Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act

This is very important! This will eliminate the tax on concurrent payment.
This bill has 78 cosponsors and has been sent to the House Armed Services Committee and the
House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Please everyone contact your Congressman/Congresswoman ask them if they have not yet
become a cosponsor to do so immediately.

Contact elected official you can on both committees and tell them to pass this bill and report it
to the full House for vote as soon as possible.

H.R.333 -- Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act (Introduced in House - IH)

To amend title 10, United States Code, to permit retired members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability rated less than 50 percent to receive concurrent payment of both retired pay and veterans' disability compensation, to eliminate the phase-in period for concurrent receipt, to extend eligibility for concurrent receipt to chapter 61 disability retirees with less than 20 years of service, and for other purposes.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

USS Liberty-Listen to two survivors

Subject: Community Call Update: The Patriot Dames Radio Show

You have been invited by SubieSisters to join a live Community Call.
The Patriot Dames Radio Show (Join in) 
Host: SubieSisters - 
Episode: EPISODE141 - Phillip Tourney and Ron Kukal 
Phillip and Ron, two crew members of the USS Liberty, will be on tonight. Phil will talk about his recent book 'What I Saw That Day' and other matters related to Israel and the United States. 
Call ID: 20064 

Personal Message from the Host:
Do you think you know most everything about the USS Liberty? After reading 'What I saw that Day,' I guarantee that you do not. You cannot imagine what happened to the Liberty Crew members for decades after June 8, 1967.....and still that the Liberty Investigation never takes place. Israel is NOT our friend, nor are they friends to any other nation. PLEASE SEND THIS INTERVIEW ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL AMERICANS YOU KNOW.

Scheduled Time: 

Date: Thu, January 27, 2011 
Time: 08:00 PM EST 

How to participate: 

Call in:
  1. Dial: (724) 444-7444
  2. Enter: 20064 # (Call ID)
  3. Enter: 1 # or your PIN
Join from your computer:
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Facebook user? You can join this Call directly through the TalkShoe Community Calling Facebook application. 

Listen to the Recording: 
If you missed this event or want to hear previous recorded episodes click here. 

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

VA Cemeteries Lead Nation In

WASHINGTON (Jan. 25, 2011) - For the fourth consecutive time in ten
years, the system of national cemeteries operated by the Department of
Veterans Affairs has bested the nation's top corporations and other
federal agencies in a prestigious, independent survey of customer

"This survey is testament to the outstanding service that employees at
VA's 131 national cemeteries provide to our nation's Veterans and their
families," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki  "It is
VA's privilege to care for our nation's heroes in perpetuity, using the
highest standards of professionalism and compassion."

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the only national,
cross-industry measure of satisfaction with the quality of goods and
services available in the United States.  Beginning in 1999, the federal
government selected ACSI to measure citizen satisfaction.  

Citing VA's consistently record-setting ASCI scores, the independent
Federal Consulting Group saluted VA's "commitment to outstanding
customer service to . . . Veterans' next of kin, as demonstrated by
achieving an extraordinarily high ASCI score."

More than 100 federal agencies have used ACSI to gauge consumer
satisfaction with more than 200 services and programs.  The Index was
founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and the
survey is produced by ACSI, LLC.  

VA's National Cemetery Administration participates in the ACSI every
three years, previously in 2001, 2004 and 2007.  This is the fourth time
it participated and the fourth consecutive time it received the top
rating in the nation.  For 2010, the National Cemetery Administration
achieved a customer satisfaction index of 94.  Its score is nearly 29
points above the average for federal government agencies, which was 65
in the study.  

The ACSI survey polled the next-of-kin or other people who had arranged
for the interment of a loved one in a VA national cemetery within the
previous six months to one year.  More than 1,900 people received the
survey and 444 responded, a high response rate for a mail survey.

Using methodologies developed at the National Quality Research Center of
the University of Michigan Business School, the National Cemetery
Administration received ratings in the categories of "customer service"
and "user trust" of 96 out of a possible 100 points, indicating
respondents are exceptionally pleased with their experience at national
cemeteries and willing to recommend their services to others.

Veterans with a discharge issued under conditions other than
dishonorable, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be
buried in a VA national cemetery.  Also eligible are military personnel
who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents.  

Other burial benefits available for all eligible Veterans, regardless of
whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery,
include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a
government headstone or marker.  Families of eligible decedents may also
order a memorial headstone or marker when remains are not available for

In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates
131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers'
lots and monument sites.  More than 3.5 million Americans, including
Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA's cemeteries on
more than 19,000 acres of land. 

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery
offices, from the Internet at  <> or
by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.  To make
burial arrangements at the time of need at any VA national cemetery,
call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117. 

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold war Veterans

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

China Stole Technology to build Stealth Fighter

So do we continue to allow China to build their military? Do we just sit back and say that every
thing is OK and allow China to grow strong enough to deny the U.S. passage in "open waters"?

Chinese officials recently unveiled a new, high-tech prototype stealth attack plane that could pose a significant threat to American air superiority - and some of its technology, it turns out, may well have come from the US itself.

