Veterans News Blog

Vets Issues

Monthly Archives: February 2008

SAVE THE DATES! 

April 30 – MAY 1, 2008WASHINGTON, DC

YOU ARE INVITED! — PLAN TO ATTEND BOTH EVENTS!

April 30 — Meeting of AMERICAN COLD WAR VETERANS – Washington, DC

May 1 – NATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR FORGOTTEN HEROES OF THE COLD WAR!

May 1 – CONGRESSIONAL BREAKFAST 7:30-8:30 I- Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building

FOLLOWED BY visits to your senators and representatives

11:30 – Travel to Arlington National Cemetery  — “Remembering Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War” Ceremony sponsored by American Cold War Veterans and the White House Commission on Remembrance.  Ceremony begins at 12 noon, followed by visits to Korean War, Vietnam War, USS Thresher, and Laos memorials

Advertisements

Petition to require Winter Soldier Participants Testify Under Oath

To The Honorable Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee

During the Democratic Debate between Senators Clinton and Obama televised on the evening of February 21st, Senator Obama spoke of information passed on to him by an officer in the United States Army about our forces in Afghanistan suffering from a shortage of equipment and weapons. The very next day, a member and former Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Warner, sent a letter to Senator Obama, asking for information about these charges. Senator Warner wrote:

“…I, and I believe other members of SASC, have a responsibility to establish where in the military chain of command rests the ’accountability,’ depending of course, on the accuracy of the facts…What I need from you are the essential facts of when- the dates- the unit was deployed, to which brigade combat team, or other unit it was assigned, the name and current location of the captain, or other military personnel who shared the alleged facts with you, so that committee staff can debrief them.”

Senator Warner was, as should be the case, taking the oversight responsibility of the members of the SASC seriously.

The anti-war activist organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has advertised widely that it will hold a public event it has entitled “Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI) – Iraq and Afghanistan” near Washington D.C. next month (Mar. 13-16).

The event is self-consciously patterned after the 1971 Winter Soldier Investigation held in Detroit by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War(VVAW). During that event, over one hundred purported Vietnam veterans “testified” to widespread and horrific atrocities committed routinely by American forces in Vietnam.

In April of 1971, Senator Mark Hatfield moved that the entire WSI “testimony” be entered into the Congressional Record, while also calling for the relevant investigatory agencies in the military to investigate the charges made. None of that “testimony” had been given under oath or in legally binding depositions or affidavits. Later that same month, Senator William Fulbright’s Foreign Relations Committee held hearings, well publicized on television, in which young war hero and VVAW leader John Kerry testified to the widespread atrocity “findings” of that WSI.

When military investigators for both the Army and Navy attempted to investigate the charges, those who had “testified” and could be located were almost universally uncooperative with those investigations. They would not give names, dates, units or details of events that would allow investigation to proceed. There is no record that the Foreign Relations Committee or any committee of the Senate ever held hearings to receive those follow-up reports. As such, the general theme of the 1971 WSI of widespread atrocities committed by American forces in Vietnam passed largely unchallenged into much of our culture. It has been a mainstay of the film industry for decades. It has harmed the image of American in general, and the honor of three million Vietnam Veterans in particular.

Various sources on the Internet and in print, including the IVAW, the VVAW and the Veterans for Peace as well as other organizations associated wth them have been claiming that “testimony” given next month will be about a variety of matters including widespread atrocities, indiscriminate and unwarranted killing of civilians and destruction of property and infrastructure, torture of detainess, mutilation of corpses and the illegal use of Afghan bodies for medical “practice”, rampant sexual misconduct, racism and drug/alcohol use by American soldiers and on and on.

We the undersigned request that the United States Senate Armed Services Committee take the following steps:

* Make request of the Iraq Veterans Aagainst the War that member(s) of Committee staff be permitted to attend the entire Winter Soldier Investigation “testimony” proceedings and be provided access to those testifying.

* That in the event that staff determines that there has been testimony given that touches on areas where, in the words of Senator Warner, the members of the SASC “have a responsibility to establish where in the military chain of command rests the ’accountability,’ depending of course, on the accuracy of the facts…”, the Committee or a Sub-Committee of its delegation begin proceedings to follow-up on the claims made.

* That the Committee or Sub-Committe investigation be prepared to request and/or subpoena all documents and records, signed statements and recordings, audio, video or digital, that bear on the claims made and being investigated.

* That those making such claims or professing publicly to verify those claims be requested or subpoened to appear before the Committe or Sub-Committee, under oath, to answer questions.

