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  • The VVA Veteran: PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
    Departments Featured Stories President s Message Government Affairs Membership Notes Constitution Committee Region 3 Report Veterans Incarcerated Veteran Benefits Women Veterans Chapter 141 Chapter 142 Chapter 295 Chapter 523 AVVA Report At The LC At The LC book review Diabetes Books In Review Letters Etabo Locator Reunions Taps 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 MESSAGE Of Commemorations Dedications BY JOHN ROWAN As you read this many of you are attending the Leadership Conference in Greenville This will be a great occasion because in addition to the usual array of excellent seminars we also will be celebrating VVA s thirtieth anniversary Continuing a theme from my last message regarding Air Force heroes elsewhere in this issue p 28 you will find an article about the dedication of the John Lee Levitow Veterans Health Center at the Connecticut Veterans Home in Rocky Hill John Levitow was the first of only two enlisted airmen to receive the Medal of Honor While he survived Vietnam he succumbed to Agent Orange related health problems in November of 2002 The Connecticut Commissioner of Veterans Affairs is VVA s own Linda Schwartz Her leadership helped garner the federal funds for this worthwhile project My recent travels took me to Tennessee and Indiana Region 3 held its annual conference in Pigeon Forge Tenn the home of Dollywood This part of the country at the foot of the Smokey Mountains is very beautiful As always Region 3 put on a very informative conference Bruce Whitaker and the State Council Presidents and their

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/presidents_message.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
    into perhaps the finest integrated managed care system in the world While we understand the frustrations of some veterans who live far from VA facilities a wholesale system of vouchers will not benefit them Rather it will result in less care for a lot more money The lessons of Iraq where privatizing services such as transportation and providing food and fresh water has led to waste corruption inefficiencies and egregious costs ought to be a red light to any who would seek to reform the VA through privatization Sen McCain needs to meet with and listen to the VSOs His promise of vouchers could derail his campaign among veterans and their families LAWLESS IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR The VA continues to refuse to complete the re survey of the original participants in the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study which was done more than twenty years ago even though it is mandated by law If this was done we would have a good picture of the chronicity of PTSD and of the psychosocial long term effects of service in Vietnam and we would have a robust mortality and morbidity study of Vietnam veterans With the second study of the same participants and a review of the death certificates of those who are dead we would have an immensely valuable longitudinal study that would allow policymakers to plan properly for the health care that will be needed for Vietnam veterans in the future and it will also be invaluable in planning for the proper shape of health care for those fighting today The VA refuses to do the study and thumbs its nose at the law It is the view of VVA that public officials do not get to pick the laws they obey It is our view that these officials are violating the public officers oath they took when they act in a lawless manner like this For the VA to maintain that the methodology used in the original NVVRS is controversial because one hired hand at the American Enterprise Institute says it is can only be compared to saying that the fact of the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis is controversial because a few right wing nuts say it is Further we cannot abide the increasing secrecy of deliberative processes at VA particularly by the secret closed door meetings of the Advisory Committee on PTSD and the mostly secret deliberations of the Advisory Committee on Serious Mental Illness coupled with memos that say Shhhhhh in regard to letting real numbers on veteran suicides become public even to Congress This includes the now infamous memo from a program chief directing clinicians at the PTSD program at Temple Texas VA Medical Center not to take the time or effort to properly diagnose PTSD but to instead give it a made up term that is not even a diagnosis All of the above plus the VA s continued refusal to treat the veterans community as a serious partner in the process of addressing serious