Balkan military officials have said that, in all probability, the Chinese gleaned some of their technological know-how from an American F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down over Serbia in 1999.
Nighthawks were the world's first operational stealth
aircraft, planes that are very hard for radar to detect. But on 27 March, 1999, during Nato's aerial bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo war, a Serbian anti-aircraft missile shot down one of the Nighthawks. The pilot ejected and was rescued.

It was the first time one of the much-touted "invisible" fighters had ever been hit. The Pentagon believed a combination of clever tactics and sheer luck had allowed a Soviet-built SA-3 missile to bring it down. Posters saying "We didn't realise it was invisible" become very popular in Serbia.

The wreckage was strewn over a wide area and civilians collected the parts as souvenirs.

"At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents crisscrossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers," said Admiral Davor Domazet-Loso, Croatia's military chief of staff in the Kosovo war.

"We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies … and to reverse-engineer them," Adml Domazet-Loso said.

A senior Serbian military official confirmed that pieces of the wreckage were removed by souvenir collectors, and that some ended up "in the hands of foreign military attaches".

China's multi-role stealth fighter - the Chengdu J-20 - made its inaugural flight on 11 January, revealing dramatic progress in the country's efforts to develop cutting-edge military technologies.

Although the twin-engine J-20 is at least eight or nine years from entering service, it could become a rival to America's top-of-the-line F-22 Raptor, the successor to the Nighthawk and the only stealth fighter currently in service.

China rolled out the J-20 just days before a visit to Beijing by US defence secretary Robert Gates, leading some analysts to speculate that the timing was intended to demonstrate the growing might of China's armed forces.

Parts of the downed F-117 - such as the left wing, the cockpit canopy, ejector seat, pilot's helmet and radio - are exhibited at Belgrade's aviation museum.

"I don't know what happened to the rest of the plane," said Zoran Milicevic, deputy director of the museum.
"A lot of delegations visited us, including the Chinese, Russians and Americans … but no-one showed any interest in taking any part of the jet."

Zoran Kusovac, a Rome-based military consultant, said the regime of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic routinely shared captured Western equipment with its Chinese and Russian allies.

"The destroyed F-117 topped that wish-list for both the Russians and Chinese," Kusovac said.

Russia's Sukhoi T-50 prototype stealth fighter made its maiden flight last year and is due to enter service in about four years. It is likely that the Russians also gleaned knowledge of stealth technology from the downed Nighthawk.

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

VA Publishes Final Regualation To Aid Korean Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

 New Regulations Will Provide Easier Path To Health Care and Benefits to those exposed to
 illnesses for those exposed to herbicides.

WASHINGTON - Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving along the
demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Korea will have an easier path to access
quality health care and benefits under a Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) final regulation that will expand the dates when illnesses caused
by herbicide exposure can be presumed to be related to Agent Orange.

"VA's primary mission is to be an advocate for Veterans," said Secretary
of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki "With this new regulation VA has
cleared a path for more Veterans who served in the demilitarized zone in
Korea to receive access to our quality health care and disability
benefits for exposure to Agent Orange." 

Under the final regulation published today in the Federal Register, VA
will presume herbicide exposure for any Veteran who served between April
1, 1968, and Aug. 31, 1971, in a unit determined by VA and the
Department of Defense (DoD) to have operated in an area in or near the
Korean DMZ in which herbicides were applied.  

Previously, VA recognized that Agent Orange exposure could only be
conceded to Veterans who served in certain units along the Korean DMZ
between April 1968 and July 1969.  

In practical terms, eligible Veterans who have specific illnesses VA
presumes to be associated with herbicide exposure do not have to prove
an association between their illness and their military service.  This
"presumption" simplifies and speeds up the application process for
benefits and ensures that Veterans receive the benefits they deserve.

Click on these links to learn about Veterans' diseases associated with
Agent Orange exposure
ses.asp>  at
birth defects in children of Vietnam-era Veterans
_defects.asp>  at

VA encourages Veterans with covered service in Korea who have medical
conditions that may be related to Agent Orange to submit their
applications for access to VA health care and compensation as soon as
possible so the agency can begin processing their claims.

Individuals can go to website
complete understanding of how to file a claim for presumptive conditions
related to herbicide exposure, as well as what evidence is needed by VA
to make a decision about disability compensation or survivors benefits.

Additional information about Agent Orange and VA's services for Veterans
exposed to the chemical is available at

The regulation is available on the Office of the Federal Register
website at

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

DoD Leaders Discuss Critical Troop, Family Health Care Needs

DOD Leaders Discuss Critical Troop, Family Health Care Needs

By Karen Parrish 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2011 - Military health care has improved troop survival, recovery and rehabilitation, but providers, patients, families and leaders must keep investing time, effort and communication, Defense Department leaders said today.

Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Deborah Mullen, wife of Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke on these issues to an audience of thousands at the 2011 Military Health System Conference opening session. 

Stanley is a retired Marine Corps major general, and recounted his family's experience with the military health system.

In 1975, Stanley was stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., with his wife and their 3-month-old daughter when his family was the victim of a sniper attack. Stanley's uncle was killed, and his wife was left paralyzed.

"I'm not a physician, but I was immediately introduced to the health care system in a unique way for us," he said.

During the years that followed, Stanley said, his family learned a great deal about military health care, and experienced "a couple of close calls."

