it is about 8 minutes well worth the time you will be rolling
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
This was changed at Mr Leitkes request at 10:35 am EST on Jan 6, 2011 the first time he has ever contacted me and claimed this data was wrong flame away
after some research all concerned with this shoud read this link and decide for yourself about T Lekites it is his Linked in account
saved linked in profile 29 Sep 2009
I did not create the document Mr Lekites did
In the past 24 hours I have received numerous threats over this post, lawsuits, arrest, the FBI will be after me etc, I have had been told to get this "cleaned up or else" for one thing I have no control over Linked In and their pages I did not claim to have created that page it was on the Stolen Valor pages created by the POW Network in Sep 2009 I copies and pasted from it in Nov 2009 I surely have nothing to do with the VVA or their publications and their interviews at any time.
People have claimed to have been awarded medals and degrees from colleges for years for whatever reasons they chose to do it, why they do it you will have to ask them or their psychiatrists.
I have copies of e mails from people who have asked for proof of the claims on linked in and were lied to by Terrence Lekites saying the award was at his parents home
"I just recently retired. Takes time to update database. Medal and
paperwork are with my parents in Florida.
Sent from my iPhone
Terrence D. Lekites
Retired Federal Prosecutor
Defense Intelligence Agency
people reading this need to make up their own minds about the truth of the problem, is it me or Terry Lekites?
I am done being threatened though. I will not remove this post.
DAILY MYTHBUSTER: Health Insurance Reform and Veterans
Congressional Desk November 04, 2009
´Reform Will Undermine the Health Care That Veterans and Military Families Have Now´
Health insurance reform opponents continue to spread myths – now about the recently introduced Affordable Health Care for America Act, including saying that health insurance reform will undermine the health care that veterans and military families have now. But the facts continue to knock these myths down.
MYTH: "Enactment of the House health insurance reform bill would undermine the health care that veterans and military families are receiving now."
FACT: Veterans´ health care and TRICARE (for military families) would not be impacted by passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Nothing in the bill would affect, change, or undermine the health care that veterans enrolled in VA health care and military families enrolled in TRICARE are currently receiving.
Further language has been included in the Affordable Health Care for America Act that makes clear that the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense retain full authority to operate the VA health care system and TRICARE without interference from any new organizations, agencies, or commissions established by the legislation. In addition, specific language has been included to exempt TRICARE from the requirements of the essential benefits package and other insurance requirements.
MYTH: "Veterans and military families enrolled in VA health care and TRICARE will be penalized for not having acceptable coverage – being forced to pay the penalty of 2.5% of adjusted income."
FACT: The Affordable Health Care for American Act recognizes VA health care and TRICARE as acceptable minimum coverage—so enrollees are already meeting the shared responsibility requirement and will face no fee or penalty.
Specifically, the bill contains a section that states that 1) individuals enrolled in the veterans´ health care program; and 2) individuals and dependents enrolled in TRICARE will be considered as having acceptable minimum coverage – meaning they have met the bill´s shared responsibility requirement for individuals to purchase insurance if they can afford it. In other words, individuals enrolled in VA health care or TRICARE will never be subject to the bill´s 2.5% fee for those who choose not to purchase affordable health insurance.
MYTH: "Enactment of the House health insurance reform bill would limit the choices that veterans, service members, and their dependents have for their health care."
FACT: The Affordable Health Care for America Act contains provisions that explicitly allow veterans receiving VA health care or service members and their families receiving TRICARE to also enroll in an insurance plan through the bill´s Health Insurance Exchange. This would provide veterans and service members the opportunity to obtain additional coverage for themselves and their dependents if they desire.
This had been a key concern of many veterans´ organizations. For example, the Disabled American Veterans had written: "Any national health care reform legislation must make certain all veterans, including those enrolled in VA health care, remain eligible to enroll in any exchange-participating health benefits plan offered under [the bill] through the Health Insurance Exchange, or in any other public or cooperative health insurance program." This key objective of veterans´ organizations is fully addressed in this bill.
MYTH: "Enactment of the House health insurance reform bill would undermine the TRICARE For Life program (health care for military retirees)."
FACT: Just as the Affordable Health Care for America Act fully protects the current VA health care and TRICARE systems, it also fully protects the TRICARE For Life program.
There is a chain e-mail currently going around the Internet that states that the efforts of the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats on health insurance reform will result in undermining the benefits in the TRICARE For Life program for military retirees. Once again, these charges are not true. (The TRICARE For Life program was introduced in 2002 as a supplement to Medicare for military retirees. It covers many medical costs not covered by Medicare.) Just as the Affordable Health Care for America Act does nothing to affect the TRICARE program, it also has no provisions that affect the TRICARE For Life program. The health care benefits of military retirees are fully protected.
The American Chronicle, California Chronicle, Los Angeles Chronicle, World Sentinel, and affiliates are online magazines for national, international, state, and local news. We also provide opinion and feature articles. We have over 5,000 contributors, over 100,000 articles, and over 11 million visitors annually.
__._,_.___DAILY MYTHBUSTER: Health Insurance Reform and Veterans
Find the truth and don't pay attention to bogus e mails that are meant to scare you
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
Despite Signiﬁcant Dollars Spent on Gulf War Illness Research, Many Questions Remain Unanswered
By Stephen Spotswood | U.S. Medicine, June 2009
Used with permission from U.S. Medicine
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In the push to direct attention and resources to illnesses and concerns of the nation’s most recent veterans, are problems faced by veterans from previous Middle East conflicts being neglected? Specifically, is Gulf War Illness, the signature ailment of veterans who served in the 1990 Gulf War, being neglected? Those are the questions that members of the House VA Subcommittee on Oversight are interested in answering over the course of several hearings examining the impact of toxin exposures during the Gulf War and the subsequent research and response efforts by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
“It has been almost 19 years since the United States deployed some 700,000 service members to the Gulf in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm,” Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., subcommittee chair, said at the first of those hearings held May 19th.
“When these troops returned home, some reported symptoms that were believed to be related to their service. Still today, these same veterans are looking for answers about proper medical treatment and the benefits that they bravely earned. While we hear about numerous studies and millions of dollars spent on Gulf War Illness research, many questions remain unanswered. In the end, we still don’t know how to respond to Gulf War veterans who asks: “Why am I sick or will I get sick?”
“Subsequent hearings on this issue will take a multi-level view of the methodology and conclusions of Gulf War Illness research and how the review of information was compiled and why certain methods were employed,” he explained.
