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VVA Is Looking for “Volunteers” of Chem-Bio Testing

The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) organization is a plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to illuminate the long-term harm done to service members who “volunteered” for testing of chemical and biological agents at Edgewood Arsenal, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, from the 1950s through the 1970s. (more…)

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Lejeune Update … Depression Hits Older Veterans … Latest Agent Orange Info … HIV Test encouraged

Vet Toxic Exposure … Lejeune:  A Senate bill (S.277) (Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011) would make it easier for veterans and their families affected by contaminated water aboard base to receive medical assistance.  It has the support of 22 National and state organizations.  It is NC senators who introduced the bill.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, at least 500,000 people may have been exposed in the 30-year period from 1957 to 1987 to a host of toxic chemicals, including known human carcinogens benzene and vinyl chloride, as well as drying cleaning solvents and degreasers.  It’s the largest DoD environmental contamination on record. (more…)

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Speaker:  Ann Friedenheim, Clinical Supervisor for Confront Services, Treatment Trends, Inc. spoke about a new program to be launched by Treatment Trends and called, “Supporting the Homefront: Educational Footing for Families of Veterans and Active Duty Men and Women.”

After three years of planning and effort, (more…)

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Reminder: Veterans Sanctuary is now open for business Veterans Sanctuary is accepting referrals as of  July 11, 2011.  Veterans Sanctuary offers moderate to long term (Level 3B – 3C) inpatient – non- hospital treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders (including Read more…

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VA Rolls Out 2011 Edition of Its “Primer” Handbook

Although not available yet in printed form,  the 2011 edition of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors  handbook is now available online at (more…)

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Speaker:  On 15 June, Paul Hoffecker, founder and CEO of Renovating Hope (www.renovatinghope.org), spoke to the Council on the topic of “Renovating Hope … Finding a Better Way” and of his organization’s ambitions.

About three years ago he was asked to help a veteran in fixing his home. Shortly afterwards, ten more requests followed.  From this experience Renovating Hope, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization was born.

Renovating Hope is not an “Extreme Makeover” giveaway program [editor’s comment].  Instead it provides basic housing rehabilitation services (roofing repairs, plumbing, electrical and HVAC/ appliance purchases and installations, and the like) to those who are or have given military service and are in immediate need and in financial difficulty (and the widows of KIA). Those to receive the offer of help must first demonstrate they have been unsuccessful, after sincere effort, in securing sufficient funds to hire help and/or to effect the repairs to their homes themselves.

Renovating Hope is also about community working together to solve problems. It is an alliance between contractors (typically members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry) and suppliers and those being helped under the thoughtful guidance and negotiating power of Renovating Hope.

(more…)

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Red Cross Changing “Emergency Communications” System

Beginning June 13, the American Red Cross will use a single telephone number for its emergency communication services.  All military members and their families, regardless of where they live, can use 1-877-272-7337 to send an urgent message to a service member.  The number is toll free in the United States. (more…)

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Veterans Sanctuary is now open for business. If you have not heard, as 19 May 2011, Veterans Sanctuary — a new drug, alcohol, and PTSD therapeutic community treatment program for Pennsylvania’s veterans and located in the newly renovated building at Read more…

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VA Found Incompetent

On 10 May, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in an a 104-page opinion asserted that years of “unchecked incompetence” at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was directly responsible for an epidemic of suicides and lengthy delays in processing disability benefits for war veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It ruled “that the VA’s failure to provide adequate procedures for veterans facing prejudicial delays in the delivery of mental health care violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” (more…)