Veterans News Blog

Vets Issues

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Veterans to receive COLA in pensions

Veterans and their families will receive a 3.6 percent increase thanks to legislation passed by
the Senate. Since the House has already approved a slightly different plan, the House will now
have to approve the Senate version before it can be sent to the President.

Increases will be given for disabled veterans' compensation, additional compensation for
dependents, clothing allowance, dependent compensation for spouses and children.

The first increase since 2009 is scheduled to become effective Dec. 1st so that the larger
checks will arrive in January.

Veterans' benefits are not tied to the Consumer Price Index the way Social Security and federal
civilian retirement programs. Benefits for veterans must be approved by Congress.

It is not a large increase, but one that is justified and very much past due. Thank you Congress
for finally doing something right for our veterans.

Social Security and Social Security Disability payments will also be increased by 3.6 percent,
this is also the first increase in these payments since 2009. Our seniors need this increase
to maintain their life styles.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000


Imagine This Halloween Scream, Huntington W.V. as a Cold War Ground Zero

 Considering thoughts of prophecy intruding from “wars and rumors of war,” earthquakes and other events, for a little over a month in 1962, well, it w like the first week following September 11, 2001.

John F. Kennedy had the Commander in Chief position , but the young handsome President had two in his face failures — the U.S. had tried to overthrow Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator, at the Bay of Pig and Operation Mongoose. Shortly thereafter, Cuba entered into an agreement with the Soviet Union for bases to be constructed on the island for medium range ballistic missiles. Russia would send the nuclear weapons by sea.

Thus, on Oct. 14, 1962, the Cold War began a period of likeliness to become World War III.

A little wee recall injects a tyke asking his federal employee father about the President’s speech. The “classified” site on the INCO property was not revealed, but the city’s place on Cuba and Russia’s Top Ten targets was known.

“Where will we go?”

A bunch of pamphlets brought in after work detailed procedures for building fallout shelters, avoiding radiation, and discussing prospects of mutually assured destruction.

No nuclear or cold war film had Huntington or Charleston, WV as ground zero. However, the thoughts of better bomb shelters for everyone in the back yard are only for the upper class turned thoughts of middle class children to , hey, where do we go in Huntington? The orange and black designated fallout shelter signs (some still remain) had locations storing medical supplies and food.

Although the tunnel between the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Recreation Hall appeared the destiny for government employed families, other awesome hideouts to wait for the radiation to drop would have been the concrete fortified Keith Albee basement, the hard shelled original basement of the Marshall University Science Building, or even, the bowling alley that occupied the lower level of The Arcade.

Movies of the era focused on either a pre-bomb scenario or a after-the explosion scenario. Without CGI special effects, none of the studios could replicate a feature on a “War of the Worlds”/”Independence Day” magnitude. Instead, “Five (1951) ,” “Panic in Year Zero (1962),” “This is not a  Test” (1962) and “In the Year 2889 (1967)” flickered on drive in screens, while studio budgets landed long runs for “On the Beach,” “Fail Safe,” “Ice Station Zebra” and “Dr. Strangelove.”

The “B” indie nuclear holocaust film often selected a lucky group of survivors who by fate or location survived either the end of the world or the first nuclear bombs that destroyed the large cities. “Panic” features Ray Millland rushing his family to a rural hunting area, where they sit out the worst of the battle, actually has resemblance to “Run for the Hills” (1952), where a man turns a cave into a fallout shelter for his family. However, the war leads to insurrection and rouges searching for gas, girls, and food.  

Gregory Peck’s “On the Beach” (1959) had Australia as the last inhabitable continent and a U.S. submarine fleet heading to San Francisco. They are receiving mysterious code messages. It’s the same climax as “Fail Safe (1964 ) and “Dr. Strangelove” (1964), only the reality factor is hyped up considerably.

Political tension and sensitive spy operations to stop pushing of the “button,” range from Hitchcock’s  Paul Newman classic, “The Torn Curtain (    ),” to “Seven Days in May” “Telefon” and “The Odessa File.”

