Warrior Connection – 06.26.16

June 26, 2016
The June 26th edition of Warrior Connection was a discussion about the Vietnam Wall, coming home, surviving, and thriving. The moving "wall" was just at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve - Mahomet, Illinois. We all, Ray and I and Denise lost our "brothers" and much more but we can thrive.
 
 
After I helped erect the wall I went to look for one of my aircrew brothers Robert Lynn and as I touched the wall the "little sister" of Thomas Bennett , who was also there to help erect the wall, spoke up to me. Tom and Bob flew together and got shot down one day apart. We both reached some closure.
 
 
 
Ray's brothers who were kids are:
 
William Bushey, Steven Rickerson, James Sickles and Donald Liebl
In the photo I just took with my image reflected back.
 
God's work once more. "WALL MAGIC"
 
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Warrior Connection – 06.05.16

June 5, 2016
The June 5th edition of Warrior Connection was an exceptional discussion with Dr. Robert B. Shaw, D.Min., M.A., LPC, NBCC, BCPCC, BCPC , Associate Director of International Board of Christian Care (IBCC) & Christian Care Network (CCN), American Association of Christian Counselors, 129 Vista Centre Drive, Suite B, Forest, VA 24551
tel. - 800-526-8673, fax - 434-525-9480  about readjustment during and after deployment. Brain development and PTSD= moral injury  etc.
 
Dr Shaw will join us again in a few weeks to continue our conversation.  If you need help please call the Christian Care Network at 800 526-8673    
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Warrior Connection – 05.29.16

May 29, 2016
The May 29th edition of Warrior Connection was a discussion on treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with Dr Ashjok Tuteja of Salt Lake City VA and University of Nevada at  Salt Lake using probiotics. Veterans in the Salt Lake region are invited to participate in these treatment trials. Please call Dr Tutehja at 801-865-9693 or 801-582-1565 ext. 4019 / 4188. PRN and Warrior Connection lead the nation in information and education to help our nation's veterans survive and thrive.
 
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Warrior Connection – 05.22.16

May 22, 2016

The  May 22 edition of WARRIOR CONNECTION was a discussion on disabled veterans caregivers problems and needs and call for action supported by the following information:

This is bad part to quote and get an amendment from House side to fix! Now for the bad which is: Expands the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to all generations of veterans.
Subtitle D—Family Caregivers
SEC. 231. EXPANSION OF FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM OF
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
(a) FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM.—
(1) EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (a)(2)(B) of
section 1720G of title 38, United States Code,
is amended to read as follows:
‘‘(B) for assistance provided under this sub-
section— 11 ‘‘(i) before the date on which the Secretary
submits to Congress a certification that the De-
partment has fully implemented the information
technology system required by section 232(a) of
the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Act, has a seri-
ous injury (including traumatic brain injury,
psychological trauma, or other mental disorder)
active military, naval, or air service on or after
September 11, 2001;
‘‘(ii) during the two-year period beginning
on the date specified in clause (i), has a serious
injury (including traumatic brain injury, psy-
chological trauma, or other mental disorder) in-
curred or aggravated in the line of duty in the
active military, naval, or air service-
‘‘(I) on or before May 7, 1975; or
‘‘(II) on or after September 11, 2001;
or ‘‘(iii) after the date that is two years after
the date specified in clause (i), has a serious in-
jury (including traumatic brain injury, psycho-
logical trauma, or other mental disorder) in-
curred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military,

