RESTORING THE CONSTITUTION WOULD REPAY A DEBT TO VETERANS — WASHINGTON TIMES — In addition to commemorating the 651,031 Americans who lost their lives in wars, Memorial Day and other soon-to-be-celebrated patriotic commemorations — such as Flag Day and Independence Day — should inspire elected officials to act as soon as possible to hold an Article V convention to restore essential political safeguards that helped to make this nation great in the past.
Mismanagement and waste in government agencies, exemplified by the disastrous conditions at hospitals run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), show the need for serious reforms at the national level, changes that can’t be made through normal legislative processes.
The airmen, Marines, and soldiers who lost their lives in our nation’s armed conflicts would be ashamed of the current state of politics in America. Our national government faces an annual budget deficit of $511 billion and a national debt of $19.2 trillion. Although the Republican-controlled Congress has been working on a balanced budget amendment, a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress is necessary to approve a constitutional amendment, and the lack of Democrat co-sponsorship makes it all but impossible to achieve the needed reform.
This should not be a partisan issue. Americans of all political stripes are acknowledging their disgust with the current political gridlock. According to a poll released on May 19 by CBS News and The New York Times, 77 percent of people say they disapprove of the job performance of Congress.
VETERAN OF NORMANDY LANDINGS: ‘WHEN THEY NEEDED ME, I WENT — MILCOM — YAKIMA, Wash. — In the heavy fighting in France during World War II, 12 men serving around Rollo Worden would die or be badly injured in a day.
Six soldiers would hurriedly replace them; so green that they didn’t know how to dig a foxhole, three or four would quickly be killed by the next morning, Worden told the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Such ongoing losses are the reality of war, and Worden remembers it all too well on the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day assault on German-occupied France in 1944.
“How I made it through I have no idea. There was no way I could have,” Worden said in an interview at his Terrace Heights home.
“It really takes a toll on the mind.”
10 THINGS WE KNOW FOR SURE ABOUT MODERN VETERANS — T&P — Here are 10 findings from a decade’s worth of research on veterans’ transitions.
Over the last 15 years, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been studied and dissected from innumerable angles. No group has spent more time studying their needs, habits, challenges and strengths than the nonprofit RAND Corporation, which focuses on developing public policy solutions to complex national problems.
RAND has released a new report — Ten Frequently Asked Questions About Veterans’ Transitions — that sifts through a wealth of studies it conducted over the last decade to highlight findings about veterans’ transition and reintegration.
Thanks to RAND’s commitment to ask the right questions and exhaustively examine available data, the 10 findings, summarized below, remain valuable for current policy discussions.
HUMBLE VIETNAM VET POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED PURPLE HEART — REPUBLICAN HERALD — The veterans of the Vietnam War got a raw deal when they came home. Most were drafted, were sent to Southeast Asia to fight to keep North Vietnam from taking over South Vietnam. A fight to maintain democracy, such as it was in South Vietnam, against the communist North Vietnam. That’s basically the idea in a nutshell.
The war was also the first televised war. War is brutal, and now people could see its effects on the evening news. It had an impact on public opinion as much as the photos by Mathew Brady of the Civil War, the first images people who were not involved saw the results of war. No pun intended, it was not a pretty picture.
Those who served and fought during the Vietnam War were treated like dirt by protesters and others, treating them like criminals. Maybe even worse than criminals. It’s not a surprise than many who served in Vietnam, which in itself was a hard experience, don’t talk much about it.
STORY HELPS GROUP LOCATE RELATIVES OF M.I.A. WWII VETERAN — STAR NEWS — Memorial Day meant a little more this year to Sandy Keith of Delco.
She knew her grandfather, Henry Herschell Mosley, had died in World War II, but didn’t know much about the circumstances.
“We always tried to find out about it,” she said.
This year, however, Keith was contacted by Stichting M.I.A., a Dutch volunteer group that tries to seek the stories of American soldiers missing in action on the World War II battlefields of Northern Europe. Bart Van Der Sterren, a member of Stichting (Foundation) M.I.A., sent Keith photos of Memorial Day activities at the Netherlands American Cemetery near Margraten, including flowers laid near Mosley’s inscription on the “Wall of Missing.”