Another  mutually assured destruction post apocalyptic style  included “The World, the Flesh and the Devil,” which followed three nuclear war survivors, a white man, a black man and a white woman. The original , “I Am Legend” featured Vincent Price. Titled “The Last Man on Earth,” this 1964 flick had Dr. Robert Morgan (Price) killing vampires by day in a post-plague, post-atomic world. The 1954 Richard Matheson novel also spawned, “The Omega Man” starring Charleton Heston in 1971.

Returning to the Cuban crisis  premise, the TV movie, “The Missiles of October” (1974)  relied on Robert Kennedy’s “Thirteen Days,” which was re-made in 2000 under that title and starring Kevin Costner.

These flashbacks to the worries of nuclear fallout and nuclear air raids prompted several civil defense documentaries containing the now infamous duck and crouch school room and school hallway drills brought about by our need for nuclear dominance following “The Manhattan Project,” which itself became the topic of a movie.

Of course, little did we know , that a facility manufacturing parts for nuclear cores and reactors sat in the middle of Guyandotte. A direct hit would not have meant a fallout avoidance scenario (stay inside in a secure shelter until the majority of the radiation from a far off blast dropped), no, it would have been a hit more like , “The Day After,” for which the science fiction inspired “Triumph” by Phillip Wylie would have been the solution. In that novel, a multi millionaire constructed an underground facility akin to the one hidden below ground at the Greenbrier for his family, friends, neighbors and others who happened to make it to the secret location.

Survival below?  Those types of flicks did not surge, except  for the vampire mutant premise, which failed to address the impact of safe, underground intimacy for many , many half lives.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

VA/DoD PTSD Coach App Wins FCC Award

WASHINGTON (Oct. 28, 2011) – The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Coach smartphone application, jointly developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), is being honored today as one of seven recipients of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman's Awards for Advancements in Accessibility.

"We are honored to be named as a recipient of this prestigious communications award," said Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert A. Petzel.  "The PTSD Coach app has already helped more than 30,000 users connect with important mental health information and resources.  It is a truly innovative tool which has revolutionized the way Veterans receive health care."

The goal of the FCC Chairman Awards is to encourage technological innovation in communication-related areas and recognize annually those outstanding efforts in the public and private sector as well as public-private partnerships advancing accessibility.  This includes the development of individual mainstream or assistive technologies introduced into the marketplace, the development of standard or best practices that foster accessibility, or the development of a new consumer clearinghouse of disability-related products and services.
"One of our key goals for the PTSD Coach app all along has been accessibility.  Our team works to get useful tools to Veterans whenever and wherever they need them. We are thrilled to have this recognition that we have hit our target," said Julia Hoffman, Psy.D. mobile applications lead, VA National Center for PTSD.

The submissions were judged by a panel of seven FCC executives.  All winners are being honored today at an awards ceremony at the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C.
#  #  #

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

IAVA Join a Veterans Day parade near you


We’re two weeks out. Are you in?

This Veterans Day (11.11.11), we’re bringing Americans together on the ground at some of the largest parades and ceremonies in the country. And we're capitalizing on an historic moment to show the entire nation that veterans are a smart investment in America’s future.

Sign up to join IAVA this Veterans Day and ask the country to invest in our New Greatest Generation.

For ten years, Iraq and Afghanistan vets have led our country overseas. But now more than ever, America needs to invest in our troops coming home.

New veterans have the skills and experience to lead in business, government and in our local communities — and we need opportunities to prove it. That’s why we’re marching in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and San Francisco to lay the groundwork for veteran career fairs over the coming year.

Can you help us build momentum? Join a Veterans Day parade near you to cheer for our veterans with your friends and family.

It’s an historic day for our community, and we hope you'll step out on 11.11.11 to celebrate our nation’s newest veterans–and invest in their future so they can continue serving at home.



