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					         March/April 2012                                          Vol. 3 No. 2

                            “Finally, It’s Spring”

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                                                                                             CHAPTER MEETINGS
                                VVA Chapter 17                                                 DATES & TIMES
                                Perimeter                                                         CHAPTER 17

                                                                                        2nd. SATURDAY EACH MONTH
                                                                                                    9:00 AM
                                                                                     VIETNAM VETERANS CHAPTER HALL
                                                                                         6424 WEST CHEYENNE AVE.
              Chapter Mailing Address:                                                   LAS VEGAS, NV 89108-4927
          2245 N. Green Valley Parkway #627                                               PRESIDENT: TOM GEORGE
             Henderson, NV 89014-5024                                                      (702) 396-2338 (message)
                                                                                     Web Site:

                        e-mail address’s:                                       CHAPTER 17 BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
                                                               Peter Fabiani

     OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CHAPTER 17                                                       George Haussmann
                                                                                                      Rick Pike
                   CHAPTER OFFICERS
              President / Thomas A. George                                                         Virgie Hibbler
              Vice President / Richard Small
             2nd Vice President / Mike Chase                                                      Andy Agan, Jr.
                  Secretary / Joni Keefer
              Treasurer / Steve Sawchuk, Jr.                                                      Gary Aldredge
               Sgt. At Arms / Mike Giancola
             State VSO Officer / “Jo” Cantrell                                                   Gene Konofsky
                     CHAPTER NUMBERS                                                                Ken Braker
                       (702) 396-2338
                       (702) 396-2339                                                           Vernon Rollerson

          Nevada Office Veterans Services                                                        Richard Walker
    (702) 636-3070 Tom George or “Jo” Cantrell
                                                                                            AVVA, Nevada Officers
                       Thomas A. George                                                President / Joanna Henshaw
                                                                                    Vice President / Virginia Sawchuk
                             EDITOR                                                      Secretary / Erma Hibbler
                       Steve Sawchuk, Jr.                                               Treasurer / Alene George

                      PHOTOGRAPHERS                                          AVVA Region 9 Director / Joanna Henshaw
                      Steve Sawchuk, Jr.
                        Gary Aldredge

     Newsletter     The “Perimeter Guard” is the official publication of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 17 and is a bi-monthly
                    publication as a service to the members of VVA and other interested organizations. The views expressed herein are
                   those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of VVA, Inc., or chapter 17. All VVA members and other
    interested parties, are invited to submit articles, pictures and opinions for publications on subjects relevant to veterans affairs issues.
              The Magazine staff reserves the right to edit for length only, and to reject any material that is libelous or obscene.

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          From The                                                                   Region 9
         President’s                                                              Director Report
                                                                                       By Dick Southern,
      Greetings from Chapter 17 in
   beautiful Las Vegas, NV. The
                                                                                      Wow! The second quarter of
   holidays are finally behind us
                                                              the year is fast approaching and that means that
   and now it's time to plan out all our activities for
                                                              we will be starting out the new fiscal year for VVA.
   the new year.
                                                              By now, we have all submitted budgets for what
       We held our Annual Open House and Awards
                                                              we do in helping veterans and their families. In
   Program in January. We had a great turn out! (or
                                                              looking ahead, we know that elections at the
   I am told) Chapter 17 honored Joni Keefer-
                                                              chapter and State levels are coming up. We then
   Giancola as our CHAPTER MEMBER OF THE
                                                              have election and financial reports to get done
   YEAR for all she does for the chapter and the
                                                              and sent into VVA and the State Council. There is
   state council. Awards also went to Gary Aldredge
                                                              a National Board of Directors meeting coming in
   and Rick Pike.
                                                              April and the VVA Leadership Conference in
       We have begun planning for our annual fire-
                                                              Irving, TX, to look forward to in August. We all
   works booth coming up in July. The sign-up sheet
                                                              need to pay attention to reports that are due
   was circulated at our February meeting and will
                                                              because failure to do so leads to nothing but
   be available at all meetings through June. We're
                                                              more paperwork and explanations and not a lot of
   hoping for huge sales this year.
       The Nevada State Council meeting was held
                                                                  I can't repeat this part often enough. Veteran's
   at the chapter hall rather than in freezing down-
                                                              health care remains a big issue as surveys con-
   town Tonopah. More to come regarding the NSC
                                                              tinue to show that 75% of Vietnam veterans do
   meeting in the next issue.
                                                              not access the VA health care system. This just
        Your President continues to serve on the
                                                              points out the fact that we all need to do more
   National Constitution and, unavoidably, in Silver
                                                              outreach to veterans and educate them about
   Spring for the VVA BOD meeting during our
                                                              presumptive service connected diseases and
   January chapter meeting. The Constitution
                                                              afflictions. We need to contact and encourage
   Committee is looking to hold classes on the
                                                              them to visit a Veteran Service Officer to file a
   preparation of chapter and state council bylaws at
                                                              claim with the VA and get into the health care sys-
   the Leadership Conference this year.
                                                              tem. Service Officers are the best people to nav-
       Well, that's all that seems to be happening on
                                                              igate the VA paperwork for them.
   our neck of the woods for now.
                                                                    In closing, I also want to encourage you to
       Have a prosperous VVA new year.
                                                              keep up your recruiting and retention of members
                                                              in VVA. It is the time for us to keep adding num-
              Thomas A. George                                bers to our membership totals.
                                                                   As always, I am available on email at south-
                                                     or by phone at either 209-928-
                                                              3848 or 209-768-9841 if needed for anything