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/govt_affairs.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: MEMBERSHIP NOTES
    York The Unit marched in the Irondequoit Memorial Day Parade on May 25 and in the Downtown Memorial Parade May 26 After that parade came the annual Memorial Day Service at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park The Unit s final event of the month was taking part in the Mendon fireman s parade on May 31 The Honor Guard from Quad Cities Chapter 299 in Rock Island Illinois joined other veterans organizations ceremonial units from across the state to take part in the annual vigil held every May at the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Springfield the state capital The Chapter Honor Guard stood as silent sentinels to the fallen beginning at noon on May 3 The vigil went from Friday May 2 to Sunday May 4 Dean K Phillips Memorial Chapter 227 in Northern Virginia recently inaugurated a new program called Operation Jump Start Under it the Chapter is donating 25 to each new resident of Compassion House a small transitional facility for homeless veterans that opened last year in Culpeper County Virginia The money will help new residents purchase personal items Members of Nassau County New York Chapter 82 working in conjunction with the Northport VA Medical Center held a Health Expo at the Sunrise Mall in Massapequa on May 10 The event was co sponsored by New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino Porter County Indiana Chapter 905 was instrumental in convincing the Portage Indiana City Council to proclaim May 7 as a day to honor Vietnam veterans and to designate the week of May 12 16 as Vietnam Veterans Recognition Week Jim Lynch the Chapter President accepted the official Proclamation on behalf of the Chapter at the May 7 City Council meeting Graterford Pennsylvania Chapter 466 an incarcerated chapter recently held its annual fund raising drive to purchase underwear and socks that the Chapter then donates to the Philadelphia Multi Service and Education Center an outreach group that serves that city s veterans in need The items were purchased from Pennsylvania Correctional Industries which contributed to the cause The chapter raised just under 700 Pennsylvania State Council President Jeff White picked up the clothing and made the delivery to the outreach and education center Plymouth Canton Chapter 528 in Plymouth Michigan holds many fund raising events throughout the year Here s a list of the some of the most recent recipients of the money raised by the chapter Tomorrow s Child Sew Much Comfort Indiana Vietnam Veterans Reunion Michigan Military Mom s Walk Marine Corps Toys for Tots American Diabetes Association Walk POW MIA Committee of Michigan Marine Corps League Northwest Detachment 162 VVA Chapter 310 s annual Ann Arbor VA Hospital Christmas Party Grand Rapids Veterans Home Michigan Veterans Foundation Wyandotte Purple Heart Memorial U S Army National Museum Salvation Army Adopt a Road Program and Girl Scouts The two float entry put together by Lawton Oklahoma Chapter 751 came in first place for the second year in a row at the May 17

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/member_notes.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Constitution COMMITTEE REPORT
    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 july august 2008 The Veteran Departments Featured Stories President s Message Government Affairs Membership Notes Constitution Committee Region 3 Report Veterans Incarcerated Veteran Benefits Women Veterans Chapter 141 Chapter 142 Chapter 295 Chapter 523 AVVA Report At The LC At The LC book review Diabetes Books In Review Letters Etabo Locator Reunions Taps 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 Constitution COMMITTEE REPORT How To Make Amendments BY LESLIE DeLONG CHAIR July 1 marks the opening of the constitutional amendment process which will end next year at the 14th National Convention in Louisville Kentucky Constitutional amendments may only be submitted electronically using the online form available on VVA s website vva org Any VVA member chapter or state council may submit a proposal for a constitutional amendment The support of a chapter or state council is not necessary but may increase the likelihood that an amendment will be accepted by the delegates at the Convention In cases where an individual member chapter or state council sponsored amendment duplicates an amendment submitted by a national committee that amendment will not be reported out but delegates will have the opportunity to debate and amend the committee sponsored amendment on the floor of the Convention The deadline for submission of proposed constitutional amendments is March 28 2009 Afterward the committee will meet in open session review all proposed amendments and prepare

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/constitution.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Region 3 REPORT
    Constitution Committee Region 3 Report Veterans Incarcerated Veteran Benefits Women Veterans Chapter 141 Chapter 142 Chapter 295 Chapter 523 AVVA Report At The LC At The LC book review Diabetes Books In Review Letters Etabo Locator Reunions Taps 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 3 Report Region 3 Conference 2008 BY BRUCE W WHITAKER DIRECTOR Our 19th annual regional conference was held May 8 11 in Pigeon Forge Tennessee hosted by the Tennessee State Council Attendance was one of the largest in recent years with 187 registered members and guests During the two days of the conference the following seminars were presented Veterans Affairs Don Samuels Fund raising Tony Catapano Parliamentary Procedures Mike Swift At Large Membership Len Ignatowski and Administrative Management of Chapters and State Councils Bruce Whitaker Two seminars were presented by AVVA for AVVA attendees Spousal Benefits Don Ashenbramer and Leadership at the Local Level Elaine Simmons A method of updating membership on current VVA issues and concerns was accomplished though the process of an Open Forum Front and center for the open forum were VVA President John Rowan VVA Secretary Barry Hagge Region 3 Director Bruce Whitaker At Large Director Tony Catapano Region 4 Director Carol Schetrompf and CSCP Chair Charlie Montgomery The forum allowed leadership to bring forth matters to the membership and most importantly allowed for membership to present their issues and concerns to the leadership During the Awards Luncheon the annual Lingwood Lang Award was presented to Mitch Carte of West Virginia AVVA s Heart and Soul

