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  • The VVA Veteran
    Orange homelessness among veterans or funding for VA health care He was there when we needed a champion After the election VVA President Tom Corey sent a letter to Sen Daschle The Senate will be less in your absence he wrote In your 25 years in the House and the Senate you were a strong and unwavering voice on issues that aided our fellow veterans For this you should always be proud and for this we will be forever in your debt ASSESSING THE POSSIBILITIES Now that the political election season is over we can assess the chances for passage of legislation beneficial to veterans and their families and we can look to future prospects for initiatives and funding for issues and projects of concern to veterans One thing is certain Our nation will continue to produce veterans many of them veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan That an untold number will suffer from the psychological stresses of combat is a foregone conclusion Already according to a survey in the New England Journal of Medicine some 17 percent of returnees from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are experiencing PTSD Hundreds more have suffered catastrophic amputations In previous wars many if not most would have succumbed on the field of battle Now they are being saved by body armor and by immediate care from mobile surgical teams At Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington ground has just been broken on a 10 million training center for amputees because of the expanding caseload Funding for the VA s medical operations which is now beginning to care for thousands of these returnees is static The 1 2 billion the VA says it needs to meet its obligations to veterans is nowhere to be seen And things will be worse next year ADVICE FOR THE PRESIDENT Corey also wrote to President Bush It is our hope that in your second four years you will champion not only the service and successes of the men and women placed in harm s way while on active duty but that you will acknowledge their sacrifices after their battles are over when they reach the status of veteran It is our hope too that you will avoid the errors of your predecessor who after his election to a second term severely curtailed the budget for the VA s medical operations an unfortunate decision that has led to the current crisis situation in regard to funding veterans health care The VA in our estimation and that of most veterans service organizations is creaking along barely able to sustain itself despite the increased funding provided by your administration We are rapidly reaching a crisis stage which will be exacerbated if the current budget passed by the House of Representatives is passed in the Senate and signed by you The letter ended with this We wish you only the best as you begin your second term We hope that the legacy you leave will be celebrated by

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/gov.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    of health care at the VA This law also requires that the VA report to Congress no later than January 31 of each year through 2007 on waiting times for specialty care appointments boosts the budget for funding homeless veterans grant and per diem programs by 95 million a 20 million increase from FY04 budget and authorizes 24 million to lease 16 VA community based outpatient clinics The new law also requires the VA to report to Congress before starting new mission changes at 11 facilities under the Capital Asset Realignment Enhancement Services CARES plan These facilities are the VA Medical Centers in Boston New York City Big Spring Texas Dublin Georgia Montgomery Alabama Louisville Kentucky Muskogee Oklahoma the outpatient clinic in Tulsa Poplar Bluff Missouri Ft Wayne Indiana Waco Texas and Walla Walla Washington S 2484 implements a three tier pay system to improve physicians and dentists salary base market and performance pay and alternate work schedules for registered nurses Among its provisions S 2486 increases compensation for veterans with disabilities and gives survivors of deceased military personnel an additional 250 in monthly compensation for spouses and children under 18 for a two year transition period increases the maximum VA loan guarantee for a single family residence establishes the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims office in Washington D C and boosts assistance for apprenticeship and on the job training programs for veterans under the 1987 Montgomery GI Bill P L 100 48 so that both servicemembers and their families are covered by laws that prohibit landlords from terminating leases of deployed service personnel The new law also requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to report to Congress on outreach efforts to inform members of the armed services about the benefits to which they are entitled when they leave

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/roundup.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    not until August but the number of delegates that a chapter can send is based on the chapter s active VVA membership as of February 28 2005 To be represented by a delegate at the Convention a chapter must have at least 25 active members on that date If you look at your current membership roster the Detailed Membership Report do you have at least 25 VVA members paid at least through February 2005 If not you ll need to do some recruiting as well as convincing your lapsed members to renew Also if your chapter membership is near one of the multiples for additional delegates 50 100 150 and so on you might want to be sure that you have at least that many members paid through 02 2005 or later Please refer to the VVA Constitution Article I Section 6 for details on how your membership determines the number of delegates you can send to the convention Please contact the VVA Membership Department at 800 882 1316 ext 115 or membership vva org if you have any questions on planning your delegate representation at the Convention Visit The VVA Veteran archives to locate back issues E mail us

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/mem_matters1.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    servicemember accepts the military s proposal For purposes of this discussion we will concentrate on the situation in which the servicemember is discharged without a medical retirement Prior to separation from service the servicemember should attempt to obtain a complete copy of his or her service medical records These records should include the service entrance and separation examinations including self reports of medical history inpatient and outpatient treatment records any interim examination records and copies of the MEB PEB reports The records should be kept in a safe place One of the first things that happens when a veteran files a VA claim is that the VA requests copies of the service edical records from the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis After the claim is filed the veteran or his or her authorized service representative can compare the records that the VA received with the records that the veteran obtained from the military It is also a good idea to collect letters and audio or video tapes that the servicemember might have sent home while deployed They can be used later to help corroborate physical or emotional trauma that occurred during the deployment Servicemembers who experienced traumatic events that could have engendered Post traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD should write down the details of the event time location and nature of the event who was there and who they spoke to about it as well as their thoughts and feelings at the time and at present Capturing the details while they are still fresh in the mind is an important safeguard in the event that PTSD does not manifest for a long time It also can serve to refresh the veteran s recollection and lead to securing more evidence when needed Similarly if the servicemember is suffering from a

