Veterans News Blog

Vets Issues

Monthly Archives: July 2011

The American Veteran July



An old idea is emerging with supporters in both Congress and the Administration to establish a Chained-CPI as the new COLA Standard replacing the current CPI formula for annual cost of living adjustments in federal programs.   The index revision is a consideration to reduce the National Debt by reducing federal entitlements and changing the tax code.  The Chained-CPI grows slower than the current CPI by an average of 0.3% points a year over the past decade.  Adoption would eliminate NOT ONLY the first COLA increase in more than 2 years but produce future military retiree loss of substantial lifetime retirement income.   Some estimate the cumulative potential loss of income of a Master Sergeant (E-7) retiring today to be $100,000 after 20 years.                         

Others impacted by a Chained CPI and its reduced cost of living adjustment include:  Every person receiving entitlements from the Department of Veteran Affairs but most notably, Wounded Warriors, and all who receive Disability Compensation, Pensions, Survivor DIC; America’s citizens who receive Social Security benefits.   Arbitrarily depressing the annual inflation rate by different criteria in a proposed Chained CPI will limit or eliminate the annual cost of living adjustment.  This action on former members of this Nation’s Armed Forces, their survivors, and all Social Security recipients should be rejected.  It’s potential harm to those who have worked and supported America in both the short- and long- term is unacceptable. 

This call to action is for you, your family, your neighbors. Spread the word.  Be an active part in this ALERT!

Here Is A Easy Way to Write Your Lawmakers[capwiz:queue_id]

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Hiring Vets Makes Positive Investment, General Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 – Hiring military reservists and veterans is a positive investment for America, the deputy director of U.S. Army Reserve Command told federal hiring officials yesterday.

Reservists and veterans have a "vast resource of capabilities" that provides a distinct hiring pool for federal civilian jobs, Army Maj. Gen. Jon J. Miller said at the Veterans Employment Symposium, held here by the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor and Homeland Security, and the Office of Personnel Management. The purpose of the symposium was to help federal hiring officials improve practices for hiring veterans.

Miller highlighted the Employer Partnership of the Armed Services, which the Defense Department created last year to help separating service members, veterans and reservists find jobs.

"The Employer Partnership career portal is like a, but tailored for the military," Miller said. "Not only can job seekers find positions they are looking for, but employers can also reach in and find the quality candidates they need."

The general said it makes sense to hire veterans and reservists, since the military has spent so much effort to grow them into leaders. "And not just leaders in the field, while in uniform," he added. "We've taught them to be leaders in whatever they do."

The Army Reserve has adopted the idea of transitioning soldiers from active duty to reserve duty, while keeping the door open to shift between statuses until the soldier retires, Miller said. "Although we want them to continue to serve in America's army in uniform, we are nonetheless doubly gratified when they answer another call to public service," he said.

Service members are trained in a wide spectrum of disciplines, Miller noted, including health care, transportation, logistics, public safety, engineering, construction and many others.

Navy Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, told symposium participants about the command's focus on hiring wounded warriors. The command began its efforts two years ago, hiring 84 wounded warriors in fiscal 2009. Last year, the command hired 283 wounded warriors, and has hired 337 so far this year, he said.

McCoy has called hiring wounded warriors "a moral imperative." On July 22, he signed an agreement, along with Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commander of U.S. Army Materiel Command, to partner in hiring veterans with service-connected disability ratings of 30 percent or more.

"It is not about what we can do for them, but what they can contribute to making our missions successful for the warfighter," he said. "These wounded warriors will be able to translate their battlefield experience into our work, which is supporting the warfighter — a job they know well."

Existing civilian hiring procedures do not connect wounded warriors to jobs, McCoy said, and it is not enough to pull from a list of qualified names. Rather, he said, hiring officials "have to be where warfighters are, rather than waiting for them to come to you."

Army Maj. Gen. Jon J. Miller
Navy Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy
Related Sites:
Employer Partnership of the Armed Services

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

DAV Virtual March on Washington to Protect Veterans’ Compensation and Benefits

found at the following event page ~

I am virtually marching on Washington today to express my disappointment in the management of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This federal agency has not addressed the most dire issues, nor do they have a plan to address issues veterans face today. Leadership of the VA – needs to lead, and stop hiding behind technology to fix veterans issues. I know that the current administration is ONLY interested in helping veterans from current conflicts, and they are ONLY interested in helping their friends in the Tech sector. But nothing will replace the human interaction that veterans need, when they seek help at the VA.