Keith Nordeng
May 13 at 6:09pm
http://www.veterans.senate.gov/…/isakson-blumenthal-unveil-…
Page 120 of the bill
ONCE AGAIN 90-91 veteran are LEFT OUT. What the F?
Veterans First Act specifically addresses
Changes the culture at the VA by improving accountability to make it easier for the VA Secretary to remove bad actors at all levels of the department. (Good)
Expands the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to all generations of veterans. (Bad)
Strengthens the Veterans Choice program by establishing prompt payment standards and streamlining the requirements for community medical providers to enter into agreements with the VA. (Good)
Enhances education benefits for veterans, surviving spouses and children, and allows thousands of mobilized Reservists to earn GI Bill eligibility. (Good)
Addresses the crisis of opioid over-prescription among veterans.
(Good)
Enhances research on the potential health effects from toxic exposure to veterans and their descendants. (Very Good)
Strengthens programs to combat veteran homelessness (Good)
.
Improves the disability claims and appeals process by requiring the VA to launch a pilot program that will cut down the massive backlog of appeals awaiting action. (Good)
Now for the bad which is: Expands the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to all generations of veterans.
Subtitle D—Family Caregivers
SEC. 231. EXPANSION OF FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM OF
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
(a) FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM.—
(1) EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (a)(2)(B) of
section 1720G of title 38, United States Code,
is amended to read as follows:
‘‘(B) for assistance provided under this sub-
section— 11 ‘‘(i) before the date on which the Secretary
submits to Congress a certification that the De-
partment has fully implemented the information
technology system required by section 232(a) of
the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Act, has a seri-
ous injury (including traumatic brain injury,
psychological trauma, or other mental disorder)
active military, naval, or air service on or after
September 11, 2001;
‘‘(ii) during the two-year period beginning
on the date specified in clause (i), has a serious
injury (including traumatic brain injury, psy-
chological trauma, or other mental disorder) in-
curred or aggravated in the line of duty in the
active military, naval, or air service-
‘‘(I) on or before May 7, 1975; or
‘‘(II) on or after September 11, 2001;
or
‘‘(iii) after the date that is two years after
the date specified in clause (i), has a serious in-
jury (including traumatic brain injury, psycho-
logical trauma, or other mental disorder) in-
curred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service; and’’.

Military Update: A showpiece of the Veterans First package that the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee unveiled last week is a multi-billion-dollar initiative to phase in for older generations of severely injured veterans robust caregiver benefits first enacted in 2010 only for the Post-9/11 generation.

Though it’s only part of a huge omnibus bill containing many veteran reform measures that senators previously introduced as separate bills, the plan to expand caregiver benefit coverage carries the biggest price tag. The early estimate is $3.1 billion over its first five years.

For in-home caregivers of thousands of vets with severe physical or mental injuries, it would mean cash stipends for their time and effort, health insurance if caregivers have none, guaranteed periods of paid respite to avoid caregiver burnout and training to enhance patient safety.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), prime architect of the caregiver expansion plan, negotiated with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), the committee chairman, to secure a modified plan that could be funded with budget offsets and gain bipartisan support on the committee. That should improve its chances of becoming law despite still formidable obstacles ahead.

Perhaps the biggest is lingering disappointment over how the current caregiver program operates. Though it is delivering benefits to spouses and parents caring for 31,000 severely disabled veterans of the Post-9/11 era, the program remains underfunded, understaffed and lacking modern software to screen applications, track care needs or verify levels of caregiver support and program managers’ responsiveness.

The Government Accountability Office found many problems including too few Caregiver Support Coordinators who run the program locally. The program remains so “badly mismanaged” as to leave the House Veterans Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), doubtful that the VA can handle a vast expansion of eligibility, a committee staff member said.

“While the intent of the Senate bill is admirable,” the staffer said, “we have an obligation not to expand existing programs without first ensuring they function correctly.”

But Isakson agreed with Murray that, rather than allow weaknesses in the current program to block expansion to older veterans, they should phase in eligibility for older generations on a schedule that gives VA time to fix problems while it incentivizes Congress to provide needed funding.

VA promises to have a modern IT system in place for the program by December this year. The Senate package would require the VA secretary within a year to certify that problems GAO identified have been fixed. Then within another year VA would begin to accept benefit applications from caregivers of veterans who served during the Vietnam War or earlier. Two years later, VA would start to accept applications from caregivers of severely injured veterans who served in the period between Vietnam and 9/11.

The pool of pre-9/11-era caregivers likely to be eligible for benefits if the program is expanded could be as high as 80,000, VA reported last year.
With up to 400 new caregivers of Post-9/11 veterans qualifying for benefits every month, program costs are climbing steadily, from $453 million in 2015 to $650 million this year and $725 million is sought for next year.

