archive-org.com » ORG » V » VVA.ORG

Total: 361

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • The VVA Veteran
    After that first one that s the way we worked every place we went We were a self sufficient operation It was successful We never returned with supplies Everything we took we dispersed VVA s Katrina effort even began before the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast Modeling the collection and distribution points system on the one used last year Hall said the ongoing effort so far has met with success With chapters across the country conducting their own fund raising programs Hall said that as the donations come into the pipeline he will continue to amass supplies and distribute them as needed In Texas State Council President Bill Meeks reported that the five Gulf Coast chapters within 90 miles of one another have been communicating as best they can Meeks said that with Houston being a major distribution location as well as a center for New Orleans evacuees the response had been overwhelming for the people in need of help There are about 1 800 VVA members in the three affected states and about 300 AVVA members Meeks said Within the Gulf Coast and the bordering states we have about 7 500 VVA members and more than 1 000 AVVA members So that s our work force AVVA President Mary Miller said AVVA members have been at work in relief efforts from the first day collecting funds donating funds buying food cooking it and going out to feed those in need It s been wonderful the way people have responded she said AVVA automatically kicked in when the need arose and this is only the tip of the iceberg This is going to go on for a long time Texas VVA and AVVA members including Bill and Suzie Meeks Jim and Marilyn Rose and Sandra Womack were scheduled to deliver a load of supplies to Jennings La earmarked for the beleaguered employees of Dennis Andras A second delivery was scheduled to go to Lake Charles La where member Wes Guidry has been working with his church to bring aid to two areas Dennis has been hard hit Meeks said We re taking clothing canned goods and many other things While VVA members have reached out to fellow members and other veterans Meeks stressed that the relief effort stretches well beyond the boundaries of the veteran community If we can identify veterans or VVA members yes they re going to get the aid but a lot of the other aid is also going to the general community he said invoking the VVA motto You can t put it any better In Service To America That s what we re all about Veterans yes We re going to take care of the veterans But we re going to take care of the larger community too That s the philosophy we live by We re not going to forget anybody In Mississippi Bill West of Chapter 842 in Tupelo reported a good turnout and donation response Delivering bottled water canned goods sanitary items

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/feature_Katrina.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    national Vice President Barry Hagge of Boyertown Pennsylvania the long time chair of VVA s Constitution Committee was elected national Secretary and Alan Cook of Castro Valley California won re election as national Treasurer It s a great honor to serve as VVA s national President Rowan said We have a great team in place to run this great veterans service organization for the next two years I am looking forward to working with VVA members all across the nation on every level to support Vietnam veterans and their families In Service to America The Convention got off to an exuberant start at 9 00 on Wednesday morning with the Opening Ceremonies which began with rousing renditions of the Vietnam War era songs Run Through the Jungle and Fortunate Son by an uncannily realistic John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival impersonator as black and white war time images were displayed on four huge video screens The ceremonies also included moving tributes to former VVA National President George Duggins who died just a week before the Convention and other VVA members lost in the previous year as well as warm welcomes from Nevada State Council President Virgie Hibbler Jr Reno Mayor Robert Cashell and AVVA President Mary Miller Most of those on hand agreed that the highlight of the morning was the powerful Keynote Speech delivered by VVA member Allen Hoe a former Americal Division medic from Honololu who today is one of Hawaii s most prominent attorneys and whose son U S Army Lt Nainoa Hoe was killed in action in Iraq in January I have stopped trying to understand why the events in my life have come to me in the manner they have and at the times they had Hoe said Sayings like there but for the grace of God have true meaning in my world I learned many lessons on the battlefields of Hiep Duc and Que Son Valley when all is lost you need to remember someone else has it twice as bad as you The delegates put in long hours on the Convention floor on Wednesday Thursday and Friday and during evening caucuses with the officer and board candidates On Thursday the delegates heard from Deputy Secretary Gordon Mansfield the No 2 person in the VA On Friday the delegates honored Tabeatha Allen a security guard at the hotel who all week had been thanking VVA members for their service When members learned that Allen was a twice wounded veteran of the war in Iraq she was prevailed upon to come onto the Convention floor and be introduced What followed was a thunderous ovation as Convention delegates showed their allegiance to VVA s founding principle Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another With the work of the Convention complete by noon on Saturday nearly everyone joined in the autographing and book signing event featuring Raquel Welch who signed photos for more than two and a half hours Also taking part was John Hulme

