Parasite Possibly Killing US Vietnam Veterans

United States veterans who fought in the Vietnam War had to endure many hardships. The problems did not end for many of them when they returned home. That many still be the case 42 years after the United States finally pulled out of Vietnam. This is because it is very possible that some of the soldiers who served in Vietnam could be infected with a parasite that is commonly found in Southeast Asia. A study has been performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. They want to see if there is any sort of a connection between bile cancer found in veterans and a fluke parasite that gets into the body by eating fish that is either undercooked or raw.

The parasite takes several decades before it starts to do damage to its host. In fact, the person may have no idea they have a parasite because they do not feel any pain. It is usually too late to do anything once the person starts to feel bad. They usually only live for a few more months after that point.

50 veterans had their blood tested during the study. 20 percent of those people tested positive for the parasite. This surprised the head researcher who was in charge of performing the tests. However, he cautions that there are still more test that he needs to perform before he gets any conclusive results. Fortunately, the parasites can be killed very easily with medication. However, they need to be detected in their early stages of development.

How Veterans Charities Need to Improve

People are starting to point out problems when it comes to charities for veterans. Some charities are using telemarketers. These telemarketers call homes and attempt to get people to donate money to veterans.

The problem with this is that the telemarketers often take a lot of the money for their own salaries and to cover fees. Veterans are not getting most of the money that was donated to them.

Arthur Hampton is a case in point. He hired telemarketers to get people to donate to Circle of Friends for American Veterans. The telemarketers took ninety percent of the donations, and Hampton himself took well over three hundred thousand dollars in compensation.

Hampton then moved on to political fundraising for action groups that would support veterans. Here too, it seems like he benefited financially. He created a PAC, but telemarketers took 1.3 million dollars out of the 1.5 million dollars that were raised, and Hampton himself took seventy five thousand dollars in the first nine months.

It is not against the law for telemarketers to take money to cover expenses as long as they do not lie about it. However, it is clear that reforms must be made. People are under the impression that they are donating to veterans, but most of their money is not going to where they think it is going. It is time for charities to take an honest look at themselves and what they are doing.

Veterans Affairs Sends Notices Of Overpayment

Thousands of military veterans have received notices of benefits overpayment from the United States Department Of Veteran Affairs. This development is cause for concern for many U.S. veterans.

Take the case of Isaac Daniel, a 22-year veteran of the United States Navy that retired with a disability. Upon retirement, Daniel began receiving monthly disability payments of $1100 in addition to retirement payments of $1200. Daniel, his wife, and five children relied on both checks to make ends meet.

The nightmare for Daniel begins a little over a year ago when he received a letter from the Veteran Affairs debt management system center stating that Daniel received overpayments of more than $18,000.

The veterans administration explained to Daniel that he had never completed a form sent to him used to verify the presence of dependent children in the home. Daniel said that he never received such a form but that the number of dependents in his home was the same since his 2006 retirement.

When Daniel contacted the Veteran Administration it was learned that the letter was sent to an address where Daniel had lived 35 years previously. The result for Daniel and family was the garnishment of his disability check to pay back what the VA had determined was the debt Daniel owed them.

Daniel’s case is not an isolated one.

Airforce retiree Zaldy Sabino was informed of a 22,000 debt he owed to the VA. The problem, Sabino explains is that he never received money from the VA at the time the VA alleges.

Many more veterans have spoken in protests to debts they are said to owe due to the faulty record-keeping practices of the VA.

Veterans Affairs Having Problems With Record Keeping

It seems like the Veterans Affairs office is sending notices to veterans asking them for money back. Some veterans have been receiving letters stating that they were overpaid when they received their benefits and that they owe the VA office money.

Isaac Daniel is a case in point. He served for more than twenty two years, and he was entitled to benefits because of injuries that he had. He has been receiving those benefits since 2006. Recently, he got a letter stating that he had been overpaid eighteen thousand dollars and that he had to pay it back. The VA office said that he did not have children, but Daniel did have children, and they were all under the age of nineteen. The VA office said that they sent him a form to fill out to show that he had children, but Daniel said that he never got the form. In the end, he found out that they sent the form to an old address of his, where he had not lived for thirty five years. The VA office started to take off money from his checks in order to pay back the debt they said he owed them.

Other stories are coming up about veterans who got a letter from the VA saying that they owed money. One veteran supposedly owed twenty two thousand dollars, but he says that he never got disability checks during the time period the letter alleges.

Reforms must be put in place at the VA office to correct record keeping errors.

Retired Women And Soldiers Spread Christmas Cheer To Veterans

Soldiers and retired women teamed up to give back to veterans at McGuire VA Hospital. They stated that it is just a small way to say thank to the soldiers for all of the work that they have done. It can be difficult to find the right gift for someone who has limited mobility. That is why Sgt. Arthur Ireland is volunteering at the hospital.

Ireland stated that it makes him feel special as a soldier to give back to other soldiers. The soldiers and retired women hosted a holiday extravaganza for the veterans. The veterans were able to enjoy goodies that they were not able to go out and get themselves.

Charlotte Bailey was one of the people who helped put the event together. Not only did the veterans get to enjoy goodies, but they were also given gifts. Charlotte is a member of a group called Ladies Act of Random Kindness and Services. She stated that they were already doing volunteer work at the hospital, so they decided to have a holiday party for the veterans.

This is the third year that the Ladies Act of Random Kindness and Services has hosted the holiday event. The soldiers stated that they support their fellow soldiers, so serving at the holiday party is the least that they could do. They wanted to make the veterans more comfortable.

T-Shirt Project Giving Help To Homeless Veterans

The number of homeless veterans in the United States has increased drastically since 2010. One person in New York decided that he was going to do something about the homeless problem. He knew that unemployment was one of the main reasons that people are homeless. That is why he decided to start Sense of Self Project. It provides jobs for veterans who are living in a shelter. The veterans make t-shirts.