1) Adjudication of Claims Claims have dramatically increased from 600,000 in 2008 to over 1 million. It’s probably twice that, but VA played a shell game, denied veterans simply to move them to a different status: instead of new claim, they are now appeal claims. Some veterans have been waiting over 6 – 10 years to get their claim finished. Forcing a veteran to a DRO, who denies and then on to Appeal. This system is kiilling veterans. Even in light of the new PTSD rules, veterans are still having to prove stressors and have buddy statements, which leads me to…

2) Mental Health In May 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “unchecked incompetence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs had led to poor mental health care and slow processing of disability claims for veterans. All VA has done is create an APPLICATION for PTSD for iphones, which most veterans do NOT have. Their second line of defense is a useless hotline, medication. 18 a day are killing themselves, just to avoid interaction with Veterans Affairs. Your program is not working. Tool up with a better plan.

3) 25% of our homeless in this country are VETERANS The VA has thrown good money after bad to charities to rectify this, to the tune of 55 million last year, and only helping 6000 of the over 100,000+ homeless veterans. A useless homeless hotline that goes no where, that finally tells a veteran to lie at a commercial hospital and have a bed for a night. Vets are homeless right now in Texas and they are living day by day to try to survive the heat. There is no money here in Texas according to the VA’s charities, they gave it all away by last February.

4) Poor infection control standards MRSA, HIV and Hepatiitus are spreading rampantly in the VA. Dirty instruments incidents happen time and again, all over the country. Publishing guidelines does not make it so. Get on the stick and educated your workforce and fire those who do not comply.

5) VA CULTURE With 79% of the workforce never having worn a uniform, there is a tendency of those at the hospitals and VBA to mistreat our veterans and be very nasty and off-putting. The time has come to clean house. I mean from the top of the food chain to the bottom rungs. Re-education programs, basic military history courses. I have literally heard a psych DOC say that She hates the military, it’s traditions, it’s customs and laughs…- I OWN THE VETERAN. As if they were dogs. She was hell bent on ensuring they never got the help they needed. She still works in Fort Worth. The VBA undersecretary never served one day in combat or overseas. She had 15 years in DC. She, and her entire staff at the VBA will never understand the vernacular of a disabled veteran. She needs to go. We need a leadership that has combat experience. We cannot help the disabled veteran if we cannot understand them.

6) KOREA If the VHA will not give a simple coarse to their employees about where the military is, they will continue to embarrass themselves to veterans. To tell a Korea DMZ veteran that he is a “peacetime veteran” is wrong. A treaty was never ratified by South Korea. Those veterans who served post Korean war were in a similar theatre of operation as those in Afghanistan is today.These veterans are aging and need medical attention, and are being pushed away and denied based on their status as PEACETIME. If this is not combat, why do so many of the DMZ veterans have CIB’s and paid hazardous duty pay?? They faced daily hand to hand combat, infiltrators, and forced to lay in Agent Orange, which may of been sprayed in 1968, but has a 15 year shelf life. To deny their claims, as the VA has continued to do, and disrespect their honorable service is a travesty. General Shinseki served in Korea and should know this, and educate his workforce.

7) Jobs for Vets Stop trying to cure all veterans joblessness with education. Not every returning veteran from OEF/OIF is in thier 20’s and wants to go to college. Not every jobless veteran served in OEF or OIF. Many are not retrainable, and you need to address this, or they will fall into the homeless ranks.

Veterans and Veteran supporters, please feel free to share this note…


Lisa Holmes, Admin

Vets Helping Vets


You sure laid it out there. Unless one has experienced you cannot comprehend what a bureaucratic nightmare the VA is. I have seen some improvements but you are right they need to do better much better. Way to go I support your efforts 100 percent.

“Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honor them.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Obama, Thurman Commemorate Korean Armistice Anniversary

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2011 – As President Barack Obama commemorated the anniversary of the armistice agreement that established a demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and brought an end to fighting there, the top U.S. officer in Korea emphasized today the need for international cooperation to curb the North Korean aggression the armistice was drafted to prevent.

Speaking during armistice anniversary ceremonies along the demilitarized zone, Army Gen. James D. Thurman echoed the message Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Navy Adm. Mike Mullen delivered earlier this month in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

“We ask the global community to assist in convincing North Korea that its path to security and prosperity lies in the cessation of its provocative behavior, better relations with its neighbors and complete, irreversible denuclearization,” Thurman said.

Thurman offered his comments as a top North Korean diplomat visits New York at Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s invitation for talks aimed at restarting the stalled Six-Party Talks.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-gwan was slated to meet today with Stephen Bosworth, the Obama administration’s envoy for North Korea, at the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Obama marked the armistice anniversary recognizing the service members who fought for South Korea’s freedom in that conflict and continue to help protect it today.

