Veterans-For-Change NEWSLETTER

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This-N-That

Most people in our country don’t know what it’s like to live in a military town.

For the first twenty years of my life I either lived on a military base or out in town only a few miles from a military base.

I was born at NSA Mid South Naval Base in Millington, TN, from there we went to MCAS El Toro, CA then to Cherry Point, NC with a short time in MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, and returning again to MCAS El Toro/LTA Santa Ana, CA.

Now we live between March AFB in Perris, CA and Camp Pendleton, CA.

Most folks in the USA don’t live in a Military Town, with lots of guys in uniform walking the streets and jets overhead daily. They go on with their lives unaware of what a Military Town is all about. And that’s OK!

But I want to share with you what it’s like to live in a Military Town. We see guys in uniform all the time, we have state of the art, high-performance aircraft in the air nearby most days. We hear the SOUND OF FREEDOM when an F-22, F-35 or a C-130 flies over or near the house and we read in the local paper, some times daily, but at least weekly, of the loss of one of our own in combat in the Middle East.

Many of our military who are sent off to the Middle East leave behind families. A wife, son or daughter, and always making a promise to come home safely. Sadly some are not able to keep that promise, and it’s never deliberately. It’s just a fact of life.

And for all those who have served or are serving today, go through life serving knowing in the back of their mind way too many times, today is my day! Thankfully it doesn’t come true and the go on to the next day.

For me, when dad was in Vietnam every single day we expected to have someone in uniform show up at our door to tell us that dad didn’t make it. Or when we were expecting dad to call us, he didn’t call making that fear even more real. When we did get calls, I honestly don’t remember what they called it but it was always like talking on a two-way radio, always ending a sentence with “over!”

We wrote letters to dad every day and it always seemed like it took a lifetime to either get or receive letters.

Well dad did come home, but so many didn’t! And dad had a plaque made up with a small brass plate with the name, rank and date of death for every man under his command who had lost their life.

So between the names in the paper, what DoD alerts I receive and dad’s plaque it’s a forever reminder of what it was like to live on or near a military base.

And when I can I make it a point to attend the funerals of our fallen who have no family, so that when they are laid to rest in their final home they are not alone.

I just wanted to share this moment with you… and remind you that THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO LIVE IN A MILITARY TOWN. This is the real America we all love… and I’m proud to be part of it. May God bless our men in uniform and their families who give so much.

And to those punk sports figures who are so proud of their juvenile take-a-knee crap… WOW!

In the next 24-48 hours we are adding another 224 documents under a new category called Medical Devices. Most might not help with a claim or an appeal, but when your doctor(s) talk to you about using a medical device or piece of equipment, it will allow you the opportunity to get familiar, better understand and maybe also take away some fears of the “unknown!”

On behalf of our Volunteers nationwide and myself, we wish you and your family good health!

Respectfully,
Jim Davis
Founder
Jim.Davis@Veterans-For-Change.org

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Trump Signs Order to Help Curb Veteran Suicides

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to boost the availability of mental health services to transitioning vets in an effort to cut the suicide rate.

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Some Bases Linked to Cancer and Health Problems

CBS recently released a story about toxic chemicals at Air Force bases and their link to severe health problems, like cancer and birth defects, but this is in no way new information. In 2001, the Deseret News raised the same question: Do military bases have links to cancer?

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DoD Issues Guidance for Potential Government Shutdown

By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Defense Department has issued guidance to its military and civilian leadership on how to proceed if the federal government should shut down at midnight tonight, according to a memorandum from Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan.

The deputy secretary said in his memo issued yesterday that the Trump administration does not want the government to shut down.

“The administration is willing to work with the Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical federal government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full-year 2018 appropriations,” Shanahan said in his memo.

While he and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis hope Congress passes a continuing resolution or an annual appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 defense activities, he said, “prudent management requires that the department be prepared for the possibility of a lapse in appropriations.”

War Operations to Continue

While the memo contains guidance on essential personnel to continue DoD operations during a potential shutdown, he said, the department will continue to prosecute the war in Afghanistan and operations against al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and will continue to make preparations for deployments into those conflicts.

“The department must, as well, continue many other operations necessary for the safety of human life or the protection of property,” the memo read. “These activities will be ‘excepted’ from the effects of a lapse in appropriations: All other activities would need to be shut down in an orderly and deliberate fashion, including — with few exceptions — the cessation of temporary duty travel.”

Military: Normal Duty Status

All active-duty service members will continue in a “normal duty status,” regardless of their affiliation with excepted and unexcepted functions, the memo said.

“Military personnel will not be paid until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service,” the memo said. “Civilian employees paid for lapsed appropriations and who are not necessary to carry out or support excepted activities will be furloughed, i.e., placed in a nonwork, nonpay status.”

