On This Veterans Day 2010

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Veterans Day 2010: “Caring for the invisible wounds”

{This video is some twenty two minutes long so you might want to visit the stories, links below, at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and view each separately as you have the time}

A four part series, on Veterans of the past decade, was reported by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:  A Soldier’s Heart – “Caring for the invisible wounds”

from the beginning of the week, 7 November 2010 to 10 November 2010, with the written stories as well as video’s for each. The above video is the combination of all four as well as two others they have  and a PSA from another site. The “What is PTSD” cut can be found at the bottom right under the brief description of the first video in the series. The Vietnam brothers video found in same place but at the forth video of the series.

All four video’s in the series can be found here

Caring for the invisible wounds that warriors bring home


November 07, 2010 – Derrick Earley steers a four-wheeler up the gravel driveway to his father’s hand-built stone home and climbs off. Fit and goateed, the 23-year-old is wearing a cutoff T-shirt, camouflage shorts and cap as he shyly greets visitors, not quite making eye contact, not quite avoiding it, either.

Carrie Kleeh carries the unseen battle scars from Iraq


November 08, 2010 – Carrie Kleeh is calm and relaxed behind the steering wheel in Pittsburgh as other drivers fret and fume in the city’s stop-and-go traffic.

But put her on an open road where traffic is flowing nicely, near her hometown of Wheeling, and her anxiety spikes at the danger she imagines.

Over and over: ‘Why am I alive?’


November 09, 2010 – In his mind’s eye, Mike Cranmer is a young boy, romping amid the rural lushness of a Greene County farm, his family’s rustic getaway from suburban Pittsburgh. He’s safe among the trees, the rolling hills, the foliage. A calmness envelops him.

He opens his eyes, the memory ends. If that was heaven, this is hell.

Medevac soldier makes peace with PTSD diagnosis


November 10, 2010 – Don Bankosh stands next to the bathroom door in his bedroom and points to large holes he punched into it during a fit of rage several years ago.

He could have replaced the door. Instead, he keeps it damaged so he won’t forget that day and others like it.

The PSA: Hearts of Heroes is from Real Warriors * Real Battles

Veterans from past wars explain how combat stress has affected service members of every generation and how reaching out for support is the way to address it.

The other day the VA created another connection for Veterans to use, the VA’s New Communications Tool: VAntage Point Blog

VA Launches VAntage Point Blog

Online Communications Tools Between VA and Veterans About to Increase

WASHINGTON – November 8, 2010 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is launching its first official blog, opening a new line of communication between the department and its stakeholders.  The debut marks VA’s latest outreach effort aimed at improving the way VA and its clients engage online.

“As methods of communication change and evolve, we don’t just want to keep up at VA.  We want to lead the way.  This tool will allow us to interact with Veterans, their families, and the public in ways we’ve never done before,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.  “Instead of waiting for Veterans to find us, we’re going to seek them out where they already are-which is, increasingly, online.”

The blog, called  VAntage Point, will be edited by VA’s Director of New Media Brandon Friedman. The blog will launch with two primary features: a main column of articles written each day by VA staff and a section comprised of guest pieces submitted by other stakeholders including employees and the public. Readers will be able to comment and participate on all articles. {rest rest}

And the DoD also rolled out a very useful tool, DoD Helping Vets Find Jobs

Portal Helps Vets, Reserves, Guardsmen Land Jobs

{A new user-friendly Web portal will make it easier for veterans – as well as reserve-component members, their families and wounded warriors – land jobs with civilian employers who value their military experience. U.S. Army Reserve image}  

Nov. 10, 2010 – Just in time for Veterans Day, new, state-of-the-art Web portal is being rolled out tomorrow to help veterans – as well as reserve-component members, their families and wounded warriors – land jobs with civilian employers who value their military experience.

The user-friendly tools will enhance the popular Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces program by making it easier for both job-hunters and employers seeking their skills, Army Lt. Col. Matt Leonard, the program’s public affairs officer, told American Forces Press Service.

The new portal simplifies the job application process by allowing users to set up a personal profile and maintain a record of their job searches and search parameters, Leonard explained. That means users don’t have to start from square one each time they enter the system, saving them time and inconvenience.