"We ... had to be engaged personally in the process," he said. "At the time, I was lower-ranking, but the bottom line was that I insisted, and continue to insist, that we do our very best to take care of our people."

Defense leaders do their best now to ensure the highest quality care for service members, but must connect with military medical professionals to know "what's going on out there in our world," he said.
His family now is happy and doing well, Stanley said, but still monitors the state of military health care.

"We care very deeply about what's happening to our sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard -- our wounded, ill and injured," he said. 

One of the challenges in defense health care goes beyond medicine, Stanley said.
"It's how we communicate, or don't communicate," he explained. "People mean well [and are] doing well, but it's hard sometimes in a bureaucracy to figure out how that matrix works."

One topic that left him "unbelievably frustrated," he said, was the disability evaluation system, which the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have been working to streamline since 2007.
"To find a system that was taking 500 days, and got down to 200-some days and now maybe 180 or whatever number of days it might be ... can we do better? And can we do better now? Not next year, not next week, but can we do better now?" he asked.

Improving military health care "is not going to be, and should never be, something just done by DOD," he said. "Anything we do is part of this great nation that we serve in. There are lots of people who want to help. ... Let's do it together."

Stanley urged the health professionals in the audience to learn and share ideas during this week's conference.

"We owe our troops our very best," he said. "We owe them our heart and our soul and our commitment."

Mullen built on Stanley's remarks by emphasizing what the military medical system can do for service members' spouses and children. The challenges these families face are not new, she said, but can be profound.

Mullen started by quoting from a letter written by a young military spouse: "It is infinitely worse to be left behind, and prey to all the horrors of imagining what might be happening to the one you love. You slowly eat your heart out with anxiety, and to endure such suspense is simply the hardest of all the trials that come to an Army wife."

Those words are from a letter written by Elizabeth "Libby" Custer in 1876, shortly after her husband, Army Gen. George A. Custer, left for what became the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Mullen said.

"They could have been written, and probably have been written, by any of the hundreds of thousands of young spouses who have watched their soldier, sailor, airman or Marine march off to war these last 10 years," she added.

Mullen said she doesn't believe society yet fully understands the cumulative effects of stress, anxiety and worry on military families. "But we need to try, and we need to do so quickly," she said. "A whole generation has now been impacted."

Today's military families have the advantage over Libby Custer of greater general understanding of combat stress, and programs in place to help them manage it, Mullen said.

"But we are still discovering, still revealing, fissures and cracks in our family support system," she added, citing the need for "new ways to seal them."

The first of those cracks is what families call secondary post-traumatic stress, Mullen said.

"Not unlike our troops, our families experience the same depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and headaches," she said. "They break into cold sweats, lose concentration, suffer panic attacks, and come to dread contact with the outside world."

Some spouses do not get out of bed, prepare meals or care for their children, she said, adding that some turn to the same "remedies" troops with post-traumatic stress do: alcohol, prescription drugs, even suicide.

"I am convinced that much of the desperation these drastic remedies represent is rooted in the stigma still attached to mental health issues," Mullen said. "Not only are they embarrassed to seek help for themselves, spouses worry that in so doing they will negatively impact their husband's or wife's military career."

The services have worked hard to eliminate that stigma in the ranks, but need to do more to remove it from families, Mullen said, noting that for some spouses who seek help, the result is "all too often disappointing."

In two separate cases at one military hospital, spouses seeking help for post-traumatic stress symptoms and suicidal thoughts were given prescriptions – five in one case, seven in another – with no follow-up treatment or consultation scheduled, she said.

"You do not have to put on a pair of boots and patrol outside the wire to suffer the effects of war," Mullen said. "If it is keeping you from living your life and loving your family, you owe it to yourself – and frankly, the military owes it to you – to get you the help you need."

Military children represent another crack in the care system that needs sealing, Mullen said, noting the military services are working to understand the effect 10 years of war is having on those children.

"There is evidence of elevated emotional and behavioral difficulties and lower academic achievement," she said. "Anxiety and depression have led to a rise in the use of psychiatric medication."
In 2009, she said, 300,000 prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were given to military family members younger than 18.

"Some were no doubt warranted, but I worry that we don't fully understand the long-term consequences of these medications," she said.

Family stress happens after as well as during deployment, Mullen said, when reintegration and reunion add their own challenges.

"The Army ... recently released information that spouse and child abuse cases are rising," she said. "We have come to understand that while a combat tour may last a year, the effects of that tour on a service member and family may last much longer."

Military families are strong and patriotic, and pride themselves on their resilience and readiness, Mullen said.

"But we didn't fully understand that these wars would last as long as they have, and that resilience and readiness are not necessarily permanent," she said. "After multiple deployments, they begin to break down."

Building resilient families involves listening to their needs and challenges, she said.
"It's about looking at things through their eyes, and trying to find solutions that work in their unique circumstances," she said.

Following up on programs, assessing how they're working, incorporating lessons learned and instituting best practices across the services are all critical to improving family care, she said.

"Often, spouses tell me they don't need another program. ... What they need is time: time with their spouse, time together with their families, time with a counselor, or a doctor, or a minister," she said. "They want time to explore and understand what is happening to them, and the patience and understanding of loved ones, and friends, and the system itself."