A Misunderstood Illness
Gulf War illness, also known as Gulf War Syndrome, is an illness reported by combat veterans of the Gulf War characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, loss of muscle control, muscle and joint pain, memory loss, and breathing problems. GWI has never been fully understood, and its causes and the exact nature of the illness, have been a source of scienti?c examination and debate since it was first documented. VA and DoD have conducted a number of studies on veterans reportedly suffering from GWI, and have concluded that combat-deployed Gulf War veterans suffer from more multisymptom illnesses than their nondeployed counterparts. And a report released in November 2008 by the federally mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses estimates that one out of every four Gulf War veterans is afflicted with GWI.
However, veterans’ advocates contend that understanding of GWI remains incomplete, and the illness and those afflicted misunderstood. “Is VA doing enough for Gulf War veterans?” Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense asked at the hearing. “The answer is, ‘No.’ They remain frustrated and angry at our government’s lack of action. As a Gulf War veteran, I have personally experienced VA’s denials and delays.”
“We have three questions that we need answered,” he said. “Why are we ill? Where can we get treatment? And who will pay for our care and disability benefits? There are few treatments for us. And VA disability benefits are very difficult to obtain,” Sullivan noted. “And VA’s Web site now says that experts say there is not a Gulf War Syndrome.”
The contention that there is no actual syndrome stems from an Institute of Medicine report released in 2006 stating that what is commonly referred to as GWI is actually not a single disease process, but actually a number of separate illnesses. While the theory that GWI actually consists of multiple concurrent diseases is not scientifically controversial, and is not to clinicians treating Gulf War veterans, a new revelation, the media attention the report received, might have helped muddy the issue of the existence of GWI for the general public and physicians unfamiliar with treating veterans, veterans advocates contend.
Sullivan quoted from VA Congressional testimony in 2007 stating that Gulf War veterans are suffering from a wide variety of common, recognized illnesses rather than a multisymptom illness that evades diagnosis. He also noted that DoD leaders in testimony in 2008 characterized the symptoms of ill Gulf War veterans as “wear and tear problems.”
“Unfortunately, the history of Gulf War Illness both with DoD and VA is one of misdirection, denial and filled with, some would say, mendacity,” declared Rick Weidman, executive director of the Vietnam Veterans of America. “You could pass legislation specifically prescribing [care], but all you need is top leadership that says we have a covenant with the men and women who risked life and limb for the Constitution [and] we are going to do everything humanly possible to figure out how they were lessoned, whether that be physically, psychologically or economically.”
Currently, there is no real VA protocol for treating GWI and no real method to track veterans suffering from it. “We need to have a protocol and we need to have a real registry,” Weidman declared. “The reason why they don’t follow through is to minimize the problem.
If you don’t have stats, you don’t have a problem.”
A Real Disease
It’s the hope of veterans’ advocates that VA and DoD will take note of the ?ndings of the November 2008 ?ndings of the federal advisory committee on GWI, which stated unequivocally that the illness exists and that there is solid evidence as to its cause. “Our committee had several main findings,” explained Lea Steele, Ph.D., former scientific advisor to the committee. “First, Gulf War illness is real. The same types and patterns of symptoms are consistently identi?ed in diverse groups of Gulf War veterans. Secondly, Gulf War illness differs significantly from trauma and combat stress disorders seen after other wars. [PTSD rates] are actually low in Gulf War veterans compared to veterans of other wars. And studies do not show a similar pervasive unexplained illness in veterans of other wars, including the current war.”
The other major finding was that evidence points consistently to two causal factors. The first is the use of pyridostigmine bromide pills, which were given to protect troops from the effects of nerve agents. The only widespread use of PB pills was during the Gulf War. The second causal agent is the extensive use of pesticides. Both act as neurotoxicants through their effects on an important neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system. “The evidence all suggests that these exposures made these veterans ill and their illnesses parallel to what you would expect from these kind of exposures,” Dr. Steele explained.
Later testimony from DoD revealed that military leaders are rejecting the committee’s findings regarding PB in favor of the IoM report of 2006, which determined that the evidence of the origins of GWI was inconclusive. “We view PB as a very, very important tool in our armament to protect our troops against nerve agent exposure,” explained Craig Postlewaite, DVM, DoD deputy director of force health readiness and protection programs. “The only change that we have made is that we are better in our documentation now so we can track who was given these medications, so if we ever have to go back and do an analysis, we’ll have better data.”
As to whether GWI is a single pathology, or multiple diseases process, Dr. Steele called the argument a moot point. “Our committee found this question to be trivial,” she said. “The clear result from Gulf War studies is that a large number of veterans suffer from this consistent pattern of illness, however it is labeled. This is not controversial scienti?cally. There are no ?ndings to the contrary. Despite the unusual or complex or difficult to diagnose nature of Gulf War illness, there is every justification from a scienti?c perspective for this problem to be clearly addressed in the same way as other long-term health care problems.”
But whether GWI is one illness or a dozen, whether it was caused by PB or other toxins, the problem remains that not only does proven treatment remain elusive, but so does clinicians’ ability to identify when a patient suffers from it.
“The heart of the problem is that there is no clear diagnostic test yet to determine who has it and who doesn’t have it. And that has been a source of frustration for both veterans and clinicians,” Dr. Steele explained. “And funding for Gulf War illness research has declined dramatically since 2001. Our committee has called for an increase in our commitment to find effective treatment and diagnostic tests for Gulf War illness and other health care issues.”
Despite Signiﬁcant Dollars Spent on Gulf War Illness Research, Many Questions Remain Unanswered
in fair disclosure I am a Gulf War vet also, I served at Khasab Air Force Base, on the northern tip of Oman, a nice safe place for an infantryman I was assigned to the 878th Engineers to help build quonset huts that were to be used for offices for personnel on the flight line, they were expanding the natural fortress to enable the air base to handle B 52s and other large aircraft the US and other allies would need, it was a very long and narrow valley, it would be a very hard target for anyone to attack in anyway, by air, land or sea, we used to sit on the beach at night and watch the smugglers boats run actoss the Straights of Hormuz to deliver contrband to the Iranians. I know many veterans from the 1148th Transportation unit come home ill, losing wieght quickly and one of the quickest to die was the Company Commander, dozens of others were extremely sick. I have seen numerous chemical weapons studies from the NIH, SIPRI the Pentagon knows what is the cause of these veterans problems, they just to refuse to acknowledge these studies as it will open the nation to billions in compensation payments for cardiac and pulmonary and gastrointestinal issues related to the Sarin and mustard agent exposures, the Army created when they destroyed the ammo dumps at Kamisayah Iraq on March 19, 1991 without first learning what the bunkers help, rockets and artillery shells filled with chemical weapons.
Shinseki Announces Veterans' Stories Posted on VA's Web Page
Countdown to Veterans Day with Library of Congress
WASHINGTON (Nov. 4, 2009) - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will join
with the Library of Congress to host a "Veterans History Countdown" on
the VA Web site - www.va.gov
histories of Veterans from every state and U.S. territory.