Van Der Sterren started inquiries through the Cape Fear Museum and StarNews to contact Mosley’s surviving relatives.
KOREAN WAR VET MAHONEY, 83, STILL FIGHTING WAR DISABILITY CASE — LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL — Like the quote from the general he fought for during the Korean War, old soldier Pvt. Charles P. Mahoney didn’t die.
And at 83 years old — to paraphrase Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s “old-soldiers-never-die” speech — he’s not yet ready to fade away, at least from his Veterans Affairs war-stress disability case that’s nearly as old as MacArthur’s 1951 famous farewell address to Congress.
Having nearly exhausted his appeals in the VA’s administrative courts, the Las Vegas resident, with the help of veterans advocate Phil Cushman, is preparing a complaint letter to be sent in the next few weeks to Nevada’s U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden.
The letter will demand an investigation into the VA’s alleged violations of Mahoney’s right to due process of law, obstruction of justice, ignoring medical evidence “and continuously defrauding him out of service-connected disability compensation benefits commencing during 1952,” Cushman wrote in an email to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Cushman, a Vietnam War combat Marine from Oregon, won a “due process” challenge that was heard in a federal appeals court and resulted in an award for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the VA in 2011. The award came 12 years after he filed the challenge and 34 years after the VA had fraudulently altered his medical record.
UNSEEN PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE VIETNAM WAR — DAILY MAIL (UK) — Here are the unseen photographs of the Vietnam War, taken by American soldiers during their tours of duty.
Unlike the iconic images taken by photojournalists that have come to characterize the war, photo editor Kendra Rennick was interested in ‘snap shots and candid moments’ from the soldiers themselves.
The project was initially inspired by Rennick’s close friend, whose father died and left behind a box of slides he had taken during the war.
The veteran returned home with post traumatic stress disorder, but never spoke of his time in Vietnam, leaving behind unanswered questions and untold stories marked only by the box of images.
Through The Vietnam Slide Project, Rennick hopes to shine a light on the unseen history while honoring each participating veteran as a person and collaborator.
‘There are so many memories that have never been told because of the way media and even the government viewed this conflict,’ she told FeatureShoot.com.
‘I am most interested in photo slides for their aesthetic, as well as slides’ original intention.
‘The idea that slides are shot with the hopes of being shown to a group of people and projected on a wall interests me. Most people have no way of viewing their slides so they usually sit in a box untouched or viewed.’
Rennick is soliciting more slides as she hopes to grow the ongoing archival project.
CAN VETERAN COMBAT DOGS CURE POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS? — HCP — Reuniting dogs and soldiers? Talk about a feel-good project.
An American Medical Association delegation’s proposal to support reuniting retired combat dogs with their handlers looked like an easy winner.
Who could object to seeing battle-weary canine heroes returned to their human partners?
But today at the AMA’s annual meeting when the measure came up for discussion, there was strong opposition.
One issue is that the resolution assumes that such reunions are therapeutic for service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). – See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/can-veteran-combat-dogs-cure-post-traumatic-stress#sthash.wXIpZWFC.dpuf
HUNDREDS HONOR WELL-KNOWN HMONG VETERAN IN FRESNO — KFSN — FRESNO, Calif. — Family members, friends and dignitaries remembered a Vietnam War veteran in Fresno Saturday and his groundbreaking accomplishments.
Lt. Col. Peter Chou Vang died in Merced this May but hundreds of people gathered at the Fresno Fairgrounds in his memory Saturday.
Vang was one of the first Hmong pilots trained by Americans to serve as a member of the CIA and fight the war in Laos.
He was also one of the first Hmong pioneers to relocate to the Central Valley after the war.
“He came here to be an American and he came because of the American dream, and his kids now are Americans,” 31st District assemblyman Joaquin Arambula said. “It’s an honor that those who worked and fought for our country have the ability to pursue that dream.”
Family members say his body will be laid to rest in Los Angeles.