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St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Parade of Athletes at National Veterans Golden Age Games. Veterans from each branch of the military proudly represented their residential state during tonight’s Parade of Athletes at the Beau Rivage. The event attracts people from almost every state in the country and even places outside of the United States.
WLOX (ABC-13, Video): Golden Age Games calls coast home for the first time. A national athletic event is calling our coast home for the first time. The 31st National Veterans Golden Age Games are being hosted by the Biloxi VA this year. The games kicked into gear with various events all over the coast Monday, but mostly at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center. Almost 800 veterans, 55 and older, took to the convention center halls to compete in events like table tennis, pickle ball, air rifle, and much more.
New York Times F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump. President Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, abruptly terminating the leader of a wide-ranging criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Associated Press Official: Trump may meet top Russian diplomat in White House. President Donald Trump could meet with Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat at the White House on Wednesday, a U.S. official and a person with knowledge of the plans said, describing what would be the highest level, face-to-face contact with Russia of the American leader’s young presidency. It would also signal that the two countries have improved ties that Trump recently described as being at an “all-time low.”
Associated Press Trump OKs arms for Syrian Kurds, despite Turkish objections. The Trump administration announced Tuesday it will arm Syria’s Kurdish fighters “as necessary” to recapture the key Islamic State group stronghold of Raqqa, despite intense opposition from NATO ally Turkey, which sees the Kurds as terrorists.
Stars & Stripes Dunford: US troop increase in Afghanistan depends on NATO contribution. The number of troops that the United States will add to the fight in Afghanistan will depend on how many additional forces NATO supplies to expand the battle against terrorists there, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday.
Stars & Stripes Band of brothers: 3 siblings graduating from West Point. Brothers Noah, Sumner and Cole Ogrydziak entered West Point’s grueling world of 6:30 a.m. reveille, 60-pound packs and rigorous course loads on the same day four years ago. The three cadets are now preparing to fling their caps together at graduation this month, marking a rare fraternal trifecta at this storied academy.
Stars & Stripes US Navy ship collides with S. Korean fishing boat. A U.S. warship collided with a South Korean fishing boat Tuesday while operating off the east coast of the divided peninsula, the Navy said. No injuries were reported.
The New York News: New Veterans Affairs Chief: A Hands-On, Risk-Taking “Standout’. A gray-haired Vietnam veteran sat rustling on the paper of an examining table at the small veterans clinic in Grants Pass, Ore., on a recent afternoon when his doctor for the day appeared on a screen in front of him, wearing a white lab coat and bulbous headphones. “Take some deep breaths. All the way in … And, sir, do you want to give me a good cough?”
Scientific American: A Shot against Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Tweaking the gut microbiome may hold promise for fighting stress, anxiety. Each drop of Greg’s brew is filled with millions of Lactobacillus reuteri, a bacterium isolated and derived from human breast milk. The Denver VA Hospital orders the substance and prescribes it as part of a PTSD clinical trial involving 40 veterans who either receive the bacteria or a placebo mix of sunflower oil and other inactive substances. (The bacterium is also currently used to treat a dental condition called chronic periodontitis because it has been shown to help fight inflammation.)
PRI (Audio): Women Veterans are finally getting their due—in cartoons. Water colors and loose sheets of paper are spread across a large table at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Conversations buzz as women veterans share their stories, some for the first time, with cartoonists from the Center for Cartoon Studies — a White River Junction-based school for aspiring cartoonists and illustrators.
FOX News: Federal Employees honored for helping Vets, others with innovations. Other winners included Rory Cooper, a Department of Veterans Affair engineer designing next-generation wheelchairs and other assistive-technology equipment to help disabled veterans and others. Cooper, in a wheelchair since a bicycle accident in his 20s, said he was surprised about the reaction to a recently designed pnenumantic, submersible wheelchair.
KDKA (CBS-2, Video): Burn Pit Veterans Look For Answers. A US Congressman from Pennsylvania is promising action following a KDKA investigation into a new health crisis facing America’s military. Some are calling exposure to “burn pits” in Iraq and Afghanistan this generation’s Agent Orange. “I get sick all the time,” veteran Shawn Schrag said. “I’m coughing and wheezing right now.”
Gazette-Tribune: Sen. Murray writes head of VA with concerns over closure of Veterans Clinic. U.S. Senator Patty Murray from Washington State has written a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulin expressing her concerns over the proposed closure of the Veterans Clinic at North Valley Hospital slated for July of this year. Ken Lee, a former American Legion Commander for Washington State, and a member of Oroville’s Hodges Post #84, shared the letter with the newspaper and we have included it here.
FOX News (Video): VA whistle-blower’s retaliation claims spur action from Congress. It’s now been some four months since a Senate committee chairman called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to stop retaliating against a physician, who had acted as a whistle-blower, by blocking him from caring for veterans. Yet despite the intervention of Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Dr. Dale Klein, who is a double-board certified Yale fellow, has remained the object of a months-long order to not practice medicine at the VA.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Report: Shoddy construction at Jefferson Barracks VA overhaul. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it is investigating whistleblowers’ complaints of shoddy construction at the $366 million overhaul of the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center. The claims were first reported on Monday in a story by KMOV-TV (Channel 4) investigative reporter Lauren Trager. She said two construction workers contacted her with pictures depicting several construction errors at a clinic and rehab facility being built.