"VA has partnered with the Library of Congress to honor our Veterans,
preserve their histories and ensure that their service, sacrifice and
heroism will never be forgotten," said Secretary Shinseki. "We want to
encourage Americans to record the oral histories of Veterans for future
Each day, beginning Nov.1, VA's Web feature will introduce new personal
histories, culminating on Veterans Day when a Veteran's history from
each state and U.S. territory will be available simply by clicking on
the U.S. map in the display.
As Veterans Day approaches, the VA Web display will urge Americans to
"Honor our Veterans. Record their Histories!" The display will link to
the library's Veterans History Project Web site -- www.loc.gov/vets --
which provides background about the program, a guide for volunteers to
follow in recording and submitting Veterans' oral histories and to
access the project's extensive digital archive.
VA has collaborated with the Veterans History Project since its
implementing legislation was signed into law on Oct. 27, 2000. VA
Voluntary Service has made oral history recording part of its program.
VA offers Veterans the opportunity to record their histories at its
facilities and special events. These collections of first-hand accounts
are archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
"We hope the Veterans History Countdown will serve as a call to action
for volunteers to record the first-hand stories of the Veterans they
know-relatives, neighbors, friends," said Bob Patrick, director of the
Veterans History Project.
The Veterans History Project collects and preserves the remembrances of
American war Veterans and civilian workers who supported them.
The recordings make accessible the first-hand remembrances of American
wartime Veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq
and Afghanistan so that future generations may hear directly from
Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Approximately
65,000 individual stories comprise the collection of the Veterans
The project relies on volunteers to record Veterans' remembrances using
guidelines accessible at www.loc.gov/vets/
Volunteer interviewers may request information at email@example.com
Most U.S. youths unfit to serve, data show
By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Nov 4, 2009 5:57:41 EST
U.S. military-age youth are increasingly unfit to serve — mostly because they’re in such lousy shape.
According to the latest Pentagon figures, a full 35 percent, or more than one-third, of the roughly 31.2 million Americans aged 17 to 24 are unqualified for military service because of physical and medical issues. And, said Curt Gilroy, the Pentagon’s director of accessions, “the major component of this is obesity. We have an obesity crisis in the country. There’s no question about it.”
The Pentagon draws its data from the Centers for Disease Control, which regularly tracks obesity. The steadily rising trend is not good news for military recruiters, despite their recent successes, nor for the overall health of the U.S. population.
In 1987, according to the CDC, a mere 6 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds, or about 1 out of 20, were obese. In 2008, 22 years later, 23 percent of that age group — almost 1 out of 4 — was considered to be obese.
The CDC measures obesity by body mass index, a figure calculated from height and weight that is considered a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. According to the CDC, the body mass index for a man standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds is 21.8; the normal range lies between 18.5 and 24.9. Below that range is considered underweight; a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. A person with a body mass index of 30 or greater is considered to be obese.
Obese individuals are at increased risk for a number of diseases and health conditions, including hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers and other problems, according to the CDC. In addition to those concerns, the military rejects obese recruits in part because so much extra weight likely couldn’t be dropped during the course of basic training — even if they could get through the entire program.
“Kids are just not able to do push-ups,” Gilroy said. “And they can’t do pull-ups. And they can’t run.”
The reasons are “almost common knowledge, Gilroy said — what he called “the couch potato syndrome” and the widespread elimination of scholastic physical fitness programs.
In a study being released Thursday in Washington, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and a group of retired military officers led by former Army Gen. Wesley Clark will sound the alarm bells and call young Americans’ relative lack of overall fitness for military duty a national security threat. The group, Mission: Readiness, will release a report that draws on Pentagon data showing that 75 percent of the nation’s 17- to 24-year-olds are ineligible for service for a variety of reasons.
Put another way, only 4.7 million of the 31.2 million 17- to 24-year-olds in a 2007 survey are eligible to enlist, according to a periodic survey commissioned by the Pentagon. This group includes those who have scored in the top four categories on the Armed Forces Qualification Test, or AQFT; eligible college graduates; and qualified college students.
According to the Pentagon, the ineligible population breaks down this way:
•Medical/physical problems, 35 percent.
•Illegal drug use, 18 percent.
•Mental Category V (the lowest 10 percent of the population), 9 percent.
•Too many dependents under age 18, 6 percent.
•Criminal record, 5 percent.
Some conditions or situations can be waivered or are periodically loosened by the services, as is the case with certain medical conditions, such as asthma. Waiverable examples include limited marijuana use and having too many dependents. For example, the Pentagon says a waiver is required when an applicant is married and has more than two dependents under 18, or is unmarried and has custody of any dependents under 18. Waiver policies vary depending on the needs of the service.
The group of potential enlistees is further slimmed by the “propensity to serve” among American youths, which social scientists say also is declining. According to Gilroy, research shows that about 12 percent of all U.S. military-eligible youth show an interest in military service.
The Pentagon just finished a record year for recruiting. Every active and reserve component met or exceeded both their numeric and quality recruiting goals for fiscal 2009. Each easily exceeded the Pentagon goal of having at least 90 percent of recruits be high school graduates, and having 60 percent or more score at or above the 50th percentile on the AFQT.
But the weak economy has helped, as has increased spending on recruiting. And given the ever-shrinking pool of potential candidates, concern grows. Bill Carr, undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, says that to maintain the force, the military has to attract more than 15 percent of qualified young Americans.
The difference is, to some degree, made up through the use of waivers. About 1 in 5 recruits still requires a waiver of some sort to enter the service, with about two-thirds for conduct and one-third for medical issues, Carr said.
Most U.S. youths unfit to serve, data show
This is just plain sad, that our youth are in such bad shape physically, morally and criminally. This means even if Congress did pass a draft law, 75% of the men and women drafted would be rejected, when I was in the Army they use to have companies called STC or Special Training Companies where recruits would spend weeks or months if necessary losing weight or learning how to speak English, so they could function in the Army.
I think most military personnel find after their basic and advanced treaining that their old civilian clothes no longer fit properly due to mescle toning and the build up of their upper body mostly, there arms were larger, their stomachs smaller, and it happened without them even really noticing it along the way due to the way military uniforms fit, loosely, but their T shirts now seemed tight and their jeans slid off their waists, I wieghed 155 pounds when I entered the Army in 1973 and I weighed 155 pounds when I left the Army in 1982, but I had muscles in my upper body where none existed in 1973. The Army service just rearranged the weight into a better place and function.
I personally feel a few years of military service would benefit all of America's youth, it teaches them teamwork, respect, caring, self confidence, and make them better citizens. But then thats just my 2 cents.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
NaturalNews) Approximately 200 soldiers have suffered from serious and even life-threatening complications from the government-mandated smallpox vaccine, and one has even died.
