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Monthly Archives: June 2009

My thoughts On “United We Serve” and the VA

Well Kudos to Secretary Shinseki and other VA leadership for participating
in the United We Serve Campaign. The sentiment is appreciated but I
really think it misses the mark badly.

There is no time in my opinion for these frivolous community service
projects when Shinseki and company have so much work to do as they
preside over arguably one of the most broken government bureaucracies .

With the VA Claims System bogged down by their own rules regulations
and a a shortage of VA workers to process the claims, and with a
sprinkling of incompetence there is NO TIME for feel good photo ops.

If Duckworth and Shinseki want to Serve in Presidents Obama’s “United
We serve Campaign” I think they should start by addressing the hundreds
of thousands of claims that are languishing in the VA offices around
the country.

Maybe they could start processing claims themselves before they do
anything else.

Mr. Secretary let’s do the job you are paid to to do first before you
drive vets to their appointments, as noble a job that it is he should
not be doing it until there are no veterans waiting for their
compensation or pensions.

Just my thoughts on “United We Serve and the VA “

Sean Eagan
Chairman American Cold War Veterans Inc


VA Secretary Hits the Road to Highlight "United We Serve" Effort

VA Secretary Hits the Road to Highlight "United We Serve" Effort

Shinseki Encourages Veterans, Families to Help Their Communities

WASHINGTON (June 22, 2009) – Heeding President Obama's call for
Americans to commit themselves to meaningful, long-term service to their
communities as part of the "United We Serve" campaign, Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki spent part of his morning today
transporting patients to the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center.

"We, who enjoy liberty's blessings, will forever remain in debt of the
men and women who served our nation in uniform," Secretary Shinseki
said. "Volunteering on their behalf is one way we can show our respect,
regard and devotion for their service."

He noted that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a long
tradition of volunteering. Last year over 80,000 people volunteered
more than 11 million hours to service to VA. They drove patients to
medical appointments, welcomed returning combat Veterans home, helped
homeless Veterans and donated time to maintain VA's 128 national

Shinseki was joined by several members of VA's senior leadership.
Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth addressed a group of youth
volunteers about "Knowing and Respecting Disabled Veterans" and helped
escort a patient to a rehabilitation appointment. Assistant Secretaries
John U. Sepulveda and Roger W. Baker escorted patients to their
appointments at the D.C. VAMC. Assistant Secretary Jose D. Riojas and
Acting Assistant Secretary Karen W. Pane served meals at a local D.C.

"There is no better way to honor America's heroes than to spend time
every week giving back to those who have already given so much,"
Shinseki said.

VA's principals and other cabinet officials and senior federal leaders
across the country highlighted the President's summer service program,
which encourages Americans to recommit themselves to improving their
communities. The campaign runs through September 11, which will be
National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The campaign, coordinated by the Corporation for National and Community
Services, is encouraging Americans to develop their own service programs
that benefit their communities. Toolkits for developing projects are
available online at

VA Launches New Study

VA Launches 10-Year Health Study of 60,000 New Veterans

WASHINGTON (June 22, 2009) — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
has initiated a large, long-term study to look carefully at a broad
array of health issues that may affect Operation Enduring
Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans and their
counterparts who served during the same time period. VA's "National
Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans" will begin with
30,000 Veterans deployed to OEF/OIF and 30,000 comparison Veterans who
were not deployed.

"This study will help us fulfill President Obama's pledge to 'stand with
our Veterans as they face new challenges' by enabling us to understand
the health problems of our newest generation of combat Veterans," Dr.
Gerald M. Cross, VA's acting under secretary for health, said. "The
study's findings will help us plan more effectively to provide the best
care possible for these deserving Veterans."

The study will include Veterans who served in each branch of service,
representing active duty, Reserve, and National Guard members. Women
will be over-sampled to make sure they are represented and will comprise
20 percent of the study, or 12,000 women. A combination of mail
surveys, online surveys, telephone interviews, and in-person physical
evaluations will be used to collect data from the Veterans.

The study will compare the deployed and non-deployed Veterans in terms
of chronic medical conditions, traumatic brain injury (TBI), post
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological conditions,
general health perceptions, reproductive health, pregnancy outcomes,
functional status, use of health care, behavioral risk factors (smoking,
drinking, seatbelt use, speeding, motorcycle helmet use, and sexual
behavior), and VA disability compensation. VA has contracted with an
independent Veteran-owned research firm, HMS Technologies Inc., to
collect the data.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for providing federal
benefits to Veterans and their families. VA is the second largest of
the 15 cabinet departments and operates nationwide programs for health
care, financial assistance and burial benefits. The VA health care
system operates more than 1,400 sites of care. Nearly 5.5 million
people received care in VA health care facilities in 2008.

New Cold War Veterans Group Born

Our thanks to Rep. Hubert Vo, D-TX for iniviting us out to the RVN Armed Forces Memorial Ceremony this past Sunday. Read more about this incredible event:



Michael W. “Mick” Stewart
1230 Gardenia Drive * Houston TX 77018-4212
Cold War Forum:
Main email:
Main Line: 713.683.0399 [ USA ]

VA Health Care Eligibility & Enrollment All Enrollment Priority Groups

VA Health Care Eligibility & Enrollment All Enrollment Priority
Groups Priority Description

Priority 1: • Veterans with VA-rated service-connected disabilities
50% or more disabling • Veterans determined by VA to be unemployable
due to service-connected conditions

Priority 2: • Veterans with VA-rated service-connected disabilities
30% or 40% disabling

Priority 3: • Veterans who are Former Prisoners of War (POWs) •
Veterans awarded a Purple Heart medal • Veterans whose discharge was
for a disability that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty •
Veterans with VA-rated service-connected disabilities 10% or 20%
disabling • Veterans awarded special eligibility classification under
Title 38, U.S.C., § 1151, "benefits for individuals disabled by
treatment or vocational rehabilitation"