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nato Sees Russia As Missile Defense Patner

Is this not a little like inviting the fox into the hen house?

By Donna Miles 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 - Expressing confidence that the Russian parliament will ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he's looking forward to moving ahead during the first half of 2011 on missile defense cooperation with Russia.

Rasmussen, speaking on his video blog posted yesterday, hailed the landmark decision between NATO and Russia at the alliance's November summit in Lisbon, Portugal, and emphasized NATO's "strong commitment to enhance and deepen our cooperation and to keep the spirit of Lisbon alive."

NATO and Russia agreed at the summit to begin working together toward developing a continentwide missile defense system.

"For the first time, NATO nations and Russia will be cooperating to defend themselves," Rasmussen said of the new missile defense cooperation. "Our citizens in Europe will share enhanced security, and that is unprecedented."
Cooperation on missile defense is an important stepping stone toward development of the overall security relationship with Russia, he said. "It could be a vehicle for even further practical cooperation and confidence-building in the years to come," he said.

"This is simple logic," he added. "Increasingly, we share many threats to our common security." As examples, he cited terrorism, the growing narcotics trade, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and piracy.
The missile defense system will protect people in NATO-member nations and Russia against the growing missile threat, Rasmussen said. He recognized that more than 30 nations have or are seeking a missile capability. "This is a development we cannot ignore," he said.

As NATO and Russia evaluate the best ways to cooperate in missile defense, Rasmussen said, NATO envisions "two independent but coordinated systems, working back to back."

This will offer several benefits, he explained. It will promote information exchange, provide a wider picture of the skies over Europe and with it, improved protection of Russian as well as allied territories.
Rasmussen said NATO will offer Russia transparency about its system that provides assurance that it isn't –- and can't be -– directed at Russia.

Also, by maintaining two independent systems, he said, both NATO and Russia can avoid "outsourcing our security to one another."

"NATO security is based on collective defense," he said. "And I assume that Russia, as a strong and independent nation, also wants to be fully in control of its defense systems."

Rasmussen said he looks forward to "constructive discussions with Russia in the months ahead" that will build on commitments made at Lisbon.

Meanwhile, the Russia parliament is considering ratification of the New START Treaty. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the treaty in Prague in April, and the U.S. Senate ratified it last month.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Sunday, January 23, 2011

TRICARE Improves Online Communication, Access

Improved and easier contact and function with military health care is a must. This is a great step
forward for members and families.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2011 - Additions to the TRICARE military health plan's website are giving beneficiaries easier access to their personal health data, more convenient appointment scheduling and better communication with their health care providers, the top TRICARE official reported.

TRICARE Online, the military health system's patient portal, already enables users who get care at a military treatment facility to schedule appointments, track their medications, order prescription refills and view and even download their personal health records, Navy Rear Adm. (Dr.) Christine S. Hunter told American Forces Press Service.

Later this year, patients also will be able to get their laboratory and X-ray results through the portal, along with secure messaging from their health care providers, Hunter said.

"You will be able to go there and it will say you have two messages from your doctor," she explained. "You will click on it, and it may be the nurse telling you that you are overdue for something, and maybe a lab result and an explanation of the findings."

The next goal will be to expand these capabilities so beneficiaries can track what immunizations they received and when, and get a "heads up" from their health care provider when they're due for their next one, she said.

Meanwhile, TRICARE plans to increase the number of clinics that offer online appointment scheduling and tailor the process to offer the broadest selection of openings so beneficiaries can select what's most convenient for them.

In addition, health care providers will begin using the portal to get patients to fill out forms and questionnaires at their convenience before they arrive for their appointments.

TRICARE Online offers the best of both worlds, Hunter said. It helps to build a closer relationship between beneficiaries and their health care providers while taking advantage of technology and health care tools to make that relationship more convenient and accessible 24/7.

Beneficiaries increasingly are taking advantage of the new capability. Almost 311,500 active users have logged into the system over the past year, officials reported, with an average of 2,800 new user registrations each week.

Since January 2010, beneficiaries have scheduled almost 200,000 medical appointments and requested more than 61,500 prescription refills through the system. During the week of Jan. 9 to 16 alone, they scheduled almost 3,000 appointments and refilled more than 1,000 prescriptions.

TRICARE officials also report increased use of the "blue button" feature that enables beneficiaries to access their personal health data and, if they choose, save it to a file on their computer. Since Sept. 25, 2010, officials reported more than 4,000 downloads in .pdf format and more than 1,700 downloads in .txt format. Last week's figures show 486 .pdf downloads and 187 .txt downloads.

Hunter said this feature is particularly helpful because it enables beneficiaries to download their records when they need to seek medical care away from their regular health care facility, and empowers them to better partner with providers about the treatment they receive.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wyoming Bill to Welcome Home and Thank You Veterans

In the Wyoming Legislature a bill has  been introduced HB 0177 that would declare March 30
of each year Wyoming Veterans Welcome Home Day. The wording of the bill includes Veterans
from Korea, Vietnam, Cold War.

A link to the Wyoming Legislature

Another state added to the growing list. Now we must fight to have a Cold War Veterans
Welcome Home or Cold War Victory Day on a national level.