Starting in 2002, fears over a bioterrorist attack have led the U.S. government to require that all of its military servicepeople receive vaccination against a variety of diseases before deployment, including anthrax and smallpox. An estimated 1.7 million have been vaccinated against smallpox since then. Yet in a number of cases, the vaccine has led to severe complications such as inflammations of the brain or heart. In 2003, two expert panels concluded that Army Specialist Rachel Ray died in part due to complications from the deployment vaccines that she had been given.
"The reality is, we're never going to have zero risk on a vaccine," said Dr. Michael Kilpatrick of the Military Health System. "There's always going to be that individual that has some untoward event that would occur."
Awareness of the risks over the smallpox vaccine has prevented the government from requiring vaccination of civilians.
One potential side effect is infection with the virus used in the vaccine, a condition known as progressive vaccinia. Back when smallpox vaccination was widespread, the infection had a 15 percent fatality rate.
In a recent case, Lance Cpl. Cory Belken began to suffer from a persistent headache and unusual sleepiness one week after receiving the smallpox vaccine. He was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, which was destroying his circulatory system, and was immediately placed on chemotherapy.
The cancer treatment destroyed his immune system, leading to progressive vaccinia and no fewer than two infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. He broke out in a rash, had spreading vaccinia lesions all over his body, became delirious with a fever of 104.6 degrees, and began to suffer from organ failure.
Treating Belken required 30 times the dose of Vaccinia Immune Globulin that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously assumed would be needed for a single person.
Belken's family said that the leukemia would have been enough for their family to deal with, without vaccine complications on top of it.
"I think it's a big chance they're taking giving them the shots," his mother said.
Soldiers Nearly Killed with Military's Bioterrorism Vaccine
Washington: Tobey Maguire has urged his fellow Americans to show more support towards troops returning from combat overseas after playing a life-changing role in a new film.
The Spider Man actor confessed he is a changed man after playing an Afghanistan veteran in new drama Brothers.
"I lost a lot of my joy while doing the movie," Contactmusic quoted the star as saying.
The 34-year-old further told the Los Angeles Times newspaper, "In the area of our veterans coming home with traumas or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or whatever, it's one of those issues that isn't pretty to look at.
"We ask these people to fight for us and risk their lives, and certainly potentially alter their outlook of the world or how they react to things.
"I think it would be nice for us as a society to have some more awareness of what they go through, and to take on some more responsibility for the results of our asking them to go over there."
Tobey Maguire on veterans with traumas and PTSD
Maybe if Mr Maguire would get involved like Gary Siniese has with veterans and helping them, rather than just this statement it would be appreciated by the veterans of this nation. Words are just that words, actions speak volumes, is Mr Maguire willing to put his time or his monel where his mouth is?
Monday, November 2, 2009
I usually have a few coats I have “outgrown” in my trunk… when I stop in AM Legion bar, or anywhere, I look for an “old” friend (s)
I think can use it and needs it…. I tell them they are doing me a favor by taking it..
I also find a few at garage sells that are in good shape.. any size, and a great price.. and do the same thing..
I have given away 2 dozen or more in past few years like that.
From: DICK TRACY 
Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2009 9:25 AM
Subject: Warm up
Great idea! I have a few coats like that around here I want to share. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
My best regards,
US Army (Ret.)
A soldier's injuries cripple body and mind
By Jia-Rui Chong
November 2, 2009
Peter Sinclair rummaged through the closet and found what he was looking for.
His roommate, drawn to the commotion, saw Pete raise a gun to his head. Daniel Jennings managed to yank it away. He locked up all of Pete's guns.
"You can't stop me," Pete said.
Jennings and Pete had served together in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, but this was a year later and Pete was struggling.
Daniel encouraged him to lie down and left to get help once Pete seemed calmer.
"You're a good man," Pete said.
But he could not shake the images of war: dismembered children, mutilated bodies. Alone in his house, Pete called his parents. His sister Jennifer answered.
All he could do was scream, "Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye!"
He found a 7-inch knife and plunged it into his wrist.
As the blood spread across the floor, Daniel returned with an Army friend. They took the knife away and stopped the bleeding. Paramedics and police officers soon swarmed the house in Garden Grove.
As an officer in Iraq, Pete had won praise and promotions. His commander had called him "one of the finest, if not the finest young officer in the 298th Corps Support Battalion."
But Pete had come back from war with a broken body, suffering from back injuries and painful memories. Doctors, nurses, psychologists and physical therapists treated him, but few were able to help.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are challenging, if not taxing, veterans medical services. So far, nearly 36,000 troops have been wounded, many returning with injuries that in previous conflicts would have killed them. Some, like Pete, endure complications from physical and emotional trauma that neither surgery nor therapy nor medication can easily resolve.
Pete was 20 when he enlisted in the Army. He thought the military would give him focus.
He served in the Persian Gulf War, and after he returned home he joined the Los Angeles Police Department and the Army Reserves. In December 2003, he was called up for another tour in Iraq. A first lieutenant, he was assigned to an ordnance company at Ft. Buchanan in Puerto Rico.
Jen wondered whether her brother could physically handle the deployment. When they were growing up in South Pasadena, Pete, who was seven years older, had been her protector. That was changing now.
He had had two operations on his lower back to repair injuries stemming from a parachute jump during Army training and a bike accident while on police patrol. Jen thought combat would make matters worse. A lawyer, she started to research medical waivers. He asked her to stop.
"I'm an officer," he told her. "How could I have been in the reserves all these years and then they need me and not go?"
Pete's unit was quickly caught up in insurgent attacks. His base at Al Taqaddum, about 45 miles west of Baghdad, was shelled as often as 56 times an hour, according to a sergeant stationed there. In Balad, north of the capital, a rocket explosion threw Pete, who was asleep, from his cot onto the floor.
"I'm happy just to be alive today," he wrote home.
During a mortar attack that same month, he dove onto the ground, landing hard on his back and shoulder.
His injuries were exacerbated by the weight of his body armor and the constant jostling in Humvees. Sometimes he experienced spasms in his lower back so severe he could not walk. Sometimes it hurt so bad he had trouble speaking.
Painkillers, muscle relaxers, ibuprofen and Valium offered relief, but Pete struggled with the realities of war. He saw a Marine torn apart by a rocket. He came across mutilated bodies hanging from a bridge. Then there was a ride through Baghdad in the fall of 2004. Soldiers had been handing out candy to children to celebrate the opening of a sewage treatment plant when a bomb went off. More than 40 people, mostly children, died; dismembered bodies littered the street. Pete's convoy rolled through the aftermath.
Two weeks later, he e-mailed his sister about his nightmares: standing in city streets surrounded by body parts and blood.
"I am pretty numb and withdrawn upstairs," he wrote.
