American Veteran News 07.28.16

CHOIR SPONTANEOUSLY SINGS AS WWII VETERAN’S REMAINS ESCORTED OFF PLANE [VIDEO] — DC — A video shows a choir impulsively belting out a famous American patriotic song as a fallen WWII soldier’s remains were escorted off a plane.

The footage was taken by Diane Hollifield Cupp, who uploaded the exhibition of respect to Facebook to share it with fellow Americans.

The video shows a man standing in the rear of the aircraft conducting the choir as they sing the “Battle Hymn of The Republic.” While it cannot be seen, the remains of the WWII veteran were being carried by an Army private, according to an NBC News affiliate.

While commercial airliners are often a source of agitation and discomfort, fellow flyers are seen admiring and applauding the moment.



MILITARY “FAMILY” BURIES VETERAN KILEEN, TEXAS FAMILY WON’T CLAIM — KCEN — KILLEEN – His family wouldn’t claim him, but the military did.

On Monday, a local veteran who fought for our freedom through three wars, was laid to rest in Killeen.

While Walter Scott Bundy Junior’s living family members didn’t show up to his burial service at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, many did to show support for the man they said was their ‘brother’ in every sense of the word.

“They have a home, they have a family,” said Eric Brown, Deputy Director of the Texas State Veterans Cemeteries.

Many who attended the ceremony saluted Bundy, laid their hands on his urn, even gave money to the man they’d never met.

“No one is ever forgotten, they’re lost but never forgotten,” said Army Staff Sgt. Christopher DeRouen.

Dozens of soldiers, past and present, came to Killeen to honor one of their own who died without a family of his own.

“We want the veteran and the community to know, that veteran does have a family, and that family is the rest of the military community who are out here to honor that veteran,” said Brown.

Bundy served in the Army from 1942-1963, seeing combat in both World War II and the Korean War, and was active duty during Vietnam before retiring from Fort Hood as a Sergeant. Officials said he served honorably and would receive full military honors.



KOREAN WAR VET’S REMAINS BACK TO OHIO FAMILY AFTER 66 YEARS — WHIO — COLUMBUS, Ohio — The remains of a Korean War veteran missing since his capture in 1950 have been returned to his Ohio family, and he’ll be buried Friday next to his parents.

Army Corporal Charles “Perky” White Jr. had been considered missing in action for 66 years.

June Chuvalas says her older brother died in 1951. His unidentified remains were taken to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

Officials in Fort Knox, Kentucky, notified the New Lexington family about five weeks ago that DNA samples taken from White’s relatives matched the remains.

His casket, draped in an American flag, was flown to Columbus on Tuesday.



CONGRESS WRESTLES WITH PROVIDING FERTILITY BENEFITS FOR INJURED VETERANS AND SERVICEMEMBERS — WASHINGTON POST — This was the year the government was going to start helping injured veterans and members of the military maintain their ability to start families by offering unprecedented fertility preservation programs.

In January, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the Pentagon would soon launch a pilot program to help active-duty servicemembers freeze their eggs and sperm, as a precautionary measure to ensure soldiers who suffer fertility-ending injuries can still have children. Then last month, Congress took the unprecedented step of agreeing to overturn a longtime ban against covering in vitro fertilization treatments for veterans whose ability to have children was compromised by injuries suffered in the line of duty.

But political fights in Congress are now threatening to halt these efforts before they have a chance to begin.

A Senate-passed defense policy bill would zero out funding for the Pentagon program and a spending bill that would expand fertility benefits for veterans is currently caught up in a separate fight over how much funding Congress should approve to counter the mosquito-borne Zika epidemic.

“The current policy is outdated, it’s wrong, and it’s a disservice to the men and women who’ve sacrificed so much on behalf of our country,”? said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a leading supporter for lifting a longtime ban on covering in vitro treatment for veterans. She also has been leading the push to ensure the Pentagon’s pilot program is funded.



92K SIGN PETITION IN SUPPORT OF AIR FORCE VETERAN FORCED OUT OF FLAG-FOLDING CEREMONY FOR MENTIONING GOD — — CHRISTIAN POST Over 90,000 people are calling for the leadership of Travis Air Force Base in California to apologize to Air Force veteran Oscar Rodriguez after he was forcibly removed from a retirement ceremony for mentioning God during a flag-folding ceremony.

The Family Research Council and the American Family Association have delivered petitions addressed to Major Gen. John C. Flournoy and Col. Raymond A. Kozak urging them to apologize to Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Rodriguez and Master Sgt. Charles Roberson, who was celebrating his retirement from active duty in April when Rodriguez was ejected from the facility by multiple uniformed Airmen for mentioning God in a speech.

FRC’s online petition has been signed by over 44,200 individuals, while the American Family Association petition was supported by over 47,800 people.