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    DOD Testing                                               an expired prescription, he added, “Don’t use
    Program to                                                     Such drugs should be turned in for disposal,
     Screen for                                               but should not be flushed, he noted, as they can
                                                              contaminate the water supply.
       More                                                   “If nothing else, you can always turn them in
    Prescription                                              through your local military police,” Angello said.
                                                                  Drug abuse among service members is signif-
              Drugs                                           icantly lower than in the civilian population, he
                                                              said, but has a potentially much greater effect in
   By Karen Parrish                                           the military.
   American Forces Press Service
                                                                   “You’re not at your peak mental acuity when
        WASHINGTON, - The Defense Department’s                you’re using drugs,” he said. “The military has
   drug-testing program is expanding to add screen-           some of the finest men and women this nation has
   ing for two additional prescription medications to         to offer; we cannot have people in the business of
   the range of legal and illegal drugs it currently          arms with drug impairments.”
       Joe Angello, the department’s director of oper-                           George
   ational readiness and safety, told Pentagon
   Channel and American Forces Press Service
                                                                              Esper Dead:
   reporters the two drugs added to the screening                              Legendary
   program — hydrocodone and benzodiazepines —
   are nationally among the most abused prescrip-
   tion drugs now on the market. The program                        Reporter Dies At 79
   already tests for codeine and morphine, he noted.
        As patterns of drug misuse change, the drug           By RICHARD PYLE
   testing program responds by adding more testing            AP
   procedures, he noted.
        Hydrocodone is a component of a number of                George Esper, the tenacious Associated Press
   prescription painkillers, including Vicodin, while         correspondent who refused to leave his post in
   benzodiazepines are a class of antidepressant              the last days of the Vietnam War, remaining
   medication present in a range of drugs that                behind to cover the fall of Saigon, has died. He
   includes Xanax and Valium.                                 was 79.
       Angello said DOD announced the new screen-                 Esper died in his sleep, his son, Thomas, told
   ings 90 days before they would take effect, which          the AP. Esper suffered from a number of ailments,
   is unprecedented in the more than 40 years since           especially serious heart issues, and less than two
   military drug testing began.                               weeks ago was released from a rehab center in
         “The memorandum is giving you a 90-day               Braintree, where he had been sent after his latest
   warning order,” Angello said. A service member             treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital.
   addicted to prescription drugs, he added, should               “George was most famous for his journalistic
   seek medical help.                                         chops, his courage and tenacity, particularly in
      “Don’t get caught in a drug test,” Angello urged.       Vietnam. But those lucky enough to know him will
   “There [are] no penalties, there’s no stigma,              celebrate his enormous generosity and boundless
   attached to [self-referral for medical] help here.”        good cheer,” said Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive
       Service members with prescriptions for the two         editor and senior vice president.
   drugs will not be subject to disciplinary action for             Besides covering stories, Esper mentored
   using them within the dosage and time pre-                 young reporters in the AP and aspiring journalists
   scribed, Angello said.                                     he taught as a college professor.
       To anyone who has medication remaining from                 “Hundreds of journalists learned from him in
                                                              the field or in the classroom at West Virginia
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   University and his words and his spirit inspire             from an advisory role to deploying full combat divi-
   them every day,” Carroll said. “He was a gentle-            sions, Esper joined AP’s growing Saigon staff.
   man journalist and we will miss him sorely.”                Other than a return to New York for several
       Esper earned accolades for breaking important           months in 1966, he stayed to the end.
   stories and logged 10 years in Vietnam, the last                 During that interlude, he covered a long-run-
   two as AP’s bureau chief. He regularly wrote AP’s           ning public dispute between Jacqueline Kennedy
   daily war roundup, a comprehensive story that               and author William Manchester, whom she had
   was a fixture in many American and foreign news-            hired to write “The Death of a President,” an
   papers.                                                     authorized account of the assassination of
         “He loved traveling the world and getting the         President John F. Kennedy.
   story for The Associated Press,” Thomas Esper                    Manchester tried hard to avoid the press but
   said. “He was a selfless person who made friends            complained about “that AP reporter” who seemed
   wherever he went.”                                          able to track him down no matter where he was. It
        While he considered his coverage of the dra-           was a foreshadowing of the relentless style that,
   matic end of the 15-year Indochina conflict the             along with his mastery of Vietnam’s capricious
   high point in a 42-year career of deadline report-          phone systems, would make Esper a press corps
   ing, it was far from the only one. Esper was leg-           legend in Saigon.
   endary for his dogged persistence in covering                   Once, hearing that a U.S. jungle firebase was
   news in war and in peace.                                   under attack, he managed to punch through by
       “You don’t want to be obnoxious and you don’t           military phone to an officer in the middle of com-
   want to stalk people, but I think persistence pays          bat. “I can’t talk now. We’re under attack,” the offi-
   off,” Esper said in an interview in 2000.                   cer yelled into the phone.
        So when he was assigned to write a story for              The U.S. Military Assistance Command regard-
   the 20th anniversary of the 1970 shootings of four          ed Esper with wariness, respect and even affec-
   students by National Guardsmen at Kent State                tion. He was relentless. He recalled “pounding
   University and could find no phone number for the           them with questions: `Why don’t you know? You
   mother of one of the victims, Esper drove an hour           should know this. I know you know it.’” After the
   through a snowstorm to knock on her door.                   war, one retired public affairs chief included
        “She just kind of waved me off, and she said,          Esper’s photo in a wall montage of “all the com-
   `We’re not giving any interviews.’ Just like that,”         manders I served under.”
   Esper recalled. “I didn’t really push her. On the                When President Lyndon B. Johnson made a
   other hand, I didn’t turn around and leave. I just          hastily planned trip to Australia in 1967, it was
   kind of stood there, wet with snow, dripping wet            widely assumed he would stop in Vietnam to visit
   and cold, and I think she kind of took pity on me.”         U.S. troops.
          Like so many others over the years, she                   Guessing that the coastal base at Cam Ranh
   opened up to Esper.                                         Bay was the likely venue, Esper managed to
          Born in Pennsylvania in 1932, the second             phone the airport control tower, where an officer
   youngest of eight children, Esper came from a               not only confirmed Johnson’s visit but had tape-
   family of Christian immigrants from Lebanon. The            recorded his speech. Hours later, the secrecy-
   family operated a tavern by railroad tracks and, as         bound White House press corps arrived in
   a boy, George helped out by tending bar.                    Bangkok to find the story – their story – already on
       He was the first in his family to go to college –       the AP wire.
   West Virginia University in Morgantown.                         Esper found his best stories through persever-
       He tried to become a sports announcer but was           ance and guile. In December 1972, he landed an
   fired after two weeks for what his boss called              exclusive interview with a U.S. Air Force B-52 pilot
   “butchering the English language.” After writing            facing court-martial for refusing to fly missions
   sports for the Uniontown Morning Herald and the             over North Vietnam. Tracked down in Thailand,
   Pittsburgh Press, AP hired him in 1958, first in            the pilot gave Esper the full story. When he later
   Philadelphia and then in New York.                          told Esper he had been officially “muzzled” from
       In 1965, as the U.S. military in Vietnam shifted        further comment, Esper reported that, too.
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      Esper wrote his most memorable story on April           alma mater, said: “I would paraphrase a good
   30, 1975, the day the war ended with the fall of           friend’s assessment: George Esper was a celebri-
   Saigon to the North Vietnamese. He and two                 ty who made everyone he met feel like a star. It
   other AP reporters declined to join the frantic            made him a great reporter but an even greater
   evacuation of foreigners from Saigon as the North          human being.”
   Vietnamese army drove toward the city.                         Esper’s body was being brought to his home-
        Two North Vietnamese soldiers entered the             town in Pennsylvania for burial.
   bureau, accompanied by a longtime freelance                    Esper is survived by his ex-wife, Nancy Ha, of
   photographer for the AP who on that day revealed           Fountain Valley, Calif.; and three sons: Thomas of
   that he had been a communist spy. He assured               Wakefield, Mass.; Michael of Brighton, Mass.; and
   the reporters they were safe. Esper offered them           George of Sacramento, Calif.
   Coca Cola and stale cake – the only food on hand
   – then interviewed the soldiers. Hours later, AP’s         Tax Law Changes for 2011
   communications were abruptly cut, but not before
   the story got out. The New York Times ran it on its           Federal Tax Returns
   front page.
        Esper said afterward he was struck by how
                                                                   Before you file your 2011 federal income tax
   similar the young Hanoi soldiers were to the
                                                              return in 2012, you should be aware of a few
   American GIs he had covered.
                                                              important tax changes that took effect in 2011.
          On his return to the United States, Esper
                                                              Check before you file for updates
   became an AP special correspondent – the news
                                                              on any new legislation that may affect your tax
   service’s highest writing title – based in
   Columbus, Ohio, and later in Boston. He covered
                                                                  Due date of return. File your federal tax return
   major stories such as the Jonestown massacre in
                                                              by April 17, 2012. The due date is April 17, instead
   Guyana in 1978 and the 1991 Gulf War.
                                                              of April 15, because April 15 is a Sunday and April
         In 1993, two years after the United States
                                                              16 is the Emancipation Day holiday in the District
   restored diplomatic ties in Indochina, he was cho-
                                                              of Columbia.
   sen to open AP’s first postwar Vietnam bureau in
                                                                    New forms. In most cases, you must report
   Hanoi and was bureau chief for more than a year.
                                                              your capital gains and losses on the new Form
      Esper retired from the AP in 2000 to become a
                                                              8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital
   professor of journalism at his alma mater, West
                                                              Assets. Then, you report certain totals from that
   Virginia University, where he was beloved by his
                                                              form on Schedule D (Form 1040). If you had for-
                                                              eign financial assets in 2011, you may have to file
                                                              the new Form 8938, Statement of Foreign
        “He loved his students, who kept him young,”
                                                              Financial Assets, with your return.
   Thomas Esper said.
                                                                    Standard mileage rates. The 2011 rates for
         Esper was a member of the university’s P.I.
                                                              mileage are different for January 1 through June
   Reed School of Journalism faculty for more than
                                                              30 than for July 1 through December 31. For busi-
   10 years.
                                                              ness use of your car, you can deduct 51 cents a
         “He shared his vast professional experience
                                                              mile for miles driven the first half of the year and
   with our students, but more importantly, he was
                                                              55 ½ cents for the second half. Medical and mov-
   their coach and mentor,” said Maryanne Reed,
                                                              ing mileage are both 19 cents per mile for the
   dean of the journalism school. “Beyond being a
                                                              early half of the year and 23 ½ cents in the latter
   dedicated faculty member, George also was a
   wonderful person who took a personal interest in
                                                                      Standard deduction and exemptions
   the lives of his students, colleagues and friends.
   ... They broke the mold when they made George.”
                                                                    The standard deduction increased for some
         Chris Martin, the vice president of university
                                                              taxpayers who do not itemize deductions on IRS
   relations who as dean of the journalism school
                                                              Schedule A (Form 1040). The amount depends on
   arranged for Esper to become a professor at his
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   your filing status.                                                       Chapter 17
       The amount you can deduct for each exemp-
   tion has increased $50 to $3,700 for 2011.                                   Board
         Self-employed health insurance deduction.                             Member
   This deduction is no longer allowed on Schedule
   SE (Form 1040), but you can still take it on Form                           Richard
   1040, line 29.                                                              Walker
         Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption
   amount increased. The AMT exemption amount                                Announced
   has increased to $48,450 ($74,450 if married fil-                           as First
   ing jointly or a qualifying widow(er); $37,225 if
   married filing separately).                                    Veteran of the Month
        Health savings accounts (HSAs) and Archer                      Recipient
   MSAs. The additional tax on distributions from
   HSAs and Archer MSAs not used for qualified
                                                                    The first Veteran of the Month recipient was
   medical expenses increased to 20 percent.
                                                              announced in Boulder City, NV during a presenta-
   Beginning in 2011, only prescribed drugs or
                                                              tion held at the Nevada State Veterans Home on
   insulin are qualified medical expenses.
                                                              Saturday January 21, 2012. Executive Director
       Roth IRAs. If you converted or rolled over an
                                                              Caleb Cage presented the award to Richard D.
   amount from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA or
                                                              Walker for his continued involvement and volun-
   designated Roth in 2010 and did not elect to
                                                              teerism in assisting the veteran community.
   report the taxable amount on your 2010 return,
                                                                  After serving in the Air Force for 22 years and
   you generally must report half of it on your 2011
                                                              retiring in 1982 as a Master Sergeant, Mr. Walker
   return and the rest on your 2012 return.
                                                              has played a role in the veteran community
       Alternative motor vehicle credit. You can claim
                                                              through a variety of avenues. His continued sup-
   the alternative motor vehicle credit for a 2011 pur-
                                                              port of veterans has been seen as a member of
   chase only if the vehicle is a new fuel cell motor
                                                              the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans
                                                              of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America
      First-time homebuyer credit. The credit expired
                                                              (VVA) and the American Legion. He continues to
   for most taxpayers for 2011. Some military per-
                                                              participate in veteran events and serves as a
   sonnel and members of the intelligence communi-
                                                              director for the Nevada Veterans Assistance
   ty can still claim the credit in 2011 for qualified
                                                                    “Mr. Walker’s is a model of what this award
       Health coverage tax credit. Recent legislation
                                                              stands for,” said Cage. “From his service as a dri-
   changed the amount of this credit, which pays
                                                              ver for the DAV Transportation Network for over
   qualified health insurance premiums for eligible
                                                              six years to volunteering at the Nevada State
   individuals and their families. Participants who
                                                              Veterans Home in Boulder City, he continues to
   received the 65 percent tax credit in any month
                                                              give of his personal time to assist veterans in the
   from March to December 2011 may claim an addi-
                                                              southern Nevada communities. It’s an absolute
   tional 7.5 percent retroactive credit when they file
                                                              honor to have the opportunity to present this
   their 2011 tax return.
                                                              award to him on behalf of Governor Brian
        Mailing a return. The IRS changed the filing
                                                              Sandoval, the Nevada Office of Veterans
   location for several areas. If you’re mailing a
                                                              Services, and the entire veteran community.”
   paper return, see the Form 1040 instructions for
                                                                  The Veteran of the Month program is managed
   the correct address.
                                                              by the Nevada Office of Veterans Services
       Detailed information on these changes can be
                                                              (NOVS) under the direction of Executive Director
   found on the IRS website –
                                                              Cage. “Board members of the Veterans Service
                                                              Commission review nominations and choose a
                                                              recipient during quarterly meetings for the follow-
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   ing three month period,” stated Cage.                      Richard, transferred his membership in the
                                                         DAV to Black Mountain Chapter 12 in 2003, and
   TO:      Nevada Office of Veterans Services has been a very active member since:
   4 December 2011
          Attention: Caleb Cage, Director                <> Commander DAV Black Mountain Chapter 12,
          5460 Reno Corporate Dr., Suite 131             three years 2009 – 2012.
          Reno, NV 89511-2250                            <> Under his guidance Chapter 12, completed a
                                                         long worked on project and donated $13,500 for
   SUBJECT: Nevada Veteran of the Month,                 the new medical suite at the Nevada State
                                                         Veterans Home.
   Mr. Cage,                                             <> Attended the Veterans Day ceremonies at the
                                                         Nevada State Veterans Home.
        I would like to enter the name of Richard D. <> Volunteer driver with the DAV Transportation
   Walker, Jr., into nomination for the subject award. Network over six years (2005 – Present) in the
   Richard is a ten year resident of Nevada. He is past thirty days he has driven over 530 miles
   retired a Master Sergeant, from the U.S. Air Force transporting over 27 of Nevada’s veterans to their
   in September 1982 after serving 22 years he was VA appointments in Las Vegas and Henderson,
   then employed as the Traffic Management Officer, and a total of hours 226 between the DAV, VA,
   at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska in December 1982. In Church, and VFW and the Vietnam Veterans of
   2000 he was selected the U.S. Air Force Senior America.
   Civilian Traffic Management Officer of the year, <> While Commander, Chapter 12 has donated
   and in 2002 he retired, wife Carolyn was already over $ 15,000 each year to DAV and community
   retired and they moved from Anchorage, Alaska to programs such as, Meals on Wheels, Meal Cards
   Henderson, Nevada.                                    and bus tokens for veterans applying for jobs in
        Richard list of military decorations include the Las Vegas and Henderson, and the Catholic War
   Meritorious      Service      Medal,    Air    Force Veterans.
   Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct <> He has been a member of the DAV, VFW, and
   Medal, USAF Good Conduct Medal w/ six oak leaf American Legion for over twenty three years each
   clusters, National Defense Service Medal, U.S. <> Has participated in the Memorial and Veterans
   Vietnam Service Medal w/ one bronze service Day programs at the Memorial Cemetery in
   star, RVN Gallantry Cross w/ palm, Vietnam Boulder City, as MC and Chaplain (2007-2009)
   Campaign Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit <> Driven VA/DAV van in the Boulder City
   Award w/three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Damboree three years 2007-2009.
   Longevity Service Ribbon w/ four oak leaf clus- <> DAV department adjutant for the state of
   ters, Air Force Professional Military Education Nevada two years (2010- 2012).
   Graduate, Air Force Small Arms Expert.                <> Chairman of the Chapter’s annual “Forget Me
   Honorary Plank Owner, U.S. Naval Security Not” drive, for the last four years, collecting over
   Group, Misawa Air Base, Japan.                        eight thousand dollars each year (2008-2011).
        While living in Alaska and before being elect- <> A member of his communities Security Patrol
   ed Commander of VFW Post 9978, Richard for three years, asked to consider running for
   served one year each as Chaplain, Adjutant, and Chief after two years (2004-2006).
   Senior Vice Commander and 3 years (1990-1992) <> A current driver with his community service
   as Commander, in that three years the post paid patrol with over 300 miles and six years of service
   off the mortgage, he drove the Sunday School (2005-present).
   bus, for Solid Rock Baptist church for 4 years, <> Currently one of three Director’s with the
   was a member of the choir and men’s chorus. Nevada Veterans Assistance League.
   Worshipful Master of Alpha Lodge #1, Prince Hall <> Regular volunteer at the Veterans Home in
   Masons for three years (1979-1981) and Alaska Boulder City, 106 hours (2009-2011).
   Jurisdiction, Master Mason of the Year in 1981.       <> Current acting Adjutant Doc Enos, VFW Post
                                                         983, Henderson, NV.
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   <> President of the Gospel Choir at Community               strate that the glue was strong enough to hold not
   Baptist Church, Henderson, NV (2004-2011)                   only the metal, but his own weight. Host Garry
   <> Church bus driver for Community Baptist                  Moore joined Coover on the glued metal, in an
   Church, driving over 7,000 miles (2004-2010)                amazing demonstration of the glue’s strength on
                                                               live television. Later, the glue would be used to
   Respectfully,                                               treat injured soldiers in the Vietnam War, where
                                                               medics carried spray bottles of Super Glue to stop
                   FRED E. WAGAR                               bleeding.
                                                                 Giffords Has
     Harry Wesley Coover Jr.                                      Navy Ship
      The Inventor of Super                                      Named in Her
      Glue used in Vietnam                                           Honor
                                                               By Karen Parrish
                                                               American Forces
      Harry Wesley Coover, Jr., the inventor of Super          Press Service
   Glue, died on at the age of 94. Dr. Coover passed
   away at his home in Kingsport, TN. Coover was                       WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2012 - Former
   born in Newark, DE, on March 6, 1917. He stud-              Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords today heard Navy
   ied chemistry at Hobart College, then receiving a           Secretary Ray Mabus announce that the newest
   master’s degree and a Ph.D. in chemistry from               ship in the Navy inventory will be named in her
   Cornell University.                                         honor.
         Super Glue was accidentally discovered by                  The Navy’s fifth Independence-variant littoral
   Coover while he was working with acrylates, to              combat ship, 10th in the LCS series, will be com-
   use in clear-plastic gun sights during the World            missioned as the USS Gabrielle Giffords, Mabus
   War II. However, he abandoned the experiments               said during a ceremony in the Pentagon’s center
   when the substances stuck to everything they                courtyard.
   touched. Another researcher at Kodak, Fred                                                               “You
   Joyner, spread the sticky substance between two                                                     make this
   lenses on a refractometer to take a reading of the                                                   occasion
   velocity of light through it, and ruined the equip-                                                 special by
   ment when he could not separate the lenses.                                                         your pres-
   Coover’s daughter, Dr. Melinda Coover Paul, indi-                                                     ence,”
   cated that Joyner’s initial reaction was to panic, as                                              Mabus told
   he had ruined an expensive piece of lab equip-                                                       Giffords.
   ment with “compound No. 910,” as it was referred                                                    “What you
   to in the lab. Her father, however, saw the super-                                                    did in
   sticky substance as an opportunity and, seven                                                     Congress for
   years later, in 1958, “Eastman 910,” formally                our military, and for those who serve in it, gave
   known as cynoacrylates, was on the market.                    substance to what America feels for those in
         Coover appeared on the show “I’ve Got a                                     uniform.”
   Secret,” hosted by Garry Moore. He was asked to                  Littoral combat ships are a major part of the
   demonstrate what his product could do. So, a                Navy’s future, capable of “an amazing variety of
   metal bar was lowered to the stage and, with just           missions,” and one of the sea service’s most ver-
   a drop of the product, Coover glued two parts of            satile, valuable ships, the secretary said.
   the metal bar together. He then held on to the                  “The name this ship bears, and the story rep-
   glued metal and was raised in the air, to demon-            resented by that name, will inspire all those who