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/vet_ben.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    facilitator for a VVA Board planning session as an unpaid volunteer The conversations roamed all over the map The VVA Board adopted a motion emphasizing that VVA officers directors committee chairs and others not campaign while they are on VVA funded business The Board also adopted a proposal to hire an outside legal firm to eliminate the backlog of claims appeals at the national office I also attended meetings of the Membership Affairs Committee Veterans Affairs Committee the Healthcare Committee and a second Finance meeting Remember that 2005 is a Convention year It s not too early to begin planning and fundraising to send chapter delegates Things to do in Reno include visiting the National Automobile Museum which lets you travel through time like few other places Every car has a story a little tale about who and where and why You can stroll down period street scenes and explore decades of intriguing automobiles Go to www automuseum org for more information You can also visit Hot August Nights a place that gives you the chance to relive those wonderful days of drive in movies cruising Main Street boppin at the Malt Shop or just hanging out in your cool

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/region2.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    When my dad died I grieved but I was also just falling in love with the man I would eventually marry I was flying all over the place meeting new people There was just a part of me that didn t think about my father s death I just pushed it all away and told myself I deserved to be happy But the marriage faltered Her own children grew up and moved on Then slowly Gail realized she wasn t over the father she d lost Ten years ago I was at a professional storytelling event she said We were given an assignment All these things repressed feelings started bubbling up I ended up writing a story about my dad It was the first time I d told anybody anything about my father how much I missed him how he died When I finished reading my story the audience was sobbing That event started Gail on a journey that eventually took her and her sister Vicki Worley Hall to Vietnam in 2003 with other members of SDIT Gail wept as she and Vicki dropped rose petals on the white sands of Wonder Beach in honor of their father As I stood on that beach I waited for something concrete to happen I thought perhaps the heavens would open But they didn t she said And now I realize I m never going to get any closure To the day I die there are things that are going to happen that will make me miss Father Things that will make me sad Yet that realization has helped enlighten me It s cast a new light on the relationship we had As a young man her father joined the Merchant Marines and spent much of his time traveling the Far East In

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/sdit.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    the conference for AVVA members will be 40 for the books and access to the seminars Sonja Holybee and I attended the Gold Star Mothers banquet along with many other AVVA and VVA members They had a full house While we were there we discussed a program in which the Mothers need our help In this program we will send sympathy cards to the families that have lost loved ones in Operation Iraqi Freedom We are working with DoD to obtain addresses Because of the Privacy Act this project may take some time Flag brochures have been ordered and should be available shortly You may obtain them by contacting Patsy Varnell at pvarnell avva org The Paper Safe a tool to organize vital papers is another project and we are proud to say it has been copyrighted Each of the Regional Directors has received a supply All the suggestions made at the Long range Planning Meeting in Nashville have been instituted Sonja is working on the web site to update it She already has altered the link page Fran Davis is working on the Veterans Day Program at Branson Missouri She also has taken over the program of sending sympathy

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/avva.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    President L Skip Haswell worked with the management at a local Costco store and was able to purchase 600 minute MCI phone cards for about three cents a minute Grandstand Chapter 925 in Myrtle Beach South Carolina donated 1 000 to the Family Readiness Group of the 111th Signal Battalion of the South Carolina National Guard which is deployed in Iraq The money was raised in a Poker Run sponsored by the chapter Chapter President Rich Gregory and his 2nd Vice President presented the check The money will be used to provide holiday gifts for the children and families at home Buffalo New York Chapter 77 continues to send packages to troops overseas The latest shipment of 300 gift packages included soap shampoo toothpaste and candy Operation Gift Lift began in 1991 during the first Gulf War Local schoolchildren make greeting cards for the packages The chapter has received letters and cards from troops stationed throughout the world thanking them for their good work To correspond with someone in the military who is deployed overseas go to www eMailOurMilitary com to sign up for this free service Until recently servicemen and women returning home on leave through Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Austin Texas had no help in obtaining American currency or finding gates to make connecting flights home Working with airport management Chapter 915 in Austin established a Welcome Home information booth in the airport Now returning troops have a resource that provides them with welcoming gifts and all the information they need COMMUNITY SERVICE Recently deceased member Darrell Parrott of Alpena Michigan Chapter 583 was passionate about the Operation Holidays Foundation for which he served as program director The program begun in 1991 helps needy veteran families in the community To make a memorial donation to the project contact Chapter 583 President Wayne Trapp at 989 471 2591 Port Huron Michigan Chapter 284 helped more than 160 families during the holidays last year in Operation Santa Claus and will continue the program this year To help contact chapter and state council President Tom Meinhardt at vvameinhardt netzero net EDUCATION President Craig McLaren of Chapter 190 at Holman Unit 3700 in Atmore Alabama has assembled a power point presentation addressing the skills and abilities of veterans incarcerated The educational presentation points out that inmates who take advantage of educational opportunities in prison have a lower recidivism rate and that the leadership skills gained during military service make it much more likely that they will fulfill their motto Education Equals Rehabilitation VETERANS HELPING VETERANS The patients in the Miami Florida VA Medical Center are the beneficiaries of a cooperative effort between Miami Chapter 121 and Wal Mart Chapter President Bruce McManus joined by past presidents Eppie Ortiz and Joseph Jorge presented a plaque to Wal Mart manager Cheryl Singh in recognition of the significant contributions the store has made to the chapter project At the presentation Singh said Wal Mart and I are proud to support the men and women

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_12/mem_notes.htm (2016-02-16)
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