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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Bloomberg : NO NY Vet’s Parade

Mayor Bloomberg says there will be no city parade for Iraq War veterans in the foreseeable future because of objections voiced by military officials.

The mayor said officials in Washington "think a parade would be premature while we still have so many troops in harm’s way around the world."

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/no_ny_vets_parade_PBIYBg3YH8aiZPFIcUuyRN#ixzz1kp6KrBvM

US’s 1st big parade welcoming back veterans since Iraq War’s end draws thousands in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — Looking around at the tens of thousands of people waving American flags and cheering, Army Maj. Rich Radford was moved that so many braved a cold January wind Saturday in St. Louis to honor people like him: Iraq War veterans.

The parade, borne out of a simple conversation between two St. Louis friends a month ago, was the nation’s first big welcome-home for veterans of the war since the last troops were withdrawn from Iraq in December.

"It’s not necessarily overdue, it’s just the right thing," said Radford, a 23-year Army veteran who walked in the parade alongside his 8-year-old daughter, Aimee, and 12-year-old son, Warren.

Radford was among about 600 veterans, many dressed in camouflage, who walked along downtown streets lined with rows of people clapping and holding signs with messages including "Welcome Home" and "Thanks to our Service Men and Women." Some of the war-tested troops wiped away tears as they acknowledged the support from a crowd that organizers estimated reached 100,000 people.

Fire trucks with aerial ladders hoisted huge American flags in three different places along the route, with politicians, marching bands — even the Budweiser Clydesdales — joining in. But the large crowd was clearly there to salute men and women in the military, and people cheered wildly as groups of veterans walked by.

That was the hope of organizers Craig Schneider and Tom Appelbaum. Neither man has served in the military but came up with the idea after noticing there had been little fanfare for returning Iraq War veterans aside from gatherings at airports and military bases. No ticker-tape parades or large public celebrations.

Appelbaum, an attorney, and Schneider, a school district technical coordinator, decided something needed to be done. So they sought donations, launched a Facebook page, met with the mayor and mapped a route. The grassroots effort resulted in a huge turnout despite raising only about $35,000 and limited marketing.

That marketing included using a photo of Radford being welcomed home from his second tour in Iraq by his then-6-year-old daughter. The girl had reached up, grabbed his hand and said, "I missed you, daddy." Radford’s sister caught the moment with her cellphone camera, and the image graced T-shirts and posters for the parade.

Veterans came from around the country, and more than 100 entries — including marching bands, motorcycle groups and military units — signed up ahead of the event, Appelbaum said.

Schneider said he was amazed how everyone, from city officials to military organizations to the media, embraced the parade.

"It was an idea that nobody said no to," he said. "America was ready for this."

All that effort by her hometown was especially touching for Gayla Gibson, a 38-year-old Air Force master sergeant who said she spent four months in Iraq — seeing "amputations, broken bones, severe burns from IEDs" — as a medical technician in 2003.

"I think it’s great when people come out to support those who gave their lives and put their lives on the line for this country," Gibson said.

With 91,000 troops still fighting in Afghanistan, many Iraq veterans could be redeployed — suggesting to some that it’s premature to celebrate their homecoming. In New York, for example, Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently said there would be no city parade for Iraq War veterans in the foreseeable future because of objections voiced by military officials.

But in St. Louis, there was clearly a mood to thank the troops with something big, even among those opposed to the war.

"Most of us were not in favor of the war in Iraq, but the soldiers who fought did the right thing and we support them," said 72-year-old Susan Cunningham, who attended the parade with the Missouri Progressive Action Group. "I’m glad the war is over and I’m glad they’re home."

Don Lange, 60, of nearby Sullivan, held his granddaughter along the parade route. His daughter was a military interrogator in Iraq.

"This is something everyplace should do," Lange said as he watched the parade.

Several veterans of the Vietnam War turned out to show support for the younger troops. Among them was Don Jackson, 63, of Edwardsville, Ill., who said he was thrilled to see the parade honoring Iraq War veterans like his son, Kevin, who joined him at the parade. The 33-year-old Air Force staff sergeant said he’d lost track of how many times he had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a flying mechanic.

"I hope this snowballs," he said of the parade. "I hope it goes all across the country. I only wish my friends who I served with were here to see this."

Looking at all the people around him in camouflage, 29-year-old veteran Matt Wood said he felt honored. He served a year in Iraq with the Illinois National Guard.

"It’s extremely humbling, it’s amazing, to be part of something like this with all of these people who served their country with such honor," he said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Special Operations Bases in Turkey, Pentagon Officials Say

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2012 – The United States will not base more troops in Turkey, Pentagon officials said here today.

"Reports about additional U.S. force presence in Turkey are false," said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman. "We have had no such discussions with the Turkish government."

