American Veteran News 04.30.16

MEMPHIS VA HAS 4 SUSPICIOUS DEATHS ON ITS HANDS — DAILY CALLER — There are four suspicious deaths in the spinal cord wing of the Memphis Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), according to two new complaints to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

The Daily Caller exclusively received these two complaints both emailed on April 27, 2016, to the OSC; the complainants wish to remain anonymous.

“The drains in the bathrooms were in adequate along with the ventilation system. Gross misuse of staff and HUGE infection control issue.”

One complainant stated recounting a conversation they had with the Chief of the Spinal Cord Unit, Dr. Sandra Kirkland. “When I asked her about my concerns of feces overflowing and going into other pts [patients] rooms and the concern about pat (patient) and the bowel trainer being enclosed in a small area with adequate ventilation she responded, ‘Don’t you think if there was an issue the engineers would have been up here?’ 30 minutes later I spoke with Alice a nurse on 1 East who informed me that the Engineers HAD been alerted and had come up to investigate because the leakage was affecting the places underneath the area. In other words it was leaking through the ceiling down stairs.”


GOP LAWMAKERS QUESTION MISSING BIBLES AT VA CLINICS — THE HILL — A group of lawmakers are expressing concern about Bibles that they say were removed from display at Veterans Affairs clinics.

The leaders of the Congressional Prayer Caucus — Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) — are demanding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) replace Bibles they say were removed from displays at three clinics around the country.

“We request an explanation as to why the Bibles were removed from the three VA facilities,” Lankford, Forbes, and dozens of other lawmakers wrote Thursday in a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

The Bibles were part of the Missing Man Table displays, which honor members of the military who are missing in action. “One of the objects on the table is a Bible, meant to ‘represent the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God,” they wrote.

According to the lawmakers, VA staffers removed the Bibles from Missing Man Table displays in Ohio and Texas following complaints from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

The lawmakers argued the Bibles should be replaced because they say they do not violate the constitution principle of the separation of church and state.

“The Establishment Clause does not require that you remove Bibles from the Missing Man Table displays,” the lawmakers wrote. “The mere presence of a Bible coerces no one.”

“The Establishment Clause exists to ensure that the government cannot affirmatively impose or elevate on religion over another,” they added. “However, it does not prohibit the government from referencing religion altogether, nor does it require the government to scrub all references of religion from the public square.”


6 TRANSITION MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN YOU’RE GETTING OUT OF THE MILITARY — T&P — As you prepare to get out of the military, don’t make these mistakes.

There are some days you never forget — the day you turn 21, your wedding, and the birth of a child. But for those of us in the veteran community, those days also include your expiration of term of service day.

In 2010, burned out and ready to grow a beard, I left the Army and made damn near every mistake you can. As a result, my readjustment period was the worst year of my life, even worse than my deployment.

A few years older and wiser, I’ve compiled a list of my mistakes so that you can learn from them.


LOVE THE MIDWEST? CHECK OUT THESE 6 VET-FRIENDLY COMPANIES HIRING THERE NOW — T&P — Here are six military-friendly Hirepurpose partner companies with positions open now in the Midwest.

Transitioning from the military can be a wide open-opportunity to either return to your home of record or expand your horizons to relocate to a new area, full of possibility. Known for its changing seasons, lower cost of living, contrasting small-town charms, and urban centers of commerce, the Midwest is a great place to explore your next career adventure. Thousands of positions are currently available for veterans of varying levels of experience and expertise in the states of Illinois, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Here are six military-friendly Hirepurpose partner companies with positions open now in the Midwestern region.


COUNSELING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES INCREASES RESOURCES TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FROM VETERANS — COLUMBIA SPECTATOR — Red construction paper silhouettes of 22 military veterans stretched across the front of Butler Library for several hours on the afternoon of April 13. The display, created by Columbia Milvets and Active Minds, represented the 22 American veterans, on average, who commit suicide every day.

“We wanted to make sure that everyone knew there was somebody they could reach out to at all times,” Milvets Director of Health and Welfare Matt Lutz, GS ’17, said.

Lutz’s position for Milvets was created two years ago in the wake of a Columbia student and military veteran’s suicide. Now Lutz, on behalf of Milvets , is partnering with Counseling and Psychological Services and School of General Studies administrators to expand mental health resources for veterans.


VIETNAM VET RECEIVES MEDALS 48 YEARS AFTER WAR — USAF — SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — “It’s been quite a day for me,” said an emotional retired Army Sergeant Cecil Wade after he received the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor and a second bronze star device for his Vietnam Service Medal in a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, April 22, 2016.

“I even polished my boots for the occasion,” he said, which brought a chuckle from the more than 600 attendees who came to witness the official ceremony in the base’s library auditorium.

Those in the audience included his wife, Kriste, his father-in-law–a World War II veteran–Eugene Smith, and Kriste’s cousin, Linda Cameron and her husband–also a Vietnam Vet, who served in the Army’s 1st Calvary Division–Gary. Army Col. Kevin Lynch, who is assigned to the Defense Information Systems Agency at SAFB, presided over the ceremony.

