will have recovered and Christmas shopping will have begun As we go into the holiday season Vietnam veterans can give thanks for some of the actions taken by Congress and the President I had the privilege of attending the bill signing ceremony at the White House see photo page 7 for the VA Advanced Appropriations legislation that VVA and the other veterans service organizations worked so tirelessly to enact This legislation will enable VA administrators to plan in advance for the hiring and procurement they need to keep their health facilities operating at an optimal level In another important development VA Secretary Shinseki approved the addition of Parkinson s disease hairy cell leukemia and ischemic heart conditions to the presumptive list as was recommended by the Institute of Medicine We are very grateful for the Secretary s prompt action on these items We also look forward to the Secretary s final regulations that will ease the need to identify a specific stressor for PTSD

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/presreport.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Letters
    Lawrenceville Georgia LAST AUSSIE MIAs It has taken nearly 40 years but finally the last two Australian MIAs have been brought home from Vietnam Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver died in the crash of their Canberra Bomber in the early evening of November 3 1970 They had taken off on a routine run from Phan Rang at about 7 p m doing a run to Quang Nam near the Vietnam Laos border It should have been a routine mission but something happened They were both 24 years old I remember being on the Mall in Washington about 20 years ago and talking to guys about the POW MIA issue It was an issue then and is still an issue Ian Grant By Email STAND PROUD Sometimes we are our own worst enemy We constantly talk about the injustices Vietnam veterans have faced and how we must strengthen our organization But at the same time we talk about ourselves in a negative manner I never smoked dope never had friends who smoked dope I never lived on the street never went homeless never stole anything never stood by the side of the road begging money I don t particularly like for people to shake my hand and say Welcome home I m already home and have been welcomed by people who meant it We have a fine chapter here in Sherman Texas with some great people We all try to do what is right in this world but right now I m really tired We are not beaten we are not losers So please comrades let s lift up our heads and start acting like what we were then a proud generation Ray L Flood Sherman Texas BAD WATER I recently received a letter from the Department of the Navy that said the Marine Corps is trying to locate Marines and their families who were at Camp Lejeune between 1957 85 Bad water it said was discovered and experiments are continuing I encourage all Marines who were at Camp Lejeune during those dates to call 877 261 9782 or write for information Contact Department of the Navy Hdq United States Marine Corps 2 Navy Annex Washington DC 20380 1775 I also recommend that those affected check with their Service Officers for possible service connection Maurice Woodfin Norman Oklahoma MADE IN AMERICA I couldn t agree more with Don Austin s letter in the September October issue about buying American made products I am very displeased with the knowledge that VVA has chosen to do business with other than American manufacturers As Don Austin wrote Our leadership should be doing all that it can to see that our logo only goes on American made products It seems that we have sold out our workers to the lowest bidder Thank you Don for standing up for America and for American workers Gary Kuderman Riverside California BUY AMERICAN I read Don Austin s letter in the last issue and I

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/letters.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: TAPS
    a heart attack He served in the U S Army with a tour in Vietnam from 1970 71 He was a life member vice president and past president of Paducah Kentucky Chapter 337 Sean P McHale 73 died June 11 He was an associate of Manila Philippines Chapter 887 Robert P McIntosh 79 was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a permanently hospitalized veteran member of Porter County Indiana Chapter 905 Ronald L McKoon 64 died April 18 from ventricular tachycardia and coronary artery disease He served in the U S Navy from 1962 78 with a tour in Vietnam in 1968 He was a life member of Fort Madison Iowa Chapter 947 Dudley V McMains 81 died January 13 He served in the U S Navy for 31 years He was a life member of Lawton Oklahoma Chapter 751 Joseph T Mesch 66 died April 11 He served for more than 25 years in the U S Army including a tour of duty in Vietnam He was a life member of Cochise County Arizona Chapter 1020 Carl Henry Mims 71 died March 11 2006 He retired in 1971 from the U S Marine Corps and was a life member of Fairhope Alabama Chapter 864 Jerry D Mitchell 67 died May 17 He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member and past president of Moberly Missouri Chapter 70 Michael Mongelli 59 died June 23 from cancer He served in the U S Army in Vietnam from 1969 70 He was a member of South Jersey Chapter 228 Frank Monzon died June 16 2007 He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of Auburn New York Chapter 205 John William Moore 71 died April 20 He served in the U S Air Force and was a life member of Cumberland Plateau Tennessee Chapter 1015 Lucio G Moreno 58 died February 23 He was a veteran of the U S Marine Corps who served in the Vietnam War He was a life member of El Paso Texas Chapter 574 Kenneth D Moses 66 died May 4 from a heart attack He served in the U S Army during the Vietnam War and was a member of Baldwin County Alabama Chapter 864 Colleen Patricia Mussolino 62 died June 30 from lung cancer She served in the U S Army during the Vietnam War She was a life member of Stroudsburg Pennsylvania Chapter 678 William Valention Nabozny 72 died January 30 He served in the U S Marine Corps from 1954 56 He was an associate of Grafton Ohio Chapter 559 John Peter Nasuti 61 died December 31 2008 from liver failure hepatitis He was a veteran of the U S Army and served in the Vietnam War He was a member of Wilmington North Carolina Chapter 885 Raymond L Niederstadt 65 died June 27 from cancer He served in the U S Army during the Vietnam War and was a member of Lindstrom Minnesota Chapter 684 John Leroy Noles 62 died June 28 He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of Johnston County North Carolina Chapter 990 Clifford John Nordin 62 died recently He served in the U S Marine Corps including a tour in Vietnam He was an at large member of Michigan Kevin James O Leary 70 died May 3 2006 He served in the U S Army in the Korean and the Vietnam Wars He was an at large life member of Maryland Carl A Pagano 70 died recently He served in the U S Army for 20 years and was an at large life member of Georgia Gus F Pasquale 67 died May 4 He served in the U S Army in Vietnam and was a life member of Westchester County New York Chapter 49 James H Pease 70 died April 29 He was a U S Army veteran who served during the Vietnam era Pease was a member of Ware Massachusetts Chapter 405 Dominick A Pileggi 69 died April 8 He served during the Vietnam era in the U S Army He was a life member of New City New York Chapter 333 John R Poitras 59 died March 14 from cancer He served during the Vietnam War and was a member of Allenhurst New Jersey Chapter 12 Melvin J Poston 67 died August 19 from brain and neck cancer He served in the U S Army in Vietnam He was a life member of Rock Island Illinois Chapter 299 Beverly Anne Prinzing 62 died March 26 from cancer She was an associate of Rochester New York Chapter 20 William J Ransom 75 died May 5 He was a U S Air Force veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars He was an at large member of New York Winiferd Bruce Rawlins 68 died June 22 from cancer and pneumonia He was a U S Army and Navy veteran of the Vietnam War He was a member of Dayton Ohio Chapter 97 Robly Rex 107 died April 28 He was a veteran of World War I and the oldest living veteran in the state of Kentucky He was an associate of Louisville Kentucky Chapter 454 Roy E Ribbeck 82 died April 19 He served in the U S Army during the Korean War He was an associate of LeRoy New York Chapter 193 Glenn Joseph Rice 60 died May 7 from cirrhosis of the liver He served in the U S Army from 1969 70 in the Vietnam War He was a member of Cumberland Maryland Chapter 172 Charles L Riden Sr 74 died April 13 from mesothelioma He was a member of Cumberland Maryland Chapter 172 William E Roe 67 died June 14 from liver cancer He served in the U S Navy with two tours in Vietnam He later served with the U S Air Force and was a member of Quad Cities Illinois Chapter 299 Thomas Edward Rucci 58 died June 6 He was

