American Veteran News 07.18.16

NEW RESEARCH LINKS DUST AT IRAQ’S CAMP VICTORY TO ILL SOLDIERS — S&S — WASHINGTON — Titanium and other metals found in dust at a base in Iraq have been linked to the dust found in six sick soldiers’ lungs, according to a study set to be released Monday.

"We biopsied several patients and found titanium in every single one of them," said Anthony Szema, an assistant professor at Stony Brook School of Medicine who specializes in pulmonology and allergies. "It matched dust that we have collected from Camp Victory" in Iraq.

The dust is different from dust found elsewhere in that human lungs are unable to dispel it through natural immune-system processes. The Iraq dust comes attached to iron and copper, and it forms polarizable crystals in the lungs, Szema said. The particles — each bit 1/30th the size of a human hair — have sharp edges.

"They’ve inhaled metal," Szema said. "It’s not a little; it’s a lot."

All of the veterans came in for help because they were short of breath, said Szema, who also heads the allergy clinic at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport, N.Y. Dozens have been diagnosed with constrictive bronchiolitis, a narrowing of the lung’s smallest passageways that occurs only after exposure to an environmental toxin or in lung-transplant patients.

WHY VETERANS GROUPS ARE SPEAKING OUT AGAINST ‘ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK’ — CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR — The latest season of Netflix’s original series “Orange is the New Black” has received widespread acclaim from critics and viewers alike, but there’s at least one demographic that isn’t applauding the most recent adventures of the women of Litchfield Penitentiary: veterans.

Groups including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America, and Disabled American Veterans have spoken out against the show’s portrayal of veterans-turned-guards in its fourth season, calling the representation “offensive” and demanding an apology.

“‘Orange is the New Black’ had the opportunity to portray veterans in a way that shed light on an identity that’s widely misunderstood; but instead, the show fed into the very worst stereotypes that we’ve been working so hard to overcome,” wrote veteran Tahlia Burton in a recent blog post for military news and culture website Task & Purpose.

VOLUNTEERS REPAY VETERANS AT MEDICAL CENTER — TIMES-LEADER — PLAINS TWP. — Amid the plates full of hamburgers, hot dogs, pierogies and corn on the cob, Gordon Witsitt sat ensconced in a wheelchair with nothing more than a cup of chocolate-colored liquid and a straw.

“I can’t eat any of the food,” the Vietnam veteran smiled as other veterans from the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center sat around the pavilion Saturday and noshed on a cornucopia of homemade cookout fare.

Witsitt didn’t seem to mind what he was missing while stuck on his liquid diet. He was happy to to get outside and enjoy the company.

“They can’t take that away from me,” he beamed.

Veterans from the hospital and its nursing home had their monthly opportunity to socialize and enjoy a cookout courtesy of several Hazleton area businesses and volunteers from the Lehigh County-based chapter of Rolling Thunder. Eight members of the motorcycle club made the trip to help veterans out to the pavilion and serve food if needed.

LOWE’S DELIVERS PATRIOTIC TABLE TO VETERANS MUSEUM — THE DAILY HERALD — Adorned with the signatures of hundreds of military veterans, the Roanoke Valley Veterans Museum’s newest piece on display is a patriotic picnic table.

The table was donated Friday by Lowe’s of Roanoke Rapids.

Susan Etheridge, department manager of Inside Lawn and Garden at Lowe’s, said her store has a lot of veterans that come through, which inspired her to start the project.

Using a similar project from a Lowe’s in Delaware as a template, she said she began putting together and painting the table about three weeks ago with help from Assistant Store Manager Jamey Strome and some other employees.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING PLANE CRASH: THE STORY — FIRST TO KNOW — In 1945 a B-25 Mitchell bomber plane crashed into the Empire States Building in New York City, causing a number of deaths, casualties and millions of dollars of damage. How could such a catastrophic event occur? and what happened in the aftermath? Let’s take a closer look at one of the most shocking aviation accidents in American history.

It was Saturday, July 28, 1945 when pilot William Franklin Smith Jr., a World War II veteran with over 30 bombing missions to his name, was flying the B-25 Mitchell plane from Bedford, Massachusetts to Newark Airport. With thick fog making visibility difficult, Smith contacted La Guardia Airport to request permission to land there instead, but they advised him of zero visibility and instructed him to carry on to Newark whilst maintaining 1,500 feet while crossing over Manhattan.

It is not clear whether he then mistook the East River for the Hudson and therefore began to descend too soon, or if he just became disorientated because of the fog, but in any case the plane swooped to around 500 feet and was heading straight for the RCA building (aka the GE building) at 30 Rockefeller Center. He managed to avoid crashing into it by swerving at the last moment, but now the plane was on a collision course with the Empire State Building. Smith desperately attempted to outclimb the building, but it was too late; witnesses below heard a huge explosion as the plane crashed into the building.