The IVAW has also publicly stated that it intends to have the unsworn “testimony” from the upcoming event also entered into the Congressional Record. In 1971 the Senate of the United States was derelict in its duty of both oversight and follow-up and in the reasonable regard and respect it should have shown in consideration of the sacrifice and service of the American armed forces and veterans.

We request that the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee not allow what happened to a previous generation of veterans be allowed to happen to another and even be aided, as it was then, by the United States Senate.

Respectfully,

Sign Petition

Konawa — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11194 hosted an informational meeting recently at the American Legion Hut in Konawa. Guest speakers were Stacie Paige, assistant administrator, and Linda Ramer, patient services representative for the Sulphur Oklahoma Veterans Center. There were 20 veterans present.

The veterans center in Sulphur was built in 1921 as a TB Center for Veterans. Old buildings that remain have been kept in good repair. Some have been replaced and new ones added.

The center in Sulphur has 132 beds with a staff of 200 for around-the-clock care. It has three staff doctors and many nursing and maintenance personnel.

Oklahoma has 1,441 beds for veterans located throughout the state that give this type of care. Sulphur has 132 beds, Ardmore has 175 beds, Lawton has 200 beds, Clinton has 156 beds and Claremore has 302 beds.

The Sulphur unit is equipped with a 30-bed mental care ward. The budgets of all these facilities are evenly split between federal, state and private charges.

Veterans are charged 85 percent of their income up to a maximum of $2,700 per month.

V.F.W. Post 11194 has application forms for hospital care and forms are available at each center.

SENATOR MARTINEZ STATEMENT ON RESIGNATION OF FIDEL CASTRO

February 19, 2008 –
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) today released the following statement regarding the resignation of Fidel Castro.

Martinez said:

“Today I am cautiously optimistic for the people of Cuba and another step is closing on a long, dark chapter in Cuban history. I look forward to the day that Cubans will be able to freely elect their own leaders. Unfortunately, today’s news does not facilitate that yet. We must remember that Fidel Castro has resigned from a position he was never elected to in the first place.

“The goal of U.S. policy is clear and remains that we must see the unconditional release of all political prisoners; the respect and recognition of fundamental human rights; and a genuine transition towards political freedom, the rule of law and democracy.

“Cubans are calling for change. The responsibility of the international community is to stand in unequivocal solidarity with those courageous civil society leaders that despite tremendous repression work steadfast for the goal of a common dream: a free, sovereign and democratic Cuba.”

Cold War Veteran in Need

I received a email and phone call from a Cold War Veteran who lives in Germany and lives on a fixed Va Disability income and has a family health crisis with his mother and needs to get stateside ASAP If any individual or VSO Post could make a small donation or donate some frequent flier miles no donation to small lets see if we can get him home. Thank you for your help. If you would like to help out please contact Steven T. Banneker Burden at spell.sb@t-online.de

Phone: 0049-0-7131-579468

Sean,

I am writing to you to ask you and Cold War veterans if you can help me my mother has terminal cancer I just found out she has stomach cancer and the doctors have given her only a year to live. I have not been home for more than 17 years I have been living here in Germany has you know. I am desperate to she her before she dies I have found a flight out of frankfurt on the 28 of march for 619 euros round trip about 1,000 dollars being disabled and living on a small disability payment from the VA I cant raise these funds to buy the ticket can you and your post or CWV national help me to see her one last time.

we have spoken several times before and I dont know what to do I contacted the American Legion here in Germany but they say because I am not a member they cant help me. This is the point Cold War veterans has been rasing only because of my service dates I am not eligible to join the legion. As a Cold War Veteran I pleading with you and your membership for help. I had your phone number but I have misplaced it I would call you but I have sent this email instead can you contact me soon any assistance would be greatly apprecated god bless. 0049-0-7131-579468 is my phone number I feel ashamed to ask but I have no other means to return home to see her before its to late.


Steven T. Banneker Burden

Founder, DVI

Director Europen Operations claims

NYMetrovets Bulletin The 1st Marine For Life Meeting will take place on Thursday, February 28,

NYMetrovets Bulletin


REMINDER!!

ALL Marines and Leaders:

The 1st Marine For Life Meeting will take place on Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 1800 (6 PM).

Location: One Chase Manhattan Plaza (60th floor).

We need maximum participation as this event will determine future events.

To all organizations/ companies who have replied – please remember to send a representative from your organization, also advise if you are bringing a guest.

