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
    Walter Reed Army Hospital published the results of a study that provides an initial look at the mental health of members of the Army and the Marine Corps who have been involved in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan The findings indicate that among soldiers and Marines represented in the study groups there was a significant risk of mental health problems Further the subjects reported important barriers to receiving mental health services particularly the perception of stigma among those most in need of such care For all study groups responding after deployment there was a strong reported relation between combat experiences such as being shot at handling dead bodies knowing someone who was killed or killing enemy combatants and the prevalence of PTSD The report is entitled Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan Mental Health Problems and Barriers to Care and can be found in The New England Journal of Medicine published during the first week of July A related article printed in the Colorado Springs newspaper in May noted that Steve Robinson executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center and a retired Army Ranger has visited returning troops in the United States and Europe Post traumatic Stress Disorder rates among troops from the first Gulf War ran around 6 percent he said But he estimates PTSD among veterans from Iraq at 14 percent and climbing With well over 100 000 troops returning from Iraq this year Robinson predicted a wave of serious issues among troops back home Through the assistance of the VVA Council of State Council Presidents VVA service officers and other VVA friends more than 50 000 copies of the revised VVA PTSD tri fold brochure have been distributed around the country During the Leadership Conference PTSD SA Committee liaison Mokie Porter gave a box of

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/ptsd.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    all the wasted bodies shredded because of lies indifference hatred or greed and she had seen them broken again in order to fit into comfortable and comforting myths and she had seen more of it than you and she was broken by it as well but she never let that wound erode the clarity with which she saw and told the world What she understood and valued more than anything is contained in Auden s dictate that the first job of the writer is to preserve the integrity of the language She did Fiercely and well and all else followed For some time before her death she had been sending me books she loved uncluttering she said though I didn t know how she meant that until after her suicide A week before that act I called her worried because another friend had said he hadn t been able to get in touch Nonsense she told me I m perfectly fine Don t call me this week I m writing And then she hung up It was a typical Gloria phone call cut off in the middle and it was only after her death that I realized that she was insuring we would never say goodbye Bernie Edelman I met Gloria Emerson in 1970 during the long winding down of the war While American soldiers were still being sent out to search and destroy and recon killing and being killed in Paris envoys were discussing the shape of the table at which peace talks were to be held And the real quality reporters whom I desired to emulate were still going out to the field placing themselves in harm s way trying to get insights into the human landscape of the war Gloria Emerson was among the best of them Most likely my friend Mark Jury introduced me to her Mark and I were assigned to the U S Army Vietnam Information Office and had the relative luxury of traveling through Vietnam photographing and reporting Mark had met Gloria on a flight out of Cambodia As he remembers it they mostly spoke about the young men who were still fighting men for whom Gloria had great empathy To Mark Gloria exuded an intellectual toughness and an abiding interest in Vietnam and the young Americans who were forever changed by their time there that would transcend her career Mark and Gloria were part of a small fraternity of reporters and war writers and soldiers who would write of their experiences in an attempt to understand and to enlighten Mark kept in touch with Gloria sporadically I not at all I ll always be sorry that I didn t Carey Winfree The only sliver of solace I take from the news of Gloria Emerson s untimely departure from these woods is that I won t disappoint her any more I ve been disappointing her for a quarter century ever since we both washed up at the Meiles Hotel in 1979 in what