The president declared today National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, marking 58 years since the signing of what was thought to be a temporary measure to end open hostilities on the Korean peninsula until a peace treaty could be signed.

No peace treaty has ever been agreed to, however, leaving a tentative peace between North and South Korea that sometimes has erupted into conflict.

North Korea launched a torpedo attack in March 2010 that sunk the South Korean navy ship Cheonan and killed 46 sailors. In November, a North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island killed four, including two South Korean service members.

Today, Obama took the opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of those who sacrificed after the Korean peninsula erupted in conflict on June 25, 1950, and continue to defend South Korea today.

“Today, we express our unending gratitude to all who fought and died in pursuit of freedom and democracy for the Korean peninsula,” he said in his proclamation.

“For three years, our armed forces fought to help keep Korea free, suffering bitter reversals and winning stunning victories before the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjon secured the border near the 38th Parallel,” he said. “Together, American service members and allied forces were part of a generation that, in the words inscribed at their memorial in Washington, defended ‘a country they never knew and a people they never met.'”

The veterans’ courage and sacrifice enabled South Korea to flourish, and the U.S.-South Korean alliance remains “stronger than ever” today, Obama said.

Together, the United States and South Korea continue to advance freedom and stability not only on the peninsula, but across East Asia and around the world, he said.

Obama paid special tribute to the tens of thousands of troops who died protecting South Korea and recognized those who have continued to guard the border since hostilities officially concluded. “Their selfless sacrifices have had a profound impact on the promotion of freedom across the globe,” he said.

The president emphasized the nation’s responsibility to care for these veterans and their families.

“On National Korean War Armistice Day, we recommit to supporting our venerable warriors and their families, and we pay our deepest respects to those who laid down their lives,” he said.

Army Gen. James D. Thurman
Related Sites:
Presidential Proclamation

VA Earns Recognition for Workforce Diversity

VA Earns Recognition for Workforce Diversity

Student intern Program Averages 58 Participants Every Summer

WASHINGTON -The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been selected by
the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to receive
the Outstanding HACU Public Partner Award in recognition of the
Department's efforts to bring Hispanics into its workforce.  The award
will be presented at HACU's 25th Annual Conference this October in San
Antonio, Texas.

"This award demonstrates VA's commitment to a diverse workforce," said
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "These young people are
given a unique opportunity to learn about the Department of Veterans
Affairs and Federal Government through the HACU internships.  Many will
return to VA as fulltime employees."

The program's objective is to provide professional work experience that
will enable Hispanic students to make more informed career choices and
supplements their academic study with practical experience. VA's
Veterans Health Administration alone has averaged 58 interns every
summer for the last five years.

"Veterans Affairs has been an active and long-term partner in HACU's
National Internship Program," said HACU President and CEO Antonio
Flores.  "By its active participation, VA has increased its
opportunities to hire well-qualified Latino graduates, thereby
diversifying its workforce. At the same time, the internship has raised
awareness of young Hispanics about employment opportunities in public
service generally, and the VA in particular."

Nancy Carrillo, a 21-year-old psychology major at the University of
Texas at El Paso, is interning at VA's Readjustment Counseling Service
in Washington, D.C.  "I'm very interested in counseling as a career,
especially counseling Veterans," she said.  "I appreciate the sacrifice
they've made for our country. Counseling and helping them reintegrate
into civilian life is my way of thanking them."

Ivan Jimenez, 23, is majoring in architecture and environmental design
at the University of Houston.  This summer he's interning in the
Facilities Management Office at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans.
"This is fun, and I'm learning a lot," Jimenez said.  "Right now I'm
helping them design the new fitness center here.  I get to go to
meetings with the architects and consultants."

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is a national
association of nonprofit higher education institutions. Established in
1986, the association represents more than 350 colleges and universities
in the United States and Puerto Rico. The HACU National Internship
Program has become the Nation's largest Hispanic college internship
program. HACU represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions where Hispanic
Americans constitute as least 25 percent of the total enrollment at
either the undergraduate or graduate level.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Veterans United Connect Launches New Facebook App

Veterans United Connect is launching a new application that will help network a already tight-knit internet veteran community.

Anything that helps vets reunite and band together as a political force sounds like a great idea to me. I for one cannot wait to give it a try. Vets finally will now have a app to harness the networking potential of FB. Below is a guest post from veterans united that will give you a more detailed run down of what to look forward too. I will run some screen shots of it ASAP.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

For many service members, a permanent change of station feels can feel like a permanent change in friends.