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/taps.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Veterans Benefits Update
    BENEFITS UPDATE VA Expands AO Benefits BY DAVID L HOUPPERT ESQ DIRECTOR VETERANS BENEFITS On October 13 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced three additions to the presumptive service connected list of diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents Due to presumed exposure to herbicides collectively referred to as Agent Orange Secretary Shinseki has determined that B cell leukemias Parkinson s disease and ischemic heart disease will allow presumptive service connection What follows is a brief overview of these conditions Leukemias are a very complex group of diseases B cell leukemia refers to several types of lymphoid leukemia that affect B cells These types of leukemia include B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia small lymphocytic lymphoma acute lymphoblastic leukemia mature B cell type B cell prolymphoblastic leukemia mature B cell type B cell prolymphocytic leukemia precursor B lymphoblastic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health NIH Parkinson s disease PD belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders which are the result of the loss of dopamine producing brain cells The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor or trembling in hands arms legs jaw and face rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk bradykinesia or slowness of movement and postural instability or impaired balance and coordination As these symptoms become more pronounced patients may have difficulty walking talking or completing other simple tasks PD usually affects people over the age of 50 Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others The shaking or tremor which affects the majority of PD patients may begin to interfere with daily activities Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes difficulty in swallowing chewing and speaking urinary problems or constipation skin problems and sleep disruptions There currently is no blood or laboratory test that diagnoses sporadic PD Therefore the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH coronary artery disease also known as ischemic heart disease is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries These arteries supply the heart muscles with oxygen rich blood Plaque is made up of fat cholesterol calcium and other substances found in the blood When plaque builds up in the arteries the condition is called atherosclerosis To qualify for presumptive service connected Agent Orange disability compensation you generally need to prove two things First that you served on active duty in the military naval or air service in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 9 1962 to May 7 1975 Second you must also have a current diagnosis of one of the diseases on the VA s list of conditions linked to herbicide

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/vetben.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee Report
    The Veteran Departments REMF Diary of Dying VVA s Service Office Program Stayin Alive Final Resting Place Burying Veterans with Dignity Suits for Vets President s Report Letters Government Affairs TAPS Veterans Benefits Update Agent Orange Dioxin Committee Report Economic Opportunities Committee Report PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report Homeless Veterans Committee Report Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report Region 4 Report Region 9 Report Minority Affairs Committee Report The Faces of Agent Orange POW MIA Affairs Comittee Report Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions 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 AGENT ORANGE DIOXIN COMMITTEE REPORT Operation Flyswatter BY ALAN OATES CHAIR Malathion is the name of an organophosphate insecticide used in Vietnam to combat mosquitoes Organophosphates were first developed in the late 1930s by Nazi Germany as chemical warfare agents nerve gas VX nerve gas and Sarin gas are well known examples Organophosphates operate on humans and insects in a similar fashion by attacking the nervous systems During the Vietnam War large numbers of troops came down with malaria To kill the mosquitoes that carried the disease the Department of Defense converted aircraft that were spraying Agent Orange to the spraying of Malathion This was the start of Operation Flyswatter Many Vietnam veterans recall the non camouflaged aircraft flying over their positions shortly after dawn or just before dusk covering them with a mist Three silver Bug Birds were used in Operation Flyswatter Many connected those flights with the spraying of Agent Orange We now know that in those cases we were subjected to Malathion and

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1209/ao.html (2016-02-15)
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