When Jen at one point encouraged him to explore the possibility of a medical leave, he felt compelled to stay. There were guys missing arms and legs, and he was whole. "If I can get up and go on, I should," he told Jen over the phone.
In February 2005, he was promoted to captain. A few weeks later, his deployment was over. He was sent back to his unit at Ft. Buchanan. On his health assessment form, he wrote in small, shaky handwriting: "I saw a lot of dead dismembered bodies and I have nightmares often. . . . My back is in pain EVERY day."
A psychiatric evaluation noted his risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.
He called Jen in New York. She was alarmed by his weak voice, and when he didn't call the next day, she jumped on a flight to San Juan. When she got to his apartment, she barely recognized him. He was stooped and shuffled slowly.
"Oh, thank God you're here," he said.
More than a dozen medications were spread out on a table, and Pete did not know what they were for or how much he had taken.
The next day she took him for a scheduled MRI. Before Jen and Pete received the results of the test, he was ordered to begin physical therapy on the base.
"Don't do it, Peter," she said. "You don't know the stability of your spine."
During the first session, he blacked out from the pain.
Jen spent days pleading with officials at Ft. Buchanan to transfer Pete to the states, closer to his family. Eventually he was assigned to an injured soldiers unit in Sacramento, and within a week, he was cleared to return to Southern California. He found a roommate -- Jennings, who had served with him in Iraq -- to share his home.
Navigating the military medical system was challenging, and Pete's mother, Barbara, a retired professor of nursing, became his advocate when Jen had to return to New York. When the Army recommended operating on Pete's back, the family contacted a surgeon who they believed was more skilled. On May 2, 2005, the chief of orthopedic spine surgery at UCLA repaired the degenerating discs in Pete's back.
As Pete recovered from surgery, his memories from Iraq became more pronounced. He was depressed and scared. He had trouble finding psychologists in the military health insurance network who would treat him. One said that he scared her.
Pete burned through his anxiety medication, doing what he was told: taking a pill whenever he had a panic attack. A prescription that was to last a month needed refilling in 10 days. He repeatedly called Tricare, the administrator of the military insurance program, for help with appointments and prescriptions, and he grew increasingly frustrated with the system.
In February 2006, he went to see a psychiatrist at the VA hospital in Long Beach, and when he got home that day, he refused to come out of his room. He would not return calls. The next day he threatened to kill himself with the gun. Then he cut his wrist with the knife.
The Sinclairs had found an inpatient psychiatric facility near their home. Pete checked into Aurora Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, and his mood began to stabilize. He was eventually transferred to a VA residential program in Palo Alto that specializes in the treatment of PTSD.
After nine weeks, the Army moved him to Ft. Lewis, outside Tacoma, Wash., for a review of his status. Jen helped him get settled. Time slowed to a crawl. For nearly a year, Pete lived in motel-like rooms on the base. At first, he saw mental health specialists regularly, but the visits tapered off.
Though doctors in Palo Alto had cut down on his medications, he was back on a regimen of painkillers. He was quickly overwhelmed and on one occasion became so overmedicated that he had to be hospitalized.
When one of the commanders of his old unit, Maj. Gen. Paul E. Mock, visited Pete at Ft. Lewis, he found a disheartened man. Medications were spread over a credenza, and Mock wondered whether the Army was making the soldier well or just masking his problems. Who's taking care of Pete? he asked himself.
As Pete's review drew near, Jen assembled medical records and interviewed Army buddies. Her goal was to persuade the Army that Pete suffered from serious psychological trauma associated with his combat service and deserved a retirement benefit generous enough to live on.
The family hired Gary Myers, a private attorney, to help.
On March 14, 2007, Pete put on his desert fatigues and sat down before three members of the Physical Evaluation Board. Their responsibility was to determine whether he could return to duty, and if not, whether his medical problems were related to his time in Iraq and how he should be compensated.
Jen and Barbara settled onto a couch. Myers asked Pete to tell his story. He spoke in a labored cadence and rambled at times. He acknowledged that he should have asked to leave Iraq earlier.
"I knew I was messed up," Pete said. "But I've always been kind of stupid when it comes to ego and pride so I just said, 'Ah, you know' and shook it off."
Myers played recorded testimony from an Army psychiatrist who had treated Pete for about a month and who confirmed that Pete's condition left him "severely impaired."
As for the suicide attempt, Pete explained how hopeless he had felt. "I was rocked with an intense sense of foreboding. . . . I just didn't feel like I was getting any help at all, again. I was being let down."
When the board asked Pete for his final comments, he said he was not looking for any "extra goody."
"I was a happy man," he said. "I had a good, solid career. I was moving up. Everything was great. And now, you know, I can't even pick up a book and read it and I'm scared. I'm afraid to go outside."
The panel deliberated for about an hour and came back with a finding of severe PTSD, which previous Army hearings had refused to acknowledge. Pete was given a disability rating of 60% that helped establish his retirement pay. It was less than what the family thought he deserved.
Pete returned to Garden Grove. He worked on his house and played classical music on his grand piano.
Toward the end of 2007, he booked a trip to Australia and Indonesia, where he sent his mother a picture of himself grinning in front of a temple with a monkey on his head.
At home, he began to worry that he was addicted to the drugs the doctors had prescribed for back pain. He abruptly stopped taking morphine, oxycodone and Valium, and when he went into withdrawal, his mother persuaded him to check in to the VA hospital in Long Beach. He left after four days with a prescription for a low dosage of morphine. About a week later, his psychiatrist recommended that he resume taking Valium. By early May, Pete told his family that he was no longer taking any painkillers.
For a time he appeared to be feeling better. He had fallen in love; her name was Tracy Rougvie, a second-grade teacher. He talked about marriage. He even hinted to his mother about grandchildren.
On the night of June 11, 2008, after relaxing with Tracy in his Jacuzzi with a glass of wine, Pete went to bed and never woke up. He was 40. Toxicology tests determined the cause of death to be "acute morphine intoxication," the manner of death accidental.
Jen was furious. She thought he was off morphine. She discovered that weeks before his death, he had slipped in the shower and wrenched his back again.
The pain became unmanageable. A VA doctor on June 9 had prescribed 30 milligrams of morphine to be taken three times a day, and if the pain wasn't relieved, the dosage could be increased to 60 milligrams. Pete was also given a prescription for 30 milligrams of codeine to be taken as needed.
Jen and Barbara wondered why Pete hadn't told them, but he was expert at hiding his pain.
Barbara remembered the lunch she had with her son on Mother's Day and the family dinner when he had brought Tracy. He'd seemed jovial, more like his old self.
Tracy played back the night he died. His heart had been racing when they went to sleep, and when she asked him about it he said he was fine.