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/feature_12Convention.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    and VA Secretary since 1978 I have also worked with some great senators and representatives who have joined us in our battles for veterans rights We still have many in Congress who understand a veteran s service and are committed to those who served honorably They understand the need to take care of those serving today both now and when they are separated from service We are still dealing with others in Congress who would like to see us go away close the doors to our VA Medical Centers and limit other entitlements veterans have earned by their service to country I hate repeating this but many in positions of power are still trying to dismantle the system that many of us are dependent upon and they are willing to do it veteran by veteran We will get more than 1 billion added this year and more than 1 5 billion added for next year for veterans health care We have accomplished this by sticking together and working with those in Congress who cared enough to shout foul We have always sought the truth from our government We are dealing with agencies that will not tell the truth even when we have the proof showing they are lying Over the years I have witnessed this repeatedly from the VA DOD OMB and the Presidents It happens no matter which party is in the White House We will continue to seek the truth and care for those affected by chemical agents secret tests injections medications and other things that harm those who served Time is marching on As VVA poet laureate Steve Mason has said We are in the fourth quarter The future of VVA will be decided by the highest authority in VVA the delegates assembled at our National Convention in Reno I will do my job to help the delegates make their choice of who will be best to lead us into these next important years as we fight to protect our health care system and face the challenge of ensuring that the needs of our members their families and all our veterans are met At our first national convention we vowed that Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another We have and will continue to live up to this with the new generation of war veterans many of whom are the sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans VVA will educate this newest generation and guide them as we have the Gulf War veterans We will not let them take on their battles alone I want to thank those who served with me over the years those who were there to help promote VVA rain or shine and our staff who make VVA work Without our dedicated staff and volunteers none of what we have accomplished together over these last 25 years would have been possible My VVA Chapter 25 has always been there for me To the members who elected me and entrusted each office to

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/president.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    repeatedly assured them the administration had requested enough funding to care for the VA s caseload VVA estimates that an appropriation of 31 4 billion is needed in FY06 to maintain the current level of VA medical operations This is 2 4 billion more than the VA acknowledges it will need We urge Congress not only to appropriate these additional funds but to take the action necessary to insure that such a situation never occurs again CHALLENGE TO CONGRESS The reluctance of some in the administration and in Congress to fund veterans health care fully is we believe indicative of a concerted effort to limit access of veterans to the VA health care system despite the law that gives them access The federal budget cannot and should not be balanced by taking away what veterans have earned by virtue of their service to our nation Corey testified before Congress in April If it is the will of the American people to constrict the benefits to which veterans are statutorily eligible then VVA challenges Congress here and now propose introduce hold public hearings and debate the question of whether Americans want to limit access for certain veterans who fulfilled their military duty to country yet are now deemed to be unworthy of access to VA health care We have said this before and we ll say it again The cost of caring for those who served in the military is an integral part of the cost of the national defense Caring for veterans is not a Democratic cause It is not a Republican effort It is an American issue one that cuts across all party affiliations CUTTING THE ROLLS In their zeal to contain the costs of veterans health care the administration and congressional leadership are searching for ways to cut the number of veterans who receive health care from the VA The White House has proposed to levy a user fee of 250 for certain veterans who use VA medical facilities They have also proposed more than doubling the co pay of prescription drugs from 7 to 15 These proposals have not been embraced by Congress The last Congress swayed by the influx of veterans onto the VA rolls created the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission chaired by retired Army Gen James Terry Scott Its mission is to examine three specific issues as stipulated in the legislation that empowered the commission 1 the appropriateness of compensation and other benefits for disabled veterans and for the survivors of veterans who died from causes related to military service 2 the appropriateness of the level of such benefits 3 the appropriate standard for determining whether a disability or death of a veteran should be compensated At its second public meeting held June 9 the commission sought information from the VA to understand the current status of disability compensation Ruth Whichard director of the Office of Performance Analysis and Integrity of the Veterans Benefits Administration gave a presentation VA Profile of Compensation Beneficiaries that was full of tables and graphs One observation from one of the commissioners was the vast difference between the types of disabilities of World War II veterans and those of Vietnam veterans Chairman Scott said that the commission would look very carefully into this disparity He also noted that this was the first significant look at veterans benefits since the Bradley Commission 50 years ago VVA believes that perhaps former VA Secretary Anthony J Principi who chaired the three year effort known as the Transition Commission in the late 1990s might disagree with that statement Another commissioner requested that Whichard present key data in graphic form to discern trends not easily discernible in the multitude of tables and graphs Bill Russo chief of Regulations for the VA s Compensation and Pension Service gave a presentation on Individual Unemployability He explained that the VA had established a policy that all veterans unable to secure and hold a substantially gainful occupation because of a service connected disability will be rated as totally disabled While IU was established in 1941 regulations do not define what a substantially gainful occupation actually is Russo noted that the number of veterans rated totally disabled on the basis of IU has doubled in the past six years Veterans with PTSD and other mental conditions account for some 88 000 of the more than 213 000 veterans who currently receive IU Deputy Inspector General Jon Wooditch and Assistant IG Mike Staley presented the results of the IG report on variances in VA disability payments Ron Aument Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits gave the Veterans Benefit Administration response to the IG report There is a significant disparity in compensation payments to veterans Illinois is at the back of the pack with an average of 6 961 in New Mexico the average is more than 12 000 The national average is 8 370 Why does this exist It s mostly a matter of demographics the VA representatives explained Also a veteran represented by a veterans service officer receives on average 5 000 more than a veteran who represents himself Enlisted men and women receive some 1 775 more than officers Military retirees receive more Vietnam veterans receive some 2 300 more than veterans in the next highest period of service Although some variance in compensation is to be expected Wooditch said the magnitude of the variance needs looking into The IG s preliminary conclusion about why there is such inconsistency in benefits ratings cites several likely culprits First and foremost is what he called an antiquated rating schedule Since over 90 percent of the rating schedule has been updated since 1990 this is not an accurate statement Wooditch noted that the problem is not in ratings for physical wounds these are consistent from state to state The inconsistency lies in evaluations of PTSD and other mental health conditions He said that PTSD compensation rose from some 120 000 cases in FY1999 to some 200 000 cases in FY 2004 He said

