Friday, April 4, 2008

Senator Boxer supports new " Purple Heart Stamp"

Dear Friend:

I am pleased to let you know that I am supporting an effort to have a new “forever stamp” issued honoring our veterans who have been awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “Forever stamps” are a new class of stamps that meet first-class postage requirements even when postage rates increase.

It is very fitting that recipients of the Purple Heart, the oldest military decoration in the world that is still in use, be honored with this new class of stamps. First established by General George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces who are wounded or killed in an action. More than 1,700,000 Americans have been awarded the Purple Heart in our nation’s history.

The original Purple Heart postage stamp was first issued by the United States Postal Service in 2003, and issuing a new “forever stamp” will continue to honor the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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McCain to Meet With Secret Service

McCain to Meet With Secret Service

Who's Blogging» Links to this article
The Associated Press
Friday, April 4, 2008; 12:55 PM

MEMPHIS -- Sen. John McCain intends to meet with Secret Service officials in the next several days in preparation for accepting security protection for the final several months of his White House bid, campaign officials said Friday.

These officials said no meeting had yet been arranged.

They made the disclosure one day after the head of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, took the unusual step of discussing McCain's lack of government security at an open meeting with members of the House Appropriations Committee.

The campaign aides said they did not know precisely when McCain would agree to accept the protection. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt events.

The Arizona senator has effectively wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination.

"Statutorily, he is not required to take protection," Sullivan said when asked about McCain's security during a hearing on the agency's budget. "As far as an actual request, we have not gotten one. We have no involvement at this point."

McCain has said previously he does not want Secret Service protection, fearing it would interfere with his brand of intimate campaigning with voters. McCain also has said he'll try to last as long as he can without it.

"I've never done it. After we won New Hampshire in 2000, they really tried to get us, but we said no," McCain said last November while campaigning in Concord, N.H. "It's an invasion of your ability to have contact with voters."

McCain to meet with Secret Service


I guess he finally came to the conclusion to "look Presidential" you need the Secret Service detail "The President" has, so if you are going to play on the same playing field as Senators Clinton and Obama it's time to start charging the govt for letting SS agents ride your airplane and stay at your house.....

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Veterans Of Top Secret Project Still Await Care

Veterans being shafted by the government

Veterans Of Top Secret Project Still Await Care
Anna Werner SANTA ROSA (CBS 5) ― It sounds like a bad dream. You suspect that your job made you sick, but if you tell anyone—even your doctor—the government will send you to prison.

That's the real-life dilemma faced by thousands of military men who worked on a hazardous, Top Secret experiment called "Project SHAD," which stands for "Shipboard Hazard and Defense." It was part of America's race against the Russians in the 1960s to develop biological and chemical weapons.

Now, many of the men who worked on Project SHAD are sick, and asking why the U.S. government won't take care of them.

Our video report has more.
(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

VA fails at PTSD care, lawsuit charges

PTSD Lawsuit

VA fails at PTSD care, lawsuit charges

By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Apr 3, 2008 10:13:27 EDT

Veterans for Common Sense is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs because, the group says, VA is so thoroughly bogged down with a backlog of 600,000 benefits claims that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are not receiving the care they need.

The trial begins April 21 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit, which names VA Secretary Dr. James Peake as defendant, — is a class action filed by a large group of veterans who allege “a system-wide breakdown” in the way the government treats veterans with PTSD. They say several suicidal veterans have unsuccessfully sought VA mental health care.

Representatives from veterans service organizations, VA and mental health experts are expected to testify.

According to Gordon Erspamer, an attorney representing the veterans pro bono, the lawsuit challenges a backlog in handling claims, “appellate delays of five to 10 years” for disability ratings, waiting lists and the “inadequacy of VA care for PTSD.”

The suit asks for immediate medical help, as well as screening for suicidal thoughts, for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

At a House Veterans Affairs health subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Ira Katz, VA’s deputy chief patient care services officer for mental health, said 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have received a preliminary diagnosis of PTSD.

In the past two and a half years, he said, VA has hired 3,800 new mental health workers. In February, VA announced plans to open 23 new vet centers and establish mental health counseling by phone.

However, several service members have slipped through the cracks, often tragically. In one case, former Marine Lance Cpl. Justin Bailey killed himself while in VA’s residential substance abuse program. His father, Tony Bailey, testified that his son didn’t see a psychiatrist while he was in the program, even though he had been diagnosed with PTSD.

Another veteran, former Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Schulze, tried to check himself into mental health care because he said he was suicidal, but VA representatives told him they’d have to put him on a waiting list. He also killed himself.

The waiting lists themselves have gained notoriety. Though Peake has said waiting times have been shortened, he said at a hearing in February that VA still needs to work that issue.

“In April 2006, there were over 250,000 unique patients waiting more than 30 days for their desired appointment date for health-care services; that’s not acceptable,” Peake told the House Veterans' Affairs Committee at a Feb. 7 hearing.

“As of Jan. 1, 2008, we had reduced the waiting list to just over 69,000. Our budget request for 2009 provides the resources necessary ... to virtually eliminate the waiting list by the end of next year.”

It's not so much they fail at the treatment of the veterans, once a veteran is in the VA Mental Health treatment system, it works, and it works well, I know I have been in it since Jan 2003, I can call my shrink and get a walk in appt anytime, I am 100% SC for PTSD though so I am in the top treatment category, so I don't know if the guys not rated or with lower rating awards are treated differently, I imagine they are, the true problem lays in the compensation claims process, it can really take years if not a decade or longer to get a proper rating, they put your file on what many of us call the "hamster wheel" from the Gerional Office to the Board of Veteran Appeals they remand it to the RO for additional C&P exams, or another opinion, etc, then the RO again denies or low balls the claim requiring the veteran to again appeal to the BVA and wait years for a hearing and then they do it all over again. I know one lady that just won a mental health award from the Appeals Management Team that goes back to 1987, and may end up going back to 1969 shen she was discharged and VA failed to get her treatment records from the Navy. The games they play are ridiculous.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Woodruff, Dozier Get Peabody Awards

Bob Woodruff and Kimberly Dozier win Peabody Awards for their Reports on Iraq War Injured

ATLANTA (AP) — Stories about wounded Iraq veterans, reported by war-wounded TV journalists, won Peabody Awards on Wednesday.

Thirty-five recipients of the 67th annual George Foster Peabody awards for broadcasting excellence in news and entertainment were announced by the University of Georgia ahead of a ceremony in New York City on June 16.

Peabodys went to "Wounds of War — The Long Road Home for Our Nation's Veterans," a series of reports by ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff, and to "CBS News Sunday Morning: The Way Home" for Kimberly Dozier's piece about two women veterans who lost limbs in Iraq.

Dozier and Woodruff survived near-fatal attacks while on assignment in Iraq.

Another CBS News series, "60 Minutes," won a Peabody for Scott Pelley's report, "The Killings in Haditha."

"The range of genres, the variety of topics and the consistently high quality of submissions for Peabody consideration indicated again that amazing work is being done in electronic media," Peabody Awards director Horace Newcomb said in a statement.

Awards also went to Discovery's "Planet Earth," which used HDTV technology to showcase natural wonders of the world; "Independent Lens" for "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life," a portrait of Duke Ellington's musical collaborator; "NATURE: Silence of the Bees," an inquiry into the decline in the world's honeybee population from Thirteen/WNET; and WGBH-Boston's "Design Squad," an engineering competition for young people.

Awards for entertainment series went to "30 Rock," Tina Fey's send-up of TV sketch shows and her own network, NBC; and "Project Runway," Bravo's fashion-designer competition.

Peabodys also went to "Mad Men," AMC's drama set in the world of 1960s New York advertising, and "Dexter," Showtime's drama about a serial killer who preys on other sociopaths. "Nimrod Nation" also received a Peabody.

Other recipients included Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and "A Journey Across Afghanistan: Opium and Roses," a documentary from Bulgaria's Balkan News Corporation.

"Whole Lotta Shakin," the Texas Heritage Music Foundation's public-radio series chronicling the 1950s heyday of rockabilly music received a Peabody, as did "Univision's Ya Es Hora," a public-service campaign that taught legal aliens how to apply for American citizenship.

The University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has administered the Peabodys in Athens, Ga., since the program's inception in 1940. The awards ceremony in New York will be hosted by NBC news anchor Brian Williams.

On the Net:
Peabody Awards:

As a totally disabled veteran myself I am extremely pleased to hear that these wounded journalists have earned these honors for reporting on the treatment of other war injured people, they could have taken their "fame" and retired in honor, instead they came back before the camera's and told these true American war stories SALUTE

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Father of Ohio soldier missing since 2004 says Army confirms son's death in Iraq

SGT Matt Maupin's remains found

Associated Press - March 30, 2008 7:43 PM ET

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) - The father of a soldier listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004 says the military has informed him that his son's remains were found in Iraq.

Keith Maupin says an Army general told him Sunday that DNA was used to identify the remains of his son, Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin, who went by "Matt."

Matt Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, after his fuel convoy was ambushed west of Baghdad.

Arab television network Al-Jazeera aired a videotape a week later showing Maupin sitting on the floor surrounded by five masked men holding automatic rifles.

That June, Al-Jazeera aired another tape purporting to show a U.S. soldier being shot. But the dark and grainy tape showed only the back of the victim's head and not the actual shooting.


As a disabled Infantry Staff Sergeant I am glad that he will now be able to come home the be buried as he deserves, either at home in Ohio or at Arlington, his family has been thru hell during the past 4 years, while he has remained missing, most of us had assumed he had been killed, but you never really know until the body is found. Sometimes the bodies are never found, there are still soldiers from WW2, Korea and Vietnam that have never been brought home, and their families have never had closure. The Maupin family has earned this entire nations respect and admiration for the stoicism and their loss, they're son's loss belongs to all of us as a nation. I SALUTE SGT Matt Maupin, I am glad your family now has closure, welcome back......

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