American Veteran News 05.11.16

INJURED VETERAN LOBBIES FOR VA TO PAY FOR IVF — CBS DENVER — A paralyzed veteran and his fiancé will be in Washington, D.C. this week fighting to have a family. They need an expensive fertility treatment in order to have children, but Veterans Administration health benefits don’t cover the procedure.

The Colorado couple will be lobbying lawmakers for change.

“I want a family, we want a family more than anything,” Tyler Wilson told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

His marriage to Crystal Black is set for July 1, but the two are already in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). It is the only way the couple can conceive.

Army Cpl. Tyler Wilson explained that on May 3, 2005, “It was raining bullets.” He was on a rescue mission in Afghanistan. He was hit by four bullets. One pierced his spine.

TWO COMBAT AMPUTEES RACE TO THE TOP OF MT. EVEREST — DAILY BEAST — These two veterans didn’t fight in the same battlefield, but now they’re on the similar but parallel mission: to be the first combat amputee at the top of Mt. Everest.

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chad Jukes, 32, lost his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq. Former U.S. Marine Charlie Linville, 30, had part of his leg removed after he stepped on a buried explosive in Afghanistan.

Both returned to the United States with post-traumatic stress. Both searched for a way to relieve that stress in their own lives and raise awareness of it in others. Then, separately, they came up with the same inspiring solution.

“Not only will I be climbing the tallest mountain in the world but I’ll be doing it while raising issues for veterans,” Jukes said.

That’s a sentiment Linville would likely agree with. The former Marine is making his ascent alongside other members of the Heroes Project, a non-profit that works to promote better care for veterans.

EUPHORIC THERAPY CAN HELP VETERANS — FOX RADIO — n today’s “Housecall for Health,” FOX’s Alex Hein reports on how euphoric therapy can help veterans better cope with their post traumatic stress disorder triggers:

The triggers for post traumatic stress disorder can appear in unexpected places. For one veteran who served in Afghanistan, fireworks made him visualize grizzly images of mangled bodies.

James, who’s last name is withheld, said that during his deployment he had to sever the connection between his heart and head in order to be able to process images of soldiers’ and children’s bodies mangled by explosions.

But when he got back, he couldn’t reestablish the connection. He became unpredictable and was unable to control his emotions.

He tried traditional and non traditional forms of therapy, but found the most help in an experimental study involving MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or molly.

One expert said that if a trained therapist can harness the euphoria and feelings of overwhelming love that ecstasy can invoke, it could help patients navigate through trauma.

TOP 10 PLACES TO WORK IN THE GOVERNMENT: A COMPARISON — MILCOM — ccording to, the top government agencies to work at are listed below. To see how users are rating these agencies on a platform that many job seekers use when assessing a company or organization, we also compared this ranking with Glassdoor’s ranking system. The 10 Best Places to Work in the U.S. Government:

1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (76.1)
2. Intelligence Community (67.1)
3. Department of Justice (66.3)
4. Department of State (66.3)
5. Department of Commerce (66.2)
6. Social Security Administration (66.0)
7. Department of Health and Human Services (63.9)
8. Department of Labor (63.1)
9. Department of Transportation (63.1)
10. US Department of the Air Force (60.0)

VETERANS LAND BOARD SCANDAL — TEXAS.GOV — Bribery. Theft. Corruption. Violence.

These are not the words the 49th Legislature of Texas envisioned when Land Commissioner Bascom Giles appealed to them on March 28, 1945 to “do [their] duty on behalf of the Texas veterans” and authorize a land program in order to provide returning World War II veterans a means to purchase land in Texas. The Veterans Land Act was billed as a noble venture to recognize and reward the sacrifices of Texas veterans, echoing the efforts of past generations. However it was subverted and abused by the very man who sold the idea to Texans from the start, Land Commissioner Giles. The Veterans Land Act allowed for the exploitation of hundreds of Texas veterans, damaged the credibility of the General Land Office, and could have cost Texas taxpayers millions.

A small town newspaper reporter and World War II veteran, Kenneth Towery of the Cuero Record, unraveled the case leading to the apprehension and imprisonment of Commissioner Giles for his misdeeds, showing what one man could do when he questioned his government. Documents housed in the GLO Archives, including correspondence, application files, court judgments, the scrapbook of Bascom Giles grand juror Virginia McNeal Conkle, and Kenneth Towery’s papers preserve this unfortunate chapter in Texas history.