News reports over the past days have said the United States wanted to base special operations forces in Turkey. This is not true, Pentagon officials said.

The United States has about 5,000 personnel based at Incirlik Air Base, an area shared with Turkish Air Force units. It is the largest U.S. military presence in the country.

Turkey is an important NATO ally. "The United States military deeply values its close relationship with the armed forces of Turkey, one of our closest allies and NATO partners," Kirby said.

Biographies:
Navy Capt. John Kirby
Related Sites:
Incirlik Air Base

Miller: “I Expect A Full Accounting of All Veterans’ Graves”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the recent discovery of numerous mismarked graves and incorrectly interred remains throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration system:

“VA’s National Cemetery Administration has only recently disclosed that scores of our veterans were buried under the wrong headstones, and, in some cases, their loved ones may have been buried with a different family.

“Although I am glad these mistakes have been found, this should never have happened in the first place, and I now have questions about the accuracy of the nearly 2 million remaining gravesites that were not part of this recent review.

“The Committee will fully investigate how these problems arose in the first place, and we will take the appropriate steps to ensure VA puts the proper procedures and oversight in place so that this can never happen again. Faulting contractors for this problem is not acceptable. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with VA.

“I expect a full accounting of all veterans’ graves in veterans’ cemeteries across the nation, as well as a detailed report on VA’s findings as each cemetery review is completed. VA must demonstrate absolute transparency to me, our veterans, and all Americans, throughout the process.

“It is unfortunate that this information took so long to come into the open. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to each of the families affected.”

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, please visit:

Veterans.House.Gov

Find us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/HouseVetsAffairs or follow us on Twitter at:

@HouseVetAffairs

After the rash of incidents involving Arlington and unmarked graves and that mortuary affairs unit at Dover Air Force Base that desecrated remains sending them to a Va. landfill it is time Rep. Miller and House Veteran’s Affairs Committee give these matters maximum oversight. Asleep at the wheel our Govt. has been in these cases and these veterans and their families deserve the highest honor and respect not blatant disregard and criminal negligence.

012612 CJM NCA Statement FINAL.pdf

Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Mike Miller to have meeting for Queens American Legion and VFW’s,

The meeting outlined below is for Queens American Legion and VFW’s, etc. They have been receiving many violations from NYC agencies.

WHO: Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Mike Miller wanted to have this meeting to inform the various posts of how to avoid getting violations. Speakers from the Dept. of Health, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, FDNY, and the Dept. of Buildings.

WHAT: NYS Senator Joe Addabbo and NYS
Assemblyman Mike Miller will be there to hear your concerns and help you with violations problems at your posts.

WHEN: Thursday, February 9 at 7 PM

WHERE : Woohaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps
78-15 Jamaica Avenue, Woodhaven

Please help spread the word around to the local posts.

If you have any questions please contact me (in Howard Beach).

Thanks,

Peter M. DeLucia Jr.
Director of Special Events
Office of NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
159-53 102nd Street
Howard Beach, NY 11414
P – (718) 738-1111
F – (718) 322-5760
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The VA has updated the Agent Orange exposure list

VA has updated the list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam, adding 47 more vessels and expanding information for others. The list can help Vietnam-era Veterans find out if they qualify for presumption of Agent Orange exposure when seeking VA disability compensation for herbicide-related diseases. Visit the Agent Orange homepage to learn more about Agent Orange: www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange.

Presidential candidate robbed a vets’ home of tens of millions of dollars.

How Rick Santorum Ripped Off American Veterans

A controversial land deal by the presidential candidate robbed a vets’ home of tens of millions of dollars.

—By Andy Kroll

| Wed Jan. 18, 2012 3:00 AM PST

rick santorum

2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Like any good presidential candidate, Rick Santorum heaps praise on America’s soldiers and veterans. He’s pledged to "make veterans a high priority" if elected president, adding, "This is not a Republican issue, this is not a Democratic issue, it is an American issue." But as a US senator, Santorum engineered a controversial land deal that robbed the military’s top veterans’ home of tens of millions of dollars and worsened the deteriorating conditions at the facility.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home, which is run by the Department of Defense, bills itself as "premier home for military retirees and veterans." The facility sprawls across 272 acres high on a hill in northern Washington, DC, near the Petworth neighborhood. The nearly 600 veterans who now live there enjoy panoramic views of the city—the Washington monument and US Capitol to the south, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to the east. At its peak, more than 2,000 veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War lived at the Home.

But with the rise of the smaller all-volunteer military, the Home began to run into serious financial problems. It was clear that one of its primary sources of revenue—a 50-cent deduction from the paychecks of active-duty servicemembers—wasn’t enough to keep the Home operating fully. In the 1990s, the Home scrambled to find ways to avoid insolvency, trimming its staff by 24 percent and reducing its vet population by 800. Still, the money problems began to show, with its older historic facilities slipping into disrepair and decay. To grapple with its worsening shortfall, officials running the Home eyed a valuable, 49-acre piece of land worth $49 million as a potential financial lifeline.

