Veterans-For-Change NEWSLETTER

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Week Ending Sunday, February 24, 2019
Volume 10, Issue 08

Now, with the largest freshman class of Veteran lawmakers in a decade, Congress appears determined to lift the issue of burn pits from obscure medical journals and Veterans’ websites to the floors and hearing rooms of Capitol Hill. Members are vowing to force the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs to deal with the issue.
Nice talk coming from Congress, but seriously can we or should we begin to trust their members to actually do the right thing, and not take decades to do it?
From June 2007 through Nov. 30, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs processed 11,581 disability compensation claims with at least one condition related to burn pit exposure, according to Curt Cashour, a department spokesman. Of those, 2,318 claims were granted.
But almost 44 percent of burn-pit-related claims were denied because the condition had not been officially diagnosed, while roughly 54 percent were “due to a lack of evidence establishing a connection to military service,” Mr. Cashour said.
How can anyone “service-connect” when none of the research had been done? And those research papers that had been completed and presented were treated just like Agent Orange and charged off as junk science!
And just like Agent Orange, some, if not most symptoms won’t begin to show for years and possibly decades!
Clintonville resident Dave Nichol struggles with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He is convinced his condition is the result of exposure to Agent Orange during two tours of duty to Vietnam. But like thousands of other Navy Veterans who served on ships offshore, Dave’s claims for disability benefits have been denied.
But a new federal court appeals court ruling has given Nichol reason to hope.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court Circuit has issued a 9-2 decision that says the same disability benefits offered to Veterans who had boots on the ground and who patrolled inland rivers should also be offered to sailors who served on ships offshore.
Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant, has been linked to numerous health conditions including Parkinson’s. But the VA has cited a lack of science to connect the chemical to ships that were two miles or more offshore.
Here again, tons of evidence as emerged over the past decade or so, proving how contamination occurred and most if not all had been accepted, but for boots on the ground, and much can also be tied directly to Blue Water Veterans, and yet the fight continues.
What I and I’m sure, many can’t understand is how Secretary Wilkie can or would fight so hard against the evidence? Proof is proof now matter how you look at it.
As announced a month ago that we’ve officially closed all our Face Book Pages and are now officially on MEWE.COM for everything. So if you’re interested in following us on any of the various pages, all the links further down in the newsletter will take you there.
On behalf of our Volunteers nationwide and myself, we wish you and your family good health!
Jim Davis 

Veterans Wanted: Sitel Is Hiring Now
Grow your career with a leading customer experience provider. At Sitel, we offer military veterans an exciting range of career opportunities in our locations worldwide. Whether seeking a role as a customer service professional, a front-line supervisor or an executive, we embrace one thing – diversity. View jobs now.

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 for Mental Health and are currently seeking a new Licensed Mental Health Worker, where you can seek help or just ask questions.
We average 2,488 hits per day, and downloads average 1,704 per day with a total 4,744,513visitors 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.
• Documents Library with over 16,925documents on-line (Updated: 02/11/19) 
• 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: 10/30/18) (37 Added) 
• News (Articles On-Line: 8,223
• Polls 
• Web Links, more than 4,701, Added 16 New Links (Updated: 02/20/19)
If you have a submission for the memorial pages, E-Mail:

~Veterans-For-Change Made Social Media Change from Face Book to MEWE~
We had been on Face Book for many years and have moved to for a number of reasons.
Where you are the customer to serve and not data to sell.
Where you share your real life and celebrate, not censor, diversity.
We know most people don’t like change, however, this new Social Media Site, MEWE.COM has no advertisers, truly respects privacy and protects your security far better than Face Book ever could. They also have a fantastic customer service group who actually does respond to your messages, suggestions, ideas and more!
We hope you will join us on this new site.

H.R. 303, the Retired Pay Restoration Act
On January 8, 2019, Representative Gus Bilirakis (FL) introduced H.R. 303, the Retired Pay Restoration Act. 
This bill would extend concurrent receipt authority to longevity retirees with service-connected disabilities rated less than 50 percent disabling. Under current law disabled veterans with longevity retirement from active military service who are also in receipt of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability determination of 50 percent or higher may retain both military retirement pay and their compensation.
DAV strongly supports H.R. 303 as it would end the unfair policy of forcing many military longevity retirees to forfeit some of their retired pay in order to receive equal amounts of disability compensation from the VA. This legislation is in accord with DAV Resolution No. 104 and would eliminate concurrent receipt for all longevity retirees.
Please use the prepared electronic letter or draft your own to urge your Representative to support and cosponsor H.R. 303. As always, we appreciate your support for DAV and your grassroots activism in participating in DAV CAN. Thank you for all you do for America’s veterans and their families.
Take Action

February’s Featured Song
Blowing In The Wind
LT Bobby Ross
LT Bobby Ross – Voice Of America
Previous Featured Songs

Getting Married? Know your TRICARE Health Care Options
Getting married? Congratulations! You and your family members may experience changes in TRICARE eligibility and coverage after getting married. A change in family composition, such as marriage, is a TRICARE Qualifying Life Event (QLE). A QLE allows you to make changes to your health plan enrollment outside of the fall annual TRICARE Open Season.
Read the full article here.

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