A GROWING NUMBER OF STATE PROGRAMS BENEFIT VETERAN ENTREPRENEURS — MILCOM — A growing number of states are encouraging entrepreneurship among veterans by either waiving or steeply discounting fees for new business incorporation and annual report filing — a move that can save veterans hundreds of dollars or more.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), veterans make up 1 out of every 10 small business owners across the country. Along with having put their lives on the line to protect our country, these military heroes are responsible for providing jobs to nearly 6 million Americans. Additionally, not only are veterans more likely to run more than one business, veteran-owned businesses tend to last longer, thus making significant contributions to the American economy.

Because of veterans’ business success rate, an increasing number of states are recognizing that it pays to support veteran entrepreneurs. For example:

70-YEAR-OLD RANGER BLINDED IN VIETNAM SAYS HE’S BEEN ON ‘EXTENDED NIGHT MISSION’ — T&P — After going blind at 24, Capt. Stephen Maguire told himself he was on an extended night mission.

Thursday afternoon in Fort Benning’s Marshall Auditorium, no one could see more clearly what it meant to be an elite U.S. Army Ranger than retired Capt. Stephen C. Maguire.

While serving as a recon platoon leader in Vietnam, he was seriously wounded, losing his eyesight on Nov. 6, 1969, just six months after he graduated from Ranger School.

He was hospitalized for 17 months and soon after he was medically retired. Maguire was at his parents’ home feeling the Ranger patches on T-shirts as he was going through his stuff. His mother saw him and reacted out of frustration.

VIETNAM VETERANS WELCOMED HOME IN NORMAN — KSWO — NORMAN, OK -Active duty and retired Fort Sill soldiers escorted Vietnam veterans in a well-deserved and long overdue welcome home ceremony in Norman.

Norman’s Veteran Center and the Oklahoma Department of Veteran’s Affairs teamed up to make the homecoming possible. As Vietnam veterans were escorted into their welcome home ceremony, a room inside the veteran center in Norman was filled with both cheers and tears. This ceremony was the complete opposite of what they experience more than 40 years ago.

Jeannene Wade, the program administrator, says she felt compelled after hearing one of their stories…she says one veteran told her the biggest hurt he experienced while in the military was when he came home from Vietnam and was spit on instead of getting a hero’s welcome.

“It’s belated, well overdue and cannot be said enough, welcome home. Thank you for your service, we appreciate you,” said Darin Corbett, one of the speakers.

That was one of the many tokens of gratitude expressed to the veterans for all they did for their country but were never recognized for.

Vietnam veteran Larry Shalbert says when he came home from the war so many years ago, it was nothing like the long overdue welcome home ceremony they had Thursday.

“It was wonderful, I wiped tears from my eyes a couple times. I didn’t expect this at all,” Shalbert said.

THESE 7 COMPANIES IN THE SOUTHEAST ARE HIRING VETS RIGHT NOW — HIRE PURPOSE — If the Southeast is where you want to be, let Hirepurpose help you get there.

You may be a big fan of the SEC and mild winters, or perhaps you appreciate superior barbecue — whatever your reason is, you’ve decided that the Southeast is the place for you. Hirepurpose partners with 100-plus companies across the United States — with many options in the southeastern states of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. If you’re a transitioning service member or veteran seeking a job in one of these sunnier states, check out these seven Hirepurpose partners with job openings in the Southeast.

VA TOLD CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE VET’S MEDICAL BILL ISSUE WAS RESOLVED WHEN IT WASN’T — DC — Six months have elapsed since national veterans’ advocate Christopher Neiweem incurred a medical bill after he was locked out of a 24/7 Department of Veterans Affairs emergency room. Despite VA Secretary Robert McDonald’s office pressuring the medical center to pay the bill, it still hasn’t complied and instead told a congressional committee the bill was resolved when it in fact was not.

Neiweem was forced to visit Cook County Hospital in late January after he was locked out of Chicago’s 24/7 Jesse Brown VA emergency room. He was subsequently saddled with a large bill, which the VA promised it would pay immediately.

As of July, Neiweem has been on the phone with the VA dozens of times and dealt with more than 35 emails just to get the VA to fulfill its promise of covering a simple private medical bill incurred as a result of the department’s own incompetence.

The bill is still unpaid and the issue still unresolved, despite assurances from top officials at the Jesse Brown VA, which continues a trend of broken promises over the past several months.

Neiweem recently spoke with the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, and the staff reminded him Thursday he has a balance due of $1,578, even though several weeks prior, Jesse Brown VA staff had apparently contacted that hospital to tell staff there the bill was authorized and payment was on the way within four weeks.

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