Please everyone contact your elected officials ask them to institute a day to honor Cold War Veterans
on a national level.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Friday, January 21, 2011

Families of Deployed Military Carry Heavy Load

Families of Deployed Military Carry Heavy Load

FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Families of U.S. military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan face a number of challenges as relationships change and they have to take on more household responsibilities, new research shows.

Click here to find out more!
The yearlong study of 1,127 military families found that children of deployed parents are more likely to experience emotional difficulties and anxiety than other children their age. The youngsters in the study said they felt misunderstood by community members, challenged by the increase in household chores, and found it hard to deal with the deployed parents' mood changes when they returned home.
Military spouses said they faced a number of major stressors when their partner was deployed overseas, including a heavier household workload, changes in marriage roles, and family communication challenges, according to researchers at the RAND Corp., a nonprofit research organization.

Caregivers with spouses in the National Guard or Reserves reported poorer emotional well-being and greater household challenges than those with spouses in the full-time military.

Good communication between parents and children -- which the study authors defined as a perception of empathy and understanding -- was associated with fewer household challenges.

"These findings underscore the experiences of children and spouses when a member of the military goes off to war," lead author and behavioral scientist Anita Chandra said in a RAND news release.

"While children and spouses are continuing to handle challenges well overall, it is how children and spouses handle the change in household and family relationships that affects how they cope during periods of deployment."
More information
The U.S. Department of Defense offers deployment advice for military personnel and their families.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley-Give Veterans the Day OFF on Veterans Day

Congressman Braley appears to be a Veteran Friendly member of Congress, and a member of the
House Veterans Affairs Committee. This is someone we should all target as a possible ally in the quest
for our Cold War Service Medal.

I ask that everyone contact him and ask for his support. Possibly even to introduce legislation to
authorize the Cold War Service Medal.

Braley proposes making Veterans Day a holiday for veterans

by Pat Curtis on January 20, 2011

Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley was confirmed Wednesday as a new member of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the 112th Congress. The Democrat from Waterloo quickly proposed legislation to make Veterans Day a holiday for all vets.

Braley says the bill is modeled after a law that already exists in Iowa. “It makes sure brave men and women who have served our nation are able to take Veterans Day off,” Braley said. Veterans Day is currently designated as a federal holiday, but private employers can choose to ignore it. Braley’s proposal would require private employers to give any employee who is a veteran a day off on Veterans Day.

“I’ll be working with members on both sides of the aisle to get cosponsors for my bill and hopefully move it through the Veterans Committee as soon as possible,” Braley said. The bill includes exceptions for small businesses, cases where public health or safety are concerned, or where the holiday would significantly disrupt operations.

Braley says the employer would decide if the day off should be a paid or unpaid holiday.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Defense Department Begins Project for Vietnam War Veterans 

Department Begins Project for Vietnam War Veterans

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2011 – More than three decades after the war’s end, the Defense Department has begun a project to pay tribute to the nation’s Vietnam War veterans.
The 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration was spawned from the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act.

“It was a very important time period for veterans, because most Vietnam veterans as a whole never received the homecoming that our troops receive now,” said Army Lt. Col. Hunter Holliday, public affairs officer for the commemoration.

At the center of the project is a website, “50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration,” at, which will serve as a clearinghouse for information on the war once it is fully functional, a milestone expected this spring.
Information gleaned from the website is expected to be used for myriad purposes, such as to chronicle facts, provide educational materials, and offer resources for a commemorative partners program, Holliday said.

The partners program will comprise guidance and materials for agencies, veterans groups, local government and nongovernment organizations to conduct their own Vietnam War commemoration activities.

The website is expected to play a major role in the campaign, said Jeff Wilson, who handles marketing for the project, noting it will be highly interactive and will include content on historical events, a timeline, photos, documents, video and audio. A calendar will list major Defense-sponsored events.

The website is slated to offer a prelude of activities and ceremonies to:

-- Honor Vietnam War veterans and their families -- including prisoners of war and those listed as missing in action -- for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States.
-- Highlight Armed Forces service during the Vietnam War, in addition to contributions made by government and private organizations.
-- Pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by U.S. citizens.
-- Highlight the advances in technology, science and medicine in military research made during the war.
-- Recognize contributions and sacrifices made by U.S. allies during the war.
“Hopefully [the commemoration] will be a healing process for the veterans who were never recognized properly when they came home,” Holliday said, noting the volatile political landscape that surrounded the war.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Search under way for mising U.S. sailor in Gulf of Oman

Search under way for missing U.S. sailor in Gulf of Oman

By the CNN Wire Staff
January 18, 2011 1:25 p.m. EST
  • The sailor did not report to watch, authorities say
  • Helicopters and other aircraft are being used
(CNN) -- U.S. and British forces were searching Tuesday for a sailor missing from a U.S. ship conducting operations in the Gulf of Oman, the U.S. 5th Fleet said in a statement.

"The sailor did not report to watch" Tuesday aboard the USS Halsey, and "after a search of the ship, man overboard was called."

However, the sailor is a female, a U.S. military official said.

Helicopters and other aircraft were being used in the search for the sailor, who was not identified because of the ongoing search.