Topics will include:

Networking – Use of key Marines already in mainstream America & Global.

Current Openings or Recruitment and job placement.

Benefits availability and resources.

Mentorship
and more…


Location:
One Chase Manhattan Plaza (60th floor), between Pine, Liberty, Nassau, and William Streets.

Map:

http://www.rususa. com/city/ map.asp-street- 1+Chase+Manhatta n+Plaza-city- Manhattan- state-NY

Directions: I am including directions to the World Trade Center which is within walking distance from One Chase Manhattan Plaza.

Directions to the World Trade Center site:
By subway:
— A, C, J, M, Z, 2, 3, 4 or 5 to Fulton Street/Broadway- Nassau. Exit onto Fulton Street and walk west to Church St.
— E to World Trade Center. Exit onto Church Street.
— R or W to Cortland Street. Exit near the intersection of Church St. and Cortlandt St. Walk north on Church St. about three blocks.
— 1 or 9 to Rector Street. Exit onto Greenwich Street and walk north to Liberty St.
By bus:
— Take the M1 or M6 to Church & Vesey.
By NY-NJ PATH:
— Take the Newark-World Trade Center or Hoboken-World Trade Center lines to the World Trade Center station.


Uniform: Proper civilian attire or Dress Blues Charlies.

The mission of the Marine For Life Program is to provide transition assistance to Marines who honorably leave active service and return to civilian life; and to support injured Marines and their families.

If you have any questions, you can contact me at: usmcnypd911@ yahoo.com

Keep pressing forward

SSgt Arias
NYC Hometown Link
Marine For Life program
Wounded Warrior Regiment
www.m4l.usmc. mil

H.RES 111 IH

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 111

Establishing a Select Committee on POW and MIA Affairs.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 30, 2007

Mr. KING of New York submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules

RESOLUTION

Establishing a Select Committee on POW and MIA Affairs.

Resolved, That there is established in the House of Representatives a select committee to be known as the Select Committee on POW and MIA Affairs.

FUNCTIONS

Sec. 2. The select committee shall conduct a full investigation of all unresolved matters relating to any United States personnel unaccounted for from the Vietnam era, the Korean conflict, World War II, Cold War Missions, or Gulf War, including MIA’s and POW’s.

APPOINTMENT AND MEMBERSHIP

Sec. 3. (a) Members- The select committee shall be composed of 10 Members of the House, who shall be appointed by the Speaker. Not more than half of the members of the select committee shall be of the same political party.

(b) Vacancy- Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the select committee shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

(c) Chairperson- The Speaker shall designate one member of the select committee to be its chairperson.

AUTHORITY AND PROCEDURES

Sec. 4. (a) Authority- For purposes of carrying out this resolution, the select committee (or any subcommittee of the select committee authorized to hold hearings) may sit and act during the present Congress at any time or place within the United States (including any Commonwealth or possession of the United States, or elsewhere, whether the House is in session, has recessed, or has adjourned) and to hold such hearings as it considers necessary.

(b) Rules of Procedure- The provisions of clauses 1, 2, and 4 of rule XI of the Rules of the House shall apply to the select committee.

(c) Prohibition Against Meeting at Certain Times- Subsection (a) may not be construed to limit the applicability of clause 2(i) of rule XI of the Rules of the House to the select committee.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Sec. 5. (a) Expenses- Subject to the adoption of expense resolutions as required by clause 6 of rule X of the Rules of the House, the select committee may incur expenses in connection with its functions under this resolution.

(b) Staff and Travel- In carrying out its functions under this resolution, the select committee may–

(1) appoint, either on a permanent basis or as experts or consultants, any staff that the select committee considers necessary;

(2) prescribe the duties and responsibilities of the staff;

(3) fix the compensation of the staff at a single per annum gross rate that does not exceed the highest rate of basic pay, as in effect from time to time, of level V of the Executive Schedule in section 5316 of title 5, United States Code;

(4) terminate the employment of any such staff as the select committee considers appropriate; and

(5) reimburse members of the select committee and of its staff for travel, subsistence, and other necessary expenses incurred by them in the performance of their functions for the select committee, other than expenses in connection with any meeting of the select committee, or a subcommittee thereof, held in the District of Columbia.

(c) Expiration- The select committee and all authority granted in this resolution shall expire 30 days after the filing of the final report of the select committee with the House, or just prior to noon on January 5, 2009, whichever occurs first.

REPORTS AND RECORDS

Sec. 6. (a) Final Report- As soon as practicable during the present Congress, the select committee shall submit to the House a final report setting forth its findings and recommendations as a result of its investigation.

