REMAINS OF SEAMAN KILLED IN PEARL HARBOR HEADED TO OHIO HOME — AP — SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The U.S. Navy is flying the remains of an Ohio man back to his home nearly 75 years after he was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
William “Billy” Welch of Springfield enlisted in the Navy at 17. He was among the 429 killed aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941.
Welch’s body wasn’t identified following the attack.
The U.S. Department of Defense began testing the remains of those buried in Hawaii for DNA this past year. The Springfield News-Sun reports one grave included a piece of jaw bone that matched Welch.
Family members are planning his funeral. Welch’s youngest sister, Ann Welch Ianni, says a military burial with full honors is planned for September.
Ianni said she had long ago given up hope the family could lay him to rest at home.
“We got to the point where we didn’t think we’d ever get him,” she said.
FOX NEWS CHANNEL SIGNS TAYA KYLE, WIDOW OF ‘AMERICAN SNIPER’ CHRIS KYLE, AS CONTRIBUTOR — RED STATE — FOX News Channel (FNC) has hired American Wife author and military veteran family activist Taya Kyle as a contributor, the network announced today. In this role, Kyle will provide military and family commentary across FNC’s daytime and primetime programming.
Kyle, wife of the late United States Navy Seal and American Sniper author Chris Kyle, is the founder of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (CKFF). Established to honor the life and legacy of her late husband, CKFF helps to empower the families and marriages of military service members and first responders.
An advocate for military families and American women, Kyle has also worked alongside the Patriot Tour, traveling the country to teach lessons of grief, faith and love to those in need.
FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. A top five cable network, FNC has been the most-watched news channel in the country for more than 14 years and according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll, is the most trusted television news source in the country. Owned by 21st Century Fox, FNC is available in more than 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.
CIVIL WAR VETERAN’S ASHES TAKE MOTORCYCLE RIDE THROUGH IDAHO — IDAHO STATESMAN — One by one, members of the Idaho Patriot Guard Riders and others filed by a table Tuesday morning inside the Cloverdale Funeral Home in Boise. On it sat a framed portrait of Civil War veteran Jewett Williams, a box containing his ashes and two American flags.
Veterans saluted. Others made the sign of the cross. And several of the 50 people who attended a morning service placed their hand on the flag and gave Williams a silent tribute.
Ninety-four years after his 1922 death at age 78, Williams garnered the respect and admiration that had escaped him when he died a forgotten man at a Salem, Ore., mental hospital.
“It was an honor to be selected as one of the states that his cremains are going through,” said Dario Bell, captain of the Idaho Patriot Guard Riders. “It’s the ultimate respect we can do.”
Members of the Idaho chapter rode Monday afternoon to Ontario, Ore., to accept Williams’ remains from an Oregon group that brought them by motorcycle from Salem. The ashes, kept in a wood box, were held overnight at the Boise mortuary.
COURT DENIES SEA-BASED VIETNAM VETS’ CLAIM AGAINST VA OVER AGENT ORANGE DISEASE BENEFITS — ALLGOV — (CN) — The D.C. Circuit upheld the dismissal of “blue water” Vietnam veterans’ claim that the Department of Veterans Affairs wrongly refused to compensate them for injuries caused by Agent Orange exposure.
The U.S. military used Agent Orange as a defoliant to clear forested areas throughout the Vietnam War, and thousands of soldiers were exposed to the herbicide mixture.
A list of potential health consequences posted on the VA’s website notes that exposure can lead to increased rates of acute leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, throat cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, Ischemic heart disease, soft tissue sarcoma and liver cancer.
Exposure to Agent Orange was so prevalent that Congress eventually recognized the long-term health effects of the chemical and passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991, which creates a presumption that veterans who served between 1962 and 1975 were exposed.
If these veterans develop diseases linked to Agent Orange, they can receive disability compensation without proving they were exposed to the herbicide.