VETERANS’ STUDENT LOAN RELIEF FUND HELPS VETS MISLED INTO USING THEIR GI BILL BENEFITS. — STAR TRIBUNE — Four veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars recently were awarded $5,000 grants to help pay down student loan debt they racked up while attending for-profit colleges.

The grants came from the Veterans’ Student Loan Relief Fund, a four-year-old organization that has helped more than 40 veterans it says have been misled into draining their GI Bill benefits and taking out onerous student loans.

It was created by Jerome Kohlberg, a World War II veteran and early champion of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The relief fund accepts applications for grants of up to $5,000 for qualified active-duty military, veterans and family members who believe for-profit education companies have deceived them. For more information, go to

The for-profit college industry has come under considerable fire in the last few years, particularly for how it has marketed itself as an attractive outlet for GI Bill benefits.

TO HELL AND BACK — ESPN — The eyes of Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr. have seen a lot. The hills of Afghanistan and the mound at Comiskey Park in Chicago. His newborn son and what he thought might be his own death. A life his wife didn’t quite deserve and the wedding she did. The ceilings of countless operating rooms and the skies above athletic venues where he would set world records.

On this mid-April day, though, those eyes are focused on the icy road ahead. A freak snowstorm has blown into the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area, but DT — the name everyone calls him — needs to get to the local fitness center at Woodmen Hills in Peyton to train for the upcoming second-ever Invictus Games (May 8-12) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. That’s where the 41-year-old will compete against other wounded warriors from 13 other countries in the discus, shot put, power lifting and recumbent cycling.

This fitness trip is also an opportunity for some father-son bonding time, so Izzy, his 13-year-old namesake, comes along for the ride in the four-wheel-drive truck. “I apologize,” DT says to the visitors. “I’m not in the best condition. I hurt my shoulder a few weeks ago shoveling 4 feet of snow in my driveway.”


And behind bars, many of them don’t have access to the services they need to get their lives back on track.

That’s what the participants on the A&E documentary series “60 Days In” learned during their stay at Clark County Jail in southern Indiana.

The show follows seven people who go undercover as inmates for two months to expose problems within the system.

One of the participants, Zac, estimated that 10% of the inmates he lived with were veterans, all of whom suffered from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Like many drug-addicted inmates, they often resorted to homemade drugs to self-medicate.

EAST TEXAS SALUTE TO FEATURE TRAVELING VIETNAM WALL, CAR SHOW AND MORE AT SATURDAY EVENT — TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH — A tribute to the soldiers who gave their all in the Vietnam War returns to the American Freedom Museum in Bullard this weekend.

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute and the American Freedom Museum will host the East Texas Salute from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The free event will feature the Travelling Vietnam Wall, which honors those who lost their lives in the war. The event also will bring in dozens of classic cars, military vehicles, vendors and more.

“We’ve been doing it for over 10 years now,” AVTT Coordinator Don Allen said. “The purpose is to travel to communities throughout the United States to provide a forum for those to honor our veterans and service members.”

VETERANS SEEK ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS TO POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS — JOHNSON COUNTY GRAPHIC — (BPT) – Most people can’t imagine being terrified by the sound of a fork falling and hitting the ground. They don’t understand how someone cannot sleep because the fear of recurring nightmares keeps them awake. They’ve never experienced anxiety that turns everyday tasks into impossible chores.

But for thousands of American veterans, these are just a few symptoms that can make their lives unbearable. And while millions are aware of the condition they suffer from — post-traumatic stress or PTS — few are able to grasp the severity of the condition, and medical science is a long way from understanding the neurological causes of PTS.

In the news, stories of PTS tend to focus on bureaucratic mishandling, ineffective medications that have severe side effects and the general tragedy of those who are afflicted. However, there is also a side of the story that has to do with hope, strength and love. While a single cure has not yet been discovered for PTS, there are many instances of veterans finding peace and a path to recovery through some non-conventional — and often controversial — means.

MOBILE SERVICE OFFICE FOR DISABLED VETERANS COMING TO SOUTH DAKOTA MAY 24-27 — RAPID CITY JOURNAL — A Kentucky-based nonprofit organization for disabled veterans will be running a free mobile service office in South Dakota on May 24-27 to answer questions about veterans’ benefits and services.

Many veterans feel confused about their entitlements, which also undergo changes from year to year, the nonprofit group DAV (Disabled American Veterans) said in a media release. The DAV Mobile Service Office aims to clarify the confusion by providing free counseling and claim-filing assistance to veterans and their family members.