The First Liberty Institute threatened to file a lawsuit against the Air Force in June for violating the free speech and religious freedom rights of Rodriguez and Roberson. Shortly thereafter, the military branch issued the following statement: “Air Force personnel may use a flag folding ceremony script that is religious for retirement ceremonies.” Additionally Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James ordered the Air Force Inspector General to investigate the incident with Rodriguez.



HOUSE VETERANS’ AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN SEEKS RECORDS ON SHOOTERS — AP — DALLAS — The chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs has broadened his request for information on two former service members involved in mass shootings in Texas and Louisiana.

In a letter Tuesday to the secretary of Veterans Affairs, Florida Rep. Jeff Miller requested a briefing on all VA services received by Army reservist Micah Johnson, who shot and killed five Dallas cops and wounded nine other law enforcement officers in a July 7 attack on a peaceful downtown protest rally.

Miller asked for similar records last week on Gavin Long, the former Marine and Iraq war veteran who killed three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 17.

The attacks followed protests sparked by the deaths of two black men — Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota — by white police officers.

The Republican congressman requested “unredacted” copies of Johnson’s full medical records and VA claims files. Johnson was an Army reservist who served eight months in Afghanistan before being sent home after a fellow soldier filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. He ultimately received an honorable discharge from the military, but the Pentagon has refused so far to answer questions about his case.

Friends, former comrades and family described Johnson as a gregarious extrovert who returned from Afghanistan an angry man.



10 SAN DIEGO WWII VETERANS AWARDED FRANCE’S HIGHEST HONOR — FOX NEWS — SAN DIEGO – Ten World War II veterans from Southern California received the highest honor France bestows on foreign nationals Tuesday at the San Diego Veterans Museum and Memorial.

These men fought alongside French troops and were granted the distinction of Chevalier or Knight.

US Army Private First Class Raymond Deming remembers what it was like fighting in the trenches of France in World War II.

“Snow and ice, and we didn’t have equipment or it wore out and wasn’t replaced,” said World War II Veteran, US Army Private First Class Raymond Deming.

“For me it’s a real honor to receive the medal from France,” said Deming. “I say merci beaucoup.”

The French Consulate is recognizing these men with the insignia of the “Knight in the National Order Of the Legion Of Honor”. The Legion was founded in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.



THIS RETIRED AIR FORCE VET JUST SPENT A DAY AS A KISS ROADIE — T&P — Sherry Jenkins, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant, was invited to be a KISS roadie during the band’s show in Colorado Springs.

Sherry Jenkins, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant, got to rock ‘n’ roll all day and all night with one of her favorite bands Monday.
Jenkins and her husband, Tim, were invited to be KISS roadies for the day during the band’s show at The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. Sherry said she has been a fan of KISS for about 35 years.

“I grew up listening to them, and you’ll see the older you get you stop listening to some of the things you used to listen to,” she said. “I’m still a huge fan.” The couple started the day putting together gift bags for VIP fans. Then they watched KISS perform an acoustic set for VIP fans and had their picture taken with the band before enjoying the show.

“My real favorite was the last one that they played, which was ‘Rock and Roll All Nite,’” Sherry said.

Before the show was over, the Jenkinses accepted a $150,000 check from KISS onstage on behalf of Hiring Our Heroes. The audience recited the Pledge of Allegiance and shouted “USA, USA,” while she and Tim were onstage. Sherry said the show was fun but loved that KISS is giving back to veterans.



VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED TO HELP DISABLED MINNESOTA VETERANS — WDJT — The Milwaukee VA Medical Center are putting out a plea for volunteers to drive veterans to appointments.

The Disabled American Veterans transported more than 22,000 veterans and drove 395,913 miles in Wisconsin last year.

The largest demand is for volunteers in Racine, Waukesha, and Washington Counties.

Volunteer drivers do not have to be veterans but must pass a physical, a background check and a driving test.

They are asked to be available once a week for at least 4 hours, but they will work on you with your schedule

Current volunteers say the experience is rewarding.

For information on how to get involved, call 414-384-2000, ext. 45715.



CHEROKEE NATION HOSTS NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN VETERANS MEMORIAL CONVERSATION — DAILY PROGRESS — Cherokee Nation recently hosted a gathering for a public and open discussion on a project that is important to me and all of Indian Country: the future Native American Warrior Memorial in Washington, D.C. The forthcoming memorial will be housed on the campus of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Our good friend Kevin Gover, director of the NMAI, led the discussion along with other members of the advisory committee for the memorial, including Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, a U.S. Navy veteran. The advisory board is comprised of tribal leaders and veterans from across Indian Country and represents every branch of the Armed Forces.