CONGRESS THREATENS TO SUBPOENA VA OVER ART SPENDING — WASHINGTON FREE BEACON — Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Jeff Miller (R., Fla.) is threatening to subpoena the Department of Veterans Affairs after the agency has refused to answer questions over frivolous spending on artwork for over nine months.
Miller sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald on Friday, again asking for answers on the agency’s spending on art, including $285,000 on a “light up” art installation featuring quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt in Morse code.
A joint investigation by Open the Books and COX Media revealed that the VA spent $20 million on artwork and art consulting services over the past decade, amidst the healthcare scandal in which thousands of veterans died waiting in line to see doctors. The spending included sculptures at a facility serving blind veterans.
Miller first questioned the VA in October, seeking documentation on how much the department has spent on artwork since 2010. The chairman also asked if the VA commissioned any artwork from veterans.
OBAMA FAILS TO KEEP HIS PROMISE TO ELIMINATE VETERAN HOMELESSNESS — ARMY TIMES — The number of homeless veterans nationwide dropped dramatically last year, but advocates say the U.S. remains far from the White House’s stated goal of completely ending the problem.
According to estimates announced by federal officials Monday, fewer than 40,000 homeless veterans remained on the streets at the start of this year, down about 8,000 individuals from the same time in 2015.
That’s a 17 percent drop in just one year and a reduction in the homeless veterans ranks of about 50 percent since the administration announced a new focus on the issue in 2010. President Obama is expected to highlight the progress in a speech later Monday at the annual Disabled American Veterans convention in Atlanta.
But the lower figure still leaves tens of thousands of veterans without reliable, permanent housing, despite an intense six-year interagency push to solve the problem.
A VA CRISIS LINE STILL IN CRISIS — FINGER LAKES TIMES — While chairing a recent subcommittee hearing, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) told the story of an Iraq war veteran who called the Veterans Crisis Line but was unable to reach a responder. Afterward, the 30-year-old father of two young daughters lay down on Metro tracks and was killed by a train.
At a Feb. 26 news conference conducted by VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson at Canandaigua VA Medical Center, I called Gibson’s attention to complaints I have heard in recent years that many VCL and other call-center responders often ignored incoming calls because they were texting, facebooking or otherwise goofing off. I also advised Gibson that responders often have to work in cold and drafty rooms. Some responders have taken in electric heaters or worn winter coats to try to offset the bone-chilling cold air drafts.
Until recently, the VA’s primary response to VA Inspector General’s reports that many veterans and their families who called the VCL had their calls go unanswered or received inadequate assistance when their calls were answered was to claim understaffing. But increasing the number of responders didn’t solve the problem.
LOSS OF VA HEALTH-CARE PROVIDERS GROWS AS DEMAND FOR CARE INCREASES — WASHINGTON POST — Two trend lines in veterans’ health care are not encouraging.
Demand for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services is going up, but so are losses among the agency’s health-care providers.
Annual VA outpatient medical appointments rose by 20 percent, or 17.1 million visits from fiscal 2011 through 2015, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.
But also increasing during that period was the number of staffers in five critical occupations who left the agency. In 2011, 5,897 physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants, psychologists and physical therapists said goodbye. By 2015, that number had grown to 7,734. The rate of loss rose from 7.3 percent to 8.2 percent. The GAO said similar problems affect other health-care organizations because of national shortages and increased competition for clinical employees.
“These staffing shortages directly impact patient care and makes the work of these dedicated employees even more difficult,” said J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents VA staffers.
VA, however, released a flurry statistics to show service is good. Among them, in May, 96.7 percent of appointments were within one month “of the clinically indicated or Veteran’s preferred date,” 85.6 percent were within one week and 21.6 percent were the same-day.
VIETNAM VET CHARGED FOLLOWING FIGHT WITH POKÉMON GO PLAYERS IN MEMORIAL PARK — T&P — A viral video shows a showdown between veterans and a group of Pokémon Go players in a Minnesota park that resulted in arrest.