There are problems with the program, but the VA alone isn’t to blame, said Adrian Atizado, deputy legislative director for Disabled American Veteran whose national service officers field caregiver complaints. Congress underfunded it. Meanwhile, DAV and other advocates were slow to sound alarms over the underfunding, poor staffing and the sketchy information about the program that VA has given caregiver applicants and injured vets.

“I totally disagree with the House’s interpretation that it should not be expanded because of how the program is running now,” said Atizado. “I do share their concern about completely opening it up immediately.” But the Isakson-Murray phased expansion, he said, is a “reasonable compromise.”

In a statement, Miller said the omnibus deal reached by the Senate committee is a positive development. If it clears the Senate, “I look forward to immediately engaging in conference committee negotiations in order to move a VA reform package to the president’s desk,” Miller said.

Rather than compile one massive piece of legislation as the Senate committee opted to do, the House committee shepherded 21 separate bills on veterans’ issues through the House, which now await Senate action.

Beside differences in approaches, there are differences in priorities. The House committee said the most pressing VA need is tougher accountability rules so executives who put their own interests ahead of veterans can swiftly be reprimanded or fired. Miller and staff view their House-passed accountability bill, HR 1994, as much stronger than provisions embraced by Isakson and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), the committee’s ranking Democrat, at their Veterans First press conference.

Though the House sought no expansion to the caregiver program, staff noted that all of its House-passed veteran bills are fully paid for with spending offsets verified by the Congressional Budget Office.

Isakson said he and colleagues also found offsets to pay for the Veterans First package, with its estimated annual cost of $4 billion over 10 years, and without cutting prized veteran benefits. The offsets no longer embrace a controversial idea to cut by half the monthly housing stipend for family members who use transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

Instead Isakson would cap total VA employee bonuses paid annually, mandate higher VA home loan funding fees, and “harmonize” the GI Bill housing stipend lower to reflect a total five-percent dampening of Basic Allowance for Housing rates over five years being imposed on active duty force members.

Murray said she doesn’t know if Miller and his House colleagues will support the caregiver expansion when they conference on veteran issues.
“I do know that this program is about putting veterans’ needs first and supporting the men and women who put their own lives on hold to take care of veterans,” Murray said. “Taking care of our veterans should never be a partisan issue.”

Send comments to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120, email milupdate@aol.com or twitter: Tom Philpott @Military_Update

Tom Philpott has been breaking news for and about military people since 1977. After service in the Coast Guard, and 17 years as a reporter and senior editor with Army Times Publishing Company, Tom launched “Military Update,” his syndicated weekly news column, in 1994. “Military Update” features timely news and analysis on issues affecting active duty members, reservists, retirees and their families.

Visit Tom Philpott’s Military Update Archive to view his past articles.

Tom also edits a reader reaction column, “Military Forum.” The online “home” for both features is Military.com.

Tom’s freelance articles have appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest and Washingtonian.

His critically-acclaimed book, Glory Denied, on the extraordinary ordeal and heroism of Col. Floyd “Jim” Thompson, the longest-held prisoner of war in American history, is available in hardcover and paperback.

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Senators want caregiver benefits phased in for older veterans

By Tom Philpott

Special to Stars and Stripes

Published: May 5, 2016

·         

Shundra Johnson holds a wheelchair for her husband Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson as he gets into a car while traveling to the Navy's wounded warrior training camp for the 2015 DoD Warrior Games, May 29, 2015. Shundra is also her husband's caregiver.

EJ Hersom/Department of Defense

Related

Senators unveil Veterans First Act

Senators took fresh steps this week in the slow effort to reform the beleaguered Veterans Affairs Department and hold it more accountable just as news broke of a new scandal — cockroaches in food at a VA hospital in Chicago.

Summit highlights difficulties of veterans’ caregivers

Torrey Shannon provides round-the-clock care for her husband, retired Staff Sgt. Dan Shannon, who survived a gunshot wound to the head in Iraq. He needs to live in a remote area because severe post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury has left him overwhelmed by cities. Despite this, she said she has struggled to get the support she needs as a veteran’s caregiver.