The Native American Veterans Memorial is important because Indian people serve at a higher rate than any other racial group in this country, and our Native warriors have fought in every American battle since the Revolutionary War. Sadly, outside of Indian Country most Americans do not know these facts.



THIS INDUSTRY COULD BE YOUR NEXT CAREER MOVE AFTER THE MILITARY, REGARDLESS OF RANK — T&P — Insurance has a lot of parallels to what many did in the military; these jobs might be the next step in your career.

Insurance. Can’t live without it. And there are so many different kinds of insurance out there: car, health, home, disability, workers compensation, boat, trip. The list goes on and on.

Basically, if something has value and can be lost, stolen, or damaged, there is likely a form of insurance coverage on it. And this is just for our personal lives. If you are in business, that list of insurance coverages becomes very complex. Also, the insurance industry, like many others, has a deep reliance on effective IT systems. Front-end development, integration, infrastructure, project management and cyber security are critical when dealing with financial data, payments, and sensitive personal information.

Insurance has a lot of parallels to what many already do in the military or have done for those of us already out. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to analyze data that you received from two or more parties, crunch those numbers or interpret credibility in order to report back to a higher authority on how to best proceed with the mission? Another example is performing an inspection. Have you ever had to show up to a command; evaluate that command’s performance, taking into account its mission, safety, training, material readiness, administrative records; interview individual members of the command; interact with the leaders; and then give an overall assessment of what you saw? If these descriptions fit your military or current civilian employment experience, then you likely have the core competencies to be a claims adjuster or underwriter



US MARINE CORPS HORSE HONORED FOR KOREAN WAR VALOR — AP — LONDON — A U.S. Marine Corps horse who served during some of the bloodiest fighting of the Korean War has been posthumously decorated for bravery.

Sgt. Reckless was awarded the Dickin Medal during a ceremony at the Korean War Memorial in London on Wednesday, the 63rd anniversary of the end of the war.

A serving British Army horse stood in for the late Reckless at the ceremony.

The chestnut Mongolian mare served as an ammunitions carrier for the marines’ anti-tank division. She made repeated strips to supply ammunition and retrieve wounded troops under heavy bombardment during the battle for Outpost Vegas in March 1953.

After the war, Reckless retired to the United States and died in 1968 at age 20. She was nominated by a historian who wrote a biography about her.

Reckless is the 68th recipient of the medal, awarded by the PDSA veterinary charity and billed as the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross — Britain’s top award for military valor.



BAND MAKES MUSIC TO HEAL FELLOW VETERANS — THE LEDGER — LAKELAND — When visiting hospital rooms they bring the gift of music for its power to heal.

More than that, they take time to listen, exchange war stories, share a part of themselves few civilians will ever fully comprehend.

Shannon Thomas of Lakeland is founder of Sgt. Shredder — Rocking to Heal Vets Inc. Officers of the charity include Dave Arnold, an Army veteran from Auburndale, and Wayne “Skip” St. Sauveur of Lakeland, who served in the Navy.

Thomas, aka Sgt. Shredder, is a guitar-banging rocker who spent six years in the Army, stateside and abroad, during the Gulf War. Haunted by his experiences, he has struggled with severe depression and substance abuse.

Eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Thomas has made it his mission to regularly visit veterans in crisis with the same disorder or recovering from traumatic injuries. In most cases the visits take place at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa and the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in Bay Pines near St. Petersburg.



“D.B. COOPER CASE MADE VIETNAM VETERAN THE TARGET OF TV SLEUTHS — WASHINGTON POST — They were certain they knew the identity of the long missing hijacker known as D.B. Cooper, and now the self-appointed investigators wanted their man to turn himself in to the FBI and sign over his life rights for a book and movie project.

The target of their lobbying was Robert "Bob" W. Rackstraw, a Vietnam War veteran who lives in Southern California and had once surfaced briefly as a suspect in the country’s only unsolved hijacking of a commercial airliner.

The FBI announced earlier this month that it was no longer actively pursuing its 45-year-old investigation into the notorious case. But that isn’t likely to deter the people — known as Cooperites — obsessed with finding the folk legend who vanished in 1971 after parachuting out of a plane with $200,000. They attend the Official D.B. Cooper Symposium, pore over Cooper books, trade theories online.

On July 10 and 11, the History Channel aired a two-part documentary chronicling an investigation by a group of Cooperites who set out to prove that Rackstraw, now 72, is D.B. Cooper. The effort was led by Thomas J. Colbert, a Los Angeles-based television and film producer who specializes in developing true crime and romance stories.

Long before it aired, Colbert and Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney fascinated by the case, tried to persuade Rackstraw to work with them. He could, they told him in a series of emails given to The Washington Post, cash in by confessing that he’s D.B. Cooper.



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