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/gov.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran-Veterans Benefits
    to remember that the presumption of service connection for undiagnosed GWI does not apply to diagnosed conditions Rather the presumption requires that a symptom or constellation of symptoms defy diagnosis These symptoms include fatigue rashes or other dermatological conditions or skin symptoms headache muscle pain joint pain neurological symptoms neuropsychiatric symptoms upper and lower respiratory symptoms sleep disturbances gastrointestinal symptoms cardiovascular symptoms abnormal weight loss and menstrual disorders among others The VA has also added amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS or Lou Gehrig s disease to the list As with any claim for service connection documentation of symptomatology should primarily be from a physician or psychiatrist The doctor should be made aware of the rule that precludes diagnosed diseases and should also distinguish between those symptoms that might be compatible with a particular diagnosis and those that are not The veteran may then be able to seek traditional direct service connection for the diagnosed symptoms and presumptive service connection for GWI for the remaining symptoms When presenting this type of medical evidence to the VA it is important to emphasize that the doctor s identification of a symptom or group of symptoms does not necessarily constitute a diagnosis that is respiratory distress headache sleep disturbance joint pain chronic sinus trouble The VA also can consider a veteran s own descriptions of his or her symptoms particularly as to when the symptoms first appeared their severity and how they affect the veteran s daily routine Such non medical indicators include time lost from work evidence that the veteran sought treatment for the symptoms and changes in the veteran s appearance behavior and physical and emotional abilities Veterans should also keep a daily log or journal of the nature and severity of their symptoms VA regulations also requires that the symptoms be chronic that is they must persist for at least six months Disabilities may be considered chronic even if there are intermittent episodes of improvement and worsening Another requirement for service connection is that the disability resulting from the undiagnosed illness either appear during deployment in the Southwest Asia theater of operations or become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more not later than December 31 2006 The 10 percent threshold refers to the level of disability assigned to service connected disorders under the VA s schedule of rating disabilities and means that the severity of the symptoms meets the requirements for the VA s lowest level of disability compensation payments The biggest obstacle to a PGW veteran seeking compensation for service related illness occurs when his or her symptoms have been diagnosed Some doctors do not like to admit that they do not know what is going on As a result some will try to squeeze symptoms into a specific diagnosis In these cases the veteran should have the doctor distinguish between diagnosis related symptoms and other symptoms present especially overlapping symptoms that might support one diagnosis but when considered independently or in conjunction with the constellation of symptoms