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   come in contact with her,” he said, noting that          expanded authority to combat illicit drug trafficking
   Giffords serves as a living example of the Navy’s        on our Northern and Southern borders,” Obama
   motto of “Semper Fortis” — “Always                       said. “Being able to sign it next to my friend
   Courageous.”                                             Gabby Giffords gives me enormous pride.”
       “Unwavering courage has defined the Navy for             The president added while the legislation may
   236 years, and it is what we expect and what we          have been her last act as a congresswoman, “it
   demand from our sailors every single day,” Mabus         will not be her last act of public service.”
   said. “So it’s very appropriate that LCS 10 be               The LCS 10 is part of a dual block buy of LCS-
   named for someone who has become synony-                 class ships Mabus announced in December 2010.
   mous with courage, who has inspired the nation ...       The ship will be 419 feet long, have a waterline
   and showed the possibilities of the human spirit.”       beam of 103 feet, displace about 3,000 tons, and
        Giffords was shot in the head in an apparent        will make speed in excess of 40 knots.
   assassination attempt during a public event in                Littoral combat ships are designed to operate
   Tucson, Ariz., in January 2011. She was one of 13        in near-shore environments against “anti-access”
   people wounded, while six others were killed.            threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines
        She is a Navy spouse whose husband, astro-          and fast surface craft. The ships are also capable
   naut Mark Kelly, retired from the Navy in 2011.          of open-ocean operation.
   Giffords stepped down from her seat representing               The LCS class consists of two variants, the
   Arizona’s 8th congressional district in January,         Freedom and the Independence, designed and
   saying she needed time to recover.                       built by teams led, respectively, by Lockheed
       Mabus also announced today the ship’s spon-          Martin and General Dynamics.
   sor will be Roxanna Green. Green, who also
   attended the ceremony, is the mother of Christina-         Information
   Taylor Green, a 9-year-old girl who was killed at
   the event where Giffords was shot.                            About
        Mabus explained that a ship’s sponsor chris-            Service
   tens the vessel with champagne at its launch and
   gives the order to bring the ship to life when it is         Animals.
        Christina-Taylor Green had just been elected            Service Dogs are becoming more common in
   to the student council and wanted to become “a           our society and the trend as it stands is going to
   more active participant in our democracy,” the           keep growing. Most people recognize “ Seeing
   secretary said.                                          Eye Dogs” as service animals and a lot of people
          “Roxanna Green continues to express her           think this is the only animal that is a “Service
   daughter’s hope for the future,” Mabus added,            Dog”. Although this was true in the past, it is not
   “and as the president said, of ‘a nation as good as      true now, and not knowing how to deal with peo-
   she imagined.’”                                          ple with “Service Dogs” can get you in a lot of
        Giffords and Green “will be a part of the life of   trouble whether you are a business owner/man-
   this ship, and our Navy’s history,” he said.             ager or just another person on the street.
      Kelly and former Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, for-
   mer chairman of the House Armed Services                                    Definitions:
   Committee, also were present at today’s ceremo-
   ny. They, along with Giffords and Green, met with        Pet: Self-explanatory. Anyone can have one, no
   Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and other              training required for the pet or owner.
   DOD leaders before the event.                            Companion Animal: Is an animal that provides
       Earlier today, President Barack Obama signed         comfort and support for it’s owner/handler but is
   into law Giffords’ last piece of legislation, the        not trained to perform any special tasks. The
   Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of          owner/handler is not disabled.
   2012.                                                    Therapy Animal: Is an animal that provides com-
         “This bill gives our nation’s law enforcement      fort and support for someone other than the
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   owner/handler. These are the animals that are
   taken to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, etc.        A: None. Although a lot of “Service Dog” owners
   to interact with the residents. There are strict         do have vests, I.D. cards, leashes, and/or har-
   training and testing requirements for these ani-         nesses that identify their dog as a “Service Dog”
   mals.                                                    none are required by law.
   Service Dog: “is a dog that is individually trained
   to do work or perform tasks for a person with a          Q: How can I tell if an animal is a “Service Dog”?
   disability.” In addition to performing specific tasks
   the animal must “behave” appropriately in public.        A: You may ask two questions:
   Their obedience to their owners, ability to ignore       “is the dog a service animal required because of
   distractions such as children, other dogs/animals        a disability” and “what work or task has the dog
   and people are held to a higher standard than            been trained to perform”?
   what is expected of pets.
         There are Certifications for this but they are          Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability,
   NOT required. The animal may be trained by the           require medical documentation, require a special
   owner (there are schools and trainers that will          identification card or training documentation for
   “Certify” a dog as a Service Dog but there are no        the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its abili-
   set standards for this and again this is not a           ty to perform the work or task.
   requirement by law) but the dog must still act in a      I urge everyone to check out
   manner that is befitting a “Service Dog”.                vice_animals_2010.htm to read the most up to
         Some changes have been made to the                 date laws and to read
   Americans with Disabilities Act titles II and III pub-   the most FAQ About “Service Dogs”.
   lished by the Department of Justice published on             My “TWO CENTS”. In the future I would hope
   15 September 2010 in the Federal Register.               to see a lot more “Service Dogs” at VVA functions,
   These changes which went into effect on 15               VA clinics (Language included in HR 2074, a vet-
   March 2011 do three things which I think are good        erans’ health care bill passed Sept. 28 by the
   for people living in the “Service Dog” world.            House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, would end
         Number One: With one exception (miniature          the discussion(service dog policy). The provision
   horses) the only animals recognized as “Service          is very direct, saying the VA secretary “may not
   Animals” will be dogs.                                   prohibit the use of service dogs in any facility or
         Number Two: It more narrowly defines what          on any property.”) and any place else that veter-
   a “Service Animal” is and gives a lot more exam-         ans are, keeping in mind that every veteran with a
   ples of types of services an animal might perform        “Service Dog” is a veteran that is being helped.
   such as “calming a guiding people who are blind,
   alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair,      Respectfully Submitted
   alerting and protecting a person who is having a         George B. Haussmann
   seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to       Chaplain, VVA Chapter #17
   take prescribed medications, calming a person
   with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) dur-
   ing an anxiety attack, or performing other duties”,
   while keeping the individuals disability confiden-
         Number Three: It consolidates a lot of infor-
   mation and has most of the rules in one place that
   so that no one has to search all over the place to
   find a rule that applies to a specific question. Such

   Q: What kind of identification does a “Service
   Dog” need?
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      Institute of Medicine                                Navy personnel were exposed to Agent Orange-
                                                           associated dioxin. At the same time, the commit-
      Study Acknowledges                                   tee could not clearly delineate whether there were
   Plausible Routes for Agent                              overlapping exposures between personnel cate-
    Orange Exposure in Blue                                    Said Rowan, “We believe that the conclusions
       Water Navy Vietnam                                  of the IOM panel recognize that Blue Water veter-
                                                           ans had the same presumptive exposure to Agent
       Veterans; VA Should                                 Orange herbicides and dioxin as their in-country
   Grant Presumptive Status,                               and Brown Water Navy comrades. These Blue
                                                           Water Navy veterans deserve the same presump-
           VVA Argues                                      tive eligibility for health-care and disability com-
                                                           pensation as their land-based brethren, and we
        (Washington, D.C.)– On May 20, the Institute       call upon VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to change
   of Medicine Committee on Blue Water Navy                the current policy of unfairly excluding these vet-
   Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure              erans. The operative phrase should be the strong
   released their final report. The committee was          statement made in both the 2006 IOM Biennial
   asked “to consider whether Blue Water Navy vet-         Review and the 2008 IOM Biennial Review, to wit,
   erans might have been exposed to herbicides             ‘There is no valid scientific reason to exclude Blue
   used in Vietnam, specifically Agent Orange and its      Water Navy veterans from the presumptive group
   contaminant, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin,       of Vietnam veterans for exposure to Agent
   and whether this exposure could lead to an              Orange.’ “
   increased risk of long-term adverse health out-
   comes.”                                                 Chairman House Veterans
       “While there is purported to be no positive find-
   ings for the Blue Water veterans, this is not the        Affairs Committee wants
   case,” said John Rowan, National President of           to Protect VA Health Care
   Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). The commit-
   tee verified an Australian study showing a plausi-           from 2011 deficit
   ble means of exposure through desalination of the              reduction law
   ships’ water supplies. The committee was able to
   verify that dioxin was made ten times more toxic        CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS
   during the desalination process.                        VETERANS AFFAIRS
         “While it will likely never be determined how     By Frank Oliveri, CQ Staff
   much and how far out Agent Orange drifted or
   wafted, or how much of this deadly toxin compro-             The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs
   mised the distillation process converting marine        Committee is raising concerns that the 2011
   water into potable water,” Rowan said, “science         deficit reduction law inadvertently could lead to a
   has yet to reveal how much of an exposure might         2 percent cut to Department of Veterans Affairs
   not be safe, or might lead to health problems           health care.
   years later – the same health conditions that afflict       Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has asked the White House
   boots-on-the-ground veterans of the Vietnam             to clarify what he called a legal ambiguity sur-
   War.”                                                   rounding how VA health care spending could be
      The committee also concluded that it “could not      affected if automatic budget cuts, known as
   state with certainty that exposures to Blue Water       sequestration, take effect.
   Navy personnel, taken as a group, were qualita-             The 2011 debt ceiling and deficit law (PL 112-
   tively different from their Brown Water Navy and        25) charged a new joint committee with proposing
   ground troop counterparts.”                             at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10
   Nor could the committee “find enough data to            years to avoid the automatic cuts. The panel did
   determine whether or not particular Blue Water          not complete its task, and the sequester is set to
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   begin in 2013.                                          exempts federal retirement and disability pro-
        Miller has a bill (HR 3895) that would explicit-   grams from sequester, according to a report pub-
   ly exempt the entire VA from sequester.                 lished in August by the Congressional Research
        The law exempted VA accounts from seques-          Service.
   tration, but it also restored a 1985 law that                  But that law also restored portions of the
   depending on the interpretation might allow vet-        Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control
   erans health care programs to be cut, anyway.           Act of 1985 (PL 99-177), also known as the
         I personally believe that any such ambiguity      Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law, which created a
   ought to be resolved in favor of a wholesale            process for sequestration. The current sequestra-
   exemption of all VA programs, Miller wrote in a         tion plan essentially amends that process.
   January letter to President Obama. He wrote that             Therein lies the legal conflict, the senior GOP
   only the White House Office of Management and           aide said. The 1985 law permits under seques-
   Budget could resolve the matter.                        tration certain accounts to be subject up to a 2
       The Obama administration has yet to respond         percent cut in budget authority, the aide said,
   directly to Miller s concerns, which are shared by      which would include veterans medical care. The
   ranking Democrat Bob Filner of California. A            exceptions in the 2011 law, then, might not matter.
   White House aide said the administration is still               OMB has not responded directly to the
   sorting out the law s implications.                     Veterans Affairs Committee’s queries. But Meg
       Details of sequester implementation are still in    Reilly, an agency spokeswoman, said the White
   development, so it s premature to know precisely        House is working on the issue.
   how it would be applied, the aide said.                     The sequester will not take effect until January
      In November, the VA s chief financial officer, W.    2, 2013, so Congress still has plenty of time to do
   Todd Grams, told the House Committee on                 its job and achieve the necessary deficit reduc-
   Veterans Affairs that he was awaiting a decision        tion, Reilly said. The administration has been
   by the OMB regarding sequestration.                     clear about the fact that we do not believe that the
         Grams told the panel that he would provide        sequester is ideal policy. If Congress fails to meet
   lawmakers with the date that the VA s own legal         these deficit-reduction requirements, the adminis-
   review regarding the sequestration law was sent         tration will provide sequester implementation
   to OMB. The panel requested the information be          guidance later in the year.
   provided by Jan. 11, but the deadline passed with-
                                                                                               “The Nevada
   out response.
                                                                                            chapter of the 1st
        With partisan political friction expected during
                                                                                             Cavalry Division
   an election year, many lawmakers are concerned                                           Association meets
   that sequestration is inevitable.                                                         at 10:00 a.m. on
         Mr. President, I am hopeful, as you are, that                                      the first Saturday
   sequestration will never be necessary, Miller                                             of each month at
   said. However, all Americans, especially our vet-                                         American Legion
   erans, deserve to understand the ramifications if                                         Post 8 located at
   sequester is ever imposed.                                                                  733 Veterans
      Filner and other Democrats also want answers.                                        Memorial Drive, Las
   This has been a concern of every member of the                                           Vegas 89101. The
   committee that I know of, a Democratic aide said.
                                                                                             president is Ken
                 Veterans Exemption
                                                                                           Gallagher (abnrngr-
          There is precedent for precluding veterans        nam71@hotmail), the vice president is Virgie Hib-
   programs from budget-cutting mechanisms. A                bler (, the treasurer is
   senior GOP House aide familiar with the issue             John Lyles (, and the
   said that under the 2010 pay as you go law (PL           secretary is Jeff McCraken (
   111-139), the intent was that everything under the              Troopers from all eras are welcome.
   VA is exempt.                                                             “FIRST TEAM! “
           The 2011 deficit reduction law specifically
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        Military Tricare costs                             “simply unsustainable.” But veterans groups
                                                           reacted negatively to the White House proposals
            could increase                                 Monday, arguing that military service is not com-
                                                           parable to civilian work.
   By Steve Vogel &                                               “When you look at military retirement and
   Eric Yoder
                                                           health-care plans and try to make them more like
                                                           civilian plans, it’s an apples-to-oranges compari-
       The deficit reduction plan put forth by President
                                                           son to us,” said Mike Hayden, deputy director of
   Obama would increase pharmacy co-payments
                                                           government relations for the Military Officers
   for military beneficiaries and establish a first-ever
                                                           Association of America. “Especially when you
   annual fee in the military’s Tricare for Life health
                                                           take a look at the last 10 years, when approxi-
   benefits for Medicare-eligible retirees.
                                                           mately 1 percent of the American people have
       But while describing the military retirement sys-
                                                           been carrying the burden for the other 99 per-
   tem as “out of line” with most other government or
   private retirement plans, the White House balked
                                                                Richard L. DeNoyer, the national commander
   at making any immediate major changes. Instead,
                                                           of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, called the pro-
   it announced plans to establish a board similar to
                                                           posals “an extreme breach of faith” with members
   the base realignment commission (BRAC) to
                                                           of the military.
   make long-term reforms to the military retirement
                                                                   Peter Gaytan, executive director of the
                                                           American Legion, said that while the veterans
        Wary of the political fallout from cutting bene-
                                                           organization “fully understands” the fiscal crisis,
   fits for troops serving in two wars, the White
                                                           “we don’t feel targeting the small percentage of
   House plan said “any major military retirement
                                                           Americans who have chose to serve our country
   reforms should include grandfathering provisions
                                                           is the way to solve it.”
   that ensure that the country does not break faith
                                                                 The administration is proposing to introduce
   with military personnel now serving, including
                                                           annual fees to Tricare for Life, a Medicare supple-
   those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
                                                           ment entitlement for military retirees and their
        The costs of Tricare, the military health care,
                                                           dependents who are older than 65. A $200 annu-
   have raised alarms, particularly as the debt crisis
                                                           al fee would be charged beginning in 2013, and it
   has worsened. In February, then-Secretary of
                                                           would gradually increase. The proposal would
   Defense Robert M. Gates called Tricare, which is
                                                           save $6.7 billion over 10 years, according to the
   projected to cost $65 billion annually in five years,

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   White House.
       “We remain against any such fees, most espe-
   cially on seniors who reside on fixed incomes,”               Hands in Motion
   said Joe Davis, a spokesman for the VFW.
        The White House wants to raise Tricare phar-
   macy co-payments closer to parity with federal
   employee health plans such as BlueCross
   BlueShield. The increased co-payments, which
   the White House estimates would save $20.6 bil-
   lion over 10 years, excludes active-duty members
   but would affect their families and all military
        “Instead of consistently trying to bring the mil-
   itary closer to parity with civilian or other federal
   employee plans, perhaps what we most want to
   see and hear is how America is going to bridge
   the shared sacrifice gap by raising their right hand
   to fight our nation’s wars,” Davis said. “Then we
   can talk about parity.”
        The military retirement commission proposed
   by the White House would make recommenda-
   tions that take into account not only cost, but the
   impact of changes on military readiness and the           Hands in Motion offers pencil drawings of your
   quality of the force. Like the BRAC commission,           baby’s and pets as well as single and wedding
   its proposals could be accepted or rejected in
   whole by the president and Congress, but not                      portraits of bride and groom.
   altered. In July, the Pentagon’s Defense Business
   Board recommended sweeping changes to the
                                                             Prices range according to size from $60.00 to
   military retirement system, but no action has been
   taken.                                                                      $275.00.

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      Panetta                                              place alongside U.S. service members.
                                                                  And in a statement released, Marine Corps
      calls for                                            Commandant James Amos ordered individual
     new probe                                             instruction for the sniper and reconnaissance
                                                           Marines about the prohibitions against inappropri-
    into Marine                                            ate symbols.
       photo                                                       “I want to be clear that the Marine Corps
                                                           unequivocally does not condone the use of any
                                                           such symbols to represent our units or Marines,”
   JULIE WATSON, AP                                        Amos said. “On behalf of the Marine Corps and all
                                                           Marines, I apologize to all offended by this regret-
         WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon               table incident.”
   Panetta told the Marine Corps to re-investigate                Amos also contacted Abraham H. Foxman,
   and take appropriate action against the Marine          national director of the Anti-Defamation League,
   snipers who posed with a logo resembling a noto-        to assure him that the Corps will not tolerate the
   rious Nazi symbol.                                      use of Nazi imagery. The Marines, said Foxman,
        The top Marine officer apologized for the inci-    have made it clear that they are taking steps to
   dent and ordered his commanders to look into the        ensure that all the troops are aware of why Nazi
   use of such symbols by snipers and reconnais-           imagery has no place in the armed services.
   sance Marines and make sure they are educated                  The Marines involved in the photo are no
   on how inappropriate such actions are.                  longer        with      Charlie     Company,      1st
         The rapid-fire announcements came on the          Reconnaissance Battalion, out of the base north
   heels of demands from a leading Jewish organi-          of San Diego. Chapin said she did not know if
   zation and others for President Barack Obama to         they had left the Corps.
   order an investigation into the incident and to hold          Military officials learned of the photograph in
   the troops accountable.                                 November and investigated immediately. It later
        Panetta met with Marine Corps Commandant           surfaced on a blog of a military weapons compa-
   James Amos to discuss, among other things, a            ny.
   spate of problem incidents involving Marines that               The photo, taken in the Sangin district of
   have surfaced in recent months. A U.S. defense          Helmand province, shows 10 Marines posed with
   official said Panetta approved of the actions being     sniper rifles in front of an American flag above a
   taken by Amos to address the problems. The offi-        dark blue flag with the “SS” letters.
   cial spoke on condition of anonymity because the               Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of Los Angeles’
   meeting was private.                                    Simon Wiesenthal Center, who had called for
        An initial Marine investigation into the matter    Obama and Panetta to investigate the incident.
   concluded that the troops would not be disciplined          “I’m happy to hear that at the highest echelons
   because there was no malicious intent. The              of the United States government, this is being
   Marines mistakenly believed the “SS” in the             taken seriously,” Hier said.
   shape of white lightning bolts on the blue flag              According to Chapin, the Corps has used the
   were a nod to sniper scouts — not members of            incident as a training tool to talk to troops about
   Adolf Hitler’s special unit that murdered millions of   what symbols are acceptable.
   Jews, Catholics, gypsies and others, said Maj.              “I don’t believe that the Marines involved would
   Gabrielle Chapin, a spokeswoman at Camp                 have ever used any type of symbol associated
   Pendleton, Calif.                                       with the Nazi Germany military criminal organiza-
      But the furor over the photo — which was taken       tion that committed mass atrocities in WWII,”
   in September 2010 in Afghanistan — grew as              Chapin said. “It’s not within who we are as
   Jewish leaders and others questioned whether it         Marines.”
   was an innocent mistake.                                      It was the second time this year that images
         Pentagon press secretary George Little said       have surfaced showing Marines acting improperly
   that racist and anti-Semitic symbols have no            and forcing the Corps to deal with the fallout. Last
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   month, the Pentagon scrambled to contain the
   damage after an Internet video purportedly
                                                                             DID YOU
   showed Marines urinating on Taliban corpses —                            RECEIVE A
   an act that appeared to violate international laws
   of warfare and further strained U.S.-Afghan rela-
   tions. Panetta called Afghan President Hamid                              HEART?
   Karzai to offer assurances of an investigation, and
   the top Marine general promised an internal probe
   as well as a criminal one.                                           If so, you are invited to
          Those Marines, like the ones in front of the                 become a member of the
   flag, fought in former Taliban strongholds in                  Military Order of the Purple Heart
   Helmand province. They are based at Camp
                                                            If you were presented with a Purple Heart or if you
   Lejeune, N.C.                                            were wounded in combat and feel you should have
           Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious              received a Purple Heart, please call us!
   Freedom        Foundation,     headquartered      in
   Albuquerque, N.M., said the scandals hurt U.S.           Help us to provide service to our local veterans and
   military missions. His organization wrote to Amos                           their families!
   and Panetta, calling on them to “condemn this            (meetings are held on the 1st. Saturday morning of
   stomach-turning display without equivocation or           each month at the Vietnam Venterans Chapter hall
   delay and severely punish all of those responsi-                 located at 6424 W. Cheyenne Ave.)
          The Military Religious Freedom Foundation                     For more information, call;
   released another photo showing a Marine and his
   rifle with the “SS” logo. According to the Marine
                                                                 Richard Small, (702) 513-0215
   Corps Times, embedded electronic information in
   the image shows that it was released by the             Football explained by a blond ... NOW
   Corps in 2004 and taken at the Marine Corps Air
                                                                       I understand!
   Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms,
   Calif. Two Marines in it were with a scout sniper
                                                                A guy took his blonde girlfriend to her first
                                                           football game. They had great seats right behind
       The newspaper said that suggests the practice
                                                           their team's bench. After the game, he asked her
   is more widespread and that the logo’s use is
                                                           how she liked it.
   meant to signify “scout sniper,” a position exclu-
                                                               "Oh, I really liked it," she replied, "especially
   sive to the Corps. The Army has scouts and
                                                           the tight pants and all the big muscles, but I just
   snipers but considers the positions to be sepa-
                                                           couldn't understand why they were trying to kill
                                                           each other over 25 cents."
       The photograph appeared on the blog for a mil-
                                                              Dumbfounded, her boyfriend asked, "What do
   itary weapons manufacturer, Knight’s Armament,
                                                           you mean?"
   in Titusville, Fla. Spokesman Jon Oxford said the
                                                              "Well, they flipped a coin, one team got it and
   company invites troops to send in photos so cus-
                                                           then for the rest of the game, all they kept
   tomers can see how its weapons are used in the
                                                           screaming was... 'Get the quarterback! Get the
                                                           quarterback!' like...Helloooooo?
        The company removed the photo because of
                                                                      It's only 25 cents!!!!"****
   the media attention, he said.

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      Chapter 17 Holds Annual Christmas Pot Luck Lunch
                    & Gift Wrapping Party.

    Sandy Fabiani, Virginia Sawchuk, Peter Fabiani
     and Gene Konofsky enjoy the Pot Luck lunch
      that was held after the December meeting.
                                                          Virgie & Erma Hibbler dig in to       Kathy Aldredge seemed to
                                                                    the lunch.                 enjoy the food that was sup-
                                                                                                  plied by the members.

                                                                                                                    Region 9, AVVA
                                                                                                                     Director and
                                                                                                                     Erma Hibbler
                                                                                                                     enjoy a semi-
                                                                                                                      quiet lunch.

      Mike & Joni Giancola also fill-up on the provided tasty treats.

                                                                                            After lunch, everyone in attendance
                                                                                            pitched in to wrap Christmas gifts for
       During the monthly meeting, a special quilt was                                      the Adopt-A-Family program at Nellis
     shown. This quilt was to be raffled off to support the                                 Air Force Base. This year, Chapter
     Nevada AVVA, Tickets were $5.00 each and the win-                                      17 adopted eight families and provid-
      ner will be announced at the Nevada State Council                                     ed $100.00 gift cards to Wal-Mart as
           Meeting on February 25th in Las Vegas.                                           well as toys and gifts.

                                                                                                          Photos by Gary Aldredge

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     Navy Strips Silver Star                              the senator’s military record after the pro-Bush
                                                          group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ran television
   From Former Navy Official                              ads assailing Kerry’s record commanding a swift
                                                          boat in Vietnam - the same role that Sanders
   Associated Press                                       played during the war.
   by Julie Watson
                                                             A Kerry aide said that the senator had no infor-
                                                          mation on the Navy’s decision to revoke the
       SAN DIEGO - The Navy has revoked the Silver
                                                          award. Kerry had written a letter supporting
   Star Medal from a top Navy official in the Clinton
                                                          Sanders before he was sentenced.
   administration who is now serving time for child
                                                             “Like many veterans who knew Sanders, Kerry
                                                          weighed in more than two years ago, not about
       The Navy stripped Wade R. Sanders of the mil-
                                                          the circumstances that brought Sanders into the
   itary’s third-highest honor, according to an Aug. 9,
                                                          criminal justice system, but about Sanders’ years
   2010, memorandum to the chief of naval person-
                                                          of advocacy on veterans issues and Captain
   nel from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. The memo
                                                          Sanders’ decades of naval service,” she said.
   was obtained by The Associated Press.
                                                              Sanders also worked as a senior adviser for
        The Navy did not publicly disclose at the time
                                                          veterans and military affairs to U.S. Rep. John
   that it had taken the medal from Sanders, who
                                                          Garamendi, D-Calif., when Garamendi served as
   served as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy
                                                          the state’s lieutenant governor in 2008.
   for reserve affairs under President Bill Clinton.
   The AP learned of the action from a person with
   knowledge of the situation who asked to remain
       Sanders received the Silver Star in 1992 for his
   courage in battling the Viet Cong in 1969 as a
   swift boat captain. However, Mabus cited in his
   memo new facts and evidence surrounding the
   incident for which the award was made, as well as
   the way the award was processed, as reasons it
   was taken away.
           Navy spokeswoman Lt. Alana Garas said
   Thursday that the decision was made after infor-
   mation came to light in late 2009 and early 2010.
        “If those facts would have been known to the
   Navy secretary in 1992, they would have prevent-        Joni Keefer-Giancola shows off the “Member of The Year”
   ed the award of the Silver Star,” she said.             award that was presented to her during the annual “Open
                                                           House”, Awards ceremony. The plaque read as follows;
        She declined to give details.
       It wasn’t clear whether the decorated Vietnam            She’s more than a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and
   veteran’s criminal record played any role in the         Full Time Worker. She’s more than a Chapter and State
                                                            Council Secretary, Membership Chairperson and Fund
   decision, which was first reported earlier this                           Raising Coordinator.
   week by the Marine Corps Times.                               She’s a VIETNAM VETERAN and Chapter 17’s
       Sanders, who worked as a San Diego attorney,                        MEMBER OF THE YEAR!
   pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography          This was a real tear jerker for those who work with her and
   and was sentenced in 2009 to three years in fed-        know her.                               Photo By Gary Aldredge
   eral prison. Court records state there were more
   than 600 images of child pornography on his com-
          After serving in the Clinton administration,
   Sanders worked as a spokesman on Sen. John
   Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. He defended
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        Conn.                                                           VA
      Powerball                                                    Participates
    winners give                                                        in
       $1M for                                                     Settlement
    veterans, say                                                      with
        it’s first of many                                          Mortgage
      charitable donations                                           Banks.
   GREENWICH, Conn.                                                     Secretary Announces Protections for
   (Associated Press)                                                                Veterans

        A trio of Connecticut money managers who                        WASHINGTON The Department of Veterans
   split a $254 million Powerball jackpot say their                Affairs announced its participation in the largest
   new charitable trust is giving $1 million to five               state-federal legal settlement in history that deals
   organizations that support veterans and military                with problems within the mortgage industry.
   members who recently returned from deploy-                              Through this historic settlement, VA has
   ments.                                                          ensured that Veterans, Servicemembers, and
        A spokesman for the Putnam Avenue Family                   National Guard and Reserve members will contin-
   Trust says the donations are the first of many they             ue to receive every possible opportunity to retain
   expect to make using lottery winnings they                      their homes, said Secretary of Veterans Affairs
   claimed Nov. 28.                                                Eric K. Shinseki.
       The trust created by Greg Skidmore, Brandon                       VA joined with the Department of Justice, a
   Lacoff and Tim Davidson took in a $103.5 million                coalition of state attorneys general and other fed-
   lump sum after taxes. They say they hope the                    eral agencies in the settlement.
   trust’s donations will become an example for                          The nation s five largest mortgage servicers
   other lottery winners.                                          have agreed to this landmark $25 billion settle-
         The first recipients are receiving $200,000               ment that addresses past mortgage loan servicing
   each: The Bob Woodruff Foundation, Building                     and foreclosure abuses, provides substantial
   Homes for Heroes, Services for the Under                        financial relief to borrowers, and establishes sig-
   Served, Operation First Response and the                        nificant new homeowner protections in the future.
   Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.                                        In addition to cash payments to avoid litigation,
                                                  Rick Pike        the banks also agree to undertake other activities,
                                                 receives an       such as principal forgiveness, interest-rate-reduc-
                                             award for his ser-    tion refinancing, and forbearance during unem-
                                             vice to “Homeless
                                               Veterans”. His      ployment.
                                               award read as              The settlement also enhances protections
                                                   follows;        available under the Servicemembers Civil Relief
                                                for bringing
                                                  together         Act and provides additional assistance when
                                                  veterans         Servicemembers are forced to sell their home at a
                                               organizations       loss due to reassignment to another location.
                                                the past two
                                                 years and-              VA will continue its oversight of lenders and
                                             putting together      servicers to ensure that Veterans and
                                                                   Servicemembers are able to enjoy the benefits of
     an outstanding annual Stand Down to make life easier
      for the Homeless Veterans of the Las Vegas Valley.           VA s home loan program, including access to no-
                                                                   downpayment loans and assistance in retaining
                                      Photo by Gary Aldredge
                                                                   their homes should they encounter payment diffi-

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   culties, added Under Secretary for Benefits                  VA Task
   Allison A. Hickey.
       VA has always provided assistance to Veterans             Force
   and Servicemembers who experience trouble                   Improves
   paying their mortgage, whether they have a VA
   loan or not. Depending on the situation, VA s loan           Care of
   specialists can intervene on a Veteran s behalf to         Women Vets
   help pursue home-retention options such as
   repayment plans, forbearances and loan modifi-           By Karen Parrish
   cations.                                                 American Forces
          To get help, Veterans and Servicemembers          Press Service
   even those without a VA guaranteed loan may
   call a national toll-free number, 1-877-827-3702 to           WASHINGTON, - The newly formed VA Task
   speak with VA loan specialists who will provide          Force on Women Veterans will go a long way in
   information about the process of obtaining a VA-         addressing key benefits gaps to female veterans,
   guaranteed home loan, or assistance in retaining         according to Department of Veterans Affairs
   their home loan or avoiding foreclosure.                 Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.
       Information about the VA Home Loan Guaranty                  While support for women veterans has
   program       is    also    available      online   at   improved, “it has not been enough,” Shinseki said To see             during the 2011 National Training Summit on
   videos of Veterans who reached out to VA and             Women Veterans held here on July 16.
   were able to keep their homes or avoid foreclo-               The task force’s “near-term mission,” he said,
   sure, please visit             is to develop - in coordination with VA’s Advisory
   loans/alt-foreclosure.asp.                               Committee on Women Veterans, and in conjunc-
        Since 1944, when home loan guaranties were          tion with the Defense Department - a comprehen-
   first offered under the original GI Bill, VA has guar-   sive VA action plan that will focus on key issues
   anteed more than 19.4 million home loans worth           facing women veterans and the specific actions
   $1.18 trillion. VA helped over 72,000 (83 percent)       needed to resolve them.
   Veterans who were in default on their VA guaran-             Those issues include obstetric and gynecolog-
   teed loan avoid foreclosure in FY 2011, a 10 per-        ical care, childcare, military sexual trauma, home-
   cent increase from FY 2010. This assistance              lessness, aging and end-of-life issues, among
   resulted in a 30 percent reduction in foreclosures       others, the secretary said.
   over the same year.                                          A draft of the plan is due to Shinseki on Jan. 1
         VA s foreclosure rate for the last 14 quarters     and “will set our course for the next four years in
   and serious delinquency rate for the last 11 quar-       everything we do, from planning to programming,
   ters have been the lowest of all measured loan           to budgeting, to education and training,” he said.
   types, according to a survey by the Mortgage                   The action plan will update and inform VA’s
   Bankers Association.                                     approach to women’s issues within its health care,
                                                            benefits, and cemetery administrations, as well as
                                                            the Women’s Advisory Report to Congress, due
                                                            next July, the secretary said.
                                                                “Other changes are in the pipeline, such as our
                                                            pilot program to provide child care services,” he
                                                                  Beginning this summer, Shinseki said, three
                                                            new drop-in child care pilot programs for women
                                                            veterans with VA appointments will open in
                                                            Northport, N.Y., Buffalo, N.Y., and Tacoma, Wash.
                                                                   Battlefield changes, such as increasingly
                                                            blurred front lines, has increased VA’s attention on
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   women veterans, Shinseki said.                          Foerster LLP has filed a petition for class certifi-
         Last month, July, a 20-year-old Army military     cation for these veterans and their survivors.
   policewoman, Spc. Devin Snyder, became the                  For over five decades, the testing of more than
   28th female service member to die in Afghanistan        400 different chemical and biological agents—
   when her convoy was attacked on a highway in            among them LSD, mescaline, mustard gas, and
   eastern Laghman province, Shinseki said.                sarin—was concentrated at Edgewood Arsenal
        “Wars, with no clear front lines, put soldiers -   and Fort Detrick, Maryland. However, tests were
   all soldiers- at risk as never before, blurring the     also conducted at military installations across the
   boundaries between combat and other than com-           continental United States, in Alaska, in Puerto
   bat roles,” he said.                                    Rico, and elsewhere. As many as 100,000 active-
         In recent years, VA has developed women’s         duty military personnel were involved in these
   primary care programs at their health care facili-      experiments, and most were unaware of the sub-
   ties across the nation, and has hired program           stances to which they were exposed.
   managers and coordinators to manage care for                If the courts rule in our favor, Rowan said, this
   women veterans, the secretary said.                     will be a huge step in the right direction in obtain-
           The department also has accelerated its         ing justice for veterans whose claims for disability
   women’s health research in biomedical, clinical         compensation have long been denied by the
   sciences, rehabilitation, and health services, he       Department of Veterans Affairs.
   said.                                                             For more information on the lawsuit,
        Most recently, Shinseki said, the VA launched
   a women veterans call-in center to directly solicit
   input into ways the department can improve its
   services.                                                 Sleep Apnea
       “I want women veterans and women serving in
   uniform ... to see and know that VA is committed            Linked to
   to fulfilling [their] needs,” he said.                   Silent Strokes
       VVA Attorneys File for                              Breathing Pauses During Sleep Tied to Brain
       Class Certification In                                               Lesions

        Chemical-Biological                                By Charlene Laino

       Weapons Testing Case
                                                           WebMD Health News
                                                           Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

        (Washington, D.C.) Tens of thousands of ser-          A common sleep disorder is associated with an
   vice personnel participated in chemical, biologi-       increased risk of symptomless but serious strokes
   cal, and radiological experiments, said John            called “silent strokes,” German researchers
   Rowan, national president of Vietnam Veterans of        report.
   America. Years later, many of these veterans are             Sleep apnea, a condition marked by periodic
   afflicted with health conditions that may have orig-    interruptions in breathing during sleep, has been
   inated from exposures during these tests.               linked to an increased risk of strokes. But there
         Efforts to prove the connection between past      hasn’t been much research exploring the relation-
   exposures and current health conditions have            ship between sleep apnea and silent strokes,
   been stymied by the very agencies of government         says researcher Jessica Kepplinger, MD, of
   that ought to be advocating for these veterans          Dresden University Stroke Center at the
   rather than taking an adversarial stance against        University of Technology in Dresden, Germany.
   them.                                                       So, Kepplinger and colleagues studied 56 men
       VVA is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit we hope   and women, aged 44 to 75 years, who’d had a
   will shed light on what has been secret for far too     stroke or mini-stroke known as a transient
   long, Rowan said. On behalf of VVA, Morrison &          ischemic attack. All were given a screening tool
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   that picks up changes in breathing during sleep.         review” process, in which outside experts scruti-
             Ninety-one percent periodically stopped        nize the data prior to publication in a medical jour-
   breathing while they slept.                              nal.
         Then the men and women underwent brain
   imaging scans. Just over half had little areas of         Liz Trotter
   tissue death in the brain that had occurred in the
   past without a history of corresponding stroke           commentary
   symptoms — evidence, Kepplinger tells WebMD,              on sexual
   of silent stroke.
         The more times a person stopped breathing           assualt in
   during the night, the greater the likelihood of silent   the military
   stroke, she says.
             There was no comparison group, so                 draws fire from VVA
   researchers don’t know how many people of the            National Woman Veterans
   same ages and health status who don’t have
   sleep apnea have had silent strokes.                             Committee
                               Link Between Breathing
   and Stroke                                                 Vietnam Veterans of America Enraged by
        MRI brain imaging studies suggest about 20%          FOX Network Liz Trotter’s Commentary On
   to 25% of people over age 60 have had a silent                   Sexual Assault in the Military
   stroke, according to Harvard Medical School neu-
   rologist Steven Greenberg, MD, PhD. They have            PRESS RELEASE
                                                            VIETNAM VETERANS
   been linked to memory loss in some people, he            OF AMERICA
       The study offers “good evidence linking” sleep              (Washington, D.C.)— “Vietnam Veterans of
   apnea to silent stroke, Greenberg tells WebMD.           America is enraged by the comments of FOX
   But this is just an observation of an association        Network’s Liz Trotta, who, in a February 12 edition
   between the two that needs further study, he             of America’s News HQ,, challenged the Pentagon
   says.                                                    for its increased spending on programs for victims
        Greenberg moderated a news briefing to dis-         of sexual assault,” said John Rowan, VVA
   cuss the findings at the American Stroke                 National President. In response to a DoD report
   Association’s International Stroke Conference.           showing a 64 percent increase in violent sexual
       The study is small and preliminary. But it poses     assaults since 2006, Trotta remarked, “Well, what
   a number of questions that deserve further               did they expect? These people are in close con-
   research, says Harvard neurologist Lee                   tact.”
   Schwamm, MD.                                                   “What did they expect?” said Marsha Four,
       “I think what we can say is that breathing prob-     chair of VVA’s Women Veterans Committee. “I
   lems are more common in stroke patients than             can tell you what we, as women, expected when
   suspected,” he tells WebMD.                              we volunteered to serve our country during the
       “But is abnormal breathing during sleep a long-      Vietnam War. We expected to be treated equitably
   term problem in these patients? Or will it go            and with respect. Those of us who worked
   away? And is abnormal breathing a risk factor that       through the turmoil of the sixties and seventies
   leads to stroke? Or is it a consequence of stroke?”      fought hard for equal rights, and we are appalled
   Schwamm asks.                                            that, decades later, those who serve our nation in
         Kepplinger plans further study. In the mean-       the armed forces are still fighting for equal rights.
   time, she says, all stroke patients should be                “Clearly Trotta is not in touch with the reality of
   screened for sleep apnea.                                sexual assault in the military, as she appears to
         These findings were presented at a medical         be unaware that men also have had to endure this
   conference. They should be considered prelimi-           shocking assault,” noted Four. “Further we do not
   nary as they have not yet undergone the “peer
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   believe that all the thousands upon thousands of        Veterans Affairs clinicians through Prosthetics
   men and women who serve this great nation               Service, for veteran patients whose pertinent
   engage in behaviour that is less than honourable        medical information would be valuable to emer-
   when placed in situations where they must coex-         gency medical care providers.
   ist. Trotta’s comments are insulting to men and             Each Facility’s Chief of Staff is responsible for
   women alike.”                                           ensuring that electronic consults to Prosthetics
          Said Rowan, “Ms. Trotta’s despicable com-        Service are in place for use by clinicians to
   mentary has sent a shock wave through the ranks         request ID bracelets or pendants when such
   of our membership and beyond. No institution in         devices are indicated, and that clinicians are edu-
   America condones the disgrace of sexual assault.        cated about their availability and appropriate use.
   It is not accepted in corporate America, nor is it on   The consult must:
   the streets of our towns and communities. Why               Specify the information to be engraved on the
   should sexual assault in the military be anything       device. This can include, but is not limited to: food
   less than criminal? As the Department of Defense        and drug allergies, diabetes, seizure disorder, and
   grapples with the problem, it must take responsi-       metal fragments in the body. In addition to the
   bility at all levels of command, and leadership         medical condition, the Veteran has the option as
   must be held accountable.”                              to what personal information is to be included.
            “As veterans who fought to uphold our                            Specify if an ID bracelet or pen-
   Constitution, we hold sacred all the rights it          dant is required.
   insures, said Rowan. “As such, we are appalled              Medical ID manufacturers are currently work-
   that Ms. Trotta would use the Fourth Estate as a        ing with VA organizations across the nation as
   vehicle to condone the criminal acts of some by         registered suppliers of customized medical IDs.
   contending that sexual assault in the military is       They are working to help VA organizations with
   ‘expected’ behavior. It is a disgrace that FOX          process and ordering procedures. Veterans
   would stand behind this type of commentary. Ms.         should contact their local VA clinic for or contact
   Trotta owes the men and women of our military           Justin Noland of American Medic.
   and those in the veterans’ ranks an apology, and
   VVA believes FOX should demand it of her.”                Why Quitting
   VA Medical ID                                            Smoking Makes
    Bracelets &                                                You Fat
     Pendants:                                             By Alice Park

        VA issued a directive on policy regarding the          It’s an unfortunate fact that when smokers kick
   provision of medical identification (ID) bracelets or   the habit, they often gain weight — a side effect
   pendants containing pertinent medical information       that many smokers use as a reason for not quit-
   (allergies or diagnoses) that would be valuable to      ting.
   emergency health care providers. Symptoms of                   Now scientists think they’ve pinpointed the
   common ailments can be misdiagnosed by                  pathway in the brain through which nicotine helps
   responders to an emergent situation involving a         suppress appetite, suggesting that it’s possible to
   person who is unable to communicate. Prompt             get the same effect without the cigarettes.
   and accurate diagnosis is essential to effective             Nicotine works on many different receptors in
   treatment. The use of an ID bracelet or pendant is      the brain, including those in reward regions that
   a standard way to provide this information to           contribute to addiction. But working with mice, a
   health care providers in a situation where the indi-    team led by Yale University School of Medicine
   vidual cannot communicate. It is VHA policy that        psychiatrist Marina Picciotto found that the drug
   ID bracelets and pendants must be available,            also binds to receptors on appetite-regulating
   upon appropriate request by Department of               neurons, which aren’t involved in addiction. These

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   neurons, located in the hypothalamus, send the                             Black Navy Vet
   “I’m full” message after a meal, helping to regulate
   how much you eat.                                                          to get Medal for
       It helps explain why smokers aren’t as hungry                           WWII Actions
   when they smoke, and why they tend to stay thin-
   ner on the habit. When they quit, however, many                           Associated Press
   smokers tend to eat more, typically gaining on                           by John S. Marshall
   average about five pounds after quitting.
       Picciotto believes that nicotine hijacks various       SAN FRANCISCO - A black Navy veteran cred-
   neural circuits in the brain — those involved in        ited with saving the lives of some of his shipmates
   reward, and now in appetite — and that under-           during a World War II battle will be getting a long-
   standing how the tobacco compound works on              awaited medal for his heroism, a Northern
   brain cells could lead to better cessation strate-      California congresswoman said.
   gies.                                                         Carl Clark, 95, was awarded the Navy and
        Understanding the link between nicotine and        Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the
   satiety, for example, could lead to new drugs that      Combat Distinguished Device on Jan. 17, U.S.
   target the nicotine receptors on appetite-control-      Rep. Anna Eshoo announced.
   ling cells, giving smokers a way to quit without the          Clark was serving as an E-6 Steward First
   weight gain. Already, says Picciotto, there are         Class aboard the USS Aaron Ward when
   plant-based quit-smoking drugs available in             Japanese kamikazes attacked the destroyer near
   Eastern Europe that may work in this way, but fur-      Okinawa in May 1945.
   ther research needs to be done to determine                  “They would guide those planes directly into
   whether they’d actually help quitters gain less         the ships,” Clark said of the planes he described
   weight.                                                 as “flying bombs.”
       “If we had a medicine targeted at these recep-          Six kamikazes hit the destroyer, with the blast
   tors, then people who are not quitting smoking          from one plane so powerful that Clark said it blew
   because they are afraid of gaining weight now           him “all the way across the ship.”
   might make the attempt,” Picciotto says. “That’s a          Though he suffered a broken collarbone in the
   really exciting area of drug development.”              attack, Clark was credited with saving the lives of
       Even if such medicines were to prove effective,     several men by dragging them to safety. He also
   however, they may come with side effects. The           put out a fire in an ammunition locker that, accord-
   nicotine receptors that regulate fullness and           ing to Eshoo’s office, would have cracked the
   appetite are also closely linked to the body’s fight-   destroyer in half.
   or-flight stress response, in which the body revs               Reached at his home in Menlo Park on
   itself up in the face of a threat. Activating these     Christmas Eve, Clark told The Associated Press
   receptors could lead to increased blood pressure        that even though the destroyer’s captain acknowl-
   and heart rate, which may not be a good thing for       edged that he had saved the ship, it took 66 years
   anyone.                                                 to be recognized for his actions, according to
       The fear of weight gain shouldn’t keep anyone       Clark, because of “bigotry.”
   from quitting smoking, a habit that is known to              “It wouldn’t look good to say one black man
   cause cancer and raise the risk of heart attack,        saved the ship,” he said.
   stroke and various other health problems. And no            The captain of the destroyer tried to make up
   one should wait around for a new drug that might        for the slight by giving him extra leave and mak-
   help them stay slim. So Picciotto suggests that         ing sure that he was not sent back to sea, Clark
   nicotine-based quit aids might help.                    said.
                                                                The work in eventually getting him the medal
                                                           was made more difficult because of the lack of
                                                           documentation and living witnesses to the attack,
                                                           Eshoo said, adding that the decision to award the
                                                           medal was a “Christmas Miracle.”
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       “It is a singular privilege to be in a position to   racic surgeon and associate professor of surgery
   correct the record for those who have fought to          at the University of California, San Francisco, tells
   preserve our freedoms,” she said in a statement.         WebMD.
        “Carl Clark served our nation during a time              “Just matching patients to an effective therapy
   when the Navy was deeply segregated and a cul-           in a slightly more efficient manner would actually
   ture of racism was prevalent. His courage stands         improve the survival rate for lung cancer, which is
   as a symbol of the greatness of our nation, and          an accomplishment that has eluded medical sci-
   this award, also given to Senator John McCain,           entists for three decades,” he says.
   calls out Mr. Clark as a true American hero.”                  The test looks at the activity of 14 genes and
      Clark received the medal during a ceremony at         compares that profile to how those same genes
   Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif.                   are working in normal tissue.
                                                                “We’re able to identify a pattern of biology with-
    Gene Test                                               in the tumor, and that pattern of biology tells a
                                                            huge part of the story as to where that tumor is in
     May Help                                               the evolution of its aggressive behavior,” says
    Determine                                               Mann, who reported a financial relationship in the
                                                            company that’s developing the test.
    Early Lung                                                      Other tests that have tried to profile lung
      Cancer                                                tumors this way have relied on flash-frozen tissue
                                                            samples. That’s not available in most operating
     Survival                                               rooms, where tumor biopsies are taken.
                                                                 Mann says his group wanted to develop a test
   Test May Help Doctors Decide Which Patients              that doctors could use on lung tissue samples that
     Would Benefit From Chemotherapy After                  were handled in the usual way. Usual handling
                     Surgery                                involves dunking samples in harsh preservative
                                                            chemicals and then sealing them in hot wax, a
   By Brenda Goodman, MA                                    process that destroys a lot of genetic material.
   WebMD Health News
   Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
                                                                 And they think they have succeeded.
                                                                  So far, researchers have tried out the test in
      A new test that measures the activity of certain      three different patient populations, representing
   genes in cancer cells may help doctors tell which        more than 1,800 people with non-squamous, non-
   early, non-small-cell lung cancers are the most          small-cell lung cancer, which is the most common
   dangerous.                                               type.
       The hope is that doctors can use that informa-            The results have been remarkably consistent.
   tion to figure out which patients might benefit from           Patients with tumors that had a high-risk pro-
   more aggressive treatment for their early lung           file as measured by the test also had a high rate
   cancers.                                                 of early death. About half of those patients were
       Lung cancer is one of the most common can-           not alive five years after their diagnoses.
   cer types. It’s also one of the deadliest, even for            About 42% of patients with tumors that were
   the lucky few who catch their tumors while they          deemed intermediate risk based on their genetic
   are still small and have not spread.                     profile were not alive five years after their cancer
       Unlike stage I breast cancer, which has a five-      was discovered.
   year survival rate of 88%, stage I non-small-cell               And 25% to 30% of patients with low-risk
   lung cancer has a five-year survival rate of 45% to      tumors had not survived five years later.
   49%, according to the American Cancer Society.                  Researchers say it’s not yet clear what this
       There are some effective therapies for people        means in terms of treatment.
   with stage I lung cancer that are not always used            “That’s the $64,000 question,” Mann says. “We
   because it is difficult to identify the best patients    know that certain subsets of patients who under-
   for those therapies, Michael J. Mann, MD, a tho-         go surgery will have increased survival if they get
                                                            chemotherapy after surgery,” he says.
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         But chemotherapy is not recommended for            Traumatic
   many stage I non-small-cell lung cancers. Mann
   thinks that’s because the studies simply haven’t        brain injury
   be able to distinguish high-risk from low-risk          doubles risk
   patients. He thinks the new test could change
   that.                                                     of later
       “In my mind, currently, it’s the best of anything    dementia
   I’ve seen, and it’s done in a fashion that could be
   deployed in the real world,” says John L. Minna,        By Mary Brophy Marcus
   MD, a pulmonary oncologist at the University of         USA TODAY
   Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
        Minna wrote a commentary on the study but               A large study of older war veterans suggests
   was not involved in the research.                       those who experienced traumatic brain injury
        He says with more people getting screening         (TBI) during their lives had more than two times
   tests for lung cancer, having a better way to dis-      the risk of developing dementia, according to sci-
   tinguish high-risk from low-risk patients will be       entists from the University of California-San
   important for making sure people don’t get too          Francisco. The researchers presented their find-
   much or too little treatment for their disease.         ings today at the Alzheimer’s Association’s annu-
                                                           al International Conference in Paris.
                                                               “We’re now getting a much better understand-
     London museum                                         ing that head injury is an important risk factor for
                                                           developing dementia down the road,” says lead
      says rare coin                                       researcher Kristine Yaffe, director of the Memory
     found near River                                      Disorders Program at the San Francisco VA
                                                           Medical Center.
     Thames may be                                            Yaffe and colleagues looked at medical records
       Roman brothel token                                 of nearly 300,000 veterans, all 55 or older. None
                                                           had dementia at the study’s start. About 2% had
                                                           had a TBI. All had at least one inpatient or outpa-
        The Museum of London is displaying a coin
                                                           tient visit between 1997 and 2000 and a follow-up
   found by the River Thames that may have been
                                                           sometime between 2001 and 2007.
   used nearly 2,000 years ago as a “brothel token”
                                                               A diagnosis of a concussion, post-concussion
   in Roman London.
                                                           syndrome, a skull fracture or some non-specific
       The bronze coin shows a man and woman in
                                                           head injuries are considered TBIs, she says.
   an intimate embrace.
                                                               The risk of dementia was 15% in those with a
        Senior curator Caroline McDonald said it is
                                                           TBI diagnosis, compared with almost 7% in those
   impossible to determine precisely what the coin
                                                           who had never had a TBI, Yaffe says.
   was used for.
                                                                   Other studies have shown that TBI can
         She says it is probable brothels existed in
                                                           increase the risk of dementia: It might hit earlier,
   London when the coin was in circulation after the
                                                           and symptoms could worsen, says Douglas
   Roman invasion of Britain in the 1st Century A.D.
                                                           Smith, professor of neurosurgery and director of
        Experts believe the coin was concealed by
                                                           the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the
   mud along the river banks for some 2,000 years
                                                           University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
   before it was discovered recently by a man with a
                                                              About 1.7 million people experience a TBI each
   metal detector looking for objects near Putney
                                                           year, mostly because of falls and car accidents.
                                                           TBI also is referred to as the “signature wound” of
                                                           the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where TBI
                                                           accounts for 22% of casualties overall and 59% of
                                                           blast-related injuries, Yaffe says.
                                                                Smith says that with so many soldiers return-
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   ing from war affected by blasts, the relationship        those who suffer from the wounds of war, seen
   between TBI and dementia needs to be sorted              and unseen.”
   out.                                                         Military family groups and mental health advo-
        It’s unknown at this point how many soldiers        cates have been lobbying for the change for
   have a history of brain injury, he says. “I’m even       years, and a group of senators petitioned the
   worried for people psychologically. People worry a       White House earlier this year to finalize its internal
   lot about, ‘Am I going to get Alzheimer’s dis-           review on the issue and start sending out the let-
   ease?’”                                                  ters.
       Yaffe says more research is needed to explore            “The White House deserves a big thank you
   whether early rehabilitation can help reduce the         today for erasing the final stigma around suicide,”
   risk for dementia. “If you know you’ve had a head        said John Madigan, senior director for public poli-
   injury and you are approaching older age, one            cy at the American Foundation for Suicide
   has to be carefully monitored and screened for           Prevention.
   cognitive dementia.”                                         “Before, if you had a heart attack, or you drove
                                                            drunk and were killed while serving in a combat
      White House to send                                   zone, your family was sent a condolence letter.
                                                            But for suicides they weren’t. This really hits the
     condolence letters after                               bull’s-eye on getting to that stigma.”
        military suicides                                       Paul Reickhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan
                                                            Veterans of America, said, “It’s long past time for
   By Leo Shane III
                                                            our nation to formally recognize the loss of service
                                                            members” to suicide. Officials there also called for
          WASHINGTON — Both the president and               a larger push by the administration to address the
   defense secretary will now send condolence let-          underlying causes of military suicides, an issue
   ters to the families of troops who commit suicide        the Pentagon has struggled with in recent years.
   in combat zones, part of a broader effort to des-              According to Defense Department statistics,
   tigmatize the mental health costs of war.                the military saw 434 suicides in 2010, compared
        In a statement on July 6 th , President Barack      with 462 combat deaths. More than 1,500 troops
   Obama called the decision “emotional, painful and        committed suicide between 2005 and 2010.
   complicated,” but also said the change was nec-                The new policy will only cover suicides that
   essary to recognize the heroism and internal             occur in the future, and officials from the White
   struggles facing servicemembers.                         House and Defense Department don’t have any
        “These Americans served our nation bravely,”        plans to send letters out to families who have
   he said. “They didn’t die because they were weak.        already lost a servicemember to suicide.
   And the fact that they didn’t get the help they              The policy also does not cover troops who take
   needed must change.”                                     their own lives while stationed in other areas. Ami
         Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said           Neiberger-Miller, spokeswoman for the Tragedy
   new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will follow           Assistance Program for Survivors, said she hopes
   the administration-wide policy and begin sending         to see that expanded in coming months, but for
   condolence letters to families of suicide victims        now the new condolence letter policy is a dramat-
   deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat           ic improvement.
   operations.                                                    “These families often feel like their service-
         Previously, neither the president nor defense      member’s death is not as acknowledged by soci-
   secretary sent letters to families of military suicide   ety,” she said. “They don’t get the same recogni-
   victims, either deployed or stationed in the United      tion. They’re excluded from war memorials and
   States. Leaders from the individual services did         honor rolls. And not getting a condolence letter
   send those letters in some instances, but did not        adds to their pain.
   follow any specific policy.                                  “So getting the letter tells them that their coun-
         Obama said that he grieves “for the loss of        try is here for them. It’s a step in the right direc-
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       Women                                              through the Defense Manpower Data Center. The
                                                          group was comprised of 340 women and 252
     Exposed to                                           men, all of whom had returned from their respec-
       Combat                                             tive war zone within the year leading up to the sur-
     Trauma as                                                 The male soldiers were more likely to be mar-
     Resilient as                                         ried and have children, while the women were
                                                          three years younger on average, and more likely
               Men.                                       to be from a minority group. Half of the survey par-
                                                          ticipants were “active duty,” a quarter were part of
    Female military personnel experience PTSD,            the National Guard, and another quarter were part
        depression at similar rate as men                 of the Reserve Forces.
                                                                Each soldier was asked whether or not he or
        HealthDay News — Male and female military         she had fired a weapon, been shot at, and/or
   personnel exposed to combat zone trauma tend           been witness to combat death or injuries. Post-
   to experience similar mental health problems and       battle experiences were also tallied, in terms of
   recover at the same rate, a new study reveals.         the handling or observing of human remains and
        The finding — the first to examine the role of    contact with prisoners.
   gender on combat-linked stress after deployment             In addition, the survey explored the degree to
   — was based on a survey completed by American          which each soldier feared for his or her safety and
   men and women deployed between October 2007            well-being, along with the pressures and difficul-
   and July 2008 in Iraq and Afghanistan.                 ties of day-to-day living in a combat zone.
       The study had two major findings, according to     Participants were also asked to discuss their pre-
   lead author Dawne S. Vogt, an associate profes-        deployment exposure to trauma and their expo-
   sor of psychiatry at Boston University School of       sure to sexual harassment on duty.
   Medicine. “One is that more women than ever                All the responses were then compared to each
   before are experiencing combat. So although men        soldier’s post-deployment history of post-traumat-
   continue to experience it at slightly higher rates,    ic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance
   the difference in exposure is relatively small.”       abuse, and overall mental health functioning.
      “The other one is that this suggests that women           Vogt and her team first noted that while the
   may be just as resilient as men in the year follow-    male soldiers were exposed to slightly more com-
   ing return from deployment,” Vogt said. “Which is      bat and post-battle trauma, the traumatic nature of
   a novel finding, because the broader trauma liter-     the group’s combat experience was fairly similar
   ature has historically found that women are more       across gender lines. Women were found to have
   vulnerable to trauma exposure. But in this study       experienced a greater degree of pre-deployment
   you’re not seeing that.”                               stress, as well as a greater incidence of sexual
       Vogt and her colleagues present their findings     harassment while deployed.
   in a recent online issue of the Journal of Abnormal         In terms of post-deployment experience, male
   Psychology.                                            and female soldiers appeared to experience
       The authors noted that the Pentagon’s current      about the same degree of PTSD and depression
   official policy bars women from direct participation   in the year post-deployment. Mental health func-
   in ground combat, although they are nonetheless        tioning was also comparable among male and
   deployed in numerous risky combat situations.          female veterans, although substance abuse was
       That official ban has been the subject of much     more common among the men.
   recent debate, despite the fact that according to            The authors concluded that male and female
   the Department of Defense, more than 750               soldiers appear to be equally resilient to the stress
   women have been killed or wounded in action in         and trauma of combat, in least in the immediate
   either the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as of 2009.       months following battle.
       Against that backdrop, the study authors polled        “One implication is I think people need to real-
   a random sample of 595 veterans of those wars          ize that women are experiencing combat too,
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   even though at slightly lower levels,” noted Vogt,           VVA Signs Five Year Deal
   who is also a researcher at the National Center for
   PTSD at the VA Boston Healthcare System. “And                      With USAA
   therefore that needs to be taken into considera-
   tion when they come home, in the context of car-
   ing for them in the health care setting.”                         VVA recently has signed a five year deal with
         “And the other implication,” she said, “is that       USAA to endorse USAA and its financial services.
   these findings are particularly relevant given the          VVA is extremely pleased to be associated with
   recent call for the military to reverse its long-           USAA and supportive of its financial services. For
   standing policy barring women from ground com-              many of you, USAA is an old, trusted name as you
   bat.”                                                       may already be associated with USAA. For you
          For his part, Keith A. Young, vice chair for         new folks, USAA provides an opportunity for you to
   research in the department of psychiatry at Texas           meet USAA and learn of their products and experi-
   A&M Health Science Center in College Station,               ence.
   Texas, said the current insights are what he would                What does it mean to “endorse” USAA? It
   expect.                                                     means that you will begin to hear the USAA name
       “I’m not so surprised that military women expe-         frequently as we go about the business of VVA.
   rience similar mental health problems as men,”              We will see USAA advertising in the VVA Veteran.
   said Young, who is also the Neuroimaging and                You can expect to see USAA at VVA Conventions
   Genetics core leader for the VA Center of                   and Leadership Conferences.
   Excellence for Research on Returning War                        And periodically, VVA members will receive mail
   Veterans in Waco, Texas.                                    outs sharing information about USAA.
        “There is certainly the idea that has been out             However, “endorsing” USAA does not mean that
   there that women are more susceptible to PTSD,”             VVA has turned into financial counselors, no, it
   Young said. “But I think a lot of the research was-         means that USAA provides financial services that
   n’t very well controlled, and, in fact, in most of the      we like, that we support and that many of us have
   animal work that has been done, it’s the male ani-          had experience with – we want to share.
   mal that has been most susceptible to stress and                USAA will phase into our lives in the coming
   PTSD. The female animals have actually proven               months.
   to be more resilient.”                                           VVA currently had an affinity credit card rela-
         Young cautioned, however, that the principle          tionship with Bank of America which terminated
   factor driving the current female combat ban may            August 31, 2011 but which must be honored in the
   have less to do with concerns over vulnerability to         interim. We will do nothing to jeopardize our rela-
   combat trauma and more to do with the risk of               tionship with Bank of America as I am sure you
   abuse that women prisoners of war might face. In            would expect.
   that light, he suggested that the current findings               I ask that you be supportive of our new rela-
   would not necessarily alter the current ban                 tionship and welcome USAA personnel with open
   debate.                                                     arms when you have the opportunity to meet
        “Nevertheless, I think this finding will general-      them.
   ly help women who are interested in a military                     VVA CFO Joe Sternburg will be the VVA
   career,” he added. “It will help justify their ability to   “Relationship Manager” for VVA and his backup
   pursue that type of career and life.”                       will be VVA Controller, Dana Moore. If you have
            Vogt’s study was partially funded by a             any questions feel free to call Joe.
   Department of Veterans Affairs Health Sciences
   Research and Development Service grant and
   the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress

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     Second                                                long process, Mabus said, with six months of
                                                           Nuclear Power School, six months of Naval
     Group of                                              Nuclear Prototype Training and the officer course.
     Women                                                 And, he said, the women still in the program
                                                           “seem to be doing great,” with no unexpected
    Chosen for                                             challenges in the training so far.
       Sub                                                    He attributed the seamless transition to the fact
                                                           that the Navy has been doing “nuclear and sub
     Service                                               training for so long” and “there’s no gender differ-
                                                           ence to nuclear power.”
   New London, Conn.                                            The second group is made up of 18 women,
                                                           with close to half coming from the Naval Academy
        The Navy has selected the second group of          and four from the Reserve Officers Training
   women to serve on submarines and plans to               Corps. The rest are from other commissioning
   assign female officers to the crews of two more         programs.
   submarines.                                                 They will serve on four crews for the two sub-
       The first female submarine officers, currently in   marines. The Navy plans to assign four female
   training, are scheduled to report to their sub-         supply corps officers to fill department head roles
   marines at the end of this year. Secretary of the       and serve as mentors, as it is doing for the initial
   Navy Ray Mabus said the second group was                four submarines. The two submarines have not
   recently chosen because integrating women into          yet been identified, nor have the supply corps offi-
   the submarine force is a continuous process, “not       cers been selected.
   a one-shot thing.”                                         Women still are not allowed on the smaller fast-
        Women in the new group will be assigned to         attack boats, the only type of submarine home-
   two submarines in addition to the initial four that     ported in Groton, and enlisted women currently
   will have women serving on them by the end of           can’t serve on submarines.
   2011. In an interview Mabus said, “these things            Mabus said that while the Navy has begun with
   are moving at a pretty rapid rate” because the          female officers on ballistic-missile and guided-
   Navy was not going to make a big announcement           missile submarines, “that’s going to be expand-
   about putting women on submarines, assign a             ed.”
   few women to submarine crews and then forget
   about it.
       “We’re going to do the same thing we did with
   surface ships, which is fully integrate women into
   the crews of all classes,” he said after speaking
   this week at the U.S. Naval War College in
   Newport, R.I.
        The Navy officially lifted its ban last year and
   began preparing to bring female officers aboard
   ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines —
   the USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) and USS Georgia
   (SSGN 729), both in Kings Bay, Ga., and the USS
   Maine (SSBN 741), and USS Ohio (SSGN 726),
   both in Bangor, Wash.
       Two of the women chosen for submarine duty
   decided to pursue graduate studies, while one
   other was medically disqualified, leaving 18 in
   training today. Eight are currently in Groton for the
   10-week officer basic course.
        Attrition was expected since the training is a
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