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/arts1.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    form of therapy something he says to help me keep a grip on my sanity He evokes his tour of duty in Vietnam and his PTSD quite well The Zen lessons concentrate on be here now philosophy with a heavy emphasis on mindfulness and meditation Thomas unfortunately repeats the unsubstantiated allegation that more than 100 000 Vietnam veterans have committed suicide since the war That is a myth with no basis in fact that has been repeated by those trying to make the valid point that Vietnam veterans have had disproportionately high readjustment problems LIFE STORIES Antonia Felix s Wesley K Clark A Biography Newmarket 256 pp 19 95 chronicles the life and times of the retired Army general who made a run at the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination It includes a brief account of Clark s 1969 70 Vietnam War tour that ended in February 1970 when Clark the CO of a First Infantry Division company was shot in the leg and shoulder on a jungle patrol and medevaced home Bill Clinton s best selling memoir My Life Knopf 957 pp 35 contains the President s account of his battle with the draft Clinton says that after returning to Arkansas following his Rhodes Scholarship in England in June 1969 he thought he d be drafted into the Army So he looked into joining the National Guard and Reserves but there were no available spots Clinton considered joining the Air Force but realized he d fail the physical for flight school because of a weak left eye He then flunked a Navy physical because of poor hearing Clinton s best option after that he says was going to law school and signing up for Army ROTC which is what he did The rest is history later that fall Clinton wrote what would become a famous letter to his ROTC commander opting out of the program and finished out three years of law school with his student deferment Battle Ready Putnam 480 pp 28 95 is the work of novelist Tom Clancy retired Marine Corps Gen Anthony Zinni and writer Tony Koltz It s a combination biography and memoir in which Clancy goes over Zinni s life and Zinni recounts his work as the head of the U S Central Command in the late 1990s The book made headlines because of Gen Zinni s harsh criticism of the way the war in Iraq is being waged But it also contains a meaty section on Zinni s two tours in Vietnam in 1967 serving mostly in the Delta and in 1970 in I Corps where he was severely wounded Nobody knows how many Mexican Americans served in the Vietnam War What is known is that very few of the thousand who did serve have told their stories in memoirs autobiographies or oral histories Lea Ybarra s Vietnam Veteranos Chicanos Recall the War University of Texas Press 288 pp 45 hardcover 18 95 paper remedies that situation Ybarra a longtime educator presents informed

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/books.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    poetry reading and a candlelight reading of the names of the dead SONS AND DAUGHTERS IN TOUCH The Southern California chapter of Sons and Daughters In Touch SDIT held its third annual SoCal Jamboree August 1 in Freedom Park in Westminster SDIT members from outside California joined in activities that included volleyball horseshoes and hiking Terry McGregor coordinated the event HOSPITALIZED VETERANS Miami Dade County Chapter 121 in Florida recently raised the spirits of veterans in the Miami VA Medical Center The chapter invited Miss Florida 2003 Shauna Pender and Miss Florida 2004 Jenna Edwards to visit with patients in the Spinal Cord Injury ward Edwards had visited the ward when she was Miss University of Miami and has become a veterans advocate Chapter President Bruce McManus thanks Eppie Ortiz Joseph Jorge and Eladio Rivera for their work in making this wonderful event a reality VETS HELPING VETS VVA opened an office in the Phoenix Arizona VARO in July It is the first VVA office in a VARO in Region 9 When told by the administration that there was no space available Arizona State Council President Bill Messer negotiated with other VSOs in the facility VVA now shares space with the American Ex Prisoners of War DONATIONS Chapter 55 in Licking County Ohio has had two very successful fund raisers this year with 95 percent of the funds raised going to veterans food baskets scholarships and the like In April chapter members handed out American flags in front of a local supermarket and raised over 1 700 The annual Memorial Day Coffee Break at the rest stop at the junction of Interstate 70 and Interstate 79 raised over 3 000 RACE FOR THE CURE Incarcerated Chapter 558 at the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs Nevada raised more than 6 500 for the Susan G Komen Foundation Breast cancer survivor Mimi Shimp coordinator of the annual event that consists of more than one hundred 5 kilometer races around the country said she was amazed at what the men had accomplished in soliciting funds throughout the prison These men made mistakes Shimp said but they are doing something positive and they deserve to be recognized for it A VETERAN IS A VETERAN IS A VETERAN A contingent of Soviet veterans who fought in Afghanistan visited the Washington area and met with Vietnam veterans to discuss the needs and resources of all veterans The group is seeking information from American veterans on forming a veterans support group in Krygyzistan to serve veterans widows and orphans SCHOLARSHIPS Tracy Tuttle was the recipient of a 500 scholarship presented to her by Chapter 810 in Chillicothe Ohio Making the presentation were Rich Grubb Region 4 Director and Chapter President John Daubert VVA Chapter 688 in Union County New Jersey presented several scholarships to local college students Susan Carro Penn State University Stacie Jeans Moravian College Brian Kopnicki The College of New Jersey Karen McCourt Boston College and Scott Moore University of Massachusetts each received