·         As veterans come home, a new generation of caregivers

American troops were serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan five years ago when President Barack Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation acknowledging the critical role of caregivers for seriously injured post- 9/11 veterans.

A showpiece of the Veterans First package that the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee unveiled last week is a multibillion-dollar initiative to phase in for older generations of severely injured veterans robust caregiver benefits first enacted in 2010 only for the post-9/11 generation.

Though it’s only part of a huge omnibus bill containing many veteran reform measures that senators previously introduced as separate bills, the plan to expand caregiver benefit coverage carries the biggest price tag. The early estimate is $3.1 billion over its first five years.

For in-home caregivers of thousands of vets with severe physical or mental injuries, it would mean cash stipends for their time and effort, health insurance if caregivers have none, guaranteed periods of paid respite to avoid caregiver burnout and training to enhance patient safety.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., prime architect of the caregiver expansion plan, negotiated with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the committee chairman, to secure a modified plan that could be funded with budget offsets and gain bipartisan support on the committee. That should improve its chances of becoming law despite still formidable obstacles ahead.

Perhaps the biggest is lingering disappointment over how the current caregiver program operates. Though it is delivering benefits to spouses and parents caring for 31,000 severely disabled veterans of the post-9/11 era, the program remains underfunded, understaffed and lacking modern software to screen applications, track care needs or verify levels of caregiver support and program managers’ responsiveness.

The Government Accountability Office found many problems, including too few Caregiver Support Coordinators who run the program locally. The program remains so “badly mismanaged” as to leave the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., doubtful that the Department of Veterans Affairs can handle a vast expansion of eligibility, a committee staff member said.

“While the intent of the Senate bill is admirable,” the staffer said, “we have an obligation not to expand existing programs without first ensuring they function correctly.”

But Isakson agreed with Murray that, rather than allow weaknesses in the current program to block expansion to older veterans, they should phase in eligibility for older generations on a schedule that gives VA time to fix problems while it incentivizes Congress to provide needed funding.

VA promises to have a modern IT system in place for the program by December this year. The Senate package would require the VA secretary within a year to certify that problems GAO identified have been fixed. Then within another year VA would begin to accept benefit applications from caregivers of veterans who served during the Vietnam War or earlier. Two years later, VA would start to accept applications from caregivers of severely injured veterans who served in the period between Vietnam and 9/11.

The pool of pre-9/11-era caregivers likely to be eligible for benefits if the program is expanded could be as high as 80,000, VA reported last year.

With up to 400 new caregivers of post-9/11 veterans qualifying for benefits every month, program costs are climbing steadily, from $453 million in 2015 to $650 million this year; $725 million is sought for next year.

There are problems with the program, but the VA alone isn’t to blame, said Adrian Atizado, deputy legislative director for Disabled American Veterans, whose national service officers field caregiver complaints. Congress underfunded it. Meanwhile, DAV and other advocates were slow to sound alarms over the underfunding, poor staffing and the sketchy information about the program that VA has given caregiver applicants and injured vets.

“I totally disagree with the House’s interpretation that it should not be expanded because of how the program is running now,” said Atizado. “I do share their concern about completely opening it up immediately.” But the Isakson-Murray phased expansion, he said, is a “reasonable compromise.”

In a statement, Miller said the omnibus deal reached by the Senate committee is a positive development. If it clears the Senate, “I look forward to immediately engaging in conference committee negotiations in order to move a VA reform package to the president’s desk,” Miller said.

Rather than compile one massive piece of legislation as the Senate committee opted to do, the House committee shepherded 21 separate bills on veterans’ issues through the House, which now await Senate action.

Besides differences in approaches, there are differences in priorities. The House committee said the most pressing VA need is tougher accountability rules so executives who put their own interests ahead of veterans can swiftly be reprimanded or fired. Miller and staff view their House-passed accountability bill, HR 1994, as much stronger than provisions embraced by Isakson and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the committee’s ranking Democrat, at their Veterans First press conference.