To play Pokémon Go, the wildly popular augmented reality game, players must scour the Earth catching magical creatures that they then use to wage battles with other gamers in virtual arenas. But during a recent expedition through the little town of Winona, Minnesota, several Pokémon catchers found themselves waging a real-life battle instead. Fed up with hordes of teenagers playing the game in the town’s Veterans Memorial Park, a group of local vets decided to take matters into their own hands and try to force the players off the grounds. The ensuing confrontation was filmed.
In the video, a man identified as Bill Reed, a Vietnam veteran and the chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park committee, can be seen unleashing a torrent of accusations and threats at the young players, who retaliate with a potent mixture of sarcasm and teenage nonchalance. And because this is 2016, they made sure to document everything, strategically including the fact that Reed is the owner of a local tree services company. Then they uploaded it to the internet under the title, “Crazy vet vandalizes and threatens me and other Pokémon Go players!”
VA HOSPITAL LEAVES NUCLEAR BUSINESS — AP — OMAHA, Neb. — The Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System is out of the nuclear business after entering the atomic age with its small-scale reactor nearly six decades ago.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission terminated the operating license for the Alan J. Blotcky Reactor Facility, effective Monday, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The facility had run in the basement of Omaha’s VA Medical Center for more than 40 years.
VA researchers used the reactor primarily for neutron activation of biological samples from 1959 to 2001. The facility was also used to train operators of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant.
Soon after 9/11, it was shut down because of security concerns, and its 58 spent fuel rods were quietly removed in 2002.
Last year, the VA spent $1.3 million to dismantle what was left of the reactor, in addition to $5.9 million spent in 2001 and 2002.
System officials haven’t found any health or safety concerns after inspecting the space in the months since. The results were confirmed in surveys by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
DID VA JUST APOLOGIZE TO ITS FIRST PHOENIX VA WHISTLEBLOWER? — DISABLED VETERANS — VA may have just issued its first roundabout apology to a Phoenix VA whistleblower last week, but the bureaucratic doublespeak makes it tough to tell.
The letter was written by Steve Young, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management. It was addressed to Brandon Coleman, an outspoken Phoenix VA addiction therapist and Marine veteran. Coleman reported that Phoenix VA was letting suicidal veterans walk out of the facility without help and against VA protocol.
The VA letter applauded Coleman for doing the “harder right” rather than the “easier wrong.” That “easier wrong” seems to reference VA employees who allowed suicidal veterans to walk out of the facility rather than putting them under 72-hour psychiatric hold.
Those employees who did the “easier wrong” were not punished as far as we know, but Coleman was harassed by VA leadership and removed from his position pending VA’s investigation. Let’s hope they paid him well for the “easier wrong” Coleman prevented when he spoke out about what Phoenix VA was doing.
PENNSYLVANIA’S VA HOSPITAL’S RATING FALLS PRECIPITOUSLY — CDN — ALTOONA, Pa., — An embattled Veterans Administration (VA) hospital has seen its internal rating — one that determines bonuses and other performance measures — fall precipitously over the last two quarters.
The Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) is “an internal tool used by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to measure many quality factors for process improvement and learning. This is consistent with VHA’s vision of ‘learning, discovery and continuous improvement.’ The data produced is used by Quality Management, leadership, and all affected services to assure the benchmarks are understood and attained to the highest degree possible,” according to a statement from Andrea Young, public affairs officer at the Altoona VA Medical Center.
In the last two quarters the SAIL for the Altoona VA Medical Center has fallen dramatically from five stars in the last quarter of 2015 to four stars in the first quarter of 2016 to three stars in the second quarter of 2016.
A five-star rating indicates the hospital is performing better than 90 percent of all VA hospitals, a four-star rating indicates that a hospital is operating from between the 70th and 90th percentiles, while a three-star rating indicates a hospital is performing from the bottom 30th to the 70th percentile.
Young downplayed the swift drop, blaming it mostly on falling in one category: “The area where Altoona has seen change over the last two quarters relates to inpatient care transitions and length of stay. Our average daily census in fiscal year 2016 within our inpatient unit was four. As a result, even minor changes in any of our inpatient metrics can skew the results of this data significantly.