Wade led About 50 Patriot Guard and Combat Vets Motorcycle Association members in formation onto base for the event.


MEMORIAL ERECTED TO WWII 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION SOLDIERS — WWNY — A memorial is being dedicated in Italy to 25 American soldiers — most from the 10th Mountain Division — who drowned in an Alpine lake when their amphibious vehicle sank during World War II.

The marble monument is being dedicated in the northern Italian village of Torbole on Saturday, the 71st anniversary of the sinking of the vehicle known as a DUKW.

The dead included 24 members of the 10th Mountain Division and a soldier from another unit.

The vehicle sank after a storm blew up while they were crossing Lake Garda on the night of April 30, 1945. Their bodies were never recovered. A 26th soldier survived the sinking.

Three Vietnam-era American veterans helped raise $5,000 for the memorial.

The monument bears the names of the 25 soldiers, along with the insignia of the 10th Mountain, based in northern New York since the mid-1980s.


VIETNAM VETERAN RETURNS TO FIND REMAINS OF FELLOW MARINE — CARSON NOW — In his quest to find the remains of his boyhood friend and fellow Marine lost to the mountains of Vietnam, Michael Archer met a solider for the other side.

“He looked at me and he had tears in his eyes,” Archer recalled. “He said, ‘You know, we’re pretty lucky.’ I started crying. You never expect to hear that from a man you were trying to kill.”

Archer’s latest book, “The Long Goodbye,” traces the story of Lance Corporal Thomas Patrick Mahoney III, who disappeared during the bloody, months-long Battle of Khe Sanh.

“He was one of the last people killed when we were abandoning the hill,” Archer said.

Although Archer was fighting in the same battle, he was in a different unit. Later, some of the Marines in Mahoney’s unit approached Archer, a known historian and avid researcher.

“They felt they left him behind,” Archer said. “That they abandoned him.”

Understanding survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder himself, Archer agreed to help them track down what happened to their mutual friend.


MEMORIAL SET FOR 25 WWII US SOLDIERS LOST IN ITALIAN LAKE — WCAX — ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A memorial is being dedicated in Italy to 25 American soldiers who drowned in an Alpine lake when their amphibious vehicle sank during World War II.

The marble monument is being dedicated in the northern Italian village of Torbole on Saturday, the 71st anniversary of the sinking of the vehicle known as a DUKW. The dead included 24 members of the 10th Mountain Division and a soldier from another unit.

The vehicle sank after a storm blew up while they were crossing Lake Garda on the night of April 30, 1945. Their bodies were never recovered. A 26th soldier survived the sinking.

Three Vietnam-era American veterans helped raise $5,000 for the memorial. The monument bears the names of the 25 soldiers, along with the insignia of the 10th Mountain, based in northern New York since the mid-1980s.


HOW TO GET THE ATTENTION OF RECRUITERS — MILCOM — As you begin the transition to a civilian career, you are likely faced with a job search. Getting your resume to the right recruiters, in the right way, is a big part of your career strategy.

Recruiters are constantly approached by job seekers via Monster.com and other job sites, through their company website, via email, and in person. How do you ensure your resume will stand out?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, host of the Workology Podcast, is President/CEO of Xceptional HR and a leader in the human resources field. She suggests job applicants approach recruiters about opportunities with their company, even if a position is not posted.

Miller-Merrell offers advises we “Use the power of the internet combined with email messages to engage, customize, and create an impression with recruiters and hiring managers that encourages them to learn more about you. While the job search process is a numbers game, you can stack the odds in your favor by customizing your messages and tapping into your professional network in creative, targeted ways.”


5 MYTHS THAT CAN RAIN ON YOUR RETIREMENT PARTY — MILCOM — Do you dream of the day you can retire, but aren’t sure how to get there? You’re not alone. Many people find it easier to avoid reality when it comes to planning for retirement. “That can lead to big mistakes in their retirement income planning,” says Zachary Gipson, vice president of retirement and wealth planning at USAA.

Here’s a look at five common myths that could derail your expectations for income when you retire.


SENATE LEGISLATION SHRINKS GI BILL HOUSING ALLOWANCE OVER TIME — MILCOM — Senate lawmakers on Thursday approved an omnibus Veterans Affairs bill they say expands programs without paying for them at the expense of others by reworking the GI Bill housing payment to mirror that received by active-duty members.

The nearly 400-page Veterans First Act approved by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee does not, for example, include a provision to cut the housing allowance for children going to college on a parent’s GI Bill — a controversial measure that is part of the House Veterans Affairs Committee package.

“The way this is being paid for doesn’t damage the benefits of veterans who receive in other areas,” Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, said during a group press conference on Thursday morning. “So we’re not taking away a benefit to pay for another benefit.”

However, a source told Military.com on Thursday the legislation does roll back spending elsewhere.

To THE VETERANS VOICE

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