Paul Rieckhoff
Founder and Executive Director
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

Stay current on veterans’ issues with VFW’s Washington Weekly. IT’s FREE!

Dear Sean,

Sign up to receive VFW's Washington WeeklyThank you for taking the time to sign VFW’s "10 for 10" Petition protesting cuts in veterans' benefits!

It’s people like you who help us hold Congress to their promises to veterans, service members and their families. And you can count on VFW to keep you updated in this issue as it progresses.

There’s another way to stay abreast of veterans’ issues and related activity on The Hill …

Since I know you care about legislation and issues that affect veterans, I want to invite you to sign up for VFW’s Washington Weekly. It’s a weekly rundown of legislation and initiatives on The Hill that affect our military, veterans and their families.
Sign Up for VFW’s Washington Weekly

Again, your support of America’s veterans is very much appreciated. Thank you for being an ally in our fight to stand strong for America’s veterans.

Forward this to a friend

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

20 Ways Civilians Can Give Back to Veterans

 By Laura Reed Goodson

1% of Americans serve in our military. Don’t just go to the mall this Veterans’
Day. Please be part of the 99% of Americans who actively give something back.

Twenty Ways for Civilians to Support & Thank Veterans & Military Families
(Listed in order of least to most involved ways to participate)

1 Put out an American flag on 11/11/11.
2 Go to ( ) to see lists of organizations who support vets
3 Help wounded warriors and put the veterans back in Veterans’ Day through the Wounded Warrior Believe In Heroes” campaign ( ).
4 Say “thank you for your service” to people you know are veterans or soldiers.
5 Say “tha nk you” to military family members for their service as well.
6 If you’re not sure if someone is a vet, risk asking them: “Are you a veteran, ma’am/sir?” and then thanking them if they say yes. Keep in mind that some vets do not want to make a big deal about their service, to be called a “hero” or to talk at length to someone they don’t know.
7 Use social media such as Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter to express your thanks.
8 Use social media to ask vets in your life what they need.
9 Visit a veterans’ cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, or a Veterans’ Memorial site.
10 Visit or donate to a veterans’ museum. A wide array of museums are devoted to different populations (Special Ops/Women/Vietnam). Use a search engine to find them.
11 If you’re near DC on 11/11/11, attend the “Women Veterans Rock!” Rally at the ARC Performing Arts Theater, 1901 Mississippi Ave, @ noon ( ).
12 If you’re a season ticket holder/sports fan, donate tickets to local recruiting offices to be distributed between vets & active soldiers (to find them, pick a search engine & enter your city name, one of the Armed forces branches (ex: Army), & “recruiting office”).
13 If you love music/play music, support what other musicians are doing for our troops by joining or donating to the USO ( ). Also check out ( ), ( ), and ( ) and consider becoming an active supporter of bringing hope and support into the lives of soldiers through music.
14 If you’re an artist, support the Graffiti of War Project ( ) and the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago ( ).
15 If you’re a writer or want to support veterans who are sharing their stories online, read some military blogs ( ) and some poetry by vets ( ).
16 Follow and/or “Like” the Veterans Writing Project on Facebook & give them money.
17 Help veterans have their stories and service permanently honored and recorded in the Library of Congress through the Veterans History Project ( ).
18 Donate blood for injured troops ( ) and support disabled vets ( ), ( ) & ( ).
19 To help disabled vets near Fort Bragg, NC, email James Howard @
20 Help vets find a job – add job openings & opportunities at: ( ), ( ), ( ), or ( ).

Please pass these suggestions along and consider supporting these projects, organizations, & veterans after Veterans’ day has ended. Thank you.

Compiled by L.R. Goodson, Words for Warriors (
*Many thanks to all of the veterans & advocates who responded with suggestions.