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/mem_notes.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    joined Sons and Daughters in Touch on their journey to Vietnam to the battlefields where their fathers died I was elated to have something material of him back dirt on the road grass in the clearing lovely pine trees or their descendants among which we conducted the memorial ceremony I imagined we both looked at the same sky there above the Central Highlands breathed the same air saw the same villagers Lorri said But she still couldn t shake a sense of regret I was ashamed that I didn t have a tear for him I only had forgiveness and a sense of ease and peace Forgiveness for leaving me alone and pregnant 35 years earlier That forgiveness though has enabled her to build a better relationship over the past year with Tony s family and with her own daughter I have more freedom to talk about Tony Lorri said Lorri Spada hopes that one day she ll hear from the other men who were with Corp Tony Conti on the day he died on a red dirt road just outside the town of Plei Bon including Lt Jones Sgt Kitrell SP4 Houghton and SP6 Moore Welcome home are the two words Estella Shockley longed to tell her own husband but 31 days before his homecoming Bobby Joe Shockley 19 was struck by sniper fire in a village at Binh Duong Shockley was serving with C Company 1st Battalion 26th Infantry the First Infantry Division s Blue Spaders Estella and Bobby Shockley fell in at a dance at the local YMCA in St Louis I was tall and gangly and never had a boyfriend before but I could dance and so could Bobby Joe she said He was 6 2 so we were a perfect fit We danced real well together The high schools they attended were vocational schools Estella trained to be a secretary Bobby Joe a welder In 1964 she found a job right out of high school with the city of St Louis but he was having trouble As a black man he was not welcomed into the welder s union Because he couldn t get into the union Bobby Shockley was forced to work as a laborer for lower wages When Bobby learned that Estella was pregnant with their child he joined the Army to provide a more financially secure environment for their growing family Their son Kelly was born in March 1965 Going into the Army was Bobby s way of taking care of me and Kelly Estella explained Bobby shipped out for Vietnam on October 25 1965 He was killed on August 13 1966 Estella still weeps when she talks of the day she received the news of her husband s death I will never forget it Kelly and I were living in a two family flat with Bobby s folks We d gone to church that day and then taken a nap Kelly had just woken up from his nap I d carried

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/Feature_CostOfWar.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    would have followed I still wasn t a vet then But it happened just when you might say I was ripe I had just started to talk to a few vets about Vietnam McKinsey had just sold a successful business and was looking for something to do after returning from Chicago in the fall of 2001 Concluding that he needed to do more than simply bring the art exhibit to the Southwest he decided to expand upon his original idea He wrote a symposium grant proposal to the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities which was awarded in March 2002 and McKinsey began working on pulling the components together Sponsored by the VVA New Mexico State Council and the New Mexico Veterans Service Commission the symposium will stretch over three months from October 15 to January 16 2005 More information may be found at www vietnamvoicesandvisions org I ve always been the kind of person who jumps into the middle of things McKinsey said In the course of all this a few people have suggested that I d bitten off more than I could handle and that I couldn t do all of it Of course that sort of attitude and talk has always worked well for me my whole life I love it when somebody says You can t do it You want to motivate me Tell me I can t do something The symposium components include An art exhibit from the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago the only museum in the world with a permanent collection focused on the Vietnam War Another Vietnam Pictures of the War from the Other Side an exhibit from the National Geographic Society s Explorer Hall Museum It features 113 photographs taken by North Vietnamese combat photographers who documented the French

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/Feature_VoicesVisions.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the waterfront The city of Buffalo had donated the property and Erie County had agreed to match the funds that were raised to make this dream a reality When it was finally finished 508 names were etched into the wall in the Naval and Serviceman s Park 486 Western New Yorkers who were Killed in Action and 22 who are listed as POW MIA The mood was reverent and inspiring on Saturday morning The ceremony began with several speakers including Coordinator of the Ex POW Support Group Bob Young VVA Region 2 Director Fred Elliott Army Nurse Marilyn Edgerton and VVA New York State Council President John Rowan Then following tradition friends and relatives read all 508 names One highlight of the event was Keynote Speaker Gary Beikirch one of two Western New York Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients Beikirch was humble about being called a hero Speaking of the soldiers whose names are on the memorial he said Everything about you becomes small in the presence of these heroes who have given all In the presence of true heroes I am compelled to forget about myself Visit The VVA Veteran archives to locate back