In addition, a resume builder helps users create a resume and maintain it in the system, and they can even set an alert function that notifies them when particular job announcements are posted.

The new portal will be easier for about 1,200 employers participating in the partnership program, too, Leonard said. They will now be able to enter position vacancies directly into the system and track applications. In addition, they will be able to tap into resumes already in the system and reach out directly to candidates who qualify for their positions. {read rest}

Obama: ‘Strengthen Bond Between Nation, Warriors’

Nov. 10, 2010 – In proclaiming tomorrow’s Veterans Day holiday, President Barack Obama expressed hope that the observance would strengthen the bond between the American people and the men and women who defend them.

Here is the text of the president’s proclamation:

On Veterans Day, we come together to pay tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Americans across this land commemorate the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve the liberty of our Nation, the families who support them, and the heroes no longer with us.

It is not our weapons or our technology that make us the most advanced military in the world; it is the unparalleled spirit, skill, and devotion of our troops. As we honor our veterans with ceremonies on this day, let our actions strengthen the bond between a Nation and her warriors.

In an unbroken line of valor stretching across more than two centuries, our veterans have charged into harm’s way, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, to protect the freedoms that have blessed America. Whether Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard, they are our Nation’s finest citizens, and they have shown the heights to which Americans can rise when asked and inspired to do so. {read rest}


Some may have caught mine, and some others, putting up posts over the past year following The Phony Veterans Group and the GOP personal and political slush and the huge con from a phony criminal grifter, Well  Finally, after the election, the mainstream picks up the report, covered by local media in Florida, Ohio and a few other states for almost a year now, of this scum bag and his political/personal slush fund. One major receiver of his booty was the now AG of Virginia who Finally gave up the campaign contributions only a few weeks ago and wasn’t investigating, his job, as other states had already started doing so, especially Ohio! This phony’s girlfriend, or criminal accomplice, was captured at the Charlotte airport a few weeks back.

Major GOP Donor Scammed Millions With Phony Veterans Group, Authorities Say

Fugitive Bobby Thompson Rubbed Shoulders With Boehner, Bush, McCain

{Recognize this criminal, no not the one on the right, who just got a 30grand plus raise while speaking about cutting the fed workforce and rolling back salaries of same while no mention of his own nor Congresses compensation and benefits. The one on the left, if you see him Turn Him In!}

Nov. 10, 2010 – Top law enforcement officials in Ohio are spending this Veterans Day hunting for the man they believe exploited the good name of America’s warriors to abscond with more than $100 million.

The eccentric looking Florida man went by the name Bobby Thompson. As detailed in a report airing on World News with Diane Sawyer tonight, Thompson called his charity the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, and for eight years he raised money for the group, mostly through phone solicitations. He told donors the group was assisting needy veterans, and garnished this pitch with dollops of credibility by donating small amounts to legitimate veterans’ groups.

Federal election records show he invested far more money — more than $200,000 — in campaign contributions to top Republican politicians, including President George W. Bush, U.S. Sen. John McCain, and the presumptive incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner. In exchange, he received grip-and-grin snapshots with American political leaders — the sort of photo that may be commonplace on office walls in Washington, DC, but looked to outsiders like evidence of an important man with heavy-duty connections.

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray told ABC News that as much as $100 million donated to the charity over eight years cannot be accounted for, and Thompson was using a stolen identity. He has been indicted in Ohio and is now considered a fugitive. {read rest}

This so called Veterans Org., the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, should have tipped off many just by visiting the website, the first turn off was the blaring ‘patriotic’ music on the pages let alone the unprofessional setup, it screamed GOPer and using War and Veterans for their false patriotism and flag waving as they try and tear apart the Constitution and turn the Country into a Corporate entity, oh wait that’s what we are now!

Speaking of GOPer scams of the past decade, while two more U.S. occupations were started and continue, this Update on another use of, this time, a Very Respected and Honored Organization and the medal those wounded in our Wars who receive it was at the above sites report as related to. Talking to the once leader of the organization who know longer is after his whistle blowing to the media of what was going on.


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    • jimstaro on November 11, 2010 at 15:45

    Combat Photographer Captures the Strength of America’s Veterans

    {Stacy Pearsall, Purple Heart OIF Veteran, has captured authentic images of military service in the hundreds of photos she has taken of America’s Veterans.}

    8 November 2010 – When America pauses on Veterans Day to salute those who have worn the uniform in our country’s defense, many images will come to mind.

    Here is the story of a Purple Heart Veteran who is an expert with images. She has used her skill with the camera to create dramatic, honest, up-close images of those strong men and women who have served America as soldiers in all eras…from World War II to those coming home today from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    While serving as a combat photographer in Iraq, Air Force Veteran Stacy Pearsall was wounded in convoy ambushes on two separate deployments. Both times she was struck by IEDs. Her actions following the ambushes saved many of the members of her unit. She received a Purple Heart for serious neck injuries.

    Stacy is one of only two women to win the National Press Photographers Association’s Military Photographer of the Year competition, and the only woman to have won it twice. During her three tours in Iraq, she earned the Bronze Star Medal and Commendation with Valor for heroic actions under fire. {read rest}

    • jimstaro on November 11, 2010 at 15:45

    VA Reaching Out to Native American Veterans

    {Members of the Wagner, S.D. community and VA community-based outpatient clinic who organized VA care for a Native American Veteran. Left to right: Harold Erickson, Sharon Haar, Marylou Morrow, Roy Farabee, Dr. Timothy O’Shea, Dennis Rucker, and Tom McHenry. Photo by Wagner Post Editor Barb Pechous}

    9 November 2010 – In South Dakota, a small community of public servants – both local and federal – join forces to help a Veteran fight his final battle.

    The 57-year-old Veteran, a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, walked into the VA Community Based Outreach Clinic in Wagner, S.D., and announced he had lung cancer.

    “He just showed up here one day,” said VA Nurse Manager Marylou Morrow, herself a Yankton Sioux. “He was an Army Veteran, and homeless, and he’d never tried to access VA health care before. He wasn’t in the system, so we went to work to get him registered.”

    Team Effort {read rest}

    • jimstaro on November 11, 2010 at 15:46

    VA Expands Support for Families of Low-Income Veterans

    Communities and Non-Profits Will Play Critical Outreach Role

    WASHINGTON – November 9, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today an important program designed to provide enhanced services to low-income Veterans and their families who are at risk of being homeless.  Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, VA will provide grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that will help break the cycle of homelessness among America’s Veterans at risk.

    The program will deliver grants to community agencies for vocational and rehabilitation counseling, employment and training service, educational assistance; and health care services.  

    Agencies will also provide direct financial assistance for daily living, transportation, child care, rent and utilities and other expenses.  Agencies may also propose funding for additional services in their supportive services grant application based on the specific needs of their communities and local Veterans.

    “Ending homelessness for Veterans and their families will require all segments of our communities to work together,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I am pleased this new program will help more local organizations support them when they need it most.”

    “This new program will provide valuable new tools in our campaign to end homelessness among Veterans and their families,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.  “Partnering with homeless agencies across this country, we will attack the problems that underlie homelessness and, for the first time, fund services for the spouses and children of homeless Veterans.”

    By mid-December, VA officials will provide local agencies with the instructions necessary to apply for grants under the program.

    Eligible Veteran families include those who are residing in permanent housing, are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period, or who have left permanent housing and are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income Veteran family’s needs and preferences.

    The program is available for public viewing at The Federal Register.

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    • jimstaro on November 11, 2010 at 15:46

    Research Findings

    November 2010 – How many families are affected by deployment?

    By the end of 2008, 1.7 million American service members had served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF).(1) Military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan run the risk of developing problems such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and traumatic brain injury due to their deployment. Studies of these returning service members and Veterans have found rates of 4% to 14% for depression, 12% to 25% for PTSD, 11% to 19% for traumatic brain injury, and 18% to 35% for any mental health risk or concern. (2,3,4)

    Forty-three percent of active duty service members have children.(5) These children face the challenges inherent in having a parent deployed. Many of them must also cope with living with a parent who returns profoundly changed by war. Most families will be able to overcome these adversities through the support of family, friends, and community. Others, however, will need additional help from service providers to strengthen their resilience, access needed services, and readjust to life post-deployment. Veterans themselves recognize the need for such services. In a recent study of Veterans receiving treatment for PTSD, nearly 80% were interested in greater family involvement in their care.(6)

    What are the effects of deployment on children and families? {rest found here}

    Wartime Military Deployment and Increased Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health Complaints

    Published online November 8, 2010 – Background Children of military personnel face stress when a parent deploys.

    Objective: Our goal was to determine the effect of parental military deployment on the relative rate of outpatient visits for mental and behavioral health disorders in children aged 3 to 8 years. Rest with Links Here

    • jimstaro on November 11, 2010 at 15:46

    VA Celebrates National Family Caregiver Month

    WASHINGTON – November 8, 2010 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is marking National Family Caregiver Month by honoring the service of family members and friends who have dedicated their lives to caring for chronically ill, injured, or disabled Veterans.

    “Caregivers are the family members and loved ones who take care of the severely injured Veterans who need assistance on a daily basis,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “These mothers, wives, fathers, husbands and other loved ones make tremendous sacrifices to be there every day for the Veterans who served this Nation.  They are our partners in Veteran health care and they deserve our support.”

    November is National Family Caregivers Month, and VA medical centers nationwide will offer locally sponsored events for caregivers.  Because caregivers often experience stress, burnout, or feel overwhelmed by the caregiving experience, planned activities will provide useful information about VA and community resources that offer support and assistance to caregivers and Veterans.

    Caregivers provide a valuable service to Veterans by assisting them beyond the walls of VA medical facilities with support such as accessing the health care system, providing emotional and physical support, and allowing injured Veterans to stay in their homes rather than living their lives in an institutional setting.

    Caregivers help Veterans maintain a better quality of life and gain more independence.  As the Veteran population ages and continues to increase, the role of caregivers as partners in supporting Veterans is even more prevalent. The Veteran population aged 65 and older is expected to increase from 37.4 percent to 44.8 percent by the year 2020. VA is also treating a new era of younger, severely injured Servicemembers. Many Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan will need lifetime care. VA recognizes the support of their caregivers is vital for these Veterans.

    On May 5, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010.  Passed by Congress, this law will allow VA to care for those who provide supplemental help to family caregivers of the most severely wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  VA has been consulting with Veterans organizations, as well as individual Veterans and their family members, to ensure these new programs are implemented to provide the best possible support for those who have sacrificed so much.

    These benefits will add to the wide range of compassionate and practical programs for Veteran caregivers that are already available from VA:

    o In-Home and Community Based Care:  This includes skilled home health care, homemaker home health aide services, community adult day health care and home based primary care.  

    o Respite care:  Designed to temporarily relieve the family caregiver from caring for a chronically ill, injured or disabled Veteran at home, respite services can include in-home care, a short stay in a VA community living center or other institutional setting or adult day health care.  

    o Caregiver education and training programs:  VA provides multiple training opportunities which include pre-discharge care instruction and specialized caregiver programs such as polytrauma and traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury/disorders, and blind rehabilitation.  VA has a caregiver assistance healthy living center Web page on My HealtheVet, http://www.myhealth.va.gov, as well as caregiver information on the VA’s main Web page health site; both Websites include information on VA and community resources and caregiver health and wellness.

    o Family support services:  These support services can be face to face or on the telephone.  They include family counseling, spiritual and pastoral care. Polytrauma Centers also offer family leisure and recreational activities and temporary lodging in Fisher Houses.  

    o Other benefits:   VA provides durable medical equipment and prosthetic and sensory aides to improve function, financial assistance with home modification to improve access and mobility, and transportation assistance for some Veterans to and from medical appointments.

    Caregivers should contact their nearest VA medical center for caregiver activities in the local area. Facility locators and contact information can be found at Veterans Administration.

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    • jimstaro on November 11, 2010 at 17:48

    Stand with Vets: Veterans Trust Fund

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