[Read the full article]

Progressive International Motorcycle Show in NYC This Weekend

I am proud to announce that Military, Police, and Fire Men and Women will get free admission to this weekend’s Progressive International Motorcycle Show in NYC if they arrive in uniform or with Military ID !

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show is your #1 place to see get the latest Motorcycle news, products, and custom bikes. Already the largest motorcycle show around, this year’s New York event is going to be bigger than 2011. More bikes, more products, and more learning opportunities. There are several show features for you to enjoy, such as the Dream Pavilion, Smage Bros Stunt Show, Ultimate Builder Custom Bike show with a $90k prize, and Kawasaki Design-a-Bike.

For more info on upcoming shows http://www.motorcycleshows.com/

Remaining Schedule :

January 20-22, 2012 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York, NY

January 27-29, 2012 I-X Center Cleveland, OH

February 3-5, 2012 Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, MN

February 10-12, 2012 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Chicago, IL

February 24-26, 2012 Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, NC

March 14-17, 2012 Ocean Center Daytona Beach, FL

Free admission to this show with your military ID. You cannot beat that !!!! Thanks to the folks at Progressive International Motorcycle Shows and socialradius.com
.


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

VFW Washington Weekly

VFW Joins VA to Help Vets Find Jobs
This week, the VFW participated in a veterans’ career fair hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Thousands of veterans of all eras, services and ranks converged on the convention center to apply and interview for more than 6,500 jobs across private industry and government, as part of the White House’s "Joining Forces" campaign. The VFW was on hand to help inform veterans about their VA benefits, and to help them navigate the complicated VA claims process. To learn more about the event that VFW advocates called "dynamic and instructive," click here.

VFW Hosts Libyan Delegation
This week, the VFW Washington Office hosted a six-member delegation from the transitional government of Libya, who specifically sought out the advice of the VFW because of our advocacy work on behalf of veterans, service members and their families. They came to learn how the United States cares for her veterans, with hopes of replicating something similar to our Department of Veterans Affairs in their own country. VFW Executive Director Bob Wallace said he was encouraged by the steps Libya’s interim government has taken to quickly address the needs of their war wounded. The delegation said their first action should be to care for those who fought and were wounded in the fight to liberate the country from Muammar Gaddafi. For more detail, visit our blog.

Reading of Names at The Wall
Veterans, military, their families and concerned citizens are encouraged to sign up early for the reading of names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which will occur over the four-day period prior to Veterans Day 2012, not Memorial Day, as was reported in last week’s Washington Weekly. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is organizing volunteers to participate in the reading of all 58,272 names to commemorate The Wall’s 30th anniversary. Due to the large number of expected participants and planning for other events, VVMF will only accept volunteers through its website. Groups can also be accommodated.

Vietnam Education Center Needs Photos
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is still seeking photos of all 58,272 men and women whose names are inscribed on The Wall in Washington, D.C. The collection will be used to highlight their service and sacrifice inside the new VFW-supported Vietnam Memorial Education Center, which is scheduled to break ground by Veterans Day 2012. More than 30,000 photos have already been submitted by families and fellow comrades-in-arms, but more are still needed. Please submit photos to Jan Scruggs, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, 2600 Virginia Ave., NW, Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037. Include the deceased’s name and location, unit and approximate month/year the photo was taken. Digitized photos can be e-mailed directly to jscruggs@vvmf.org.

Korean War MIA Identified
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Sgt. Willie D. Hill, 20, of Catawba, N.C. In late Nov. 1950, the U.S. Army’s IX Corps was advancing north to the Yalu River when Chinese forces attacked elements of three U.S. Infantry Divisions. On Nov. 26, Hill and members of G Company 24th Infantry Regiment, were encircled and suffered heavy losses. On Nov. 27, Hill was reported as missing in action near Anju, North Korea. Read more.

19 January, 2012 06:56

Online Piracy Act Loses Support

Rubio

After an unprecedented day of Internet-based lobbying, a proposal to clamp down on online piracy lost support Wednesday.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and a Senate companion, the Protect IP Act, were criticized by websites such as Wikipedia and Google as being written too broadly.
Hollywood took a different view, arguing the measure is necessary to stop online pirating of movies, TV shows and other copyrighted material.
But Silicon Valley appears to have won this round, with several lawmakers backing away from the bill.

Read more about SOPA’s support in Congress.

Govt has screwed up enough as far as our economy goes this Bill would stifle one of the last area’s in our society that is functioning properly. If the Govt kills social media and freedom of information it would be a blow I do not think our country could take.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans

Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars