Veterans-For-Change NEWSLETTER

 

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Week Ending Sunday, August 19, 2018

Volume 9, Issue 33

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This-N-That

I know for a very long time Blue Water Navy Veterans have been fighting hard to get what should have been done more than 5 decades ago, and the fight continues on.

And further down in this newsletter is your chance to step up and help them by signing the petition and making calls to both your Senators asking for their support! And to make it crystal clear you do not need to be Active Duty or a Veteran to sign or make the calls, anyone can, and why we ask that this information be shared with your family and friends.

There was a court case filed against Monsanto by DeWayne Lee Johnson regarding Round-Up which many of us have been saying for a long time contains some of the exact same chemicals as many of the rainbow agents used in Vietnam and Korea.

Well the jury sided in Mr. Johnson’s favor, and his attorney has ask for $39 million in compensatory damages and an additional $373 million in punitive damages for his client.

Several articles have been posted to the Veterans-For-Change website as well as many Social Media Pages which might be of interest to many.

I’m not an attorney, but, maybe this will help with many Veterans in the coming future!

It seem’s the VA now has another battle on their hands with AFGE filing a complaint that one of Trump’s Executive Orders violates their ability to conduct union business during VA Business hours, but to me seems like it would be the right thing to do as all they’re out to do is protect their income via means of union dues.

They (AFGE) has protected many an employee who needed to be terminated for various reasons, and they were never terminated or even re-assigned. And in my opinion many are there for a paycheck, not to provide care or services.

As updates become available on this, we will certainly pass them on to you.

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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We The People

BWN Needs Your Help!

The United States government, through it’s agency the Veterans Affairs, has a DUTY to TREAT medical problems associated with military service; COMPENSATE veterans (or their families) for early death or disability associated with their service; and MONITOR and DOCUMENT the effects of government policy and MISTAKES that created a higher health risk. For 50 years, VA has FAILED to monitor and document the effects of Agent Orange on military members that served in the “Blue Water Navy” during Vietnam. Congress is attempting to “fix” this dereliction of duty – and VA Officials oppose the change. We the people support treatment and compensation for these medical issues; and believe monitoring and documenting these issues should be the responsibility of VA, not the individual veterans.

Please sign, share on your page, copy and paste web link into an e-mail and send out to your entire e-mail address book and ask all your friends and family to sign, and forward on to their entire e-mail address book too!

You don’t have to be active duty military, or a veteran, civilians can sign too. 98.000 signatures are needed

Click HERE

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FATE OF AGENT ORANGE-AFFECTED NAVY VETERANS IN SENATE’S, ISAKSON’S HANDS

Six weeks after the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, restoring benefits to sailors who served in the bays, harbors and territorial seas of South Vietnam, the fate of the bill is in the hands of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

On June 25, the House passed the long-sought bill 382-0, restoring benefits that had been authorized by Congress in 1991 but later stripped by administrative decision in the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a result, thousands of Navy servicemen who served aboard ships during the Vietnam War lost coverage for conditions caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

Since that decision, the VA has denied claims to sailors on the basis that they never set foot on Vietnamese soil, although several significant studies have shown that runoff from Agent Orange-impacted areas flowed into the harbors where U.S. ships were stationed. It was subsequently ingested into shipboard distillation and purification systems, where it was actually enriched and made more potent. Countless U.S. Navy personnel were not only exposed to the toxin, but bathed in it, drank it, and ate food that was cooked in it.

Last week, a VA undersecretary testified that science did not support the claims of exposure, contradicting testimony Veterans Service Organizations, hydrologists and Navy experts. The bill has now been tabled in the committee, with limited days left for the Senate to act. If the bill is not passed before the next Congress takes office in January, supporters of the bill, including the Louisiana-based Military-Veterans Advocacy, will have to start from scratch.

“We initiated this bill, we drafted the initial language, and we have advocated – even begged – for Congressional action for years,” said Cdr. John Wells (USN, Ret.), executive director of the organization. “I have made countless trips to Capitol Hill in support of this legislation. Former Secretary Shulkin gave it his support. The House finally passed it – with not a single ‘no’ vote – in June. Now, the bill is in danger because of testimony from an undersecretary who is either uninformed or ill-informed. I have reached out to current VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and asked for his renewed support of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.

“While we have waited – and while we continue to wait – literally thousands of Navy veterans are suffering without needed care,” Wells said. “I am confident there are enough votes in the Senate to pass the act decisively. We need only move it through the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and to the Senate floor. I implore Sen. Isakson and other committee members to act swiftly on this legislation, giving so many veterans the long-overdue benefits they deserve.”

Commander J. B. Wells U. S. Navy (Retired)
Attorney at Law
Executive Director
Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc.