“Altoona VAMC will continue to leverage data and measurement tools to support quality improvement in health care for our veterans. “
VETERANS SUFFERING FROM CHRONIC PAIN FIND RELIEF AT CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC — WRIC — Richmond, VA – A chiropractic and wellness center is working to help U.S. veterans across the country by cutting the cost of care.
U.S. Army Veteran Lonnie White served for 20 years and decades after retiring as a helicopter pilot, he now battles with chronic back and neck pain.
“As a result of my military service, I have degenerative disc in my back and bone spurs,” White said. “I also have a pinched nerve in my neck and while I’ve had pain over a number of years, it was pain I could live with. But for the last three months, I’ve had just excruciating pain that pretty much incapacitated me.”
White is not alone in his suffering. Back pain is the leading cause of pain or illness in the military and often leads to loss of work time or future disability, according to a study by the Naval Health Research Center.
“I could do certain things, but I was in so much pain, it was very difficult to concentrate at work,” White said. “I couldn’t do any bending any stretching, even walking was very painful.”
AMU, PHOENIX TOP NEW ANALYSIS OF MILITARY’S MOST POPULAR TA, GI BILL COLLEGES — MILITARY TIMES — Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill leveled off in fiscal 2015, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, marking the first time the popular new benefit failed to increase its base by tens or hundreds of thousands of users over the prior year.
Meanwhile, active-duty service members using military tuition assistance, or TA, fell by 2.7 percent from fiscal 2014 to fiscal 2015. But that drop is much less drastic than the 16 percent plummet charted a year earlier, data from the Defense Department and Coast Guard show.
Other information collected by Military Times as part of the annual analysis showed that for-profit institutions’ military students tend to pass classes at higher rates. University of Phoenix, a for-profit college the Defense Department briefly barred from enrolling new TA students in 2015-16, actually posted one of the best course completion rates among big TA schools.
HOW WORLD WAR II HELPED THE GRAND OLE OPRY GO NATIONAL — MILCOM — Time-Life has just released a second Opry Video Classics 8 DVD box set, a collection of performances from Grand Ole Opry TV programs from the mid-1950s through the 1970s. Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, The Statler Brothers, George Jones and Charley Pride are among the artists featured on the set’s 120 performances.
Most of today’s country music fans don’t realize is that the hillbilly music’s popularity skyrocketed as a direct result of World War II. Nashville radio station WSM, which had launched the Opry as a radio program in the 1920s, teamed up with tobacco company R.J. Reynolds in the summer of 1941 to create the Camel Caravan. The touring revue featured Opry stars and was created as a morale booster for American troops in same year as the USO was founded. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the troupe kicked into high gear, playing 175 shows in 1942 at 68 military facilities in 32 states.
WSM also contributed transcriptions of its radio broadcasts to the Armed Forces Radio Services and the Opry’s blend of country music and down-home comedy was played around the world. Yankee servicemen raised on Bing Crosby were exposed to country performers like Roy Acuff, Hank Snow and Pee Wee King.
VETERAN BIKING ACROSS AMERICA TO PUT 74 NAMES ON VIETNAM WALL — WVIR — CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va – A 74-year-old Navy veteran is making his way from Texas to Washington, D.C. on his bike. Sunday, he pedaled his way through central Virginia.
Del Francis is riding his bike across the country to bring recognition to the 74 friends he lost when their ship, the USS Frank E. Evans, sank during the Vietnam War. It is the second largest loss of life in the Navy during Vietnam.
Francis wants to make sure people remember his fallen friends.
“I lost 74 shipmates in Vietnam and we have been trying for years to get them on the Wall. Since actually before the Wall was built,” Francis said.
Francis has been fighting this battle long since the Vietnam War ended.
“We’ve tried everything else: written to Congress, we’ve had congressmen, senators, and it always dies in committee. Never gets up to the floor vote,” Francis said.
In May he turned 74 and decided now was a better time than any to honor his shipmates. He decided to hop on his bike and ride from Texas to the nation’s capital to share their story with the world.
