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  • The VVA Veteran
    1997 2001 are leading the effort Those of you who attended the National Convention in St Louis remember the rousing call to action by Keynote Speaker and Medal of Honor recipient Paul Bucha In his speech Bucha challenged each of us to take part in the democratic process by participating directly in the presidential primaries and the general election We are making plans for VVA delegations to attend the Republican and Democratic National conventions to make a case for a strong veterans plank in both parties platforms We all know the failures and successes of the VA system It is up to each of us to be strong forceful advocates for renewing the system that bears the motto To care for him who has borne the battle and his wife and orphan Election materials including issue papers posters buttons and postcards will be distributed soon The Public Affairs Committee urges each of you to talk to your neighbors co workers friends and relatives and inform them about the importance of voting You have probably noticed how the major party candidates have made an effort to woo veterans But on November 3 we will likely be relegated to the back burner

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/public_affairs.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    17 3 per 100 000 While there have been 24 confirmed soldier suicides in Iraq since the start of the war the circumstances of several other deaths still are under investigation That is why the range of percentages is used Despite this high suicide rate and a report from the commander of the Army s Landstuhl Germany Medical Center that 10 percent of casualties arriving from Iraq were evacuated with mental health problems Army mental health experts claim there is no crisis The Army however has established a toll free suicide hotline 800 464 8107 for stateside soldiers and 800 464 81077 for overseas soldiers It also offers Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training a suicide awareness training plan at several bases This program focuses on four areas the encouragement of help seeking behavior the development of life coping skills raised vigilance on suicide awareness and the integration and synchronization of unit and community programs The Army also has distributed wallet and dog tag size suicide awareness cards and desk cubes at Fort Lewis Washington The Army planned to handle psychological injuries in Iraq through the use of roving Combat Stress Control teams But there weren t enough teams in the field with every unit the teams often didn t have proper equipment such as radios Most importantly there was no senior mental health leader in Iraq a recommendation after the first Gulf War On the other hand the Marine Corps established a combat stress program Operational Stress Control and Readiness OSCAR in which teams are integral to the units back in garrison The fact of the matter is that the stress is going to get worse for soldiers and their families as units are held over in Iraq and as was the case in Vietnam and the frequency of terrorist

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/ptsd.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    biopsy indicated that I have non Hodgkin s lymphoma I went through chemotherapy treatment As I write this I am due back in the hospital for my seventh session of chemo There will be one more session After a month off I will start radiation treatments To all national officers directors committee chairs state council presidents chapter presidents and chapter members I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the prayers flowers cards and telephone calls They have helped my recovery I especially want to thank Grant and Kaye Coates who stayed on top of things and made sure that everyone who wanted to know was advised of developments I also want to thank Randy Barnes for his utmost concern about my well being and Alan Gibson who went out of his way to express his thoughts on my getting well The last person I would like to thank should have been the first Saving the first for last is the one person who shared all my pained and soulful moments and was there for almost every waking moment Fara my wife Although her father only recently had died she helped me through one of the

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/sgtATarms.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    be attending the AVVA Biennial Meeting you do not have to pay the registration fee for VVA But that means you cannot attend any VVA seminars Come to the AVVA table if you have not registered and do not plan to We will give you a name tag and AVVA s and VVA s agenda I strongly recommend that you come to the VVA Leadership Conference and the AVVA Biennial Meeting VVA has many great seminars planned and will give you a great amount of knowledge on issues that concern our veterans and their families I hope to see you there If you have questions or concerns please feel free to contact me What follows is an article submitted by AVVA member who of Chapter 223 Santa Rosa California about the efforts of the associates working side by side with the veterans in their community to make a difference Both AVVA members and VVA members are very active in their Veterans Homeless Outreach Members spend every other Sunday at the local homeless shelter helping fill out paperwork to get veterans at the shelter into the VA system for disability benefits and medical care During the week as time allows members go to the National Guard Armory and do the same thing Our homeless population has grown by leaps and bounds and we have made them a priority in our chapter s work AVVA life member Pat Jones and her husband have been very instrumental in this program She spends several days per week helping her guys obtain lost DD214s and get to appointments at local Vet Centers and VA clinics Chapter 223 members Ken Sullivan and Calvin Taylor help with transportation Pat Jones also is a full time housewife and she is home schooling three children Many Chapter 223 AVVA

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/avva.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    have found ways to use their energies and resources in a positive manner to better themselves and neighboring communities Chapter 70 at Moberly Missouri has two honors that will never be matched It was the very first VVA chapter to form in a prison and the first to have a state council president who was incarcerated at the time This chapter helped form the Missouri State Council it was at their instigation that the council was formed The chapter s leaders and counsel are still a major influence in the state Chapter members have built soap box derby cars for disabled children conducted a substance abuse program in the prison for many years and run a pre release pre employment program that has helped many former inmates readjust to society Chapter 393 at Jefferson City Missouri has quietly been working with the community for many years making donations to youth programs This chapter also has been responsible for creating excellent award plaques for organizations The craftsmanship is beyond compare Another program unique to this chapter is one in which members guard other inmates in the infirmary during exercise periods on the yard Chapter 833 in Bowlingreen Missouri is another incarcerated chapter that works tirelessly to improve the image of Vietnam veterans by supporting community programs and charitable activities This chapter honored Jeani Wells Region 6 Director for AVVA by naming its chapter after her brother Tommy Bill who lost his life in Vietnam The Tommy Bill Chapter has a donation program in which members let their hair grow long then cut it and donate it to make wigs for children being treated for cancer Chapter 848 at Cameron Missouri is the state s newest incarcerated chapter It has distinguished itself by raising funds and purchasing a flag pole and flags

