Clyde Hoch, author of Tracks – Memoirs of a Vietnam Veteran, spoke to the Council on his service in the Marine Corps, his remembrances of war and his return home.

First off, he expressed his appreciation to the Council for their concern for veterans as he thinks too often veterans “are tossed aside” once they have played their role in the defense of the nation.

Now in his sixties, he believes he has a story to tell – as many other veterans do also – which can help the young understand that sometimes great sacrifices are made on their behalf, that millions of men and women before them have left their loving families to do whatever is necessary to protect our way of life. Nor does it matter they ultimately served as cooks or infantry, for the deed was in the willingness to sacrifice for others even when those “others” often little understood or cared for the service members during the Vietnam era. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

First Generation Gets It Right

First Generation Visual Communication in Allentown “gets it.”  While it is important to support our troops when deployed, it is also important to support them as veterans when they return home and are most likely to be forgotten.  First Generation realizes it takes the  “whole village” to do this.  Not only must federal, state and county governments do their part on our behalf, but in times of war our community must make a special effort to ensure those local nonprofits effectively helping the local military veteran community are supported as well.  One cannot afford the opinion of one former state legislator who stated helping veterans is the federal government’s responsibility alone. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

COLA Is Coming for 2012

For 2012, the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase will be 3.6% for most military retirees, for military survivor benefit plan and social security recipients, and for those drawing VA compensation (to include DIC) – a welcomed increase after two years without one.  The President signed the last of the necessary legislation on 9 November — the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 (S. 894).  This dispels a local rumor that spouses and children receiving dependency indemnity compensation (DIC) would be forgotten. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

Our VA Network is About to Conduct a Special Veterans’ Family and War Study

VISN-4’s  (the next higher organization to our Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center) Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)  in Philadelphia is conducting a funded study to understand how war-related psychiatric symptoms may interfere with family reintegration and functioning.   The obvious is not apparent to them.  Nevertheless, there are benefits to such a study.  The means to improving care in the VA is most often  lead through documented study.  The VA has been known to be  loath to move without one.   The benefit we see?  … another step towards a more family-oriented VA.   Therefore, you can help by participating. (more…)