“It’s the only war ship that went to Vietnam that didn’t come home,” Francis said.
His world was changed in just two minutes in 1969.
CLUES EMERGE TO RESTING PLACE OF USS INDIANAPOLIS — PROVIDENCE JOURNAL — New information uncovered by the Naval History and Heritage Command might shed light on where the World War II cruiser Indianapolis was attacked and sunk. A new section of the NHHC website consolidates all of its holdings on the Indianapolis into an easy-to-navigate online resource.
NHHC historian Richard Hulver recently uncovered information on this dark episode in U.S. Navy history. In the final days of the war, the Indianapolis completed a top-secret mission to Tinian Island in the Mariana Islands to deliver components of the atomic bomb that was to be dropped on Hiroshima.
The Indianapolis then headed to Leyte, an island in the Philippines, when it was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine just after midnight on July 30, 1945. Approximately 900 of the ship’s 1,196 sailors and Marines survived the sinking, but after four to five harrowing days in the water, suffering exposure, dehydration, drowning and shark attacks, only 316 survived. You may recall the story being told by the grizzled, Narragansett Beer-drinking, shark-hunting Capt. Quint in the ’70s blockbuster movie “Jaws.”
Hulver found a blog post and photo online that recounted the story of a World War II sailor whose ship passed the Indianapolis less than a day before the ship was sunk. This corroborated an account by Indianapolis Captain Charles McVay III that his ship passed an unspecified tank landing ship approximately 11 hours before the sinking.
DESPITE HIS OPTIMISTIC SPEECH, VETS GROUP SAYS ‘DON’T EXPECT MUCH’ FROM OBAMA ON VA REFORM — TOWNHALL — Judging by President Obama’s speech at the convention for Disabled American Veterans on Monday, you’d think his administration had done all it could to restore veterans faith in government. He and his team have cut in half veteran homelessness and unemployment, he proudly told his audience. In terms of the Veterans Affairs scandal, Obama and new VA Secretary Bob McDonald have overseen the effort to hire thousands more doctors, resulting in more appointments and shorter wait times, and both of them are dedicated to enacting more reforms, the president said.
Concerned Veterans for America begs to differ. In a statement on Monday following Obama’s remarks, CVA Vice President of Policy and Communications Dan Caldwell set the record straight about the current state of the VA.
CBS, NBC STILL SILENT ON OBAMA’S VA SPENDING $18 MILLION ON ARTWORK — MRC — When the evening newscasts wrapped up on Monday night, ABC was still the only network of the “big three” to cover the latest saga in the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It recently came to light that the VA had spent roughly $20 million dollars on art for its facilities. “But while the administration was spending more than ever on veterans it was also spending more of your tax dollars on art for veteran facilities,” reported Fox News Correspondent Kevin Corke Monday evening.
“And we’re talking about millions like the $6 million spent on art at a facility in Palo Alto California; including more than $1 million doled out for a decorative rock,” Corke said in his report. According to Corke the VA also spent, “$21,500 for a 27 foot artificial Christmas tree; that one delivered to a facility in Ohio.”
The sheer cost of the expenditures is staggering:
‘RADICAL’ PROPOSAL WOULD CHANGE THE WAY RETIRED PAY IS DIVIDED IN DIVORCE CASES — MILITARY TIMES — Former spouses might get a smaller share of a military member’s monthly retirement pay if Congress passes legislation that some are describing as a “radical rewrite” of the law regarding the division of marital assets when military couples divorce.
It would require state courts to award payments to ex-spouses of service members based on the rank and years of service at the time of divorce — not the rank and years of service at the time of retirement, as is currently the case. In some cases, it will mean the spouse will get a smaller share of the service member’s monthly retirement.
“We’re trying to protect warriors out there fighting for our country. We see a lot of marriages failing, unfortunately, and we want to make sure warriors have benefits at the end of the trail,” said Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., who introduced the legislation in the House to amend the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.