Though the House sought no expansion to the caregiver program, staff noted that all of its House-passed veteran bills are fully paid for with spending offsets verified by the Congressional Budget Office.

Isakson said he and colleagues also found offsets to pay for the Veterans First package, estimated to cost $4 billion over 10 years, without cutting prized veteran benefits. The offsets no longer embrace a controversial idea to cut by half the monthly housing stipend for family members who use transferred post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

Instead Isakson would cap total VA employee bonuses paid annually, mandate higher VA home loan funding fees, and “harmonize” the GI Bill housing stipend lower to reflect a total 5 percent dampening of Basic Allowance for Housing rates over five years being imposed on active-duty force members.

Murray said she doesn’t know if Miller and his House colleagues will support the caregiver expansion when they conference on veteran issues.

“I do know that this program is about putting veterans’ needs first and supporting the men and women who put their own lives on hold to take care of veterans,” Murray said. “Taking care of our veterans should never be a partisan issue.”

Send comments to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120 milupdaSenators want caregiver benefits phased in for older veterans

By Tom Philpott

Special to Stars and Stripes

Published: May 5, 2016

Shundra Johnson holds a wheelchair for her husband Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson as he gets into a car while traveling to the Navy's wounded warrior training camp for the 2015 DoD Warrior Games, May 29, 2015. Shundra is also her husband's caregiver.

EJ Hersom/Department of Defense

Related

Senators unveil Veterans First Act

Senators took fresh steps this week in the slow effort to reform the beleaguered Veterans Affairs Department and hold it more accountable just as news broke of a new scandal — cockroaches in food at a VA hospital in Chicago.

Summit highlights difficulties of veterans’ caregivers

Torrey Shannon provides round-the-clock care for her husband, retired Staff Sgt. Dan Shannon, who survived a gunshot wound to the head in Iraq. He needs to live in a remote area because severe post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury has left him overwhelmed by cities. Despite this, she said she has struggled to get the support she needs as a veteran’s caregiver.

·         As veterans come home, a new generation of caregivers

American troops were serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan five years ago when President Barack Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation acknowledging the critical role of caregivers for seriously injured post- 9/11 veterans.

A showpiece of the Veterans First package that the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee unveiled last week is a multibillion-dollar initiative to phase in for older generations of severely injured veterans robust caregiver benefits first enacted in 2010 only for the post-9/11 generation.

Though it’s only part of a huge omnibus bill containing many veteran reform measures that senators previously introduced as separate bills, the plan to expand caregiver benefit coverage carries the biggest price tag. The early estimate is $3.1 billion over its first five years.

For in-home caregivers of thousands of vets with severe physical or mental injuries, it would mean cash stipends for their time and effort, health insurance if caregivers have none, guaranteed periods of paid respite to avoid caregiver burnout and training to enhance patient safety.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., prime architect of the caregiver expansion plan, negotiated with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the committee chairman, to secure a modified plan that could be funded with budget offsets and gain bipartisan support on the committee. That should improve its chances of becoming law despite still formidable obstacles ahead.

Perhaps the biggest is lingering disappointment over how the current caregiver program operates. Though it is delivering benefits to spouses and parents caring for 31,000 severely disabled veterans of the post-9/11 era, the program remains underfunded, understaffed and lacking modern software to screen applications, track care needs or verify levels of caregiver support and program managers’ responsiveness.

The Government Accountability Office found many problems, including too few Caregiver Support Coordinators who run the program locally. The program remains so “badly mismanaged” as to leave the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., doubtful that the Department of Veterans Affairs can handle a vast expansion of eligibility, a committee staff member said.

“While the intent of the Senate bill is admirable,” the staffer said, “we have an obligation not to expand existing programs without first ensuring they function correctly.”

But Isakson agreed with Murray that, rather than allow weaknesses in the current program to block expansion to older veterans, they should phase in eligibility for older generations on a schedule that gives VA time to fix problems while it incentivizes Congress to provide needed funding.