Quick goodbyes and the promises to keep in touch sometimes fade as the busy military lifestyle picks up in a new location.

In more recent years, social media have made it easier to keep in touch with friends over long distances. But, unfortunately, finding old friends after the fact still proves to be difficult for scores of veterans and military spouses.

A new, free Facebook application was created to change that and make reconnecting and communication with old military friends easier than ever.

The new app, Veterans United Connect, aims to solve the problem by connecting veterans and their families with other service members based on when and where they served together.

Reconnect With Old Friends

Traditional social media makes tracking down veterans with common names living in big cities incredibly difficult.

By imputing information such as branch, base, service span and separation date, the Veterans United Connect app generates friend suggestions for veterans and families who served at the same time and place as the user.

A simple interface makes it easier than ever to reconnect, share stories and photos and get active in the military community even after you’ve left the base.

Community Connections

Veterans United Connect is not just for reconnecting with old friends. Active duty service members and their families are also using it to forge new connections at future bases.

If you’re faced with a PCS to a base you’ve never visited before, use the app to ask questions about housing, schools and lifestyle and get answers from people already living there.

This opportunity to recognize a friendly face or two on moving day will make the bonds in the military community even stronger and long lasting.

A pilot version released in 2009 attracted a large following and was featured in Stars & Stripes. The new version of Veterans United Connect has received a significant makeover, which means it more matches service members and their families.

The app is completely free thanks to a sponsorship from Veterans United, the nation’s leading dedicated VA lender. It takes just two minutes to sign up.

Veterans United Connect officially re-launches July 25. App developers expect it to have more than 500,000 users by the end of the year.

Sean P Eagan Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Save Ewa Field Update

Ewa Field MCAS Preservation Resolution PASSED by Hawaii Legislature

Aloha Rear Admiral Smith,

The will of the Ewa-West Oahu Community SUPPORTS full Ewa Field
preservation, not PV panels with a high security fence around it for 20+
years. That is not preservation.

The Ewa Field Resolution 49 was passed by the Hawaii State Legislative
session on Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The State Legislature got behind the Preservation of the MCAS Ewa Field with
the goal to expedite the listing of the December 7, 1941 battlefield as a
National Monument, National Landmark and recognized National American

Nearly identical resolutions were also passed in 2009 on Oahu by three
Neighborhood Boards- Ewa Beach NB, Waipahu NB and Kailua-Windward NB.

This is the expressed will of the Ewa-West Oahu community. It couldn't be
stated any clearer what the Ewa West Oahu Community wants to see at Ewa
Field and why we have had such broad support for this goal for over three

Here's what the State Legislature resolution actually said-

Many Thanks to those who sent in or delivered testimony for this bill:

HCR49_TESTIMONY_EDT_05_04_09 Testimony

HCR49_TESTIMONY_EBM_03-03-09_ Testimony

John Bond
Save Ewa Field

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Presidential Proclamation–National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2011

On June 25, 1950, the Korean peninsula erupted in conflict, becoming the front line of an intensifying Cold War.  For 3 years, our Armed Forces fought to help keep Korea free, suffering bitter reversals and winning stunning victories before the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjom secured the border near the 38th parallel.  Together, American service members and allied forces were part of a generation that, in the words inscribed at their memorial in Washington, defended "a country they never knew and a people they never met."  Today, we express our unending gratitude to all who fought and died in pursuit of freedom and democracy for the Korean peninsula.

Our veterans' courage and sacrifice have enabled the Republic of Korea to flourish as a strong and prosperous nation for over half a century.  In the decades following the Armistice, the American and South Korean people have maintained a warm friendship, and our alliance is stronger than ever.  We remember our common values and shared suffering during the Korean War, and we continue to work together towards advancing the cause of freedom and stability in East Asia and around the world.

Today, we honor the tens of thousands of service members who gave their last full measure of devotion to protect the people of the Republic of Korea.  We also pay tribute to the generations of Americans who have guarded the border since hostilities concluded.  It is our sacred duty as a grateful Nation to care for all those who have served, and to provide for our veterans and their families.

We will never forget that America owes its liberty, security, and prosperity to the heroic acts of our service members.  We must also remember that their selfless sacrifices have had a profound impact on the promotion of freedom across the globe.  On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we recommit to supporting our venerable warriors and their families, and we pay our deepest respects to those who laid down their lives.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2011, as National Korean War

Veterans Armistice Day.  I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our distinguished Korean War Veterans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty sixth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Cold War : AF Survival Manual

Checkout this Pub

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000