The 5th Fleet, based in Manama, Bahrain, did not provide any additional details in the statement.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

U.S., China Affirm Military Ties During Hu Visit To Washington

By Carol L. Bowers
American Forces Press Service

Hu is paying a state visit to the United States Jan. 18 to 21, and the statement came on the second day of his trip, which included meetings with Obama and a joint press conference.

"Both sides agreed on the need for enhanced and substantive dialogue and communication at all levels: to reduce misunderstanding, misperception, and miscalculation; to foster greater understanding and expand mutual interest; and to promote the healthy, stable, and reliable development of the military-to-military relationship," Obama and Hu said in their statement.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently met with Hu in China during a recent tour of East Asia to discuss security issues. Gates attended Hu's arrival ceremony today.

Obama and Hu termed Gates' visit to China "successful" and noted the United States will in turn welcome the Chief of the People's Liberation Army General Staff Gen. Chen Bingde to the United States in the first half of 2011.

In the joint statement, the two sides also reaffirmed that the Defense Consultative Talks, the Defense Policy Coordination Talks, and the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement will remain important channels of communication in the future. Both sides will work to execute the seven priority areas for developing military-to-military relations as agreed to by Gates and Gen. Xu Caihou, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission in October 2009.

During the joint press conference today, Obama said he also has conveyed to the Chinese president "that that we appreciated China's role in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and we agreed that North Korea must avoid further provocations."

"I also said that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program is increasingly a direct threat to the security of the United States and our allies," Obama added. " We agreed that the paramount goal must be complete denuclearization of the peninsula. In that regard, the international community must continue to state clearly that North Korea's uranium enrichment program is in violation of North Korea's commitments and international obligations."

Discussions between Obama and Hu also included other global security issues.

"With respect to global security, I'm pleased that we're moving ahead with President Hu's commitment at last year's Nuclear Security Summit for China to establish a center of excellence, which will help secure the world's vulnerable nuclear materials," Obama said during the press conference.

"To prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, we agreed that Iran must uphold its international obligations and that the U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran must be fully enforced." 

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DoD says "Virtual World" Helps with PTSD

 The Department of Defense is using virtual-world interactivity to educate and help
warfighters and others who are reluctant to seek more direct care to deal with post traumatic
stress, said an official at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology also known
as "T2"

During a recent telephone briefing from the center's headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash., Greg Reger -- a clinical psychologist and acting chief of the center's innovative technology applications division -- said the kinds of immersive experiences available in virtual worlds, such as the internationally populated virtual world called Second Life, are designed to appeal to tech-savvy service members and their families.

"Far too many of our warriors come home and, despite difficulties they are having, are not going to come and see a psychologist, a social worker, a psychiatrist," Reger said.

According to the center's website, many researchers have declared traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress to be the "signature wounds" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. About 19 percent of service members returning from combat screen positive for psychological health problems, and just more than half seek help, the website says, noting that barriers for those that don't seek help include perceived stigma, physical access barriers and limited resources.

"There's a lot of great work going on at DOD to address stigma, but it is still an issue," Reger said. "So we desperately need solutions to get resources into the hands of those who will not give us the opportunity to provide them basic care."
Virtual worlds are computer-based simulated environments where users, as representations of themselves called avatars, can interact with each other and build and interact with objects and activities.

"An avatar is basically a computer-generated representation of oneself," Reger said, adding that users create these computer characters to navigate around the environment and to explore and learn.

The T2 Virtual PTSD Experience, based in Second Life, is an immersive, interactive learning activity that is open to the public and educates visitors about combat-related post-traumatic stress.

The graphics-dense immersive simulation requires a broadband Internet connection, he said. Users must download a copy of the Second Life world and then can access the world from any computer with a broadband connection.
When avatars come into the virtual space, Reger said, they land at a welcome center that offers information about different deployment-related difficulties and a map of activities available in the T2 virtual experience.

"The cornerstone of the experience is when they leave that area and go into an area that teaches about the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder," Reger said. "They enter a space where they get into a Humvee and are taken through a computer-generated simulation that includes [intense fighting on an Afghan street and] an explosion.
"As this occurs," he continued, "they receive audio instruction about what we think causes post-traumatic stress disorder, and this sets the stage for the rest of the experience."

Users then take a simulated flight home, during which they watch a video about post-traumatic stress. They land at a shopping mall, where each store offers an activity that illustrates a symptom and how it may affect daily life.
For example, Reger said, in the mall is a mattress store.

"If you go into the store, you have an opportunity to lie down on a mattress and a video pops up over the avatar's head that illustrates a re-experiencing of the traumatic event they experienced earlier during the simulation," he said. "Then information is presented on the nature of trauma-related nightmares and sleep disturbances."

The environment uses a range of activities to simulate symptoms and help visitors determine if they or a loved one need care, and offers information about where to go for more direct assistance.

"Second Life provides the opportunity to interact with anyone who is in that space. Any warrior who goes in there will be able to talk with whoever is in that space," Reger said.

"We know that many of the difficulties that our warriors have result in increased social isolation and diminished interest in getting outside the home and interacting with other people," he added. "We do wonder about the potential in this space to really get some of these folks connected with each other in a meaningful way that might be helpful."