(b) Filing of Reports- Any report made by the select committee when the House is not in session shall be filed with the Clerk of the House.

(c) Referral of Reports- Any report made by the select committee shall be referred to the committee or committees that have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the report.

(d) Records, Files, and Materials- Following the termination of the select committee, the records, files, and materials of the select committee shall be transferred to the Clerk of the House. If the final report of the select committee is referred to only one committee under the provisions of subsection (c), the records, files, and materials of the select committee shall be transferred instead to the committee to which the final report is referred.

DEFINITIONS

Sec. 7. For purposes of this resolution:

(1) The term `Member of the House’ means any Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress.

(2) The term `MIA’ means any United States personnel that is unaccounted for and missing in action.

(3) The term `POW’ means any United States personnel that is unaccounted for and known to be a prisoner of war.

(4) The term `select committee’ means the Select Committee on MIA and POW Affairs established by this resolution.

Comment Name: Robin Ridley

I am writing to express my concerns over the language of H.R. 111. FUNCTIONS Sec. 2. The select committee shall conduct a full investigation of all unresolved matters relating to any United States personnel unaccounted for from the Vietnam era, the Korean conflict, World War II, Cold War Missions, or Gulf War, including MIA..’s and POW..’s. By joining all of the conflicts, wars and missions together with the word ..”OR..”, this means that the select committee can PICK AND CHOOSE which ..”conflict..” they want to investigate, rather than investigating them all. IF the bill had the word ..”AND..” joining the wars, conflics and missions, the committee would be required to investigate all unresolved matters relating to any United States personnel unaccounted for from ALL of the wars, conflicts and missions. In my opinion, the way this bill is written provides the government an ..”out…” Additionally, since the inception of the OIF & OEF, the U.S. has additional MIA..’s. These ..”wars..” should be included in this bill as well.

Dear Mr. Ridley:

Thanks fior your comments on H.Res.111. Unlike most other bills in the House, this one does not become “law,” but rather its language only affects how the House of Representatives is organized — that is, it deals with organization and rules of procedure within the House. Thus it went to the House Rules Committee rather than the Armed Services Committee. Once a select committee is establihed, it can do investigations and recommend legislation.

Such a committee can turn up the heat on POW/MIA issues — they can hold hearings, publish reports, investigate an issue, and call upon people to testify at hearings. When this select committee is established, its members ignore issues at their peril — they have to stand for re-election every two years. They are not “the only game in town” and they know it.

Frank

Frank M. Tims, Ph.D.
American Cold War veterans

DuBois American Legion Holds POW/MIA Ceremony

DUBOIS, Pa. — The DuBois American Legion held a special ceremony Tuesday evening to draw attention to soldiers who are missing in action or prisoners of war.

The ceremony centers around an empty table placed in the center of the room, symbolizing the empty chair of the soldier.

A pinch of salt on the table symbolizes the tears of the soldier’s family.

Organizers said a slice of lemon on the table symbolizes the soldier’s “bitter fate.”

DuBois American Legion officials said the ceremony has been held across the country.

Support Missing in America Project

Help Give Forgotten Veterans A Proper Burial





Mission Statement:
The purpose of the MIA Project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations. To provide honor and respect to those who have served this country by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes.


Scope:
The initial focus of the MIA Project will be a massive, nation-wide effort to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed remains of forgotten veterans. This task will be executed through the combined, cooperative efforts of members of the American Legion, other volunteer service and veteran organizations, local Funeral Homes, State Funeral Commissions, State and National Veterans Administration Agencies, and the State and National Veterans Cemetery Administrations. Local, state and national laws must be followed in the identification, claiming process and proper interment of the unclaimed remains of forgotten veterans.

This will be a lengthy project and will require many man-hours to ensure that we have done our utmost to discover every forgotten veteran and procure each a dignified resting place. This will also be a labor of love, a task of redemption, for a debt of service that can never be repaid.

The second phase of the MIA Project will be the creation of a network of individuals working with local Funeral Homes, State, and National Agencies to ensure that, from now on, the cremated remains of any unclaimed veteran will be identified, claimed and interred in a timely manner. This will be an ongoing project and will most likely be a cooperative effort between many voluntary service organizations.

The MIA Project will be a long-term project, but not a time sensitive project.

Total Funeral Homes Visited – 219 Cremains Found – 4664*

Veterans Cremains Identified – 107 Veterans Interred – 101