Veterans Advocate Laura Reed Goodson compiled this guide and I thought it was fitting to pass it along with Veterans Day right around the corner. Pick one or pick them all they are all great ideas for expressing your thanks to our nations veterans.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

We Can’t Wait: Supporting Our Veterans | The White House

I think all Americans can agree that veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas. But, all too often, those who have sacrificed so much for America struggle to find a job worthy of their talents. As the President has said, “if you can save a life in Afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance. If you can oversee millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home.” Ensuring our nation’s veterans get the opportunities they have earned has been one of President Obama’s top priorities as Commander in Chief.

That’s why President Obama called for a new Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for firms that hire unemployed veterans and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit that will increase the existing tax credit up to $9,600 for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities.These credits are included in the American Jobs Act. Unfortunately, these tax credits that could help companies hire veterans are held up in Congress.

While we will continue to work with Congress to bring up the American Jobs Act piece by piece, we will increase our focus on taking executive actions that fight for the middle class because the American people simply can’t wait. That’s why today, the Obama Administration is announcing two new initiatives to help create jobs for veterans.

1. Hiring 8,000 Veterans in Three Years: The Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge

Today, the Obama Administration challenged Community Health Centers to hire 8,000 veterans – approximately one veteran per health center site – over the next three years. The National Association of Community Health Centers will also contribute to this effort and joined the Administration in announcing this Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge.

2. Helping Veterans Become Physician Assistants

Under this initiative, the Administration will make it easier for veterans to use the training they have received in the military to become physician assistants. We will begin to give priority in physician assistant grant awards to universities and colleges that help train veterans for careers as physician assistants. In an effort to expand the number of training programs that accommodate veterans, the Administration also will identify model programs that offer expedited curricula for veterans and that offer enhanced veteran recruiting, retention, and mentoring services, and help bring these best practices to other programs.

These efforts build on previous Administration efforts to create jobs for veterans including sending 600,000 veterans back to school on the Post-9/11 GI Bill and hiring over 100,000 veterans into the federal government over the past year and a half. And just last week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the American Logistics Association (ALA) and their 270 affiliate companies committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. This commitment is part of the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative to support veterans and military families. The ALA’s commitment will fulfill a quarter of the President’s challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.

This work is also happening across the federal agencies.The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, are working closely with other agencies and the President’s economic and domestic policy teams, to lead a new task force to ensure that every member of the military receives the training, education, and credentials they need to transition to the civilian workforce or to pursue higher education. This initiative includes the design of a “Transition Boot Camp,” which will give service members additional counseling and guidance and help them depart their active duty service “career-ready.”

Over the weeks and months ahead, we’ll continue to take actions like these that will improve the economy and help middle class families including our nation’s veterans because we simply can’t wait.
Matt Flavin is the Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy

Message from DAV

Fall Banner 700px










Dear Sean,

Let Us Never Forget!
Troops 10.2011
You have shown great loyalty to America’s heroes during long years of war.

This Veterans Day, let our heroes know you’ll never forget their sacrifice as you give $25, $50 or $100 now!

Donate button blue

As talk turns toward withdrawing troops from Iraq, people start to imagine an “end” to today’s wars. Yet for many who fought … the war will never truly be over.

Thankfully, you acknowledge the lasting impact of war each time you support disabled veterans through the DAV.

Today’s conflicts will leave in their wake hundreds of thousands of young men and women who will carry war’s burdens for the rest of their lives.

And when the war ends … that’s when our responsibility truly begins, Sean.

For more than 90 years, the DAV has led the charge to care for our disabled veterans — to meet their needs and remember their sacrifice — in times of war and times of peace.

As Veterans Day approaches, let heroes know that you, too, are in it for the long haul as you show your loyalty through the DAV.

For decades to come, war will continue to take a heavy toll on today’s disabled veterans. Their ranks will grow. Many face wounds that will worsen and consequences yet unknown.

  • Currently, 80,000 troops have come home with mysterious respiratory problems
  • Vets with PTSD face increased risk of heart disease and dementia.
  • Heroes with brain injuries are more prone to chronic depression.