The National Center for Telehealth and Technology is a component of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, which leads a collaborative global network to promote the resilience, recovery and reintegration of warriors and their families.

"We created an environment that lets people learn by doing, rather than reading text and watching videos on two-dimensional websites," Kevin Holloway, the psychologist who led T2's virtual-world development, said in a statement. "They can learn something new each time they visit."

More information on "T2" can be found on their website

  Jerald Terwilliger

National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

VA Developing Innovative Patient-Centered Model of Care for Veterans

WASHINGTON (Jan. 19, 2011)-- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is
creating a new office to develop personal, patient-centered models of
care for Veterans who receive health care services at VA's more than
1,000 points of care across the Nation.

"VA has become one of the Nation's leaders in quality health care and is
increasingly cited as the standard to emulate," said VA Under Secretary
for Health Dr. Robert A. Petzel. "However, we must always continue to
find ways to deliver more with our systems to the incredible patients we
are honored to serve. We need to be data-driven, providing the
treatments and therapies with the best clinical evidence, and we need to
be patient-centered, never losing sight that we have been given the
noble mission to care for our Nation's Veterans, families and

The new VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation
began operations on Jan. 17 and is based in Arlington, Va.

The office's director, Dr. Tracy Williams Gaudet, comes to VA from Duke
University Medical Center where she has served as the executive director
of Duke Integrated Medicine since 2001.  Dr. Gaudet received her
Bachelor of Arts and medical degrees from Duke University.  

"The VA's vision and commitment to cultural transformation comes at a
pivotal moment for health care in this country, and I am deeply honored
to be joining VA in this important work," said Dr. Gaudet.  "The Office
of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation will be a living,
learning organization in which we will discover and demonstrate new
models of care, analyze the results, and then create strategies that
allow for their translation and implementation across the VA.  VA will
continue to be a national leader in innovation, and, in this way, we
will provide the future of high-quality health care to our Veterans." 

The VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation will
have four regional implementation teams at select VA medical centers
across the country: Birmingham, Ala; East Orange, N.J.; Dallas; and Los

Each VA medical center was selected for excellence already demonstrated
in producing cultures of patient-centered care based on established
criteria.  These regional teams, comprised of patient-centered care
consultants, will be responsible for facilitating the culture change for
patient-centered care at all VA facilities.

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Military Panel Backs Women In Combat

Published: Jan. 16, 2011 at 3:14 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Pentagon commission is calling for a gradual end to the ban on women in combat as discriminatory and obsolete.

In a draft reported by CNN, the Military Leadership Diversity Commission said the armed forces must create a "level playing field for all qualified service members."

The panel of senior officers, businessmen and academics will later send a final report to Congress and the president.

The draft said current "combat exclusion policies" do not reflect the realities of contemporary warfare and keep women out of key assignments that lead to career advancement.

"Service policies that bar women from gaining entry to certain combat-related … assignments are based on standards of conventional warfare, with well-defined, linear battlefields," the report said. "However, the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been anything but conventional."
More than 200,000 U.S. women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 132 have been killed and 721 wounded.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said in November, "In a war where there is no longer a clear delineation between the front lines ... and the sidelines ... this will be the first generation of veterans where large segments of women returning will have been exposed to some form of combat."

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Saturday, January 15, 2011

As China builds their military, should we be cutting our strength?

China is on a continuing course to become a major military force in the world. They not only have
the largest army in the world, they now have a stealth fighter/bomber, an anti-carrier missile
and are rebuilding a Russian aircraft carrier; and it is thought to be building its own new

Just days before Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington and as US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Beijing this week to patch up frayed defence ties, China's military sent its first stealth fighter into the skies. 
Analysts agree the test flight of the J-20 carried out by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which surprised many military observers, was no coincidence.

"China is sending a strong message to the US and countries in the region that China's military modernisation is unstoppable, and China is determined to become this region's dominant actor," said Taiwan-based PLA expert Arthur Ding.

The emergence of the first photos of the J-20 just before Gates' visit forced the Pentagon chief to admit that China "may be somewhat further along in the development of that aircraft than our intelligence had predicted".

Analysts who have studied every pixel of these shots say while it is difficult to estimate just how advanced the plane -- seen as an eventual rival to the US Air Force's F-22A -- really is, the message sent by Beijing is clear.
"While it does not truly demonstrate China's capability in terms of developing the latest-technology military equipment, it certainly does demonstrate their ambition," said Gareth Jennings, an aviation expert at Jane's Missiles & Rockets magazine.

The PLA -- the largest army in the world -- is hugely secretive about its defence programmes, which benefit from a big military budget boosted by the nation's runaway economic growth.
Officially, China says its military technology is 20 to 30 years behind that of the United States, and maintains that the modernisation of its army is purely defensive in nature.

But its neighbours are worried. Japan last month labelled Beijing's military build-up a global "concern", citing its increased assertiveness in the East and South China Seas.

Analysts say Beijing's stated position no longer corresponds to the facts.

China, without formally acknowledging it, is building at least one aircraft carrier, which more than anything else will showcase its ability to project its military might further afield.

"They have equipment that is far from being defensive. More and more they have planes capable of striking ground targets," a Western military expert based in Beijing, who refused to be named, told AFP.

"What is the use of that when you say you want to defend yourself?"