Daniel McKinney is a veteran who has served in the United States Gulf War. He has been dealt with homelessness for the past 17 years. Daniel stated that he has faced many challenges since he came home. However, working for Sense of Self Project gives him a sense of pride that he has lost.

Aaron Seaney is the founder of Sense of Self Project. He started the organization because he felt that veteran homelessness was being swept under the rug. Lewis Kaiser is another veteran who works for Sense of Self Project. He was unemployed for five years before he worked for Sense of Self Project.

People will get t-shirts every month in exchange for a monthly subscription. Sixty percent of the profit goes towards paying the homeless veterans. The money that is left over goes towards supplies. Aaron stated that Sense of Self Project is about more than just t-shirts. It is about helping people become productive members of society again.

Veteran Is Comforted By PTSD

Michael Madden is a cotton candy maker who works in New Castle. He started a cotton candy business is to pay for his guide dog. Michael adopted a service dog named Shiloh in 2016. They two quickly bonded. Michael has been suffering from emotional distress ever since he left Iraq.

Michael has paid for most of the expenses that he has incurred from owning a dog. Now, he has some help. An event called Warriors Rock will raise money for Shiloh’s care expenses. A portion of the funds will also go towards helping other veterans.

Gary Racan and Studio-E Band are one of the bands that will be performing at the event. Veterans will also come to the stage and sing “God Bless USA.” The event will take place at the Youngstown Playhouse on Saturday, December 16, 2017. Veterans and students will get in for just $15. The general public will get in for $25. People can purchase the tickets in advance by calling 330-788-8739. They can also purchase tickets at the door.

Michael suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He served in Iraq for 18 months. He has struggled with the PTSD for 11 years. Although he took medication and received therapy, he still was unable to cope with it. When someone recommended that he get a service dog, he decided to get Shiloh. He stated that Shiloh helps him with the emotional struggles he faces every day.

Twenty-Five Percent of United States Veterans

It is estimated that 25 percent of U.S. veterans have diabetes. This is twice the rate of the general population. Nearly 3.4 percent of veterans do not know that they have diabetes. These findings are based on a study done by the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination.

They took data that they obtained between the years of 2005 and 2014. The researchers found that veterans who were over the age of 65 were the most likely to develop diabetes. People who had less than 12 years of education were also more likely to develop diabetes.

One of the most interesting things about the study was that income did not seem to affect diabetes rates. People who live in poverty are more prone to various health conditions. Diabetes is diagnosed by taking blood sugar and HBA1C. If a person’s fasting blood sugar is above 126, then they have diabetes. People who have a non-fasting blood sugar above 200 are diabetic. Additionally, diabetes is confirmed if a person has a HBA1C above 6.5.

Ying Liu is an assistant professor in the department of biostatistics and epidemiology at East Tennessee State University College of Public Health. He stated that more needs to be done in order to prevent diabetes in veterans. He also stated that more needs to be done in order to improve the quality of life of veterans.

Charity Honors American Veterans with Wreaths

Wreaths Across America is gearing up for its annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Designed by the non-profit to honor forgotten US veterans, the event celebrates National Wreaths Across America Day on the third Saturday of December.

Wreaths Across America was founded in 2007, but its origins stretch back to 1992 when Morrill Worcester, the founder of Maine’s Worcester Wreath Company, decided to donate his company’s extra Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Soon, other groups in different cities began undertaking their own wreath-laying ceremonies, and Worcester founded the Wreaths Across America non-profit in 2007 to helps coordinate hundreds of annual ceremonies.

The Wreaths Across America convoy carrying wreaths for veterans at Arlington National Cemetery left Harrington, Maine on December 9. This year, the convoy is being led by Colonel Roger Donlon, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. The caravan also includes representatives from American Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives of America. The procession will wind its way through Delaware and Maryland and arrive in Washington D.C. on Friday. The main wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled to take place Saturday morning at Arlington.

In addition to the national wreath-laying ceremony in Washington D.C., many locals are also hosting their own ceremonies. Ceremonies are scheduled for hundreds of cemeteries across the US, including Bel Air Memorial Gardens in Maryland and Los Angeles National cemetery in California. Veterans, family members and volunteers will also lay wreaths in 24 different overseas locations. Each ceremony will take place at the same time and be accompanied by a coordinated moment of silence.

A Holiday Way to Thank and Remember Veterans

Amid the traditional Holiday appeals is a unique way to celebrate known as Wreaths Across America. The goal of this annual 3rd Saturday in December observance is to honor and remember all deceased veterans whether they are buried on land or at sea.

Wreaths Across America is the brain child of a Maine wreath-making businessman back in 1992 spawned by the recall of a long-remembered childhood visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

In 2007, Morrill Webster established a foundation to adorn the gravestones in a less-frequently visited portion of Arlington National Cemetery. 2017 statistics indicate not only will his designated area be festooned, but all veteran grave markers in the 50 continental United States of America will be included.

Departing from Columbia Falls, Maine, wreaths will be transported though the New England states en route to Washington. D.C. For the 5th year, one of America’s highest ranked military schools for middle and high school age boys, Fishburne Military School situated in Waynesboro, Virginia, will be participating in the actual wreath laying detail for Arlington National Cemetery’s 200,000 graves. Including those buried at sea, veterans will be honored at 1,238 locations across the USA. Arriving in Washington, D.C., the caravan will be escorted to the cemetery led by this year’s caravan marshals Roger and Norma Donlon.

Volunteers are needed to lay wreaths at smaller cemeteries. Wreaths may be donated for $15. Whether you participate, donate, or watch a ceremony on the media, this is a unique way to say “Thank you for your service.”