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/benefits.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran-Agent Orange Committee Report
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs can ask Congress for legislation on disability compensation and health care Results from the 2002 physical examination suggest that as dioxin levels increase not only are the presence and severity of adult onset diabetes increased but the time to onset of the disease is decreased A 166 percent increase in diabetes requiring insulin control was seen in those with the highest levels of dioxin in their system Cardiovascular disease findings were not consistent according to a news release from DoD Separate studies have found an increased risk of cardiovascular death in Ranch Hand enlisted ground crews the subgroup with the highest average serum dioxin The news release went on Overall Ranch Hand pilots and ground crews examined in 2002 had not experienced a statistically significant increase in heart disease relative to the comparison group Associations between measures of cardiac function and history of heart diseases and herbicide or dioxin exposure were not consistent or clinically interpretable as adverse Similarly the Ranch Hand enlisted ground crews the subgroup with the highest dioxin levels and presumably the greatest herbicide exposure exhibited a 14 percent decreased risk of cancer We do not concur We believe that dioxin is associated with a lot more conditions that ravage and can eventually end the lives of our brother and sister veterans We believe that the Ranch Hand Study should not end the government s investigation into the adverse health effects caused by or associated with exposure to Agent Orange We are particularly concerned for our offspring and their children There must be further investigation into the intergenerational effects of dioxin I m proud that VVA took the lead and prodded the government to recognize the insidious and lingering effects of Agent Orange and other defoliants on the health and well being of

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/AO.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran-Veterans Initiative Task Force Report
    reports that the information provided to the Vietnamese about their missing encourages the cooperation of Vietnamese in providing information about American missing The latest trip in October 2004 was a success Leaders of the Vietnamese Veterans Association took us to a location outside of Camp Carroll in Quang Tri Province were they showed us a mass grave site containing the remains of between 50 and 60 Vietnamese This excavation came about as a result of information provided to the Veterans Initiative Task Force and turned over to the Vietnamese We were thanked for our continued efforts to help the Vietnamese find their missing from the war The Vietnamese promised to continue to help us in our search for missing Americans and grave sites It has been through this mutual respect and cooperation that the Veterans Initiative has been able to do its work in Vietnam The more information we are able to provide the Vietnamese about their missing the more they try to gather information on missing Americans and provide JPAC with information We are all aware that the clock is ticking and time is our enemy Memories fade people die and with them the possibility of information that could account for missing Americans also diminishes This is why it is crucial that we continue our missions to Vietnam We continue to ask all Vietnam veterans to search for information on possible missing Vietnamese Please send the information to us so that we can take it to the Vietnamese on our trips and continue to help them help us The Veterans Initiative is working hard planning our next trip We set the timing of the trips with the amount of information that has been sent into the national office Once we have enough information we can set a trip date

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/VI.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran-AVVA Report
    Memorial It has no identifying marker to let people know it is there or what it represents The inscription has become obscured it has been walked on and it is encrusted with mud This is a memorial for all those who have lost their lives since coming back from the Vietnam War Together Always Brotherhood Spiritual Healing BY FRAN DAVIS Welcome Home A Tribute to Vietnam Veterans was held in Branson Missouri June 12 18 The idea was conceived by two Vietnam veterans Gary Linderer of VVA Chapter 913 in Branson and Steven Presley a retired U S Army Major Linderer received a substantial contribution from Ross Perot Sunday the Dignity Memorial Wall Experience from Texas was escorted to the grounds of the Grand Palace by a motorcade consisting of members of VVA Chapter 913 VNVMC members from several states and many other bike clubs Chapter 913 helped in the set up along with soldiers from a Missouri National Guard engineering company based in Springfield who recently returned from Iraq Opening ceremonies for the Memorial Wall were attended by Mayor Lou Schaefer and other dignitaries Anita Clark AVVA Chapter 913 rep closed the ceremonies with You Are With Us Always An estimated 110 000 visited the Wall during the week long stand Monday s itinerary included Hits of the 60s Show Branson in Revue concert and the second annual benefit fund raising show for VVA Chapter 913 On Tuesday the Opening Ceremony was held at the Grand Palace with Branson entertainers including the Lennon Sisters and the Dutton Family City officials and other dignitaries greeted veterans and their families A golf outing was held on Wednesday At Thursday s fishing tournament sponsored by Central Pro Am Bass Anglers pros fished with veterans Wednesday and Thursday at the membership table VVA

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/avva.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive



  •