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Remember Those who Served
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New DoD Policy Bans Fitness Trackers

Deployed servicemembers are going to have to eliminate their ‘geolocation devices’ in response to a new memo from the Department of Defense. This includes physical fitness aids, applications in phones that track locations, and other devices and apps that pinpoint and track the location of individuals. Effective immediately, Defense Department personnel are prohibited from using geolocation features and functionality on government and nongovernment-issued devices, applications and services while in locations designated as operational areas. Deployed personnel are in ‘operational areas,’ and commanders will make a determination on other areas where this policy may apply.

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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 3,000 hits per day, and downloads average 1,990 per day with a total 4,292,420 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 16,468 documents on-line (Updated: 07/30/18)
• 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 (Counselor Needed)
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: 01/11/18)
• News (Articles On-Line: 7,606)
• Polls
• Web Links, more than 3,660, Added 6 New Links (Updated: 07/14/18)

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

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VA Adds 15 ‘Forever GI Bill’ Benefits

On Aug. 1, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented 15 more provisions of the ‘Forever GI Bill‘. Some of the provisions include: (1) recipients of a Purple Heart awarded on or after Sept. 11, 2001 are now eligible for full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for up to 36 months; (2) military and veteran families who have lost a family member can now reallocate transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits; (3) post-9/11 GI Bill students may now receive monthly housing allowance for any days they are not on active duty; and (4) the expansion of the Yellow Ribbon Program now covers more students. Get more details, read the full article HERE.

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Forever GI Bill Expands VA Educational Benefits

Effective Aug. 1, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented 15 more provisions of the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also referred to as the Forever GI Bill.

These provisions, in addition to the 13 implemented since the law was signed less than a year ago, will have an immediate and positive impact on Veterans and their families using VA benefits to pursue their educational goals.

“We are excited to get the word out about implementation of the provisions,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “From the day the Forever GI Bill was signed into law, VA, in collaboration with Veterans service organizations, state approving agencies and school certifying officials, has taken an expansive approach to ensure earned benefits are provided to Veterans in a timely, high-quality and efficient way.”

Some of the provisions that began Aug. 1 include:

 Recipients of a Purple Heart awarded on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are now eligible for full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for up to 36 months, if not already entitled.
 Military and Veteran families who have lost a family member can now reallocate transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
 Additional Guard and Reserve service now counts toward Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility.
 Post-9/11 GI Bill students may now receive monthly housing allowance for any days they are not on active duty, rather than having to wait until the next month; and
 Expansion of theYellow Ribbon Program, which makes additional funds available for GI Bill students, now covers more students.

More provisions are scheduled related to science, technology, engineering and math benefit extensions; increased benefit levels; a pilot program for high-technology training geared toward “upskilling” Veterans to enter the workforce quickly; and another expansion of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which will be implemented by Aug. 1, 2022.

For more information, visit then Forever GI Bill – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act page

Source: TREA

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Bobby Ross-006

August’s Featured Song

Back to Blue Jeans Again

By

LT Bobby Ross

LT Bobby Ross – The Voice of America
Previous Featured Songs

We are living in trying times. Our nation seems to be dividing more and more each day. American hunters and fishermen make up a large part of my 30 year old LRRP Network. It is my duty to make my AFOA a stunning example of how Veterans and autistic folks can work together to keep our American farms safe and secure, and support those who believe in our 2nd Amendment. For those of you interested, please feel free to contact me at this E-Mail Address: ltbobbyr3@gmail.com

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Your Opinion Matters: Take a Quick Survey

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Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers: Management Improvements Needed

Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers: Management Improvements Needed

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) audited the Veteran Health Administration’s (VHA’s) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers from June 2017 through June 2018 to determine if VHA effectively provided program services to qualified veterans and their caregivers. The Family Caregiver Program pays a monthly stipend to caregivers of eligible veterans. The OIG found that veterans and their caregivers did not receive consistent access to the program. The OIG found that caregiver support coordinators (CSCs) did not determine eligibility within the required 45 days for about 65 percent of the 1,822 veterans approved for the program from January through September 2017. The OIG also found that VHA did not correctly apply eligibility criteria when enrolling veterans. Four percent of the 1,604 veterans discharged from the program from January through September 2017 were never eligible. As a result, VHA made about $4.8 million in improper payments to their caregivers. VHA also did not consistently monitor and document the health statuses of an estimated 50 percent of the veterans discharged during the same period. The OIG found clinicians and CSCs either did not adequately document the extent that veterans’ health conditions changed or they failed to routinely monitor veterans and their caregivers before the reassessment leading to their program discharge. VHA failed to manage the Family Caregiver Program effectively because it did not establish governance that promoted accountability for program management. Also, VHA did not establish a staffing model to ensure medical facilities were well equipped to manage the program’s workload. The OIG recommended designating additional program oversight, applying program criteria to ensure eligibility determinations are accurate, ensuring veteran applications are processed within the 45-day standard, consistently monitoring and documenting veterans’ health statuses, and establishing guidelines for when a veteran’s need for care changes.