All disabled veterans face uncertain futures. Make a promise to always be there in times of need as you make a special Veterans Day gift of $25 … $50 … $100 or more to DAV now!

Honoring a Lifetime of Sacrifice,


Arthur H. Wilson, National Adjutant
Disabled American Veterans

P.S. Do you or anyone you know need help receiving benefits earned by serving our country?











Since its founding more than 90 years ago, Disabled American Veterans has been dedicated to a single purpose: Building Better Lives for America's Disabled Veterans and Their Families.

P.O. Box 14301 | Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301

Please thank a disabled veteran for their sacrifice and service!

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

VA Updates Information Sharing Rule with DOD

Federal Rule Change Enhances Collaboration and Preserves Patient Privacy

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it is amending an agency rule in the Code of Federal Register (C.F.R.) to remove an inappropriate restriction on sharing of information about treatment for certain types of medical conditions with the Department of Defense (DOD).  This update to the regulation removes the restrictive VA provision and enhances VA's collaboration with DOD so Veterans can receive better and more timely treatment, services and benefits.

 "VA and DOD clinicians must have the most accurate and comprehensive data available to ensure they provide the highest quality care possible. We have discovered that, particularly in this age of electronic health records, this regulatory restriction created an impediment to maximizing this exchange of information," said Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

This interim final rule removes a restriction that is not required by the statute, 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 7332, and is inconsistent with the intent and purpose of that statute.  This confidentiality statute was enacted before other privacy laws were in place to protect against the unauthorized disclosure of VA medical records relating to treatment for drug abuse, alcoholism or alcohol abuse, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and sickle cell anemia.

Because Congress never intended the protection of such records to interfere with the treatment of Veterans, the statute contains an exception that permits VA to share the protected records with DOD.  38 U.S.C. § 7332(e).  However, when VA published the implementing regulation in 1995, 38 C.F.R. § 1.461, the rule further narrowed the exception to allow the interchange of only a subset of these records: those pertaining to a period when the individual was subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A recent VA review of information sharing processes with DOD found that this restriction, which is narrower than the statutory exception, impedes VA's ability to share important medical information to coordinate the care and treatment of Veterans.  The updated rule removes this extra restriction and makes the agency rule consistent with statute.  It allows for the appropriate sharing of this treatment information and continues to preserve Veteran and patient privacy in accordance with § 7332 and other privacy statutes and regulations without obstructing the delivery of medical care to Veterans.

The interim final rule, which may be found at!documentDetail;D=VA-2011-VHA-0025-0001, is effective the date posted to the Federal Register. Written comments may be submitted through<>; by mail or hand-delivery to the Director, Regulations Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave., NW, Room 1068, Washington, DC 20240; or fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to "RIN 2900-AN95-Sharing Information Between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

opposition to the "10 for 10" Plan.

Having difficulty seeing the images in this message? View it online.

VFW Home


Join Thousands of Other Patriots in Saying NO! to &quot;10 f

Dear Sean,

10 for 10Recently, we let you know that Congress is considering cuts to Department of Defense and VA benefits in an effort to tighten its belt.

We need your help as VFW works tirelessly on The Hill to ensure any “reforms” that see the light of day don’t harm you or your fellow veterans.

  1. Sign our petition right away letting us know you stand united with us in opposition to the "10 for 10" Plan. Join with thousands of other VFW members and help us create a groundswell of pro-veteran support right now!
  2. Please forward this email to five people—your friends, family and especially fellow veterans.
  3. Reach out to your friends on Facebook and Twitter and ask them to help you spread the word.

We can’t let our nation break its promise to the men and women who have dutifully and honorably served this country. VFW members must unite to fight this injustice!

We must protect the benefits that protect veterans, service members and their families!

Thank you for taking action today by signing VFW's petition against the "10 for 10" Plan.

Home FaceBook Twitter youtube RSS Find A Post Contribute About us Contact us Unsubscribe TAF


Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000