After consulting a toxicologist and medical textbooks, Jen came to the conclusion that the VA had acted irresponsibly in prescribing the latest dosage of morphine. She believed that because Pete had been off the drug for at least a month, he would be especially sensitive to its effect and should have received a lower dosage. She also knew from medical records that Pete was frequently confused over how much medication he was supposed to take.
"You might as well have given him a gun," she said.
In Barbara's mind, the Army and the VA at various stages of Pete's care miscalculated the severity of his condition. "The system is not set up to handle the problems," she said.
The doctors in charge of Pete's care said that the prescribed dosage of morphine was not particularly high.
"We did the best we could," said psychologist Richard Hanson, who cared for Pete at the VA hospital in Long Beach. "We prescribed the medications in consultation with the patient that seemed most appropriate at the time."
On one of the hottest days of last year, more than 100 mourners crammed the pews at St. James' Episcopal Church in South Pasadena. Many wore the midnight-blue uniforms of the LAPD. Men in Army green inspected the programs.
There on the cover was Peter Courtney Sinclair, dressed in his police uniform, beaming. His family wanted to remember the better days before he was sent to war again.
A friend told stories about Pete's charm and sense of adventure. His uncle praised his dedication to his country.
"Dear God, do not let Peter's sacrifice of his life go unnoticed," said Bishop J. Jon Bruno as he led the mourners in prayer. "Care for all people who are returning from military action with such great love that they have all that they need to become whole again."
Afterward, friends and family filed outside to a courtyard. Barbara cried when an Army official handed her a folded American flag. Jen doubled over in tears when an LAPD officer gave her a wooden box with an image of Pete's badge etched on the glass cover.
Pete's ashes were sealed in the church's columbarium, under the shade of a maple tree.
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times
I suffer from PTSD and have severe back pain and have since May 2000, the VA found me totally disabled in October 2002 due to cardiac problems and 100% PTSD, they did not rate my cardiac problems until June 2009 after they were forced to by an award granted by the Board of Veteran Appeals (BVA) the hearing was held 4 Feb 2009, the Judge's decision was issued on 7 April and the Regional office issued the award percentages on June 4, 2009, more than 6 1/2 years later.
I imagine the Captain should have been rated 100% by the VA for PTSD and 60% for his DDD, my back is inoperable and my local VAMC gives me percocet to control the pain, others I have hear use either methacone or morphine patches, I guess I should be grateful for the percocets.
Yes, I have tried killing myself three times in the past and I couldn't even do that right, I have suffered a stroke and 7 heart attacks and a failed triple bypass, I guess the lord isn't ready for me and the other guy doesn't want me. I must have something left unfinished to do, I have spent since 2004 doing veterans advocacy, it is one thing I can do from this power chair, I may not be the same man I was when I entered the Army in 1973, but I am still a man and I will do what I can, I hope my speaking out on PTSD encourages even one man or woman to speak up and ask for help from the VA, a Vet Center or the National Center for PTSD firstname.lastname@example.org e mail or call If you are in crisis, please call 911, go to your nearest Emergency Room, or call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Suicide prevention website
Project Paperclip: Nazis in America
by John W. Whitehead
Few Americans have heard of Project Paperclip. Among those who have, the majority do not know its true extent because the U.S. government has successfully concealed most of the facts surrounding the project. Instead, the government has passed it off as a short-term operation limited to an innocent investigation of Germany’s scientists after World War II. In reality, Project Paperclip, as documented by authors such as John Loftus in his book The Belarus Secret, was the largest and longest-running operation involving Nazis in the history of the United States, and its effects are still being felt today.
At the close of World War II, U.S. officials and the Allied countries discovered that Germany had developed a technical superiority far beyond what they had imagined. In Nazi Germany, 20,000 scientists had revolutionized the weapons of war, and reports written by Allied investigators described the Germans’ “astonishing achievement” and “superb inventions.” In order to learn about the new German technology and weaponry, Russia, France, Britain and the United States began transporting German experts to their respective countries for interrogation. The Cold War was now beginning, and U.S. officials were determined to use any means necessary to keep the scientists responsible for Germany’s scientific supremacy out of Russian hands. At the same time, they aimed to acquire a technological lead against Russia. Thus, in the name of national interest, the United States began recruiting the Nazi scientists.
In 1946, President Harry S. Truman authorized Project Paperclip, a program designed to bring selected German scientists to work for the United States during the Cold War. However, Truman expressly forbade anyone found to have been “a member of the Nazi party and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazism.” The War Department’s Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) was to conduct background investigations of the scientists, to be approved by the State Department.
Against Truman’s orders, however, the JIOA, Army intelligence and the CIA actively concealed incriminating information about the Germans they were hiring. Many of the 1,600 scientific and research specialists and their dependents brought to the U.S. under Project Paperclip had been deeply involved in Nazi society during the war. However, U.S. officials were determined to recruit these men and chose to ignore their appalling pasts. They sidestepped the problem of their Nazi backgrounds by “cleansing” and re-writing their information files to eliminate incriminating evidence. As a way of identifying the German scientists, American officials put an ordinary paperclip on their personnel files—thus the origin of the operation’s name.
While official American policy after the war was to prosecute war criminals for the atrocities committed under Adolf Hitler, many sectors of the U.S. government were actively concealing incriminating evidence in order to bring these very men into the U.S. Here are a few examples:
Early security evaluations of Wernher von Braun described him as “a serious potential security threat.” He had been a member of the SS and risen to the rank of major under Hitler. From 1937 to 1945, he was the technical director of the Peenemunde rocket research center in Germany, where the V-2 rocket was developed. When von Braun was brought to the United States in 1948, his file had been re-written: “No derogatory information is available on the subject. He does not constitute a security threat to the United States.” Von Braun worked on guided missiles for the U.S. Army and later became director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. In 1970, he became NASA’s associate administrator.
Arthur Rudolf was operations director of the Mittelwerk factory at the Dora-Nordhausen concentration camps, where, according to Tom Bower in The Paperclip Conspiracy, 20,000 workers died from beatings, hangings and starvation. A member of the Nazi Party since 1931, Rudolf’s 1945 security evaluation read: “100% Nazi, dangerous type, security threat.” However, when the JIOA took an interest in Rudolf’s scientific work, it changed his dossier to read: “Nothing in his records indicating that he was a war criminal or an ardent Nazi.” As a result, Rudolf became a U.S. citizen. He later designed the Saturn 5 rocket used in the Apollo moon landing and received NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. He remained in the United States until 1984, when an investigation of his war record finally began and he fled to Germany.
Kurt Blome, a high-ranking Nazi scientist, told U.S. interrogators in 1945 that he had experimented with plague vaccines on concentration camp prisoners. He was tried in the Nuremberg War Trials—but acquitted—on charges of extermination of sick prisoners and conducting experiments on humans. Only two months after the trial, he was interviewed at Camp David, Md., about his scientific expertise. His file now showed no record of his Nuremberg trial. Blome was hired by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps to work on chemical and biological warfare.