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/Feature_Buffalo.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The VVA Veteran
    Alviar said Was it an actual remission Was it my own willpower Some of both Anyway none of my doctors were able to shed any light on what was happening But after nearly eight years the symptoms returned following the same progressive course as when they first emerged during Alviar s active duty days The second time Alviar said I went past the leg braces and right into a wheelchair It was still many more years however before the news of Lejeune s water problems surfaced and Alviar just had to wonder I mean I was there I drank a hell of a lot of water and who s to say And there s another thing too That other thing is Alviar s son born at Lejeune in 1969 with a leg twisted up like a pretzel as well as a missing ear and a lifetime of medical difficulties since Doctors now speculate that he like his father is suffering with some form of progressive neurological degeneration Terry Dyer and Karen Strand are the daughters of the late John Lovell Fristoe Their father was a civilian school principal at one of Tarawa Terrace s two elementary schools He and his family lived on base at Tarawa Terrace for 15 years We lived there through all the years the toxic water was pouring out of the taps Terry Dyer said And our entire family has been plagued with illness ever since John Fristoe died suddenly of a heart attack at age 45 but Dyer recalls that he suffered a range of apparently unconnected maladies throughout his short life including persistent severe allergies and unexplained bouts of hepatitis Then her sister Johnsie suddenly stopped talking in early childhood on the heels of several behavioral changes Johnsie lives today as a mentally retarded adult and has faced a prolonged deterioration in learning ability and psychological status No specific medical reason has ever been tendered for Johnsie s journey into disability after enjoying a normal early childhood John Fristoe Johnsie Karen and Terry It would take the death of her father the unraveling of her sister s health a chain of ailments for herself and every member of her family and finally the 1999 arrival of a plain white envelope from ATSDR announcing the health survey of Lejeune residents past and present before as Dyer said It all came together for me I was on the phone to ATSDR the very next day That was when I understood that the Marine Corps had not been honest with us And that we deserved answers Dyer enlisted her sister and launched Water Survivors Initially conceived as an information resource and a way to share stories and concerns the group has evolved into an advocacy organization with clout With the advice and counsel of Jan Schlictmann the attorney made famous for his lawsuit against W R Grace Corporation and its massive contamination of the town of Woburn Massachusetts Dyer and Strand started a web site www watersurvivors com that is the richest on line library of Lejeune related documents available She also had personal meetings with her elected representatives as well as with Marine representatives at the Pentagon and has been instrumental in the some 300 Form 95s intent to sue the federal government filed with the Navy JAG office Water Survivors is now a collective of more than 600 ardent outspoken well informed activists with personal ties to the Marine Corps and to the possibility of physical and psychological damage suffered through exposure to the tainted waters of Camp Lejeune I really believe Terry Dyer said that the toxic water at Lejeune took my father away He missed his children growing up He missed our marriages he missed his grandchildren And I m convinced the water deprived my sister of any kind of normal life So what should we do Nothing Let it pass What would you do if this was about you or your wife or sister or your children At the heart of the Water Survivors campaign is what Dyer expresses as a kind of outraged disappointment in what the Marine Corps has done to us all of us We ve got people who ve lost their kids or had to watch their kids grow up disabled And these are the children of Marines who were serving their country some of them in other countries or at sea If we can t depend on the military to protect its own where does that leave us This entire issue gets right to our basic values as Americans And as far as I m concerned the Marine Corps has done nothing so far but shut us out push us aside and pretend we don t matter Senator Jim Jeffords agrees We ve averted our eyes from this situation for far too long Jeffords said in a conversation in his Capitol Hill office in July There are families suffering in need of advice options resources The delay on this matter is simply unacceptable The delays first the inactivity in the early 1980s followed by the much longer period before an investigation was launched have led some observers to conclude that the Marine Corps attempted a cover up Or at least a deliberate effort to obscure and minimize the breadth and impact of Lejeune s water problem As I ve said before Jeffords said sunlight is the best disinfectant We need to shed light on what actually happened at Camp Lejeune and why Too much time elapsed between knowledge and action at every step in this affair The job now is to change that precedent to move forward and get to the bottom of things What that might mean for starters Jeffords said are Senate hearings I d like to hear directly from the Marine leadership the Senator told me I think we ve only just begun to understand the full extent of the Camp Lejeune contamination Malcolm Woolf Counsel to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_08/feature_TroubledWaters.htm (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive



  •