Priority 4: • Veterans who are receiving aid and attendance or
housebound benefits from VA • Veterans who have been determined by VA
to be catastrophically disabled

Priority 5: • Nonservice-connected veterans and noncompensable
service-connected veterans rated 0% disabled by VA with annual income
and net worth below the VA National Income Thresholds • Veterans
receiving VA pension benefits • Veterans eligible for Medicaid

Priority 6: • World War I veterans • Compensable 0% service-connected
veterans • Veterans exposed to Ionizing Radiation during atmospheric
testing or during the occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki • Project
112/SHAD participants • Veterans who served in a theater of combat
operations after November 11, 1998 as follows: ◦ Currently enrolled
Veterans and new enrollees who were discharged from active duty on or
after January 28, 2003, are eligible for the enhanced benefits for 5
years post discharge ◦ Veterans discharged from active duty before
January 28, 2003, who apply for enrollment on or after January 28,
2008 are eligible for this enhanced enrollment benefit through January
27, 2011 NOTE: At the end of this enhanced enrollment priority group
placement time period Veterans will be assigned to the highest
Priority Group their unique eligibility status at that time qualifies

Priority 7: • Veterans with income and/or net worth above the VA
national income threshold and income below the VA National Geographic
Income Thresholds who agree to pay copays

Priority 8: • Veterans with income and/or net worth above the VA
National Income Thresholds and the VA National Geographic Income
Thresholds who agree to pay copays Veterans eligible for enrollment:
Noncompensable 0% service-connected and: ◦ Subpriority a: Enrolled as
of January 16, 2003, and who have remained enrolled since that date
and/or placed in this subpriority due to changed eligibility status ◦
Subpriority b: Enrolled on or after June 15, 2009 whose income exceeds
the current VA National Income Thresholds or VA National Geographic
Income Thresholds by 10% or less Veterans eligible for enrollment:
Nonservice-connected and: ◦ Subpriority c: Enrolled as of January 16,
2003, and who have remained enrolled since that date and/or placed in
this subpriority due to changed eligibility status ◦ Subpriority d:
Enrolled on or after June 15, 2009 whose income exceeds the current VA
National Income Thresholds or VA National Geographic Income Thresholds
by 10% or less Veterans not eligible for enrollment: Veterans not
meeting the criteria above:

◦ Subpriority e: Noncompensable 0% service-connected

◦ Subpriority g: Nonservice-connected Federal Benefits for
Veterans and Dependents

VA’s Suicide Prevention Message

VA's Suicide Prevention Message Carried on 21,000 Buses


WASHINGTON (June 19, 2009) – The telephone number for the suicide
prevention "lifeline" of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is now
being carried on more than 21,000 city buses in 124 communities across
the United States and will run until Sept. 1, 2009.


The advertisements carry a message of hope for those who have served
their country and are undergoing an emotional crisis.


"We continue to look for new, innovative ways to reach our Veterans,"
Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth said. "VA wants to make sure to
exhaust all avenues to reach those in need of our services."


VA is partnering with Blu Line Media, an outdoor advertising company
which specializes in helping businesses and government tell their
stories through educational outreach campaigns, cause-related social
marketing and integrated communications.


Since its inception in July 2007, the VA Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1
800-273-TALK, has rescued more than 3,000 Veterans and provided
counseling for more than 120,000 Veterans and their loved ones at home
and overseas.  The lifeline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week
by trained mental health professionals prepared to deal with immediate


Marketing the lifeline through mass transit campaigns was piloted in the
Washington D.C. area during the summer of 2008 with great success.


VA has also promoted awareness of the toll-free number through national
public service announcements featuring actor Gary Sinise and television
journalist Deborah Norville.  The bus advertisement and public service
announcements are available for download via YouTube and at

Congressman Neil Abercrombie sponsors legislation to help U.S. veterans who were exposed to ionizing radiation during their years of military service and are now suffering illnesses as a result

Viral E-mail Spreads Lies About the VA

A viral e-mail is circulating claiming that the VA is revoking veterans concealed carry permits. Learn more, Please pass this along as it is a lie, and is causing much confusion among veterans.

Vetmade Industries Inc invited you to:

Vetmade Fundraiser – Help or We’ll Close 6/30 – Help Our VetsWhen:Wednesday, June 03, 2009 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDTWhere:Vetmade Industries, Inc 1517 W. Cypress St Tampa, FL 33606

Please Help…We’re going to have to close June 30thand lay off 10+ Disabled Vets..Any amount, any help would be appreciated. – Vetmade Industries Inc

VA Transferring 85.4 Acres from North Chicago VA Medical Center

WASHINGTON (June 11, 2009)– The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced plans to transfer 85.4 acres of land from the North Chicago VA Medical Center to the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

“Savings resulting from the transfer of land will enable VA to support
its ongoing efforts to improve health care services to Veterans in the
Chicago area by better aligning facilities and assets,” said Dr. Gerald
M. Cross, VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health.

The university has agreed to use the land solely for the purpose of
educating students in the health sciences, a significant part of VA’s
mission. Since 2002, the university has been using the property under an
enhanced-use lease agreement with VA. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs
recently determined that the majority of the land leased to the
university would not be needed by VA in the future.

The transfer agreement also facilitates the use of 8.5 acres to be used
for the planned Joint Federal Health Care Facility to be shared by VA
and the Navy. The transfer will save VA the cost of maintaining property
it no longer needs.

The property has been most recently used as a staging area for
construction of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center,
a joint VA and Department of Defense medical facility scheduled to open
in late 2010.