Hermann Becker-Freysing was convicted at Nuremberg and sentenced to 20 years in prison for conducting experiments on Dachau concentration camp inmates, including starving them and force-feeding them chemically altered seawater. Before the trial, however, he was being paid by the Army Air Force to write reports about his inhumane experiments.
Georg Richkey worked for the JIOA at Wright Field from 1946 until his arrest a year later for Nazi war crimes. During the war, Richkey headed the slave labor factory Mittelwerk at the Dora concentration camps. Among other atrocities, there are reports that Richkey had numerous slave laborers hung from a crane to die slowly in public view. During his time in the United States, Richkey’s job was to translate 42 boxes of Mittelwerk documents shipped from Normandy—the very documents a U.S. Army war crimes unit sought to use as evidence of Richkey’s own crimes.
Defenders of Project Paperclip cite achievements such as the moon rockets and jet planes as positive products of postwar research in our country. But what Paperclip’s defenders fail to mention is the shockingly inhumane psychochemical experimentation conducted on over 7,000 U.S. soldiers under the project.
Edgewood Arsenal, located near Baltimore, Md., is the most secret military base in the country. Paperclip scientists worked there between 1947 and 1966 conducting experiments on human beings. Initially, their main efforts were to test the poison gases that had been invented by the Nazis during the war. Soon, the testing turned to LSD and other mind-control agents. Nazi science that was reminiscent of concentration camp experimentation was used as the basis for research in the United States on humans.
MKULTRA is the name of the mind control experiments conducted on U.S. soldiers under Project Paperclip. Reviewing the experiments in the late 1950s, one CIA auditor wrote of them: “Precautions must be taken not only to protect operations from exposure to enemy forces but also to conceal these activities from the American public in general. The knowledge that the agency is engaging in unethical and illicit activities would have serious repercussions.”
Master Sergeant James Stanley, for one, remembers being locked in an isolated room with barred windows, padded walls and furniture bolted to the floor. A doctor instructed him to drink a glass of clear liquid containing LSD, telling him it was water. An hour later, Stanley’s head filled with terrifying visions and he became violently ill.
In 1992, the highly respected physician Dr. D.C. Hammond gave a lecture on hypnosis and satanic ritual abuse at the Conference on Abuse and Multiple Personality. In his discussion of horrifying brainwashing methods being used in the same way all over the country, he notes its beginning:
Here’s where it appears to have come from. At the end of World War II, before it even ended, Allen Dulles and people from our Intelligence Community were already in Switzerland making contact to get out Nazi scientists. As World War II ends, they not only get out rocket scientists, but they also get out some Nazi doctors who have been doing mind-control research in the camps. They brought them to the United States.
The recruitment of the men responsible for atrocities committed under Hitler to fight the Cold War resulted in serious breaches of U.S. security, as well as extremely inhumane treatment of American soldiers, similar to that of concentration camp prisoners. On the security level, as Linda Hunt writes in Secret Agenda:
In direct defiance of President Truman’s policy, the Paperclip masterminds brazenly had the German scientists’ records changed to expunge evidence of war crimes and ardent Nazism and secure permanent immigration status for them in the U.S. Ostensibly that was done in the interest of national security. Once here, however, the scientists were given access to classified information that revealed the inner-most workings of our defense system. As a result, it was not long before the very people brought here to ensure our security had themselves become a security risk. Eventually some of the scientists took advantage of security lapses and left the country with classified material. German specialist Heinz Gartmann, for example, left Wright Field air base with turbojet rocket engine blueprints in his hand luggage. The full extent of the damage from incidents like that is still unknown.
Even worse, on a moral level, Nazis went unpunished and federal law was violated. Worst of all, as Linda Hunt has documented, Nazi attitudes toward research on human subjects were imported and adopted by various U.S. officials. “The Machiavellian attitude behind these operations was born when a World War II ally became a new enemy and the world axis shifted…[but] no matter how necessary intelligence activities may be, they cannot be allowed to operate unchecked, in secrecy and darkness, shielded from the democratic process of accountability. Otherwise, in the end we become our own worst enemy.”
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute and author of the award-winning Grasping for the Wind. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Project Paperclip: Nazis in America by John Whitehead
I am one of the 7120 men used at Edgewood Arsenal between 1952 - 1975 I was there from June 25, 1974 thru August 22, 1974 my number is 6778A. I am just of the of the75% of the men who are either already deceased or disabled. A study by the IOM compiled in FY 2000 shows that 3098 men are presumed deceased and of the 4022 survivors, 54% of them are disabled, which combines for the 75% rate.
Some of the veterans are now engaged in suing the CIA, DOD and the Army over their use in these classified experiments it is in the 9th Federal Court in San Francisco, needless to say the federal government is attempting to have the lawsuit stopped on various reasons, statute of limitations, national security, etc any reason they can throw against the wall and see if they can get the Judge to buy it.
Vietnam Veterans of America, et al. v. Central Intelligence Agency, et al.
Case No. CV-09-0037-CW, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Cal. 2009)
What This Case Is About
Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief only – no monetary damages – and Plaintiffs seek redress for 25 years of diabolical experiments followed by over 30 years of neglect, including:
the use of troops to test nerve gas, psychochemicals, and thousands of other toxic chemical or biological substances and perhaps most gruesomely, the insertion of septal implants in the brains of subjects in a ghastly series of mind control experiments that went awry;
the failures to secure informed consent and other widespread failures to follow the precepts of U.S. and international law regarding the use of human subjects, including the 1953 Wilson Directive and the Nuremberg Code;
an almost fanatical refusal to satisfy their legal and moral obligations to locate the victims of their gruesome experiments or to provide health care or compensation to them;
the deliberate destruction of evidence and files documenting their illegal actions, actions which were punctuated by fraud, deception, and a callous disregard for the value of human life.
The Complaint asks the Court to determine that Defendants’ actions were illegal and that Defendants have a duty to notify all victims and to provide them with health care going forward.
Court filed documents page
STOLEN VALOR ACT: Purple Heart claim challenged
VA employee also accused of taking $180,000 in benefits
By CARRI GEER THEVENOT and KEITH ROGERS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Perelman indictment
The Purple Heart medal is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed in military service.
An excerpt from the indictment of David M. Perelman describes some of the charges against him.
A Veterans Affairs employee from Las Vegas was indicted this week in a case of stolen valor and stolen benefits.
The case against David M. Perelman, who claimed to have received a Purple Heart medal, is the first known prosecution in Nevada under the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which outlawed false claims of military honor. According to the indictment, Perelman claimed he had been wounded in combat in Vietnam, when in fact he had been wounded by a self-inflicted gunshot in 1991.