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/vic.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    all who participated VVA National Government Relations staffers Rick Weidman and Bernie Edelman are leading this effort They did a great job But the job won t be finished until we all vote for politicians who will support mandatory funding for veterans health care The Daughters of the American Revolution paid tribute to a Region 6 member Kansas State Council President Michael Kuhn received special recognition as Outstanding Veteran Patient The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution gave this recognition to him for his outstanding achievements in personal professional and family life He was also recognized for his contributions of leadership patriotism and increased public awareness of veteran patients A yellow ribbon campaign was started in Topeka Kansas by VVA Chapter 604 The campaign gained strong support and before long Topeka was sold out of yellow ribbon When Country Radio Station 94 5 came on board and encouraged the listening audience to come on down and pick up yellow ribbons it wasn t long before almost every tree in Topeka had a yellow ribbon supporting our troops Thanks to State President Michael Kuhn VVA chapter 604 and Country Radio Station 94 5 Topeka Kansas has shown true patriotism in a time when our country is at war It s been almost thirty years since the end of the Vietnam War Let s try together as a group to diminish tensions and anger that still exist after thirty years If you have reconciled and are at peace with yourself it is especially important for you to be at VVA Milwaukee Chapter 324 s Thirty Years After the War commemoration Those of you who have found peace will have an opportunity to share that peace with others Healing wounds of the heart must be accomplished if we are to find peace

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/region6.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    just being ripped out of the jungle at the mouth of the A Shau Valley We were everywhere We were in Hue and helped liberate the city with direct cannon fire on the Citadel Unbelievably Clifton and his entire unit came out unscathed We never took direct fire except at Bastogne and that was just small arms fire he said We took rockets and RPGs from time to time But even though we were in the thick of it we didn t have a single casualty We lucked out big time Clifton came home in November 1968 his enlistment up He and his wife and young daughter moved to Miami where he took a job as an insurance investigator He was accepted at the University of Miami Law School but decided at the last minute to forgo law and try journalism I had always wanted to work in newspapers but didn t major in journalism I was a pre law student he said So I just took a flyer and thought I d throw myself on the mercy of every newspaper that I could contact I got my wife s support She said she d stick it out with me and do what it would take for me to get started in newspapers The first newspaper he contacted The Miami Heral d hired him He worked for the Action Line consumer help column Seven months later Clifton started reporting full time and soon was one of the paper s top investigative reporters Five years later he became an editor at The Heral d where he remained for a dozen more years He then became news editor at Knight Ridder s Washington Bureau from 1987 89 From there he moved to North Carolina where he was managing editor of the Charlotte News and Observe r Clifton went back to the Heral d as the paper s executive editor before taking the head job at the Plain Deale r five years ago His experiences in Vietnam Clifton told us have had a direct impact on his postwar career Being an officer in the Army was helpful in terms of leadership responsibility those kinds of things he said There are leadership lessons You develop leadership lessons from that sort of service Then there are the other more subtle lessons his time in Vietnam taught him Having emerged unscathed although I was in a lot of potential to get in trouble he said was the most dramatic example of what the luck of the draw is all about There is really nothing you can do that s going to alter your fate Serving in Vietnam he said was a life altering experience I ve always said that it s one of those things that if you had it to do all over again you wouldn t But having done it having it thrust upon you and coming out of it in one piece it was an experience that you re okay with You feel

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/arts.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    in Alabama when he transferred to the National Guard there in 1972 They report that Bush had other priorities during his tenure in the Guard noting that he took an eight week leave of absence after finishing flight training in September 1968 to work on a Senate campaign in Florida Taking a leave of absence they say would become a regular occurrence during his military service The authors also point out that from November 1972 to May 1973 records indicate Bush reported for Alabama National Guard duty nine times giving him more duty points than he needed to maintain his standing in the Guard FICTION IN BRIEF Grace F Edwards The Viaduct Doubleday 260 pp 22 95 is a well crafted everyman procedural It is set in Harlem in the 1970s and features Marin and Chance working class African Americans who served together in the Vietnam War The men s lives are going well despite some setbacks when tragedy strikes soon after Marin is mugged his newborn daughter is kidnapped With little help from the authorities Marin sets out to solve the heinous crime with Chance s help Edwards the author of the Mali Anderson detective series tells her story very well She does a good job of evoking the Harlem of the era creates believable characters and spins out a very convincing plot D L Birchfield s Field of Honor University of Oklahoma 236 pp 27 95 is a strangely plotted story starring U S Marine Patrick McDaniel A half blood Choctaw Indian McDaniel either deserted under fire in Vietnam or committed an incredible act of bravery The action and there s plenty of it takes place in 1976 with McDaniel hiding out in the Ouachita Mountains in Southeastern Oklahoma Very weird things start to happen to him involving a secret Army unit and a high tech underground Indian nation Is this satire allegory or just plain science fiction It s difficult to figure out but the plot keeps moving and surprises await at the end John J Nance s Fire Flight Simon Schuster 353 pp 25 is a thriller centering on a veteran pilot and airborne firefighter a dangerous conspiracy and two romantic relationships Nance the author of 16 books including ten novels is a USAF veteran of the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm James Finnegan s CMAC A Vietnam Era Trilogy I Universe 525 pp 27 95 paper contains three novels that follow the life of a young man who is drafted into the Army in 1966 and undergoes many adventures serving with the Capital Military Assistance Command in Vietnam Finnegan did a tour with the U S Army Signal Corps in Vietnam For more info go to www saigonwarrior com Longtime VVA member James Rayle s autobiographical novel Stay Out of the Wheat Field 1st Books 302 pp 15 95 paper is now available in a new edition at online booksellers and may be ordered at your local bookstore Rayle tells the story of Bobby

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2004_05/books.htm (2016-02-16)
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