TRANSITION VIDEOS PROVIDING GUIDANCE FOR YOUR JOB HUNT — MILCOM — Scott Fussell of CommandYourBusiness.com and Byron Chen of SuccessVets.com recently teamed up to create a series of web videos to help military veterans through the transition process. These two have talked to their fair share of veterans through their veteran transition podcasts, and successfully gone through the transition podcasts themselves.
VETERAN GIVES TRUMP HIS PURPLE HEART IN SHOW OF SUPPORT — AP — Donald Trump is saluting a veteran who presented the Republican presidential nominee with his Purple Heart.
Trump said the man approached him before a Tuesday rally in Ashburn, Virginia, and presented him the medal he received for being wounded in combat.
Trump said he was “honored” to receive it. He then joked that “I always wanted to get a Purple Heart. This was much easier”
His comments came amid his ongoing flap with the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who was killed in Iraq. Trump never served in the military, receiving medical and education deferments during the Vietnam War era.
OBAMA’S FINAL ADDRESS TO VETERANS MEETS REBUKE FROM SOME VET GROUPS — STARS & STRIPES — WASHINGTON — In what he called “my final address to our nation’s veterans as president,” Barack Obama declared Monday that the nation had a “sacred covenant” with its veterans to ensure they receive the health care, support and benefits they need and to fix broken services
Obama paid tribute to the nation’s wounded warriors and its Gold Star families during the speech at the Disabled American Veterans annual convention in Atlanta. He recapped achievements during his eight years in office – from reducing homelessness by nearly 50 percent to increasing health care for millions of veterans.
But he also spoke plainly about scandals that have wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs during his two terms – in particular the data manipulation to hide long wait lists for doctor appointments, benefits claims that were destroyed or left to languish in bins by overwhelmed staff and retaliation against whistleblowers.
Obama said that neither he nor VA Secretary Bob McDonald were satisfied with the efforts to fix the problems and vowed that transforming the VA and holding people accountable would continue.
“Long wait times, veterans denied care, people manipulating the books – inexcusable,” Obama said to loud applause at the annual convention.
MILITARY TRANSITION ROADMAP: ONE SOLDIER’S SUCCESS — MILCOM — Instead of losing his sense of purpose and drive after the military, this vet channeled it into his civilian life.
A few key decisions made all the difference for Justin McCarty, a former soldier now living in San Francisco. He grabbed opportunities as they were presented, accelerating the successful transition to a rewarding post-military career. McCarty, 30, now works in operations for a fast-growing startup. There he applies everything he learned in the military, college, and at previous jobs.
Transitioning from the military can be daunting. Many veterans, particularly those who enlisted, have a hard time navigating the complexities of the civilian world. Is my hometown the best place for me or is it smarter to get a fresh start? Should I go for an education, then get a job? Or take a lower paying job while going to school? These are difficult questions to answer, and it can help hear from others who have walked the path and have some wisdom to share.
McCarty did not wait on anyone else to tell him that he needed to excel. “I was able to hit the ground running and get after [school and work] quickly after getting home,” he told Task & Purpose. This attitude helped him move up the ranks, then transfer to Cornell University, and then jump from finance into tech startups.
THE PTSD MARIJUANA STUDY IS NOW RECRUITING VETERAN VOLUNTEERS — ARMY TIMES — Researchers in Maryland and Arizona are looking for veteran volunteers to smoke up to two joints a day in a new study designed to find out if marijuana helps relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We’re not arguing that cannabis is a cure, but our hypothesis is that it will at least reduce the symptoms,” says physician and study organizer Dr. Sue Sisley.
The $2.2 million study, paid for by a grant from the state of Colorado to the nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, will be conducted at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Sisley’s Scottsdale Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.
A total of 76 combat veterans will be tested over 12 weeks, but only about four subjects will begin each month across both sites, so the study itself is expected to take two years to complete.
More than 100 veterans already have volunteered, Sisley says. Those interested in taking part in Arizona can email their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those in the Baltimore area can call 410-550-0050 to register their interest in participating.