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/region3.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Veterans INCARCERATED COMMITTEE REPORT
    Cookie Accepted BY TERRY HUBERT CHAIR The May June issue contained a letter to the editor about the activities of the Veterans Incarcerated Committee VIC The writer urged the committee to stop bringing cookies to incarcerated veterans and get serious about the prosecution of PTSD afflicted veterans I can assure everyone that the VIC does more than bring cookies to veterans incarcerated VIC is committed to helping veterans who find themselves enmeshed in the criminal justice system Our resolutions and actions are broad and aimed at educating fellow veterans and public officials about the difficulties associated with PTSD issues that afflict veterans PTSD related issues often bring veterans into contact with the police and the courts We know that there are some 800 000 new veterans of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in America and if the conservative DoD VA estimates are accurate two of every five suffer from PTSD symptoms Historical data reflect that veteran incarceration rates rise after each conflict dating back to the Civil War Government statistics indicate that our generation of incarcerated veterans peaked in the mid 1980s at around 21 percent of state prisoners The VIC is encouraged that the VA and the nation as a whole seem to have learned a harsh lesson about veterans returning from an increasingly unpopular and seemingly endless war PTSD is now commonly acknowledged as a medically and legally accepted diagnosis that can be used in mitigation for veterans involved in the justice system PTSD is recognized because of the commitment of VVA in general and our PTSD Substance Abuse Committee in particular This recognition has led two states California and Minnesota to enact sentencing mitigation legislation for veterans and we urge other states and the federal government to adopt such an approach Similarly the innovative Veterans Court

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/vets_incarcerated.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Veterans Benefits COMMITTEE REPORT
    Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec Veterans Benefits COMMITTEE REPORT Whose Side Are They On BY JERRY KLEIN CHAIR Once again veterans have an opportunity to observe the inner workings of the Department of Veterans Affairs first hand The results of the review of the policy decision detailed in this article can lead to only one conclusion The Department presents a public relations pitch that it is concerned with the welfare of its stakeholders but takes actions that contradict the stated position This is a case example of the system at work The Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 was passed by Congress and signed by the President for the expressed purpose of helping veterans better understand how to negotiate the VA s Veterans Benefits Administration Since then Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims decisions have refined VCAA to enhance that initial process making it easier for veterans to understand the requirements necessary to prove a benefit case Unfortunately the behind the scenes staff at the Veterans Benefits Administration legal staff and the Compensation Service have established policies that have placed roadblocks that prevent a clear understanding of the benefits process that the average veteran can grasp So much for a non adversarial relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs This latest move by the VA is the last straw for me The passage of the VCAA has had a significant impact on the way the VA provides pre adjudicatory notice A series of court cases has resulted in the VA continually modifying its duty to help with notification letters and court reinterpretations of VCAA have resulted in long confusing letters The VA could create language to fix the problem but instead fights at every turn to make the process more difficult to understand A recent holding in Vasquez v Peake mandated the VA to provide additional notification requirements namely to provide notice of any specific test or measurement required to evaluate a disability for the diagnostic code under which a veteran was rated That seems like a very reasonable request This rule would clarify the type of ratable evidence needed to prove a claim What steps did the VA take in response to the court decision The Department filed a motion for reconsideration on the Vasquez v Peake decision This is unacceptable behavior and harmful to veterans On February 20 the VA Secretary filed a motion for a panel reconsideration or in the alternative en banc review of the court s opinion in Vazquez Flores v Peake 22 Vet App 37 2008 The Secretary contends that reconsideration is warranted because 1 the notice requirements set forth for increased compensation claims in the opinion would require the Secretary to provide specialized individualized notice not contemplated by the statute or case law and 2 the opinion incorrectly held that the notice error found in this case was prejudicial Once again the VA shows its true

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/vet_benefits.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Women Veterans COMMITTEE REPORT
    Diabetes Books In Review Letters Etabo Locator Reunions Taps 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 Women Veterans COMMITTEE REPORT Women s Health Clinic Questions BY MARSHA FOUR CHAIR No one can say that the VA has not made significant progress in the realm of women veterans health care and treatment in recent years Advancements continue to occur as a result of insight and advocacy In light of this and the increasing number of women who are registering into the system it continues to astound me that women s health clinics in some VA Medical Centers still have limited hours for primary care Some offer none at all serving only as OB GYN clinics Some have no OB GYN physician on staff in the clinics and must contract out or refer to the community all women who need this kind of care Some offer as few as four hours per week for primary care I have heard it said that the Medical Centers cannot justify increasing these hours because all appointment slots are not full But I have to ask Is this because there are not enough women on the Medical Center s rolls to fill these unfilled appointment times Is it because limited outreach and full notification of hours have fallen short Is it because the hours exist at times when many women cannot make use of them I believe the average age of women veterans using the VA today is younger than it has been in the past In this economy many women are

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0808/women_veterans.html (2016-02-15)
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