In 2007, China -- a nuclear power -- sparked international concern when it destroyed one of its satellites with a missile strike. And last January, the Chinese military intercepted an airborne missile.
Now, it is developing a ballistic missile capable of striking aircraft carriers -- a move that threatens US supremacy in the Pacific.

Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's new weapons programes, including the J-20, appeared to be directed against the United States.
Observers worry that the balance of power will shift in East Asia, where there are several potential sources of conflict revolving around Taiwan, North Korea and territorial disputes with neighbouring states.

They say a new arms race seems inevitable.

"Today, nobody knows for sure how many J-20s the PLA will eventually deploy, nor how many ballistic missiles," said Dennis Blasko, an expert on the PLA based in the United States.

"Neither can we predict the size and composition of US and allied forces beyond four or five years."
Dean Cheng, a China expert at the Heritage Foundation, a US think tank, said there was "still time for the US to take corrective measures to hedge against these Chinese capabilities, both in its own arsenals and in what it provides Taiwan."

The self-ruled island is a sore point in China-US military ties. Last year's multi-billion-dollar arms deal between Washington and Taipei angered Beijing so much it suspended defence relations with the United States.

But for Rick Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, the United States and its allies "have a very short timeframe to get really smart about the PLA's intentions and technology directions".

"If this cannot be done, for reasons of lack of information or lack of political will, Washington could soon find itself increasingly following China, and not leading the arms race," Fisher said.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

DOD announces Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemeration

                The Department of Defense announced today its program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The program will:

              - Thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

              - Highlight the service of the armed forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the armed forces.

             - Pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.

             - Highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to the military research conducted during the
Vietnam War.

             - Recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.

                DoD representatives will coordinate with other federal agencies, veteran groups, state, local government and non-government organizations for their input in Vietnam War commemoration activities. For more information call 877-387-9951 or visit the official website at .

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Friday, January 14, 2011

New California Budget would cut aid to veterans

Critics decry proposed $10 million cut in help for service members
By MARK WALKER - | Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 6:16 pm
Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to slash $12.5 billion from California's budget could slam the door on the state's fledgling Operation Welcome Home program for troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, and drastically reduce the services provided by county veterans offices.
The governor's proposed budget, unveiled Monday, would trim nearly $10 million from the California Department of Veterans Affairs by eliminating general fund support specifically for the two programs.
The department operates veterans homes, including one in Chula Vista, and provides medical care and a variety of other services under its current annual budget of about $420 million. About $229 million of that money comes from the state's general fund.
Two area legislators called the governor's proposal misguided.
An area veterans services officer said it would be "devastating."
A lobbyist for veterans groups said the "bean counters just don't get it."
"I absolutely know we can find $10 million in this budget to support those efforts," said state Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Carlsbad, on Tuesday.
Wyland, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said closing programs that help veterans during wartime is wrong
"Because of what veterans have given to this country and the importance of them knowing what services are available, it is nearly unconscionable to cut that budget," he said.
Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, whose district includes a portion of Southwest Riverside County, called the proposal a "short-sighted move that serves neither state finances nor our veterans well."
Cook, who heads the Assembly's Veterans Affairs Committee, said studies have shown that county veterans services offices actually produce more money for the state than they cost to operate. They do so because veterans wind up obtaining an array of services from the federal government they might not otherwise get.
"Each year, with minimal funding, these officers help thousands of veterans gain $250 million in new federal aid for California, money that goes into the state's economy," he said. "They bring in over $100 in federal funding for every $1 that is budgeted to them."
California has nearly 2 million veterans, according to a September report from the Department of Veterans Affairs. About 234,000 live in San Diego County, which has the largest concentration of active duty and retired military personnel in the country.
Riverside County is home to about 130,000 veterans.
Bill Earl, who runs the Riverside County Veterans Services office, said Tuesday he may be forced to close satellite offices in Hemet and Indio and eliminate walk-in services.
"It would be devastating," Earl said of the proposed funding cuts. "We figure we would lose about $350,000, and our hope would be that maybe the county would give us some of that money back, but it's broke, too."
In San Diego County, Veterans Services Officer Tom Splitgerber said it was too early to say how his operations in San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside would be affected.
"We're taking a wait-and-see attitude right now," he said.
The Riverside and San Diego County offices combined assisted about 40,000 veterans in the last year.
It was just last June that then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled Operation Welcome Home, a statewide effort to connect the estimated 30,000 veterans who return from overseas each year with services to help them "transition from the battlefront to the home front."
Pete Conaty, a longtime Sacramento lobbyist whose clients include veterans groups, said cutting the two services ignores 15 years of data showing that investing in the service offices is a good deal.
"The bean counters just don't get it," he said. "The point is, we are an income generator."
The groups Conaty represents will lobby the Legislature and Brown to keep the funding in place, he said.
As of late Tuesday, the governor's press office had not responded to requests for more information.
Former Oceanside City Councilman Rocky Chavez, acting director of the Department of Veterans Affairs, issued a prepared statement saying the agency could continue providing the help veterans need.
The statement did not explain how that would be accomplished if the cut goes through. A spokesman said Chavez was traveling and unavailable for comment.
Call staff writer Mark Walker at 760-740-3529.

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996