The Washington Times (AP): Federal court overturns firing of ex-director of Phoenix VA. A federal court has overturned the firing of the former director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System. In a 34-page ruling, the Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit remanded Sharon Helman’s case to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board for review and “appropriate action.” Helman was fired in November 2014 following a scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking medical care and secret lists covering up the delays.
Stars and Stripes: Federal court ruling prompts review into 2014 firing of Phoenix VA executive. Federal firing procedures established following the 2014 Department of Veterans Affairs wait-time scandal are unconstitutional, said a ruling Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The ruling upholds a petition from Sharon Helman, former director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System. She was director of the hospital in 2014 when whistleblowers disclosed veterans seeking care in Phoenix were languishing on secret wait lists.
Panama City News Herald: Veterans voice frustration with appeals process. Despite being disabled by Vietnam War-era shrapnel lodged in his back, Army veteran Robert Galloway has been waiting two years for disability benefits. Galloway applied for benefits through the VA, but after a clinic in Gainesville said his injuries weren’t service-connected, he’s said he’s gotten little help.
ABC News (AP): Boy, 10 donates thousands of comic books to military base. A young comic book aficionado is sharing his passion with the military. Ten-year-old Carl Scheckel organized a campaign that gathered roughly 3,000 comic books that he donated last month to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. He collected them mostly through donations at comic book shows but also gave up many titles from his vast collection.
Stars & Stripes The only time the US invaded Britain, it didn’t go well. After midnight, the 30 men began paddling the two miles to shore. Then the wind died, and just before sunup, Capt. John Paul Jones set foot once more on Whitehaven, the first and only time American forces ever attacked the British Isles.
Marine Corps Times Every Marine a rifleman no more? Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter shocked the military last summer when he called for boosting the military’s high-tech force by finding civilians who already have those vital skills like cyber security and offer them “lateral entry” into the military — a chance to skip boot camp and put on a uniform as a mid-career rank from Day One.
Marine Corps Times Family petitions to name US destroyer after Navy Cross recipient. There is a petition for the Navy to name a destroyer after Lance Cpl. Patrick “Bob” Gallagher, an Irish Immigrant who chose to serve rather than run when he was drafted for the Vietnam War just five years after moving to the United States, the Long Island Herald.com reports. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the second-highest honor for members of the Navy or Marine Corps.
Navy Times All new evals and fitreps coming soon. Navy officials are kicking off one of the most radical overhauls of performance evaluations and fitness reports in service history and are planning to field the new approach within a year.
Navy Times USS Illinois expected to base at Pearl Harbor. The USS Illinois is expected to become the fifth Virginia-class submarine to base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a region shared with China, Russia and North Korea, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.
Stars and Stripes: Stalled hearing leaves reservists waiting for a solution to GI Bill restriction. Nearly 4,700 reservists and guardsmen have been unfairly barred from earning post-9/11 GI Bill benefits available to active-duty servicemembers, veterans advocates say, triggering delays that will likely defer their education for years. The issue lies with the Pentagon’s use of Title 10, Section 12304b, a specific deployment authorization used by the Defense Department to increase operational use of reservists and cut the cost of their benefits.
FEDweek: VA Says It Needs to Boost Salaries, Awards. The VA has told Congress that it needs to be able to pay higher salaries and awards to its employees to be competitive at a time when there is a national shortage of health care providers and the department has some 45,000 unfilled jobs in those fields. VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin said that receiving permission from OPM to pay “critical pay” to many senior health care providers has helped…
Independent Journal Review: I Lost My Limbs Serving Our Country, When Trump Shook My ‘Hand’ This Is What It Meant To Me. Without Yvonne’s assistance, I’m not able to get out of bed on my own let alone travel to Washington, D.C. to shake hands with our Commander in Chief. Yvonne and the millions of spouses, parents and other family caregivers who serve by taking care of seriously disabled veterans are truly America’s unsung heroes, deserving of recognition and support. Unfortunately, current policies restrict benefits through VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers only to veterans injured after September 11, 2001.
Los Angeles Times: Lawmakers demand to know more about a proposed medical experiment on dogs at Los Angeles VA. Dogs could be dying as part of a proposed experiment at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and members of Congress say they want more information about animal testing at the facility. In a Monday letter to the Veterans Affairs Inspector General, Nevada Rep. Dina Titus and eight members of Los Angeles’ delegation demanded to know more about experiment…
WTOP (FM-103.5): Wounded warriors, Veterans rally for sage access to cannabis. A veteran who lives in D.C. suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or another service-connected disability has something that similar veterans living in region do not — access to cannabis. A small group of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans gathered in Dupont Circle Monday afternoon in a rally aimed at changing that.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Richmond VA hospital dedicates Native American sweat lodge. Ortiz and Tyler were part of a ceremonial dedication of a new sweat lodge at McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond on Monday. A sweat lodge ceremony is a spiritual experience in a variety of Native American cultures. The site consists of a dome made out of fresh-cut saplings — typically covered by a large tarp — and a fire pit that is used to keep the rocks in the lodge hot.