VA promises to have a modern IT system in place for the program by December this year. The Senate package would require the VA secretary within a year to certify that problems GAO identified have been fixed. Then within another year VA would begin to accept benefit applications from caregivers of veterans who served during the Vietnam War or earlier. Two years later, VA would start to accept applications from caregivers of severely injured veterans who served in the period between Vietnam and 9/11.

The pool of pre-9/11-era caregivers likely to be eligible for benefits if the program is expanded could be as high as 80,000, VA reported last year.

With up to 400 new caregivers of post-9/11 veterans qualifying for benefits every month, program costs are climbing steadily, from $453 million in 2015 to $650 million this year; $725 million is sought for next year.

There are problems with the program, but the VA alone isn’t to blame, said Adrian Atizado, deputy legislative director for Disabled American Veterans, whose national service officers field caregiver complaints. Congress underfunded it. Meanwhile, DAV and other advocates were slow to sound alarms over the underfunding, poor staffing and the sketchy information about the program that VA has given caregiver applicants and injured vets.

“I totally disagree with the House’s interpretation that it should not be expanded because of how the program is running now,” said Atizado. “I do share their concern about completely opening it up immediately.” But the Isakson-Murray phased expansion, he said, is a “reasonable compromise.”

In a statement, Miller said the omnibus deal reached by the Senate committee is a positive development. If it clears the Senate, “I look forward to immediately engaging in conference committee negotiations in order to move a VA reform package to the president’s desk,” Miller said.

Rather than compile one massive piece of legislation as the Senate committee opted to do, the House committee shepherded 21 separate bills on veterans’ issues through the House, which now await Senate action.

Besides differences in approaches, there are differences in priorities. The House committee said the most pressing VA need is tougher accountability rules so executives who put their own interests ahead of veterans can swiftly be reprimanded or fired. Miller and staff view their House-passed accountability bill, HR 1994, as much stronger than provisions embraced by Isakson and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the committee’s ranking Democrat, at their Veterans First press conference.

Though the House sought no expansion to the caregiver program, staff noted that all of its House-passed veteran bills are fully paid for with spending offsets verified by the Congressional Budget Office.

Isakson said he and colleagues also found offsets to pay for the Veterans First package, estimated to cost $4 billion over 10 years, without cutting prized veteran benefits. The offsets no longer embrace a controversial idea to cut by half the monthly housing stipend for family members who use transferred post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

Instead Isakson would cap total VA employee bonuses paid annually, mandate higher VA home loan funding fees, and “harmonize” the GI Bill housing stipend lower to reflect a total 5 percent dampening of Basic Allowance for Housing rates over five years being imposed on active-duty force members.

Murray said she doesn’t know if Miller and his House colleagues will support the caregiver expansion when they conference on veteran issues.

“I do know that this program is about putting veterans’ needs first and supporting the men and women who put their own lives on hold to take care of veterans,” Murray said. “Taking care of our veterans should never be a partisan issue.”

Send comments to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120

milupdate@aol.com

te@aol.com

Act
Subtitle D—Family Caregivers
SEC. 231. EXPANSION OF FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM OF
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. Specifically the donut hole created by the dates.
‘‘(I) on or before May 7, 1975; or
‘‘(II) on or after September 11, 2001;
or
‘‘(iii) after the date that is two years after
the date specified in clause (i), has a serious in-
jury (including traumatic brain injury, psycho-
logical trauma, or other mental disorder) in-
curred or aggravated in the line of duty in the

Form to send comments to house veterans affairs committee. https://republicans-veteranforms.house.gov/forms/writethecommittee/

00:0000:00

Warrior Connection – 05.15.16

May 15, 2016

The May 15th edition of Warrior Connection  was a continuation of our discussion on CDMRP medical research with Dr Julia Colier of Bronx VA about new medical treatment protocol using nasal insulin spray to alleviate brain inflammation and thus reduce effects of toxic exposures on cognition, pain, stress, etc. Veterans are needed to participate in the Bronx VA and Boston VA systems.  This new treatment promises significant improvement in cognitive functioning and also may be useful for Parkinson's and Altzheimers too.  Please call Dr Colier at 718-584-9000 to participate in Bronx trials or Dr Maxine Kringle at 857-364-6933 for Boston or email Julia.Golier@va.gov.  We will continue with this series.
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Warrior Connection – 05.08.16

May 8, 2016

The May 8th Warrior Connection was a continuing discussion on suicide warning signs and suicide prevention.