"The Purple Heart is a symbol of heroism, patriotism, honor, and symbolic of one's sacrifice and duty to our country," said Daniel Bogden, the U.S. attorney for Nevada. "Those who seek to diminish the sacrifice of others by wearing the Purple Heart when not authorized to do so will be vigorously prosecuted. Federal law calls for imprisonment for up to one year for wearing the Purple Heart when not authorized by law."
Perelman also is accused of stealing about $180,000 in monthly disability benefits from the Veterans Administration, now known as Veterans Affairs, from 1995 until July 2009. He is 56.
Attempts to reach Perelman for comment Thursday were unsuccessful. He faces two charges: theft of government property, a felony, and the unauthorized wearing of a military medal, a misdemeanor.
"I'm glad that finally Mr. Bogden is going to prosecute a stolen valor case," said retired Army Lt. Col. Bill Anton, president of Special Forces Association Chapter 51. "Veterans are happy that he is finally addressing this, and we support him totally."
Anton spent a year trying to persuade Bogden to pursue a stolen valor case against another veteran, Jacob Cruze.
In e-mails to the Review-Journal in 2006, Bogden confirmed that his criminal chief had reviewed the Cruze matter and determined it was appropriately handled by Las Vegas police, "who cited Cruze for unlawfully using specialized veteran vehicle license plates and confiscated all improper medals, uniforms and indicia."
Bogden also wrote, "Considering our limited resources and manning we did not feel that additional misdemeanor charges ... were necessary since the matter had already been addressed by local authorities."
But Anton, a disabled Vietnam War veteran, said federal charges are needed to deter phony war heroes.
According to the indictment against Perelman, he falsely represented to the Veterans Administration that he legitimately had been awarded a Purple Heart when he knew he had fraudulently obtained the award by representing that he had been wounded in combat in Vietnam.
Perelman also knew, according to the indictment, "that he had been wounded by a self-inflicted gunshot in 1991, long after he had been discharged from the military, and that he had not served in combat in Vietnam."
The document accuses Perelman of wearing the Purple Heart without authorization in August 2008.
John Bright, director of the Veterans Affairs Southern Nevada Healthcare System, said he was "stunned as anybody else" to learn of the allegations of Perelman's false claims after a Veterans Affairs inspector general's investigation.
"He's been a pretty decent employee," Bright said Thursday. "We haven't had any problems with him. Of course he's not going to work for us any more."
Bright said the VA hired Perelman as a clerk about three years ago after he had worked as a volunteer for the agency.
Perelman sought employment saying that he was a disabled veteran, and he was cleared for hiring following a background check.
"There was no way for us to have known," Bright said.
He said Perelman has submitted his resignation; his last day in the VA job will be next week.
As for the indictment's allegation that Perelman embezzled $180,000 in VA disability benefits, Bright said, "It's appalling. Apparently there are a lot of folks out there doing this type of stuff."
Records from the Military Order of the Purple Heart list Perelman as the organization's Nevada commander in late 2008.
He is the second former local official of the order to have questions surface about lying about military service.
Last year, Irving Joseph Schwartz, who had been a national service officer and past commander of the organization's Chapter 711 in Las Vegas, admitted to former Rep. Jon Porter's staff that he had fabricated his role in World War II after his claims for valor medals had stood without question for most of his life.
Porter had intended to name a post office after Schwartz until the Review-Journal raised questions about his military records.
Schwartz died in July.
John Bircher, national spokesman for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, noted that Perelman hasn't been found guilty yet.
If he is found guilty, his membership with the organization will be revoked, Bircher said.
"The Military Order of the Purple Heart feels strongly about the Stolen Valor Act, especially regarding those who falsely wear a Purple Heart," he said.
A Web site for the Air Force's 8th Aerial Port Squadron during the Vietnam War profiles Perelman's 1971 tour with photographs and a Purple Heart citation.
A summons has been issued for Perelman, who was indicted Wednesday. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Nov. 13 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leavitt.
Anton said he has encountered Perelman several times over the past three years and knew him as a Purple Heart recipient who had served in the Air Force in Vietnam.
Perelman said he had been wounded by shrapnel during a rocket attack in Vietnam, said Anton, who was not surprised to hear about the criminal allegations.
"I didn't think the guy was real," Anton said.
He said most veterans have honor and integrity.
"That's something that's truly lacking in this country."
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-384-8710. Contact Keith Rogers at krogers@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308.
There is so much to this I hardly know where to begin. Yes this scumbag belongs in jail, but the article also has many other tainted comments that need to be addressed. Honor and integrity that is not in the VA Regional Offices lexicon of words that apply to handling veterans disability compensation claims, they lay way behind the denials and misrepresentations of the non adversarial process that most veterans expect.
The Veterans Affairs Regional offices treat veterans and their widows with so much contempt that the nation would and should be appalled by it. They expect the government is actually caring for disabled veterans, when that is as about as far from the truth as it can get. Many veterans die fighting this agency for benefits they deserve and trying to get this nation to keep the "PROMISE" that is made when they were either drafted or enlisted, if you are hurt or killed the nation will care for you and your family financially or medically if it is deserved.
There are nearly one million cases backlogged awaiting adjudication for this nations veterans, why? The VA claims the average waiting period for benefits is 6 months, when in reality that is the waiting period for the first denial letter, then the veteran or widow has to appeal the denial to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) where the waiting period is an average of two years.
The VA had a years notice about the new educational benefits, yet when it came time in August 2009, they were not prepared for the claims for the college benefits and a few weeks ago they decided to pay the veterans going to school a lump sum payment of 3,000 dollars to help them pay their rent and books until they could get the regular checks started, most banks across the nation refused to accept the checks as valid and wanted to hold the checks for up to 2 weeks before allowing access to the funds, the VA had to set up a special phone line where the banks could call to verify the checks were valid to the veteran so the money could be available immediately.
Stolen Honor or Valor is the least of the VA's problems, yes it is wrong and the men and women pretending to have been awarded medals that enable the VA to cut thru normal verification methods such as getting the veterans 201 file or service record normally required to process a VA compensation claim, a simple fix would be for the DOD to set up a registery where these medals the Purple Heart, the Bronze star for Valor, the Silver Star etc similar to what they have for the Medal of Honor would stop the frauds from jumping the normal process veterans have to go thru to obtain benefits. In this day and age of digitalized records how hard could it be for DOD to create such a database?
They have more POWs drawing benefits for being POWs than actually were held during the Vietnam war and Desert Storm, how can this be, those lists are well known, how could the VA fall victim to scam artists for these benefits?
The VA has problems and it is not just fruadulent veterans, that is just the tip of this iceberg.