Shanahan emphasized that no shutdown actions are to be taken until further notice is provided.

“To repeat, the secretary and I hope that Congress will pass a funding bill and the DoD will avoid a shutdown,” Shanahan’s memo read. “This guidance is intended to support prudent planning.”

You can view the full memo HERE.

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VFC Website

The Veterans-For-Change website has been under construction since day one back in 2009 and every day since then. The looks pretty much stay the same, but in the background constant improvement and change is being done to make our website the most user friendly “One-Stop-Shop” website to find almost everything you might have tried to find searching the internet.

Almost a hundred people have been involved; collecting web links to documents now houses on the VFC website, collecting thousands of web links for various issues, illnesses and benefits. Creating forums for all eras of service and two forums one just for men and one just for woman where you can go question, comment, share medical and personal concerns, what ever you’d like it to be.

We also have a forum with a licensed Mental Health Worker, again where you can seek help or just ask questions.

We average 2,200 visitors per day, and downloads average 1,200 per day with a total 3,828,803 visitors as of Friday.

If you subscribe you will have full access to the entire website and best of all it’s FREE of charge! You just need a valid E-mail address so the system can send you a confirmation E-Mail. Once received, click on the link to be authorized automatically.


->www.veterans-for-change.org<-

• Documents Library with over 16,163 documents on-line (Updated: 12/30/17)
• FAQ’s with more than 1,600 FAQ’s and answers
• Multiple Forums
o Afghanistan Veterans
o FMP – Foreign Medial Program
o Gulf War & Desert Storm Veterans
o Iraq Veterans
o Korean Veterans
o Men Veterans Forum
o Mental Health for Veterans
o Political Issues
o Suggestion Box
o The Mess Hall
o VA Hospitals and Medical Centers
o Veteran Affairs
o Vietnam Veterans
o Welcome Mat
o Women Veterans Forum
o WW II Veterans
• Job Postings
• Memorial Pages (Updated: 11/02/17)
• News (Articles On-Line: 7,056)
• Polls
• Web Links, more than 3,618, Added 1 New Links (Updated: 01/03/18)

If you have a submission for the memorial pages, E-Mail: Jim.Davis@veterans-for-change.org

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VA Caregiver Support Line

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) Caregiver Support Line assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you’re in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed social workers who answer the support line can: (1) provide you with information about assistance available from VA; (2) help you access services; (3) connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you; and (4) just listen, if that is what you need right now. Calling the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 is a great way to learn more about the support that is available to you.

For more resources and information on the Veteran Caregivers support programs, see this article.

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Trying to Locate a Vietnam Veteran

Missing VN Vet

Would everyone please pass this picture around and keep it going. The picture was taken the middle of 1970. The only info I have is that we were stationed together in Viet Nam and I used to call him little John because of his size. Please keep it going in hope I can locate another Vet I lost contact with.

Thanks
SSgt Ralph Roberts!

NOTE: If you know this Vietnam Veteran and how to contact him, please send Jim Davis a message with the details!

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Nominations Sought for HillVets 100

Each year HillVets recognizes 100 members of the Veteran community as the HillVets 100. Last year’s honorees included VA employees, journalists, advocates and activists, military spouses and more Veterans and supporters. You can nominate a Veteran to be considered for HillVets 100 online. For more information visit the HillVets website.

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VOA album cover-Bobby

LT Bobby Ross and Billy D

I’m a Vietnam Veteran. A combat Veteran. I’m also 100% disabled from the various war wounds I received when I was in battle. I am somewhat fortunate, however, because I have Scotch blood running through my veins. That makes me stubborn. Too resolute to quit. When I met Billy D on the street, he was broken. He did not dream the dreams I did. He was proud to be a Vietnam Veteran, but he was lost. He did not have the ability to move forward like me. He could only move in small circles. And he couldn’t bust out of those circles. As I talked with him and shared memories of the war, I knew he was not with me. He was there. Back in the war a half world away. He really did not make it home. His body did. But his soul was still there.

The Home of Billy D

http://www.rassio.com/?page=10

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What You Need to File Taxes

Here are several tips to prepare your income tax return: (1) prepare the proper paperwork to report all income and claim every credit or deduction; (2) check your numbers; (3) take the time you need. File an extension to obtain a few extra months to fully prepare your tax return. But remember, this is an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. If you are self-employed, have especially sophisticated investments, recently moved overseas or gathering the right paperwork is taking longer than expected, consider this a smart strategy to avoid incomplete or erroneous tax returns, which might fetch unexpected fees thanks to haste. For more information, visit the OneSource website.

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Cost of Freedom
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VA Seeks Public Comment on Caregiver Support

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