00:0000:00

Warrior Connection – 05.01.16

May 1, 2016

The May 1 edition of Warrior Connection was a discussion with the widow of a warrior who committed suicide revealing the problems they faced as they were abandoned by the military and the VA leading up to her husbands suicide and the resulting lingering problems the widow and her children  face.  This extraordinary brave widow offers insight and suggestions on how  to prevent another tragedy and how to cope after suicide of a loved one affected by war.   

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Warrior Connection – 04.24.16

April 24, 2016

The April 24th Edition of Warrior Connection was a discussion with Dr Kimberly Sullivan and Dr. Joanne Cirillo of Boston University School of Medicine consortium study on Gulf War illnesses. Dr Sullivan needs veterans to participate in medical care treatment research.  Please call them at 617-638-5834. 

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Warrior Connection – 04.17.16

April 17, 2016

The April 17 edition of Warrior Connection was an incredible  discussion about the legendary Bob Dylan and introduction of new Bob Dylan music with Duluth Minnesota Dylan fest director Brad Nelson and Dylan musicologist  John Busey in with cooperation of KUMD.org from Duluth Minnesota. John hosts a Dylan music radio program broadcast on KUMD.org that has been ongoing for 25 years. Bob Dylan is still performing, writing, and impacting our culture just as he has done for over 50 years. The version of "Blowing In The Wind"  that they played for this program brought tears to our eyes. The impact of Dylan's music on Vietnam veterans and other generations of warriors is beyond imagination. As discussed each person holds personal and unique memories and perceptions. THAT IS WHAT MAKES DYLAN SO GREAT. Dylan clearly touches the depth of each person's soul. Thanks to my cousin, children's author, and poet Bonnie Rokke Tinnes of Bemidji, Minnesota who set this up and celebrated her 48th wedding anniversary doing this broadcast. Co-host Ray Clark  tied it together with how Dylan was perceived and danced to during Vietnam combat operations.   

Brad and John also introduced two new songs from Duluth Does Dylan cd:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5wpe5i44izct33k/David%20Simonett%20%3D%20Boots%20Of%20Spanish%20Leather_v3.wav?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rezgurw2rgqk85a/Weary%20Tunesmiths%20%3D%20Lay%20Down%20Your%20Weary%20Tune.wav?dl=0

For additional information please refer to bobdylanway.com and kumb.org.

The Sixth Annual Duluth Dylan Fest will take place
Sunday, May 22 through Sunday, May 29, 2016.

See the full Flyer

read more »

Purchase tickets for Events

For more information about the 2016 Duluth Dylan Fest email duluthdylanfest@gmail.com or see our Facebook Page or flyer.

The Bob Dylan Way exhibit at Fitgers read more »

Commemorative Bob Dylan Way buttons are available at the Electric Fetus read more »

Bob Dylan Way T-Shirts for sale read more »

00:0000:00

Warrior Connection – 04.10.16

April 10, 2016

The April 10th edition of Warrior Connection was a discussion about the lessons of Vietnam + 40 + 50 years  and  steps  we the veteran who has survived can take to thrive.

  1. obtain an education
  2. choose friends  wisely
  3. abandon booze and street drugs
  4. fight for your medical care
  5. take care of yourself and your family
  6. help the next veteran co-hort group to survive and to thrive
  7. get involved in your community
  8. Put your faith,  your trust,  and your mentor - model for living in GOD.

Therefore your legacy may be:

My Quilt

(author unknown)

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles. An Angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares were. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.   I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air. Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who Unfairly judged me.   And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you."

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through.

Please share this with someone you love, care about or even someone who needs Jesus in their heart. They may scoff, but at least the seed has been planted, and God will do the rest. May God bless you today and Forever.

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