The mobile office will be set up in a different location each day, where it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On May 24, it will be at the Fort Meade VA Medical Center, 113 Comanche Road, Fort Meade; on May 25, Hot Springs VA Medical Center, 500 N. Fifth St., Hot Springs; May 26, DAV Rapid City Chapter 3, 101 E. Madison St., Rapid City; and on May 27, Hughes County Courthouse, 104 E. Capital Ave., Pierre.

GOV. EDWARDS ORDERS FLAGS AT HALF STAFF FOR WWII VETERAN — KNOE — BATON ROUGE (Office of the Governor) – Governor John Bel Edwards ordered the flags of the United States and the State of Louisiana to be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol and all public buildings until sunset on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 in honor of Mr. Frank Levingston.

Mr. Levingston was the oldest living man in the United States and the oldest verified surviving American World War II veteran. He died in Louisiana on May 4, 2016 at the age of 110. Mr. Levingston enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 6, 1942 and served in the Allied invasion in Italy. Receiving an honorable discharge in 1945, he later settled in Louisiana and became a proud citizen of this state.

“My wife Donna and I are keeping Frank Levingston’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers,” said Gov. Edwards. “Mr. Levingston lived to see the governance of nineteen presidents and both world wars. His wealth of lived experience was a treasure to this state and our great nation. His bravery and service to the United States were honorable, and I am proud to issue this executive order in his memory today.”

AIR FORCE VETERANS MEET 43 YEARS AFTER HANOI TAXI — MILCOM — ROMEOVILLE — On Feb. 12, 1973, three Lockheed Martin C-141 Starlifters each returned 40 prisoners of war to America from Hanoi, North Vietnam.

James “Buck” Johnson of Coal City was in the Air Force at the time. He was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, assigned to work on C-141s, which brought back most of the 591 prisoners of war held by North Vietnam. The aircraft became known as the “Hanoi Taxi.”

Members of the first flights were imprisoned the longest — six to eight years — and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. John Borling was one of them.

On Friday, Johnson met Borling at Culver’s on Weber Road in Romeoville. It was part of a fundraiser by Project Join Us, which aims to connect commerce and philanthropy while raising funds for various U.S. military and charity organizations, and Allen Force, which promotes a healthy and successful lifestyle for all veterans and their families by providing networking, fitness and recreational opportunities and community events.

Johnson was surprised to meet one of the men he helped bring home decades ago.

TEAM PHOENIX PLANNING SECOND ANNUAL FUNDRAISER FOR PTSD DOGS — NEWS-HERALD — Last year members of the American Legion Ladies Auxilliary Unit 478, the American Legion Riders and the Southgate Veteran’s of Foreign War post came together to call themselves “Team Phoenix” and start a fundraising drive to help pay for training and support of a post traumatic stress disorder dog for a soldier.

A year later the group is hoping to do the same thing again for another veteran. The Trenton American Legion Post 426, 2423 W. Jefferson, is hosting the fundraiser this year.

This year’s recipient will be Jeff Wahl, a Navy combat veteran suffering from many ailments including PTSD, a traumatic brain injury, cognitive disorder, and several physical injuries.

Wahl, a 17 year veteran served seven tours in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan as well as time in Cuba.

The fundraiser will be held Aug. 6 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. A suggested donation of $15 per person gets the attendee a barbeque chicken dinner, corn, potatoes, baked beans, salad, bread and dessert.

Entertainment for the night will be provided by DJ Skip. Other fundraisers will include auctions, raffles and a 50/50 drawing.

LUMBERTON VETERAN BRINGS TUSKEGEE AIRMEN HISTORY TO LIFE — ROBESONIAN — LAURINBURG — At age 89, James E. Jones is not your average senior. He drives and remains active in his Masonic lodge, serving as treasurer. He is also a pastor, who still takes time to speak to youth groups, churches and other organizations throughout the year.

But if you take away those things, Jones is still not your average Joe.

Jones is a part of history as one of less than 300 living members of the Tuskegee Airmen crew. He was a maintenance specialist with the first U.S. black pilot outfit during World War II.

Jones, who lives in Lumberton, was in Laurinburg Wednesday for the first day of the Rise Above Traveling exhibit set up at The Main Table restaurant parking lot. The exhibit, which tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, packed up Saturday to move to its next venue in Virginia.

Officials with the African American Cultural Society, the group that organized the exhibit, wanted to share the inspiring story of the airmen and their crew and the obstacles the trailblazers had to overcome to serve their country.


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