Military Times Sisters win award for small business that puts veterans to work. Emily Nunez Cavness and Betsy Nunez were named the grand prize winners by FedEx of $32,000 to help expand their small business, reports Fox 31 Denver. The sisters help veterans by employing them in their company, Sword & Plough, which takes military surplus items and turns them into handbags, wallets and other accessories.
Marine Corps Times Vets volunteering for Team Rubicon find a sense of purpose in disaster response. Former Marine Marc Hittle was in South Carolina not long after catastrophic flooding struck the coast in October 2015. Working with a team of volunteers sporting gray Team Rubicon T-shirts, Hittle recalls being inside a home that was almost completely destroyed, helping a heartbroken family navigate the wreckage.
Upcoming Veteran Events
American Legion Post 328, Southfield, Michigan Listing of Current Events in and around the Metro Detroit Area for and about Veterans, for the period May 10 – August 18, 2017.
PTAP (VPTAP) & Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Small Business Subcontracting Training and Networking Outreach Event – May 18, 2017. For more information please go here…… If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Myra Morgan, Defense Logistics Agency, Office of Small Business Programs (DB)at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-767-3653.
NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor Inaugural Scocial, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD, May 23, 2017. For details please go here…. For additional information, please contact Mr. Gary Simpson, USMC (Ret), Transition Care Coordinator, United States Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor, Walter Reed national Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD 301-400-0576, Gary.J.Simpson.email@example.com
Objective Rally Point (ORP). Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 7:15 AM – 9:00 AM, Army-Navy Country Club, 1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. You are invited to join us for our monthly Veteran networking breakfast on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. ORP is a forum for military Veterans in business and those who support them, or wish to team with them, to meet and connect. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to network with other Veterans committed to success in business. Although the focus of ORP is on the connections made between and with Veterans, we do have a presentation each month. This month we have MG Richard Sherlock (USA Ret.) as our guest speaker. MG Sherlock will discuss applying leadership lessons learned in the military to civilian life. It isn’t enough that military service has given Veterans leadership ability if those skills cannot be translated into the civilian market. MG Sherlock will also discuss his experience transitioning to leading two large non-profits and provide insight into what to look for when supporting a Veteran focused non-profit. Cost is $35.00. For more information and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/objective-rally-point-may-2017-tickets-34359887348
Veterans History Project Panel Discussion: VHP and National Institute of Corrections Explore – The Effects of PTSD on Crime and Recidivism. At Noon on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, a panel will speak on the effects of PTSD on veterans and how the Veterans Treatment Courts (VTC) support those who have run afoul of the law by proving appropriate treatment. The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress will host a panel discussion on the effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the veteran community. For details and to register, go here…..
GOVCONECTX Doing Business with DoD Spring Showcase – Thursday May 25, 2017, 6633 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church VA, 22042 at the Best Western. There is a Cost. This particular event is Military intensive. Meet with key representatives from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and DOD. Keynote Speaker: VADM Lou Crenshaw USN (Ret.), Crenshaw Consulting Associates. For Veterans, use the Coupon Code “Vet” and take $100.00 off the cost. For additional details and to sign up, go here….
National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) VETS-17, June 12 – 14, 2017, Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk VA. A great Business Development Conference created by Veterans for Veterans. Early Bird registration is now through March 31st. Pay now, save now! The Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Virginia always sells out quickly. NSSBC does not have other hotels contracted, so if you want the convenience of staying at the Riverside Marriott, please consider booking ASAP. Go here for more scoop and to register: http://www.veterantrainingsymposium.com/Hope to see you folks there!
2017 Virginia Women Veterans Summit, June 22 – 23, 2017, Chesapeake, VA. This event brings together Veterans, employers, community leaders and government agencies from federal, state, and local levels to raise awareness about the services and benefits offered specifically for women veterans through expert presenters, panel discussion and exhibits. The conference will feature speakers such as Dorothy McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia (Invited) and Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016, U.S. Army Reserve Captain and more! The Virginia Department of Veterans Services encourages women veterans who have, currently are, or will be transitioning into civilian life to register for this event. If you do not meet this qualification, kindly respect those who do by not registering for this event. Registration for this event is required. For details and to sign up, go here…
Non Commissioned Officers Association Annual Conference – July 11 -14, 2017. The Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, NV. Go here for more information and to register for this event: https://www.ncoaconference.org/
Mount Vernon Celebrates Purple Heart Day – Monday, August 7, 2017. You are cordially invited to celebrate National Purple Heart Day at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. It is our honor to have you join us as we commemorate the oldest military decoration in the United States at the beloved home of its founder. Here is information you might find helpful in planning your visit. http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2313d2141f19dbc004908589e&id=04795fbcf8&e=
14th Annual Elite SDVOB National Conference, August 16 – 18, 2017, Orlando, FL. Convention website here: http://www.sdvobconference.com/ Go here for Hotel Information and Reservations: