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Monday, February 23, 2015

Have you thanked a Veteran for the Freedoms you enjoy Today?

Thank you to all who share information with me so that I may share it with others!  Please feel free to pass along to others you feel might be interested in the POW/MIA Veterans Newsletter, thank you!
Have you thanked a Veteran  for the Freedoms you enjoy Today?
Thank you to all of you for your service to our country,
for signing that check that devoted life, limb, well being....
 May you all have many things to be thankful for and may each day bring bountiful blessings to you and yours!

Attention all vets who served in Somalia, Iraq, and
Afghanistan who were issued the weekly anti malaria drug
Mefloquine (Lariam)to prevent malaria. If you are still
having side effects from the drug, contact your local
VA  environmental health coordinator.

The primary site for the announcement is

The site for the list of VA environmental coordinators in
each state is

Mefloquine (brand name: Lariam®) is a drug that has been
given to military personnel, including those serving in
Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, for protection against
malaria. Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by
mosquitoes. Mefloquine, a round, white tablet taken once a
week, is also used for travelers visiting areas where
malaria is found, based on recommendations from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. Mefloquine was approved
by the FDA in May 1989.

If you are concerned about mefloquine use or long-term side
effects from taking mefloquine, talk to your health care
provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.

Mefloquine side effects:  Most people who take
mefloquine do not experience side effects. For those who do,
the most common reported side effects include nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, and bad
dreams. These symptoms are usually mild and do not cause
people to stop taking the medicine. People with liver
problems, or those who drink alcohol or take medicines that
affect the liver, may take longer to eliminate mefloquine
from the body.  Occasionally, mefloquine may cause more
serious side effects. Examples include psychiatric symptoms
such as anxiety, paranoia, depression, mood changes,
hallucinations, agitation, and unusual behavior. Other
uncommon side effects may include muscle weakness, irregular
heartbeat, and lung problems such as pneumonitis
(inflammation of lung tissue). Rare cases of suicidal
thoughts have been reported.

Health concerns?  If you are concerned about mefloquine
use or long-term side effects from taking mefloquine, talk
to your health care provider or local VA Environmental
Health Coordinator.

Veterans may be eligible for VA disability compensation
benefits and health care benefits for health problems
associated with mefloquine use during military service.

The Information above was obtained at

Scientists band together to develop PTSD biomarkers

A consortium of psychiatrists, neurobiologists and scientists will pool resources to devise accurate ways to detect post-traumatic stress disorder, to reduce the number of war veterans who go undiagnosed, Technology Review reports. By examining civilians and military personnel previously involved in automobile accidents, the scientists will draw from genetic data, brain imaging, and other physiological measurements to identify patterns in PTSD sufferers. Roughly 9 percent of American accident survivors develop PTSD. The goal of the consortium is to develop quantitative biomarkers -- for instance, levels of chemicals in blood or brain scan patterns -- that will help hospitals diagnose the disorder more precisely.  

Afghanistan War: Degenerative Brain Disease Threatens U.S. Soldiers

As the war in Afghanistan winds down, more than 200,000 U.S. soldiers who suffered from a traumatic brain injury are at risk of developing a degenerative brain disease. Doctors have not yet found a way to diagnose or prevent the condition, called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), HuffPost's David Wood explains. The condition can lead patients to suffer from memory loss, difficulty in walking and speaking, paranoia and even suicide. Doctors hope that by treating soldiers early for traumatic brain injury, they may prevent it from developing into CTE. 

National POW/MIA Recognition Day
The President issues a proclamation commemorating the observances and reminding the nation of those Americans who have sacrificed so much for their country.
Observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans' facilities. It is traditionally observed on the third Friday in September each year. This observance is one of six days throughout the year that Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families' POW/MIA flag. The others are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.
The flag is to be flown at major military installations, national cemeteries, all post offices, VA medical facilities, the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the official offices of the secretaries of state, defense and veterans affairs, the director of the selective service system and the White House.
A Pentagon ceremony for National POW/MIA Recognition Day was held on Friday, Sept.16, 2011. This ceremony featured troops from each of the military services 

Health Notice for Vets at Camp Lejeune 50s through the 80s

If you served on active duty at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987, you may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water.
Under a new law (pdf) just signed by President Obama, you can receive VA medical care if you are suffering from any of the medical conditions described in the law and resided or served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for not fewer than 30 days between January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987.
VA will provide care immediately for those conditions while your eligibility under the new law is confirmed. VA’s Public Health web site contains important information about the law along with links to other useful web sites. Or call 1-877-222-8387 for assistance.
Veterans already enrolled in VA health care, contact your local VA health care facility to receive care under the new law.
Those not already enrolled should call 1-877-222-8387 for assistance.
Care for family members will be available after Congress appropriates funds and VA publishes regulations. The new law applies to health care, not disability compensation.
You may also register to receive notifications from the Marine Corps regarding “Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to providing the best quality care for eligible Veterans and their families who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune and were exposed to contaminated water.
The law signed by President Obama on August 6, 2012, is titled Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.

HR 1627 - An Act To amend title 38, United States Code, to furnish hospital care and medical services to veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, while the water was contaminated at Camp Lejeune, to improve the provision of housing assistance to veterans and their families, and for other purposes.

‘‘(F) Subject to paragraph (2), a veteran who served on active duty in the Armed Forces at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for not fewer than 30 days during the period beginning on January 1, 1957, and ending on December 31, 1987, is eligible for hospital care and medical services under subsection (a)(2)(F) for any of the following illnesses or conditions, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such illnesses or conditions are attributable to such service:
‘‘(i) Esophageal cancer.
‘‘(ii) Lung cancer.
‘‘(iii) Breast cancer.
‘‘(iv) Bladder cancer.
‘‘(v) Kidney cancer.
‘‘(vi) Leukemia.
‘‘(vii) Multiple myeloma.
‘‘(viii) Myleodysplasic syndromes.
‘‘(ix) Renal toxicity.
‘‘(x) Hepatic steatosis.
‘‘(xi) Female infertility.
‘‘(xii) Miscarriage.
‘‘(xiii) Scleroderma.
‘‘(xiv) Neurobehavioral effects.
‘‘(xv) Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.’’. 
'No Easy Day,' Bin Laden Raid Book: Osama Was Unarmed
08/28/2012 8:35 pm

The book, "No Easy Day," gives a Navy SEAL's firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. NEW YORK -- The much-anticipated firsthand account of the Navy SEALs raid that killed Osama bin Laden reveals the terrorist leader was unarmed and was already dead with a bullet to the brain when the SEALs entered his bedroom in the compound at Abbottabad, Pakistan.
As the SEALS ascended a narrow staircase, the team's point man saw a man poke his head from a doorway, wrote a SEAL using the pseudonym Mark Owen (whose real identity has since been revealed by Fox News) in “No Easy Day,” a copy of which was obtained at a bookstore by The Huffington Post.
"We were less than five steps from getting to the top when I heard suppressed shots. BOP. BOP," writes Owen. "I couldn't tell from my position if the rounds hit the target or not. The man disappeared into the dark room."
Team members took their time entering the room, where they saw the women wailing over Bin Laden, who wore a white sleeveless T-shirt, loose tan pants and a tan tunic, according to the book.
Despite numerous reports that bin Laden had a weapon and resisted when Navy SEALs entered the room, he was unarmed, writes Owen. He had been fatally wounded before they had entered the room.
"Blood and brains spilled out of the side of his skull” and he was still twitching and convulsing, Owen writes. While bin Laden was in his death throes, Owen writes that he and another SEAL "trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds. The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless."
Then the SEALS repeatedly examined his face to make sure he was truly bin Laden. They interrogated a young girl and one of the women who had been wailing over Bin Laden’s body, who verified that it was the terror leader.
The shots fired inside the room appear to contradict the mission they were given. During a meeting with top commanders, a lawyer from either the Pentagon or the White House "made it clear that this wasn't an assassination," writes Owen, who recounted the instructions: "I am not going to tell you how to do your job. What we're saying is if he does not pose a threat, you will detain him."
Searching bin Laden’s neatly organized room, Owen found two guns -– an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol -– with empty chambers. “He hadn’t even prepared a defense. He had no intention of fighting. He asked his followers for decades to wear suicide vests or fly planes into buildings, but didn’t even pick up his weapon. In all of my deployments, we routinely saw this phenomenon. The higher up the food chain the targeted individual was, the bigger a pussy he was.”
The book calls out inaccurate accounts of the assault. "The raid was being reported like a bad action movie," Owen writes. "At first, it was funny because it was so wrong."
Contrary to earlier accounts, Owen says SEALs weren't fired upon while they were outside the gate of the compound. There was no 40-minute firefight. And it wasn't true that bin Laden had "time to look into our eyes."
Owen, a 36-year-old SEAL who also took part in a previous 2007 attempt to get Bin Laden and was involved in the heroic 2009 operation to free Captain Richard Phillips from pirates off the coast of Somalia, also had harsh words for President Barack Obama.
Though he praises the president for green-lighting the risky assault, Owen says the SEALS joked that Obama would take credit for their success. On his second night in Afghanistan waiting for final orders, sitting around a fire pit and joking about which Hollywood actors would play them in the bin Laden movie, one SEAL joked, “And we’ll get Obama reelected for sure. I can see him now, talking about how he killed bin Laden,” according to Owen.
Owen writes: “We had seen it before when he took credit for the Captain Phillips rescue. Although we applauded the decision-making in this case, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that he would take all the political credit for this too.”
Later, while watching Obama’s speech announcing the raid, Owen writes: “None of us were huge fans of Obama. We respected him as the commander in chief of the military and for giving us the green light on the mission.” When one SEAL jokes again that they got Obama reelected, Owen asks, “Well, would you rather not have done this?”
He writes: “We all knew the deal. We were tools in the toolbox, and when things go well they promote it. They inflate their roles. But we should have done it. It was the right call to make. Regardless of the politics that would come along with it, the end result was what we all wanted.”
Later, when they meet Obama at the White House, Owen says he was reluctant to sign the American flag presented to the president because it would disclose his identity. So, at least one SEAL scribbled a random name on the flag. While going through the metal detector to meet the president, Owen’s pocketknife set off the alarm.
After listening to Obama’s speech and enduring Biden’s “lame jokes that no one got (He seemed like a nice guy, but he reminded me of someone’s drunken uncle at Christmas dinner)" the president invited the team to return to his residence later for a beer.
But Owen writes a few weeks later: “We never got the call to have a beer at the White House.” Joking with a fellow SEAL, “Hey, did you ever hear anything about that beer?” Walt cracks: “ You believed that shit. I bet you voted for change too, sucker.”
Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in an email: "As President Obama said on the night that justice was brought to Osama bin Laden, 'We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.'

Ladies & Gentlemen,

We are engaged here in Washington in a heck of a fight to protect the benefits earned by members of the uniformed services through their service and sacrifice for the nation.  An example of this is the battle over healthcare for retirees and their families.  For years we have been told that healthcare, especially for retirees, has been driving national defense into bankruptcy - an incredible insult to men and women who devoted their adult lives to the protection of the nation. 
 Last summer our members accepted a 13% increase in TRICARE Prime rates with the understanding that future increases would be tied to COLA.  Shortly after that, we learned that something in excess of $500 Million in "unused" TRICARE money had been reprogrammed for other uses.  Then,  the administration released its 2013 budget request which included huge new fees for TRICARE Prime coverage and new, also huge, first time ever, fees for elderly retirees covered by TRICARE for Life.  So much for promises made. 
 As the budget worked its way through the House and Senate review process, we learned that DoD wants to reprogram an another $708 M of "unused" healthcare funding money this year.  The scrutiny this request brought about subsequently revealed that the sum reprogrammed last year wasn't $500 M, but rather, $1.36 Billion and the year before that it was $772 M.  So, in the last three years, DoD has reprogrammed or asked to reprogram nearly $3 B of healthcare funding. 
 Rather than being an anchor around the neck of DoD, healthcare turns out to be a bill payer for the department.  This is just one of the fights we are engaged in.  Below is a youtube link to our first NAUS Video.  (It is pretty good except for the homely guy making the presentation.)  It is an alert of the Assault on military, veteran and retiree benefits going on today.  I hope you will be comfortable with distributing it further.
 Semper Fidelis,

Jack W. Klimp
LtGen USMC (Ret)
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Association for Uniformed Services
5535 Hempstead Way
Springfield VA 22151
(703) 750-1342 ext 1000

Amos: No Slap on Wrist for Urinating on Corpses

Aug 29, 2012
Stars and Stripes | by Jennifer Hlad

WASHINGTON -- Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos rejected the suggestion that three Marines involved in a video that showed troops urinating on the bodies of dead insurgents got off easy by not facing court-martial.
"It wasn't a slap on the wrist," Amos told a crowd at the National Press Club in Washington.
The Marines, all enlisted members of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, pleaded guilty to various offenses at Article 15, nonjudicial punishment hearings, according to a Marine Corps press release. The Marine Corps did not release the names of the Marines or which punishments were given to whom, but said the punishments include reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay and punitive letters.
More Marines are under investigation, Amos said, and they will be "held accountable" soon.
Amos said nonjudicial punishments can end a Marine's career, but he would not say whether that was the case in this instance. He praised Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, the officer responsible for determining disciplinary actions in the incident.
"I think when it's all said and done, everyone will look back and say, ‘The Marines did the right thing,'" Amos said.
Amos also addressed a number of other topics during the hourlong talk.
*On sequestration, he said the budget cuts would disproportionately affect the Marine Corps and "would quite honestly stunt any modernization."
*On women in combat, Amos said he expects that opening more jobs and roles to women "is going to be a huge success." At least two female volunteers will start the previously male-only Infantry Officer Course next month, he said, and the Marine Corps is gathering data from that and ongoing physical tests to see how best to open more units and jobs to women. "I need to get past hyperbole and get past intuition and instincts. … I need to get facts," he said.
*On the Marine Corps' role going forward, Amos said he makes "no apologies" for being on the ground in Iraq's Anbar province or Afghanistan's Helmand province, but that land wars are "not why American buys a Marine Corps." Instead, he said, the nation wants a force that can respond to any crisis at a moment's notice.
*On sexual assault, Amos said he put together an operational planning team to define the problem and determine how to eradicate such assaults. "I think it's revolutionary," he said, stressing that the new plan has support at the highest levels. "We're headed to zero," Amos said. "Will we get there? I don't know."

Ex-SEAL: Ventura Got Popped After Popping Off

Aug 29, 2012
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune| by Dan Browning

If former Gov. Jesse Ventura didn't like what Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wrote about him in his memoir, "American Sniper," he's going to positively hate what five fellow SEALs -- and the mothers of two of their fallen comrades -- have to say about him.
Kyle's friends and associates have rallied to his defense in a defamation lawsuit Ventura filed in Hennepin County in January. Ventura, whose real name is James Janos, sued over Kyle's portrayal of a bar fight he claims they had six years ago in Coronado, Calif.
Under the heading, "Punching Out Scruff Face," Kyle describes a confrontation with a "celebrity" who served in the military during the Vietnam War. He said Scruff Face winters in Baja California, opposed the war in Iraq and described the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a "conspiracy."
Though he didn't name Ventura in the book, Kyle has acknowledged that Scruff Face is Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
Ventura denies Kyle's allegation that he prompted the alleged fight by saying that the SEALS "deserve to lose a few" in Iraq, or that Kyle "laid him out" at the bar during a wake for a fellow SEAL.
The lawsuit has been moved to federal court in St. Paul, where Kyle's attorney, John Borger, filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss two of the three counts as legally deficient. He said he plans to bring a separate motion for summary judgment on the remaining defamation claim as well.
In support of Tuesday's motion to dismiss claims of unjust enrichment and misappropriation of Ventura's likeness, Borger filed a handful of "declarations" from witnesses to the alleged bar fight who describe him as a "jackass" and his comments that night as "anti-American."
Borger describes Ventura in his motion as a "Navy veteran, ex-wrestler, ex-color commentator, actor, ex-mayor, ex-governor, outspoken conspiracy theorist, and frequent fanfaron of future prospects for public office." A fanfaron is a braggart, a swaggerer, a bully.
Ventura to have say in court
David Olsen, Ventura's attorney, said Tuesday he would respond in court and declined to comment further.
Kyle retired from the Navy in 2009. He served four combat tours in Iraq and elsewhere, and was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.
"The Navy credits me with more kills as a sniper than any other American service member, past or present," he said in a court filing.
Kyle said he and two co-authors wrote "American Sniper." "The events that happened in the book are true," he said. "I reconstructed dialogue from memory, which means that it may not be word for word. But the essence of what was said is accurate."
The witnesses' declarations generally agree with Kyle's description of the alleged fight at McP's Irish Pub in Coronado. Kyle and his friends were having a wake for Mikey Mansoor, a SEAL who threw himself onto a grenade to save his comrades and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Eyewitness accounts
Debbie Lee, who lost her son, Navy SEAL Marc Lee, in Iraq, said the group was mournful and respectful. "It was not a belly-up-to-the-bar type of event," she wrote.
One of her son's SEAL teammates introduced her to Ventura, whom she found offensive. She said she heard him criticize the war and called President George Bush a jerk. Ventura could only talk about himself, she said. "He did not say he was sorry for my loss."
Bob Gassoff, the SEAL who introduced Lee to Ventura, said the former governor wore a beard braided into pony tails and a blue SEAL team hat. "He was badmouthing the war and President Bush. He was upsetting the families of deceased SEALs," Gassoff said.
Andrew Paul, a reservist Navy SEAL, said he notified Mansoor's family about his death and helped carry his body off the plane.
"I grew up watching [the movie] 'Predator' and professional wrestling. I thought it would be cool to meet 'The Body,'" he said.
But Ventura's behavior that night revolted him, Paul said. "He was saying the wrong things in the wrong place at the wrong time. In my opinion, he was being as anti-American as you can possibly get. Now, he would probably argue that he was being very American by challenging the government, but for a bunch of guys who had just laid their lives on the line for their country and who were at a wake for their fallen comrade, he's lucky the punch to the face is all he got."
Most of those swearing out declarations said they didn't see Kyle hit Ventura, but claim they saw the commotion and the aftermath as Kyle took off and Ventura clambered up from the ground with blood on his face.
Jeremiah Dinnell, an active-duty SEAL, was the exception.
"I heard Ventura say that we shouldn't be over in Iraq, doing what we were doing," he said. "And then he said that the SEALs deserved to lose some guys because of what we were doing.
"That's when Chris punched him. All of us wanted to. Chris was just the first one to pop him."